Leftists just KNOW what is good for us. Conservatives need evidence..

Why are Leftists always talking about hate? Because it fills their own hearts

As President, Trump will be as transformative as Reagan; He has blown the political consensus out of the water

This document is part of an archive of postings on Dissecting Leftism, a blog hosted by Blogspot who are in turn owned by Google. The index to the archive is available here or here. Indexes to my other blogs can be located here or here. Archives do accompany my original postings but, given the animus towards conservative writing on Google and other internet institutions, their permanence is uncertain. These alternative archives help ensure a more permanent record of what I have written. My Home Page. My Recipes. My alternative Wikipedia. My Blogroll. Email me (John Ray) here. NOTE: The short comments that I have in the side column of the primary site for this blog are now given at the foot of this document.


30 April, 2019

Eradicate Poverty? We Already Know How
Want to help the poor? Champion free enterprise. That flouts the conventional wisdom — at least as it’s presented by many politicians and “mainstream” media outlets. They would have us believe that free enterprise (or to use their preferred bogeyman, capitalism) exacerbates poverty. In fact, they think we can’t help the poor without a heavy dose of socialism.

But the facts aren’t on their side. They have the equation exactly backwards. What alleviates poverty isn’t so much government doing something. It’s government getting out of the way.

“Democratic capitalism has done more to pull people out of poverty than any other system in the history of humanity,” best-selling author Arthur Brooks says in a recent video for the Daily Signal.

He recalls the stark pictures found in National Geographic magazine in the early 1970s, illustrating the famine that was killing hundreds of thousands of people in east Africa. Seeing these poor children with distended bellies and flies on their faces was heartbreaking, but the message, Mr. Brooks recalls, was that nothing could be done.

“Even as a little kid, I knew the charity wasn’t going to get it done,” says Mr. Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute. “It was a hopeless feeling.”

So one would hardly expect conditions to have improved for the world’s poor in the decades since then. And yet, unbeknownst to most people, they have.

Some 70 percent of Americans think that hunger has gotten worse since 1970. But it’s not true: 80 percent of starvational poverty has been eradicated in the last 50 years. Poverty still exists, to be sure, but has been substantially reduced since Mr. Brooks saw those searing images in National Geographic.

“Since 1970, the percentage of the world’s population living on the equivalent of less than a dollar a day has fallen by more than 80 percent,” he wrote in a 2012 Washington Post article. “Hundreds of millions of people have been pulled out of grinding deprivation.”

Can we thank U.S. foreign aid, or some well-crafted U.N. development project? Those are the remedies usually touted by pundits and politicians.

Nope. It was free trade.

In China, for example, some 400 million were pulled out of absolute poverty between 1981 and 2001, thanks to free trade and foreign investment. People can rail all they want about globalization, but it’s made a huge difference in the lives of poor people who would otherwise languish and die.

At The Heritage Foundation, we’ve been documenting the effect of free enterprise for years with our Index of Economic Freedom. This annual guide takes a hard look at the economic conditions in every country around the globe, and the evidence is unambiguous: The freer the country, the more prosperous it is.

Per-capita incomes are much higher in nations that are economically freer. Economies rated “free” or “mostly free” in the 2019 Index enjoy incomes more than twice the average levels in all other countries — and more than six times higher than the incomes of people living in economies rated as “repressed,” such as Cuba or Venezuela.

So how do we help the poor today? Not by yielding to the demands from many on the left who insist we need more government. We alleviate poverty by explaining who the real hero is: free enterprise. We highlight its successes and show that poverty persists where it is denied.

“This is not about business,” Mr. Brooks adds. “This is not about ideology. This is about human lives — real people, real faces, real stories. These are the people that we need to fight for today. And we know how to get it done.”



The left’s projection is on display over the Census citizenship question

By Bill Wilson

Like clockwork, the lunatic left mouthpiece at the Washington Post, Dana Milbank, jumped on the Supreme Court hearing over the upcoming Census like a dog to the Pavlovian bone. The citizenship question has been used in all but three Censuses in modern history. But according to Milbank, the entire intention of the Trump administration’s move to include a question on the Census about citizenship is nothing more than a nefarious stab to “preserve white power.”

Now, I doubt anyone has missed the point that in today’s America anything the radical left does not like is immediately labeled “racist,” or an expression of “white privilege.” It is a tar used to smear anyone not toeing their Maoist line. Their Cultural Revolution aims to destroy history, to alter reality, to remove all opposition and condemn any resistance to their rule. It is the ultimate lie, of course. But in the Through the Looking Glass world the radical Left is constructing, there is no room for dissent, honest or otherwise. Do as you are told or face the wrath of the mob.

The sad truth is there is some racism in this exercise but not what Milbank and his ilk want you to believe. There is overt racism from the Left. They use race like a weapon and have not a care in the world for the damage they do to the very people they purport to support. Let’s take a quick look.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development wants to institute a rule that people in public housing be citizens. Why? Because they project that 40 percent of the public housing units have illegal aliens in them. Meanwhile, we have a homelessness crisis — disproportionately affecting African-Americans — while there is no housing available. Well, if the illegals were kicked out, that would nearly double the number of housing units available for Americans. Now, that Mr. Milbank, is racism. You want to deny poor African-Americans housing so you can give them to illegal aliens.

Want more? Data now reflects the impact of Trump administration policies on illegals. While our border is under attack, the overall presence of illegal aliens is down. And what has that done? Made jobs available to millions of unemployed African-Americans, including teenagers who need that first job. And, with the reduction of the artificial lower end of the labor pool, the price of labor — wages — have been rising. Now, everyone can understand why the Open Borders crowd and their plutocrat fan-club favor flooding the labor market to reduce wages. But why, Mr. Milbank, do you and your leftist friends want fewer jobs for African-Americans and lower wages for the jobs they do get?

One of the oldest tricks in the propaganda book is to accuse your enemy of your own greatest crime. That is what we are seeing from Milbank and the radical left. The most egregious example of this was Hillary Clinton contending that Donald Trump was guilty but could never be indicted. Really? From her? That, from one of the most criminally inclined politicians in American history? No indictment for breaking the law on her keeping classified emails on a private email server, when it was obvious to even her pets at the FBI that she is guilty as sin. No indictment over the land scam called Whitewater. No indictment — no accountability whatsoever — for letting American diplomats get butchered in Libya after people begged her for more security. The list of highly questionable actions where Hillary Clinton was “let off the hook” is too long to list here but check it out. From the Uranium One controversy, to selling seats on trade missions to the outright scam that was the Clinton Foundation, for her to try to say that somehow Donald Trump is privileged and poor Hillary is just an everyday American is ridiculous to the extreme.

In a few weeks we will know if the Supreme Court allows the Trump administration to ask the simple question about citizenship. Hopefully reason will prevail and they will go forward. And should that be the case, get ready for an avalanche of denunciations from the Milbank types. But remember, virtually everything they charge, allege or slur against Trump is actually their own sins. They just hope the people won’t notice.



Medicare Trustees Report Reality-Checks Bernie Sanders’ Socialist Delusions

Medicare is basically broke already

The report once again demonstrates Medicare’s shaky financial standing, as the retirement of 10,000 Baby Boomers every day continues to tax the program’s limited resources.

Many of the left’s policy proposals come with the same design flaw: While sounding great on paper, they have little chance of working in practice. Monday brought one such type of reality check to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and supporters of single-payer health care, in the form of the annual Medicare trustees report.

The report once again demonstrates Medicare’s shaky financial standing, as the retirement of 10,000 Baby Boomers every day continues to tax the program’s limited resources. So why would Sanders and Democrats raid this precariously funded program to finance their government takeover of health care?

Medicare’s Ruinous Finances

Before even dissecting the report itself, one major caveat worth noting: The trustees report assumes that many of the Medicare payment reductions, and tax increases, included in Obamacare can be used “both” to “save Medicare” and fund Obamacare. In practice, however, sheer common sense suggests the impossibility of this scenario—as not even the federal government can spend the same dollars twice.

The last trustees report prior to these Obamacare gimmicks, in 2009, predicted that the Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) Trust Fund would become insolvent in 2017—two years ago. To put it another way, under a more accurate accounting mechanism, Medicare has already become functionally insolvent. Obamacare’s accounting gimmicks just allowed politicians (including President Trump) to continue to ignore Medicare’s funding shortfalls, thus making them worse by failing to act.

Even despite the double-counting created by Obamacare, the Part A Trust Fund faces significant obstacles. Monday’s report reveals that the trust fund suffered a $1.6 billion loss in 2018. This loss comes on the heels of a total of $132.2 billion in trust fund deficits from 2008 through 2015, as payroll tax revenues dropped dramatically during the Great Recession.

Worse yet, the trustees report that trust fund deficits will continue forever. Deficits will continue to rise, and by 2026—within the decade—the Trust Fund will become insolvent, and unable to pay all of its bills.

Replacing One Decrepit Program with an Even Worse One
Another little-noticed element of the report also hints at the problems single-payer supporters face. For the third straight year, the trustees issued an “excess general revenue Medicare funding,” further illustrating the program’s questionable finances.

In 2003, House conservatives included this mechanism in the Medicare Modernization Act, which requires the trustees to make an annual assessment of the program’s funding. If general revenues—as opposed to the payroll tax revenues that largely cover the costs of the Part A program—are projected to exceed 45 percent of total program outlays, this provision seeks to prompt a debate about Medicare’s long-term funding.

Compare this provision, which triggers whenever general revenues (i.e., those not specifically dedicated to Medicare) approach half of total program spending, with single payer. As these pages have previously noted, here’s what Section 701(d) both the House and Senate single payer bills would do to Medicare:

(d) TRANSFER OF FUNDS.—Any amounts remaining in the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund under section 1817 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395i) or the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund under section 1841 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1395t) after the payment of claims for items and services furnished under title XVIII of such Act have been completed, shall be transferred into the Universal Medicare Trust Fund under this section.

Both bills would liquidate both of the current Medicare trust funds—and abolish the current Medicare program—to pay for the new single-payer plan. But how do Democrats propose to pay for the rest of the estimated $32 trillion cost of their program? Sanders referenced a list of potential tax increases (not drafted as legislative language), but the House sponsors didn’t even bother to go that far.

In sum, single-payer supporters would take a program on shaky financial footing, and replace it with a program that Democrats have little idea how to fund. Apart from the fact that the American people can’t afford this “reform”—how much of that $32 trillion tax increase would you like to pay?—American seniors certainly can’t either.



Congress must find conservative solution to the entitlement crisis

Since Democrats took control of the House, there has been no shortage of bad legislation that has either been pushed through the lower chamber or advocated by progressives. Democrats were set to consider yet another “caps deal” to bust its own spending maximums set under the Budget Control Act. The Democratic leadership has pulled it from the schedule as progressives and moderates in the party disagree on spending levels. Progressives, of course, want more spending on domestic programs.

These caps only have to do with discretionary spending, excluding most of our federal entitlement programs. Make no mistake though because Democrats want to increase spending on those as well. However, lest the United States face a fiscal collision second to no other in the history of the world, we must instead reform, rather than grow, our federal entitlement programs so that we shrink our biggest federal spending programs.

The left continues to insist, with measures like Medicare for All and the Social Security 2100 Act, that it is a good idea to expand these already near bankrupt programs. Fortunately, conservatives have a plethora of ideas on the table. They would make the step of reforming entitlements, and decreasing mandatory outlays as a result, a reality. From simply decoupling Social Security from Medicare Part A benefits for retirees or implementing a per capita cap on Medicaid spending to a full Swiss style debt break or even a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution, the scope of possible reforms is broad.

All that needs to happen is for our elected officials in Washington to put their selfishly motivated political calculations aside and do what is best and what is required to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all  foreign and domestic enemies. Each member of Congress swore to do this when he or she entered our legislative body, and many have taken this oath to serve our country multiple times.

Notably, Republicans across the country campaign in election after election on fiscal responsibility. Many Republicans in state and local governments act on their promises and contribute to balanced budgets that states and municipalities are bound to follow. However, this is not the case for others. There is nothing fiscally responsible about running away from the problem at hand and, by and large, this is what Republicans, save for a few true budget hawk conservatives, continue to do in Washington.

Sometimes, the Republican leadership and rank and file members will appear interested in the issue of fiscal responsibility while in office, paying lip service to the issue or holding a vote. However, supporting a show vote every once in a blue moon on a weak balanced budget amendment that everybody knows is doomed to fail or making the occasional floor speech about our broken budgeting process is also not enough to tackle this.

Votes such as the one on the balanced budget amendment held by the Republican leadership last April following shortly after members were coerced into passing a massive omnibus spending bill are an affront to Americans who are deceived by what their elected officials choose to send in email updates. These members know that real action is what matters, but they do not want to deal with the hardship that fighting for something they may believe in requires. But no matter what they do, the facts of the case are clear and the situation is only going to get worse.

Our $22 trillion debt is entirely unsustainable. It has more than tripled in the past decade and a half alone with no signs of slowing down. It drags down our economy and dampens the positive effects of tax reform and deregulation. It is the single greatest national security threat our country faces today. Whether the solution is seeking reforms to Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, ObamaCare, welfare, or any number of other drivers of our debt, inaction is simply not an option. There is no excuse for more inaction by Congress, and especially by Republicans, on reforming entitlements and getting mandatory spending on a sustainable path.

Fiscal responsibility means prioritizing our national finances, paid for by taxpaying citizens, over the selfish motives of public officials. In Congress, this may seem a tall order, but it must be done. Members should look to champions of entitlement reform ideas for guidance to see it through.



Powey Synagogue Shooter Left Manifesto With Hate Statement About Trump: a “Zionist, Anti-White, Traitorous, C*cksucker”

One women died and several injured  in shooting on Saturday at a San Diego synagogue. Police have one man in custody. The shooting took place exactly six months after the Tree of Life Shooting in Pittsburgh.

One of the victims is the synagogue’s Rabbi, Yisorel Goldstein, who founded the Chabad center in 1986.

Police said the killer left a manifesto. Authorities are also examining his social media accounts.

According to reports the manifesto was posted on Pastebin on Saturday.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


29 April, 2019

3 of the Most Telling Failures of Socialism

Some conservatives may be discouraged by the latest surveys confirming that nearly one-half of millennials are receptive to living under socialism and regard capitalism as a captive of greed. In fact, they present us with a golden opportunity to educate all Americans about the manifold failures of socialism and the miraculous advances the world has made under free enterprise.

For example, the Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson revealed at a Heritage Foundation event that between 2000 and 2012, “the rate of absolute poverty in the world fell by 50%.” That is, “the poor in the world are getting rich at a rate that is absolutely unparalleled in all of human history.”

Heritage’s 2019 Index of Economic Freedom reported that the greatest advances came in African and Asian countries (such as Botswana and Taiwan) that limited rather than expanded the role of government. More than 100 countries, many of them with less developed or emerging economies, showed marked advances in economic growth and individual prosperity.

Such good news is seldom reported by the mainstream media, Peterson said, because of the technological revolution that’s occurring in every form of media. All the broadcast networks, leading newspapers, and magazines exist in a shrinking market with dwindling margins of profit. To attract attention they are turning to an old journalism axiom: “If it bleeds, it leads.”

The news media obsess over the latest school shooting and bloody street riot. And yet, Peterson pointed out, the rates of violent crime in the United States and in most places “have plummeted in the last 50 years.”

The U.S. is now safer than it has been since the early 1960s, but the reporting of violent crime in America has materially increased as the mainstream media, in pursuit of ratings and revenue, have highlighted the dark side of society.

Conservatives must step forward to tell the truth about capitalism: the better life it has brought to billions of people, the diversity and freedom of choice it celebrates, the individual responsibility it encourages, the continuing miracle of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand,” its rejection of government planning that always leads to dictatorship.

Which brings us to the urgent task of exposing the chimera that socialism is just another political system. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and their fellow socialists carefully omit any mention of the principles laid down by Karl Marx, the founding father of Socialism, such as the abolition of private property and the centralization of the means of production and of decision-making. But make no mistake: There are radical socialists waiting in the wings to promote these extreme initiatives.

It’s up to us to tell the truth. Socialists promise a classless society but create the prison camps of the Gulag and the Isle of Pines. They assure peace but engage in wars of national liberation. They abolish private property but depend upon the underground economy. They stamp out religion but worship Big Brother. They bring down corrupt dictators but institute a dictatorship of the Party.

Here are some of the most telling failures of socialism:

One, socialism has never succeeded anywhere, including the Marxism-Leninism of the Soviet Union, the National Socialism of Nazi Germany, the Maoism of Communist China, the Chavez-Maduro socialism of Venezuela. It has never come close to anywhere near Marx’s ideal of a classless society.

Two, Marx has been wrong about nearly everything he predicted. The nation-state has not withered away. Capitalism didn’t break down as a result of the Industrial Revolution. Workers haven’t become revolutionaries but capitalists. The middle class hasn’t disappeared; indeed, it has expanded exponentially around the world (see the above about the sharp decline in global poverty). Marx’s attempt to use Hegel to create a “scientific socialism” has been an abject failure.

Three, socialism denies the existence of an essential human trait—human nature. Marx borrowed from the Enlightenment to declare that human nature was malleable, not constant. Christian theology with its idea of a fixed God-given nature infuriated Marx.

The socialist state established by Lenin tried for seven decades to create an entirely new human being—Soviet Man. In December 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev gave up trying and dissolved the world’s most spectacular failure in human engineering.

Four, socialism depends not upon the will of the people but on the dictatorship of the Party to remain in power. In “The God That Failed,” six famous Western intellectuals describe their journey into socialism and their exit when they encountered the gigantic gap between their vision of a socialist utopia and the totalitarian reality of the socialist state.

After visiting the Soviet Union, the French Nobel Laureate writer Andre Gide said: “I doubt where in any country in the world—not even in Hitler’s Germany—have the mind and spirit ever been less free, more bent, more terrorized and indeed vassalized than in the Soviet Union.”

What price socialism? The Chinese philosopher Lin Yutang listed the “little terrors” that prevailed in China—making children of 12 subject to capital punishment, sending women to work in underground coal mines, harassing workers during their lunchtime with threats of prison if they were late returning to work. A Soviet defector said of the perpetual surveillance: “We lived in a world swarming with invisible eyes and ears.”

Given the ignorance of so many of our fellow, especially young, Americans, telling the truth about socialism has become an imperative. If we do not, Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, and their fellow travelers will fill the vacuum with their misleading rhetoric. This is the truth about socialism: It is a pseudo-religion founded in pseudo-science and enforced by political tyranny.



Islamist Terrorism Remains the World’s Greatest Threat to Peace

After the horrific mass murder of 50 Muslim worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand, there was widespread coverage and a torrent of mainstream news networks contemplating the threat of white supremacy.

These conversations, completely reasonable and necessary in the face of violent attacks from a racist gunman, soon began deteriorating into politically motivated and specious claims contending that “white supremacy” had become the predominant  terror threat in the world.

Well, the coordinated bomb blasts aimed at Christian worshippers on Easter Sunday, which killed at least 290 people and injured hundreds more, demonstrates the kind of meticulous planning, funding, resources, and support that is still exclusively the domain of radical Islamic terrorism.

It’s not merely that the act was planned to maximize the death toll, but that it is a continuation of long-standing efforts by Islamists to destroy the Christian communities left in Asia.

Those who kill in the name of Islam are part of a worldwide, historic, ideological, and political movement that includes, to various degrees and various reasons, radicalized men and women from both great factions of the faith.

Then again, terrorist groups—as well as their recruitment and propaganda outfits—are often functioning in Islamic regimes, which either actively sustain terror, tolerate these groups, or pay them off to engage in terrorism elsewhere.

The Christians who remain in the Islamic world are often oppressed in other ways. In a number of these nations, publicly praying in any faith but Islam is forbidden and, in many, converting to Christianity is still punishable by death.

“Islamic extremism remains the global, dominant driver of persecution, responsible for initiating oppression and conflict in 35 of the 50 countries on the list,” according to Open Doors, a worldwide Christian group.

The idea that a similar threat exists in the West is risible. There’s not a single Western country that doesn’t afford Muslim citizens the same rights it does as all other citizens. No government on Earth supports white supremacy.

There is no funding infrastructure for those who support white power. There is no Christian or Jewish denomination, or any notable political factions, in those nations that imbue white supremacy with any theological or ideological legitimacy. There is no white supremacist government trying to obtain nuclear weapons, and none sending its terrorists to other countries. In the world’s free nations, where any political party can participate in the process, the power of racist groups is minimal.

Yet the American left continues to downplay the danger, first by arguing that Islam has nothing to do with Islamic terrorism, and then by lumping every white-skinned person who commits a terrorist act into one imaginary coherent political movement to contrast against it.

It’s true that Americans have been spared much Islamic terror since 2002—a year that, curiously, nearly every graph media uses to measure domestic terrorism starts—but only because we’ve spent billions of dollars each year and immense resources, both in lives and treasure, keeping it out of the country and fighting it abroad.

Another reason the majority of Americans might not comprehend Islamic radicalism’s reach is the skewed intensity of the media coverage. Political correctness and a chilling fear of being labeled “Islamophobic” makes it difficult to honestly report on terrorism around the world.

In addition to the massacre this Easter in Sri Lanka, at least 200 Christian civilians have been murdered in Africa by Islamic militants thus far in 2019—many of them killed by machete, some by bombings. Many more Christians have been murdered during the past calendar year.

In November 2018, for example, 42 people were slaughtered in an attack on a Catholic mission in the Central African Republic. In October, 55 Christians were murdered by a group of Islamists in Nigeria. Another 29 were killed when 10 churches were burned down in Ethiopia last summer. Another seven Coptic Christians were gunned down in Egypt—and others spared only because of the good work of police.

There are pockets of racists in the world, and individuals who engage in terrible acts of violence against innocent people. These are dangerous men, capable of doing tremendous damage. But no group threatens global peace the same way that political Islam does. None has its reach or material and theological support. None has created more mayhem and death in the world since the end of the Cold War. The Sri Lankan massacre is just another harrowing reminder.



Candace Owens Attacks Joe Biden For Race Baiting

Candace Owens sent out a “wake up” call slamming Joe Biden’s race-baiting 2020 presidential campaign announcement.

“So Joe Biden jumps into the race claiming that white supremacy made him realize our nation was at stake,” the Turning Point USA communications director tweeted on Thursday in response to Biden’s third attempt to run for president.

BLACK AMERICA, WAKE UP! I am SICK to my stomach that they are going to try to use us AGAIN to gain power.

Biden launched his 2020 bid with a video message Thursday that took a shot at President Trump, slamming him for his August 2017 comments after the Charlottesville, Virginia rallies.

“He said there were ‘very fine people on both sides.’ Very fine people on both sides?” Biden said in the video. “With those words, the President of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate, and those with the courage to stand against it. And in that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had seen in my lifetime.”

Owens also took aim at Biden in another tweet, reminding him that “Trump just reversed your white supremacy” with the federal prison reform bill, known as the First Step Act, which the president signed into law in December.

“The man who WROTE the crime bill of 94 which led to the mass incarceration of black men is now running because he’s worried about white supremacy,” Owens mocked the Democrat, referring to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.

As chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1993, Biden warned of “predators on our streets” who were “beyond the pale” in a speech on the Senate floor a day before the vote on the controversial bill.

His central role in shaping and shepherding the tough-on-crime bill will likely face scrutiny in a Democratic primary should he run for president in 2020. His 1993 comments, which were in line with the broad political consensus to tackling crime at the time, are at odds with a new bipartisan coalition of activists and lawmakers who are trying to undo what they say is a legacy of mass incarceration fostered by that era.

Many on Twitter applauded Owens’ fierce attack on Biden right out of the starting gate.

How long has Joe been around. All of a sudden he cares about (or talks about) white supremacy, as if it is a new thing (if it actually existed). How dumb are these democrats?? Total fish brains. Nobody should trust a person who “just now” cares about stupid talking points.



The ‘Empire’ Crew Want Jussie Smollett Rehired: “He is honest and above all he is filled with integrity.”

You can't makes stuff like this up

At this point, everyone knows Jussie Smollett staged his own hate crime attack for publicity purposes. It still amazes me that he can stand here with a straight face and tell us he was attacked. There’s an overwhelming amount of evidence against him. It’s like he thinks we’re all stupid or something.

Some of his former co-stars on “Empire” are demanding Fox to rehire him, even though he’s a bloody liar who will only draw bad publicity for the show.

“Together, as a united front, we stand with Jussie Smollett and ask that our co-star, brother and friend be brought back for our sixth season of Empire,” the Oscar nominees and the rest of the portrayers of the Lyon clan wrote in an April 19 letter obtained by Deadline that was sent to Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier, Disney TV Studios and ABC Entertainment chair Dana Walden, Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn, Daniels, Empire co-creator Danny Strong and various executive producers on the series.

Reiterating the support and intentions Henson briefly expressed on April 4 on The View, the correspondence signed by Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Gabourey Sidibe and Nicole Ari Parker among others adds, “We understand the past months have been difficult to process—sometimes the headlines brought more confusion than clarity, yet we now have a conclusion to this ordeal.”

“Throughout Empire’s five seasons working with Jussie and watching how he has conducted himself throughout this traumatic event, we have come to know not just the character Jussie portrays, but also truly come to know Jussie’s personal character,” the letter continued. “He is kind. He is compassionate. He is honest and above all he is filled with integrity.”

“He is also innocent and no longer subject to legal uncertainty with the criminal charges against him having been dropped,” the letter continued. “We are confident in his lawyer’s assurance that the case was dismissed because it would not have prevailed.”

“It’s clearer every day that the extreme political climate in our country has only made our system of justice and the court of public opinion more unjust,” the letter added.



Leftist violence in Britain too

A Colchester election candidate is speaking out after she was punched and sworn at in what her colleagues believe was a politically motivated assault.

Conservative Carla Hales was out canvassing when she felt three punches in her side – causing injuries which required x-rays on her ribs and back.

The 46-year-old is standing for the seat of New Town and Christchurch in the Colchester Borough Council elections on May 2.

The music teacher, who is now recovering, was on the campaign trial in Bourne Road when she was attacked on Wednesday afternoon.

“I've been a victim of verbal abuse when knocking on people's doors before,” she said. “But I never would have expected anything like this.

“I was taking some pictures for social media in Bourne Mill – I didn't hear anyone coming up behind me, but then suddenly I felt three quick punches to my side.”

She said she was then sworn at and the perpetrator shouted an offensive comment about her political party.

Despite going to hospital and having x-rays on her back and ribs – showing heavy bruising – Mrs Hales was back at work the next day.

“I needed to get away from it all,” she added. “I promised a school I would do some music lessons for the kids and I wasn't going to turn back on it.

“On Saturday I will be back out canvassing – my husband John has been fantastic support and I've received lots of messages from the public asking to join me.”



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


28 April, 2019

Headline of the week


They never give up.  They live permanently in a fantasy world. They are so discontented with the real world that they create their own.  The old slogan of the German Left (including Adolf) was "Alles muss anders sein".  After thinking about it for many years off and on, I think I have finally got an exact translation of that:  "Everything has got to be different".  What unhappy souls they are!.


Jeff Jacoby has been conned

I refer to his column "Mueller's report means impeachment won't happen".  Like all sane commentors, he concludes that the Mueller report exonerates Trump from the collusion with Russia that he was accused of.  The whole accusation was a Democrat fantasy.

Jacoby has however gone through the details of the report and noted the many alleged statements by Trump's staff that cast Trump in a bad light -- including the quite absurd allegation that Trump's staff frequently disobeyed him and thus saved him from grave errors. Mr Trump has furiously denied that anybody disobeyed him and the idea that a man famous for saying "You're fired" would have tolerated disobedience for one minute is laughable.

In addition to that lulu, there were many descriptions of Trump acting in an immature way.  And Jacoby appears to believe them all and retails them in his post.

His naivety is extreme.  He overlooks what psychologists call the demand characteristics of the situation.  When Trump staffers were asked for details of what their boss said and did, what do you think would be going through their minds? 

They would be thinking that they are in a very ticklish situation.  Given the torrent of accusations against him, it seemed possible that their boss may be impeached and that they might be thrown to the wolves with him.  So to save their skins they had to pretend that they were among his critics.  But they could not go to the the point of outright lies in case he survived.  So they embroidered the truth, probably by "misremembering" much.

And given the chronic and quite improper use of leading questions by the Mueller team, it would at all times have been clear what was wanted from them.  So they did the best they could to give what was wanted.

And it is not even clear that they said what Mueller said they said.  There would have been many ways in which the Mueller team  might have done a bit of embroidering too, probably by careful omissions.

So in believing what was almost certainly a farrago of nonsense, Jacoby has done himself considerable discredit.


Trump celebrates as economy grows 3.2 per cent in first three months of 2019, with country on track for 10 YEARS of expansion by July

The US economy got off to a roaring start in 2019, breezing past President Donald Trump's extended government shutdown and wiping away fears of a slowdown in growth, at least for now, the government reported Friday.

The unexpected surge was welcome news for Trump, whose record five-week shutdown rattled the economy in December and January during a battle with Democrats over funding for a border wall.

It was also the hottest first-quarter performance in four years, but the growth estimate will be revised in May and June as more data come in.

And the rosy numbers nevertheless came with important signs of weakness -- the data were lifted by a decline in imports and a buildup in business inventories.

Trump reveled in the good news:  'Just out: Real GDP for First Quarter grew 3.2% at an annual rate. This is far above expectations or projections,' Trump said on Twitter.

And he told reporters earlier that the US is outstripping other countries. 'We're number-one economy right now in the world and it's not even close.'

However, economists warn that some of the factors that contributed to growth in the early part of the year, will become a drag in the coming months.

Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, called the report a 'head fake.' 'This is one of the weakest 3% growth quarters I have ever seen,' she said in a research note. 'Underlying momentum in the domestic economy was particularly weak.'

The report said growth was driven by a bump in spending by state and local governments, faster inventory building by companies and some recovery in home sales.

And the expansion could have been even stronger without the government shutdown because dip in spending by government workers likely shaved 0.3 percentage points off growth in the quarter, according to the report.

But Swonk said the economy now will have to 'deplete inventories that have been built up for the better part of a year. Our forecast holds for a slowdown in 2019.'

The White House consistently has rejected concerns about a slowdown amid signs of declining retail sales and manufacturing, and remained steadfast in its predictions that the boost from tax cuts would continue to drive growth -- despite calling on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates to help spur the economy.

As the broad field of Democratic presidential candidates begin honing their messages ahead of next year's elections, resilient US growth could offer Trump some protection from criticism of his economic stewardship.

But there are signs for concern in the data.

Consumer spending slowed sharply from the final quarter of 2018, weighed down by a 5.3 percent drop in purchases of durable goods like light trucks, electronics and metals -- the biggest tumble in more than nine years.

Corporate investments -- a principal White House argument in favor of the 2017 tax cuts -- slowed as well, with firms buying less agricultural machinery amid a protracted trade war with China and less office furniture.

In addition, the government shutdown immobilized major federal services on which much of the economy depended, such as oil drilling permits, food inspection and ice-breaking at commercial ports.

Spending by the federal government was unchanged as a result but state and local government outlays rose 3.9 percent, the largest increase in three years, as states and cities spent more on building highways and streets.

Imports, which subtract from GDP growth, also fell by the largest amount in almost 10 years, as Americans bought fewer foreign cars and took fewer vacations.

Wall Street was largely unmoved by the numbers, with the major indices trading lower toward 1400 GMT on a batch of mixed earnings reports. 



Impeaching Trump Will Only Help Him
President Trump has called the Mueller investigation a “witch hunt” nearly two hundred times on social media alone. Well, the special counsel concluded he was not a witch. After carefully scrutinizing any links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller definitively declared “the investigation did not establish that the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” He didn’t do it.

Still, several leading Democrats have called for Trump’s impeachment on obstruction-of-justice charges. This is absurd.

The lesson of Watergate, we are told, is that the coverup is always worse than the crime. But in Watergate, there was a crime to cover up. We now know that Trump committed no crime. There was nothing to cover up. As Mueller put it, “unlike cases in which a subject engages in obstruction of justice to cover up a crime, the evidence we obtained did not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.”

This lack of an “underlying crime” is the source of Trump’s justified outrage over the Mueller investigation. Imagine that you were accused of a crime you knew you did not commit, and a special counsel was appointed who spent nearly two years and more than $25 million investigating you. You’d be angry and frustrated. You’d want someone to stand up for you, defend your interests and stop the insanity.

For two years, Trump watched as the investigation dragged on, weighing down his presidency. He had to endure being accused of “treason” and crimes of “a size and scope probably beyond Watergate.” He listened as members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, and former intelligence officials, led Americans to believe that they had seen secret evidence showing he had colluded with Russia — evidence he knew did not exist.

Of course, he wanted the investigation to end. But he didn’t end it. He didn’t obstruct justice because nothing was obstructed. Mueller was allowed to finish his work. The White House cooperated, sharing millions of pages of documents and giving Mueller access to dozens of senior officials. The fact that Trump railed against Mueller to aides and told White House counsel Donald McGahn to fire Mueller (which McGahn did not do and Trump did not press the matter) is not evidence of obstruction; it is evidence of exasperation. The president has a right to vent in private to his staff. Remember, the only reason Mueller knew about his private exchanges with McGahn is because Trump put no restrictions on McGahn’s cooperation. The president could have asserted privilege, but declined to do so. He let McGahn spend some 30 hours with Mueller, sharing details, according to The New York Times, “that investigators would not have learned of otherwise.” This is evidence of Trump’s cooperation, not obstruction.

As a result of this cooperation, the special counsel’s report contains some embarrassing moments for the president. But it also proves that Trump was telling the truth when it came to the central question of the investigation: He did not conspire with Russia.

If Democrats want to purse impeachment nonetheless, then to quote Ronald Reagan quoting Clint Eastwood: “Go ahead, make my day.” Impeachment over anything other than a conspiracy with Russia will backfire with the American people and help ensure Trump’s reelection. First, it will fail, because two-thirds of the Senate will not vote to convict the president. Second, Trump’s supporters will see an impeachment effort as an attempted coup d'état, energizing his base ahead of the 2020 election. And third, it will be seen as partisan and unfair by persuadable voters, who will not appreciate politicians second-guessing the conclusions of an impartial investigation. Want to push Trump’s approval above 50 percent? Try to impeach him.

While Democrats debate pursuing impeachment, they are also abusing their powers to get Trump’s tax returns in the hope they will provide what the Mueller investigation did not: evidence of something incriminating. Does anyone really believe that the House Ways and Means Committee wants Trump’s returns to assess how “the IRS audits and enforces the Federal tax laws against a president”? Please. There is no legitimate legislative purpose for this request.

Both the Democrats’ attempt to misuse a 1920s law to violate Trump’s privacy and their partisan response to the Mueller report make clear that they are seeking any pretext to oust Trump. But the only thing they will succeed in doing is eliciting sympathy for an otherwise unsympathetic president.


Trump announces US withdrawal from UN arms trade treaty

President Trump announced Friday that his administration is withdrawing the U.S. signature from the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty, in response to concerns from gun rights activists that it could impinge on Americans’ right to bear arms

“Under my administration we will never surrender American sovereignty to anyone, we will never allow foreign bureaucrats to trample on your Second Amendment freedom and that is why my administration will never ratify the U.N. trade treaty,” Trump told an audience at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Indianapolis.

“I am officially announcing today that the United States will be revoking the effect of America's signature from this badly misguided treaty, we’re taking our signature back,” he said.

Former President Barack Obama signed the treaty in 2013 and sent the treaty to the Senate for ratification. Onstage Friday, Trump signed a notice to the Senate asking it to stop the ratification process and return the treaty to the White House, “where I will dispose of it.”

The treaty seeks to regulate international trade in conventional arms, including everything from tanks to small arms, specifically looking to “prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and prevent their diversion.”

But, while supporters of the treaty have argued that it could not infringe on Second Amendment rights, the document had long been opposed by the NRA -- who pointed to the treaty’s call for national recordkeeping and for governments to share those records, and claimed that the treaty meant that U.S. gun policy “could become the rest of the world’s business and subject to its approval, on pain of trade restrictions if it doesn’t meet ‘international norms.’”

Trump has been skeptical of both the U.N. and multilateral agreements and supported the NRA’s concerns in his speech.

“By taking these actions, we are reaffirming that American liberty is sacred and that American citizens live by American laws not by laws of foreign countries,” he said.

A spokesperson for U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, in response to questions about the U.S. move, said that the treaty is "the only global instrument aimed at improving transparency and accountability in the international arms trade.

"It is a landmark achievement in the efforts to ensure responsibility in international arms transfers," the spokesperson said. "This is particularly important in present times, when we witness growing international tensions and renewed interest in expanding and modernizing arsenals."

Under the Trump administration, the U.S. has pulled out of the Iran nuclear agreement and the Paris climate accord. It has also withdrawn from the controversial U.N. Human Rights Council and the U.N.’s educational and cultural organization, UNESCO.

In the speech to the crowd in Indianapolis, Trump presented himself as a defender of Second Amendment rights, telling NRA supporters that it “is an honor to fight by your side” and promising to defend Americans’ rights to carry guns.



Trump Digs in Against Dems' Impeachment Crusade

The president says he will fight House Democrats over their incessant subpoenas  

President Donald Trump has been fighting against Democrats seeking to impeach him since he first took the oath of office. Following the conclusion of Robert Mueller’s report, in which Trump was exonerated of any collusion conspiracy, the wind may have been taken out of the Democrats’ impeachment sails, but that hasn’t stopped them from continuing to blow. Instead they insist that Mueller’s findings demand more investigations, as if congressional Democrats will be able to find what Mueller and his team of Hillary Clinton donors did not find: that Trump committed an actual crime.

Clearly, Trump has had enough of this partisan witch hunt. So, rather than bend to the House Democrats and their incessant subpoenas, which they dubiously justify as a needed constitutional check on his executive power, Trump has decided to dig in his heels. “We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” he stated. “Look, these aren’t … impartial people. The Democrats are trying to win 2020. They’re not going to win with the people that I see, and they’re not going to win against me. The only way they can luck out is by constantly going after me on nonsense.” He then concluded, “I say it’s enough.”

Trump is certainly correct in noting that it has been enough, and he is right in observing that all Democrats are aiming for is to take him out. That said, by digging in too much, Trump is potentially playing into their “obstruction” game plan.

Like the Mueller investigation, Democrats don’t really have anything on Trump; their aim is to get him on some procedural obstruction “crime.” Hence, the Dems’ cynical appeal to constitutional “separation of powers.” It is a purely politically calculated strategy that assumes a criminal act on the part of Trump, when there is no actual crime on which to justify their new investigation.

By continuing to peddle the myth of Trump having likely committed a crime, they can then feign concern for constitutional fealty when he balks at their demands. It is true that Congress is a coequal branch of government that has investigative and oversight powers, but that power is grossly abused when it is applied for purely partisan reasons.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


26 April, 2019

Seven Times Democrats Ignored Facts or Science for Political Gain

In my many debates with left-leaning people, I’ve noticed a common trend. They seem to confuse emotional arguments with factual arguments. There’s a constant harping on the need to “do something” about some issue without any empirical evidence that supports that “something.” We’re treated to lectures about acting for future generations, “the children” and “doing what’s right,” even if those things turn out to be harmful. If you ask them, they’ll tell you, and they might even believe that they’re making factual arguments, but they’re not. This is why the right is so often accused of bigotry just for having a different opinion on various issues. It’s an emotional accusation meant to silence opposition. We don’t have conversations about issues anymore. Instead of rational discussion, political debate for the left is now a series of fact-free barrages of insults and accusations in the hopes of silencing opposition rather than opening minds to different ideas. That doesn’t stop the left from making bogus and self-righteous claims of tolerance and open-mindedness.

After thinking about this issue for a while, I came up with seven key examples where the left has simply refused to acknowledge facts or science in order to advance their political agenda. There are more examples, for sure, but these are ones I feel are at the forefront right now.

7. Minimum wage increases
Across the country, states and municipalities are passing minimum wage hikes, you know, for the working people! More pay is great for the economy and all, right? Well, no, not really. It seems like places that have passed minimum wage increases have not had the success they hoped for. Seattle lost jobs and income thanks to their minimum wage increase. Restaurants in New York are cutting staff because of the state's minimum wage hike. A minimum wage increase in California is expected to cost 400,000 jobs by 2022. Higher costs of labor (thanks to wage increases) are causing Walmart to invest in robots to do various labor tasks and self-checkout machines. Despite all the examples and studies showing minimum wage hikes having a negative impact, we're still talking about it. Well, not all of us, but Democrats are—legislation for increasing the minimum wage is currently being debated in the House. The evidence for why this is a bad idea is out there in plain sight, but they don't seem to care.

6.Transgender ideology
It seems like since the Supreme Court ruling to legalize same-sex marriage in this country, the next phase of the LGBTWTF movement has been the fascistic forcing of transgender ideology down our throats. The same crowd that argued for gay rights because gay people are “born this way” were suddenly arguing for transgender rights because transgender people weren’t born the way they should have been. This grand delusion has gotten so out of hand that people who don’t deny biology are losing their rights. Parents have lost custody of their children for not supporting their desire to transition. Biological males are allowed to compete on girls' teams and use their physical dominance to crush the competition—sometimes literally. In the UK, “misgendering” someone is now criminal—as is “deadnaming.” Meanwhile, those who come out as transgender enjoy instant status as a hero. Bruce Jenner notably declared himself a woman and quickly became 2015’s Woman of the Year according to Glamour. Bradley Manning, who was convicted for leaking sensitive government information to WikiLeaks and sentenced to 35 years in prison became a hero of the left for coming out as transgender and had his sentenced commuted by Barack Obama.

Anyone with a basic understanding of biology knows you can’t change from male to female or vice-versa. But, the politicization of the issue resulted in a rapid forced acceptance of transgender ideology under the guise of civil rights. Obama turned the United States government into a powerful bully, redefining Title IX to include “gender identity” and forcing schools to allow boys to be on girls' teams and use girls' locker rooms or risk losing government funds.

Any sort of balance brought to the issue is met with resistance. According to Sex Change Regret, 20 percent of those who transition regret doing so after the fact, and 40 percent attempt suicide. The high suicide rate amongst the transgender community is falsely blamed on discrimination, and not the underlying mental illness that results in gender dysphoria.  Sex-change regret is a very real thing that the transgender lobby tries to cover-up and even bullies those who do feel regret from speaking out. We’re not having a national discussion about transgender issues, we are being force-fed transgender ideology and anyone who isn’t willing to deny science is being treated as a bigot.

5. Gun control
Democrats haven’t exactly been a friend of the Second Amendment for some time now, but after eight years of Barack Obama deliberately pushing lies about gun violence and politicizing mass shootings, the base of the Democratic Party has been becoming more open to radical changes in gun laws, including gun confiscation. Obama famously and ridiculously claimed, “It is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book.” Even the liberal Washington Post mocked him for that one. The common reaction from the left in response to incidents of gun violence is proposing stricter gun control laws that make it harder for law-abiding citizens to own guns—never mind the fact cities with the strictest gun control laws have the most incidents of gun-related crime or that concealed handgun owners have stopped dozens of mass shootings or that gun-free zones are overwhelmingly targets for mass shootings. The left-wing approach to addressing gun violence is completely unproductive and has the opposite result than was intended.

4. The alleged gender pay gap
The left is so committed to the belief that the government’s purpose is social justice that they seem unwilling to acknowledge when equality has been achieved. Sex discrimination in compensation has been illegal since the Equal Pay Act of 1963, yet the left still believes there is a significant pay gap between men and women. According to them, women make roughly 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. Obama himself perpetuated this myth. The first bill he signed as president was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.  But, he was eventually called out for a gender pay gap in his own White House. Their explanation for the gap was that “men and women in equivalent roles earn equivalent salaries.” I wouldn’t doubt that this accounted for the discrepancy in pay because that’s exactly what accounts for the same discrepancy in pay nationwide. Once you account for variables such as occupation, years in the workplace, and hours worked, the alleged 23-cent pay gap between men and women disappears. The Obama White House understood this when it came to defending their perceived pay gap but deliberately ignored it in order to maintain the alleged inequity as an issue that needed even more government solutions to fix. Despite the Equal Pay Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Act, Obama continued to push for more government solutions for a nonexistent problem, and the left eats it all up because solving problems isn’t really as important as maintain the illusion the problem still exists.

3. Climate change
For decades we’ve been treated to various apocalyptic predictions about what will happen to the earth “if we don’t act now” and we’ve consistently seen these predictions only come true in Hollywood movies.

The notion that we only have twelve years to fix the planet before the world ends has become the latest doomsday prediction to be popularized by the left. This prediction comes from The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its 2018 UN Special Report on Global warming of 1.5ºC. Keep in mind that this is the same body that used altered climate data in order to push their own agenda—a scandal climate change radicals ignored when it broke, and have chosen to forget.

The Paris Climate Agreement was seen as the latest global effort to do something about climate change. When President Trump got us out of the illegal treaty, the left chastised him as someone who was dooming the planet. But, as it turned out, the United States, no longer a part of the accord, has led the world in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, while other countries that have signed on to the agreement have broken their promises to reduce emissions. For the left, climate change is another scheme to justify bigger and more government. Facts about climate change, its causes, or even whether it’s even actually occurring are less important than doing something about it. No one is saying we shouldn't be good stewards of the environment, but we can approach the issue in a reasonable way without infringing on people's rights or destroying our economy.

2. Abortion
Abortion is a sacred cow of the left that went from a “necessary evil” that should be “safe, legal and rare” to a divine act that should be free of any restrictions. Their increasingly radical position on abortion has gone in tandem with their denial of science.

Democrats have opposed bans on abortions after 20 weeks, the point when unborn babies are likely to be able to experience pain in the womb. While there is wide support for such legislation amongst the public, Democrats vehemently opposed such legislation. The rise of “Heartbeat Bills,” which ban abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, similarly has the left in a collective hissy fit. The recent passage of such a bill in the Georgia state legislature has resulted in a promised Hollywood boycott to film in the state.

Opposition to fetal pain and heartbeat bills aren’t simply a denial of science, but a denial of the humanity of the unborn. While most people accept that the presence of a heartbeat and the ability to feel pain makes you a person entitled to basic human protections, Democrats in Congress and presidential candidates refuse to make any sort of compromise on abortion.

1. The Mueller Report
For two years Democrats have pinned their hopes on Robert Mueller finding proof of Russian collusion. They clung to this idea religiously because they needed to hold onto the belief that they could oust Trump from office. Without collusion or obstruction, they had nothing. But that still hasn’t stopped unhinged Democrats from claiming two plus two equals five. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who claimed to have seen evidence of collusion, now claims that the Mueller report proves him right—which is exactly the opposite of what it actually says.

Many Democrats have since pivoted their focus to the issue of obstruction—which the Mueller report failed to prove. Instead, it documented how the Trump White House gave them access to everything they requested. If the Mueller investigation was obstructed, they’d know better than anyone else and considering it was stacked with anti-Trump partisans, it’s easy to conclude that they would have said so. Let’s not forget, the 1998 Starr report did conclude that President Clinton committed perjury, obstruction of justice, and tampered with witnesses. This ultimately laid the groundwork for Clinton’s impeachment. The Mueller report, however, offers no such roadmap for impeachment. While some Democrats in Congress grudgingly acknowledge this, 2020 Democrats continue to embrace the idea of impeachment, despite the lack of a crime. While impeachment appears to be off the table at the moment, Democrats, are still essentially thumbing their noses at the Mueller report and still plan to investigate, investigate, investigate. Democrats have decided to go on a fishing expedition—essentially using the power of government to do opposition research on Trump before the 2020 election. They still can’t get over the 2016 election and they’re in denial about the Mueller report.



Levin: Trump Has Done Nothing to Freedom of Press Compared to FDR, Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Lincoln

In a video promoting his new book, “Unfreedom of the Press,” Levin says Trump ‘directs his anger correctly” at specific news organizations and reporters – unlike the Russian tyrant:

“This president has been accused of leading a war against the media. (CNN’s) Jim Acosta will have a book out – two, three, four weeks after mine. And, it’s something I was anticipating when I wrote my book.

“Is Donald Trump a great threat to freedom of the press? What has Donald Trump done, exactly, to freedom of the press? He’s done exactly nothing.

“He directs his anger correctly, and his disappointment at specific news organizations and at specific reporters. He’ll call them, here and there, enemy of the people, and, they say, ‘That’s just like Stalin.’

“Let me tell you something, folks: Donald Trump has done nothing to the media.”

“And, I go through the history and compare what he’s done to what past presidents have done – the great John Adams, the great Abraham Lincoln. I go into what others have done: Woodrow Wilson – things that you’ve never heard of before.

“I move from Woodrow Wilson to Franklin Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt to John Kennedy, to Lyndon Johnson, and others. They had true censorship operations that took place.

“Trump has none of these things. And, I go into detail about that so you’ll understand context.”

“I get into the issue of The New York Times, in particular. That’s the paper that leads the way, whether we like it or not. That’s the newspaper that the other news organizations look at. Well, let’s look at the history of The New Times. And I do it in a way that has never, ever been done before.”

“Have you ever heard of, in 1927 and 1928, the great genocide of Ukrainians by Stalin - how he cut Ukraine off from food, water, cut off their trains, cut off their roads? Ten million people starved to death.

“You want to know how The New York Times reported on that during the course of the year? I explain – it is atrocious.

“How about the Holocaust? You’ve heard me talk about that, too.

“Well, I did significant research on this issue, and I talk about what The New York Times did in terms of reporting the Holocaust – or not. Horrific.”

“And, yet, it’s the paper of record, and yet, it’s the paper that people want to work for if you’re a journalist and so forth. Why? So, I get into great detail about it and other news organizations, as well.”

Mark Levin’s “Unfreedom of the Press” debuts in book stores on May 21, 2019 and is currently available for preorder online.



Is Denmark Socialist?

The Left references countries like Denmark as "proof" that socialism works. It's not socialist.

I am a citizen of Denmark, the Disneyland of socialism, where everybody is happy and healthy. Forget the Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela and all those power-mad Marxists who got it wrong. Denmark is the model to follow. There’s just one problem. It’s a fantasy.

For it to be true, Denmark would have to be a socialist country. But it’s not. If it were, it would have gone “Venezuela” a long time ago. Sorry to bring all the new fans of socialism the bad news. But that’s the reality.

Yes, it’s true that Denmark has high taxes and a high level of government spending – key features of a socialist mentality. But in almost every other respect, Denmark is a full-on free market capitalist country.

And it has some of the strongest protections of individual property rights in the world.

And it’s a particularly easy place to open a business. According to the World Bank, there is less bureaucratic red tape in Denmark than in any other country, except for New Zealand and Singapore.

And the labor market is less regulated than in most countries. Here’s something you probably didn’t know: there are no minimum wage laws in Denmark.

It’s not surprising then – or maybe it is surprising, given all the misinformation out there – that Denmark ranks consistently as one of the top-ranked free market economies in the world by The Fraser Institute in Canada and The Heritage Foundation.

So, if Denmark is not a socialist country, what is it? The answer is pretty straightforward: it’s a small capitalist country (about the size and population of Maryland) whose citizens pay oodles in taxes in exchange for oodles in benefits.

Well, what’s wrong with that? you might ask. Only this: for the government to pay out such benefits, you need citizens to make enough money to pay the necessary taxes. And that’s only possible through a free market economy.

Let me explain – with some Danish history. Denmark, like its Scandinavian neighbors, Sweden and Norway, made a remarkable economic recovery after the Second World War. The combination of a highly productive work force and – get this – low taxes created a lot of wealth.

So like every other wealthy welfare state, Denmark became wealthy before it created the welfare state.

Relative to Europe, Denmark’s economic high-water mark was in the 1950s; relative to the US, it was the early ‘70s. It was then, in the late '60s and early '70s, that the country’s ruling elite became preoccupied with wealth redistribution. But the price paid for this social experiment was steep and swift.

The expansion of public spending led to a severe economic crisis. The national debt skyrocketed. It took decades of consolidation, structural reforms and curtailing of welfare schemes to straighten out this mess.

This is the stuff you never hear about from the “Danish model” crowd.

The sharp tax hikes and spending also sparked a widespread popular revolt and led to the emergence of the “tax protestors” party, Fremskridtspartiet. Even though the party no longer exists, the widespread desire to cut taxes remains.

It’s worth noting that the welfare state originally began with government pension payments to the elderly. These social security-like payments are now in the process of being overtaken by private pension savings plans – the Danish equivalent to a 401K. That’s right – in reality, Denmark is gradually moving away from US-style social security. It can’t afford it. Denmark, the so-called socialist model, is returning the responsibility for retirement savings back to its citizens.

And what about health care…free – right?

Nothing is free. Danes pay for their health care through high taxes. Private health insurance is available, however. It’s becoming more and more popular as long wait times associated with government-run medical care becomes less and less popular.

But in a welfare state, education is free – right?

Well, that’s another thing about “free”: it doesn’t mean ideal. Almost one in five parents in Denmark chooses to send his or her children to private schools, paying part of the bill themselves.

Yes, college is free, and even includes a living allowance, but there is a growing problem of getting students to graduate. Many wish to stay students and be supported by the state – one of those welfare-state problems socialists don’t like to talk about.

And, again, all this “free stuff” comes with a price. The average Dane pays 50% of his income in consumption and income taxes – that’s right, I said 50% – while earning 15% less than the average American. After taxes, an average American has a 27% higher disposable income than a Dane.

Don’t get me wrong – grey winters aside, Denmark has much to recommend it. It’s just that being a socialist paradise isn’t one of them.

I’m Otto Brøns-Petersen, economist for The Center of Political Studies in Copenhagen, Denmark, for Prager University.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


25 April, 2019

Time to Enforce the Law on Visa Overstays

Trump orders the DOJ and DHS to look for more ways to limit the number of visa overstays.  

Democrats and the Leftmedia have often sought to downplay President Donald Trump’s loudly voiced calls to tackle the problem of illegal immigration — specifically his emphasis on securing the southern border — by pivoting to point out that the “bigger” problem is visa overstays. While that is a statistically arguable observation (at least one study found that the number of visa overstays represents a higher percentage of illegal aliens than illegal border crossers do) this response is a disingenuous objection to dealing with the real crisis at the border. Why can’t both problems be addressed? Well, it appears that Trump has decided to do just that, calling the Democrats’ bluff.

On Monday, the president ordered the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to find ways to limit the number of foreigners overstaying their short-term visas. The White House stated that the administration will “find effective ways to combat the rampant number of overstays” that are “undermining the rule of law and straining resources that are needed to address the crisis at our southern border.”

In signing his executive order, Trump stated, “We have laws that need to be followed to keep Americans safe and to protect the integrity of a system where, right now, there are millions of people who are waiting in line to come to America to see the American Dream.” It will be interesting to see how many Democrats object to Trump’s latest order to enforce the law — or what judge will strike it down.



The haters have Only Just Begun
Objectivity, like Elvis, long ago left the building in Washington and so the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is being read and interpreted through mostly biased eyes.

Democrats, who had counted on Mueller to prove that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, were initially as crestfallen as they were on election night 2016. Still, they are undeterred in the pursuit of their ultimate goal: evicting the president from the White House in a political coup unprecedented in American history.

The special counsel was established to investigate collusion, though not by Trump’s political opponents during the 2016 presidential race, who allegedly funded the infamous Steele dossier, which purported to describe Trump cavorting with prostitutes and other sick behavior during a visit to Moscow.

After more than two years of investigations, subpoenas, witness testimony and millions of dollars wasted, Mueller’s report concluded, “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” As for obstruction of justice, how does one obstruct something that is not a crime?

Predictably, Democrats are not satisfied. Out of desperation and exasperation, some are alleging a cover-up by Attorney General William Barr. Others want to immediately begin impeachment proceedings. For which high crime and misdemeanor?

More experienced Democrats, such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) are rightly cautious. They remember the electoral damage to Republicans when members of that party impeached Bill Clinton. Which wing of their party will prevail?

Politico represents the fallback position for some on the left: “Forget collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice.” Say what? “The most concrete takeaway from the 448-page Mueller report is its damning portrait of the Trump White House as a place of chaos, intrigue and deception, where aides routinely disregard the wishes of a president with little regard for the traditional boundaries of his office…” Maybe so, but bad behavior and disobeyed presidential orders are not impeachable offenses. Let voters decide.

Imagine how President Trump must have felt. Not only the establishment, which includes Democrats and Republicans, but the major media were constantly assaulting him starting before the election and ever since. Some critics have accused him of paranoia, but as the saying goes, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.” And out to get Trump they are.

Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel writes: “President Trump has every right to feel liberated. What the (Mueller) report shows is that he endured a special counsel probe that was relentlessly, at times, farcically obsessed with taking him out.”

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said: “It is increasingly clear that the only scandal here is the Obama administration’s repeated failure to act against Russian cyber meddling, and instead, how they prioritized spying on a political opponent — the Trump campaign — and used a phony DNC-funded dossier as justification.”

When President Obama was asked about Trump’s charge that the 2016 election might be rigged against him, Obama responded: “No serious person out there … would suggest somehow that you could even rig America’s elections.”

Add this “witch hunt” to the long list of reasons many Americans hate Washington. None of this political show affects average citizens, who are benefitting from a booming economy, job growth, lowest unemployment in half a century (including minority unemployment) and fewer people receiving food assistance. What does this have to do with more important issues, including illegal immigration and foreign policy?

The left doesn’t want Americans to focus on the administration’s successes, because they are incapable of doing better. They can only repeat their familiar scenario of higher taxes, bigger and more controlling government and “free stuff” for all.

The president and his allies have threatened a counterattack to expose corruption at the Justice Department, which created this fiasco. They should begin immediately.



Why Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama Tweeted About 'Easter Worshippers'

Sometimes, a few sentences tell you more about a person -- and, more importantly, an ideology -- than a learned thesis. That is the case with tweets from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama two days ago in response to the mass murder of more than 300 Christians and others in Sri Lanka.

Their tweets are worth serious analysis because they reveal a great deal about the left. Of course, they reveal a great deal about Clinton and Obama, too, but that doesn't interest me.

And that, too, is important. Many Americans -- especially conservatives and "independents" -- are more interested in individual politicians than in political ideologies.

Many conservatives have long been fixated on Clinton -- so much so that probably any other Democrat would have defeated Donald Trump, as conservative anger specifically toward her propelled many people to the polls. Similarly, Republican Never-Trumpers are fixated on Trump rather than policy. They care more about Trump's personal flaws than about the mortal dangers the left poses to America and the West or about the uniquely successful conservative policies Trump promulgates.

And independents all claim to vote "for the person, not the party."

Only leftists understand that one must vote left no matter who the Democrat is, no matter who the Republican opponent is. Leftists are completely interchangeable: There is no ideological difference among the 20 or so Democrats running for president. Mayor Pete Buttigieg is not one degree to the right of Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren.

That is why it is important to understand Clinton and Obama's tweets: to understand the left, not to understand her or him.

Here are the tweets:

Obama: "The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity. On a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal, we pray for the victims and stand with the people of Sri Lanka."

Three hours later, Clinton tweeted: "On this holy weekend for many faiths, we must stand united against hatred and violence. I'm praying for everyone affected by today's horrific attacks on Easter worshippers and travelers in Sri Lanka."

As they both spelled "worshipers" the same idiosyncratic way and used the term "Easter worshippers," it is likely they either had the same writers or Clinton copied Obama.

Here's what's critical: Neither used the word "Christians." And in order to avoid doing so, they went so far as to make up a new term -- "Easter worshippers" -- heretofore unknown to any Christian.

When Jews were murdered at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Clinton mentioned the synagogue in a tweet. But in her post-Sri Lanka tweet, despite the bombing of three churches filled with Christians, Clinton made no mention of church or churches. In a tweet after the massacre of Muslims in New Zealand, she wrote that her heart broke for "the global Muslim community." But in her latest tweet, not a word about Christians or the global Christian community.

Obama similarly wrote in his tweet about New Zealand that he was grieving with "the Muslim community" over the "horrible massacre in the Mosques." But in his tweet about Sri Lanka, there is no mention of Christians or churches.

The reason neither of them mentioned Christians or churches is that the left has essentially forbidden mention of all the anti-Christian murders perpetrated by Muslims in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and of all the Muslim desecration of churches in Europe, Africa and anywhere else. This is part of the same phenomenon -- that I and others have documented -- of British police and politicians covering up six years of rape of 1,400 of English girls by Muslim "grooming gangs" in Rotherham and elsewhere in England.

Essentially, the left's rule is that nothing bad -- no matter how true -- may be said about Muslims or Islam and nothing good -- no matter how true -- may be said of Christians or Christianity.

Clinton's post-New Zealand tweet also included these words: "We must continue to fight the perpetuation and normalization of Islamophobia and racism in all its forms. White supremacist terrorists must be condemned by leaders everywhere. Their murderous hatred must be stopped."

She made sure to condemn "Islamophobia," but she wrote not a word about the far more destructive and widespread hatred of Christians in the Muslim world, seen in Muslims' virtual elimination of the Christian communities in the Middle East, the regular murder and kidnappings of Coptic Christians in Egypt and the murder of Christians in Nigeria. She calls on "leaders everywhere" to condemn "white supremacist terrorists," one of the smallest hate groups on Earth, but never calls on leaders everywhere to condemn Islamist terrorists, the largest hate group on Earth.

These two tweets tell you a lot about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But far more importantly, they tell you a lot about the left.




White House war on regulations poised to pass goal 'more than 31 times'

The Trump administration’s war on Obama-era regulations is set to nearly double this year’s goal — and potentially go much further — after getting off to a slow start, according to budget experts.

With plans to cut $18 billion worth of regulations in fiscal year 2019, which ends in September, the administration is poised to boost that to $33 billion, according to a mid-year review by the budget watchdog American Action Forum.

What’s more, the administration is moving toward a regulatory cut that the review said would cut an additional $561 billion, 31 times this year's goal.

But it better move fast, said analysts Dan Bosch and Dan Goldbeck. That’s because the administration is not only behind meeting its goal, it has added $10 billion in regulations.

President Trump on the 2016 campaign trail and in his administration has made slashing government regulations a key goal. He set in place a rule demanding that two regulations be cut for every new one proposed. The administration has actually surpassed that goal.

In their review, Bosch and Goldbeck found that most federal agencies are behind their regulation cutting goals.

They attribute the boost in costs to the paperwork burden in the 2017 tax cut and the creation of a new “National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard.”

But they point to major cuts coming later this year, including savings from deregulating actions targeting pending water and energy programs called for under former President Barack Obama.

“Despite the current net cost figure, the administration appears poised to see net savings on the back end of FY 2019. The overwhelmingly largest component of the upcoming deregulation is the Environmental Protection Agency’s expected repeal of the ‘Clean Power Plan,’ with $51.6 billion in currently estimated total ‘avoided costs.’ Other rules with notable cost reductions include a pair of significant rules also affecting energy production as well as the first stage of the administration’s reconsideration of the ‘Water of the United States’ rule,” said the review.

And it could reach record levels if it moves faster on a pending plan to freeze fuel-economy standards at 2020 levels, junking an Obama plan to increase them.

Said Bosch and Goldbeck, “One massive deregulatory action is not included in this study’s projection. The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule, proposed jointly by the DOT and the EPA, was published in August 2018 and was scheduled to be finalized in March 2019. Though the agencies missed that date, they still may finalize the rule by the end of FY 2019. As proposed, the rule would result in an estimated $563.6 billion in total savings – an amount that would cover the entire FY 2019 regulatory budget more than 31 times.”



The Immigrants We Need Most

Stephen Moore

Of all America's immigrant visa programs, arguably the most successful for the U.S. economy has been the H-1B program. This program admits highly skilled foreign workers who fill vital employment niches to make our Made in America businesses more successful in international markets. Larry Kudlow, the director of President Donald Trump's National Economic Council, calls these immigrants the "brainiacs."

In many ways, he is right. America's high-tech companies use tens of thousands of these visas each year. The workers come for usually about six years, and those that are successful here apply for permanent residence when the visa expires.

The firms that use these visas must affirm that they cannot find workers with comparable skills and must pay a prevailing wage. There is little evidence that these foreign workers displace Americans from their jobs. Microsoft founder Bill Gates has testified that every H-1B immigrant his firm recruits translates into about four or five additional American workers being hired. If we want research labs, advanced manufacturing and scientific advances to happen here, we must have access to the world's best workers. The problem is there is a severe shortage of these visas. Today, there are some 65,000 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program immigrants admitted under this visa category. "In the first week of this fiscal year, nearly 200,000 petitions were received," according to Forbes. This mismatch between demand and supply is restraining America's growth spree.

The H-1B process is cumbersome and expensive for employers, and they wouldn't spend the money on the program if they were not desperate for these talented newcomers. In the last decade or so, the processing time and costs have nearly doubled to get an H-1B immigrant admitted to these shores. This is a drain on the economy and reduces American competitiveness.

I travel the nation from coast to coast and talk to employers, from large manufacturers to high-tech firms to engineering and financial services; most tell me their biggest challenge is finding the skilled workers they need.

The visa limits should be raised and adjusted to meet the demands. The feds should charge employers a higher fee to bring these immigrants to the country, and these funds could be used to beef up border security pay for the cost of administering visa programs.

The solution is to tilt our immigration system away from extended family immigrants and more toward skills and merit. To put America first, it makes sense to give green cards to the immigrants who will do the most good for our country.

Trump wants to shift our visa system to emphasize skill and merit, and Congress should get behind him. Skill-based immigration is one of our best weapons to keep the American economy number one in the world and to ensure we never surrender technological dominance to China or other rising nations that want to knock America off our commanding economic heights.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


24 April, 2019

President Trump's Obstruction of IN-justice
No wonder Donald Trump was so angry. No wonder he wanted to stop the Mueller investigation. He didn’t collude with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. He knew he was innocent.

And almost three years ago he foresaw that a biased fishing expedition by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his liberal lawyers would undermine his ability to govern and provide Democrats and the liberal media with an endless supply of damaging political ammo.

Now that Attorney General William Barr released the redacted Mueller report, the whole world knows that Mueller completely exonerated Trump of collusion with Russia.

Mueller was unable to decide whether the president was guilty of obstruction of justice. But the desperate Democrats in the House and the disappointed fake journalists over at CNN don’t care that Mueller found Trump guilty of no crime.

They’ll spend the next 20 months parsing the Mueller report’s footnotes and milking the unanswered question of obstruction for every possible drop of political poison they can find.

By noon on Thursday CNN’s all-liberal panel of eight Trump-hating pundits and legal experts like Jeffrey Toobin already were back to their usual tricks.

They spent half the morning spinning the importance of the inconclusive “obstruction” part of Mueller’s report and trashing Attorney General Barr as a shill for the president.

Dana Bash and crew showed no sympathy for the unfair, incorrect and deranged assault they and their soulmates at MSNBC, the New York Times and elsewhere have subjected Trump to for three years.

You’d think Toobin and a few of the others would have been pleased to find out that the president of the United States did not collude or conspire with the Russians to fix the 2016 election.

Instead, ignoring how wrong they were about everything, they were excitedly talking about how the Mueller report’s examples of presidential obstruction attempts could serve as a handy road map to impeachment for House Democrats.

Some CNN panel members, to their shame, were visibly disappointed that Trump was saved by several staffers who had the good sense and ethics to refuse to do what he asked of them.

According to the Mueller report, there were ten examples of Trump trying to get control of the Russia investigation.

They included firing FBI Director James Comey, urging Trump’s useless Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “re-recuse” himself and trying to get various staffers to lie or not cooperate with Mueller.

The facts surrounding those presidential attempts to interfere are not in dispute.

But the president never fired anyone, even though he had the Constitutional power to do it, and he never obstructed Mueller from doing his work.

The White House even turned over millions of documents and the president waived his right to use executive privilege.

If any of his White House staff had followed the president’s requests concerning the Mueller investigation there might have been a legitimate case for obstruction.

But they ignored him. And they did exactly what they are supposed to do — they kept the boss from making a serious mistake.

I say bravo to the president’s staff for saving his butt. They did their job. They protected President Trump from himself.

As the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Thursday, the president reacted to the Russia collusion charges the way any innocent man would react to a frame up.

President Trump had every right to be outraged and frustrated by Mueller’s investigation, which he always knew was a Democratic witch hunt.

If he never colluded with anyone in the first place, as Mueller has proved to the satisfaction of everyone except maybe Rachel Maddow and Adam Schiff, it’s hard to see how the president could be guilty of the crime of obstruction.

If anything, the only thing President Trump was guilty of was trying to obstruct injustice.



Sorry, Democrats, but Your Stars Are Socialists
There was Bernie Sanders at a Fox News Channel town hall, not giving an inch in a forum every Democratic presidential candidate has shunned.

His reward was a cataract of good reviews, and monster ratings. Sanders had a solid hour to try to reach people not favorably inclined to his worldview, at the very least demonstrating that he’s willing to show up outside his political silo.

Why hadn’t any of the other Democrats done it before? Because they lacked the verve and ideological self-confidence of Sanders, as well as the independent streak to buck the Democratic Party’s attempt to hold the line against Fox. As a message candidate, Sanders is willing to take his anywhere.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, miraculously transformed into a relatively moderate Democratic elder stateswoman, has understandably been pushing back against the notion that she leads a socialist party defined by a few radicals in the House.

On “60 Minutes,” she stalwartly declared: “I do reject socialism as a economic system. If people have that view, that’s their view. That is not the view of the Democratic Party.” She dismissed the left wing in her caucus as “like, five people.”

In sheer numbers this is true, but it’s the wrong way to count.

The fact is that the most compelling stars of the party are self-declared socialists with a knack for generating controversy and media attention, and with committed mass followings. Pelosi might wish it weren’t true, but poll numbers, fundraising and follower counts don’t lie.

Sanders is reliably second — sometimes first — in national and state presidential polling. He’s outraised everyone else in the field and, with his massive small-donor base, probably can continue to do so for the duration. More than anyone else, he has defined the Democratic Party’s current agenda.

It’ll be much harder to maintain that the Democratic Party isn’t socialist if it nominates one as its presidential candidate, which everyone paying attention realizes is a real possibility.

If this happens, it won’t be the work of conservatives hoping to negatively brand the Democrats, but of the party’s faithful. The same goes for the prominence of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It is often said that conservatives are “obsessed” with her; maybe so, but the same is true — and probably more so — of everyone else.

AOC has been on the cover of Time magazine, Rolling Stone (with Nancy Pelosi, as it happens), Hollywood Reporter and Bloomberg Businessweek. Annie Leibovitz photographed her for Vogue. She’s been interviewed by “60 Minutes.”

She has nearly 4 million Twitter followers, and more than 3 million followers on Instagram, where she feeds the insatiable obsession of her fans — not her critics — with videos from her apartment.

She was among the top 10 House Democrats in fundraising the first quarter, and had the highest percentage of small donors (her ally, Ilhan Omar, also excelled).

It’s obviously vexing to Pelosi to see a House majority built by the careful avoidance of ideological extravagance and won in marginal districts hijacked, at least in terms of public attention, by a few freshmen and a 77-year-old Vermont socialist.

They might not define the center of gravity of the party at the moment, and the radical freshmen have lost most of their tussles with Pelosi. But there is a reason that they are so famous, with such fundraising prowess. The crusading purity of Bernie Sanders has an inherent appeal, and the outrageousness of the freshmen attracts attention, which always begets more attention.

Yes, there are vast numbers of Democrats out there who aren’t on Twitter or Instagram. Maybe there are enough of them to nominate Joe Biden, or a Pete Buttigieg can win on a progressive platform clothed in a moderate demeanor.

But the party’s stars will have something to say about it. The great Zionist Theodor Herzl maintained, “It is the simple and fantastic which leads men.” As Bernie Sanders showed, it’s also willing to go on Fox News.



U.S. to end all waivers on imports of Iranian oil, crude price jumps

The United States on Monday demanded that buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, a move to choke off Tehran’s oil revenues which sent crude prices to six-month highs on fears of a potential supply crunch.

The Trump administration on Monday said it will not renew exemptions granted last year to buyers of Iranian oil, a more stringent than expected decision that caught several key importers who have been pleading with Washington to continue buying Iranian oil sanctions-free.

The United States reimposed sanctions in November on exports of Iranian oil after U.S. President Donald Trump last spring unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 accord between Iran and six world powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear program. Eight economies, including China and India, were granted waivers for six months, and several had expected those exemptions to be renewed.

Tehran remained defiant, saying it was prepared for the end of waivers, while the Revolutionary Guards repeated a threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipment channel in the Gulf, Iranian media reported.

The White House said it was working with top oil exporters Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to ensure the market was “adequately supplied.” Traders, already fretting about tight supplies, raised skepticism about whether this more stringent approach, along with ongoing sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry, could backfire in the form of a major spike in prices.

“It is a surprise that the requirement to cease importing Iranian oil should come at this next May deadline,” said Elizabeth Rosenberg, director of the energy, economics and security program at Washington-based Center for a New American Security. “Having only several weeks’ notice before the deadline means there are lots of cargoes booked for May delivery. This means that it will now be harder to get it out by the deadline.”

Iran’s oil exports have dropped to about 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from more than 2.5 million bpd prior to the re-imposition of sanctions. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a briefing Monday, said “we’re going to zero across the board,” saying the United States had no plans for a grace period for compliance beyond May 1.

The White House intends to deprive Iran of its lifeline of $50 billion in annual oil revenues, Pompeo said, as it pressures Tehran to curtail its nuclear program, ballistic missile tests and support for conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

A senior administration official said President Donald Trump was confident Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will fulfill their pledges to compensate for the shortfall in the oil market. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Frank Fannon said Riyadh was taking “active steps” to ensure global oil markets were well supplied.

Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, in a statement on Monday, did not commit to raising production, saying it was “monitoring the oil market developments” after the U.S. statement, and that it would coordinate with other oil producers to ensure a balanced market. OPEC is next scheduled to meet in June.

While Saudi Arabia is expected to boost output again, analysts fear the U.S. move - along with sanctions on Venezuela - will leave the world with inadequate spare capacity.

The international Brent crude oil benchmark rose to more than $74 a barrel on Monday, the highest since November, due to the uncertainty surrounding increased supply from Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations, while U.S. prices hit a peak of $65.92 a barrel, the highest since October 2018.

“Despite high and fast-rising oil prices and high geopolitical disruption risk, (Trump) is betting the farm that Saudi Arabia and the UAE will contain upward price pressure by more than offsetting Iranian oil,” said Robert McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group, an energy consultancy.

In addition to China and India, the economies of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece had also been granted waivers.

Trump has been clear to his national security team in recent weeks he wants the waivers to end and national security adviser John Bolton has been working on that within the administration.

“One thing that has clearly been going on inside the administration is a debate about when they should get to zero,” said Rosenberg.

In recent months, Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members have cut supply dramatically. OPEC, along with ally Russia and others, agreed to reduce output by 1.2 million bpd, but they have exceeded those benchmarks, with Saudi Arabia alone reducing supply by 800,000 bpd.

While Italy, Greece and Taiwan already have halted purchases, doing so could prove much more challenging for China and India. Turkey, another buyer, already has slammed the U.S. decision. “We had indicated privately that zero was coming and now we’re here,” a senior administration official said on Monday, referencing Turkey’s concerns.

Geng Shuang, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, said at a daily news briefing in Beijing on Monday that it opposed unilateral U.S. sanctions against Iran and that China’s bilateral cooperation with Iran was in accordance with the law.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted the Foreign Ministry as saying the South Korean government had been negotiating with the United States at all levels to extend the waivers and that it would continue to make every effort to reflect Seoul’s position until the May deadline.

In India, refiners have started a search for alternative supplies but the government declined to comment officially.

A spokesman for the Japanese embassy in Washington said Tokyo was not planning to comment on the decision but Japanese officials say the Iran issue was discussed at a meeting between the Japanese foreign minister and Pompeo last Friday.

It is also expected to come up during a visit to Washington this Friday by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which is expected to focus on North Korea and the challenge posed by China’s rise.



9th Circus rebukes Trump, upholds most of California’s sanctuary laws

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals discarded the Trump administration’s attempt to block two of California’s sanctuary laws and determined Thursday that the laws, which restrict local cooperation with federal law enforcement, will remain in place.

One of the laws in question, Senate Bill 54, bars police and sheriff officials from notifying federal immigration authorities, in most cases, about when an immigrant inmate was released from jail. The other, Assembly Bill 450, requires employers to notify their staff if there will be an immigration inspection of employee documents.

According to Judge Milan Smith Jr., there is "no doubt" that Senate Bill 54 “makes the jobs of federal immigration authorities more difficult." Even so, he argued that the law "does not directly conflict with any obligation" for states or local governments imposed by federal laws "because federal law does not mandate any state action."

Smith also determined that Assembly Bill 450 "imposes no additional or contrary obligations that undermine or disrupt the activities of federal immigration authorities."

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals did block a portion of a third sanctuary city law that was passed in 2017, known as Assembly Bill 103. The court blocked part of the law requires state officials to examine federal immigration detention facilities in California.

"Only those provisions that impose an additional economic burden exclusively on the federal government are invalid," Smith wrote.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


23 April, 2019

NY Post cover

President Trump tweeted an image of Friday’s New York Post cover, which had the bold headline, “TRUMP CLEAN.”

The cover followed Thursday’s release of the Mueller report and teased an editorial that began, “Not guilty. Of collusion or obstruction. That’s essentially what the Mueller report… confirms.”

Minutes after the Saturday evening tweet, the president retweeted White House social media chief Dan Scaviono, who wrote: “I am with the President at the Southern White House, I have never seen him happier!”


Trump says he was so happy because America was doing so well.  But the Mueller report must have been a great relief for him. That he bore the most ferocious attacks for two years is an amazing testimony to his psychological strength and amazing evidence of  the evil that was hurled at him.  He deserves every bit of the relief he felt.  What he endured would have crushed a lesser man.  And through it all he still made a big difference


Those imprisoned for breaking laws should have no say in making laws

by Jeff Jacoby

IN THE WORLD according to Bernie Sanders, billionaires, insurance companies, gun owners, and Wall Street have too much political power.

But criminals don't have enough.

During a campaign stop in Iowa on Saturday, the Vermont senator and 2020 presidential hopeful declared that convicted felons should have the right to vote. In his view, murderers and armed robbers ought to be allowed to participate in elections — not just after their prison sentence is completed, but even while they're behind bars.

"I think that is absolutely the direction we should go," Sanders told an audience at the West Middle School gymnasium in Muscatine. "You're paying a price, you committed a crime, you're in jail. . . . But you're still living in American society and you have a right to vote. I believe in that, yes, I do."

It's a daft idea, though to be fair to Sanders, it isn't unheard-of — his own state of Vermont, as well as Maine, allow imprisoned felons to vote. But those are outliers. In the other 48 states and the District of Columbia, people locked up for breaking laws don't get to play a role in making laws. Rapists and embezzlers serving time are excluded from electing legislators and statewide officeholders. Convicted burglars, sex traffickers, and racketeers may not vote on ballot initiatives and referendums.

Vermont and Maine are the safest states in the nation, which perhaps explains their lackadaisical attitude about giving political power to prisoners. Everywhere else in America, it is understood that when you are convicted and sentenced to prison for a serious crime, you lose certain rights: the right to liberty, the right to assemble freely, the right to bear arms, the right to privacy — and the right to vote. Criminals are locked up because they are deemed unfit to live among their fellow citizens and join in normal civic life. The harm they caused to their victims and the damage they inflicted on their community disqualify them from being treated as legal and political equals.

Society punishes convicted felons by denying them control over their own affairs. Permitting them to exercise control over society's affairs by voting would be not only irrational, but unjust. Incarcerated criminals should not have a say in shaping criminal law. Rapists should not be allowed to dilute the vote of rape victims. The crook sent to prison for election fraud has no business taking part in the next election.

Massachusetts used to be like Vermont and Maine; it not only permitted felons to vote while in prison but even to organize voter registration drives and run for office. When a group of inmates at the state prison in Norfolk launched a political action committee in 1997, the public was galvanized into action. In 2000, by a nearly 2-to-1 ratio, voters adopted an amendment to the state constitution, stripping incarcerated criminals of the right to vote. That brought Massachusetts into line with nearly every other state.

One state senator wants to yank Massachusetts back out of line.

Echoing Sanders' call for enfranchising prisoners, state Senator Adam Hinds of Pittsfield has introduced a proposal to repeal the 2000 amendment and once again authorize prison inmates to participate in state elections. "I feel it's incumbent . . . to dismantle laws and policies that reinforce inequality and unequal rights in this Commonwealth," Hinds told a hearing of the Legislature's Election Law Committee. He draped his proposal in rhetoric about "overincarceration" of "communities of color," but that is largely a red herring. Whites make up by far the largest share of Massachusetts prisoners, according to the Massachusetts Department of Correction. There may be legitimate concerns about race when it comes to policing and prosecution, but there is no insidious racial motive in denying felons the vote. The only class the 2000 amendment was designed to discriminate against is convicted criminals.

Like the right to travel freely or the right to own a weapon, the right to vote is a meaningful component of citizenship in our democracy. In the American system, those who commit serious crimes are penalized with the loss of many rights that law-abiding citizens take for granted. "You're still living in American society and you have a right to vote," Sanders told his Iowa audience, but he was wrong. Felons locked in prison are not living in American society. It is precisely their punishment to be taken out of society, and deprived of the privileges of self-government.

Not everyone gets to vote. For good reasons, there is no suffrage for children or for non-citizens. For equally good reasons, there is none for criminals behind bars. If felons want to vote, let them break the law in Vermont.



IT BEGINS: Republican Governor Will Sign Bill That ABOLISHES ‘Columbus Day'

Phil Scott, ever heard of him? He’s the Republican governor of Vermont. Winning a GOP spot in the state of Bernie Sanders can’t be easy, yet Scott needed to make it clear that he’s not exactly proud of his country.

Phil is set to sign a bill that abolishes “Columbus Day,” just like New Mexico and South Dakota have already done.

The bill to dump the traditional holiday passed through the state legislature in Montpelier on Wednesday and is now on the governor’s desk waiting for a signature, the Burlington Free Press reported. “I see no reason that I would not sign it,” Scott told the media, “but we’re reviewing the bill as we speak.”

“I know it’s controversial from many standpoints, from many people, but you know, it’s just a day, and we’ll get through it,” Scott added. “And we’ve been treating it as something different over the last couple of years through resolutions. Without any technical difficulties within the bill, I’ll probably sign it.”

Alaska passed an “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” resolution in 2017 but had never officially recognized Columbus Day in the first place.



After ‘No Collusion’ Fail, Guess How Many Times The Media Mentioned Impeachment In One Day?

Oh, the liberal media. When will they stop with their incessant and blatant spinning?

After the Mueller report was released on Thursday, it appears as though the media went into serious disaster-management after word was received that there really was no collusion between Team Trump and the Russians.

So what was the focus of the myriads of reporters faced with this dilemma? Impeachment. (yawn) And just how many times did they utter that silly phrase?

309 times.

As reported by Newsbusters: Although the Mueller report did not recommend any charges against the President, liberal journalists on cable and broadcast networks spent Thursday suggesting to audiences that impeachment was imminent, if not inevitable. Throughout Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, liberal talking heads on cable and broadcast news networks mentioned impeachment an astonishing 309 times during their coverage the of the newly-released Mueller report.

Are you serious? 309 times?

You would think that after the Mueller report, a phrase with that high of a number of utterance would be “no collusion.”

But leave it to the Democrats to focus on damage control, rather than the truth.

So which media outlets feel it necessary to do such shameless spinning, according to Newsbusters? In total, the word came up 309 times, with the vast majority (286) coming from cable networks CNN (148) and MSNBC (138).

This study looked only at the 18 hours of regular daily programming, thus excluding any coverage that took place between midnight and 6:00 a.m. EDT Friday morning. An updated count of the full 24 hours is pending. Those numbers also did not include cases in which the term was uttered by politicians or other explicitly partisan actors, such as Trump attorney Jay Sekulow.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell were particularly keen on discussing the prospect of impeachment. The term appeared a whopping 34 times during the one-hour The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. Interestingly, journalists also mentioned impeachment 34 times on Blitzer’s The Situation Room, but over the course of two hours, between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. EDT.

It’s quite possible that their own redundancy started to annoy the viewers, which is why yet another phrase started to emerge as the day continued on:

By the early afternoon, numerous pundits had begun referring to the Mueller report as “a road map for impeachment.” CNN’s Dana Bash used that catch phrase twice during the 12:00 p.m. EDT hour: “What he did here, as Pamela just laid out, is a road map, a ten-episode road map for really serious consideration for impeachment.” Hours later, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes opened his show with the same terminology.

But luckily for them, not all of the Democrats are guilty of this sin-of-spin. Yes, every once in a while someone steps up and does the right thing.

Because of this, we need to throw a bone to the congressional Democrats who had the good conscience to not jump on the impeachment-wagon, as Newsbusters reported.

For their part, congressional Democrats did not appear keen on discussing impeachment. The closest any member of that party came to actually endorsing the idea on Thursday was when House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler was asked about the option during a press conference: “That’s one possibility. There are others.”

So there are at least SOME Democrats who are operating in good conscience. Too bad they aren’t the ones who run the Fake News Media.



BIG LEAGUE! Trump Smashes Another Economic Record, But The Media Could NOT Care Less

Another day, another economic record for the Trump administration. This one involves unemployment benefits hitting a 50-year low.

Those last two sentences alone should be enough to get the mainstream media to report, but they’re more concerned about getting 45 out of office than anything else.

U.S. employment numbers continue to get better. Data released yesterday showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to its lowest in almost 50 years last week.

Why it matters: More important than the single print was the direction of the trend. The 4-week moving average of initial claims fell to 201,250 last week, the lowest reading since November 1969.

Will the mainstream media care to report?

Of course not. They are far too concerned about impeaching a president who has been exonerated of colluding with Russia because that is what truly matters.

The left does not want unity. They want division until they have complete control.

Americans are increasingly foregoing unemployment benefits as the job market remains strong and the economy shows signs of acceleration.

The initial claims of jobless benefits dropped to 192,000 in the week ending April 13, down 5,000 from the week before (pdf). That means less than 59 out of 100,000 Americans applied for the benefits—a record low. Economists had forecast claims would rise to 205,000 in the latest week.

Meanwhile, retail sales in March increased by 1.6 percent—the most in 18 months—as households boosted purchases of motor vehicles and a range of other goods, the latest indication that economic growth picked up in the first quarter.

When President Trump mentioned that black, Hispanic, and Asian unemployment has hit record low levels at the 2019 State of the Union address, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) did nothing. She didn’t stand. She didn’t clap.

For Republican voters, the answer is simple. All you have to do is check President Trump’s name on election day, 2020. Nobody else stands a chance.



Thanks Mueller! Trump Campaign Gets FLOODED With Donations After Russia Report Shows No Collusion

On Thursday, the full un-redacted version of the Mueller report was released by Attorney General Bill Barr that proved President Trump in no way colluded with the Russian government.

In the 24 hours after the report’s release, the Trump Campaign saw an increase in donations of 250% which totaled $1 MILLION dollars. Thanks Robert Mueller!

“The release of the full Mueller report directly led to the campaign raising more than $1 million. Relative to our recent daily average, the Mueller news drove a 250 percent increase in fundraising from grassroots donors,” Trump campaign’s COO Michael Glassner said.

The Trump Campaign was able to pull the bulk of the donations through a video that hammered the Democrats, titled “Now it’s time to investigate the investigators.”

According to the New York Post, “The video also asked supporters to check a page where they could donate $28 for a limited-edition “I SPY TRUMP TEE,” which pokes fun of President Barack Obama’s official painting — the one where he’s surrounded by plants — and instead shows Obama hiding in those bushes with binoculars spying on Trump.”

This boost in campaign donations has propelled the total campaign donations amount to over $40 million and has boosted their total amount raised since January of 2017 to over $97 million. The Trump Campaign has set a very high goal of $1 billion in donations by the time that the polls open in 2020.

Trump’s camp and the White House has reveled jubilantly in the report’s release since it emerged on Thursday.

Trump’s campaign has raised more than $97 million since 2017. After expenses, he has a little over $40million 

Most of Trump’s re-election campaign money came from the first quarter in 2019 when he raised $30million. He had $10million to start the year off with.

The majority of the donations (nearly 99 percent) in Q1 were $200 or less.

Trump’s fundraising far surpasses the other candidates who are running in 2020.

Bernie Sanders has the second highest amount with a little over $17million and John Delaney has $10million.  Elizabeth Warren has $11million.

One of the most important donation statistics was the fact that 99% of Quarter 1 donations were of $200 or less. This means that we aren’t seeing a few very rich people donating large amounts of money to the campaign and instead, we are seeing a very large amount of middle class donations considering most donations made are under $200. This shows the strength and support from the Trump base.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


22 April, 2019

Potential Consequences of Spying on the Trump Campaign

Looks like the excreta might be hitting the rotating device later this year

Actions by Justice Department officials in spying on a Donald Trump campaign adviser in 2016 could be a crime or merely an administrative offense, legal experts say.

Crimes could include perjury or misleading a court, they say, while disciplinary action for an administrative offense could mean being fired or losing a law license.

Testifying last week before two separate congressional panels, Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General report about the surveillance of Trump campaign aide Carter Page will be released in May or June.

Barr also indicated that he planned a further review of  government “spying” on the Trump campaign.

What’s known is that the Obama administration’s Justice Department obtained a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, to conduct electronic surveillance on Page in October 2016.

The inspector general’s review is looking at whether Justice Department or FBI officials did anything improper in obtaining the warrant approved by a federal judge.

“Before looking at the legality, the department should examine the process behind getting a FISA warrant against a presidential campaign. That’s something that should be approved by the attorney general first,” John Yoo, a former assistant U.S. attorney general under President George W. Bush, told The Daily Signal.

Domestic spying on political opponents was a big part of what prompted the FISA law in the 1970s after President Richard Nixon’s administration, the goal being to put a check in place.

“The whole point of FISA was because Nixon was spying on political opponents,” said Yoo, now a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley. “This seems to have violated the purpose of FISA, which is to make sure surveillance is always merited [and] is not political.”

After the Watergate scandal, which led to Nixon’s resignation, Congress was concerned about how the Nixon administration used the FBI and the CIA to target political opponents.

Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, chaired a select Senate committee that investigated intelligence gathering. The 1978 FISA law was an outgrowth of what was called the Church Committee.

Prosecutable crimes might have been committee by Justice Department personnel, said Robert Ray, who as an independent counsel completed the investigation of President Bill Clinton.

“The FISA court is in place to ensure the careful use of tools in the tool box, and to have oversight of the potential collision with the political process,” Ray told The Daily Signal. “This is always a big deal when you mix politics and prosecutions and is always dangerous.”

Ray said the potential criminal charge that came to mind was perjury, if Justice Department lawyers seeking the FISA warrant were dishonest in making the application to the judge.

“Intentionally misleading a court in a document that is sworn to under oath would be perjury,” Ray said. “But you would have to prove the person knowingly provided false information. Misleading might not be enough.”

Ray said the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility might look at the matter, to determine whether an official committed an act that requires discipline or dismissal. The matter could be referred to the state bar of any practicing lawyer who is accused of providing misleading information.

“If this matter has the attorney general’s attention, then it is all on the table,” Ray said. “It could examine sending this to the OPR, whether there was commission of a crime, any and all of the above.”

It doesn’t seem likely that the FISA application was misleading, though, said Charles Stimson, a former federal prosecutor and former military judge.

Stimson noted that a page in the FISA application for a warrant explained that the information was based on an opposition research dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent, Christopher Steele.

Although the application did not say it was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, Stimson said, the application letter was clear that the document was opposition research directed against Trump.

“From a pure legal standpoint, it was accurate,” Stimson, now manager of the national security law program at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal.

“It arguably wasn’t completely forthcoming,” he said. “But the fact is, a federal district court judge had the information and ruled on it and reauthorized surveillance. … There is a gray zone. It didn’t say Hillary Clinton paid for it and that it wasn’t verified.”

However, Stimson noted that a court could require Justice Department lawyers to explain why their lack of information in the application wasn’t a case of trying to defraud the court. He also said a bar complaint could lead to the loss of a law license.

But department lawyers have a reason to be forthcoming with FISA court judges, Stimson added. “There is an ongoing relationship with the Department of Justice and those lawyers,” Stimson said. “The last thing these lawyers want to do is burn their credibility.”

David Kris, an assistant attorney general during the Obama administration, argues that although special counsel Robert Mueller found no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to give Trump an edge in the 2016 election, the larger Russia investigation itself—as well as the FISA warrant on Page—was still legitimate.

Kris wrote in the Lawfare blog:

[T]here is the Steele dossier, which was first publicly revealed in January 2017, but was in the FBI’s hands before then. People argue about the extent to which the Steele dossier has held up; the best and most recent assessment that I have seen, here, is that it has held up quite well.

But in any event, the document was properly taken seriously then given Steele’s history as a former British MI-6 officer and reliable informant (as documented in the Carter Page FISA applications). … There was a lot of justifiable investigative activity into the campaign and campaign officials and their relationship with Russia and the Russian government.

However, Stimson contends that Barr has legitimate reasons for wanting to review the matter that go beyond the FISA warrant.

“The attorney general of the United States should want to know how a counterintelligence investigation against a leading presidential candidate began,” Stimson said. “He will want to look at the entire matter. How did it get to the point of a FISA warrant? Maybe it was predicated entirely on the dossier. Maybe there was some there there.”



The Trump Administration Is Cracking Down On Illegal Aliens' Housing

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) plans to crack down on illegal aliens who are taking advantage of public house assistance programs, The Daily Caller reported. As it currently stands, illegal aliens are now allowed to receive financial housing assistance. They often skirt this rule by living with family members who are U.S. citizens and receive their assistance from HUD.

The new rule would prevent illegal aliens from living in homes that receive HUD funding, even if they're not the ones actually receiving the assistance. Those who are caught with illegal aliens living in their homes will have to comply with the new rule or move to a different non-HUD location.

To determine whether or not a household is complying with the program, families will be screened through the "SAVE" program, which stands for Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements.

HUD estimates that there are tens of thousands of illegal aliens who are skirting the requirement process by living in these "mixed families." As of now, millions of Americans are on the HUD waitlist because there isn't enough money to assist everyone.

“This proposal gets to the whole point Cher was making in her tweet that the President retweeted. We’ve got our own people to house and we need to take care of our citizens,” a HUD official told The Daily Caller. “Because of past loopholes in HUD guidance, illegal aliens were able to live in free public housing desperately needed by so many of our own citizens. As illegal aliens attempt to swarm our borders, we’re sending the message that you can’t live off of American welfare on the taxpayers’ dime.”



Ignore Medicare for All Advocates’ Claims on Life Expectancy in US. Here Are the Facts

OK.  I'll mention the elephant in the room: Using statistics for whites only, America would be among the leaders in longevity.  Blacks pull the average down because of their many adverse lifestyle choices

Ponder this: If self-styled “progressives” in Congress impose total government control over health care, will ordinary Americans enjoy a longer life span? 

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., chief sponsor of the Senate “Medicare for All” bill (S. 1804), often reminds us that the United States spends roughly twice as much per capita on health care as most other economically advanced countries, but American life expectancy is lower than that of almost all these high-income nations.

Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., lead sponsors of the House’s Medicare for All bill (H.R. 1384) say, “The quality of our health care is much worse than [that of] other industrialized countries. The life expectancy in the U.S. is lower than other nations, while our infant mortality is much higher.” 

These are misleading generalizations. In fact, American medical outcomes for the most serious conditions—for example, lower mortality from heart attacks and strokes, as well as survival rates from a variety of cancers—are generally superior to those of other advanced countries.

America’s high level of investment in advanced medical technologies, including innovative drug therapies, has improved medical outcomes and has directly contributed to longer life expectancy among our senior citizens.

According to the “Economic Report of the President,” issued in March:

The United States’ all-cause mortality rates relative to those of other developed countries improve dramatically after the age of 75 years.

In 1960—before Medicare—the U.S. ranked below most EU countries for longevity among those [ages 50 to 74], yet above them among those age 75 and higher. This pattern persists today.

True, America needs to improve overall life expectancy at birth. According to a major 2018 study of 11 high-income nations in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Japan has the highest life expectancy at 83.9 years, and the U.S. comes in last at 78.8 years.

These disparate findings reflect the vast size and diversity of the United States, including a bewildering array of behavioral, racial, social, economic, environmental, demographic, and metabolic risk factors.

The medical journal’s researchers thus caution “ … the United States average, in comparison to averages of much smaller, more homogenous countries, may lead to erroneous conclusions.”

For example, the life expectancy of Minnesota, a state comparable in size and demographics to Sweden or Denmark, has more similar population health outcomes to these countries than Minnesota has in comparison to Mississippi.

In a 2017 study for the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that 74% of American variation in life expectancy—indeed, the largest source of variation—was attributable to behavioral and metabolic risk factors.

The recent annual declines in American life expectancy, based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were largely attributable to increased drug overdoses (opioids) and suicides. 

Then, there is the special category of infant mortality. “Our infant mortality rate, kids and babies who are dying, is the highest,” says Jayapal, the Washington lawmaker.

The truth is more complicated. In their 2018 study, the JAMA researchers report that American infant mortality is indeed higher than in 10 other high-income countries. Notably, however, the researchers also found that when adjusting for low birth weights, the U.S. statistical ranking improves significantly.

They write: “When adjusting neonatal mortality to exclude deaths of infants born weighing less than 1,000g [about 2.2 pounds], the United States ranked fifth relative to the other countries, with 1.61 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared with a mean of 1.70 for all 11 countries.”

Comparisons of infant mortality between the United States and other countries are often flawed because definitions of terms and measurements are different.

As Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute, notes, “The United States … counts every live birth in its infant-mortality statistics. But France only includes babies born after 22 weeks of gestation. In Poland, a baby has to weigh more than 1 pound, 2 ounces to count as a live birth.

“The World Health Organization notes that it is common practice in several countries, including Belgium, France, and Spain to ‘register as live births only those infants who survived for a specified period beyond birth.”

Note also that the United States has high rates of pre-term births. American medical professionals, including those participating in Medicaid, will thus intervene in complex and difficult cases and literally spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to save the life of a premature infant.

Medical professionals in other countries do not necessarily make the same moral and financial commitments.

Factors influencing longevity are far more complex than how a nation organizes the financing and delivery of medical care. Total government control over the financing and delivery of health care, championed by self-styled “progressives,” will not guarantee Americans’ longer life spans.

Waiting in line for medical care is no prescription for a longer life.  

Personal behavioral changes, including diet and exercise, can make a difference in longevity, but so also can the American-style investment in innovative medical technologies and America’s superior responsiveness in treating deadly disease.



Seattle Man Punches Priest After Asking, 'How's Trump?'

Clergy of the Eastern Orthodox churches are much more prone to wearing clerical garb and other religious identifiers in public than are Catholic or Episcopalian clergy.  It sounds like that is what got the assailant below het up


Now that CBS is normalizing political violence, it's open season on anybody the left doesn't like. It's okay to punch Nazis, and a Nazi can be anybody you want. Even a priest.

From his home at the All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Abbot Tryphon told KIRO 7 about how he was suddenly attacked Tuesday morning while gassing up at the Mobil Station on Southwest 148th Street in Burien.

“I have never been hit as hard,” the Russian Orthodox priest said Wednesday. The at-large suspect “zeroed in on my cross, because when he started coming my direction, he had this look of anger.”
The leader of the Vashon monks said the man who struck him first asked, “How’s Trump?” When Abbot Tryphon answered, “I have no idea, that’s when he hit me.”

I'm not sure how this idiot connected "priest" with "Trump," but he did. That was his motive. He saw somebody who represented Trump to him, and he attacked. Anybody who likes Trump is a Nazi, and apparently priests like Trump. So he punched the priest.

Which is good, remember?

Oh wait, I forgot, that's different. It's not toxic rhetoric when they do it. They're just exercising their right to free speech by explicitly calling for political violence. Whereas those evil Republicans are thugs who are inciting violence by daring to criticize Ilhan Omar.

Then the Dems wonder why even a cuck RINO traitor like me, who probably wanted Hillary to win, won't join them.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


21 April, 2019

What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It?

Read below what a troubled soul at UCLA graduate school was teaching for some years

By Philip E. Agre in August 2004

Liberals in the United States have been losing political debates to conservatives for a quarter century. In order to start winning again, liberals must answer two simple questions: what is conservatism, and what is wrong with it? As it happens, the answers to these questions are also simple:

Q: What is conservatism?
A: Conservatism is the domination of society by an aristocracy.
Q: What is wrong with conservatism?
A: Conservatism is incompatible with democracy, prosperity, and civilization in general. It is a destructive system of inequality and prejudice that is founded on deception and has no place in the modern world.

These ideas are not new. Indeed they were common sense until recently. Nowadays, though, most of the people who call themselves "conservatives" have little notion of what conservatism even is. They have been deceived by one of the great public relations campaigns of human history. Only by analyzing this deception will it become possible to revive democracy in the United States.

//1 The Main Arguments of Conservatism

From the pharaohs of ancient Egypt to the self-regarding thugs of ancient Rome to the glorified warlords of medieval and absolutist Europe, in nearly every urbanized society throughout human history, there have been people who have tried to constitute themselves as an aristocracy. These people and their allies are the conservatives.


Phil Agre is an electical engineer by training and is a manic depressive so that accounts for a lot but it is still a vast level of misinformation to UCLA students.  He was very influential in his writings until he "disappeared" in 2009.  Maybe he realised that he had got it all wrong and that became too much for him


Robert Francis O'Rourke Hates America (But Wants to Be President Anyway)

Serious Democratic presidential contender Robert Francis Domnall Blathmac Tigernmas "Beta" O'Rourke told a crowd of supporters on Wednesday, "The larger problem of which our criminal justice system is just a part, is the very racist foundation of this country, the fact that the wealth of the USA...was built literally on the backs of those kidnapped in their home countries, transported in the middle passage."

There's video, courtesy of The Hill, if you can bear to watch it.

Let's talk some sense. Please.

Progressives have been building this meme for years, that the U.S. was built on slave labor -- and therefore suffers a kind of geopolitical "original sin" that makes us worse than all other countries, or at least no better. And, of course, that our salvation lies in adopting progressive policies which, if we're being frank, actually would make us no better than any other shithole oppressed country.

But the whole concept is malarky, a lie woven from lying cloth that lies.

The South, until fairly recently, was an economic basket case. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in 1831 of his journey down the Ohio River:

"That which follows the numerous windings of the Ohio upon the left is called Kentucky, that upon the right bears the name of the river. These two States only differ in a single respect; Kentucky has admitted slavery, but the State of Ohio has prohibited the existence of slaves within its borders.

Thus the traveller who floats down the current of the Ohio to the spot where that river falls into the Mississippi, may be said to sail between liberty and servitude; and a transient inspection of the surrounding objects will convince him as to which of the two is most favorable to mankind. Upon the left bank of the stream the population is rare; from time to time one descries a troop of slaves loitering in the half-desert fields; the primaeval forest recurs at every turn; society seems to be asleep, man to be idle, and nature alone offers a scene of activity and of life. From the right bank, on the contrary, a confused hum is heard which proclaims the presence of industry; the fields are covered with abundant harvests, the elegance of the dwellings announces the taste and activity of the laborer, and man appears to be in the enjoyment of that wealth and contentment which is the reward of labor.

The State of Kentucky was founded in 1775, the State of Ohio only twelve years later; but twelve years are more in America than half a century in Europe, and, at the present day, the population of Ohio exceeds that of Kentucky by two hundred and fifty thousand souls. These opposite consequences of slavery and freedom may readily be understood, and they suffice to explain many of the differences which we remark between the civilization of antiquity and that of our own time."

On the right bank, a bustling economy. On the left... not so much. At the national level, the differences were more striking. The North enjoyed an 11-to-1 advantage in the number of factory workers, despite having a population only 2.3 times larger. The North had nearly as many factories as the South had factory workers, and they were enormously more productive, too. And while slaves were treated like, well, slaves, factory employees were paid wages which would have seemed like a fortune to the enslaved. About the only items of importance the South had to offer economically was slave-produced cotton, rice, and tobacco. Meanwhile, the North was busy creating the first continental-sized modern industrial juggernaut.

Even after the Civil War, the South's economy didn't become the powerhouse it is now until after the Democrats' Jim Crow laws were cast into the dustbin of history. Free labor -- not slavery, not segregation -- is a necessary element to a massively wealth-generating economy.

ASIDE: It's one of the ironies of modern history that in recent decades, the Southern states have hewed far more closely to the free-market model pioneered in this country by the Northern states. The student has become the master.

So, no, it is not a "fact" that "the wealth of the USA...was built literally on the backs of those kidnapped in their home countries." It is, in fact, a filthy lie, told by someone who is either too stupid to be president, or too hateful of his own country to be trusted with any public office. And given that "Beta" seems smart enough to know better, I'm going with "hateful."



Barr on Mueller Report: Trump and His Campaign Did Not Conspire or Coordinate With Russians?

"One of the primary purposes of the Special Counsel's investigation was to determine whether President Trump's campaign or any individual associated with it conspired or coordinated with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election," Attorney General William Barr told a news conference in Washington Thursday morning.

"As you will see, the special counsel's report states that his investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities," Barr continued:

I am sure that all Americans share my concern about the efforts of the Russian government to interfere in our presidential election. As the special counsel report makes clear, the Russian government sought to interfere in our election process.

But thanks to the Special Counsel's thorough investigation, we now know that the Russian operatives who perpetrated these schemes did not have the cooperation of President Trump or the Trump campaign, or the knowing assistance of any other American, for that matter.

That is something that all Americans can and should be grateful to have confirmed.

The Special Counsel report outlines two main efforts by the Russian government to influence the 2016 election.

First, the report details efforts by the Internet Research Agency (I.R.A), a Russian company with close ties to the Russian government, to sow social discord among American voters through disinformation and social media operations. Following a thorough investigation of this disinformation campaign, the Special Counsel brought charges in federal court against several Russian nationals and entities for their respective roles in this scheme.

Those charges remain pending and the individual defendants remain at large. But the Special Counsel found no evidence that any American, including anyone associated with the Trump campaign, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government or the I.R.A. In this illegal scheme. Indeed, as the report states, quote, the investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. Person knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the I.R.A.'s interference operation, unquote.

Put another way, the Special Counsel found no collusion by any Americans in I.RA.'s illegal activities.

Barr also said the evidence presented to Mueller was not enough to establish that the President obstructed justice.

As soon as Barr finished speaking, President Trump pinned the following tweet, saying "Game Over."



Barr: No Bail for Asylum Seekers

AG orders DHS to enforce the law as written, which means no bond for illegals crossing the border.

One of the greatest pull factors for illegal immigration is the practice of “catch and release,” where illegal aliens, upon apprehension after crossing the border illegally, request asylum and are released into the U.S. with instructions to return for a court date once their request has been processed. Yet as has often been reported, many of these illegals never return for their hearings.

President Donald Trump continues seeking ways to stop the flow of illegal immigration in spite of being repeatedly rebuffed by Democrats and left-leaning courts. The latest attempt is Attorney General William Barr’s announcement of a new asylum policy that directs the Department of Homeland Security to deny bond hearings to all aliens who illegally entered and requested asylum. The Justice Department explained that Barr was simply acting to enforce the Immigration and Nationality Act to the letter of the law.

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey wonders about the timing: “It’s also curious that the White House took this step so soon after the departure of Kirstjen Nielsen and Claire Grady. Were they opposed to the policy? Or perhaps prepared to be too lenient with paroles?”

In any case, former Bush administration Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, himself a legal immigrant, supported Barr’s decision. “This is not part of some grand scheme against immigrants coming into the United States,” Yoo said. “It’s a very narrow thing the attorney general has done. He has the power to overrule immigration judges. Immigration judges have been making mistakes — they’ve been allowing bail to be granted to people seeking asylum who are caught past the border.”

Yoo added, “Asylum seekers have to show what they call a well-founded fear of persecution back in their home countries. The problem for all these people coming from Central America — they’re fleeing for economic reasons. They’re not fleeing because the government is persecuting them.”

Not surprisingly, the American Civil Liberties Union immediately challenged the legality of Barr’s decision, arguing that it is an unconstitutional breach of “basic due process” and that it will see “the administration in court. Again.” However, going by the law and precedent, it appears that Barr is the one standing on more solid legal ground than the ACLU.

Either way, Trump is clearly seeking to force Congress into action. Sitting on the sidelines while a massive border crisis is unfolding doesn’t play well with the American people.



Trump Veto — The Best Choice for America and Yemen

Foreign policy rarely consists of easy choices, and aiding Saudi Arabia is complicated.

President Donald Trump’s veto of a congressional resolution that would have halted American support of Saudi Arabia in Yemen has drawn complaints from two sides. The first is the usual suspects on the Left. The second, though, comes from some who supported President Trump. But this veto was the right call, despite the flak.

As we have discussed earlier, the situation in Yemen is one that has few good options. Don’t get us wrong — the Saudis are no angels (the brutal killing of Jamal Khashoggi being but one relatively minor example). That being said, they are making progress in the right direction, including Mohammed bin Salman’s statement effectively recognizing Israel’s right to exist. In addition, the alternative is to let Iran take Yemen.

That would be a bad idea on geopolitics alone. Yemen sits astride the Bab el Mandab, a maritime chokepoint that controls access to the Red Sea. This makes it a potential lifeline to Israel, given the dearth of naval powers. It would not be hard to get convoys of aid to Israeli ports via the Red Sea if things came to that. But if Iran takes Yemen, America’s presence in the region will have to increase to deal with the threat.

But since critics of the veto are talking about human rights and other moral issues, let’s examine how Iran scores on that matter. Iranian leaders regularly proclaim a desire to wipe Israel off the map (in essence, a 2019 remake of the Holocaust) — in a country where Holocaust denial is routine. That is reason enough to keep backing the Saudis, even if it means turning a blind eye to other stuff. That doesn’t also include the fact that Iran helped insurgents kill a few hundred American troops in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. That is a debt America needs to collect on.

Not many things in foreign policy or national security provide American presidents an easy choice, but the situation in Yemen is one that is relatively easy, even with the nasty stains on Saudi Arabia’s record. This is doubly true since we’ve not maintained a sufficient force structure to handle this ourselves. All of our services — the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, and the Coast Guard — have been shorted since the fall of the Berlin Wall. This has forced hard choices, like the one made regarding Syria that resulted in the departure of Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

If George W. Bush had been willing to build up the military after 9/11, we might not be in this mess, but he didn’t and we are paying now for that mistake. In essence, the Saudis are fighting a fight we should have a larger role in fighting if we didn’t lack the force structure. Why should America have a larger role? Well, for one thing, there’s the awkward matter of the potshots the Iranian-backed Houthis took at the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87).

Yes, President Trump campaigned on reducing America’s global footprint. Given the lesson learned from Barack Obama’s reckless timetable-based withdrawal from Iraq, however, the way to reduce that footprint isn’t a reckless pullout on a politically based timetable. The way you reduce the footprint responsibly is to ensure that the threats that warrant American military presence in the first place are gone. Ideally, you can try to negotiate them away. Other times, you can strengthen allies to handle it on their own. But sometimes, the best way to reduce America’s footprint over the long term is to escalate a response in the short term.

This might sound contradictory and appear that Trump is breaking promises. But think about it this way: If we could eliminate ISIS, and get a non-genocidal regime in Iran, much of the need for our military presence in the Middle East goes away. Similarly, if NATO allies like Germany and Canada pull their weight, maybe America would not need so many troops in Europe.

It’s not always easy to get to a reduced footprint from our current situation, and sometimes doing it will seem counterintuitive, but right now, reality dictates that bringing the troops home may require deploying more forces in the short term.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


19 April, 2019

Why Were Authorities so Quick to Rule out Arson in the Notre Dame Conflagration?

I feel I must hand it to those stalwart souls investigating the devastating conflagration at the Cathedral of Notre Dame Monday. The flames were not quenched at the 12th-century masterpiece of Gothic architecture when the authorities announced that they had ruled out arson as the cause of the blaze. (Some reports hedged their bets by adding “for now”; most were more apodictic.)

That was an extraordinary, not to say amazing, piece of forensic prognostication. Not only were the flames still lapping at the timbers of the cathedral when this conclusion was announced, but also think about the context. The fire broke out on Monday of Holy Week, the apex of the Christian religious calendar. For Catholics, Notre Dame is a focal point of what remains of the religion in a country besotted for decades by its adherence to “laïcité,” to aggressive secularism. For France generally, however, I suspect that the important thing is that Notre Dame is home to some 13 million tourists per annum, all armed with fist-fulls of dollars, euros, and yen.

In any event, the holocaust at Notre Dame was by no means unique. Last month, a fire broke out at Saint-Sulpice, the second largest church in Paris. Within a day or two, the authorities had determined that the fire had been deliberately set. You didn’t read about it in The New York Times, but what happened at Saint-Sulpice was only one of the most destructive acts of vandalism directed against Christian churches in France.

Over the past month, in fact, there have been at least twelve reported acts of vandalism against French churches: statues smashed or beheaded, altars desecrated,  human excrement smeared on church walls in the shape of a cross and decorated with communion hosts. France, like many countries in Western Europe, is swaddled in a nervous silence about the inroads made into their society by militant Islam. They, like many Americans, are terrified of being accused of “Islamophobia.”  Yet the Ministry of the Interior reported that in 2018 there were recorded 541 anti-Semitic acts, 100 anti-Muslim acts, and 1063 anti-Christian acts.

Auric Goldfinger, in the Ian Fleming novel, dryly observes to James Bond that “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action.”

The French investigators have such extraordinary powers of forensic penetration that they can dispense with all such inductive aids to inquiry. Here they have not one, not two or three, but twelve acts of violent desecration in the past month, including an arsonist attack against the second largest church in Paris. Then Notre Dame catches fire—and what a fire it was—on Monday of Holy Week. Even before the fire was brought under control, the authorities ruled out arson. Has the world ever seen a more potent demonstration of investigative prowess?



Arizona City Overwhelmed By Migrant Mobs ‘roaming the streets’ Declares State Of Emergency

Yuma, a city on the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona, declared a state of emergency Tuesday, saying it cannot handle the crush of illegal immigrants the government is being forced to release onto its streets.

Mayor Douglas Nicholls said the migrants are being released by the Border Patrol into his community faster than they can leave, and local shelters are already at capacity.

He warned of mobs of people “roaming the streets looking to satisfy basic human needs,” clashing with citizens looking to protect their own property.

“There is an imminent threat on having too many migrant releases into our community,” he said. “It’s above our capacity as a community to sustain.”

The move was designed to draw the attention of the country to what locals said was an untenable situation and to beg for solutions from the federal government, which has been at a political stalemate over what to do.

Mr. Nicholls said he is trying to get other Arizona communities to issue similar declarations, hoping a critical mass of voices will cut through the partisan gridlock.

The migrants are overwhelmingly families and unaccompanied children from Central America. They are fleeing rough conditions at home and are drawn north by lax enforcement policies that virtually guarantee they can be quickly released into communities, where most disappear into the shadows.

Of the children and families that came in 2017, more than 98% were still in the U.S. as of the beginning of this year.

The Trump administration has been searching for ways to change the incentives that draw the migrants to the U.S.

On Tuesday, Attorney General William Barr announced that migrants who take the first step toward asylum claims will no longer have an automatic right to be released on bond while their cases are proceeding. The ruling, though, won’t generally affect the children and families, who are quickly released under other court rulings and laws.

Also Tuesday, a Homeland Security Department advisory council issued an emergency report calling for the government to take new steps.

One solution was to set up regional processing centers along the border to centralize the flow of migrants, with new and better facilities to care for the children and families.

The council also pleaded with Congress to pass emergency legislation to speed up asylum cases so a decision can be issued within a month and asked for a fix to the Flores court settlement that imposes a 20-day limit on how long illegal immigrant families can be held in detention.

In the meantime, the council said, the administration should issue an emergency regulation allowing migrant families to be held.

Yuma sits on the line between Arizona and California, surrounded by rough, vacant terrain to its east and west. That means it has become the drop-off point for thousands of illegal immigrants each week streaming into the remote parts of California and Arizona, guided by smugglers who bus them north and then leave them to walk across the border and demand attention from U.S. authorities.

Border Patrol agents arrest them en masse — a group of 360 people was apprehended near Lukeville, Arizona, earlier Tuesday.

But with no ability to hold them, agents engage in what is called “catch-and-release,” processing the migrants and then letting them go at a local bus terminal.

Communities along the border have issued desperate pleas for help, but Yuma’s state of emergency is the most striking reaction.

Mr. Nichollls said the local shelter’s normal capacity is 150 people but it can stretch to accommodate 250. It began Tuesday with 200 people, and Border Patrol agents said they were going to deliver 120 more people during the day, putting the facility well beyond its limits.

The mayor said even if the city had a bigger building, the number of people swamps the capacity for volunteers and supplies — though he did issue a call for donations of coloring books, diapers, snacks and bottled water.

He said the issue is transportation in a town of about 100,000 people, where bus links aren’t extensive and there isn’t enough capacity to ship people out as fast as they are being dropped off by the Border Patrol.

President Trump has proposed siphoning the illegal immigrants from the border into sanctuary cities elsewhere, saying it’s only right those communities step up, given their policies and proclamations about welcoming migrants. That idea has ignited a firestorm in Washington, where Democrats called it unbecoming.

Yet some sanctuary cities have stepped forward to say they would embrace the migrants.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf over the weekend said she would be happy to do so. “Oakland welcomes all, no matter where you came from or how you got here,” she wrote in response to Mr. Trump.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto also accepted the challenge this week, saying his city “would welcome all.”

Mr. Trump cast his proposal as political payback, but others have said it’s a necessity, at least so far as releasing the migrants away from the border, where the communities are already overwhelmed.



Crazy Democrat policies in search of votes

Walter E. Williams

There's a push to change laws to permit both criminals serving time and ex-criminals the right to vote. Guess which party is pushing the most for these legal changes. If you guessed that it was the Democrats, go to the head of the class. Bernie Sanders says states should allow felons to vote from behind bars. Elizabeth Warren doesn't go that far but believes felons should have the right to vote. Democrats want the criminal class to have voting rights restored because they could become a significant part of the Democratic base.

These are America's murderers, rapists, burglars, child molesters and drug dealers. Over two million of these people are in prison. If we add in the number of people on probation and parole, there are 6.7 million people currently under correctional control. If cons and ex-cons get the right to vote, it's almost a guarantee that most of these people will cast their vote for a Democratic candidate.

Democrats don't stop with wanting cons and ex-cons to vote. It turns out that more than 50 percent of Democrats surveyed want illegal immigrants to have the right to vote, as they already do in some Democratic-controlled cities.

America's gun control advocates have the belief that outlawing guns would drastically reduce crime. Almost all handguns have been outlawed from private citizen use in the U.K. since 1996. Nonetheless, violent crime in the U.K. has risen almost every year since the ban. Criminals love the idea of a disarmed populace. While there are few gun crimes in the U.K., there's a recent report that in 2018 there were over 40,000 knife crimes committed. It's gotten so bad that some stores have stopped selling kitchen knives.

America's gun control advocates might have some solutions for the citizens of the U.K. They might advocate a thorough MI5 (U.K.'s secret service) background check for anyone wishing to purchase any kind of knife, including kitchen knives. They might advocate knife registration. There might be lengthy prison sentences for anyone caught with an illegal unregistered knife. With London's murder rate higher than New York City's, Mayor Sadiq Khan has implemented knife control policies as violent crime surges. Khan deployed over 300 additional London police officers to stop and search anyone they suspect is carrying a knife.

Here's something else to ponder: Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential elections are calling for reparations for slavery or for the study of reparations. Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren are leading the charge. Slavery was a gross violation of human rights. Justice would demand that slave owners make compensatory payments to slaves. Since both slaves and slave owners are no longer with us, such punishment and compensation is beyond our reach.

So which white Americans owe which black Americans how much? Reparations advocates don't want that question asked, but let's you and I ask it. Are the millions of European, Asian and Latin Americans who immigrated to the U.S. in the 20th century responsible for slavery? What about descendants of Northern whites who fought and died in the War of 1861 in the name of freeing slaves? Should they cough up money for black Americans? What about non-slave-owning Southern whites, who were a majority of Southern whites — should their descendants be made to pay reparations?

On black people's side of the ledger, thorny questions arise. Some blacks purchased other blacks as a means to free family members. But other blacks owned slaves for the same reason whites owned slaves — to work farms or plantations. Would descendants of these blacks be eligible for reparations?

The bottom line is because blacks are doing well in the economic arena under the Trump administration, Democrats fear losing a significant portion of the black vote. Their call for reparations is another attempt to use the promise of handouts to insure that the black vote remains in their pocket. Reparations talk is simply another insulting Democratic rope-a-dope strategy.



Trump embraces 5G revolution by freeing up wireless spectrum, removing regulatory barriers and boosting rural broadband

President Donald Trump is committed to winning the race to 5G wireless technology that will transform the U.S. and global economies in ways that have only been dreamed of in the past. Smart cities, driverless cars and trucks, factories run by robots and so many other wonders, all possible because of the next generation of wireless technology.

“The race to 5G is a race America must win and it’s a race, frankly, that our great companies are now involved in — we’ve given them the incentive they need — it’s a race we that we will win,” Trump declared at an April 12 speech, vowing that “we cannot allow any other country to outcompete the United States in this powerful industry of the future.”

The best part is, all the government has to do is get out of the way.

“In the United States our approach is private sector driven and private sector led. The government doesn’t have to spend lots of money,” Trump said, noting that industry would be investing $275 billion in 5G technology.

Accenture has estimated that 5G will create 3 million new jobs in the U.S. and boost the economy by more than $500 billion.

To help get the network up to speed — quite literally, as 5G will be about 100 times faster than existing 4G networks — Trump outlined his plan to free up “as much spectrum as possible.”

“We’re going to free it up, so they can get out there and get it done,” Trump stated.  Specifically, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Dec. 10 will be auctioning off 3,400 megahertz in three different spectrum bands. This will be a huge opportunity for 5G leaders like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile to expand their networks.

According to an FCC fact sheet, “Since November 2018, the FCC has auctioned 1,550 megahertz of spectrum to be used by commercial wireless providers for 5G connectivity.  The third 5G spectrum auction will be the largest in American history; the FCC will be selling 3,400 megahertz in three different spectrum bands at one time.”

One area that can help it along even faster would be in approving the Sprint-T-Mobile merger, which would enable each company to share their respective 600 MHz and 2.5 GHz spectrum across the low and medium bands. While T-Mobile’s low band spectrum will help bring the network nationwide and particularly to rural areas, Sprint’s medium spectrum will give it the network capacity it needs to function in big cities and densely populated suburbs. This would put both companies on a sounder footing to compete with Verizon and AT&T, and create more competition in the 5G arena, which will reduce prices.

In prepared remarks, FCC chairman Ajit Pai outlined further efforts being made, including by deploying fiberoptics: “we’ve taken action to encourage the deployment of optical fiber.  That’s because 5G isn’t just about wireless.  We’ll also need strong fiber networks to carry traffic once it goes from the air to the ground.  We’ve done a lot to make that happen, including ending heavy-handed regulations imposed by the prior Administration.  Here too, we’re getting results.  Last year, fiber was deployed to more new locations than in any year before.”

In addition, Pai outlined efforts to create more access to rural broadband, stating, “the FCC aims to create a new $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund at the FCC [over 10 years].  This money will extend high-speed broadband to up to four million homes and small businesses in rural America.”

Taken together, it is a sound strategy to bringing a true 5G network nationwide.

It’s exactly the boost the U.S. economy needs to stay ahead in the 21st century. 5G will not only make America great again, it will make it greater than it’s ever been.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


18 April, 2019

Statins have no effect on cholesterol for over 50% of patients

This study is one of the few that looks at the cholesterol/statin correlation directly. And it does so with a substantial sample (N=165,411) so is of considerable interest. As such its conclusions are gloomy for statin use. On half your patients it may do no good at all, assuming that high cholesterol is associated with heart disease.  Given the size of the effect, that conclusion is unlikely to be overturned in subsequent research so needs to be taken seriously in patient treatment decisions henceforth

On the other hand, they found that among the "unprotected" group heart disease incidence was marginally higher.  In those circumstances (where the effect is weak), limitations of the study must be noted: It must be noted that the sample was not a random one.  It was a sample of people who had seen their doctor with some heart problem. And we also should note that the controls for confounding factors were poor -- no demographics!

So with those large reservations, we could say that the present weak results are consistent with previous findings that high levels of cholesterol are problematic for people with pre-existing heart disease only

Sub-optimal cholesterol response to initiation of statins and future risk of cardiovascular disease

Ralph Kwame Akyea et al.


Objective: To assess low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) response in patients after initiation of statins, and future risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Methods: Prospective cohort study of 165?411 primary care patients, from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink, who were free of CVD before statin initiation, and had at least one pre-treatment LDL-C within 12 months before, and one post-treatment LDL-C within 24 months after, statin initiation. Based on current national guidelines, <40% reduction in baseline LDL-C within 24 months was classified as a sub-optimal statin response. Cox proportional regression and competing-risks survival regression models were used to determine adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and sub-HRs for incident CVD outcomes for LDL-C response to statins.

Results: 84?609 (51.2%) patients had a sub-optimal LDL-C response to initiated statin therapy within 24 months. During 1 077 299 person-years of follow-up (median follow-up 6.2 years), there were 22 798 CVD events (12?142 in sub-optimal responders and 10?656 in optimal responders). In sub-optimal responders, compared with optimal responders, the HR for incident CVD was 1.17 (95% CI 1.13 to 1.20) and 1.22 (95% CI 1.19 to 1.25) after adjusting for age and baseline untreated LDL-C. Considering competing risks resulted in lower but similar sub-HRs for both unadjusted (1.13, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.16) and adjusted (1.19, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.23) cumulative incidence function of CVD.

Conclusions: Optimal lowering of LDL-C is not achieved within 2?years in over half of patients in the general population initiated on statin therapy, and these patients will experience significantly increased risk of future CVD.



Trump can’t finish the wall fast enough as apprehensions on southern border top 103,000 in March

By Robert Romano

Apprehensions on the southern border hit 103,492 in March, according to data compiled by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the highest in a decade.

In 2018, apprehensions averaged about 43,424 monthly, 34,626 in 2017, 46,114 in 2016, 37,071 in 2015 and 47,436 in 2014. 2019 looks like it will be a record year, as there have already been more apprehensions through March at 422,334 than all of 2017.

Amid the surge, Immigration and Customs Enforcement only has about 52,000 beds to detain people who are apprehended — which guarantees that a good number of those apprehended will have to be released.

There are simply too many people coming, with not enough facilities to accommodate them and not enough judges to process them efficiently. The effect is catch-and-release. And Congress knows it.

Even the limit on beds comes down to deliberate decision-making by Congress, as this was a major sticking point in the discussions on ending the government shutdown. Democrats wanted a harder limit on beds even when faced with the data of how the system was being overwhelmed. Last year, the authorization allowed for an average daily of 40,520, but President Trump has been able to get the actual number up to 49,000 by moving things around. This year, the new baseline was increased to 45,274, which he can ratchet up to 52,000 by moving things around.

As it turns out, Trump was prophetic in requesting additional funds with the migrant surge now occurring. But what Congress has provided is not nearly enough. Not with over 103,000 being apprehended in a single month.

Ultimately, the federal government wouldn’t need so many beds if resources were brought to bear to secure the border entirely. Two years into the Trump administration, unfortunately, and Congress only inluded $1.6 billion from 2018 for replacing existing fencing with new steel barriers and $1.375 billion in 2019 for more steel barriers.

As it is, President Donald Trump had to resort to declaring a national emergency on the border so that military construction funds could be reprogrammed.

Reporting from Calexico, Calif., Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, reported that with existing funding including the emergency funds, about 450 miles of wall will be built: “Around Dec. 2020, the total amount of money we will have put in the ground in the last couple of years will be about 450 miles. That’s probably about $8 billion, in total about 33 projects.”

In the meantime, while the system continues to be flooded, that means a lot of people are simply going to be released. So, President Trump is proposing to release them into sanctuary cities and states that Democrats have declared. The thinking is clear enough.

On Twitter on April 12, Trump stated, “Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only…The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!”

Perhaps when leaders in Congress have to deal with the migrant surge directly in their local communities, instead thinking they can dump them in red states, they will sit down with Trump and finally get down to business to giving the resources the federal government needs to both deter and contain the illegal immigration surge now occurring.

While the President awaits Congressional action, Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning suggested that human traffickers should be declared terrorist organizations: “The problem is now so severe that the President should simply declare the human trafficking cartels who are profiteering off the illegal immigration surge to be terrorist organizations and treated accordingly. The costs to both the American taxpayer and to those who depend upon our nation’s generous social safety net is unacceptable, but what’s worse is it is now endangering our national security, and those in Mexico who are facilitating the trafficking need to be dealt with the full force of the law.”

A terrorist organization declaration would invoke certain authorities that would allow the Trump administration to cut of the funds traffickers receive via remittances and other means.

Manning is right. Not enough pressure is being put on those making the journey as the resources Congress has provided are insufficient by a several orders of magnitude to deter and prevent the currently seen levels of migration.

The human traffickers realize the border is wide open, and unless something is done, this is crisis is not going to get any better. Something’s got to give.


Old problem, tired old solution: Democrats want to tax millennials to save Social Security

While so-called "Medicare for all" is grabbing the most headlines, a House Ways and Means subcommittee has held four separate hearings on the looming insolvency of another big entitlement program: Social Security. Subcommittee Chairman John Larson, D-Conn., recently released a bill to shore up Social Security’s funding through myriad new tax increases and 200 of his Democratic colleagues have signed on as co-sponsors.

I testified on Wednesday at a hearing where this bill, the Social Security 2100 Act, was the focus. I was invited to offer some remarks on a group that does not get much attention in the conversation regarding Social Security: young people. My comments focused mostly on millennials, because that is the group for which we have data on their working lives, but the broader consequences to the future of the workforce should be explored before plans to hike taxes on workers and employees is viewed as the silver bullet for the program’s sustainability.

The bill would hike the payroll tax 2.4 percentage points, to 14.8%. While almost half of workers do not pay income tax, the payroll tax is the largest tax most workers pay. Increasing it confiscates wealth for workers that could otherwise be used to save and build equity.

This strikes workers at the beginning of their career particularly hard, not just because it deprives them of a longer window for savings, but also because millennial workers are different from other generations in significant ways. For one, they are more likely to start their own business. Over a third of millennials operate a “side hustle” in addition to their full-time job. This means many young people in the workforce today are not only employees, but potential employers as well. But as a sole proprietor, they would be responsible for both the employer and employee sides of the payroll tax hike in these plans, potentially increasing their payroll taxes by thousands of dollars.

The consequences to economic mobility should be obvious: A payroll tax hike makes each hire for an employer more expensive, and data shows that employers will respond by cutting wages. This will diminish income mobility for workers, particularly those at the beginning of their careers. It will put wage increases further out of reach for workers. What’s more, the income exemptions in this bill are not indexed to inflation, meaning they eat up a larger share of employee income over time. This will further erode young people’s earnings opportunities as they move up the income ladder.

Millennials already lag other generations in terms of wealth accumulation. Workers at the beginning of their careers see a higher share of their income go to payroll taxes, and fixed costs of living take up a higher share of their take-home pay. Increasing the payroll tax further diminishes the amount of money they have available to save and create wealth over time, and exacerbates this disparity between what is now the largest living generation in the country and other generations that have come before it. What’s more, data indicates that lower-income households make up for the loss of income by shouldering more debt, undermining opportunity for young workers to amass their own wealth.

The workforce today looks different than the workforce of different generations — this is a feature, not a flaw, of the American system. As our economy evolves, however, so too must our public policy. For many millennials who entered the workforce during the recession, the recent economic expansion has been their first opportunity to grow in their careers and build wealth. Proposals that would force this cohort to shoulder new tax burdens threaten to undermine this progress. While Congress has enhanced private savings opportunities to the widespread benefit of workers, it has yet to tackle the looming fiscal insecurity of government spending. Congress should consider bipartisan methods of meeting this challenge without simply redistributing the burden to future generations.



The Trump jobs miracle

If you want one number that encapsulates the enormity of the economic turnaround under Donald Trump it is this: Today in America so far this year there have been between 7.1 million and 7.6 million unfilled jobs. This number is larger than the entire population of the state of Indiana. That is how powerful and relentless the hiring spree has been under Trump policies.

Today, there are just over 6 million Americans who are “unemployed.” This means that even if every person in America looking for a job took a job (and had the skills to fill them), we would still have more than 1 million jobs that would not be filled. That’s the University of Michigan football stadium filled 10 times. That’s a lot of jobs.

Add to that the latest Labor Department numbers that the number of people signing up for unemployment benefits and it adds up to a glorious and irrefutable reality.

This is the best labor market for workers in 50 years.

Maybe ever.

This tight labor market is exactly what those of us on the Trump team hoped for when we designed the tax reform bill, the deregulation policies and other policy changes designed to allow American businesses to grow and prosper. The competition for workers explains why average wages in America have risen by 3.2 percent over the last year in an environment of little or no inflation. Add to that the average tax reduction of between $1,500 and $2,000 for the typical middle class family and it is no wonder that 71 percent of workers feel good about the economic direction of the nation, as a recent CNN poll found. Before the election of 2016 only about half that number of Americans rated the economy as good or great.

For the first time in a long time, Americans’ real take home pay is expanding. It feels good. People are spending because they have more money in their wallets and they are confident in their financial future. What a change from the malaise of the last decade, when almost every poll showed that jobs and the economy were the biggest worry of Americans.

The tight labor market and boost in wages are inextricably linked. Target just announced a new “minimum wage” of $13 an hour. That wage is headed to $15 an hour in 18 months. Is this because of a government minimum wage law? No. The company said it had to pay more to recrult and retain the best workers. There is nothing more empowering for middle class workers than having employers compete for their services.

Target isn’t the only company handing out big raises in the Trump era. Walmart is up to $11 an hour, and Amazon just recently went to $15 an hour for starting workers. Don’t forget to add to bonuses of up to $2,000, and paid vacations and other enticements.

Even as businesses are investing more in capital equipment — like machinery, computers, robotics, trucks and forklifts — they are hiring more workers at a brisk pace. Remember the worry that the Internet and robots were going to destroy all the jobs and America would be one long unemployment line? It’s not happening.

So now the worry is America is running out of workers. Not really. As wages rise, more working-age Americans who aren’t currently looking for a job will snatch them up. There are at least 10 million Americans who could be in the labor force if the offer to get off the sidelines is enticing enough.

The irony of all this is that at the very moment that the left wants to institute a “guaranteed livable income” for every American, President Trump is doing that and more by making sure that every last American who wants one can get a job.



Comey assumes jester role in spygate tragedy

Top secret surveillance is spying.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting former FBI Director James Comey’s contention that “the FBI and the Department of Justice conduct court-ordered electronic surveillance… I have never thought of that as spying”:

“James Comey’s latest embarrassing declaration that top secret surveillance of American citizens’ phone calls, emails, texts and other communications in a counterintelligence probe is not spying ranks right up with Bill Clinton’s parsing of the meaning of the word is. Comey signed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants to spy against the Trump campaign. In Washington, D.C., lies are excused if couched in the right flowery verbage. Comey cannot possibly believe that engaging in electronic surveillance largely based on documentation from politically weaponized spies, which he says was ‘selacious and unverified,’ as well as using human intelligence resources to observe and attempt to infiltrate the Trump campaign in the midst of a counterintelligence investigation is not spying.

“Comey’s Hamlet-like musings reflect more on his attempt to rerwrite history and restore his tattered personal legacy. If this tragedy is ever honestly written, Comey has cemented his role as the fool rather than the hero he portrays himself as.”



Feel the hate

Bella Abzug (1920 – 1998) was a bane of American conservatives for many years in the late 20th century. It was a relief when she died.  She was an aggressive feminist and all-round far-leftist with a very loud and abusive mouth


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


17 April, 2019

Bad conservatives?

I recently received the following email from M. DeV. mcdv133422@gmail.com.  It appears to be a riposte to the way conservatives point to murderous Leftist regimes from the French revolution on.  I have a little spare time so I thought I might point out some of the lacunae in it.  I will add my coments at the bottom of it.

1. Those who promoted child labor were conservatives.

2. The brutal genocidal colonizers of the Americans were christian conservatives.

3. Franco was helped into power by conservatives.

4. Hitler was helped into power by conservatives such as Papen and Hindenburg.

5. World War I was started by conservatives.

6. Lenin was helped to get to Russia by German conservatives.

7. Those who opposed food safety laws were conservatives (thousands of children died in 19th century Britain because of arsenic poisoning).

8. The American Civil War was started by treasonous conservative democrats.

9. Centuries of European warfare was brought on by monarchists and conservatives.

10. Al Qaeda and the Taleban were created by the mujahedeen which was supported throughout the 1980s by American conservatives.

11. Iran Contra was treason by conservatives (Reagan should have been hanged for it).

12. Conservatism is a disease and the American GOP is a huge threat to the western world.

1. The man who did most to regulate and cut back child labor was Benjamin Disraeli, Conservative Prime Minister of Britain in the late 19th century

2. The Pilgrim fathers had friendly relations with the natives from 1620 to 1675, when they were attacked

3. Franco was suported by the Falange, a Fascist  (Leftist) party

4. Hitler's rise was his own doing -- particularly by way of his remarkable oratory.  But at various points both the Social Democrat Left and the Communists sided with him

5. Who started WWI is contentious but it would have remained a local affair except for the intervention of the Rusian Tsar, who was above politcs

6. At the beginning of World War I, Germany was a constitutional monarchy in which political parties were limited to the legislative arena. They could control neither the government nor the military.  It was the military who sent Lenin to Russia

7. Those who opposed food safety laws were businessmen with various political loyalties.  They were gradually brought to heel by governments.  But again Disraeli was in the lead.  In 1874 Disraeli brought in an aggressive program of social legislation, including a pure-food-and-drug act

8. The American Civil War was started by treasonous Leftist  politicians.  Republicans were at that time the Left of American politics.  No other country in the world shed a drop of blood to free their slaves.  So why did America?  Because the Republicans were in the grip of Leftist self righteousness.  See here

9. Centuries of European warfare were brought on by national and dynastic rivalries.

10.Al Qaeda and the Taleban were native Muslim movements that started in opposition to the Soviets. American opposition to Soviet intervention in Afghanistan started under Jimmy Carter (D)

11. Iran Contra was part of an attempt to overthrow a Communist regime

12. Leftism is a disease and the American Democrats are Fascists.


LOL.  Trump can't win

As a catastrophic fire tore through one of the world’s most beloved cultural treasures, US President Donald Trump assessed the response from the other side of the globe and offered unsolicited advice for firefighters.

“So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris,” Mr Trump tweeted earlier today as more than 400 firefighters tried to save the Notre Dame cathedral. “Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”

France’s civil defense agency, Sécurité Civile, tweeted — once in French and once in English — less than two hours after Mr Trump sent his tweet and appeared to directly respond to the US president.

“Helicopter or aeroplane, the weight of the water and the intensity of the drop at low altitude could indeed weaken the structure of Notre Dame and result in collateral damage to the buildings in the vicinity,” the agency wrote in French.

And despite never posting updates in English, the agency then sent out a second tweet.

 Hundreds of firemen of the Paris Fire Brigade are doing everything they can to bring the terrible #NotreDame fire under control. All means are being used, except for water-bombing aircrafts which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral.

Mr Trump’s tweet was almost universally slammed, with many of the president’s Twitter followers calling his advice “ignorant”.

"When California burned you did not seem to be a fire expert. Please, shut up. It is a tragic moment for the cultural heritage of humanity."

"Has anyone else found themselves wondering if, aside from the massive, ignorant ego inserting himself into the story by telling French fire fighters how to do their job, what's really happening here is this sorry excuse for a human is jealous because the news is not about him?"


My sympathies in the matter were somewhat reduced when I heard that the cathedral was a repository for the crown of thorns from Christ's crucifixion plus a fragment of the true cross plus one of the holy nails which held Christ to the cross.  I guess my Presbyterian background is showing but the word "idolatory" did spring to my mind


Boston Globe Writer Suggests Waiters Should ‘tamper’ With Republicans’ Food

Once again Leftists have no ability to foresee the consequences of their actions.  Once Democrats start polluting the food of conservatives, the way will be open for conservatives to do some polluting as well.  A lot of working people who voted for Trump might be angry enough to do that

A Boston Globe columnist called for waiters to contaminate the food of Trump administration officials.

“As for the waiters out there, I’m not saying you should tamper with anyone’s food, as that could get you into trouble,” O’Neil wrote. “You might lose your serving job. But you’d be serving America. And you won’t have any regrets years later.”

He added that “not pissing in Bill Kristol’s salmon” when he was a waiter was one of his eternal regrets. “I was waiting on the disgraced neoconservative pundit and chief Iraq War cheerleader about 10 years ago at a restaurant in Cambridge and to my eternal dismay, some combination of professionalism and pusillanimity prevented me from appropriately seasoning his entree,”

The Globe to found itself dealing with a wave of outrage. Herman Cain, one of President Trump’s two picks for the Federal Reserve Board, tweeted, “Who makes the editorial decisions at the Boston Globe?”

O’Neil hit back at the Globe for removing the article from its website.

“Absolute brain genius move by the Globe to edit my story three times then take it down altogether and put up a note saying I’m not on staff instead of perhaps standing by a long time contributor and siding with labor instead of bad faith critics who would hate them no matter what,” O’Neil said on Twitter. He added: “I will never write for them again.”



Appeals court rules Trump admin can temporarily continue to send asylum-seekers back to Mexico

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of President Trump on Friday when it determined that the government can at least temporarily continue to send asylum-seekers back to Mexico.

The asylum program was scheduled to be shut down at midnight under an order from District Judge Richard Seeborg, but the White House requested that the appeals court intervene.

The 9th Circuit temporarily stayed the lower court’s ruling as the parties get ready to submit their arguments next week on the government’s request for a longer stay that would likely last months.

“Finally, great news at the Border!” Trump tweeted Friday night.

The administration has defended the policy as necessary to deal with what it calls an immigration crisis at the border that is overwhelming existing enforcement mechanisms.

The lower court ruled earlier this week that the policy contradicted U.S. immigration law and issued a nationwide injunction but delayed its implementation to give the government time to appeal.

The administration has sent more than a thousand asylum-seekers, many from Central America, back to Mexico as their asylum claims make their way through the U.S.’s backed-up immigration system.

Trump has doubled down on his hard-line stance on immigration in recent weeks, threatening to close the border with Mexico, cutting off funding to El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras, and overseeing a purge at the Department of Homeland Security.

Trump has said that many claiming asylum seek to do harm, saying last weekend some asylum-seekers should be "fighting for the UFC" and that approvals of asylum claims should be curtailed.

"The system is full. Can’t take you anymore," Trump said while visiting the border earlier this month, adding that for both "illegal immigration" and asylum-seekers, the answer is "I’m sorry. We’re full."



Abolish the Income Tax, Abolish the IRS

It's possible


Everybody hates income taxes. Some people say there are too many loopholes or too few incentives or that they're too high or too low or that the system is rigged against (insert your favorite group here) or biased in favor of (insert your least favorite group here) or that the IRS is abusive or too lenient and -- almost everybody agrees -- the whole thing is corrupt and corrupting.

I know several of these complaints contradict other complaints, but you know what? They're all true. Every single one. Our tax code is a jumbled mess of contradictions, and the IRS is alternately abusive and permissive.

At the left-leaning Daily News today, David Cay Johnston writes that "there’s a fundamental problem at the heart of the way we fund our government." He says that there are actually two tax systems, one for "working stiffs and retirees," and the other for "rich business owners [who] operate under a different system." Johnson's solution? Hire a lot more IRS auditors who will stick it to the rich.

That's just silly, of course. The rich already pay the vast majority of income taxes. The top 1 percent pays more than 35 percent of all income tax collected; the bottom half pays only about 3 percent. Those figures come from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation from before the 2017 tax reform law, which generally cut taxes even further for the middle class, while raising them a bit on wealthy blue state residents. If anything, the bottom half of Americans aren't invested in what happens in Washington, because they don't have any skin in the game.

But even if they did, is putting thousands or even hundreds of thousands of additional Americans through the IRS audit wringer a good way to increase fairness?

Over on the libertarian side, Reason's Liz Wolfe was driven to such despair by the burdens and complexities of our tax code that she got stoned before doing her taxes this year. While I don't recommend this at all, Wolfe wrote, much to my entertainment, "I smoked a massive joint with my husband and browsed flights to Budapest and Dubrovnik before realizing that I could not procrastinate anymore and also could not fly to Eastern Europe to avoid my tax burden." As the guy who invented drunkblogging, I don't judge. Whatever gets you through the tax season.

At The Federalist today, Laura Baxter lists nine conservative complaints against the income tax, arguing that today should be a "national day of mourning." Three of her arguments really stood out to me, and in no small part because they're interrelated. And not just interrelated, but probably an inextricable feature of the income tax.

They are:

*  The Tax System Is Far Too Complex

*  The Tax System Favors Special Interests

*  The Tax System Is Easily Weaponized

I encourage you to click over and read the whole thing.

Tax laws are written by people and people prefer certain other people or provide favors to other people in exchange for something they want themselves. And that makes our income tax system -- any income tax system -- ripe for corruption, graft, and abuse.

Which brings us to the Fair Tax.

The Fair Tax isn't exactly a new idea, but it's one worth reminding people of every April 15.

The Fair Tax would completely eliminate payroll taxes and individual and corporate income taxes by repealing the 16th Amendment. Washington would be funded instead by a national sales tax -- partly offset by a monthly "prebate" paid to every household. As described by Americans for Fair Taxation, the prebate is "an 'advance refund' at the beginning of each month so that purchases made up to the poverty level are tax-free." You would take home 100 percent of your pay, and determine your own tax rate based on how much you spend each month.

The IRS is abolished, replaced by a tax collection mechanism every single merchant is already familiar with. Conspicuous consumption by the rich would be met with a heavy sales tax burden, but investments in jobs and growth and innovation would be tax-free.

Other benefits include zero compliance cost for individuals, no more audits, no more loopholes, and vastly reduced opportunities for official corruption and graft. Almost as good, perhaps, is that only legal U.S. residents are eligible for the prebate, but everybody, from native-born citizen to illegal alien, pays their fair share at the cash register.

For more information, you can visit FairTax.org.



Israel Hopes for Same Treatment, After Int’l Court Backs Down on US Probe

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday welcomed a decision by International Criminal Court (ICC) judges not to authorize an investigation into alleged U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan, and implicitly expressed the hope an ICC probe into Israeli actions would meet the same fate.

“To come and put on trial U.S. or Israeli soldiers, or the State of Israel or the U.S., is absurd,” Netanyahu told a weekly cabinet meeting. “This corrects an injustice and will have far-reaching implications for the functioning of the international system regarding the State of Israel.”

A three-judge panel in The Hague ruled Friday that although the alleged offenses met criteria set down by the Rome Statute – the court’s founding treaty – an investigation “at this stage would not serve the interests of justice.” Accordingly it turned down chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s request to proceed.

President Trump hailed the development, which came a week after the State Department revoked Bensouda’s U.S. visa, in line with its recent decision to bar entry to anyone “directly responsible for any ICC investigation of U.S. personnel.”

The president called the decision “a major international victory, not only for these patriots [U.S. military and intelligence personnel involved in the conflict], but for the rule of law.”

Human rights advocacy groups voiced dismay, with Amnesty International accusing the ICC of “caving” to U.S. threats.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


16 April, 2019

Why Trump drives the DC establishment nuts

A friend was researching a story, and the more questions she asked the more she felt she really didn’t know anything about the subject. She discovered neither did anyone else she was asking.

That reminded me of Apple founder Steve Jobs’ epiphany, which goes something like this:

"When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is, and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to fit in, and everything will be OK. That’s a very limited life.

Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you, and you can change it, you can influence it. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again."

This explains the root of the Washington Establishment’s dysfunctional relationship with President Trump.

The antipathy is deeper than “he’s not our kind of people,” or policy disagreements. Consider Jobs’ epiphany.

The Washington Establishmentarians went to the finest schools where they learned “the world is the way it is,” the world being “the trans-Atlantic alliance,” “the international rules based trading system,” “the post-war architecture and institutions,” concepts formulated 70 years ago and considered sacrosanct in the empyrean precincts of Washington and academia.

The gilded reptiles of the swamp make a comfortable living as experts on the world The Way It Is. They don’t “bash into the walls” – they know their place and they fit in.

Then along comes Donald J. Trump. Rather than “Try not to bash into the walls,” he’s made a living bashing down walls, quite literally, and doesn’t apologize for it.

Unlike previous candidates who ran as outsiders but went with the Washington status quo once elected, President Trump doesn’t accept “the world is the way it is.” Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it.

President Trump didn’t accept the received wisdom on China that let Beijing get away with cheating, stealing and breaking every promise it made. He knew that China policy was made by people who were no smarter than he and that he could change it.

President Trump didn’t accept the status quo with NATO, a 70-year-old military alliance against a Soviet threat that no longer exists. The Establishment experts told him he deserves to be impeached, convicted and removed from office for suggesting allies pay their fair share. But then the allies ponied up more.

President Trump doesn’t accept America’s decline is inevitable, nationalism is bad, nations are outdated, and we are merely cogs in a “global economy without borders.” Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you, and you can change it.

Washington is full of people who base their self-worth on issuing great pronouncements telling us “the world is the way it is.”

President Donald J. Trump doesn’t accept “the world is the way it is,” and it drives them nuts that he has the gall to change it.



Stephen Moore is a pro-growth economic champion

Stephen Moore is an anti-establishment voice and critic of the D.C. swamp. It should come as no surprise that economists who never stray from mainstream, “acceptable” positions on the role of the Federal Reserve are also vehemently opposed to Moore’s nomination to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. After all, to challenge the Fed’s orthodoxy is to challenge the Washington establishment.

President Trump won in 2016 by going against the established order. His victory showed the nation that what the “experts” want is not always what is best for the American people. His victory was a wake-up call to the nation that establishment experts are no longer unassailable. Having made a career of challenging the established order in much the same way, Stephen Moore is the dissenting voice so desperately needed on the Federal Reserve board today.

Respected economists warned that under President Trump, the U.S. would enter a recession almost immediately upon assuming office. Under Trump’s pro-growth economic policies, though, the United States has entered an era of prosperity it hasn’t seen in years. Tax cuts that many warned would severely damage the economy have instead resulted in the largest wage increases in years, record decreases in unemployment, and widespread investment that has benefited main street America and corporations alike.

Stephen Moore was one of the architects behind the crafting of President Trump’s tax cut and deregulatory agenda. These weren’t new ideas, though. They were simply the laissez-faire economic principles that had been discarded years ago in favor of the false consensus of big government, Keynesian ideas that slowed the growth of our economy. Moore has been a well known supply-sider throughout his entire career.

Moore, like President Trump, understands that prosperity comes not through government intervention, but through hands-off economic policies that provide for a pro-growth business climate. Challenging the orthodoxy of so many establishment economists, the same ones who oppose Moore’s confirmation, have instead benefitted millions of Americans.

Moore has written extensively about the dangers of politicians becoming too involved in the economy. He cites the administration of Herbert Hoover as an example of how things can go drastically wrong when America moves from laissez-faire economic policy to a command and control approach. Instead of buying into the faux orthodoxy of big government economists and pundits, he wants to unleash the American economic potential made possible when the government steps back.

Moore’s career demonstrates a willingness to challenge this economic orthodoxy revered as sacred by the Washington establishment. He has remained an ardent believer in small government, pro-growth economic policies that empower consumers and businesses alike. This is reason enough to trust him as Trump’s pick for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

Among the many reasons to confirm Stephen Moore is that he believes in sound money. The Federal Reserve Board thinks it better instead to aggressively expand money supply. The quantitative easing that the Fed implemented following the 2008 financial crisis has initiated the slow-motion destabilization of the American Dollar.

Sound money is the basis for economic prosperity. Sound money is only possible with a return to the gold standard or a system where the value of our dollar is tied to a real commodity, something for which Moore has advocated. Without an anchor for the American dollar, inflation caused by the Fed’s tinkering with the money supply will lead to economic uncertainty, as it has for decades

Moore couldn’t disagree more with a central tenet of the Fed’s doctrine, quantitative easing. The Washington establishment puts far too much emphasis on the necessity for the central bank to tinker with our money supply, thus undermining the American dollar. Therefore, Moore’s voice of reason is much needed on the Federal Reserve Board to ensure a stable currency, the building block for free markets and economic prosperity.

By going against the D.C. status quo, Stephen Moore has shown he’s not afraid to embrace the anti-establishment background that has made him a breath of fresh air when it comes to American economics. As we’ve seen in the past few years, the Washington establishment has a poor record of getting it right. Stephen Moore’s confirmation to the Federal Reserve Board would bring another round of much-needed change to Washington.



Trump administration moves to stop 'dark' regulations from federal agencies

The Trump administration will take action Thursday to crack down on federal agencies’ ability to issue rules, memos and other documents that can have a binding regulatory effect without ever being reviewed by Congress.

Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russell Vought is issuing new guidance to all agencies on complying with the Congressional Review Act, a 1996 law that requires “major” rules be submitted to Congress at least 60 days before they take effect.

A senior administration official told The Washington Times that the Trump administration has found, with Government Accountability Office reports, that “agencies sometimes under-comply with CRA.”

“We decided that some additional guidance from OMB is necessary to the agencies to help them comply with the law,” the official said in an exclusive interview. “Many agencies often don’t know how the CRA works. Agencies often don’t even know to ask.”

While the administration isn’t characterizing the move as a broadening of the CRA, the official said the action “will result in additional items being sent to the Hill.”

OMB’s action will replace guidance for a 1999 Clinton-era executive order that the official described as the “cornerstone of OMB review” standards. The official said the new action will “create a uniform set of procedures” by having OMB review all major rule determinations, even those from independent agencies.

OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has authority for the review of executive branch regulations and other proposals.

The CRA gives lawmakers the ability to reject proposed rules, which can cover anything from classifying independent contractors as employees to offering discounts on auto loans. The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. has referred to such actions, often issued as bulletins or memos, as “regulatory dark matter” because they require compliance without ever having been subject to a period of public comment and review.

“When you’re a regulated party, if an agency is telling you ‘This is how I intend to enforce this rule,’ you’re going to treat it pretty much as binding,” said another administration official. “It often does impose very significant obligations.”

During the first 60 days of the Trump administration, congressional Republicans used the CRA to undo 14 of the Obama administration’s last-minute regulations, many involving new workplace burdens on employers.

In addition to proposed rules subject to “notice and comment,” the senior official said, “there are other regulatory actions and guidance documents that also fit within the definition of the scope of the Congressional Review Act.”

“This memo will make clear that those items also must go up to the Hill,” the official said.

The GAO reported in 2008 and 2009 that federal agencies had failed to submit more than 1,000 rules to Congress.

Heritage Foundation analyst Paul Larkin said federal agencies cannot say they weren’t warned about complying with the CRA.

“Federal agencies cannot demand that the public comply with the law, including agency rules, if the agencies are free to disregard the law and their own rules,” Mr. Larkin said.

He added that under the CRA, agency “rules” that have not been submitted to Congress as required are not “in effect” and therefore are null and void.

“Agencies therefore have an incentive to comply with the CRA so that their rules can have legal effect,” he said.



The Republican Never Trumpers after Mueller

For much of the past two years, this constellation of Republican lawmakers, conservative pundits and policy wonks, and GOP operatives had hoped Mueller would help rid them of, as they saw him, the crude political rube who had hijacked their beloved Grand Old Party. Some campaigned loudly for Trump’s demise, on Twitter and cable news. Others, however, operated mostly in the shadows. Like dissidents in an authoritarian country, they held secret meetings in a conference room of a little-known Washington think tank called the Niskanen Center. About once a month, they shared private polling data on Trump, passed along the names of political activists around the country who opposed the president and, perhaps most important, discussed potential primary challengers who could lead the “Dump Trump” movement.

Just weeks before the Mueller news, a group of lobbyists, congressional aides and policy experts from conservative think tanks spent an entire session talking about how to sell free trade and fiscal restraint to voters in the age of Trump. Now, these Republicans face a reinvigorated and vengeful standard-bearer, fully embraced by a party establishment no longer encumbered by the looming threat of a criminal indictment from Mueller. “The cloud hanging over President Trump has been removed,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham.

Publicly, the Never Trumpers say their unlikely cause endures. “This was never about Mueller or the Russia investigation,” says Rick Wilson, the Florida-based Republican operative and author of Everything Trump Touches Dies. “It’s about his unfitness for office.” “He’s incompetent and really bad for the party,” says Mike Murphy, the veteran GOP strategist, “and he’ll hand the country over to a party that’s going full socialist.”

“We need to see the Mueller report,” conservative commentator Bill Kristol wrote on Twitter, echoing Democrats on Capitol Hill. The evidence “will confirm he ought not be re-elected.”

But privately, members of this group acknowledge the dream is dying, if not already dead, with the herculean task of bringing down an incumbent president from inside the party now infinitely harder, if not impossible. Yes, a bevy of other investigations in state and federal prosecutors’ offices, as well as in Congress, are proceeding on everything from hush money payments to money laundering to illegal donations, and Mueller’s confidential report—Barr has vowed to release a public version in the coming weeks—may yet contain damaging details about Trump’s conduct.

But for the moment, it seems the single, largest bullet is gone. After nearly two years of Russia-gate frenzy and impeachment talk, Democratic leaders are moving on, attempting to pivot to health care and other kitchen-table issues. And Trump and the GOP are now the ones on the offensive, with the president pledging to investigate the “treasonous” people behind the Mueller “witch hunt.” A Reuters/Ipsos poll found Trump’s job approval jumping 4 points, to 43 percent, in the wake of the findings.

Some Never Trumpers asked for anonymity to speak freely post-Mueller, an acknowledgment of the changing political currents and Trump’s new lease on life. “I’m not going to deny that this is a win for Trump, a big win. And it makes our job harder,” said one leading Never Trumper. “He’ll get a bounce from this. The question is: Will he piss it away by being Trump?”

Dumping Trump has always been a quixotic effort. Throughout his tumultuous presidency, he has remained overwhelmingly popular among registered Republicans. His approval rating among party members is 84 percent, according to a recent Harvard CAPS/Harris poll.

GOP critics, like former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, soon found their own campaigns foundering when they questioned the president, his positions or his appointees. “This is very much the president’s party,” Flake, who decided not to run for re-election to Congress last year, told The Hill. “When you look at the base and look at those who vote in Republican primaries, I think that is clear.”

But while much of the rank and file who supported others in the 2016 primaries got over their shock—winning the general election tends to heal a lot of political wounds—a significant minority didn’t, haunted by the image of Trump accepting the Republican nomination to the sounds of the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”



Leftists never change

I came across the following report from 2003.  It could have been written yesterday.  The Left never can handle reality

Last year, at the ancient Valhalla Cinema in Glebe, the veteran documentary-maker David Bradbury premiered his latest film, Fond Memories of Cuba - and got more than he bargained for.

It was a Friday night. The theatre was full. Bradbury was there to answer questions afterwards. He's a '70s lefty but he witnessed, during several visits to Cuba, the gradual failure of the revolution which has been controlled by the same dictator for more than 40 years. The documentary concludes with the aggressive breaking up of a pro-democracy demonstration by police.

As the credits rolled, the insults flew. "Shame!" cried one woman as Bradbury walked on stage. "Bullshit!" shouted someone else amid other catcalls. A lively colloquium followed in which Bradbury had to defend his progressive credentials from attack by hard left throw-backs who can always rationalise away why the "people" don't need free elections.

Warning: never stand between inconvenient facts and utopian ideals. And never, ever, underestimate the power of preconceptions. Especially during the heightened reality of wartime.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


15 April, 2019

Obedience to the authorities and Romans 13

Romans 13 was for a long while held to support the divine right of kings.  But does it? It is certainly a command to be a good citizen and one cannot easily object to that.  But the idea that one should just accept anything that any government does is surely troubling.  Even more troubling is the idea that all governments, however bad, were put there by God. So let's see where Paul may have been coming from in writing that.

I have previously suggested here and here that some of the commands to Christians given in the NT were not meant as instructions for all times but rather for the very transitional period when the first flowering of Christianity was in danger of being crushed under the feet of the established authorities, mostly Roman but also more local.  The imperative was for the faith to survive but once that was firmly in place "normal" rules could apply. That helps us to understand the most disobeyed instruction in the Bible:

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Matthew 5:38

That advice runs against all nature.  No-one naturally behaves that way.  It is anti-instinctual. So it must have been designed for a very special occasion.  And it was.

It seems to me that these were instructions Jesus gave in full knowledge of the hostility that already existed towards him and the great danger his followers would be in after his death.  He wanted his teachings to survive his death and the disciples were to be the vehicle for that survival.  So he gave them instructions which would minimize hostility towards them.

How do we know that these instructions were for a transitional period only?  Easy.  Many of his other instructions were quite martial. "He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.".  Again: "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword".  And Christ himself drove the moneychangers out of the temple. And when Simon Peter cut off the servant's ear with his sword, Jesus did not say that the use of the sword was wrong.  He simply said that the time was wrong for that -- John 18:10.

And Romans 13 is clearly an elaboration of the instructions in Matthew 5. Paul was a good apostle. It reads:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.  For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.  For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.  Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.  This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.  Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Paul was writing in the very beginning of the Christian expansion and there was already hostility to their "strange" beliefs in the Greek cities where they were mostly to be found.  So he wanted to instill attitudes of non-resistance to make them safe.  That both he and Christ saw non-resistance as powerful was in fact amazing wisdom for the time.  It was brilliant advice on how to survive hostility and danger. Psychologists these days teach "de-escalation techniques" for dealing with conflict but Christ and Paul taught such techniques 2,000 years ago.

But are we certain yet that the desire for a peaceful life lay behind those instructions?  I think there is one more piece of evidence that clinches it. It is in I Timothy 2:

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty

So it is clear that deflection of aggression from the authorities is the single theme of Matthew 5, Romans 13 and 1 Timothy 2. And in those times deflecting hostility was vital if the faith was to survive.  Being known as good people would help them survive.

But what if the survival of the faith is no longer threatened, as is the case in the modern world, with its billions of Christians?  I think in that case the instructions continue as useful tools but they are not something mandatory.  They were instructions for a particular time and circumstance.  So we may no longer use swords but armed self-defense is allowed. But Christian forgiveness still is a wise response to many conflict situations in 1 to 1 relationships.

So was Paul pulling a fast one in telling us that all governments were ordained by God?  Was he telling a white lie in order to get the early Christians to behave?

He was not.  He was simply re-iterating the doctrine of predestination, as found in Ephesians chapter 1.  John Calvin was much taken by that doctrine and did much to elaborate it and it survives as an official doctrine of Presbyterian churches to this day.  It is even preached in the 39 Articles of Religion of the Church of England, albeit in a rather strangled way. That does however raise new issues so I will leave a discussion of it for another day.


Leftists Whipping Themselves Into a Jacobin Frenzy

David Limbaugh

There's no question that animosity exists on both sides of the political spectrum, but have you noticed how personal it has become for many on the left?

It is disturbing how intolerant and filled with rage leftist extremists have become, and how many more people are falling into the category of leftist extremism.

But what concerns me as much as this pattern of ill will and abuse from leftists is that it is unchecked by their peers and often applauded. Instead of encouraging people to appeal to the better angels of their nature, they are beckoning them to summon their demons and become part of a mob mentality — as if we're witnessing a replay of events that preceded the French Revolution.

It's unsettling that they rationalize their misbehavior as justified, even warranted. They've convinced themselves that conservatives' views are so noxious they've forfeited any expectation to be treated civilly and they deserve to be shunned, muzzled and boycotted — especially members of minority groups who have strayed from the reservation. They are "garbage people," "deplorables" and subhumans who are not entitled to equal rights, let alone decent treatment.

Leftist mobs violently protest conservative campus speakers and harass conservatives such as Kirstjen Nielsen, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Pam Bondi, Mitch McConnell and Stephen Miller in public places. Conservatives are censored on Twitter and Facebook. Google, the mainstream media and other social media platforms refused to run ads for the pro-life movie "Unplanned," and Twitter often censors pro-life tweets.

Conservative students are shamed into silence on college campuses while their ideas are demonized in the surreal cause of promoting diversity and inclusiveness. Leftist students vandalize pro-conservative posters and seek to eradicate tributes to conservatives — such as the efforts by students at the Savannah College of Art and Design to remove the name of Savannah native Justice Clarence Thomas from one of the campus buildings because he is "anti-woman." Anti-woman? Just how crazed are these people?

Students at the University of California, Davis protested a photo of a heroic slain woman police officer holding a Thin Blue Line flag as "anti-black" and "disrespectful." For some, nothing is sacred, and to those lusting after another opportunity to be offended, everything is a provocation. Leftist protestors pepper-sprayed a group of high school kids meeting about free markets and the Constitution. Though many were hospitalized, the media ignored the event.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio impotently called for a boycott of Chick-fil-A's Manhattan restaurant because the chain owner, Dan Cathy, is a Christian who believes in traditional marriage. If you oppose Obamacare, it's not because you believe there is a better way to improve health care but because you don't want children to have access to it — as Jimmy Kimmel unapologetically asserted. If you support Social Security reform, you want old people to get sick or die. If you favor border enforcement, you are a xenophobe and a racist. If you oppose abortion, you want to deprive women of their autonomy and health care.

This is the kind of pervasive demonization of conservatives that leftists are engaging in every day, which leads to the horrific mentality that it's OK to deprive them of their rights and treat them as second-class citizens.

Luke O'Neil, in an op-ed in The Boston Globe, expressed regret that when he waited on Bill Kristol at a restaurant 10 years ago, he did not insult him and spoil his food with urine and blood. Ironically, Kristol is one of President Trump's most ardent critics today, but a decade ago he was the bane of the left because of his support for America's war with Iraq. O'Neil remembered having served Kristol when he learned that Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielson resigned her post this week. He fondly recalled her being "shame-marched" out of a restaurant nine months ago because of the Trump policy that allegedly separates families at the southern border. He suggested that waiters would have been serving America if they had tampered with Nielsen's food. Far from being sorry for his piece, O'Neil later tweeted in response to conservative criticism, "People who carry out policies of ethnic cleansing or cheerlead for disastrous wars leading to tens of thousands of suffering or dead should not expect to be able to show their faces in public anymore thank you for understanding this basic premise."

Such unbridled personal nastiness reminded me of liberal writer Jonathan Chait's admission in 2003 that he loathed then-President Bush. What was most striking was not his antipathy but that he knew he risked nothing in sharing it — that the people whose respect he cared about would approve and think no less of him. He wrote: "I hate President George W. Bush. There, I said it. ... I hate the inequitable way he has come to his economic and political achievements and his utter lack of humility (disguised behind transparently false modesty) at having done so. ... I hate the way he walks — shoulders flexed, elbows splayed out from his sides like a teenage boy feigning machismo. I hate the way he talks — blustery self-assurance masked by a pseudopopulist twang. I even hat the things that everybody seems to like about him."

The left's extremism — its embracing of ever nuttier ideas, its sanctimonious hubris, its routine descent into personal ugliness, its relishing of incivility, its willful censorship, its discrimination against Christians and its dehumanization of conservatives and Trump supporters — is growing at an alarming pace. I pray that adults remaining on that side of the aisle can someday regain control of this careening leftist political juggernaut.



50 year low in unemployment insurance claims

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement on the latest unemployment claims numbers:

“Job growth in the Trump economy continues at an incredible pace with both the weekly unemployment insurance claims and what is considered the more reliable four week rolling average of the claims both reached levels not seen since 1969, when the workforce was approximately half the size compared to today.

“Unemployment insurance claims measure how many people are being displaced in the economy, and the 2019 Trump economy has fewer claims than 1969, the year that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first walked on the moon. The fact that America is going back to work is not a secret, but this record low of people facing the fear and uncertainty of being let go from their job is remarkable.”



I Wanted to Help Google Make AI More Responsible. Instead I Was Treated With Hostility

Kay Coles James

Google decided this year to create an advisory council that would help guide the company in the responsible development of artificial intelligence. When the company asked me to join, I agreed, welcoming the opportunity to contribute my perspective as a conservative leader — and to test my thinking with council members who might not necessarily agree with me. Together, I thought, we might be able to make valuable contributions as Google explores an important new frontier of technology.

Like many businesses and nonprofits, my organization, the Heritage Foundation, relies on Google search, YouTube and other Google products to promote our work, to reach audiences and to advance our mission. We’re also concerned about reports alleging that Google suppresses conservative voices and politically skews its search-engine results. It was reassuring to be invited to participate in the AI advisory council — a sign that Google wanted to treat a wide range of viewpoints fairly as it develops new technology. Given the massive control exerted by social media and Internet companies over the information Americans use every day, such broadmindedness is essential.

Unfortunately, some individuals inside and outside the company didn’t share this appreciation for a diversity of viewpoints. That became clear last month after the members of the advisory council were announced. Some Google employees were so alarmed by the prospect of a conservative invading their playground that they started a petition to have me removed from the panel. It gained more than 2,500 signatures.

But the Google employees didn’t just attempt to remove me; they greeted the news of my appointment to the council with name-calling and character assassination. They called me anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ and a bigot. That was an odd one, because I’m a 69-year-old black woman who grew up fighting segregation.

Last week, less than two weeks after the AI advisory council was announced, Google disbanded it. The company has given in to the mentality of a rage mob. How can Google now expect conservatives to defend it against anti-business policies from the left that might threaten its very existence?

I was deeply disappointed to see such a promising idea abandoned, but the episode was about much more than just one company’s response to intolerance from the self-appointed guardians of tolerance.

It was symptomatic of where America is heading. Whether in the streets or online, angry mobs that heckle and threaten are not trying to change hearts and win minds. They’re trying to impose their will through intimidation. In too many corners of American life, there is no longer room for disagreement and civil discourse. Instead, it’s agree or be destroyed.

My fellow advisory-council members have now been deprived of the opportunity to question me about what they might see as the contradiction of my policy views and my absolute unconditional acceptance of every member of the human family. They may not have agreed with me, but they would have understood me better — and I, them. With that, we would have had the opportunity to work together to make better public policy on an exceedingly critical issue.

I believe there are many opportunities for a civil discussion of religious values and how they conflict with other values. Some on the left are willing to engage in such an open-minded debate. But too often those on the left are turning into the very thing they say they despise, using hate and stereotyping to try to silence anyone they regard as an enemy. The public square is becoming so poisonous that good liberals and good conservatives must be wary of coming together to discuss ideas and seek solutions.

Being attacked is not new for me. As a black, conservative, pro-life, evangelical woman, I have spent most of my life being called names and being denounced for my beliefs.

In 1961, at age 12, I was one of two-dozen black children who integrated an all-white junior high school in Richmond. White parents jeered me outside the school, and inside, their kids stuck me with pins, shoved me in the halls and pushed me down the stairs. So when the group of Google employees resorted to calling names and making false accusations because they didn’t want a conservative voice advising the company, the hostility was reminiscent of what I felt back then — that same intolerance for someone who was different from them.

Uncivil discourse is an illness in America. We can do better — we must strive to show the world what a pluralistic society should be, a place where people of different faiths and viewpoints are willing to engage and willing to listen to others, especially when they bring different ideas to the table. From those conversations come a deeper understanding and better policies — and ultimately a better, more civil society for all.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


14 April, 2019

Obama judges have cleared the way for Trump judges to block completely all future Democrat initiatives

Like Harry Reid, the Left generally seem to be oblivious of the danger in setting a bad precedent.  They are incapable of thinking ahead. If Obama judges can regularly block Trump on shallow grounds -- see below -- Trump judges may decide in future that they can rule on frivolous grounds too. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Trump can appeal to SCOTUS for relief from lower courts but the majority of SCOTUS judges are now Trump judges too -- so would be unlikely to give Democrats any recourse.  All new legislating could grind to a halt, which would be a very good thing from a conservative viewpoint. Only Republican-sponsored legislation would get through the judiciary

Last fall, Chief Justice John Roberts asserted that “we do not have Obama judges” after President Donald Trump suggested that we did. While it is understandable that Roberts would like for the courts to be viewed as non-partisan, the fact of the matter is that President Trump is right: we do have Obama judges. We have seen that fact demonstrated as these judges have repeatedly sought to thwart the President’s agenda.

One area in which Obama judges have obstructed is immigration, and that obstruction started early in the Trump Administration. In April of 2017, William Orrick, a federal district judge in California, blocked Trump’s executive order defunding sanctuary cities. Last November, the uber-liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Administration must continue the unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows illegal immigrants who arrived as children to stay here. Two of the three judges who made the decision were Obama appointees: John Owens and Jacqueline Nguyen. (The third judge was a Clinton appointee.) That same month, Jon Tigar, a federal district judge in California, blocked Trump’s policy requiring asylum seekers to apply at ports of entry.

Three Obama judges have blocked the inclusion of a simple citizenship question in the 2020 census — even though such a question was asked in the past. These three judges are Jesse Furman, a federal district judge in New York, George Hazel, a federal district judge in Maryland, and Richard Seeborg, a federal district judge in California. In addition, earlier this week, Seeborg ruled against Trump’s policy of having asylum seekers wait in Mexico while their cases are considered by immigration courts.

Obama judges have also weighed in against Trump’s energy policies. For example, Brian Morris, a federal district judge in Montana, blocked construction of the Keystone XL pipeline last November. The Trump Administration has approved construction of the $8 billion pipeline, which would create thousands of jobs. Once complete, the pipeline could transport over 800,000 barrels of oil a day to the Gulf Coast for refining.

When not opposing pipelines, Obama judges can be expected to halt drilling. Rudolph Contreras, a federal district judge in Washington, D.C., blocked drilling on federal lands in Wyoming last month because the Administration “did not sufficiently consider climate change.” Soon thereafter, Sharon Gleason, a federal district judge in Alaska, reinstated Obama’s ban on offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean and parts of the northern Atlantic Ocean last month.

Obama judges have also meddled in health care policy. In January, Wendy Beetlestone, a federal district judge in Pennsylvania, and Haywood Gilliam, a federal district judge in California, blocked Trump’s regulation designed to free religious businessowners from an Obamacare requirement that they pay for contraceptives that violate their beliefs.  James Boasberg, a federal district judge in Washington, D.C., has blocked two states from requiring able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work. In June of last year, Boasberg blocked Kentucky from implementing work requirements; and, last month, he blocked Arkansas’s Medicaid work requirements.

Fortunately, a little over two years into the Trump presidency, 96 judges have been confirmed, and more than 60 judicial nominees are awaiting confirmation. With the confirmation of Paul Matey to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals last month, Republican-appointed judges now make up a majority on that court, which has jurisdiction over Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Three other circuit courts are close to flipping from having a Democrat-appointed majority to having a Republican-appointed majority. Finally, not a moment too soon, Republican Senators voted last week to speed up the confirmation process for district court judges after years of Democrat Senators dragging out debate on nominees to waste time.

While these and other Obama judges seem to view it as their job to resist the duly-elected President, the good news is that Trump and Senate Republicans are making good progress at changing the composition of the courts. It’s about time.



Democrats Still Kissing Sharpton's Ring

Several 2020 Dems showed up at Al's confab to foment racial division.

Several top Democrats flew into Manhattan over the weekend for the traditional airing of grievances at the “Reverend” Al Sharpton’s National Action Network convention. First, let’s take a moment to remember how Sharpton came to fame.

In 1987, Sharpton created the template for hate-crime hoaxes like Jussie Smollett’s when he stumped for 15-year-old Tawana Brawley in a rape case. She claimed six white men, including some police officers, raped and assaulted her. Sharpton made it into a larger tale about white racism, but a grand jury found “overwhelming evidence” that she fabricated the story. Meanwhile, Sharpton & Co. ended up being ordered to pay $345,000 for defamation of the prosecutor.

Sharpton is a philandering tax cheat and racial con artist who’s made a fortune extorting businesses and individuals over concocted racism, all while hosting radio and TV shows, and even advising Barack Obama in the White House.

In short, he exemplifies the person Booker T. Washington decried, when he wrote in 1911, “There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”

Yet 2020 Democrats are still kissing his ring. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Beto O'Rourke, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, Andrew Yang, and Pete Buttigieg all showed up for Sharpton’s confab.

Frontrunner Sanders declared, “It gives me no pleasure to tell you that we have a president today who is a racist, who is a sexist, who is a homophobe, who is a xenophobe, and who is a religious bigot. I wish I did not have to say that. But that is the damn truth. … During Donald Trump’s presidency we have seen a sharp rise in hate crimes and that rise comes as this country continues to be plagued by institutional racism and racial inequality.”

Warren peddled another hoax about the supposedly “stolen” gubernatorial election in Georgia and Republican election fraud in general: “Massive voter suppression prevented Stacey Abrams from becoming the rightful governor of Georgia. … They know that if all the votes are counted, we’ll win every time.” Democrats want certain constituents to believe that every Republican victory is due to fraud.

Socialist heartthrob Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez urged Democrats to pursue an “agenda of reparations” to go along with other unearned giveaways to win votes.

All in all, the Democrat remarks were befitting an event put on by a charlatan like Sharpton. They claim to be for unity when all they do is sow division.


Democrats have a lot to be worried about

And lying may not get them out of it

“I think spying did occur.” That’s Attorney General William Barr’s bombshell assessment of allegations the government was conducting surveillance of the Trump campaign.

Democratic senators were taken aback by Barr’s testimony before the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. They asked him to clarify his statement. Barr didn’t backtrack. “The question is whether it was adequately predicated,” Barr said, adding, “I have an obligation to make sure that government power is not abused.”

Democrats desperately want to keep the media narrative on the Mueller report. By obsessing over when, how and how much of the testimony behind it will be released, Democrats are trying to divert attention from an issue of far greater significance.

 “Congress is usually very concerned with intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies staying in their proper lane,” Barr stated matter-of-factly.

There are now serious questions about whether intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies were “staying in their proper lane.”

These are some of the questions Barr wants answers to:

Exactly how did the Russia hoax begin?

Who first claimed that the Trump campaign conspired with the Kremlin?

Who ordered confidential informants contact members of the Trump campaign?

Did Halper — or other informants — provide the FBI with the pretext for a counterintelligence investigation and the wiretapping of a presidential campaign?

What other Americans were targets of electronic surveillance? Sen. Lindsey Graham has asked, “of the 1,950 [electronic surveillance information] collections on American citizens, how many of them involved presidential candidates, members of Congress from either party and if these conversations were unmasked, who made the request?”

Did people in the Obama administration listen in to these conversations? Was there a politicizing of the intelligence gathering processes?

There are serious concerns that the Russia collusion investigation is the result of misconduct at the highest levels of the FBI and Department of Justice.

House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) is preparing to send eight criminal referrals to the Department of Justice concerning alleged misconduct from “Watergate wannabes” during the Trump-Russia investigation, including leaks of “highly classified material” and conspiracies to lie to Congress and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court.

There’s the matter of confidential informant Stefan Halper, who contacted Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. Halper has a history of working with intelligence agencies and infiltrating presidential campaigns.

There’s the matter of the Steele dossier, the opposition research document of unverified information (and disinformation) from Russian intelligence sources.

The dossier was paid for by the Clinton campaign, laundered through Obama State Department officials who gave it a thin sheen of veracity, and forwarded to the FBI. The FBI used that dossier to obtain warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court to wiretap the Trump campaign.

There’s the matter of the FBI using its counter-intelligence division to leak derogatory information that falsely implicated President Trump in the Russia collusion story.

There’s the matter of the wiretapping of American citizens whose identities were publicly revealed.

The special counsel did not investigate any of this. But Barr will.

The attorney general brought up the surveillance of Martin Luther King and antiwar groups in the Vietnam war era. “The generation I grew up in, which is the Vietnam War period, people were all concerned about spying on anti-war people and so forth by the government,” he said.

The misconduct by high-level officials at the Department of Justice and the FBI alleged in the Russia hoax are right out of the dirty tricks playbook the FBI and intelligence agencies used in the 1960s and 70s.

To refresh the memory of amnesiac Democrats, that playbook can be found in the final Senate Intelligence Committee’s report, “Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Book Two, Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans.”

What the committee wrote in 1976 is relevant today. “The Government has often undertaken the secret surveillance of citizens on the basis of their political beliefs … Investigations have been based upon vague standards whose breadth made excessive collection inevitable. Unsavory and vicious tactics have been employed” (page 5).

If we go down the list of “unsavory and vicious tactics” employed in the Russia hoax we find them detailed in the Senate report.

Informants infiltrating and framing enemies? Check.

“The most pervasive surveillance technique has been the informant … used against peaceful, law-abiding groups” (page 13). The pretext of looking for hostile foreign actors triggered investigations of Americans “engaged in lawful political activity [who] have been subjected to informant coverage and intelligence scrutiny.” (pages 175-176)

Compiling dossiers on enemies? Check.

Every president from FDR to Nixon used the FBI to dig up dirt on political enemies, including journalists (page 227), Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders.

Leak derogatory information to the media to manipulate public opinion and the political process? Check.

The FBI “affected the processes by which American citizens make decisions. … it distorted and exaggerated facts, made use of the mass media, and attacked [those] … it considered threats” (page 226).

As Barr told senators, congressional Democrats used to be concerned about abuses by our security agencies.

Now Democrats are guilty of perpetrating one of those abuses: “Intelligence investigations … continued for excessively long periods in efforts to prove negatives.” (pages 180 -182)

When the FBI found no evidence a key advisor to Martin Luther King was a communist sympathizer, “Using a theory of ‘guilty until proven innocent,’ FBI headquarters directed that the investigation continue.”

Having failed to find any evidence of collusion or obstruction, Congressional Democrats are more determined than ever to pursue open-ended investigations to prove a negative.

My suggestion to Democrats: While you’re waiting for Barr to deliver the Mueller report to you, read the Senate Select Committee’s report from 1976.

That will show you what you should be worried about.



Stacey Abrams Is Running on Stirring Up Racial Hostility

Speaking to a progressive group in Washington, Abrams declared that she won in 2018.  That has to come as news to everyone considering she was in Washington instead of the Governor’s Mansion last week.

Abrams then claimed that “black people faced hour-long lines — up to 4 hours — waiting to cast their ballots.” Her implication was that white voters did not face long lines.  Abrams has repeated done this since her loss.  In fact, white voters faced the same long lines as black voters.  The problems on Election Day transcended racial lines and had nothing to do with racial discrimination.

Abrams went on to clearly suggest the system was stacked against black voters and Republicans were doing it intentionally.  I have no doubt a lot of Democrats truly believe that.  The problem is this is a grievance fueled by distortions, misrepresentations, and lies.  It is Abrams’ path to 2022.  She intends to keep people as divided as possible with racial grievances.  If the state burns down in racial hostility, she will gladly serve as Governor of the ashes.

In fact, the pattern here is pretty interesting.  Of the 53,000 voters who got held up in the system for verifying voter registrations, 14,000 came from voter registration drives that Abrams conducted prior to the 2018 election.  Those registration forms were held because of wrong addresses, social security information, or other bad data.  Most importantly, the people supposedly affected have never come forward to fix their forms, which raises all sorts of questions about their legitimacy.

The voter lines on Election Day happened in counties controlled by Democrats.  Local government are responsible for conducting elections in Georgia and those counties failed to invest in new voting machines.  Republicans did not cause those long lines.  Additionally, some machines were secured in a federal facility as evidence in a federal court case filed by Democrats.  Even the laws Abrams complained about were laws enacted by Democrats in the late nineties.  Some of the Democrats who voted for those laws are still in the state legislature and Abrams herself made no effort to scrap those laws when she was in the legislature.

The pattern is actually pretty interesting.  Abrams, outside groups supporting Abrams, and Democrat officials created problems that caused long lines, delays in voter registration, purging of voter rolls, and rejection of absentee ballots.  Republicans, like Brian Kemp, simply complied with laws enacted by Democrats.  Once the problems occurred, Abrams and her acolytes then screamed loudly that Republicans were suppressing the vote in racially discriminatory manners.  It is no different than Wile E. Coyote complaining about falling in a hole he himself created to capture the Road Runner.

If Republicans had the audacity to raise these grievances, the media would have a field day with the hypocrisy.  But Abrams came close in 2018, closer than Beto O’Rourke against Ted Cruz in Texas.  So now Abrams is capitalizing on white liberal reporters’ guilt over failing to pay attention to her in 2018.  Those reporters who get outraged by the President exploiting grievances are giving her a pass.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


12 April, 2019

Bibi Scores Another Big Win

Left-wing Israeli TV broadcasters had stars in their eyes last night at 10 when the initial election results came in. They told us breathlessly that former chief of staff Benny Gantz’s Blue and White Party—the challenger to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s center-right coalition—had done phenomenally well and the elections and the leadership of the country were up for grabs.

But by Wednesday morning, with 97 percent of the votes counted, the same broadcasters had tired, glum faces. It turned out that Netanyahu—a providential leader who has done more than any other individual to turn 21st-century Israel into a phenomenal success story of economic growth and diplomatic and military weight on the world scene—had scored yet another dramatic win in his long, volatile, but essentially triumphant career.

True, Gantz’s Blue and White—a none-too-coherent assemblage of three smaller parties that included right-wingers, centrists, and left-wingers and tried the tack of vagueness and ambiguity in its election campaign—came through with 35 of the 120 seats in Israel’s Knesset (parliament). But Netanyahu’s Likud had tallied 35, too—up from 30 in the previous Knesset—and with the balance of the smaller parties clearly in the right's favor for a total of 65 seats, Netanyahu had come out decisively on top. And that’s despite corruption charges hanging over him and a predominantly hostile media.

Blue and White, moreover, could only reach its 35 votes by siphoning off mandates from two parties to its left, Labor and Meretz—which, according to the morning count, did miserably with 6 and 4 votes respectively. In the case of Labor—the historic party that led the country in its first decades under legendary figures like David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, and Moshe Dayan, and by the 1990s was engaging in a delusional “peace process” with the terrorist PLO—the depth of the defeat is unprecedented and resounding.

Another important point is that, if the right-wing bloc got 65 seats (and the total could still rise) to the left-wing bloc’s 55, even those figures are deceptive. As of the morning, 10 of the left’s 55 mandates came from two Arab parties. Those two parties, though—not because they’re Arab, but because they virulently oppose Israel’s existence as a Jewish state—are not relevant to any realistic calculation of Israeli coalitional strengths, and there was no chance that Gantz’s Blue and White would have included them in a coalition if it could have led one.

In other words, among the politically relevant voting public, the real results come out as another (like in the 2015 elections) landslide for the right. It’s made even more dramatic by the fact that Gantz, who called himself a “security hawk” and a “moderate capitalist,” tried to distance himself from the left and reassure Israelis that he was tough and realistic.

As for Netanyahu’s emergent coalition, two ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties, UTJ and Shas, had done well so far with 8 mandates each; the nationalist-Orthodox, strongly pro-settlement URWP had scored 5; and two secular-right parties, Israel Our Home and Kulanu, had 5 and 4 respectively. Still hanging in the balance was another pro-settlement, mixed religious-secular party, Naftali Bennett’s New Right—which, if it climbs to the required minimum of 4 seats, will make the governing coalition overwhelmingly big and stable.

What does it all mean? It means that the right-wing/religious sector of the Israeli Jewish population remains predominant and invincible. It means that the socialism of Israel’s early decades has been relegated to two none-too-relevant fringe parties. It means that with Gaza—fourteen years after Israel withdrew from it—remaining a serious security challenge of rocket fire, border riots, and incendiary balloons and kites, sane Israelis are not even contemplating withdrawals from the vastly larger West Bank that abuts Israel’s airport, capital city of Jerusalem, and heavily populated coastal plain.

And it means that a solid majority of Israelis appreciate Netanyahu’s strong and dynamic leadership and want to keep him at the helm—and that’s despite the unresolved corruption charges and an often viciously adversary media that is one of the last bastions of the old left. No doubt he faces significant challenges. A growing budget deficit needs to be tackled. Hamas and Hizballah remain security threats on Israel's borders. Most serious of all are their patron Iran's ongoing efforts to entrench itself in Syria and continued development of ballistic-missile and nuclear-weapons capabilities. But given his nonpareil energy, resolve, and skill, most Israelis know that Netanyahu is the right leader to contend with the challenges and overcome them.

Meanwhile, he faces a hearing on the corruption charges in the summer. The charges look dubious, and Israel has a long history of such allegations being quashed as the result of a hearing.



No, White-Supremacist Violence Is Not a Major Problem

The New York Times peddles a false narrative that violent white extremism is on the rise.

On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing that Democrats billed as an examination of “hate crimes, the impact white nationalist groups have on American communities, and the spread of white identity ideology.” It quickly became quite evident that the Democrats’ true intention for the hearing was to promote the mendacious narrative that “white extremism” is a major and growing problem — and President Donald Trump is supposedly the driving force behind it.

In a seemingly coordinated effort to advance this narrative, The New York Times last week ran an article claiming that “Attacks by White Extremists Are Growing.” The story highlighted the attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, where a self-proclaimed white supremacist murdered 50 people in an act of terror aimed at Muslims. The article then claimed that the Christchurch murderer “drew inspiration” from “an informal global network of white extremists whose violent attacks are occurring with greater frequency in the West.”

Once again we have a case of the narrative leading the story. It’s clear that the narrative the Times is pushing is that violence perpetrated by white supremacists is a serious and growing threat that is worse than people may believe. But do the facts support such a conclusion? Well, as is often the case with Leftmedia outlets like the Times, not so much.

The Times excluded several important contextualizing details, which immediately calls into question the reliability of the entire narrative. For example, no numbers were provided so as to establish the total number of extremist-related violent incidents globally. In 2017 alone, nearly 20,000 people were murdered by groups associated with radical Islamic extremists — a number not provided by the Times.

Meanwhile, the Times offers a nine-year timeline that notes 15 incidents of “white extremist” violence resulting in 194 people killed that were purportedly committed by individuals motivated by white racism. However, after a closer look into these attacks, one quickly finds that the motive of “white extremism” is not entirely clear … or even there at all.

As Seth Barron, writing for City Journal, observes, “Some of the most prominent killings … resist categorization as acts of white racial terror. Ali Sonboly, the son of Iranian Shi'ite Muslim immigrants and visibly a racial minority, carried out the 2016 Munich mall shooting. The 2016 Umpqua Community College shooting was carried out by a self-identified ‘mixed-race’ man, as was the 2014 Isla Vista massacre, whose perpetrator believed that being half-Chinese made him unattractive to women. The 2018 Toronto van massacre was perpetrated by a white man who declared that he was part of an ‘Incel Rebellion’ against the ‘Chads and Stacys’ of the world — in other words, he was angry that he could not get a girlfriend and was committed to overthrowing the ‘beautiful people.’ The killer mowed down pedestrians in Toronto’s business district at random. The Times’ inclusion of these four incidents calls into question the value of its diagnosis of ‘white extremist killers.’”

Finally, as The Wall Street Journal reports, “Since 1990, far-right extremists have killed 477 people in 214 attacks in the U.S., according to the crime data. A majority of the assaults targeted minorities, with 241 people dying in 170 attacks. (In the same period, the Global Terrorism Database records 31 far-right attacks with one or more deaths.)” In other words, violent attacks committed by “white extremists” are not on the rise — rather, the frequency of these violent hate crimes has remained relatively steady for the past 50 years. In any case, the crimes are dwarfed by attacks perpetrated by Islamofascists.


Creeping Theo-Progressivism: Radical Islam and the Radical Left

In 2018, the first two Muslim women elected to Congress – Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib – did so with the help of both Islamist and progressivist bases. For years, critics have thought the collaboration between Islamist groups and sections of the Left to be a cautious, temporary ideological alliance. In fact, a growing section of American Islamism has sincerely embraced progressivist politics, despite its clear contradictions with theocratic ideals.

Writing recently in the New York Times, Cato Institute fellow Mustafa Akyol arguesthat America's "Muslim community," far from campaigning for theocracy (as claimed by "Islamophobes"), is in fact being swarmed by a powerful, welcome "creeping liberalism."

On the face of it, it seems he has a point. Prominent Muslim voices lead Women's Marches in cities across America and argue for "intersectional feminism." Groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – just 10 years ago named by federal prosecutors as part of an enormous terror finance network – now spend a great deal of time publishing social media items about Black Lives Matter while also campaigning for "social justice," prison reform and higher minimum wages. Leading Muslim clerics are to be found praising Malcolm X as "our prince," and protesting Trump's immigration plans at the southern border. And a few Muslim campaigners even express solidarity with transgender and "queer" activists, and publicly dream, as the prominent Islamist-linked activist Linda Sarsour puts it, of "a world free of anti-black racism, islamophobia, xenophobia, antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism, sexism, and misogyny."

This is not, however, a broad creeping liberalism; it is, more specifically, a creeping progressivist narrative – and it is changing the face of American Islamism. But is this genuine progressivism? Or is this just part of the perennial debate among Islamists living in the West: in the effort to advance a theocratic agenda using lawful means, to what extent should Islamists dilute their message to fit Western political narratives?

Standing against the march of progress, Aykol observes, is a minority group of "conservative" Muslim clerics. He quotes a few from extreme Salafi circles, but there is in fact a much broader array of contending ideas among America's Sunni Muslims – and its Islamists – on the question of whether progressivist politics poses a threat or affords an opportunity.

Intra-Islamist Dissent

Many of those who oppose the progressive trend are not bearded Wahhabis in Arab dress. Ismail Royer, for instance, is a former jihadist who claims to have moderated and now works for the multi-faith Religious Freedom Institute in D.C. Although he claims to regard Islam as a "vehicle for social justice," he firmly rejects progressivism, and urges an Islamic alliance with conservative Christian movements – even writing pieces in Christian publications in support of the evangelical opposition to gay marriage.

Islamists will, however, find a limited supply of sympathy from American evangelicals. Sections of the Left, meanwhile, have a long history of welcoming Islamist activists into their tent. But it is the very eagerness of the Left to co-opt American Islam that concerns certain leading Islamists.

Traditional, purist Salafi and Wahhabi clerics condemn those modernist Salafistrying to "westernise Islam" by appealing to progressivist impressions of Islam. The modernist Salafis use progressive rhetoric about Islamophobia and the Black Lives Matter movement, but also warn about the dangers of support for feminism and homosexuality within Muslim Students Associations, which are supported and funded by organizations tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile, the Muslim Student Associations (when taking a break from those intersectional solidarity marches) debate fractiously whether to "de-platform" either the "regressive" Salafi clerics, or those extra-progressive Muslims who seem just a little too committed to working with Jewish groups or advocating for gay rights.

Duplicitous Embrace

There is no doubt that some of the more ascetic Islamists reject all ideological alliances. Some may engage in some barebones interfaith activities, but they do so while warning against accepting the "validity" of other religions and preaching that "Islam in the West is a resistance movement against totalitarian liberal ideology." (As Michel Houellebecq illustrates with alarming plausibility in his novel Submission, this line of thinking may end up appealing to those Western non-Muslims also frightened by the fast-growing progressivist movement and finding more than a few shared values with Islamist ideologues.)

But there are many, especially within modernist Salafi networks, who have observed the growth of political activist Islamist movements in America, such as the Muslim Brotherhood or Jamaat-e-Islami, and partly ascribe their success to the adoption of modish political trends. Much of the progressivist rhetoric that emanates from these modernist Salafis, however, is manifestly deceitful.

In their private sermons before Muslim audiences, modernist Salafi clerics rally against the evils of apostate ideologies. Yasir Qadhi, a leading cleric of the AlMaghrib Institute, for instance, denounces the theology of Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam (NOI) as heretical and "perverted." In public, however, Qadhi's clerical colleagues eulogize Malcom X – a progressivist darling -- and praise NOI leader Louis Farrakhan as a great radical hero. This may be ideologically incoherent, but it is tactically shrewd.

Other duplicity is more plainly apparent. The Texas-based imam Omar Suleiman, for instance, has been an active voice in the protests against the Trump administration's immigration. In March 2018, he was arrested at the Capitol after "civil disobedience" to demand "protection for young immigrant Dreamers." And yet before an Muslim audience, Suleiman has warned young girls, without condemnation, that if they are "promiscuous" they may be killed by a family member.

Or look at Islamist media: Al Jazeera's social media channel AJ+ broadcasts documentaries on transgender rights and the wickedness of misogyny, homophobia and other bigotries; while its Arabic parent station broadcasts sermons by Muslim Brotherhood clerics advocating the killing of gays, and offeringhusbands permission to beat their wives.

Some Islamists have sought to explain American Islamist institutions' partial-embrace of progressivism as a response to "Islamophobia." Shariq Siddiqui, an official of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), has written that "Islamophobia makes it difficult for ISNA and Muslim Americans to determine which positions are centered on their religious values and which positions are based on political necessity. ... For example, in 2003, ISNA was opposed to gay marriages, but now ISNA is part of a coalition working in favor of gay marriage."

Others have made it clear that non-Muslim progressivists are dispensable partners. As Counter Islamist Grid director Kyle Shideler recently discovered: newly-elected Virginia General Assembly Member Ibraheem Samirah (who was recently exposedas a virulent anti-Semite) has explicitly compared the Islamist alliance with progressivists to the decision of the Islamic prophet Muhammad "to form treaties with his enemies. He had to form alliances with people who weren't necessarily believers of his message, who would later on become people who would be his enemies." (Samirah also served as a senior campaign official for freshman Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib)

Intersectional Islamism

Nevertheless, an increasing number of clerics and Muslim thinkers have begun to regret their forays into progressivist politics. Leading modernist Salafi clerics such as Yasir Qadhi now appear deeply shocked that Muslim students have moved from carefully taking advantage of progressivist trends to openly supporting "LGBTQ" campaigns on campuses.

And indeed, at one end of the spectrum, there is a rising group of activists from Islamist circles who seem to believe in this fused progressivist-Islamist creed. Across America, branches of the Council on American-Islamic Relations are today staffed with young hijab-wearing graduates of Muslim Students Associations, who appear to have reconciled working for terror-linked extremists while also publishing transgender rights petitions on their social media accounts.

Notorious Islamist activist Linda Sarsour appears an earnest advocate of Islamist-progressivism, calling for (an ostensibly non-violent) "jihad" against Donald Trump, and quipping: "You'll know when you're living under Sharia Law if suddenly all your loans & credit cards become interest free. Sound nice, doesn't it?" In 2014, praising the fact that Saudi Arabia reportedly provides women with ten weeks of paid maternity leave, Sarsour denounced opponents of Saudi's ban on female drivers (which has since been lifted) and claimed that Saudi put the U.S to shame.

Sarsour is a harbinger of a broader trend. Whether American Islamist movements intended to embrace progressivism authentically or not, many Islamist groups are now so firmly entrenched in the progressive movement that a generation of young American Muslims is growing up convinced that the progressivist social justice and sexual identity narratives are intrinsic components of the Islamist agenda. No wonder some traditional Islamists speak out so forcefully against "liberal ideology," or caution against too tight an embrace of progressivist allies – their own radicalism is being supplanted.

American Islamists are conflicted. Some reject the embrace of left-wing politics entirely. Others clearly exploit progressivist organizations to advance their cause. And then there are some, a new generation of intersectional Islamists, who seem to have found a genuine way to advocate for, or warily justify, "queer"-friendly politics. It looks like the progressivist rhetoric of Islamist activists such as Sarsour, or politicians such as Ilhan Omar, is sincere – even if it seems patently confused and inconsistent to any rational observer.

This poses a new sort of threat. These intersectional Islamists – these theo-progressives – are part of a broader radical undertaking that has a much greater chance of imposing extremist ideas on American society than the Muslim Brotherhood or Wahhabis ever did.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


11 April, 2019

A Leftist obsession: Mr Trump is mentally damaged

Even during the primaries there were claims that Mr Trump was in some way mentally defective.  And there has been an absolute drumbeat of such accusations ever since.  The latest, by a John Gartner, is titled

"Trump's cognitive deficits seem worse. We need to know if he has dementia: Psychologist"  It appears in that august publication, "USA Today"

Dr. Gartner is a psychologist and a former assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine but I am a Ph.D. psychologist with a large array of published academic papers on mental health topics so I think I am in a good position to examine  his claims.

Gartner assembles many examples of "defects" in Trump's speech and rightly says that such defects are common in the speech of people with Alzheimer’s disease.  He shows that Trump rambles and mixes up his words.

So has he made his case? No. As Leftists normally do, he has ignored facts that do not suit him.  He has a conclusion he wants to come to and has ignored alternative explanations for the "evidence" he examines.

And the thing he ignores is a really gross omission: Elder speech.  Old people ramble and mix up their words. We all do as we get older.  Let me recycle something I said about that recently:

"Old people tend to forget their words and may use generic substitutes.  For instance, the lady in my life and I are both of Mr Trump's vintage and we  both listen to a lot of early classical music.  But one day she wanted to say something to me about a harpsichord, an instrument very familiar to us both.  But words failed her.  So she referred to it as "that piano thing".  Mr Trump's speech could well lack precision like that. He is 72. He could, for instance say "father" when he meant "grandfather". Mr Trump is squarely in the category of someone from whom elder speech can be expected.  

But being old does not make you mentally defective. Most of the world is ruled by old people. So they would appear in fact to be mostly seen as wise by their electors. 

But other politicians don't speak in the muddled way Trump does, you might say.  And that's true.  Because others almost invariably read pre-written words off a teleprompter, often words of great verbal skill.  It's not even their own words that most politicians are uttering in public speeches.  Mr Obama is a good example of that.  All his speeches were brilliantly polished.  But there were a few occasions when for some reason he was deprived of his teleprompter and on those occasions he made no sense at all. Some examples here and here of muddled Obama speech that Dr Gartner might like to review. And Mr Obama is a lot younger The Donald.

The biggest verbal horror Obama perpetrated to my mind when he referred to an army "corps" and pronounced it as "corpse". Quite gross. And as for grandiose speech, can you beat Obama's claim that his nomination for the Presidency was "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal"? (3 June 2008).  And for confusion, what about, ""We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."  It made sense to Obama's followers but Trump makes sense to his followers too.

Mr Trump is a very forthright politician.  He speaks his mind and he speaks it his way.  He does use a telepromter on some formal occasions but mostly he just lets it rip.  His followers like that.  They know they are hearing the real man, not some artificially contrived media creature who actually believes in nothing.  Mr Trump is no policy wonk but nor are most of his voters.

We had a political leader much like Mr Trump in my home State of Queensland, Premier Joh Bjelke Petersen.  He was a small farmer and spoke like one.  Media figures thought his rambling, disconnected speech made no sense at all.  But it made plenty of sense to his voters.  They kept him in office for nearly 20 years.  So 8 years of Trump would seem eminently feasible.

Even young public speakers make gaffes. Dr. Gartner should make allowances.


Bolsonaro in Israel: 'There Is No Doubt' Nazism Was Left-Wing Movement

After visiting Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum on April 3, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he agreed that Nazism -- the National Socialist German Worker's Party headed by Adolf Hitler -- was a left-wing movement, "there is no doubt."

Brazil's foreign minister, Ernesto Arujo, has often explained this historical fact about the National Socialists of the Third Reich. On Wednesday, as reported by the Daily Mail, reporters asked Bolsonaro if he agreed with his foreign minister and the conservative president said, "There is no doubt, right?"

Bolsonaro arrived in Israel on March 31 for a four-day visit and to help give a boost to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces a tough re-election fight on April 9.

Although Brazil is not yet ready to open an embassy in Jerusalem, Bolsonaro announced that his country would open a trade office there. The United States moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2017-2018.

As not a few historians in recent years have explained, Nazism (National Socialist Germany) and Communism (the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) were two sides of the same totalitarianism dedicated to building a utopia based on an atheistic ideology.

In Nazi Germany, the state targeted people based on race -- Jews, gypsies, non-Aryans -- and in the Soviet Union the state targeted people based on class -- bourgeoise, kulaks, monarchists.

Prof. Thomas Sowell, an economist and prolific author and syndicated columnist, states, "Back in the 1920s, however, when fascism was a new political development, it was widely — and correctly — regarded as being on the political left. Jonah Goldberg's great book Liberal Fascism cites overwhelming evidence of the fascists' consistent pursuit of the goals of the left, and of the left's embrace of the fascists as one of their own during the 1920s.

"Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left.

"... What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people — like themselves — need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat. The left's vision is not only a vision of the world, but also a vision of themselves, as superior beings pursuing superior ends."

In his book, Intellectuals and Society: Revised and Expanded Edition, Sowell writes, "In short, the notion that Communists and Fascists were at opposite poles ideologically was not true, even in theory, much less in practice. As for similarities and differences between these two totalitarian movements and liberalism, on the one hand, or conservatism on the other, there was far more similarity between these totalitarians’ agendas and those of the left than with the agendas of most conservatives.

"For example, among the items on the agendas of the Fascists in Italy and/or the Nazis in Germany were (1) government control of wages and hours of work, (2) higher taxes on the wealthy, (3) government-set limits on profits, (4) government care for the elderly, (5) a decreased emphasis on the role of religion and the family in personal or social decisions and (6) government taking on the role of changing the nature of people, usually beginning in early childhood.

"This last and most audacious project has been part of the ideology of the left—both democratic and totalitarian—since at least the eighteenth century, when Condorcet and Godwin advocated it, and it has been advocated by innumerable intellectuals since then, as well as being put into practice in various countries, under names ranging from 're-education' to 'values clarification.'"

For more on the ideological and political similarities between National Socialism and Soviet Communism, see The Soviet Story.



Crazy Indian far-leftist shafts Seattle

Leftist hate directed at big corporations does not go down well, not in NYC and not in Seattle

In the latest drama between Amazon.com and the city of Seattle, Amazon confirmed Wednesday that it will be moving thousands of its employees out of Seattle and across the lake to near by Bellevue, WA. Revealed first by Geekwire and confirmed by Amazon, the company plans to move their worldwide operations team to Bellevue starting this month, and have several thousand moved by 2023.

Amazon has had a contentious relationship with Seattle for some time now. Last year, socialist city councilmember, Kshama Sawant, targeted Amazon with a bill which proposed a $500 per employee “head tax” which large employers in the city would have to pay. The amount was reduced down to $275 per person and ultimately defeated when other councilmembers looked down the road a little to consider the possible economic ramifications of chasing all so much economic activity (and potential taxes) out of Seattle.

It was during this time, while the bill was being debated, that Amazon brought to a halt to further expansion in Seattle. Not to be daunted, Councilmember Sawant angrily called Amazon a “bully” and accused them of holding jobs “hostage.” It was after this confrontation that Amazon, in a similar move to Boeing relocating its headquarters out of the state, announced it was looking elsewhere to build a second headquarters.

In sharp contrast to Seattle city council’s outright hostility to the company, Bellevue city mayor John Chelminiak said, “We’re excited by today’s announcement that Amazon plans to expand its presence in Bellevue.” In a statement, Amazon noted Bellevue’s “business-friendly environment.”

When Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan was asked for her reaction, she attempted to spin the news as well as a politician could when she claimed, “I think that it is a good thing for Seattle, a good thing for Bellevue.” Yes. A city chasing jobs away is always a good thing, right?

At the moment I think everyone’s wondering how long before Amazon moves out of Seattle entirely. It’s good they realize they don’t need to stay in an abusive relationship.



Obama defends assimilation, says immigrants should ‘learn the language’

The American Left has lurched so far Left that Obama is now a moderate

Former President Barack Obama defended the concept of “assimilation” and called for “some levels of adaptation” from incoming immigrants.

During a segment on the topic of immigration at a Saturday town hall event for the Obama Foundation in Berlin, Obama pushed back against the prevailing notion that “assimilation of newcomers to the existing culture is somehow betrayal or a denial of people’s heritage.”

“We are still wired to only be able to process knowing about 150 people in our brains,” Obama said. “So now suddenly we are in cities with strangers we don’t know and we are asked to trust them, and it goes against some of our impulses.”

Calling for a “humane, intelligent, thoughtful, orderly immigration process that is grounded in our better selves,” the former U.S. president emphasized that the job of “reducing fear on the part of people who are already there … requires some levels of adaptation from the people who are coming in.” (RELATED: Tucker Carlson: America’s Elites Want ‘Immigration Without Limit’)

Obama then defended the concept of assimilation, particularly learning the language of one’s host country:

And so some of the assimilation that inevitably takes place is gonna take a little bit longer, but some of those principles still apply, and I worry sometimes as we think about how to deal with the immigration issue we think that any moves towards assimilation of newcomers to the existing culture is somehow betrayal or a denial of people’s heritage or what have you. The truth of the matter is that if you’re going to have a coherent, cohesive society then everybody has to have some agreed upon rules, and there’s gonna have to be some accommodations that everybody makes, and that includes the people who are newcomers.

The question is, are those fair? Should we want to encourage newcomers to learn the language of the country they’re moving to? Of course. Does that mean they can never use their own language. No. Of course it doesn’t mean that, but it’s not racist to say if you’re gonna be here then you should learn the language of the country you just arrived at, because we need to have some sort of common language in which all of us can work and learn and understand each other.

Pushing back at what he called the “clearly racist motives of some” on the issue, the former president also said “we can’t label everybody who is disturbed by immigration as racist,” calling it a “self-defeating tactic.”



Sanders too counts as a moderate these days

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders reiterated his longstanding opposition to open borders saying there is "a lot of poverty" and the U.S. cannot take "people from all over the world."

Sanders, who faced criticism on immigration during his 2016 presidential campaign, made the remarks on Sunday at a town hall in Iowa, according to The Washington Post.

"I'm afraid you may be getting your information wrong," Sanders said in response to a question from the audience as to why he supported open borders. "I think what we need is comprehensive immigration reform."

"Oh my god, there's a lot of poverty in this world, and you're going to have people from all over the world," Sanders continued. "I don't think that's something that we can do at this point. Can't do it."

Although the senator has generally supported a pathway to citizenship to citizenship and the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Sanders has diverged from liberal orthodoxy on the economics of migration.

Sanders elaborated on those views during an interview with Vox shortly after announcing his first presidential run. The septuagenerian senator was asked if he believed global poverty could be eradicated by "sharply raising the level of immigration" to the U.S., perhaps even to the point of "open borders." Sanders castigated the notion as a "right-wing" plot hatched by the Koch brothers.

"It would make everybody in America poorer—you're doing away with the concept of a nation-state, and I don't think there's any country in the world that believes in that," Sanders said. He added that "right-wing people… would love" open borders because it would "bring in all kinds of people" willing to "work for $2 or $3 an hour."

Those comments and Sander's efforts to kill comprehensive immigration reform in 2007 fueled Hillary Clinton's victories in heavily Latino states during the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries.

It is unclear if Sanders's stance on immigration will prove a hindrance again in 2020. Since President Donald Trump took office, Democrats have clamored to create a contrast on immigration and border security. The party's elected officials and activists have endorsed the abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, amnesty for more than 11 million illegal aliens, and less stringent border controls. Just last week, former secretary of housing and urban development Julian Castro, one of Sanders's 2020 competitors, unveiled an immigration plan that would remove criminal penalties for individuals that enter the U.S. illegally.

Sanders has yet to release his own immigration proposal.



Mick Jagger Gets Healthcare in US, Not UK

Legendary British rocker and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger’s upcoming hospital discharge after his surgery last week highlights the beauty of free market health care.

One day after Jagger reportedly underwent a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) on Thursday, he was already feeling well enough to comment on social media.

He received what a medical professional called a “miracle procedure” at a New York facility. Although he hasn’t confirmed his reason for treatment in the United States, apparently he “Can’t Get No Satisfaction” from the UK’s single-payer National Health Service (NHS).



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


10 April, 2019

Mo Brooks Was Right About Nazis, Socialists And Democrats

Rep. Mo Brooks, Alabama

Let’s stipulate up front that the Holocaust was a singular evil that was perpetrated against the Jewish people and that the habit, especially among liberals, of using the epithet “Nazi” against every political opponent denigrates and diminishes the singularity of that evil.

That said, Nazism or National Socialism, is a political philosophy that hasn’t been exterminated, and its evil continues to find its way into today’s politics in often unseen and insidious ways.

Principled limited government constitutional conservative Rep. Mo Brooks (AL-5), on Monday — the day after attorney general William Barr submitted his summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation report — drew from the writings of Adolph Hitler, the foundational leader of National Socialism, to attack congressional Democrats and the "fake news media" as having lied throughout special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe.

"A 'big lie' is a political propaganda technique made famous by Germany's national socialist German Workers Party," Brooks said on the House floor according to reporting by Rebecca Shabad and Marianna Sotomayor of NBC News. "For more than two years, socialist Democrats and their fake news media allies, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, Washington Post and countless others have perpetrated the biggest political lie, con, scam and fraud in American history."

Brooks continued by reading on the House floor a passage from Hitler's book Mein Kampf about the utility of "colossal untruths,” saying that he was going to quote "from another socialist who mastered 'big lie' propaganda to a maximum and deadly effect."

Democrats howled with faux outrage at the comparison and some Left-leaning Jewish groups complained, “It's unconscionable for a member of Congress to demonize an opposing party by claiming it's comparable to Nazism," and demanded Brooks apologize.

The problem for Democrats in this case is that Brooks was right about Nazism, Socialism and today’s Democratic Party.

Socialism, in all its forms, Venezuelan, Cuban, Soviet Communism and the National Socialism of Adolph Hitler has always relied on the “big lie” to succeed politically. And it has always relied on the “big lie” and terror to maintain its power.

The “big lie” became a hallmark the Democratic Party’s modus operandi a long time ago, think of the many false campaigns against Republicans based on pushing Grandma over the cliff by taking away her Social Security.

And the precedent for sending SWAT teams and helicopters to arrest unarmed citizens accused of non-violent political crimes doesn’t come from any tradition of constitutional law enforcement – it is straight out of socialist terror campaigns.

During a House Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-1) defended Brooks, arguing that the ideology of the Nazi Party was indeed socialism and if Democrats were offended by that comparison, some who have branded themselves as socialists should stop embracing the term and the ideology.

Democrats on the Committee howled again but they had no real reply to Brooks’ comparison and Gohmert’s defense beyond saying they were offended.

The controversy gained more traction than it might have because Republicans continue to hammer Democrats over the Democrats’ anti-Semitism and Israel policy, engendered in large measure by the anti-Semitic comments made by Muslim Democrat Representatives Ilhan Omar (MN-5) and Rashida Tlaib (MI-13).

And let’s be clear, Omar and Tlaib and a significant segment of today’s Democratic Party coalition are unabashed anti-Semites.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke recently before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and said, "we must also be vigilant against bigoted or dangerous ideologies masquerading as policy, and that includes BDS," referring to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel movement.

“Israel and America are connected now and forever,” Pelosi said at the pro-Israel lobby’s annual event. “We will never allow anyone to make Israel a wedge issue.”

Rep. Omar was quick to reply to Pelosi saying "A condemnation for people that want to exercise their First Amendment rights is beneath any leader, and I hope that we find a better use of language when we are trying to speak as members of Congress that are sworn to protect the Constitution," Omar told reporters in a Capitol hallway Tuesday according to The Hill.

Representatives Omar and Tlaib both publicly support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel movement which has instigated many anti-Semitic incidents, particularly on college campuses.

But the more telling marker of the Democratic Party’s rapid slide toward the ideas behind National Socialism is that no Democratic candidate for President chose to attend the AIPAC annual meeting, a boycott that has no precedent in modern American politics.

If Democrats don’t like being compared to National Socialists perhaps it is time for them to look in the mirror and check to see if they see one staring back at them.



Robert Reich is a Disgrace: Imagine That!

Rich Kozlovich fisks just one lot of the wild accusations that regularly issue from the Democrats

On April 6, 2019 Robert Reich posted the article in The Guardian (imagine that) entitled, Mitch McConnell is destroying the Senate – and American government, saying:

“The majority leader cares only for winning, not rules or democracy itself. He is doing more damage than Trump. No person has done more in living memory to undermine the functioning of the US government than the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell. Yes, Donald Trump has debased and defiled the presidency. He has launched blistering attacks on Democrats, on judges he disagrees with, journalists who criticize him and the intelligence community. But McConnell is actively and willfully destroying the Senate.”

Imagine that! 

Let's take a look at this.  It appears Trump isn't Presidential because he launches “blistering attacks” on Democrats, many of whom have publicly said absolutely and outrageously obnoxious things about Trump. This was in sharp contrast to the Bush's, who were “Presidential” because they didn’t have the guts to attack back.

 Then Reich is outraged because he’s had the audacity to criticize the Federal Judiciary, many of whom are nothing more than political hacks, who’ve rendered judgments to overrule the President - judgments that clearly were outside their Constitutional authority.

Then there’s the news media. How dare Trump slam those who’ve lied and twisted every issue to conform to Democrat party narratives. As for the intelligence community – we now know many within the FBI, the Justice Department, NSA, and CIA have been part of a vast left wing deep state conspiracy to commit treason. Apparently Reich doesn't read the news.  

Imagine that!

And now, according to Reich, Mitch McConnell is destroying the Senate and the nation. Why? He did his best to block Obama’s nominees! How did that become his job? Blocking judicial nominees over ideological differences was started by the Democrats, especially that paragon of moral and political disgrace, Ted Kennedy, with his treatment of Judge Bork. That’s where the term “Borking” came from, which is what the Democrats tried to do to Judge Kavanaugh.

In order to stop those kind of disgraceful actions McConnell “cut the time for debating Trump’s court appointees from 30 hours to two – thereby enabling Republicans to ram through even more Trump judges.” This Reich calls “McConnell’s long game is destroying what was once known as the world’s greatest deliberative body”.

And that's the key, stopping Republican nominees by any means necessary is fine with Reich, but let's get this right, it was the Democrats who started changing the rules, not Mitch McConnell. 

Furthermore, none of those rules are codified in the Constitution. The Senate makes up the rules as to how the Senate is run on their own, and nowhere have I seen where Robert Reich was incensed at Harry Reid when he did it. And nowhere in the Constitution does it say they have to have 60 votes to confirm a judicial nominee, or how long to debate the confirmation.  If and when they take over the Senate, they can change it back, but if they were to win the Presidency also, do you really think that would happen?

But let’s take a look at Robert Reich and see what he thinks is “right” for America. Discover the Networks shows how insidiously destructive to America his ideas truly are.

Here’s who he is and what he stands for:

“Reich is a professor of social and economic policy at Brandeis University, whose courses are designed to push policies in harmony with his left-wing notions of “social justice”’ 

"A former Secretary of Labor during the first term of President Bill Clinton, Robert Reich is currently the University Professor and Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy at Brandeis University. In 2001, Brandeis named Reich to co-direct an undergraduate program for "Social Justice and Policy" at the university's Heller Graduate School. In announcing the new program, the university touted its devotion to the "problems of social equity" and its commitment to exploring the connection between "social values and practical policies."

All those socialist code words like "social justice" and "social values and practical policies" all sound nice, but what all those "codes words" mean is Reich really feels America can only be saved by destroying capitalism. That the wealthy capitalists "no longer feel the empathy that comes from contact with people who are poor," and this must be addressed by government imposed policies, yet it's been shown these "wealthy capitalists" give huge sums of money to causes that are meant to aid humanity every year.

But that's his problem.  Reich and his minions believe they need to decide where that money is to go, and how much.  Which means there's never enough, and in some strange way, leftists seem to become wealthy from those government programs.

He wants the nation to forgive all the student loans, make higher education free, and impose ‘equality” by government fiat by creating massively expensive social programs that would create a welfare state, along with the idea "taxpayers [should] subsidize occupations with more social merit". Not to mention his absolute support for socialized medicine.

How is all of this to be paid for?

Discover the Networks notes:

“In an April 2011 Huffington Post piece, Reich wrote that "[t]he only way America can reduce the long-term budget deficit, maintain vital services, protect Social Security and Medicare, invest more in education and infrastructure, and not raise taxes on the working middle class is by raising taxes on the super rich."

Such a policy could be justified, he said, by the fact that the top income tax rate of 35 percent was far lower than the 70 to 91 percent rates that had been in effect during the 1940-1980 period.

Reich further called for a hike in estate taxes on the "super-rich." The added revenues from such tax increases, he said -- coupled with cuts to "corporate welfare and bloated defense" -- could pay for "a single payer health-care system -- Medicare for all" -- instead of leaving the healthcare system dominated by "a gaggle of for-profit providers." According to Reich, "paying taxes is a central obligation of citizenship, and those who take their money abroad in an effort to avoid paying American taxes should lose their American citizenship." 

“In August 2014, Reich wrote that hedge fund managers, private-equity managers, investment bankers, corporate lawyers, management consultants, and high-frequency traders who earn large fortunes contribute virtually nothing of value to society. "I’ve never heard of a hedge-fund manager whose job entails attending to basic human needs (unless you consider having more money as basic human need) or enriching our culture,"………..

Socialism has shown us one absolute fact. If there's no chance of personal gain there's no money to do anything.  In short, Reich wants to destroy capitalism, America's economy, individual freedom, the American Culture, the American identity and the Constitution.

Doing good business allows for doing "good".  Doing "good" at the expense of doing good business is a formula for destruction, and has been the world over, if for no other reason, when the government starts confiscating the wealth, the corruption expands exponentially.

With all this leftist clabber from Reich, he has yet to show how this worked in any nation in the world.  The fact is, it hasn't worked anywhere, except to deliver "equality" of misery.   If that's so, and it is, why should we think it will work here?  Can he name one country that's been successful with these programs?  Can he name one socialist state that has been even remotely as generous to the poor and suffering than has been America and our rich capitalists. 

If there is, then why are so many striving to leave these paradisaic socialist states to come to America?  Socialism constantly demands perfection and promises utopia while delivering dystopia - tyranny, misery, suffering, starvation, disease and early death.

And he's incensed because Trump and McConnell are working against that.  Imagine that!



Donald Trump inspects US-Mexico border wall, warning of 'colossal' surge of illegal immigrants

United States President Donald Trump has promised more than 700 kilometres of new wall along the southern US border, after threatening to slap Mexico with economic penalties over what he describes as a crisis of illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

Referring to a "colossal surge" of undocumented migrants, Mr Trump convened a discussion with immigration officials and local leaders in Calexico on the US-Mexico border just north of the much larger city of Mexicali.

Before touring a just completed nine-metre-tall, 3.5 kilometre barrier at Calexico, Mr Trump said more military resources would be dispatched to the border.

"Our country is full," Mr Trump said, in a warning to would-be migrants. "Can't take you anymore."

The Republican President's latest pronouncements were in response to a rising number of migrants traveling northward from Central America through Mexico and to the US border.

Mr Trump is counting on seizing funds from other federal accounts and shifting them for the construction of about 725 kilometres of new barrier — a move being challenged in Federal Court because Congress has not given approval.

Democrats generally oppose Mr Trump's wall proposal, suggesting alternative types of enhanced border security that they argue would be more effective and less costly.

Hammering on a favourite theme, Mr Trump said he was considering imposing an unspecified economic penalty on Mexico unless it helped alleviate the United States' drug and immigrant flows.

Praising Mexico for moving recently against drug traffickers, Mr Trump said: "If they continue that, everything will be fine. If they don't we're going to tariff their cars at 25 percent".

"Also, I'm looking at an economic penalty for all of the drugs that are coming in through the southern border and killing our people," he told reporters in Washington before departing for southern California.

Mr Trump said the drug-related tariff would supplant provisions of a trade deal, the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, known as USMCA, which has not been approved by Congress.

In a Twitter post on Friday morning, Mr Trump repeated a threat to close the border if Mexico "stops apprehending and bringing the illegals back to where they came from".

The White House did not respond to a request for elaboration, and it also was unclear where Mr Trump got the $500 billion figure when referring to "illegal drugs that are shipped and smuggled through Mexico and across" America's southern border.

In recent days, Mexico has taken a more rigorous approach to interviewing and registering immigrants from Central America, Haiti and Cuba, according to officials.

Previously, the Mexican Government freely handed out humanitarian visas with the goal of allowing people to stay and work legally in Mexico.

But it backed away from that policy after a surge of those requesting the documents, and amid criticism from Washington.



450 miles of wall by end of 2020, Army Corps reports to President Trump

“Around Dec. 2020, the total amount of money we will have put in the ground in the last couple of years will be about 450 miles. That’s probably about $8 billion, in total about 33 projects.”

That was Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, giving President Donald Trump a report at Calexico, Calif. on how much new wall would be constructed by the end of 2020.

Semonite broke down the figures: That’s 82 miles as of right now mainly from renovating existing fencing, another 97 miles by the end of this year, and then another 277 miles the year after that. That includes the new 30-foot steel slats.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


9 April, 2019

Jordan Peterson Unpacks What Drives the Left and How to Restore Meaning

President Donald Trump exclaimed in his State of the Union address that America would “never” be a socialist country.

Yet multiple polls suggest that many Americans, especially younger ones, embrace left-wing ideology in increasing numbers, as more politicians have openly embraced the term.

Despite ample evidence that socialism has failed to bring prosperity and has actually inflicted widespread misery, why does it resonate? And what can be done to stop its spread?

Jordan Peterson took on those questions at a New York City event on Tuesday hosted by The Heritage Foundation. The Canadian clinical psychologist and author of “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” said the West is undergoing a crisis of spirit and meaning, not poverty.

Peterson explained why he thinks socialism resonates with younger Americans in particular.

“People are unbelievably ignorant of history,” he said, admitting that even he has gaps in knowledge about history before the 20th century.

But young people are working with even less knowledge, Peterson said.

“What young people know about 20th-century history is nonexistent, especially about the history of the radical left. How would they know?” he asked. “They are never taught about it so why would they be concerned about it?”

For older generations of Americans, Peterson said, things like the fall of the Berlin Wall and the threat of the Soviet Union are vivid memories. But not so for young people who see it as ancient history.

Yet even today, the examples of North Korea and Venezuela serve as clear evidence of socialism’s failure. Yet the left deflects such accusations, chalking those countries up to political corruption and tyranny.

The reason people are open to socialism is that they don’t understand what it really is, Peterson said. They are “emotionally drawn to the ideals of socialism, say, or of the left, because it draws its fundamental motivational source from a kind of primary compassion, and that is always there in human beings,” so the appeal will “never go away.”

The truth is, Peterson explained, the economic strides of recent decades have been astonishing, with poverty falling around the world and massive improvements being made to the material lives of human beings.

But these stories rarely make headlines, Peterson said, in part because it’s hard to keep up with all the rapid changes and innovations, but even more because “human beings are tilted toward negative emotion. … That makes us more captivated by the negative than the positive.”

Adding fuel to this emotional fervor, Peterson said, is a mainstream media “increasingly desperate for attention” in a shrinking market, doing everything it can to attract viewers and listeners.

Worst of all for polarization, Peterson said, is the rise of a “group identity, associated, quasi-Marxist viewpoint with this additional toxic mixture, paradoxical mixture of postmodernism.”

Postmodernism, Peterson said, questions whether large, uniting narratives are valid.

This is a huge problem because human beings are driven by stories and narratives, so this concept is “unbelievably destabilizing for people,” he said.

Life satisfaction comes when we believe we are making our way to a “valid endpoint,” Peterson said, and this mentality isn’t really “optional,” even for nihilists—who deny all meaning in life—because their misery is what gives them meaning.

“The destruction of the narratives that guide us individually, psychologically, and that also unite us, socially, familially … it’s an absolute catastrophe,” Peterson said. And this reality is the result of the “unholy marriage of the postmodern nihilism with this Marxist utopian notion.”

Despite the philosophical incompatibility of these concepts, they have been combined into a potent stew in the late modern age, where group identity is all that matters and individuals are subsumed to the collective.

The intellectual divide between these concepts and classical Western views go “way deeper” than our political divides, Peterson said.

To address the growth of nihilism, it’s important to build the self-worth of individuals so that they can find strength from within, Peterson said. Unfortunately, for half a century, we’ve been teaching people that they are fine just the way they are, he said, but this is a terrible message for those who are “miserable and aimless.”

It is better, he said, to tell people that they are “useless” and ignorant, but that if they actually begin to apply themselves they can become something much greater.

This, rather than platitudes about everyone being perfect, is the path to bringing out the best in people, Peterson said.



Trump Really Does Have a Plan That’s Better Than Obamacare

Doug Badger

“If the Supreme Court rules that Obamacare is out,” President Donald Trump said last week, “we’ll have a plan that is far better than Obamacare.”

Democrats couldn’t believe their luck. They still were reeling from special counsel Robert Mueller’s finding that the Trump campaign neither conspired nor coordinated with Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 elections.

Now the president was changing the subject from collusion (a suddenly awkward topic for Democrats) to health care (which helped them capture dozens of House seats last November).

Besides, the president really doesn’t have a plan that is far better than Obamacare, or any plan at all. Right?


A look at his fiscal year 2020 budget shows that the president has a plan to reduce costs and increase health care choices. His plan would achieve this by redirecting federal premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion money into grants to states. States would be required to use the money to establish consumer-centered programs that make health insurance affordable regardless of income or medical condition.

The president’s proposal is buttressed by a growing body of evidence that relaxing federal regulations and freeing the states to innovate makes health care more affordable for families and small businesses.

Ed Haislmaier and I last year published an analysis of waivers that have so far enabled seven states to significantly reduce individual health insurance premiums. These states fund “invisible high risk pools” and reinsurance arrangements largely by repurposing federal money that would otherwise have been spent on Obamacare premium subsidies, directing them instead to those in greatest medical need.

By financing care for those with the biggest medical bills, these states have substantially reduced premiums for individual policies. Before Maryland obtained its waiver, insurers in the state filed requests for 2019 premium hikes averaging 30 percent. After the federal government approved the waiver, final 2019 premiums averaged 13 percent lower than in 2018—a 43 percent swing.

Best of all, Maryland and the other waiver states have achieved these results without increasing federal spending or creating a new federally funded reinsurance program, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has proposed to do.

State innovation also extends to Medicaid. Some states have sought waivers permitting them to establish work requirements designed to help Medicaid recipients escape poverty.

Arkansas, for example, last June began requiring nondisabled, childless, working-age adults to engage in 80 hours of work activity per month. The program defined “work activity” broadly to include seeking a job, training for work, studying for a GED, engaging in community service, and learning English.

More than 18,000 people—all nondisabled and aged 30-49—were dropped from the rolls between September and December for failing to meet these requirements. The overwhelming majority did not report any work-related activity. All became eligible to re-enroll in Medicaid on Jan. 1. Fewer than 2,000 have done so, suggesting that most either don’t value the benefit or now earn enough to render them ineligible for Medicaid.

Nonetheless, last week a federal judge ordered Arkansas to drop its Medicaid work requirement, a requirement that would likely improve lifetime earnings of Medicaid recipients.

Administration efforts to relax federal rules to benefit employees of small businesses also were nullified last week by a federal judge.

Most uninsured workers are employed by small firms, many of which can’t afford Obamacare coverage for their employees. The Labor Department rule allowed small firms to band together, including across state lines, giving them purchasing power comparable to that of big businesses.

A study of association health plans that formed after the new rule took effect last September found that they offered comprehensive coverage at premium savings averaging 23%. The court ruling stopped that progress in its tracks.

Waivers and regulations that benefit consumers are susceptible to the whim of judges and bureaucrats, which is why Congress should act on the president’s proposal.

It closely parallels the Health Care Choices Proposal, the product of ongoing work by national and state think tanks, grassroots organizations, policy analysts, and others in the conservative community. A study by the Center for Health and the Economy, commissioned by The Heritage Foundation, found that the proposal would reduce premiums for individual health insurance by up to 32 percent and cover virtually the same number of people as under Obamacare.

It also would give consumers more freedom to choose the coverage they think best for themselves and their families. Unlike current law, states could include direct primary care; health-sharing ministries; short-term, limited-duration plans; and other arrangements among the options available through their programs.

Those expanded choices would extend to low-income people. The proposal would require states to let those receiving assistance through the block grants, Medicaid, and other public assistance programs apply the value of their subsidy to the plan of their choice, instead of being herded into government-contracted health maintenance organizations.

Outside groups that helped develop the proposal, which is similar to the president’s, are looking to refine it by incorporating other Trump administration ideas like expansion of health savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements, and association health plans. They’re also reviewing various administration ideas to reduce health care costs through choice and competition.

The president really does have “a plan that is far better than Obamacare.” Congress should get on board.



Sulzbergers Whimper That Murdochs Took Their Global Lunch and Ate It
The headline on the front page of The New York Times was this: 6 Takeaways From The Times’s Investigation Into Rupert Murdoch and His Family

The posted version at the Times website - the very long piece is to be featured in the Sunday Magazine section of the print paper - now headlines: How Rupert Murdoch’s Empire of Influence Remade the World

As NB's own Clay Waters has noted: “The tone is amazingly ideological and personally hostile, perhaps the most virulent and conspiracy-minded attack on Fox News ever issued by the paper, certainly the longest one, against some stiff competition.”

Exactly true. But there is something else at work in this massive, gossipy hit piece on the Murdochs, Fox News. and its various anchors and hosts.  A something else that is barely acknowledged with this brisk one sentence in a very short paragraph about family ownership of media companies. The sentence reads:

"The New York Times has been controlled by the Ochs-Sulzberger family for more than a century."

That acknowledgment made, the piece resumes its attack in the next paragraph, starting out with this:

The right-wing populist wave that looked like a fleeting cultural phenomenon a few years ago has turned into the defining political movement of the times, disrupting the world order of the last half-century. The Murdoch empire did not cause this wave. But more than any single media company, it enabled it, promoted it and profited from it.

Across the English-speaking world, the family’s outlets have helped elevate marginal demagogues, mainstream ethnonationalism and politicize the very notion of truth. [!] The results have been striking. It may not have been the family’s mission to destabilize democracies around the world, but that has been its most consequential legacy.

What’s missing? Something so elemental its absence cannot be missed. Let’s take a stroll back in the history of - The New York Times.  To a time long before the dawn of cable news.

In 1966, former New York Times reporter Gay Talese - he had departed the prestigious paper after ten years - penned a hefty book that was titled The Kingdom and the Power: The Story of the Men Who Influence the Institution That Influences the World - The New York Times.

In which Talese says, among other things, that The Times in 1966 was:

“…the world’s mightiest newspaper kingdom - whose power is such that those who run it and work for it influence the course of human history. Each day the ‘paper of record,’ The New York Times, appears in 11,464 cities around the world, and in all capitals of the world. A foreign minister in Taiwan is so dependent on its news coverage that he has the thick Sunday edition flown in to him each weekend-at a cost of $16.40. The fifty copies of The Times that make their way to the White House each morning are scanned apprehensively for the verdict on government policies, while hundreds of thousands of Americans learn what is happening all over the globe - and what to think of it - from The New York Times.”

Talese goes on in detail about the Sulzbergers, the family that owned the paper then - and now. He describes their massive influence around the world, including:

“…the behind-the-scenes hobnobbing with the great, from kings to premiers, ambassadors, and cabinet members.” The family ran the paper as “a medieval modern kingdom within the nation with its own private laws and values and with leaders who felt responsibility for the nation’s welfare….The Times was the bible…what appeared in The Times must be true…”

In April of 1961 “The Times decided not to publish all it knew” about the Bay of Pigs invasion, in deference to its friends in the Kennedy administration. On and on goes The Kingdom and The Power on the global power and influence of The Times, its owners and its reporters and columnists.

In other words? Long before the dawn of cable news, and long before Rupert Murdoch arrived in America to expand his Australian newspaper empire, The New York Times and the Sulzberger family that owned it ruled the media roost.

And now - they don’t. Because of Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper and television genius, the Sulzberger influence on the world and in America has been overshadowed by Murdoch's News Corporation and Fox News.

The America where attention was paid to Times columnists and their dominating left-wing world view has vanished - replaced by massive audiences listening in prime time these days to Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. Breakfast is not about reading The Times - it’s about tuning in to Fox & Friends.

The Times hit job on the Murdochs and Fox News is furious that the President of the United States - on whom they spent volumes of print and cyber-ink insisting he would never win-calls not them but Rupert Murdoch and - oh the horror!!!! - Sean Hannity.

In short, what this voluminous Times hit piece is really all about is a primal scream of anger, rage and envy that its once-upon-a-time “Kingdom and Power” of liberalism is gone - and gone for good. The paper no longer gets to define what is “truth”, and it most assuredly is no longer “the bible.”

Whatever else lies ahead for the Murdochs and Fox News, it is very safe to say that this spittle-flecked Times hit job is in reality nothing more than a testament to just how effectively The Times monopoly and that of the larger Leftist State Media has been eviscerated- once and for all.

And amen to that



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


8 April, 2019

Socialized Medicine: Saving Money By Killing Grandma

From Adolf Hitler on, the Left have consistently shown a hostility to medical care for the frail elderly.  They justify that by saying such things as "Two thirds of all medical care received by a person are in the last two years of their life".  To them that is self-evidently a waste.  Individuals don't matter, only the State.

That was most vividly seen in recent years with the "Liverpool Care Pathway" of Britain's National Health Service.  Under the "pathway", hundreds of thousands (est. 130,000 p.a.) of the frail elderly in NHS care were knocked out with morphine and denied food and water until they died of thirst.  It is doubtful that even the morphine suppressed the resultant suffering but it did prevent the patients from complaining. Hospitals were even provided cash incentives to achieve targets for the number of patients placed on the LCP.  Families were often not informed of clinicians’ decision to put a relative on the pathway.  It is no longer supposed to be used but versions of it still happen.  It's still sometimes unsafe to be old in a British government hospital.

The pathway was used for all of the term of the Blair Labour government and was phased out by the Conservatives under David Cameron, starting in 2013. Just a few of the many available reports of Pathway deaths herehere, here, here and here

It is hard to believe that it happened in a modern Western country unless you know how authoritarian Britain is and how Britons have brought hypocrisy to the state of a high art.  It was all done in the name of "caring", that wonderful Leftist caring of course.

Conservatives however do respect the individual and point out that the elderly care has been PAID FOR -- in the form of taxes paid in their earlier years that were paid partly in response to a promise of life-long care through public hospitals etc.  So it is not a waste.  It is a service bought and delivered

Democrats, such as Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have recently begun to show their true colors and advocate openly that America should become a socialist country. The sales pitch for Americans to abandon constitutional liberty is that socialism is fairer and will give every American equal access to the essentials of modern life; healthcare, education, food, housing, etc.

To those struggling to pay-off student loans for degrees in women’s studies, find housing in over-regulated urban housing markets and obtain affordable health insurance after the debacle of Obamacare this probably sounds pretty attractive.

However, as the President’s Council of Economic Advisors documented in its recent Economic Report of the President (the CEA Report), the historical evidence suggests that the proposed socialist program for the U.S. would create shortages, or otherwise degrade the quality, of whatever product or service is put under a public monopoly. The pace of innovation would slow and living standards generally would be lower.

Indeed, in other countries where socialism has been imposed in the past, production of whatever was socialized often (and quickly) fell by about 50 percent.

The Economic Report of the President has several interesting sections on the effects of socialist policies and one of the most interesting is its examination of socialist healthcare plans, such as the Socialist Democrats’ “Medicare for All” (M4A) legislation.

Current proposals to increase government involvement in healthcare, like “Medicare for All”, are motivated by the view that competition and free choice cannot work in this sector. These proposals, though well-intentioned, mandate a decrease or elimination of choice and competition. We believe that these proposals would be inefficiently costly and would likely reduce, as opposed to increase, the U.S. population’s health. We think the data shows that funding them would create large distortions in the economy. Finally, we agree with the the CEA Report that the universal nature of “Medicare for All” would be a particularly inefficient and untargeted way to serve lower- and middle-income people.

However, despite the large volume of data supporting the contrary position, a free, single-payer healthcare system has become the cornerstone of current socialist policy proposals in the United States. The Senate and House “Medicare for All” (M4A) plans, sponsored or cosponsored by 141 Democrat members of the 115th Congress, are designed to use the scale economies of a public monopoly to sharply cut costs (S. 1804; H.R. 676).

These plans make it unlawful for a private business to sell health insurance, or for a private employer to offer health insurance to its employees. Although, at the time of passing the Affordable Care Act, it was promised that consumers could keep their doctor or their plan, M4A takes the opposite approach: All private health insurance plans will be prohibited after a four-year transition period.

M4A would not make healthcare providers government employees, rather it would be a Federal program having a nationwide monopoly on health insurance. The price paid to the government monopoly (the analogue to revenue received by private health insurance plans) would be determined through tax policy.

The quality or productivity of health insurance would be determined through centrally planned rules and regulations. As opposed to a market with competition, if a patient did not like the tax charged or the quality of the care provided by the government monopoly, he or she would have no recourse. In addition, price competition in healthcare itself, as opposed to health insurance, would be eliminated because all the prices paid to providers and suppliers of healthcare would be set centrally by the single payer.

Proponents of M4A often refer to European-style programs of socialized medicine as their role model, but the European programs appear to deliver less healthcare to the elderly and result in worse health outcomes for them. Many of these programs ration older patients’ access to expensive procedures directly or through waiting times.

Current Medicare beneficiaries would likely be hurt by M4A’s expansion of the size of the eligible program population. The evidence for a trade-off between universal and senior healthcare is supported by both the European single-payer experience that limits care for the elderly compared with the U.S., along with the recent domestic U.S. reforms under the ACA that reduced projected Medicare spending by $802 billion to help fund expansions for younger age groups (CBO 2015).

The President’s Report documents that United States’ all-cause mortality rates relative to those of other developed countries improve dramatically after the age of 75 years. In 1960—before Medicare—the U.S. ranked below most EU countries for longevity among those age 50–74, yet above them among for those age 75 and higher.

This pattern persists today.

In a study cited in the CEA Report, Ho and Preston (2010) argue that a higher deployment of life-saving technologies for older patients in the U.S. compared with other developed countries leads to better diagnosis and treatment of diseases of older people and greater longevity.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in many developed countries, especially among older individuals, and it constitutes an important component of overall U.S. healthcare spending. The availability and utilization of healthcare are particularly important for cancer longevity.

The President’s Report cites data from Philipson and others (2012) which found that U.S. cancer patients live longer than cancer patients in 10 EU countries, after the same diagnosis, due to the additional spending on higher quality cancer care in the U.S.

The CEA Report also cites data from Ho and Preston (2010) pointing out that in Europe, where the proportion of surgically treated patients declines with age, five-year survival rates for colorectal cancer are lower for elderly patients than younger patients. However, in the United States, where utilization of surgery does not decline with age, colorectal cancer survival rates do not decline for elderly patients. (Emphasis ours.)

This effect is not confined to cancer treatment, noted the President’s Report. For ischemic heart disease—the world’s leading cause of death—the use of cardiac catheterization, percutaneous coronary angioplasty, and coronary artery bypass grafting declines with patients’ age, but declines more steeply in other developed countries than in the United States. Compared with these developed countries, the U.S. has a lower case fatality rate for acute myocardial infarction (the acute manifestation of ischemic disease) for older persons but not for younger persons age 40 to 64 (Ho and Preston 2010).

This disease-specific evidence is more informative about the benefits of healthcare than often-discussed cross-country comparisons of nationally aggregated outcomes, such as overall population longevity and aggregate healthcare spending.  The fact that many wealthy foreigners who could afford to obtain care anywhere in the world come to the U.S. for specialized care is perhaps the strongest indication of its superior quality concludes the CEA Report.

The authors of the CEA Report go on to review other measures of healthcare quality, such as wait time for surgery, wait time to see a specialist, and found that all decline under socialized medicine.

The recent push in Congress to enact a highly restrictive “Medicare for All” proposal to increase access to health care would have the opposite effect—it would decrease competition and choice. The CEA’s analysis finds that, if enacted, this legislation would reduce longevity and health in the United States, decrease long-run global health by reducing medical innovation, and adversely affect the U.S. economy through the tax burden involved.



Metastasizing Media Mendacity

The Leftmedia's collective effort to undermine Trump over the last two years is remarkable

“People on the left say whatever advances their immediate agenda. Power is their moral lodestar; therefore, truth is always subservient to it.” —nationally syndicated radio talk-show host Dennis Prager

“It became a business model for most media to attack Donald Trump.” —Donald Trump Jr.

Perhaps nothing more succinctly summarizes the current state of America better than the above quotes. For nearly two years, a collection of partisan hacks presenting themselves as journalists assured the American public that Donald Trump had conspired with Russian President Vladimir Putin to steal the election from its rightful winner, Hillary Clinton.

The effort was breathtaking in range and scope. NewsWhip, a social-media analytics company, revealed that since May 2017, an astonishing 533,074 web articles were published about Russia and Trump/Mueller, generating 245 million interactions on Twitter and Facebook.

The Media Research Center revealed that from the presidential inauguration through March 21, 2019 — the last night prior to Mueller sending his report to Attorney General Robert Barr — just the evening newscasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC alone generated 2,284 minutes of “collusion” coverage, with 1,909 of those minutes occurring after Mueller’s appointment on May 17, 2017. “Since his presidency began, nearly one-fifth (18.8%) of all of Trump’s evening news coverage has been about this one investigation,” MRC explained.

Moreover, there was no mistaking the slanted nature of that coverage. MRC adds, “From January 1 through March 21 of this year, the spin of Trump coverage on the evening newscasts has been 92% negative vs. just eight percent positive — even worse than the 90% negative coverage we calculated in 2017 and 2018.”

CNN and MSNBC also contributed to the debacle, averaging between two and three hours per day of Russian collusion stories since the inauguration, rife with reports of imminent arrests, implications of treason, etc.

The print media? The New York Times and The Washington Post alone published nearly 1,000 front-page articles, many of which precipitated retractions long after after the damage was done. The Associated Press and Reuters followed suit, dispatching similarly slanted stories to their newspaper, radio, and television-station subscribers throughout the country.

How good was that for business? “There was an omnipresent awareness that this was, strategically, a very important story for us,” an MSNBC executive told Vanity Fair columnist Joe Pompeo, who also noted the network had its best year ever in 2018. “There was no market for skepticism about it. As a business model, they see the ratings, and we were getting rewarded for this every day. When we had a slow day, it was kind of like: when in doubt, call the lawyers on; call the F.B.I. people.”

Columnist Peter Barry Chowka concurred. “The ratings success of MSNBC and to a lesser extent CNN … suggested that the strategy of the executives at NBC and CNN starting in November 2016 to go all-out 24/7 anti-Trump was paying off,” he explains.

In fact, while Fox News has long been the leader in the field, it was often topped in the 9 p.m. time slot when MSNBC’s chief conspiracy-monger, Rachel Maddow, beat Fox host Sean Hannity in both the total numbers of viewers and the coveted 25-54-year-old demographic.

After the Mueller report was released, followed by the release of Barr’s letter exonerating Trump? “The Rachel Maddow Show” endured a 13% decrease in viewership, including the loss of nearly 500,000 viewers on her Monday, Mar. 25 show, compared to her show a week earlier. She also saw a 15% decrease in the 25-54 demo audience.

She was not alone. Fox New surpassed CNN and MSNBC combined in every hour on Monday, March 25, from 5 p.m. to 12 midnight. In addition, CNN had its second-lowest weekday prime-time ratings of 2019 and its third-lowest 25-54-year-old demographic viewership for the year, according to Nielsen Media Research. Ratings for other shows on both networks have also declined by as much as 50%.

Repentance? Introspection? “I don’t know anybody who got anything wrong,” insisted CNN’s Jake Tapper. “We didn’t say there was conspiracy. We said that Mueller was investigating conspiracy.” CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter asserted that viewers weren’t tuning in to CNN and MSNBC following the release of Mueller’s report because “there hasn’t been much news.”

MSNBC’s Lawrence O'Donnell declared that “no one in the news media … has read a single sentence of the Mueller report,” and network president Phil Griffin insisted via a spokesperson that his network is going to “keep doing our job, asking the tough questions, especially when it involves holding powerful people accountable.”

One is left to wonder whether that includes those powerful people at Griffin’s own network who flat-out lied to America for more than two years, including regular contributor and former CIA Director John Brennan, who actually stated a “treasonous” Trump was “wholly in the pocket of Putin.”

Brennan’s response to the report? “Well, I don’t know if I received bad information but I think I suspected there was more than there actually was.”

Former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson summed up Brennan’s judgment — along with the judgment of his equally contemptible Obama administration colleagues Susan Rice, Samantha Power, and James Comey — in a devastatingly accurate tweet: “If Clapper, Brennan, Rice, Power, Comey genuinely believed Trump ‘colluded’ with Russia and he didn’t, what does that say about the judgment of our one-time top intel types?” she asked.

Maybe it’s time for the American public to find out. But they shouldn’t expect any help from the likes of CNN. In fact, an astounding quote by CNN President Jeff Zucker reveals the level of corruption that infests his network. “We are not investigators,” he insisted. “We are journalists, and our role is to report the facts as we know them, which is exactly what we did.”

That the term “investigative journalism” apparently eludes the president of an ostensible news network is amazing.

Going forward? If the wholly discredited “hands up don’t shoot” media campaign of Ferguson, Missouri, is any indication, the media continue to believe that wholesale lying is a good business model. And when that model is employed to delegitimize this president, and the 63 million “deplorables” who voted for him, so much the better.

The bigger picture? The media remain wholly in service to a Democrat/Deep State/Never-Trump Republican/corporatist/globalist alliance determined to reimpose the status quo — by any means necessary. And their media accomplices are so all in, they are warning Americans that if Trump shuts down the border, we would soon run out of … avocados.

When national sovereignty and security is even part of the same conversation as America’s guacamole supply, the corruption is all-encompassing.

In 2016, the electorate expressed its collective disgust when it put a media-despised, status-quo-crushing outsider in the Oval Office. Reelecting Trump in 2020 might be the only real antidote to the legions of braying jackals whose shameless pursuit of power made a complete mockery of anything resembling truth and journalistic integrity.

One collective middle finger aimed in their direction was an anomaly. Two would be the beginning of a welcome trend.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


7 April, 2019
Former Border Patrol Chief: CBP to Release 650,000 Illegals into U.S. This Year

Former Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan told the Senate Homeland Security Committee Thursday that the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) anticipates that 650,000 illegal immigrants will be released into the United States this year.

Morgan cited CBP estimates that the agency anticipates apprehending 1 million illegal immigrants trying to cross the border this year. He said 60 to 65 percent of illegals entering the country are families or minors, who are typically released into the U.S.

Following this trend, Morgan predicted that 650,000 illegals will be released into the country.

During his opening testimony, Morgan dispelled what he said were “false narratives” some have about illegal immigration.

“Here’s a couple false narratives quick I’d like to address: only 15 percent of those coming in … are found to have valid asylum claims, which really debunks the uniform outrage often used that immigrants are fleeing from extreme violence and persecution. In fact, recent statistics that I’ve seen have shown that the murder rate per capita has declined in the northern triangle countries. Baltimore, for example, has a higher murder rate per capita than Guatemala,” he said.

“The fact is, they’re being here for two reasons: economic equality and family reunification. Neither are valid claims under the asylum process. Nevertheless, we continue to facilitate an abuse of our laws and the generosity of this country. As a society, we cannot turn our backs and ignore the law, especially Congress. We can’t selectively enforce the laws based on political ideology or personal sense of morality,” Morgan said.

“There’s another false narrative, which goes something like this: But the numbers of illegal immigrants are way down, so it can’t possibly be a crisis. It’s essential to look at those numbers to evaluate their true meaning,” he said.

“In the late 1990s and 2000, there was 1.5 million apprehensions on the border, but as previously mentioned, the overwhelming majority were Mexican adult, of which we deported 90 percent of them – sometimes within hours of being apprehended. Additionally, one-third of those apprehended were recidivism, meaning the same person going back and forth, so those numbers are really about a million, but back then, everyone agreed it’s a crisis,” the senator said.

“Today, 60 to 65 percent of those illegally crossing are family units and minors, and because of our broken laws and policies, those individuals are allowed into the country. So let’s do the math. One million this year anticipated. That’s means we’re going to release 650,000 individuals into this country that are going to remain here indefinitely. This makes the current crisis in my opinion the worst we’ve ever experienced,” Morgan added.



Economy Keeps Rolling with Almost 200K Jobs Created in March

The jobs market rebounded from a sluggish February to add 196,000 jobs in March. But wages rose only 0.1%, leading to speculation that the Federal Reserve would refrain from any more rate increases this cycle. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.8%.

The report adds to fairly upbeat construction spending and factory numbers that led Wall Street banks to boost their growth estimates for the first quarter.

“A mixed but overall very solid jobs report. The healthy bounce back in hiring last month should help to quell recession fears,” said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington. “Still, weaker wage growth suggests the Fed’s December rate hike may have been its last in the current cycle.”

The Federal Reserve last month suspended its three-year campaign to tighten monetary policy, increasing market expectations of an interest rate cut.

However, the latest job numbers gave traders little reason to reprice expectations for a rate cut in 2020.

The pressure on wages has eased, dampening inflation fears and indicating that there's still some slack in the jobs market.

Also, the prospect of a trade deal with China and an end to the tariff wars added to the ebullient mood on Wall Street.

The markets were also helped by President Donald Trump’s comments that the U.S. and China were close to a trade deal that could be announced within four weeks, potentially easing concerns about a months-long tariff war that has clouded global growth.

At 9:49 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 58.27 points, or 0.22%, at 26,442.90, the S&P 500 was up 7.53 points, or 0.26%, at 2,886.92 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 26.44 points, or 0.34%, at 7,918.22.

The administration's tax cuts and regulatory reform have created the conditions for moderate growth through 2020. This is very bad news for Democrats who had been hoping for a recession by the end of this year. That prospect now appears to be off the table.

Democrats will point to the slow wage growth as evidence that economic benefits are spread unevenly with working people getting the short end. But given that wages grew by a healthy 0.4% in February, these monthly fluctuations really don't mean very much.



DC's Swamp Rats Cling to Their Hoax
For the Democrats it’s still all about the collusion narrative.   They don’t care that the Mueller Report concluded that Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russians did not cooperate to steal the 2016 election.

President Trump’s crazed enemies in Congress and in the liberal media will never believe Trump won fair and square.

You can give the House committees headed by Democrats Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler two more years of digging around in Trump World for impeachable crimes.

You can give them 800 pages, a thousand pages, ten-thousand more pages of interviews.

You can give them another $30 million to waste on lawyers and investigators.

They won’t find anything, but it won’t matter.

The “Russia collusion” narrative of the Trump Hating Industrial Complex will never die.

The Democrats just “know” that the epic tragedy of Hillary Clinton’s defeat could only have happened because Donald Trump cheated.

The president himself was never under investigation for collusion.

Yes, but, but, but, the Democrats say, his son took that meeting with a Russian woman peddling dirt on Hillary.

And his national security advisor for 24 days, Michael Flynn, met with that jolly Russian ambassador.

And his longtime pal Roger Stone supposedly tried to get more hacked Hillary emails from Wikileaks.

It wasn’t against the law for Trump’s son or the others to meet with or talk to those Russians, by the way.

In the deranged minds of Trump haters and the liberal media, however, those and a few other brief encounters with Russians by Trump underlings are solid proof of collusion.

But Muller and his gang of lawyers, including several who were closely connected with the Clinton mob, obviously didn’t agree.No collusion, no obstruction was their verdict.

Meanwhile, while we wait for Attorney General Bill Barr to release the full but redacted Mueller Report, I wonder how long it’ll take the liberal mainstream media to investigate the folks who really colluded with the Russians in 2016 — the Democrats.

Their collusion was instigated by Hillary’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee when they paid the research company Fusion GPS to do opposition research on Trump.

Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele, an ex-British spy, who created a fake, salacious dossier on Donald Trump that Hillary partisans in the highest offices of the FBI used to get FISA surveillance warrants against low-level Trump staffers like George Papadopoulos.

So far, Fox News, talk radio and conservatives in Congress have been the only ones talking about or investigating the partisan origins and FBI’s misuse of the so-called “Steel dossier.”

You’d think the crack investigative journalists at the New York Times or Washington Post would be covering the heck out of this shocking and dangerous abuse of power by the FBI.

You’d think they’d want to expose how far the Democrats and some top political appointees in the FBI were willing to go to prevent someone they didn’t like from becoming president.

But so far the great institutions of the liberal news media are sticking to the “Trump Collusion” script.

They hope to find new stuff in the footnotes of the Mueller Report to fit their Russian collusion narrative, which they refuse to accept has turned out to be the political hoax the president always said it was.

With the economy strong, black and Latino employment at their highest levels and a trade deal with China in the works, the Russian collusion narrative is the only issue the Democrats have.

You know the Muller team tried its best to get anything they could to nail President Trump on collusion. But they came up with zip, ultimately because they were professionals.

Unfortunately, the Democrats in the House running their purely political sideshows are not professionals interested in fairness or the truth.

Schiff and Nadler are partisan, power-hungry hacks who are out to do whatever they can to stymie Trump’s agenda and prevent his reelection chances.

What they are doing in the House every day shows the country what happens when someone really tries to drain the swamp in Washington.



Tucker Is CRUSHING CNN In Ratings… Beats Their Entire Prime Time Line Up

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson absolutely dominated CNN last week, beating their entire prime time line up combined in total viewers by over 1,000,000 viewers — and CNN is not handling the news well.

CNN’s entire prime time line up garnered 2,474,000 total viewers compared to Carlson’s 3,475,000 total viewers.

Fox News’ ratings exploded last week after Attorney General William Barr sent his letter to Congress saying that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

At first, CNN responded to the blow out in ratings with CNN’s Brian Stelter claiming: “Since the letter’s release on Sunday, there hasn’t been much news.”

After Stelter’s claim was widely mocked, CNN launched a new attack on Fox News, specifically targeting Carlson — after Carlson dominated their entire prime time line up.

“Over the last month, Tucker Carlson’s commercial breaks have had only a smattering of ads from lesser-known brands,” CNN tweeted on Tuesday night. “It might be a new normal for the Fox News host, who has endured ad boycott campaigns since he made racist remarks on immigrants in December.”

CNN’s report promoted the attacks against Carlson from far-left Media Matters, despite the fact that Media Matters’ president came under intense fire last month after it was revealed that he wrote multiple racist, anti-Semitic, and transphobic things before running Media Matters.

CNN reported: “And the ad exodus revved up once more last month, after the liberal watchdog Media Matters unearthed a number of misogynistic and racist remarks that Carlson made on a radio show.”

The Daily Caller reported last month that Media Matters President Angelo Carusone was “leading a boycott campaign against Fox News host Tucker Carlson, a co-founder of The Daily Caller News Foundation, in an attempt to get him fired.”

“Carusone and Media Matters, which openly pine for the destruction of Fox News, have justified the left-wing boycott campaign by pointing to a number of statements that Carlson made on a radio shock jock show between 2006 and 2011,” The Daily Caller continued. “But Carusone has his own track record of inflammatory statements. Carusone’s now-defunct blog included degrading references to ‘trannies,’ ‘jewry’ and Bangladeshis, records maintained by the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine show.”

Aside from CNN’s non-stop coverage of Russia over the last two years and its overwhelmingly negative coverage of Trump, CNN also has a serious credibility problem as surveys have found that they are viewed as the least trustworthy cable news network.

Carlson responded to the far-left’s attempts to silence him in a fiery statement on Fox News, saying: “One of the only places left in the United States where independent thoughts are allowed is right here, the opinion hours on this network. Just a few hours in a sea of television programming. It’s not much, relatively speaking. For the Left, it’s unacceptable. They demand total conformity.

“For now, just two points to leave you with. First, FOX News is behind us, as they have been since the very first day. Toughness is a rare quality in a TV network, and we are grateful for that,” Carlson continued. “Second, we’ve always apologized when we’re wrong, and will continue to do that. That’s what decent people do. They apologize. But we will never bow to the mob. Ever. No matter what.”



Democrats "have chosen to endlessly relitigate the 2016 election rather than actually participate in governing."

He’s been threatening to do it for weeks, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell finally pressed the button on another version of the nuclear option over confirmation votes. The rule change limits debate on district judges and most executive nominees to only two hours instead of 30. The rules do not change for Cabinet nominees or for nominations to appellate courts and the Supreme Court.

“Our colleagues across the aisle have chosen to endlessly relitigate the 2016 election rather than actually participate in governing,” McConnell said. “This problem goes deeper than today. We’re talking about the future of this very institution and the future functioning of our constitutional government.”

Long story short, as our Brian Mark Weber explained last month, Democrats were using and abusing a procedure under which “any senator can hold up the process and force the Senate to engage in a lengthy debate on each nominee.” Obstructionist Democrats had employed this strategy to force extra debate time (which they often don’t even show up for) and cloture votes on more than five times as many of President Donald Trump’s nominees — both judicial and executive — as the last 12 administrations combined. That not only delays nominations, it slows all Senate business to a crawl.

As The Wall Street Journal editorial board observes, this has crossed over into the theater of the absurd: “McConnell has offered the example of President Trump’s nominee — drum roll, please — to the Federal Railroad Administration. Ronald Batory had worked in the railroad industry for 45 years and attracted no opposition, yet the Senate blocked his nomination for more than 200 days. Another classic: A cloture vote on a nominee to run the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Who knew seasonal adjustment could be so controversial?”

Everything is controversial when all Democrats have is “Hate Trump.”

Judicial fights in particular have dominated the Senate for years, primarily because Democrats keep turning up the heat on Republican presidents. But Democrats were the ones who nuked the filibuster on judicial nominees in 2013. At the time, McConnell warned, “I say to my friends on the other side of the aisle, you’ll regret this. And you may regret it a lot sooner than you think.”

McConnell, who also orchestrated entirely blocking Merrick Garland from the Supreme Court, was right — to the crocodile-tear caterwauling of the Democrats. By the way, these battles might not be so fierce if leftist judges hadn’t turned the judiciary into the despotic branch with fiat rulings contemptuous of the Constitution.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


5 April, 2019

Trump is unravelling before our eyes -- or so says the Washington post

LOL. Jennifer Rubin, who  wrote the article below, sounds like a rich and spoilt Jewish girl from NYC, maybe even a JAP, who has never  spoken to a working class person in her life.  And she probably has never spent much time with the elderly either. 

Mr Trump sounds a lot like an older working class person. He grew up in Queens, a demographically mixed suburb, so would have heard a lot of working class speech during his growing up. And he spent a lot of time talking to the workers on his building projects during his real estate development career.  So he is familiar with working class speech and finds it congenial. His mother was Scottish so goodness knows what speech in the family home was like. It would however have legitimated different accents and idioms to him.

But as the child of a rich family most of his growing up was probably in the hands of employees -- nannies and the like.  So the earliest speech he heard much of would have been theirs, most probably working class speech. So he may even be reverting to a pattern that was most familiar to him in his growing up. People tend to do that as they get old. In short, he does something that no NYC snob would do:  He has adopted a lot of working class speech patterns.

And working class speech is very different from university speech.  It tends to be disorganized, disconnected, rambling, poorly contextualized and use few long words. It sounds most unlike a book.

A working class manner enables Trump to speak in a relaxed, disorganized way.  He is not a Leftist intellectual or a policy wonk and he doesn't speak like one or want to be one.

We had a political leader much like that in my home State of Queensland, Premier Joh Bjelke Petersen.  He was a small farmer and spoke like one.  Media figures thought his rambling, disconnected speech made no sense at all.  But it made plenty of sense to his voters.  They kept him in office for nearly 20 years.  So 8 years of Trump would seem eminently feasible.

And Trump's muddled speech that Jennifer Rubin hears as neurologically impaired could also be another type of impairment -- elder speech.  Old people do tend to forget their words and use generic substitutes.  For instance, the lady in my life and I are both of Mr Trump's vintage and we  both listen to a lot of early classical music.  But one day she wanted to say something to me about a harpsichord, an instrument very familiar to us both.  But words failed her.  So she referred to it as "that piano thing".  Mr Trump's speech could well lack precision because of that. He is 72. He could, for instance say "father" when he meant "grandfather".  But rule by the elderly is very common, almost the norm, so such minor failings are of no concern

And some of the things that Rubin pillories are not so silly.  The health effects of wind turbines are very much a matter of dispute and a bit of paranoia about vote counting could indeed be revelatory.  And the things he said about Obamacare are not necessarily contradictory. At this juncture, who knows what paths to abolishing it may be needed. Many different options and procedures should surely be discussed and explored and that is happening.

And closing the border does not mean what she apparently thinks it means.  It means closing all authorized crossing points.  Illegal "leakage" will continue until the wall is built.

In the past 24 hours, Trump - who will be 74 in November 2020 and is "tired," according to aides - has:

* Falsely declared multiple times that his father was born in Germany. (Fred Trump was born in New York.)
* Declared that wind turbines cause cancer.
* Confused "origins" and "oranges" in asking reporters to look into the "oranges of the Mueller report."
* Told Republicans to be more "paranoid" about vote-counting.

He is increasingly incoherent. The Washington Post quotes him at a Republican event on Tuesday: "We're going into the war with some socialist. It looks like the only non, sort of, heavy socialist is being taken care of pretty well by the socialists, they got to him, our former vice president. I was going to call him, I don't know him well, I was going to say 'Welcome to the world Joe, you having a good time?'"

Even when attempting to defend himself, he emits spurts of disconnected thoughts.

"Now you look at that [presidential announcement] speech and you see what's happening and that speech was so tame compared to what is happening now, that trek up is one of the great treacherous treks anywhere, and Mexico has now, because they don't want the border closed."

I don't presume to diagnose him or to render judgment on his health. All of us, however, should evaluate his words and actions.

If you had a relative who spoke this way, you would urge him to get checked out or advise him to slow down (although Trump's schedule, with its hours of "executive time," is already lighter than the schedules of many retirees). Remember that this guy is the commander in chief, holder of the nuclear codes.

Even Republicans realise that his decisions are more erratic and illogical than ever. He doubled down on his intention to invalidate the Affordable Care Act in the courts, then insisted he had a terrific replacement, next said he would assign others to figure out the plan and take a vote before the 2020 election, and finally declared that they would vote on such a (nonexistent) bill after the 2020 election.

Senator Mitch McConnell was compelled to stage an intervention and tell him there would be no vote before 2020. (I suppose if the court strikes down Obamacare before that, McConnell would tell 20 million people covered by Obamacare to fend for themselves.)

Trump, even after declaring an "emergency" and robbing the Pentagon budget to pay for a border wall, declares we are at a "breaking point" and wants to close the border. That comes as news to his aides, who know you can't close a 3057km border, and in saying so risk causing a panic flight to get across before such an order.

Even Trump staffers know that if you could pull it off, closing the border would crash the economy.

As to the latter, Trump says he doesn't care because security is more important than trade. (We'd have neither with his scheme.)

Collectively, we need to stop treating his conduct as normal. Politicians should start saying aloud what we all intuitively understand: Trump is unravelling before our eyes.

There is reason to be concerned about how he'll make it through the rest of his term. Giving him another four years is unimaginable.



Trump Takes Lead on Protecting US from Oft-Overlooked Danger That Threatens Grid

One of the most potentially devastating threats to American security is the threat of an electromagnetic pulse. Such an event could be life-changing and could ruin electronic devices in large sections of the country.

Thankfully, the Trump administration is alert to this threat and is taking steps to confront it. Last week, the White House unveiled an executive order titled “Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses.” This is a necessary first step in what will be a difficult road to creating full protection from an electromagnetic pulse.

An electromagnetic pulse is a burst of electromagnetic energy. The potentially most devastating pulse would be caused by a nuclear weapon detonated at a high altitude, though the sun can also generate bursts of energy just as damaging during solar storms.

An electromagnetic pulse or similar event would paralyze the country, since it would fry electric circuits and damage critical infrastructure. Our life now depends on a stable supply of electricity more than at any other point in our history. Suddenly losing electricity would be truly devastating—think Jericho or “The Walking Dead” (minus the zombies).

This is not pie-in-the-sky business. North Korea’s ballistic missiles are now capable of reaching the United States. It also possesses nuclear weapons, and its official documents talk about using the electromagnetic pulse against the United States.

The president’s executive order assigns Cabinet secretaries with electromagnetic pulse-related responsibilities within their own purview. For example, the secretary of state is given the task of leading coordination efforts with U.S. allies and international partners. The secretary of defense is put in charge of improving and developing the ability to rapidly characterize, attribute, and provide warning of an electromagnetic pulse.

Other responsibilities are assigned to the secretaries of commerce, homeland security, energy, and the director of national intelligence.

The executive order mandates that the assistant to the president for national security affairs, through the National Security Council staff, be in charge of coordinating “the development and implementation of executive branch actions to assess, prioritize, and manage the risks of [electromagnetic pulses].”

Delegating this issue to the National Security Council staff carries a risk given the council’s relatively high staff turnover rate. The administration will have to ensure that mandated action items are delivered according to the timelines outlined in the executive order.

While the U.S. military currently tests its equipment to withstand the effects of an electromagnetic pulse, no such comparable effort is ongoing in the civilian world. For the most part, the military depends on the civilian power grid to meet its own power needs, which makes it all the more puzzling that the military doesn’t pay that much attention to whether the civilian systems are secure. There are no easy ways to harden the grid and increase its resilience.

The most critical task is to increase the key stakeholders’ (e.g. electric companies and owners of the grid) access to information about electromagnetic pulses and align authority and responsibility in both the public and private sectors in order to prepare for and respond to an electromagnetic pulse attack.

The president’s executive order is a good first stepping stone.



Kavanaugh Comes Through, Conservatives Get Big 5-4 Supreme Court Victory

President Donald Trump adding two conservative judges to the Supreme Court has already had a major effect on big cases and rulings.

As noted by Fox News, the nation’s highest court on Monday ruled 5-4 that death row inmates do not have a Constitutionally protected right to a painless execution.

The vote was along party lines, so the addition of conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh played a big role in the case. Here’s more from Fox News:

    A Missouri man convicted in a brutal rape and murder can be executed by lethal injection because he is not guaranteed a “painless death,” the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday, quashing Russell Bucklew’s bid to avoid the needle because of his rare medical condition.

    In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court granted Missouri the right to proceed with execution protocol for Bucklew, who was sentenced to death for the 1996 murder of Michael Sanders, who was dating Bucklew’s ex-girlfriend. Bucklew had previously assaulted the couple and stalked his former lover the day of the murder in order to find out where she was living. After shooting and killing Sanders, Bucklew fired at his former girlfriend’s 6-year-old child — and missed — before kidnapping the woman and raping her several times. He was eventually arrested after a car chase and police shootout.

    “Today we bring this case to a close at last because we agree with the courts below that Mr. Bucklew’s claim isn’t supported by either the law or the evidence,” Justice Neil Gorsuch said in summarizing his majority opinion.

    The court previously ruled inmates challenging the method a state plans to use to execute them have to show there’s an alternative that is likely to be less painful.

    Bucklew argued death by lethal injection would be extremely painful because a blood-filled tumor in his throat caused by a rare medical condition would likely burst during the execution — causing him to choke on his own blood and cut off oxygen to his body for up to four minutes.

    He said this would violate the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. As an alternative, Bucklew wanted to die by inhaling pure nitrogen gas through a mask, a method no state has ever used to execute a prisoner.

Several prominent media figures noted how Kavanaugh being on the bench played a big role in how the final vote came down.

“SCOTUS’ conservative majority offered a sweeping defense of the death penalty this week, including in cases when an inmate faces risk of extreme pain,” wrote ABC News host Devin Dwyer.



Nancy Pelosi's Perv Problem

Michelle Malkin

If you're a sleazy male Democrat, you can always count on Nancy Pelosi to run interference for you and your pervy proclivities. While she has soaked up plaudits as a champion for women (most recently as the VH1 Trailblazer Honors recipient last month for International Women's Day), what she really deserves is Cheerleader of the Year Award from the Democratic Bad Boys Club.

The latest beneficiary of her soft-glove treatment is former Vice President and potential 2020 Democratic presidential aspirant Joe Biden — a.k.a. the veep creep. She gently advised him to "pretend you have a cold" and joked during a Politico interview that he should emulate her "straight-arm" policy of keeping distance from others. Giggle, giggle, blink, blink. Reporters laughed along.

(And these are the same people who mock straight-arrow Vice President Mike Pence of taking extra precaution around women!)

For years, alert conservative women have so relentlessly documented freaky Uncle Joe's penchant for pawing members of the gentler sex that even mainstream media outlets were forced to pay attention. The cringe-tastic headlines and disturbing photo montages, which featured several young girls held hostage between Biden's claws, could no longer be ignored:

"9 Times Joe Biden Whispered in Women's Ears."

"Joe Biden's Top 10 Creepiest Moments."

"17 times Joe Biden acted like a total creep."

"The Audacity of Grope."

"Joe Biden's woman-touching habit."

"VP Joe Biden goes #FiftyShadesofGrey during last night's awkward Top Ten List."

But not until two Democratic women came forward this past week was Biden forced to respond. Nevada Democrat Lucy Flores accused the hair-sniffing 76-year-old Beltway barnacle of making her feel "uneasy, gross, and confused" at a campaign event in 2014. Former Connecticut Democratic aide Amy Lappos described how Biden "rubbed noses with me" at a private fundraiser in 2009 after grabbing her face with both hands. It was "absolutely disrespectful of my personal boundaries."

If these were women accusing Republican men of such behavior, Pelosi would be issuing scathing recriminations, not jokey etiquette tips. But Nan's nonchalance about her fellow Democrats' invasions of personal space is par for her cad-supporting course. I remind my readers of Pelosi's twisted track record:

In 2017, she defiantly stood by accused groper John Conyers calling him an "icon" who "has done a great deal to protect women" and downplaying his secret sexual harassment settlement with a former female staffer — one of three former employees alleging sexual abuse.

In 2013, Pelosi refused to call on her old pal and former Democratic mayor Bob Filner of San Diego to resign after multiple women accused him of harassment and assault. One staffer claimed Filner had ordered her to "work without her panties on." Others alleged he forcibly kissed them. Another said she had contacted Democratic higher-ups in California about a half-dozen women. "What goes on in San Diego is up to the people of San Diego. I'm not here to make any judgments," Pelosi declared.

In 2011, Pelosi refused to condemn disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner until his interactions with an underage girl in Delaware were exposed by conservative bloggers and confirmed by police. Only then did Pelosi rush from behind to lead the demands for Weiner's resignation.

In 2010, then New York Democratic Rep. Eric Massa resigned amid a sordid sexual harassment scandal involving young low-paid male staffers he allegedly lured to his Capitol Hill playhouse for "tickle fights." Pelosi's office had been informed months before, by a staffer of former Democratic Rep. Barney Frank, of Massa's predatory and harassing behavior with multiple congressional employees. Massa's former deputy chief of staff and legislative director also contacted leading Democrats on the House Ethics Committee. Former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer also knew of Massa's misconduct. But Pelosi said and did nothing until allegations went public. A toothless House Ethics Committee investigation went nowhere.

Also in 2011, seven-term liberal congressman and former Democratic Rep. David Wu of Oregon was exposed by his own staffers, who revolted against their drunk-texting, tiger costume-wearing boss and pressured him to seek psychiatric help. House Democratic leaders, desperate to keep one of their own in office, ignored the pleas. Only after The Oregonian newspaper published allegations by a teenage girl who had complained for months to apathetic Capitol Hill offices of an "unwanted sexual encounter" with Wu did Pelosi make a show of calling for a House Ethics Committee investigation — which went, you guessed it, nowhere.

Yet, just days ago in The New York Times, feminist Tina Brown heaped praise on creep-enabler Pelosi's unique leadership tied to her XX chromosomes — a woman's "rich ways of knowing" that rejects "traditional male paths of ejaculatory self-elevation." Reality does not match the rhetoric.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


4 April, 2019

How the Left Keeps Me Religious

Its lies and corruption awakened me to the centrality of religion.


Nothing keeps me religious more than the Left, not even religion itself. I am not even particularly “spiritual.” My religiosity is overwhelmingly rational (the title of my Bible commentary is “The Rational Bible”). I believe in God because creation rationally suggests a Creator.

The force that has most propelled me to religion is the great (secular) religion of the last hundred years: the Left. If most people of the Left (the Left, not liberalism) — people who have not only rejected but scorned God, Judaism, Christianity, and the Bible — were decent individuals, were committed to intellectual honesty, and had produced some great art and works of wisdom, then leftism would have constituted a serious challenge to my religious beliefs.

But the very opposite is the case. While liberals have done some good, everything the Left has touched it has ruined. The most obvious example is universities. As Harvard professor Steven Pinker, a liberal and an atheist, put it, the Left has rendered the universities a “laughingstock.”

The most godless, religion-free, and Bible-free institution in the West — the university — has become both the stupidest and most morally corrupt institution in the West. That is what first awakened me to the indispensability of God, religion, and the Bible. I first wrote about it some 25 years ago (“How I found God at Columbia”).

Our universities, because of the Left, are intellectually and morally sick. And if that is not a result of their antipathy to the Bible, its God and Judeo-Christian thought, then what is it the result of?

Let’s begin with the moral. The Left and the universities teach gullible young students lies, immoral ideas, and foolish doctrines. At almost any university in the English-speaking world, the United States — arguably the most decent large society in history — is depicted as a vile society, founded by bigots who engaged in genocidal evil, sustained by racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and greed. Its wars are depicted as racist and imperialist. Students are taught that it is a racist “microaggression” to say that “there is only one race: the human race” or “America is a land of opportunity” or “I try to treat everyone the same.”

At universities, minority students are taught that they are hated by all white Americans — perhaps the greatest libel since the medieval blood libel that charged Jews with killing Christian children to use their blood for Passover matzos.

The universities teach that in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, it is humane, democratic, liberal Israel that is the villain, not the totalitarian, genocidal theocrats of Hamas. I debated this very issue at Oxford University, where my opponents, two left-wing academics, argued that between Israel and Hamas, Israel was the greater threat to Middle East peace.

The godless Left and universities teach that there’s no male and female in the human species, that these terms are mere “social constructs.” A few weeks ago, two trans females came in first and second place in a Connecticut high-school track race for girls. These runners won solely because they were biological males. Yet, not only they were allowed to race against females, but they also set new records in Connecticut girls’ track. Anyone who complained that this was unfair — which to every non-leftist it was — was attacked by the Left as a “hater.” A writer for The Nation defended the male bodies that won the races because, in his moronic words, “trans women are in fact women” (italics added). As I showed in my last column, truth has never been a left-wing value.

Moreover, I could not find one “feminist” organization that defended the girl runners of Connecticut. Feminism is no more interested in protecting women than Communism was in protecting workers.

The Left is also the Western home of contemporary anti-Semitism. There are individual anti-Semites across the political spectrum, but the incubator of modern anti-Semitism is the Left. Thanks to leftists such as Jeremy Corbyn, the head of the British Labour Party, and the two new female Muslim members of the U.S. Congress, anti-Semitism is becoming respectable in the West for the first time since the Holocaust. The Left has rendered “Zionism,” the oldest national movement in history — the 2,000-year-old Jewish aspiration to return to Israel — a term of opprobrium. While many individuals continue to support Zionism, the one non-Jewish group to continue to defend it is the evangelical Christian community.

As I show in my commentary on Genesis, what the first book of the Bible depicts is not only God’s creation of the world but, equally important, God’s shaping primordial chaos (Genesis 1:2) into order. The divine order consists of distinctions; prominent examples include man and God, man and animal, male and female, good and evil, holy and profane, parent and child. The Left is a war against order; in its essence, leftism creates chaos. It has worked to destroy all those biblical distinctions. The present giveaway is the nihilist project of the Left to erase the male-female distinction, the only innate human distinction God cares about: “God created mankind in his own image . . . male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). “He created them male and female and blessed them” (Genesis 5:2). No ethnic or racial distinction matters in Genesis, only the male-female distinction.

The God-centered West produced Bach and Michelangelo. The Left, which dominates music and art, has produced mostly junk; there is nothing higher to aspire to, as excellence is not a left-wing value and the Left uses art to shock, not inspire. Hence the huge amount of scatological art, for example.

Belief in God and the Bible were instrumental to the creation of America — the last, best hope of mankind. The rejection of that God and that Bible is instrumental to wrecking America (and the rest of the West). That alone tells me how important that God and that Bible are. The Left knows it, too.



The Russiagate hoax has made the world a more dangerous place by undermining President Trump’s ability to defuse North Korea, China and Russia

Thanks to the Russiagate hoax that sought to falsely frame President Donald Trump as being a Russian agent when he wasn’t, the world has undeniably become a more dangerous place, as America’s partners overseas have had to contend with the real possibility that Trump would be removed from office.

As it turns out, President Trump is not going anywhere, with Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluding the Justice Department’s three-year investigation, quoted in Attorney General William Barr’s letter to Congress: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

But what deals overseas were lost because of the specter of the investigation?

A recent example came last month when President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s summit in Hanoi, Vietnam abruptly ended without a deal on denuclearization. Democrats on Capitol Hill had cynically arranged for former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to testify before the House Oversight Committee against his former boss the same day, which dominated news headlines while the summit was ongoing.

It didn’t matter that Cohen ultimately offered testimony that was exculpatory for Trump — he had never been to Prague in 2016 to meet Russian agents as had been alleged and Trump never directed him to change his testimony to Congress on a potential real estate deal in Russia — the damage may have already been done.

On March 3, Trump took to Twitter to blast the outcome, stating, “For the Democrats to interview in open hearings a convicted liar & fraudster, at the same time as the very important Nuclear Summit with North Korea, is perhaps a new low in American politics and may have contributed to the ‘walk.’ Never done when a president is overseas. Shame!”

Elsewhere, the ongoing investigation into Trump — which turns out was a dead-end with the no-collusion finding — may have been hampering U.S.-China trade talks, too. After the Mueller report was released, financial analysts brightened their outlook on a potential U.S.-China trade deal, CNBC reported in a March 25 story, “Mueller report fuels hopes for a US-China trade deal.”

“The Mueller report isn’t a game changer, but it should encourage China to keep up recent momentum in trying to finalize a deal with Trump… [T]he fact that an impeachment looks less likely will be meaningful for Beijing’s calculus,” Eurasia Group Asia director Michael Hirson told CNBC.

Similarly, The Economist Intelligence Unit Asia regional director Duncan Innes-Ker told CNBC, “The fact there wasn’t any smoking gun, indictment of Trump or Trump family members, puts the administration in a better position to fight for the 2020 election — and that has implications for the trade talks.”

The opposite line there is that while there was still the possibility of Trump being prosecuted or impeached, China felt it should just wait Trump out. Why make any concessions to a president who was about to be removed?

Now world leaders have to contend with the likelihood that Trump will be reelected in 2020.

While the trade talks directly impact China’s economic relationship with the U.S., they also impact how the two superpowers are going to interact going forward. This leads to the question, that if U.S. and Chinese differences on trade cannot be resolved diplomatically now, how will they be resolved later?

The same can be said of U.S.-Russian relations in the aftermath of the 2016 election campaign, where Russia was simultaneously accused of interfering with the election on behalf of Trump by hacking the DNC and John Podesta emails and putting them on Wikileaks and cultivating him as a Russian agent to serve in the White House.

Both sets of allegations led to intelligence agency and Justice Department investigations and were eventually under Mueller’s umbrella. During that time, tensions have absolutely mounted between the U.S. and Russia on nuclear weapons and hotspots like Syria and Ukraine and made the possibility of armed conflict more likely.

One year ago, U.S.-led forces in Syria were attacked by Russian soldiers, where more than 100 Russians were killed in the battle. Fortunately, both sides agreed publicly that the incident was not officially sanctioned by Russia, in what Bloomberg View’s Eli Lake calling it akin to Plato’s “noble lie,” an effort to prevent a wider escalation of tensions between the two superpowers.

The 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty has been abandoned by Washington, D.C. and Moscow, as both the U.S. and Russia have contended each side was in violation of the treaty with the development of ground-based missile systems banned by the treaty. The INF Treaty was the first ever nuclear arms reduction treaty in the nuclear age. It laid the groundwork for the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). Both of those in turn built off of the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaties of the 1970s and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (1970). New START, signed in 2011 and expiring in 2021, could be the next to fall in the wake of the Russia hysteria.

We’re in a new nuclear arms race.

More recently, Russia has just put troops in Venezuela to assist the beleaguered Maduro government and to create a deterrent against potential U.S. intervention there.

All the while, the overwhelming perception has remained that Russia intervened in the 2016 elections.

Disputes over Russia’s annexation of Crimea also remain at the forefront as Ukraine remains a potential hotspot that could draw the U.S. into conflict.

Last summer’s Helsinki summit between Trump and Putin might have been an opportunity to deescalate these tensions and shore up the nuclear security agreements. But that didn’t happen and it is hard not to point to the Russiagate allegations against Trump as having hampered those efforts.

In short, the red phone line has been cut.

Even today, despite the Mueller report’s findings of no collusion, doing a deal would not be easy for Trump, even if coming to an agreement might salvage or strengthen nuclear arms control agreements and benefit humanity by curbing an existential threat.

The problem is in 2016, Trump ran on trying to deescalate the relationship with Russia, and the U.S. national security apparatus launched the Russiagate investigation on him in response, kneecapping the entire presidency in the process.

Now, with Democrats unable to acknowledge the no-collusion finding, any potential agreement remains under a cloud of warrantless suspicion.

U.S. presidents all the way back to Franklin Roosevelt have always been able to talk directly with Moscow without the specter of such an investigation. Yet despite everything that has happened, it is still up to President Trump to attempt to repair the relationship, defuse these hotspots and salvage what remains of nuclear arms control agreements. We need to get back on the same page — for everyone’s sake.



What Iceland Can Teach America about Debt Reduction

Debt reduction is possible. Indeed, there can be huge reductions in a very short period of time.

Iceland is a tiny little country with just 338,000 people (about the population of Santa Ana, CA), but that doesn’t mean it can’t teach us lessons about public policy.

I wrote about the nation’s approach to fisheries in 2016 and explained that the property rights-based system is the best way of protecting fish stocks from over-harvesting.

And in 2013, I wrote about how modest spending restraint was helping to solve fiscal problems created by the financial crisis.

Today, I want to further explore Iceland’s fiscal policy, largely because of this remarkable chart that accompanied a Bloomberg report on the country’s budget strategy.

As you can see, debt skyrocketed during the financial crisis and has since plummeted at a very rapid rate.

This shows debt reduction is possible. Indeed, there can be huge reductions in a very short period of time.

So there may be hope for nations that are in the midst of fiscal crisis (such as Greece), nations that are about to suffer fiscal crisis (Italy is a prime candidate), and nations that will suffer a crisis if there isn’t reform (most developed nations, including the United States).

But what are the specific policy lessons?

Here are some excerpts from the accompanying article, which basically tells us that the government is focused on spending restraint.

Iceland will continue to reduce public debt and sustain a budget surplus even as it lowers taxes in the next five years, Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson said. The plan is part of a financial road map… The balancing act between austerity and the proposed fiscal concessions means less room for the government to…step up other spending… “We will need to impose certain measures of restriction,” Benediktsson said. The government may have to seek cost savings of as much as 5 billion kronur ($42 million), he said. …The financial plan projects a decrease in taxes as well as the Treasury’s debt levels and interest burden. It also expects the bank tax to be lowered in four steps.

But the article didn’t tell us why Iceland’s debt fell so quickly.

So I dug into the IMF’s World Economic Outlook database and crunched some numbers. I specifically wanted to find out why debt fell, both before and after the 2008 crisis.

And I focused on three sets of numbers:

Annual inflation rate
Annual growth of government spending burden
Annual increase in nominal gross domestic product

Here are those numbers, both for the years leading up to the 2008 crisis, as well as what happened starting in 2009.

For both the 2001-07 period and 2009-19 period, Iceland followed my Golden Rule. Government spending (the orange bars) grew slower than the economy (the grey bars).

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that debt fell during both eras.

But debt fell much faster starting in 2009 for the simple reason that the gap between spending growth and GDP growth was very significant over the past 10 years. This is the reason for the big reduction in debt.

And this spending restraint also generated some data that’s even more important—the burden of government spending has dropped from more than 48 percent of economic output in 2009 to less than 41 percent of GDP this year.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


3 April, 2019

Democrats beginning to face their own stupidity

Because they control the House only, they will get nothing enacted unless they do deals but they have shown no willingness to do so.  With a typically Leftist belief in magic, they seem to think that their House bills will somehow fly into law, bypassing the Senate and President. 

It's the same as their apparent belief that if you turn off all the coal-driven power stations, the sun will suddenly start shining day and night and the wind will suddenly start blowing 24/7.  Their indifference to reality is profound. They live in a childish make-believe world

House Democrats are eager to boast about all they’re doing with their new majority. The only problem? Most of it’s headed for Mitch McConnell’s dustbin.

From a sweeping health care package to ambitious proposals on gun safety, climate change and voting reforms, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her sprawling class of freshmen are quickly following through on the campaign promises that won them the House. But after they pass their proposals, that’s as far as they’ll go — a frustrating dynamic that lawmakers grudgingly acknowledge.

“I’m not sure that anything we do is going to reach the floor of the Senate,” said House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.). “That’s the reality.”

McConnell (R-Ky.), faced with his own reelection and defending a tough GOP map in 2020, has no incentive to work with House Democrats on their domestic agenda.

A Senate blockade will deny Democrats tangible wins to tout on the campaign trail, while keeping vulnerable Senate GOP incumbents from having to take difficult votes. Republicans also are intent on shielding President Donald Trump from potentially awkward veto fights on legislation that polls well.

As Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) put it: “We are the firewall.”

“Most of that stuff is really easy for Republicans in the Senate to message against,” said Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.). “We think a lot of the ideas over there are crazy. I don’t see many of our folks who have much problem messaging against most of what their agenda’s going to consist of.”

Gridlock in divided government is a longstanding Washington tradition, with the fast-moving House frequently stymied by the Senate. It’s not all bad for Democrats, who can help lay the groundwork for Democrats’ 2020 agenda and show voters what the party can do if it sweeps into power in the next election.

But it’s the latest reality check for House Democrats, who assumed power amid the longest government shutdown in history and saw their agenda frozen for weeks until a deadlock over Trump’s border wall was resolved.

When Pelosi and her deputies were finally able to turn to their big-ticket items, including passing a gun background checks bill and a sprawling anti-corruption package, they were overshadowed by caucus infighting and procedural stumbles.

Now Democrats — particularly the 60-plus freshmen — are encountering a new reality: It doesn’t matter what they do as long as Republicans control both the Senate and the White House.

“Right now, we are not doing anything — House and the Senate combined,” said freshman Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.). “I am frustrated that Mitch McConnell is a coward. Unwilling, unable to put legislation on the floor.”

Senate Democrats know this dynamic all too well, having seen McConnell stifle President Barack Obama’s agenda, not to mention his Supreme Court nominee in 2016. “He’s going to give it the Merrick Garland treatment,” said Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) of House Democrats’ agenda.

McConnell isn’t entirely unwilling to put liberal proposals on the floor, at least when he senses a political benefit. With the Democrats’ divided over the Green New Deal, McConnell put the measure up for a vote last week only to see 43 Democrats vote present — an awkward result for a blueprint endorsed by many Senate Democrats running for president.

Senate Republicans could also push for votes on “Medicare for All” or keeping the Supreme Court at nine justices to try and divide Democrats. Democrats say privately that the strategy of voting present is now viewed as the best way to deal with “gotcha” votes from McConnell.

But when it comes to the sweeping ethics and election reforms of HR 1 or other major progressive proposals, Democrats’ have little hope of getting Senate Republicans even on the record. That leaves relatively small-bore legislation as perhaps the only option for success in divided government, but there hasn’t been much focus on infrastructure improvements or other bipartisan ideas in either chamber.

Pelosi aides argue public pressure could force McConnell to act on bills passed by the House. “Public support for the For The People agenda was critical to our victory in November and it will be key to removing any obstacle in our way, including a Republican Senate,” said Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill.

Some House Democrats’ frustration is focused not on McConnell but within their own caucus. “It’s time to move off the talking points and on to legislating,” said Rep. Kurt Schrader of Oregon, a moderate Democrat who hasn’t been shy about criticizing his party’s leadership. “I haven’t heard about anything that deals with the economy or some of the other issues.”

Schrader noted he and other members of the center-left Blue Dog Coalition sent a letter to Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) in January, urging them to prioritize passing a transportation bill.

“I assume this is just playing to the left wing of our base and that we’ll move on to the infrastructure, prescription drugs,” Schrader added of the current agenda.

Other moderates are also hopeful leadership will soon move past what they see as pie-in-the-sky messaging bills.

“I wouldn’t call it frustration. I would call it anticipation,” said Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.). “I’m very hopeful that on both transportation and infrastructure, and on health care costs, we might be moving into that phase.”

House Democrats have held multiple hearings on infrastructure and prescription drugs, a precursor, aides argue, to bringing legislation to the floor later this year.

Pelosi’s staff is in the early stages of talks with the White House and senior Senate Republicans on a potential prescription drug package. But even infrastructure — an idea that at its broadest unites Democrats, Republicans and Trump — comes with its own hurdles.

House Democrats are expected to pivot to their infrastructure package in late spring or early summer. But, as in past years, finding a long-term solution for highway and other transit investments will be difficult. Lawmakers have resisted raising the gas tax for 25 years.

In the meantime, House Democrats are about to see a repeat dynamic from eight years ago, when emboldened Republicans took the House majority and sent then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) dozens of conservative bills. Reid let virtually all of them languish.

“When you’re in the House, you’re consumed” with your agenda, said Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), a former House member. Then “you look at the papers ... and you go: 'No one’s talking about what we’re working on.' Because everyone knows it’s not going anywhere.”

Perhaps the best result for Democrats would be that inaction on their legislation puts pressure on GOP Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado, Susan Collins of Maine or Martha McSally of Arizona to break with McConnell and demand votes on campaign-finance reform or environmental bills. While a long shot, that would at least make the point that even if Democrats beat Trump, they need to capture the Senate as well.

“If all they do under McConnell’s leadership is block everything in a presidential turnout year, I think they really risk losing some of their seats like Maine, like Colorado, like Arizona,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.). “If they want to keep control of the U.S. Senate, they better deliver something.”



Embarrassing: Rachel Maddow Lies About Mueller Report as MSNBC Chyron Tells MSNBC Viewers the Truth

In a letter to lawmakers last Friday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr effectively destroyed all of the Democrats' talking points about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's soon-to-be released report into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and he chastised Democrats -- like Rachel Maddow -- who willfully mischaracterized his summary of principal conclusions.

Many Democrats in Congress and in the media spent much of last week darkly hinting that the attorney general was engaging in some kind of cover-up to protect the president.

In his letter, Barr put their conspiracy theories to bed, explaining that "the Special Counsel is assisting us" in the process of making redactions that are necessary by law, such as "potentially compromising sensitive sources and methods," "material that could affect other ongoing matters," and "information that would unduly infringe on the personal privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties."

The attorney general also stated that because the president was not asserting executive privilege, the White House will not even be afforded a "privileged review" of his report before it is released.

On her show Friday night, Maddow demonstrated that she either didn't read Barr's letter, or she refused to accept its contents because she continued to mischaracterize the process by which Mueller's "confidential report" was being made accessible to the public. Unfortunately for her, the person handling MSNBC's chyron Friday night did read the report, so it contradicted her false talking points in real time.

"It's hard to believe that they'd leave the newly appointed Attorney General William Barr to himself to personally pick through the report to try to figure out which mentions in this 400-page report might pertain to an open case," she declared. "They wouldn't leave that to Barr to do that. Mueller would have done that!" Maddow exclaimed as the MSNBC chyron informed viewers that Mueller actually was "assisting with redactions."

"Mueller's team would have done that as part of producing anything that they handed over outside their own offices," Maddow continued. "They've done that with every other document they have produced in the course of this investigation. You'd assume they'd be able to do that for this document too. But William Barr says, [exaggerated sigh] it's taking him a really long time because he's having to do all that himself."

"Barr: Special Counsel Is Assisting with Redactions," the MSNBC chyron meanwhile informed viewers.

Barr on Friday announced that he would be able to release a redacted copy of the report by mid-April -- which is not what most people would consider "a really long time."



The Democrats' Voting-Rights-for-Teenagers Scam
By Candace Owens

An overwhelming majority of Americans know that lowering the voting age to 16 years old is a very bad idea. Nonetheless, a majority of Democrats are convinced that they know better than the rest of us.

Earlier this month, 125 House Democrats voted in favor of the initiative, backing a failed proposal that would have severely weakened the integrity of our democratic election system. The measure was defeated, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently attempted to keep the idea alive, arguing that she supports giving high school sophomores the right to vote in national elections.

“I myself, personally, I’m not speaking for my caucus, I myself have always been for lowering the voting age to 16,” the lawmaker said. “I think it’s really important to capture kids when they’re in high school when they’re interested in all of this when they’re learning about government to be able to vote."

Even some of the most prominent Democrat candidates for president in 2020 — including Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Amy Klobuchar — are jumping on the bandwagon, publicly announcing that they are open to the idea of lowering the voting age to 16.

Pelosi’s Democratic Party colleagues may share her views on the matter, but the American people most definitely don’t — one recent poll found that 74 percent of likely voters oppose lowering the voting age, with just 17 percent endorsing the idea.

To a large extent, that result simply reflects common sense. As a society, we’ve decided it’s in our best interest not to entrust 16-year-olds with a variety of privileges, such as getting married or watching R-rated movies. We don’t even give 16-year-olds full driving privileges — every single state imposes some sort of restriction on young drivers until they reach a certain age or amass a certain amount of driving experience.

There are also compelling scientific reasons to keep the voting age where it is. As we improve our understanding of childhood development and the brains of teenagers, it becomes increasingly clear that 16-year-olds simply lack the maturity, mental capacity, and decision-making skills to be thoughtful and informed voters.

According to a 2008 report from the University of California-Berkeley, most teenagers aren’t capable of processing information or controlling impulses in the same way as adults — a factor that largely explains the high crime rates among adolescents.

"For many teens, the output of their underdeveloped decision processing centers may be as mild as choosing a bag of cheese puffs for lunch or a new purple hairdo,” the report explains. “But some youngsters take bigger risks — such as stealing a car or trying drugs. More 17-year-olds commit crimes than any other age group, according to recent studies by psychiatrists."

More recently, scientists have claimed that the human brain may not reach full maturity until around age 30, suggesting that it would make more sense to consider raising the voting age than lowering it.

Besides, even if teenagers were capable of rational decision-making, they would still lack the life experience necessary to make fully-informed decisions. With extremely few exceptions, teenagers have never paid bills or taxes, or even worked a non-seasonal full-time job, detaching them from some of the most hotly debated policy issues in American politics.

Of course, the very qualities that cause nearly three-quarters of Americans to recoil from the idea of letting 16-year-olds vote are also what make them so attractive to Democrats. Someone who has never paid taxes, after all, probably won’t be very motivated to vote against tax increases, just as someone whose only experience in the workforce comes from part-time jobs probably won’t see any harm in raising the minimum wage.

The lack of impulse control plays right into the Democrats’ hands, too. Impulsivity is key to many of their flagship policy proposals, including Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. That’s because support for such measures invariably collapses once people look beyond tag-lines such as "free healthcare” and “save the planet” to consider the trillions upon trillions of dollars in new taxes and severe restrictions on individual liberty that those policies would entail.

Lowering the voting age is just a ploy by the Democratic Party to change the electoral system to favor them in 2020 so that they can avoid a repetition of their embarrassing defeat in 2016. Fortunately, the American people saw through this trick from the start.



Denying American Greatness
Everything that is wrong with the political left was on full display on MSNBC earlier this week. That’s generally the case just about every night on MSNBC.

But it was particularly outrageous Wednesday night when former Attorney General Eric Holder was asked about Trump’s slogan, “Make America great again.” Holder replied:

“When I hear these things about ‘Let’s make America great again,’ I think to myself: ‘Exactly when did you think America was great?’”

Of course, Holder’s rhetorical question was just his way of saying, “America has never been great.” Whatever period of time or example you might offer, Holder is ready to tell you why you’re wrong and where we fell short.

This is the left’s mantra. They deny America’s greatness by comparing it to some utopia that doesn’t exist and never did. If leftists like Holder think there’s a better country out there, I’m willing to pay for a first class one-way plane ticket!

In fact, I think we could break records with a GoFundMe page offering one-way tickets to any liberal’s workers paradise of their choice. Cuba, Venezuela, China – wherever they think the grass is greener, I’m willing to help them get there.

The truth is that America IS great compared to the other countries of the world, and I am willing to debate that with any one at any time.

After hearing about Holder’s remarks, Vice President Mike Pence gave Holder a brief history lesson, which he apparently never got in school. Pence posted four iconic pictures of American greatness on Twitter:

Washington crossing the Delaware River
American GIs raising the flag over Iwo Jima
Buzz Aldrin posing with the flag on the moon, and
Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking on the National Mall.

Sadly, I suspect Holder will still fail the final exam.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


2 April, 2019

Fed-Up Constituents Beginning To Turn on AOC: ‘You Are Not a Princess’

Democratic freshman New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s rapid rise to prominence would be considered by many as uneven, at best.

Her “Green New Deal” was a failure when it reached the Senate, she has quickly amassed ethics complaints and has even feuded with her own party.

Despite it all, Ocasio-Cortez still seems to be a media darling and is often treated as something like a rock star by the establishment media.

That is not sitting well with her constituents.

As The Washington Times reports, some of the voters who elected Ocasio-Cortez to be their representative don’t feel particularly well-represented and are turning against her.

“I see her on TV a lot but not in the neighborhood,” waitress Barbara Nosel told The Times. “You are supposed to come to the people without the media. You are one of us. You worked in a bar. You are not a princess.”

Despite her foibles, the 29-year-old congresswoman still has supporters in her 14th Congressional District, though even her backers are not particularly enamored with her style and seem to be turning against her to a degree.

“I admire her oomph. She’s Puerto Rican. She’s fighting for middle America,” Iris Acosta, a retired teacher, told The Times. “I just don’t like her being too fast, in your face. Go a little slower, and she could do a lot.”

Others think that her lack of experience should dampen her rapid ascent to stardom.

“People are billing her as a superstar. I think she doesn’t have enough experience,” lawyer Manuel Fabian, a registered Democrat, told The Times. Fabian also expressed doubts about America’s willingness to become a full-blown socialist country.

“The Green New Deal looks good on paper, but I’m reluctant to give the government so much power, and I don’t think this country is ready to embrace a socialist platform and I don’t think we ever will be,” Fabian added. “But I’m willing to give her a chance. She’s got to learn the ropes.”

Political science professor Michael Miller said he believes that the spotlight may be too bright, too soon for Ocasio-Cortez.

“Most members of Congress toil in relative obscurity, so voters may never learn that the member has done something disagreeable. But with the spotlight on her and every action scrutinized, of course, it is more likely that the typical voter finds something to nitpick,” Miller said.

The trepidation and concerns over Ocasio-Cortez from her own constituents falls in line with a broader trend of voters not being thrilled with her. A national poll released by Quinnipiac University on Thursday found the freshman congresswoman decidedly polarizing.

“All is definitely not A-OK for AOC. Most voters either don’t like the firebrand freshman Congresswoman or don’t know who she is,” Tim Malloy, associate director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said. Ocasio-Cortez will be up for re-election in 2020. Time will tell whether her constituents vote her back in.



GOP Shifting Focus After Mueller Probe, Eyeing Obama Officials

About time

If some Capitol Hill Republicans have their way, key members of former President Barack Obama’s administration will get a taste of the same kind of scrutiny to which special counsel Robert Mueller subjected President Donald Trump.

“What did President Obama know and when? How did this hoax go on for so long unabated?” Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul tweeted Wednesday.

“We need every ounce of information about the people at the very top of our intelligence community that were promoting the inclusion of this fake dossier,” Paul said, according to The Hill, specifically citing former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper for their roles in launching the initial investigation of the Trump campaign.

“A high-level source tells me it was Brennan who insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier be included in the Intelligence Report… Brennan should be asked to testify under oath in Congress ASAP,” Paul tweeted.

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Earlier this week, Attorney General William Barr announced that Mueller’s investigation, which lasted 22 months, found no collusion between Trump and Russia.

Republicans say the nation needs to know what went on during the final weeks of the Obama administration to launch an investigation with such a shaky foundation.

“I’m going to get answers to this,” South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said, Politico reported. “If no one else cares, it seems that Republicans do. Because if the shoe were on the other foot, it would be front page news all over the world. The double standard here has been striking and quite frankly disappointing.”

He said he would focus upon how and why unverified information was used to launch investigations of Trump.

Graham said a full investigation is needed to determine “whether those who believed that the FBI and the Department of Justice were playing politics, that they wanted (2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary) Clinton to win and Trump to lose, that somebody can satisfy them. By any reasonable standard, Mr. Mueller thoroughly investigated the Trump campaign. You cannot say that about the other side of the story.”

 Lindsey Graham with Neil Cavuto suggested something's wrong with a system allowing the orchestration of spygate against Trump.

I shake my head because Graham knows as well as everyone else that this had been orchestrated from the top starting with former President Obama.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has given his blessing to Graham’s efforts to investigate potential misconduct during the Obama administration.

“I think it’s not inappropriate for the chairman of the Judiciary Committee with jurisdiction over the Justice Department to investigate possible misbehavior,” the Kentucky Republican said, according to The Hill.

McConnell noted that the Democrat-controlled House has organized a multitude of investigations of Trump.

“The House is not going to miss an opportunity in … the coming months to look at what they perceive to be things that require oversight. The Senate is involved in the oversight business just like the House is,” he said.

Former FBI Director James Comey is likely to find himself under fresh scrutiny, said Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn.

“I think Director Comey is probably near the top. He’s the one who said that his intention of leaking memos of his conversation was designed to prompt the appointment of a special counsel. It just strikes me as some vindictiveness and animus toward the president motivating a lot of the action,” Cornyn said.

Some answers also might come to light through the watchdog group Judicial Watch.

“President Obama’s top spy chiefs appear to have been ringleaders in the illicit effort to overthrow President Trump,” the group said in a statement on its website.

“Now we want to know the details of their connections to the network. We have filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) seeking records of communications between former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and CNN around the time the Clinton-Democrat National Committee anti-Trump dossier was being pitched to key media outlets,” it said.



Trump Abruptly Cuts Direct Aid to 3 Central American Countries

The Trump administration says it is cutting direct U.S. aid to three Central American countries. The State Department said in a statement that it will suspend 2017 and 2018 payments to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Trump has made slowing immigration from those countries through Mexico a bedrock issue of his presidency.

The announcement comes as Trump threatens to shut down the U.S. border with Mexico overall over immigration.

Trump says he is likely to shut down America’s southern border next week unless Mexican authorities immediately halt all illegal immigration. Such a severe move could hit the economies of both countries, but the president emphasized, “I am not kidding around.”

Trump says that “could mean all trade” with Mexico. Trump has been promising for more than two years to build a long, impenetrable wall along the border to stop illegal immigration, though Congress has been reluctant to provide the money he needs.

In the meantime, he has repeatedly threatened to close the border.

But this time, with a new surge of migrants heading north, he gave a definite timetable.



Trump Admin. To Quadruple Number of Asylum Seekers Sent Back to Other Side Of Border

Border enforcement officials intend to quadruple the number of daily asylum applicants who are sent back to the other side of the U.S.-Mexico border.

As part of its multi-faceted attempt to clamp down on the massive amount of illegal immigration taking place at the southern border, the U.S. government plans to increase the number of asylum applicants who are pushed back into Mexico as they await their claims in court, according to a Trump administration official who spoke with the Associated Press.

There are roughly 60 asylum seekers a day who are sent back to Mexico at the El Paso, Calexico and San Ysidro ports of entry.

These individuals are permitted to return to the U.S. for their court dates, but with a backlog of more than 700,000 immigration cases, they may wait years for their cases to progress through the system.

Numerous immigration hardliners — including President Donald Trump — argue that many migrants are lodging bogus asylum claims as a means to enter the U.S.

“You have people coming, you know they’re all met by the lawyers … And they come out, and they’re met by the lawyers, and they say, ‘Say the following phrase: I am very afraid for my life. I am afraid for my life.’ OK,” the president said during a speech in Michigan on Thursday.

“And then I look at the guy. He looks like he just got out of the ring. He’s a heavyweight champion of the world. It’s a big fat con job.”

Immigration officials aim to return as many as 300 migrants a day by the end the week. However, the plan as so far been slow to develop.

In San Ysidro, for example, the Mexican government has been willing to take in up to 120 asylum seekers a week, but the U.S. has sent back only 40 per week during the first six weeks.

The entire effort is part of the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which does not apply to Mexican nationals or children.

The plans come as the Trump administration has embarked on several different initiatives to curb illegal immigration.

Trump declared a national emergency, allowing him to allocate billions more in funding for a wall construction at the southern border.

The State Department on Saturday announced it will work to withhold around $700 million in financial aid to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras for — as Trump argues — failing to stem the flow of illegal immigrants leaving their counties.

Trump has also warned he prepared to shut the U.S.-Mexico border down completely.



Trump Calls for Stripping Washington Post, NYT of Pulitzer Prize for Russian Collusion Reporting

President Donald Trump on Friday called on The Washington Post and The New York Times to be stripped of Pulitzer Prizes that the newspapers received last year for reporting on Russiagate.

The Post and The Times shared the 2018 Pulitzer for a series of reports on developments in the Russia investigation.

Many of the core allegations in the reports were undercut with the recent revelation that Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not find collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

“The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” Mueller wrote in his 400-page report, according to Attorney General William Barr.

According to Barr, Mueller also did not establish “that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate” conspired or “knowingly coordinated” with Russian efforts to use social media platforms to spread disinformation during the 2016 campaign or to hack Democrats’ emails and disseminate them online.

On Sunday, after Barr released the summary of Mueller’s findings, Donald Trump Jr. also blasted The Post and Times over their award-winning reports.

In announcing the awards in April 2018, the Pulitzer committee praised the Post and Times’ Russia reporting.

“For deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration,” the committee said.

None of the 20 stories cited by the Pulitzer committee have come under particular scrutiny, but most furthered the narrative of collusion between the Trump team and Russia.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


1 April, 2019

This has been the best week of Donald Trump’s political life

If anyone has a reason to smile right now, it’s Donald Trump. The US leader just had one of the best weeks of his life — and it could change everything.

Dark clouds that have been hanging over the US President’s head for years were destroyed in just a couple of days.

Now, Mr Trump is effectively untouchable. Chances of impeaching him before the next election are pretty much at zero, and at the same time, the Pentagon has thrown a wad of fresh cash at his border wall.

Here’s what’s gone down this week.


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For almost two years, the biggest threat to the President’s administration has been a special counsel investigation into whether he colluded with Russia to influence the results of the federal election.

For many Democrats, impeaching the President rested on the results of this report. If he was found guilty, there may have been enough grounds to begin the impeachment process. Without that, not so much.

“The special counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or co-ordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 US Presidential Election,” Attorney-General William Barr wrote to Congress about the report.

This means the possibility of impeaching Mr Trump is now highly unlikely.

“In terms of the political consequences, the possibility of impeachment is at near zero,” Dr David Smith from the United States Studies Centre told news.com.au earlier this week. “Nancy Pelosi already said she wasn’t keen on impeachment unless there was bipartisan consensus. This makes it impossible for there to be any bipartisan consensus.”

While the President faces a separate legal investigation into hush money payments, this is unlikely to play out until he’s left office.

Democrats are still pushing for the actual Mueller report to be made public — particularly in light of Mr Barr’s letter noting that the report “does not exonerate” the President.

They are hoping the report can provide insight into how the investigation was conducted, and potentially pinpoint any evidence of obstructing justice on Mr Trump’s part.

But regardless, the verdict won’t change — and that’s very much a reason for the billionaire to celebrate.


So, back to those hush money payments. Porn star Stormy Daniels alleged that she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006.

In January last year, it was revealed that Mr Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen had paid Daniels $US130,000 one month before the US election to keep her from discussing the alleged affair.

Last August, Mr Cohen pleaded guilty to eight charges, including a campaign finance violation, for his role in the transaction. It formed part of his three-year prison sentence.

Mr Trump has consistently denied that he ever personally directed Mr Cohen to make the payments — a move that would constitute an impeachable offence.

While it hasn’t been proved whether Mr Trump did direct Mr Cohen to do so, it hasn’t been great for the President’s reputation.

So it came as good news to him this week that Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, has been charged with extortion and fraud.

Avenatti is facing up to 50 years in jail after he was charged with wire fraud, bank fraud and attempting to extort more than $US20 million ($A28 million) from Nike Inc.

The arrest came just one day after the Mueller announcement. US lawyer Nick Hanna said the timing of the two incidents was not related.

His charges would seem especially sweet to Mr Trump because the lawyer’s fame came from the affair.

He gained a huge Twitter presence, appeared at rallies, become a guest on late-night talk shows and was interviewed by US media networks like CNN and MSNBC dozens of times.

He also showed a willingness to match Mr Trump’s brash speaking style, matching the President insult for insult. He even once announced that he was considering a run for the Oval Office in 2020.

Avenatti was freed on $US300,000 bail and continues to deny the allegations. But that hasn’t stopped his opponents from making digs:


Earlier this week, the US Congress failed in its attempt to block Donald Trump’s national emergency over the border wall.

The Democrat-controlled House tried to override the President’s first veto — which required two-thirds of the chamber’s support, or 290 votes — but ended with a total of 248 votes in favour versus 181 against, meaning it will not move to the Senate for consideration.

This all gives Mr Trump the power to move forward with one of the core issues of his presidential campaign: the border wall.

This was the core promise of Mr Trump’s campaign and he needs to fulfil it to keep his support base strong.

The outcome was expected, with Congress overriding a veto being a rare success. Just last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the vote wouldn’t be about getting enough votes, but about sending a message.

Still, the fight to get around Congress and secure more money for the border wall looks set to get easier for Mr Trump now.


At the beginning of the week, the Pentagon announced it had authorised the transfer of up to $US1 billion to build extra barriers along the US-Mexico border.

The shift in funds was justified under Mr Trump’s declaration of a national emergency.

The Democrats strongly objected to the move, with Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, issuing a letter that read: “We have serious concerns that the Department has allowed political interference and pet projects to come ahead of many near-term, critical readiness issues facing our military.”

But it didn’t matter. 91km of “pedestrian fencing” is now set to be constructed along stretches of the border in Arizona and Texas.

The Pentagon said the cash fund transfer would help “block drug-smuggling corridors across international boundaries of the United States in support of counter-narcotic activities of Federal law enforcement agencies”.



Epic projection:  Democrats accuse others of what they do

“This president is the first president in the modern history of our country who is trying to divide our people up based on the color of their skin, the country they were born in, their sexual orientation, their gender, their religion. And that is an outrage.”

That was Bernie Sanders, a Democrat candidate for president in 2020, at a CNN town hall event in late February. And as the Vermont Socialist explained, “our job is to bring our people together, not to divide them up.” This was not a new theme for Democrats.

In September of 2018 at the University of Illinois, POTUS 44  accused Trump and Republicans of knowingly dividing America by “appealing to tribe, appealing to fear, pitting one group against another, telling people that order and security will be restored if it weren’t for those who don’t look like us or don’t sound like us or don’t pray like we do.” As the previous president explained, “that’s an old playbook,” and he was right about that.

The greatest divider of modern times was Karl Marx, 1818-1883, author of Manifest der Kommunistischen Parte, the 1848 Communist Manifesto. Marx divided people into “bourgeois” and “proletariat.” In this class system, the bourgeoisie own the means of production, factories, business and so forth, which enable them to produce wealth. The proletariat are the workers, blinded by false consciousness from opiates such as religion. As Marx had it, the bourgeois capitalist bosses exploit the workers and this has been the model for the left ever since.

Feminists divide society into the classes of oppressive patriarchs exploiting women, who are all victims as a class. In this view, institutions such as marriage are prisons of patriarchy. In similar style, homosexual activists divide society into gay and straight people. In this view, the straight heterosexuals are defective “homophobic” oppressors, not partisans of different views on sexuality.

Racial theorists divide society into “people of color,” which implies people of no color. By some accounts, people of color dates from 1807 to designate anyone of any part African ancestry. The left currently deploys it to charge those pale skin shade, over which they had no choice, with “white privilege” that exploits the people of color. The Marxist exploitation model also divides society into a creditor class and a debtor class.

In this view, the privileged people of no color must pay reparations for slavery, abolished more than 150 years ago. Even the descendants of Union soldiers, and the people of no color who came to the USA after the Civil War, must now pay up.

This reparations demand is never applied to Cuba, where more than one million slaves landed, far more than the 388,000 in the United States, which has elected an African American president. Between 33 and 60 percent of Cubans have African ancestry but since the 1950s Cuba has been ruled by an all-white Stalinist dictatorship that holds many black political prisoners, put homosexuals into labor camps, and allowed no free elections.

Sanders charged that the president is dividing people by religion. The Democrat socialist is quiet about the Nation of Islam, which believes that the exploitive people of no color are the result of an experiment by a mad scientist named Yacub some 6,000 years ago. And in the NOI view, members of the Jewish religion are a satanic breed. This brand of hatred is obviously divisive but leading Democrats remain very chummy with NOI boss Louis Farrakhan, photographed with a smiling senator Barack Obama back in 2005.

Bernie Sanders also tags Trump for dividing people based on “the county they were born in.” Trump has no problem with Taiwan-born labor transportation secretary Elaine Chao. He does have a problem with people who break U.S. immigration laws and enter the United States illegally. Democrats want more of them, in their quest for an imported electoral college, and this further divides the country.

Bernie Sanders also believes that heath care is a right, which was the position of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, where the socialist Democrat spent his honeymoon. The USSR’s Communist bosses maintained that health care was a substantive right, unlike merely formal, bourgeois rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and so forth.

So the presidential hopeful, who would have been the Democrats’ candidate in 2016 if Hillary Clinton had not rigged the process, is all-in on the socialist ideology. He’s basically an old Commie spouting the orthodoxies of the dreariest, most repressive regimes of modern times, perhaps of all time.

By implication, those who don’t agree with Bernie and the Democrats’ socialist Sanders Youth are dividing Americans, who seldom agree on politicians. The Nixon-Kennedy election of 1960, for example, was practically a dead heat.

When leftist politicians accuse others it is generally what they are up to themselves. Leftist Democrats such as Hillary Clinton divide the nation into the politically correct class and that basket of Islamophobic, homophobic, racist deplorables.

As POTUS 44 noted last year at the University of Illinois, the strategy of division is “as old as time. And in a healthy democracy, it doesn’t work.” It sure didn’t work for Hillary in 2016, so the Hawaii-born Harvard law alum, a composite character in his own Dreams from My Father novel, did get something right after all.




Jussie Smollet was great for Trump

I have said it before so I may as well say it again: No man in America has done more to help Donald Trump get elected in 2020, nor indeed done more to promote the fight for homophobia and white supremacy, than this self-indulgent, self-obsessed, delusional narcissist who was so utterly deranged as to think it was a good idea to do what he did and so utterly dumb to do it the way he did.

First, to the facts, as rare and irrelevant as they are these days: There is no question that Smollett arranged and paid for a racist and homophobic hate crime to be committed upon himself by persons he knew and paid to do it. We know this because the fake perpetrators confessed, the police had this and an overwhelming body of evidence, a grand jury indicted him and even the state’s attorney who inexplicably dropped the charges said the police were right.

Effectively the prosecutors just said “Yeah but nah” and let Smollett walk free, upon which he immediately proclaimed his absolute innocence — even though the very fools who let him walk free made clear the opposite was the case.

As a result this self-appointed black rights activist made liars of the black American police chief and the black police officers standing behind him, all of whom he had already tried to a make a fool of. He also incurred the righteous fury of Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, best known for helping to elect the United States’ first black president.

All of these men are true heroes in the fight to advance African-Americans and Smollett shat all over them. But it’s even worse than that.

The key weapon in any racist’s arsenal, the white supremacist A-bomb, is that there is no racial disadvantage at all. That in fact all these claims of oppression and hate are coming from overprivileged douchebags who are trying to use this perception just to benefit themselves.

Most of the time this is rampant rubbish and it has no power when some skinhead or suit is just saying it because it’s obviously untrue. But get a clear-cut provable case of someone from the other side actually doing it and those bastards can hang their argument on it from here to kingdom come. To quote the great George Michael, who actually did do great things for gay people: “All we have to do now is take these lies and make them true somehow.”

And what did Smollett do? You guessed it. He took the lie and made it true.

This is the greatest free kick anyone anywhere could give any racist homo-hater and the state attorney’s office just ran up and planted it clean between the posts.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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Postings from Brisbane, Australia by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.) -- former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party. And now a "Deplorable"

When it comes to political incorrectness, I hit the trifecta. I talk about race, IQ and social class. I have an academic background in all three subjects but that wins me no forgiveness

The fundamental aim of all Leftist policy is to disrupt the lives of their fellow citizens -- whom they regard as "complacent" -- as much as possible

At its most basic psychological level, conservatives are the contented people and Leftists are the discontented people. And both are largely dispositional, inborn -- which is why they so rarely change

As a good academic, I first define my terms: A Leftist is a person who is so dissatisfied with the way things naturally are that he/she is prepared to use force to make people behave in ways that they otherwise would not.

So an essential feature of Leftism is that they think they have the right to tell other people what to do

Leftists are the disgruntled folk. They see things in the world that are not ideal and conclude therefore that they have the right to change those things by force. Conservative explanations of why things are not ideal -- and never can be -- fall on deaf ears

Leftists aim to deliver dismay and disruption into other people's lives -- and they are good at achieving that.

Leftists are wolves in sheep's clothing

Liberals are people who don't believe in liberty

Because they claim to have all the answers to society's ills, Communists often seem "cool" to young people

German has a word that describes most Leftists well: "Scheinheilig" - A person who appears to be very kind, soft natured, and filled with pure goodness but behind the facade, has a vile nature. He is seemingly holy but is an unscrupulous person on the inside.

The new faith is very oppressive: Leftist orthodoxy is the new dominant religion of the Western world and it is every bit as bigoted and oppressive as Christianity was at its worst

There are two varieties of authoritarian Leftism. Fascists are soft Leftists, preaching one big happy family -- "Better together" in other words. Communists are hard Leftists, preaching class war.

Equality: The nonsensical and incoherent claim that underlies so much Leftist discourse is "all men are equal". And that is the envier's gospel. It makes not a scrap of sense and shows no contact with reality but it is something that enviers resort to as a way of soothing their envious feelings. They deny the very differences that give them so much heartburn. "Denial" was long ago identified by Freud as a maladaptive psychological defence mechanism and "All men are equal" is a prize example of that. Whatever one thinks of his theories, Freud was undoubtedly an acute observer of people and very few psychologists today would doubt the maladaptive nature of denial as described by Freud.

Socialism is the most evil malady ever to afflict the human brain. The death toll in WWII alone tells you that

The standard response from Marxist apologists for Stalin and other Communist dictators is to say you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. To which Orwell retorted, ‘Where’s the omelette?’

You do still occasionally see some mention of the old idea that Leftist parties represent the worker. In the case of the U.S. Democrats that is long gone. Now they want to REFORM the worker. No wonder most working class Americans these days vote Republican. Democrats are the party of the minorities and the smug

"The tendency of liberals is to create bodies of men and women — of all classes — detached from tradition, alienated from religion, and susceptible to mass suggestion — mob rule. And a mob will be no less a mob if it is well fed, well clothed, well housed, and well disciplined." —T.S. Eliot

We live in a country where the people own the Government and not in a country where the Government owns the people -- Churchill

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others" -- Cicero. See here

The Left have a lot in common with tortoises. They have a thick mental shell that protects them from the reality of the world about them

Definition of a Socialist: Someone who wants everything you have...except your job.

Let's start with some thought-provoking graphics

Israel: A great powerhouse of the human spirit

The difference in practice

The United Nations: A great ideal but a sordid reality

Alfred Dreyfus, a reminder of French antisemitism still relevant today

Eugenio Pacelli, a righteous Gentile, a true man of God and a brilliant Pope

Leftism in one picture:

The "steamroller" above who got steamrollered by his own hubris. Spitzer is a warning of how self-destructive a vast ego can be -- and also of how destructive of others it can be.

R.I.P. Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet deposed a law-defying Marxist President at the express and desperate invitation of the Chilean parliament. Allende had just burnt the electoral rolls so it wasn't hard to see what was coming. Pinochet pioneered the free-market reforms which Reagan and Thatcher later unleashed to world-changing effect. That he used far-Leftist methods to suppress far-Leftist violence is reasonable if not ideal. The Leftist view that they should have a monopoly of violence and that others should follow the law is a total absurdity which shows only that their hate overcomes their reason

Leftist writers usually seem quite reasonable and persuasive at first glance. The problem is not what they say but what they don't say. Leftist beliefs are so counterfactual ("all men are equal", "all men are brothers" etc.) that to be a Leftist you have to have a talent for blotting out from your mind facts that don't suit you. And that is what you see in Leftist writing: A very selective view of reality. Facts that disrupt a Leftist story are simply ignored. Leftist writing is cherrypicking on a grand scale

So if ever you read something written by a Leftist that sounds totally reasonable, you have an urgent need to find out what other people say on that topic. The Leftist will almost certainly have told only half the story

We conservatives have the facts on our side, which is why Leftists never want to debate us and do their best to shut us up. It's very revealing the way they go to great lengths to suppress conservative speech at universities. Universities should be where the best and brightest Leftists are to be found but even they cannot stand the intellectual challenge that conservatism poses for them. It is clearly a great threat to them. If what we say were ridiculous or wrong, they would grab every opportunity to let us know it

A conservative does not hanker after the new; He hankers after the good. Leftists hanker after the untested

Just one thing is sufficient to tell all and sundry what an unamerican lamebrain Obama is. He pronounced an army corps as an army "corpse" Link here. Can you imagine any previous American president doing that? Many were men with significant personal experience in the armed forces in their youth.

A favorite Leftist saying sums up the whole of Leftism: "To make an omelette, you've got to break eggs". They want to change some state of affairs and don't care who or what they destroy or damage in the process. They think their alleged good intentions are sufficient to absolve them from all blame for even the most evil deeds

In practical politics, the art of Leftism is to sound good while proposing something destructive

Leftists are the "we know best" people, meaning that they are intrinsically arrogant. Matthew chapter 6 would not be for them. And arrogance leads directly into authoritarianism

Leftism is fundamentally authoritarian. Whether by revolution or by legislation, Leftists aim to change what people can and must do. When in 2008 Obama said that he wanted to "fundamentally transform" America, he was not talking about America's geography or topography but rather about American people. He wanted them to stop doing things that they wanted to do and make them do things that they did not want to do. Can you get a better definition of authoritarianism than that?

And note that an American President is elected to administer the law, not make it. That seems to have escaped Mr Obama

That Leftism is intrinsically authoritarian is not a new insight. It was well understood by none other than Friedrich Engels (Yes. THAT Engels). His clever short essay On authority was written as a reproof to the dreamy Anarchist Left of his day. It concludes: "A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon — authoritarian means"

Inside Every Liberal is a Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out

Insight: "A man's admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him." —Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

Leftists think of themselves as the new nobility

Many people in literary and academic circles today who once supported Stalin and his heirs are generally held blameless and may even still be admired whereas anybody who gave the slightest hint of support for the similarly brutal Hitler regime is an utter polecat and pariah. Why? Because Hitler's enemies were "only" the Jews whereas Stalin's enemies were those the modern day Left still hates -- people who are doing well for themselves materially. Modern day Leftists understand and excuse Stalin and his supporters because Stalin's hates are their hates.

"Those who see hate everywhere think they're looking thru a window when actually they're looking at a mirror"

Hatred has long been a central pillar of leftist ideologies, premised as they are on trampling individual rights for the sake of a collectivist plan. Karl Marx boasted that he was “the greatest hater of the so-called positive.” In 1923, V.I. Lenin chillingly declared to the Soviet Commissars of Education, “We must teach our children to hate. Hatred is the basis of communism.” In his tract “Left-Wing Communism,” Lenin went so far as to assert that hatred was “the basis of every socialist and Communist movement.”

If you understand that Leftism is hate, everything falls into place.

The strongest way of influencing people is to convince them that you will do them some good. Leftists and con-men misuse that

Leftists believe only what they want to believe. So presenting evidence contradicting their beliefs simply enrages them. They do not learn from it

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves.

Leftists who think that they can conjure up paradise out of their own limited brains are simply fools -- arrogant and dangerous fools. They essentially know nothing. Conservatives learn from the thousands of years of human brains that have preceded us -- including the Bible, the ancient Greeks and much else. The death of Socrates is, for instance, an amazing prefiguration of the intolerant 21st century. Ask any conservative stranded in academe about his freedom of speech

Thomas Sowell: “There are no solutions, only trade-offs.” Leftists don't understand that -- which is a major factor behind their simplistic thinking. They just never see the trade-offs. But implementing any Leftist idea will hit us all with the trade-offs

Chesteron's fence -- good conservative thinking

"The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley"[go oft astray] is a well known line from a famous poem by the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns. But the next line is even wiser: "And leave us nought but grief and pain for promised joy". Burns was a Leftist of sorts so he knew how often their theories fail badly.

Mostly, luck happens when opportunity meets preparation.

Most Leftist claims are simply propaganda. Those who utter such claims must know that they are not telling the whole story. Hitler described his Marxist adversaries as "lying with a virtuosity that would bend iron beams". At the risk of ad hominem shrieks, I think that image is too good to remain disused.

Conservatives adapt to the world they live in. Leftists want to change the world to suit themselves

Given their dislike of the world they live in, it would be a surprise if Leftists were patriotic and loved their own people. Prominent English Leftist politician Jack Straw probably said it best: "The English as a race are not worth saving"

In his 1888 book, The Anti-Christ Friedrich Nietzsche argues that we should treat the common man well and kindly because he is the backdrop against which the exceptional man can be seen. So Nietzsche deplores those who agitate the common man: "Whom do I hate most among the rabble of today? The socialist rabble, the chandala [outcast] apostles, who undermine the instinct, the pleasure, the worker's sense of satisfaction with his small existence—who make him envious, who teach him revenge. The source of wrong is never unequal rights but the claim of “equal” rights"

Why do conservatives respect tradition and rely on the past in many ways? Because they want to know what works and the past is the chief source of evidence on that. Leftists are more faith-based. They cling to their theories (e.g. global warming) with religious fervour, even though theories are often wrong

Thinking that you "know best" is an intrinsically precarious and foolish stance -- because nobody does. Reality is so complex and unpredictable that it can rarely be predicted far ahead. Conservatives can see that and that is why conservatives always want change to be done gradually, in a step by step way. So the Leftist often finds the things he "knows" to be out of step with reality, which challenges him and his ego. Sadly, rather than abandoning the things he "knows", he usually resorts to psychological defence mechanisms such as denial and projection. He is largely impervious to argument because he has to be. He can't afford to let reality in.

A prize example of the Leftist tendency to projection (seeing your own faults in others) is the absurd Robert "Bob" Altemeyer, an acclaimed psychologist and father of a Canadian Leftist politician. Altemeyer claims that there is no such thing as Leftist authoritarianism and that it is conservatives who are "Enemies of Freedom". That Leftists (e.g. Mrs Obama) are such enemies of freedom that they even want to dictate what people eat has apparently passed Altemeyer by. Even Stalin did not go that far. And there is the little fact that all the great authoritarian regimes of the 20th century (Stalin, Hitler and Mao) were socialist. Freud saw reliance on defence mechanisms such as projection as being maladjusted. It is difficult to dispute that. Altemeyer is too illiterate to realize it but he is actually a good Hegelian. Hegel thought that "true" freedom was marching in step with a Left-led herd.

What libertarian said this? “The bureaucracy is a parasite on the body of society, a parasite which ‘chokes’ all its vital pores…The state is a parasitic organism”. It was VI Lenin, in August 1917, before he set up his own vastly bureaucratic state. He could see the problem but had no clue about how to solve it.

It was Democrat John F Kennedy who cut taxes and declared that “a rising tide lifts all boats"

Leftist stupidity is a special class of stupidity. The people concerned are mostly not stupid in general but they have a character defect (mostly arrogance) that makes them impatient with complexity and unwilling to study it. So in their policies they repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot; They fail to attain their objectives. The world IS complex so a simplistic approach to it CANNOT work.

Seminal Leftist philosopher, G.W.F. Hegel said something that certainly applies to his fellow Leftists: "We learn from history that we do not learn from history". And he captured the Left in this saying too: "Evil resides in the very gaze which perceives Evil all around itself".

"A man who is not a socialist at age 20 has no heart; A man who is still a socialist at age 30 has no head". Who said that? Most people attribute it to Winston but as far as I can tell it was first said by Georges Clemenceau, French Premier in WWI -- whose own career approximated the transition concerned. And he in turn was probably updating an earlier saying about monarchy versus Republicanism by Guizot. Other attributions here. There is in fact a normal drift from Left to Right as people get older. Both Reagan and Churchill started out as liberals

Funny how to the Leftist intelligentsia poor blacks are 'oppressed' and poor whites are 'trash'. Racism, anyone?

MESSAGE to Leftists: Even if you killed all conservatives tomorrow, you would just end up in another Soviet Union. Conservatives are all that stand between you and that dismal fate. And you may not even survive at all. Stalin killed off all the old Bolsheviks.

A Conservative manifesto from England -- The inimitable Jacob Rees-Mogg


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)

Just the name of Hitler's political party should be sufficient to reject the claim that Hitler was "Right wing" but Leftists sometimes retort that the name "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" is not informative, in that it is the name of a dismal Stalinist tyranny. But "People's Republic" is a normal name for a Communist country whereas I know of no conservative political party that calls itself a "Socialist Worker's Party". Such parties are in fact usually of the extreme Left (Trotskyite etc.)

Most people find the viciousness of the Nazis to be incomprehensible -- for instance what they did in their concentration camps. But you just have to read a little of the vileness that pours out from modern-day "liberals" in their Twitter and blog comments to understand it all very well. Leftists haven't changed. They are still boiling with hate

Hatred as a motivating force for political strategy leads to misguided ­decisions. “Hatred is blind,” as Alexandre Dumas warned, “rage carries you away; and he who pours out vengeance runs the risk of tasting a bitter draught.”

Who said this in 1968? "I am not, and never have been, a man of the right. My position was on the Left and is now in the centre of politics". It was Sir Oswald Mosley, founder and leader of the British Union of Fascists

The term "Fascism" is mostly used by the Left as a brainless term of abuse. But when they do make a serious attempt to define it, they produce very complex and elaborate definitions -- e.g. here and here. In fact, Fascism is simply extreme socialism plus nationalism. But great gyrations are needed to avoid mentioning the first part of that recipe, of course.

Three examples of Leftist racism below (much more here and here):

Jesse Owens, the African-American hero of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, said "Hitler didn't snub me – it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn't even send me a telegram." Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt never even invited the quadruple gold medal-winner to the White House

Beatrice Webb, a founder of the London School of Economics and the Fabian Society, and married to a Labour MP, mused in 1922 on whether when English children were "dying from lack of milk", one should extend "the charitable impulse" to Russian and Chinese children who, if saved this year, might anyway die next. Besides, she continued, there was "the larger question of whether those races are desirable inhabitants" and "obviously" one wouldn't "spend one's available income" on "a Central African negro".

Hugh Dalton, offered the Colonial Office during Attlee's 1945-51 Labour government, turned it down because "I had a horrid vision of pullulating, poverty stricken, diseased nigger communities, for whom one can do nothing in the short run and who, the more one tries to help them, are querulous and ungrateful."

The Zimmerman case is an excellent proof that the Left is deep-down racist

Defensible and indefensible usages of the term "racism"

The book, The authoritarian personality, authored by T.W. Adorno et al. in 1950, has been massively popular among psychologists. It claims that a set of ideas that were popular in the "Progressive"-dominated America of the prewar era were "authoritarian". Leftist regimes always are authoritarian so that claim was not a big problem. What was quite amazing however is that Adorno et al. identified such ideas as "conservative". They were in fact simply popular ideas of the day but ones that had been most heavily promoted by the Left right up until the then-recent WWII. See here for details of prewar "Progressive" thinking.

Leftist psychologists have an amusingly simplistic conception of military organizations and military men. They seem to base it on occasions they have seen troops marching together on parade rather than any real knowledge of military men and the military life. They think that military men are "rigid" -- automatons who are unable to adjust to new challenges or think for themselves. What is incomprehensible to them is that being kadaver gehorsam (to use the extreme Prussian term for following orders) actually requires great flexibility -- enough flexibility to put your own ideas and wishes aside and do something very difficult. Ask any soldier if all commands are easy to obey.

It would be very easy for me to say that I am too much of an individual for the army but I did in fact join the army and enjoy it greatly, as most men do. In my observation, ALL army men are individuals. It is just that they accept discipline in order to be militarily efficient -- which is the whole point of the exercise. But that's too complex for simplistic Leftist thinking, of course

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a war criminal. Both British and American codebreakers had cracked the Japanese naval code so FDR knew what was coming at Pearl Harbor. But for his own political reasons he warned no-one there. So responsibility for the civilian and military deaths at Pearl Harbor lies with FDR as well as with the Japanese. The huge firepower available at Pearl Harbor, both aboard ship and on land, could have largely neutered the attack. Can you imagine 8 battleships and various lesser craft firing all their AA batteries as the Japanese came in? The Japanese naval airforce would have been annihilated and the war would have been over before it began.

FDR prolonged the Depression. He certainly didn't cure it.

WWII did NOT end the Great Depression. It just concealed it. It in fact made living standards worse

FDR appointed a known KKK member, Hugo Black, to the Supreme Court

Joe McCarthy was eventually proved right after the fall of the Soviet Union. To accuse anyone of McCarthyism is to accuse them of accuracy!

The KKK was intimately associated with the Democratic party. They ATTACKED Republicans!

High Level of Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrants in the USA. Low skill immigrants receive 4 to 5 dollars of benefits for every dollar in taxes paid

People who mention differences in black vs. white IQ are these days almost universally howled down and subjected to the most extreme abuse. I am a psychometrician, however, so I feel obliged to defend the scientific truth of the matter: The average African adult has about the same IQ as an average white 11-year-old and African Americans (who are partly white in ancestry) average out at a mental age of 14. The American Psychological Association is generally Left-leaning but it is the world's most prestigious body of academic psychologists. And even they (under the chairmanship of Ulric Neisser) have had to concede that sort of gap (one SD) in black vs. white average IQ. 11-year olds can do a lot of things but they also have their limits and there are times when such limits need to be allowed for.

The heritability of general cognitive ability increases linearly from childhood to young adulthood

The association between high IQ and long life is overwhelmingly genetic: "In the combined sample the genetic contribution to the covariance was 95%"

The Dark Ages were not dark

Judged by his deeds, Abraham Lincoln was one of the bloodiest villains ever to walk the Earth. See here. And: America's uncivil war was caused by trade protectionism. The slavery issue was just camouflage, as Abraham Lincoln himself admitted. See also here

At the beginning of the North/South War, Confederate general Robert E. Lee did not own any slaves. Union General Ulysses L. Grant did.

Was slavery already washed up by the tides of history before Lincoln took it on? Eric Williams in his book "Capitalism and Slavery" tells us: “The commercial capitalism of the eighteenth century developed the wealth of Europe by means of slavery and monopoly. But in so doing it helped to create the industrial capitalism of the nineteenth century, which turned round and destroyed the power of commercial capitalism, slavery, and all its works. Without a grasp of these economic changes the history of the period is meaningless.”

Revolutionary terrorists in Russia killed Tsar Alexander II in 1881 (after three prior assassination attempts). Alexander II was a great reformer who abolished serfdom one year before the US abolished slavery. If his democratic and economic reforms had continued, Russia may have been much less radical politically a couple of decades later, when Nicholas II was overthrown.

Did William Zantzinger kill poor Hattie Carroll?

Did Bismarck predict where WWI would start or was it just a "free" translation by Churchill?

Conrad Black on the Declaration of Independence

Malcolm Gladwell: "There is more of reality and wisdom in a Chinese fortune cookie than can be found anywhere in Gladwell’s pages"

Some people are born bad -- confirmed by genetics research

The dark side of American exceptionalism: America could well be seen as the land of folly. It fought two unnecessary civil wars, would have done well to keep out of two world wars, endured the extraordinary folly of Prohibition and twice elected a traitor President -- Barack Obama. That America remains a good place to be is a tribute to the energy and hard work of individual Americans.

“From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time.” ? Friedrich Hayek, The Constitution Of Liberty


The 10 "cannots" (By William J. H. Boetcker) that Leftist politicians ignore:
*You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
* You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
* You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
* You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
* You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
* You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
* You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
* You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
* You cannot build character and courage by destroying men's initiative and independence.
* And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

A good short definition of conservative: "One who wants you to keep your hand out of his pocket."

Beware of good intentions. They mostly lead to coercion

A gargantuan case of hubris, coupled with stunning level of ignorance about how the real world works, is the essence of progressivism.

The U.S. Constitution is neither "living" nor dead. It is fixed until it is amended. But amending it is the privilege of the people, not of politicians or judges

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong - Thomas Sowell

Leftists think that utopia can be coerced into existence -- so no dishonesty or brutality is beyond them in pursuit of that "noble" goal

"England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution" -- George Orwell

Was 16th century science pioneer Paracelsus a libertarian? His motto was "Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest" which means "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself."

"When using today's model of society as a rule, most of history will be found to be full of oppression, bias, and bigotry." What today's arrogant judges of history fail to realize is that they, too, will be judged. What will Americans of 100 years from now make of, say, speech codes, political correctness, and zero tolerance - to name only three? Assuming, of course, there will still be an America that we, today, would recognize. Given the rogue Federal government spy apparatus, I am not at all sure of that. -- Paul Havemann

Economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973): "The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office."

It's the shared hatred of the rest of us that unites Islamists and the Left.

American liberals don't love America. They despise it. All they love is their own fantasy of what America could become. They are false patriots.

The Democratic Party: Con-men elected by the ignorant and the arrogant

The Democratic Party is a strange amalgam of elites, would-be elites and minorities. No wonder their policies are so confused and irrational

Why are conservatives more at ease with religion? Because it is basic to conservatism that some things are unknowable, and religious people have to accept that too. Leftists think that they know it all and feel threatened by any exceptions to that. Thinking that you know it all is however the pride that comes before a fall.

The characteristic emotion of the Leftist is not envy. It's rage

Leftists are committed to grievance, not truth

The British Left poured out a torrent of hate for Margaret Thatcher on the occasion of her death. She rescued Britain from chaos and restored Britain's prosperity. What's not to hate about that?

Something you didn't know about Margaret Thatcher

The world's dumbest investor? Without doubt it is Uncle Sam. Nobody anywhere could rival the scale of the losses on "investments" made under the Obama administration

"Behind the honeyed but patently absurd pleas for equality is a ruthless drive for placing themselves (the elites) at the top of a new hierarchy of power" -- Murray Rothbard - Egalitarianism and the Elites (1995)

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. -- G. Gordon Liddy

"World socialism as a whole, and all the figures associated with it, are shrouded in legend; its contradictions are forgotten or concealed; it does not respond to arguments but continually ignores them--all this stems from the mist of irrationality that surrounds socialism and from its instinctive aversion to scientific analysis... The doctrines of socialism seethe with contradictions, its theories are at constant odds with its practice, yet due to a powerful instinct these contradictions do not in the least hinder the unending propaganda of socialism. Indeed, no precise, distinct socialism even exists; instead there is only a vague, rosy notion of something noble and good, of equality, communal ownership, and justice: the advent of these things will bring instant euphoria and a social order beyond reproach." -- Solzhenitsyn

"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." -- Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NIV)

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. -- Thomas Jefferson

"Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power" -- Bertrand Russell

Evan Sayet: The Left sides "...invariably with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success." (t=5:35+ on video)

The Republicans are the gracious side of American politics. It is the Democrats who are the nasty party, the haters

Wanting to stay out of the quarrels of other nations is conservative -- but conservatives will fight if attacked or seriously endangered. Anglo/Irish statesman Lord Castlereagh (1769-1822), who led the political coalition that defeated Napoleon, was an isolationist, as were traditional American conservatives.

Some wisdom from the past: "The bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent and respectable stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment." —George Washington, 1783

Some useful definitions:

If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one. If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat. If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.
If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels. Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.
If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church. A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced. (Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)
If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

There is better evidence for creation than there is for the Leftist claim that “gender” is a “social construct”. Most Leftist claims seem to be faith-based rather than founded on the facts

Leftists are classic weak characters. They dish out abuse by the bucketload but cannot take it when they get it back. Witness the Loughner hysteria.

Death taxes: You would expect a conscientious person, of whatever degree of intelligence, to reflect on the strange contradiction involved in denying people the right to unearned wealth, while supporting programs that give people unearned wealth.

America is no longer the land of the free. It is now the land of the regulated -- though it is not alone in that, of course

The Leftist motto: "I love humanity. It's just people I can't stand"

Why are Leftists always talking about hate? Because it fills their own hearts

Envy is a strong and widespread human emotion so there has alway been widespread support for policies of economic "levelling". Both the USA and the modern-day State of Israel were founded by communists but reality taught both societies that respect for the individual gave much better outcomes than levelling ideas. Sadly, there are many people in both societies in whom hatred for others is so strong that they are incapable of respect for the individual. The destructiveness of what they support causes them to call themselves many names in different times and places but they are the backbone of the political Left

Gore Vidal: "Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little". Vidal was of course a Leftist

The large number of rich Leftists suggests that, for them, envy is secondary. They are directly driven by hatred and scorn for many of the other people that they see about them. Hatred of others can be rooted in many things, not only in envy. But the haters come together as the Left. Some evidence here showing that envy is not what defines the Left

Leftists hate the world around them and want to change it: the people in it most particularly. Conservatives just want to be left alone to make their own decisions and follow their own values.

The failure of the Soviet experiment has definitely made the American Left more vicious and hate-filled than they were. The plain failure of what passed for ideas among them has enraged rather than humbled them.

Ronald Reagan famously observed that the status quo is Latin for “the mess we’re in.” So much for the vacant Leftist claim that conservatives are simply defenders of the status quo. They think that conservatives are as lacking in principles as they are.

Was Confucius a conservative? The following saying would seem to reflect good conservative caution: "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved."

The shallow thinkers of the Left sometimes claim that conservatives want to impose their own will on others in the matter of abortion. To make that claim is however to confuse religion with politics. Conservatives are in fact divided about their response to abortion. The REAL opposition to abortion is religious rather than political. And the church which has historically tended to support the LEFT -- the Roman Catholic church -- is the most fervent in the anti-abortion cause. Conservatives are indeed the one side of politics to have moral qualms on the issue but they tend to seek a middle road in dealing with it. Taking the issue to the point of legal prohibitions is a religious doctrine rather than a conservative one -- and the religion concerned may or may not be characteristically conservative. More on that here

Some Leftist hatred arises from the fact that they blame "society" for their own personal problems and inadequacies

The Leftist hunger for change to the society that they hate leads to a hunger for control over other people. And they will do and say anything to get that control: "Power at any price". Leftist politicians are mostly self-aggrandizing crooks who gain power by deceiving the uninformed with snake-oil promises -- power which they invariably use to destroy. Destruction is all that they are good at. Destruction is what haters do.

Leftists are consistent only in their hate. They don't have principles. How can they when "there is no such thing as right and wrong"? All they have is postures, pretend-principles that can be changed as easily as one changes one's shirt

A Leftist assumption: Making money doesn't entitle you to it, but wanting money does.

"Politicians never accuse you of 'greed' for wanting other people's money -- only for wanting to keep your own money." --columnist Joe Sobran (1946-2010)

Leftist policies are candy-coated rat poison that may appear appealing at first, but inevitably do a lot of damage to everyone impacted by them.

A tribute and thanks to Mary Jo Kopechne. Her death was reprehensible but she probably did more by her death that she ever would have in life: She spared the world a President Ted Kennedy. That the heap of corruption that was Ted Kennedy died peacefully in his bed is one of the clearest demonstrations that we do not live in a just world. Even Joe Stalin seems to have been smothered to death by Nikita Khrushchev

I often wonder why Leftists refer to conservatives as "wingnuts". A wingnut is a very useful device that adds versatility wherever it is used. Clearly, Leftists are not even good at abuse. Once they have accused their opponents of racism and Nazism, their cupboard is bare. Similarly, Leftists seem to think it is a devastating critique to refer to "Worldnet Daily" as "Worldnut Daily". The poverty of their argumentation is truly pitiful

The Leftist assertion that there is no such thing as right and wrong has a distinguished history. It was Pontius Pilate who said "What is truth?" (John 18:38). From a Christian viewpoint, the assertion is undoubtedly the Devil's gospel

Even in the Old Testament they knew about "Postmodernism": "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

Was Solomon the first conservative? "The hearts of men are full of evil and madness is in their hearts" -- Ecclesiastes: 9:3 (RSV). He could almost have been talking about Global Warming.

Leftist hatred of Christianity goes back as far as the massacre of the Carmelite nuns during the French revolution. Yancey has written a whole book tabulating modern Leftist hatred of Christians. It is a rival religion to Leftism.

"If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action." - Ludwig von Mises

The naive scholar who searches for a consistent Leftist program will not find it. What there is consists only in the negation of the present.

Because of their need to be different from the mainstream, Leftists are very good at pretending that sow's ears are silk purses

Among intelligent people, Leftism is a character defect. Leftists HATE success in others -- which is why notably successful societies such as the USA and Israel are hated and failures such as the Palestinians can do no wrong.

A Leftist's beliefs are all designed to pander to his ego. So when you have an argument with a Leftist, you are not really discussing the facts. You are threatening his self esteem. Which is why the normal Leftist response to challenge is mere abuse.

Because of the fragility of a Leftist's ego, anything that threatens it is intolerable and provokes rage. So most Leftist blogs can be summarized in one sentence: "How DARE anybody question what I believe!". Rage and abuse substitute for an appeal to facts and reason.

Because their beliefs serve their ego rather than reality, Leftists just KNOW what is good for us. Conservatives need evidence.

Absolute certainty is the privilege of uneducated men and fanatics. -- C.J. Keyser

Hell is paved with good intentions" -- Boswell's Life of Johnson of 1775

"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus


"Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him" (Proverbs 26: 12). I think that sums up Leftists pretty well.

Eminent British astrophysicist Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington is often quoted as saying: "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine." It was probably in fact said by his contemporary, J.B.S. Haldane. But regardless of authorship, it could well be a conservative credo not only about the cosmos but also about human beings and human society. Mankind is too complex to be summed up by simple rules and even complex rules are only approximations with many exceptions.

Politics is the only thing Leftists know about. They know nothing of economics, history or business. Their only expertise is in promoting feelings of grievance

Socialism makes the individual the slave of the state -- capitalism frees them.

Many readers here will have noticed that what I say about Leftists sometimes sounds reminiscent of what Leftists say about conservatives. There is an excellent reason for that. Leftists are great "projectors" (people who see their own faults in others). So a good first step in finding out what is true of Leftists is to look at what they say about conservatives! They even accuse conservatives of projection (of course).

The research shows clearly that one's Left/Right stance is strongly genetically inherited but nobody knows just what specifically is inherited. What is inherited that makes people Leftist or Rightist? There is any amount of evidence that personality traits are strongly genetically inherited so my proposal is that hard-core Leftists are people who tend to let their emotions (including hatred and envy) run away with them and who are much more in need of seeing themselves as better than others -- two attributes that are probably related to one another. Such Leftists may be an evolutionary leftover from a more primitive past.

Leftists seem to believe that if someone like Al Gore says it, it must be right. They obviously have a strong need for an authority figure. The fact that the two most authoritarian regimes of the 20th century (Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia) were socialist is thus no surprise. Leftists often accuse conservatives of being "authoritarian" but that is just part of their usual "projective" strategy -- seeing in others what is really true of themselves.

"With their infernal racial set-asides, racial quotas, and race norming, liberals share many of the Klan's premises. The Klan sees the world in terms of race and ethnicity. So do liberals! Indeed, liberals and white supremacists are the only people left in America who are neurotically obsessed with race. Conservatives champion a color-blind society" -- Ann Coulter

Politicians are in general only a little above average in intelligence so the idea that they can make better decisions for us that we can make ourselves is laughable

A quote from the late Dr. Adrian Rogers: "You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

The Supreme Court of the United States is now and always has been a judicial abomination. Its guiding principles have always been political rather than judicial. It is not as political as Stalin's courts but its respect for the constitution is little better. Some recent abuses: The "equal treatment" provision of the 14th amendment was specifically written to outlaw racial discrimination yet the court has allowed various forms of "affirmative action" for decades -- when all such policies should have been completely stuck down immediately. The 2nd. amendment says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed yet gun control laws infringe it in every State in the union. The 1st amendment provides that speech shall be freely exercised yet the court has upheld various restrictions on the financing and display of political advertising. The court has found a right to abortion in the constitution when the word abortion is not even mentioned there. The court invents rights that do not exist and denies rights that do.

"Some action that is unconstitutional has much to recommend it" -- Elena Kagan, nominated to SCOTUS by Obama

Frank Sulloway, the anti-scientist

The basic aim of all bureaucrats is to maximize their funding and minimize their workload

A lesson in Australian: When an Australian calls someone a "big-noter", he is saying that the person is a chronic and rather pathetic seeker of admiration -- as in someone who often pulls out "big notes" (e.g. $100.00 bills) to pay for things, thus endeavouring to create the impression that he is rich. The term describes the mentality rather than the actual behavior with money and it aptly describes many Leftists. When they purport to show "compassion" by advocating things that cost themselves nothing (e.g. advocating more taxes on "the rich" to help "the poor"), an Australian might say that the Leftist is "big-noting himself". There is an example of the usage here. The term conveys contempt. There is a wise description of Australians generally here

Some ancient wisdom for Leftists: "Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself over wise: Why shouldest thou die before thy time?" -- Ecclesiastes 7:16

Jesse Jackson: "There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery -- then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved." There ARE important racial differences.

Some Jimmy Carter wisdom: "I think it's inevitable that there will be a lower standard of living than what everybody had always anticipated," he told advisers in 1979. "there's going to be a downward turning."

Heritage is what survives death: Very rare and hence very valuable

Big business is not your friend. As Adam Smith said: "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty or justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary

How can I accept the Communist doctrine, which sets up as its bible, above and beyond criticism, an obsolete textbook which I know not only to be scientifically erroneous but without interest or application to the modern world? How can I adopt a creed which, preferring the mud to the fish, exalts the boorish proletariat above the bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia, who with all their faults, are the quality of life and surely carry the seeds of all human achievement? Even if we need a religion, how can we find it in the turbid rubbish of the red bookshop? It is hard for an educated, decent, intelligent son of Western Europe to find his ideals here, unless he has first suffered some strange and horrid process of conversion which has changed all his values. -- John Maynard Keynes

Some wisdom from "Bron" Waugh: "The purpose of politics is to help them [politicians] overcome these feelings of inferiority and compensate for their personal inadequacies in the pursuit of power"

"There are countless horrible things happening all over the country, and horrible people prospering, but we must never allow them to disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to sabotage and annoy them whenever possible"

The urge to pass new laws must be seen as an illness, not much different from the urge to bite old women. Anyone suspected of suffering from it should either be treated with the appropriate pills or, if it is too late for that, elected to Parliament [or Congress, as the case may be] and paid a huge salary with endless holidays, to do nothing whatever"

"It is my settled opinion, after some years as a political correspondent, that no one is attracted to a political career in the first place unless he is socially or emotionally crippled"

Two lines below of a famous hymn that would be incomprehensible to Leftists today ("honor"? "right"? "freedom?" Freedom to agree with them is the only freedom they believe in)

First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean

It is of course the hymn of the USMC -- still today the relentless warriors that they always were. Freedom needs a soldier

If any of the short observations above about Leftism seem wrong, note that they do not stand alone. The evidence for them is set out at great length in my MONOGRAPH on Leftism.

3 memoirs of "Supermac", a 20th century Disraeli (Aristocratic British Conservative Prime Minister -- 1957 to 1963 -- Harold Macmillan):

"It breaks my heart to see (I can't interfere or do anything at my age) what is happening in our country today - this terrible strike of the best men in the world, who beat the Kaiser's army and beat Hitler's army, and never gave in. Pointless, endless. We can't afford that kind of thing. And then this growing division which the noble Lord who has just spoken mentioned, of a comparatively prosperous south, and an ailing north and midlands. That can't go on." -- Mac on the British working class: "the best men in the world" (From his Maiden speech in the House of Lords, 13 November 1984)

"As a Conservative, I am naturally in favour of returning into private ownership and private management all those means of production and distribution which are now controlled by state capitalism"

During Macmillan's time as prime minister, average living standards steadily rose while numerous social reforms were carried out

"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see." --?Arthur Schopenhauer


The Bible is an Israeli book

There is a view on both Left and Right that Jews are "too" influential. And it is true that they are more influential than their numbers would indicate. But they are exactly as influential as their IQs would indicate

To me, hostility to the Jews is a terrible tragedy. I weep for them at times. And I do literally put my money where my mouth is. I do at times send money to Israeli charities

My (Gentile) opinion of antisemitism: The Jews are the best we've got so killing them is killing us.

It’s a strange paradox when anti-Zionists argue that Jews should suffer and wander without a homeland while urging that Palestinians ought to have security and territory.

"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" -- Genesis 12:3

"O pray for the peace of Jerusalem: They shall prosper that love thee" Psalm 122:6.

If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy -- Psalm 137 (NIV)

Israel, like the Jews throughout history, is hated not for her vices but her virtues. Israel is hated, as the United States is hated, because Israel is successful, because Israel is free, and because Israel is good. As Maxim Gorky put it: “Whatever nonsense the anti-Semites may talk, they dislike the Jew only because he is obviously better, more adroit, and more willing and capable of work than they are.” Whether driven by culture or genes—or like most behavior, an inextricable mix—the fact of Jewish genius is demonstrable." -- George Gilder

To Leftist haters, all the basic rules of liberal society — rejection of hate speech, commitment to academic freedom, rooting out racism, the absolute commitment to human dignity — go out the window when the subject is Israel.

I have always liked the story of Gideon (See Judges chapters 6 to 8) and it is surely no surprise that in the present age Israel is the Gideon of nations: Few in numbers but big in power and impact.

Is the Israel Defence Force the most effective military force per capita since Genghis Khan? They probably are but they are also the most ethically advanced military force that the world has ever seen

If I were not an atheist, I would believe that God had a sense of humour. He gave his chosen people (the Jews) enormous advantages -- high intelligence and high drive -- but to keep it fair he deprived them of something hugely important too: Political sense. So Jews to this day tend very strongly to be Leftist -- even though the chief source of antisemitism for roughly the last 200 years has been the political Left!

And the other side of the coin is that Jews tend to despise conservatives and Christians. Yet American fundamentalist Christians are the bedrock of the vital American support for Israel, the ultimate bolthole for all Jews. So Jewish political irrationality seems to be a rather good example of the saying that "The LORD giveth and the LORD taketh away". There are many other examples of such perversity (or "balance"). The sometimes severe side-effects of most pharmaceutical drugs is an obvious one but there is another ethnic example too, a rather amusing one. Chinese people are in general smart and patient people but their rate of traffic accidents in China is about 10 times higher than what prevails in Western societies. They are brilliant mathematicians and fearless business entrepreneurs but at the same time bad drivers!

Conservatives, on the other hand, could be antisemitic on entirely rational grounds: Namely, the overwhelming Leftism of the Diaspora Jewish population as a whole. Because they judge the individual, however, only a tiny minority of conservative-oriented people make such general judgments. The longer Jews continue on their "stiff-necked" course, however, the more that is in danger of changing. The children of Israel have been a stiff necked people since the days of Moses, however, so they will no doubt continue to vote with their emotions rather than their reason.

I despair of the ADL. Jews have enough problems already and yet in the ADL one has a prominent Jewish organization that does its best to make itself offensive to Christians. Their Leftism is more important to them than the welfare of Jewry -- which is the exact opposite of what they ostensibly stand for! Jewish cleverness seems to vanish when politics are involved. Fortunately, Christians are true to their saviour and have loving hearts. Jewish dissatisfaction with the myopia of the ADL is outlined here. Note that Foxy was too grand to reply to it.

Fortunately for America, though, liberal Jews there are rapidly dying out through intermarriage and failure to reproduce. And the quite poisonous liberal Jews of Israel are not much better off. Judaism is slowly returning to Orthodoxy and the Orthodox tend to be conservative.

The above is good testimony to the accuracy of the basic conservative insight that almost anything in human life is too complex to be reduced to any simple rule and too complex to be reduced to any rule at all without allowance for important exceptions to the rule concerned

Amid their many virtues, one virtue is often lacking among Jews in general and Israelis in particular: Humility. And that's an antisemitic comment only if Hashem is antisemitic. From Moses on, the Hebrew prophets repeatedy accused the Israelites of being "stiff-necked" and urged them to repent. So it's no wonder that the greatest Jewish prophet of all -- Jesus -- not only urged humility but exemplified it in his life and death

"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here. For roughly two centuries now, antisemitism has, throughout the Western world, been principally associated with Leftism (including the socialist Hitler) -- as it is to this day. See here.

Karl Marx hated just about everyone. Even his father, the kindly Heinrich Marx, thought Karl was not much of a human being

Leftists call their hatred of Israel "Anti-Zionism" but Zionists are only a small minority in Israel

Some of the Leftist hatred of Israel is motivated by old-fashioned antisemitism (beliefs in Jewish "control" etc.) but most of it is just the regular Leftist hatred of success in others. And because the societies they inhabit do not give them the vast amount of recognition that their large but weak egos need, some of the most virulent haters of Israel and America live in those countries. So the hatred is the product of pathologically high self-esteem.

Their threatened egos sometimes drive Leftists into quite desperate flights from reality. For instance, they often call Israel an "Apartheid state" -- when it is in fact the Arab states that practice Apartheid -- witness the severe restrictions on Christians in Saudi Arabia. There are no such restrictions in Israel.

If the Palestinians put down their weapons, there'd be peace. If the Israelis put down their weapons, there'd be genocide.


Many people hunger and thirst after righteousness. Some find it in the hatreds of the Left. Others find it in the love of Christ. I don't hunger and thirst after righteousness at all. I hunger and thirst after truth. How old-fashioned can you get?

The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody. And I have NO investments in oil companies, mining companies or "Big Pharma"

UPDATE: Despite my (statistical) aversion to mining stocks, I have recently bought a few shares in BHP -- the world's biggest miner, I gather. I run the grave risk of becoming a speaker of famous last words for saying this but I suspect that BHP is now so big as to be largely immune from the risks that plague most mining companies. I also know of no issue affecting BHP where my writings would have any relevance. The Left seem to have a visceral hatred of miners. I have never quite figured out why.

I imagine that few of my readers will understand it, but I am an unabashed monarchist. And, as someone who was born and bred in a monarchy and who still lives there (i.e. Australia), that gives me no conflicts at all. In theory, one's respect for the monarchy does not depend on who wears the crown but the impeccable behaviour of the present Queen does of course help perpetuate that respect. Aside from my huge respect for the Queen, however, my favourite member of the Royal family is the redheaded Prince Harry. The Royal family is of course a military family and Prince Harry is a great example of that. As one of the world's most privileged people, he could well be an idle layabout but instead he loves his life in the army. When his girlfriend Chelsy ditched him because he was so often away, Prince Harry said: "I love Chelsy but the army comes first". A perfect military man! I doubt that many women would understand or approve of his attitude but perhaps my own small army background powers my approval of that attitude.

I imagine that most Americans might find this rather mad -- but I believe that a constitutional Monarchy is the best form of government presently available. Can a libertarian be a Monarchist? I think so -- and prominent British libertarian Sean Gabb seems to think so too! Long live the Queen! (And note that Australia ranks well above the USA on the Index of Economic freedom. Heh!)

The Australian flag with the Union Jack quartered in it

Throughout Europe there is an association between monarchism and conservatism. It is a little sad that American conservatives do not have access to that satisfaction. So even though Australia is much more distant from Europe (geographically) than the USA is, Australia is in some ways more of an outpost of Europe than America is! Mind you: Australia is not very atypical of its region. Australia lies just South of Asia -- and both Japan and Thailand have greatly respected monarchies. And the demise of the Cambodian monarchy was disastrous for Cambodia

Throughout the world today, possession of a U.S. or U.K. passport is greatly valued. I once shared that view. Developments in recent years have however made me profoundly grateful that I am a 5th generation Australian. My Australian passport is a door into a much less oppressive and much less messed-up place than either the USA or Britain

Following the Sotomayor precedent, I would hope that a wise older white man such as myself with the richness of that experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than someone who hasn’t lived that life.

IQ and ideology: Most academics are Left-leaning. Why? Because very bright people who have balls go into business, while very bright people with no balls go into academe. I did both with considerable success, which makes me a considerable rarity. Although I am a born academic, I have always been good with money too. My share portfolio even survived the GFC in good shape. The academics hate it that bright people with balls make more money than them.

I have no hesitation in saying that the single book which has influenced me most is the New Testament. And my Scripture blog will show that I know whereof I speak. Some might conclude that I must therefore be a very confused sort of atheist but I can assure everyone that I do not feel the least bit confused. The New Testament is a lighthouse that has illumined the thinking of all sorts of men and women and I am deeply grateful that it has shone on me.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age. Conservatism is in touch with reality. Leftism is not.

I imagine that the RD are still sending mailouts to my 1950s address

Most teenagers have sporting and movie posters on their bedroom walls. At age 14 I had a map of Taiwan on my wall.

"Remind me never to get this guy mad at me" -- Instapundit

It seems to be a common view that you cannot talk informatively about a country unless you have been there. I completely reject that view but it is nonetheless likely that some Leftist dimbulb will at some stage aver that any comments I make about politics and events in the USA should not be heeded because I am an Australian who has lived almost all his life in Australia. I am reluctant to pander to such ignorance in the era of the "global village" but for the sake of the argument I might mention that I have visited the USA 3 times -- spending enough time in Los Angeles and NYC to get to know a fair bit about those places at least. I did however get outside those places enough to realize that they are NOT America.

"Intellectual" = Leftist dreamer. I have more publications in the academic journals than almost all "public intellectuals" but I am never called an intellectual and nor would I want to be. Call me a scholar or an academic, however, and I will accept either as a just and earned appellation

A small personal note: I have always been very self-confident. I inherited it from my mother, along with my skeptical nature. So I don't need to feed my self-esteem by claiming that I am wiser than others -- which is what Leftists do.

As with conservatives generally, it bothers me not a bit to admit to large gaps in my knowledge and understanding. For instance, I don't know if the slight global warming of the 20th century will resume in the 21st, though I suspect not. And I don't know what a "healthy" diet is, if there is one. Constantly-changing official advice on the matter suggests that nobody knows

Leftists are usually just anxious little people trying to pretend that they are significant. No doubt there are some Leftists who are genuinely concerned about inequities in our society but their arrogance lies in thinking that they understand it without close enquiry

My academic background

My full name is Dr. John Joseph RAY. I am a former university teacher aged 65 at the time of writing in 2009. I was born of Australian pioneer stock in 1943 at Innisfail in the State of Queensland in Australia. I trace my ancestry wholly to the British Isles. After an early education at Innisfail State Rural School and Cairns State High School, I taught myself for matriculation. I took my B.A. in Psychology from the University of Queensland in Brisbane. I then moved to Sydney (in New South Wales, Australia) and took my M.A. in psychology from the University of Sydney in 1969 and my Ph.D. from the School of Behavioural Sciences at Macquarie University in 1974. I first tutored in psychology at Macquarie University and then taught sociology at the University of NSW. My doctorate is in psychology but I taught mainly sociology in my 14 years as a university teacher. In High Schools I taught economics. I have taught in both traditional and "progressive" (low discipline) High Schools. Fuller biographical notes here

I completed the work for my Ph.D. at the end of 1970 but the degree was not awarded until 1974 -- due to some academic nastiness from Seymour Martin Lipset and Fred Emery. A conservative or libertarian who makes it through the academic maze has to be at least twice as good as the average conformist Leftist. Fortunately, I am a born academic.

Despite my great sympathy and respect for Christianity, I am the most complete atheist you could find. I don't even believe that the word "God" is meaningful. I am not at all original in that view, of course. Such views are particularly associated with the noted German philosopher Rudolf Carnap. Unlike Carnap, however, none of my wives have committed suicide

Very occasionally in my writings I make reference to the greats of analytical philosophy such as Carnap and Wittgenstein. As philosophy is a heavily Leftist discipline however, I have long awaited an attack from some philosopher accusing me of making coat-trailing references not backed by any real philosophical erudition. I suppose it is encouraging that no such attacks have eventuated but I thought that I should perhaps forestall them anyway -- by pointing out that in my younger days I did complete three full-year courses in analytical philosophy (at 3 different universities!) and that I have had papers on mainstream analytical philosophy topics published in academic journals

As well as being an academic, I am an army man and I am pleased and proud to say that I have worn my country's uniform. Although my service in the Australian army was chiefly noted for its un-notability, I DID join voluntarily in the Vietnam era, I DID reach the rank of Sergeant, and I DID volunteer for a posting in Vietnam. So I think I may be forgiven for saying something that most army men think but which most don't say because they think it is too obvious: The profession of arms is the noblest profession of all because it is the only profession where you offer to lay down your life in performing your duties. Our men fought so that people could say and think what they like but I myself always treat military men with great respect -- respect which in my view is simply their due.

A real army story here

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day and there is JUST ONE saying of Hitler's that I rather like. It may not even be original to him but it is found in chapter 2 of Mein Kampf (published in 1925): "Widerstaende sind nicht da, dass man vor ihnen kapituliert, sondern dass man sie bricht". The equivalent English saying is "Difficulties exist to be overcome" and that traces back at least to the 1920s -- with attributions to Montessori and others. Hitler's metaphor is however one of smashing barriers rather than of politely hopping over them and I am myself certainly more outspoken than polite. Hitler's colloquial Southern German is notoriously difficult to translate but I think I can manage a reasonable translation of that saying: "Resistance is there not for us to capitulate to but for us to break". I am quite sure that I don't have anything like that degree of determination in my own life but it seems to me to be a good attitude in general anyway

And something that was perceptive comes from the same chapter. Hitler said that the doctrines of the interwar Social Democrats (mainstream leftists) of Vienna were "comprised of egotism and hate". Not much has changed

I have used many sites to post my writings over the years and many have gone bad on me for various reasons. So if you click on a link here to my other writings you may get a "page not found" response if the link was put up some time before the present. All is not lost, however. All my writings have been reposted elsewhere. If you do strike a failed link, just take the filename (the last part of the link) and add it to the address of any of my current home pages and -- Voila! -- you should find the article concerned.

COMMENTS: I have gradually added comments facilities to all my blogs. The comments I get are interesting. They are mostly from Leftists and most consist either of abuse or mere assertions. Reasoned arguments backed up by references to supporting evidence are almost unheard of from Leftists. Needless to say, I just delete such useless comments.

You can email me here (Hotmail address). In emailing me, you can address me as "John", "Jon", "Dr. Ray" or "JR" and that will be fine -- but my preference is for "JR" -- and that preference has NOTHING to do with an American soap opera that featured a character who was referred to in that way


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To be continued ....
Coral reef compendium.
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"Immigration Watch International".
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Paralipomena (2)
AGL -- A bumbling monster
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Selected reading



Rightism defined
Leftist Churches
Leftist Racism
Fascism is Leftist
Hitler a socialist
Leftism is authoritarian
James on Leftism
Irbe on Leftism
Beltt on Leftism
Van Hiel
Pyszczynski et al.

Cautionary blogs about big Australian organizations:

Bank of Queensland
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Australian police news
QANTAS, a dying octopus

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