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

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31 August, 2018

More Than 100 Facebook Employees Unite To Challenge Its ‘Intolerant’ Liberal Culture

If you are a conservative and use Facebook on a regular basis you have probably observed its, what some would call blatant show of BIAS in regards to conservative content.

Not long ago Facebook squashed its trending section, but before it was done away with it clearly identified a show of BIAS almost mimicking Googles actions which are now front and center, thanks to President Trump.

Regardless of the news cycle, top trending posts for the most part were liberal leaning and dominated Facebook’s trending feed. Although it was open and visually noticed by Conservative leaning news organization, conservatives and even some Democrats; Facebook denied all claims of politically motivated BIAS.

We then saw Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testify before congress on these allegations. Watch as he struggles to answer if Facebook is a ‘Neutral Public Forum.’

Now, lets fast forward to late last week. The NY Times has reported:

“We are a political monoculture that’s intolerant of different views,” Brian Amerige, a senior Facebook engineer, wrote in the post, which was obtained by The New York Times. “We claim to welcome all perspectives, but are quick to attack — often in mobs — anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology.”

Since the post went up, more than 100 Facebook employees have joined Mr. Amerige to form an online group called FB’ers for Political Diversity, according to two people who viewed the group’s page and who were not authorized to speak publicly. The aim of the initiative, according to Mr. Amerige’s memo, is to create a space for ideological diversity within the company.

With over 100 Facebook employees now banding together; risking their careers to bring light to Facebook’s internal BIAS regardless of what side of the aisle you represent, this clearly identifies that significant changes need to be made.



Mark Levin Blows The ‘Impeachment’ Narrative To Pieces In Epic Interview

Conservative talk radio host and legal expert Mark Levin blew the “impeachment” narrative to pieces on Monday, offering liberals a lesson on how the law actually works.

During an interview on Fox News with Sean Hannity, Levin said President Donald Trump is in “good shape” legally regarding Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged “collusion” between Trump’s campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

The conservative radio host argued that liberals desperately shouting impeachment is “entirely bogus” and that it is highly unlikely to lead to the president being impeached from office.

“The president is actually in great shape when it comes to the law and when it comes to impeachment. On impeachment, all we have to do is vote and make sure the Democrats don’t win and then he won’t be impeached. There’s an idea. The president is in very good shape. You cannot impeach a president on events that occurred before he was president.”

Levin explained that there’s no legal or historical precedent for indicting the president for accusations that occurred before he took office. The conservative host also said that a decades-old court ruling may prevent Mueller from being able to release his grand jury information to the public — meaning hardly anyone would know what the final report says about the investigation.

Levin went on to rip apart main liberal talking points being spewed throughout the media.

“I’m going through what they’ve been arguing. The president cannot obstruct justice for firing a subordinate, period. Now what about this new thing they’ve come up, conspiracy to defraud an election? I would like to know, this conspiracy, exactly who did the president conspire with? Who is it? Had they been charged, have they been prosecuted? The big enchilada is that a sitting president cannot be indicted, which I’ve been saying for eighteen months, which makes all of this entirely bogus.”

In a previous interview, Levin also eviscerated leftist talking points that anything with Michael Cohen, the president’s former attorney, could harm Trump in any legal way.

Last Tuesday, Cohen pleaded guilty to charges related to campaign finance laws and other fraud. The terms of his plea deal are ever-changing, but he has agreed to spend between three to five years in prison.

Levin explained to everyone why Trump is not in any legal trouble over Cohen’s plea deal.

“I want to help the law professors, the constitutional experts, the criminal defense lawyers, the former prosecutors and of course the professors and I want to help them understand what the law is. The general counsel for the Clinton mob family Lanny Davis, he had his client plead to two counts of criminality that don’t exist.”

“It is a plea bargain between a prosecutor and criminal. A criminal who doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life in prison. That is not precedent. That applies only to that specific case. Nobody cites plea bargains for precedent. That is number one. Number two, just because a prosecutor says that somebody violated a campaign law doesn’t make it so. He is not the judge. He is not the jury. We didn’t adjudicate anything.”

Levin’s point is that if Trump directed Cohen to use his own money to pay off Daniels and McDougal — who allege they were paid as part of a nondisclosure agreement to remain quiet about alleged affairs with Trump years ago — and then Trump paid back Cohen, that is not a crime.

He also made a more than compelling argument on Monday that liberals have no case, evidence, or precedent to impeach Trump. Liberals can hate Trump all they want, but the law is not on their side, Levin argues, in terms of removing him from office.



John McCain’s Failed Second Act

Nothing can tarnish the glory of McCain’s first act, but democratic politics is about what comes next.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s dictum about no second acts in American life is only partially true. There are second acts, but those that fail to live up to the promise of the first are far more interesting. An assessment of John McCain’s political career suggests that the Senator from Arizona squandered the immense capital of his five and a half years of bravery and integrity while a captive in Viet Nam.

McCain’s earlier career reminds one of George Armstrong Custer, another “maverick” whose reckless audacity won him plaudits during the Civil War, but ended in failure at the Little Big Horn. McCain was an indifferent student at the Naval Academy, and at times a careless pilot. During flight training he dumped a jet in Corpus Christi Bay, and while flying too low in Spain took out some power lines. At this point he seems to have been, like several Kennedys, a typical feckless scion of a storied American family whose elite connections mitigated his questionable behavior.

But McCain redeemed himself with his heroism during his captivity in Viet Nam. Regularly tortured and abused, enduring disease and solitary confinement, he turned down an offer to be released ahead of other captives who had been there longer. He ended his first act as an iconic American hero, tough in the face of brutal treatment, and committed to the very American sense of fair play that eschewed exploiting for his own gain his father’s status as head of the U.S. Pacific Command. Finally released in 1973, McCain was poised, like many other celebrated military veterans in American history, for a political career likely to end in the White House.

But McCain never quite fully realized that potential. He became a Republican Senator, but his career marked him as an elite insider who, like many of his fellow Republicans, did not understand that the old bipartisan center had been fatally wounded by the Sixties. Particularly after the two terms of George W. Bush, the Democrat Party had moved even farther left, and wasn’t interested in “bipartisanship” or “reaching across the aisle.” As Barack Obama proved, the goal now was the “fundamental transformation” of America into a form of democratic socialism, one lite on the democratic part. “Any means necessary” and the Alinsky playbook, not the Constitution, would be the guides for this project.

McCain’s Senate career before 2008 illustrated his misguided bipartisanship based on a failure to see what the Democrats had become, and how his dubious perception of “principle” carried water for the Democrat opposition. The 2002 McCain-Feingold bill banning unlimited contributions to political parties was a patent violation of the First Amendment, as the Supreme Court later ruled in its Citizens United decision, which overruled a lower court’s use of McCain-Feingold to justify censoring a documentary critical of Hillary Clinton. Perhaps worse, McCain’s outspoken opposition to waterboarding, despite its proven value in gathering intelligence, was given persuasive authority by his personal experience in Vietnam. McCain’s misguided false analogy between the sadistic, pointless torture he suffered, and the carefully controlled and calibrated practice of waterboarding to obtain life-saving information, ultimately led to the banning of this interrogation technique. Obama simply droned to death terrorists rather than interrogating them.

McCain’s failure to understand how the political sands had shifted was evident in his 2008 campaign against Obama. He campaigned as though Obama and the Democrats still embraced the postwar bipartisan consensus on how American politicians ran for office and governed. He thought that despite differences, a critical mass of Democrats still acknowledged America’s exceptionalism and essential goodness. Worse, McCain created the perception that his self-image and “principled” independence were more important than supporting the goals and beliefs of the Party that still believed in America. He never seemed to get that he was the Democrats’ favorite Republican because he often served their interests more than those of conservatives. He reveled in his “maverick” moniker, unaware that the Dems used it because to them it meant “useful idiot.”

The 2008 presidential campaign illustrated McCain’s weakness. Many of us at the time knew that Barack Obama was a one-eyed Jack, a left-wing activist who believed America was deeply flawed and guilty, and needed to do penance so it could function in the world as a “partner mindful of its own imperfections.” The public face was the specious rhetoric like “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America—there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America—there’s the United States of America,” a sentiment that his serial racial demagoguery belied.

But McCain took Obama at face value, perhaps unable to look past the usual ruling-class credentials and glib rhetoric. Worse, again like too many Republicans who should have known better, McCain preemptively cringed from exploiting Obama’s sketchy and dubious past, especially his connection with his pastor of 20 years, the race-baiting Jeremiah Wright. Wright’s sermon after 9/11 about “chickens coming home to roost” and his chant of “God damn America” would have ended the career of any other politician. That it didn’t end Obama’s should have alerted McCain that he was in a different political universe than he thought he inhabited.

Instead, McCain explicitly took that damning incident off the table during his campaign. And he did so for the same reason numerous other Republicans did: they were terrified of being labeled “racist.” Thus they ceded to the progressives their dishonest racial tactics simply because as members of the elite, they feared slander from the other side. So too with his dismissal of the “birther” movement.  He was praised as a “maverick” by the Dems for criticizing the “birthers,” but the Dems never reciprocated such magnanimity and attacked their own extremists when they viciously attacked George Bush and now attack Donald Trump. The consequences of this concern for personal image and high-minded rectitude in the end contributed to this country being ruled by one of the worst presidents ever.

McCain’s second political mistake was not taking advantage of the backlash among conservative American against the Democrats’ politicization of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their demonizing of the surveillance and interrogation techniques implemented to meet the demands of the citizens––and the Democrat leadership­­–– that a terrorist attack like 9/11 never happen again. The increasing radicalism of the Democrats was apparent when George W Bush was president and treated with a level of calumny and vicious insult prefiguring the current treatment of Donald Trump.

For a moment McCain seemed to get it, making him a genuine maverick when he selected Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential candidate in 2008. But he never really bonded with Palin. And when the forces Palin embodied took shape as the Tea Party movement in 2010, McCain still didn’t seem to understand the anti-Republican establishment animus that had been brewing for years. When he called Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz a “wacko-bird” in 2013, and this year in a book wrote he “regretted” choosing Palin, he cheered the hearts of Democrats. Even though the Tea Party helped Republicans take back the House, slowing Obama’s “transformation,” for McCain it seemed more important to receive praise from his fellow members of the political country club that looked with distaste on these uppity “deplorables.”

A few years later that backlash produced Donald Trump, who won the prize denied to two previous establishment Republicans. When Trump during the primaries channeled George S. Patton and dismissed McCain’s heroism because he “like[s] people who weren’t captured,” that gaffe should have ended his run. But what the political wise men didn’t understand was that for the voters, the question is always, “What have you done for us lately?” It’s the spirit of the illiterate Athenian who wanted to ostracize Aristides the Just because he was sick of hearing him called “the Just.”

It wasn’t so much that people scorned McCain’s heroism, but that they were sick of that experience being used to deflect his bad political decisions and over-fondness for accolades from his bipartisan peers, rather than pursuing policy achievements that could stop the Obama juggernaut.



Sheriff Joe’s Comment on John McCain Will Have Every Trump Fan Cheering

I have been a great fan of Sheriff Joe for many years. He was a shining light amid the darkness of Democrat authoritarianism -- JR

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio gave what some may call the perfect answer when asked about the late Sen. John McCain.

The Arizonan was heading into Tuesday’s primary election for the Republican nomination for a Senate seat — a primary that was won by Arpaio rival Martha McSally. He was interviewed by MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt.

Following McCain’s death from brain cancer on Saturday, many political figures weighed in on McCain’s life and heroic sacrifice during the Vietnam War. In a short transcript of the Arpaio interview segment released on Twitter by Hunt, Arpaio was asked to weigh in with his thoughts, too.

His answer could arguably have had fans of President Donald Trump shouting for joy at how he handled the potential “gotcha” question. Anyone familiar with Arpaio’s outstpoken style might say his answer is also a classic Arpaio thing to say:

Kasie Hunt: “Do you think John McCain is a patriot?”

Arpaio: "Yes.”

Kasie Hunt: “A hero?”

Arpaio: “That's hard for me to answer. Because I never had a hero in my life until several months ago when I woke up after 75 years and I found my hero. You know who that person is? Donald Trump.”

Some have hailed McCain as a hero due to his military service, including a brutal stint as a prisoner of war, prior to becoming first a member of the House of Representatives and then a United States senator.

While McCain had his share of critics, given the animosity between him and Trump, it is understandable that someone like Arpaio might weigh in a little more favorably on the side of the president. The Washington Examiner wrote that “Arpaio was pardoned by Trump in August 2017 after a federal district court judge ruled that he was in criminal contempt of court for not following another judge’s order to cease traffic patrols targeting illegal immigrants.”

That could easily lead Arpaio to view Trump as a “hero,” but he is not alone in holding that viewpoint. It’s not a new reaction to Trump, and it’s not one that’s limited to the United States. Public speaker and Huffington Post UK writer Jean Gasho — a native of Zimbabwe who now lives in England — gave three reasons on her blog in 2016 why Trump was her hero:

* “As a woman who loves children, to me any man who puts the life of unborn babies first has got a good heart. I can not even fathom that people can support partial birth abortions. Donald Trump condemns this evil practice, and for that alone, he won my heart.”

* “He did one thing that no president candidate has ever done, he spoke his mind. He was just real. He did not tell people what they wanted to hear and for that he had the big media houses against him.”

* “He is not a politician. He was more of a family and businessman than politician. He has raised lovely children and he is a firm believer in the institution of marriage. For that he resonated with the people, especially the American Christians. I am not into politics  but I understood his language.”

Also in 2016, Breitbart published a letter in full from “grieving mother” and “legal German immigrant Sabine Durden (who) lost her only son Dominic in 2012 when an unlicensed, illegal alien driver hit and killed him.” In the letter, Durden noted how Trump differed from the other presidential candidates.

After years of trying to draw attention to the problem of illegal immigrant crime, the pain and frustration of feeling unheard and missing her son got to Durden, who planned to end her own life. She wrote that when she heard Trump address the issue, she began “screaming, clapping (her) hands and crying tears of joy.” She credited Trump with saving her life that day and called him her “hero.”



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)


30 August, 2018

Contempt for America Is Normal on the Left

Dennis Prager   

The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, did Americans a favor last week. He provided that which is most indispensable to understanding anything: clarity.

“America … was never that great,” he announced. In one sentence, the governor revealed the left’s true view of America. This is rare—because leftists are masters at hiding what they really believe.

For example, the left’s low regard for nonwhites is well-hidden under a mountain of “anti-racist” rhetoric. But people who consistently advocate lowering standards for blacks obviously do not think highly of blacks, and people who believe in separate black dorms and separate black graduation ceremonies obviously believe in a pillar of racism: racial segregation.

Another generally denied—if not hidden—left-wing belief is contempt for America. On a daily basis, the left describes America as xenophobic, misogynistic, imperialist, greedy, and homophobic. And that’s on a slow day at The New York Times, MSNBC, or your local university. Just last week, a New York Times column added “barbaric” to the left’s view of America.

But for some reason, the average American does not see all this as proof of the left’s contempt for America.

So, we have to rely on the occasional unguarded and unambiguous statement to know what the left really thinks.

Michelle Obama provided such a statement when, as her husband began racking up victories in early-voting states in the 2008 primary season, she proclaimed, “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country.”

Hillary Clinton provided her example during the 2016 election when she described half of her fellow Americans as “deplorables.”

Then-President Barack Obama provided his example in 2015 when he spoke about racism being “part of our DNA.” Now, you might argue that he was merely stating a truth, not expressing contempt. But that argument fails for three reasons.

First, America has developed into the least racist multiracial, multiethnic country in history. Those who deny this have contempt for truth as well as for America. So much for DNA.

Second, can Barack Obama or anyone else on the left name a country or group in history that interacted with other races and was free of racism? Of course not. So, singling out America as having racist DNA is an expression of contempt for America specifically.

Third, how would Obama or anyone else on the left react to someone saying, “Islamic civilization has racism in its DNA”? They would not only emphatically deny it; they would charge whoever said it with being Islamophobic.

In other words, if one tells the truth about centuries of horrific treatment of blacks under Islamic rule, one is bigoted against Islam. But if one says America has racism in its very essence, racism that is still being passed unconsciously from one generation to the next, one is not an Ameriphobe?

And now, Cuomo tells an audience that “America … was never that great.”

Cuomo said publicly what virtually every leftist believes. No one—left, right, or center—thinks the comment was idiosyncratic. If Cuomo had said, “America was never a sports-loving nation,” everyone would have assumed this was just an odd comment representing no one but him. The reason this comment hit such a powerful chord in American life is that just about everyone suspects he was saying what all his fellow leftists believe.

After all, we all know what young people are taught from elementary school through graduate school by their left-wing teachers: America is a racist country founded by racists; Americans committed genocide against the American Indians; whites have unique privileges because of America’s “systemic” racism; in the words of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, “the hard truth about our criminal justice system: It’s racist … front to back”; police are racist—both white and black cops shoot blacks because of racism; and “American civilization” and “Western civilization” are no more than euphemisms for white supremacy.

Now, why would anyone think the left has contempt for America?

Contempt for America is so central to leftism that there would be no leftism without it. Yet there remains an even more important question: Why?

Why does the left—not liberals, who traditionally revered America—have such disdain for America? I will address this question in a future installment of this series explaining the left. America and the West cannot be saved unless those who cherish them understand what motivates those who wish to see them end.



A New NAFTA and the Art of the Deal

President Donald Trump announced a tentative trade agreement with Mexico Monday, calling it "one of the largest trade deals ever made" and "much better" than the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Speaking from the Oval Office, Trump was joined by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto via conference call. Nieto also chimed in that it was an "incredible deal for both parties." Is it?

As always with trade, the answer is "yes and no." There are good aspects and bad ones.

Points reached in the agreement include changes to automobile manufacturing. Each car produced would have to be 75% sourced in North America, up from 62.5%, to avoid tariffs when being transported across national borders. Also, 40-45% of each car produced must be manufactured by workers making $16 per hour or more to avoid tariffs. That helps American manufacturers, but it will raise prices for consumers. Additional updates to rules on intellectual property and labor are also part of the agreement.

The deal still must be approved by Congress and the Mexican government. Trump is eager to make this happen before the midterms, and Peña Nieto is likewise hoping to have his government approve the measure before he leaves office on Dec. 1. At this point, there don't appear to be any insurmountable political hurdles to prevent the trade agreement from becoming a reality, but never underestimate the machinations of American Democrats or Mexican Socialists like incoming President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador. And in any case, time constraints likely mean it isn't going to happen this year.

It's important to note that this is a strictly bilateral trade agreement between the U.S. and Mexico. What will become of Canada, the third member of NAFTA, is yet to be determined, though clearly Trump means to use this as leverage with our northern neighbors. Trump told reporters that negotiations with Canada would start back up immediately, and Peña Nieto voiced his hope that the U.S. and Canada would be able to come to an agreement. Chrystia Freeland, Canada's minister of foreign affairs, said separately Monday that her country was encouraged by the optimism shown by the U.S.-Mexico agreement. "Progress between Mexico and the United States is a necessary requirement for any renewed NAFTA agreement."

Trump, of course, says he's prepared to scrap NAFTA altogether, insisting that the very name has bad connotations. He has repeatedly referred to NAFTA as a historically bad trade deal for the U.S. — a "disaster" — and thus he would rather this deal be referred to simply as the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement. Moreover, Trump has signaled his comfort with cementing two separate bilateral deals with Mexico and Canada, though those two nations still hold out hope that NAFTA can be renegotiated and salvaged.

Trump's strategy is simple: The U.S.-Mexico deal puts pressure on Canada, which was sidelined while Trump pursued a divide-and-conquer approach to negotiating better deals with America's biggest trading partners.

Markets reacted favorably to the news, with major U.S.-based auto manufacturers seeing bumps in their stock price and equity markets across North America also getting a boost.

A few months ago, Democrats, business leaders, and international trade groups cried that Trump was going to wreck the world economy and crash America's economic rebound with his tariffs and his America-first approach to new trade deals. None of this has come to pass. In fact, little by little, the very nations that claimed they were prepared to engage in a trade war with the United States have started changing their tune.

Earlier this summer, the EU came to an agreement with the U.S. that will allow us to export more produce and liquid natural gas to Europe. The door was also left open to work toward a zero-tariff trade deal between the U.S. and EU.

The new deal with Mexico and the positive signs for an agreement between the U.S. and Canada suggest that Trump will continue scoring points on trade. The more victories he lines up, the stronger will be his bargaining position with tougher nations like China.

As we have said frequently, never underestimate the art of the deal.



Newt Gingrich: Democrats have no idea what demons they are unleashing

New York Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appeared on 'The Daily Show' with Trevor Noah and stood by her polarizing label of 'democratic socialist.'

A few weeks ago, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) wrote an article for Vox explaining the movement’s goals – to end capitalism and radically change America.

In normal times, the declarations of a fringe party and ideology in America would not merit much attention. However, these are not normal times. A new Gallup poll shows that 57 percent of Democrats have a favorable view of socialism – while only 47 percent view capitalism positively.

This pattern has been building for a while. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont took socialism mainstream in the party during the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries. Since then, Democratic Party candidates have been increasingly attaching themselves to the ideology.

Most notably, a telegenic young member of the Democratic Socialists of America named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated a senior Democrat in New York City’s 14th Congressional District and has since been on a whirlwind media tour, spreading the gospel of socialism.

So the Vox article (or manifesto) is worth taking seriously. Reading it, I was struck by how remarkably honest it was.

The writer, Meagan Day, a member of the East Bay Chapter of DSA, explicitly debunks the apologists in the mainstream media trying to paper over the group’s radicalism.

Day quotes several prominent news “analysts” who argue that Democratic Socialism is just New Deal liberalism rebranded. She then dumps a bucket of cold water on them, writing that “in the long run, Democratic Socialists want to end capitalism.”

In fact, she writes that the liberal, big-government reforms the movement has chosen to rally behind in partnership with the Democratic Party are simply steppingstones to this eventual goal.

“Social democratic reforms like Medicare-for-all are, in the eyes of DSA, part of the long, uneven process of building that support, and eventually overthrowing capitalism,” she writes.

This explicit goal of ending capitalism makes clear what Ocasio-Cortez meant when she said cryptically in a recent interview, that “capitalism has not always existed in the world, and it will not always exist in the world.”

This is a clear threat to the system which has made us prosperous and the envy of the world, but I appreciate the honesty. Ultimately, the United States is a democratic republic.

If Day, Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders want to try and convince most Americans to end capitalism and embrace a planned, totally redistributionist economy, they are welcome to use the democratic process to do so. It is up to those of us who know better to convince Americans of socialism’s folly.

However, the second notable item in Day’s article suggests that Democratic Socialists don’t value democracy all that much. Day also identified herself as a staff writer at a New York-based, socialist magazine called Jacobin. In fact, several members of the Democratic Socialists of America are writers and editors at Jacobin magazine.

A magazine that would enthusiastically embrace this title is signaling that, like socialist movements of the past, the DSA is willing to drop the “democratic” part of its moniker and instead rely on the traditional method for socialist revolution – bloodshed, violence and tyranny.

The Jacobins were the most violent and radical political group of the French Revolution. Led by Maximilien Robespierre, the group responded to a growing backlash against the revolution by executing anyone their so-called Committee of Public Safety deemed insufficiently loyal.

The Jacobin clubs located throughout the country were used as a secret police force to root out dissent among politicians and the general populace alike.

Historian Timothy Tackett estimates that almost 40,000 people were killed under the Jacobin control of the French government. Many were beheaded by guillotine in a grotesque public spectacle after a show trial, and others were brutally executed with firearms.

In the case of one period in the city of Lyon, people were executed en masse by cannon fire. This period of carnage was known as the Reign of Terror.

A few years ago, Callista and I saw “Dialogues of the Carmelites” at the Washington National Opera. It is a moving, true story of the Carmelite nuns who refused to denounce Christ at the peak of the Reign of Terror. (The French Revolution was virulently anti-Catholic – many churches were closed and reopened as “Temples of Reason.”)

The nuns were beheaded for their unwillingness to denounce their faith. Moments before the guillotine dropped, they displayed the power of God’s love by singing hymns and renewing their vows.

A few years later we visited the Picpus Cemetery in Paris. It holds the graves of the martyred nuns and more than 1,300 victims of the Terror in a six-week period of 1794. It is a very sober reminder of what the Jacobins did during the Reign of Terror. It is not a record for which any American should advocate.

Christopher Hibbert’s “The French Revolution” contains more vivid details of the horrors the Jacobins inflicted upon the people of France. In one instance, he writes, “a woman was charged with the heinous crime of having wept at the execution of her husband. She was condemned to sit several hours under the suspended blade which shed upon her, drop by drop, the blood of the deceased whose corpse was above her on the scaffold before she was released by death from her agony.”

Make no mistake: This is the history of violent revolution, religious oppression, and dictatorship that Jacobin magazine, the DSA, and opportunistic Democrats are embracing – whether they know it or not.

Sen. Sanders, and more have recently shared articles from Jacobin magazine on their social media accounts. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., once sent a Jacobin piece to everyone in Congress.

It is hard to imagine a modern-day Reign of Terror happening in America. But consider the recent phenomenon of outrage mobs on social media demanding people be fired and ostracized for expressing un-PC points of view.

Think about the left-wing activists taking over classrooms to prevent conservative voices from speaking. Think about the rash of people being attacked for wearing MAGA hats. Think about the violence of Antifa.

Perhaps it is not so difficult to imagine.

While I do not know Ocasio-Cortez, I have interacted with Bernie Sanders numerous times in my career. He is an earnest guy, and I seriously doubt he would countenance violence in pursuit of his socialist goals.

Sanders should keep in mind, however, that the Jacobins eventually turned on Robespierre (in fact they executed him). So perhaps Sanders and Democrats rushing to embrace Democratic Socialism should be a little more careful about the demons they are unleashing to win elections.



Walmart Age-Discriminated Against Woman Who Tried to Legally Buy Gun, Oregon Rules

Hannah Brumbles tried to buy her first firearm at Walmart in Oregon when she turned 18 and could legally exercise her Second Amendment right, but the store refused, because she wasn’t 21. On Tuesday, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries ruled that Walmart had violated Oregon’s laws against discrimination.

Now, Brumbles wants the same settlement – $130,000 – from Walmart that an Oregon baker was fined for refusing to bake a gay wedding cake, Willamette Week reports

“Hannah Brumbles, an 18-year-old Deer Island woman, filed a civil rights complaint with BOLI in April. BOLI investigators found that Walmart had violated state nondiscrimination laws and filed formal charges against the company on Aug. 21.”

Hannah’s father, Chris, says that purchasing a gun when turning 18 is a family tradition. He describes his daughter as an experienced hunter and gun-user who has taken multiple gun safety classes.



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 August, 2018

Trump voters are all druggies

That's how the more extreme media outlets will headline the latest piece of research in the medical journals.  But it aint so. A bit hard to know where to begin.  I probably should start by congratulating the authors on their quite humble conclusions.  They say nothing like my headline above.  But, as Churchill said of Clement Attlee, they have much to be humble about.

They know and admit that their data is what statisticians call "ecological" (group based) but fail to mention that the correlations emerging from such data are usually much higher than what emerges in correlations using individual data.  So their results are a poor guide to what individuals do.

And the fact that they had individual data but did not use it suggests that all relationships in the individual data were negligible, meaning that there was NO tendency for Trump voters to overuse prescription opiods.  That is a highly critical interpretation but, in view of the revelations inspired by Ioannidis, that is actually a conservative conclusion.  What Ioannidis showed can be summarized simply as "Medical researchers are crooks".  Sad.  And when an opportunity to bash Trump offers itself, the temptation to cheat could well be overwhelming.

But let me be charitable and assume that all the work was honestly done and all the relevant findings were reported.  The big issue then with the research is the problem of control.  Why was there greater use of prescription opioids in counties where the voters favoured Trump? The obvious explanation would be that Trump voters are poor and are tired of being looked down on by leading Democrats, who used to represent them (See Hillary's "deplorables"). So was that examined in the present study? 

They made a good attempt at it and did find that socioeconomic variables explained two thirds of the relationship between Trump-voting and prescription opioid use.  But they apparently had no data on income so they used rough proxies of it.  Much error could flow from that. Better income data might have shown that opioid use was irrelevant and all the Trump voting could have been accounted for by income.  I doubt that it was but the present research cannot exclude it.

On a technical note, they based their analysis on quintiles -- a common but disreputable technique.  Why group your data when you can use it individually?  I am afraid that the usual reason is that there is no overall relationship in the data. You can show a relationship only by throwing away three fifths of it.  Sad.

Finally, let me point out that, even if we accept their findings, there are many possible interpretations of them.  One that occurs to me is that Obamacare has made it more difficult for poor people  to get treated for their ailments (overcrowded waiting rooms, doctors not taking welfare patients, doctors quitting medicine to go and play golf rather than spend half their day on paperwork etc.) and they blame that on the architects of Obamacare -- the Democrats. So Mr Trump's talk of dumping Obamacare would be attractive

And prescription opioids are only half the story  It could be that the poor mainly use doctors to get their fix.  Because of being poor, they cannot afford to buy from street dealers.  So the Trump voters were actually more law abiding.  I think Mr Trump might like that interpretation.

Association of Chronic Opioid Use With Presidential Voting Patterns in US Counties in 2016

James S. Goodwin et al.


Importance  The causes of the opioid epidemic are incompletely understood.

Objective:  To explore the overlap between the geographic distribution of US counties with high opioid use and the vote for the Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential election.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  A cross-sectional analysis to explore the extent to which individual- and county-level demographic and economic measures explain the association of opioid use with the 2016 presidential vote at the county level, using rate of prescriptions for at least a 90-day supply of opioids in 2015. Medicare Part D enrollees (N?=?3?764?361) constituting a 20% national sample were included.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  Chronic opioid use was measured by county rate of receiving a 90-day or greater supply of opioids prescribed in 2015.

Results:  Of the 3?764?361 Medicare Part D enrollees in the 20% sample, 679?314 (18.0%) were younger than 65 years, 2?283?007 (60.6%) were female, 3?053?688 (81.1%) were non-Hispanic white, 351?985 (9.3%) were non-Hispanic black, and 198?778 (5.3%) were Hispanic. In a multilevel analysis including county and enrollee, the county of residence explained 9.2% of an enrollee’s odds of receiving prolonged opioids after adjusting for individual enrollee characteristics. The correlation between a county’s Republican presidential vote and the adjusted rate of Medicare Part D recipients receiving prescriptions for prolonged opioid use was 0.42 (P?<?.001). In the 693 counties with adjusted rates of opioid prescription significantly higher than the mean county rate, the mean (SE) Republican presidential vote was 59.96% (1.73%), vs 38.67% (1.15%) in the 638 counties with significantly lower rates. Adjusting for county-level socioeconomic measures in linear regression models explained approximately two-thirds of the association of opioid rates and presidential voting rates.

Conclusions and Relevance:  Support for the Republican candidate in the 2016 election is a marker for physical conditions, economic circumstances, and cultural forces associated with opioid use. The commonly used socioeconomic indicators do not totally capture all of those forces.

Source (doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0450)


Trump and Mexican President Announce New Trade Deal to Replace NAFTA

Evidence that Trump's use of tariffs is just a tool to achieve fairer terms for American workers.  The tariffs were not intended to be permanent

President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced on Monday that they had reached an “understanding” to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In an Oval Office announcement, which included Peña Nieto on speaker phone, Trump told reporters that the U.S. and Mexico are putting the finishing touches on will be “one of the largest trade deals ever made.”

“It’s a big day for trade. It’s a big day for our country,” the president said. “I’ll be terminating the existing deal and going into this deal.”

“They use to call it NAFTA,” Mr. Trump said. “We’re going to call it the United States-Mexico trade agreement. We’ll get rid of the name NAFTA. It has a bad connotation because the United States was treated very very badly for NAFTA.”

Mexico is the United States’ third largest trading partner behind China and Canada. Through June of this year, U.S. exports to Mexico totaled $131.3 billion and imports were $169.3 billion or a deficit of $38 billion.



Illegal Obamacare Fees Trigger $839M Reimbursement to Several States

King Obama thought he could ignore the law

The Internal Revenue Service must repay more than $839 million to six states because of an Obama-era Health and Human Services Department requirement, a federal court ruled.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern Division of Texas said the requirement unlawfully imposed a costly fee on state Medicaid programs.

In October 2015, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton led a multistate lawsuit against the federal government over the Obama-era regulation that “threatened to choke off Medicaid funds for the health needs of millions of Texas citizens unless Texas taxpayers paid a portion of the Health Insurance Providers Fee to help fund Obamacare.”

The states of Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska and Wisconsin joined Texas in suing the federal government, HHS and its acting secretary, Alex Azar, the IRS and its acting commissioner, David Kautter, alleging that they violated the Affordable Care Act by requiring that state governments pay a Health Insurance Providers Fee.

Notwithstanding Congress’s exemption of the states in the ACA, HHS enacted a regulation (the ‘Certification Rule’) that empowered a private actuarial board to require Plaintiffs to account for the HIPF in payments to their respective managed care organizations (‘MCOs’)– the medical providers who contract with Plaintiffs to service their Medicaid recipients,” the plaintiffs argued. “Plaintiffs’ amended complaint challenged the legality and constitutionality of both the HIPF and the Certification Rule.”

Plaintiffs requested 13 types of relief and financial recompense.

After a series of rulings and hearings, denied requests and appeals, the plaintiffs asked the court to reconsider four aspects of the case, including whether the HIPF was considered a tax or a fee. This week, the court ruled in favor of the states, in part, by ordering the IRS to repay the HIPF money it collected.

“Obamacare is unconstitutional, plain and simple,” Attorney General Paxton, who led the coalition, said. “We all know that the feds cannot tax the states, and we’re proud to return this illegally collected money to the people of Texas.”

Texas stands to be repaid $304,730,608.

The IRS was ordered to repay Indiana $94,801,483, Kansas $142,121,776, Louisiana $172,493,095, Wisconsin $88,938,850 and Nebraska $36,238,918.

“Obamacare has always been an economic house of cards, and this ruling has again exposed it for what it is: a money laundering scheme,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said. “This is a prime example of the deep administrative state doing something that Congress expressly forbids.”

Even though the ACA forbids imposing the HIPF, Landry said “the federal government found a way to do it anyway. The government threat to disapprove our managed care plans risked the loss of those Medicaid funds.”

The ruling protects the state from having to paying any such fees in the future, Landry said. Once the IRS returns the money to Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards “should return any net dollars directly to the hard-working Louisianans who were forced to pay these costs,” he added.

Texas and Wisconsin will argue at a hearing on Sept. 5 that Obamacare, as amended by the recent tax bill, is unconstitutional in its entirety.



Bald faced hypocrisy: Before McCain Was Their Hero Fighting Trump, Media Called Him Unhinged Racist

You can tell a lot about the weather by looking at what the wind is doing — and you can learn a lot about politics by noticing how narratives change over time.

The political winds have shifted a lot when it comes to the late Arizona Sen. John McCain, particularly from the liberal media. McCain, of course, died on Saturday after battling with brain cancer.

Tributes and acknowledgements poured in from across the political spectrum, with mourners ranging from George W. Bush to Barack Obama offering kind words about the long-serving senator and military veteran.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with being civil when a man like McCain passes, even in light of the objections many differences have had with him in the past.

Somewhat surprisingly, the left also took the opportunity to put the former Republican presidential candidate on a pedestal … but the way the same liberals attacked him just a few years ago is an eye-opening example of how narratives work.

When you compare how left-leaning outlets spoke of McCain after his death versus when he was alive, it’s hard to think of a more dramatic 180-degree reversal in tone.

There seems to be one common theme: The same outlets that savaged the senator a decade ago are now singing his praises now that they can use his passing to take shots at President Donald Trump.

That’s exactly what several pundits including independent journalist Mike Cernovich pointed out on Twitter. A series of screenshots demonstrate how eagerly outlets like The Huffington Post trashed and slandered McCain when he was a leading Republican, only to seemingly develop bipolar disorder the moment he died.

“They all hated McCain, now they use his death to attack Trump. It’s a bunch of lies,” Cernovich wrote. He backed that opinion up with a series of tweets from Cher, the celebrity singer and outspoken leftist.

Cher — while not noted for her towering intelligence — called McCain a “teabagger” and implied that he was Nero in 2013. She also suggested that he was some sort of hell-bent demon, declaring “SULFUR FOLLOWS HIM WHEREVER HE GOES!”

Fast forward to this week. Suddenly, the same Cher was defending McCain and scolding President Donald Trump for not commenting on the senator’s then-impending death. It seems the singer had suddenly found a soft spot for the “teabagger” the moment he could be used against Trump.

Then there’s The Huffington Post.

“Compare what the media is saying about McCain to what they said – in 2008 – when it actually mattered,” pointed out Cernovich. “Today oh they love the guy, but when he was running for POTUS, they called him a Nazi, racist, white supremacist, and mentally unfit for office.”

Other commentators made similar points, providing numerous screenshots of articles then and now to show the contrast.



New book about ancient Europe

Language can tell you a lot

Introducing Dr John V. Day’s The Alphabet Code, a new book about ancient Europe.

Why, for more than a century now, have academics treated ancient Europeans as culturally backward?

According to academia, the only civilizations to invent writing were in Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, east Asia and Central America. In other words, not in Europe.

And according to academia, the only civilizations to invent numerals were in the same places, plus the Andes. So, again, not in Europe.

As for our own alphabet, academics maintain that it was invented either in the Near East or in Egypt, and that our so-called Arabic numerals were invented in India.

But now a new book by a recognized prehistorian restores the cultural worth of ancient Europe. John V. Day, Ph.D., acclaimed author of Indo-European Origins: The Anthropological Evidence, spent more than ten years researching and writing The Alphabet Code.

His book proves that Indo-Europeans living in prehistoric Europe invented the forerunner of the Greek alphabet and also the forerunner of our numerals. The Alphabet Code even identifies several parallels between the numerals and the early part of the alphabet, implying that our numerals and letters once coincided.

For example, Indo-Europeans used the word kap to denote a hand. Hence kap gave rise to Latin capt?re, to grasp; Greek kapt?, to snatch; Albanian kap, to grab; Hittite kappuwa-, to count; and Persian kp-, to hit. Normal humans being endowed with ten fingers, many languages have related words for hand and ten (or five). That’s why Indo-European kap also gave rise to Greek kappa, the alphabet’s tenth letter.

Indo-Europeans used another word for a hand in de?. Hence de? gave rise to Latin index, a forefinger; Greek dekomai, to take; Greek dekt?r, a collector; Greek deksia, the right hand; and Tocharian B täk-, to fetch and to touch. Humans having ten fingers, Indo-European de? also gave rise to Cornish dec, Latin decem and Greek deka, all meaning ten, the tenth number. And note the similarity in form between the Greek alphabet’s kappa, ?, and the Roman numeral for ten, X.

*  Covering from ? to ? (or alpha to omega), The Alphabet Code is the only book that offers a true picture of what each letter means.

*  Covering from 0 to X (Roman ten), The Alphabet Code is the only book that offers a true picture of what each numeral means.                            

*  The Alphabet Code is easy to read and contains over fifty illustrations.

*  Yet it’s scholarly too, the endnotes running to nearly 900 references.

Available now as an e-book for Kindle. Buy The Alphabet Code for only $3.95 from www.amazon.com


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 August, 2018

The Left are different

A reader named Kevin Johnson opines:

"Saying “the Left is a violent mob” is kind of like saying “the Right are all fascists.” It’s asinine virtue-signalling. How Americans fool themselves into believing they have actual alternatives in the GOP and DNC, I will never understand.

Keep on drinkin’ that establishment kool-aid and everything will turn out fine!"

This is a rhetorical game played by Leftists of the Left and by Leftists of the Alt-Right alike, wherein two opposite things are said to be equal. It appeals to the natural egalitarianism in fallen man, all of whom fall short of the glory of God, to assume that not only are venal versus mortal sins somehow equal, but that virtue and vice are somehow equal.

False equivalence is a game because it is not serious. It is not a philosophical nor political stance: it it is a mouth-noise, what we call phatic speech, merely intended to signal the virtue of the utterer by lifting him above the fray, as he judiciously pronounces a curse on both our houses. Like saying that the Jews are equally at fault as the Germans for the Holocaust, on closer inspection, one can easily see which side of the issue is elevated by the comparison, and which is undermined. The comment by Mr. Johnson is not meant to bring the Right up to share in the high moral ground of the Left: it is to silence any criticism of the Left and its perennial violent mob mentality.

Saying “the Left is a violent mob” is exactly like saying “the Right are all fascists”, except for the tiny niggling detail that one statement is true as Gospel and the other false as Hell.

Let us see if we can see which is which, shall we?

Here is an article from the Origonian concerning a Bernie voter who brought an American flag to an Anti-Fascist protest rally, and was duly beaten in the head by a baseball bat by Antifas. For those of you not keeping score, both Antifas and Bernie voters are Leftwing.

Paul Welch came to the downtown protest Aug. 4 to let his political leanings be known.

With pride he clutched his U.S. flag as he moved among the crowd of like-thinking demonstrators.

Soon a group of black-clad anti-fascist protesters, also known as antifa, demanded he lose the flag, calling it a fascist symbol. Welch refused, and a tug-of-war ensued.

It ended with Welch taking a club to the back of the head, lying on the ground in a pool of his own blood.

Only Welch was not a Proud Boy, a Patriot Prayer supporter or among the other conservative activists who descended into the area that day, many from out of town.

He was one of hundreds of progressive Portlanders who had turned out to oppose the right-wing rally held at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

So do I need to make a comment here?

I hope readers are aware of the riots that took place on college campuses when speakers on the right were threatened and assaulted by the violent mob of the left. A full list would be wearisome indeed. Here are a few:

Ben Shapiro escorted by police from CSULA due to angry protesters
February 25, 2016

Protesters at Claremont McKenna College distrupted a speech by author Heather MacDonald
April 6, 2017

Student protesters confront author Charles Murray at Middlebury College
March 2, 2017

“The three of us got to the car, with the security guards keeping protesters away while we closed and locked the doors. Then we found that the evening wasn’t over. So many protesters surrounded the car, banging on the sides and the windows and rocking the car, climbing onto the hood, that Bill had to inch forward lest he run over them”

Protest at University of Chicago over Corey Lewandowski
February 15, 2017

A group of masked protesters at the University of Chicago tried to stop Corey Lewandowski, a former Trump campaign manager, from speaking.

Protests at UC Berkeley over Milo Yiannopoulos
February 1, 2017

A planned talk at the University of California-Berkeley by Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos was canceled Wednesday evening after protesters threw smoke bombs and flares at the student union building where he was scheduled to speak. Violent left-wing protesters stormed the building and forced Yiannopoulos to be evacuated by police.

Man shot during protest of Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of Washington
January 20, 2017

A 32-year old man was shot while he was protesting a campus event featuring commentator Milo Yiannopoulos. Please note that this was one Leftist anti-free-speech protester shot by two other Leftist anti-free-speech protesters.

Mob at UC Davis forced the school to cancel a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos
January 13, 2017

And I have not even listed the times Ann Coulter has been forced from the podium by Leftist mobs.

I invite anyone reading these words to list the time the Right has formed a mob and forced a campus speaker from the podium?

What about a Rightwing mob silencing someone else, not on campus? In some other venue perhaps?

What about a Rightwing mob of any sort? The last mass protests on the Right of which I have any knowledge were the Tea Party, who routinely left the areas of their protests cleaner than when they came.

Ah! But there was that one Alt-Right guy who ran over an innocent woman in Charlottesville. Well first, Alt-Right means Alternative to the Right, that is, in other words, not the Right. They are a White Identity Politics groups, sort of like ‘White Lives Matter.’ They are collectivist socialists held in contempt by conservatives, who also hold conservatives in contempt. Second, it often goes unremarked that the driver was being chased by Antifas thugs with baseball bats, trying to maim or kill him, and he accelerated his car recklessly trying to get away.

I found a convenient list of some of the recent violence, both moblike and individual. Forgive me if it repeats certain items:

June 2016:

– Protesters jumped on cars, stole hats, fought with and threw eggs at Trump supporters outside a Trump rally in downtown San Jose, Calif. Trump supporters sued San Jose over the violence.

July 2016:

-A Hillary Clinton supporter lights a flag on fire and attacks a Trump supporter in Pittsburgh.

August 2016:

-Anti-Trump protesters attacked pushed, spit on and verbally harassed attendees forced to walk a “gauntlet” as they left a Trump fundraiser in Minneapolis, Minn., and beat an elderly man. Protesters also attacked Trump’s motorcade.

–A Tennessee man was assaulted at a garage sale for being a Trump supporter.

-A Trump supporter in New Jersey was attacked with a crowbar on the street.

September 2016:

-Protesters in El Cajon, Calif., chased and beat up a Trump supporter.

October 2016:

-A GOP office in North Carolina was firebombed and spray painted with “Nazi Republicans get out of town or else.”

November 2016:

-A high school student was attacked after she wrote that she supported Trump on social media. The perpetrator ripped her glasses off and punched her in the face.

-The president of Cornell University’s College Republicans was assaulted the night after Trump won the election.

-Students protesting Trump punched and kicked a Maryland high school student wearing a Make America Great Again hat.

-A high school student was arrested in Florida after he punched a classmate for carrying a Trump sign at school.

-A group of black men in Chicago attacked a white man while raging against Trump.

-Maryland high school students punched a student who was demonstrating in support of Trump, and then kicked him repeatedly while he was on the ground.

-“You support Trump. You hate Mexicans,” a California high school student yelled at a Trump supporter, before viciously beating the girl.

-An anti-bullying ambassador was arrested for shoving a 74-year-old man to the ground in a fight outside Trump tower where people upset over his win had gathered. The woman tied to Black Lives Matter caused the man to hit his head on the sidewalk.

-A Texas elementary school student was beaten by his classmates for voting for Trump in a mock election.

-Two men punched and kicked a Connecticut man who was standing with an American flag and a Trump sign.

December 2016:

-A Trump supporter was beaten and dragged by a car.

January 2017:

-A Trump supporter was knocked unconscious after airport protesters repeatedly beat him on the head.

-A Trump supporter was attacked after putting out a fire started by anti-Trump protesters.

-When Trump protesters encountered a driver with a pro-Trump flag on his car, they surrounded the vehicle, ripped off and began burning the flag, and pounded the car. They also punctured the tires.

February 2017:

-California GOP Rep. Tom McClintock had to be escorted to his car after a town hall because of angry protesters. The tires of at least four vehicles were slashed.

-Protestors knocked a 71-year-old female staffer for California GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher unconscious during a protest outside the representative’s office.

-Milo Yiannopoulos speech at the University of California-Berkeley was cancelled after rioters set the campus on fire and threw rocks through windows. Milo tweeted that one of his supporters wearing a Trump hat was thrown to the ground and kicked.

March 2017:

-Masked protesters at Middlebury College rushed AEI scholar and political scientist Charles Murray and professor Allison Stranger, pushing and shoving Murray and grabbing Stranger by her hair and twisting her neck as they were leaving a campus building. Stranger suffered a concussion. Protesters then surrounded the car they got into, rocking it back and forth and jumping on the hood.

April 2017:

-A parade in Portland, Ore.,was canceled after threats of violence were made against a Republican organization.

-Fears of violent protests shut down Ann Coulter’s UC Berkeley speech. Campus police had gathered intel on protesters who were planning to commit violence.

May 2017:

– Republican Rep. Tom Garrett, his family and his dog were targeted by a series of repeated death threats deemed credible by authorities.

-FBI agents arrested a person for threatening to shoot Republican Rep. Martha McSally over her support for Trump.

-Police in Tennessee charged a woman for allegedly trying to run Republican Rep. David Kustoff off the road.

-Police in North Dakota ejected a man after he became physical with Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer at a town hall.

-A former professor was arrested after police said they identified him on video beating Trump supporters with a U-shaped bike lock, leaving three people with “significant injuries.”

June 2017:

-James Hodgkinson opened fire on a congressional GOP baseball practice, injuring five, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

-Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney received an email threat that read, “One down, 216 to go,” shortly after the shooting at the Republican congressional baseball practice.

-A man driving a white Malibu reportedly fired several shots at a man driving a truck displaying a “Make America Great Again” flag in Indiana.

So tell me again, please, why exactly it is unfair or absurd to accuse the Left of a moblike, violent essence to its political worldview? Are all these listed events exceptions? All of them?

Where is the equal list of Rightwing fascist enormities? Produce it. Show me.

The midterms are coming up. I do not care how much Trump offends your personal sensibilities with his rough humor and his Yankee incivility, his adulteries and private sins. The choice is between him, a fighter willing and able to defeat the CNN-DNC incestuous agitprop machine, and the barbarians serving the dark gods of chaos and anarchy.



More Marxism

I have just put up on my Marx blog a new collection of "wisdom" from leading Marxists.  It makes clear that Leftist violence is thoroughy intentional and central to Leftism.  It is not at all the work of a radical "fringe" or "incidental" in some way.


Socialism:  A reminder


Dem Rep Says Trump “Doesn’t Need To Commit A Crime” To Be Impeached

Democrats will never let something as inconvenient as the Constitution get in their way when it comes to avenging Hillary by impeaching President Trump.

None have been more unhinged and relentless in their efforts to nullify the votes of 63 million Americans than the members of the self-segregating Congressional Black Caucus and especially Rep. Al Green of Texas.

Aside from possibly being the ugliest member of Congress, Green has been an absolute fanatic about leading the lynch mob and despite multiple failed efforts, is feeling that the brouhaha over stool pigeon Michael Cohen is going to be the key to finally stick it to Trump.

There is the matter that nothing that the president has done is even remotely the “high crimes and misdemeanors” specified in our governing document but that won’t deter Green and others who believe that impeachment is a tool to get rid of someone that they just don’t like regardless of what the Constitution specifies.

Congressman Green made his case in an interview with far-left host Amy Goodman on “Democracy Now” on Thursday when he dismissed the idea that Trump had to have actually committed a crime to be impeached.



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)


27 August, 2018


We have heard of Islamophobia and homophobia but those are not phobias.  They are not indicative of mental illness. But Russophobia seems to be.  The Left and to some extent the Right never stop talking about the Russian "danger" when Russia is absolutely no danger to the United States.  NOBODY in his right mind attacks a major nuclear power.  Even the Soviets did not do that. Yet in both Congress and in the media there is this obsession with Russia. Such an obsession does appear to me to identify Russophobia as a true phobia.

Let Vladimir Vladimirovich detail some of that irrationlity.  The video below starts with a long-winded "question" from an American woman in which she asks why Vladimir Vladimirovich does not speak more warmly of the USA.  After a couple of minutes of that we hear from Vladimir Vladimirovich.

The hook on which American commentators hang their hostility to Russia is his acceptance of the request from the democratically elected Crimean parliament for Crimea to become part of Russia.  Since Crimea is and always has been populated overwhelmingly by Russians, that made perfect sense.

It is customary among Russia's critics to criticize the elections for the Crimean parliament but all sorts of international observers were present -- including the ineffable Jimmy Carter -- and found no significant irregularities.  There are probably more irregularities in American elections -- with illegals voting.

Crimea became a problem in the aftermath of the Soviet implosion.  Hastily drawn lines were put on the map which did not always take proper account of the ethnicity of the people affected.  So adjustments were inevitable. 

How would Americans feel if in the aftermath of some political problem, Florida were hived off and assigned to be part of Mexico?  That was exactly the sort of problem that Russia faced in Crimea and in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Vladimir Vladimirovich simply legalized a people's movement and won wide praise for it in Russia.

Particularly during the reign of King Obama, many conservatives liked a lot of what they heard about post-Soviet Russia.  Russians generally are intolerant of political correctness and that is reflected in the policies of their government.  It is certainly refreshing that Russians don't idolize sexual abnormality. Fortunately Mr Trump has come along to bring also to America critical thinking on many issues of political correctness.

Russia is a great country -- the largest country on earth by a long chalk.  And it has a vivid cultural life that we all to some extent can enjoy.  Below are two songs that are very popular in Russia,  Both are simple sentimental songs -- nothing warlike or aggressive about them

The first (Cranes) is sung by Dmitry Hvorostovsky, an excellent bass baritone who seems to be little known in the West. Spelling his name could be the problem! In the second Hvorostovsky combines with renowned Russian soprano Anna Netrebko to act out "Moscow nights".  Netrebko is a rather shy person when she is not belting out one of the great operatic arias and Hvorostovsky brought that out at the beginning by saying she was the girl he wanted.

Look at the audience.  They could be Americans if we did not know otherwise.  All Northern European peoples are essentially identical genetically. Any differences are tiny. Almost all differences are cultural.  Russians too are our people. They are not our enemies.

Finally, I am putting up a video of "Volga Boatmen" sung by the magnificent Russian bass Leonid Kharitonov.  Again there is  nothing aggressive about it.  It is basically a very simple sea shanty.  It does however remind us of the strength of Russia.  It basically tells of determination and endurance, essential Russian qualities, and Kharitonov conveys that very well

So that is my toe-dip into Russian culture -- in the hope that it may make some tiny contribution to friendly relations with a great country and a great people.


Tiny bridge at the centre of the Venezuelan refugee crisis

Crossing the Rio Táchira river in the eastern Andes, the Simón Bolívar International Bridge is being clogged daily with thousands of refugees, who say they will die if they stay in their motherland.

They are trying to flee from Venezuela — a country which has essentially ground to a standstill as murderous gangs roams the streets and devastating food and medical shortages leave millions of residents fighting to survive.

To make matters even worse, the country has just been hit by its most powerful earthquake in more than a century.

The bridge connects the embattled socialist nation with relatively stable Colombia and the differences between the two towns on either side are stark.

Residents in Villa del Rosario in Colombia sometimes used to cross over to San Antonio del Táchira on the other side to visit shops and friends, but now the traffic is all one-way — as millions of Venezuelans clamour to escape their homeland which has descended into an economic basket case.

President Nicolás Maduro blames the country’s woes on “imperialists” in the United States and Europe for waging “economic war”. However, critics say it’s a simple case of economic mismanagement.

The United Nations says more than 2.3 million Venezuelans have already fled the country. That’s more than 7 per cent of the country’s entire population — making it one of the largest mass migrations in Latin America’s history.

More than a million of those desperate refugees have arrived in Colombia in the past 18 months and many of them have resorted to using the tiny Simón Bolívar International Bridge as their escape route.

Some of those passing through the clogged checkpoint, left warnings on Google reviews — saying the bridge has become “overwhelming, hot and hellish” in recent months as tens of thousands of refugees flee.

Many said to avoid it all costs as border guards struggle to contend with the constant exodus of poverty-stricken refugees, however some crossing the border were sympathetic with the overworked staff.

“Here even border guards looked compassionate and kind,” said one traveller who recently crossed the bridge “Must be tough having such spectacle under your very eyes every day.”

Many of those escaping are using Colombia as a bridge to Ecuador and Peru, where some believe they will have better luck finding jobs and applying for asylum.

More than a half million Venezuelans have entered Ecuador since January, prompting officials to declare a state of emergency. In Peru, officials recorded more than 5000 Venezuelan entries on a recent single day.

Now, both countries have announced dramatic rule changes which could see thousands of refugees stranded. Both revealed they would allow entry only to people with valid passports.

Venezuelans were previously able to enter using only paper ID cards. About half of those who have made the journey so far didn’t have passports.

But obtaining a passport in Venezuela is close to impossible. The country is struggling with shortages of paper and ink — so hardly any passports are printed, let alone issued.

The situation is becoming increasingly dire in the poverty-stricken country which — despite having the largest proven oil reserves in the world — has millions of residents dying from a lack of medicine.

Four in five Venezuelans now live in poverty and millions have to queue for hours every day to get their hands on basic food rations as inflation reaches terrifying levels.

Inflation now sits at 82,766 per cent — similar to that in Germany in 1923 or Zimbabwe in the late 2000s — and experts fear it could exceed 1 million per cent by the end of this year.

The new border rules drew an immediate rebuke from authorities in Colombia.

Though his own country already imposed its own often ignored entry requirements for Venezuelans, Colombia Migration Director Christian Kruger warned that the new passport rule in neighbouring Ecuador could create a bottleneck at the Rumichaca International Bridge connecting the two countries.

Officials estimate over 4000 Venezuelans crossed from Colombia into Ecuador each day over the bridge earlier this month.

“We are immensely worried about the consequences this might present,” he said. “The exodus of Venezuelans from the country is one of Latin America’s largest mass-population movements in history,” William Spindler, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said earlier this month.

Colombia began requiring Venezuelans to present a passport or border card allowing for short trips into the nation earlier this year. But thousands still sneak in through hundreds of illegal entry points along the 2200km border with Venezuela.

Colombian officials recently agreed to provide legal status to 442,000 who participated in a registry for migrants without valid documents.

A border crossing from Venezuela into the Brazilian city of Pacaraima was closed earlier this month after a judge ruled it should be shuttered until a program to relocate Venezuelan refugees could keep pace with the hundreds arriving each day.

That decision was later reversed by an appellate court. Peruvian Interior Minister Mauro Medina said the passport requirement was needed to ensure an orderly migration.

“If something happens to them, we have a way to identify them,” he said. “Also, some bad apples — who don’t represent the majority, who are decent people — filter in and police should have the adequate tools to identify them.”

Peruvian migration officials estimate between 17,000 and 25,000 Venezuelans are now in southern Ecuador with the intention of heading on to Peru, Chile or Argentina. They will have until August 25 to enter without a passport.

Mr Kruger said the new passport rule is unlikely to stem the tide of migrants and called on Ecuador and other nations to work together on dealing with the crisis in crafting commonsense policies.

“Requiring a passport isn’t going to stop this migration,” Mr Kruger said. “This isn’t a migration of people leaving their country just because they want to. They’re leaving because they need to.”



The latest Leftist attempt to destroy America

Some top Democrats running in Texas are calling for the decriminalization of illegally crossing the United States border.

Rep. Robert O’Rourke who is running against incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate, declared that illegal entry should not be a criminal matter, while he was campaigning in southern Texas:

“These asylum seekers — penniless, at wit’s end, after surviving three weeks on the road, very often with their children — then attempt to do what I think any human would do, which is request asylum in between the ports of entry,”

“We should not criminalize that.” O’Rourke stated.

Cruz’s seat is solidly red, however that fact does not deter comical publicity stunts like this one. It is safe to make the educated assumption that this message does not coincide with the vast majority of Texans, however the race has gotten interesting.

Recent polling numbers suggest the race it tighter than Cruz would like which may be a significant result of the national attention and monies being spent on the O’Rourke campaign. The campaign has raked in $23.3 million based on recent reports.

Some other Democratic candidates identified similar feelings while on the campaign trail last weekend.

Veronica Escobar, who is running to fill O’Rourke’s seat said: “The United States has built a system on incarcerating migrants, we really have to evaluate the way that we’ve criminalized migration.” “When we treat asylum-seekers like criminals, the next step is we have to jail them, we have to incarcerate them,” Escobar continued. “It’s incredibly costly.”

Former U.S. Customs agent and Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez, used her experience to argue that illegal immigrants are not a public threat. “The majority of people are not coming in to do harm,” she said said. “We still have to have some kind of checking and verifying, but I don’t think coming in here undocumented should be a criminal issue.”



Arizona governor must pick a Republican to replace McCain under Arizona rules

Can we hope for Sheriff Joe?  He is very popular

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey will make the appointment that will fill the seat of Sen. John McCain, who died Saturday after a year-long battle with brain cancer.

Under state law the replacement must be of the same party as Mr. McCain, a Republican, according to election experts. That ensures the GOP will maintain control of the Senate — though given Mr. Ducey is a Republican as well, that was likely anyway.

Because the vacancy happened so late in the year, Mr. Ducey’s replacement will serve through the end of 2020, and the seat will next be on the ballot in November of that year. The winner would then serve out the final two years of the term Mr. McCain won in 2016 — his sixth.

Mr. Ducey’s decision could be tricky. Arizona’s other Senate seat, currently held by retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, is up for election this year and the party primaries are on Tuesday. That race has turned into a bruising battle with an establishment-backed candidate in Rep. Martha McSally and two candidates from the right wing, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former state lawmaker Kelli Ward.

The conservatives are splitting the vote and Ms. McSally seems headed for a comfortable victory — but Mr. Ducey may face pressure from some corners of his state to name one of the others to fill Mr. McCain’s seat.



Stadium Fever Makes Taxpayers Delusional

Attention, Sports Fans: That new stadium your city is talking about is likely costing you far more than you realize. In an op-ed at Forbes, Independent Institute Research Fellow Art Carden discusses the latest evidence: a study published last month in Economic Inquiry by two academic economists who studied hotel occupancy data from Charlotte, North Carolina, to determine the financial impact of various political and sporting events.

“Back?of?the?envelope calculations show incremental hotel?tax receipts fall short of the debt service incurred in constructing and maintaining the city's sports venues,” write the economists, Craig A. Depken of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and E. Frank Stephenson of Berry College.

One extra cost that the public often ignores regarding public stadiums is extra policing, whether for a sports game or a political convention. Plus, the public often falls prey to the propaganda of developers and other special interests. “When construction starts on a new stadium or convention center, local leaders congratulate themselves like they’ve won some kind of great economic victory,” Carden writes. “They haven’t. They’ve simply fleeced the taxpayers for the benefit of construction companies, team owners, and other special interests by saddling them with white elephants for which they’ll pay for decades.”



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 August, 2018

52.1% of American Kids Live in Households Getting Means-Tested Government Assistance

This is not far off a Communist economy.  Those needing government assistance should be a small minority.  I am not even happy about school lunches.  In my childhood all kids brought their lunches in a brown bag from home.  A school was a school, not a diner.  Nobody starved then even though most of the households  were quite poor by today's standards. 

And we had a lot of minorities there too -- though they were minorities of European origin, mostly Italians.  And an Italian mother would have been deeply ashamed to send her kid to school with anything less that a magnificent and very tasty lunch.  The motto of every Italian mother is "Mangiare, mangiare"! (Eat, eat!).  I am very pleased to have grown up among Italians, heirs of one of the great European civilizations, but also very warm and sentimental people, with a great love of family

But not all  minorities are like Italians

Will they be called The Welfare Generation?

Today, they are Americans under 18 years of age growing up in a country where the majority of their peers live in households that take "means-tested assistance" from the government.

In 2016, according to the most recent data from the Census Bureau, there were approximately 73,586,000 people under 18 in the United States, and 38,365,000 of them — or 52.1 percent — resided in households in which one or more persons received benefits from a means-tested government program.

These included the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), Medicaid, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the National School Lunch Program.

The Census Bureau published its data on the number and percentage of persons living in households that received means-tested government assistance in its Current Population Survey Detailed Tables for Poverty.

Table POV-26 indicates there were approximately 319,911,000 people in the United States in 2016. Of these, 114,793,000 — 35.9 percent — lived "in a household that received means-tested assistance."

That does not mean every person in the household received the aid themselves, only that one or more persons living in the household did.

When examined by age bracket, persons under 18 were the most likely to live in a household receiving means-tested government assistance (52.1 percent), while those 75 and older were least likely (18.8 percent).

But Americans in all the age brackets up to age 44 analyzed by the Census Bureau were more likely to be living in a household that received means-tested government assistance than the overall national rate of 35.9 percent.

But even when the Census Bureau excluded the school lunch program from its calculations, the percentage of those under 18 who lived in a household receiving means-tested assistance (44.8 percent) exceeded the percentage in any other age bracket.

Twenty years ago, in 1998, according to Census Bureau data, only 36.9 percent of Americans under 18 lived in a household receiving means-tested government assistance. In 2008, the percentage broke 40 percent for the first time. In 2013, it broke 50 percent for the first time.

America has now seen four straight years — 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 — during which a majority of those under 18 lived in a household taking means-tested benefits.

The Census Bureau data indicate that people living in intact families are less likely to be on government assistance than people living in broken families. Nonetheless, the government-dependency rate is still high for intact families that have children under 18.



Trump’s Character and Trump’s Presidency

David Horowitz below defends Trump's character.  His final paragraph makes a major point about that.  He reports some rather extraordinary behavior from Jonah Goldberg.  One would think that, unlike Leftists, conservatives could disagree without resorting to abuse and foul language.  It looks like Jonah is drifting over to the dark side

A few days ago, I had a dust-up on Twitter with National Review’s Jonah Goldberg. Our conflict was about Trump’s fitness to be president, a subject that has been broached millions of times on social media by other internet partisans. Twitchy posted the exchange and promoted it this way: “It’s On! Jonah Goldberg, David Horowitz Duke It Out Over Trump’s Character.” The donnybrook led to 500,000 impressions on my Twitter feed, including legions of anti-Trump zealots eager to demonstrate how creative they could be in devising insults to throw at me for defending Trump: beyond dumb, in need of psychiatric help, and probably receiving payments through offshore bank accounts.

As it happens, I’ve known Jonah for more than 20 years, admired his wit and insights, promoted his books, and put him on my platforms. I was distressed when he joined the NeverTrump chorus, but never wrote a critical word about him—hoping, I guess, that as Trump systematically undid the damage that the Obama regime had inflicted on the country, Jonah would return to his senses.

Other NeverTrump conservatives, on the other hand, just jumped to the other side. Bill Kristol even went so far as to collude with the Brennan-instigated witch-hunt by spreading talking points from the Steele dossier. It was easy to write these renegades off, though still wondering how they rationalized the betrayal of their lifetime principles, or were able to deny that they were doing so.

Afraid to Get Their Principles Wet

But a group of NeverTrumpers like Jonah adopted a less radical stance and conceded that many or even most of Trump’s policy actions were actually conservative, and ones they agreed with. What made them NeverTrumpers was his horrible, defective character. Most prominent among this group was Bret Stephens, whom I have also admired and promoted in the past. At the end of Trump’s first year, Stephens wrote a column for the New York Times—the position being an obvious reward for his defection—called “Why I’m Still A Never Trumper.” In it he praised Trump’s major policy actions since entering the White House. But then he attacked Trump’s bad character, which was unpresidential and indefensible. And averred: “I still wish Hillary Clinton were president.”

When I read his column, the first question that popped into my mind was: How can indefensible and unpresidential bad character lead to such admirable presidential decisions? I am not aware of any attempt by Stephens or Jonah or similar NeverTrumpers to provide an answer.

The posture of these NeverTrumpers is transparently self-serving. It preserves their intellectual credentials as “conservatives,” and simultaneously takes them out of the line of fire from an increasingly vicious Left whose goal is to destroy Trump and his presidency, and—incidentally—conservative America. Sitting on the fence affords them new career opportunities—appearances on CNN and MSNBC and columns in the New York Times. All that’s required is that they avoid taking sides in the political war that is engulfing the country. All this reminds me of a memorable Trotsky sneer about liberals, whom he accused of being reluctant to step into the stream of political conflict because they were afraid to get their moral principles wet.

So, when this tweet from Jonah appeared on my feed, I abandoned my self-restraint and answered it:

"Re-asking a question I've been posing for three years: Please come up with a definition of good character that Donald Trump can clear."

This was followed by a retweet and a new comment:

"This is easily the most triggering question you can ask of Trumpist snowflakes"

?I don’t know whether it was the snide-ness of this comment or its absoluteness that triggered me, but it seemed so pigheadedly self-righteous, so oblivious of the complexities of human character, not to mention the nuclear dimensions of the Left’s war against Trump that I responded—and in doing so walked into a hornets’ nest.

"He has an amazing family. He's loyal to a fault. He loves the country that gave him a privileged life, He works around the clock for ordinary Americans, & their security. He would never appoint a treacherous individual to head the CIA. Wake up Jonah.Its a war & u cant be neutral"

Which drew this retort:

"This is total nonsense David. He’s not loyal to a fault. He’s not loyal to his wives. Read up on how he treated Roy Cohn ffs. He doesn’t work around the clock. He won’t read and won’t stop watching TV. I can’t tell if your head is up your ass or his"

The nastiness of that last sentence shocked me. Evidently the hatred of Trump is so fevered it can burn through two decades of cordiality and acquaintance. I wonder if Jonah would be so hostile to someone who shared his view of Trump’s character but thought Trump’s policies were racist, and tyrannical.

Two Episodes in Trump’s Favor

As it happens, I am well aware of the vulnerabilities of what I tweeted. I should never have written it and fallen into the Twitter trap. Tweets don’t provide enough space to account for the complexities of this subject or provide sufficient examples to make one’s case. “Character” is notoriously mercurial, and complex to judge. As it happens, in referring to Trump’s loyalty I had in mind two episodes. The first was the topic of the week, Omarosa. Why did he stick with such a wretched individual for so long, despite warnings from everyone around him that she was no good? Loyalty to a fault.

The second was when the Left showed its teeth in his first days in the White House, and maliciously attacked Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions as white nationalists and racists and even neo-Nazis. Any other Republican, freshly in office, would have thrown them under the bus, however false the accusations. Trump’s fortitude, his refusal to back down under withering fire, is also a character trait, and an admirable one—actually the key to his success where Bush and congressional Republicans had repeatedly failed. Loyalty.

Making Compromises, Keeping Promises

Since Jonah brings up Trump’s three marriages let me ask the question: who can see inside another person’s marriage? I thought, moreover, that since Reagan—who had two wives—entered the White House and performed as a conservative hero, Republicans would have gotten over their puritanical prejudices. All politicians have flawed characters. It’s the nature of the job, which requires compromises, prevarications, dirty deals, and the like. In Trump’s case, what is important is not his loyalty to his wives (and none of them seem to be complaining) but his loyalty to the cause he champions and the people who support him.

Has Trump kept his promises to his supporters? Has he stayed the course he set for himself of making America great again? That loyalty is the character trait that matters most in a leader, and should matter most in any assessment of Trump. He has taken great personal risks and incurred great personal costs. His reputation for example, was pretty good before he ran against Democrats and their media, who fueled an epidemic of hate portraying him as a racist and neo-Nazi.

I’m betting there isn’t another Republican who would not have wilted under these attacks. Who would have had the fortitude to stay the course, and keep his promises. That’s really good character. And it’s presidential.



CNN Embarrassed When They Discover Americans Don’t Care About Manafort/Cohen Stories

CNN sent a reporter to a battleground state to speak with voters about the cases involving Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. The network was undoubtedly hoping voters would smear President Donald Trump, but CNN was completely embarrassed when people made it clear they could not care less about it.

As noted by The Daily Wire, CNN’s Jason Carroll made a trip to a county in North East Pennsylvania that voted for former President Barack Obama in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. He asked three Democrats, three Independents, and one Republican if the legal drama with Manafort and Cohen has changed their views on Trump.

Registered Democrat Anne Marie Lenahan told CNN that the economy is so strong under Trump that she has no problem overlooking allegations that Trump had an affair before becoming president, “unless the money came from campaign funds.”

Lenahan said it wouldn’t be good if Trump did break campaign finance laws, but said she still plans to vote for Trump again in 2020.

Carroll had similar luck with registered Democrats Richard and Eileen Sorokas, who said they voted for Obama twice and Trump in 2016.

When the CNN talking head tried his best to portray Trump has being complicit in the two cases, Richard and Sorokas said they are thrilled with the booming stock market, robust economy, and Trump getting rid of political correctness. They said they only see the Manafort-Cohen drama as a sideshow to how well the country is doing under the president.

Registered Republican Bob Sellon really let the CNN reporter have it, saying that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation was supposed to be about alleged Russia collusion with the Trump campaign, and that there has been no evidence at all to support the claim.

Carroll then switched it up, perhaps trying to only ask a question that wouldn’t result in Trump getting overly praised. He asked the three Independent voters if Trump pardoning Manafort and/or Cohen would change their minds. They said it would, because Manafort was found guilty by a jury and Cohen pleaded guilty to committing crimes.

It’s actually quite amazing to watch how badly that backfired for CNN. Despite the network almost endlessly smearing the president and spreading doom-and-gloom every single day, voters appear to be unmoved in their support for Trump.

More importantly, the segment shows that voters are cutting through the noise of the mainstream media and seeing how prosperous America has been since Trump took office.

Trump’s administration has created just shy of seven million jobs; the stock market has been at an all-time high for nearly a year; unemployment has dropped across the board to historic lows, and the GOP tax cuts have resulted in roughly 90 percent of Americans keeping more of their hard-earned money this year.

Voters also are able to see that Manafort being found guilty on eight counts of fraud has nothing to do with Trump, given the crimes occurred nearly a decade ago. They also appear unconcerned by what Trump may or may not have done many years ago in his personal life.

CNN has been heavily invested in both of those stories, including Russia collusion. And voters made it clear that they do not care at all — and many said Trump will have their vote again in 2020.



Leftist thuggery in Australia too

From the French Revolutiom onward, the Left have always been as  violent and vicious as they can get away with

The office of leadership challenger Peter Dutton has been targeted by vandals who hurled bricks through glass windows and doors.

The pavers were thrown with such force they left gashes in the walls of the former Home Affairs Minister's office after being propelled through the glass.

Despite smashing holes in reinforced glass windows and two glass doors, the vandals did not enter the office, in Strathpine, north of Brisbane.

Vandals also spray-painted anti-Dutton slogans on bike paths in the former Home Affairs Minister's electorate, including one reading 'deport Dutton'.

The 1.45am attack occurred just hours after Mr Dutton declared he had the numbers to challenge Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for the leadership.

Police are investigating the attack, but no arrests have been made over the attack, which left an estimated $10,000 worth of damage.

'Police are investigating significant damage caused to an office overnight in Strathpine,' Queensland Police said.

'Police were called to the Gympie Road address by a member of the public, to find brick pavers had been thrown at the windows causing extensive damage.'

Mr Dutton, a former Queensland police officer, tendered his resignation from Cabinet after challenging Mr Turnbull in a spill on Tuesday.

A former immigration minister, Mr Dutton has been targeted by Labor and the Greens for his hardline policies on asylum seekers.



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 August, 2018

Mrs Stalin speaks up

Human life didn't matter to Stalin either

For more than a month, local authorities and residents of a small rural community in Iowa thoroughly searched the surrounding area for Mollie Tibbetts, a young college student who’d gone missing while out for a jog.

A body that is believed to be hers was discovered in a corn field on Tuesday, not far from the woman’s hometown, pointed out to authorities by an illegal immigrant who confessed to police that he chased the young woman down and murdered her.

Unsurprisingly, many voices on the right immediately drew comparisons to the murder of Kate Steinle in California by an illegal immigrant — as well as thousands of other similar victims — and held up the horrific incident as proof that our nation needs to strengthen our border and immigration laws to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

Also unsurprisingly, many on the left sought to quickly dismiss or even ignore the tragic death of Tibbetts — an MSNBC pundit dismissed her as “some girl in Iowa” who was unimportant — in light of what they viewed as larger and more significant problems that needed to be addressed.

One of those who seemingly dismissed the murder of Tibbetts as not being a highly important issue was Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who in an appearance Tuesday on CNN said the country needed to focus on “real problems” like the temporary separation of illegal immigrant families at the border.

To be sure, Warren did initially offer her condolences to the Tibbetts family. “I’m so sorry for the family here and I know this is hard, not only for the family but for the people in her community, the people throughout Iowa,” she said.

“But one of the things we have to remember is we need an immigration system that is effective, that focuses on where real problems are,” Warren added, implying that the murder of Tibbetts by an illegal alien was not a “real problem.”

“Last month I went down to the border and I saw where children had been taken away from their mothers, I met with those mothers, who’ve been lied to, who didn’t know where their children were, who hadn’t had a chance to talk to their children, and there was no plan for how they’d be reunified with their children,” Warren said.

“I think we need immigration laws that focus on people who pose a real threat, and I don’t think that mamas and babies are the place where we should be spending our resources,” she added. “Separating a mama from her baby does not make this country safer.”

Aside from the ghastly remark which implied that the murder of Tibbetts didn’t constitute a “real problem” worthy of much focus and attention, Warren also made a rather ignorant statement with regard to the temporary separation of children from their illegal immigrant parents at the border.

Those separations, tragic as they certainly are, are only temporary for the duration of the criminal proceedings the parents must endure after being caught illegally entering the country. Those families are later reunited once all is said and done, either here in America or back in their home country after deportation.

What Warren said that revealed her lack of self-awareness is in complaining about children being “taken away” from their mothers and the mothers who didn’t know where their children were or were unable to speak with them. While temporary for the illegal aliens, that separation is permanent for the mother of Mollie Tibbetts.

Tibbetts’ mother had her child permanently “taken away” from her by an illegal alien. She didn’t know where her missing child was for more than a month. She will never be able to speak with her beloved child ever again.

But, apparently, the concerns of illegal immigrant mothers temporarily separated from their children after they committed a crime is of more importance — a “real problem” — than the heartbroken concern of an American citizen whose child was permanently separated from the family by an individual who never should have been in the country in the first place.

In the end, we see that the Democrat talking point of being outraged over temporary family separations at the border takes precedence over the horrific murder of an American citizen by a criminal illegal alien.



There’s Nothing “Right” Or Conservative About Neo-Nazis

Like the original Nazis, the Neo-Nazis of Charlottesville and elsewhere are socialists

The establishment media, especially CNN, MSNBC and various other fake news purveyors have been working overtime to sell the idea that Neo-Nazis are part of the conservative movement and that the racism and hate they display is a pervasive sickness in American culture and politics.

No matter what label Neo-Nazis put on themselves, there’s nothing “right” or conservative about their ideas.

Indeed, as Dinesh D’Souza proved through his book and new movie, “Death of a Nation,” the ideas propounded by such white supremacist leaders Jason Kessler and Richard Spencer are thoroughly grounded in Leftist and Socialist ideology.

As D’Souza explained in a recent C-SPAN interview* “What I am contesting is the meaning of that event [the Charlottesville riot]. Because, from the left’s point of view this was right wing white supremacy, and that was the whole point for Trump to condemn it. I deny that. I deny that, and I deny it, based on a close analysis of who was there and who these white supremacists are, and in this book, “Death of a Nation, I go through the list.”

“Jason Kessler, the founder, the organizer of – of Charlottesville, turns out to be an Obama activist, and an Occupy Wall Street guy.”

“Think about this. Does it make sense, someone who is an Obama voter and supporter becomes a white supremacist? That makes no sense to me. You think the media would be, like ‘Let’s check this guy out,’ but there was a Charlottesville paper that did. It looked into his background, and it turns out he has a long left-wing history. They interviewed his girlfriend, and she goes ‘he broke up with me because I am too conservative.’ This guy, Jason Kessler.”

“Now, we move on to the poster boy of white supremacy, Richard Spencer. This guy is so controversial, that when he went to speak in Florida, the governor declared a state of emergency. So, I interview him and its riveting, it’s about four minutes in the movie. And I asked him a series of questions. It’s very illuminating.”

“Does he believe all men are created equal? ‘No.’”

“I say, ‘Does he believe in individual dignity? ‘No.’”

“Does he believe in the right to life? ‘No.’”

“Where do rights come from? He says ‘Well, they don’t come from God.‘”

“So, where to do they come from?  He said, ‘They come from the government.’”

“He is a statist. He believes the government gives you your rights.”

“And I ask him ‘What do you think of Reagan?’. He goes ‘Terrible president‘.”

“I go ‘Who are your favorite presidents?’ He lists a bunch of Democrats.”

“I go ‘Well, those are all Democrats.’. He goes ‘Yeah, I know. But it’s just a party.'”

“And, he’s naming people like Andrew Jackson, who was the founder of the Democratic Party. The point I’m trying to make is that the white supremacists are not conservative. They are not conservative in the modern, American sense of conservative. They are unrecognizable to a normal conservative, and that’s obvious from the movie, so what I’m doing really, through a combination of history, and investigative journalism, is contesting these prevailing narratives, but I’m doing it in a responsible and civil way.”

So how did these Leftists, who identify with Germany’s National Socialist Party become identified as being part of the Right or conservative movement?

The first and most important reason is that conservatives and Neo-Nazis are battling for the hearts and minds of America’s working class – the forgotten men and women that President Trump speaks of so often.

The Left’s urban elite have absolutely no interest in pursuing or serving the interests of these Americans – they are all about identity politics and long ago decided to bank their political future on serving the interests of illegal aliens and expanding immigration from Third World populations already grounded in the anti-constitutional ideologies of Islam and Socialism.

Thus the battle is for the hearts and minds of mostly young white people who believe the Republican and Democratic parties have ignored their legitimate complaints that free trade as practiced by both political parties isn’t free at all, and that the econometric view of American jobs as just one market in a global market has pitted elite policy-makers against the best interests and quality of life of their fellow Americans.

The Neo-Nazis are fighting for the allegiance of these working-class voters by blaming the loss of their upward mobility and quality of life on racial grievance, but their solution – government oppression of minorities – isn’t conservative at all.

However, it serves the political interest of Democrats to undermine President Trump and his conservative – populist agenda by pushing this guilt by association narrative and splitting the working men and women of America along racial and ethnic lines.

If African – Americans, especially in the Rust Belt – can be convinced that Trump and his white supporters are a bunch of racists then his policies of reducing regulations, raising wages by restricting immigration, rebuilding American manufacturing, renegotiating trade deals and protecting Second Amendment liberties must, through the magic of guilt by association, also be racist.

There’s nothing “Right” or conservative about the Neo-Nazis who gathered in Washington last weekend, but, just as it did in Nazi Germany, their movement will only grow if conservatives join the Left in undermining President Trump’s Make America Great Again economic agenda.



Jeremy Corbyn refuses to endorse tougher sanctions on Russia

It's a strange feeling to agree with the leader of the British Labour party but I agree with him on this

Jeremy Corbyn has refused to endorse calls for the UK to follow the United States and impose tougher sanctions on Russia, describing it as a "huge player on the world stage".

Speaking in New Lanark, Scotland, the Labour leader called for “serious dialogue” with Moscow.

It came after Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, used his first speech in the US to call for the European Union to stand “shoulder to shoulder” with Washington over tougher sanctions on Russia.

Mr Corbyn said: "I think what we need is a serious dialogue with Russia, put the megaphones down, pick up the phone and make the arrangements to have serious meetings with Russia.



James Woods Dismantles Chuck Schumer Over His “Trump is a Dictator” BS

Conservative activist James Woods just dropkicked Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer over his “Trump is a dictator nonsense:”


Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) lashed out at President Trump’s decision to strip former CIA director John Brennan of his security clearance, arguing the move was driven by “spite and malice” and meant to silence a critic.

“The abuse of the powers of public office to silence critics, punish political enemies is exactly what goes on in dictatorships in banana republics and we’re not one of those, thank god,” Schumer said from the Senate floor.



Former Clinton Pollster Goes Rogue; Says HILLARY Broke Campaign Finance Laws, Not Trump

Now that the entire political left, the Democrats and their lickspittles in the media in the mainstream media are on cloud nine following former Trump attorney Michal Cohen’s accusing the president of violating campaign finance laws, one important idea must be entertained on the way to the impeachment tribunals.

Despite all of the sound and fury and despite Cohen’s turning rat to save his own skin, it’s not President Trump who is guilty as charged but rather the embittered loser of the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton.

Yes, that’s right. By virtue of her exalted status as the matriarch of the Clinton global crime syndicate, crooked Hillary continues to receive a free pass from the feds, the media and most of all, the angry army of the Resistance.

But not from her former pollster who has just earned himself a bounty on his head from the Hillary dead-enders and the social media hate mobs.  Mark Penn has gone rogue and in breaking from the pack, has risked his safety, his future employment prospects and may very well end up on Silicon Valley’s watch lists.

In an editorial by the man who ran served as Slick Willie’s pollster before he was the chief strategist of Hillary’s doomed 2008 campaign, Penn let it rip by blasting the double standard of how Trump is treated in comparison to his former master as well as calling out Saint Bob Mueller for using Cohen to frame Trump.

And in what will prove to be an unforgivable sin, he scoffs at the idea that Trump’s alleged payments to smut queen Stormy Daniels constituted a violation of the law while Team Hillary’s payment to retain the slime for hire due of Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele is ignored.

The usual procedures here would be for the FEC to investigate complaints and sort through these murky laws to determine if these kinds of payments are personal in nature or more properly classified as campaign expenditures. And, on the Daniels payment that was made and reimbursed by Trump, it is again a question of whether that was made for personal reasons (especially since they have been trying since 2011 to obtain agreement). Just because it would be helpful to the campaign does not convert it to a campaign expenditure. Think of a candidate with bad teeth who had dental work done to look better for the campaign; his campaign still could not pay for it because it’s a personal expenditure.

Contrast what is going on here with the treatment of the millions of dollars paid to a Democratic law firm which, in turn, paid out money to political research firm Fusion GPS and British ex-spy Christopher Steele without listing them on any campaign expenditure form — despite crystal-clear laws and regulations that the ultimate beneficiaries of the funds must be listed. This rule was even tightened recently. There is no question that hiring spies to do opposition research in Russia is a campaign expenditure, and yet, no prosecutorial raids have been sprung on the law firm, Fusion GPS or Steele. Reason: It does not “get” Trump.

One has to applaud Mark Penn for daring to say that the emperor has no clothes.



Prize Democrat dummy Visits Coffee Shop Her Policies Helped To Close

Socialist New York congressional hopeful Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lamented the closing of her former employer but glided over the fact that it was closing because of the minimum-wage hikes she supports.

On Monday, Ocasio-Cortez visited The Coffee Shop, a Union Square icon for years, to emphasize her familiarity with the lives of everyday workers. She cited her experience at the restaurant as a case study in bettering oneself and the future.

“The restaurant I used to work at is closing its doors. I swung by today to say hi one last time and kid around with friends like old times,” she said on Monday. “I’m a normal, working person who chose to run for office, because I believe we can have a better future. You can do it too. We all can.”

Her former employers announced the closure of the eatery in July, blaming in part the policies that Ocasio-Cortez has campaigned on. The Coffee Shop co-owner and president Charles Milite told the New York Post that escalating rents as well as New York’s minimum-wage hikes were to blame for shuttering the company, which employed 150 workers.



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 August, 2018

Explaining the Left: Part II

Dennis Prager correctly highlights the Leftist hate of America below -- JR
The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, did Americans a favor last week. He provided that which is most indispensable to understanding anything: clarity.

“America … was never that great,” he announced.

In one sentence, the governor revealed the left’s true view of America. This is rare — because leftists are masters at hiding what they really believe.

For example, the left’s low regard for nonwhites is well-hidden under a mountain of “anti-racist” rhetoric. But people who consistently advocate lowering standards for blacks obviously do not think highly of blacks, and people who believe in separate black dorms and separate black graduation ceremonies obviously believe in a pillar of racism: racial segregation.

Another generally denied — if not hidden — left-wing belief is contempt for America. On a daily basis, the left describes America as xenophobic, misogynistic, imperialist, greedy and homophobic. And that’s on a slow day at The New York Times, MSNBC or your local university. Just last week, a New York Times column added “barbaric” to the left’s view of America.

But for some reason, the average American does not see all this as proof of the left’s contempt for America.

So, we have to rely on the occasional unguarded and unambiguous statement to know what the left really thinks.

Michelle Obama provided such a statement when, as her husband began racking up victories in early-voting states in the 2008 primary season, she proclaimed, “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country.”

Hillary Clinton provided her example during the 2016 election when she described half of her fellow Americans as “deplorables.”

Then-President Barack Obama provided his example in 2015 when he spoke about racism being “part of our DNA.” Now, you might argue that he was merely stating a truth, not expressing contempt. But that argument fails for three reasons:

First, America has developed into the least-racist multiracial, multi-ethnic country in history. Those who deny this have contempt for truth as well as for America. So much for DNA.

Second, can Barack Obama or anyone else on the left name a country or group in history that interacted with other races and was free of racism? Of course not. So, singling out America as having racist DNA is an expression of contempt for America specifically.

Third, how would Barack Obama or anyone else on the left react to someone saying, “Islamic civilization has racism in its DNA”? They would not only emphatically deny it; they would charge whoever said it with being Islamophobic. In other words, if one tells the truth about centuries of horrific treatment of blacks under Islamic rule, one is bigoted against Islam. But if one says America has racism in its very essence, racism that is still being passed unconsciously from one generation to the next, one is not an Ameriphobe?

And now, Cuomo tells an audience that “America … was never that great.”

Cuomo said publicly what virtually every leftist believes. No one — left, right or center — thinks the comment was idiosyncratic. If Cuomo had said, “America was never a sports-loving nation,” everyone would have assumed this was just an odd comment representing no one but him. The reason this comment hit such a powerful chord in American life is that just about everyone suspects he was saying what all his fellow leftists believe.

After all, we all know what young people are taught from elementary school through graduate school by their left-wing teachers: America is a racist country founded by racists; Americans committed genocide against the American Indians; whites have unique privileges because of America’s “systemic” racism; in the words of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, “the hard truth about our criminal justice system: It’s racist … front to back”; police are racist — both white and black cops shoot blacks because of racism; and “American civilization” and “Western civilization” are no more than euphemisms for white supremacy.

Now, why would anyone think the left has contempt for America?

Contempt for America is so central to leftism that there would be no leftism without it. Yet there remains an even more important question: Why? Why does the left — not liberals, who traditionally revered America — have such disdain for America? I will address this question in a future installment of this series explaining the left. America and the West cannot be saved unless those who cherish them understand what motivates those who wish to see them end.



Immigration Problem? Put Some ICE on It

President Donald Trump hosted an event at the White House Monday honoring the men and women of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Customs and Border Protection agencies.

"You are the patriots and you are the heroes," Trump told the assembled agents and agency personnel. "You keep us safe and you keep us free. I am honored every single day to serve as your commander-in-chief. I will never leave your side; I will never leave the fight."

It's a good thing, too. Both agencies are increasingly under fire by the Left and the media as the debate simmers over illegal immigration and how the government is supposed to handle it. According to leftists, the government shouldn't do anything at all about illegal immigration. In fact, they are calling for the outright abolition of ICE.

Don't underestimate the power behind that challenge. The proposal to dismantle ICE may have started as an offhand remark by Bernie Sanders's socialist padawan Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but it is now a mainstream Democrat plank. Likely 2020 presidential candidates such as Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris have all joined the call. And three House Democrats introduced legislation to follow through.

Leftists claim that U.S. border policies are harsh and inhumane, and their media lackeys dutifully go along, bending stories any way they can to fit that narrative. Take, for instance, the widely reported story of the illegal immigrant picked up by ICE while taking his pregnant wife to the hospital to have her baby. Conveniently left out of the reporting by virtually every major news outlet — at least the headlines or flashing TV alerts that most people see — was that the man was ducking an outstanding warrant issued for his arrest in Mexico on homicide charges.

Stories like this are meant to cast ICE as the villain, which then leads to further attacks against the agency. What many don't understand, however, is that ICE is the backbone of America's immigration enforcement. There would be (even more) chaos without it.

ICE is the principal agency for enforcing immigration laws inside the U.S., including the apprehension of illegal immigrants who have slipped past the Border Patrol; combatting the smuggling of weapons, drugs, and people into the country; and investigating immigration fraud schemes. ICE also protects immigrant communities by cracking down on criminal activity that takes place there. Gangs and other bad guys generally commit crimes in the communities in which they reside, making legal immigrants the victims.

There are other agencies that also handle some of these tasks, but they are already stretched beyond their limits. The sheer volume of cases is more than any single law enforcement agency can bear. Consider that last year over 700,000 people overstayed their visas. That is 300,000 more people than the number apprehended while trying to illegally cross the U.S. border with Mexico during that same period.

Take ICE out of the picture, and the whole immigration system would quickly unravel — which is exactly what the Left wants.

It has been said that Democrats and the Left care more about illegal immigrants than they do about American citizens. But even that's a stretch because they don't care about illegal immigrants, either. The leftist call for open borders is an attempt to break down American society by overwhelming our communities and our culture with bad people from foreign lands. Leftists discourage assimilation and the learning of English to help further that goal. Democrats see a fresh batch of voters they can hook onto the government dole and keep leftists in office.

But is this a political winner for Democrats? Not necessarily. As W. James Antle III notes, "House Republicans brought a pro-ICE resolution up for a vote to dare Democrats to vote against it — just 34 did, though 133 voted 'present' — while Trump brings it up often on the campaign trail."

People need to look beyond the rhetoric that demonizes ICE and support the agency's work to protect American communities from fraud, crime, and terrorism. Without ICE, American streets will not be safe. And that's why Trump's celebration yesterday was welcome.



Security clearances should terminate with government employment

I have always thought this.  It's usual in the private sector -- JR

The understandable furor ignited by the president’s latest Nixonian vendetta should not distract from a larger question: How is it that former officials retain privileged access to state secrets in the first place? Who benefits from this well-established practice?

The nation itself benefits, we are told. The argument goes like this: Allowing such individuals, now typically employed by universities, think tanks, and lobbying firms, to retain their clearances keeps them in the know should current officials wish to draw on their experience and expertise. Yet this, to appropriate a term that ex-CIA director John Brennan included in a New York Times op-ed penned in response to Trump terminating his own clearance, is “hogwash.”

In the unlikely event that current CIA director Gina Haspel needs Brennan’s advice on a question that her agency’s 21,000 employees can’t answer, all she needs to do is give him a call. Even without a clearance, he still has a phone. In the even more unlikely — make that wildly improbable — event that national security adviser John Bolton wishes to avail himself of the wisdom of Susan Rice, who held his job during Obama’s second term, he need only turn on the television or check newspaper opinion pages. As was the case when Bolton himself was pontificating on Fox News, her views are readily available, free of charge. And they will continue to be available even if, as reported, she is among those in line to have their clearances revoked.

So let’s have done with the pretense that allowing former officials access to classified information enhances national security. In reality, the practice has everything to do with the allocation and perpetuation of privilege.

According to the Declaration of Independence, “all men are created equal.” As a general proposition, that may be true. Yet in policy circles, men and women enjoying access to state secrets are more equal than the rest of us. Clearances confer status, readily convertible into access, influence, and opportunity, monetary and otherwise. The more exotic the clearance — up in the realm beyond Top Secret, for example — the greater the access and influence and the more attractive the opportunities.

To retain a security clearance after leaving government is to display an invisible badge declaring of the bearer: Although now on the outside, I’m still an insider. Whether intended or not, this arrangement divides citizens into two camps. In the one camp are those ostensibly in the know: members of the policy elite. In the other camp are the rest of us, knowing what we read in the papers, otherwise kept in the dark, and expected to comply.

If evidence exists to show that this arrangement yields more effective policy, I have yet to see it. Certainly the record of US policy in recent decades suggests otherwise. I am, however, certain that an arrangement allowing the few to have a say while casting the great majority in the role of spectators is antithetical to democracy.

It doesn’t have to be this way. A hallowed principle supposedly governs access to classified information. It’s called “need to know.” Under the terms of this principle, individuals are allowed access only to information that is essential to the performance of their assigned duties. But former officials have no official duties. Therefore, they have no “need to know.”

Allow me to propose another principle: Clearances should terminate with government employment, plain and simple. Adherence to this principle will deprive Trump (and his successors) of the opportunity to play politics with matters that should be above politics. If only in a small way, it will also contribute to restoring our democracy.



Yet Another Study Finds That Economic Freedom Improves Lives

A new metastudy by Serbian think tank Libek confirms that countries wishing to increase their economic growth—and reap the many rewards that come from doing so—need to focus on advancing the economic freedom of their people.

Libek looked at 92 scholarly research studies that considered the relationship between economic freedom and economic growth. Eighty-six of them (93.5 percent) found a positive relationship.

That is not surprising, considering that economic freedom—the ability to direct one’s own life and make economic decisions for oneself—encourages and empowers people to make a better life for themselves and for their families.

The increased economic activity they produce shows up in measures of economic growth.

Still, the point cannot be made frequently enough, because economic freedom is still repressed in so many parts of the world.

The authors of the Libek metastudy think their findings are particularly relevant to their native Serbia.

The increase in economic-growth rates is very important for the Serbian economy. Serbia is the slowest-growing economy in the Balkans: Average growth rate in the decade after the recession (2008-2016) was only 0.83 percent annually.

At the same time, the unweighted average growth rate for other Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Romania) was nearly double that number, reaching 1.58 percent.

All but two of the other Balkan countries score higher than Serbia in The Heritage Foundation’s 2018 Index of Economic Freedom.

In fact, Heritage’s Index shows that on average, countries with the greatest increase in economic-freedom scores over 5-, 10-, and 20-year periods also have the greatest average annual growth in gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.

The Serbian think tank’s findings are not surprising, and policymakers in Serbia and around the world should take them to heart.

Advancing economic freedom is key to generating economic prosperity for the greatest number of people—in Serbia and everywhere else.



Socialist logic



Manafort guilty of what?

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement responding to the Paul Manafort verdict:

“Paul Manafort may have been guilty of crimes ten years ago, but the one thing he was not found guilty of was conspiring with Russia on the hack of the DNC and Podesta emails during the 2016 election, the only justification for the Special Counsel investigation.

There was no collusion. Now that this trial is over, it is time for Mueller to wrap up his investigation and turn his findings over to the Justice Department.”



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 August, 2018

Explaining Trump Hatred
The article below offers some reasonable thoughts but I think the reason behind the Trump hatred is rather simple.  In a "slowly, slowly" manner, the Left had got all of America to acquiesce to their ideas.  Even the GOP offered just a watered down version of Leftism.  Any shadow of patriotism, for instance was likely to be branded as "racism". And the Left insisted that America had a lot of problems needing big money to fix -- black education, for instance.  So Leftist hatred of their own country was well on the way to crippling America and reducing respect for it worldwide.  America as a punching bag was their aim and they were well on the way to achieving it.

Trump instantly overturned those hard-won "gains".  It was once again OK to celebrate America and remove the regulatory shackles that the Left had imposed on American business.  Trump revived real, traditional conservatism and insisted on a fair shake for America in trade, defense and much else.  No wonder the Left were outraged!  He had instantly undone decades of their work.

The cauldron of hate towards their own country that they always had in them now had one outlet and one focus, Donald J. Trump.  And we see daily what a cauldron of hate spills out of them.  The mask is off.  These people are not compassionate or tolerant.  That was always just a mask. They are vicious beasts, the children of the Devil

On May 22, 1856, South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks entered the Senate chamber and approached Charles Sumner, who was sitting at his desk applying a postal frank to copies of his “Crime Against Kansas” speech, in which he excoriated Sen. Andrew Butler for embracing “the harlot, Slavery.” Brooks beat the unsuspecting Sumner senseless with a dog-whip cane, sending him into convalescence for the next three years and ending what remained of “reasoned discourse” in the Senate. A half-decade later, the nation plunged into the Civil War, settling disputes on the battlefield that could not be addressed by a civilized exchange of views, which had been crushed by passions of the time.

Today’s passions explode from elites embracing harlots of hatred and denunciation sufficient to shock the sensibilities of any antebellum orator: Fake severed heads, assassination threats, enough F-bombs to obliterate America’s enemies, along with endless verbal assaults against President Trump saturate progressive bellowing. All of which is insane, of course: If only H. P. Lovecraft (Mountains of Madness) were around to help us cope. Absent that, we always have the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, though its entries apply to individual cases and not to entire categories of people losing their minds. What, then, can be said? What explains such unbridled hatred of President Trump? Here are a few suggestions.

* Trump is an outsider. Trump is not a normal Republican, or a normal Democrat, or a normal anything. He burst into the political scene late in his life, with few political obligations to anyone, least of all to entrenched elites in both political parties. Progressives have been accustomed to milquetoast Republicans for many decades; even Ronald Reagan didn’t depart from the script in ways that threatened the established order. And both Bushes, regardless of their occasionally bellicose policies, were eminently manageable; Bush I reneged on his No New Taxes pledge in a heartbeat and Bush II even expanded Medicare. Of course, both were still vilified, but, hey, that’s the leftist script. Plus, like most Republicans, they didn’t complain too much. Heck, they’re almost one of us! Trump isn’t.

* Trump fights back. The last thing leftist mudslingers expected was a Republican who would bring a cannon to a gunfight. In fact, President Trump’s loose twitter lips have punctured enough egos among his opponents to prod battalions of leftist potty-mouths to sue for copyright infringement. Donald Trump’s intemperate (and often ill-advised) responses to filthy onslaughts against him has had the effect of tarnishing his opponents’ brand names — especially in the media — by triggering even more extreme attacks. Before Trump, ideological hemophiliacs on the Left bled fashionable resentment with every minor cut, every perceived slight; now, here comes a guy who declares elite media as the “enemy of the people.” His denouncers are in full Keith Olbermann mode, now competing for an award that celebrates obscenity-screeching madness. Would be entertaining if it were not so sickening, so pathetic. And dangerous.

* Trump loves America. He loves the country, that’s it. No apologies, no equivocations, no “on the other hands” — he stands up for America, for ordinary citizens, for every skin color, from sea to shining sea. He stiffs welfare-state-besotted Euro-weenies, demands a level playing field in trade, and insists that government’s main concern should be for American citizens and not foreign lawbreakers either in China or across the Rio Grande. Progressives have contempt for America. They spit on the flag, despise at least half of our citizens, trash our history, sneer at capitalism, denounce our founders, the Declaration, the Constitution, and dismiss most Americans with a blizzard of acronyms. And then they wonder why Trump won. Go figure.

* Lib-Progs are spoiled rotten. They’ve had their way for the past half-century without serious interruption and still fully expect to transform the rest of the country to conform to the one-party systems they’ve clamped onto academia. A transformed America has no guns, no free speech, no boundaries, no conservatives, no Christians, a strictly controlled economic system, and a monstrous government in thrall to Lib-Progs’ lunatic climate cult and its grotesque commitment to infanticide. In short, totalitarianism. And then along came Trump.

* Lib-Progs’ entitlement complex. Nothing in life is a matter of merit, achievement, or individual responsibility; everything is a matter of administratively determined entitlement, with an arc of history thrown in. Both ensure that the country rumbles along in a direction culminating in rule by an elite corps of platonic guardians — liberal progressives controlling government, media, entertainment, academia, everything. In short, the country, history, owes them. And then along came Trump.

Although these suggestions offer hints to solving the Trump-hatred puzzle, one may still be left with a sense of incompletion, that something else still needs to be understood, an overlooked variable. Unfortunately, we may never understand such hatred completely, and even if we did, this knowledge may not thwart leftist plans for America. Normal cycles of politics will return liberals to government eventually; perhaps then, greater numbers of Americans besides the “deplorables” will more fully grasp what their self-described betters have in mind for them.

The only question is whether such a realization will arrive in time to save the country from those who despise Donald Trump and everything he stands for.



Trump warns of 'terror, bloodshed and suffering' from the  Abolish ICE movement

President Trump lashed out at the Abolish ICE movement Monday and warned state and local leaders they must choose between anarchy or law and order as they pick sides in the fight.

He said those who continue to criticize U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and its sister agency, Customs and Border Protection, are inviting “terror, bloodshed and suffering” upon their communities. And he particularly blasted officials in Portland, Oregon, where ICE officers say the mayor ordered his police to stand down as anarchist protesters blockaded the agency’s building in June, endangering employees and shutting down work.

“I ask you to join me in publicly expressing your support for the men and women of ICE and CBP,” the president said in an open letter to governors, mayors, state legislators and other officials.

He is slated to hold an event at the White House later in the day thanking ICE and CBP employees for their efforts in the face of growing criticism from the left.

Immigrant-rights activists have called for ICE to be abolished, erroneously blaming it for the family separations that resulted from the chaos surrounding the administration’s zero tolerance border policy this spring.

Some Democratic politicians have joined the activists in their call — though party leaders have avoided going that far, saying instead that the agency needs reforms.

ICE handles detention and deportation of illegal immigrants, as well as cybersecurity, counterfeit merchandise and combating child pornography. No firm ideas have been offered for how those responsibilities would be restructured if ICE were to be abolished. The leading Democratic bill calls for a commission to study the matter.

Mr. Trump has seized on the calls, predicting they will hurt Democrats in November’s congressional elections.

In his letter Monday he asked state and local officials to write letters, issue public statements and otherwise “give voice to our nation’s longstanding tradition of honoring the public servants who protect our communities and our way of life.”

He also asked those states and localities who refuse full cooperation with federal immigration officials to rethink their stand.

And he expressed aversion to the anti-ICE demonstrations some communities have hosted.

“Innocent Americans have watched as organized agitators defaced public property, obstructed the execution of our laws, slandered law enforcement personnel, blocked civilian access to public spaces and created a hostile environment for our officers, agents and support personnel,” Mr. Trump wrote.



Pollster Who Predicted Trump’s Election Has Bad News For Democrats

Just about everyone in the mainstream media predicted that Hillary Clinton would easily win the 2016 presidential election over Donald Trump. Only a select few media pollsters and “experts” were able to see the silent majorities rising across the country for Trump — and one of them was Anthony Salvanto.

Salvanto, who serves as CBS News’ director of elections and surveys, accurately predicted that Trump would win the 2016 election — and he’s got bad news for Democrats hoping to retake the House of Representatives in November’s midterm election.

During an interview with the New York Post, Salvanto said he’s identified a major trend that Democrats will not like: The “blue wave” they are promising is increasingly looking less and less likely. In other words, he’s predicting Republicans will keep their majorities in both the House and Senate.

Salvanto told the Post that he has been focusing on trends rather than random surveys generated by media websites after a big event takes place. He explained that doing so allows him to focus on patterns, and what issues are either maintaining momentum or losing interest among large groups of demographically diverse people over a longer period of time.

Here’s what the Post reported:

For 2018, the CBS News Battleground Tracker has gathered a panel of nearly 5,700 registered voters. Almost all of them live in the 50 to 60 districts that might switch from Republican to Democrat, or vice versa, in November — the only races that matter, when it comes to control of Congress. Salvanto’s polling currently indicates that few House seats will change hands in November — and that the GOP could very well hold its majority in the House.

Of the nation’s 435 House districts, fully 85 percent will almost certainly stick with its current party affiliation come November, Salvanto projects.

Salvanto told the Post that the GOP will more than likely fend off the “blue wave” and keep their majorities in both the House and Senate.

“Right now I think this election looks like a toss-up. We see a Democrat pickup in the House of Representatives in the 20-odd seat range, but Republicans could certainly hold on to the House. Even though Republicans have not fared well in special elections so far this cycle, it does look like they will be turning out for the midterms. So far we do not see a large number of Republicans saying they will flip and vote for a Democrat.”

Salvanto said Democrats biggest problem is that they have nothing to run on aside from obstructing President Donald Trump. Salvanto’s horrible news for Democrats comes as the economy is booming under Trump.

The GOP tax cuts have played a big role in the millions of new jobs created, the stock market roaring, unemployment dropping to historic lows, and giving the president leverage to negotiate with other nations to solve many of America’s trade imbalances.

The tax cuts have also been very popular and helpful to American families across the country. Numerous studies have shown that roughly 90 percent of Americans will see an increase in their paychecks this year. The markets are at all-time highs, more than 6.6 million jobs have been created, and the U.S. in on pace to hit 3 percent GDP growth for the entire year for the first time in decades.

All of that coupled with Democrats being nothing but obstructionists is why the GOP will keep their majorities.



Media Omit Key Detail About ICE Arresting Man Who Took Wife To Hospital For C-Section

On Saturday, dozens of media outlets reported that federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested an illegal alien who was taking his wife to the hospital to deliver their baby — but they conveniently left out one key detail: the man was a wanted murder suspect.

Agents arrested murder suspect Joel Arrona-Lara when he stopped to get gas while taking his wife, Maria del Carmen Venegas, to the hospital so she could give birth.

Many media outlets ran with misleading headlines that conveyed a sense of brutality and inhumanity as the political Left is currently trying to demonize ICE. Many publications didn't even include the fact Arrona-Lara was a homicide suspect in their reports.

One of the only media outlets to report that Arrona-Lara was a murder suspect in the title and in the report was NBC News, which reported that ICE specifically noted that Arrona-Lara was arrested because of an "outstanding warrant issued for his arrest in Mexico on homicide charges."

The timing of the media's latest deception to demonize the Trump administration for political gain comes just two days after more than 350 newspapers wrote op-eds bemoaning President Donald Trump's attacks on the media for inaccurately covering news stories and for sometimes reporting blatantly false information.



Bill Maher Asks Brutal Question Cakeshop Critics Can't Answer: `Is There Only 1 Bakery in Colorado?'

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. HBO comedian and liberal pundit Bill Maher proved that adage correct in an episode of his "Real Time" on Friday.

Maher first lamented the far-left denouncement of free speech in a surprising defense of polarizing Infowars host Alex Jones. "Everybody gets to speak," Maher said.

Maher's next bout of enlightenment may have been accidental. In a monologue that was meant to elicit laughs, Maher actually asked a question (whether in jest or not) that many people lambasting the Masterpiece Cakeshop would struggle to answer.

After the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips went all the way to the Supreme Court, he is in yet another asinine legal battle after refusing to bake a cake celebrating a person making a transgender conversion.

Note that Phillips has never refused service to customers based on their sexuality, or anything else. He refuses to bake a cake that would celebrate an event that conflicted with his beliefs - which includes same-sex marriage cakes, divorce cakes, Halloween cakes, etc.

"Remember the baker in Colorado who refused to make a wedding cake for the gay couple, it went all the way to the Supreme Court? Now he's back in court because he wouldn't bake a cake for a couple celebrating - or somebody celebrating gender transition," Maher explained in his monologue.

He then went for some laughs despite the biting truth behind his quip. "Is there only one bakery in Colorado?" Maher asked. He also joked about "the big business opportunity" of opening his own liberal-themed bakery in Colorado.

But his question is actually spot on. How is it, exactly, that this one particular bakery has become embroiled in controversy again? A cursory search of bakers in Lakewood, Colorado (where Masterpiece Cakeshop resides) yields many alternatives for those needing to satisfy their bakery needs. Kogler's Bakery, Elegant Bakery, Sweet Ride Bakeshop, Cakes by Karen, Azucar Bakery, Designer Cakes Co., and Valhalla Cakes all make cakes in the Lakewood area.

And that was the simple result of a quick Google search. If a gay couple or someone celebrating a gender transition wanted a cake to specifically celebrate what they want, even the most rudimentary of online searches would've yielded countless other alternatives. If the effort to type in a quick search on their smartphone is too much effort, they have far more significant problems than a bakery refusing to make them a cake.

Based on the number of other bakers in the immediate area, it's hard to think of Masterpiece Cakeshop's woes as anything other than a targeted witch hunt against someone whose religious beliefs don't conform to far-left ideologies.

So to answer Maher, no, there isn't just one bakery in Colorado. Which makes it pretty obvious that people are specifically targeting Masterpiece Cakeshop.



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 August, 2018

Even Democrat "jokes" are hate expressions

Florida Democratic representative Alcee Hastings made a disturbing joke about no one trying to save a drowning President Donald Trump during a rally on Sunday.

Hastings was speaking at a rally in Sunshine, FL when he repeated a joke he heard from Ari Silver, the son of former Florida state legislator Barry Silver.

“I will tell you one joke,” Hastings said. “Do you know the difference between a crisis and a catastrophe?”

“‘A crisis is if Donald Trump falls into the Potomac River and can’t swim,'” Hastings said, retelling the joke. “‘And a catastrophe is anybody saves his ass.'”

The crowd cheered and whooped in delight at the joke.



Youth Unemployment Hits 50-Year Low Under Trump Admin

Before the 2016 presidential election, countless “experts” predicted economic doom and gloom if Donald Trump were to win.

Now, coming up on two years since President Trump took office, a chain of positive economic news could be summarized in four words: Experts are often wrong.

First, even the president’s opponents were forced to admit that everything didn’t fall apart the moment he took office. As Trump has frequently reminded his critics, unemployment numbers for blacks and Hispanics are near record lows, even as he’s attacked as an enemy of minorities.

Now, there’s even more good news for the Trump economy. On Thursday, the nonpartisan Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that young people are doing very well on the job front.

“From April to July 2018, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years old increased by 2.0 million to 20.9 million,” the BLS said.

“The unemployment rate among young Americans fell to its lowest level in more than 50 years this summer,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

Trump himself proudly shared that information via Twitter on Friday, in a post that was “liked” over 84,000 times.

Perhaps the most interesting observation is that many of the groups who have been reluctant to vote for Trump — black Americans and young people, for instance — are benefiting the most from his presidency.

The majority of millennials, 55 percent, voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton over Trump in the 2016 election, according to an analysis of exit poll data from USA Today.

At the same time, a stunning number of younger Americans seem enamored by political promises that would almost certainly be disastrous for jobs and the country overall.

“(M)ore Millennials would prefer to live in a socialist country (44%) than in a capitalist one (42%). … The percentage of Millennials who would prefer socialism to capitalism is a full 10 points higher than that of the general population,” said a 2017 Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation/YouGov survey, which we reported on last year.

“It seems that the majority of America’s largest generation would prefer to live in a socialist or communism society than in a free enterprise system that respects the rule of law, private property, and limited government,” the foundation said.

Maybe it’s a cliched statement, but the youth in America might not know how good they have it. By almost every measure, life for Americans of all backgrounds is better than it has ever been and offers dramatically more opportunities compared with world standards.

The simple fact is that there are plenty of jobs for young people who want to make money and countless career options for almost anyone who is willing to show up and apply themselves.

Why so many young Americans are jaded and disenchanted despite living in a time of peace and opportunity may come down to a matter of messaging. If conservatives want to advance their ideas, communicating the principles that have made America great to the next generation is extremely important.

That may take a while … but pointing out how good things actually are in 2018 is definitely a strong start.



Fox News Breaks New Viewer Record, Swamps CNN’s Entire Brand

Though far from perfect, Fox News has nevertheless set itself apart from the rest of the mainstream media by providing more balanced and fair coverage of the political scene than their blatantly left-leaning competitors.

And it looks like they have been rewarded for that by American news consumers.

Fox News has been crushing their cable competition consistently for years, but especially within the past several months. Now, that domination appears to have been expanded to the internet side of American media consumption, where Fox has typically lagged behind its competitors.

In a news release from Fox, it was revealed that the network’s website outperformed that of chief rival CNN in terms of total page views for the first time ever.

On top of that, it was also revealed that FOXNews.com beat out other top brands such as CNN.com, NewYorkTimes.com and WashingtonPost.com in terms of engagement and time spent on the site by individual readers.

That revelation came from analytics data compiled in July 2018 by comScore, which showed that Fox had obtained roughly 1.5 billion total multi-platform views as compared to 1.4 billion garnered by CNN.

In addition, Fox also bested CNN for the fourth month in a row in terms of total page views, as Fox received about 1.45 billion compared to CNN’s approximately 1.22 billion total page views.

The release noted that FOXNews.com’s total multi-platform page views have increased by about 21 percent year-over-year, which now has them outperforming traditional legacy media outlets such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.

To that point, Fox beat the website of The Times for the 7th consecutive month, this time by 457 million total page views.

Likewise, Fox beat The Post’s website for the 11th consecutive month by a margin of 887 million more total page views.

The FOXNews.com website now ranks third overall in terms of total unique visitors to the site — with 89.5 million unique visitors in the month of July — ranking higher than competitors such as The Times, The Post and CBSNews.com in terms of being a top-rated online news destination.

In this respect, Fox still trails CNN Brand and CNN.com, though Fox’s unique visitors total was up nine percent over this time last year.

However, Fox beat both versions of CNN in terms of time spent on the website by those visitors, as Fox ranked number one with almost 2.7 billion minutes, beating CNN Brand by 262 minutes and CNN.com by 491 million minutes.

The Fox release made it a point to highlight that they are the “most trusted source in news,” as per a recent Suffolk University/USA Today survey, and was the top-cited outlet as being the “most objective news source” in a 2017 Gallup/Knight Foundation survey.

On top of that, the Fox News Channel consistently rates as a top-five cable network overall and has maintained their iron grip on the title of most watched cable news channel for 16 years running.

Based on the numbers of TV viewers and website readers, Fox is clearly dominating their competition, and they are doing so by living up to the mantle bestowed on them as being the “most objective” and “most trusted.”

Now, if only “fake news” outlets like CNN, MSNBC, the rest of the alphabet broadcast networks and legacy newspapers like The Times and The Post would consider being a bit more “objective” and trustworthy in putting out fair and balanced news reports like Fox, they may be able to reclaim the top spot in the media rankings from their better rival.



Ben Carson Calls Out Zoning Regulations for Driving Up Housing Costs

Ben Carson, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), wants to pare back Obama-era housing regulations that he says do not do enough to address the real driver of housing costs: zoning regulations.

On Monday, Carson announced that he was looking to revise the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, which sought to combat housing segregation by requiring local governments to perform extensive (and expensive) reviews on how concentrated their neighborhoods were along class and racial lines, and then to develop action plans to create more "balanced and integrated living patterns." Local governments that failed to fulfill either requirement would be cut off from a number of federal housing grant programs.

Carson said on Monday that he wants to replace the 2015 AFFH with new rules that focus on increasing the overall supply of housing.

"I want to encourage the development of mixed-income multifamily dwellings all over the place," Carson told The Wall Street Journal, saying, "I would incentivize people who really would like to get a nice juicy government grant" to reform their zoning codes.

According to the Journal, Carson specifically called out Los Angeles for its strict single-family zoning rules that limit the number of housing units that can be built in the city. "Of course you're going to have skyrocketing prices that no one can afford," he said.

That Carson would want to reform the AFFH rule is not terribly surprising, given that he has been a critic of it long before he was appointed HUD secretary. As far back as 2015, Carson criticized the AFFH rule as an example of "social engineering" and "failed socialism." As HUD secretary, he has already taken steps to weaken it, such as pushing back compliance deadlines for local governments until 2020.

What is surprising, however, is Carson's suggestion that the AFFH be retooled to tie HUD grants to localities loosening their zoning regulations.

This is a complete 180 from Carson's 2015 criticism of the AFFH rule, in which the then-presidential candidate fretted that the Obama administration's focus on housing desegregation would do too much to undo local zoning laws.

"The [AFFH] rule would fundamentally change the nature of some communities from primarily single-family to largely apartment-based areas by encouraging municipalities to strike down housing ordinances that have no overtly (or even intended) discriminatory purpose—including race-neutral zoning restrictions on lot sizes and limits on multi-unit dwellings," wrote Carson in a 2015 Washington Times op-ed.

Carson's change of heart has raised eyebrows and even caused some commenters to question the sincerity of his new talk about tackling restrictive zoning rules.

Nevertheless, the shift in thinking at HUD—even if it is just a rhetorical shift at the moment—is still cause for cautious optimism, says Vanessa Brown Calder, a housing policy expert at the Cato Institute.

"I do think that shift in attitude at HUD is huge, and I hope that it translates into educating local municipalities that these things are related, zoning restrictions and housing affordability," says Calder. "It does sound like there is going to be some attempt made to connect HUD subsidies to relaxing or reforming zoning regulations, so that I think that could be really important."

That this might come in conjunction with a paring back of the Obama-era AFFH rule is heartening as well, says Calder, given both the costs and shaky legal foundations of the 2015 regulation.

The original AFFH, she notes, cost cities some $55 million in compliance costs. Indeed, these costs were burdensome enough that many localities decided it would be cheaper to just not comply with the rule and forfeit HUD funding.

The legal basis for the 2015 AFFH rule—which is based on the 1968 Fair Housing Act—is also pretty thin, says Calder. The 1968 law, she notes, is focused on eliminating racial discrimination by landlords, not on creating a delicate racial and income balance across whole cities, as is called for in the Obama administration's 2015 rule

"Zero times in the Fair Housing Act do they talk about segregation. That seems kind of damning considering that's what [the AFFH rule] is all about," Calder tells Reason.

Carson has so far avoided calling for an end to the AFFH rule altogether, instead suggesting that it be revised so as to reduce the overall regulatory burden on local governments. That approach is in line with many of the Trump administration's other deregulatory actions, which emphasize reducing and streamlining federal regulatory burdens, rather than eliminating rules in their entirety.

Nevertheless, any reduction in the regulatory state is welcome, as is anything that draws attention to restrictive zoning laws that have reduced supply and raised prices in cities across America.



Rand Paul: Trump Should Keep Revoking Ex-Obama Officials’ Security Clearances

Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) is hailing President Donald Trump's decision to strip former CIA Director John Brennan of his security clearance. But the Kentucky Republican doesn't think the president should stop with Brennan.

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders accused Brennan, who led the CIA for most of former President Barack Obama's second term, of "lying." Brennan's "recent conduct, characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary," Sanders said, "is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation's most closely held secrets."

Sanders' remarks echoed the sentiments of Paul, who has spent weeks calling for Brennan, a harsh critic of Trump, to lose his clearance. Late last month, Paul wrote on Twitter that "Brennan and other partisans" should be stripped of their security clearances. He suggested Brennan has leveraged his clearance into gigs as a cable news talking head.

So it came as no surprise that Paul lauded Trump for taking away Brennan's security clearance. "I urged the President to do this. I filibustered Brennan's nomination to head the CIA in 2013, and his behavior in government and out of it demonstrate why he should not be allowed near classified information," Paul said in a statement. "He participated in a shredding of constitutional rights, lied to Congress, and has been monetizing and making partisan political use of his clearance since his departure."

In an interview yesterday with WKU Public Radio, Paul said he wants other ex-Obama administration intelligence officials, including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, to lose their clearances as well.

According to the Kentucky Republican, Clapper lied before the Senate Intelligence Committee when he was asked in March 2013 by Sen. Ron Wyden (D–Ore.) if U.S. intelligence was spying on American citizens. "When he was asked by Sen. Wyden if the NSA was collecting information on Americans, private information, he said no and that was a lie," Paul said. "Later, Edward Snowden revealed that they were collecting all Americans' phone information."

Paul has previously come down hard on ex-Obama administration officials. Last month, he suggested that Brennan, Clapper, and Comey were "bad apples that need to be dismissed from the swamp of Washington." And in April, Paul accused Rice of committing a crime by unmasking the identities of associates to Trump.

While Paul wants Trump to keep stripping security clearances, many former officials are making the opposite case. On Thursday, a dozen ex-intelligence officials blasted Trump's "attempt to stifle free speech." According to the officials: "Decisions on security clearances should be based on national security concerns and not political views."



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)


20 August, 2018

The values of the British political elite

There is a rather naive article from the LSE here which purports to present scientific evidence about the personal values of British politicians.  In its way, it is a careful piece of research and its conclusions are anodyne. Author James Weinberg tells us:

"Focusing on the two main parties in British politics, Labour and Conservative, we can observe significant differences on two higher order values (Self-Transcendence and Conservation) and three lower order values (Conformity, Tradition, Universalism), suggesting that Labour MPs are far more driven by a desire for justice and equality but also less motivated than Conservatives to sustain traditional ways of life."

These conclusions will surprise no-one with any knowledge of politics but they may be false.  They are all based on self-reports. The data behind the findings comes from asking politicians how much they value certain things.  In psychometric jargon it is a type of  Likert scale. But self-reports from Leftists cannot be trusted. As psychopaths do, they say whatever they think suits the moment. 

One of the most amusing examples of that was during John Kerry's presidential campaign.  He was critical of George Bush invading Iraq.  And he justified that by an appeal to the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia.  Talk about desperation!  Appealing to a centuries-old European treaty -- America didn't exist as a nation then -- would have to be one of the most unlikely things ever for a Leftist to do in justifying his policies.  But he obviously felt that it might get him some kudos. The treaty said that nations should not interfere in the internal politics of other nations.

America has of course never stuck by the Treaty of Westphalia. Theodore Roosevelt's invasion of Cuba in 1898 set the ball rolling on a whole series of conquests of the old Spanish empire by American Progressives: The Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico.  And in more recent times one thinks of Reagan's invasion of Grenada and Bill Clinton's bombing of Serbia -- etc.

But to me the most stark Leftist "flexibility" arose during my extensive survey research into authoritarianism.  Given their love of telling other people what to do, Leftists would have to be the quintessential authoritarians, starting from Napoleon with his police State and foreign wars.  And nothing could be more authoritarian than the various Communist regimes that besmirched the 20th century.  So when I asked Leftists in my surveys what they thought about various instances of authoritarianism, I was surprised to find great caution in the answers.  According to what they said of themselves, they were usually no more authoritarian than anyone else. 

And perhaps most revealing of all, I made great efforts to get Communists to answer my questionnaires.  On a couple of occasions, their leadership authorized it but the comrades just would not do the task.  They knew how dismal their motivations were and did not want to reveal it.

So, in summary Leftists lie systematically and their responses to surveys tell you nothing real. James Weinberg's hard work was for naught.  You can guess the real motives of Leftists only from what they actually do.  And their policies uniformly have "unexpected" destructive effects.  Obamacare has destroyed or degraded health insurance for many Americans, for instance.  And the uniform destructiveness of Leftist policy outcomes can surely only be intended. They want to destroy anything they can in the world around them

More on Leftist dissimulation here -- JR


Load the link below for a vivid picture of Leftist hate and rage



The double standard of justice in the U.S. is risking the collapse of the entire system

The political world is waiting with bated breath for the outcome of Paul Manafort’s trial. The former one-time Trump campaign chairman is being prosecuted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for various tax and bank fraud crimes, most of which occurred over a decade ago. Manafort is also facing charges in the District of Columbia for Foreign Agent Registration Act violations. In total, Manafort is looking at more than three centuries behind bars.

Many recall Mueller was appointed to investigate Russian election interference and if the Trump campaign colluded. Yet for some unknown reason, Mueller is vigorously pursuing Manafort even though none of the charges in Virginia or D.C. have nothing to do with Russia or the 2016 election.

Despite being on trial for nothing to do with Russia or the election by someone that is supposed to be investigating Russia and the election, Manafort is likely to spend more time in prison than rapists or murderers. Is that justice?

The mainstream media has reported authorities raided a compound last week in New Mexico and found malnourished children. But what really happened is much more sinister, and the actions of a local judge have called into question what the word “justice” means.

Siraj Wahhaj and his relatives, sisters Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah Wahhaj, his partner Jany Leveille, and brother-in-law Lucas Morten were taken into custody with 11 children after law enforcement raided their compound.

The children found to be in horrible living conditions and malnourished. What is more disturbing is according to one of the boys, he was taught to fire a rifle in preparation for a school shooting. The information takes the case well beyond child abuse. The case now takes a turn into possible terrorism.

On top of all that, a child’s remains have been discovered on the compound also. It is believed the body belongs to 3-year-old Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, son of Siraj Wahhaj. Siraj is already wanted for kidnapping the child in Georgia.

That makes the other four adults released accessories to that crime. So we have multiple counts of child abuse, possible terrorism charges, and accessories to kidnapping, surely the judge is going to keep the adults behind bars until the situation can be fully investigated.

That didn’t happen. Despite the danger posed to the children and the community, a judge granted bail with only a $20,000 bond. How does this happen?

Another miscarriage of justice took place in California last week. At a free speech rally in Berkeley on April 15, 2017. Unfortunately, like all public gatherings involving Antifa violence broke out. In an effort to suppress speech they disagree with, Antifa members attacked.

One of the violent thugs was a former Diablo Valley College professor, Eric Clanton. Clanton was captured on video smashing an individual on top of the head with a heavy-duty bicycle lock. The kind of lock with sharp edges that bolt cutters cannot cut. The individual struck immediately went down, and blood poured from the wound on his head.

Clanton would assault seven more people in the head and neck regions with the bike lock according to Berkeley police. Make no mistake about it, Clanton committed multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Surely this type of behavior is not tolerated in California, right?

And you would be wrong. It is tolerated, and after the “punishment” handed down, it may encourage more violence. Despite having video evidence, the weapon, and the clothing used in the assaults, Clanton was allowed to plead guilty to misdemeanor battery, only getting probation. Clanton will have served a whopping four days in jail for multiple attempts to cave people’s skulls in.

How can the Justice Department sit on the sidelines when the State of California is going to allow the violation of civil rights? Yes, beating someone over the head with a deadly weapon to silence them is a violation of that person’s civil rights.

There is a problem with the U.S. justice system. Clearly, politics is playing a role when justice is supposed to be blind. How can someone that attempted to cave multiple people’s skull in and people involved in planning and training school shootings be on the streets, but Paul Manafort is such a danger to society he must be locked up in solitary confinement and potentially sentenced to hundreds of years in prison?

The U.S. justice system must get out of the business of politics before it finds itself completely untrusted by the majority of Americans.



Since the repeal of “net neutrality” took effect on June 11, the U.S. internet speed has gone from 12th to 6th fastest in the world

FCC chairman Ajit Pai announced late last year that he would be repealing the Obama-era internet regulations known as “net neutrality.” Following this announcement, the internet went into an absolute frenzy of criticism.

Even from the day of the announcement for the repeal, internet speeds have steadily been increasing.

This is likely due to the fact that the repeal of net neutrality rules have allowed the market to dictate itself. This, in turn, has spurred competition and innovation which ultimately creates a better product for consumers.

The United States now trails only Singapore, Hong Kong, Iceland, Romania, and South Korea in overall broadband download speed.



Britain’s Inability to Handle Last Year’s Flu Season Shows Perils of Socialized Medicine

Younger doctors who are flirting with support of government-run health care should consider some hard facts—including the unfortunate results such control would likely have for patients and doctors themselves. They should also look at the recent raw experience of Britain with a government-controlled health care system.

But first, let’s look at the most serious plan for government-run health care: Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All Act of 2017, which has the support of one-third of Senate Democrats.

Recently, Sanders, I-Vt., claimed that his bill would save more than $2 trillion over a 10-year period. According to the Associated Press, however, the senator “mischaracterized” the analysis upon which that estimate was  based, a major study of the cost of the Sanders bill by Charles Blahous, a former Medicare trustee, now at the Mercatus Center.

As the Associated Press’ fact check notes, the $2.1 trillion “savings” estimate rests on the implausible assumption—studiously ignored by Sanders and others—that hospitals and staffing levels would remain the same—despite an estimated 40 percent reduction in compensation for medical services.

Such a massive pay cut would guarantee, says Blahous, that doctors and hospitals would get paid for services “substantially below” their costs of providing the services. Thus, he warns, “ … whether providers could sustain such losses and remain in operation, and how those who continue operations would adapt to such dramatic payment reductions, are critically important questions.”

Yes, they are. Blahous’ findings are particularly relevant for young men and women entering medical school. As Kaiser Health News recently reported, a growing contingent of young physicians and medical students favor expanding the power of government officials to control medicine, and thus their professional lives.

After all, most students become doctors more out of a desire to care for patients than to make a lot of money. Sanders’ proposed pay cut, however, would likely price many doctors out of independent practice, as well as decimate larger medical systems—neither of which would benefit patients.

Medicare would ostensibly be the model for Sanders’ national health insurance program. Beyond lower payment levels, Medicare is governed by tens of  thousands of pages of rules, regulations, and guidelines.

The transactional or administrative costs that doctors and other medical professionals already incur in compliance with these reams of red tape are real, though they do not show up on Medicare or Medicaid budget documents. That is one reason why Medicare’s official administrative costs are deceptively low; the government shifts a large share of administrative costs onto medical professionals.

By 2030, America faces a physician shortage ranging from roughly 43,000 to 121,000, depending upon the assumptions. The crush of nonclinical administrative duties are today a leading cause of American physician burnout and accelerated retirements.

Ultimately, the Sanders bill, by reducing physician compensation while enlarging the power of Washington’s health care bureaucracy, would only make matters worse.

Young doctors—and anyone else considering government-run health care—should  look at the performance of the British National Health Service.

In a candid Oct. 12, 1975 interview with the London Sunday Times, then-Labor Minister David Owen, conceded:

The health service was launched on a fallacy. First, we were going to finance everything, cure the nation and then spending would drop. That fallacy has been exposed. Then there was a period when everybody thought the public could have whatever they needed on the health service- it was just a question of governmental will. Now we recognize that no country, even if they are prepared to pay the taxes, can supply everything.

Today, the British National Health Service is plagued with long wait times, delayed procedures, and an overstressed medical workforce.

A cursory survey of recent British news sources reveals a worrying trend in the delayed delivery and deteriorating quality of National Health Service health care. While British tabloids can be sensational, with bleeding ledes on hospital problems, sober British analysts are concerned.

Last winter, a particularly virulent strain of influenza hit Britain. British hospital wards are often overcrowded, but the crush of flu patients exacerbated the system’s persistent and underlying problems—inadequate staffing and insufficient resources. The British Medical Association’s quarterly survey of physicians found that 82 percent of respondents felt their workplaces were understaffed.

One doctor described the situation this way to the British Medical Association: “I came on to shift yesterday afternoon and there were patients literally everywhere. The corridor into the hospital was so busy we couldn’t have got a cardiac arrest patient through it into the resuscitation room.” He added, “To say staff were at the end of their tethers would be a complete understatement.”

National Health Service morale has been suffering, and British Medical Association surveys show that complaints about resources, understaffing, and perpetual physician vacancies have been constant.

Aggravated by the flu season, and budget constraints, the National Health Service cancelled some 50,000 “non-urgent” surgeries. The problem is that the urgency for a particular patient’s surgery is, or should be, a doctor’s clinical judgment. For example, surgery for a person to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), for instance, may be delayed. But delaying an AAA repair is risking rupture, and patients with a ruptured AAA have a 90 percent mortality rate.

By March 2018, British emergency departments reached new lows, leaving 15.4 percent of patients waiting over four hours before being seen. This was far short of the goal of less than 5 percent of patients forced to wait over four hours.

When considering only major emergency departments, classified as Type 1 in the National Health Service, the rate increased to 23.6 percent of patients waiting longer than four hours to be seen. The British Medical Journal reports that this is the worst performance since 2004, when these metrics were first tracked.

Outside of emergency departments, the number of British patients waiting 18 weeks or more for treatment increased by 35 percent, which was an increase of 128,575 patients from about 362,000 patients in 2017, to over 490,000 patients in 2018.

Additionally, by March 2018, 2,755 patients had waited over a year to be treated, compared to 1,528 patients in 2017. In England, the National Health Service also broke records by canceling over 25,000 surgeries at the last minute in the first quarter of 2018—this was the highest number of last-minute cancellations in 24 years. Remarkably, this was after the British authorities initiated a series of reforms that started in 2016.

The British, of course, are responsible for their system and its results. They will, or will not, undertake reforms to reduce long queues, delayed care, and the consequent harm to  British patients.

It is naïve, however, to believe that Americans can avoid similar consequences—annual budget dramas, long waiting times, and scandalous care denials—by giving members of Congress and officials of the federal bureaucracy control over American health care.


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 August, 2018

THIS IS CNN: Leftist Guest Agrees 100% With Andrew Cuomo: ‘America Has Never Been Great'

A curious thing about the Left is that they are not patriotic but may be nationalist. The "Progressives" of just over a century ago certainly were (Croly, TR etc.).  A patriot is simply pleased to be a citizen of his country.  He likes his country.  A nationalist, on the other hand, wants his country to dominate or rule other countries. The old American "Progressives", for instance, grabbed Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.  So a nationalist is ready to go to war at the drop of a hat whereas the patriot needs a lot of persuading before he will go to war.

The two attitudes can however be mistaken for one another and that can cause considerable confusion.  American Leftists these days clearly loathe their country.  In the schools they teach the kids a whole lot of bad things (slavery etc.) about America but nothing that would make the kids proud to be American.  And that is in fact basic to Leftism.  A Leftist is someone who wants to "fundamentally transform" his country (In Mr Obama's words -- words which elicited an enormous cheer from his Leftist audience).  The Leftist is fundamentally at odds with the realities of his country.  So how COULD he be patriotic?

And yet the Left do appear to have been patriotic once.  People recall JFK exhorting young Americans with "Ask not what your  country can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your country:.  That seems pretty patriotic, does it not?

But it is not really.  It is just the usual exhortation of Fascists to subjugate the individual to the herd.  As Hitler put it: "Und wir wissen, vor uns liegt Deutschland, in uns marschiert Deutschland und hinter uns kommt Deutschland!". Or as Mussolini put it: "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato" (Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State).  Troops to march willingly into the Left's wars of conquest is what the nationalist wants.  JFK's speech was a survival of nationalism, not patriotism.  And he did kick off a war: Vietnam.

On Wednesday, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo said that America was “never that great”, and liberals are agreeing with him in droves. On CNN last night, we saw the scope of just how much that statement resonated with the left as political commentator Angela Rye agreed wholeheartedly with Cuomo.

Rye was in the middle of a debate with Trump campaign adviser Gina Loudon about diversity in the White House and things got off the rails pretty quickly.

Rye then addressed Cuomo’s comments and said she backs them 100%.

“America has never been great, and it’s not great because people like you come on and lie for the president of the United States and then tout, bring out your son as an example, you’ve got to be completely ashamed of yourself,” Rye said.

After the heated back and forth, Erin Burnett needed to end the segment before things got too ugly.

Right after the controversy, Cuomo’s office quickly backtracked and said that he “does” think America is great (lol)

“The Governor believes America is great and that her full greatness will be fully realized when every man, woman, and child has full equality. America has not yet reached its maximum potential,” Cuomo’s office said in response to the backlash.

Honestly, does anyone actually believe his garbage response?



Fox Panel Erupts When Former Obama Official DEFENDS Gov. Cuomo’s Remarks

A segment on Fox News erupted on Thursday when Marie Harf, a former Obama administration official, defended New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s unpatriotic comments about America not being great. The segment was so intense that it resulted in Harf, a Democrat, shouting, “let me finish” when the four other panelists lost it on her for defending Cuomo’s disgusting comments.

During a segment on Fox News’ “Outnumbered,” the five panelists began discussing comments made by Cuomo on Wednesday during a bill signing, where he stunned the audience by point-blank saying “America was never that great.”

President Donald Trump, many liberal cable news pundits, and just about everyone else has condemned Cuomo for his absurdly disgusting comments — except Harf.

“I don’t think that Andrew Cuomo doesn’t believe this country’s great. I think that he was trying to turn the president’s slogan around on him and flubbed it,” Harf claimed, with many on the panel visibly disgusted.

“Andrew Cuomo didn’t flub anything,” panelist Katie Pavlich immediately fired back. “This is the pattern of Democrats over the past 10 years.”

Harris Faulkner jumped in and referenced a tweet she sent out on Wednesday after Cuomo’s comment. She said Cuomo should issue a real apology to the military for his disrespectful remarks.

" Tell that to every single active duty American service member; every military veteran of every war we have fought; every loving family member of every soldier, marine, guard, sailor, airman/woman who has died serving this nation.  Then, tell them how sorry you are."

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who appeared as a guest on the show, noted that if Trump had made comments similar to Cuomo’s, the liberal media would excoriate him for it.

“The thing I find fascinating about the coverage of [Cuomo’s remarks] is … if President Trump or any Republican had made a similar statement like that, there would be calls for him to resign,” Spicer said.

The panel erupted a few minutes later when Pavlich said she would find Harf’s defense more believable if Democrats “didn’t have a record over recent years of being unpatriotic.”

Pavlich cited a slew of examples of Democrats displaying unpatriotic behavior, including Hillary Clinton praising a child this week for refusing to stand during the national anthem and the Democratic National Committee supporting Occupy Wall Street, a far-left group that has burned the American flag.

Harf balked and couldn’t offer a logical argument to refute Pavlich. In response, Pavlich kicked it up a notch and asked Harf if she believes standing for the national anthem is a patriotic, to which Harf offered a head-scratcher of a reply.

“I think that the highest form of patriotism is protest,” Harf said.

While Cuomo’s comments were disgusting, Harf defending him and his unpatriotic stance will not sit well with many Americans, who agree with the president that the national anthem, flag, and country should always be respected.

Harf’s comments are indicative of where the Democratic Party is, and how many liberals have no issue trashing America to go after Trump.


Trump Foes Assail Mexican Restaurant Chain After Jeff Sessions Eats There

A popular Mexican restaurant chain in Houston faced such a backlash for serving Attorney General Jeff Sessions that its owners disassociated themselves from Trump administration immigration policy and disabled all social media accounts.

Sessions ate Friday night at the family-owned El Tiempo’s Montrose location, one of eight in Houston.

That night, someone posted a photo on the restaurant chain’s official Facebook page showing executive chef Domenic Laurenzo with Sessions and captioned: “We had the honor to [serve] Mr. Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the United States. Thank you for allowing us to serve you.”

Soon after the photo with Sessions was uploaded on Facebook, a barrage of hateful comments and harassment directed at the Houston eatery began. The reaction prompted Roland Laurenzo to disable all social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, over the weekend.

In a later deleted follow-up post on Facebook, Roland Laurenzo wrote that El Tiempo served Sessions without “thinking about the political situations”:

El Tiempo does not in any way support the practice of separating children from parents or any other practices of the government relative to immigration. The posting of a photograph of the Attorney General at one of our restaurants does not represent us supporting his positions.

The secret service contacted us that a government official was coming to dinner at our establishment and his identity was not known until he walked through the door. The man came to dinner and he was served without us even thinking about the political situations. We were preoccupied with the secret service and catering to their wants and needs.

The only thing on our minds was serving great food and giving great customer service. It was posted without review or approval by ownership and this has lead [sic] to everyone jumping to conclusions that somehow we are involved in this political matter. We don’t approve of anyone separating parents and children.

Sessions was in town on government business, including a speech about violent crime and measures his Justice Department is taking to reduce gang violence, delivered to local law enforcement officials and federal prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.

“People are insulting us in such a dramatic fashion, and we feel like we don’t deserve it,” Laurenzo told KTRK-TV, the local ABC station. “At least temporarily I had it [social media accounts] taken down because I don’t want to be insulted, my children to be insulted, my family to be insulted.”

A silver lining for the restaurant chain: The outrage and calls for boycotts prompted folks across Texas to make a special stop at an El Tiempo restaurant, according to local news stations.



Double Standard: Dem Candidate Uses Wildly Racist Language To Insult Asian Opponent

A minor Republican primary battle in metro Detroit, Michigan, has exploded into the national consciousness after a white candidate called her Asian challenger a “ching-chong” and belittled her supporters as immigrants who didn’t belong in this country, raising serious questions about the re-emergence of racism, anti-immigrant sentiment and the dark underbelly of ethnic animosity in the era of Trump.

Wait, wait, did I say Republican? Sorry about that one; what I actually meant to say was Democrat.

Oh, and I said “white candidate” too, didn’t I? She was actually black. Can’t believe I spaced on that one, as well.

And when I said that it “exploded into the national consciousness” and is “raising serious questions about the re-emergence of racism, anti-immigrant sentiment and the dark underbelly of ethnic animosity in the era of Trump,” what I actually meant to say was “literally nothing happened and nobody outside of Michigan even gave the slightest of craps about it.” It’s just a minor Freudian slip, after all. Could have happened to anyone.

Yes, even though Michigan state Rep. Bettie Cook Scott is apparently one of the most openly racist elected officials since the days when Robert Byrd would ask the dry cleaners to use extra starch on his hood because the point seemed to droop if he got too close to the burning cross, the only non-local coverage this awful human being has gotten in the past few days consists of minor write-ups in The Washington Times and other papers of that ilk.

According to the Detroit Metro Times, Cook called opponent Rep. Stephanie Chang a “‘ching-chang’ and “the ching-chong” to multiple voters outside polling precincts during last Tuesday’s Democrat state Senate primary.

“She’s also said to have called one of Chang’s campaign volunteers an ‘immigrant,’ saying ‘you don’t belong here’ and ‘I want you out of my country.’”

Just to make this even more disgusting, one of the people who heard Rep. Scott’s rants involving Asian people was Chang’s husband, who is black

Scott then went on to call him a ‘fool’ for marrying Chang.” Scott also said that it “disgusts her seeing black people holding signs for these Asians and not supporting their own people.'”

“These comments are offensive to all Asian-Americans,” Rep. Chang told the Metro Times. “It isn’t about me. It’s about an elected official disrespecting entire populations, whether they be Asian-American, immigrant, or residents of Sen. District 1 or (Cook’s) own current house district.”

Chang easily won the primary with 49 percent of the vote.



'Surprise guest' Putin ruffles feathers with plan to attend Euroskeptic Austrian FM's wedding

Putin speaks fluent German so would be at home among the wedding guests.  And Austria has long been politically neutral so there is no reason to obstruct his visit

From security arrangements to choice of present to geopolitical implications, Western media is fascinated (and alarmed) by Vladimir Putin's decision to drop in on the wedding of Karin Kneissl – and some have demanded she resign.

Above all else, it appears that in almost two decades as an international political figure, this is the first time the Russian president has publicized his intention to go to a wedding party, much less one abroad. His long-time press secretary Dmitry Peskov insisted that Putin has visited foreign private events previously, but when pressed by reporters, struggled to recall a specific occasion.

Other Russian officials are also downplaying the significance of Putin's Saturday morning detour en-route to talks with Angela Merkel later the same day. The president's aide Yuri Ushakov said that Putin would "drop in to offer his congratulations," while Peskov presented the whole affair as a matter of common courtesy: Kneissl invited the Russian leader during his official visit in June, and Putin simply accepted.

But for the German-language press, the announcement of the "surprise guest" has been a bombshell.

Political scientist Gerhard Mangott told Austria's national broadcaster ORF that the very invitation of a higher-ranked foreign official, which was only made public on Wednesday was a "bold" violation of accepted diplomatic protocol by Kneissl. Others have noted that there appears to be no personal connection between the Russian president and the respected technocrat, who has been in her post for less than a year.

Putin is expected to arrive in Graz on his plane, travel to the location by helicopter, and there have also been reports of a planned carriage ride, though it is unclear if the Russian president will join the happy couple for that part of the ceremony. The local tourist board has complained of being inundated with calls demanding to know the exact route the wedding procession will take.

On the day following the announcement, light-hearted surprise had already been replaced by rancorous and shadowy theories about Putin's motivations for filling in his RSVP.

Putin chose Vienna as his first EU capital to visit following his re-election for a fourth term in March, while Austria has publicly offered to play the role of a go-between, and notably abstained from the diplomat expulsions connected to the Skripal case, undertaken by most of the European Union.

Meanwhile, Kneissl is unaffiliated with any political faction, but she is a principled Euroskeptic, and was handpicked by the Freedom Party, which enjoys official links with Putin's United Russia.

Meanwhile, Austria's Green MEP Michel Reimon has declared that Kneissl must resign for the sheer act of inviting the Russian president. That's one man not on the guest list.



Army General Reveals John Brennan’s Sinister Plan To OVERTHROW President Trump

Speaking with Fox News, Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata said former CIA director John Brennan is a “clear and present danger” to the United States and wants to “overthrow” President Donald Trump.

He went on to say Brennan’s tweets disparaging Trump and calling for his removal are enough to revoke his security clearance and that Brennan is a Communist. (NOTE) John Brennan voted for a communist candidate in the 1970 and Tata believes he has supported that way of life since.

“He spied on American citizens and lied in front of Congress about that spying,” Tata said on “Fox & Friends.” “Question 29 on the security clearance form says, you know, ‘have you ever supported overthrowing the U.S. Government?’ All of you got to look at Brennan’s tweets and he supports the removal of this president, and right there — that’s enough evidence to get rid of his clearance.”

GOP Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana also weighed in. In a clip played by Brian Kilmeade during his interview with General Tata, Kennedy stated Brennan is an embarrassment to the intelligence community and accused him of being politically biased in his professional dealings.

“I’ve made my feelings known about Mr. Brennan. I think most Americans look at our national intelligence experts as being above politics,” Kennedy said. “Mr. Brennan has demonstrated that that’s not the case. He’s been totally political. I think I called him a butthead and I meant it. I think he’s given the national intelligence community a bad name.”

“John Brennan is a clear and present danger and a threat to this nation,” Tata concluded. “He supports the overthrow of this particular president. And he needed to have his access to information revoked.”



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 August, 2018

Christian Baker Under Attack Again; This Time Over TRANSGENDER TRANSITION Cake

According to the Daily Caller, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission began new proceedings against Jack Phillips of ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop’ on behalf of a transgender complainant just weeks after he prevailed at the U.S. Supreme Court.

This is another coordinated attack by the left-wing extremists who want to bully Christians into baking anything they ask for – even if it goes against what the baker holds as a religious belief.

Earlier this year, Phillips reigned victorious at the U.S. Supreme Court after declining to create a custom wedding cake for a gay couple. Now, according to this new report, he and his legal team have filed a lawsuit in federal court late Tuesday against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Here’s what his lawyers had to say:

“The state of Colorado is ignoring the message of the U.S. Supreme Court by continuing to single out Jack for punishment and to exhibit hostility toward his religious beliefs. Even though Jack serves all customers and simply declines to create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in violation of his deeply held beliefs, the government is intent on destroying him — something the Supreme Court has already told it not to do.”

Here’s how this whole fiasco started (via the Daily Caller):

The story behind the transgender

On the same day the high court agreed to review the Masterpiece case, an attorney named Autumn Scardina called Phillips’ shop and asked him to create a cake celebrating a sex transition. The caller asked that the cake include a blue exterior and a pink interior, a reflection of Scardina’s transgender identity. Phillips declined to create the cake, given his religious conviction that sex is immutable, while offering to sell the caller other pre-made baked goods.

“Colorado has renewed its war against him by embarking on another attempt to prosecute him, in direct conflict with the Supreme Court’s ruling in his favor,” Phillips’ lawsuit against Colorado says. “This lawsuit is necessary to stop Colorado’s continuing persecution of Phillips.”

In response to this story, conservative pundit Ben Shapiro had this to say, emphasizing the importance of keeping a Conservative Supreme Court:

If the political Left should ever gain a fifth vote on the Supreme Court, it will not be long before states across the country — and perhaps a Democratic Congress — would crack down on individual religious businessowners in blatant violation of the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of association, speech, and religion. Jack Phillips isn’t out of danger yet.

“Unreal. Colorado is STILL harassing Jack Phillips for not agreeing to use his baking skills to celebrate he disapproves of,” said one Twitter user:



How Maine’s Governor May Be Saving Lives By Refusing To Expand Medicaid

The New York Times published an article describing Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s refusal to expand Medicaid in that state through Obamacare. LePage’s refusal defies a binding vote on a 2017 ballot initiative, when the state’s voters approved expanding the program.

The New York Times frames the refusal as both unwarranted legal malfeasance and as an assault on Maine residents’ health just to save money for taxpayers. This framing is not completely inaccurate. Directly defying the state’s voters is certainly unusual. On the budgetary front, the governor has repeatedly stated that the state needs to find the necessary funds (approximately $60 million annually) from sources other than new taxes or dipping into the state’s reserves.

But neither is the article framing complete. It leaves out relevant details about the expected health benefits, which distort readers’ understanding.

Here’s the Rest of the Story

The impression The New York Times leaves is of a leader indifferent to his citizens’ health. The implicit assumption is that expanding Medicaid is an unalloyed good for Maine, and only base or corrupt motives could explain not doing it. The Times expends no effort in examining the basis for that assumption. This is unfortunate, as there is a clear empirical correlation between expanding Medicaid and increased mortality.

To date, there is no generally accepted causation mechanism between expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare and the increase in the death rate, but the correlation is clear and unambiguous. Some have proposed a link between the increased mortality and an increase in opioid deaths due to Medicaid expansion. The U.S. Senate held a hearing on the subject and issued a report. The Medicaid-opioid link has not been accepted by public health academics so far, but neither have they proposed a convincing alternate explanation for the empirical connection between Medicaid and increased mortality rates.

Even without knowing the cause of the link between Medicaid and increased death rates, it is clear that the relationship exists. Therefore, it is possible that LePage, intentionally or unintentionally, is actually preserving the lives of his fellow citizens in the Pine Tree State. But one would never know this from reading The New York Times.

Let’s Compare Maine to New Hampshire

How much is LePage helping the residents of Maine? We can estimate the magnitude of the correlation between Medicaid and increased death by comparing Maine to its next-door neighbor.

New Hampshire expanded Medicaid in accordance with Obamacare immediately after the law was implemented in 2014. The two states are similar in many respects, with nearly identical populations, and relatively large rural populations.

New Hampshire is somewhat more urbanized than Maine, and wealthier, as one would expect from its proximity to Boston, which leads to better general health outcomes. However, the two states’ demographics are very alike, and their health trends have correlated well over the past several decades.

Mortality statistics for the two states can be generated from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) WONDER database, which uses the ICD-10 codes from 1999 through the latest data collected in 2016

Both states experienced a large increase in the mortality rate after implementing Obamacare. This was a nationwide trend, so the data from Maine and New Hampshire are not surprising. However, the difference in the rate of increase between Maine and New Hampshire is significant.

Prior to Obamacare, the 18- to 64-year-old all-cause death rate in Maine averaged 319 deaths per 100,000 in population (1999 – 2013 mean = 319.4; ? = 15.8). The mortality rate was trending upward at a rate of about 3.2 deaths per 100,000 per year. Subsequent to Obamacare implementation, the Maine death rate between 2014 and 2016 mean increased to 365.6 deaths per 100,000, a 2.9 ? increase.

While the Maine trends are a terrible window into the worsening health situation in that state, they look positively benign compared to the grim data from New Hampshire. Prior to Obamacare, the 18- to 64-year-old all-cause death rate in New Hampshire averaged 270 deaths per 100,000 in population (1999 – 2013 mean = 269.8; ? = 12.0).

The mortality rate was trending upward at a lower rate than Maine, about 2.4 deaths per 100,000 per year. But after implementing Obamacare, the New Hampshire death rate 2014 to 2016 mean increased to 329.3 deaths per 100,000, a 5.0 ? increase. The 2013 to 2016 death rate trend in New Hampshire is skyrocketing upward by 18.8 deaths per 100,000 per year.

In Maine, the mean death rate increased an awful 14 percent after Obamacare went into place, but the New Hampshire mean rate increased a truly catastrophic 22 percent. While New Hampshire had approximately 84 percent of the death rate of Maine from 1999 to 2013, this increased to more than 90 percent of the Maine death rate after ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion was implemented in New Hampshire.

It is easy to approximate the differential deaths New Hampshire suffered. If the mean death rate increase in New Hampshire had been limited to 14 percent in that state after ObamaCare, as was the case in Maine, the mean rate would have been 309 per 100,000 from 2014 to 2016. More than 500 Granite Staters died in those three years, who, statistically speaking, would still be alive today if New Hampshire’s mortality trend matched that of Maine.

In short, after fully implementing Obamacare, including the Medicaid expansion, New Hampshire residents have died in desperately large numbers, far in excess of the neighboring state, whose governor refused to expand Medicaid.



Unemployment in Britain hits new 43-year low

8 years of Tory rule finally pay off

Unemployment dropped to its lowest level in more than 40 years in June as the rebounding economy created tens of thousands of new jobs.

The jobless rate fell to 4pc in the three months to June, the Office for National Statistics said, down from 4.2pc in the previous three-month period.

The number of unemployed Britons fell by 65,000 to 1.36m while the number in work increased by 42,000 to 32.4m.

This was driven by a rise in full-time work, rather than part-time. The proportion of part-time workers who want a full-time job fell to a nine-year low of 11.7pc.

Zero-hours contracts are also down, falling by more than 100,000 from 901,000 in December to 780,000 now.



How Can I Cure My White Guilt?

This woman has been brainwashed to a degree which would make North Korea proud.  She badly needs some conservative friends

I’m riddled with shame. White shame. This isn’t helpful to me or to anyone, especially people of color. I feel like there is no “me” outside of my white/upper middle class/cisgender identity. I feel like my literal existence hurts people, like I’m always taking up space that should belong to someone else.

I consider myself an ally. I research proper etiquette, read writers of color, vote in a way that will not harm P.O.C. (and other vulnerable people). I engage in conversations about privilege with other white people. I take courses that will further educate me. I donated to Black Lives Matter. Yet I fear that nothing is enough. Part of my fear comes from the fact that privilege is invisible to itself. What if I’m doing or saying insensitive things without realizing it?

Another part of it is that I’m currently immersed in the whitest environment I’ve ever been in. My family has lived in the same apartment in East Harlem for four generations. Every school I attended, elementary through high school, was minority white, but I’m now attending an elite private college that is 75 percent white. I know who I am, but I realize how people perceive me and this perception feels unfair.

I don’t talk about my feelings because it’s hard to justify doing so while people of color are dying due to systemic racism and making this conversation about me would be again centering whiteness. Yet bottling it up makes me feel an existential anger that I have a hard time channeling since I don’t know my place. Instead of harnessing my privilege for greater good, I’m curled up in a ball of shame. How can I be more than my heritage?




TV poll: Majority says Constitution should protect hate speech

A majority of Americans said they believe the Constitution should protect hate speech even if it offends them, according to a new American Barometer poll.

The survey, conducted by Hill.TV and the HarrisX polling company, found that 63 percent of Americans polled said hate speech should be protected even when it is offensive.

Thirty-seven percent said the Constitution should not protect hate speech.

The poll did not find a major partisan rift on the issue. Sixty-eight percent of Republicans said they believed the Constitution should protect hate speech, and 60 percent of Democrats agreed.

Sixty-three percent of independents also said that hate speech should be protected.

"The American people support free speech. It's protected in our Constitution, but hate speech is destructive," Democratic pollster Carly Cooperman, a partner at Schoen Consulting, told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking."

"I think a lot of polarization we see comes from hate speech," she added. "I think there's a degree of fatigue when you think about the hatred that comes from that kind of language and it's divisive."



Terrence Williams: Trump Owes Dogs Apology for Comparing Them to Omarosa

It isn’t unusual for someone to take offense at something President Donald Trump says in a tweet. But this time, the call for the president to apologize is for a different — and what some would call humorous — reason.

Trump is well-known for speaking off the cuff and hurling insults at those who lob their own insults at him and his administration.

Now, a new target is in Trump’s sights and it is someone he presumably held in high enough regard to place in a job in the White House. It is former reality television star Omarosa Manigault Newman.

After being fired from her White House posting, Manigault Newman went on to bash the man who gave her so much via “Apprentice” franchise appearances and the job in his administration.

Manigault Newman also wrote a book, “Unhinged” reportedly spilling the dirt on Trump and his White House. As could be expected, Trump took to Twitter to hit back at the nasty and highly refuted claims:

"When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!"

While many took issue with the president referring to her as a “dog,” the reason one man did was very different from most. Comedian and commentator Terrence K. Williams chimed in on Twitter with his own take on it:

"On behalf of the black delegation I want everyone to know that all black women don’t act like Omarosa. Donald Trump was wrong for calling her a Dog! Dogs are loyal! Trump should apologize to doggy community"

We certainly don’t condone calling human beings “dogs,” but it is part of the human experience for many to name-call and be called names. Anyone in the public eye, particularly one who is herself hurling insults, should be able to “take it.”



Piers Morgan Reveals ‘Appalling’ ‘#MeToo Moment’ With Omarosa: ‘One of the Worst Human Beings I’ve Ever Encountered’

As former White House aide Omarosa Maingault-Newman continues making the media rounds to promote her new memoir, she is encountering some resistance in her effort to disparage President Donald Trump.

Many of the president’s supporters and detractors alike have questioned the former reality television star’s credibility given her history of over-the-top antics.

Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson recently interviewed Daily Mail editor Piers Morgan, who appeared on “Celebrity Apprentice” with both Manigault-Newman and Trump.

He described behavior that he said should make any serious discussion of the ousted Trump adviser’s book irrelevant.

In a behind-the-scenes encounter Carlson described as Morgan’s “me too moment,” the former CNN host said Manigault-Newman attempted to spark a sexual affair between the two in hopes of cashing in on the ensuing media attention.

“Her first gambit to me, day one, first challenge, she sidles up to me,” he said. “I’ve never even met this woman and she says to me, ‘We should have a showmance.'”

Morgan said he was not familiar with the term and was appalled when she described it to him.

“You know, on ‘The Apprentice’ everyone has sex together,” he said she told him. “So you and I could do that and then we could sell it and make lots of money.”

At that point, he said he immediately shut down the conversation, which led to verbal abuse and bullying throughout the remainder of her time on the show.

“She said, ‘What’s the matter with you? Are you gay?'” Morgan said. “I went, ‘No, just because I don’t want to have sex with you on the show that doesn’t make me gay.”

After that encounter, Morgan said he was in for “four or five weeks” of “unrelenting, five barrels of abuse, tirades, homophobic stuff.”

Looking back on her tenure, Morgan said it appears she “accomplished nothing in her time in the White House other than disrupting everybody.”

Morgan said he believes she spent her time in the administration planning new ways to publicize and monetize her experience.



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 August, 2018

The Church of Trump?

I am not entirely sure whether it is a vice or a virtue but I often enjoy reading Leftist writing.  They are so blind that they regularly give me a laugh.  I suppose it is the psychologist in me.  I want to see how their strange minds work.

And the most amusing thing about their response to Donald Trump is their total inability even to consider that he might have got some things right. That's just not an available explanation for them.  So what do they do?  They find something psychologically wrong with either Trump or his supporters.  Leftists have been making such claims about conservatives at least since 1950 and have succeeded in convincing only themselves -- so they are like a dog returning to its vomit in trying the same strategy with Trump.

The first label they tried to stick on Trump and his supporters was the old 1950's claim that he is "authoritarian". But, since it is in fact they who constantly try to confine Americans within a straitjacket of endless regulations, that label had no adhesive power at all and seems now to have been abandoned. See here and here

So it is interesting that the latest explanation for Trump's success below has finally made some attempts to address reality.

She starts out with a litany of Trump's failures and scandals as she sees them and wonders why none of those failures seem to dent his popularity. That most of the failures are simply Trump's impatience with detail she does not consider.  She certainly does not consider that not being a policy wonk might actually be an element in his popularity.  Do policy wonks make attractive political candidates? Few of his voters are likely to be policy wonks so are probably happy with getting it broadly right in their own lives.

In fact, the little lady asserts below that Trump supporters like Trump's simple slogans. 

And then of course we see the typically Leftist malicious misattributions.  No matter what Trump does, it is a product of racism, not some practical reason. And anything Trump does is wrong anyhow, even if Obama also did it.

Then she gets on to her big discovery:  Trump makes his voters happy!  Could it be that they enjoy his puncturing of the great Obama/Clinton balloon of Leftist pomposity and self-righteousnesss? Could it be relief at Trump's attacks on the Leftist straitjacket of regulations and are relieved to hear common sense coming from the White House instead of hectoring?  

No way! It's because of "tribalism" and because they don't go to church any more.  Pesky that Trump supporters come from all races and all walks of life!  Pesky that Trump has very broad church support and is himself openly Christian.  Herman Cain tells us that 29% of blacks now support Trump.  I wonder what tribe they belong to?

What the lady is doing is a familiar sleight of hand that any analytical philosopher can tell you about. "Tribalism" sounds like an explanation but is in fact a definition:  To like Trump MAKES you part of a tribe, the Trump tribe. It is at best an observation. It explains nothing.

And the idea that lots of people are alienated from moralistic churches is surely true.  But it is true mainly of the old mainstream churches.  More evangelical churches are forgiving and make a big effort at outreach.  Americans who are religious at all can usually find a church to suit them.  The claim that Trump supporters are worshiping at some sort of new Trumpian religion -- when the religion at his rallies is plainly evangelical Christian -- is just a desperate attempt to look at what his real appeal is -- relief from Leftist tyranny and joy at having a President who makes sense to ordinary people

By Alex (Alexandra?) Wagner

Two weeks before the Iowa caucuses, in late January 2016, the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced to an audience in Sioux City: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s, like, incredible.”

Trump, who has always been prone to fantastical overstatement, was derided at the time, but here and now—more than two and a half years later—the statement seems prescient.

You could list the scandals—from Robert Mueller’s probe to Michael Cohen to Stormy Daniels, from Tom Price to Scott Pruitt to Ben Carson, from Bill Shine to Ronny Jackson to Jared Kushner, from the Trump Hotel to the Trump label, from Charlottesville to Ukraine—and while it would be very long, it would not (at least in the eyes of Trump’s supporters) be disqualifying. Politically speaking, the president is standing with his guns blazing in the middle of Fifth Avenue, and he’s not losing anyone. Miraculously, Trump remains on top; so far this year, Gallup has registered an approval rating among the members of his own party ranging from 81 to 90 percent. Despite it all, those numbers have barely budged.

How is such a thing possible? In part, it’s a symptom of contemporary politics—Barack Obama enjoyed similarly high approval ratings from Democratic partisans during his terms in office. And there’s some evidence that Republicans disaffected with Trump are ceasing to identify with their party, leaving only the president’s supporters behind. But Obama never endured a comparable string of scandals; the erosion of the GOP’s ranks doesn’t explain the fervency of those who remain.

Is it Trump—or something larger than Trump? Possibly, it’s both. Last spring, my colleague Peter Beinart looked at the increasing secularization of American society and how it had contributed to the rise of political tribalism:

As Americans have left organized religion, they haven’t stopped viewing politics as a struggle between “us” and “them.” Many have come to define us and them in even more primal and irreconcilable ways.

This tribalism has infected both the right and the left—but in particular, Beinart cited the work of W. Bradford Wilcox, a sociologist at the University of Virginia who has concluded that “rates of religious attendance have fallen more than twice as much among whites without a college degree as among those who graduated college.”

Non-college-educated whites are the Trump base, now set adrift:

Establishing causation is difficult, but we know that culturally conservative white Americans who are disengaged from church experience less economic success and more family breakdown than those who remain connected, and they grow more pessimistic and resentful.

You could draw a straight line from a disenfranchised, pessimistic, resentful audience to Trump’s brand of fear-driven, divisive politics, but this would leave out an equally important part of the Trump phenomenon, and something critical to its success: the elation. Go to a Trump rally, speak to Trump supporters, and the devotion is nearly evangelical. Their party line is less a talking point than a sermon: His voters have talked to me about the “bad deal” with Iran, the “drug mules” crossing the border, the Mueller “witch hunt.” The language is uniform, as they quote chapter and verse. Here are the true believers: It is no surprise that Trump’s numbers won’t move.

In his research, Wilcox noted the particular isolation of the white working class in the institutional church:

Moderately educated Americans may feel less attracted to churches that uphold the bourgeois virtues—delayed gratification, a focus on education, self-control, etc.—that undergird this lifestyle. As importantly, working class whites may also feel uncomfortable socializing with the middle and upper class whites who have increasingly come to dominate the life of religious congregations in the U.S. since the 1970s, especially as they see their own economic fortunes fall.

The declining economic position of white working class Americans may have made the bourgeois moral logic embodied in many churches both less attractive and attainable.

Trumpism proposes a system of worship formed in direct opposition to bourgeois moral logic, with values that are anti-intellectual and anti–politically correct. If mainline Protestantism is a bastion of the educated, upper-middle class, the Church of Trump is a gathering place for its castoffs. Trump’s rhetoric about the “silent majority” is indeed a racial dog whistle, but it is also a call to his supporters to unmask themselves. He offers a public embrace of a worldview that has been, at least until this point, a mark of shame. There is belonging in this—but there is also relief.

That part of the Trump phenomenon remains mostly unnoticed, except by those who have witnessed it firsthand. Reporting from a rally in South Carolina in 2015, Molly Ball observed:

Despite all the negativity and fear, the energy in this room does not feel dark and aggressive and threatening. It doesn’t feel like a powder keg about to blow, a lynch mob about to rampage. It feels joyous.

“There is so much love in every room I go to,” Trump says, near the end of nearly an hour and a half of free-associative bombast, silly and sometimes offensive impressions, and insane pronouncements. “We want our country to be great again, and we know it can be done!”

At a rally in South Bend, Indiana, that I attended earlier this year, there were offensive T-shirts (hillary sucks … but not like monica) and angry chants, but there were also goofy costumes and free sandwiches. There was name calling, but there were also group selfies.

I spoke to Wilcox about this aspect of Trumpism—the strange joy inherent in the shouts of self-designated “deplorable” status—and whether that might signal a substitute for the rapture of the church. “The Trump rallies have collective effervescence,” Wilcox said. “Émile Durkheim wrote about the power of collective effervescence—of engaging in common rituals that give them meaning and power and strength. And those things can be wonderful, or they can be dangerous.”

Durkheim’s theory—that a gathering of the tribe can create a certain energy that renders particular people or objects sacred—goes a long way toward explaining Trump’s infallibility among his supporters. But it also brings to the fore something that Trump critics have missed so far when focusing on his (not insignificant) negatives: Trumpism, like many forms of non-secular worship, makes its believers feel good.

“Among the poor and the working class,” Wilcox told me,“when it comes to both marriage and religion, there has been a real erosion. And that has hit them harder than the upper classes.”

He continued: “These two important sources of solidarity and meaning are now much less a part of working-class American’s lives—and leaves them that much more disenchanted and disenfranchised.”

If Trumpism is endowing certain Americans with a sense of solidarity and support that were once found in institutions like the church (or marriage), the implications for the Republican Party—to say nothing of American society writ large—are consequential.

At its core, the Church of Trump is irreconcilable with a society that values equal protection, free speech, and the separation of powers. And yet strident efforts to convince the faithful of a prophet’s fallacy may backfire, producing redoubled faith. To deconstruct the complicated and visceral relationship between Trump and his supporters, those on the outside must begin to grapple with the oddness of the proposition itself: Trump, in all his baseness, offers his believers something that is, strangely, spiritually elevated.



Omarosa claims falling apart

In part of a tell-all book, former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman said, among other charges, that Trump used the “n-word” during the days when Trump was the star of the reality show “The Apprentice.”

On Monday, Manigault Newman claimed she had tapes of aides discussing how to handle the issue of Trump using the word, ABC reported.

Trump said Manigault Newman’s claims are phony, based on what he was told by the show’s producer.

“.@MarkBurnettTV called to say that there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa. I don’t have that word in my vocabulary, and never have. She made it up.

Look at her MANY recent quotes saying … such wonderful and powerful things about me – a true Champion of Civil Rights – until she got fired.

Omarosa had Zero credibility with the Media (they didn’t want interviews) when she worked in the White House. Now that she says bad about me, they will talk to her. Fake News!” Trump said in a pair of tweets.

As reported by The New York Times, Manigault Newman admitted that she never directly heard Trump use the word, but in her book, she claims he did.

“By that point, three sources in three separate conversations had described the contents of this tape,” she wrote. “They all told me that President Trump hadn’t just dropped a single N-word bomb. He’d said it multiple times throughout the show’s taping during off-camera outtakes, particularly during the first season of ‘The Apprentice.’”

“I would look like the biggest imbecile alive for supporting a man who used that word,” she added.

Pollster Frank Luntz, who in the book is identified as the original source of the claim about Trump’s language, tweeted a denial.

“I’m in @Omarosa’s book on page 149. She claims to have heard from someone who heard from me that I heard Trump use the N-word. Not only is this flat-out false (I’ve never heard such a thing), but Omarosa didn’t even make an effort to call or email me to verify. Very shoddy work,” he tweeted.



Pelosi Sinks to New Low, Tells Dems: If You Have to Lie to Voters to Win, Do It

That Leftists lie is no news.  Unusual for them to admit it, though

Two things that President Donald Trump’s critics routinely pounce on him over are his supposed attacks against a “free press” and his alleged lies, as well as alleged lies told on his behalf from administration members, associates and supporters.

Yet, both of those acts were just committed or condoned by prominent Democrat and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and the media has largely remained silent. Go figure.

Pelosi appeared on MSNBC’s “AM Joy” on Sunday with guest host Jonathan Capehart, a Washington Post columnist, for a wide-ranging discussion during which she lashed out at a supposed media conspiracy to undermine her leadership and encouraged Democrat members of the House to lie to their constituents in order to get elected.

“First of all, let me just say this, and I know NBC’s been on a jag of this, this is one of their priorities, to undermine my prospects as speaker, but putting that aside, I have not asked one person for a vote,” Pelosi said of the media reports of growing discontent among rank-and-file Democrats in the House.

“I haven’t asked a candidate or incumbent for a vote. What’s important, and I know better than anybody how important it is, is for us to win this election because I see up close and personal what Republicans and this president are doing,” she continued.

Pelosi decried how the GOP was spending “tens of millions” of dollars on ads in competitive districts that specifically target her, and claimed that she wouldn’t allow Republicans to have a say in who should be the leader of the Democrat Party.

“They’re afraid of me,” she said of her Republican counterparts. “Because I outraise them in the political arena, because I outsmart them at the negotiating table and because I’m a woman who’s gonna be in a seat at that table.”

Pelosi proceeded to suggest that things would be different if failed Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton had become president — an understatement of epicly epic proportions — but made clear that she would not be “yielding” any of the power she wields.

Pelosi then shifted her attention to the upcoming midterm elections and essentially told the members of her party to “do whatever you have to do” to get elected, even if that means lying to their constituents to tell them what they want to hear.

“Now, I do believe that none of us is indispensable, but I think I’m the best person for the job and I won’t let the Republican ads, which are just … flooding these districts, and I say to the candidates ‘do whatever you have to do, just win baby,'” she stated.

“We must win this. When the caucus decides, it will decide whose name they will send to the floor, and then, and only then, after the election will I ask people for their support,” she added.

President Trump has been harshly maligned and smeared by the media for his suggestion — which is not without some merit — that the mainstream media are conspiratorially aligned against him and his administration with an intent to undermine his leadership and presidency. Pelosi just accused the media of the exact same thing, yet where are the sanctimonious pearl-clutchers lamenting her vicious assault on the “free press”?

As to Pelosi imploring Democrat candidates to “do whatever you have to do” to win their elections, that certainly opens the door for Democrat candidates to lie and tell voters what they think voters want to hear in order to earn their support, only to then go and do something different once they’ve been sworn into Congress.

Case in point would be the movement of young Democrats distancing themselves from Pelosi — who is veritably toxic in many competitive districts in the heartland — who have now been given cover by Pelosi to create even more distance from her during the election, only to later come back into the fold and support her continued leadership after all the votes have been cast and counted.

Many Democrats know — including Nancy Pelosi, it would appear — that speaking truthfully to voters about the progressive Democrat platform and the prospect of Pelosi regaining power as speaker of the House will not win them any support, so they have to lie about what they’ll do and who they’ll support to gain votes.

And that is a real betrayal of this country’s vaunted “democracy” if ever there was one.

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism



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 August, 2018

Yes, Donald Trump Is the Most Pro-Black President

By Herman Cain [who is black]

Mark my words: Donald J. Trump will be the most pro-black president in our lifetime.

Democrats have spent decades paying lip service to the black community while doing absolutely nothing to lift us up. It’s been all pandering with no progress.

Meanwhile, President Trump’s policies are bringing real, positive change to the lives of black Americans across the country — and we are taking note.

A Rasmussen report released last week revealed that Trump’s support among black Americans has doubled in the last year to 29 percent. This is just the latest sign that our community is giving the president a second look as he continues to make good on his economic promises and works to implement long-overdue reforms.

Interestingly, it was just a week after Trump’s election that BET founder Robert L. Johnson raised a very simple yet profound idea. “Why shouldn’t we, as black voters, reject the notion that we are locked into one party which undoubtedly limits and dilutes our voting power? We should, instead, use the power of our vote to support and elect whichever party that best serves our interests,” Johnson wrote.

Right now, that party is the GOP under Trump’s leadership.

The proof is evident wherever you look.

In April, the black unemployment rate dropped to a historic low of 6.6 percent, followed by another record low of 5.9 percent in June, the first time in history it fell below 6 percent.

Meanwhile, the worker pay rate just hit its highest level since 2008, and the Trump administration is making every effort to ensure our community has the skills necessary to compete in the 21st century economy.

The Democrats want to shield these facts from the black community. Their bitter refusal to clap when Trump touted historically low black unemployment during his State of the Union address should tell you everything you need to know about their motives. They would rather see Trump fail than see blacks succeed.

But the reality is that millions of black Americans are now experiencing unprecedented prosperity and opportunity under Trump. This new economic climate also means less government dependence, less crime, more social cohesion and an overall improved quality of life.

Thankfully, the president’s vision for black America reaches far beyond our economic revival. It includes his bipartisan criminal justice reform initiatives, which aim to right the wrongs of mass incarceration. For far too long our young men have had their futures stolen from them for low-level drug offenses.

Last week, Trump endorsed a prison reform compromise plan that Republicans hope will attract enough Democrats to pass in the Senate. The legislation would combine the First Step Act — a prison reform bill supported by Trump and passed by the House in May — with four more bipartisan sentencing reform plans.

“We passed the First Step Act through the House, and we’re working with the Senate to pass that into law. And I think we’ll be able to do it,” Trump said at the meeting.

The compromise bill would add to the First Step Act — which creates a way for prisoners to earn early release for good behavior and provides funds for expanded re-entry programs — new provisions that seek to put an end to mass incarceration and reduce mandatory minimum sentences.

Just as important, Trump isn’t just giving new hope to black Americans through overdue economic and justice reforms, he’s correcting errors of the past and providing new opportunities that will benefit generations to come.

For far too long, we have been used as political pawns and taken for granted by the Democrats. Election after election, they have preyed on our hope and promised us change — but they never delivered.

For the first time in decades, we are seeing real, positive changes take hold throughout black America, and we refuse to let bitter, Trump-hating politicians tell us otherwise. It’s the Democrats’ worst nightmare: an empowered black community that will never again fall victim to their empty promises and false hope.

When Donald Trump said he would be the president for all Americans, he meant it. The black community today is a testament to that promise.

Herman Cain is former CEO of the National Restaurant Association and a former presidential candidate.



MSM Makes Mountain Out of White Nationalist Molehill


Leading up to the nothingburger of a white supremacist rally that saw less than two dozen white nationalists show up in Washington, DC, on Sunday, the mainstream media sought to inflate the significance of the event in an attempt to further its long-running "Donald Trump is a racist" narrative. Prior to the event, which was intentionally scheduled to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville riot, Trump issued a statement condemning all racism: "The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!" That wasn't good enough for the Leftmedia, which stoked division anyway.

Also showing up for the poorly named "Unite the Right II" rally — poorly named because it serves the MSM's conflation of white racism with conservatism — were thousands of counterprotesters who stood shouting down both the white supremacists and Trump. The leftist, violence-seeking agitators known as antifa also showed up clearly prepared for a fight. They screamed chants such as, "Any time, any place, punch a Nazi in the face." Fortunately, the strong police presence combined with the minuscule size of the white-nationalist contingent proved to thwart their efforts.

Meanwhile in Charlottesville, hundreds of leftist activists took to the streets to ostensibly protest white nationalism and racism — a protest in which no white supremacists were given permission to rally and none showed up. It became increasingly apparent that protesting the police was also on the menu, as numerous protesters chanted, "Cops and Klan go hand in hand," while others toted a banner that read, "Behind Every Cop, A Klansman." The irony was that unlike last year, when police presence was severely limited and much fighting was allowed to occur unchecked, the police presence this year was heavy and clearly aimed at preventing any violence.

If anything, this past weekend demonstrates just how vacuous is the MSM's assertion of Trump's presidency being responsible for stoking latent masses of white racists. The identity politics of promoting and provoking racial grievances is embraced by Democrats and the Left. It is clearly not popular with conservatives and the vast majority of Trump supporters, no matter how much the Leftmedia claims otherwise.



Steel and aluminum prices are up, but it’s not showing up in consumer and producer prices, and the Trump economy is still booming

By Robert Romano

One of the conventional wisdoms to do with the tariffs and duties levied by the Trump administration on steel, aluminum and lumber is that they will lead to higher prices and inflation, hurting producers and consumers, thus stunting economic growth.

For example, billionaire Charles Koch warned on July 30 that the tariffs would lead to a recession.

So far, however, that does not appear to be the case. In the second quarter of 2018, the U.S. economy boomed at an inflation-adjusted 4.1 percent annualized. And the latest consumer and producer prices, taking into account the period when many of the tariffs were levied, do not show the predicted price hikes.

Consumer inflation is up 0.8 percent the past six months, below the Fed’s 2 percent 12-month target.

As for producer prices, if you look at finished goods for final demand by commodity less energy and food, you see a 1.44 percent increase the last six months, averaging 0.24 percent a month. That is slightly below the historical average of 0.27 percent a month dating back to 1974.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning commented on the numbers, saying, “the six-month tracking demonstrates that the economic growth spurt generated through President Trump’s economic policies have not spurred higher costs to consumers. Just one more piece of welcome news that defies so-called expert predictions.”

To be fair, since the steel and aluminum tariffs were recommended in February by the Commerce Department, announced in March and taken effect in May, steel and aluminum prices have increased on commodities markets.

For example, Aug. 2018 contracts on hot rolled coil steel on NYMEX increased from about $690 to $901 as of this writing, a 30.5 percent increase. And Sept. 2018 contracts on aluminum MW U.S. premium platts on NYMEX have increased from $0.13 to $0.195, a 50 percent increase.

But what has not happened is it impacting overall consumer and producer prices and hindering growth overall, as seen by the latest numbers. That is because steel and aluminum only make up a small part of overall consumer and producer prices, such that an increase in demand for U.S.-produced steel and aluminum could lead a price increase, but not at all slow economic growth or trigger inflation.

As for lumber, it is true that after the President Donald Trump announced the tariff on Canadian lumber in April 2017, Sept. 2018 contracts on lumber futures on NYMEX did increase from about $350 to $624 on May 27, but guess what? The prices since then have crashed dramatically by 33.7 percent back down to $414.

It was a speculative bubble. Perhaps driven by the announcement of the tariffs, but a bubble nonetheless that turned out to not be sustainable when real market factors were taken into consideration by investors. The futures prices after all on commodities markets do not take into account taxes. They are a pre-tax price, and in any event, the U.S.-produced commodities in question are not being taxed at all.

All of which serves as a cautionary tale for those investors that drove the futures prices up on steel and aluminum, as that increase may not be long-lived. Market factors explain it too. As U.S.-based steel and aluminum producers take advantage of the current trade advantages and increase market share, they will also ramp up production. This will in turn of eventually bringing prices down to what the market can bear.

Meaning, although there are obvious market impacts brought on by the tariffs, at the end of the day, they are taxes on foreign-produced goods and commodities. The incentive is to purchase the U.S.-made products instead, which is what is happening. It’s the whole point of the policy.

What it won’t lead to, however, is 1970s-style overall inflation or impede economic growth, no matter how many times the alarmists make such predictions.



Big Legislatures are bad too
Government by egotists

Jeff Jacoby

WHEN ROGER WOLCOTT, the 39th governor of Massachusetts, delivered his inaugural address in 1897, he urged state legislators to stop spending so much time on Beacon Hill, trying to justify longer and longer sessions by introducing more and more bills.

"The volume of legislation is a poor criterion of its necessity and wisdom," he told the senators and representatives assembled before him. "It is difficult to believe that five months of legislative session and 700 printed pages of acts and resolves are annually necessary. A shorter session and [fewer bills] would not be unwelcome to our people."

The governor's words had no effect. The Massachusetts Legislature stayed in session that year for 158 days; lawmakers, who had convened on January 6, didn't adjourn until June 12. In 1900, Wolcott's last year in office, the Legislature hung around until July 17. The new century brought more session creep. By the 1950s, it was routine for the Senate and House to stay in session until September or October. Eventually Massachusetts ended up with the General Court it has today — the one that, like a horror-movie mummy, refuses to die. The Legislature is in formal session for 18 months out of every 24, but remains in "informal" session even after it has supposedly called it quits.

You thought a five-month Legislature was an "unwelcome" nuisance in 1897, Governor Wolcott? You should see what Massachusetts is cursed with now.

Massachusetts is one of only a handful of states in which the Legislature effectively never adjourns. That handful just happens to include some of the worst-governed, highest-taxed, biggest-spending, and/or most heavily-regulated states in the nation — among them, California, New Jersey, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. The Legislature's year-round sessions also come with extravagant salaries. Massachusetts lawmakers are paid more than their counterparts in 44 states — their base salary is $62,548, but they also receive tens of thousands of additional dollars in the form of expense allotments and "leadership" bonuses. For a bunch of characters who don't actually construct, produce, improve, grow, or manage anything, it's an awfully sweet deal.

In most of America, this would never be tolerated. Legislators in normal states convene for just a few weeks or months each year, hammer out a budget, pass whatever legislation is needful, and go home. In some truly enlightened states, the legislature is in session for only a few weeks every other year. I remember a note I received in November 1995 from the late Barbara Anderson, who for years was the Bay State's most tenacious taxpayer advocate. She wrote from Nevada, marveling at something she had seen during a visit to the state Capitol in Carson City. In the empty House chamber, a notice was posted at the Speaker's rostrum: "Next session, January 1997."

Yet Massachusetts persists in the delusion that legislating is a full-time job, requiring "professional" lawmakers with staffs, offices, and full-time salaries. That superstition is continually being contradicted by the Legislature's subpar performance.

Last month, for example, the Senate and House approved a $42 billion budget for fiscal year 2019. The most expensive spending plan in the state's history was rubber-stamped by lawmakers less than seven hours after it was released from committee, which says a lot about the (lack of) diligence with which the Bay State's well-paid professional legislators perform their job. It says even more that the budget was almost three weeks overdue — fiscal year 2018 ended on June 30. Every other state had its 2019 budget finalized before Massachusetts did; many finished the job months ago.

In the real world, people who blow off crucial deadlines pay a price. (If you doubt it, try sending in your taxes or making your mortgage payment three weeks late.) But in the Massachusetts General Court, the legislative show that never closes, what's another missed deadline? Senators and representatives don't have to worry about their pay being docked if they do a lousy job. Most of them don't even have to worry about being challenged for reelection.

There are better options.

New Hampshire has always rejected the idea that legislating must be left to professionals. It pays its lawmakers just $100 per year — that's not a typo — and its 400-member House of Representatives — that's not a typo either — encourages participation in government by a remarkably diverse array of citizens, few of whom regard politics as a career. Unlike Massachusetts, where many legislative candidates are attracted by the prospect of status, influence, money, and a steppingstone to higher office, New Hampshire's statehouse tends to attracts true citizen-lawmakers — independent, civic-minded volunteers who choose to serve with no ulterior motive but good governance.

New Hampshire is a tiny state, but Massachusetts can learn from big states, too.

"Texas's part-time legislature . . . has been a key factor in its economic success," concluded reporter Jon Cassidy in a 2016 essay for the Manhattan Institute's City Journal. Research shows that states without year-round legislatures are more resistant to government spending, and the Texas experience bears that out. With a political culture notorious for cronyism, Texas has never been a model of saintliness. Yet the government's ability to do damage is checked by a system that deliberately keeps lawmakers from having too much power in the first place, and thereby leaves more room for civil society to flourish. The Texas constitution limits legislators' pay to just $7,200 a year (plus expenses) and limits their sessions to just 140 days per biennium. Can a state succeed with so trammeled a legislature? If the booming Texas economy and the steady surge of newcomers are any indication, the answer is an unqualified yes.

Massachusetts has many blessings, but its full-time Senate and House of Representatives are decidedly not among them. A year-round Legislature filled with underperforming careerists has done Massachusetts no good. Beacon Hill would be far healthier if it took less inspiration from New Jersey and more from New Hampshire. It might even get its budget done on time.



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 August, 2018

Is Liberal Racism a Horse of a Different Color?

Bigotry is bigotry, whether systemic, as at Harvard, or idiosyncratic, like Sarah Jeong’s Twitter feed.

Be honest. Are you really surprised that the New York Times has stood by its decision to hire Sarah Jeong as an editorial board member even after it was revealed she spent years on social media making openly racist and sexist remarks about white men? You may be outraged, sure. But surprised?

To paraphrase a well-known political figure, Ms. Jeong could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot a white person without losing the support of liberals. It’s a safe bet she was tapped by the Times because of these racial prejudices, not despite them. Editorial board members are hired to help formulate and express the official position of a newspaper. Ms. Jeong is being hired to speak for the Times, and they like where she’s coming from.

The Grey Lady attacks President Trump as a racist and sexist on a near-daily basis, and columnists like Charles Blow write about little else. So is it hypocritical for the paper to hire and defend a new editorial board member who has made no secret of her own biases? Of course it is, but that’s considered beside the point by people who share Ms. Jeong’s worldview.

The liberals who control most major media outlets specialize in applying different standards to different groups. Like the Times, Twitter had no problem with Ms. Jeong’s repugnant observations. Scores of tweets that included offensive phrases—“#cancelwhitepeople”; “are White people genetically disposed to burn faster in the sun?”; “White people have stopped breeding. you’ll all go extinct soon. that was my plan all along”—didn’t faze Jack Dorsey’s content monitors. But when conservative activist Candace Owens decided last weekend to reproduce Ms. Jeong’s posts and replace “white” with “black” or “Jewish,” Twitter temporarily suspended her account. Following a backlash, Twitter restored the account and claimed that “we made an error.”

Of course, the Times can hire whomever it pleases. But if it’s going to give the likes of Ms. Jeong a pass while lecturing us about growing intolerance on the political right, how seriously should readers take the paper’s nonstop Trump-is-a-bigot coverage? The president’s attacks on the media are often misguided and overstated—his daughter Ivanka is right; we’re not the enemy of the people—but major news outlets are doing plenty to erode public confidence in the news without any help from Mr. Trump.

Welcome to another example of the left’s inconsistency on race. If the goal is a postracial America, why does racial identity continue to be liberalism’s overriding obsession? Why is racism viewed as something to redirect rather than end outright? If you’re situated on the progressive left, racist views are OK to harbor so long as they’re targeted at the right groups for the proper reasons?

At Harvard, Asian students are currently out of favor among administrators for the sin of taking up too many slots in the freshman class. America’s most prestigious university, a bastion of liberal thinking, is being sued by Asian students for discrimination. Harvard wants a certain racial balance on campus, and Asians are getting in the way by academically outperforming applicants from other groups. The nerve.

Harvard can no longer credibly deny that it’s engaging in systematic racial discrimination. Internal documents that the school has been forced to disclose to fight the litigation suggest that Harvard is doing what has long been rumored. Nonetheless, school officials justify these racially biased practices. They insist, like Ms. Jeong and her defenders, that such bigotry is in the service of a noble cause. Unlike you or me, Harvard knows how to discriminate the “right” way.

Prior to World War II, and long before Harvard and other Ivy League schools had an “Asian problem,” the concern was too many Jews on the quad. The parallels are instructive. “Jewish students outperformed their Gentile classmates by a considerable margin,” writes Jerome Karabel in his 2005 book, “The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale and Princeton.”

Then as now, the schools came up with ways to overcome that reality by de-emphasizing objective admissions criteria. Jews were less likely to participate in athletics or belong to social clubs other than Jewish fraternities, both of which were deemed “character” flaws for the purpose of bringing the “Jewish invasion” under control. These days, Asian applicants to Harvard receive consistently low “personal” ratings, which are then used to undercut their academic achievements under Harvard’s “holistic” assessment of their worthiness.

So long as the goal is not to level the playing field but to tilt it in a different direction, expect history to continue repeating itself.



Economic Boom: Media Rewrite History To Credit Obama Instead Of Trump

Growth: The stronger the economy gets under President Trump, the more desperate his critics are to hand credit over to Obama. Even if that entails changing the past.

A recent New York Times story says it all: "An Economic Upturn Begun Under Obama Is Now Trump's To Tout."

The article begins by admitting that "by nearly every standard measure, the American economy is doing well," then spends the next 1,400 words arguing that the current good times have nothing to do with Trump's economic agenda.

The economy, reporter Patricia Cohen declares, "is following the upward trajectory begun under President Barack Obama."

Upward trajectory?

We seem to recall that the economy was stagnating in 2016 after the weakest recovery from a recession since the Great Depression.

In fact, The New York Times itself described Obama's economy this way in August 2016: "For three quarters in a row, the growth rate of the economy has hovered around a mere 1%. In the last quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016, the economy expanded at feeble annual rates of 0.9% and 0.8%, respectively. The initial reading for the second quarter of this year, released on Friday, was a disappointing 1.2%."

GDP growth decelerated in each of the last three quarters of 2016.

And on January 27, 2017, after the government reported that GDP growth for all 2016 was a mere 1.6% — the weakest in five years — the Times announced that "President Trump's target for economic growth just got a little more distant."

That same month, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office forecast growth this year would be just 1.9%.

There were other signs of stagnation as well. Stocks had flatlined in 2016, with major indexes down slightly. Real median household income dropped that year, according to Sentier Research.

Growth had been so worrisomely slow throughout Obama's two terms in office that journalists started warning about "secular stagnation." They said the country was in a period of long, sustained, slow growth resulting from slow population and productivity growth.

In August 2016, the Times declared that "the underlying reality of low growth will haunt whoever wins the White House."

Predictions of Slow Growth

The next month, CBS News reported that "with U.S. economic growth stuck in low gear for several years, it's leading many economists to worry that the country has entered a prolonged period where any expansion will be weaker than it has been in the past."

In short, there was no upward trajectory to the economy on anyone's radar when Trump took office.

Now that the economy is outperforming everyone's expectations, Trump's critics want to pretend that the current boom was already baked in the cake.

We are the first to admit that the impact of federal policies take time to show up in the economy. But the fact is that optimism surged across the board as soon as pro-growth Trump won the election over stay-the-stagnant-course Hillary Clinton.

Now, after Trump's deregulation and tax cuts are starting to take effect, we're seeing still more signs of stronger growth.

Polls show that the public gives Trump credit for what's going on today. They, not the mainstream press, have it right.



Pocahontas goofs again

It isn’t particularly difficult to see the logic behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s decision to call America’s justice system “racist” from “front to back” last week

That sort of stuff plays well among the kind of person who would come out and vote in the 2020 Democrat primaries — and, given that most Americans outside of Taxachusetts know Warren best for her Pocahontas shenanigans and that the liberal wing of her party is already lining up again behind Bernie “It’s Naptime in America Again” Sanders, she needs to shake the tree somehow.

Oh, and two of her top rivals for the nomination — California Sen. Kamala Harris and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick — both happen to a) have been involved in the criminal justice system and b) be African-American. Quelle surprise!

While one understands her motivation, one is also somewhat confused about which tree she decided to shake. Harris and Patrick — not to mention every other person involved in the law enforcement system — could point to the comment as a sign that this is someone who’s dangerously irresponsible. And, in fact, that pointing has already begun.

Two police chiefs in the state of Massachusetts have publicly come out against Warren in tersely worded statements released since the senator made the remarks, with one saying that it “spreads false and damaging information about our members” and the other saying Warren “slapped” every officer “in the face.”

“I now cannot trust her words are real,” Yarmouth police Chief Frank G. Frederickson told the Boston Herald. “It appears she is telling the audience in front of her what she thinks they want to hear.”

While that last part isn’t necessarily a revelation about any politician, particularly not Warren, consider the fact that Frederickson’s department recently experienced the loss of Sgt. Sean Gannon, an officer killed while serving a warrant on a career criminal, according to MassLive.

Frederickson said Warren had “diminished the sincerity of her condolence efforts” and that she had “slapped in the face” law enforcement officers by her remarks.

Losing Dudley police Chief Steven J. Wojnar — who’s also president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association — was probably a bigger problem for Warren.

“As a police chief in your home state of Massachusetts, as well as the statewide association representative, I am extremely troubled by this statement,” Wojnar wrote in an open letter to Warren, according to MassLive.

“Labeling the entire criminal justice profession as ‘racist’ spreads false and damaging information about our members. We feel we do a very good job in Massachusetts of producing professional and community-oriented police officers.

“These men and women, from a variety of backgrounds, provide dedicated service to their respective communities under difficult and highly scrutinized circumstances each day,” the statement continued. “When our elected officials make generalized and inflammatory statements about our entire profession, without any information to back their position, it creates further hostility toward our officers and can damage the positive relationships with our residents that we have worked long and hard to establish.”

In a response to Frederickson, Warren tried to do what’s so often euphemistically referred to as “clarifying” her remarks.

“I appreciate Chief Frederickson’s thoughtful comments. The men and women in law enforcement work in incredibly dangerous situations,” Warren said.

“We honor those in uniform who put their lives on the line every day and those who have been killed in the line of duty to keep the rest of us safe. I spoke about an entire system — not individuals — and will continue to work on reforms to make the criminal justice system fairer.”

Leaving aside the fact that a system that was so racist would necessarily require individuals who were themselves racists, she clearly wasn’t speaking about just a “system.” She was condemning a very basic part of the American government — and by extension, the individuals it’s made up of.  In what universe would any right-thinking person interpret it this way?

If this helps Warren win the nomination, it would gladden my heart if only because it’s going to make all that effort worthless. After she clears a field of intractably liberal candidates by appealing to intractably liberal voters, she would suddenly have to confront the rest of America — an America that’s insulted by the notion that every facet of our criminal justice system is a tool of white supremacy.

There’s no way Warren is going to be able to back away from this one, and she’s going to have to find some way to own it that doesn’t derail her candidacy before it begins. Alea iacta est, as Caesar might have put it. The whole “Pocahontas” bit may have been worth a chuckle, but this morsel of uniquely Warrenian self-sabotage is going to stick with her a lot longer than her supporters probably think.



Van Jones Claims There’s No Difference Between Hateful Nazi Rhetoric And Conservative Media

Van Jones has got a very impressive deep voice.  Sadly, it is driven by a pea-sized brain

CNN host Van Jones compared Fox News host Laura Ingraham to a neo-Nazi on his show Saturday and said they were preaching the same message of hate.

Jones played a clip of one of his CNN colleagues interviewing a white nationalist in Pennsylvania and then played a clip of Ingraham discussing demographic changes in America. (RELATED: CNN’s Van Jones Supports Holding Attorney General Jeff Sessions In Contempt)

“This guy actually openly wears swastikas on his shirt and he says America is his country because he’s white,” Jones said before running the clip. “To be fair, 12 of the guy’s neighbors came out immediately and told [the CNN correspondent] they don’t agree with this guy. He doesn’t represent them and their community and they deserve a round of applause for sticking up for what’s right in this country.”

Right after praising the man’s neighbors for doing the right thing, Jones attacked Ingraham and fed the fire of division by comparing her message to that of hateful Nazis.

“I appreciate them for doing that. But here’s the thing that bothers me the most. Those same themes that were once considered so extreme are now becoming mainstream, at least in conservative media,” he continued. “Listen to Laura Ingraham on Fox News addressing millions of your fellow citizens and neighbors on our air.”

“Now, I see zero difference between what Laura Ingraham is saying on mainstream cable and what the Nazi was just saying in front of his house,” Jones concluded. “Literally, it’s the same message and it is wrong. But there is some good news in America. There are millions of people who refuse to accept this notion that America should be whites only or dominated by one race forever.”



Justice for Americans at the UN

The Trump administration is trying to secure more jobs for American citizens in the United Nations bureaucracy, as a recent State Department report finds woeful underrepresentation even though the United States contributes more to the world body than any other government.

The U.S. funds almost one-quarter of key U.N. agencies, and their staffs play a key role in implementing international policy on health, aviation, labor, and security. However, the U.N. hasn’t made a good faith effort to hire Americans under existing rules, according to a State Department report obtained by The Daily Signal.

The report, sent July 3 to members of Congress, asserts that five U.N. agencies aren’t abiding by their own rules on providing geographic representation among employees, which would require more Americans. As of last year, 739 American citizens worked in these five agencies among a total of 7,126 employees, according to the State Department.

With the advent of the Trump administration, the State Department began moving to reverse the long-running trend, which Congress first tried to deal with through legislation in 1991.

That legislation required the State Department to report to Congress on whether international organizations are making “good faith steps to increase the staffing of United States citizens and has met its geographic distribution formula.”

While the problem isn’t new, the Trump administration is taking a bigger interest in it than previous administrations, said Brett Schaefer, a senior research fellow for international regulatory affairs at The Heritage Foundation who writes often about the U.N.



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)


13 August, 2018

Angry People Think They’re Smarter Than They Are

The study below is a rather good picture of Leftists.  If you doubt that they are chronically angry, listen to any one of them for just 5 minutes when talking about President Trump:  You will hear an explosion of anger to the point of mindlessness and irrationality.

And they CERTAINLY have an unrealistically high opinion of their own ideas and wisdom.  "Just pass a law" is the usual limit of their profundity -- not for a moment foreseeing that such a law might have a lot of bad "unintended" consequences

The study below is not authoritative but it is certainly suggestive

If you know someone who's generally ill-tempered, it might please you to know that they're probably not as smart as they think they are. That's because, unlike other negative emotions, anger seems to make people overconfident about their intelligence, a new study suggests.

"Anger differs significantly from other negative emotions, such as sadness, anxiety or depression," Marcin Zajenkowski, study author and psychologist at the University of Warsaw in Poland, told PsyPost.

Previous research has shown that anger is an unusual negative emotion in that it's often associated with positive traits, like optimism. But how anger affects perceived intelligence was unclear. Zajenkowski and his colleague suspected that angry people might be more likely to overestimate how smart they are.

To test this, the researchers surveyed more than 520 undergraduate students attending schools in Warsaw. The students answered survey questions to gauge how easily and how often they get angry. Then, the students took a survey to assess their own intelligence before taking an objective intelligence test.

In general, the students with a higher tendency to get angry also overestimated their cognitive abilities, the study found. On the other hand, the students who were more neurotic, a trait that's often associated with anger, generally underestimated their intelligence. Neuroticism refers to negative traits including irrational anxiety and overwhelming distress.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the researchers found that narcissism was a key factor in how people judged how smart they were. The more ill-tempered personalities were associated with "narcissistic illusions," Zajenkowski told PsyPost.

It's important to note that while the study found that angry people tend to be more narcissistic and overestimate their brilliance, anger was unrelated to actual intelligence level. And, although the researchers found an association between the two traits, it's unclear if there's a cause and effect relationship between anger and overestimating intelligence. More research is needed to explore that link.

What the study didn't test was how anger affects perceived intelligence in the heat of the moment. The study assessed anger as a personality trait, but anger is often a temporary emotion. Additional research is needed to find out if people who don't anger easily might be overly confident in their abilities only in the moment that they're upset.



President Trump said in remarks at the White House recently that 3.5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps

Verdict: True

The number of people receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits declined by 3.6 million since Trump was elected president and 3.1 million since he assumed office.

Trump mentioned the decline in food stamp recipients, along with a number of other statistics that highlighted the health of the economy, after the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that gross domestic product grew an estimated 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018.

“More than 3.5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps—something that you haven’t seen in decades,” he said.

SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps, are vouchers that low-income Americans can use to buy food at approved retailers. States run and administer the program, while the federal government funds the benefits.

The most recent figures from the Department of Agriculture show that the number of Americans receiving SNAP benefits has declined by 3.6 million since Trump was elected president. There were 43.2 million people on food stamps in November 2016 and 39.6 million receiving benefits in April 2018.

From January 2017, when Trump took office, to April 2018, the number of SNAP recipients declined by 3.1 million people.

Trump appeared to mention the increase in the number of people receiving SNAP under President Barack Obama. “More than 10 million additional Americans had been added to food stamps, past years,” he said earlier in the speech.

There were indeed 10.7 million more SNAP recipients in January 2017, Obama’s last month in office, than in January 2009, his first month in office.

Trump incorrectly stated that the program experienced the largest decline in participation in decades under his watch, however.

Under Obama, the number of people receiving SNAP benefits peaked at about 47.8 million in December 2012 following increased enrollment during and after the Great Recession. By November 2016, there were 43.2 million people on SNAP—a decline of about 4.6 million.

President George W. Bush also saw a decline of 3.9 million SNAP recipients from November 2005 to July 2006 following a spike in enrollment due to Hurricane Katrina. Enrollment increased overall by about 14.7 million while he was in office, though.

The number of SNAP recipients under Trump temporarily spiked by 3.1 million people in October 2017 after the federal government made Disaster SNAP, or D-SNAP, benefits available for those affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida and Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

Some analysts say that lower SNAP participation can be an indicator of economic health.

“SNAP is a program that is designed to help people get through difficult times when they are not working,” Robert Doar, a senior fellow at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, told The Washington Post. “It’s taken a long time, but more people are working now.”

Some of the decline could be due to states returning to regular requirements for SNAP beneficiaries after the economy improved.

Federal law limits SNAP eligibility for 18- to 49-year-old adults without disabilities or dependents to three months in a three-year period unless the recipient works at least 20 hours per week or participates in a work training or community service program. States can request waivers to this time limit for areas with high unemployment, and many states did so after the Great Recession.

The left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that at least half a million individuals lost SNAP benefits in 2016 because the waivers expired.

Trump’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposed implementing stricter work requirements for SNAP beneficiaries, a 30 percent cut in SNAP funding over the next decade and restructuring the program so that many recipients receive boxes of nonperishable food rather than using SNAP funds to buy food at their local grocery store.

House Republicans approved major changes to SNAP when they passed the farm bill in June. The bill raises the age of SNAP recipients subject to work requirements from 49 to 59 and requires them to prove each month that they are working, among other changes.

The Senate passed a version of the farm bill that does not include major changes. Congress must now resolve the differences between the two bills.



Why Democratic Socialists Cannot Legitimately Claim Sweden, Denmark as Success Stories

Sen. Bernie Sanders and congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are popularizing the philosophy of democratic socialism, especially among younger age groups.

Meanwhile, the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) are gaining influence on college and high school campuses, claiming to have organizing activities planned at more than 250 campuses across the nation.

The YDSA website describes the group’s vision as “a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships.”

Many on the right question this vision, pointing to countries such as Venezuela and Cuba as examples of socialist disasters. Democratic socialists claim those countries implemented socialism “incorrectly” or that other factors are to blame.

They prefer to cite Norway, Sweden, and Denmark as examples of socialist success. There are, however, several key problems with that.

First, these countries are not technically socialist. By the YDSA’s definition, socialism entails a centrally planned economy with nationalized means of production. Although these countries have high income taxes and provide generous social programs, they remain prosperous because of their free-market economies.

Denmark ranks as the 10th most economically free country in The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, which cites free-market policies and regulatory efficiency as reasons for the high standard of living. Sweden is ranked 15th and Norway 23rd, both with similar descriptions of thriving private sectors and open markets.

These three countries are clearly not operating under centrally planned economies, or their economic freedom scores would be significantly lower.

Second, the success of these countries is clearly based on a capitalist foundation, and it predates the expansion of social programs. Sweden, for example, became a wealthy country in the mid-20th century under a capitalist system with low tax rates.

Social programs and high tax rates were not implemented until the 1970s, which caused the economy to significantly underperform and unemployment to rise.

In recent years, Sweden has been privatizing socialized sectors, such as education and health care, cutting tax rates, and making welfare less generous. Even though tax rates and government spending remains comparatively high, open-market policies generate the revenue to support the spending.

Finally, these countries are largely homogeneous and have a culture that is conducive to a large welfare state. Scandinavians are described as hardworking citizens with extremely high levels of social trust and cohesion.

By contrast, America is a much larger country with lower levels of social trust, and therefore, a comparison is difficult to assess. Norway, Denmark, and Sweden are not democratic socialist countries that the U.S. can be accurately compared with, and could be better described as “compassionate capitalists.”

As such, the “democratic socialists”—as they define socialism—are left with no successful examples of their vision, only disastrous ones.

SOURCE.  More on Sweden here 


Trump Supporter GOES OFF On Sanctuary Cities

This week, a video was posted depicting a black Trump supporter absolutely unloading on “open border” activists at a local government meeting.

She claims that Sanctuary cities protecting illegal immigrants from deportation are racist. Her reasoning is quite sound as well. She blasts liberal politicians for ignoring the plight of the black community in a blatant effort to pursue potential illegal immigrant voters.

Sanctuary cities are destroying the African-American community. “All the jobs are going to illegals … and they are not paying taxes …The Black Community has been destroyed by racist illegal immigrants.”

She also goes on to point out that the advantages given to illegal immigrants are not afforded to the black community. “When my people do a crime we get three strikes. When (illegal immigrants) do a crime they get amnesty, they get benefits and they’re not paying taxes.”

She affirmed that sanctuary cities’ WILL come to an end under President Trump, “You’re not going to be allowed to get away with it … Your time is going to be up,” adding her support for the President and his immigration policies, “Thank God for Trump.”

How can Democrats claim that President Trump, and the patriotic ‘America first’ movement he leads is “racist.” — While in reality, it’s been Democrats senseless policies destroying the African-American communities in America for decades.

Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans… You name it. The cities with the worst living conditions and the highest crime rates in black communities are all controlled by the Democrats.

African-American voices are now being heard under President Donald J. Trump, the President to all Americans!!



Tough Patriot Emotional After Flag Attack, Sends Chilling Message to Attacker

We don’t know much about this man. He lives in Montana. He drives trucks. He is a patriot who passionately loves the American flag. And he lives somewhere near a liberal coward who is disgusted by our flag and sees it as a symbol of hate.

Shortly after Independence Day, this patriot says, he arrived home to find a note taped to his front door. It read:

“Dear Neighbor,

“I am disgusted you would fly this symbol of hate. Judging by the trucks in your driveway I can only assume you voted for Trump. This is a disgusting house and Bozeman deserves better. If not taken down tonight, I will take it down myself. This is not a fight you want. We will win.


“Your Neighbor”

Some people might think the author of this unsigned note had a lot of guts, so steadfast in his ideology he threatened violence and theft of the patriot’s property. However, he didn’t have the nerve to put his name to paper or confront the patriot face-to-face to defend his beliefs. How tough could he be?

The patriot responded with a video in which he didn’t mince words about his loyalty and respect for the American flag and all it stands for. The video illustrates the depth of passion this patriot has for his flag.

He said he was “mind blown” that someone would have the “audacity to walk onto my property and leave a note on my front door about an American flag being up.”

“This flag, it’s a symbol of freedom. … This flag, it flies year-round at my house,” the patriot said. “It will never come down. And to the person who thinks they’re going to take it down, I’ll break your f—ing fingers. … I promise you. I promise you, this flag ain’t coming down.”

And what does the patriot hope for the flag hater? “So, public service announcement to the dips— that decided he was going to leave that note on my door: I love a good fight. Oh I do. …

“I hope my neighbor sees this.”

This anonymous attack on the flag is a perfect example of what liberal brainwashing has done to quiet American streets all across the nation. You know things have gotten out of hand when citizens in a peaceful community like Bozeman get grief for displaying the American flag.

Something tells me the Bozeman patriot is going to get the last laugh, though. His patriotism has become infectious: The video has gone viral, with thousands of views on various social media.

His message is clear: He won’t back down in defense of his flag. Flag haters in Bozeman be warned.



Bikers for Trump at Bedminster over the weekend


Elian Gonzalez Was A Dreamer Too, Forcibly Separated From Legal Guardians


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 August, 2018

Why are America’s poor people so patriotic?

A researcher with evidently Leftist thinking was puzzled by the fact that poor Americans tend to be very patriotic.  He thought they should be rebellious. So he went out and did a bunch of interviews with poor people and asked them why they were patriotic.  Below is the gist of what he found.  Following his findings, I offer some comments:

Why are America’s poor so patriotic? Specifically, what attributes do they ascribe to the United States? How do they think those attributes shape their lives? What are the limitations that they see in other countries that make the United States superior to those countries? And, crucially, how do these Americans reconcile—if they in fact do—their own difficult situation with their positive view of the country? This is a book about what sociologists would call the “narratives” of patriotism among the poor: the conceptual threads, images, stories, and visions that the economically worst-off Americans articulate about their country. It is about their stories and perspectives. It is an effort to investigate, hear, and understand firsthand the logic and reasoning of this particular segment of the American population—a segment that our wealthy and extremely powerful society seems to have forgotten in many ways or to have left behind with little consideration.

Two questions: Why do America’s poor think so highly of their country? How do they reconcile their economic difficulties with their appreciation of their country?

Why are poor Americans so patriotic? The interviews yielded three overarching narratives. First, the people I met shared a firm belief in their country’s promise of hope for every one of its citizens and, indeed, every human being on earth. The American social contract offers to each person deliverance from the ills that have plagued humanity throughout history to this very day. There is something universal and even transcendental about the United States, even if its own history has had troubled moments, with race above all. America’s spirit thus brims with generosity and a readiness to do the right thing in the world. It is an optimistic place, always oriented toward a better future. It is, not coincidentally, also God’s country: from its inception, it has been thought to hold a special place in God’s plans. One need only look at other countries to appreciate the greatness of the United States: most of the interviewees felt that even in the most advanced countries on earth ruthless and arbitrary punishment reigns, and backwardness and poverty deprive their citizens of the essentials for life. America, then, offers incredible hope and, with that, a sense of dignity that no other country can offer. To someone who struggles to end the day fed, clothed, and sheltered, this sense of hope has extraordinary importance.

The second narrative depicted America as the land of milk and honey. The interviewees saw in the United States great wealth, much of it accessible in the form of public goods and services. There are parks, public libraries with free Internet access, electricity, and potable water everywhere. America’s roads, I was told, are paved in gold. The availability of government benefits and private charities helps a great deal. One does not starve in America unless one chooses to. Such abundance of riches makes suffering from very limited resources more bearable. Inequality is not a problem, for anyone can still make it in America: all one has to do is try. Someone is always ready to help, if one is determined to succeed. Indeed, everyone from all over the world wishes to come to this wealthy and beautiful country. With these beliefs in mind, many of the interviewees expressed a sense of contentment. Again, as they told me countless times, all one has to do is look at the deprivations afflicting the poor in other countries. Opportunities are much more limited, people are barely surviving, and economies are depressed. America, then, is the place to be, especially if one has no money.

The third narrative was about freedom. Only in the United States can one truly determine one’s physical and mental existence. This is the basis of the country—its origins and history. One may not have money, but in America one has freedom—and this is the most precious of things. The ability to own guns is central: Guns represent liberty, for the country began with a violent revolution against tyranny. Guns are needed for hunting, too, which is key for feeding oneself and one’s family—something again of great importance if one lacks other resources. We should always remember that such liberty has come at great cost. Generations have served in the military, and this must be honored. In Alabama, the civil rights struggle was especially present in the interviewees’ minds. No other country on earth, I was told, can boast such commitment to freedom. Deprived of much else, such freedom is of the utmost importance to America’s poor. I encountered a fierce and almost instinctive attachment to it. This narrative took on Confederate flavors in Alabama and libertarian tones in Montana.

These were three grand narratives. In many conversations, after discussing these ideas, I pressed the interviewees to reflect on their own situation and life trajectories and asked them directly if they saw no tension between their steadfast belief in America and their own personal situations. Surely, America may be a great, unique country, but did this not contradict their own life experiences? How did they reconcile their love of country with their poverty—their struggles and difficulties?

I discovered that, in a sense, there is no contradiction or puzzle. The interviewees listed four separate reasons. First, everyone deserves what he or she gets: failure is one’s fault, not society’s. Why blame America for one’s bad choices? Second, the future looks brighter already: better things are coming soon, and there is no reason to lose faith in the country. Third, America is founded on the principle that we are all worth the same. Money is only one, and not the most important, metric: in the most fundamental of ways, because of the American social contract, a homeless person is worth as much as the president. There is nothing, in fact, to reconcile. Finally, some of the interviewees recognized that they indeed lack accurate knowledge of other countries: America is all they know, and it is impossible to entertain alternative possibilities.

Upon reflection, after returning from my travels and spending time analyzing what I heard, it became clear to me that all these themes are tied together by one underlying idea: a belief that while one belongs to America, America also belongs to each American. The Americans I met saw themselves reflected in their country: their images, and those of their ancestors who built the country, are reflected in the Pledge of Allegiance, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the American flag. America is a country of, for, and by the people. Struggling and facing innumerable personal challenges do not diminish one’s faith in the United States; in fact, in the case of the interviewees, they provide grounds for further strength and commitment to the country.


Those findings are perfectly sound but they lack psychological sophistication. The process he overlooks is that identifying with your country makes your country's characteristics yours.  Your country's successes are your successes.  "We" have done great things.  And the more the individual is having an undistinguished life, the more it is a comfort for the individual to feel that he and his fellow citizens collectively have done great things.

Humans are group animals to a significant degree so identifying with your group and feeling part of a collective is an entirely normal and natural thing to do. And that is why most people worldwide are patriotic.  The American Left are not patriotic but that is because they have anger issues.  Just listen to them talk about President Trump.  They are boiling over with anger and Trump causes it all to spill out, often in highly irrational ways. -- JR


Trump’s Latest Immigration Proposal Is Going To Save Taxpayers $57.4 BILLION

There is much weeping and gnashing of teeth from the political left over an upcoming proposal what will save American taxpayers billions of dollars as well a serve as a deterrent to illegal immigration.

The Trump administration is working on a proposal that would make it harder for legal immigrants to obtain citizenship or acquire green cards if they’ve used public welfare programs, including Obamacare, according to a new report.

A draft of the plan described to NBC News shows the administration could prevent immigrants living legally in the U.S. who have used Obamacare, children’s health insurance and food stamps, among other benefits, from obtaining citizenship.

Using Social Security Insurance already made it harder for immigrants to get legal status.

White House senior adviser Stephen Miller is spearheading the proposal, which NBC said would not need approval from Congress.

NBC News published a “leaked” draft of the proposal and liberals are already yowling like scalded cats with piercing shrieks of “racism” filling the air.

According to NBC:

Details of the rulemaking proposal are still being finalized, but based on a recent draft seen last week and described to NBC News, immigrants living legally in the U.S. who have ever used or whose household members have ever used Obamacare, children’s health insurance, food stamps and other benefits could be hindered from obtaining legal status in the U.S.

Immigration lawyers and advocates and public health researchers say it would be the biggest change to the legal immigration system in decades and estimate that more than 20 million immigrants could be affected. They say it would fall particularly hard on immigrants working jobs that don’t pay enough to support their families.

Or to put it in layman’s terms: those affected will primarily be low or unskilled workers.

The establishment media stories that are already decrying the changes even before they have even been announced conveniently omit the benefits in terms of savings to productive citizens.

Breitbart cuts through the BS by trumpeting the savings, “Trump’s Welfare Ban for Immigrants Would Be $57.4B Tax Cut for Americans”:

Such a plan would be a boon for American taxpayers, who currently spend about $57.4 billion a year on paying for the welfare, crime, and schooling costs of the country’s mass importation of 1.5 million new, mostly low skilled legal immigrants every year. In the last decade, the U.S. has imported more than 10 million foreign nationals and is on track to import the same amount in the coming decade if legal immigration controls are not implemented.

The National Academies of Science released a report two years ago, noting that state and local American taxpayers are billed about $1,600 each year per immigrant to pay for their welfare, where immigrant households consume 33 percent more cash welfare than American citizen households.

Trump’s seeking to end the “public charge” that mass legal immigration from mostly the poor and developing world would translate to an annual tax cut for American taxpayers.

Illegal and legal immigrant-headed households use nearly 60 percent more taxpayer-funded food stamps than households headed by native born Americans, a study conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) revealed in 2016.



EU caves on demands to buy more US natural gas in bid to stave off trade war

The EU has caved in to demands to buy more US gas in a bid to cool trade tensions with the world’s largest economy.

Gas and soybeans topped President Donald Trump’s list of goods he wanted the EU to buy more of during discussions in July with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The shopping list formed part of Mr Trump’s strategy of using tariffs to lever concessions from trading partners.

The plans to purchase more US gas were unveiled ahead of crunch trade talks set to take place on August 20. The summit is aimed at halting the escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of imports imposed by the US and EU in recent months.



MSNBC Gets LAMBASTED By Candace Owens When They Begin Attacking Trump

It's a marvellously eloquent performance by Candace Owens.  Log on the the original of this article and enjoy listening to her on video

Conservative commentator Candace Owens made mincemeat out of an MSNBC host and guest on Tuesday during an epic debate on race in America.

During a segment on MSNBC’s “The Beat,” Owens not only clashed with Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson, she was also forced to defend herself against anchor Ari Melber, who repeatedly cut her off and acted as if she was limited in what she could speak about.

Melber kicked off the segment with a video of Pat Buchanan from 18 years ago, and claimed that Trump also wants to “take back the culture” from minority communities. Owens unleashed on the MSNBC talking heads for making such a baseless claim.

She also argued that she didn’t appreciate only being brought on the network to fight back against another black person.

“I think the fact that every time I’m brought here, I’m being asked to dispute another black person. The black community is broken up in general. I don’t want to partake in that.  This weekend where 71 black people were shot in Chicago, 13 of them killed, and we’re not talking about that.”

Melber cut her off, asking if she had a “problem” with appearing on the show with Dyson.

Owens responded by saying she was going to “respectfully decline tearing apart the black community for the sake of television,” adding that she wants to discuss real issues and ideas to help the black community and reduce crime in Chicago.

Dyson jumped in and peddled usual liberal talking points, saying that President Donald Trump is racist and has only further exacerbated bigotry in America.

Owens attempted to respond to Dyson’s long-winded, self-serving response, but Melber cut her off again and let the professor continue his tirade.

When she was finally able to speak without Melber and Dyson talking over her, Owens noted how a mob of intolerant liberals “attacked” her and conservative speaker Charlie Kirk in Portland on Sunday when they were trying to get breakfast. The left-wing group poured water on Kirk, hurled obscenities, and used whistles and megaphones to shout in their faces after they had been forced out of the restaurant.

Melber said the “incident” she was referring to “is not necessarily this topic.”

Owens was done playing games at that point, charging that the “topic” has become the policy of many Democrats. She noted how Rep. Maxine Waters urged people to confront and harass Trump officials in supporters, and said is exactly what the left-wing mob did to her and Kirk when they were trying to eat breakfast at a public place in broad daylight.

Candace Owens: "I normally stay calm but yesterday I was fed up. Fed up with the violent Democrats using black people to push lies. Fed up with them refusing to acknowledge that we are finally winning. I will continue to defend @realDonaldTrump & the black community until we are ALL awakened.

Melber strongly implied numerous times during the heated debate that Owens — an African-American woman — was in the wrong for criticizing Democrats for failing to take any action to help black communities across America.

When she spoke about liberals mistreating her and literally forcing her out of a restaurant, the panel didn’t even bat an eye.

Despite repeated attempts from Melber to give Dyson cover and more air time, Owens took advantage of her time and made mincemeat out MSNBC for implying that she didn’t have to right to speak about race in America.

She ripped them to pieces, and Melber did his best to stop the verbal beat down she gave them.



The most common ancestries in every US state
I like this map because it shows something that a lot of people are unaware of:  That there is more German ancestry among Americans than English.  For most of the 19th century Germans were migrating to the New World for its better opportunities.  And during the war of independence, many of the "British" troops were in fact Hessians and other Germans who simply stayed on when the war was over.  The troops were German because George III was also Elector of Hanover and later King of Hanover.  The English themselves were originally Germans, however, so there was little cultural clash.  To this day, Germans in English-speaking lands tend to blend in seamlessly

Americans come from all over the world, and have countless stories about where they and their families come from.

The US Census Bureau's American Community Survey asks millions of Americans every year several questions about their economic, social, and demographic situations. One of those questions asks respondents to report their families' ancestries, from Italian to German to Mexican.

Using that self-reported ancestry data from the Minnesota Population Center's 2016 American Community Survey Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, we were able to find the most commonly self-reported ancestries in each state.

Here's the most common self-reported ancestry in each state and DC:



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 August, 2018

The diplomatic feud between Saudi Arabia and Canada shows no signs of slowing down

Pretty-boy Trudeau may not be aware of it but the Saudis are right in international law.  After the devastating religious wars in Europe, the Peace of Westphalia was drawn up and agreed to  -- in 1648.  It provides that countries will not involve themselves in the internal affairs of other countries.  That has been respected ever since and has served to avoid a lot of international conflict. Good ol' law-abiding Canada is for once outside the law -- in order to serve typically Leftist virtue claims

IT ALL started with a single tweet. Now Saudi Arabia’s bitter feud with Canada has been escalated to a new level.

Last Friday, Canada said it was “gravely concerned” by the arrest of women’s rights campaigners in Saudi Arabia, including award-winning activist Samar Badawi.

Since then, relations between the two countries have only plunged further and further.

First, the Middle Eastern giant expelled the Canadian ambassador from Riyadh and recalled his Saudi counterpart in Ottawa.

Then it suspended all Saudi state airline flights to Toronto, ended thousands of scholarship programs for Saudi students in Canada, and froze “all new business” with Ottawa.

Now, Saudi authorities have announced they will halt all medical treatments in Canada, and transfer Saudi patients to hospitals outside the country.

They’ve also moved to withdraw 800 Saudi medical students working around the country.

It’s yet another warning to the West reflecting Riyadh’s newly assertive foreign policy.

Asked if the Canadian government would consider apologising, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told journalists: “Canadians have always expected our government to speak strongly, firmly, clearly and politely about the need to respect human rights at home and around the world. We will continue to do that.”

Meanwhile in Riyadh, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters Canada needed to “fix its big mistake.  There is nothing to mediate. A mistake has been made and a mistake should be corrected,” he said. “The ball is in Canada’s court.”

He also noted the kingdom was considering taking “additional measures” against Canada, without going into detail.

Analysts say Saudi Arabia is using Canada to send a message to the world: don’t criticise our kingdom or our human rights record.

It reflects Riyadh’s newly assertive foreign policy under Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud.

“It’s pretty clear that he’s using Canada to send a message to the rest of the world that if you want to trade with Saudi Arabia, then you need to shut up on human rights,” Nader Hashemi, director of the University of Denver’s Center for Middle East Studies at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, told Al Jazeera.

He said the prince is “drunk on power”, “arrogant” and “believes that he has Donald Trump in his back pocket and can do whatever he wants”.

The United States, which has strong ties with both Saudi Arabia and Canada, has taken a neutral stance in the feud. “Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters. “We can’t do it for them. They need to resolve it together.”

President Donald Trump has been reluctant to criticise Saudi Arabia for its human rights record



How Donald Trump just keeps winning

Here's an amazing stat: In the last 14 contested Republican primaries where President Donald Trump has endorsed a candidate, his pick has won -- or is leading -- all 14 times.

That's remarkable.  And it speaks to the fact that despite Trump's weak numbers among the general populace, he remains a massively powerful force within the GOP -- someone who can make and break candidacies with a single tweet.

Take Tuesday night. Trump endorsed John James in Michigan's Republican Senate primary, Bill Schuette in the Michigan governor's race and Kris Kobach in the Kansas gubernatorial primary.

James, who had been considered an underdog prior to the Trump endorsement, won the right to face Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow. Schuette, the sitting attorney general, crushed the state's lieutenant governor and several other challengers for the right to take on Democratic former state Senate Majority Leader Gretchen Whitmer in the fall.

But Trump's biggest coup appears to be his endorsement of Kobach, the controversial secretary of state who currently holds a lead of fewer than 200 votes over appointed Gov. Jeff Colyer. Kobach, who led Trump's short-lived commission to investigate electoral fraud, is a favorite of the state's Trump conservatives but viewed very, very suspiciously by the party's establishment. His victory, if it holds, would make the Kansas governor's race competitive.

Trump, never one to avoid the tooting of his own horn, tweeted this out on Wednesday morning: "5 for 5!" Presumably, that's a reference to Trump's endorsement record on Tuesday -- counting Troy Balderson's apparent win in the Ohio congressional special election and Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley's easy win in the state's Senate primary race alongside Kobach, Schuette and James.

In a subsequent tweet, Trump offered his conclusion based on Tuesday's results: "As long as I campaign and/or support Senate and House candidates (within reason), they will win! I LOVE the people, & they certainly seem to like the job I'm doing. If I find the time, in between China, Iran, the Economy and much more, which I must, we will have a giant Red Wave!"

What Tuesday (re)proved is that Trump has tremendous power to move Republican voters behind his preferred candidate. Without the Trump endorsement, there is no way James is the Senate nominee in Michigan. And Kobach almost certainly comes up short without Trump. (Schuette and Hawley likely win without Trump, although perhaps not by the same wide margins.)

This should not be surprising -- as poll after poll has shown that Trump is among the most popular Republican presidents ever among Republicans. The latest Gallup weekly tracking poll showed that 89% of Republicans approved of the job he is doing. And that's in a poll in which Trump's overall approval among the broader electorate is just 41%!

Trump's takeover of the party is total. The Republican base is almost entirely aligned with him; those who cross Trump -- especially people in the GOP -- are made to feel the pain. (See: John McCain, Jeff Flake, Bob Corker.)



Most Of The Candidates Dimwit Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Endorsed In Yesterday's Primaries Lost

She’s not even in Congress yet, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Party’s rising star and unapologetic socialist, endorsed a slate of candidates in last night’s primaries. While all eyes were on Ohio’s 12th congressional district, Missouri, Michigan, Kansas, and Washington also had primaries.

Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Cori Bush running in Missouri’s first congressional district and Abdul El-Sayed and Fayrouz Saad in Michigan. El-Sayed and Saad were running for governor and Congress respectively; Saad was running in the Mitten State’s 11th congressional district.

 Well, it seems the seeds of a left wing revolution won’t be taking root. All of the candidates she backed for August 7th lost—all of them. It wasn’t just by a little. All of them lost quite handily—some of them by a lot

Ocasio-Cortez became a household name among left wingers for booting Rep. Jim Crowley in an upset primary win that mirrored the GOP’s ouster of then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in 2014 by conservative insurgent Dave Brat.

She’s anti-Immigration and Customs Enforcement, pro-Medicare-for-All, housing for all, etc. all of the left wing goodies you can think of; Ocasio-Cortez is for it and with it absolute economic catastrophe.

She’s proven to be clueless on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and seems to know next to nothing about the budget. She said that the military had undergone a $700 billion increase. No, not true. So, at least her left wing seeds of revolution got drowned out.

The last thing we need on the Hill are more of these clowns. I say that in general. Politically, Democrats--these are your crazed spawn. We're just here to watch the show, and see winnable races get torpedoed because these comrades are totally out of step with normal Americans.



EU Unable to Neutralize US Sanctions against Iran

The European Union has announced a new regulation aimed at shielding European companies from the impact of US sanctions on Iran. The measure, which has been greeted with skepticism by the European business media, is unlikely to succeed: it expects European companies to risk their business interests in the US market for interests in the much smaller Iranian market.

The so-called "Blocking Statute" entered into effect on August 7, the same day that the first round of US sanctions on Iran officially snapped back into place. Those sanctions target Iran's purchases of US dollars — the main currency for international financial transactions and oil purchases — as well as the auto, civil aviation, coal, industrial software and metals sectors. A second, much stronger round of sanctions targeting Iran's oil exports, takes effect on November 5.

The action follows up on President Donald J. Trump's decision on May 8 to withdraw from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal) negotiated by the Obama administration, which lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for a freeze on its nuclear program.

The Trump administration said that the deal negotiated by the Obama administration did not go far enough to curtail Iran's nuclear weapons program, or its ballistic missile program, or its malign behavior in the Middle East and elsewhere.

The reimposed US sanctions apply not only to American citizens and companies, but also to non-American individuals and companies. In a legal concept known as extraterritoriality, any company based outside of the United States must comply with American sanctions if it uses dollars for its transactions, has a subsidiary in America or is controlled by Americans.

In an August 6 statement, Trump said:

"The United States is fully committed to enforcing all of our sanctions, and we will work closely with nations conducting business with Iran to ensure complete compliance. Individuals or entities that fail to wind down activities with Iran risk severe consequences."

In an August 7 tweet, Trump repeated that threat:

"The Iran sanctions have officially been cast. These are the most biting sanctions ever imposed, and in November they ratchet up to yet another level. Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States."

In a joint statement, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the UK openly admitted that for the EU the Iran deal is all about money and vowed to protect European companies from US penalties:

"We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran, in accordance with EU law and with UN Security Council resolution 2231. This is why the European Union's updated Blocking Statute enters into force on 7 August to protect EU companies doing legitimate business with Iran from the impact of US extra-territorial sanctions.

"The remaining parties to the JCPOA have committed to work on, inter alia, the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran, and the continuation of Iran's export of oil and gas. On these, as on other topics, our work continues, including with third countries [China and Russia] interested in supporting the JCPOA and maintaining economic relations with Iran."

In a joint statement, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (pictured) and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the UK openly admitted that for the EU the Iran nuclear deal is all about money and vowed to protect European companies from US penalties. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

The Blocking Statute, originally adopted by the EU in 1996 to help European companies avoid US sanctions on Cuba, was updated in June 2018 to include sanctions the US is re-imposing on Iran. The document, riddled with EU jargon, states:

"The Blocking Statute allows EU [economic] operators to recover damages arising from the extra-territorial sanctions within its scope from the persons causing them and nullifies the effect in the EU of any foreign court rulings based on them. It also forbids EU persons from complying with those sanctions, unless exceptionally authorized to do so by the [European] Commission in case non-compliance seriously damages their interests or the interests of the Union."

In other words, the EU is prohibiting EU citizens and companies from complying with US sanctions and is authorizing EU companies hit by US sanctions to sue the US government for compensation in European courts.

In addition, European companies that do pull out of Iran without approval from the European Commission face the threat of being sued by EU member states.

Many European commentators said the EU scheme would be unworkable, especially for European multinational corporations with business interests in the United States.

The London-based Financial Times wrote:

"Diplomats and lawyers have raised serious doubts about the EU's ability to protect European businesses operating in Iran from the US measures.

"The blocking statute, first drawn up in 1996, has rarely been tested. One senior EU official said there was little legal precedent for judges in EU member states to reclaim damages from third countries like the US if sued by companies."

In France, Le Figaro wrote that European Commission's response to US sanctions was "hasty" and amounted to a "political gesture."

Le Monde described the EU's measure as a "political signal for the Iranian regime, which demanded signs of European commitment to defend the JCPOA."

"Total, Maersk and Peugeot have already decided to leave Iran. Moreover, companies investing in Iran do not seem to believe much in the effectiveness of the regulation. The oil group Total, the ship-owner Maersk or the automaker Peugeot have already decided to leave. German group Daimler announced its withdrawal from Iran yesterday. These groups are more afraid of the US's ability to implement sanctions than the EU's wrath."

In Germany, the public broadcaster ARD published an opinion article by Brussels correspondent Samuel Jackisch titled, "Well Roared, Paper Tiger — EU Defenseless against US Sanctions." He said that the EU's new policy was "logical, but largely meaningless," and an attempt by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to "defend her political legacy." He added:

"The EU can try to turn the tables on transatlantic relations, but in the end the US still comes out on top.

"The German export industry's business with Iran may not be small at around three billion euros. However, the bottom line is that the same companies export 35 times as much to the USA. The EU is demanding that its largest corporations risk the entire cake for a few more crumbs."



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 August, 2018

Oxford Study Finds Conservatives Are ‘Right To Be Skeptical’ of Scientists

An initial note:  The leading author in the paper mentioned below is Nathan Cofnas, not Confas.  It is of course an unusual name so confusion is understood. It is a Lithuanian Jewish name.

I have read the original academic journal article and rather admire the way Nathan has minimized his upsetting of applecarts.  Most social psychological research is utter bilge (examples here and here) but Nathan quotes a lot of it with a straight face. He establishes his point about biased scientists even while not criticizing a lot of biased science.

So his paper is a very scholarly and thorough discussion of three areas where the positions of the scientific establishment are unreasonably liberal. And he doesn't even mention global warming!  Conservatives have long been acutely aware of the liberal bias in academe but Cofnas gives detailed chapter and verse coverage of how that affects scientific findings.

I myself worked for ten years in a sociology department of a highly rated Australian university and rapidly became aware that all of the other teaching staff were Marxists of one stripe or another -- so it was clear from that that conservative ideas would not get fair consideration, if they were considered at all.

Cofnas mentions the difficulty that conservatives have in getting results of their research published in the academic journals.  I experienced that and had to go to great lengths to overcome it.  I overcame it by doing much higher quality work than Leftist authors were presenting  -- which was not actually that hard.

By that I am referring to the virtually universal practice among psychologists of carrying out their research using either white rats or available groups of freshman students.  Such studies are no more than childish games.  To arrive at any sort of generalizable conclusion, you have to base your research on  a representative sample of the population you wish to discuss. Normal psychological research, however, does nor use representative samples of anything.  They do not even attempt to use representative samples of freshman students!  Yet such totally useless research results are routinely presented as if they were generalizable to all humanity!  That is just about as far away from real science as you can get.  It's about as authoritative as medieval theology.

So I used that to my advantage.  I did my research using real random samples of specifiable populations. I went out and doorknocked, for instance -- something that would give almost any leftist academic the horrors. So when my papers came up for evaluation, editors and referees would have looked absurd  even to themselves if they rejected the only bit of generalizable research that they had ever seen.  Even then, however, if I questioned liberal dogma too sharply or sweepingly, my papers were rejected.  Like Cofnas I had to stick to a careful consideration of just a few detailed points.

So conservatives do well to be skeptical of conclusions from liberal social scientists. Their conclusions are not only biased, they are in general just rubbish by normal scientific standards, and blatant rubbish at that.

Wisely, Cofnas did not extend his critique to global warming. But that allegedly "scientific" theory was obviously wrong from its first formulation in the 80s.  The theory is that the worldwide expansion of industrialization after WWII led to a great increase in atmospheric CO2 and that that rise in turn caused a rise in the global temperature. 

And they were half right.  CO2 levels did shoot up steadily in that timeframe.  But here is the catch:  Temperature levels did not.  They plateaued. Over a 30 year period from 1945 to 1975 there was no rise in the global temperature.  Temperatures just bobbed up and down around a static average.  Temperatures at the end of the period were essentially the same as at the beginning.  It would be hard to think of a clearer disproof of the temperature effects of CO2.  When Warmists are confronted by that fact they mumble something about "special factors".  Special factors that exactly  cancelled out rising CO2 effects for 30 years?

Conservatives have long been skeptical of certain scientific claims, especially in regard to the science behind man-made global warming.

However, a study by the University of Oxford suggests that there may be a reason for that. In fact, they go as far as to say that conservatives have a “right” to be skeptical of scientists.

The study “Does activism in the Social Sciences Explain Conservatives’ Distrust of Scientists?” was led by Professor of Biology for the University of Oxford Nathan Confas and was first published online back in 2017. However, the study was brought to light again when it was republished this month in the recent issue of the American Sociologist.

While conservatives’ distrust in scientists has increasingly decreased every year since 1974, there has been little understanding as to why.

The research hits the well-repeated claim that conservatives often dismiss scientific claims because they contradict their religious beliefs. There are some who believe that conservatives throw out these scientific claims because, as Confas and his team note, it “threatens their worldview.”

However, Confas told Campus Reform that this was a “misguided approach.” Additionally, he said that “liberals and conservatives are equally likely to discredit science if it conflicts with their world-view.”

Confas proposed that the reason so many conservatives are skeptical is that there is an increase of liberalism within the scientific community.

He cited a recent study to prove his point. The study surveyed 479 sociology professors, and only 4 percent identified as conservative or libertarian. Compare this with the 86 percent who identify themselves as liberal or left-radical.

Additionally, Confas suggests that goal of sociology “involves reorganizing society to fight inequality, oppression, poverty, hierarchy, and the like. Its ideological orientation arose out of … civil rights, feminism, Marxism, and other progressive movements.”

But it’s not just the area of sociology where this bias is creeping in. UNT professor George Yancy published a piece titled, “Yes Academic Bias is a Problem and We Need to Address It.”

“Given the reality that academics are much more politically progressive and irreligious than the general population, one should be concerned about the potential of liberal and secular bias,” he wrote. “Those like myself are also concerned about academic bias simply because such bias can lead to bad science.”

It’s this “bias” that leads to “bad science” that is concerning to Confas. He told Campus Reform, “Taking the easy route isn’t something that I or my coauthors are tempted to do. We want to do our part to help correct the science.”

He added, “Conservatives are right to be skeptical. Take any politicized issue that is connected to some disagreement about scientific fact. I do not believe there is a single case in the last couple decades where a major scientific organization took a position that went against the platform of the Democratic Party.”



Flashback: Trump Stops Motorcade After Seeing Firefighters in Full Turnouts

President Donald Trump has made respect for the men and women who serve our communities a top priority for his administration. Whether it’s police or firefighters, he’s been conspicuously generous with his praise.

That translates into plenty of speeches and tweets, but also real-world displays like this one from Bethpage, New York.

According to BizPac Review, the incident took place in May as the president was leaving a forum on illegal immigration. (Long Island has seen a wave of violence from the MS-13 gang. The president spent part of the meeting paying tribute to families who had lost loved ones to the violence.)

That’s not what got everyone talking, however. What has created a buzz was a bunch of firemen standing to salute the president in their full turnouts — fire helmets, jackets, boots, the whole nine yards.

And, as it turned out, the president was more than willing to salute them by stopping his motorcade. The video shows several vehicles go by as the firemen are saluting. Then, as the presidential limo came by, it stopped.

A few individuals emerged from the limo, after which the very familiar figure of President Trump could be seen getting out.

Cheers greeted the president as he walked over to the group. He eventually signalled the men to come over and the two sides greeted each other warmly.

“Thank you, thank you,” Trump said as he shook the hands of the firemen.

“That’s awesome!” one of the firefighters could be heard saying. And, indeed, you can’t say they didn’t get the experience of a lifetime.

YouTube users seemed to agree. “Best president ever!” one wrote.  “President Trump…..a man for the people. He loves America and he loves her people,” another wrote.

Keep in mind that full firefighter turnout gear isn’t exactly a) light or b) cool. May isn’t the coolest month in New York, either. For these guys to be out in the street with their full gear on says a lot about how they feel about the president.

Then again, the president has said a lot about how he feels about them. Just this past weekend, Trump told an Ohio rally audience that his administration is “standing up for the heroes who protect our country.”

If these firemen are any indication, that relationship is definitely reciprocal.



Elizabeth Warren under fire after ripping U.S. criminal-justice system at Netroots Nation

She's just solid evil

Republican Senate hopeful Beth Lindstrom called Monday on Sen. Elizabeth Warren to apologize for denouncing the U.S. criminal-justice system as “racist … front to back.”

“Sen. Warren needs to apologize to every police officer, judge, corrections department employee, probation worker and the many other honest and decent people in our criminal justice system who have been smeared by her alienating and careless rhetoric,” Ms. Lindstrom said in a statement.

She referred to Ms. Warren’s comments Friday at Netroots Nation, an annual left-wing gathering, where the Democratic senator appeared as part of a session at Dillard University in New Orleans.

“Let’s just start with the hard truth about our criminal justice system,” Ms. Warren said. “It’s racist. It is. And when I say our system, I mean all the way. I mean front to back. We’re talking about the front end on what you declare to be illegal; on how you enforce it, on who gets arrested.”

Those taking umbrage at the Democratic senator’s blast included the right-leaning Boston Herald editorial board, which asked, “Is there any hard-working American who Elizabeth Warren has not condemned?”

“The United States is a terrible place. At least that appeared to be the theme of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s ominous chat at a historically black college on Friday,” said the Herald op-ed headlined, “Liz Warren keeps playing blame game.”

Ms. Lindstrom, one of three Republicans seeking the party’s nomination in the Sept. 4 primary, accused Ms. Warren of smearing those who work in the justice system to boost her chances for a possible presidential run in 2020.

“Words like this are polarizing and divisive: completely used for personal political gain for 2020, without regard for how they sound to the many good people in Massachusetts and around the country who are punishing criminals, keeping us safe and administering justice,” Ms. Lindstrom said.

Others pointed out that until recently, the Justice Department was headed by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who succeeded Eric Holder during the Obama administration. Both are black.



A compromise that might be needed for immigration reform

Rejection of House Republicans’ “compromise” immigration bill on June 27 by a lopsided 121-301 margin may be exactly what is needed to end the decades long immigration reform gridlock, if more-moderate House conservatives learn the right lesson from the bill’s failure.

The compromise bill was intended to attract support from these more moderate Republicans after a more restrictionist bill proposed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), was defeated 193-231 the previous week. Neither of the bills received a single Democratic vote.

In truth the votes, rather than serious attempts to fix immigration policy, were just political theater in advance of this Fall’s midterm elections. Everyone involved knew that neither bill would attract the necessary Democratic support needed to pass the Senate.

Because Goodlatte’s bill, which would have created legal protection for fewer immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and more severely restricted future legal immigration, received greater support, there is danger that Republicans will believe that more restrictive immigration bills may have more of a chance of passing in the future.

Although President Trump ultimately supported the compromise bill, he had previously tweeted that “Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November” and that “We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!”

That’s exactly the wrong lesson. Republicans are so deeply divided on this issue that even if they gain seats in both houses of Congress, immigration reform would still require bipartisan support to become law. To get bipartisan support they’ll have to forgo the votes of those members of Congress who want to decrease legal immigration. Both recent proposals alienated Democrats with changes that would have decreased future legal immigration through existing family reunification visas.

Though you might not know it from the angry rhetoric, U.S. public opinion has been becoming more favorable, not less, on immigration in recent years. According the Gallup Poll that asks “Should Immigration Be Kept at Its Present Level, Increased, or Decreased?” 39 percent of respondents said immigration should be kept at current levels. While 29 percent said immigration levels should decrease, that number was down from 38 percent two years ago. Similarly, the 28 percent that said immigration should increase was up from 21 percent two years ago. Opinions have trended in these directions for decades and two years of President Trump’s rhetoric hasn’t changed this. As the opinions of voters continue their trend in this direction, politicians will ultimately follow.

Any immigration reform bill that stands a chance of becoming law, with the current Congress or in the foreseeable future, will need to be less restrictive than the ones the Republicans just proposed. That’s a good thing, not just for immigrants, but for native born Americans as well.

Economists who study immigration do not find the negative consequences that many people imagine. Immigration raises the income, on average, of the native born. Immigrants create about as many jobs as they take and they don’t depress wages of the vast majority of Americans.

Passable immigration reform today would likely trade funding for a border wall for a legal pathway to citizenship for immigrants brought to the United States illegally when they were children. Law and order Republicans could claim that they were securing the border and they could defend themselves against charges of “amnesty.” Since this reform only applies to people brought here as children, they could point out that when children break most other laws in the United States they are held to a lesser standard than adults and that this is no different.

Democrats would be wise to sign on to such deal too. Net migration from Mexico has been negative since the Great Recession. So, while symbolic, the wall would do little to change immigration numbers.

Such a reform would still leave 11 to 12 million immigrants, most of whom contribute to our overall prosperity, in the United States illegally. But no politically viable proposal is possible for them at the moment. Hopefully, if voters’ opinions continue to move in the direction they have been moving, even this may be possible in the future.




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 August, 2018

The Democrat Future Isn’t Socialist, It’s Crazy

They don’t want socialism, they want Trump dead

The socialists are having a moment. At least if you believe the media.  But if the socialists were really having a moment, their big show wouldn’t be a 28-year-old birdbrain whose big achievement was beating a boring white guy in a Hispanic district he didn’t even live in.

If you’re going to take over the Democrats, you need something more to show for it than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or a senile socialist who came in number 2 in the primaries and then again in the DNC.

The Democrats are adopting socialist ideas wholesale. The 2020 Dem nominee will run on a guaranteed minimum income or ‘Welfare for All”. Along with free health care, free college and free copies of Das Kapital. And socialism polls brilliantly with the four core Dem bases of angry government workers, angry college students, angry welfare recipients and San Francisco eco-billionaires who keep all their money in Caribbean banks. But that’s because the Democrats have no ideas except hating Trump and Republicans.

Eight years of Obama ushered in primary elections notable for a nominee who jumped on every bandwagon she could catch with both feet, her socialist ankle biter who flip-flopped almost as much as she did, even flipping and flopping on the question of whether he was a Democrat, a distant third place loser running on painting all the electricity green, and a fourth placer still running against the Iraq War.

The House Dems have switched their slogan twice and no one cares. Legislative visionaries like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have never had an idea that didn’t involve their own careers. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton hollowed out the DNC and left behind a bankrupt dysfunctional shambles.

And they’re blaming that on the Russians instead of on their own self-serving shenanigans.

Trump’s victory tore the mask from the Democrats leaving them nothing but rage. Formerly mainstream Democrats are quick to embrace every insane lefty position from abolishing borders to supporting Hamas, not because they understand or believe in them, but because they’re “resisting” Trump.

The socialists think they’re winning. But they’re just the guys shouting things at a crazy mob. And the mob is not really for anything, it’s just enraged. It doesn’t want to build, it wants to tear down.

Tweak a normal person’s sense of outrage and they’re moved. Keep doing it a bunch of times and you can enlist them in a movement. Do it every 5 seconds and you drive them as crazy as rats in a Skinner Box. And if you want to see a sample of the Dem Skinner Box, here are a few Nancy Pelosi emails.

“A matter of life or death," "I'm so furious I can barely write this email," "As if it couldn't get worse today," EVISCERATED," "I'm scared", and "DOOMED".

Peak Outrage induces feelings of frustrations, fury, helplessness and despair.

That’s why you have lefties gathering together to scream at the sky. That’s not the behavior of committed activists building a socialist future. It’s what happens when leaders drive people crazy. Everyone has emotional limits, just as they have physical limits. The madness of Germans at a Hitler rally or Russians mourning Stalin is the end result of people reaching the limits of their emotional sanity.

Madness ensues.

Uncontrolled displays of love and hate, riots, violence, suicide, murder, depression and psychosis.

The ultimate beneficiaries of Peak Outrage won’t be the socialists. Crazy people who have been mainlining hate and fear for a decade aren’t really interested in nationalizing health care. They’ll cheer socialism if there’s nothing else on the table and convince themselves briefly that they care. But what they really want is someone to liberate them from their rage and helplessness by destroying the two sources of those emotions, the reviled Republicans and their own failed Democrat leaders.

They don’t want Alexadria Ocasio-Cortez. They want to be freed of their sense of helplessness.

The Russia narrative, the accusations of treason and the daily promises that Mueller will lead Trump in chains to the guillotine, are far more seductive than collectivized farming or abolishing borders.

The Democrats have become a mob looking for a leader who will make them feel strong and sure. That leader wasn’t Hillary Clinton. But it won’t be the socialist opposition either. Antifa or Black Lives Matter may be more like it. Hitting the outrage button is also all they know, but they offer a better release for that helplessness and rage than making campaign contributions to lefty candidates through ActBlue.

Democrats have embraced eliminationist rhetoric toward Republicans that teases the desires of the base, but is incapable of satisfying them short of a socialist revolution with firing squads and gulags. 

And that’s just more outrage button pushing which builds up the howling rage of Peak Outrage.

A political environment defined by craziness doesn’t favor socialists, it favors crazies. Some of those crazies may masquerade as socialists. And usually do. It’s why Communist revolutions climax with comrades killing comrades until all that’s left is the forties USSR or oughts China, Communist regimes where no one believed in socialism, just greed, power and murder.

The socialist future isn’t Sweden. It’s Cambodians being killed for wearing glasses. It’s North Koreans worshiping a fat little tyrant’s portrait. It’s Chinese Communist billionaires and a Venezuelan narcostate shooting starving mobs. The lack of gulags in Sweden isn’t proof that socialism works. It just shows that most of Europe has grown too timid to kill over even the most murderous ideologies.

(With the exception of Islam.)

The Democrats are no longer sure of the difference between whatever it is they believe and socialism. And the socialists are fighting Trump. Who’s just like Hitler. So just like WW2, it’s time to ally with Moscow to fight Russian interference in the internal corruption of the DNC.

Or something equally nonsensical.

But when the big socialist electoral success is a potentially electing a freshman member of the House and buying Bernie Sanders a third home, it’s not quite storming the Czar’s winter palace.

The trouble with the socialists is that they care about socialism while their newfound base cares about holding up Trump’s severed head on CNN while laughing and crying at the same time. The socialists think that they have the mob behind them, right up to the moment that the mob gets distracted from their latest policy paper with a Stormy Daniels story. And then backs her lawyer’s presidential campaign.

The left created a monster. And it thinks that it’s riding the monster. But you don’t control monsters.

That’s what makes them monsters.

The monster that the left created doesn’t believe in things. It hates them. It’s roaring with anger and pain. The Frankensteins of the left made the monster in their social media laboratory by taking away its hopes and replacing them with fears, keeping it angry and afraid until it was ready to open fire at a Republican charity baseball practice or phone in death threats to a congressman’s dog.

Socialists made the monster. As they always do. But as history shows us, monsters eat socialists. Ask the old Bolsheviks, Mao’s old pals or all the leftists shot by other leftists in the Spanish Civil War.

Leftist politics is based on outrage. The greater the outrage against class, race, gender or identity, the greater the totalitarian overreaction of terrorist violence it justifies. But the Pelosis and Schumers want radical outrage without radical violence. And that just leaves its base hopelessly and helplessly enraged.

The left believed that it could mutate ordinary Democrats into monsters by outraging them and then making them feel helpless in the face of that outrage until they were ready to do anything to fight back. Anything was supposed to mean showering the left with money and supporting all their candidates.

And it worked for a while. Rosie O’Donnell described her illegal campaign contributions through ActBlue as a form of midnight stress relief.

But then they hit Peak Outrage.

Dr. Franky’s monster is helpless and outraged, and convinced that the only answer is to execute Trump and all the Republicans as Russian spies. The Democrats are outdoing each other by pandering to the #Resistance on impeachment. Maxine Waters is a hero of the #Resistance for stirring up mob violence.

And that #Resistance is a lot more popular than straw bans and mandatory composting.

Socialism is boring. The only parts of it that its less intellectual adherents enjoy are the freebies and the violence. Until Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can offer actual violence, the future of the Democrats won’t be the socialists; it’ll be Maxine Waters, Ted Lieu and anyone who yells the loudest.

And then it’ll be someone who yells even more loudly than them. And finally means it.

History tells us that even before they run out of money, the socialists will run out of sanity.



Actor Peter Fonda Encourages Democrats To Commit Voter Fraud

Leftist dishonesty is limitless

Actor Peter Fonda, who readers may recall as the unhinged lunatic that called for Barron Trump to be ripped from his mother’s arms and locked away with pedophiles, has a new quest for Democrats – voter fraud.

Fonda, you see, is concerned about millennial voters, or the lack thereof. In response to a social media post discussing millennial turnout, the actor encouraged followers to take their ballots, fill them out on their behalf, and send them into the local Board of Elections.

That’s um … that’s both forgery and voter fraud.

“We have to take them by the hand and lead them to the water and teach them to drink!” Fonda railed in a since-deleted tweet. “If you have a millennial in your family, take their early ballots, fill them out and mail them in, or take the ballot to the voting place and give it to the officials… no more worrying!”

Encouraging criminal activity to promote a political cause is considered reprehensible in most circles, but a resume enhancer for our "friends" on the left.

Are you the least bit surprised that a member of the far-left would push for forgery and fraud?

It was just last month that a Democrat candidate and fresh face of the Trump resistance had her case handed over to a special prosecutor after evidence showed she had forged at least 15 signatures on her nomination papers.

In 2015, a Democrat candidate for mayor in upstate New York submitted fraudulent petitions that contained signatures witnessed by people described in very basic terms. Ernest Everett actually submitted petitions with descriptions such as “black lady at bus stop.” He was convicted for falsifying documents.

That same area saw a voter fraud scandal involving four members of the Democrat party receiving punishments ranging from hundreds of hours of community service to jail time.

A Democrat committeeman at that time claimed that voter fraud was “a normal political tactic.” Got that? Fonda is simply promoting a “normal political tactic.”



A pro-Trump Hispanic immigrant in Hollywood!

Actor, immigrant and California congressional candidate Antonio Sabato Jr. says he fully supports President Donald Trump’s promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

President Trump is threatening to shut down the government if lawmakers don’t fully fund his proposed border wall and enact his immigration priorities.

“We need to put America and Americans first,” said Sabato. “It’s time to build a nice wall to prevent human trafficking, drug trafficking and so much more coming into the country,” he said.

Sabato says he’s been viciously attacked in Hollywood and attributes the loss of work in his industry over his conservative views and his support for President Trump.

Sabato, a Republican, is running against incumbent Democrat Julia Brownley to represent California’s 26th Congressional District. He says he’s running because he wants to give back to the country that gave him his freedom and opportunities.



NRA Smacks Down Gun-Grabbing Hogg After Teen Employs Armed Security and Shows Up to HQ

When Parkland shooting activist David Hogg showed up at the National Rifle Association’s headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia to protest over the weekend, he didn’t come alone.

I’m not talking about the other protesters at the event, which apparently was astroturfed courtesy of the people at Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety. (They even provided ice cream! Thoughtful.)

No, I’m talking about armed security. Armed security at the NRA’s headquarters, which was empty on a Saturday. At an event designed to protest an organization that says Americans have the Second Amendment right to defend themselves with firearms.

You may begin to see the problem here.

According to a tweet from the NRA, Hogg’s protest Saturday was a wonderful demonstration of cognitive dissonance in action. “Today, @davidhogg111 (with armed security) and a bunch of gun-grabbing activists protested our empty HQ,” a tweet from the NRA Saturday night read.

A photo included with the tweet allegedly shows Hogg along with armed security.

Even though he was tagged in the tweet, Hogg didn’t respond to the allegations, according to the Washington Times. He also spent a full weekend on Twitter, dispensing Hogg-sized nuggets of wisdom

Let me be clear on this: I have the utmost sympathy for everything that David Hogg had to endure in the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. That said, almost everything he’s done politically since that day is proof that this is a fundamentally unserious young man who has no concept of constitutional rights, how our system works or what those who oppose him are actually defending.

If you want proof of this, you don’t have to look far. He sent out a tweet which said that you don’t fight forest fires with more fire — which is actually how you fight them



A problem of success: Labor Shortage ‘Single Biggest' Problem for Small Businesses as Record 37% Report Unfilled Jobs

A record percentage of small firms have unfilled jobs, the July jobs report released Thursday by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) shows.

“The July jobs report shows the magnitude of small businesses that are growing and hiring at record levels, creating new jobs and opportunities for the workforce, and offering employees higher compensation,” NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan said, announcing the results.

Business owners consider the current labor shortage their greatest problem, the report says: “Twenty-three percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem (up 2 points), 1 point below the record high set in May 2000." ... “Thirty-seven percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up 1 point and a new survey record high. Thirteen percent reported using temporary workers, up one point.”

The labor markets for both skilled and unskilled workers are extremely tight, prompting employers to raise wages: “Reports of higher worker compensation increased 1 point from June to a net 32 percent of all firms. Plans to raise compensation also rose 1 point to a net 22 percent, just 2 points below its recent peak of 24 percent in January.”

Still, small business owners added the largest number of workers per firm since 2006 in July, adding a net 0.37 workers per firm on average, almost double June’s rate.

These results bode well for the U.S. economy, if the labor shortage can be effectively addressed, the report concludes:

“Record job openings suggest the economy has the potential to keep up its growth pace over the next few quarters if the ‘staffing problem’ can be resolved or mitigated.”



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 August, 2018

Does an administrative agency have the power to rewrite an act of Congress?

You've never heard of "Chevron deference"?  It could affect you

The answer to that question in the headline ought to be a resounding no. Yet, by deferring to administrative agencies over the meaning of federal law, the federal courts have for decades empowered the executive branch do exactly this. Agencies now rewrite the law with regularity.

The problem is so-called Chevron deference—a doctrine that was meant to keep courts out of the detailed implementation of federal law. Courts decided to defer to administrative agencies when the law called on them to apply their specialized expertise—especially scientific expertise—to set various standards.

Unfortunately, this practice has gotten out of hand. The courts have allowed agencies to dictate the meaning of federal law and even allowed agencies to change their mind about what a federal law means.

An example is the case of the Federal Communications Commission’s regulation of the internet at issue in Berninger v. Federal Communications Commission, which is currently pending before the Supreme Court on a petition for writ of certiorari. This is a case of an agency saying the law means one thing on one day, and the complete opposite thing on another day.

Indeed, the agency has changed its mind at least three times about the meaning of this one law. This must stop, and Berninger just might be the case for the court to put an end to this foolishness.

To get an idea of the shenanigans of the FCC in this case, you need to go back in time to 2005 to a Supreme Court case titled National Cable & Telecommunications Association v. Brand X Internet Services, 545 U.S. 967 (2005). The issue in that case was whether broadband internet providers should be regulated as telephone companies (heavily regulated utilities) or information service providers (much lighter regulation under the law).

The FCC opted for the lighter version of regulation, interpreting the Communications Act of 1934 and the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The court ruled that this was a permissible interpretation of the federal law and that the decision of the FCC was entitled to deference under Chevron.

Ten years later, the FCC changed its mind and decided that the same law interpreted in 2005 now meant that the FCC had the authority to regulate broadband internet companies as if they were telephone companies. The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC’s new decision was also entitled to deference under Chevron.

The following year, with a change in personnel, the FCC changed its mind yet again ruling that broadband internet companies were really just information service providers and not subject to heavy regulation by the FCC. The law that Congress wrote did not change during this time—only the interpretation of the law by the FCC.

Justice Antonin Scalia was fond of saying: “Words have meaning. And their meaning doesn’t change.” But that is not the case if an administrative agency is allowed to change its mind on the meaning of a statute on a whim.

The words of the statute lose all meaning if a court must permit the agency, and only the agency, to interpret and reinterpret the words Congress wrote into the law. At that point it is the agency, not Congress, that is writing the law. Even worse, it is the agency, not the courts, interpreting the law. The agency becomes a law unto itself, answerable to nobody.

Chevron deference was meant to cure the problem of an activist judiciary crusading to implement its own vision of appropriate regulation. It has led to the greater problem, however, of agencies rewriting the law (through “interpretation”) to pursue their own activist agendas never authorized by Congress.

It is time for the court to put an end to this violation of separation of powers. If the law is clear, then require the agency to enforce it. But if the law is not clear, send it back to Congress and let the elected representatives make it clear.

Chevron deference makes sense when Congress is asking an agency to use scientific expertise to set appropriate limits for air pollutants or exposure to dangerous chemicals. It violates the Constitution, however, when it is used to allow agencies to change their minds on what a law means.



Paul Kengor: ‘A Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism and Socialism’

Communism wanted to disrupt the social order, particularly when it comes to property, which is the opposite of the goal of conservatism, author and professor Paul Kengor said Wednesday at the Young America’s Foundation’s National Conservative Student Conference in Washington, D.C.

In his presentation, “A Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism and Socialism,” Kengor aimed to give the students attending the conference the education they will not get at their liberal universities, specifically in economics classes.

“This is kind of everything you want to know about Marx and communism that your professor with a bust of Karl Marx isn’t going to be telling you about,” Kengor said.

Marx (1818-1883) acknowledged that communism, particularly its views on property, were contrary to the “social and political order of things,” Kengor said. This view, along with the fact that communism seeks to “abolish the present state of things” and believes there are no moral absolutes, is the opposite of conservatism.

Kengor applied this view to current-day progressivism, as well, particularly secular progressives.

“[Secular progressives] are always changing,” Kengor said. “They’re against whatever is in the past. There’s no moral absolutes. It’s completely unlike conservatism, which believes in first things, permanent things, moral absolutes, right? A set of basic definitions of basic things.”

Kengor continued, “Progressives believe that they’re always progressing toward the truth. They’re always changing, they’re always evolving,” a Darwinian-like process.

Kengor specifically referenced liberals’ and Democrats’ definition of marriage. In 2015, a left-leaning Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage to be a right in Obergefell v. Hodges. However, less than 20 years prior, in 1996, former Democratic President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act that said, for federal purposes, marriage was between one man and one woman.

Kengor also said The Communist Manifesto, written by Marx and his long-time financial supporter Frederich Engels, established immediately that communism wanted to abolish private property, and that the rest of the book “doubles down” on this thought.

He also said Marx acknowledged that his view on property stood contrary to the current “cultural and political order of things.”

“Marx said that communism represents the ‘most radical rupture in traditional relations,” said Kengor. “This is a totalitarian ideology that really seeks to fundamentally transform human nature.”

In the 20th century, communist regimes in Russia, Eastern Europe, North Korea, China, Vietnam, Cuba, and Cambodia were responsible for the death of more than 100 million people, according to The Black Book of Communism (Harvard University Press).



‘In prison for advocating better US-Russia relations’: Butina lawyer on her ‘misunderstood’ case

A Russian anti-government activist remained free in Russia but the Land of the Free locked her up

The media continues to misrepresent the “unprecedented” case against Maria Butina, even as the US government backpedals on allegations levelled at the Russian activist, her attorney told RT in an exclusive interview.

Robert Driscoll said that despite the “tsunami” of negative media coverage aimed at his client, he’s confident that Butina will have a strong defense once the facts of the case are aired in court. Butina, 29, was arrested on July 15 in Washington, DC, and charged with failing to register as a foreign agent of Russia and conspiring against the United States.

The Russian national arrived in the US on a student visa in August 2016 to study for a master's degree at American University, becoming involved with the National Rifle Association (NRA) and conservative activist circles. The US government claims that her networking and political activism was part of work she did on behalf of Moscow.

However, Driscoll explained to RT that allegations made by the US government had been addressed months earlier, when Butina voluntarily testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee, providing thousands of pages of documents to help clear her name. Describing the case as “unprecedented,” Driscoll also took the media to task, pointing out that the facts of the case do not align with the sensational headlines being churned out by US news outlets.

An unprecedented case

The charges against Butina set “a dangerous precedent on a number of fronts,” Driscoll told RT. Using ongoing political upheaval over tariffs as an example, Driscoll said that Chinese businessmen attending a conference in the US, and who advocate for a resolution to the brewing trade war between Washington and Beijing, could be “subject to the same theory that they're agents of a foreign government infiltrating the US.”

Driscoll has previously called the charges against Butina “simply a misuse of the Foreign Agent statute, which is designed to punish covert propaganda, not open and public networking by foreign students.”

Government already backpedalling?

According to Driscoll, the US government has already walked back one of the more sensational claims it has made – that Butina was preparing to flee to Russia at the time of her arrest.

“The government kind of backed off that because I confronted them in court. I sent the government an email at the end of June, telling them she was leaving to move to South Dakota with her boyfriend. So the government was well-aware she was moving. She wasn’t fleeing anywhere, she certainly wasn’t fleeing to Russia,” Driscoll said. “They surveilled her going to UHaul to get boxes – I don't think there's a way to get to Russia by land.”

Rehashing old allegations

Notably, Driscoll said that the US government’s claims against his client had already been addressed months ago, as Butina had voluntarily cooperated with the Senate Intelligence Committee after receiving a letter from the committee in February.

“She consulted me before we went in there, and she voluntarily testified for the committee – she testified for eight hours. We produced thousands and thousands of pages of documents to the committee. We answered every question they had, and explained basically all the types of allegations that the government has made in this subsequent criminal case. I think eventually, when everyone sees that, when that becomes public, that will help her defense as well.”

Where's the espionage?

Driscoll expressed frustration at the way that his client was being presented in the media, and said he felt it was his duty – within limits – to push back against inaccurate reports claiming that Butina has been accused of spying for Russia.

“As I said the day of the hearing, it's like an eyedropper of commentary from me against a tsunami of negative press from everyone else,” he said. In response to reports that the judge presiding over the case had warned him against “crossing a line” by speaking to the media, Driscoll noted: “I think frankly the risk is nil that a jury is going to be prejudice in favor of my client.”

Breathless headlines about Butina’s alleged activities in the United States read like a spy novel, but the US government's case against the Russian student and gun activist is far more mundane, Driscoll said.

“If you read the indictment of the case, she is alleged to be an agent of Russia who failed to register with the attorney general. Essentially, that means that they have not charged her with espionage and if you read the allegations against her, none of the allegations have anything spy-like about it. Essentially, the government is conceding that even under their own theory, if she had filed a piece of paper with the attorney general's office at the beginning of her trip to America, everything she did was legal.” As Driscoll observed, “people misunderstand a lot of basic things about this case.”

Sex for influence? Still waiting for evidence

Lurid tales that Butina had used offers of sex to navigate the halls of power in Washington have yet to be substantiated by actual evidence – and come off as rather sexist, Driscoll told RT. He added that the allegations were particularly damaging to Butina because “it makes [her case] more like a spy novel, and frankly easier for the public to digest. So editors and producers like those kinds of allegations.”

But the government has yet to provide evidence for their clickbait claims, according to Driscoll.

“[The honey trap] allegation was set forth in a proffer by the government, meaning they did not produce evidence to back up that allegation at the time. We’re still waiting to see that, and we're not sure that it even exists, or that it exists in any meaningful form.”

He added that he thought the US government'’s unproven allegations – which have been dutifully parroted by the media –  were "unfair, and kind of sexist.”

“It’s very hard to see your client kind of dragged through the mud like this, which is why I’ve been trying to push back on that.”

Politically motivated?

Driscoll said it was hard to believe that his client’s arrest was politically-motivated, but stated that he was hesitant to say the case was “completely apolitical, because it’s hard to imagine a national of another country being treated the same way. I think we're in a little bit of a Russophobic time.”

Potentially political motivations aside, Driscoll expressed confidence that his client would receive a fair trial – although acknowledged that overwhelmingly negative news coverage meant that Butina was, to a large extent, already being tried in the media.

“We’ll work hard to make sure she does [get a fair trial], and the judge will work hard to make sure she does. I think things in the end hopefully will be fair for her if it ends up in a trial.”

The ultimate irony

Describing his client as “amazingly bright,” Driscoll said that Butina never imagined that she would find herself in an American prison cell.

“I think there’s an irony to the fact that I think she always thought that if she was going to be in prison, that she would be imprisoned in Russia for advocating gun rights if she went too far with that, and now she’s in prison in the US for advocating better US-Russia relations.”

Driscoll said that Butina was in good health and spirits – despite her unforeseen arrest.

“If this gets back to her parents, I want them to know that she should be in touch soon, and that she’s healthy and well under the circumstances, and we’re doing our best to visit her every day, and make sure to keep her spirits up.”



Peterson on IQ

A very wide-ranging but totally correct survey of the facts


Some more history

I have just added some more material, mostly pictures, to my notes about Theodore Roosevelt.  See here


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)


6 August, 2018

He fights

This is from last year but is very relevant to current Leftist attempts so brand conservatives with incivility

My Leftist friends (as well as many ardent #NeverTrumpers) constantly ask me if I’m not bothered by Donald Trump’s lack of decorum. They ask if I don’t think his tweets are “beneath the dignity of the office.”

Here’s my answer: We Right-thinking people have tried dignity. There could not have been a man of more quiet dignity than George W. Bush as he suffered the outrageous lies and politically motivated hatreds that undermined his presidency.

We tried statesmanship.

Could there be another human being on this earth who so desperately prized “collegiality” as John McCain?

We tried propriety – has there been a nicer human being ever than Mitt Romney?

And the results were always the same. This is because, while we were playing by the rules of dignity, collegiality and propriety, the Left has been, for the past 60 years, engaged in a knife fight where the only rules are those of Saul Alinsky and the Chicago mob.

I don’t find anything “dignified,” “collegial” or “proper” about Barack Obama’s lying about what went down on the streets of Ferguson in order to ramp up racial hatreds because racial hatreds serve the Democratic Party.

I don’t see anything “dignified” in lying about the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi and imprisoning an innocent filmmaker to cover your tracks.

I don’t see anything “statesman-like” in weaponizing the IRS to be used to destroy your political opponents and any dissent.

Yes, Obama was “articulate” and “polished” but in no way was he in the least bit “dignified,” “collegial” or “proper.”

The Left has been engaged in a war against America since the rise of the Children of the ‘60s. To them, it has been an all-out war where nothing is held sacred and nothing is seen as beyond the pale.. It has been a war they’ve fought with violence, the threat of violence, demagoguery and lies from day one – the violent take-over of the universities – till today.

The problem is that, through these years, the Left has been the only side fighting this war. While the Left has been taking a knife to anyone who stands in their way, the Right has continued to act with dignity, collegiality and propriety.

With Donald Trump, this all has come to an end. Donald Trump is America ’s first wartime president in the Culture War.

During wartime, things like “dignity” and “collegiality” simply aren’t the most essential qualities one looks for in their warriors. Ulysses Grant was a drunk whose behavior in peacetime might well have seen him drummed out of the Army for conduct unbecoming.

Had Abraham Lincoln applied the peacetime rules of propriety and booted Grant, the Democrats might well still be holding their slaves today.

Lincoln rightly recognized that, “I cannot spare this man. He fights.”

General George Patton was a vulgar-talking.. In peacetime, this might have seen him stripped of rank. But, had Franklin Roosevelt applied the normal rules of decorum then, Hitler and the Socialists would barely be five decades into their thousand-year Reich.

Trump is fighting. And what’s particularly delicious is that, like Patton standing over the battlefield as his tanks obliterated Rommel’s, he’s shouting, “You magnificent bastards, I read your book!”

That is just the icing on the cake, but it’s wonderful to see that not only is Trump fighting, he’s defeating the Left using their own tactics. That book is Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals – a book so essential to the Liberals’ war against America that it is and was the playbook for the entire Obama administration and the subject of Hillary Clinton’s senior thesis.

It is a book of such pure evil, that, just as the rest of us would dedicate our book to those we most love or those to whom we are most indebted, Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer.

Trump’s tweets may seem rash and unconsidered but, in reality, he is doing exactly what Alinsky suggested his followers do. First, instead of going after “the fake media” — and they are so fake that they have literally gotten every single significant story of the past 60 years not just wrong, but diametrically opposed to the truth, from the Tet Offensive to Benghazi, to what really happened on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri — Trump isolated CNN.. He made it personal.

Then, just as Alinsky suggests, he employs ridicule which Alinsky described as “the most powerful weapon of all.”... Most importantly, Trump’s tweets have put CNN in an untenable and unwinnable position. ... They need to respond.

This leaves them with only two choices. They can either “go high” (as Hillary would disingenuously declare of herself and the fake news would disingenuously report as the truth) and begin to honestly and accurately report the news or they can double-down on their usual tactics and hope to defeat Trump with twice their usual hysteria and demagoguery. The problem for CNN (et al.) with the former is that, if they were to start honestly reporting the news, that would be the end of the Democratic Party they serve. It is nothing but the incessant use of fake news (read: propaganda) that keeps the Left alive.

Imagine, for example, if CNN had honestly and accurately reported then-candidate Barack Obama’s close ties to foreign terrorists (Rashid Khalidi), domestic terrorists (William Ayers & Bernardine Dohrn), the mafia (Tony Rezko) or the true evils of his spiritual mentor, Jeremiah Wright’s church.

Imagine if they had honestly and accurately conveyed the evils of the Obama administration’s weaponizing of the IRS to be used against their political opponents or his running of guns to the Mexican cartels or the truth about the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the Obama administration’s cover-up.

So, to my friends on the Left — and the #NeverTrumpers as well — do I wish we lived in a time when our president could be “collegial” and “dignified” and “proper”? Of course I do.

These aren’t those times. This is war. And it’s a war that the Left has been fighting without opposition for the past 50 years.

So, say anything you want about this president - I get it - he can be vulgar, he can be crude, he can be undignified at times. I don’t care. I can’t spare this man. He fights for America!



The mythical “rules-based international order”

How often do you hear about the “rules-based international order”? It just rolls off the tongue and grabs headlines, doesn’t it? But that was not always the case.

Do a Factiva search of the three main newspapers in the US, Britain and Australia: The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal; The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian; The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian ­Financial Review.

Insert the words “rules-based” and “international order”, and you will find that in the 30 years from 1985 to 2015 the term was used only 38 times. However, since ­Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign on June 16, 2015, the term has been used 321 times (as of July 30).

The logic is clear. Western journalists, scholars, politicians and policymakers all too often refer to the rules-based international order because its demise is blamed primarily on Trump’s “America first” agenda. By raising tariffs, weakening alliances, withdrawing the US from international agreements and supping with the devil — from Kim Jong-un at Singapore to Vladimir Putin at Helsinki — the US President has left a void in world leadership. As a result, he has undermined faith in the open, free international order of the post-Cold War era.

It’s a reassuring argument. For if almost everything is the fault of Trump, the problem is temporary and can be fixed. However, it’s an explanation that distracts us from contemplating more uncomfortable possibilities, ones that may cast doubt on deeply held convictions about international relations since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

For there are several fatal flaws that have helped undermine the effectiveness of the rules-based order so beloved by the foreign policy elites. Here are four of them.

It was widely held that democracy was the wave of the future. With the collapse of Soviet communism, it was assumed there was no viable alternative to liberal democracy: it was “the end of history”, in the fashionable phrase of the day. Almost every nation was bound to become a liberal democracy. It would be relatively easy to create a liberal international order because spreading democracy would meet little resistance.

In 1987, according to leading human rights watchdog Freedom House, 34 per cent of the world’s nations were free. By 2007, that rose to 47 per cent.

But in the past decade the number of liberal democracies has been declining. Indeed, some leaders today, from Turkey’s Recep Tayyip ­Erdogan to Hungary’s Viktor Orban, champion illiberal democracy.

To the extent this trend continues, it will be difficult to create a world in which almost all nations are liberal democracies.

The second illusion of the post-Cold War era was that nationalism was a thing of the past. Some pundits even proclaimed the end of the nation-state. However, as the populist explosion across Europe shows, national identity remains a powerful force. Because nationalism is all about self-determination, it does not fit with a situation where international insti­tutions — from the EU to the World Trade Organisation — make policies that have a profound effect on their member states.

No wonder most British citizens voted to leave the EU in 2016: they felt their nation had surrendered too much power to Brussels and it was time to reassert British sovereignty.

The third illusion of the rules-based international order that has been badly damaged is the belief in co-operation among the rival powers.

In the 1990s, it was widely assumed that the more communist China and post-communist Russia integrated into the global economy and became members of international institutions, the likelier they would become peaceful and even democratic.

However, neither China nor Russia has embraced Washington’s efforts to spread the liberal international order. Far from it. Xi Jinping is the most authoritarian leader since Mao Zedong and China is more assertive than ever. Putin is a modern-day tsar who will play hardball to protect what the Kremlin sees as vital strategic interests in its back yard.

For China and Russia, being fully absorbed into the liberal international order means allowing Washington to dominate the system militarily as well as economically and politically. Neither is going to want US military forces in what they deem as their spheres of influence.

In recent years, Beijing’s leaders have sought to create a sphere of influence in East Asia in the hope they will push the US out of the western Pacific, just as the Americans pushed the European powers out of the Western hemisphere in the 19th century.

In 2014, almost three years before Trump arrived in the White House, Putin annexed Crimea (home of the Russian Black Sea fleet) in response to the Western-backed coup to topple a pro-Russian regime in Kiev weeks earlier. After seeing decades of Western expansion to its doorstep, Moscow has been pushed to the point where it is now committed to undermining NATO and the EU.

The fourth illusion of the post-Cold War era was the belief that the US, as the sole remaining superpower, was seemingly invincible. As Charles Krauthammer put it in 1990, the US should “lead a unipolar world, unashamedly laying down the rules of world order and being prepared to enforce them”.

However, in the years since the end of the Cold War, the US has fought seven wars — the Gulf, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Iraq-Syria — and it has been at war for three out of every four years during that period. Wars, by the way, that Trump says he opposed.

Pax Americana, remember, had been waning for several years before Trump’s election. Without an activist and assertive US, moreover, there is no plausible way to uphold the liberal international order. In the domestic realm, it’s a bit like having courts without a police force.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop speaks for many when she says: “The rules-based order will quickly fray if it is perceived that advantage can be gained by flouting it or working around it.”

However, that order frayed well before Trump. And its underlying problems cannot be fixed.

For all the praise recently lavished on the rules-based international order, our leaders fail to grasp the irrepressible reality of power politics.



Big government at work in Seattle

Once again, the oh-so progressive, oh-so enlightened Seattle City Council is showing the rest of the country what not to do. The idealistic leftists who control the Council are wasting millions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars in failed attempts to solve problems the Council members created.

All this is turning Seattle into the poster city for the failure of Big Government. The city best known for fish markets, coffee stores, rain and flannel-wearing musicians is now becoming legendary for its incompetent leadership and its financial boondoggles.

The latest example of Seattle senselessness is the Council’s costly and deeply flawed efforts to get more people riding public transportation and bicycles. Other than spending lots of money, this effort isn’t accomplishing anything.  

Seattle was one of the first cities to get electric streetcars in the U.S., with the first electric car entering service in 1889. With over a century of experience, you would think the city would know how to handle public transit. Not so. Taxpayers are paying a big price for the incompetence of city officials.

The public transportation system in Seattle is a mess. Construction costs for new and upgraded streetcar and light rail lines are skyrocketing well above estimated costs.

One of the more unbelievable mistakes made was the purchase of 10 new streetcars last fall. Apparently, when the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) ordered the cars no one thought to check the measurements.

The order was placed for street cars that are likely too big for the tracks and the maintenance barn. The project is already $50 million over budget, not including the $52 million it cost for the 10 cars that may be useless. How has no one been fired for this?

Not only is Seattle having problems with its streetcar projects, but its bike lane experiment has also been an unmitigated financial disaster. In 2015, Seattle voters approved a $930 million transportation tax to fund something called called “Move Seattle.”

The nearly $1 billion initiative made bold promises, while increasing average property taxes by $275. One of the bold promises was 50 miles of bike lanes.

Many voiced concerns about the price tag of the ambitious project. After looking at the most recent costs of the bike lanes, their concerns were clearly warranted.

The city’s initial budget estimated $854,000 per mile for construction of the bike lanes and greenways. Incredibly, so far stretches of the bike lanes are costing over 1,000 percent more than expected.

The bike lane on Seventh Avenue clocks in at $13 million per mile, while the Second Avenue lane is $12 million per mile. At this rate, the bike lanes alone will cost more than the entire Move Seattle project.

Of course, no one has been held accountable for the cost overrun, as this is Seattle, where mistakes get people promoted.

Knowing all this, the Seattle City Council still voted to push more bike lane policies. On Monday, a resolution passed calling for SDOT to make sure bike lanes are connected, meaning yet more construction.

I’m not sure what is more infuriating – the fact that a bike lane project that didn’t connect all the lanes was approved in the first place, or that after monumental cost overruns the City Council’s answer was to spend yet more money.

What is truly amazing is that Seattle is trying to increase the number of bicyclists on the street at the same time it wants to increase the streetcar and light rail lines. As any cyclist can attest, rail lines and bicycle tires are a dangerous mix. Expanding both is sure to lead to more accidents.

Seattle and Sound Transit are already being sued for the tragic death of Desiree McCloud. The young woman was in a bike lane when her tire got caught in the train track, causing a horrific crash. McCloud was hospitalized and later died of her injuries.

With its spendthrift and clueless way, the Seattle City Council is showing all Americans the importance of voting in local elections. Too many us of neglect to do this, focusing on elections for president, national and statewide offices.

Local government is closest to the people and in many ways can have the most direct impact on our lives. In Seattle, big-spending liberals trying to fulfill their dreams are creating nightmares for the people of the city.



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 August, 2018

A Novel Defense of Bad Social Psychology Studies

They may not be true, but they feel true (!).  It's very similar in climate studies.  They WANT their consensus to be true

ANDREW FERGUSON below points out that scientific studies that go against the accepted narrative in that science risk abuse and various attacks on the author from champions of the mainstream view.  That certainly happens in climate science. 

Another much more common strategy to deal with attacks on the consensus is simply to ignore the discordant writer and his findings.  That is what happened to my work. I had over 200 papers in print that attacked the dominant Leftist explanation of racism but they were all ignored.  They were seldom even referred to let alone generating any doubts about the consensus

Normally a mini-essay by a journeyman reporter for the New York Times would not be worth rebutting with another mini-essay. We can all agree that the world has quite enough mini-essays as it is. But the recent piece by science writer Benedict Carey is a landmark in its own small way. It demonstrates two related cultural dilemmas—a crisis in social science, usually called “the replication crisis,” and a crisis in the news business, as yet unnamed. And it shows how our “thought leaders” hope to evade both of them.

The crisis in the social sciences has grown so obvious that even mainstream social scientists have begun to acknowledge it. In the past five years or so, disinterested researchers have reexamined many of the most crucial experiments and findings in social psychology and related fields. A very large percentage of them—as many as two-thirds, by some counts—crumble on close examination. These include such supposedly settled science as “implicit bias,” “stereotype threat,” “priming,” “ego depletion” and many others known to every student of introductory psychology. At the root of the failure are errors of methodology and execution that should have been obvious from the start. Sample sizes are small and poorly selected; statistical manipulations are misunderstood and ill-performed; experiments lack control groups and are poorly designed; data are cherry-picked; and safeguards against researcher bias are ignored. It’s a long list.

The second dilemma has to do with the first, though it is less often discussed. The great bulk of journalism—what used to constitute the stuff of a large metropolitan daily newspaper—involves only a handful of general subjects. We read sports, politics, weather, celebrity doings, and pop science. Without them the trade would collapse. Readers and editors alike especially love stories that begin “A new study finds . . . ” or “Scientists have discovered . . . ” This last sort of news—easily digested findings that scientifically explain the mysteries of human behavior—is fed and constantly replenished by the same social science whose elemental assumptions are withering before our eyes. This is bad news for the news.

The circle is vicious indeed. Journalism craves pop-science stories from researchers, who like publicity and must get their work into print, according to the pitiless mandate of publish or perish. The researchers’ urgency encourages corner-cutting and conclusion-jumping, which conveniently tend to produce flashy findings, which are inhaled by news outlets, which publish them under the headline “Researchers find!” and then turn back to the researchers to demand more, more, more.

The growing realization of this unhealthy co-dependency is the kind of thing that can ruin a science writer’s day—his livelihood, too. For Benedict Carey, the Times science writer, the collapse of social psychology is an understandably painful subject. The tone of his mini-essay is mournful, as if he’s watching an old friend walk to the electric chair.

He opens his article by mentioning the 50-year-old Stanford Prison Experiment, a simulation designed to prove that people in positions of power are more likely to behave cruelly than the Dorothy Gales among us, the small and meek. The prison experiment, which required psychology students to play-act as prisoners and prison guards, launched a thousand other experiments that used its findings as an unquestioned premise. The unique dangers of power disparities—as found, for example, in capitalist societies—became a theme of social science, confirming the leftish, class-based politics of social psychologists.

In the last 10 years, thanks to several whistle-blowing researchers working independently, the prison experiment and its findings have been largely discredited. The editor of at least one popular textbook has removed mentions of it. It turns out that the behavior of college students in role-playing exercises under the watchful eye of their professors doesn’t tell us much about the behavior of ordinary people in the real world, no matter how powerful or powerless they are. This has surprised social psychologists. Many of them still refuse to believe it.

Carey also mentions another famous, and much cuter, experiment called the Marshmallow Test. It, too, he notes glumly, has been subverted by further examination. In the marshmallow test, young and adorable children were filmed as they tried not to eat marshmallows. The researchers concluded that children who were taught the ability to delay gratification would, thanks to this single trait, grow up to have happier and more successful lives. On the basis of the marshmallow experiment, policymakers over the next generation developed character-building programs that became all the rage in the fad factories of public education. Teach a kid self-control when he’s 5, went the thinking, and 20 years later you’ll have a college graduate on your hands.

Anyone uncontaminated by social science would understand this proposition to be laughably mechanical and simplistic. And even social scientists are now seeing that the study was severely limited in application. Almost all the kids in the test were white and well-to-do; the results didn’t take into account family stability, the level of parents’ education, the behavior of peers, or any of the other infinite factors that form a child’s character. For nearly 30 years the “marshmallow effect” was science. Now it’s folklore.

Carey could have picked dozens of other examples. Every few weeks, it seems, another established truth of social science comes a cropper. But Carey is a man of faith, as believers in social science must be. He doesn’t want to let go. He is wounded by critics who think the replication crisis somehow undermines social psychology’s standing as science. “On the contrary,” he writes. The crisis proves social science is self-correcting, just the way real sciences are.

“Housecleaning is a crucial corrective in science,” Carey writes. This is true. He also says “psychology has led by example.” This is not true. A science cannot correct itself unless its findings are subjected to replication, but even now such self-examination is rare in social science—indeed, it is often deemed seditious. Reformers and revisionists who question famous findings are subjected to personal and professional abuse from colleagues online and elsewhere.

Still, Carey insists, psychology is a science. It’s just not a science in the way that other, fussier sciences are science. “The study of human behavior will never be as clean as physics or cardiology,” he writes. “How could it be?” And of course those farfetched experiments aren’t like real experiments. “Psychology’s elaborate simulations are just that.”

These are large concessions, but Carey doesn’t seem to realize how subversive they are. Those “elaborate simulations” are held up by social scientists as experiments on a par with the controlled experiments of real science. We are told they re­-create the various circumstances that human beings find themselves in and react to. The only reason anyone pays attention to social psychology is that its findings are supposed to be widely, even universally, applicable, as the findings of the physical sciences are. Otherwise it’s unlikely news outlets would hire reporters to write about social science.

Carey’s defense of social psychology fits the current age. It is post-truth, as our public intellectuals like to say. “[Social psychology’s] findings are far more accessible and personally relevant to the public than those in most other scientific fields,” Carey writes. “The public’s judgments matter to the field, too.”

Okay, but are the findings true? Carey’s answer is: Who cares? The headline over his piece summarizes the point. “Many famous studies of human behavior cannot be reproduced. Even so, they revealed aspects of our inner lives that feel true.”

Feeling true is what’s important. “It is one thing,” Carey goes on, “to frisk the studies appearing almost daily in journals that form the current back-and-forth of behavior research. It is somewhat different to call out experiments that became classics—and world-famous outside of psychology—because they dramatized something people recognized in themselves and in others.”

The public likes them. They’re famous. They’re classics! And they feel true.

Or true-ish, anyway. This is good enough for the New York Times and its guardians of science. They have adapted the scientific method to the Trump era.



An airhead


CNN Anchor Asks Same Question 3 Times, Farmer Knows Exactly How to Answer

A CNN host gave a soybean farmer three swings at a chance to criticize President Donald Trump’s trade policy, but in the end it was the host who struck out.

On Wednesday CNN’s Brooke Baldwin interviewed soybean farmer Mark Jackson. Trump has slapped tariffs on Chinese imports, resulting in Chinese retaliation that has sapped soybean sales.

In response, the Trump administration has authorized about $12 billion to be used to help farmers ride out the storm until Trump and China can reach a new trade policy.

“Farmers are resilient. They understand that China has not been playing fair,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said last month, according to CNBC. “They are patriots, but they also know that patriotism can’t pay the bills and that’s where they are concerned.”

Trump has also worked to increase soybean sales to Europe, as well as liquified natural gas.

With that as the background, Baldwin went sniffing for concerns about Trump and his policies.

“Are you supportive of what the president’s doing?” Baldwin asked on “CNN Newsroom” on Wednesday, according to TheBlaze. “And you know we talked a lot, I talked to a pork farmer last week about, you know, this whole $15 billion bailout for a lot of farmers who needed it.”

“Are you in support of the president and do you have any concerns that he’s fighting this on multiple fronts?” she added. “Are you worried about that hitting you long-term?”

Jackson would neither pretend there was not a problem nor criticize Trump.

“Yeah I mean everyone’s concerned. As far as the direction that it’s going now, I think, as far as whether we support the president or not, it’s a matter that the hand has been dealt and I think at this point in time, let’s look at the bigger picture,” he said.

Jackson then showed that he understood the bigger picture. “That China is, they are abusing the intellectual property rights and there are a lot of other factors involved here,” he added.

“Soybeans are just a $14 billion element in a $300 billion plus maneuver here,” Jackson explained. “So I think from that perspective we are probably the biggest target because we are the smallest population, given that 99 percent of the people in the United States do not farm.”

Baldwin wanted one more shot at Trump. “But, Mark, let me just jump in quickly. Last question, you say it’s the hand you’ve been dealt, but the hand is that of this president. Do you support this president and what he is doing?” Baldwin said.

Jackson wasn’t budging. “At this point in time, yes, I definitely support what he’s doing,” Jackson said. “And moving forward, I think, for a long-term solution to a better agriculture, I think that effort is there, because there’s only one source of food in this world and that’s the farmer producing it.

“Nearly half, between 40 and 50 percent of the soybeans grown in this world are produced in the United States,” he concluded. “China needs soybeans and they do need ours. It’s just a matter of what the final price will be that we receive.”



Turning Point’s Charlie Kirk tweets The Definition Of Socialism: Ocasio-Cortez Could Learn Something

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk took a sledgehammer to Socialism and with a couple of tweets nails the left’s real agenda.

Socialism can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man that is better off than you are

As for those who fight the hardest against socialistic tendencies, they are the ones who know its destructive results all too well.

The people who fight hardest against socialism are the ones who actually lived under it, fled gunfire, had to wait weeks to eat, and saw loved ones killed for disagreeing with the government

Liberals want everything they don’t like to be banned and everything they do like to be considered a right and to be free

That is Socialism in practice.

Sadly, many Americans don’t know what Socialism is really all about, and many who consider themselves socialists in this country don’t either (such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez).



Ontario Ends UBI Experiment Two Years Early

It was Milton Friedman who first notably proposed this but Leftists love the idea.  But attempts to implement it always founder on the rock of unsustainable costs

A provincial minister said the basic-income experiment "was certainly not going to be sustainable."

A Canadian province's planned three-year experiment with a universal basic income (UBI) is ending after just one year.

Ontario's previous government implemented the pilot program last July, estimating that it would cost about CA$150 million. Instead of traditional welfare benefits, around 4,000 randomly selected low-income or jobless residents would be provided with yearly stipends of CA$16,989 per person (or CA$24,027 per couple). Participants with jobs had to give the government half of their work income. According to The Guardian, the experiment was meant to determine "whether the funds would improve health, education and housing outcomes."

But Ontario just ousted the Liberal Party and elected a new Progressive Conservative government, and the new regime had other ideas. Provincial Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod said yesterday that Ontario would be ending the "quite expensive" experiment. "It was certainly not going to be sustainable," MacLeod said. She didn't provide any data to back that up, so it's not clear whether the program was costing more than expected or if the new government just has different ideas about how this was likely to end.

The announcement came several months after Finland decided not to extend its own UBI experiment, which distributed monthly stipends of 560 euros to about 2,000 residents. But other countries are still considering a UBI. Italy and the Netherlands are both implementing UBI trials, and some Scottish cities are mulling it over as well. And a privately funded basic-income experiment is now underway in Kenya.

The UBI's basic premise is not new. (Reason's Jesse Walker has documented the idea's history here.) But it remains controversial, even among libertarians. Some libertarians are firmly against the idea, arguing that it is as unjust as any other form of wealth redistribution. Others say a UBI would be less intrusive and more cost-effective than a traditional welfare state, and therefore would be a step toward smaller government.

In the United States, the idea is far from dead. Stockton, California, is ready to test its own version of a UBI, and lawmakers in Chicago have proposed a similar experiment.



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 August, 2018

That famous Democrat selective memory again

After a free-wheeling campaign rally in Tampa, Hawaii Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz called the event a “dark carnival” and declared the left has “no equivalent.”

“This is not a thing on the left,” Schatz claimed. “We just argue about healthcare and climate and sometimes relitigate 2016 but we are not actually out of our minds.”

The facts, however, are not on his side. Here is a short reminder of the dark and at times violent responses to the Trump presidency so far:

* Kathy Griffin held a bloody “beheaded” Trump bust.
* Snoop Dogg pretended to shoot a Trump figure and rapped about killing the president in a video.
* A “Saturday Night Live” writer predicted that the president’s 11-year-old son would be “this country’s first homeschool shooter.”
* Madonna declared that she has thought about “blowing up the White House.”
* A teacher was suspended for shooting a squirt gun at an image of Trump, screaming “Die!”
* Sarah Silverman called for an American “military overthrow” of Trump.
* Stephen Colbert joked about the president giving a blowjob to Vladimir Putin.
* Joy Behar said that believing in Jesus is a “mental illness.”
Jimmy Kimmel mocked the first lady’s foreign accent.
* Chelsea Handler tore into Sarah Sanders’ looks and weight, calling her a “whore.”
* A Democratic congressman made a blowjob joke about Kellyanne Conway.
* ESPN anchor Jemele Hill called Trump a “white supremacist.”
* Michelle Wolf mocked Sarah Sanders’ looks, calling her a liar to her face.
* Keith Olbermann called Trump a “Nazi” and drops regular expletive laced rants.
* Samantha Bee called the first daughter a “c**t” with absolutely no remorse.
* A Bernie Sanders supporter targeted GOP members of Congress in a shooting.
* A Democratic congressional candidate called the first lady a “whore.”
* Multiple members of the administration have gotten harassed, shouted down, or kicked out of restaurants just for working for the president.
* Multiple people have made death threats against the families of administration officials, including Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai.
* A man stole a teenager’s MAGA hat and threw a drink on him.
* Maxine Waters said Trump officials are “not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
*Left-wing Antifa members have harassed Trump supporters.

Good luck convincing the American public that Democrats are the party of peace.



Whatever you think of Trump he's got the right policies for America

There’s no doubt about it: President Donald Trump has breathed new life into the American economy!

With record-breaking 4.1-percent growth in GDP, what anti-Trump critics said was impossible during the 2016 campaign just became reality. Unemployment is low, business is booming and billions of dollars that were sitting offshore are now re-entering our borders.

Why were so many so-called expert commentators in 2016 wrong about President Trump? We were told that Trump’s tough Queens, New York, style and relentless counter-punching tweets would harm markets on a global scale. Even I had concerns. But as we now see, President Trump gets results!

What happened? Part of it was the tax reform legislation, which immediately resulted in the biggest paychecks for 90 percent of Americans, millions of whom also received bonuses and raises. But it cannot be overstated just how important it has been for American entrepreneurs and innovators to finally have a president who inspires confidence, defends our interests, and embraces American exceptionalism.

After eight years of failed Obama-era policies, President Trump is renegotiating outdated trade deals, many of which predate the internet. He is also standing up to bad state actors which use heavy-handed government policies to steal intellectual property and hurt American businesses. Trump knows that, on a level playing field, American businesses and workers will be more innovative and will outwork any competitor on Earth.

To keep this innovation going, it’s important for government leaders to make the right policy decisions. Instead of potential trade wars and tariffs, it’s important that the slow hand of government gets out of the way of activities that drive economic growth.

One way to give American business a boost would be in the development of “5G” technology. This cellular communications technology will be so fast that many consumers will end up replacing their cable broadband provider with wireless broadband for all their internet needs.

This transformative technology is about to become a reality, which will quickly link rural and urban customers to a high-speed network that promises to reshape the way we work and communicate.

This race to “5G” is a competition not just between countries, but with companies competing for your business. With a proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, there would be a new competitor formed that could spend the billions necessary to compete against Verizon, AT&T, Google and other providers to foster innovation and keep prices down. No matter what, 5G will be a reality. Approving the T-Mobile/Sprint merger will ensure America has the high-speed service sooner and at more competitive rates.

This new technological shift will create thousands of American jobs to build these networks, support customers and develop life-improving technology which will take advantage of a new, coast-to-coast data network.

President Trump is doing his part in rolling back regulations and creating an environment that fosters a growing economy and job growth. Innovative sectors of the economy move so quickly that it’s essential we keep cutting taxes and keep cutting regulations while ensuring America wins these new technology battles. This is a winning formula to keep the Trump economy moving and strong.



Surprise! An agency created to make Pocahontas queen is intrinsically partisan


She's a clever talker but her crookedness lets her down.  She would have been all-powerful in her kingdom, continually finding new ways to harass business.  Another reason to thank Trump

Kathy Kraninger’s confirmation process to become the next Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has barely begun, yet already some congressional Democrats are attempting to block approval of this longtime public servant.

Political interference in the workings of the allegedly-independent Bureau is nothing new, however, and underscores the major flaws in the CFPB’s structure — specifically its single director. This partisan interference will pervade the Bureau regardless of which party controls the White House or Congress, and it must be addressed.

When Congress created the CFPB as part of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, it envisioned a Bureau that was independent from any branch of government and could conduct its work free from partisan influence.

While no bill can lead to a perfect outcome, it would have been hard to imagine the extent to which the Bureau became a partisan agency under the leadership of former Director Richard Cordray.

From its very inception, the CFPB’s leadership apparatus has been a point of contention. Republicans in Congress immediately recognized the outsized influence that the Director would have on the Bureau’s actions and the unconstitutional authority the Director has as a bureaucrat unaccountable to both the President and Congress.

Republicans cried foul, and their subsequent outcry led to President Obama removing now-Senator Elizabeth Warren from consideration as the CFPB’s first Director. When former Director Cordray was nominated in her place — and at her urging — congressional Republicans again spoke out against the Bureau’s structure.

When Republicans opposed former Director Cordray’s nomination, Democrats criticized opposition to their nominees as politically-motivated, waving off claims that the Bureau’s structure was fundamentally flawed. Now that President Trump has nominated Ms. Kraninger to helm the Bureau, however, the tables have turned, and Senator Warren is leading Democrats in protests of the nominee.

These very same Senators who turned a blind eye to the Bureau’s politicization under the Obama administration are now suddenly concerned about the Bureau’s independence under the Trump administration.

This game of political ping-pong infuses partisanship into an agency whose work should instead be guided by facts, data and rigorous research.

Congress mandated that the Bureau serve the needs of consumers when it created the agency, but the agency’s flawed leadership structure has only been led to political battles and to advancing a partisan agenda.

To remedy the structural flaws at the CFPB, Congress must change the leadership structure at the Bureau to avoid encountering the same issues and having the same partisan battles any time the CFPB or its actions come up for discussion.

Unlike similar agencies, the Bureau’s single-director structure puts unchecked power in the hands of one individual. Congress should transition the Bureau’s leadership structure to a bipartisan commission model similar to that of the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This would help foster a bipartisan environment among the Bureau and its staff, which currently are overwhelmingly Democratic, and lead to more thoughtful decision-making guided by data and research.

A bipartisan commission would allow members of both parties to provide input into the hierarchy of the Bureau and avoid the overtly political initiatives that the CFPB fostered under Director Cordray’s leadership.



The ‘Tolerant’ And Smug Left That Loves To HATE

Steve Cortes

The “eliminate ICE” movement gains steam within Democratic circles with the upstart victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York. Cortez’s views have been ratified by very senior Democratic office holders, including New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio. Perhaps motivated by these far-leftist leaders, a gaggle of malcontents in Portand, Oregon formed an “Abolish ICE PDX” group that set up an encampment and protested around-the-clock at the local ICE field office.

According to detailed reporting from The Oregonian, these supposedly tolerant radicals spewed racial slurs at ICE officers of color. Whenever honorable people of color disagree with this open borders lunacy and actually choose to do the hard work of defending America’s borders, it demonstrates the hypocrisy of a movement that purports to be all about protecting Latinos and fighting against “white privilege.”

One African American ICE officer reported in internal emails to DHS administrators that “protestors ‘began yelling racial slurs at him’ including the N-word.” He was also called an Uncle Tom, which I, too, am called just about daily on social media (though usually in Spanish – ‘Tio Tomas’). The ICE officer lamented that the “racial slurs have been directed at me throughout the entire length of the deployment.” A female Hispanic officer reported anti-Hispanic slurs and derided as a “weak female” by the protestors. These comments were hardly isolated, as she also reported that “I was berated for so long that I cannot remember everything that was said to me.”

These smug leftists that allegedly embrace a “woke” mindset of tolerance in reality hate the president and his insistence on enforcing immigration law so intensely that they display the very racial animus that they pretend to abhor. These irony-insensitive agitators would do well to study the actual difficult, dangerous law enforcement work of ICE. The radicals might be surprised to discover that ICE and the Border Patrol are highly diverse, boasting some of the highest Hispanic percentages of any federal agencies.

Even more importantly, the enforcement actions of ICE so often prevent or punish crimes within Hispanic communities themselves. For example, the MS-13 brutal gang murderers on Long Island – which prompted two presidential trips to that area – primarily preyed upon Hispanic Americans. Far from terrorizing Hispanic citizens, ICE takes on the perilous task of protecting us from some very violent malefactors.

Similar stories abound across the country of people of color falling victim to criminals in the country illegally. In the so-called sanctuary state of California, illegal alien criminals — with lengthy records and multiple deportations each — killed black high school football star Jamiel Shaw and Hispanic mother Sandra Duran. Enhancing border security and accelerating deportation of dangerous people help prevent future victims of all colors — but particularly minorities.

Shockingly, the demonization of ICE and federal agents has not been consigned merely to a bunch of radical racist retrogrades in Portland, but also to the highest levels of American politics. For example, former CIA chief Michael Hayden had the gall to compare our brave immigration agents to the Nazis of Auschwitz in a tweet. More recently, Representative Ben Ray Lujan, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, perhaps sensing the electoral danger this radical position faces come November, refused to address the “abolish ICE” issue on ABC News. Showing similar cowardice, 167 House Democrats voted “present” on a recent resolution merely expressing support for the agents of ICE.

Thankfully, President Trump displays unparalleled leadership on this issue and boldly confronts this decades-long problem in America. Former ICE Director Tom Homan who served six presidents said “nobody has done more for border security and public safety than President Trump.” Hispanics and other people of color who value safety and prosperity for their families should be thankful.



HHS Rolls Out New, Affordable, Temporary Health Coverage Option -- For Some, Not All

An end-run around Obamacare

The Trump administration on Wednesday issued a final rule to help Americans get short-term, limited-duration, affordable health insurance that is designed to fill temporary gaps in coverage.

The new plan is exempt from the Obamacare requirements that apply to individual health insurance plans, and it comes as Democrats are trying to make health insurance a campaign issue. ("We want to expand access to Medicare," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told a news conference in June.)

“Under the Affordable Care Act, Americans have seen insurance premiums rise and choices dwindle,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. “President Trump is bringing more affordable insurance options back to the market, including through allowing the renewal of short-term plans. These plans aren’t for everyone, but they can provide a much more affordable option for millions of the forgotten men and women left out by the current system.”

The new option covers an initial period of less than 12 months, and, taking into account any extensions, a maximum duration of no longer than 36 months in total. It will increase choices for Americans faced with escalating premiums and dwindling options in the individual insurance market, HHS said.

Appearing on "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday, Azar called the new plan "really exciting" for some Americans, but not for everyone:

These plans that we are rolling out today can deliver affordable options for people at 50- to 80-percent lower cost than what the Obamacare exchange insurance options have.

This is relief, perhaps, for millions of Americans, because they've been left behind by the Affordable Care Act's false promises that they would have insurance -- everybody would have affordable insurance. It would cover every doctor they wanted, et cetera. So it left 28 million Americans behind without access to affordable insurance or without choices of insurance, with premiums doubling -- even before the president took office -- in the Obamacare market.

So these are called short-term limited duration plans. And you can get them up to 12 months. And what we are doing is allowing those to be renewable up to three years. Now they're different. You have to qualify for this type insurance. You have to go through what's called medical underwriting where the insurer would have to decide to take you. They may not cover every condition.

But it's a really important option for a lot of people in transition between jobs. Those economy workers who work on their own, a independent contractors. Folks struggling with three part-time jobs and don't get insurance from any one employer -- really important option. That's what we are about is putting the individual and the states back in the driver's seat here.

Azar said the new plan must disclose what they do and do not cover, so "people go in with their eyes open."

"What if you are in rural area and only have one Obamacare plan there and it doesn't cover the hospital or doctors in your area?" he asked. "This may be an option for you also. For many who have preexisting conditions or who have other health worries, the Obamacare plans might be right for them. We're just providing more options and putting them in the driver's seat."



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 August, 2018

Noncitizens across U.S. find it easy to register to vote, cast ballots

Russian national surprised to be on rolls in San Francisco

A Russian national or any other noncitizen can easily influence a U.S. election by simply registering to vote in California — just ask Elizaveta Shuvalova.

Ms. Shuvalova said she didn’t even know her name was added to the San Francisco voter rolls in 2012, when she was a 21-year-old Russian citizen living legally in the U.S. but ineligible to vote.

“I’ve never registered for anything in my entire life,” said Ms. Shuvalova, who became a U.S. citizen early last year. “This is news to me.”

The Washington Times obtained a San Francisco County voter log that detailed Ms. Shuvalova’s registration history and presented the document to her.

It showed that she signed up as a Democrat in July 2012 and that her registration was canceled in May 2016 after she told election officials she wasn’t a citizen. Her registration, as a Republican, was reactivated in March 2017.

“This is definitely a shocker to me. It is like an identity fraud because this is not coming from my end,” said Ms. Shuvalova, who now lives in New York, works as a personal trainer and calls herself a Democrat. “Like I told you, I haven’t even been a citizen during that time frame. So what can we do about it?”

More of a shocker is how easily Ms. Shuvalova was registered to vote in California without a citizenship check. Conservative watchdogs say the problem is surprisingly common across the country.

Noncitizens are signing up to vote in states including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia, according to research by the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a nonprofit law firm that advocates for election integrity. The foundation found that a large percentage of those noncitizens managed to cast ballots, too.

Ms. Shuvalova was signed up — possibly without her knowledge — by an organization circulating a petition for a 2013 ballot initiative to stop a massive condominium development on the San Francisco waterfront.

A signed registration card was submitted with the petition to qualify Ms. Shuvalova as a petition signer, said John Arntz, director of the San Francisco Department of Elections.

Activists often hand in stacks of registration cards with their petitions, he said.

Election officials say they conduct routine cross-references of voter registration information with databases at the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles and the secretary of state’s office but did not flag Ms. Shuvalova as a noncitizen.

The box for “vote by mail” was checked on her registration card, and the county began sending her ballots.

County records show she received nine ballots but never voted.

The only ballot returned to the election office was in May 2016, a month before the state’s Democratic primary, with the words “not citizen” written on it. Her self-identification as a noncitizen was noted on the voter log.

The county canceled Ms. Shuvalova’s registration at that time.

Yet she was somehow reregistered again a year later, about the time she became a citizen. Four months later, she moved to New York but remained on the California voter rolls.

Ms. Shuvalova said she doesn’t recall registering to vote either time or returning the ballot saying she wasn’t a citizen.

Mr. Arntz said nothing would have prevented Ms. Shuvalova from voting prior to 2016 and she would have remained on the voter rolls if his department had not received the ballot with “not citizen” scrawled across it.

But he didn’t think the Shuvalova case represented a broader problem.

“If it was a problem, this would be an issue that comes up every election or something we would have experienced more through time. But it doesn’t,” he told The Times.

“This is the first instance that I’ve actually had a conversation like this,” he said. “So, no, I don’t think it is a problem. I don’t think there’s many records out there like this.”

The Public Interest Legal Foundation said it already has other examples from Mr. Artz.

Logan Churchwell, communications and research director for the foundation, said Ms. Shuvalova’s file was one of more than two dozen records gleaned from San Francisco, based on a request for other self-reported noncitizens.

In six of those cases, the noncitizen also had a voting history.

“Our voter registration system masks noncitizens and allows the opportunity to vote until they decide to self-report at their own peril. All of this could have been prevented if states actually verified citizen eligibility upfront,” Mr. Churchwell said.

In response to the inquiries by The Times, Mr. Arntz said the Shuvalova case would be forwarded to San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon for review.

“This voter did not recall completing a registration affidavit in 2012. So then the question would go potentially to whoever organized the petition circulation,” he said.

Mr. Arntz said he was almost certain that nobody had been prosecuted in San Francisco for being a noncitizen on the voter rolls during his 16 years at the department.

“I can’t remember forwarding an allegation that someone was a noncitizen who registered to vote or did vote,” he said.



Justice: Trump Supporters Can Now Sue San Jose Cops For Feeding Them To Protesters

In a huge victory for constitutional rights, Trump supporters in California have been given the go-ahead to sue the city of San Jose and its police force for allegedly putting them in danger following a campaign event in June 2016.

According to the lawsuit, San Jose police officers deliberately funneled Trump supporters into waiting hoards of violent protesters as they filed out of the McEnery Convention Center following the rally:

After the rally at the McEnery Convention Center, police directed those in attendance to leave from a single exit. There, according to the lawsuit, they were ordered to head out onto a street where hundreds of anti-Trump protesters were waiting, even though a safer route and other exits were available.
Apparently, San Jose police only protect and serve those with whom they agree. But would you expect anything less from the law “enforcement” of a sanctuary city?

Twenty plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim they were beaten or struck by objects thrown by the protesters. Indeed, there is extensive video footage of anti-Trump protesters both verbally and physically attacking Trump supporters outside the convention center, usually entirely unprovoked.

At the time, Americans across the country slammed San Jose police for not doing more to curb the violence and protect rally attendees. However, San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia praised his force “for both their effectiveness and their restraint” and argued that “additional force can incite more violence in the crowd.”

Thankfully, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals didn’t see it that way. A three-judge panel ruled unanimously in favor of the plaintiffs and wrote a damning indictment of the police in their decision:

The judges ruled that if what the supporters allege in the lawsuit is accurate, “the officers acted with deliberate indifference to a known and obvious danger” and “violated the Trump supporters’ constitutional rights.” […]

“The attendees allege the officers shepherded them into a violent crowd of protesters and actively prevented them from reaching safety,” Judge Dorothy Nelson wrote in the decision.

“The officers continued to implement this plan even while witnessing the violence firsthand” and even though they knew about the earlier attacks outside the convention center, the Chronicle reported. She also noted that if the allegations in the lawsuit were proved, it would show police bore responsibility for the attacks.

It seems that even members of law enforcement suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome – ironic, given that Trump has been a far greater champion for law enforcement than Barack Obama ever was. Furthermore, it’s highly disturbing to think that Trump supporters aren’t given equal protection within their community just because of their political beliefs. If deliberate police negligence occurred in San Jose, then all parties should be held accountable within the fullest extent of the law.



Fight for the Value of Your Citizenship

A growing push around the country to allow noncitizen voting is diluting the rights of citizens.

Has there been a constitutional change recently that we’ve all missed? Recent news articles report that Democrats are working to allow noncitizens to cast ballots in elections around the country.

Yep. You read that correctly.

In the U.S. Constitution and our Bill of Rights, the rights guaranteed for voters are directed to citizens of the United States of America.

Yet the push to expand voting rights to noncitizens has been deemed “another good step forward” by Portland, Maine, Mayor Ethan Strimling, among too many others. Strimling is, of course, a Democrat who cites President Donald Trump and his enforcement policies as his motivation for backing such policies. But don’t think that Maine is the only locale featuring the move by leftist organizations to allow noncitizens to vote.

Across America, not surprisingly in Democrat bastions, the efforts are rooted in local municipal elections, yet the implications of local decisions have had very real consequences at the federal level.

In Maryland, according to The Washington Times, there are 11 small municipalities that permit noncitizen voting. Chicago and San Francisco both permit noncitizens to cast ballots in school elections and, now, the Commonwealth People’s Republic of Massachusetts may follow suit. Some want to pass a state law in response to home-rule petitions that have been signed and submitted by Amherst, Brookline, Cambridge, Newton, and Wayland. There was a hearing last Tuesday in Boston at the request of City Council Chairwomen Andrea Campbell, the goal of which was to find “ways to make city elections more inclusive.”

While Democrats rationalize that it’s just local school board races and municipal elections that are currently impacted, let’s think for just a moment. Is this not validating that noncitizens have their children in taxpayer-funded schools — consuming resources while not fully paying their tax burden? Is it not at the local level that sanctuary city laws originate to stand opposed to a collaborative effort with federal law enforcement to detain and transfer criminal illegal aliens into federal custody for arrest? Is it not also at the local level that trend-setting laws, such as those that push the minimum wage higher than the federal designation, catch on and spread?

Oh the irony: The very group of people screeching loudest about Russian election meddling is consistently and continually rejecting provisions to protect the value and integrity of elections. They oppose simple photo ID requirements while they are increasingly and brazenly working to secure voting rights for individuals who have decided to ignore current law regarding legal immigration — all in order that they can impact existing and future law. On the one hand, Democrats hide behind allegations of the “racist” disenfranchisement of potential voters by requiring voters prove their identity with a picture ID. On the other hand, they work to dilute the votes of law-abiding citizens with ballots cast by individuals who don’t respect American culture and law?

Democratic Socialists don’t respect America as the greatest nation on earth — one that affords to its citizens rights and Liberty that are the envy of the world. Today’s Democrats work to circumvent law, process, and mutual respect, whether it’s voting, speaking in public, or protecting this nation’s most valuable resource — our citizens.

Patriots, it’s time to firmly plant our energies and commitments in unity toward the effort to rid this nation of its internal enemies. Go vote for those who understand the value of the American treasure of citizenship.



Federal Judge Rules That Albuquerque's Asset Forfeiture Created an Unconstitutional Profit Incentive

"There is a realistic possibility that forfeiture officials' judgement will be distorted by the prospect of institutional gain."

A federal judge has ruled that Albuquerque's civil asset forfeiture program violated residents' due process rights by forcing them to prove their innocence to retrieve their cars. Under civil forfeiture laws, police can seize property suspected of being connected to criminal activity, even if the owner isn't charged with a crime.

The city of Albuquerque "has an unconstitutional institutional incentive to prosecute forfeiture cases, because, in practice, the forfeiture program sets its own budget and can spend, without meaningful oversight, all of the excess funds it raises from previous years," U.S. District Judge James O. Browning wrote in an order filed Saturday. "Thus, there is a 'realistic possibility' that forfeiture officials' judgment 'will be distorted by the prospect of institutional gain'—the more revenues they raise, the more revenues they can spend."

The Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest law firm, filed the lawsuit in 2016 on behalf of Arlene Harjo, whose car was seized after her son drove it while drunk.

"It's a scam and a rip-off," Harjo told Reason at the time. "They're taking property from people who just loan a vehicle to someone. It's happened a lot. Everybody I've talked to has had it happen to them or somebody they know, and everybody just pays."

Harjo was one of thousands of Albuquerque residents whose cars were seized under the city's aggressive forfeiture program. While lawsuits have forced cities like Philadelphia to reform their programs, federal judges have for the most part been unwilling to directly address the issue of profit incentive.

In a statement, Institute for Justice attorney Robert Everett Johnson said the Institute "will undoubtedly use this decision to attack civil forfeiture programs nationwide."

"Today's ruling is a total victory for fairness, due process and property owners everywhere," Johnson continued. "The court ruled the government must prove that an owner did something wrong before it can take away their property. Beyond that, the judge ruled that law enforcement cannot benefit financially from revenue generated by a forfeiture program. Together, these rulings strike at the heart of the problem with civil forfeiture."

Law enforcement groups say civil forfeiture is a vital tool to disrupt drug trafficking and other organized crime. But civil libertarians note that there are far too few safeguards for property owners and that the profit incentive leads police and prosecutors to go just as often after everyday citizens rather than cartel bosses.

New Mexico essentially banned civil asset forfeiture in 2015, but Albuquerque argued the state law didn't apply to its own city codes and continued to seize cars.

City officials offered to give Harjo her car back for $4,000—a typical settlement tactic—but she refused to pay up. The city then returned the car in an attempt to render her lawsuit moot and keep its program intact. But in a opinion issued in March, Judge Browning allowed the case to proceed, warning the city that Harjo had raised plausible claims that the city's profit incentive and hearing process violated her constitutional rights.

Shortly after the March opinion was released, Albuquerque officials announced they were ending the city's forfeiture program. But Saturday's decision is still important: Two other New Mexico local governments continue to flout the reform law and seize vehicles, and almost no state or local police departments have complied with new reporting requirements for forfeiture activities.



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 August, 2018

Association of Statin Exposure With Histologically Confirmed Idiopathic Inflammatory Myositis in an Australian Population

How do you like that heading?  I have been reading medical journals for a long time but even I had to blink to make out that one.  What it says, however, is hugely important.  It has to do with the dangerous side-effects of statins.  For years, clinicians have been reporting complaints from their patients to the effect that statins have weakened their muscles.  And since the heart is a muscle, that is no joke.

And now we are finally seeing research reports on the topic.  And what the report below shows is that people with severe muscle problems are highly likely to have been taking statins. There was a statistically significant 79% increased likelihood of statin exposure in patients with severe muscle problems.

Apparently, there has to be some susceptibility in the person to suffer that side-effect as only a minority of statin-users get that problem. But it is no joke if you are one of the susceptible ones.  The cases discussed below were ones where just giving up statins did not fix the problem.  Statins left you with permanently rotted muscles.  Not much fun!

Gillian E. Caughey et al.


Importance:  Statin medications are widely prescribed for cardiovascular risk reduction. Myalgia and rhabdomyolysis are well-recognized adverse effects of statins, and they resolve with the cessation of statin therapy. Idiopathic inflammatory myositis (IIM) is a heterogeneous group of autoimmune myopathies that may also be associated with statin use. Recently, statin-associated autoimmune myopathy has been recognized as a distinct entity with the presence of specific autoantibodies against hydroxymethylglutaryl–coenzyme A reductase, which results in a necrotizing myositis that does not resolve with cessation of statin therapy and requires treatment with immunosuppressive agents.

Objective:  To examine the association between histologically confirmed IIM and current exposure to statin medications.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  Population-based case-control study using the South Australian Myositis Database of all histologically confirmed cases of IIM diagnosed between 1990 and 2014 in patients 40 years or older (n?=?221) and population-based controls from the North West Adelaide Health Study (n?=?662), matched by age and sex in a 3:1 ratio of controls to cases. Data analysis using conditional logistic regression was performed from June 1, 2016, to July 14, 2017.

Exposures:  Current statin medication use.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  Unadjusted and adjusted (for diabetes and cardiovascular disease) odds ratios and 95% CIs for likelihood of inflammatory myositis.

Results:  A total of 221 IIM cases met the inclusion criteria with a mean (SD) age of 62.2 (10.8) years, and 132 (59.7%) were female. Statin exposure at the time of IIM diagnosis was 68 of 221 patients (30.8%) and 142 of 662 matched controls (21.5%) (P?=?.005). There was an almost 2-fold increased likelihood of statin exposure in patients with IIM compared with controls (adjusted odds ratio, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.23-2.60; P?=?.001). Similar results were observed when patients with necrotizing myositis were excluded from the analysis (adjusted odds ratio, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.29-2.86; P?=?.001).

Conclusions and Relevance:  In this large population-based study, statin exposure was significantly associated with histologically confirmed IIM. Given the increased use of statins worldwide and the severity of IIM, increased awareness and recognition of this potentially rare adverse effect of statin exposure is needed.

JAMA Intern Med. Published online July 30, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.2859


Sorry If You’re Offended, but Socialism Leads to Misery and Destitution

On the same day that Venezuela’s “democratically” elected socialist president, Nicolas Maduro, whose once-wealthy nation now has citizens foraging for food, announced he was lopping five zeros off the country’s currency to create a “stable financial and monetary system,” Meghan McCain of “The View” was the target of internet-wide condemnation for having stated some obvious truths about collectivism.

During the same week we learned that the democratic socialist president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, is accused of massacring hundreds of protesters whose economic futures have been decimated by his economic policies, Soledad O’Brien and writers at outlets ranging from GQ, to BuzzFeed, to the Daily Beast were telling McCain to cool her jets.

In truth, McCain was being far too calm. After all, socialism is the leading man-made cause of death and misery in human existence. Whether implemented by a mob or a single strongman, collectivism is a poverty generator, an attack on human dignity, and a destroyer of individual rights.

It’s true that not all socialism ends in the tyranny of Leninism or Stalinism or Maoism or Castroism or Ba’athism or Chavezism or the Khmer Rouge—only most of it does. And no, New York primary winner Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t intend to set up gulags in Alaska. Most so-called democratic socialists—the qualifier affixed to denote that they live in a democratic system and have no choice but to ask for votes—aren’t consciously or explicitly endorsing violence or tyranny.

But when they adopt the term “socialism” and the ideas associated with it, they deserve to be treated with the kind of contempt and derision that all those adopting authoritarian philosophies deserve.

But look: Norway!

Socialism is perhaps the only ideology that Americans are asked to judge solely based on its piddling “successes.” Don’t you dare mention Albania or Algeria or Angola or Burma or Congo or Cuba or Ethiopia or Laos or Somalia or Vietnam or Yemen or, well, any other of the dozens of other inconvenient places socialism has been tried. Not when there are a handful of Scandinavian countries operating generous welfare state programs propped up by underlying vibrant capitalism and natural resources.

Of course, socialism exists on a spectrum, and even if we accept that the Nordic social program experiments are the most benign iteration of collectivism, they are certainly not the only version. Pretending otherwise would be like saying, “The police state of Singapore is more successful than Denmark. Let’s give it a spin.”

It turns out, though, that the “Denmark is awesome!” talking point is only the second-most preposterous one used by socialists. It goes something like this: If you’re a fan of “roads, schools, libraries, and such,” although you may not even be aware of it, you are also a supporter of socialism.

This might come as a surprise to some, but every penny of the $21,206 spent in Ocasio-Cortez’s district each year on each student, rich or poor, is provided with the profits derived from capitalism. There is no welfare system, no library that subsists on your good intentions. Having the state take over the entire health care system could rightly be called a socialistic endeavor, but pooling local tax dollars to put books in a building is called local government.

It should also be noted that today’s socialists get their yucks by pretending collectivist policies only lead to innocuous outcomes like local libraries. But for many years they were also praising the dictators of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the nation’s most successful socialist, isn’t merely impressed with the goings-on in Denmark. Not very long ago, he lauded Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela as an embodiment of the “American dream,” even more so than the United States.

Socialists like to blame every inequity, the actions of every greedy criminal, every downturn, and every social ill on the injustice of capitalism. But none of them admit that capitalism has been the most effective way to eliminate poverty in history.

Today, in former socialist states like India, there have been big reductions in poverty thanks to increased capitalism. In China, where communism sadly still deprives more than a billion people of their basic rights, hundreds of millions benefit from a system that is slowly shedding socialism. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the extreme poverty rate in the world has been cut in half. And it didn’t happen because Southeast Asians were raising the minimum wage.

In the United States, only 5 percent of people are even aware that poverty has fallen in the world, according to the Gapminder Foundation, which is almost certainly in part due to the left’s obsession with “inequality” and normalization of “socialism.”

Nearly half of American millennials would rather live in a socialist society than in a capitalist one, according to a YouGov poll. That said, only 71 percent of those asked were able to properly identify either. We can now see the manifestation of this ignorance in our elections and “The View” co-host Joy Behar.

But if all you really champion are some higher taxes and more generous social welfare, stop associating yourself with a philosophy that usually brings destitution and death. Call it something else. If not, McCain has every right to associate you with the ideology you embrace.



The Clinton State Department’s Major Security Breach That Everyone Is Ignoring

Peter Strzok’s testimony about the email server scandal involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised headlines because of his defiant, disrespectful, and unapologetic attitude about the bias revealed in his text messages that permeated his work at the FBI.

Then, there was the verbal combat between him and Republican members of the two committees holding the joint hearing, and between the Republicans and Democratic members who were running interference for Strzok and acting as his defense counsel.

The news media jumped on an exchange in which Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, asked Strzok if he lied to his wife about his affair with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page in the same way as he was in testifying to Congress. That was too much for the Democrats and the media, who leaped to Strzok’s defense.

The media, however, virtually ignored another exchange between Gohmert and Strzok that revealed a potential bombshell. Gohmert asked Strzok about his meeting in 2016 with Frank Rucker and Janette McMillan, an investigator and lawyer, respectively, for then-Intelligence Community Inspector General Chuck McCullough (an Obama appointee).

McCullough sent them to see Strzok, who was the FBI’s deputy assistant director for the Counterintelligence Division, to brief him and three other FBI personnel about an “anomaly” that their forensic analysis had found in Clinton’s server.

According to Gohmert, the inspector general discovered that, with four exceptions, “every single one” of Clinton’s emails—more than 30,000—“were going to an address that was not on the distribution list.”

In other words, according to the information Gohmert received from the intelligence inspector general, something was causing Clinton’s server to send copies of all of her email communications outside of the country “to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia.”

If true, this means that Clinton’s email communication with her top aides, department leadership, ambassadors, and other officials, including President Barack Obama, may have been read by an alien entity, perhaps a foreign power hostile to the United States. That could include confidential, sensitive, and even classified information about our foreign policy or our allies.

Gohmert’s exchange with Strzok doesn’t reveal who the foreign entity is, but if not the Russians, the likely culprit is the Chinese government, which has a special unit of hackers within its military that has long targeted the U.S.

Our intelligence agencies have identified the Chinese as responsible for the biggest data breach to ever hit the federal government, the 2015 hack of the Office of Personnel Management that stole the files, including security clearance applications, of 21 million current and former federal employees.

Here is how Strzok should have responded to Gohmert’s question about the briefing that Strzok received from the intelligence inspector general’s staff:

As the FBI’s lead counterintelligence agent, I understood that this was a major security breach, with widespread implications over the disclosure of sensitive and classified communications.

I immediately implemented protocols to investigate the extent of the problem; to notify all agencies and government officials whose communications had been compromised; to assess the damage that may have been done to specific operations, assets, programs, and personnel; and to prepare recommendations on how to remedy the problems caused by this disclosure.

Unfortunately, Strzok actually said that while he did “remember meeting Mr. Rucker on either one or two occasions,” he did not “recall the specific content or discussions.”

In other words, the FBI’s main counterintelligence director doesn’t remember being told that the secretary of state (his preferred candidate for president) had a breach in her computer system that forwarded all of her internal communications—including emails containing classified information—to a foreign entity.

Since he claimed not to remember being told about something that serious, he obviously did nothing about it.

The question is which of two scenarios is more likely true. Either 1) Strzok was completely incompetent, or 2) his pro-Clinton bias displayed in the thousands of text messages between him and Page caused him to downplay this security issue and ignore it, because it could hurt his favored presidential candidate if it came to light.

Strzok’s anti-Trump, pro-Clinton bias was overwhelming. The texts between him and Page are direct and damning evidence in and of themselves. But there is more. His body language and attitude during the hearing also showed bias against Donald Trump and for Clinton.

His lack of prudent action as an agent when he was briefed about this massive security breach suggests that he may have abandoned his role as a law enforcement officer, and skewed the results of a politically sensitive investigation to serve his own political leanings.

One of the other disturbing bits of information that came out of this exchange was that, according to Gohmert, the Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General called Michael Horowitz, the inspector general of the Department of Justice, “four times” because it wanted to brief Horowitz about this forensic analysis and this security breach. But, according to Gohmert, Horowitz “never returned the call.”

According to Horowitz’s recent report on the Clinton email server investigation, the FBI “did not find evidence confirming that Clinton’s email server systems were compromised by cyber means,” but they could not definitively determine that her servers had not been compromised.

Obviously, if the intelligence inspector general has information to the contrary, that would be significant.

If this is true, the Justice Department, the FBI, and the intelligence inspector general have an obligation to disclose to the public and to lawmakers the foreign entity that hacked into Clinton’s server and received all of those communications.

That disclosure would be similar to the way they revealed that it was the Russians who hacked into the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s campaign.

They also need to disclose what steps have been taken to investigate the extent and depth of the problems caused by this potential security breach.

And those in the political arena who have been painting Strzok as some kind of hero who deserves a Purple Heart need to stop insulting our intelligence and our veterans.

If this is an example of how Strzok did his job, he should have been fired long ago, and he is certainly no hero.



Do as I say, not as I do

That seems to be the typical Leftist message from Elena Kagan.  If she wants more civility in political discourse she should be talking to those fountains of hate, the American Left.  When has any Leftist said anything civil about Donald Trump or his judicial nominees?

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan criticized the current state of the judicial confirmation process this week, telling a student group that politicizing nominations harms the public’s perception of the courts.

Her remarks come just weeks after President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy on the high court, setting off a generational fight over the future of the nation’s highest judicial tribunal.

“It’s an unfortunate thing, because it makes the world think we are sort of junior varsity politicians,” Kagan said of recent confirmations. “I think that’s not the way we think of ourselves, even given the fact that we disagree.”

“There is so much tit-for-tat for tit-for-tat that goes on in these processes,” she said elsewhere in her remarks. “Everybody has their list of times that they’ve been wronged. The Republicans have their list and the Democrats have their list.”

The justice was referring to the bare-knuckle partisanship that characterizes judicial confirmations in the modern period, a history littered with the failed nominations of legal luminaries in both parties.

The justice made the remarks to a student group from the University of Chicago, who posted a recording of the 30 minute question and answer session on YouTube.

Kagan did not reference Kavanaugh’s nomination at any point in her remarks. As dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan recruited Kavanaugh to teach courses over the winter term.



Some history

I have just written some historical notes about Theodore Roosevelt, An American President of just over 100 years ago who is generally highly thought of to this day.  I point out that he was mad (bipolar), a Leftist and a forerunner of Fascism.  See here


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

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 wolfs in sheep's clothing

Liberals are people who don't believe in liberty

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

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

We live in a country where the people own the Government and not in a country where the Government owns the people -- Churchill

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.

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 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 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.”

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

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


"Tongue Tied"
"Dissecting Leftism"
"Australian Politics"
"Education Watch International"
"Political Correctness Watch"
"Greenie Watch"
Western Heart


"Marx & Engels in their own words"
"A scripture blog"
"Some memoirs"
To be continued ....
Coral reef compendium.
Queensland Police
Australian Police News
Paralipomena (3)
Of Interest
Dagmar Schellenberger
My alternative Wikipedia


"Food & Health Skeptic"
"Eye on Britain"
"Immigration Watch International".
"Leftists as Elitists"
Socialized Medicine
QANTAS -- A dying octopus
BRIAN LEITER (Ladderman)
Obama Watch
Obama Watch (2)
Dissecting Leftism -- Large font site
Michael Darby
Paralipomena (2)
AGL -- A bumbling monster
Telstra/Bigpond follies
Optus bungling
Vodafrauds (vodafone)
Bank of Queensland blues

There are also two blogspot blogs which record what I think are my main recent articles here and here. Similar content can be more conveniently accessed via my subject-indexed list of short articles here or here (I rarely write long articles these days)

Some more useful links

Alt archives for "Dissecting Leftism" here or here
Longer Academic Papers
Johnray links
Academic home page
Academic Backup Page
General Backup
General Backup 2

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
Queensland Police
Australian police news
QANTAS, a dying octopus

Main academic menu
Menu of recent writings
basic home page
Pictorial Home Page
Selected pictures from blogs (Backup here)
Another picture page (Rarely updated)

Note: If the link to one of my articles is not working, the article concerned can generally be viewed by prefixing to the filename the following:

OR: (After 2015)