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

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

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

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


31 July, 2019

‘National Conservatives’ Set Out to Define Future of Politics on Right

What is the future of conservatism in America? That was the subject of consideration last week as scholars, thinkers, and attendees gathered at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C. Speakers gave special focus to the future of America and conservatism in the age of Trump.

The conference featured an eclectic group of speakers, from TV personality Tucker Carlson to tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel, to Sen. Josh Hawley, the freshman Republican from Missouri.

Though speakers differed in their definitions of “nationalism” and what policies are needed for the future, they agreed on several big themes: National sovereignty is a huge issue of growing importance around the world, identity politics erodes national unity, and cultural issues are ascendant.

Perhaps most importantly, the conference highlighted how both major parties failed to address the concerns of a huge swath of voters, which led to the election of Donald Trump.

How We Got Here

Salena Zito, a Washington Examiner columnist and co-author of “The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics,” said the most important thing that she’s learned through her reporting is that “what happened in 2016, Donald Trump did not cause. He is the result of it.”

Party leaders, the media, and America’s elite entirely missed the warning signs that a huge electoral shakeup was coming.

Zito said she realized something was changing in America back in 2006 when Democrats swept the midterm elections during the presidency of George W. Bush. Social conservatives who felt disconnected from the Republican Party over the Iraq War and the party’s economic policies turned out for the Democratic Party to send a message.

Yet these voters were soon disappointed by the Democrats who went on to spend an enormous amount on programs like the Troubled Asset Relief Program (or TARP), “Cash for Clunkers,” various bailouts, the economic stimulus, and Obamacare. These voters threw out the Democrats in 2010 in another wave election.

These signs should have been a warning, Zito said, that a huge electoral shakeup was coming for a presidential candidate who could tap into this populist energy. Ultimately, it was Trump who filled that void.

This populist angst wasn’t new to America, Zito said. In the 1890s, America went through a similar set of convulsive wave elections as the country dealt with the economic changes brought on by the Industrial Revolution, and voters sought answers from their leaders.

Many voters today face a similar economic anxiety as the technological revolution reshapes the economy. American society has also been rocked by cultural dissolution, such as the erosion of families and the opioid epidemic.

While the dominant narrative is that these voters are “angry,” this isn’t really the case, Zito said. Many of Trump’s voters were doing fine economically and socially and were personally content.

What these voters were looking for was leaders who affirmed “the dignity of work” and emphasized the community, Zito said. These voters looked around and saw their communities disintegrating.

The populist-conservative coalition that brought Trump to the presidency in 2016 is here to stay, she said.

“It is ripe with opportunity for conservatives from the old guard to bring them together with the ideas and ideals that are important to you, but it is also ripe with opportunities for them to show you what life has been like outside of the major urban centers,” Zito said.

National Unity vs. Identitarian Division

As many speakers at the conference noted, a major source of national disintegration and anxiety is the rise of identity politics, which threatens the idea of “e pluribus unum,” or “out of many, one.”

The left has maligned the concept of the “nation,” an idea that has been a source for much good, several speakers noted. The nation has not only enabled human flourishing, but has often placed an important check on to tribalism.

Critics of nationalism, noted Mary Eberstadt, a writer and fellow at the Hoover Institution, have offered no real alternative as a way to organize society. Eberstadt asked in her remarks, “What, after all, is an alternative to nationalism?”

“Anti-nationalism? Antipathy to one’s fellow citizens because they are one’s fellow citizens? Pathological aversion to one’s own country? A narcissistic flight to group identities that treat everyone outside those identities as somehow un-American? The questions answer themselves,” Eberstadt said.

The rise of modern identity politics is highly corrosive to the country, said David Azerrad, director of The Heritage Foundation’s B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics. It teaches nothing but grievance for those deemed to be oppressed, and self-flagellation for those deemed to be oppressors.

“The net effect of this relentless identitarian propaganda is to encourage passive resignation in the American people,” Azerrad said. “The goal is to get us to believe that identity politics is the engine that drives history with a capital ‘H,’ and that we must all submit to it.”

“To put it simply, identity politics is fundamentally incompatible with the idea of a nation,” Azerrad said.

The end result of it will be disunity and tribalism, he added. The only way to counteract this inevitability is to “accentuate our common ties as Americans.”

To counter the advance of identity politics, Azerrad suggested taking cues from Trump: We should boldly confront “identitarian fanaticism” and give a “spirited defense of civic nationalism.”

Competing Views of Nationalism

The conference, in part, focused on setting national conservatism apart from other kinds of “conservatism,” especially libertarianism. Many of the speakers advocated government intervention to address certain societal problems in a way that libertarians tend to reject.

Speakers such as “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance and Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson blasted what they considered the libertarian bent of conservative politics in recent decades.

“I believe that conservatives have outsourced our economic and domestic policy thinking to libertarians,” Vance said. “… What I’m going after in my talk is this view that so long as public outcomes and social goods are produced by free individual choices, we shouldn’t be too concerned about what those goods ultimately produce.”

In his remarks, Carlson said: “The main threat to your ability to live your life as you choose does not come from the government anymore, but it comes from the private sector.”

There was also some clear disagreement among the panelists about how to define “national conservatism.”

Yoram Hazony, author of “The Virtue of Nationalism,” explained why he believes it is necessary to restore nationalism as a vital, positive concept and expressed skepticism toward abstract or universal ideas as the basis for politics.

Hazony defined “national conservatives” as people who are “united in rejecting the idea of universal liberal empire,” and who reject the lens that views the world in terms of an economics of individualism, where political problems are reduced to economic theory.

The real political world, according to Hazony, is not simply comprised of atomized “free-choosing individuals.”

“The real political world is one of competing tribes and nations, it’s the real existence of tribes and nations that generates political phenomena such as national borders, independent national governments, national traditions, national cohesion, and national dissolution,” Hazony said.

Not everyone shared this exact account of “nationalism,” though.

Charles Kesler, a professor of government at Claremont-McKenna College in California, said that defining nationalism or national conservatism involves some paradoxes and gave some critiques of Hazony’s perspective.

Kesler argued that national tradition is simply not enough to carry the nation forward, that ideas still matter in how we define a positive kind of nationalism.

When nationalism is turned into an “ism,” Kesler said, “you are tending to diminish the distinctiveness of each nation.”

America, for instance, has a distinct history and creedal elements that set it apart from Europe, Kesler said. He argued that it’s impossible to separate America’s national self from its creedal nature, and it would be unwise to do so.

Kesler set himself apart from those who would define America purely on the basis of an idea or on a culture.

After all, Kesler said, the American founding rejected certain Anglo-Protestant cultural traditions—it did away with kings, lords, and an established national church—even though some cultural norms, like the English language, were preserved.

The American creed developed organically from within, but also against the predominant Anglo-American culture.

“The Revolution justified itself ultimately by an appeal to human nature, not to culture,” Kesler said. “And in the name of human nature and the American people, and God as supreme creator and lawgiver, judge, and executive, the revolutionaries set out to form an American union with its own culture.”

The cultural approach to natural identity, Kesler said, ultimately runs into problems if one doesn’t make distinctions between cultures.

Today, liberalism has set itself against America’s founding ideas. Progressives have jettisoned the timeless creed of the founding and adopted an evolving doctrine of progress.

To defeat this progressivism, America needs not just a tribal or national identity, but a cultural one.

“The American creed is the capstone of American identity, but it requires a culture to sustain it,” Kesler concluded. “And our task as national conservatives—nationalist conservatives—is to recognize the indispensability of the creed but also the absolute necessity of a hospitable culture, which combined with political wisdom can help shape a people to live up to its own principles.”



After race hustler Sharpton calls out Donald Trump’s racism, Trump calls him a ‘troublemaker’

?President Trump laid into the Reverend Al Sharpton on Monday, calling him a “conman, a troublemaker” after the civil rights activist announced he would hold ?a ?news conference to talk about the president’s comments about Baltimore.

?”I have known Al for 25 years. Went to fights with him & Don King, always got along well. He ??loved Trump! ?’ He would ask me for favours often?,” Mr Trump wrote on Twitter about the founder of the National Action Network, the New York Post reported. “Al is a conman, a troublemaker, always looking for a score. Just doing his thing. Must have intimidated Comcast/NBC. Hates Whites & Cops! ?”

Mr Sharpton announced on his Twitter account late Sunday that he and former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, who was also a former lieutenant governor of Maryland, would “address Mr Trump’s remarks & Bi-Partisan [sic] outrage in the black community.”

He responded via Twitter.  Reverend Al Sharpton:

“Trump says I’m a troublemaker & conman. I do make trouble for bigots. If he really thought I was a conman he would want me in his cabinet,” Mr Sharpton posted.

The president, in his string of tweets on Monday, continued to take aim at politician Elijah Cummings after describing his Maryland congressional district as a “rat and rodent infested mess” over the weekend.

“Baltimore, under the leadership of Elijah Cummings, has the worst Crime Statistics in the Nation. 25 years of all talk, no action! So tired of listening to the same old Bull … Next, Reverend Al will show up to complain & protest,” Trump tweeted on Monday. “Nothing will get done for the people in need. Sad!”



Congress should learn from EU failed sugar experiment and reciprocally end subsides globally

By Rick Manning

The European Union succumbed to pressure from its candy industry and foreign sugar exporters to unilaterally end sugar subsidies in 2006 with the promise that consumers would be the big winners, an argument that is all too frequently heard in the halls of Congress.  Now, with the benefit of hindsight, the EU experiment can be put to rest as an abject failure.

A series of studies by Patrick Chatenay, the President of ProSunergy (UK) Ltd, conducted over the past thirteen years have shown that while initially prices did go down as foreign subsidized sugar flooded the market, as the European sugar producers were wiped out, prices climbed by 2012 to, “10% above what they were before the reform.  As any business manager will tell you, additional risk entails additional costs.  Since the end of 2010, the EU sugar market has been characterized by high and volatile prices, and a shortage of supplies – thus mirroring world market gyrations.  The sugar users who lobbied hard for the reform – companies such as Nestle, Coca-Cola and Kraft – are complaining just as loudly as before.”

The job costs in the first six years of the disastrous experiment totaled 120,000, as the unilateral action caused 83 sugar mills to close across the continent.

Because Newton’s Third Law of Physics, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, seems to apply to political swings, the European Union’s reaction to the job losses and the new dependency upon foreign sugar exporters was equally catastrophic as the EU put sugar subsidies back in place to the tune of $665 million a year in 2015.

To make matters even worse, Chatenay reports in a newly released report titled, “The European Union Sugar Industry at World Market Prices” that the remaining, weakened European sugar producers are continually pressured by an approximately 20 percent drop in prices which Chatenay predicts will lead to an additional “10 to 20 sugar (EU) factories closing within 5 years…”

Shockingly, or perhaps not, while the sugar producers are getting crushed in the system wrought by the initial unilateral ending of sugar subsidies, Chatenay identifies the large industrial sugar buyers as huge winners having gaining $3.4 billion, “with no discernable advantage” to the consumer.

Pretty sweet deal for Nestle and others, but for European taxpayers and the actual people who grow and process European sugar, it has been a nightmare with the consumer seeing little to no benefit.

While this outcome probably doesn’t surprise anyone who pays attention to corporate cronyism in America, there is a better, smarter path to ending sugar and other agricultural subsidies using the basic trade rule of seeking international reciprocity rather than engaging in the unilateral dropping of government subsidies.

Representative Ted Yoho, (R-Fla.) has legislation known as Zero for Zero, through which the U.S. government would end sugar subsidies upon the President certifying that other countries had done the same.  By providing up front Congressional action, U.S. government representatives will have a powerful negotiating tool to gain reciprocal actions from other sugar exporting nations.

It is time for conservatives to rally behind the Zero for Zero plan as it provides a rational road toward ending subsidies without destroying U.S. sugar producers due to unfair trade practices.

And President Trump with his emphasis on establishing fair, reciprocal trade agreements with economic partners around the globe is the right person to end sugar and many other agricultural subsidies if Congress will just take the bold step of giving him the cudgel of already approved sugar subsidy elimination contingent upon our trading partners doing the same.

Europe tried the unilateral approach and the only beneficiaries were heavily subsidized foreign sugar producers like Brazil and industrial sugar buyers who raked in billions at the expense of farmers and more than 100,000 jobs, while the consumer saw little to no benefit.

It is time for Congress to get smart, learn from the mistakes of the EU, and adopt the Yoho bill. Let’s give President Trump the tool he needs to end sugar subsidies, while keeping America’s farmers strong and competitive.



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 July, 2019

I am not going to name any of them but many conservative writers have recently posted strong criticisms of the Trump/Pelosi spending deal

The spending being envisaged goes far beyond  what taxes will bring in so where is the money coming from?

There are two answers to that:  Borrowing money and simply printing any extra money you need.  But you can't do that! many people will say.  You just can't print money willy nilly!  Sadly, you can -- if you are President of the United States or some other country.  And ever since the gold standard was abolished, all governments have been doing just that.  Normally, however, governments are pretty cautious about how much new money they create. Milton Friedman's recommendation that the money supply should be expanded by no more than 4% p.a. is normally somewhere in the ballpark.

Obama, however, really got the bit between his teeth and created a huge pile of new money.  He was no Friedmanite and if he wanted to spend money on something he spent it.  And the media stayed Shtumm about it.

Now normally, that should have created galloping inflation.  The buying power of the greenback should have dropped sharply.  In Weimar Germany, Zimbabwe and Venezuela that has happened.  Runaway spending shot all prices up to previously unimagined levels, which completely destroyed people's savings.  Even big savings could no longer buy much.  Money that could once have bought a car might now only buy you a cup of coffee.

So why has that not happened in the USA? That's the big question.  Economists have no clear answer to it.  Some of the new money has gone into increased real estate prices and some has gone into historically low interest rates and some has gone into increased reserves held by financial institutions but there must be something more.  But what? And how long will the party go on?  Nobody knows.

But Trump is a qualified economist so he can see clearly what has happened and has decided that he will join the party.  He has decided that Obama must not have all the fun.  So he is in fact set to outspend Obama, which gives all conservative economists severe heartburn.

So is he wrong?  Is he building up a financial disaster for all Americans? Conventional economic theory says he is but actual practice in the Obama era says he isn't.  We are in an era of great gaps between economic theory and economic reality.  But that gap does create an opportunity for "free" infrastructure spending.  Obame spent the "free" money he created on gifts to Iran etc. So big infrastructure spending is at least a lot better than that.  Trump is simply using the time-out from economic orthodoxy on projects which will have lasting value.  He is very canny to have seen the opportunity and seized it.  He should be congratulated, not condemned for his wise spending  -- JR.

UPDATE: Two other factors holding inflation in check that I should have noted are the need to finance imports (crudely, the need to find money to send to China) and the sheer size and inertia of the U.S. economy makes any new factor only one of many competitors for influence


CNN anchor Victor Blackwell chokes up on air after Trump rips ‘infested’ Baltimore

Blackwell seems to think that "whitey" is to blame.  How about placing blame on those who live there -- mainly blacks and their usual high crime-rate -- and those who have run the city for many years: the Democrats

A CNN anchor got choked up on air Saturday after President Trump ripped Rep. Elijah Cummings and the city, calling it “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

“Donald Trump has tweeted more than 43,000 times. He’s insulted thousands of people, many different types of people. But when he tweets about infestation, it’s about black and brown people,” Victor Blackwell said.

“The president says about Congressman Cummings’ district that no human would want to live there,” Blackwell continued.

“You know who did, Mr. President? I did, from the day I was brought home from the hospital to the day I left for college, and a lot of people I care about still do.”



'Speaking of failing badly, has anyone seen what is happening to Nancy Pelosi's district in San Francisco': Trump now attacks the House Speaker's city following his stinging attack on Baltimore and says Democrats 'always play the race card'

President Donald Trump is defending his verbal attack on the city of Baltimore and Rep. Elijah Cummings and has taken to Twitter to revile Nancy Pelosi and her district of San Francisco.

Trump sparked outrage on Saturday when he blasted Baltimore as a 'disgusting, rodent-infested mess' and Cummings as 'brutal bully', leading Speaker Pelosi and other Democrats to condemn the president for his harsh words.

But the president seemed unfazed and shifted his focus to Pelosi on Sunday writing, 'Speaking of failing badly, has anyone seen what is happening to Nancy Pelosi's district in San Francisco', adding 'it's not even recognizable lately'.

On Saturday Nancy Pelosi, who was born in Baltimore and is the daughter of a former Baltimore Mayor, came to Cummings' defense on Twitter.

'@RepCummings is a champion in the Congress and the country for civil rights and economic justice, a beloved leader in Baltimore, and deeply valued colleague. We all reject racist attacks against him and support his steadfast leadership,' she tweeted.

But Trump took her tweet as a chance to criticize her and call her a racist.

'Someone please explain to Nancy Pelosi, who was recently called racist by those in her own party, that there is nothing wrong with bringing out the very obvious fact that Congressman Elijah Cummings has done a very poor job for his district and the City of Baltimore. Just take a look, facts speak far louder than words!'

'Speaking of failing badly, has anyone seen what is happening to Nancy Pelosi’s district in San Francisco. It is not even recognizeable lately. Something must be done before it is too late. The Dems should stop wasting time on the Witch Hunt Hoax and start focusing on our Country!

He was likely referencing San Francisco's homelessness crisis that counted over 8,000 homeless people in the streets, according to a January tally.  

Trump also blasted Democrats for 'playing the Race Card' and making him out to be a racist for his digs at Cummings, who is black.

'The Democrats always play the Race Card, when in fact they have done so little for our Nation’s great African American people. Now, lowest unemployment in U.S. history, and only getting better. Elijah Cummings has failed badly!' he tweeted.

Trump first launched his Twitter attack on Cummings on Saturday after the Democrat criticized conditions at the Southern border.

The outraged president defended the border detention centers as 'clean, efficient and well run, just very crowded', calling the camps superior to Cummings' own district in Maryland.

'Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place,' Trump tweeted.

'Why is so much money sent to the Elijah Cummings district when it is considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States. No human being would want to live there. Where is all this money going? How much is stolen? Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!' he added.



Bernie Sanders criticizes Trump for his 'racist' comments about Baltimore – four years after he compared the city to a 'Third World Country'

Bernie Sanders has launched a scathing criticism of the president following Trump's 'racist' remarks about 'rat infested' Baltimore - four years after he compared the city to a 'Third World Country'.

When Sanders was asked about the president's remarks, the senator said it was 'unbelievable that we have a President of the United States who attacks American cities, who attacks Americans, who attacks somebody who is a friend of mine.'

But a clip recorded on the campaign trail in 2015, during Sanders' first attempt to lead the Democrats, captured the candidate suggest the area showed no signs of being within a developed economy, referring to infrastructure and jobs.

The clip was dug up by a Twitter account called Trump's War Room and was shared in the wake of the backlash Trump received for saying Rep. Elijah Cummings' district was rat 'infested.'

Sanders' full comments at the time were: 'Anyone who took the walk that we took around this neighborhood would not think you're in a wealthy nation. You would think that you were in a Third World country.

'But today what we're talking about is a community in which half of the people don't have jobs. We're talking about a community in which there are hundreds of buildings that are uninhabitable.'

The comments were not the first time Sanders singled out the congressional district for particular criticism. In 2016 he again used Baltimore as an example of the America's disproportionate distribution of wealth.



Elizabeth Warren wants to break up big tech. Its workers don't want to break up with her

Twenty years ago, Jeff Few joined Amazon when it was still an upstart, aiming to break the grip of behemoths such as Barnes & Noble and Blockbuster in the market for books and movies.

"I saw it as this force that would finally enable something closer to a direct democracy," Few recalled.

Now, Amazon is a titan of e-commerce, and Few, who lives in Seattle and went on to work for Apple and Adobe, has embraced, and donated $300 to, a Democratic presidential candidate who has fiercely criticized his industry and called for the breakup of its biggest players - Senator Elizabeth Warren.

He is far from alone among tech employees. Although Warren has painted tech giants such as Google and Facebook as modern-day villains in her scathing picture of the American economy, she is emerging as a top choice for donations from tech workers, according to an analysis of campaign contributions by The Boston Globe.

With her denunciations of big tech and corporate greed, Warren has tapped into simmering discontent within the industry itself about the size, power, and ethics of its companies. So, while tech executives have often resisted calls from Washington to regulate the industry, employees are contributing to Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the candidates with the most aggressive positions on corporate oversight.

"I agree tech companies are becoming increasingly powerful," said Vicki Tardif, who works on search products at Google and helped organize a major protest there last fall. She says she has contributed to Warren. "I'm a citizen first - I'm a Google employee second."

Looking at just the big four tech companies that she wants to break apart - Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google - and some of their affiliates, Warren received some $144,000 in itemized donations from their employees over the first six months of the year.

Warren has been a particularly vocal critic of big tech in recent months. In March, she detailed a plan that would require the biggest companies - those with annual revenue of $25 billion - to separate their technology platforms from their e-commerce activities. So Google's massive ad-sales operation would split off from its ubiquitous search engine; Amazon could not have both an e-commerce platform and a sales business on it.

Warren looks to be setting the tone in a Democratic field that is generally taking a harder line toward the industry. Former vice president Joe Biden and Harris have said it is worth taking a look at her plan, but stopped short of a full-throated endorsement. Buttigieg has said he "potentially" agrees with it, but, during a town hall in March, raised questions about other aspects of big tech: "It's not how big they are, it's how they act." In May, Sanders said he agreed Facebook should be broken up.

Warren and other candidates have also called for big corporations such as Amazon to pay significantly more in taxes. But she, in particular, has drawn the ire of conservative tech mogul and Trump ally Peter Thiel, who called her the Democratic candidate he is most scared of.

In some ways, well-to-do tech employees backing populists such as Warren and Sanders are acting against their own interests. Both candidates are antitrust hawks who want to limit the reach of big corporations; both have supported job actions by low-wage workers at Amazon and drivers for Uber and Lyft.

Warren's and Sanders' success with tech workers is partially due to the industry's liberal leanings, and many employees interviewed for this story emphasized her overall candidacy in describing her appeal, not her specific positions on big tech.

"She's a wonk," said Alex Whitworth, a data scientist at Facebook who kicked $250 toward her campaign. "That's strongly appealing to me, as a wonk."

For other tech donors, their willingness to back candidates critical of their industry may also be due in part to tensions with their bosses. The tech industry has been roiled by walkouts and protests over contracts with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other government agencies and the military. There is also lingering anger over the role social media networks played in the disinformation campaign Russians used in the 2016 elections.

"We have this tech-lash phenomenon that's been building over the past few years," said Ben Tarnoff, editor of Logic magazine, which covers technology. "There's a large and vocal constituency in the tech sector that is making the case these companies have a responsibility for the tech they're building."

Interviews with tech employees who support Warren and Sanders reveal a well of reservations about the increasing power of big corporations and enthusiasm for candidates who are addressing it head-on.

"I like working at Amazon. It's been the best job of my career," said Michael Sokolov, a senior software development engineer who donated $250 to Warren. "However, I don't like the fact that our economy is dominated by gigantic super-corporations."

Many Democratic candidates have criticized the tech industry while mingling with its luminaries at fund-raisers. Warren's success among its employees could undermine her image as a fierce critic, although her campaign pointed out it has a policy of not holding private fund-raisers or reaching out directly to members of any industry.

And some of Warren's long-held positions align directly with demands of tech workers scrutinizing their own industry. Last fall, thousands of Google employees walked out in protest of the company's policy requiring workers to settle disputes in forced arbitration, instead of through lawsuits, which workers said has allowed Google to keep accusations of serious problems such as sexual assault secret. Warren has been a vocal opponent of forced arbitration for years and proposed prohibiting companies that use the practice from getting federal contracts.

"We've been advocating for an end to forced arbitration. We had to push our company for that," said Tanuja Gupta, another organizer of the Google walkouts, who has donated $333.82 to Warren's campaign. "I find it incredibly appealing that there's a political candidate who's willing to do that for all workers and end forced arbitration."

Several donors expressed reservations about Warren's plan to break up tech companies, including whether it would do enough to address the industry's problems.



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 July, 2019

Democrats Have Lost What Was Left Of Their Minds

Imagine being a Democrat right now. You have the House, and the Republican majority in the Senate is small. In the race for the presidency, you have every advantage with the exception of incumbency. Yes, the economy is booming but there isn’t a mainstream media or cultural institution that isn’t on your side and willing to anything to help you win. All you have to do is not act crazy and you’re 99 percent of the way home. And that’s the problem, there are no longer any sane Democrats.

The House hearing with Robert Mueller on Wednesday was supposed to be their shining moment, their chance to rally the country to their thus far rejected cause. Instead, it was another in a long line of flops. After watching it, I wanted to call a hotline to, as I put it in my podcast, report a shameless display of elder abuse.

It’s true that Mueller didn’t want to be there, but it appears everyone was wrong about the reason why. He’s not “above the fray,” as he was portrayed by liberals, he’s lost a lot of steps. Most shockingly, the hearing exposed that he was, at best, barely involved in the investigation. He was a name to put on the letterhead to give it gravitas and the appearance of bipartisanship.

The hearing left those who watched it with the realization he was an autopen to sign off on subpoenas, letters, and the final report. I’d feel pity for him were there not so much destruction in his wake. No matter how many steps he’s lost, he knew he was driving people into bankruptcy chasing a unicorn and he sat there, silently, hammering paychecks.

But Mueller’s embarrassing testimony wasn’t the only problem for Democrats. They had to polish that turd, no matter what. This was their moment in the sun.

Democrats are running out of silver bullets to take out President Trump. First, they thought he’d implode. He didn’t. They said he’d destroy the economy, it’s thriving. They swore he colluded with Russia. He didn’t. The promised the Mueller report would change minds. It didn’t. They switched their focus to obstruction of justice. No one cared.

After dozens of unfulfilled promises and shifting goalposts, even with so many advantages working for them and a team of investigators with unlimited power, they have nothing. Because facts matter, evidence matters. So much of the past 2 years has been spent trying to change that, trying to “fundamentally transform” the country into something it was created to be the opposite of, and they failed. They’re handling it about as well as you’d expect.

On Wednesday, CNN and MSNBC were worth watching, for once. It was like watching the kid who annoyed everyone in elementary school learn their parents never loved them. They and Congressional Democrats wanted a way out. But it’s too late, they’re pot-committed.

By the next day they were back to their old form, calling for impeachment because, well, just because. The alternative would be to talk about their ideas – socialized medicine, American taxpayer-funded health insurance for illegal aliens, open borders, higher taxes, etc. They don’t want the public knowing that’s what they’re advocating for any more than the American public wants it.

Donald Trump’s existence and persistence is Chinese water torture to the left, and they’re at the breaking point. They’re down to the last gift box on Christmas morning and they know the “official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle” not only isn’t in it, it’s not hiding behind the desk either.

They simultaneously declare impeachment proceedings must begin now because “no one, not even the President, is above the law,” without offering evidence of a crime beyond existing wrong in their eyes. They also do it while advising illegal aliens on how to thwart our immigration laws and avoid consequences. It seems some people are, in fact, above the law.

The drooling and incoherence will continue, as will the digging. Democrats know they’re drilling a dry well, but as long as they’re still drilling they can keep those on the hook from realizing they’re being hoodwinked.

And that’s where the Democrats are now – they’re the homeless guy losing an argument to a lamppost on a street corner. If they had the capacity to be sane, or even fake it for a while, they’d be doing it. Reality and the public’s understanding of it has taken the last sliver of rational thought they had, and with it their dignity. Donald Trump’s success and Robert Mueller’s testimony has driven them to the edge of crazy. On the plus side for them, carbon footprint was very small since it was a very short drive.



Racism accusations are a red herring to distract attention from destructive Leftist policies

The media wants to make the feud between President Donald Trump and four Democratic congresswomen known as “the squad” about race, instead of focusing on their policies which are dangerous for the country, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

“I think the news media really wants to make this about race. You just did it. This isn't about race. It's not about gender. It's not about religion. These members of the House of Representatives more, it's not just these four, it's also some of the candidates who are running for President on the Democratic side fundamentally believe in policies that are dangerous for this nation, and as Republicans, we are going to fight against those even if the mainstream media accuses us of racism when we do that,” Cheney said.

She said it is “absolutely wrong” for the crowd at Trump’s rally last week to chant, “Send her back,” as the president has acknowledged, and “it should not have happened.”

Cheney said she would like to see the media “as focused on the substance of what this wing of the Democratic Party is advocating because that is really dangerous for our country.”

“Socialism is dangerous for our country,” she said, adding that the presidential election “and these issues that we’re talking about are fundamental to the future of this country.”

“When you have members of Congress who are as anti-Semitic as Ilhan Omar has been, when you have members of Congress who are advocating the, you know, complete elimination of the use of all fossil fuels, all air travel, the elimination of private insurance, the imposition of socialism on this country, we're not going to stand for that. We're not going to stand for policies that take freedom away from the American people. That's what this fight is about,” Cheney said.



Court declines to block new Trump administration rule barring most Central American asylum petitions

A federal judge Wednesday let stand a new rule that bars migrants who failed to apply for asylum in at least one country on their way to the southwest border from obtaining protections in the United States, dealing the Trump administration a temporary win.

Judge Timothy J. Kelly of the US District Court in Washington declined to issue a temporary restraining order that would have blocked the government from effectively banning asylum for most Central American migrants, who have been arriving in record numbers this year.

The rule, now being applied on a limited basis in Texas, requires migrants to seek asylum in the first safe country they arrive in - in most of the current cases, Mexico.

"I do not find on this limited record the plaintiffs have provided sufficient evidence of a certain great and immediate harm to meet this high burden," Kelly said Wednesday.

Under the policy, which the administration announced July 15, only immigrants who had officially lost their bids for asylum in another country through which they traveled or who had been victims of "severe" human trafficking are permitted to apply for asylum in the United States.

Hondurans and Salvadorans have to apply for asylum and be denied in Guatemala or Mexico before they became eligible to apply in the United States, and Guatemalans have to apply and be denied in Mexico. The policy reversed longstanding asylum laws that ensure people can seek safe haven no matter where they come from. On July 16, the day the new rule went into effect - initially in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas - the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the policy in court in San Francisco. The case under review Wednesday in Washington was filed separately by two advocacy organizations, the Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition and Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.

The groups had asked the court to find that Congress did not intend that mere transit through another country would render an applicant ineligible for asylum in the United States, and to rule that the policy did not comply with required procedural steps. Kelly, however, disputed the plaintiffs' contention that Attorney General William Barr overstepped legal requirements when issuing the rule.

"I think at this point, the plaintiffs are reading too strictly a limitation on the attorney general's authority," Kelly said.

He also found that the two advocacy organizations did not provide sufficient support for the contention that there would be "irreparable harm" to the plaintiffs in the case if an immediate, temporary block to the policy were not imposed. Although the rule would impact migrants seeking asylum, "The plaintiffs before me here are not asylum-seekers," the judge said.

"They are only two organizations, one of which operates in the D.C. area, far from the southern border," he said.

Claudia Cubas, the Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition's litigation director, said the organization was disappointed in the decision. "This new rule is contrary to our laws, and we will continue to challenge this attempt to remove asylum eligibly from those who are fleeing violence and persecution around the world," Cubas said in a statement.

In recent years, the number of migrants petitioning through the asylum process has sharply increased.

In record numbers, migrant families and unaccompanied children have been turning themselves in to Border Patrol agents and requesting asylum, which typically enables them to remain in the United States for years as their cases wind through the backlogged immigration courts. Only about 20 percent of them ultimately win asylum, according to the government, and many of those whose applications are rejected remain in the country unlawfully.

The majority of the 688,375 migrants who were encountered at the border since the beginning of the fiscal year that began in October have come from Central America. Kelly did seem to concur with the administration's contention that there was a need to contain migration numbers at the border.

"The records suggest our immigration system at the border has been severely strained and that such an increase, if it occurred, would at minimum have negative repercussions," the judge said.

The administration announced the new asylum policy despite the fact that Guatemala and Mexico had not agreed to the plan, which means those countries have made no assurances that they would grant asylum to migrants who were intending to go to the United States.

The Trump administration has been negotiating for months with Guatemala and Mexico in the hope of reducing the number of asylum-seekers showing up at the nation's southern border. Talks with Guatemala broke down and the country's president, Jimmy Morales, backed out of a meeting that had been scheduled for July 15 at the White House. Talks with Mexico remain in flux.



Trump Enjoys The Best Week Ever

In the past week, President Donald Trump has enjoyed an incredible stretch of good news. In fact, it has been his best week since he entered the presidential race in 2015.

The highlight of the week was former Special Counsel’s Robert Mueller embarrassing performance during two congressional hearings. He spent six hours bumbling and fumbling through incomplete answers. He seemed unable to hear or understand many of the questions. Overall, it was a shocking display of ignorance. Not only was Mueller unaware of Fusion GPS, but he also seemed to be clueless about the type of partisan Democrats he hired for the investigation. The Republican congressmen who questioned Mueller exposed him as a figurehead who was not in charge of the two-year $40 million investigation.

After such a debacle, Democrats should have shifted gears and ended the witch hunt to start focusing on issues that are of true importance to the American people. Fortunately for President Trump, the Democrats cannot move on to other issues. They are all infected with a severe case of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Amazingly, Democrats, continue to act like unhinged political crazies. Even after Mueller’s weak testimony on Wednesday, many top Democrats were still claiming that impeachment was a viable option. This shows Democrats are detached from political reality as Americans are clearly tired of the Russian collusion investigation and the never-ending Democratic Party obsession with impeachment.

Polls commissioned by the Republican Party revealed that impeachment is especially unpopular in swing districts with opposition reaching 60 percent among voters. A recent nationwide Gallup poll showed that impeachment was only supported by only 45 percent of the American people and a solid majority, 53 percent, opposed it. 

While the President pursues policies in line with his “America First” agenda, the Democrats are advocating a platform of radical ideas that are hopelessly out of touch with mainstream Americans. Unlike previous generations of party leaders, today’s Democrats support a bevy of radical positions including massive tax increases, open borders, socialized medicine, a $93 trillion Green New Deal and a host of other ideas that would destroy our nation in innumerable ways.

While President Trump enjoys very strong support from Republicans, Democrats are deeply divided between traditional liberals, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and radical socialists, like U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). The relationship between the two has been very tense in recent months as they differed on several issues. This week, after the two women met, Speaker Pelosi praised her young colleague and informed the press that impeachment was still an option and the decision would be made in a “timely fashion.”

In response, President Trump called his Democratic Party opposition “clowns.” However, he is not only fortunate to have his radical political opposition pursuing “impeachment nonsense,” he is only benefitting politically from his economic policies. This week, it was announced that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by a solid 2.1 percent in the second quarter, beating the expectations of most economists. This follows an especially robust first quarter of 3.1 percent GDP growth. These reports clearly show the president’s tax and regulation reduction policies are working and the economy is expanding, which will improve his chances of winning re-election.

This was also a great week for the president in his quest to secure our Southern Border. In 2016, the top campaign promise of then-candidate Donald Trump was to “build the wall.” Unfortunately, upon entering the White House, the president has faced non-stop opposition from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

On Friday, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court gave the President a tremendous boost with their decision to allow the administration to use a portion of the authorized funds, $2.5 billion from the Defense Department, to construct sections of the border wall.

After this Supreme Court decision, the president will be able to campaign for re-election by showing at least some progress on his promise to “build the wall.” It will help maintain his strong support among Republicans and those voters who care deeply about border security.

In his political career, President Trump has enjoyed both successes and setbacks; however, the events of this week were truly remarkable. With good news from the congressional hearings, the economic reports and the Supreme Court, the president’s chances for re-election have improved dramatically. The opposition’s main argument for defeating President Trump was exposed as a total delusion. Their policies have been revealed as radical pipe dreams, while the president’s policies are consistently showing positive results for the American people. By week’s end, the president is stronger politically, which is great news for the United States of America as his re-election is essential for the future security and stability of our nation.



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 July, 2019

Supreme Court paves the way for Donald Trump to build his wall

It was one of his biggest 2016 election promises - and today it looks like it may happen, and Donald Trump isn’t holding back his delight

The US Supreme Court has cleared the way for the Trump administration to tap billions of dollars in Pentagon funds to build sections of a border wall with Mexico.

The court’s five conservative justices gave the administration the green light to begin work on four contracts it has awarded using Defence Department money. Funding for the projects had been frozen by lower courts while a lawsuit over the money proceeded. The court’s four liberal justices wouldn’t have allowed construction to start.

The justices’ decision to lift the freeze on the money allows President Donald Trump to make progress on a major 2016 campaign promise heading into his race for a second term. Trump tweeted after the announcement: “Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall. The United States Supreme Court overturns lower court injunction, allows Southern Border Wall to proceed. Big WIN for Border Security and the Rule of Law!”

The Supreme Court’s action reverses the decision of a trial court, which initially froze the funds in May, and an appeals court, which kept that freeze in place earlier this month. The freeze had prevented the government from tapping approximately $A3.6 billion in Defence Department money to replace existing sections of barrier in Arizona, California and New Mexico with more robust fencing.

The case the Supreme Court ruled in began after the 35-day partial government shutdown that started in December of last year. Trump ended the shutdown in February after Congress gave him approximately $1.4 billion in border wall funding. But the amount was far less than the $5.7 billion he was seeking, and Trump then declared a national emergency to take cash from other government accounts to use to construct sections of wall.

The money Trump identified includes $3.6 billion from military construction funds, $2.5 billion in Defence Department money and $600 million from the Treasury Department’s asset forfeiture fund.

The case before the Supreme Court involved just the $2.5 billion in Defence Department funds, which the administration says will be used to construct more than 160 kilometres of fencing. One project would replace 74 kilometres of barrier in New Mexico for $789 million. Another would replace 101 kilometres in Arizona for $646 million. The other two projects in California and Arizona are smaller.

The other funds were not at issue in the case. The Treasury Department funds have so far survived legal challenges, and Customs and Border Protection has earmarked the money for work in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley but has not yet awarded contracts. Transfer of the $3.6 billion in military construction funds is awaiting approval from the defence secretary.



The time when all Republicans were RINOs

There has always been a lot of conservatism in America but it has not always had a political voice.  The long rule (4 terms!) of Democrat presidential hero FDR had so thoroughly captured the media, the bureaucracy and the educational system that it was almost impossible for a conservative to get heard.  There was an absolute liberal consensus among public voices.  Liberals really believed that there was no reasonable alternative to liberralism and therefore saw conservative utterances as simply kooky. And their view prevailed.  So even the Republican party has become basically liberal -- just an alternative liberal voice

That could not continue, however.  The first conservative voice to gain some respect was Bill Buckley.  He was very much like an affluent Eastern states liberal and was always highly clubbable, respectful of indiviual liberals and very well-spoken and literate.  He could reason with liberals in their terms.  His impact was however only in Eastern States clubland.  He was not a man of the people

Then along comes Barry Goldwater.  From here on I quote from here:

AT the beginning of the 1960s conservatives were in a better position than at any time since the 1930s to challenge moderate Republicans for control of the party. But large obstacles remained. Not only were conservatives widely viewed as wild-eyed fanatics but they squabbled among themselves, had trouble articulating a positive program of reform, had few grassroots organizations, and lacked the funding to make the movement a serious political force.

The year 1960, though, brought a turning point for the conservative movement. That year Barry Goldwater published The Conscience of a Conservative. Generally dismissed in the national media, the book stands today as one of the most important political tracts in modern American history.

As the historian Robert Alan Goldberg demonstrates in Barry Goldwater, his fine new biography, The Conscience of a Conservative advanced the conservative cause in several ways. Building on William F. Buckley's pathbreaking work at National Review, Goldwater adeptly reconciled the differences between traditionalists and libertarians. The expansion of the welfare state, he wrote, was an unfortunate and dangerous development that undermined individual freedom. Suggesting that New Deal liberalism marked the first step on the road to totalitarianism, Goldwater argued that government should be removed from most areas of American life.

Yet he was no strict libertarian. Appealing to those on the right who longed to recapture lost certitudes, he argued that the state had a duty to maintain order and promote virtue. "Politics," Goldwater wrote, is "the art of achieving the maximum amount of freedom for individuals that is consistent with the maintenance of social order."

Goldwater also united disparate conservative factions by focusing their attention on the dangers of Soviet communism. He wrote,

"And still the awful truth remains: We can establish the domestic conditions for maximizing freedom, along the lines I have indicated, and yet become slaves. We can do this by losing the Cold War to the Soviet Union."

Goldwater rejected the containment strategies that had guided U.S. foreign policy since the late 1940s, and called for an aggressive strategy of liberation. Conservatives might disagree about the proper role of government in American life, but surely they could unite to defeat the "Soviet menace."

Goldwater also dispelled the notion that conservatives were a privileged elite out to promote its own economic interests. "Conservatism," he wrote, "is not an economic theory." Rather, it "puts material things in their proper place" and sees man as "a spiritual creature with spiritual needs and spiritual desires." According to one right-wing magazine, Goldwater gave conservatives humanitarian reasons for supporting policies usually "associated with a mere lust for gain."

But perhaps the greatest achievement of Goldwater's book--and the reason for its startling success with the right--was that it gave conservatives, for the first time, a blueprint for translating their ideas into political action. In his introduction Goldwater rejected the idea that conservatism was "out of date."

"The charge is preposterous and we ought boldly to say so. The laws of God, and of nature, have no dateline. The principles on which the Conservative political position is based ... are derived from the nature of man, and from the truths that God has revealed about His creation. Circumstances do change. So do the problems that are shaped by circumstances. But the principles that govern the solution of the problems do not. To suggest that the Conservative philosophy is out of date is akin to saying that the Golden Rule, or the Ten Commandments or Aristotle's Politics are out of date."

Supporting states' rights, lower taxes, voluntary Social Security, and a strengthened military, Goldwater emphasized the positive in his philosophy and demonstrated "the practical relevance of Conservative principles to the needs of the day."

That altered the American political landscape, galvanizing the right and turning Goldwater into the most popular conservative in the country. By 1964, just four years after its release, the book had gone through more than twenty printings, and it eventually sold 3.5 million copies. "Was there ever such a politician as this?" one Republican asked in disbelief. The Conscience of a Conservative "was our new testament," Pat Buchanan has said. "It contained the core beliefs of our political faith, it told us why we had failed, what we must do. We read it, memorized it, quoted it.... For those of us wandering in the arid desert of Eisenhower Republicanism, it hit like a rifle shot."

REPUBLICAN Party leaders, however, ignored the "Goldwater boomlet." Vice President Richard Nixon, the front-runner for the 1960 Republican nomination, believed that the greatest threat to the party came not from the right but from the left. In July, Nixon met with Nelson Rockefeller, the governor of New York, and agreed to change the party platform to win moderate-Republican support. Conservatives were outraged, referring to the pact, in Goldwater's words, as the "Munich of the Republican Party."

A few days later, at the Republican National Convention, an angry Goldwater called on conservatives to "grow up" and take control of the party. And that, according to Brennan, is exactly what they set out to do. At a time when "liberal and moderate Republicans, like the rest of the country at that time and like historians ever since, continued to view conservatives in a one-dimensional mode," conservatives believed that Goldwater's popularity, the rise of a conservative press, and the growing strength of conservative youth groups boded well for the future.

Increasingly disillusioned with Republican moderates and with the whole tenor of American political debate, the right began to see organization as the key to political power. In the midst of the 1960 presidential campaign, for example, William Buckley, the conservative fundraiser Marvin Liebman, and almost a hundred student activists met at Buckley's estate in Sharon, Connecticut, and formed Young Americans for Freedom. Within six months the organization could claim more than a hundred campus and precinct-level political-action groups and at least 21,000 dues-paying members. Using newsletters, radio broadcasts, and frequent rallies, YAF had almost overnight become a powerful nationwide movement.

Had Young Americans for Freedom and other grassroots organizations remained isolated from one another, their impact would have been weak. But in 1961 the political activist F. Clifton White organized a movement to nominate a conservative for President. Traveling around the country, White exhorted conservatives to seize control of their local party organizations and elect conservative delegates to the national convention. The movement orchestrated by White gave conservatives control over the Republican Party and helped to persuade Goldwater to run for President.

Capturing the presidential nomination was one thing; winning the presidency proved much more difficult. In the early 1960s conservatives tried to distance themselves from the radical right. No group troubled conservatives more than the John Birch Society. With organizations in all fifty states, thousands of members (who, according to Brennan, were "zealous letter writers, demonstrators, and voters"), and a full-time staff, the society wielded significant influence. But Birchers, many of whom believed that Dwight Eisenhower and other government officials were Communist agents, tarnished the reputations of more-rational conservatives.

Buckley understood the problem: conservatism, he explained, had to bring "into our ranks those people who are, at the moment, on our immediate left--the moderate, wishy-washy conservatives. ... I am talking ... about 20 to 30 million people.... If they are being asked to join a movement whose leadership believes the drivel of Robert Welch [the founder of the John Birch Society], they will pass by crackpot alley, and will not pause until they feel the warm embrace of those way over on the other side, the Liberals."

But in 1964 Goldwater could not escape the taint of extremism. Brennan points out that despite their sporadic attacks on the radical right, conservatives were still political neophytes. Goldwater and his supporters believed that all they had to do was expose Americans to conservative ideas. But Goldwater had no positive program, and spent much of the campaign railing against Social Security and threatening to roll back the Communist tide. Moderate Republicans labeled him a racist and a warmonger, and Goldwater seemed to confirm such charges when he threatened to "lob" missiles "into the men's room at the Kremlin."

Perhaps most damaging, the media condemned him as a kook who sounded more like Adolf Hitler than like a Republican presidential candidate. Norman Mailer, writing in Esquire, compared the Republican National Convention to a Nazi rally. The columnist Drew Pearson described the "smell of fascism" in the air. Roy Wilkins, of the NAACP, told readers of The New York Times that "a man came out of the beer halls of Munich, and rallied the forces of Rightism in Germany" and that "all the same elements are there in San Francisco now." When Democrats mocked Goldwater's campaign slogan, "In your heart, you know he's right," by adding, "Yes, extreme Right," Goldwater's candidacy was doomed.

Poor campaign management, Goldwater's image, and the lack of unity in the Republican Party contributed to the Democratic landslide in November of 1964. But whereas liberals saw the election results as the final repudiation of the American right, conservatives took solace in Goldwater's 27 million votes and vowed not to repeat their mistakes. What appeared to be a defeat for conservatives was actually a dramatic success: Goldwater had paved the way for a generation of Republicans by appealing to the "forgotten" and "silent" Americans "who quietly go about the business of paying and praying, working and saving." He had also raised new social and moral issues that would prove vital to future conservative successes.

But the liberals, of course, never gave up and used their continuing control of the media to reassert their old consensus.  And that reached its highpoint in the Obama regime. They nearly got their old dominance back.  Like all Leftist regimes, however, it was intrinsically authoritarian and that paved the way for a big wave of dissent.  And that rejection of a kid-gloves dictatorship brought  Donald Trump to power. The lesson from it all is that the Left never gives up and never learns.  So, sadly, our fight with them must never cease.

There is a video below of a Barry Goldwater speech that describes an America that sounds distressingly familiar:


Trump administration proposed rule would cut 3 million people from food stamps

The Trump administration on Tuesday proposed a rule to tighten food stamp eligibility that would cut about 3.1 million people from the program, U.S. Department of Agriculture officials said, drawing ire from Democratic senators and advocacy groups.

The administration has been rolling out rule changes related to the food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), after efforts to pass new restrictions on it were blocked by Congress last year. The program provides free food to some 40 million Americans, or about 12 percent of the total U.S. population.

The USDA billed Tuesday’s move as a way to save money and help eliminate what it sees as the widespread abuse of the program. But Democrats and advocacy groups criticized it as an attack on the nation’s poorest.

“This rule would take food away from families, prevent children from getting school meals, and make it harder for states to administer food assistance,” said Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.

Currently, 43 U.S. states allow residents to become eligible for food stamps automatically through SNAP, or if they receive benefits from another federal program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, according to the USDA.

The agency wants to change that by requiring people who receive TANF benefits to pass a review of their income and assets to determine whether they are also eligible for free food from SNAP, officials said.

If enacted, the rule would save the federal government about $2.5 billion a year by removing 3.1 million people from SNAP, according to the USDA. Advocacy group First Focus on Children said 7.4% of households with children participating in SNAP would lose their access to food stamps.

“To cut money for people who need to be fed? It’s just another example of the heartlessness of this administration,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters.

President Donald Trump has long argued that many Americans using SNAP do not need it given the strong economy and low unemployment, and should be removed as a way to save taxpayers as much as $15 billion.

“Some states are taking advantage of loopholes that allow people to receive the SNAP benefits who would otherwise not qualify and for which they are not entitled,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters on a conference call on Monday.

The USDA does not need congressional approval to stop states from automatically allowing recipients of TANF benefits to become eligible for SNAP, said Brandon Lipps, a USDA acting deputy undersecretary.

Current rules allow people to access SNAP benefits worth thousands of dollars for two years without undergoing robust eligibility reviews, he told reporters on the call.

“Unfortunately, automatic eligibility has expanded to allow even millionaires and others who simply receive a TANF-funded brochure to become eligible for SNAP when they clearly don’t need it,” Lipps said.

The liberal-leaning Center For American Progress advocacy group said the proposal would hurt the poor “by forcing states to take food assistance away from those with even modest savings of a few thousand dollars” as well as raise administrative costs for states.

The move could also potentially hurt discount retailers such as Dollar Tree (DLTR.O) and Dollar General (DG.N), which have blamed weaker traffic on reduced food stamp coverage in the past. Dollar General shares were down 0.67% while Dollar Tree shares were down 1.90%.

The Congressional Budget Office in December estimated the rule could save the federal government $8.1 billion from 2019 to 2028, lower than the USDA’s estimate. In 2016, the CBO said there were concerns the move would eliminate benefits for households in difficult financial situations and increase the complexity and time needed to process SNAP applications.



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 July, 2019

‘Disaster for the Democrats’: Why the Mueller testimony failed to deliver what Donald Trump’s opponents wanted

For many of Donald Trump’s opponents, Robert Mueller’s testimony was one final chance to impeach the President. In a best-case scenario, the former special counsel would shed damning new light on his 22-month investigation and reveal that Mr Trump was indeed impeachable.

At the very least, Mr Mueller would relay powerful excerpts from the 448-page document on national television, which would engage the 90 per cent majority of the American public who did not read the report, and in particular dissuade people in crucial swing states from voting for him at next year’s election.

Instead, the almost seven-hour testimony fell flat. Not only did it fail to yield any new information on the investigation, but Democrats failed to get that powerful made-for-TV sound byte they were hoping for.

For Mr Trump’s opponents, the testimony was like watching a really great trailer for a movie that … ultimately kind of sucked.

Mr Mueller repeatedly refused to answer questions from Democrats and Republicans alike.

The Democrats had hoped to hear him respond to a series of questions surrounding Mr Trump’s potential crimes and ongoing investigations relating to him and his associates.

Republicans sought to interrogate him on any potential political bias that may have compromised the investigation.

Both sides were waved off — along with any questions on impeachment. Instead, Mr Mueller focused almost entirely on the text of the report — which was already made public months ago.

None of this should have come as a surprise. In the lead-up to the testimony, this is exactly what Mr Mueller said he would do. In his opening statement, he reiterated: “The report is my testimony and I will stay within that text.”

Bear in mind, not all Democrats supported impeaching the President. Some, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, vocally opposed an impeachment motion but still supported the testimony as a way of discrediting Mr Trump in the lead-up to the 2020 election.

For this to work, Mr Mueller was to read out a selection of powerful excerpts from the report, which, in televised form would resonate with the viewer.

But instead, he largely stuck to “yes” and “no” answers, refused to comment on a range of questions, and basically refused to dramatise his findings.

Several media commentators across the US have since concluded the testimony was a bust, saying it’s now time for the Democrats to move beyond the impeachment issue.

“Impeachment’s over,” declared ABC’s Terry Moran. “I don’t think Nancy Pelosi is going to stand for her members bringing forth something that is going to obviously lose in the Senate, lose with the American public.”

“It’s time for Democratic leaders to stop obsessing over this closed case and to put the American people first,” wrote CNN’s Alice Stewart, who described the testimony as an overall “nightmare” for Congressional Democrats.

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace deemed the testimony “disastrous”. “I think this has been a disaster for the Democrats and I think it’s been a disaster for the reputation of Robert Mueller,” he said.

Experts have warned the Democrats need to move on from the impeachment issue and focus on producing sound policies and unity ahead of the 2020 election.

More HERE 


Trump sues to block New York law allowing Congress to get his state tax records

State taxes require similar information to Federal taxes so the new NY law could be a way around Trump's refusal to publish his Federal tax records.  The new NY law was clearly written to accomplish exactly that.

Confidentiality of tax returns is however something of a bedrock principle of tax law so the new law is unlikely to survive a challenge in the courts.  Whether it does or does not, legal challenges to it could undoubtedly be prolonged well past the next election.

Even if someone does eventually gain the information through the courts he could still be vulnerable to legal action if he publishes it.  That should be sufficient to scare off politicians and major media

President Donald Trump on Tuesday filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent the House Ways and Means Committee from obtaining his state tax returns through a newly passed New York law.

The president's lawyers said the state law was nothing more than an effort to get information about his personal finances to embarrass him politically.

The suit referred to an NBC News article on Monday that said Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., was under pressure from fellow Democrats to make use of the new law.

The suit asks the court to provide a declaratory judgment that the committee "lacks a legitimate legislative purpose for obtaining the President's state tax information."

The lawsuit asserts that the law, called the TRUST Act, violates Trump's First Amendment rights. It seeks to block the Ways and Means Committee from being able to request the taxes through the law, prevent New York Attorney General Letitia James from enforcing it, and stop New York Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Michael Schmidt from complying with any request for Trump's tax filings.

"The House Rules authorize the Committee to oversee 'Federal laws,' not state tax laws," says the suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia. "And nothing in the House Rules allows the Committee to demand the private financial information of a sitting President."

The president's personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, said in a statement that the lawsuit was filed as part of "our ongoing efforts to end Presidential harassment."

"The targeting of the president by the House Ways and Means Committee, the New York Attorney General, and a New York tax official violates article 1 of the U.S. Constitution," he said. "The harassment tactics lack a legitimate legislative purpose."

The New York law allows the chairmen of three congressional tax-related committees — the House Ways and Means Committee, Senate Finance Committee and Joint Committee on Taxation — to request the state returns of public officials only after efforts to gain access to federal tax filings through the Treasury Department have failed. Neal is the only Democrat who can use the law.

The legislation states that any "legitimate task" of Congress is a valid reason to make the request, should efforts to obtain the returns at the federal level be stonewalled by the Treasury Department. New York state tax filings are not identical to the federal returns, but contain much of the same information.

"I have every confidence that the president’s legal challenge will fail and New York’s standing offer to support Congress in its oversight role on taxes will remain in effect," New York state Assemblyman David Buchwald, a Democrat who sponsored the legislation, said in a statement. "It's no surprise that the President has moved quickly in an attempt to strike down New York’s tax transparency law as he is fighting the release of his tax returns on every front."

The bill, signed into law this month, was written broadly and makes it easier for New York to turn over the state tax returns of certain public officials to Congress.

Neal said last month he wouldn't use the law to request the state returns because he feels it could harm his attempt at getting the federal filings. Neal sued the Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department for those returns citing a section of tax law that states the Treasury Secretary "shall furnish" to congressional tax committees "any return or return information" request by its chairman. The stated purpose of Neal's request is to review the IRS process for auditing presidential returns.

Earlier this month, Neal said House counsel was "reviewing" the law and had "some legitimate concerns" regarding it.

But he is under pressure from Democrats to act. An aide to a Democratic member of Ways and Means told NBC News in a report on Monday that "there has been widespread frustration from members of the committee at how slowly this process has moved."

Trump broke with decades of tradition by refusing to release his returns while running for the presidency, claiming he was under audit. Such an audit would not preclude him from releasing the returns, however. A president's returns undergo IRS audits annually.



Democrats’ forced unionism bill threatens jobs and tramples workers’ rights

The Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019 (PRO Act) is a great illustration of just how radical and out-of-touch today’s Democrat Party is. The bill, which has 179 House Democrat cosponsors and 40 Senate Democrat cosponsors, would force millions of workers into unions they oppose and destroy jobs while lining the pockets of liberal fat cat donors. Just when some workers finally begin recovering from the Great Recession is no time to be killing jobs in the franchise industry and the gig economy. For these and other reasons, the bill must be rejected.

On May 2nd, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) introduced the PRO Act in the House; the same day, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) introduced the companion bill in the Senate. The bill is essentially a grab bag of liberal Democrat labor policies designed to prop up failing unions at the expense of workers and the economy. Of course, the bill should not be considered charity but rather as a quid pro quo.

First of all, the bill would invalidate Right to Work laws in 27 states, not only overturning the will of the voters in many of these states, but also forcing many workers to join unions and pay union dues against their will. Of course, by paying union dues, union members would be subsidizing speech and political activity that they might oppose and this is exactly what the Democrats are trying to achieve in this naked grab for power.  Furthermore, by effectively repealing Right to Work laws, House Democrats would be negating the revitalization of the US manufacturing sector making our nation less competitive with the rest of the world.  Just when President Trump’s strong tax, regulatory, and trade policies are paying off with the creation of more than half million manufacturing jobs, Congressional Democrats would adopt policies guaranteed to send jobs overseas.

Secondly, the bill institutes card check which effectively ends secret-ballot union elections inviting a climate of workplace intimidation. In other words, instead of being required to win an election, unions could gain power by simply conning or pressuring workers into signing unionization cards. Making matters worse, businesses would be forced to hand over contact information for all employees to unions without the employees’ consent so that union organizers could harass the workers at their homes.

Thirdly, the bill mandates ambush unionization elections. These snap elections may prevent those opposed to unionization from having a sufficient opportunity to make their case to workers giving unions an unfair advantage. Apparently Democrats are worried that if both sides have a fair hearing, then more workers will be inclined to vote against unionization.

Fourthly, the bill would bring back the Obama era joint-employer standard making franchisors responsible for the actions of franchisees. Franchises are often the gateway to entrepreneurship for middle-class Americans, and House Democrats would deliberately pour cold water on this basic American dream.  By making the parent company responsible for labor law mistakes made by franchisees, House Democrats would likely kill the franchise goose that laid the golden egg.

Finally, the bill would make it tougher for workers to qualify as contractors. This could cripple the business models of FedEx Ground, Uber, Lyft and a number of other innovative companies that rely upon contractors to deliver their services to customers. The significant additional employment costs imposed by this bill are designed to create unionization opportunities for Democrats’ labor union benefactors, but it is doubtful whether currently independent drivers would survive the transition as they became little more than scheduled cab drivers.

The PRO Act is a threat to workers’ rights, to millions of American jobs, and to the U.S. economy as a whole; therefore, it must be defeated. Fortunately, not a single Republican has signed on to this disastrous legislation.



Bernie Sanders Runs Into Socialist Reality
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., proudly announced this year that his presidential campaign would be the first in history to have a unionized workforce. Well, he just became the first presidential candidate in history to face a labor revolt from his unionized workforce.

According to The Washington Post, the Sanders campaign workers union, United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400, complained that field organizers are “making poverty wages” and that “many field staffers are barely managing to survive financially.” Because field organizers are working 60 hours a week, according to the union, their annual salary of $36,000 works out to $13 an hour — well below the $15-an-hour federal minimum wage Sanders has called for.

It gets worse. When the Sanders campaign offered to raise salaries to that level, the union rejected the offer. Why? Because, The Post reports, “the raise would have elevated field staff to a pay level responsible for paying more of their own health-care costs.” It turns out that Sanders pays only 85% of health-care premiums for campaign staff making more than $36,000 — despite campaigning on a promise of free health care for all with “no premiums, no deductibles, no co-payments, no out-of-pocket expenses.”

So, what was Sanders’s solution? First, he cut the hours of his field staffers from 60 to about 43 a week — which meant the campaign could say it was paying $15 an hour without actually increasing field organizers’ pay. Then on Monday, his campaign finally gave in and agreed to raise salaries to $42,000, preserve full health premium coverage and limit workers’ hours to 50 per week.

During the dispute, Sanders’s campaign defended its policies, declaring, “We know our campaign offers wages and benefits competitive with other campaigns.” Well, McDonald’s offers wages competitive with other fast-food chains, but that has not been good enough for Sanders. He has marched with McDonald’s workers, and attended Walmart shareholder meetings, to demand they be more generous with their workforces. How could he demand those companies provide pay and benefits that he was resisting giving his own employees?

Now the union has forced Sanders to capitulate on wages and health care. But why stop there? The Sanders union seems to be suffering from a lack of imagination. If union organizers really want to hold Sanders to his own standards, then a $15 minimum wage and premium-free health care should be only the beginning.

Sanders has promised to cover the cost of prescription drugs and make sure “no one in America pays over $200 a year for the medicine they need.” He has promised to pay for “universal childcare and pre-kindergarten.” He has promised free college, because “you are not truly free when the vast majority of good-paying jobs require a degree that requires taking out tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt to obtain.” He has promised to “free generations of Americans from the outrageous burden of student loans by canceling all existing student debt.” Is he setting an example by providing all these benefits to workers on his campaign?

Of course not. Because if he did, his campaign would quickly run out of cash. Ah, but there’s the rub. As former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher famously put it, “the trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

A political campaign literally runs on other people’s money. It is bare-bones operation, in which staffers choose to work ridiculous hours for low pay, and rely on donations from supporters to get the candidate’s message out. In Sanders’s case, the majority of his donations come from small donors — ordinary Americans who are sacrificing their hard-earned money to help get him elected, not to fund social welfare for political operatives.

Every dollar his campaign spends on higher pay and free stuff for campaign workers is a dollar not spent on campaign ads in Iowa and New Hampshire. And if his campaign can’t get those ads on the air, then Sanders will lose — and his entire team will lose their jobs, their benefits and their chances of a cushy White House job. Then they won’t ever get access to the United States treasury and the chance to really spend other people’s money. So, we should all be grateful to the UFCW Local 400 for pulling more Sanders campaign money off the airwaves and into the pockets of Sanders’s field workers, while limiting the hours they can work to spread his socialist message. They’ve done the country a great service.



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

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


25 July, 2019

Inheritance is mostly overrated as a reason for wealth

Inherited money seldom lasts long

Perhaps more than ever before, people claim that almost the only way to join the ranks of the rich is through inheritance. Apparently, in the good old days, it was still possible build a fortune from the ground up—but not anymore. Such claims discourage people who have set themselves the goal of becoming wealthy as entrepreneurs or investors. The message, whether explicit or unspoken, is as clear as it is sad: “Don’t even bother trying—those days are long gone.” There are even so-called classism researchers who criticise the media for reporting on people who have ascended from humble beginnings to become rich. Such articles, the researchers claim, only perpetuate a false illusion that capitalism, in reality, can never live up to.

67% of The Forbes 400 Are Self-Made

Forbes has proved that this is simply not the case. In fact, the opposite is true: In 1984, less than half the people on The Forbes 400 list of richest Americans were self-made. By 2018, in stark contrast, this same figure had risen to 67%! Forbes’ analysis is based on a scoring system in which each member of The Forbes 400 is given a score on a scale from 1 to 10. A 1 is awarded to people who have inherited their entire fortune and have done nothing to increase their wealth. A 10 means that someone has pulled themselves up by their bootstraps to build their incredible wealth in the face of substantial obstacles. Anyone on The Forbes 400 who merits a score of between 6 and 10 is rated as having truly made it on their own.

The Buddenbrooks: An Exemplary Tale

The importance of inheritance is overestimated because, in reality, most heirs are unable to preserve let alone expand their assets. In 1901, the German writer Thomas Mann published one of his most celebrated novels, Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family, which tells the story of how a rich merchant family, the Buddenbrooks, slowly but surely squandered its fortune over the course of four generations. As is so often the case, fact mirrors fiction, as demonstrated by the scientists Robert Arnott, William Bernstein and Lillian Wu in their research paper “The Myth of Dynastic Wealth: The Rich Get Poorer.” Their key findings include the following: “The average wealth erosion for the 10 wealthiest families of 1930, 1957, and 1968… was 6.6 percent, 5.3 percent, and 8.7 percent, respectively. These figures correspond to a half-life of wealth—the length of time it takes for half of the family fortune to be redistributed within society through taxation, spending, and charitable giving—of 10 years, 13 years, and (remarkably) 8 years, respectively.”

Great Ideas And Personality Traits Are Not Necessarily Passed On To The Next Generation

One glance at the list of the richest people in the world is enough to see that the vast majority—insofar as they have not inherited their wealth—have earned their fortunes as entrepreneurs. And according to the findings of entrepreneurship research, successful entrepreneurs become rich because they have a very specific combination of personality traits. However, these personality traits cannot simply be passed on to the next generation. The super-rich became rich because they had incredibly good ideas. Why is it that Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Sergej Brin and Larry Page are among the richest people in the world? Because they had great ideas, founded Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and Google and knew how to turn them into extremely profitable companies. It’s very unlikely that their children will have the same personality traits or such brilliant ideas.

The Secret Weapons Of The Super-rich?

Left-wing economists, such as the Frenchman Thomas Piketty, believe that the rich have access to particularly profitable investments—some would even call them a license to print money—which allow them to automatically increase their wealth even without their own entrepreneurial ideas. Just like left-wing anti-capitalists, family offices that earn their money by promising to increase the wealth of rich families have a vested interest in maintaining the myth that there are secret, extremely lucrative investment opportunities that are reserved only for the super-rich. This is, after all, the basis of their entire business model. But there are very good reasons to doubt that this is the case. It is more likely that most of these exclusive asset managers deliver even worse results for their super-rich clients than an average investor would achieve by investing in an index fund. For example, hedge funds have enjoyed an almost legendary reputation as the super-secret weapons of the rich for many years. And yes, some hedge funds have achieved extremely high returns, for which they have received a great deal of celebratory media attention. On average, however, they have performed worse than an index fund that absolutely anyone can buy on the internet.

In 2007, Warren Buffett entered a million-dollar bet with fund manager Protége Partners that the S&P 500 Index would outperform a portfolio of hedge funds over the next ten years. Buffett was right and donated his winnings to Girls Incorporated of Omaha. The S&P 500 Index fund in which he invested delivered a compound annual return of 7.1%, outperforming the return on the funds selected by Protégé Partners (2.2%). The extent of the difference is really put into perspective when you compare the actual monetary returns: Anyone who invested a million dollars in hedge funds before 2008 would have made a profit of $220,000 by 2017. S&P 500 investors, on the other hand, would have collected $854,000. So much for the supposed license to print money and “secret weapons” of the super-rich.

How People Inherit Money And Lose It Again

Many rich heirs could actually live very well off their inheritances if only they followed the advice Warren Buffett has already given his wife for when she inherits (a minor part) of his fortune: Simply invest the money in an index tracker fund. But most people think they are smarter and believe they can make particularly canny investments—which all too often turn out to be flops. Or they inherit a company but do not have the entrepreneurial talent of their predecessors. Others overestimate themselves, start new companies and lose money. Still others go through expensive divorces or simply spend far more each year than their inheritances would sensibly allow. There are countless examples that show just how difficult it is to manage an inheritance. Many heirs have more in common with lottery winners who, by a stroke of luck, win massive fortunes, but lose them again because they lack the requisite skills to handle money.

Welcome To The Self-Made Billionaires’ Club, Jay Z

In reality, the chances of getting rich, even at a young age or as someone who comes from a humble background, have never been so good. Recent headlines have trumpeted the fact that Jay Z, who was raised by a single working mother, has become the world’s first hip-hop billionaire and the latest member of the Self-Made Billionaires’ Club. Of course, very few people will ever make it quite so far. But what helps more? Telling someone “You have no chance anyway. If you don’t inherit money, you’ll never get rich,” or, “Forget it! Capitalism only makes the rich even richer.” Or saying, “You probably won't become a billionaire, but look at the people who started out at the very bottom and made it to the top. Seize your opportunities!”



The Left vs. Law Enforcement
While the border crisis continues, the American left is becoming more violent, and its enablers in Congress and the courts resist efforts to stem the crisis. Here are the latest developments from the weekend.

In Tacoma, Washington, police shot and killed an Antifa anarchist who attacked a detention facility in an apparent effort to kill the guards there. The attacker, Willem Van Spronsen, had been arrested during a protest at the same facility last year.

Several friends indicated he sent a manifesto promising something big. The governor of Washington blames the incident on the atmosphere President Trump has created.

At an ICE facility in Aurora, Colorado, demonstrators took down the U.S. flag and replaced it with the Mexican flag. They also took down and defaced a Blue Lives Matter flag with the words “Abolish ICE” and raised another flag that said “F—k Cops."

Late in the evening, a squad of armed guards was finally able to remove the Mexican flag and restore the American flag to its rightful place.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is running for the Democrat presidential nomination as a supposed moderate, defended the flag desecration as "free speech.” Wrong!

It is not free speech to trespass onto federal property to destroy federal property. It is free speech to burn your own flag. You cannot tear down or burn someone else’s flag.

I’m glad we have Gov. Hickenlooper on the record on this incident. Every Democrat presidential candidate should be asked about their views of what happened this weekend and whether they support raising the flag of a foreign nation in the place of the American flag.

All over America this weekend, elected Democrats ran to microphones to profess their loyalty to illegal immigrants. Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, posted a video with the police chief standing next to him and declared, “Your city is on your side, and rest assured, here in Los Angeles we are not coordinating with ICE.” Garcetti may come to regret that decision. (See next item.)

Who’s on the side of law-abiding U.S. citizens? And why isn’t the LAPD cooperating with federal law enforcement?

It was the same thing in Chicago, where authorities showed more interest in protecting illegal immigrants than protecting Chicago residents from the mass violence that results in dozens of people being shot every weekend.

Leftists were on bicycles in Hispanic neighborhoods warning illegal immigrants of any law enforcement efforts by ICE. Why aren’t they going through those neighborhoods warning kids of gangs and drug dealers?

A few weeks ago, various left-wing spokesmen called for the public harassment and “doxing,” exposing personal information online, of those who guard our borders. Go to their homes, go to their kids’ schools. Shame them publicly, the left insisted.

This weekend, Sen. Elizabeth Warren upped the ante by threatening to prosecute Border Patrol guards. She told the radical Netroots conference, “On my first day, I will empower a commission in the Department of Justice to investigate crimes committed by the United States against immigrants.”

While she pursues policies that make it impossible to detain illegal immigrants, now she’s threatening to target those guarding the border. This is how extreme the left has become.

In stark contrast, President Trump issued an executive order giving “voice” to the victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens, crimes that never should have happened but did because liberal politicians refuse to secure the border.

By the way, only 33% of voters think the government is “too aggressive” when it comes to deporting illegal immigrants.



A good rationale


Sen. Cruz Introduces Measure to Designate Left-Wing Antifa a 'Domestic Terrorist Organization'

Given the radical, left-wing Antifa group's well-documented history of violence, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.) introduced a resolution on July 18 that condemns Antifa's "violent acts" and calls for the designation of the group as a "domestic terrorist organization."

"Antifa is a group of hateful, intolerant radicals who pursue their unhinged agenda through aggressive violence," said Sen. Cruz in a statement. "Time and time again their actions have demonstrated that their only purpose is to inflict harm on those who oppose their views."

"The hate and violence they spread must be stopped, and I am proud to introduce this resolution with Senator Cassidy to properly identify what Antifa are: domestic terrorists," he said.

Sen. Cassidy, a medical doctor, said, "Antifa are terrorists, violent masked bullies who ‘fight fascism' with actual fascism, protected by Liberal privilege."

"With bullies, they get their way until someone says no," he added. "There must be courage, not cowardice, from the elected officials who allow violence against the innocent."

The two senators noted the recent attack by Antifa members on photojournalist Andrew Ngo in Portland. Ngo was taking pictures at a June 29 demonstration when he was beaten by Antifa members. He suffered a brain hemorrhage and a torn ear lobe.

Antifa, which is an abbreviation of the word "anti-fascist," is a radical, left-wing group with members across the country. Antifa group members engage in direct action -- intimidation, brutality, and violence -- targeted often at conservatives and supporters of President Trump, as well as against private property.

Antifa's actions are face-to face but also online, and through other digital or technical means to harass and intimidate people. Antifa also sometimes engages in action against the police.

The resolution from Sens. Cruz and Cassidy reads:

Title: Calling for the designation of Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization.

Whereas members of Antifa, because they believe that free speech is equivalent to violence, have used threats of violence in the pursuit of suppressing opposing political ideologies;

Whereas Antifa represents opposition to the democratic ideals of peaceful assembly and free speech for all;

Whereas members of Antifa have physically assaulted journalists and other individuals during protests and riots in Berkeley, California;

Whereas in February of 2018, journalist Andy Ngo was intimidated and threatened with violence by protestors affiliated with Antifa;

Whereas on June 29, 2019, while covering demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, journalist Andy Ngo was physically attacked by protestors affiliated with Antifa;

Whereas employees of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (referred to in this preamble as "ICE") were subjected to doxxing and violent threats after their social media profiles, phone numbers, and home addresses were posted on the Internet by left wing activists;

Whereas according to the Wall Street Journal, an ICE officer was followed by left wing activists and "confronted when he went to pick up his daughter from summer camp", and another "had his name and photo plastered on flyers outside his home accusing him of being part of the ‘Gestapo'";

Whereas the ICE office in southwest Portland, Oregon, was shut down for days due to threats and occupation by Antifa members;

Whereas Rose City Antifa, an Antifa group founded in 2007 in Portland, Oregon, explicitly rejects the authority of law enforcement officers in the United States, and Federal, State, and local governments, to protect free speech and stop acts of violence;

Whereas Rose City Antifa rejects the civil treatment of individuals the group labels as fascists, stating: "We can't just argue against them; we have to prevent them from organizing by any means necessary."; and

Whereas there is no place for violence in the discourse between people in the United States, or in any civil society, because the United States is a place where there is a diversity of ideas and opinions: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate-

(1) calls for the groups and organizations across the country who act under the banner of Antifa to be designated as domestic terrorist organizations;
(2) unequivocally condemns the violent actions of Antifa groups as unacceptable acts for anyone in the United States;
(3) expresses the need for the peaceful communication of varied ideas in the United States;
(4) urges any group or organizations in the United States to voice its opinions without using violence or threatening the health, safety, or well-being of any other persons, groups, or law enforcement officers in the United States; and
(5) calls upon the Federal Government to redouble its efforts, using all available and appropriate tools, to combat the spread of all forms of domestic terrorism, including White supremacist terrorism.



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 July, 2019

The Totally, Utterly Irrefutable Case Against Socialism

When a dozen of conservatism’s best minds take on Socialism and expose it for the utopian fraud it is, attention must be paid.

In a brief foreword to a special issue of National Review, Editor-in-Chief Richard Lowry admitted that many conservatives thought socialism in America had been “vanquished” after the collapse of Soviet Communism 30 years ago. But as T. S. Eliot insisted, “There is no such thing as a Lost Cause because there is no such thing as a Gained Cause.”

The experts examine socialism in its many guises, beginning with Charles Cooke’s blunt assessment that socialism is not and never can be “democratic.”

Cooke, the editor of NationalReview.com, writes that voters should not be fooled by the left’s attempt at rebranding.

“There is no sense in which socialism can be made compatible with democracy as it is understood in the West.” At worst, says Cooke, “socialism eats democracy, and is swiftly transmuted into tyranny.” At best, socialism “stamps out individual agency, places civil society into a straitjacket of uniform size, and turns representative government into a chimera.”

Cooke’s description of socialism as tyrannical was confirmed by Ugo Okere, a socialist candidate for the Chicago City Council, who explained that “democratic socialism, to me, is about democratic control of every single facet of our life.”

That would mean, presumably, rewriting the first words of the Constitution to something like, “We the people of the United States in order to form a more democratically controlled Union … ”

What has Okere’s “democratic control” produced in the socialist “paradise” of Venezuela?

Ricardo Hausmann, the former chief economist of the Inter-American Development Bank, has written that “Venezuela’s economic catastrophe dwarfs any in the history of the U.S., Western Europe or the rest of Latin America.”

How catastrophic? Under Chavez-Maduro socialism, the child mortality rate has increased 140%. Ninety percent of Venezuelans now live in poverty. This year inflation will hit an unbelievable 10 million percent. (That is not a typographical error.) All this in a country with the world’s largest proven oil reserves—far greater than those of the United States.

Cooke concludes his essay with lessons learned from 6,000 years of civilization, including “never relinquish the right to free speech, the right to free conscience, the right to freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, or the right to a jury trial.”

Whatever you do, he warns, don’t be seduced by socialists bearing promises. But if you are seduced, “get out before it’s too late. You have nothing to lose but your chains.”

The distinguished author Joshua Muravchik, a fellow at the World Affairs Institute, takes a historical approach to the myths of socialism.

He writes that the initiator of Soviet terror, tyranny, and violence was its founding father, Vladimir Lenin, who exhorted his followers to exert “merciless mass terror against kulaks, priests, and White Guards; persons of doubtful standing should be locked up in concentration camps” (i.e., the Gulag).

To what end? Not just to accumulate political power, but in pursuit of a sacred mission—a socialist world.

When the farmers resisted collectivization, Lenin’s successor, Josef Stalin, engineered a famine in which at least 5 million and perhaps as many 10 million starved to death—the Holodomor.

If Stalin was “a tyrant of stupefying brutality,” writes Muravchik, he was outdone by Communist rulers Mao Zedong, whose Cultural Revolution resulted in at least one million deaths, and Pol Pot, who wiped out one-fourth of Cambodia’s population in his attempt to emulate Mao.

Why did they kill so many? Muravchik provides the answer: “It was their devotion to an ideal [socialism] that prompted them to slaughter millions of unresisting innocents.”

Economist Jeffrey Tucker begins with the damning comment: “Among the most conspicuous of socialism’s failings is its capacity to generate vast shortages of things essential for life.”

In Maoist China, he points out, there was no meat and no fat in which to cook anything. In Bolshevik Russia, there was never enough housing or food, not even loaves of bread.

What happened when Nikita Khrushchev took over as Soviet leader following Stalin’s death in 1953? He and his colleagues tried desperately to “cobble together” a system of planning that made sense without relying on “bourgeois” market forces.

They failed miserably. In Tucker’s words, Khrushchev “spent his last years as a discredited, dejected, and sad old man on a park bench.”

If you love deprivation, constriction, and general limits on material aspirations, says Tucker, plus a “tyrannical ruling class that oppresses everyone else, you will love what socialism can and does achieve.” Indeed, he concludes, “misery seems to be its only contribution to economic history.”

Socialists, says National Review correspondent Kevin Williamson, are guilty of a fatal conceit: They think they can develop a system so powerful that it can consider every variable in society and propose scientific answers “about how many acres of potatoes to plant, and when and where to plant them.”

But free-market economists Ludwig von Mises and F. A. Hayek (a Nobel Laureate) showed that “complete knowledge was not attainable on social, economic, or political questions.”

Therefore, says Williamson, the more intelligent and non-ideological governments have largely given up on central planning.

Even the Nordic social democracies, so dear to the self-styled socialists of the United States, “mostly have been divesting themselves of state enterprises.”

Reasonably successful state-run enterprises, such as the Swiss railroads, “have been converted into stock corporations or reformed in other market-oriented ways.”

The subtitle of Hayek’s last work “The Fatal Conceit” is “The Errors of Socialism.” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., have failed to learn from those errors, says Williamson, asserting that “you cannot call yourself the party of science and the party of socialism too. You have to choose one or the other.”

Socialists flaunt their compassion, argues former National Review Editor-in-Chief John O’Sullivan, because it gives them an excuse to impose their will on others “unlawfully and even murderously.”

Modern socialists tend to disapprove of placing conditions on aid to the poor—“workfare”—viewing the receipt of aid as “an unqualified right.”

That sounds generous, says O’Sullivan, but it traps the poor “in long term dependency” and undermines what the scholar Shirley Letwin calls the “vigorous virtues” among their neighbors.

Before a single socialist regime had established itself, says O’Sullivan, 19th-century writers like Fyodor Dostoevsky, W. H. Matlock, and Rudyard Kipling saw “the horrors that lay concealed within socialism’s humanitarian promise.” Their examination of country after country refutes the fraying excuse that socialism has never been tried.

In the later stages of Soviet Communism, for example, a woman would sell herself for a pair of jeans; in Venezuela today, “people exchange family heirlooms for a little food.”

Although the French welfare state is often offered as a shining example of progressivism, Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, declares you must look at “actual France, not the fantasy France of progressive propaganda.”

He challenges the French elite who believe they have the right “to order society for the benefit of everyone.”

Given the results of their leadership—low growth, mass unemployment, social strife, and a general mood of pessimism—Gobry suggests that “they might want to rethink their idea of progress.”

BT (Before Thatcher), the Great Britain of the 1970s was generally described as “the sick man of Europe,” due to its prolonged experiments with statism and the pervasive stagnation they produced.

In 1960, according to historian Andrew Stuttaford, the U.K. boasted Europe’s most productive economy, but that was before the Labour Party came to power and nationalized almost every industry in sight.

The mid-1970s were hard on most Western economies, but the U.K. “appeared to be in a hell of its own,” says Stuttaford. Inflation shot up 300%. Gross domestic product fell, unemployment rose, the pound crumbled, industry buckled, “and some of Britain’s best and brightest headed for the exit.”

The winter of 1978 was characterized by grotesque images—the dead unburied, the sick untreated, the trash piling up in the streets.

Just months later, promising radical change, Margaret Thatcher walked into 10 Downing Street and proceeded to denationalize coal, steel, and utilities; bring down inflation; spur economic growth; and refuse to give into organized labor’s draconian demands.

Her message: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

Markets, not bureaucrats, are better for the environment, asserts Shawn Regan, a fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center, pointing out that Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union “were the most polluted and degraded places on earth.”

He quotes the economist Murray Feshbach and journalist Alfred Friendly Jr. as writing that when historians conduct an autopsy of Soviet Communism, “they may reach the verdict of death by ecocide.”

Closer to home, says Regan, the attempts of Cuban socialists to maximize production at all costs “has caused extensive air, soil, and water pollution.”

In Venezuela, socialist policies have contaminated drinking water supplies, fueled rampant deforestation, and caused frequent oil spills. The principal guilty party is the state-owned energy company.

Rarely, if ever, will Ocasio-Cortez and other sponsors of the Green New Deal concede the painful truth about socialism’s dismal environmental legacy.

Imagine a shoe store with just one brand of sneakers—now apply that to medical care. So begins journalist and health care expert Avik Roy, who explains the pluses and minuses of the British National Health Service, so beloved by Sanders and other American “democratic” socialists.

Because the British health system is funded entirely by taxes and is “free” to patients, there are no premiums, no co-pays, no deductibles.

How then does the system prevent excess consumption and control costs?

Roy says there are two principal ways: first, by controlling the fees that doctors, hospitals, drug companies, etc. receive; and second, by “aggressively restricting the … costly services that would otherwise blow up” the health care budget.

Notwithstanding Sanders’ contrary opinion, says Roy, “the NHS is no paradise.”

NHS doctors “routinely” conceal from patients information about new therapies the service does not pay for, so as not to “distress, upset or confuse them.”

Terminally ill patients are “incorrectly classified” as close to death to allow the withdrawal of expensive life support. Most NHS patients expect to wait five months for a hip operation or knee surgery, says Roy, but the actual waiting times are worse: 11 months for hips and 12 months for knees, compared with a wait of three to four weeks for such procedures in the United States.

NHS problems like limitations on access to care and dishonest statistics “will be familiar to those enrolled in America’s homegrown version of socialized medicine: the Veterans Health Administration.”

Understandably, writes Roy, American socialists are not calling for “VA care for all” but for “Medicare for All.”

Medicare features like subsidized premiums and unlimited access, says Roy, make the program popular with seniors who receive about $3 in benefits for every dollar they pay into Medicare. But the lack of controls has turned the program into an “oppressive fiscal burden.”

According to the trustees, the Medicare hospital trust fund will run out of money in 2026, less than a decade away. The ultimate price tag of Medicare for All is an incomprehensible $30 trillion.

The solution may be debatable (The Heritage Foundation, for example, favors block grants to the states and health savings accounts), but the answer is not “the Anglo-Canadian version of socialized medicine that tramples on individuals’ rights to seek the care and coverage that they want.”

The real reason why American socialists are 24/7 news, says Washington Examiner editor Timothy Carney, is the widespread “social and cultural poverty” in America.

The root cause of both Occupy Wall Street and Bernie 2016 was a “prevailing sense of alienation.” Young people, Carney says, “felt that they lost the ability to make a difference in the world.” They were a vacuum waiting to be filled.

Modern American society “in which community is weaker and people are more alienated,” says Carney, has proven a fertile ground for socialism. The political reaction from socialists and their fellow travelers is “a demand for a bigger federal safety net.”

Carney reports, for example, that the People’s Policy Project, a socialist think tank, calls for a raft of federal programs, including 36 weeks of federally funded paid parental leave, federally funded child care, a federal benefit for stay-at-home mothers, and federally funded pre-K.

The conservative response, Carney argues, should be “community.” That is, an extended family, neighbors, parishes, shuls, civic associations, dinner clubs, swim clubs, and all the other communal variations.

Such institutions—Edmund Burke’s “little platoons”—help families stay together, mothers and fathers “stay sane,” and new parents “navigate the daunting path of parenthood.”

Carney warns that the less we’re connected to one another via community institutions, and the more isolated we are, the more we grasp for something big to protect us. “For young Americans that’s often the state.”

Socialism is not only or even principally an economic doctrine, concludes the British author Theodore Dalrymple, “it is a revolt against human nature.” It refuses to believe that man is a fallen creature and seeks to improve him “by making all equal one to another.”

The development of the New Man was and is the goal of all Communist tyrannies, beginning with the Soviet Union.

Notwithstanding the disastrous results when such futile dreams are taken seriously by ruthless men in power, Dalrymple says, there are those who will continue to dream of “a life so perfectly organized that everyone will be happy.”

National Review’s analysts believe that such dreams will inevitably become nightmares as they have in the 40 some nations that suffered under socialism.

The record of failure without exception is clear. It remains for conservatives to expose the impossible promises of the socialists, drawing on the conclusions of National Review’s experts:

Socialism is not compatible with the Constitution.

Socialism, the idea that millions killed for, is a mirage.

Socialism is very good at generating vast shortages of the essential things in life.

Socialism can never know enough to plan all our lives every day.

Socialism tries to make all of us equal to one another.

Socialism is very good at promising all the benefits we’ll never see.

Socialism in Great Britain had one outstanding success—Margaret Thatcher.

Socialism was responsible for making Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union the most polluted and degraded places on earth.

Socialized medicine as practiced in Great Britain and Canada is bad for people’s health.

American socialism is on the rise because of widespread social and cultural poverty in America.

What is to be done? It rests with you and me. We must get to work exposing socialism for the fraud and failure it is and taking back our culture and our country.



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 July, 2019

Jordan Peterson’s year of trauma

Health problems.  A great mind in a frail body

Interviews with the Canadian academic, clinical psychologist and culture war belligerent Jordan B. Peterson can go badly wrong, sometimes for the interviewer, sometimes for Peterson. Sometimes for both.

His most infamous encounter was with Cathy Newman on Britain’s Channel 4 News last year, an interview that has been watched more than 16 million times. Although Newman’s approach seemed designed to confirm Peterson’s reputation among the liberal left as a misogynist, most think she was worsted by him.

After that, however, she received such violent abuse online that Peterson intervened on Twitter to ask his supporters to stop threatening her.

Eighteen months on, he is not exactly extending the hand of friendship. “I thought it was very underhanded of her to come out and play the victim. It wasn’t like I was attacking her,” he says from his home in Toronto.

The problem, I think, is that Peterson and his interviewers assume the lobster position when they meet. Those who have read the first rule of his bestselling 12 Rules for Life will know what I mean. “Stand up straight with your shoulders back,” it orders, citing in support the claw-waving, boxer champ-dancing, chemical-spraying crustacean and its visceral fights for hierarchical advantage. “Look for your inspiration to the victorious lobster, with its 350 million years of practical wisdom,” his first chapter concludes.

Family turmoil

When I ring him at 3pm his time, I deal him a real zinger. “How are you?” I ask.

“That’s a complicated question. I’ve some very bad health in my family,” he says in a weak, scratchy voice that is far distant from that of the irritable layer-down of laws with whom I have familiarised ­myself.

“We’re all rather devastated at the moment. My wife is very ill. She’s had two surgeries in the last two months and is suffering from severe complications from the last one, and the prognosis overall is uncertain.”

Peterson and Tammy Roberts knew each other as children growing up on the same street in Fairview, northern Alberta, and have been married for 30 years. This spring she had a rare kidney cancer diagnosed. Surgery determined that the cancer had not spread, but her recovery did not go as planned.

“We got hit by lightning twice, let’s say. It’s not the ideal circumstances to have a positive interview, I’m afraid,” Peterson says.

Although 12 Rules is subtitled An Antidote to Chaos (chaos somewhat unhelpfully being symbolically identified by him as feminine), it is really about human suffering and what to do when, as he puts it in his grimly vivid way, “your leg is clamped firmly in a crocodile’s jaw”.

If anybody knows how to approach suffering, it’s him, I say. “Well, you’d hope so, but this has still thrown us through a massive loop.” At the beginning and at the end of our 90-minute discussion, Peterson’s voice breaks and he sounds close to tears.

Fans and enemies

In the year after its publication in January 2018, 12 Rules sold about three million copies, but Peterson is known by millions more for his podcasts and online lectures. Introduction to the Idea of God has been viewed 4.1 million times on YouTube.

On book tours he attracts audiences of a size more usually enjoyed by stand-up comedians, although his act is short on laughs. He wins ecstatic reviews, many friendly comment pieces and the gratitude of thousands of mainly young men who felt lost.

It is his critics who tend to get noticed, however, invading his lectures, taking him down in print by pointing out his more bizarre utterances and turning interviews into gladiator fights.

The hostility started not with 12 Rules, let alone his previous opus, Maps of Meaning, but with his opposition in 2016 to an amendment to Canadian law that, he claimed, would compel him to refer to transgender students and colleagues by the pronouns of their choice. Academe and other realms in which the latest received wisdom prevail spotted a traitor.

His greatest heresy was to insist on gender being a biological fact, not a social construct. (And I do mean insist. In 12 Rules he writes: “This isn’t a debate. The data are in.”)

What he does not claim is that the average woman is any less intelligent than the average man, and when I ask him to confirm that he believes in the equality of opportunity between the sexes he replies: “You’d have to be a fool not to believe in the equality of opportunity. I mean, it’s not like we have an excess of talent.”

Has he ever called himself a feminist? “I wouldn’t say so, only because of the connotations, let’s say, of the term, but I have a wife and a daughter, and I have a sister and a mother. It’s not like I’m not hyper-concerned about their progress through life and doing everything I possibly can to ensure that they have all the opportunities they possibly can.”

Strange company

He is a suspect public figure for another reason: the company he not so much keeps as is photographed beside. The latest example was a snap of him with an arm around a man wearing an “I’m a proud Islamaphobe (sic)” T-shirt. When this became public in March, Cambridge University rescinded a visiting fellowship for Peterson to study theology there, a decision he calls “extremely unfortunate and shortsighted”.

A number of things are going on here. One is that some pretty weird alt-righters project their prejudices on to him and that Peterson has a mischievous side to him that objects far too little to this. Another is his naivety. He is a clinician and an academic used to rooms of two or lecture halls of 70. Encountering in his 50s (he is 57) the wider world of what passes for thought, he is a little awed by it and a bit unsure how to treat it.

Staring into abyss

I ask if I may make an observation about 12 Rules. Lobsters aside, I mostly agree with the rules, but the picture he paints is of life as a struggle, a battle, even a 70-year war. His prose style is matchingly combative. Even his humour can be violent.

Now “Being”, as he grandly capitalises it, has its sorrows, but I don’t regard it as a constant fight. Have I lived a particularly fortunate life? Or has his been so difficult that it has delivered him to this vision of life red in tooth and claw?

“I think that’s a good question,” he says. “I’ve studied totalitarianism for many decades and I would say that isn’t a study that predisposes you to a particularly rosy view of the world. What did Nietzsche say? If you look too long into an abyss, the abyss looks into you. It’s certainly possible that that’s happened to me to a degree.

“It might also have something to do with my temperament. I have suffered fairly chronically from depression, and you never know how that colours your worldview. It’s certainly made things have a greater impact on me emotionally than they might have.”

I say that from the book I was also struck by how tough his Canadian childhood was, just the weather for one thing. “Well, there’s some truth in that,” he says. “It’s not like I failed to see the beauty also, but, especially in the winters, the absolute harshness of the environment was right at hand, every morning for months.”

In adulthood, ill health encroached early on his young family. His daughter, Mikhaila, suffered severe juvenile arthritis from infancy and had hip and ankle replacements at 17. In January the ankle replacement was redone in Zurich.

“So it has been one hospital trip after another for the last six months.” Like her father, she suffers from depression, apparently ameliorated by eating a beef-only diet, a regimen that her father has adopted to some effect and mockery.

“Do I feel I’ve had a hard life? There’s been some of it that’s been hard,” he says. “It’s by no means been hard compared to many people’s lives, but there’s a strong familial streak of depression that runs through my family.

“That’s been hard. My daughter’s illness was hard, very hard at times. It was very difficult to see her in pain for so long.

“On the other hand, I’ve had great good fortune. I have wonderful children (a son too). I love my wife. I have a great extended family. I’ve had a wonderful career. I’ve had this strange streak of unparalleled success, but I’m distraught currently because of this unexpected occurrence in my family, which is quite devastating to everyone concerned.

“I’m having a difficult time reconciling myself to it, my own good advice notwithstanding. That was a shock and it’s conceivable that I wasn’t in the best psychological state to have received that news because the last three years have been, let’s say, exhausting.”

Behind the armour

The public demands on his time have meant him abandoning his teaching at the University of Toronto and his psychologist’s practice. Nevertheless, over the past three years he has been “terrified” of being “one slip of the tongue away from genuine and permanent trouble” (Rule 10: Be precise in your speech).

What has been “entirely surreal” is not being able to walk down a street unrecognised.

“My mother was here a couple of weeks ago, helping take care of things while my wife was in hospital,” he says. “I was sleeping in the hospital and I would come home and my mother would walk back to the hospital with me, which is only about five blocks away.

“Generally speaking, along the way, five or six people would stop me, sometimes more. This was usually in the morning and they’d tell me some heartfelt story about how they’d married their girlfriend or made peace with their father or quit drinking. They’re very emotional stories and it brought her to tears several times.

“And then the scandals: that adds an additional level of strangeness to it. So much of the scandal has been political, and yet virtually everything I do, certainly in my public lectures, is psychological and philosophical, and very little of it political.

“It’s not like I’m opposed to the left. I understand that people are dispossessed and they need a voice. I’m not a winner-takes-all guy. I know that life has an arbitrary element and that it’s best to set up a society so that people can’t fall too far and not get back up.

“I see a role for the right and the left because the right stands for what’s good about what is and the left gives a voice to those who aren’t served by it.

“The reason I’m a free-speech advocate is because a dialogue has to take place between those two positions in order for us to maintain an even keel.”

He sounds as if he is swallowing back tears. “You caught me at a rather emotional time, I’m afraid. That’s not particularly rare, but, yeah, it’s been rather brutal here.”

It is not the first time he has described himself as an emotional person, but it has been hard to accept the claim because of his adamantine Old Testament public face.

Now I see that facade as an armour that protects him from himself as much as from his enemies. Life’s a battle, but his emotions count among the hostile insurgents. Peterson’s fans will not want to hear this any more than his ­enemies.

Nor can I imagine him accepting what I mean as a compliment. Right now, however, Dr Peterson is nothing like a lobster.



If You Can't Beat 'Em, Call 'Em Racist

Trump's tweets about the America-haters did NOT MENTION race

Veteran journalist Brit Hume weighed in on the uproar over President Donald Trump's latest bomb-throwing: "Trump's 'go back' comments simply do not meet the standard definition of racist, a word so recklessly flung around these days that its actual meaning is being lost."

Hume even cited the Merriam-Webster's definition of racism to show that Trump's comments had nothing to do with race. Hilariously — and pathetically, in a sign of the times — Merriam-Webster replied with a lengthy explanation about how "the lexicographer's role" isn't to define "how some may feel [words] should be used," while warning that "it is prudent to recognize that quoting from a dictionary is unlikely to either mollify or persuade the person with whom one is arguing."

In other words, words have no meaning if facts conflict with your triggered feelings.

Trump said what he said poorly, leaving himself wide open for the very assault he's facing. He said what we think he meant far better in defending himself later. "These are people that hate our country," he said. "If you're not happy in the U.S., if you're complaining all the time, very simply, you can leave."

Oddly enough, leaving wasn't his idea. Are we the only ones who remember the scads of leftists pledging to flee America altogether if Trump were elected president? Instead, they're all still here, still hating our country, still undermining the "democracy" they claim to be defending, and still trying to impeach its president.

That brings us to the press conference Monday involving the four radical leftist congresswomen who are members of what has been dubbed "The Squad" — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley.

Omar, the anti-American, anti-Semitic refugee from Somalia — and thus the only one of the four women resembling Trump's original description — was the worst, calling Trump "blatantly racist" and decrying his "agenda of white nationalists." She rehearsed a slew of false charges against Trump. Among them:

Trump was "credibly accused of ... colluding with a foreign government to interfere with our election." (A team of Democrat lawyers spent two years and $35 million to determine that it was NOT a credible accusation.)

He has "pursued an agenda to allow millions of Americans to die from a lack of health care while he transfers millions of dollars in tax cuts to corporations." (Both charges are BIG Lies and/or tinfoil-hat conspiracies. Millions have not died for lack of health care. And no money was "transferred" to corporations because it wasn't taken via taxes in the first place. Democrats are the ones bent on transferring wealth and basing their platform on envy.)

"This is a president who has called black athletes 'sons of b—es.' This is a president that called people who come from black and brown countries 's—tholes.' This is a president who has equated neo-Nazis with those who protest them." (No, he didn't. No, he didn't. And no, he didn't.)

She falsely blamed Trump "for the deaths of children on our border," and she accused him of "committing human-rights abuses" like "keeping children in cages and having human beings drinking out of toilets." (Children and the traffickers who bring them might not be trying to illegally cross the border without Democrats' open invitation. And while no one is drinking from toilets, Border Patrol detention facilities wouldn't be overwhelmed without, again, Democrats' open invitation.)

Omar accused Trump of making a "mockery out of our Constitution," something Democrats do all day every day, while concluding, "It's time for us to impeach this president."

There was plenty more, but that should suffice.

The Democrats' clear agenda with the "racist" charge is a craven political calculation to send Republicans scrambling for cover. It's working, too, as elected Republicans distance themselves from the president while much of the conservative commentariat piles on Trump. But they're succumbing to the relentless drumbeat of the Democrats' Leftmedia super PAC. For example, a Washington Post story today is titled, "White identity politics drives Trump, and the Republican Party under him."

How to put this politely...? That's horse pucky. Buried under Trump's garbled prose is a legitimate point, and it has nothing to do with race. It has to do with loving or hating America and the political party guilty of the latter.

Finally, as we observed yesterday, Trump's strategy is to unite Democrats behind these four radical socialist faces. "Trump doesn't play tic-tac-toe. He plays chess," said Newt Gingrich. "He wants the Democratic Party to identify with" these four women. "Pelosi in a sense was trying to draw a line and say, 'We are not them.' After Trump's tweet, she said, 'Oh, we really are them.'" Pelosi is indeed standing with the four to push a new resolution to condemn Trump.

Likewise, Rush Limbaugh said, "Trump obviously is attempting to have these people become the face of the Democrat Party. It's a brilliant political move." No less than DNC Chief Tom Perez said that of Ocasio-Cortez last year. And a new poll says swing voters do indeed consider AOC to be the "definitional face" of Democrats.

So, we'll see if Trump's strategy really is brilliant.



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 July, 2019

The psychology of Trump hate

The Left routinely pour out anger, hated and contempt towards Republican Presidents. The only near-exception was Ronald Reagan.  He was very hard to hate so they mostly settled on contempt for him.  He actually got all his transformative policies through a Democrat Congress!

And a sentimental Christian gentleman -- George Bush II -- was excoriated as a new Hitler!

But Trump has caused the hate to rise to a new level.  The Left have exploded with hate during his Presidency. Even the tiniest thing Trump says or does is fodder for derogatory mention. The thing that symbolizes the Leftist attitude towards Trump for me is the icecream "affair".  At a small White House dinner for some journalists, Trump asked for an extra scoop of icecream with his dessert.  The media went wild!  How contemptible to ask for an extra scoop of icecream!  Who does he think he is?  Oliver Twist or something?  The triviality of it is mind-blowing.

Much wisdom has been written about Trump hatred but I want to take an analysis of it down to the psychological level. I want to relate it to the basics of the Left-Right polarity. And at its psychological fons et origo the Left Right polarity is very simple.  Conservatives are the contented people and Leftists are the discontented people. Conservatives don't think the world is perfect but they can happily live with it. For Leftists, on the other hand, departures from the ideal burn them up.  So how has Trump affected that?

When you are discontented with something you tend to be angry about it and want to change it.  So we have the unending stream of mostly addled Leftist proposals for "reform".  What the proposals are varies almost from day to day but there is always that simmering discontent motivating them.  The problems at the Southern border, for instance, went from non-existent to a humanitarian disaster almost overnight.

The sad thing is that the Left are mostly up against what philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz pointed out a couple of hundred years ago:  Maybe we live in the best of all possible worlds.  Leibnitz didn't mean that seriously.  He set it as a question that should be asked before we change something. The point being that some bad things are necessary to some good things and vice versa.

Current politics have a rather clear example of that.  It would be good and nice and kind if we could abolish America's borders -- as the Left propose -- and thus give all the poor of Latin America access to a better lifestyle.  How good, kind and noble the Left are to propose such a beneficial change!  The bad thing is that we cannot do that and must have defended borders if America is not to be flooded by people with the attitudes, values  and customs that have made their own countries cesspits of violence and corruption.  America already has plenty of troublesome people within its borders.  The last thing it needs is more of them. Opening the borders (good) would lead to a widespread collapse in civility (bad)

So the Left are usually up against it.  The arrangements that have stood the test of time are pretty much the best we can do.  They are an existing balance that maximizes the good without falling too far into the bad.  So any change will usually disrupt that and cause "unforeseen" bad side effects.

The bad effects are not however really "unforeseen.  Conservatives foresee them regularly and warn Leftists about them.  But the Left are so obsessed with the bad things that they see that they close their ears to any information that might distract them from the "good" that they want to do.  So we have things like the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that made health insurance UNaffordable for many.  Conservatives certainly warned vigorously against it before its enactment and it got not one vote from the Right side of the house.

So the Left are constantly in a state of frustration. The "good" that they try to do almost always rebounds against them and causes them to become unpopular instead of popular -- and loses them votes. Obamacare undoubtedly helped put Trump in office.  Would anybody suddenly hit with $10,000 deductibles vote Democrat?

But the Left have gradually got some of their way over the years,  despite the generally impoverishing effect of their policies. They have, for instance, got America to bow down before the false God of global warming despite the huge and futile cost of windmills, solar panels etc.  Had all that money been spent on repairing and upgrading America's roads, bridges and highways, everybody would have been much better off.

And the Obama/Clinton regime gave them hope of a lot of progress towards their imagined ideal world.  Americans were regulated within an inch of their lives.  The stage was set for the emergence of a new "sustainable" Eden.  Obama had generated much ecstasy and Clinton was clearly committed to continue the march towards that new but elusive Eden where we would all be ants in a great Leftist anthill.  From Hegel on that has been the Leftist vision.

But what they were up against was the wish of many Americans not to be antlike robots obeying every addled command from on high.  The ever-changing enthusiasms of the Left were far from universally shared.  And when Leftists see "racism" under every bed they certainly depart from how most Americans see things.

One thing that has changed little over the years is the Leftist  obsession with race.  Before WWII, they were for the white race, now they are against the white race but they remain racists.  With "affirmative action" and "diversity" it is all about race for them.  Almost comically, however, they deny being racists and constantly accuse everybody else of being racists. They explain their race consciousness as an attempt to do good so, in their simplistic way, any other thinking about racial differences is bad.

And they extend their intolerance of any groupthink other than their own to all sorts of groupthink by others.  In particular they are very wary of patriotism and the idea that America is particularly admirable or exceptional. 

Obama put it politely when he said during an April 2009 press conference: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism”.  Coming from an American President that is remarkable. Most Americans love their country or are at least proud of it and expect to hear that echoed in the words of their President.  Obama could on occasions bring himself to praise American ideals but praise for America as such was in short supply.

The above picture was from a 2007 political rally where the national anthem was being played. An ABC News video showed that Senator Obama did not salute at any time during the anthem and that everybody else on the platform did.  His ignoring of the anthem was widely criticized so he learned from that and was  more careful when he became President.  But it is clear that his heart was just not in it.

Obama was noted for his politeness but most Leftists are not polite at all about any praise for America.  They call it "racism".  Leftist Howard Zinn's widely used textbook A People's History of the United States is a catalog of America's failings, real, exaggerated and imagined. As America is a famously patriotic country, Leftists do at election times make some pretence of patriotism but the frequency with which they prescribe Zinn's textbook for the schools they control shows what they really think.

It is clear enough why anybody would be careful about racism.  It is "good" to avoid excesses such as Hitler's  -- but extending "racism" to include all forms of group consciousness is egregious.

So by the time of the election that brought Trump to power, many Americans had grown very tired of being lectured to and restricted by the Left.  What to the Left were the first steps towards a new Eden were to many Americans an attempt to make them into something other than what they naturally were -- and they were in a mood to rebel against it.  And in particular they disliked the constant parade of accusations and condemnations about how "deplorable" America and Americans were. 

So the election of Trump was to his followers a return to normal -- a return to how they naturally felt and thought.  They simply threw off the ever-tightening Leftist straitjacket that was trying to force them to be something that they were not.  And because of their natural patriotic feelings they LOVED the man who liberated them to express that loudly and proudly again.

So now we can see why the Left hate Trump beyond all bounds. All their attempts to right the wrongs of the world as they see them have always failed. The Soviet attempt took a painfully long time to fail but it too in the end failed.  But through their "long march" through American institutions it had begun to look as if  they might now be building a lasting approach to a new Eden.  And the Obama presidency seemed to be a culmination of that --bringing a clear victory to them at last.  After lifetimes of failures they finally seemed to be getting there. Their dreams were on the brink of being realized.

Then Donald Trump took it all away.  He destroyed their last great hope of permanent "reform". He liberated people to be what they wanted to be rather than what the Left wanted them to be.  And from the moment he became the Republican candidate his vigorous patriotism signalled that.  He was clearly from the world that Leftists deplored. And almost as soon as he came to power he did the unthinkable by removing America's obeisance to global warming -- by withdrawing from the Paris "treaty".  The "treaty" was mostly just an empty gesture but Trump took even that away.

Thanks to the traitorous John McCain, Trump did not manage to get  Obamacare abolished but he broke its backbone by getting the mandatory levy abolished. Obamacare ended up as no triumph anyway, as we see from the way that most of the current crop of Democrat presidential candidates are pushing "Medicare for all".  So there is nothing left for the Left.  What should have been their great triumph lies as a shattered ruin at their feet.

So if someone had destroyed all your dreams just when your dreams seemed likely to be realized, would you not hate with a passion the man who snatched those dreams away?  The Left are great haters so after what he took away from them, they hate Trump with all their  being. Nothing that he does is forgiveable -- JR.


Senator: ‘I Stand with’ Trump; ‘Montanans Are Sick and Tired of Listening to…Radical Democrats Trash Our Country’

The citizens of his state are “sick and tired” of hearing Democrats attack America and its founding principles, Republican Montana Senator Steve Daines declared Monday.

On Monday, Sen. Daines took to Twitter to voice his support of President Donald Trump:

“Montanans are sick and tired of listening to anti-American, anti-Semite, radical Democrats trash our country and our ideals. This is America. We’re the greatest country in the world.

“I stand with @realdonaldtrump”

On Sunday, Trump sparked controversy when he attacked “’Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen” for espousing policies “from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world.”



Jesse Watters: Dems Call Trump ‘A Nazi Rapist,’ But Cry Their Eyes Out When He Says, ‘Go Home’

Democrats complaining about President Donald Trump’s tweets can dish it out, but they can’t take it, Fox News’ “The Five” Co-host Jesse Watters said Monday.

“When did ‘Love it or leave it’ become racist?” Watters asked, dismissing Trump’s Sunday tweet that progressive Democrat congresswomen who hate America should move to the socialist countries they so admire. Trump even invited them to return to the U.S. once they’ve proven their policies work, Watters noted:

“These were not racist [comments]. This about patriotism. When did ‘Love it or leave it’ become racist?

“Not only leave it, but ‘Hey, come back and help us fix our problems.’ This country is so sensitive now. We are not talking about death, famine, drought, or anything. We are talking about a word, a tweet. We’re not even talking about an action and people are crying their eyes out about this.”

Watters went on to say that Democrats have said many worse things about Trump than he has said about them – and, yet, freak out over his words in order to avoid having a debate on real issues:

“They have said so many worse things about this president: ‘He is a Nazi rapist who deserves to be in prison for the rest of his life.’

“He says, ‘Go home’ and they say, ‘Oh, my God, this is the biggest scandal since Watergate.’”

“These people are so bereft of actual ideas they create this thing because they’ve deceived the rest of the country as to actually what he said. He says this to everybody - of all stripes and of all genders, of all parties: Romney, Rosie, Don Lemon, Maxine, McCabe.

“Everyone gets it a little bit below the belt and every time he does it everyone acts shocked like we haven’t been watching this for three years, and instead of fighting back on the substance, they cry and they pout and they look soft and they look weak.”



Trump moves to lessen the pain of a tax beloved by the Left: capital gains taxes

Australia abolished its capital gains tax long ago

It’s official. President Trump wants to index capital gains taxes for inflation. This would be a big stimulus boost for the U.S. economy immediately and over time and could get us back to 3 percent to 4 percent growth by liberating potentially hundreds of billions of dollars for new capital investment. My sources tell me that the president has told his White House team that if he can get his legal counsel to give him a ruling that he has the right to make this change administratively, he will do exactly that.

I’m not a lawyer, so I won’t weigh in on whether the White House has the authority to define what constitutes a capital “gain” on a stock or a property. Traditionally, a gain has been defined as the difference between the price that an asset has been bought at and the price it is sold at. The issue is whether these gains should be adjusted for the inflation rate over the time period the asset was owned. In other words, should the gain be defined as the change in the cost of living over the period.

If you bought a stock 10 years ago for $1,000 and over that time the inflation rate was, say 20 percent, if you sold it for $1,200 is that $200 a genuine gain to the shareholder?

In an ideal world, Congress would define a gain over for an asset held over a long period of time as taking into account inflation. This would reward risk taking and capital investment by reducing the “real” capital gains tax. It would also induce more shareholders to sell stocks in old assets and companies like Macy’s and buy into shares of new-age companies that will be the wealth and job creators of the future. I suspect most Americans would think that would be a fair treatment.

By the way, Congress wants to give itself a cost-of-living raise each year, a measure supported by such leading liberals as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Why not a similar deal for those 100 million Americans or so who own stocks?

Even Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York has in the past spoken out in favor of killing this inflation penalty. He once said on the House floor “If we really want to increase growth, there are proposals that we can do. I would be for indexing all capital gains and savings and borrowing.” As leader of the new left-wing Democratic Party, he is now against this after he was for it.

Stock ownership has been treated roughly in the tax code over the past decade. Under President George W. Bush, the tax was lowered to 15 percent. But under President Obama, the rate rose almost 60 percent, to 23.8 percent — thanks in part to an Obamacare tax increase. This rate is higher than even at the end of Clinton era.

It is also one of the few tax rates Mr. Trump has failed to cut to promote a stronger economy. A run at reducing the Obamacare capital gains penalty was killed in the Senate because of class warfare arguments.

The left says that investors are not very sensitive to the capital gains tax rate. Len Burman, an economist at the Brookings Institution, says that the rate of tax has not had much impact on the buying and selling of stocks. But the evidence of the last 40 years tends to refute that.

After the capital gains tax increase in 1986 from 20 percent to 28 percent, capital gains revenues actually fell from $44 billion a year to $27 billion a year by 1991 because fewer people sold stock at the higher tax rate. After Bill Clinton cut the capital gains tax back down to 20 percent again, capital gains revenues surged from $54 billion in 1996 to $99 billion in 1999. The rich actually paid more tax with the lower rates.

No one knows for sure how much unrealized capital gains that would be sold if indexing were adopted as federal tax policy. In the short term, this could mean hundreds of billions of dollars of sales of stock and then tens of billions of dollars of tax revenues collected by the government.

Without indexing, some of this revenue would never be collected because shareholders often hold onto stock until death and pass it on to their heirs tax free. Some of the stocks would be put in charitable foundations where tax on the gains is never paid. So the liberal charge that this policy would be a tax give-away to the rich is highly exaggerated.

History also shows that the capital gains tax — all other things equal — is inversely related to venture capital funding for start-up firms. A low capital gains tax attracts dollars to higher-risk investments. What’s wrong with a nice boost for the women and men who start new companies in America?

The lawyers at the Treasury Department and the Office of Legal Counsel will determine whether indexing can and should be done with a stroke of the pen by President Trump. But as an economic matter, this tax change would be a home run crashing off the centerfield score board.



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 July, 2019

Trump: 'You Can't Say You Love Our Country If You Want to Destroy It Through Open Borders'

President Donald Trump, speaking at a rally in Greenville, N.C. on Wednesday night, defended legal immigrants and questioned whether those who push for open borders can really love the United States of America.

"All American citizens, including millions and millions of legal immigrants who work hard to come into our country, who study, who wait on line, sometimes for ten years, and who respect our laws and followed the rules, they deserve a government that is loyal to them. They work hard," Trump said.

"You can't say you love our country if you want to destroy it through open borders. Open borders are a disaster," he said.

"Democrats have put the needs of foreign citizens far ahead of our own citizens," President Donald Trump told a rally in Greenville, N.C. Wednesday night.

“Nowhere in this world is there anything like what's happening with immigration, how bad it is. The Democrats' open-border policies deplete our public services, overcrowd our schools and hospitals, and bring crime, drugs and deadly gangs into our community.

“The Democrats want to spend more money on health care for an illegal immigrant, more than they do for a citizen of the United States,” he said.

Trump decried the violence of gangs such as MS-13, and he criticized Democrats for doing nothing about the worsening problem of human trafficking at the border.

He noted that five years ago, Democrats supported the idea of a border wall, but now they don't. "You know why?" he asked. "For political reasons," he said.

Trump mentioned that Nancy Pelosi's "sanctuary" state of California recently approved $100 million to take care of illegal immigrants. "And then you look on the sidewalks of Los Angeles, the sidewalks of San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi's district, nobody's ever seen anything like it in the history of our country, what's happening there."

Trump noted that the recent arrest of 22 MS-13 gang members took place in sanctuary city of Los Angeles. Nineteen of the 22 were in the country illegally, he said.

"Every nation has the right to establish and enforce immigration laws in its own interest. It's common sense. It's so simple. And the voters understand it. We expect that that those who seek to join our society will obey our laws, revere our Constitution, cherish our history, support themselves financially, and embrace our American values and love our American flag. (The crowd cheered.)

"We believe in an immigration system based on merit -- merit where they come in. We have so many companies coming in --- automobile companies, companies of all types, and we need workers. We actually need workers. We have the lowest unemployment rate that we've had in 51 years -- soon it'll be the lowest ever.

“”But they have to come in where they can help our country. They have to come in based on merit. And we're putting in bills, and let's see what happens,” Trump said. “Otherwise we'll just wait ‘til we win back the House, win the Senate, win the presidency, and we'll vote.”



Meet the Candidate Who Will Challenge AOC

Looks like she is half Asian and half African.  That should be worth a few votes in itself

Scherie Murray, a New York Republican, has just announced her intention to run for the congressional seat now occupied by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

In her first television interview, Murray told Fox News's Sean Hannity she believes that AOC, caught up in the "limelight," has neglected issues of importance to New York's 14th congressional district:

I think the narrative on the national level needs to be dialed back. And that is why I am in the race. I'd like to represent the constituents in Queens and the Bronx. And we see AOC as from the time she's been elected, she put out a policy like the job killing green new deal.

She then went on to kill the Amazon deal in New York, which would have put some 25,000 jobs in queens. And so these are some of the reasons, along with kitchen table issues, that I do believe that AOC has neglected, in her limelight bid, to focus on in the congressional district.

Murray said she wants to start talking about "issues that are important to the constituents of the 14th congressional district."

She mentioned infrastructure -- the crumbling subway system and roads in need of repair. "We need to really tackle our education system -- the diversity in New York, the education system. We really need to start talking about policy that's going to connect with the everyday American.”

Asked how she feels about President Donald Trump, Murray said:

“Well, I migrated here from Jamaica. I know firsthand what it is not just to be an immigrant, but to go through the process, right, and what do I think about what the president is doing? I think that the president is delivering on his promises when he got elected.”

Murray also took her campaign to Twitter on Wednesday, writing:

There’s a crisis in Queens and it’s called AOC. She isn’t worried about us - she’s worried about being famous. That’s why I’m running for Congress.

Murray also tweeted:

I‘m a Jamaican immigrant. And I love America. Not the America radical socialists want to see, but the America that is a land of opportunity for all. That’s what I’m fighting for.



The cold war against America by the Left

Could it become a hot war?  The hatred is strong enough

The summer season has ripped off the thin scab that covered an American wound, revealing a festering disagreement about the nature and origins of the United States.

The San Francisco Board of Education recently voted to paint over, and thus destroy, a 1,600-square-foot mural of George Washington’s life in San Francisco’s George Washington High School.

Victor Arnautoff, a communist Russian-American artist and Stanford University art professor, had painted “Life of Washington” in 1936, commissioned by the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration. A community task force appointed by the school district had recommended that the board address student and parent objections to the 83-year-old mural, which some viewed as racist for its depiction of black slaves and Native Americans.

Nike pitchman and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick recently objected to the company’s release of a special Fourth of July sneaker emblazoned with a 13-star Betsy Ross flag. The terrified Nike immediately pulled the shoe off the market.

The New York Times opinion team issued a Fourth of July video about “the myth of America as the greatest nation on earth.” The Times’ journalists conceded that the United States is “just OK.”

During a recent speech to students at a Minnesota high school, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) offered a scathing appraisal of her adopted country, which she depicted as a disappointment whose racism and inequality did not meet her expectations as an idealistic refugee. Omar’s family had fled worn-torn Somalia and spent four-years in a Kenyan refugee camp before reaching Minnesota, where Omar received a subsidized education and ended up a congresswoman.

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team won the World Cup earlier this month. Team stalwart Megan Rapinoe refused to put her hand over heart during the playing of the national anthem, boasted that she would never visit the “f—ing White House” and, with others, nonchalantly let the American flag fall to the ground during the victory celebration.

The city council in St. Louis Park, a suburb of Minneapolis, voted to stop reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before its meeting on the rationale that it wished not to offend a “diverse community.”

The list of these public pushbacks at traditional American patriotic customs and rituals could be multiplied. They follow the recent frequent toppling of statues of 19th-century American figures, many of them from the South, and the renaming of streets and buildings to blot out mention of famous men and women from the past now deemed illiberal enemies of the people.

Such theater is the street version of what candidates in the Democratic presidential primary have been saying for months. They want to disband border enforcement, issue blanket amnesties, demand reparations for descendants of slaves, issue formal apologies to groups perceived to be the subjects of discrimination, and rail against American unfairness, inequality, and a racist and sexist past.

In their radical progressive view — shared by billionaires from Silicon Valley, recent immigrants and the new Democratic Party — America was flawed, perhaps fatally, at its origins. Things have not gotten much better in the country’s subsequent 243 years, nor will they get any better — at least not until America as we know it is dismantled and replaced by a new nation predicated on race, class and gender identity-politics agendas.

In this view, an “OK” America is no better than other countries. As Barack Obama once bluntly put it, America is only exceptional in relative terms, given that citizens of Greece and the United Kingdom believe their own countries are just as exceptional. In other words, there is no absolute standard to judge a nation’s excellence.

About half the country disagrees. It insists that America’s sins, past and present, are those of mankind. But only in America were human failings constantly critiqued and addressed.

America does not have be perfect to be good. As the world’s wealthiest democracy, it certainly has given people from all over the world greater security and affluence than any other nation in history — with the largest economy, largest military, greatest energy production and most top-ranked universities in the world.

America alone kept the postwar peace and still preserves free and safe global communications, travel and commerce.

The traditionalists see American history as a unique effort to overcome human weakness, bias and sin. That effort is unmatched by other cultures and nations, and explains why millions of foreign nationals swarm into the United States, both legally and illegally.

These arguments over our past are really over the present — and especially the future.

If progressives and socialists can at last convince the American public that their country was always hopelessly flawed, they can gain power to remake it based on their own interests. These elites see Americans not as unique individuals but as race, class and gender collectives, with shared grievances from the past that must be paid out in the present and the future.

We’ve seen something like this fight before, in 1861 — and it didn’t end well.



PROF: Big Tech moved ‘rock bottom minimum’ of 2.6 million votes to Hillary in 2016

A liberal professor and “very strong public supporter of Hillary Clinton” is raising the alarms about Google manipulation of millions of unwitting voters in recent elections, as well as the potential impact for 2020.

Dr. Robert Epstein, former editor of Psychology Today and acclaimed psychologist who founded the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, discussed his research before a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, and his testimony was mind-boggling.

“You testified before this committee that Google’s manipulation of votes gave at least 2.6 million additional votes to Hillary Clinton in the year 2016. Is that correct?” Sen. Ted Cruz questioned in a video of the hearing published by Breitbart.

“That’s correct,” Epstein said.

“I want to make sure I understand. You personally supported and voted for Hillary Clinton?” Cruz pressed.

“I was a very strong public supporter of Hillary Clinton, yes,” Epstein said.

“So you’re not dismayed that people voted for her, your testimony is that Google is through bias in search results manipulating voters in a way that they’re not aware of,” Cruz questioned.

“On a massive scale,” Epstein said, “and what I’m saying is that I believe in Democracy, I believe in the free and fair election, more than I have any kind of allegiance to a candidate or a party.”

Epstein testified that the influence of Google, Facebook, Twitter and Big Tech’s manipulation could sway as many as 15 million votes in 2020, if the companies are all pulling for the same candidate.

“In 2020, if all these companies are supporting the same candidate there’s 15 million votes on the line that can be shifted without people’s knowledge and without leaving a paper trail for authorities to trace,” he said.

Epstein gave some examples of how Google, Facebook and other companies herded certain voters to the polls through voting reminders and total control over search results, quick-answer results, and other features essentially amounts to mind control.

“In 2016, if Mark Zuckerberg for example had chosen to send out a go vote reminder, say just to Democrats, and no one would have known if he had done this, that would have given that day at least an additional 450,000 votes to Democrats and we know this without doubt because of Facebook’s own published data cause they did an experiment that they didn’t tell anyone about during the 2010 election,” he said.

“They published it in 2012. It had 60 million Facebook users involved. They sent out a go vote reminder and they got something like 360,000 more people to get off their sofas and go vote who otherwise would have stayed home,” Epstein said. “Without monitoring systems in place we’ll never know …”

“Twenty-eighteen, I’m sure they were more aggressive. We’ve got lots of data to suggest that, and in 2020, you can bet that all of these companies are going to go all out. And the methods that they’re using are invisible, they’re subliminal, they’re more powerful than most any effects I’ve ever seen in the behavioral sciences and I’ve been in the behavioral sciences for almost 40 years,” he said.

Cruz repeatedly attempted to summarize the situation and put the voter manipulation into plain terms, and Epstein repeatedly corrected Cruz to explain that the issue is likely far worse than the senator from Texas was describing.

“What you are testifying to is that a handful of Silicon Valley billionaires and giant corporations are able to spend millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars collectively, massively influencing the results of elections, and there’s no accountability,” Cruz said. “You said we don’t know, we have no way of knowing if Google or Facebook or Twitter sends to Democrats or Republicans or how they bias it because it’s a black box with no transparency or accountability whatsoever.

“Am I understanding you correctly?” Cruz questioned.

“Senator, with respect, I must correct you,” Epstein replied. “If Mark Zuckerberg chooses to send out a go vote reminder just to Democrats on Election Day, that doesn’t cost him a dime.”

“Fair enough,” Cruz said. “Do you happen to know who the Hillary Clinton campaign’s number one financial supporter was in the year 2016?”

“I think I do, but please remind me,” Epstein said.

“The number one financial supporter of the Hillary Clinton campaign in the 2016 election was the parent company of Google, Alphabet, … and your testimony is through their deceptive search methods they moved 2.6 million votes in her direction,” Cruz said.

“I would think anybody, whether or not you favor one candidate or another, should be deeply dismayed about a handful of Silicon Valley billionaires having that much power over our elections to silently and deceptively shift vote outcomes,” he said.

“Again, with respect, I must correct you,” Epstein said. “The 2.6 million is a rock bottom minimum. The range is between 2.6 and 10.4 million, depending on how aggressively they’ve used the techniques that I’ve been studying now for six and a half years … such as the search engine manipulation effect, the search suggestion effect, the answer bot effect and a number of others.

“They control these and no one can counteract them. These are not competitive. These are tools that they have at their disposal exclusively,” he said.



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 July, 2019

The Race Card Has Gone Bust

America has never been fairer or more integrated, yet politicians obsess over wiping out discrimination

In William Julius Wilson’s 1978 book, “The Declining Significance of Race,” the sociologist argued that racial discrimination was no longer the biggest barrier to black economic advancement. His fellow liberals were outraged. Forty-one years later, Mr. Wilson is still right and the political left is still in denial.

Accusations of white racism are all the rage in Washington these days. If you oppose school busing, you’re a racist. If you want immigration laws enforced, you’re a racist. If you’re against slavery reparations or support adding a citizenship question to the census or criticize minority members of Congress, you’re a racist.

One problem is that Donald Trump has adopted the kind of identity politics we usually associate with Democrats. Another is that Democratic presidential contestants in search of black votes have taken racial pandering to new lows. Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Ind., spoke for many of the candidates when he told National Public Radio last week that “white America” needs to come to grips with what he says explains today’s racial inequities. Namely, the “systemic racism all around us. It’s the air we breathe.”

Mr. Wilson’s observations about discrimination and black progress four decades ago weren’t novel—conservative scholars like Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell already had been making similar points—but they were striking coming from a liberal academic. Mr. Wilson did not deny the roles that slavery and Jim Crow played in perpetuating disparities. Nevertheless, he wrote, “they do not provide a meaningful explanation of the life chances of black Americans today.” Mayor Pete has been wrong for longer than he’s been alive.

No reasonable person denies that racists still live among us or that racial discrimination can retard upward mobility. Still, evidence of racial bias in the past or the present is not proof that racism is responsible for current social disparities. After all, the pathologies we see in low-income black communities aren’t confined to those communities. As Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam wrote in 2017, “The white working-class family is today more fragile than the black family was at the time of the famous alarm-sounding 1965 ‘Report on the Negro Family’ by Daniel Patrick Moynihan.”

Liberals who insist that racial discrimination largely explains the black-white wealth gap are ignoring other plausible explanations. Black poverty and employment today, for example, seem to be more a function of family formation than of white racism. For more than 20 years, black married couples have had poverty rates in the single digits, and black married men have had a higher labor-force participation rate than white men who never married. According to The Wall Street Journal, last year the labor-force participation gap between blacks and whites virtually vanished, the first time that’s happened since 1972. Systemic racism may be “in the air we breathe,” but black unemployment rates are at generational lows.

“Family instability and fatherlessness collide with racial and economic disadvantage to create a negative feedback loop in black communities, hampering children’s potential and perpetuating racial inequality,” writes Kay Hymowitz in a recent City Journal essay. Citing new research by John Iceland, a demographer at Penn State University, she notes that “differences in family structure are the most significant variable in explaining the black-white affluence gap. In fact, its importance has grown over time relative to other explanations, including discrimination. Unable to pool earnings with a spouse, to take advantage of economies of scale, and to share child care, black single parents have a tougher time than their married counterparts building a nest egg.”

Government programs are no substitute for the development of human capital. If wealth-redistribution schemes lifted people out of poverty, we would have closed these gaps a long time ago. Liberal politicians and activists have little interest in addressing the ways in which black behavioral choices impact inequality. It’s easier to turn out voters and raise money by equating racial imbalances with racial bias and smearing political opponents who disagree.

Will it work in the end? It didn’t for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Telling people what you think they want to hear can be easier than telling the truth, but you also risk insulting them. And blaming bad outcomes among blacks on the malevolence of others is not only wrong but insulting to Americans of every race. This isn’t 1950. Attitudes have changed. Behaviors have changed. American neighborhoods and schools and marriages are more integrated. We elected a black president twice, and he won several of the nation’s whitest states both times. Racism has probably never been less significant in America, and blacks have never had more opportunities to seize. Liberals are pushing a narrative that many white voters don’t recognize and that many black voters know is false.



Democrats Say No One Is Above the Law — Except Illegal Immigrants
We have heard a lot about the importance of the rule of law from Democrats lately. During special counsel Robert Muller’s investigation of President Trump, Democrats in Congress delivered a clear and unified message.

“No one is above the law, especially the president of the United States,” declared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “Donald Trump is the most corrupt president in our lifetime. … No one is above the law. Not even the president,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. “Everyone should be held accountable. And the president is not above the law,” said Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. Republicans “are basically saying that in America one man is above the law and that’s not a fact,” said Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill. “No one is above the law [and] everybody ought to be held accountable,” said South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

No one, that is, except illegal immigrants.

Fast-forward to this past weekend, when the Trump administration announced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers would soon begin enforcement actions to remove illegal immigrants who have been issued final deportation orders by a federal judge. Those same Democrats and the rest of their party delivered a clear and unified message.

“It’s so appalling, it’s outside the circle of civilized human behavior,” said Pelosi. “The Trump administration’s cruelty runs bone-deep. A Warren administration will not rip families apart to try and score political points,” said Warren. “The aim is to scare immigrant communities. … And so, he’s going to … do these raids which is a crime against humanity,” said Harris. “We are on your side, we stand with you together,” Durbin told activists protesting ICE enforcement. “It’s really designed to strike fear into people at a moment when fear is something we’ve got way too much of in this country,” said Buttigieg.

So, Democrats were for rule of law when it comes to the Mueller probe, which did not find that the president broke the law. But they are against rule of law when it comes to illegal immigrants who have been found by a federal judge to be in violation of U.S. immigration law.

Illegal immigrants subject to ICE enforcement have been given their constitutional right to due process, with the right to a hearing in a federal immigration court and the right to be represented by counsel. If they show up at their hearing and are not granted relief by an immigration judge, they have the right to appeal. If they lose that appeal, they are issued a final order of removal. Once such an order is issued, they must either voluntarily depart the country or turn themselves in to an ICE facility for deportation. If they fail to depart or turn themselves in, then their case is referred to the ICE fugitive unit, which is tasked with finding them.

It is a long process to get to the point where ICE is knocking on someone’s door to enforce a final order of removal. Those now subject to a final deportation order either failed to show up to immigration court; showed up and lost their case; waived their right to appeal; lost their appeal; did not show up for their appeal hearing; were granted voluntary departure but did not leave; or failed to turn themselves in to ICE for court-ordered removal. In each case, a federal judge has ruled that they do not have the right to be in the United States and must leave. But Democratic leaders are now saying they should be allowed to stay, in contravention of our immigration laws.

Then again, Democrats didn’t think this way when they held the White House. President Barack Obama deported far more illegal immigrants than Trump. Axios reports that “under the Obama administration, total ICE deportations were above 385,000 each year in fiscal years 2009-2011, and hit a high of 409,849 in fiscal 2012.” I don’t recall Democrats in Congress accusing Obama of a “crime against humanity” or actions “outside the circle of civilized human behavior.”

Back then, Democrats agreed, as Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., put it in a 2009 speech, that “illegal immigration is wrong, plain and simple.” Since Trump took office, Democrats have become the party of illegal immigration. The want to decriminalize illegal border crossings, cut ICE detention beds to force the agency to release illegal immigrants and then refuse to enforce lawful deportation orders. So, it’s a little hard to take Democrats seriously when, in investigating Trump, they claim to be fighting for the principle that no one is above the law.



Crowd Chants “Send Her Back” At Trump Rally As President Targets Ilhan Omar

Supporters of President Trump chanted, “Send her back!” as Trump read a litany of soft on Islamist terror, anti-American comments by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) at a campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina Wednesday night.

Omar came to the United States via a refugee camp in Kenya when she was a child, having escaped from her native Somalia with her family during a civil war. Omar became a U.S. citizen in 2000, was elected to the Minnesota House in 2016 and the U.S. House in 2018. Omar has made a name for herself as the first hijab wearing Congressman and by her anti-Semitic, soft on Islamist terror and anti-American comments.

Omar is one of four radical anti-American freshmen Democrats in the House of Representatives known as “the Squad”. The others being Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI). Trump is tying the mainstream of the Democratic Party with the extremist Squad members.

Trump did not comment or react as the crowd chanted, “Send her back!” for about fifteen seconds. He resumed his prepared remarks with more criticism of Omar’s statements.

A protester interrupted Trump as he first mentioned Omar, which fired up the crowd as he was removed by security.



Republican Support For Trump Rises 5 Points Following ‘Go Back’ Tweets

Republican support for President Trump has increased 5 points since he suggested a group of minority progressive lawmakers “go back” where they came from, a Reuters–Ipsos poll finds.

The president’s net approval among Republicans now stands at 72 percent after he tweeted Sunday that the four lawmakers — thought to be Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) — should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” the poll shows.

Trump’s support faltered among Democrats and independents, however. His net approval dropped 2 percentage points among Democrats, pollsters found, while about 3 in 10 independent voters now say they approve of Trump, down from 4 in 10 last week.

According to the poll, the president’s overall approval did not change over the past week, despite the attacks against the lawmakers — all of whom are U.S. citizens — which have spurred widespread bipartisan backlash.

Trump has continued to insist that the tweets were not racist and that “I don’t have a racist bone in my body.”

GOP congressional leadership has denied that the tweets and the president are racist, and only four House Republicans voted in favor of the Democratic-led resolution.

The nationwide survey was conducted on Monday and Tuesday and surveyed 1,113 adults, including 478 Democrats and 406 Republicans. It has a credibility interval of 3 percentage points.



Google Exec Refuses to Commit to Independent Audit of Its Moderation Practices

Google and its subsidiary YouTube are constructed, operated and maintained through algorithms to be "politically neutral," a company executive told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Tuesday.

But some lawmakers scoffed. What about Google’s censorship in China? Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) asked Karan Bhatia, Google’s vice president of global government affairs and public policy.

“Why would anybody believe you now when you say we don't ever impose an ideological agenda?” Hawley asked the Google executive.

But Bhatia refused to commit to an independent, third-party audit of Google’s moderation practices, much to Hawley’s disgust. “So sad,” Hawley said.

At the start of his questioning, Hawley asked Bhatia, “You don't impose filters based on political viewpoints, that's your testimony, right?"

"It is both contrary to our mission, contrary to our business interests and it would be incompatible to the systems that we build to work political bias in there, which I think is why we've has third-party studies, including the ones that I've referenced, that demonstrate that we do not have political bias," Bhatia replied.

Bhatia agreed with Hawley that injecting political bias would be "inconsistent with our values."

"Except when you do it in China," Hawley shot back. "Right? You're happy to censor for the repressive authoritarian Chinese regime, like for instance with Google.cn, happy to censor away any mention of Tiananmen Square, happy to help the Chinese government maintain control of all information within the country, happy to help them control the information flow to their own citizens. You're happy to do all of that. Would you call that censorship with an ideological agenda?" Hawley asked.

Bhatia did not give a direct answer. Instead, he noted that Google does not offer "almost any” products in China. He said Google exited China in 2010 because “we felt that the censorship requirements thata were being applied Google were not compatible with the products that we were able to offer.”

But Google.cn did include censorship tools, Hawley noted. "Are you willing to commit today, here, that Google will not agree to participate in any form of censorship with the Chinese regime … against Chinese citizens? Will you commit to that?” Hawley asked. “You will not agree to…restrictions on data flow in China, the Chinese market?”

Bhatia dodged the question, saying he couldn't imagine what Hawley was referencing.

"So you won't block search terms for Uighurs or concentration camps or Tiananmen Square -- you won't do that in any venture going forward?” Hawley asked.

"We -- we don't,"-- Bhatia started to say.

"No, I'm not asking that," Hawley interrupted. "I'm asking if you won't -- because we know you have in the past. That's what Google.cn was.

"You know, you've contemplated it with Project Dragonfly," Hawley continued. "I'm asking you now for a commitment. I'm glad to hear you say that Project Dragonfly's been canceled. I think that's news. So that's good to hear, because there have been news reports that it's still active."

Bhatia told Hawley, "We have no current plans to go into China in the search market."

"So that's great," Hawley said. "And you're committing to me here today that you will not in the future do so, and you will not engage in censorship in China?" Hawley asked for a yes or no answer, but he didn't get one:

"What we're willing to commit to, Senator, is that any decision to ever look at going back into the China search market is one that we would take only in consultation with key stakeholders," Bhatia said.

Hawley was not pleased with Bhatia's responses.

“Well, what I'm looking for is a little honesty, and what I'm also looking for is some accountability," Hawley said


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

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


18 July, 2019

New Asylum Rule Is Meant to Save Lives

The new immigration rule relies on the fact that the only way the border crossers can be given legal residence is if they are refugees. The new rule says that claimants for refugee status must show that they really are refugees and not just economic migrants.  It should shut out all central American illegals -- as they have almost all come via Mexico -- which does offer refuge to them. That means that they have no need to come to the USA to find refuge. So they are motivated by economics, not danger.  They are not refugees

On Monday, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security announced a new rule regarding U.S. asylum laws. This comes in the wake of massive numbers of foreign migrants exploiting America's asylum system as a means of de facto immigration. It comes also as Democrats in Congress have been steadfast in opposing any legislative solution to the border crisis, as the party has essentially adopted an open-borders policy.

The new rule would bar foreign nationals from receiving asylum in the U.S. if they have not first applied for asylum in an intermediary country, which in many current cases would be Mexico or another Central American country.

In announcing the new rule, Attorney General William Barr noted that the administration's intention is to uphold the spirit of America's asylum system. "The United States is a generous country but is being completely overwhelmed by the burdens associated with apprehending and processing hundreds of thousands of aliens along the southern border," he said.

"This Rule will decrease forum shopping by economic migrants and those who seek to exploit our asylum system to obtain entry to the United States — while ensuring that no one is removed from the United States who is more likely than not to be tortured or persecuted on account of a protected ground."

Predictably, leftist groups were quick to decry the new rule as "most egregious" and "extreme," with Charanya Krishnaswami, advocacy director for the Americas at Amnesty International, claiming that it would "fundamentally eviscerate the right to territorial asylum in the United States." Several groups vowed to take the Trump administration to court, the irony of which was seemingly lost on these migrant-advocate groups.

We relayed the heart-wrenching story last month of the drowning death of a migrant and his two-year-old child. Because of the father's impatience with America's asylum system, he chose to break the law and try to illegally cross into the U.S. — a decision that tragically ended up costing him and his child their lives. The new rule is aimed and decreasing deadly incidents like this by eliminating another pull factor.



Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a rising star — but her popularity is also fuelling Donald Trump

She is young, bold and outspoken - and should be Donald Trump’s worst nightmare. But this vocal critic is only helping the President.

She's quickly rising as one of the brightest stars of the Democrat Party, but who is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a rising star in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party — bold, outspoken and hugely popular on social media.

But the millennial congresswoman is reportedly sparking concerns among some top Democrats, with fears her defining presence could lose the party crucial swinging voters at the 2020 election.

The issue has come to a head this week, with Ms Ocasio-Cortez at the centre of a Twitter spat with US President Donald Trump.

And while his comments were officially condemned as racist by the House of Representatives, the latest spat could be actually helping Mr Trump win the 2020 election.

It started when in a series of tweets, the US President suggested the new generation of Democrats who have been feuding with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should “go back” to their countries to fix their governments, saying “you can’t leave fast enough”.

When his tweets were labelled racist, Mr Trump insisted on Tuesday that his tweets suggesting the four Democratic congresswomen of colour return to their countries “were NOT Racist,” and he appealed to fellow Republicans to “not show weakness” and to resist a house resolution condemning his words.

“I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” Mr Trump exclaimed on Twitter, a day after declaring that “many people agree” with his assessment of the four freshman politicians.

“Those tweets were NOT Racist,” Mr Trump wrote on Tuesday amid a continued backlash to his weekend tweets that progressive women “go back” to their “broken and crime-infested” countries.

The original tweets were aimed at Democrats Ms Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib. All are American citizens, and three of the four were born in the US.

Since being elected, Ms Ocasio-Cortez has been an outspoken critic of Mr Trump.

But an anonymous Democratic group leaked an internal poll to Axios revealing swinging voters strongly dislike prominent progressive politicians, such as Ms Ocasio-Cortez.

According to the poll, Ms Ocasio-Cortez had a 22 per cent approval rating, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota had a 9 per cent approval rating among 1003 “likely general-election voters who are white and have two years or less of college education”.

Seventy-four per cent of these voters had heard of Ms Ocasio-Cortez, while 53 per cent had heard of Ms Omar.

“If all voters hear about is AOC, it could put the (House) majority at risk,” a Democrat involved in the 2020 congressional races said. “She’s getting all the news and defining everyone else’s races.”

The same poll viewed the term “socialism” favourably by just 18 per cent of voters compared with 69 per cent who disliked it, while “capitalism” was viewed 56 per cent favourably and 32 per cent unfavourably.

Some progressives have dismissed the survey, saying it just marks the latest attack on the party’s left wing.

But the leak in itself adds to the widening rift in the Democratic Party, where disagreements between party leadership and progressive new politicians have dominated headlines recently.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, Ms Omar and their fellow freshman congresswomen Ms Tlaib and Ms Pressley have repeatedly butted heads with Ms Pelosi this past week over impeachment, immigration and the consolidation of power in Congress.

Ms Pelosi sparked tensions after she appeared to dismiss the four women during an interview with The New York Times in which she said “they’re four people, and that’s how many votes they got”.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Ms Ocasio-Cortez accused Ms Pelosi of “singling out” women of colour, which prompted criticism from longtime Democrats.

But could it really be enough to cost the Democrats the next election?

Ms Ocasio-Cortez clearly ruffles feathers among both Republicans and Democrats. But whether she’s actually setting back progress for a 2020 Democratic win is not as clear-cut as the new polling implies.

The debate over whether their politics are counter-productive didn’t start with the recent feud with Ms Pelosi. It dates back to the midterm elections after which Ms Ocasio-Cortez was sworn into Congress.

Gorana Grgic, an expert at the United States Studies Centre, says on one hand, the popularity of the “squad” only goes so far.

Dr Grgic also said the ongoing tensions between Ms Ocasio-Cortez and Ms Pelosi had done little to help the Democratic Party’s image.

But at the same time, Ms Ocasio-Cortez is doing her job — she’s representing the concerns of her constituents. “AOC is representing parts of New York that are very progressive and want her to keep fighting the good fight,” Dr Grgic said. “While it doesn’t help for the broader perception of party unity, I don’t think that will have too many detrimental consequences.

“They’re holding Trump to account and really pointing out all the malpractices within the administration. But they’re also setting the agenda on some of the most important public policy issues — everything from healthcare to immigration.”

Mr Trump, who won the presidency in 2016 in part by energising disaffected voters with inflammatory racial rhetoric, made clear he has no intention of backing away from that strategy in 2020.

His words, which evoked the trope of telling black people to go back to Africa, may have been partly meant to widen the divides within the House Democratic caucus, which has been riven by internal debate over how best to oppose his policies.

And the President isn’t backing down either. “It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” Mr Trump said on Monday at the White House. “A lot of people love it, by the way.”

And while Mr Trump’s attacks this week brought Democrats together in defence of their colleagues, the gamble is also paying off. His allies noted he was also having some success in making the progressive politicians the face of their party.

The Republican president questioned whether Democrats should “want to wrap” themselves around this group of four people as he recited a list of the quartet’s most controversial statements.

“Nancy Pelosi tried to push them away, but now they are forever wedded to the Democrat Party,” he wrote on Tuesday, adding: “See you in 2020!”

“The Dems were trying to distance themselves from the four ‘progressives,’ but now they are forced to embrace them,” he tweeted on Monday afternoon.

Conservative critics are clearly fascinated with Ms Ocasio-Cortez, having made her the subject of sustained attacks.

Some of the criticism has focused on her self-identifying as a “democratic socialist”, and the viability of her signature proposals like the Green New Deal and abolishing the entire Homeland Security department.

But at the end of the day, at 29 years old, Ms Ocasio-Cortez is ineligible to run for President next year. Why the sustained effort to tear her down instead of focusing on high-profile candidates like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris?

Dr Grgic suggested Mr Trump would be wary of any opponent with a similar skill set to him. And despite Ms Ocasio-Cortez and Mr Trump’s polar opposite political oppositions, their methods of interacting with the media and the wider public are surprisingly similar.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez has used social media to her advantage, with Time magazine naming her one of the most influential people on the internet.

“Donald Trump is wary of anyone who is able to steal the limelight and command so much media attention,” Dr Grgic said. “Her rise was a really unexpected story. Everything since then and the way she’s been able to use social media and really garner a great followership is something Donald Trump has clearly been watching because he himself is very active on these channels.”

Dr Grgic also said there may be a darker dimension at play, comparing the recent racial attacks on Ms Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow young congresswomen to the “birther” conspiracy theory he pushed against Barack Obama.

“In terms of the nativist white nationalist theme, it’s the same sort of attacks. But I think she is someone who is very skilful at playing the media, and she knows she can set the agenda pretty easily given the followership she has,” Dr Grgic said.



Journalist accusing Donald Trump of sexual assault says allegations have made him more powerful

A columnist accusing Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her said she’s noticed a strange phenomenon among the US President’s fans.

E. Jean Carroll, 75, told 7.30 the alleged assault in the mid-1990s was a “horrible, violent scene”, but the impact on her life was minimal. “It didn’t even destroy a portion of my life, it destroyed a day in my life. But I got out of it quickly and moved on,” she said.

“And then, the election happened, and we saw 15, 16, 17 women coming forward with their stories (about Mr Trump).”

However, she told host Leigh Sales that she noticed a bizarre trend among the American public as the accusations stacked up.

“The more that women came forward and told their stories, the more popular (Mr Trump) became,” she said. “In this country, voters were attracted by the fact that he could take whatever woman he wanted. So I stayed quiet.”

Mr Trump has strongly denied the claims he sexually assaulted the columnist in a New York City department store in the mid-1990s saying “she’s not my type”.

“I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened,” he told The Hill in an interview at the White House.



Another hate-filled Leftist -- with the usual distorted view of the truth

He can see no justice in being thrown out of a restaurant for making a nuisance of himself

An angry individual bragged on Twitter last night about how he stood up to a "Nazi" and his violent girlfriend at Hill Country DC, a popular BBQ restaurant in the nation's capital. He implored his social media followers not to patronize the place:

"Just got thrown out of Hill Country DC for standing up to a Nazi. Don’t go there ever again. They support Trump and Nazis. @HillCountryWDC @HillCountryBBQ — TJ Helmstetter (@TheTJHelm) July 5, 2019"

Just who was this "Nazi" Helmstetter so bravely confronted?

"Guy wears MAGA hat at my favorite restaurant. I say “hey are you from dc?” He says “no.” I say “we don’t tolerate racism in this city.” His girlfriend then physically jabs fingers into my chest and starts threatening me. Management tells me to leave, not woman who assaulted me. — TJ Helmstetter (@TheTJHelm) July 5, 2019"

Yep. The gentleman's only offense was his audacity to wear a red MAGA hat. On Fourth of July. When President Trump was planning to give a speech on the National Mall. Yes, how very out of place.

Still, how dare Trump supporters step foot in his favorite restaurant. Didn't they know it was his favorite??

"Spotted two separate tables of people wearing MAGA gear at @HillCountryWDC. Disgusting. Hill Country clean up your act. I have been patronizing you for 10*•+ years starting in NY. Don’t serve Nazis. — TJ Helmstetter (@TheTJHelm) July 5, 2019

"To be clear, it is the Nazi’s 1st amendment right to wear racist shit in public. And it is decent people’s 1A right to tell them they are racist pieces of shit. He exercised his 1A right, and I exercised mine. @HillCountryBBQ mgmt chose to protect the Nazi’s right but not mine. — TJ Helmstetter (@TheTJHelm) July 5, 2019

Dear TJ, you keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

Unlike Helmstetter, Trump supporters and Trump associates have been actual victims of public harassment. Most memorably, former Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was refused service at Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia last year because co-owner Stephanie Wilkinson didn't like her. She asked Sanders to leave because, according to her, Sanders supports “inhumane and unethical” presidential policies.

Wilkinson doesn't regret it either. In a recent op-ed, she said Sanders and her "unsavory" ilk "should consider dining at home.”

When other Trump associates have tried to go out for quiet meals, they've run into hecklers who have tended to shout “fascist!” at them, or, in the case of former Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, "shame!"

Last week, Eric Trump was literally spat on in a Chicago lounge.



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 July, 2019

Nearly 1 Million Californians Registered to Vote Are Ineligible, Says Non-Partisan Group
A non-partisan group has reported that there are still several counties in California where the number of registered voters is greater than the number of eligible citizens, with the total nearing one million people.

The Election Integrity Project California (EIPCa) stated in a release on July 8 (pdf) that if voter problems are not promptly addressed by state officials, fraudulent election activities may continue to haunt the state.

Using the state’s own data on active and inactive status registrants, the organization found that eight counties have not cleaned up their inactive registrant lists, despite a 2018 legal settlement that requires California counties to properly maintain their voter rolls and remove inactive voters according to federal law.

According to EIPCa, there are currently 991,411 people registered who are ineligible to vote. This is an increase of 63,376 from the group’s 2017 report, which found 928,035 ineligibles registered to vote.

As the number of names with inactive status continues to grow, the organization noted that these excess registrants open up the doors to fraud.

Voter registration rates that exceed the eligible population range from 103% in Ventura, San Benito, and Plumas counties to 115% in San Diego. Other counties include San Mateo at 104%, Solano and Santa Cruz at 107%, and Los Angeles at 109%.

Just months ago, the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) acknowledged making 105,000 registration errors, with at least one noncitizen claiming the DMV improperly added him to the voter rolls.

In an interview with The Epoch Times, EIPCa Chief Analyst Ellen Swensen confirmed that the DMV’s practices still need improvement, although the EIPCa doesn’t have a way of finding out who is or isn’t a citizen by just looking at their voter registrations.

In addition to the errors made by the DMV, she said, people who are ineligible to vote might also be getting registration forms from people who are paid to register voters and who might be unaware of the law.

“This can harm [immigrants’] future chances of gaining citizenship, so it’s important that non-citizens become educated about this,” she said. Furthermore, there are “thousands of duplicated [and ineligible] registrations” that can be used during elections “with or without the person’s knowledge.”

Recently, nine people were accused of offering cash or cigarettes in exchange for forged signatures on voter registration forms and petitions in Los Angeles. Prosecutors claim the group was active during the 2016 and 2018 election cycles, targeting the homeless to help them register fictitious persons.

EIPCa says this type of abuse may have been enabled by the state’s voting laws.

“Because California does not require an ID for a person to vote, and because some counties include the names of inactive registrants on their publicly-displayed Election Day rosters, anyone can claim to be the inactive registrant and receive a ballot,” Swensen said.

“All that is required is an oath (verbal or signed) that they are who they say they are.”

Swensen said officials need to do more to fix this problem.

“EIPCa would like to see counties become more proactive with list maintenance by mailing a card to every registrant on the list, not just those with inactive status,” she explained.

“This would allow all registrants to update their information and would, for those who have moved, died, etc., begin the lawful [process of inactivation and cancellation]. This would go a long way to reduce the almost 1 million ineligibles currently on CA’s list.”

In early 2019, the Sacramento Bee reported that Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s office was investigating whether noncitizens had voted in the June 2018 primary. At the time, Padilla admitted that voters were losing their trust in the system due to registration errors, echoing others such as State Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), who said that despite his “high level of confidence in California’s election systems,” he knew that the state should “do more to assure the voters that the system doesn’t have holes in it and that the boat isn’t leaking.”

Meanwhile, in November 2018, San Francisco became the largest city in the United State to give noncitizens the chance to vote in a local election. While the city’s move did not impact any election in the state or federal levels, some believe that the trend could spread to the rest of the state, and errors could continue to occur.

“Noncitizen voting is a very contentious issue,” said Robin Hvidston, executive director of We the People Rising, a Claremont organization that lobbies for stricter immigration enforcement, at the time, according to the Los Angeles Times. “The move to extend voting rights to those illegally residing in San Francisco has the potential to backfire among citizens with a moderate stance on illegal immigration.”



Atonement as Activism


Today’s consciousness-raising on race is less about helping black people than it is about white people seeking grace.

By the age of 50, you have lived long enough to remember being a mature adult in what is now a distant era. I recently recalled a conversation I had as a graduate student in 1991 that demonstrates a key change in America’s “conversation” on race over the past 30 years.

A white humanities graduate student was a member of a campus organization that had brought black activist and filmmaker Marlon Riggs to campus to give a talk. The student recounted that in his critique of racism, Riggs had leveled some potshots at the students themselves. This surprised and hurt her, as she had supposed that Riggs would consider her and her friends on his side in having invited him to speak.

Today, that same graduate student would be much less likely to take remarks like Riggs’s that way. Rather, today’s “woke,” educated white people would quite often lap up being apprised of the racism inside of them by a black speaker they paid, lodged, and fed. That speaker as often as not today is Ta-Nehisi Coates, who charismatically limns America as a cesspool of bigotry in his writing and in talks nationwide, and is joyously celebrated for it by the very people he is insulting.

Coates is a symptom of a larger mood. Over the past several years, for instance, whites across the country have been taught that it isn’t enough to understand that racism exists. Rather, the good white person views themselves as the bearer of an unearned “privilege” because of their color. Not long ago, I attended an event where a black man spoke of him and his black colleagues dressing in suits at work even on Casual Fridays, out of a sense that whites would look down on black men dressed down. The mostly white audience laughed and applauded warmly—at a story accusing people precisely like them of being racists.

This brand of self-flagellation has become the new form of enlightenment on race issues.This brand of self-flagellation has become the new form of enlightenment on race issues. It qualifies as a kind of worship; the parallels with Christianity are almost uncannily rich. White privilege is the secular white person’s Original Sin, present at birth and ultimately ineradicable. One does one’s penance by endlessly attesting to this privilege in hope of some kind of forgiveness. After the black man I mentioned above spoke, the next speaker was a middle-aged white man who spoke of having a coach come to his office each week to talk to him about his white privilege. The audience, of course, applauded warmly at this man’s description of having what an anthropologist observer would recognize not as a “coach” but as a pastor.

I have seen whites owning up to their white privilege using the hand-in-the-air-palm-out gesture typically associated with testifying in church. After the event I have been describing, all concerned deemed it “wonderful” even though nothing new had been learned. The purpose of the event was to remind the parishioners of the prevalence of the racist sin and its reflection in themselves, and to offer a kind of forgiveness, this latter being essentially the function of the black people on the panel and in the audience. Amen.

Some might see all of this as a healthy sign of moral advance. And I suppose if I had to choose between this performativity and the utter contempt most whites had for any discussion of discrimination 50 years ago and before, I’d choose our current moment. But goodness, it piles high and deep, this—well, I’ll call it fakeness. The degree of fantasy and exaggeration that smart people currently let pass in the name of higher-order thought on race parallels, again, Biblical tales.

Coates, for example, argues in one article after another that America’s progress on race has been minimal, despite pretty window dressing here and there, and that there is no reason to hope things will get any better. Yet one can be quite aware of the prevalence and nature of racism in America while also understanding that the recreational pessimism of views like Coates’s is melodramatic and even unempirical. To insist that Starbucks or even Dylan Roof define America’s progress on race is as flimsy as treating certain young black men’s misbehavior as embodying the black essence. Perfection is ever a dream; we are, as always, in transition. Everybody knows that.

The very fact that the modern equivalent of the graduate student I knew reveres Coates’s writing is a sterling indication that America has grown up quite a bit on race even in the past quarter of a century. The fact that this brand of enlightenment has not made it to every barstool and kitchen table in the country hardly disqualifies it as influential. Anyone who really thinks that on race America has merely rearranged the deck chairs on the Titanic isn’t old enough to realize that most smart white people as late as 1978 would have found The Wire about as interesting as Chinese opera.

Also, views like Coates’s qualify more as performance art than thought in their disconnection from activism and pragmatism. If the government is not doing enough to help black people, precisely what would a Coates offer as counsel? Coates argues for reparations, ignoring decades of careful argumentation that has shown the impracticality of the idea. Who would the money go to? And for exactly what? And whence the sense many have that to ask such questions is to miss some larger point? Is the larger point to provide fodder for personal atonement? It would seem that for some, bemoaning that reparations aren’t happening is as active, vital, and self-affirming as making them happen, or, better, moving on and considering realistic strategies for forging change.

The self-affirming part is the rub. This new cult of atonement is less about black people than white people. Fifty years ago, a white person learning about the race problem came away asking “How can I help?” Today the same person too often comes away asking, “How can I show that I’m a moral person?” That isn’t what the Civil Rights revolution was about; it is the product of decades of mission creep aided by the emergence of social media.

What gets lost is that all of this awareness was supposed to be about helping black people, especially poor ones. We are too often distracted from this by a race awareness that has come to be largely about white people seeking grace. For example, one reads often of studies showing that black boys are punished and suspended in school more often than other kids. But then one reads equally often that poverty makes boys, in particular, more likely to be aggressive and have a harder time concentrating. We are taught to assume that the punishments and suspensions are due to racism, and to somehow ignore the data showing that the conditions too many black boys grow up in unfortunately makes them indeed more likely to act up in school. Might the poverty be the key problem to address? But, try this purely logical reasoning in polite company only at the risk of being treated as a moral reprobate. Our conversation is to be solely about racism, not solutions—other than looking to a vaguely defined future time when racism somehow disappears, America having “come to terms” with it: i.e. Judgment Day. As to what exactly this coming to terms would consist of, I suppose only our Pastor of White Privilege knows.

Another problem is that I am not sure that today’s educated whites quite understand how unattainable the absolution they are seeking is. There is an idleness in this cult of atonement, in that it cannot get whites what they want.There is an idleness in this cult of atonement, in that it cannot get whites what they want. I wonder if today’s atoners quite understand that “getting it” will not, for example, make Ta-Nehisi Coates like them any more than Marlon Riggs liked the graduate student and her friends despite their leftist politics. There is an Old Testament quality to the Coates preachings, for example. He is unmoved by the deaths of white firefighters during 9/11, uncomfortable seeing his son as a tot playing comfortably with white kids, and sees young white parents with their big strollers as white people taking up too much space as always. The degree of self-hatred—if sincere—is staggering in whites proclaiming how much they “love” this kind of scripture.

And all of this, ultimately, is often as condescending as nakedly dismissive views of blacks were in the bad old days. I doubt most whites truly think racism is so acridly pervasive and persistent in this country that a middle-class black man ought to fear his children playing with theirs, or look upon firefighters barbecued on 9/11 as mere racists getting their just desserts. Pretending to believe this sort of thing is insincere and insulting. It’s a pat on the head.

Mendacious, even. I recently attended a read-through of a play written by a black man about himself travelling back in time and viewing plantation slavery. The leader of the discussion afterwards was a white woman of a certain age who attested to how taken unawares she had been to learn that slave families were often separated and that slaves were sometimes whipped to death. However, this woman’s age, occupation, and demographic were such that the chances are infinitesimal that she did not see Roots and 12 Years a Slave, has not read Beloved, and has not read the New York Times daily and The New Yorker weekly for at least 30 years. In other words, she was, in all of her good intentions, lying.

It is not 1960, and a person like her is quite aware of the horrors of slavery. This was testifying again—she felt it her job to declare herself hip to the horrors of racism. The problem was that the point of the play concerned the protagonist’s psychology. Having taken in her time’s directive to internalize and parrot the proper “woke” message, she missed the essence of the play and reduced it to a school auditorium civics lesson. This isn’t woke, it’s weak.

We have gone from most whites being unaware that racism was a problem for black people at all to whites being chilled to their bones at the possibility of harboring racism in their souls, terrified at the prospect of being singled out as a heretic, and forgetting that the indulgences they purchase and the praying they do for their souls has more to do with them than with anyone black and their problems. This is a white America in which the message has become garbled. Among too many, the activist impulse has stuttered, faded, and jelled into a therapeutic one somewhere between “I Have a Dream” and Between the World and Me.

Whites today are in a hard place on this, I know. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. You’re taught that on race issues you are morally obliged to suspend your usual standards of logic. Faced with a choice between some benign mendacity and being mauled, few human beings choose the latter.

But it all makes me miss 1991 in some ways. I think that graduate student had it about right in being insulted by Riggs that night. She needed to understand that the hurt of racism can make its victims act out at times, but not to pretend to think she actually deserved the potshots. Yet I wouldn’t be surprised if she today has learned to enjoy being told what a moral reprobate she is on race no matter what she does or thinks, and considers herself the wiser for it.

Let us pray?



House Democrats Overcome Internal Fissures to Approve Defense-Spending Bill

In a 220–197 vote, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act on Friday, giving a win to Democratic leaders who’d spent months coaxing progressives to vote for the defense-funding package.

Progressive lawmakers had expressed distaste for the high price tag of the $733 billion measure and argued unsuccessfully for imposing stricter guidelines regarding the treatment of migrants at the southern border. Despite those progressive objections, House Armed Services Committee chairman Adam Smith and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn convinced all but eight Democrats not to vote against the House measure, after the inclusion of a number of progressive amendments.

Before the bill’s passage on Friday, the House approved an amendment requiring congressional approval for military strikes on Iran amid rising tensions with the country. It also approved amendments repealing the 2001 authorization for the use of military force, removing the Trump administration’s ban on transgender service-members, stopping emergency arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and ending U.S. involvement in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.

The measure’s passage sets up a conflict between House Democrats and the Republican Senate, which passed a $750 billion dollar defense budget backed by the White House last month.


Most of the progressive bits will presumably be stripped out in the reconciliation process


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 July, 2019

Democrats always talk about change but they are ignoring it now that it has happened
We are all, to some extent, prisoners of the past. Things that have already happened — or that we remember as having happened — constitute the world that we know. Anything else is a product of imagination.

But it can also be a pitfall for politicians, particularly for those seeking national visibility when they’re running for president. It’s jarring to see candidates ignore recent changes and describe a world that no longer exists, as when they were asked leadoff questions about the economy in the first two Democratic debates.

Night one: “It’s doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top”; “The economy has got to work for everyone, and right now we know it isn’t”; “We know that not everyone is sharing in this prosperity”; “This economy is not working for average Americans”; “There’s plenty of money in this country. It’s just in the wrong hands.” So spoke Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker and Bill de Blasio, respectively.

Night two: “(T)he bottom 60 percent have seen a raise since 1980”; “We have three people in this country owning more wealth than the bottom half of America”; “We do have enormous income inequality”; “This economy is not working for working people”; “Forty years of no economic growth for 90 percent of the American people.” Those were Tim Ryan, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Michael Bennet, respectively.

These are reasonably accurate descriptions of the macroeconomy in the years after the financial crash and recession of 2008, during the Obama presidency, and plausible descriptions of the eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency.

Even in the buoyantly prosperous years of the 1980s and 1990s, incomes rose faster among the affluent and well-educated, while blue-collar wages tended to flatline. Economic inequality tended to increase according to various measures. Those trends continued in the 2000s and 2010s and were decried by Democratic politicians and Donald Trump.

Now there are signs that those trends are reversed. In percentage terms, wage gains seem to be increasing most for those at the bottom of the wage scale. Blue-collar incomes are apparently rising more rapidly than white-collar. Unemployment has dropped to levels not seen for 50 years, and unemployment among blacks and Hispanics seems to have dropped to the lowest levels since measurement began.

Candidate Trump promised an economy whose gains would go more to those less well off than they have in the recent past, to blue-collar workers in particular, and to blacks and Hispanics. And that’s how the economy has performed in the 30 months he has been in office. Looks like he delivered.

Of course, Democrats don’t want to admit that, and so, they fall back on congenial rhetorical tropes even after the tropes have gone stale. And maybe their outdated analyses didn’t strike their debate audiences as dissonant with reality.

We Americans are fractured into political tribes these days, and it was mostly the Democratic tribe that tuned into MSNBC for the Democrats’ debate. Polling shows that voters’ assessment of economic trends is more highly correlated with partisan loyalty than economic performance.

But it won’t be only Democrats watching once the party has a nominee and once general election campaigning starts. And that nominee may want to avoid the unpopular stands that most of today’s two dozen candidates have endorsed — ninth-month abortions, free college, open borders through decriminalization of illegal border crossing, free medical care for illegal immigrants, abolition of private health insurance.

Democrats remember the 1992 Bill Clinton mantra “It’s the economy, stupid,” and how Clinton won despite a macroeconomic upswing. So why not describe the economy as it used to be and as they’d like voters to see it, rather than as it actually is?

This has another benefit for Democratic partisans, who are increasingly upscale white college graduates who care most about cultural issues but who’d like to think their policies help the less fortunate.

Their party has already lost the blue-collar whites who were once its base, and erosion of its supermajorities from blue-collar blacks and majorities from blue-collar Hispanics could destroy its dreams of long-term majorities. So tell them they’re suffering, even if they’re not anymore. Hope they’re prisoners of the past.



“Abolish ICE” Leftists Replace US Flag With Mexican Flag: Vandalize “Blue Lives Matter” Flag

Leftist anti-ICE protesters are so anti-American and unpatriotic that a group of them removed a U.S. flag and replaced it with a Mexican flag outside an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) facility in Aurora, Colorado.

Hundreds of protesters also removed a “Blue Lives Matter” flag and vandalized it by spray-painting the words “Abolish ICE” across it before raising the flag upside-down on a pole next to the flag of Mexico.

Ironically, most of the protesters are self-flagellating white apologists who prioritize illegal aliens above taxpaying U.S. citizens and lawful residents.

While they gleefully raise the flag of Mexico to undermine US immigration laws, they forget that if any of them snuck across the Mexican border illegally, they’d immediately be deported back to the United States — no questions asked.

There would be no Mexicans protesting for their right to stay illegally in Mexico. Let that sink in.

Protests around the United States erupted yesterday in sanctuary cities around the country, including Denver, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. They’re heating up in anticipation of ICE raids scheduled in 10 cities tomorrow (July 14).

Despite the disinformation campaign being pushed by the left-wing media, the ICE raids are not targeting random illegal aliens, but those who have been ordered to be deported by federal immigration judges.

The protesters are open-borders leftists who are demanding that ICE detention centers at the U.S.-Mexico border be closed. They also want amnesty for the millions of illegal aliens currently in the country.

In Philadelphia, anti-ICE protesters took to the streets yesterday. Philadelphia is a sanctuary city that harbors illegal aliens.

As BizPac Review reported, Democrats have repeatedly denied that the border crisis is real, and have accused President Trump of “manufacturing” a crisis. In recent weeks — when they could no longer deny the facts — Democrats and the media finally conceded that there is indeed an emergency at the border.

Race-baiting leftist politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar claim that enforcing longstanding federal immigration laws (that were passed decades ago by both Democrats and Republicans) are racist.

However, even Jeh Johnson — the secretary of Homeland Security under “Deporter-in-Chief” Barack Obama — said there’s nothing unusual or illegal about the upcoming ICE raids that are targeting illegal immigrants who have orders for deportation.

“Deportations occur all the time,” Johnson told MSNBC. “Of those who have been ordered deported by an immigration judge, we simply have to enforce the law, particularly if someone has been ordered deported. They’ve exhausted all their appeal rights. Enforcement actions themselves are not extraordinary.”

Jeh Johnson, a Trump-hating Democrat, also clapped back at the left-wing media and members of his own party, saying this sensationalized leftist talking point of “children in cages” did not start the day President Donald Trump took office.

“Chain link barriers, partitions, fences, cages — whatever you want to call them — were not invented on Jan. 20, 2017, OK?” Johnson said. Johnson also slammed Democrats’ proposals to decriminalize illegal border crossings, saying that “is tantamount to declaring publicly that we have open borders.”



Billionaire Dem Donor Blasts Bernie Sanders: He's a 'Communist Under the Cover of Being a Socialist'

You may have never heard of Haim Saban before, but his money has affected you, nonetheless. As one of the single biggest donors to the Democrat Party, Saban is helping shape the politics of this country. This is why his opinions on the Democrats hoping to earn their party's 2020 presidential nomination matter. His money gives his words clout. This is bad news for Bernie bros (and, by extension, fans of AOC). In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Saban went out of his way to diss Bernie Sanders.

Because Saban is unknown to many, a little background information may be useful. With an estimated worth of $3.2 billion, Haim and his wife Cheryl are the media moguls behind the Power Rangers phenomenon. According to The Hollywood Reporter:

Eight years after Saban Entertainment's inception, he merged the L.A.-based company with Fox Children's Productions to form Fox Family Worldwide. That joint venture with News Corp. — which included Fox Family Channel, Fox Kids international channels in Europe and Latin America, and Saban Entertainment's library of 6,500 episodes of animated and other family programs — was sold in 2001 to The Walt Disney Co. for $5.3 billion.

Selling the company to Disney is what launched the couple's philanthropic organization. As generous supporters of the nation of Israel, the Sabans also donate money to many children's charities and feminist organizations. As already stated, they're also counted as one of the biggest donors to the Democrat Party. This fact, THR explains, is, "why all eyes are on who they will back in the 2020 presidential election. After the first debates, they remained undecided."

They may be undecided about who they're going to support, but based on Haim Saban's words, they will never back Bernie Sanders.

"We love all 23 candidates," Haim says, then pauses. "No, minus one. I profoundly dislike Bernie Sanders, and you can write it. I don't give a hoot. He's a communist under the cover of being a socialist. He thinks that every billionaire is a crook. He calls us 'the billionaire class.' And he attacks us indiscriminately. 'It's the billionaire class, the bad guys.' This is how communists think. So, 22 are great. One is a disaster zone."
During the 2016 presidential election, a high-level Hill staffer told me that Bernie's fellow Democrats on the Senate's Budget Committee can't stand Sanders.  According to my friend, he obstructs their goals because "he doesn't understand math."

Add, Bernie Sanders doesn't understand history nor economics to that. Billionaire Haim Saban understands this and isn't afraid to publicly say it. For that, even among all our other disagreements with him, conservatives owe Saban a thank you.

The backlash against Bernie Sanders and his socialist version of populism by Saban is bad news for the new socialist flavors of the month like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The power brokers understand that Sanders and AOC's version of socialism is detrimental to their bank accounts. It's a small comfort knowing that powerful people like the Sabans are acting to protect the Democrat Party from their worst instincts.



Christine Blasey Ford: Just another crooked Leftist

Is there such a thing as an honest Leftist?

When Christine Blasey Ford came forward to accuse then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of decades-old sexual assault, little was known about her; in fact, she had no social media footprint at all — an extreme oddity for modern times.

But according to a new book set for release on Tuesday, penned by two prominent conservative politicos, Blasey Ford “completely scrubbed” her digital footprint weeks before sending the sexual assault allegation to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in the form of a letter.

Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway and her co-author, Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network, suggest in “Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court” that this social media history scrubbing had been done to cover up Blasey Ford's far-left politics and her expressed "antipathy" toward President Donald Trump, who tapped Kavanaugh for the position on the highest court.

As reported by the Washington Examiner, the book outlines how Blasey Ford was portrayed by the media as “politically moderate,” even though “her acquaintances reported Ford’s profile on social media ‘had been notable for its extreme antipathy to President Trump.’”

“Additionally, her political views 'ran decidedly to the left and were at variance with most of her family’s,' and Ford's friends on Facebook said she 'regularly expressed hostility' toward the Trump administration, they said,” the Examiner noted, adding that Blasey Ford’s social media “was ‘completely scrubbed’ about the time Kavanaugh was tapped for the Supreme Court in early July 2018.”

Blasey Ford told Sen. Feinstein in a letter last year that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a house party, which was not specified, sometime in the early 1980s. The dubious claim was completely uncorroborated and the Senate Judiciary Committee ultimately found that there was "no evidence to substantiate any of the claims."

"In neither the committee's investigation nor in the supplemental background investigation conducted by the FBI was there ANY evidence to substantiate or corroborate any of the allegations," the Committee said.



Trump Administration Substantially Boosts Healthcare Freedom for Employees

The Department of Health and Human Services has published a new rule that will promote the portability of health insurance. The rule may be the most significant the Trump administration has published related to healthcare freedom since it could put more people in charge of their health insurance, rather than their employer.

According to the most recent data available, in 2017 more than 159 million Americans received health insurance coverage from their employer, while 20.5 million had purchased health plans on the individual market. More than 112 million were on some form of government-run health plans, such as Medicare or Medicaid.

American reliance on employer-sponsored health insurance coverage has existed since 1943, when the Internal Revenue Service exempted certain employer-provided benefits from taxation. Employers used benefits to attract workers to get around wage and price controls mandated by President Franklin Roosevelt. Congress made the exemption permanent in 1954.

There are problems with this system, however. Ultimately, the employer-based health insurance system isn’t responsive to employees because employees don’t own their health plans. This system also reduces choice. Insurers don’t look at employees as their customers, rather health insurance companies treat the employer or third-party administrators as the customer. The system also locks employees into their jobs out of a fear that if they leave, they may lose access to health insurance.

When he served in Congress, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) acknowledged this problem. He introduced the Empowering Patients First Act to address the issue. The legislation allowed employees to opt out of employer-sponsored health insurance coverage in exchange for a monthly tax credit to purchase a plan on the individual market.

“When you own [your health insurance], then they know you’re the customer,” then-Rep. Price said in a January 2015 interview. “That means that [health insurance companies] want to be responsive to you and what it sets up is a system that’s much more patient-centered than government-employer-centered.”

The new rule published by the Department of Health and Human Services isn’t the same as what then-Rep. Price proposed, but it certainly shares the spirit. The rule has the potential to put employees in control of their health insurance coverage by making their health insurance portable. If an employee leaves his or her job, the employee won’t lose access to their health insurance plan.

The rule expands Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to make them available to more Americans. HRAs already exist, but only businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees can use them to buy health coverage for their workers. The rule expands HRAs to make the accounts available to all employers, regardless of size, for employees to purchase health insurance coverage. 

Employers would provide employees with a monetary contribution, either monthly or annually, to purchase health insurance coverage. Employees would use the monetary contribution to purchase any off-exchange plan on the individual market. Like the monthly contribution from employers, employees may pay the difference between the employer contribution and the health insurance premium on a pre-tax basis as long as the plan is not purchased on the Obamacare exchange.

Employees are empowered under HRAs because they get to choose which health plans they want and which provider networks, such as doctors and hospitals, they want. The decision is theirs and not left to an employer or a third-party administrator. As more people come into the individual market, competition between insurance companies will increase and premiums will stabilize.

Democrats want to either eliminate private health insurance, employer-sponsored and the individual market, and would replace it with a government-run, single-payer system. Alternatively, they aim to create a public option that would undercut insurance companies and eventually collapse private health insurance. Putting the government in charge of your healthcare is one of the worst ideas in the long, sad history of bad ideas. The HRA rule is a tremendous opportunity to begin to change the direction of the American healthcare system in a patient-centered direction by empowering employees to make decisions about their health insurance and their healthcare that are the best for them and their families.



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 July, 2019

America, as seen from Beijing

A fly-on-the-wall account of what China tells visiting American bigwigs

A bit late, China’s leaders are starting to accept that their trade war with President Donald Trump is only one element of a larger crisis in relations with America—and not the most dangerous one. The leaders understand that their critics within America’s foreign-policy and national-security machine—meaning aides to Mr Trump, members of both parties in Congress and officers in the State Department, Pentagon, spy agencies and beyond—want China to change its ways. They also believe (or hope) that Mr Trump wants something different, and perhaps less painful for them: to show voters the spectacle of China losing a trade fight with him.

China’s rulers now accept that they face more than a Trump problem. They concede that bipartisan suspicion of China in America will intensify in the run-up to the elections of November 2020, and will continue afterwards, whoever wins. They absorbed that message during visits by high-ranking Americans, including Mr Trump’s officials, business bosses and veterans of Republican and Democratic governments. Dismayingly, they show no sign of accepting that China’s own actions are in any way to blame.

Chinese leaders believe that America’s policy machine wants them to change principles that have guided China’s rise for 20 years. They protest that these demands cut to the heart of China’s model of development. They are not entirely wrong. Such figures as the United States Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, have drawn up a charge sheet of Chinese norms and practices deemed intolerable now that China is so large, and so competitive in so many fields. Mr Lighthizer has allies in Congress, from both parties. They want China to abandon its model of state capitalism, with its subsidies for local champions, arm-twisting transfers of technology, curbs on market access and politicised regulation. Mr Lighthizer has proposed enforcement and verification mechanisms that Chinese figures indignantly compare to the inspections that underpinned cold-war arms-control agreements. No Chinese leader, it is said, could accept such a humiliation—any more than they will tolerate American moves to strangle Huawei, a telecommunications giant that is central to China’s plans to become a standard-setting tech superpower.

There is much Chinese grumbling about security hawks working for Mr Trump, from his national security adviser, John Bolton, to military commanders. The hawks are accused of breaking understandings about support for Taiwan, the democratic island that China claims as its own. The Chinese side thinks that Mr Trump was bullied by hawks into walking out on North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, at their summit in Hanoi in February. It is no accident that China’s president, Xi Jinping, decided to pay a state visit to North Korea, shortly before attending a G20 summit in Japan which Mr Trump will also join. Chinese officials gasped when Mr Trump threatened to slap extra tariffs on China if Mr Xi did not agree to meet him on the G20’s sidelines. Japan’s prime minister might swallow an American insult like that, growl Chinese sources, but not us. By visiting Pyongyang first (he arrived on June 20th), Mr Xi reminded Mr Trump that China’s leader is an indispensable diplomatic actor, not a junior partner in a trade dispute.

Chinese policy types obsess over the idea that Team Trump is not engaged in a sincere negotiation, but is seeking to contain a rising China. They complain about shifting American demands. At first China was told that the problem was the trade balance, and offered to buy American goods. Then economic rules and norms were called the crux of the dispute. So China prepared to negotiate, drawing up a 150-page draft agreement. Then, as the Chinese side tells it, Mr Xi realised that America’s plan amounted to an assault on Chinese sovereignty, rejected it and has since been cheered within his own system for his stand. There is muttering, in contrast, about Mr Xi’s chief economic aide and trade envoy, Liu He. Mr Liu, a deputy prime minister, is accused of lacking political sense.

Mr Trump is not a leader in thrall to principles. That is why the Chinese side hopes, in essence, that he could accept a trade deal which breaks Mr Lighthizer’s heart, and a North Korean pact that leaves Mr Bolton miserable, as long as those deals bring him applause from voters. Mr Xi, it is said, believes that Mr Trump does not want to decouple America’s economy from China’s—except in the production of some sensitive technology. But Mr Xi does worry that America’s president could be hijacked by hardline advisers. If no reasonable deal can be struck, Chinese hosts tell Americans, Mr Xi will wait for the election in November 2020 to produce a different president. They express confidence that relief will come sooner, because Mr Trump needs votes from farm states hurt by the tariff wars, and is desperate to keep the stockmarket roaring.

Imperialists never change

Doubts lurk amid the bluster. In public Chinese officials say that Mr Trump needs a deal to win in 2020. In private they ask whether, perhaps, American voters might prefer to see him fight on. They admit to bafflement over some of Mr Trump’s sallies, such as when he told Fox News that he could not accept a “50-50 deal” with China, but had to come out ahead. To Chinese ears, that was fantastically unhelpful. It recalled the “unequal treaties” imposed by 19th-century powers which every Chinese schoolchild is taught to hate. Mr Trump has said that he will not let China become the world’s largest economy in his lifetime. Does he mean these things, Chinese hosts ask, or is this all domestic politics?

Doubts have consequences. To prepare Chinese public opinion for a long trade stand-off, propaganda chiefs have abandoned months of restraint and told state media to start thundering about American bullying. Stoking nationalism is a familiar Chinese ploy. But it has real-world effects, too. As China reduces its own room for manoeuvre, it risks forcing Mr Trump to concede ground to China to secure a deal. Meanwhile his chaotic style is straining China’s system to its limits. The mood in Beijing is anxious, with reason.



Democrats Double Down On Hating America

Kurt Schlichter

You gotta hand it to them – it’s an innovative strategy to run for President by taking the position that your country is garbage and that its are people deplorable monsters. It’ll be interesting to see how the Democrats fare on their “America sucks!” platform. The last week has seen Team Donkey take brave stands against the flag and celebrating our military, and you would half expect them to next advocate something insanely suicidal, like taking your health insurance or forcing you to pay for illegal aliens’ doctors.

Oh wait, that happened too.

Who are these lunatics? Do they really think this is going to play in America as well as it does in Chicago, Manhattan and Scat Francisco?

They do. But it’s not.

Not that they would know it, since they don’t know any real Americans. The current Democrat Party consists of hipster geebos, race hustlers, pierced campus mutants, bitter middle-aged divorcées who teach high school, tech twerps and uninvited foreigners who shouldn’t even be here. The libs will be shocked to learn that real Americans love America.

Their platform, carried out by the carnival freakshow that is the Democrat Party and its allies in the media and in the woke corporations, is part of a greater strategy. It’s to denigrate and then destroy what makes America America, to steal our story from us and replace it with a bogus legacy of oppression and misery. They want to impose upon us a new narrative of a morally stained America unworthy of respect or gratitude, and guess who will be the heroes of that new narrative…

Not the armed Americans who shot the British king’s thugs.

Not the heroic pioneers who civilized the West.

Not the captains of industry who took a primitive backwater and made it the most prosperous and freest nation in human history.

Not the warriors who won at Gettysburg and Normandy.

Not you.

Them. Yes, the very same Social Justice Weasels who try to rip down everything that is great about America will be the new heroes of this new story. They are the ones with the courage to nag, pester, whine and complain about this country. That’s it. That’s their contribution. Our proposed new heroes are people who never made anything but fools of themselves.

Where is their parade, damnit?

Oh, and you’ll be the story’s villain.

That is, if you let them write you out of your own history. And the indications are that you’re not going to.

We saw the pushback when that cop killer-loving, commie thug-slurping, stupid hair-having bad quarterback got fussy over an old flag, and his ridiculous corporate employer went along with it. We were supposed to accept this latest ratchet left of the Overton Window of America-hating as an old version of the flag was declared “offensive” in anticipation of the predictable next move, when our 50-star Old Glory will get the same treatment. But it didn’t work this time. We laughed at them, and other companies came out with flag-themed footwear.

I went to get new gym shoes and walked right by the Nike display. The hell with them. Let them become niche kicks for jerks. And I’m not the only one. We’re not playing anymore. We’re tired of this.

On the Fourth, we were fed the lie that recognizing our military on a holiday made possible by Americans with rifles hunting oppressors for sport was some sort of prelude to dictatorship, though in fairness the Trumpian dictatorship has allegedly been descending upon America for the last two-and-a-half years, though it never seems to actually arrive. Dummy journalists journalisted about tanks in the streets of our nation’s capital, compounding their dumb by calling everything with armor and tracks a “tank.” “That’s a Bradley, not a tank” became the new “It’s a republic, not a democracy” as we merrily schooled these pompous goofs. One idiot who is a professor at Harvard, but I repeat myself, noted the eerie parallels to Tiananmen Square, which was quite a trick since there were none. We laughed at him too, and watched the President speak and the B-2/F-22 flyover and embraced the awesomeness that is America.

I think we’ve decided that we’ve had enough of this crap, but I don’t think the liberals understand how annoyed we are. Shhhh. Don’t tell them.

Instead, they are continuing to battle over the relatively tiny America-hating slice of the electorate while Trump is gathering up the patriots. Here’s a quick quiz: Name the Democrat running for president who would be willing to unequivocally say aloud what is the indisputable truth – that the United States of America is the greatest nation on earth.

None of them will.

Not one.

Not the furry.

Not Chief Spitting Bull.

Not Groovy Hippie Lady.

Not Spartacus.

Not crusty Curb Your Socialism guy.

Not the political gold-digger who wants to bring back busing because of course she does.

Not even Gropey Floppy Sleepy Joe.

And none of them will ever take America’s side in a fight.

Euroweenies won’t foot the bill for their own NATO defense? The real problem is Trump telling them to pay up.

Chinese pillaging our intellectual property and imposing its “Heads China Wins, Tails America Loses” trade policies? The real problem is Trump fighting back with tariffs.

Iran getting uppity? The real problem is Trump wasn’t sucking up to the mullahs enough.

And Russia? The most amusing part of the last week had to be Totally Not Senile Joe explaining how the Russians had hacked our last election and how that would never have happened if he had been Veep. Oh, to be able to listen in on the voices echoing around in his head…

Poor Joe, trying to compete in the Democrat Party’s primary woke-stakes but not understanding that he can never be woke enough. There’s always someone who will go woker. “Detention camps are bad? Oh yeah, well I’ll raise you – now they’re concentration camps! And you’re racist!”

Just think if Joe had been smart, brave, and tough enough to look over at the other weirdos, losers and mutations on that stage and say, “Are you people crazy? A Biden administration will not take your health insurance. It’s not going to open the borders and it’s not going to ask Americans to pay for illegal aliens’ – yeah, illegal aliens – health care. We’re not doing reparations or free college for gender studies majors or climate panicking. Oh, and America is the greatest nation on earth.” He would immediately win over the people who have doubts about Trump but a certainty about the America-hating nimrods that AOC’s party is pushing – the certainty that these idiots can never be trusted with power.

Luckily for Trump, it won’t happen. Good-Guy-To-Have-A-Beer-With Joe is long gone, like the wrinkles he had Botoxed away in preparation for this last disastrous White House run. Joe was the Democrat’s final chance to run a major candidate who likes America and likes Americans. Now one of the two major American political parties is all-in on hating the USA and hating you.

“America is terrible!” That’s a great slogan for winning in Santa Monica and Brooklyn, but not so great for winning in America.



Anti-Trump Shoppers Call For Boycott Of Home Depot Over Founder’s Support For Trump

Political boycotts rarely achieve anything.  If they look like having an effect, members of the opposite party will rally to support of the targeted businesses.  Chick Fil A did well out of boycotts

The #BoycottHomeDepot hashtag trended on Twitter as a virtual battle erupted over the news that the company’s co-founder Bernie Marcus plans to support President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign.

In an interview that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published at the weekend, the 90-year-old billionaire praised Trump for having “a businessman’s common sense approach to most things.”

“Now, do I agree with every move that he makes? No, I don’t,” said Marcus, who retired from his role as chairman at the home improvement supplies store in 2002. “But the truth is he has produced more than anybody else. He has,” Marcus added. “If we look at this country, I would say that we are better off today than we were eight years ago or six years ago.”

Marcus reportedly donated $7 million to Trump’s 2016 campaign, when he also penned an essay for RealClearPolitics explaining why he stood “ready to help” the then-reality television personality “at every turn.”

That also sparked calls for a boycott.

Marcus has donated $2 billion to philanthropic causes during his lifetime, reported the AJC, and on his death some 80% to 90% of his estimated $5.9 billion fortune will be used for similar ends.

His backing of Trump has divided people on Twitter over the last week, where some people have demanded a boycott of the store and others have sprung to its defense.

A Home Depot representative told MarketWatch on Monday that Marcus “isn’t speaking on behalf of the company.”



Conservatism Healthier Than Beltway Pundits Believe

The majority of the most popular governors just happen to be Republican governors.    

National Review’s Jim Geraghty recently wrote an interesting piece wherein he notes that, contrary to much of the mainstream media’s political assumptions, “conservative ideas and policies are doing just fine beyond the nation’s capital.” As evidence, Geraghty points to the increasing number of states whose Republican governors enjoy positive favorable polling numbers. Even more impressive is that three of the four Republicans with the highest approval rating are governors of blue states — Charlie Baker (MA), Larry Hogan (MD), and Chris Sununu (NH).

The reason Republican governors have been doing so well in blue states, Geraghty theorizes, is due to the nature of conservatism. Rather than seeking to push for massive government-led changes, these Republican governors tend to act more as a check against Democrat excess. Geraghty notes that some Republican governors “support and try to enact policies that are explicitly conservative,” but that “guys like Baker and Hogan act as a conservative check on more liberal state legislators.”

As far as policy goes, conservative tax policies have gained in favorability among the states, as 16 states passed large tax cuts in 2018 alone. These cuts amount to an estimated $1.7 billion in combined savings for Americans in those states.

A final interesting note is that since much of the mainstream media is so focused on the political drama in Washington, state-level policy news is often ignored. And this is where conservatism, outside the hyper-partisan spotlight, most thrives at doing the work of good governing.


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 July, 2019

Trump is the most open President America has ever had -- by far

Both on Twitter and in most of his speeches to supporters you see and hear exctly what is going through his mind at the time -- no filtering, no censoring, no political, correctness. And you particularly note that he seems to contradict himself sometimes.  He says something, decides it was not quite right and then says a derivative of the original thought that  suits him better.  It is not at all a contradiction, just online editing.  The difference is that he lets you see the whole process of him coming to a statement that he thinks is right.

  He can be a bit hard to follow at times but if you are on his wavelength you get his thought well enough.  He is not a policy wonk and is light-years away from having a Churchillian turn of  phrase but he may be the most honest man ever to occupy the oval office.  His ideas and policies are his own and what he really thinks.

Slate are totally contemputuous of his speaking style and have put up some excerpts from a recent speech to his supporters that they think are most contemptible. You can pick at the way he says it but I think he makes his points pretty well.  His comments on his hair gave me a laugh. I reproduce what Slate picks out below.  See if you get what he is saying.  He is focused on censorship by social media:

On the Economy

So I’m thrilled to welcome you here, and we’re all working very hard, and I don’t know if you know but we just had 27,000 on the Dow. That’s the highest in history. We’re up a couple of hundred points today—the highest in history, for those of you that like the stock market.

But the stock market means jobs. I view it as jobs. And I view it as 401Ks. A lot of people say, “Oh, the rich people are getting rich.” But if you look at the numbers, the greatest impact proportionately is blue collar workers, in what’s happened, in this miracle that’s happening.

And people with 401Ks, they’re up 72 percent and 67 percent. And the wife or the husband, whoever is responsible, the other one says, “You’re a genius. You’re a great financial investor. Darling, you’re up 77 percent this year.” So a lot of good things happen. A lot of people are happy, and I think really everybody’s happy. Some people just aren’t willing to admit it. Does that make sense?

Popular in News & Politics

On White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino
We’re delighted to be joined at this summit by someone you know very well, our senior adviser for digital strategy, and somebody that’s been working for me for a long time—for many years—Dan Scavino. Where’s Dan? Stand up, Dan. So, long before we were even doing this, he was at a club. Running a club, and other businesses. And he was okay at doing it. Not the greatest. I wouldn’t say the greatest. But, you know what he was great at? He was always looking at his computer screen. I said, “That guy’s incredible.”

So right at the beginning, I said, “That’s the man.” And there was nobody better at that. And I think Hillary had 28 people, and I had Dan. Right? I had my Dan! And he works about 28 hours a day, and he works very hard. But he doesn’t work. I mean, he loves it. He loves it. And his imagination, and really working with all of you, and many of you. He’ll come up with ideas, and you’ll come up with ideas. And he’ll run into my office, he says, “You got to see this.” And a lot of times I’ll go out, and I’ll spend a lot of money on a concept. I’ll say, “Here’s a concept. Come up with this.” And we’ll hire these companies, and they want a lot of money, and they come back. Just happened the other day, right? I said, “That’s terrible. These guys have no talent.”

The people that have the talent are the people that we deal with. And it’s true, and some of you are extraordinary. I can’t say everybody, but no, but some of you are extraordinary. The crap you think of is unbelievable. Unbelievable.

On the Census Citizenship Question

Can you believe… “Are you a citizen of the United States of America?”

“Sir you can’t ask that question.”


“Because a court said you can’t.”

We have three very unfriendly courts. They fight us all the way. The judges don’t like us too much, I guess. But think of that, Herman, think of that question. “Are you a citizen?” We spend—this is another thing that’s so crazy—$20 billion on a census, $20 billion. They spend $20 billion! I said, “Twenty billion WHAT?” Twenty billion dollars. On a census. They go through houses. They go up. They ring doorbells. They talk to people. How many toilets do they have? How many desks do they have? How many beds? What’s their roof made of? The only thing we can’t ask is, are you a citizen of the United States? Isn’t it the craziest thing? Twenty billion. Pretty amazing.

On What’s Happening

But I’ll tell you, a lot of bad things are happening. I have people come up to me: “Sir, we want to follow you. They don’t let us on.”

And it was so different than it was even six, seven months ago. I was picking up unbelievable amounts of people. And I’m hotter now than I was then, OK? Because you know, you also cool off, right? You do. But I’m much hotter. Especially with a nice, new stock market like it is. Right?

But no. I’m hotter now, and I go to Dan, I say, “Hey, what’s going on here?” It used to take me a short number of days to pick up 100,000 people. I’m not complaining; we’re like at 60-some-odd million. But then we have five different sites. We have another site with 25 million. We have another site with 10 or 12. Then we have Facebook. Then we have Instagram. We have a lot!

We got a lot of people. Way, way over 100 million, but I used to pick them up… And when I say “used to,” I’m talking about a few months ago. I was picking them up, a hundred thousand people every, very short period of time. Now, it’s, I would say, ten times as long. And I notice things happening when I put out something—a good one, that people like, right? Good tweet. It goes up. It used to go up, it would say 7,000, 7,008, 7,000, 7,017, 7,024, 7,032, 7,044. Right?

Now it goes, 7,000, 7,008, 6,998. Then they go, 7,009, 6,074. [Audience boos] I said, “What’s going on?” Now, it never did that before. It goes up, and then they take it down. Then it goes up. I’d never had that. Does anyone know what I’m talking about with this? [Audience screams “yes”] I never had that before. I used to watch it. It’d be like a rocket ship when I put out a beauty. Like when I said, remember I said somebody was spying on me? That thing was like a rocket. I get a call two minutes later: “Did you say that?”

I said, “Yeah, I said that.”

“Well, it’s exploding. It’s exploding.”

I turned out to be right. I turned out to be right. We turned out to be right about a lot of things. But I never had it.

On Setting the News Cycle

I said watch, I’m going to do this. And I said, “We recognize the Golan Heights as being part of Israel.” It was a big thing. I go, watch this: boom! I press it, and within two seconds: “We have breaking news.” John Roberts of Fox was over. He said, “We have breaking news. Please, break it up.” Doesn’t matter what they’re talking about, John does it. He breaks it up.

Now, that’s Twitter. That’s social media. I call Twitter a typewriter. That’s what I really call Twitter, because it goes onto Facebook automatically. And it goes onto Instagram, and it goes on to television—moreso Fox than it does CNN. If it’s something bad, they’ll put it on.

If I have a spelling deal, they will put it on. “Donald Trump spelled the word ‘the’ wrong.” You know? “He doesn’t know how to spell ‘the.’ He spelled it t-h-i.” You know? I couldn’t care… Any kind of a punctuation mistake, they put it on. So I’m very very careful. I, really… I’m actually a good speller, but every once and… The fingers aren’t as good as the brain.

But, but it is true. And it’s incredible what it does. I put out a social media statement, and I was telling Kellyanne the other day. I said, “You know, I used to put out, like, a press release.” Right? And people would pick it up, sort of, you know. The next day, two days, they’d find it sitting on a desk. If I put out… We hardly do press releases anymore, because if I put out on social media, a statement, like I’m going to in a little while on something totally unrelated (but a very important statement—now they’re going crazy, “What is it? Tell me,” but it’s very important), but if I put that out in a press release, I’m telling you, Kevin. People don’t pick it up. It’s me, same. If I put it out on social media, it’s like an explosion. Fox, CNN, crazy MSNBC.

On NBC in General

They’re stone cold crazy. I made them a lot of money with The Apprentice, and I gave them a top show when they were dying on NBC. But they don’t like me too much. They wanted a big extension. They used Arnold Schwarzenegger instead. Big movie star. You know what? He died. He died.

I was there 12… 12 years, 14 seasons, and then they pick a movie actor. And he dies on us.

You know, I own that with Mark Burnett and some people. And I said, they said, “Would you rather have him had been, like, this tremendous massive success? You own it, so you benefit financially. Or would you rather have him die, so that you say you did it for 14 seasons, 12 years.”

I said, “I think I’d rather have him die at it.” That means you don’t need the money. I’d rather have him die at it. Anyway, but with amazing creativity and determination, you’re bypassing the corrupt establishment.

On the Loyalties of Tech Execs

So you know, they’re playing with a lot of minds and they’re playing unfairly. And the funny thing is that, in theory, they shouldn’t be liking the other side. They shouldn’t be liking the other side. They should be really liking our side, because we’re the ones that won freedom. Far more.

You see what’s happening up on the debate stand. You see what they’re doing to each other. You’re seeing the hatred that they have up there, and it’s a very different philosophy. It’s a very different thought.

On Whether There’s a Word Called “Communism”
Because what they’re looking at is pure socialism, or worse than socialism. You know, there’s a word called “communism,” too. There’s a word—they don’t like to use it. Very rarely do you hear that. But there’s a word called “communism,” and they’re trying to get socialism over the line. But these people are… This is beyond socialism, to a large extent. And I think that we’re going to have a tremendous success.

On Types of Weather

We had, on the Mall just the other day, 4th of July, a tremendous success. It was pouring. The weather was just… It was beautiful in one way. They learned it was my real hair that day, because I was drenched. Well, that is the one good thing. I ran, and they learned it’s my hair.

Because I’ve been through every windstorm, sandstorm. Let’s go over here. Let’s go. This one, that one. This desert. Let’s go to this ocean, and get out of the plane, sir. The wind is blowing at about 70 miles an hour. I said, “Boy, it’s gotta be… It’s gotta be mine.”

But, uh, but we’ve seen it all. We’ve seen it all.

On Platform Biases

But we run out of here… Shadow-banned, a hundred percent. You look at what’s going on. You know, I could go… The blocking, just the basic blocking of what we want to get out. The fact that they don’t let them join. They don’t. There was…. There’s no doubt in my mind that I should have millions and millions…

I have millions of people, so many people I wouldn’t believe it. But I know that we’ve been blocked. People come up to me, and they say, “Sir, I can’t, I can’t get you. I can’t follow you. They make it impossible.” These are people that are really good at what they do. They say they make it absolutely impossible. And you know we can’t have it. We’re not going to let it happen.

Josh, we’re not going to let it happen. And you know, if they did it on both sides, if it were done to the other side, to the other group… And I’m representing everybody. I do, I represent everybody. I fully understand liberal. I fully understand Democrat. We want to get along. We want to make sure that everybody loves each other, if that’s possible. And maybe, I really believe it is.

On the Infamous China/Farmer Feud

And you know, the farmers say, “We just want a level playing field, sir.” I love the farmers. They’re patriots. And China, as you know, targeted the farmers, because they think they could get to me by hurting the people that I love and that we take care of. And, it had no impact. I would watch—even on networks that don’t exactly like me—and I’d watch as they interview farmers, and they’d have ten or 12 people sitting. They’d say, “We don’t care. The president’s right. We’ve been ripped off for many years. Somebody has to do… Somebody had to do this.” China made over the last ten years hundreds of billions of dollars, you could say four to five hundred billion dollars a year.

On Having Conversations with Silicon Valley CEOs

So one of the advantages of being president is, when you ask for a meeting, you get it generally. I don’t know. I can’t think of too many I haven’t gotten. And you say, “I’d like to see in the Oval Office…” Or you have somebody call “Oval Office.” I’ve been with all of these people, at the highest level, one-on-one. Just recently with Google, just recently with Twitter, the top. All right? And you talk to them, and you swear, they’re like your best friend. “Oh, sir. No. We believe. We… Freedom of speech. Oh yes. Absolutely.” And we go…

So, it’s very interesting to see that. And and the level of, you know, you look at them… The sincerity! And I say, that’s fantastic. And they’ll leave, and then I’ll realize, three or four weeks later, it’s worse. It actually got worse. Because I say, look, I believe in technology. I believe in free markets. I believe in freedom of speech. I believe in all the things. And, and they are super genius. […]

But I tell you what, technologically, it’s unbelievable what they think up. Even Dan and I, when we sat with you-know-who, at Twitter. Number one. We talked about certain things. He said, “Yeah, well we could do this, this this.” I said, that’s really great. You know, this is incredible stuff. China will admit there’s nobody like these brains. But they’re not using that brilliance and they’re not using what we gave them fairly. And they have to do that.

And we don’t want to stifle anything, we certainly don’t want to stifle free speech, but that’s no longer free speech.

On What Else Doesn’t Count as Free Speech

See, I don’t think that the mainstream media’s free speech, either. Because it’s so crooked. It’s so dishonest. So to me, free speech is not when you see something good, and then you purposely write bad. To me, that’s very dangerous speech, and you become angry at it. But that’s not free speech. Somebody came to my office, I won’t say who, but a very big person. And I said OK, you don’t like the term fake news, which I think I get credit for. But I’m sure, if I said I get credit, they’ll say, “Thirteen years ago somebody came up with a term.”

I think I get credit—I’d be very proud to take it.

But I think I get credit. Now by the way, the worst fakers of all are using fake news. I saw the other day, on CNN—total fakes—I see on CNN, they go, “Fake news media has reported…” No, no, THEY’RE fake news media. They’ve turned it around. They’ve turned it around.



Consumer Comfort at 18-Year High

Americans’ comfort with the U.S. economy reached an 18-year high in late June, according to Bloomberg News, which maintains a Consumer Comfort Index. Consumer sentiment was up, said the news group, and contributed to “increased optimism about the U.S. economy, personal finances and the buying climate.”

"The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index advanced 1.8 points in the week ended June 23 to 63.6, the highest since December 2000," reported the news service. "A gauge of views about the economy was the strongest since early 2001, while a measure of household finances improved to an almost 19-year high." In related news, the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq all achieved record highs against a disappointing global stock market.

Also, CNBC reported that the unemployment rate remained at a consistent 50-year low.

The White House website lauded the positive economic news, saying that the numbers “[smash] expectations once again.”

President Donald Trump touted the stock numbers on July 6, tweeting, “Our Country is the envy of the World. Thank you, Mr. President!”

Representative Steve Scalise (R-La.) also commented on the strong economy. He tweeted, “@realDonaldTrump continues to defy expectations & deliver results for American workers! Democrats need to explain to everyone with new jobs & higher wages why they want to take that away from them with their job-killing socialist programs & high taxes.”

At the Democratic debate on June 26, Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) remarked, “This president walks around talking about and flouting his great economy, right? My great economy.”

She continued, “You ask him, ‘How are you measuring the greatness of this economy of yours?’ and they point to the jobless numbers and the unemployment numbers. Well, yeah, people in America are working. They’re working two and three jobs.”



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 July, 2019

BET founder Robert Johnson praises Trump, says Democratic Party 'moved too far to the left'

Black Entertainment Television founder and longtime Democrat Robert Johnson said in an interview that aired Tuesday that the Democratic Party has become too liberal to defeat President Trump in 2020, unless major changes are made.

“The party in my opinion, for me personally, has moved too far to the left,” Johnson told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble.

Johnson – the country’s first African-American billionaire, according to Forbes – went on to say that because the party has become so liberal, he isn’t supporting a particular 2020 candidate at this time.

“I think at the end of the day, if a Democrat is going to beat Trump, then that person, he or she, will have to move to the center and you can’t wait too long to do that,” Johnson said. “The message of some of the programs that Democrats are pushing are not resonating with the majority of the American people.”

Johnson said the current far-left state of the Democratic Party will work well in the primaries but won’t help in a general election, especially since he feels Trump has his base locked up. The BET founder, who supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, even praised some of Trump’s recent accomplishments.

“I think the economy is doing great, and it’s particularly reaching populations that heretofore had very bad problems in terms of jobs and employments and the opportunities that come with employment,” Johnson said. “African-American unemployment is at its lowest level…  I give the president a lot of credit for moving the economy in a positive direction that’s benefiting a large amount of Americans.”

Johnson also told CNBC that he thinks tax cuts clearly helped stimulate the economy, whereas partisan politics have gone too far.

“I think business people have more confidence in the way the economy is going,” Johnson said. “If business people are concerned about anything, it’s the clear, clear partisan politics that’s become very wicked and very mean.”

Johnson said he gives Trump an “A+” for the economy but added that divisive politics are “not helping America as a global nation.”

The 73-year-old entrepreneur founded BET in 1980 with a $150,000 loan and sold it for $3 billion in 2001, according to Forbes.



Democratic Socialism Newspeak

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled his vision of “democratic socialism“ during a recent speech at George Washington University. Unfortunately, he did more to confuse the meaning of democratic socialism than to clarify it.

The words capitalism and socialism have meanings, so let’s get things clear up front. Capitalism is an economic system based on private ownership of property coordinated through voluntary exchange in markets.

Socialism is an economic system that abolishes private property in the means of production—the land, capital, and labor used to make everything—and replaces it with some form of collective ownership. Whenever socialism has been implemented at a national level, collective ownership in practice has meant state ownership, and government plans have replaced markets as the primary mechanism to coordinate economic activity.

Capitalism and socialism can be thought of as two poles of a spectrum. Some countries are more capitalistic, and some are more socialistic, but all fall somewhere between these two poles. This is where Sanders starts mucking things up.

He claims that “unfettered capitalism” is causing economic problems in United States. The reality is that capitalism in the United States is far from “unfettered.” The Economic Freedom of the World Annual Report is the best measure of where on the socialism-capitalism spectrum a country lies. In the most recent rankings, the United States scored an 8.03 out of a possible 10 points, and even a 10-point score would fall short of “unfettered.”

However, this score does rank the United States the sixth most capitalist in the world. The five countries ahead of us—Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Ireland—are all pretty nice places. This fits with research that overwhelmingly finds that greater economic freedom (i.e., capitalism) produces good socioeconomic results.

Meanwhile, Sanders contrasts his democratic socialism with the “movement toward oligarchy,” which he conflates with unfettered capitalism. The problem is that none of the six authoritarian regimes he calls out—Russia (87th), China (107th), Saudi Arabia (102nd), the Philippines (49th), Brazil (144th), Hungary (59th)—is close to the capitalist end of the spectrum.

More disturbingly, he leaves socialist countries off his list of authoritarian regimes. Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela explicitly identify as socialist and come closest in the world today to practicing real socialism. The governments in these countries own and/or control much of the means of production and attempt to direct and plan their economies.

Sanders stated that he faces attacks “from those who attempt to use the word socialism as a slur.” But it is not “red-baiting” to recognize that socialism means a particular form of economic organization and that those authoritarian countries come closest to using that form of organization. I visited them while researching a new book, and they are all economic disasters as well as authoritarian nightmares. It’s incumbent on Sanders to recognize these countries as socialist and explain how his socialism would differ.

So does Sanders want real socialism? The closest he got to specifics was to argue that his democratic socialism would entail an “economic bill of rights,” which would include the right to a decent job that pays a living wage, quality health care, a complete education, affordable housing, a clean environment, and a secure retirement.

But listing aspirations tells us nothing about how he would achieve them. Based on his voting record and advocacy, his program would likely involve massive new interventions that would curtail our economic freedoms and place greater reliance on government planners.

Would those interventions be enough to label them socialist? They would likely make the United States less capitalistic than the Nordic countries that are often labeled democratic socialist. Yet those countries—Denmark (16th), Norway (25th), Sweden (43rd)—all rank high in economic freedom, so they likely don’t represent the right standard. Whatever the answer to my question, a national debate would be more productive if both Sanders and his critics were clearer on the definition of socialism and on whether his policies are, or aren’t, socialist.



Right-to-Try Legislation Helps Patient Battling Bone Cancer

Millennial Natalie Harp has battled stage two bone cancer for most of her life. To make matters worse, a medical error made in 2015 while receiving treatment left her wheelchair-bound and in constant pain. There was no known cure for her condition, and her quality of life was in quick decline.

Natalie was quickly running out of treatment options. Two rounds of chemotherapy failed to eradicate her cancer. Opioids, medical marijuana, and barbiturates were unable to relieve her pain. She was denied entry into numerous clinical trials. As her condition worsened, Natalie was also advised to consider voluntarily stopping all eating and drinking (a method commonly shorted to VSED).

Courageously, she refused, insisting, “No, I just want to get better.” Miraculously, she did.

After receiving access to experimental treatments through right-to-try legislation, Natalie’s condition improved substantially. In her own words, “I’m walking. I am healthy. I am living the quality of life that I always wanted.” She continued, “I’m not dying from cancer any more thanks to President Trump, I’m living with cancer.”

In May 2018, President Trump signed national right-to-try legislation in law. The law provides patients with terminal illnesses access to potentially lifesaving treatment options before the Food and Drug Administration fully approves them. By requiring permission from only the patient, their physician, and the drug provider to administer treatment, right-to-try laws cut the FDA out of the picture. As a consequence, patients are granted more options to prolong their lives with less regulatory barriers.

Natalie is grateful for the opportunities that right-to-try laws have provided. Before right-to-try became national law, she endured four years of being denied treatment options she hoped would help her condition. As she expressed, “it took President Trump going to Washington to be able to get that [more treatment options] for me.”

An unfortunate consequence of government involvement in healthcare is that medicine becomes more political. Despite the testimonies of patients electing to utilize right-to-try laws and being grateful for them, the laws continue to suffer from defamatory comments from political figures. Among the most common attacks are those calling the legislation “false hope” and declaring it hasn’t helped. Natalie’s inspiring conviction to keep fighting for her life, and her remarkable recovery, provide overwhelming evidence otherwise.

As long as the government remains involved in healthcare, the rights of terminally ill patients to try experimental medication to prolong their lives are at risk. Let’s hope stories like Natalie’s work to secure them. With 42 million US citizens suffering from a terminal illness or knowing someone with one, it’s a fight that affects us all.



Trump Compares Ocasio-Cortez To Argeninian Fascist.  She Takes It As A Compliment

For a fuller coverage of Peronism as Fascism, see here

President Donald Trump compared socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to former Argentine first lady Eva Perón — often called "Evita" — in a new book that is set to go on sale in mid-July.

Ocasio-Cortez took the comparison as a compliment, despite the fact that Evita was a Nazi sympathizer who helped her husband, Argentine President Juan Perón, destroy Argentina's economy by implementing socialism and eroded civil liberties in the nation.

Ocasio-Cortez responded to the comparison by tweeting out quotes from Eva Perón, writing: "'I know that, like every woman of the people, I have more strength than I appear to have.' - Evita Perón".

Ocasio-Cortez added: "'I had watched for many years and seen how a few rich families held much of Argentina's wealth and power in their hands. So the government brought in an eight hour working day, sickness pay and fair wages to give poor workers a fair go.' - Evita Perón".

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Latin America’ aims to highlight a series of little known controversies about leading leftist figures in the history of the continent...

...Mr Peron helped many Nazis fleeing Europe after the Second World War to find a safe haven in Argentina, including Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengele.

The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) noted that Eva Perón "demagogued her way to a cult following among those who depended on the favors she dispensed and stepped on anyone who stood in her way. A law which obstructed her ambitions was, in her view, a law to be bent or broken.

Any fair assessment of her must note that she delivered numerous vapid harangues and gave away lots of other people’s money, but she never invented, created or built anything."



It’s Not Robots That Hurt Workers

Education is the job-killer lurking beneath the economy’s surface. Consider an exemplary employer making major investments in training for each of his 100 workers, even covering tuition for those who might benefit from technical courses at a local college. Say the investments have incredible returns, too—by the end of the year, each worker is twice as productive and 50 can do the work that last year required 100. That means 50 jobs have been destroyed.

Does that sound nonsensical? It should. Yet change “education” to “automation” or “technology” and you have the conventional wisdom that countless economists and politicians are spouting. If the employer invests in equipment that allows 50 workers to produce what previously required 100, we are suddenly concerned and upset. No one anthropomorphizes a worker’s enhanced skills, but a robot—well, a robot can “take” and “steal” and “destroy.”

In either case, with training or technology, the effect is to improve productivity—the amount of output per unit of work. Such productivity gains, whatever the mechanism, are the key to rising wages for workers and rising material living standards for society as a whole. We react differently to the two stories because our intuition fills in differently what both stories omit. In each case, worker productivity doubled. But what does the firm do next?

When it comes to training, we probably assume the firm takes advantage of these gains to produce more output. Those 100 workers produce twice as much, sales can rise, profits and wages can rise. When it comes to technology, though, we might assume the firm lays off workers who suddenly seem superfluous. It continues to produce the same level of output, with a workforce half as large.

This question of what happens next is thus central to the economy’s trajectory. Without the productivity gain, nothing happens. Workers able to produce more than before, for whatever reason, is the sine qua non of economic progress. But only if accompanied by rising output are the effects for workers undeniably positive.

Historically, that has been the dynamic. From 1947 to 1972, for instance, economy-wide productivity roughly doubled. But output surged as well and, at the end of the period, the same share of the population was working and men’s wages were up 86 percent. In the manufacturing sector, productivity rose by 3.4 percent annually, but real value added rose by 4.2 percent annually; employment during the period rose by more than three million.

Compare that period to the 21st century, when America has lost nearly five million manufacturing jobs. Was any of this because of extraordinary technological breakthroughs that caused productivity to surge, allowing firms to do much more with many fewer workers? No. In fact, the average rate of productivity growth in manufacturing this century has been 3.1 percent—lower than 1947–72 and no different than 1972–2000. But output growth has been only 1.3 percent, less than a third the rate of the earlier period. We’ve gone from the world where firms use a doubling of productivity to double output, to one where they use it to lay off half their workers. Had output growth this century equaled that of 1950–2000, manufacturing employment today would be near an all-time high.

So when policymakers blame automation for job losses, they are looking in the wrong place. Productivity gains have always been with us—in fact, they used to come faster. If anything, the American economy is suffering from insufficient automation—as reflected in declining productivity growth, stagnant wages, and remarkably little use of robots. American manufacturers use only 200 industrial robots per 10,000 workers, the standard measure of adoption. In both Germany and Japan, that level exceeds 300. In South Korea, it exceeds 700. With greater automation and higher productivity, American firms would likely be more competitive in the international economy.

If firms no longer invest to expand output as they used to, the explanation is not some irresistible technological force but an economic malady—the sort of thing policymakers bear responsibility to address. This means acknowledging the many things they have gotten wrong: imposition of environmental restrictions that make industrial development slow and costly, obsession with college enrollment to the exclusion of the many non-college pathways that might better prepare people for relevant fields, nonchalant tolerance of a massive and widening trade deficit, entrenchment of an outdated system of organized labor that workers and employers both dislike, and so on.

No wonder our politicians prefer throwing robots under the self-driving bus.



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

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


11 July, 2019

Trump’s bromance with authoritarians

Michael A. Cohen of the neo-Marxist "New School" in NYC writes below.  We have met his hate and unrealism about Trump before.

Given the Leftist trust in force, it is most unlikely that Mr Cohen has not heard of
Realpolitik but in his article below he pretends not to.  What Mr Trump has said and done out of diplomatic necessity, Mr Cohen calls a "bromance".  One also wonders if he knows the meaning of that term.

Perhaps we should feel sorry for Mr Cohen.  He sounds a most unhappy soul. He is 52 at the moment so you would think he would have found some peace by now

President Trump has a thing for dictatorial, sociopathic strongmen. But last week during his trip to the Far East for the G-20 summit, he took things to a whole new level — bro-ing out with some of the worst leaders, and worst people, in the world and in the process, further degrading America’s already weakened global image.

At the summit, Trump commended Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “I want to just thank you on behalf of a lot of people, and I want to congratulate you,” he said. “You’ve done a really spectacular job.”

The crown prince has not only presided over a vicious crackdown on dissent in Saudi Arabia but is also widely believed to have ordered the assassination and dismemberment of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. According to Trump, however, “nobody has directly pointed a finger” at the crown prince for Khashoggi’s death, a rebuttal to the conclusions of the CIA, which determined that he was responsible.

When Trump wasn’t praising the crown prince, he was bonding with President Vladimir Putin of Russia over their antipathy for the news media. Pointing to the journalists covering their meeting, Trump said, “Get rid of them. Fake news is a great term, isn’t it? You don’t have this problem in Russia, but we do.”



Thanks to Trump, the healthcare choice is yours

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and many various versions of “Medicare for All” have something in common: they all want to limit your options: From which doctors you can see to the type of treatment you receive, and the kind of coverage you can get, both our current system and the socialized medicine proposed by the Left all depend on taking choices away from patients.

Fortunately, the Trump Administration has a different idea: expanding consumer options to get the insurance, and ultimately the care, that works best for each person or family. Individual empowerment not only makes care more accessible and costs more affordable, but brings the peace of mind Americans want regarding their health.

In 2017, the Trump administration issued an Executive Order to promote healthcare choice and competition across the United States, focusing on three areas for improvement in the near term: Association Health Plans, Short-term Limited Duration Insurance Plans, and Health Reimbursement Arrangements. Final rules have now been issued on all of these options.

Association Health Plans make it easier for small employers and independent contractors to band together and offer the same benefits larger companies have but at a lower cost. According to a study conducted in 2018, “The breadth of benefits had been one of the biggest concerns among detractors of association-based insurance. Yet according to the analysis, no evidence of narrow benefit designs was observed in the new AHP benefit descriptions.” These plans are already working and saving people money.

Short-term insurance plans existed under the ACA and were accepted as good options to offer relief for those in transition. For those that are in-between jobs, just getting out of school, have missed open enrollment periods, or losing coverage following a divorce, short term insurance plans play a necessary role in filling the gaps and not leaving people exposed. But not all gaps last just 12 months. So the Trump Administration’s final rule expands coverage up to 36 months to give people greater flexibility, more time, and better choices to figure out their health insurance needs.

Nonetheless, politicians from both sides of the aisle minimize the benefits and negate the wishes of Americans who choose to purchase short-term insurance plans that work for them, regularly calling them “junk” plans. But they are not “junk” to the people who are paying less and getting better service as they transition from one phase to the next.

The final rule for Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), which is set to become effective on January 1, 2020, proves to be the most meaningful way of improving affordability and access for many Americans. This innovation allows employers to give their employees a set amount of money to buy insurance on the individual market.

Growing the consumer pool purchasing individual plans is projected to bring products back into the marketplace and drive down costs. According to the administration, “the rule will significantly expand worker options since 80 percent of firms that provide insurance currently offer only one type of plan.” This change would greatly reduce the impact of problems associated with pre-existing conditions, as plans would become portable and not necessarily dependent on an employer providing specific coverage.

More popular choices are being reviewed by the administration that will improve affordability while helping others with pre-existing conditions. Sharing Ministries, Medical Cost Sharing models and the fast-growing Direct Primary Care phenomenon have proven to offer more options, decrease costs, and improve satisfaction among their members.

Consumers can also use a combination of these services, depending on their individual needs and preferences. Whether through the solutions outlined in the Choice and Competition report or added as qualified medical expense under the IRS rules, these options are crucial for making healthcare less complicated, less confusing, and more easily accessible for all Americans. Peace of mind and individual empowerment are consistent with putting choice back into the hands of the people.



‘This Is the Liberal Establishment’: As Homelessness Rises in Major Cities, Trump Speaks Out

President Donald Trump says he is working on a plan to address a spike in homelessness in the United States, particularly in several California cities.

During a Fox News Channel interview that aired Monday night, host Tucker Carlson asked the president about homelessness in major urban centers.          

“It’s disgraceful. I’m going to [propose something], maybe, and I’m looking at it very seriously,” Trump told Carlson on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “We’re doing some other things that you probably noticed.”

The president added: “This is the liberal establishment. This is what I’m fighting. They—I don’t know if they’re afraid of votes. I don’t know if they really believe that this should be taking place.”

The homeless population in Los Angeles is about 60,000, according to numbers released in June by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority—a 12% increase from last year.

That’s more than one-tenth of the nation’s homeless in a single city.

Nationally, about 553,000 are homeless, according to a December 2018 review by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In other California cities, from 2017 to 2019 homelessness increased by 17% in San Francisco and 43% in Alameda County, which includes Oakland, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Four of the top 10 largest homeless populations are in California, according to a Forbes analysis of the HUD report. 

The entire state of California had about 130,000 homeless in 2018.       

“Some of them have mental problems where they don’t even know they’re living that way,” Trump also said during the Fox News interview. 

The president commented directly on the nearly 7,000 homeless in Washington, D.C.

“When we have leaders of the world coming in to see the president of the United States and they’re riding down a highway, they can’t be looking at that,” Trump said. “I really believe that it hurts our country.”

“They can’t be looking at scenes like you see in Los Angeles and San Francisco … so we’re looking at it very seriously,” the president said. “We may intercede. We may do something to get that whole thing cleaned up. It’s inappropriate.” 

Policy Options Under Review

Homelessness overall has been on the decline by 95,000 since 2007, according to HUD, and the number of homeless military veterans has dropped by 50% since 2010.

“Like many Americans, the president has taken notice of the homelessness crisis, particularly in cities and states where the liberal policies of overregulation, excessive taxation, and poor public service delivery are combining to dramatically increase poverty and public health risks,” White House spokesman Judd Deere told The Daily Signal.

“Last week, the president took action and signed an executive order to confront the regulatory barriers to affordable housing development, a leading cause of homelessness,” Deere said. “President Trump has directed his team to go further and develop a range of policy options for consideration to deal with this tragedy.”

From 2017 to 2018, the homeless population among veterans fell by 5.4%. The number declined by 10% among female veterans.

Homelessness among families with children has fallen by 29% since 2010, and by 2.7% (or 4,000 families) from 2017 to 2018, according to HUD.

A Zillow study found that homelessness rates begin to increase once a city’s average rent reaches 22% of median income; homelessness grows even faster once the average rent surpasses 32% of median income.

In Los Angeles, the average rent paid is 49% of median income. For every 2 percentage points that number increases, an additional 4,227 persons are likely to become homeless.

Government’s Role

There shouldn’t be a real federal government role for addressing homelessness, contends Kerry Jackson, a fellow with the Pacific Research Institute’s Center for California Reform.

“I don’t see a federal role at all regarding the homelessness issue, any more than I see a federal role for education and many other places where Washington has become involved,” Jackson told The Daily Signal. “It is a state and local issue, and they already have incentives to do the right thing.”

“If they don’t do the right things, they will lose businesses and they will lose residents, and they will have public health problems that fester,” he said in an email. “Those should … motivate them enough to come up with effective policies.”

Mental illness is assuredly part of the problem, said Joel Griffith, a research fellow in financial regulation at The Heritage Foundation.

“A lot of homelessness comes from cities refusing to involuntarily commit people who are mentally ill,” Griffith told The Daily Signal. “A lot are not seeking proper health care or shelters that are available.”

Homelessness largely stems from problems spurred by local regulations, he added.

“Rent control and density zoning artificially constrains housing supply,” Griffith said. “Well-intentioned laws have unintended consequences. In many ways, governments have caused the affordable housing problem.”

Biggest Homeless Populations

Nationally, almost one-quarter of all homelessness is found in Los Angeles or New York City, according to the HUD report in December, about six months before the increased numbers in Los Angeles released in June.

In more updated numbers, spanning 2017 to 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported a 17% increase in homeless residents of San Francisco.

The city faces problems of “aggressive panhandling and human waste,” the Pacific Research Institute’s Jackson said.

An institute issue brief on San Francisco homelessness called for the city to better engage law enforcement, reform city housing policy to expedite housing permits and reform zoning laws, and require more accountability over how taxpayer dollars are spent on homelessness.



Leftist Fact Checking Site Snopes Has To Admit Obama Built Cages For Immigrant Children

The left-wing bias of popular “fact-checking” sites like Snopes or Politfact has been well documented for years.

So when Snopes took on the task of fact-checking the claim “The Obama administration, not the Trump administration, built the cages that hold many immigrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border,” I expected them to, at the very least, rate it as “Half-True” or “False” and come up with some longwinded explanation with some absurd standard for why the Obama administration was in the clear.

Last year, FactCheck.org couldn’t bring itself to admit that family separations happened under Obama, even though their research proved it did.  But alas, Snopes couldn’t find a way to clear the Obama administration on this one, and had no choice but to rate the claim as true.

"But then Trump stated, “Obama built the cages. I didn’t build them. Obama built them.”

That portion of Trump’s commentary is true. Images of children behind chain-link fencing were widely seen at a site in McAllen, Texas, that had been converted from a warehouse to an immigrant-detention facility in 2014. Social media users who defended Trump’s immigration policies also shared a 2014 image of Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson touring a facility in Nogales, Arizona, in 2014, in which the fencing could be seen surrounding migrants there, too. That image was taken during a spike in the number of unaccompanied children fleeing violence in Central American countries."

Of course when you have two former Obama administration officials (Obama’s DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, and executive associate director of ICE  Thomas Homan) both on the record on the issue, in addition to media reporting at the timeit’s really hard to claim anything to the contrary.

Last year, Snopes also had to admit that the Obama administration placed immigrant children with human traffickers. I’m sure that wasn’t an easy admission for them either, especially since concerns about human trafficking are why children are separated from adults in the first place.



It looks like Boris Johnson as British PM will get the same hate Trump gets

Once reserved for heinous regimes, embargoes are now deployed on firms with the 'wrong' opinions

Earlier this week, a group of hardline Left-wingers and Remainers chose to channel the fury they usually reserve for metaphorical “gammon” – middle-aged white men – towards something closer to the real thing; Heck, a family firm that manufactures gluten-free sausages. Its crime? Hosting Boris Johnson at its factory.

Just hours after pictures surfaced of the leadership hopeful posing with a string of sausages around his neck, Heck’s Google review rankings had plummeted after being bombarded with one-star ratings from “customers” who had stayed strangely silent before the furore.



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 July, 2019

The recent rise of nationalism among conservatives

There is here a long article in "the Economist" which offers a passable summary of the history of conservatism and goes on to note that a new mood of nationalism has recently emerged among conservatives in both America and Europe.  And it sees that as a notable and alarming break from conservatism as it was. 

And in the USA, Hungary, Italy  and Poland the new nationalistic conservatism now rules.  Donald Trump of course is the most notable exemplar of the new movement.  With an approval rating among Republicans of around 90%, Trump IS the new conservatism.  Conservative parties are often rather fractured internally but American conservatives are solidly behind Mr Trump. The small remnant of "never Trumpers" are just talking to themselves

The piece however offers no clear explanation for this sudden departure from the "good ol' days" of the past. It treats the new movement as something of a mystery.  But it is no mystery.  You just have to be following world events to see that the new assertion of national pride has one very clear and obvious source -- the invasion of Western countries by large numbers of problem people from the Third World.

Conservatives have always been proud of their country, its culture and their past but they are patient and tolerant people so have been little bothered by constant Leftist nibbling at their culture and demeaning the past achievements of their country.

But it got all too much when a flood of illegal new arrivals came in and were pandered to rather than expelled.  It would not have been so bad if the illegals had been expected to assimilate to the host country but the reverse was the case. The host nation was expected to make various adaptations to fit in with the illegals.  A process of undermining the American culture that had served Americans so well got underway. "Dial one for English" was just a token of what was resented. 

The most important elements of culture are not its singing and dancing but the attitudes and customs embodied in its people.  And the very radical policies being promoted by the current rash of Democrat Presidential contenders makes it very clear that the attitudes and customs that made America great are far from secure.  It is now conceivable that America could degenerate into a socialist hellhole. And most Hispanics would vote for such a hellhole. They already do South of the border.

And conservative Americans do not at all like that prospect. Because conservatives tend to be interested in the past, they could see it clearly when the inherited culture was being diluted.  And the culture that the illegal arrivals brought with them was far from admirable. Everybody knows what a mess Mexico and most of Latin America is. Who would want to live amid the crime, corruption and poverty if they had some other option.  Mexicans themselves certainly don't want to.  That's why they come to the peaceful, orderly and prosperous USA.  So there is no reasonable way one can deny that the inherited culture of the USA is superior in its results from the cultures of Latin America.

With their crazy belief that all men are equal, Leftists erupt at any claim that one culture can be superior to another and by constant cries of racism and the like they have stood in the way of American cultural assertiveness.  They have suppressed talk  among Americans to the effect that America's traditional ways of doing things are better than what happens in places like Mexico.

But the Left could keep the lid on the pressure cooker for only so long and in America the lid blew off with the election of Trump -- someone who WAS prepared to call America great and defend its values. The shackles of political correctness were largely and joyously thrown off.

So what has happened is that conservative Americans have reasserted their traditional values over the moronic Leftist insistence that all cultures are equal.  American conservatives have always had pride in the unique phenomenon that is America and they now see that they need to speak up for reality.

And they want more than words. They want action to stop the deterioration of what they hold dear.  And a wall is the action that they most want, a wall to keep the bearers of problem cultures out -- JR


A proven idea for reforming the crazy U.S. farm laws

Martin Hutchinson

British farmers are concerned about a “no-deal” Brexit, under which they would lose access to bounteous EU farm subsidies. U.S. farmers have had their subsidies increased by President Trump as a result of the China trade dispute. Agriculture subsidies burden national budgets and almost exclusively benefit large corporations and the very rich. There is a better model for supporting agriculture: the 1815-46 Corn Laws, reviled by Whig historians, but much cheaper and infinitely less corrupt.

Robert Banks Jenkinson, second Earl of Liverpool, had three objectives when introducing the Corn Laws in March 1815. One was to help Ireland to develop its corn agriculture, diversifying from potatoes – an objective partly achieved, mitigating the 1840s potato famine, but alas lost after the Corn Laws were repealed in 1846. The second was to ensure that Britain was close to food self-sufficiency in any future war – the Corn Laws would have been useful before the World Wars, in both of which Britain came close to starvation through German attacks on merchant shipping. The third objective, much pilloried by Whig historians, was to preserve the economic viability of British agriculture against “dumped” foreign competition.

The Corn Laws, for those who were not subjected to them in the British school system, were a system whereby (in the 1815 version) corn imports were prohibited when corn prices were below a base level of 80 shillings per quarter (28 pounds weight), then free above it. Each quarter’s (3 months) average corn price was used to set the allowability of imports for the following quarter; this granularity made the system transparent for importers and allowed them to plan shipments. Since Britain was almost but not quite self-sufficient in corn, this system allowed domestic producers protection against cheap dumped imports but tended to cap the price for consumers in years of dearth by opening the ports freely. In this classic version of the Corn Laws, no tariffs were imposed.

The one problem the Corn Laws did not solve occurred in their second year of operation; the “Year Without a Summer” in 1816, caused by the Mt. Tambora volcanic eruption the previous year, produced a corn dearth in early 1817 across the whole northern hemisphere, so no extra supplies were available when prices rose. However, other than that the system worked well. It was modified twice in the 1820s, after the deflation caused by Britain’s return to the Gold Standard made 60 shillings a more sensible equilibrium price than 80 shillings.

Agricultural protection today focuses primarily on the last of Liverpool’s objectives, preserving the economic viability of agriculture, which involves large capital investments and suffers badly financially when crops fail or a world market glut makes crops grown in rich countries (with high labor costs) uncompetitive. In Britain, there is a wish to avoid the dismal fate of agriculture in 1870-1939, when Corn Laws repeal and global free trade left British agriculture uncompetitive, de-capitalized the sector, ruined the traditional landed classes and impoverished the agricultural workforce. (David Lloyd George’s policies of land tax, before and after World War I, demonstrated an irrational class hostility to the landed gentry — not to the rich in general, with whom Lloyd George loved to hobnob – at that time, the landed gentry were engaged in a desperate, generally unsuccessful, attempt to stave off bankruptcy.)

In the United States, sentimentality about the “family farm” shows the same wish, though most U.S. farming is undertaken by agri-conglomerates. In Europe and Japan the cultural signals may be different but the result is the same: a wish to protect agriculture, which appears common to all rich countries. Oddly enough, poor countries, where labor-intensive agriculture is often more competitive, often subject it to increased burdens or outright harassment.

Take it as a given, then, that rich countries want to protect their agriculture. Their rationale for doing so is not all that different from Liverpool’s wish to protect the traditional agricultural interest, but their methods are very different, and much more expensive. The United States, for example, provides a wide range of subsidies to producers of various agricultural and similar products. These stretch so far as a subsidy to cotton, a commodity of which the U.S. is a major international exporter, causing huge economic damage to African cotton producers, which would otherwise be highly competitive because of their low labor costs. These subsidies have a huge direct budgetary cost.

The U.S. also regulates the use of agricultural products in ways which benefit producers but impose costs on consumers and the economy as a whole. For example, the U.S. requires a minimum percentage of ethanol in gasoline and uses various means to ensure that the ethanol so used is U.S. corn-based ethanol (environmentally very inefficient) rather than the much more environment-friendly sugar-based ethanol used in Brazil.

A further area of agricultural subsidy is the food stamps program. This is primarily a welfare program but is dealt with in the agricultural budget and at the margin provides additional support for U.S. agriculture. While highly subject to fraud, food stamps provide a function that would probably be provided somehow in any modern welfare-state economy.

A much more pernicious subsidy to agriculture is the temporary visa program, which allows U.S. agriculturalists to import workers and pay them far less than the normal U.S. wage rate. These programs impose crime and welfare costs on the society as a whole and subsidize the production of farm products that would not be viable at market wage rates. They thus impede mechanization in many crop areas where machinery could be used instead of cheap labor. If a particular crop cannot be produced in the United States using U.S. labor at market rates, then U.S. economic welfare will be increased by allowing foreign producers to produce it instead.

Both commodity-rich countries like the United States and commodity-poor countries like Britain, should replace the current subsidies to agriculture with a system of Corn Laws covering the major commodities produced by domestic producers. This would relieve the immense budget cost of current farm subsidies and greatly lower the even larger and more dangerous economic costs inherent in the current system. There would be no food stamps or special visas for low-cost labor; any poverty problems would be relieved by cash payments through the welfare system.

For Britain, Corn Laws would work much as they did in 1815-46. They would prevent imports of commodities when prices were low, thus keeping the domestic price close to the base price and ensuring a reasonable return for farmers. Farmers would adjust their crop production to reflect domestic needs, to avoid producing surpluses dumped on the international market at lower prices. Food prices would average somewhat higher than currently, although crop failures would result in imports (which would be more readily available than in 1815-46, in a world with Southern Hemisphere producers and fast transportation). The 1846 objection to the Corn Laws, that they raised food costs for the working classes, would be less salient now that only 13% of consumer expenditures are on food products; in any case the welfare system could be adjusted accordingly, much more cheaply than providing indirect handouts to the poor through agriculture subsidies.

For the United States, a no subsidy/Corn Laws system would, as in Britain, provide producers with an adequate and more stable income, but only to the extent they produced for domestic consumption. Producers of, for example soybeans with heavy international sales would be reliant on the vagaries of the international market, and accordingly might lose out compared with the current system. However, subsidizing production for export of items that can only be sold at below their production cost is economically suicidal and should be avoided however loud the squawking from the producer lobbies.

When base prices for Corn Laws were calculated, it might very well be that some agricultural products were viable only at impossibly high prices, having been heavily subsidized currently, both directly and indirectly through imports of cheap labor. Labor-intensive crops, in particular, are very often unsuited to high-wage economies except in specialty varieties, and hence should be imported rather than grown domestically. Wine is such a crop, for example. It makes no sense to produce cheap wine in France or California; those high-costs growing areas should be reserved only for high-quality, high-priced production, while the cheap wine is imported – even to France.

For Britain’s 19th Century economy, repeal of the Corn Laws and the move to unilateral free trade were a disaster; they destroyed the traditional agricultural basis of society and, in the long run, hollowed out the industry that had led the world in 1825. In an era when budgets all over the world are in huge deficit, agricultural subsidies make no sense today. As in many economic areas, Liverpool was far ahead of today’s thinkers; we should recognize this fact and return to his well-thought-out Corn Laws.



Newt Gingrich Eviscerates ‘profoundly vicious, cruel’ Liar Ocasio Cortez: Limbaugh, Crenshaw Agree

Socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has taken offense to being labeled a liar over her confirmed lies.

On Friday former House Speaker Newt Gingrich published a scathing op-ed excoriating her for lying about virtually everything.

“It took Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s visit to the border — and her dishonest comments afterward — to help me understand how profoundly vicious, cruel and dishonest she is,” he wrote.

“When you look at the larger picture, it is clear that Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is eager and determined to undermine and destroy America as we have known it. When your goals are that radical, lying is simply part of the game. When you despise American values and find the American people ‘deplorable’ and contemptible, lying is perfectly natural.”

The op-ed was published days after AOC and her freshmen peers stormed through several U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facilitates along the border like they owned the place and proceeded to propagate a hash of easily debunked lies about what they’d allegedly seen.

In response to Gingrich’s piece, MSNBC talking head Joe Scarborough suggested that the piece was an indictment of President Donald Trump, not the young congresswoman.

“While trying to attack ?@AOC?, Newt unwittingly writes a scathing indictment of Donald J. Trump,” he wrote in a tweet shortly after the publication of the former House speaker’s piece.

The tweet was disingenuous, given that unlike Ocasio-Cortez’s goals — which include abolishing U.S. Customs and Border Protection and basically dismantling American society — the president’s agenda is fairly moderate. Even the far-left blog HuffPost has admitted that Trump’s been “governing like a traditional Republican,” not some insane radical.

AOC picked up on and retweeted Scarborough’s tweet shortly thereafter. She made sure to include a sarcastic, disingenuous reply of her own.

“Ah yes, now Newt & the GOP are resorting to calling me a liar,” she wrote.”Who else do they call liars? – 96% of scientists who agree on climate change – Millions of Americans they locked up in the War on Drugs – #MeToo survivors.” “So I’ll take it as a compliment. Thanks.”

This was a clear-cut attempt to conflate wildly separate issues — and a poor attempt, at that.

Regarding scientists, nobody on the right has accused them of being liars. What they have done is push back on the claim by left-wing activists that 97 percent (not 96 percent) of scientists believe climate change is a man-made phenomenon.

Regarding the war on drugs, Republican President Donald Trump is responsible for signing into law the First Step Act, a bill “aimed at righting racial disparities in drug sentencing,” according to The New York Times.

And regarding #MeToo survivors, a plethora of alleged survivors have in fact been proven to be liars or hucksters, including Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.

As for the president’s latest accuser, E. Jean Carroll, she destroyed her own credibility by making increasingly wild statements, including the claim that Americans think rape is sexy and the unapologetic admission that she used to sexually harass deceased former Fox News boss Roger Ailes.

What AOC has done is taken three separate issues completely out of context and used them to try and discredit the right’s accusation that she’s a liar. Much like every other lie she’s told, it seems so disingenuous.

-“96% of scientists” is a misleading statistics from a SMALL sample size

-Dem favorite Kamala Harris kept inmates locked up over petty drug crimes for cheap labor

And YOUR party made a joke out of sexual assault by using false accusations to take down people you disagree with

This, of course, is her whole shtick, as noted last week by conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh.

“After a while, your gig gets old, your schtick no longer shocks, and so you have to keep crossing new lines,” he explained on his program this Wednesday. “And that’s all she’s doing. She’s addicted to getting noticed.”

“Now she runs down there and starts trashing and lying about conditions at the border,” Limbaugh continued. “And the people who administer the people who come into this country illegally. Flat-out lies that the detainees are being forced to drink out of toilets.”

As demonstrated by CBP Tucson Sector Chief Patrol Agent Roy Villareal in a video uploaded to Twitter on Thursday, detained illegal aliens are not being forced to drink water from toilets. Nor is there anything wrong with the sink water they have access to while in detention:

Limbaugh’s point about Ocasio-Cortez’s “gig” getting old was that she’s been lying from the very beginning. It’s a point that was echoed by former Navy SEAL Rep. Dan Crenshaw during a Fox News interview last Tuesday.

“She’s getting bolder with her lies. … Remember, first there was no crisis at all,” he said to host Martha MacCallum. “Then it was a manufactured crisis, then it was a crisis completely created by Trump, then there were concentration camps, then people are Nazis. Now she’s saying border patrol agents harassed her and forced migrants to drink out of toilets.” “This is insanity!” he added.



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 July, 2019

What does Russia want?

I have just read a VERY long-winded article in the NYT which tries to answer the question above.  When people write at such length it generally means that they don't have any clear answers but hope that by covering a lot of ground the answer will be in there somewhere.  And such is certainly true of that article.

The answer has to be at the psychological level and some of the senior Russian officials the reporter interviewed did after a fashion tell the reporter what the answer was -- but she hardly seemed to notice it. 

What Russians generally and also their leadership  want is respect and acceptance that Russia is a great and important country. They are the world's largest country, stretching all the way across the Eurasian continent from the Baltic to the Pacific. And they have over the years made colossal contributions to the arts and sciences.   So when Russia lost control over half of the territory that they had controlled in Soviet times they saw that as a humiliation.

So the Russian leadership tries to restore a sense of pride in their own people and gain the international attention and influence it had in the Soviet era.  They do NOT see themselves as a failed state notable only for attempts at influencing  American Federal elections. 

It should not be forgotten that Russia had worldwide influence in the Soviet era.  It even had great influence and respect in the USA. The Democratic party at that time were shills for the Soviets.  The Donks did all they could to support Russia in any political controversy.  They were among Russia's best friends. 

Mr Putin would like some of that back. But instead he finds his country demonized -- criticized and marginalized on many fronts.  Recovering ethnically Russian territory in the Crimea seems a heroic and historic achievement to Russians but America has renewed the cold war on Russia over it.

Mr Putin has been very restrained over events happening in his own backyard (e.g. the independence struggle in Eastern Ukraine) so it is clear that countries further West have nothing to fear from him. He will however take opportunities that present themselves to get Russia noticed. A more cordial atmosphere between Russia and the USA would make such adventures less likely.  If America can remain friendly to the ghastly Saudis, friendship with Christian Russia should be no strain


Introducing Daisy Cousens

I put up yesterday a video of the very glammed up Blonde in the Belly of the Beast -- a great anti-feminist lady.  There is a rather similar youtuber in Australia called Daisy Cousens.  She doesn't usually glam up as much but her approach is otherwise similar.  She appears on Australian media a fair bit but I imagine she is not well known in America.  She lives in my town -- Brisbane -- but, as I do, she follows events in America as well as Australian events.  I give two links below -- to her introductory page and to her latest commentary -- on the Antifa outrage in Portland.



I wrote more extensively about her last year, commenting on a video by her which was extremely "incorrect".


Win for conservatives in Greece

Radical left-wing Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has conceded defeat after a partial vote count showed the conservative opposition had comfortably won a snap parliamentary election. 

The centre-right New Democracy party of Kyriakos Mitsotakis had 39.7 per cent of the vote compared to Mr Tsipras' Syriza party's 31.5 per cent after nearly 60 per cent of ballots were tallied. Turn out in today's snap election was around 57 per cent.

Mr Tsipras's Syriza party has held power in the country for nearly five years, making him Greece's longest- serving crisis premier and youngest in almost half a century at 44.

The result is a stinging blow to the outgoing Prime Minister, who had insisted he could overturn a sizeable gap in opinion polls running up to the election, which he asked to hold several months before his term expires in the fall.

'A painful cycle has closed,' prime minister-elect Mr Mitsotakis said in a televised address, adding that Greece would 'proudly raise its head again' on his watch. 'I will not fail to honour your hopes,' he added as early congratulation calls came from outgoing European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Mr Mitsotakis is from one of Greece's top political families. He is the son of former prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis, one of the country's longest-serving parliamentarians.

'The citizens have made their choice. We fully respect the popular vote,' Mr Tsipras said in his concession speech from central Athens, adding that he had called Mr Mitsotakis to congratulate him.

Official projections based on early partial results also showed the extreme right-wing Golden Dawn party teetering on the lower side of the 3 per cent threshold needed to be in parliament.



Neo-Marxism falls out of favour in Britain

Corbyn is a soulmate to Bernie

Labour have fallen so far in the polls that, despite being marginally ahead, they would still fall 100 seats short of a majority in a fractured new Parliament if a general election were called today.

The latest polling average has Jeremy Corbyn's party on 22.8 per cent, slightly higher than a new individual YouGov poll which had Labour on a historic low of 18 per cent.

Labour's 10-poll average is nearly a record low for the party, beaten only by the level seen in June 2009, when the party slumped to 21.8 per cent while dealing with the financial crisis and the fallout from the MPs' expenses scandal.



Trump Lifting Obama’s Nonsense Restrictions On Truck Drivers

You can be five minutes from home and you still have to stop driving for 10 hours under the current rules. Even a one minute violation would be costly. Going over time results in being declared “out of service” for at least a day and if truckers aren’t driving, they aren’t making money.

The Transportation Department under President Donald Trump is trying to ease ridiculous rules burdening those who drive for a living. Rigid rules don’t allow for problems on the road. That’s not dealing with reality. Between weather and other drivers, anything can go wrong.

“You don’t want even a one-minute violation,” warns Lucson Francois, explaining an incident that a truck stop break five minutes from his home caused. After maxing out the day’s allotted number of duty hours and unable to leave the truck unattended, he was forced to sleep in the berth behind the cab, when he could have been in his own bed.

Highway safety advocates assume the drivers won’t exercise common sense, to not drive beyond their comfort zones. What’s not being taken into consideration is the need for flexibility.

The trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2017 is a 10% increase from the previous year according to a report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. A small percentage, or 60 out of 4,657, were described as fatigued or asleep.

The NTSB has declared fatigue to be a “large problem” and is trying to emphasize it on their “most wanted” safety improvements.

The trucking industry has an advocate in President Trump who is successfully rolling back stifling regulations. The Trump administration trusts truckers to do the right thing more than the prior administration.

Mostly Republicans had pressed for relaxing the rules a little to allow for more flexibility.

The independent truckers bristle at a bureaucrat sitting behind a desk telling him what to do, especially when that person doesn’t see what happens on the road. The “desk jockey” can’t know what the trucker deals with. “How can you judge me and what I do by sitting in a cubicle in an office?” asks Terry Button.

The burly upstate New York hay farmer owns his truck and estimates he’s logged about 4 million miles. He said “he’s never caused an accident, although he’s been hit twice by passenger vehicles.”

Current regulations insist on 11 hours of drive time within a 14 hour time frame. Ten consecutive hours need to pass before the 14 hour clock starts again.

More than eight hours of drive time requires a 30 minute break before that eight hour mark. Time is recorded automatically by electronic devices. The Barack Obama administration set this up in December 2017, the Trump administration has yet to overturn it.

The electronic device cannot be altered, it’s wired to the truck’s engine and there’s a display on the dash.

The inflexibility comes in when your time is up and there’s no place to pull over. That clock ticks loudly when faced with delays including cargo taking a long time to be loaded or unloaded.

The mandatory break is equally a problem, forcing them to pull over in unsafe places when they don’t feel they need a break.

An alternate to this that’s been presented, is that truckers be allowed to stop the 14 hour clock for up to three consecutive hours. Drivers could rest or wait out heavy traffic during this time.

It’s common sense. Drive when you’re up to driving, rest when you’re tired. Critics don’t think the truckers will use common sense.



Kamala Harris is NOT an American black but IS descended from a slave-owner

Kamala Harris has some family roots that are a lot more tangled than anyone ever imagined.

Harris was recently attacked by an African-American on twitter, which only started controversy because Donald Trump, Jr. re-posted the message asking if it was true.

"Kamala Harris is *not* an American Black. She is half Indian and half Jamaican. I'm so sick of people robbing American Blacks (like myself) of our history. It's disgusting. Now using it for debate time at #DemDebate2? These are my people not her people. Freaking disgusting."

It started a whole firestorm around the question of whether she was “black enough.” Jamaicans are apparently not considered “black” by some African-Americans.

When that hit the airwaves, people immediately started googling and it wasn’t long before someone stumbled over a genealogy that her father had posted online.

One of her hot button issues is slavery “reparations.” The idea has been on the table for a while and there is some serious discussion in Congress about actually writing checks.

According to her father, Harris won’t have to look too hard to find out who to start sending money to.

“My roots go back, within my lifetime, to my paternal grandmother Miss Chrishy (née Christiana Brown, descendant of Hamilton Brown who is on record as plantation and slave owner and founder of Brown’s Town)”

By studying his family history, he got well acquainted with the politics of the sugar industry. “I came then to understand its origin as a system of global production and commerce, based on slave labour, with Jamaica as a key component of that system from its very start.”

Born in Ireland, Hamilton Brown soon owned a Jamaican sugar plantation and is credited with founding “Brown’s Town.”

Brown was quoted as declaring that there was no way he or the other sugar planters would allow “the interference of the Home Government with their slaves in any shape.”



AOC just another lying Leftist. Hispanic Pastors Toured Same Facility As Ocasio Cortez And Came Out With Very Different Impression

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and the Democratic Party have been peddling some serious allegations about the detention facilities housing illegal aliens at the southern border.

Of course, they’re trying to paint the Trump administration or any administration that supports enforcing federal immigration laws as fascistic in nature. The overcrowding, the lack of basic supplies, no soap, no toothbrushes, etc. the outrage is deafening from the Left and their media allies. It’s very entertaining. Yes, it is—because these same clowns said that the border crisis and the horde of illegals swarming the border was a manufactured crisis peddled by the Trump White House. Nope. You’re wrong—as always.

Ocasio-Cortez recently threw a tantrum at Border Patrol agents, refusing a tour, but threw in the toilet water allegations that got the liberal media going. Allegedly, those detained were told to drink from toilets. That’s somewhat true in the sense that the sinks at these facilities are located on top of the toilets; they’re connected. Yet, AOC reportedly didn’t even go into the facility.

Sorry, I don’t believe it. These are the most partisan left-wingers on the Hill hell-bent on getting Trump. It’s an election year. And the fact that AOC wouldn’t say if she saw people drinking from the toilets is a red flag. We’re not Venezuela, folks or at least not yet. Hispanic pastors recently toured the border detention facilities and found that there were quite a bit of lies being pushed by the Left (via Fox News):

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez was “full of indignation” when he saw the reports and heard from politicians about the deplorable and inhumane conditions for illegal immigrants at an El Paso County, Texas migrant detention center. But what he saw at the same facility toured by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. with a group of pastors was “drastically different.”

The president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization, and senior pastor of New Seasons Christian Worship Center in Sacramento shared his firsthand experience touring a migrant detention center during a press briefing Monday.

“I read the reports, saw the news clips. I just wanted to see what was actually happening in order to better enable our efforts to find a fair and a just solution to our broken immigration system,” Rodriguez, who has advised President Trump and both Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush on immigration reform, noted. “To my surprise, I saw something drastically different from the stories I’ve been hearing in our national discourse. Even as a veteran of immigration advocacy in the U.S., I was shocked at the misinformation of the crisis at the border.”

“We found no soiled diapers, no deplorable conditions and no lack of basic necessities,” Rodriguez remarked, adding he specifically asked border agents if they staged the facility in response to the negative press. “They unequivocally denied it — we were witnessing the identical conditions the attorneys saw when they toured the facility days earlier.”

In fact, some told him the sources from whom the negative coverage originated “never toured the areas of the facility that we toured” and speculated they might have had political motivations.

Shocker, these clowns lied.



The boiling Leftist hatred never stops

The U.S. Women’s National Team won it’s second consecutive World Cup on Sunday. They defeated Netherlands 2-0 in France.

After the victory, some protesters found a Fox News camera so they could berate the most powerful man in the world.

News just went live from a bar in France after the #USWNT win and people started shouting "Fuck Trump" on air



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 July, 2019

Watch the Blonde in the Belly of the Beast rip AOC

Her name is Rebecca Hargraves and she describes herself as a conservative millennial dame living in the communist hellscape of Seattle.


Holocaust survivor says Ocasio-Cortez should be 'removed' from Congress for spreading 'anti-Semitism, hatred and stupidity'

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be removed from Congress for spreading “anti-Semitism, hatred and stupidity,” said a Holocaust survivor whose group invited her to tour Auschwitz.

Edward Mosberg, the 93-year-old president of The Depths, a group commemorating the Holocaust, slammed the New York Democrat over her controversial comparison of migrant detention facilities to “concentration camps,” prompting him to call for her removal.

“She should be removed from Congress. She’s spreading anti-Semitism, hatred and stupidity,” Mosberg said in an interview with The New York Post. “The people on the border aren’t forced to be there — they go there on their own will. If someone doesn’t know the difference, either they’re playing stupid or they just don’t care.”



AOC satirist Doxxed And Threatened, Family Shuts Down All Her Social Accounts

The family of a young girl who went viral for mocking Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shut down all of her social accounts Wednesday, after receiving death threats and harassing phone calls.

A tweet from the account purporting to belong to the little girl’s stepfather said she will not be doing any more content because the harassment and death threats “have gone too far” and threaten her and the family’s safety.

“Ava will not be doing any more MINI AOC content,” the tweet said. “The Left’s Harassment and death threats have gone too far for our family. We have been getting calls on our personal phone numbers. For our safety and our child’s safety, we deleted all Mini AOC accounts.”

The 8-year-old girl, known as “Mini AOC,” got attention for her impersonations of Ocasio-Cortez, such as a tweet in which she mocked the New York Democrat’s theatrics over the migrant crisis. “Every time I plan a visit to the park it’s closed!” she tweeted, along with several photos of her dressed up to look like Ocasio-Cortez when she visited a migrant detention center this week

She appeared on Fox Business in May to discuss her impersonations, saying her dad and her uncle encouraged her to start making videos because they thought she bore a striking resemblance to Ocasio-Cortez. She said she likes Ocasio-Cortez, but “not that much” and impersonated her saying “did you know that?” when prompted by the Fox News host.

Her Twitter, Instagram and YouTube accounts are shut down. Her Twitter handle was taken over by another user, who tweeted from the account saying they want to prevent a “leftist takeover” of the handle.


The Leftist hate never stops


How the Anti-Defamation League conspired to have a critic investigated for a fake hate crime

I think this is a rather remarkable story about the quite poisonous Jewish Left so I am reproducing it in full.  Despite the strong and extensive commandments to morality in the Torah -- see for instance Leviticus -- Jewish Leftists have as much morality as the rest of the Left:  Nil  -- JR

By Ilya Feoktistov

On the morning of February 25, 2019, two prominent leaders of the New England Jewish community walked into a Boston police station to report that I had committed an anti-Jewish hate crime against both of them by threatening them with bodily harm. Robert Trestan, the New England regional executive director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and Jeremy Burton, the executive director of Boston’s Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), told the police that I was motivated by anti-Jewish bias, and that they were in fear for their physical safety as a result.

But, when Boston Police Department (BPD) detectives spoke to my attorney, Jewish civil rights advocate Karen Hurvitz, they were surprised to learn that I myself am Jewish and that, like Trestan and Burton, I am the executive director of a Jewish 501(c)(3) non-profit, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), which confronts anti-Jewish bias as part of its primary mission.

In these troubled times, law enforcement cannot take reports of violent threats against Jewish leaders lightly. The level of urgency was upped several notches in this case because Messrs. Trestan and Burton, as prominent civic leaders in New England, have close personal relationships with Boston’s chief of police and mayor, the Suffolk County district attorney, the local U.S. Attorney’s office, and the governor of Massachusetts, among others. Mr. Trestan is a civil rights attorney, had advised the Obama White House on countering violent extremism, was honored by the Boston Police Foundation, and currently sits on the governor’s Task Force on Hate Crimes. Galvanized by the threat of prominent Jewish leaders being targeted by a dangerous criminal, scarce police resources were immediately mobilized to investigate the alleged threats.

Once the BPD detectives learned that I was a Jewish community leader, they were, understandably, confused as to why two Jewish executive directors would call the cops on another one and falsely accuse him of an anti-Jewish hate crime. My attorney explained the likely motive: my recent article in The Federalist, in which I was highly critical of Trestan and Burton’s leadership. The article criticized Trestan and Burton for politicizing the Boston Jewish community’s vigil for the victims of the 2018 Pittsburg synagogue massacre by turning it into an anti-Trump resistance rally.

Worse, the article noted that they had invited a real anti-Semite – Hamas-linked Boston imam Yasir Fahmy, to promote his agenda at this vigil. The article came with video of Imam Fahmy preaching to Boston’s Muslims that the Jews of Israel are desecrating the Al Aqsa mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount – a widespread anti-Semitic slander that has led to murderous violence against Jews. Trestan’s ADL usually censures Arab and Muslim leaders who resort to this sort of antisemitic incitement over the Temple Mount, instead of inviting them to speak at a vigil for antisemitism’s victims.

The article also revealed that Imam Fahmy preaches to Boston’s Muslims the same religious fundamentalist views about homosexuality that Mr. Burton loudly denounces when they are preached by Jewish rabbis. Burton, who has written heartbreaking accounts of being driven close to suicide by the intolerance he faced growing up gay in the Orthodox Jewish community, appears to be relatively less anxious about the emotional health of gay Muslim youths at Imam Fahmy’s mosque. Instead of loudly denouncing Fahmy, a few weeks after the article came out, Burton came to Fahmy’s mosque to praise the hate preacher, calling him “my teacher, Shaykh Yasir.”

The detectives saw what was really going on. “Tell me if I’m getting this correctly,” one of them asked my attorney. “All of them are Jews, but Feoktistov is more on the Right, and Trestan and Burton are more on the Left when it comes to politics?”

I do not doubt that Messrs. Trestan and Burton were quite upset by the article and emails that I sent them about it. Most people do not enjoy criticism. Then again, most people do not try to get their critics arrested for it. According to the police incident report, Trestan and Burton complained that “they receive emails regularly from the suspect (Ilya Feoktistov) that are offensive/ harsh in nature in regards to their work.” The email that they claimed threatened them with bodily harm ended with this line:

“I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.’”

To two non-Jewish Boston cops, this ‘disaster’ stuff, combined with Trestan and Burton’s misrepresentations to the police, might well sound like a potential threat. Instead, as the detectives learned, it was Jeremiah 18:11, a Bible passage included in the email under the apparently-mistaken assumption that Boston’s Jewish leaders know Jewish scripture. [LOL] In the passage, the prophet Jeremiah criticizes the failures of the Jewish leaders of his time, predicting disaster for the entire people if their rulers continued to ignore threats to Israel’s safety. Ironically, Burton and Trestan now seem to mimic those corrupt ancient Jewish leaders, who responded to Jeremiah’s warning by having him arrested, saying:

“Come, let us denounce him and pay no heed to any of his words.” (Jeremiah 18:18.)

It is possible that Trestan and Burton are simply illiterate when it comes to their religion’s holy texts and had failed to distinguish Jewish scripture from an anti-Jewish threat; that they were then genuinely panic-stricken by the email and were compelled to report the Bible lesson as a hate crime. But I doubt it. Jeremiah is so well-known for preaching disaster that his name is synonymous with the angry harangue against the powerful. The part of Jeremiah (18:1-12) containing the verse is one of the most-quoted allegories in the Hebrew Bible – the piece of clay in the potter’s hand – and is part of the traditional evening prayers on the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur. Burton, who identifies as an Orthodox Jew, is himself fond of quoting Jeremiah. Perhaps he and Trestan nevertheless didn’t get the reference. Or perhaps they knew what they were doing when they came up with their plot.

Thankfully, once the detectives figured out that I had gotten “jussied” – that Burton and Trestan had filed a fake hate crime report against me for political reasons – I was off the hook. Unfortunately, there is little chance that these well-connected grandees are now going be held accountable, like ordinary folks who file a false police report, by their own friends in law enforcement.

Trestan and Burton’s misappropriation of the criminal process as a personal tool to quash public criticism is Kafkaesque by American standards, but lame compared to what people like them can do when the state allows them to denounce their fellow citizens for crimes of speech and thought. In the Soviet Union, it was common knowledge then that there were people in that society who, for venal, malicious, or ideological reasons, would reach out to those with the legal authority to use violent force and secretly provide false denunciations against their foes or rivals. These people exist in every society. In the United States, however, the destructive influence of such people on the social and moral fabric is mitigated by due process, democratic norms, and, among those familiar with scripture, the commandment against bearing false witness.

Like their 20th Century comrades in my former homeland [Russia], contemporary leftists are not bound by such restraints. Censoring speech and opinion that they do not like, to the point of resorting to false denunciations, has often become standard practice for the progressive movement within the spheres where it is dominant. Even as they steadily lose legitimacy in the Jewish community due to the growth of anti-Semitism on the Left, progressive Jewish leaders like Trestan and Burton demand ever greater authority to dictate proper opinions to American Jews.

Recently, while defending Democrat Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib from charges of anti-Semitism, Burton insisted, emphatically and without irony, that the nation’s media and government must grant leftist Jewish leaders like him and Trestan, “leaders who represent the sensibility of our community,” the exclusive privilege “to determine what is, or is not, anti-Semitic.” Even without this privilege, leftist Jewish leaders like Trestan and Burton presume to appropriate anti-Semitism as an exclusive label for their political enemies; resulting in the absurdity of Burton telling Boston’s police that I am an anti-Semite, and telling Boston’s Jews that Rashida Tlaib is not.

Crying “anti-Semites!” at their political opponents as the proverbial wolves will, at some point, stop working for progressive Jewish leaders if they continue to devalue the term for their own political advantage to the point of meaninglessness. Ultimately, the real wolf shows up, and all of us – except perhaps Trestan and Burton – have read how the story ends.



Trump’s Stand Down Order on Iran – A Just Decision

President Trump provided an insight into his thought processes when he reversed an order to attack an Iranian military installation in retaliation for the downing of a U.S. reconnaissance drone. Apparently, we were “cocked and loaded,” our planes in the air, or about to be, when he asked for an assessment of the damage expected from the attack.

Being advised that as many as 150 deaths were likely, he rescinded the strike order. Those deaths, he felt, would not have been “proportionate” to the loss we suffered, and so not justified by what Iran had done.

Trump isn’t Catholic. In fact, his religious identity is rather unclear. But his use of the term, “proportionate” suggests that his thinking is at least somewhat informed by Catholic social teaching.

Perhaps among those advising him there’s someone who has a Catholic perspective. My hunch is that it may be Vice President Mike Pence, who while an Evangelical now, was raised in the Catholic Church.

Trump took criticism for this reversal, which was seen by some as a sign of indecisiveness on his part. Others applauded his restraint, observing that it strengthened his hand, clearing the way for us to strike even harder, should the Iranians commit another provocative act.

I take the latter view, though I suspect there was more to this last-minute change of direction. It’s possible that Trump was attempting to exploit division within the Iranian leadership, or maybe he had received some back-channel indications of a receptiveness to further negotiations.

Diplomacy is always complex and multi-layered.

Nevertheless, what we heard from the president was an echo of Catholic Just War Theory.

The Church teaches that for a war to be just it must meet certain qualifications. For instance, it must be declared by a competent authority (individual citizens or lower-level officials cannot make war on other nations or groups). Also, there must be a reasonable chance of winning (calling people to risk their lives in a cause that is likely impossible is not just).

There are other criteria as well. But perhaps the most important is that action taken must be proportionate to the action provoking it. And that is the point which the President seems to have grasped (or at least emphasized).

He saw that the destruction of human life would be greatly disproportionate to the destruction of a drone — sophisticated and expensive as that piece of equipment was. And in that he acted from a position of Christian principle.

These are precisely the kinds of concerns on which the Church is obliged to speak — and our elected leaders are bound to consider. In fact, I see in this incident an example of the proper relationship between moral teaching and civic responsibility.

Too often priests, bishops and theologians are tempted to make high-sounding pronouncements on specific questions of government policy. And just as often our officials ignore them — which seems to set public authority against Church authority.

But as sincere and fervent as these pastoral entreaties might be, the fact is churchmen have neither the competence nor the responsibility to make such judgments. Our role is to be moral teachers.

We should avoid the temptation to lecture public officials on how they ought to be meeting our expectations. Rather, we must constantly bring those who possess the relevant authority back to the eternal truths of right and wrong on which difficult decisions must be based in order to be morally valid.

That’s the church-state balance on which our country was originally founded.

We celebrate the Fourth of July this week. In our ideologically distorted age, don’t let anyone try to convince you of the trendy notion that America rests on secular, “Enlightenment” principles. Instead, be clear on the fact that the very idea of America is profoundly moral and profoundly religious.

As John Adams put it, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Deep in his heart, President Trump seems to understand this. God bless him for it. And God bless America.



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 July, 2019

The real reason why the left was against Donald Trump's July 4 speech

Gary Varvel

Now we know why the Democrats were so upset about President Trump speaking on the Fourth of July.

It was not because it was political or partisan. It was patriotic and that is what annoys the left the most.

Several days before the speech, we heard that Trump was hijacking Independence Day and turning it into a campaign rally. But Trump never mentioned the 2020 campaign in his speech.

We heard that Trump’s desire to have tanks on the National Mall was an out-and-out authoritarian performance art. But that wasn’t really the issue. Neither was the fake outrage over the cost.

There was no mention of political opponents and no mention of the fake news media. And this wasn’t Trump co-opting the nation’s birthday to celebrate himself. In fact, for a man who loves to talk about his accomplishments, he never mentioned himself.

No, Trump did something far more dangerous to the left. He gave America a strong dose of patriotism. He gave Americans a history lesson on the great people, heroes and their great accomplishments over the last 243 years.

Earlier in the week, The New York Times ran a video arguing America isn't the greatest nation on Earth, "the U.S. is really just O.K."

Without mentioning The Times or the video, Trump proceeded to tell us about America’s greatness for nearly an hour interrupted only by applause, flyovers and military songs. At one point, I thought “who is this guy and what have they done with President Trump?”

“Today, we come together as One Nation with this very special Salute To America,” said Trump. “We celebrate our history, our people and the heroes who proudly defend our flag — the brave men and women of the United States Military!”

And boy, did he. Starting with the story of America’s war for independence, Trump quoted the words and deeds of Americans that have long been forgotten but need to be remembered.

Trump told the story of Gen. George Washington as he readied his troops to fight the British invasion. Trump said, “Washington’s message to his troops laid bare the stakes, He wrote, ‘The fate of unborn millions will now depend under God on the courage and conduct of this army, we have therefore to resolve to conquer or die.’”

We are the millions who benefited from their sacrifice.

In reminding America of the great acts of past generation, Trump brought it to the present by honoring our first responders and all of the men and women of law enforcement. Trump also honored the Gold Star families who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Legends and icons

He introduced NASA legend Gene Kranz and told him, we’re going back to the moon and we’re going to plant our flag on Mars.

He also introduced and thanked civil rights icon, Clarence Henderson who was 18-years-old in 1960 when he took part in a sit-in at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“Almost six decades later, he sits tonight in a seat of honor,” Trump said. “Clarence thanks for making this a much better place for all Americans.”

I found it very unifying but there were some triggers for the Left.

Trump said “This country the most exceptional nation in the history of the world and it’s at its strongest now.” American exceptionalism annoys the left.

“We are one people, chasing one dream and one magnificent destiny,” Trump said. “We all share the same heroes, the same home and the same heart and we are all made by the same almighty God.” Mentioning God annoys the left.

I think this should become a tradition for every president from now on. With all of the partisan political fights, it was nice to be reminded of American’s amazing heritage. It was inspiring and that’s what we need.

For one day, Trump put partisan politics aside and focused the eyes of America on our past, present and to our future.

Thanks, Mr. President.



Trump seizes the political momentum

Donald Trump’s takeover of Washington seemed all but complete yesterday as he stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial watching fighter jets fly over him with army tanks on the sidelines.

It was all symbolic, of course, but this was the Independence Day party Trump had wanted and ordered against the howls of his opponents. As the President grinned on stage, cloaking himself in patriotism ahead of the July 4 fireworks display, it was clear Trump had once again rewritten the rule book to suit his presidency.

As usual, he did so in the face of a long list of opponents, including Democrats, most of the US media and some former Pentagon officials who accused him of politicising a bipartisan patriotic celebration. But Trump didn’t care. Instead, he only increased his demands during the week, extending the fireworks show and ordering that Abrams tanks be brought up from Georgia to add more grunt to the occasion.

This came just days after Trump’s made-for-television moment with Kim Jong-un when the President met the North Korean leader in the demilitarised zone on the border of the two Koreas after inviting him via Twitter.

Kim responded to his tweeted invitation and Trump became the first sitting US president to step into North Korea. At every turn, Trump is living out his 2016 promise to voters that he would be an unconventional president, not to mention compelling, controversial and unique.

As Trump approaches 2½ years in the Oval Office, his dominance of the daily news cycle in the US has never been greater, denying much needed oxygen to the gaggle of Democrats competing to challenge him for the White House. After a successful G20 meeting in Japan, for which he received positive reviews, even from long-time critics such as The Washington Post editorial board, Trump now surveys a political landscape that is as favourable to him as at any time in his presidency.

As the advantages of incumbency and a purring economy, growing jobs and pay packets, low unemployment, no major wars and even recent border security problems play into his hands, Trump finds himself politically in a rare sweet spot.

It is a far cry from the dark days of early last year, at the height of the Mueller investigation, when Trump was reeling from the fallout from his sacking of FBI chief James Comey and his dysfunctional White House was being stripped bare by the lurid revelations in Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury.

Even so, it is difficult for Republicans to claim with any confidence that Trump is now the favourite to win next year’s presidential election.

Trump’s approval rating — at 43.8 per cent according to the RealClearPolitics’ poll average — is near the highest of his term, but it is still far lower than any president would want at this stage of the re-election cycle. His disapproval rating is still above 50 per cent at 52.5.

However, Trump’s low poll ratings previously have been misleading. He trailed his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, all the way in the 2016 campaign, including on polling day, until he won.

Internal Republican polling also shows the President performing poorly in the three key swing states he stole in 2016 to win the election — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Trump won these three states by a combined 79,646 votes. If he loses these three states next year, he loses office.

The polling shows him trailing Joe Biden and other leading Democratic candidates by sizeable margins in these three key states, largely because of a drop in support from moderate voters, especially women, in the suburbs of regional towns and cities. These were moderate Democratic voters who switched to Trump in 2016 but have since been alienated by his style of leadership. It was this group that primarily drove the Democrats to win back the House of Representatives in last November’s midterm elections. They remain the most powerful obstacle to his re-election.

“My feeling is the election is real­ly a 50-50 prospect right now,” says Mike Green, senior vice-president for Asia at Washington’s Centre for Strategic and International Studies and a former member of the National Security Council under George W. Bush.

“I say that because something unprecedented will have to happen for him to either win or lose re-election. No president in the postwar era has lost re-election when the unemployment rate is as low as it is now.

“On the other hand, no president has won re-election with negative numbers as high as Trump’s, so one of those two records or precedents will have to be broken.”

But for now the momentum is with Trump, helped by the implosion among Democratic contenders after their first debate, in which two clear frontrunners, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, faltered.

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale says: “I think the President could beat anybody. The momentum behind this President right now is like nothing that history has ever seen.”

Of course Parscale would say that, but on the key issues that will have an impact on voters next year the trends right now are favouring the President.

This week marked the 121st straight month — or 10 straight years — in which the US economy expanded, the longest expansion on record. The US economy is growing at a healthy 3 per cent, although slower rates are forecast next year.

Unemployment is at a 49-year low of 3.6 per cent.

Trump has been in power for only a quarter of this time and has been lucky to inherit a good economic cycle, but voters tend to credit presidents for strong economies and punish them for bad ones.

The trickle-down effects of the economy also are benefiting African-Americans and Hispanics, two important groups that Trump is trying to woo after they largely voted against him in 2016. The growing problem of undocumented migrants at the Mexican border is also playing into Trump’s hands politically in a way that seemed unlikely six months ago.

Early this year, when Trump claimed there was a “crisis” at the southern border, he was criticised by Democrats because the numbers of detained migrants crossing into the US were still far fewer than a decade earlier.

They accused Trump of manufacturing a crisis to secure funding for his promised border wall. But since then a sharp spike in the number of unauthorised migrants entering the US, especially family groups with children, has changed the perception of many Americans. The number of migrants apprehended at the border surged in May to 132,887, including 11,507 unaccompanied children.

This was the highest monthly level since 2006 and the first time that detentions exceeded 100,000 since April 2007. The conditions at overcrowded border detention centres now are making daily headlines in the US.

A CNN poll this week found 74 per cent of Americans now say the situation on the border is a “crisis” compared with only 45 per cent who felt that way in January. This increase was steepest among Democratic voters, who previously had ridiculed Trump’s claims: 70 per cent of Democrats now call it a crisis compared with 23 per cent in January.

Trump has seized this as opportunity to intensify his attack on Democrats as weak on border security, an issue that resonated loudly with his base in 2016 and will likely do so again next year.

When Democratic presidential contenders in last week’s debate advocated decriminalising illegal border crossings and providing undocumented migrants access to healthcare, it must have seemed like a gift to Trump, who immediately jumped on to Twitter.

“All Democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited healthcare,” he tweeted. “How about taking care of American Citizens first! That’s the end of that race.”

Opponents also criticised Trump’s highly unorthodox threat to levy tariffs on Mexico unless it did more to help secure its borders with Central America. But it did have the intended effect of forcing Mexico to deploy thousands of extra troops to reduce the number of undocumented migrants entering Mexico from Central America en route to the US.

Each of these issues gives Trump the same ammunition he used in 2016 to secure his base and win the election.

Yet to the puzzlement of some, Trump has so far directed all of his campaign efforts into keeping, rather than expanding his base. His campaign launch rally in Orlando, Florida, this month was a re-run of his 2016 rallies as he mixed dark claims of persecution by the FBI, by Mueller and by the media with boasts about his achievements.

So far, Trump’s base has proved to be intensely loyal to him. About 90 per cent of Republicans approve of his performance. When asked by Time magazine last week whether he should reach out to swinging voters, Trump said: “I think my base is so strong, I’m not sure that I have to do that.”

Trump has come out of the Mueller inquiry without serious injury in the polls and Democrats in the house are divided on whether to try to impeach him. The President’s biggest selling point for next year’s campaign will be that he has ticked off a long list of those promises he made in 2016, from tax cuts, to job growth, the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Paris climate change accord and the Iran nuclear deal, the reworking of North American Free Trade Agreement, the challenges to China and NATO, and moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, among ­others.

Trump’s divisive and confrontational style remains his biggest weakness and it explains his persistently high disapproval ratings. Biden believes this is his ticket to the White House.

The former vice-president is campaigning almost entirely on being the anti-Trump, promising to restore more civility and decency to the office of the president.

The key question is whether Trump’s controversial style will ­attract more people to vote Democrat than they did in 2016. The argument against this theory is that Trump’s maverick style is hardly breaking news and he won the 2016 election when voters were ­already fully aware of who he was.

The biggest risk to Trump’s base right now, and perhaps his re-election, is whether he can strike a deal to end his trade war with China before US farmers turn against him in key swing states.

At the G20 meeting, Trump agreed with Chinese President Xi Jinping to reopen negotiations on a trade deal and to pause his threat to impose a further $US300 billion in tariffs on Beijing.

CSIS’s Green says Trump’s decision to resume talks with Xi was driven by political concerns about imposing more financial pain on American farmers.

“The tariffs on China, because of China’s retaliation with (tariffs on US) soybeans and agriculture, are really unpopular with the farmers, who are probably more important to Republicans than the blue-collar base,” he says.

Green says he has been meeting the heads of the US farm lobbies, who tell him their members hate the tariff war but they’re not blaming Trump yet.

“They still support Trump but what the leaders of these agricultural associations say is that by August and September when farms start foreclosing, the pain will be enough that they think farmers will start to turn on the President.

“So for me, it was very predictable at the G20 that he would just agree to keep talking to the Chinese because he can’t raise tariffs again without taking a major political hit yet he can’t lower tariffs right now without taking a hit.

“He has very little manoeuvring room on policy.”

Many observers, including Green, say Trump’s political strategy over the year ahead will focus not so much on growing his own base but on goading Democrats into adopting policies that are to the left of mainstream Americans.

Green says Trump is already seeking to push the Democrats to the left of the mainstream on ­issues such as immigration and healthcare.

“Trump can’t break his negative 50 per cent plus ratings but he can try to drive up the negative rating of the Democrats by baiting them to take on policies that are unpopular with the majority of Americans,” he says.

Trump would be encouraged by what he saw in the first debate between 20 of the 25 Democrat contenders. After sub-par performances from the two frontrunners, Biden and Sanders, they both have tumbled in the polls.

The debates also shone light on the extent to which most of the field, from poster-girl Kamala Harris to Elizabeth Warren, embrace policies on immigration, health and taxes that were too left-wing even for Democratic presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. There is a long way to go until polling day in November next year — a lifetime in the fast-moving Trump presidency — and much can still go wrong for him.

But as he approaches the 2½-year mark in the White House, the prospects of a second Trump term are improving.



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 July, 2019

CNN see hate everywhere except where it is -- on the Left

They see an "explosion of white supremacy" but anything non-Leftist rates as white supremacy to them. By any sane definition, the number of white supremacists is tiny. Muslim supremacy and Leftist supremacy are the big problems.  If you want to witness  an explosion of hate, just say the name "Trump" to almost any Leftist

CNN marked the beginning of the Fourth of July holiday week with a one-hour special called "State of Hate: The Explosion of White Supremacy." These people pledge allegiance to "Facts First" in their marketing, but on what factual basis is there an "explosion of white supremacy" in America?

CNN will deny it, of course, but at the end of the day, it doesn't see much difference between white supremacists and Trump Nation. CNN spent an hour promoting fringe racist figures like Richard Spencer and David Duke, who promised he was going to "fulfill the promises of Donald Trump." But this was outdated, since Spencer tweeted last November, "The Trump moment is over, and it's time for us to move on."

In the CNN special, racists were interspersed with footage of people saying "Make America Great Again" and footage of people protesting illegal immigration, with an obvious smear implied. Oppose illegal immigration? You must be a Klansman. Or a neo-Nazi.

This "explosion of white supremacy" is apparently so dangerous that CNN felt the need to expose it during an hour of prime-time programming.

The left-leaning Anti-Defamation League reported a KKK decline in 2016, but it wasn't specific about an overall number. It said: "Despite a persistent ability to attract media attention, organized Ku Klux Klan groups are actually continuing a long-term trend of decline. They remain a collection of mostly small, disjointed groups that continually change in name and leadership. Down slightly from a year ago, there are currently just over thirty active Klan groups in the United States, most of them very small."

Has it gone up since then? A 2018 ADL report on the Loyal White Knights group within the Ku Klux Klan said the group "is the largest and the most active Klan group in the country with approximately 100 members." You read that correctly. The Knights' rally in Charlottesville, North Carolina, in July 2017, with "fifty-odd Klansmen" qualified as "the largest rally organized by a Klan group in recent years."

To CNN, this is somehow the evidence that demands an hour on white supremacy.

Giving oxygen to the Klan comes naturally to CNN. Black comedian W. Kamau Bell began his CNN documentary series, "United Shades of America," in 2016 with a stunt where he hung out with the KKK, as if the group was deeply important. The Washington Post saluted Bell for peppering "his wry observations with a big, booming laugh" and his ability to "stay cool" around the KKK kooks.

The same leftists who spent decades lamenting the Red Scare paranoia — as if conservatives were saying there was a communist under every bed — promote a Brown Shirt Scare about impending American fascism. This, in turn, fuels a radical "anti-fascist" (or "antifa") movement that threatens violence in the streets over the cuckoo conspiracy theory of a Nazi takeover of America.

What about antifa? CNN didn't include the movement in its "State of Hate" special. "Hate" is only something the right-wingers do. They might agree with their friends at the Southern Poverty Law Center about the "myth of the unhinged, violent left." Sadly, the day before CNN's special, thugs in Portland, Oregon, assaulted several people at an antifa protest including Quillette journalist Andy Ngo, who routinely films antifa rallies.

If the media really wanted to describe dangerous and violent "hate" groups fairly, they would find them on the left with antifa. Conservatives want nothing to do with the KKK. Downplaying antifa — or even promoting it, as CNN has — is the very opposite of putting the facts first.



Trump Signs Law Making It Harder for IRS to Seize Money From Americans

The Internal Revenue Service seized $446,000 from the bank accounts of brothers Jeffrey, Richard, and Mitch Hirsch in 2012, claiming a “structuring” violation against the owners of Bi-County Distributors Inc. for making multiple bank deposits of less than $10,000.

The government never charged them with a crime, nor gave them a hearing to enable them to contest the seizure, but after intense national media attention to the case, the government returned the funds.

The case was among many that highlighted an abuse by IRS agents known as legal source structuring that allowed the tax collection agency to use a law, the Bank Secrecy Act, intended to combat money laundering, to seize assets.

President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan bill Monday to force greater accountability on the IRS in the property seizures, as well as protect taxpayers from identity theft, boost whistleblower protections, and modernize the tax agency.

“We just finished signing, the important signing, of the Taxpayer First bill, the IRS Taxpayer First, which is a tremendous thing for our citizens having to deal with the IRS,” Trump told reporters after the signing. “It streamlines and so many other changes are made. That was just done and signed. It’s been made into law. So we are all set on that.”    

The new law, the Taxpayer First Act, requires the IRS to show probable cause that the smaller transactions were made in order to evade financial reporting requirements.

Legal source structuring laws kick in when large financial transactions are broken up into smaller transactions, which sparks suspicion from the IRS. If dividing up transactions is done with the intent to evade bank reporting requirements, it’s illegal, and the IRS can seize assets.

A 2017 audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found no evidence of underlying crimes in 91% of the structuring cases examined in a sampling.

The inspector general’s report further noted that the IRS frequently ignored reasonable explanations business owners have for deposits.

The IRS used the power in 2,500 cases between 2005 and 2012, gobbling up $242 million in assets, according to the Institute for Justice, a public interest legal group. Of those, one-third involved only allegations of structuring, and not other alleged wrongdoing, the institute found.

The provision of the Taxpayer First Act largely codifies rules the IRS had already made in response to public pressure, but unlike laws, regulations can be overturned administratively.

The new law further requires a hearing within 30 days of an assets seizure.  It also establishes an independent office of appeals within the IRS for taxpayers.

“This is a long time coming,” said Jason Snead, senior policy analyst at the Institute for Constitutional Government at The Heritage Foundation. “There have been many noted abuses in cases not derived from illegal behavior. I hope this is the beginning of a longer process to reform the civil forfeiture laws.”

At a time when Congress has had a tough time agreeing to any major legislation, the Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-controlled House voted overwhelmingly in favor of the legislation. 

“This bipartisan, bicameral bill represents years of hard work and consensus building,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement after its Senate passage. “It’s a big first step toward strengthening taxpayer protections and turning the IRS into the customer service organization it ought to be.”

The new law authorized the IRS internal investigators to communicate with whistleblowers who are, during the processing of their claims, reporting bad behavior within the agency if doing so would be helpful to the investigation. The internal investigators, usually the inspector general, would also notify the whistleblowers on the status of the investigation, under the new law.

The law further extends anti-retaliation provisions to the IRS whistleblowers currently afforded to whistleblowers in other agencies.



Walter Williams: Assault on Western Civilization

Western civilization was founded on a set of philosophies that focus strongly on the sanctity of individuals and their power of logic and reason. This belief led to a desire to trust things that could be proven to be true or legitimate, from government to science. Judeo-Christian morality has formed the basis of most Western notions of ethics and behavioral standards. Thus, the attack on Western civilization must begin with the attack on the church and Christian values, and, just as important, the family unit must be undermined. The reason why the church, Christian values and family are targets of the left is they want people's loyalty and allegiance to be to the state. The church, Christianity and the family stand in the way. Let's look at some of the left's agenda.

Joe Biden, criticizing sexual assault, said, "This is English jurisprudential culture, a white man's culture," adding, "It's got to change." The Western world's culture isn't perfect but women fare better under it than any other culture. Just ask yourself: If you're a feminist, in which countries would you like to live? Would it be Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries, China or countries on the African continent, north or south of the Sahara? In those countries, women encounter all kinds of liberty restrictions plus in at least 30 countries on the African continent, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, female genital mutilation is practiced. You might ask Joe Biden what part of the "white man's culture" needs to be changed.

The greatest efforts to downplay the achievements of Western civilization start at our colleges and universities. An American Council of Trustees and Alumni 2016 study reported that "the overwhelming majority of America's most prestigious institutions do not require even the students who major in history to take a single course on United States history or government." Because of this ignorance, our young people fall easy prey to charlatans, quacks and liars who wish to downgrade our founders and the American achievement.

In 2012, 2014 and 2015, an ACTA-commissioned survey of college graduates found that less than 20% could accurately identify the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation. Less than half could identify George Washington as the American general at Yorktown. One-third of college graduates were unaware that FDR introduced the New Deal. Over one-third of the college graduates surveyed could not place the American Civil War in its correct 20-year time frame. Nearly half of the college graduates could not identify correctly the term lengths of U.S. senators and representatives.

The left in our country often suggests that people who stand up for Western civilization are supporting a racial hierarchy. The fact is that the history of the world is one of arbitrary tyrannical abuse and control. Poverty has been the standard fare for a vast majority of mankind. America became the exception to what life was like. That exceptionalism inspired imitators, and our vision of freedom and liberty spread to what has become known as the Western world.

Many do not appreciate the fact that freedom and competition in both the marketplace and idea arena unleashed a level of entrepreneurism, risk-taking and creativity heretofore unknown to mankind. Look at the marketplace of ideas. The Nobel Prize has been awarded to 860 people since its inception in 1901. The prizewinner distribution: Americans (375), United Kingdom (131) Germany (108), France (69) and Sweden (32); that's 83 percent of Nobel Prizes won. The large majority of other Nobel winners are mostly westerners. I might add that Japan has 27 Nobel Prize winners, but their first winner was awarded in 1949, after WWII led Japan to became more westernized.

There's a reason why the West leads the world in terms of scientific innovation, wealth and military might and it has little to do with genetics. Instead, it's the environment of freedom, both in the market for goods and in the idea marketplace. Rigorous competition brings out the best in mankind. Leftists and would-be tyrants find Western values offensive.



The Dangerous Seduction of ‘Free’

By offering all sorts of freebies to various constituencies, Bernie Sanders has positioned himself as the true-believing socialist in the Democratic race (even though he’s actually a member of the “top-1 percent”).

But he has plenty of competition. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren are strong competitors in the free-lunch Olympics, and most of the rest of the candidates are saying “me, too” as well.

Assuming these candidates get a warm reception, this is a worrisome development.

Part of America’s superior societal capital is (or has been) our immunity to the free-lunch message.

If that’s changing, it will be very hard to be optimistic about the future.

Antony Davies of Duquesne University and James Harrigan of the University of Arizona wrote for FEE about the dangerous – and seductive – ideology of something-for-nothing:

“… politicians are tripping over each other to offer voters more ‘free’ things, including everything from health care and college to a guaranteed basic income. But voters should be fostering a healthy sense of skepticism. If there is one eternal and immutable fact in economics, it is that nothing is free. Nothing.

… as voters, our healthy skepticism seems to go right out the window. When politicians promise all sorts of ‘free’ things, it doesn’t occur to many of us that those things can’t possibly be free. It doesn’t occur to us that, like businesses seeking our dollars, politicians will tell us whatever it takes to get hold of our votes. … Don’t be so gullible …when you hear Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders tell you how health care and higher education will be free for everyone, remember that … health care and higher education cannot and will never be free.”

Davies and Harrigan are economically right. Indeed, they are 100 percent right. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

But there are lunches that are financed by others. And that’s why I’m worried about support for these types of policy proposals.

I don’t want America to turn into Europe, with people thinking they have a “right” to a wide array of goodies, paid for by someone else.

So what’s the alternative to the something-for-nothing ideology of the modern left?

Bobby Jindal, the former Louisiana governor, recently opined on this topic in The Wall Street Journal.

“Progressives are changing the Democratic Party’s focus…to subsidizing everything for everybody. … Democrats now promise free college, free health care and more—for everyone. Republicans can’t outspend Democrats, but they can make the case for freedom and against the idea that everything is ‘free’ … The Republican ideal is … an aspirational society. … becoming dependent on government is the American nightmare. … Republicans have to do more than mock the Green New Deal … if they want to persuade young voters of the case for limited government and personal freedom.

 … ‘free’ means more government control at the expense of consumer autonomy. When progressives promise government will pay for health care and college, they are really saying government will run medicine and higher education. … ‘Free’ means less efficiency, more expense and lower quality. … ‘Free’ means robbing from America’s children. … Despite proposed marginal rates as high as 70% or even 90%, none of the tax plans Democrats have put forward would raise nearly enough revenue to pay for the promised spending. …

Republicans can’t outbid Santa Claus. Americans are willing to work hard and sacrifice for a better life but need to know how pro-growth policies benefit them. Voters may be tempted by progressives’ crazy plans … They will embrace effective market-based solutions that promote freedom if Republicans offer them.”

Gov. Jindal has a great message about trumpeting growth as an alternative to redistribution.



Video: Why doesn't Portland mayor Ted Wheeler let the police stop violence at political rallies?

The Portland Police Association is blasting Portland Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler for not allowing law enforcement to effectively deal with political violence instigated by Antifa that erupted at rallies on June 29, saying, “Police officers work to uphold the Constitution, including the right to free speech. It’s our job to ensure that our community can peacefully protest without fear of violence but right now our hands are tied. It’s time for our Mayor to… remove the handcuffs from our officers and let them stop the violence through strong and swift enforcement action. Enough is enough.”


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

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


4 July, 2019

Anti-Trump fever takes threatening turn

The toxicity of the resistance to President Trump has risen in recent days, with the nation's most respected newspapers publishing rationalizations for denying Trump supporters public accommodation and for doxxing career federal employees, while a journalist found himself under physical attack from the so-called anti-fascist group Antifa, which has stepped up its violent activities since Trump's election.

The justification for denying public accommodation came from the Washington Post in an op-ed by Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of a farm-to-table restaurant in Lexington, Virginia. Wilkinson became famous in June of last year, when she refused to serve White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders and and told Sanders and her family to leave the restaurant. Wilkinson's staff then followed the Sanders group in protest as they tried to find another place to eat.

Wilkinson later told the press she ejected Sanders because the Trump administration is "inhumane and unethical" and because the Red Hen "has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation."

In her new article, Wilkinson discussed the case of The Aviary, a trendy bar in Chicago where a waitress recently spat on Eric Trump, the president's son. Wilkinson wrote that the incident, along with her own decision to oust Sanders, shows that in the age of Trump "new rules apply" in public accommodations: Americans who work for the administration or support the president should stay away.

"If you're directly complicit in spreading hate or perpetuating suffering, maybe you should consider dining at home," Wilkinson wrote.

Wilkinson noted that "no one in the industry condones the physical assault of a patron," but at the same time declared that Americans should understand that a "frustrated person" — for example, a restaurant employee — will "lash out at the representatives of an administration that has made its name trashing norms and breaking backs." Americans should accept that such things will happen.

"If you're an unsavory individual," Wilkinson concluded, "we have no legal or moral obligation to do business with you." Better to stay home than risk the spittle. (And of course, Wilkinson and her colleagues in the hospitality industry will decide who is "unsavory.")

The apology for doxxing came from the New York Times in a piece by Kate Cronin-Furman, an assistant professor of human rights at University College London. The article focused on the treatment of illegal immigrant children in detention centers near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Cronin-Furman discussed the detentions, as well as actions by employees of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in terms of the Holocaust and genocides in Cambodia and Rwanda. Those are, of course, contexts which most Americans would likely dismiss as preposterous and offensive but which Cronin-Furman and the New York Times apparently take seriously. Her idea is that opponents of the administration should publicly identify and shame low- and mid-level Customs and Border Protection employees who care for migrant children.

Such workers would be dismayed at being publicly shamed because they are "sensitive to social pressure," Cronin-Furman wrote, "which has been shown to have played a huge role in atrocity commission and desistance in the Holocaust, Rwanda, and elsewhere. The campaign to stop the abuses at the border should exploit this sensitivity."

"This is not an argument for doxxing," Cronin-Furman continued. "It's about exposure of their participation in atrocities to audiences whose opinion they care about. The knowledge, for instance, that when you go to church on Sunday, your entire congregation will have seen you on TV ripping a child out of her father's arms is a serious social cost to bear. The desire to avoid this kind of social shame may be enough to persuade some agents to quit and may hinder the recruitment of replacements. For those who won't (or can't) quit, it may induce them to treat the vulnerable individuals under their control more humanely. In Denmark during World War II, for instance, strong social pressure, including from churches, contributed to the refusal of the country to comply with Nazi orders to deport its Jewish citizens."

Needless to say, that was a clear argument for doxxing.

Finally, there was Antifa's recent attack on Andy Ngo, a freelance journalist often associated with the pro-free thought cultural publication Quillette. At a demonstration in Portland, at which Trump was a focus of dispute, Antifa fighters beat up and milkshaked Ngo, apparently because he was there and he was not on their side.

The president is not always at the center of such demonstrations, but Antifa has become an angry and violent fringe force in the Resistance. It has played an ugly role in a number of events, most notably Charlottesville, in which feelings about Trump have played a role.

Shunning, shaming, doxxing, attacking. As the 2020 campaign reaches full speed, would it surprise anyone to see all of it increase? And all from people who congratulate themselves for standing against hate. Perhaps our politics will cool down at some point in the future. But not now.



Unmask Antifa and Watch the Cowards Retreat

I’d urge everyone to read my colleague Jim Geraghty’s post on the thuggery this weekend in Portland. It was appalling to watch masked Antifa thugs attack Andy Ngo, and it was also appalling that the police weren’t immediately present to arrest his attackers. Antifa’s propensity to violence is well known, and while I’d love to hear a sympathetic explanation for the absence of police, the lack of response looks a lot like a dereliction of duty.

There is, however, a simple and well-known legal reform that will go a long way towards deterring Antifa violence — even when police aren’t close by, but iPhones are. It’s called an anti-masking law. They’ve long existed in the South as a check on Klan violence, and they not only make it easier for police to immediately identify and arrest criminals, they also allow witnesses to preserve the pictures and videos of violent attackers for later criminal or civil action.

When I tweeted over the weekend in support of an anti-masking ordinance in Oregon, a number of correspondents asked me if the laws were consistent with First Amendment protections for anonymous speech. The answer is generally (though not always) yes, and there’s relatively recent on-point case law in the Second Circuit saying so. While court of appeals cases aren’t nationally dispositive, the panel in Church of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan v. Kerik included Sonia Sotomayor, and its reasoning is instructive.

New York’s anti-masking law predates the Klan, tracing its history back to an 1845 effort to combat violent Hudson Valley farmers. The statute essentially prevents gatherings of masked people unless they’re gathering for a “masquerade party or like entertainment.” The panel considered a number of constitutional challenges, including claims that wearing masks was a form of expressive conduct and claims that wearing masks protected a right to anonymous speech. Regarding the first claim, the panel noted that the in the Klan context, the mask constituted a “redundant” form of expression:

The mask that the members of the American Knights seek to wear in public demonstrations does not convey a message independently of the robe and hood.   That is, since the robe and hood alone clearly serve to identify the American Knights with the Klan, we conclude that the mask does not communicate any message that the robe and the hood do not.

Similarly, Antifa mobs are full of people who wear similar “black bloc” gear. Their message and purpose is easily identifiable without a mask or scarf. As for the Klan’s anonymous speech claims, the court held that state interests in public safety trumped Klan members’ interest in deciding the precise manner in which they speak:

Assuming for the discussion that New York’s anti-mask law makes some members of the American Knights less willing to participate in rallies, we nonetheless reject the view that the First Amendment is implicated every time a law makes someone-including a member of a politically unpopular group-less willing to exercise his or her free speech rights.   While the First Amendment protects the rights of citizens to express their viewpoints, however unpopular, it does not guarantee ideal conditions for doing so, since the individual’s right to speech must always be balanced against the state’s interest in safety, and its right to regulate conduct that it legitimately considers potentially dangerous.

Anti-masking laws can be unconstitutional when applied to peaceful demonstrators seeking to protect their identities as a matter of personal safety, but that reasoning doesn’t apply to Antifa. Its members seek to engage in violence and destruction with impunity, and the mask protects them from legal accountability. If you think Antifa members like to have their identities revealed, watch this video of Alabama police officers enforcing an unmasking law at Auburn University:



Political violence in Portland, Oreg. a sneak preview of our unraveling civil society if all Americans do not denounce it

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is calling for federal law enforcement authorities to investigate Portland, Oreg. Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler after an incident where Quillette editor Andy Ngo was brutally assaulted by left-wing Antifa demonstrators on June 29 amid a nationwide scourge of political violence.

On Twitter, Cruz wrote, “To federal law enforcement: investigate & bring legal action against a Mayor who has, for political reasons, ordered his police officers to let citizens be attacked by domestic terrorists.”

In 2018, Wheeler told Portland police not to get involved when Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers were attacked by an Antifa mob during a 38-day demonstration at ICE facilities to protest President Donald Trump’s stance against illegal immigration.

Now, Wheeler’s hands-off-Antifa approach is coming under scrutiny as these mobs have been allowed to engage in violence and intimidation with minimal repercussions. On June 29, groups like Proud Boys showed up to support a competing #HimToo demonstration. The result was skirmishes across the city. What should have been simply two different demonstrations occurring instead turned into a scene from the Gangs of New York, with partisans kicking the crap out of each other in the streets.

Daryl Turner, President of Portland Police Association, issued a statement on Facebook decrying the violence and accusing Wheeler of tying the police’s hands, writing, “Police officers work to uphold the Constitution, including the right to free speech. It’s our job to ensure that our community can peacefully protest without fear of violence but right now our hands are tied. It’s time for our Mayor to do two things: tell both ANTIFA and Proud Boys that our City will not accept violence in our City and remove the handcuffs from our officers and let them stop the violence through strong and swift enforcement action. Enough is enough.”

Note, the Portland Police Association is denouncing violence on both sides of the skirmishes. I mention that because when President Donald Trump did the same thing, blaming both sides for the violence in Charlottesville, Va., it was wrongly pilloried. But really, it takes leadership to stand up and say political violence is destructive on all sides and must stop. You know who also said, “Violence begets violence”? Martin Luther King, Jr., who spent his career supporting non-violent protest as a mechanism for social change.

In the case of Portland, Ngo had warned about the imminent assault a day prior to the event on Twitter, writing, “I am nervous about tomorrow’s Portland antifa rally. They’re promising ‘physical confrontation’ & have singled me out to be assaulted. I went on Tucker Carlson last year to explain why I think they’re doing this: They’re seeking meaning through violence.”

Sure enough, Ngo was assaulted when he went to the event to report on it after posting several live streams on his Twitter thread. He had to go to the emergency room where he was told he had a brain hemorrhage from the attack.

Others too were attacked. Michele Malkin reported on John Blum and Adam Kelly who were also assaulted, writing, “Both John & Adam were beaten by Antifa after trying to help a gay man in a sun dress being chased down the street. While the cowards are masked, John and Adam faced the crowds openly and agreed to be named publicly. ‘I’m not afraid,’ John told me.”

One can question the wisdom of knowing that violence is being threatened and then showing up to cover or attend the event anyway. It’s an expression of free speech even to the point of danger. Ngo, Blum and Kelly clearly are standing up to the mob.

But maybe they should be afraid. These are not isolated incidents. Across the nation, Antifa demonstrators have engaged in political violence at Berkeley, in San Jose, in Chicago and elsewhere. They say they are fighting fascists or Nazis, but often the victims turn out to be journalists brandishing nothing more than smart phone camera attempting to capture these mobs in action. So, what is to be done?

The vast majority of people would prefer a civil society. Political differences in America are settled with elections. But that may be starting to change if this keeps going.

Locally, more can be done in liberal cities like Portland that I suppose are not so liberal anymore. An approach to addressing political violence will at some point require leaders to stand up and say enough is enough. There shouldn’t be a need for police associations to come forward saying they are being ordered to stand down.

Local cities need to confront rioters with riot police and shut them down. The state of Oregon has an entire chapter of the criminal code devoted “Offenses against the public order.” There shouldn’t be roving gangs brandishing weapons in a threatening manner in the streets, intimidating journalists and other bystanders and there not be a response. The outcome is in fact violence. Some are sincere partisans who are seeking it out and are looking for trouble, but invariably innocents are getting caught in the crossfire.

But Cruz has a strong point about a national approach. Organizations whose sole purpose is to use violence to achieve political ends, operating across state lines, would appear to be a matter that federal law enforcement could address. Attorney General William Barr should look into Antifa and other organizations that commit and seek out violence against their political opponents.

The scenes of political violence in Portland, Oreg. we are witnessing are just the beginning. The worst thing civil society can do in the face of it is nothing. A permissive environment is encouraging this violence and when it goes unanswered, opposing partisans appear to confront it in the streets. This is a power vacuum and a recipe for anarchy.

In short, our civil society is unraveling before our eyes.

Assuming a state of political violence is not the America we want to live in and raise our families, it’s time to let the police do their jobs. Public officials that get in the way are complicit with staging that violence. The civil society must be restored. Everyone, Republicans, Democrats and everyone in between need to speak in unison against political violence — before it’s too late. This is a sneak preview of what’s coming to all of our hometowns if we do nothing.



A Walk Into History
Last week, while the 20 presidential wannabes engaged in two debates and often looked like squabbling children, President Trump was commanding the world stage during a trip to Asia.

On Friday, Trump tweeted, “I will be leaving Japan for South Korea… While there, if Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!”

The media, foreign policy establishment and armchair diplomats everywhere mocked Trump’s tweet, essentially saying, “Doesn’t he realize these meetings require months of preparation?"

These are the same critics who, when Trump tweeted tough responses to Kim in the past, warned that the president would get us into a war and that he needed to sit down and talk with Kim. Many commentators assured us that there was no reason to believe any meeting would result and that Trump would look stupid.

But lo and behold on Sunday, the president made history. As the New York Times put it, "From a tweet to a handshake to a historic 20 steps by an American leader into officially hostile territory."

The handshake in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) was a great photo-op, but it was more than that. The two men walked back across the border into South Korea where they met for an hour in the Freedom House, and announced that negotiations between the United States and North Korea would resume.

The Sunday talk shows were full of left-wing commentators and Democrat presidential candidates whining that North Korea still has nuclear weapons, that nothing has been accomplished, that Kim’s regime is still a threat. Today’s left truly resembles the "nattering nabobs of negativism."

Here’s a little reality check.

When Barack Obama took office, North Korea may have had a few nuclear bombs but no means of delivering them. By the time Obama left office, after having accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, North Korea had dozens of nuclear weapons and the ICBMs capable of threatening the U.S. mainland.

None of Trump’s critics today were demanding that Obama do something to stop North Korea during those long eight years. On this, like so many other things, Donald Trump is trying hard to clean up the mess his predecessor left behind.



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 July, 2019

Ivanka snubbed?

There have been several reports -- e.g. here -- that Ivanka took part in a conversation with world leaders in which she was snubbed. In fact there was only one person who snubbed her -- Christine Lagarde, who is NOT a national leader. Lagarde is just an ugly old crone who was showing her jealousy of a young and beautiful woman.  That's all that happened.  Lagarde was being ageist and lookist, something she would decry in others.

Piers Morgan has more on the subject


After Legally Receiving Food Stamps, This Millionaire Is Trying to Change the System

Rob Undersander, a retired engineer in Waite Park, Minnesota, wasn’t eager to go public about being a millionaire, but he wanted to expose a loophole that would allow wealthy—or at least those not needy—to qualify for food stamps.

So, in June 2016, he filled out an application form at the Stearns County social services office, and said he used an “abundance of honesty and caution” in applying for food stamps.

He recalled even talking to a top county official regarding social services, and told him about his assets upfront. 

“I begged him to find some reason to deny my application for food stamps,” Undersander, 66, told The Daily Signal after a congressional hearing Thursday. “He said there is nothing he can do, because he doesn’t make policy.”

Undersander intentionally set out to expose the systemic flaw in the “broad-based categorical eligibility” policy of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly referred to as the food stamp program.

The policy allows applicants to bypass an assets test, so someone could qualify for food stamps even if he has property and bank accounts, as long as his income is low enough.

Minnesota is among 34 states that, along with Washington, D.C., use the “broad-based categorical eligibility” loophole to avert the need to check assets, according to the Foundation for Government Accountability, a Naples, Florida-based fiscal watchdog group.

Three weeks after applying, Undersander received the electronic benefits transfer card in the mail that he said he hoped would be denied. It came with a letter informing him he had $278 per month of benefits on it to spend.

He notified a local newspaper, the St. Cloud Times. After the newspaper published a piece, he said, two women from the county’s fraud and abuse investigation unit came to his home, asked a few questions, and left.

Although he’s retired, he doesn’t yet collect Social Security, which would be enough income to make him ineligible.

Over 19 months, Undersander received $6,000 from the government—which he donated to charity.               

Undersander contends that an asset test that ensures only the needy can access food stamps would ensure that needy people will be helped.

The Agriculture Department, which administers the food-stamp program, is considering a regulation that would eliminate the broad-based policy, to ensure the program would measure whether someone is genuinely in need.

At a Thursday hearing of the House Agriculture Committee’s nutrition, oversight, and department operations panel, Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said that Undersander “intentionally defrauded the federal government.”

Because he was just attending the hearing, and not testifying, he couldn’t respond to majority Democrats on the subcommittee who excoriated him as a fraudster or to minority Republicans who praised him as a whistleblower.

“These were not the first Democrats that wanted to send me to jail,” Undersander said, recalling he testified several times before the Minnesota state Legislature on bills. “The problem is, I was following their rules and the laws that they support.”

Undersander had been a volunteer for the Central Minnesota Council on Aging, where he helped seniors with annual Medicare re-enrollment and with various social services.

All other state and federal programs measure income and assets, he said, but he discovered the food stamp program considers income only.  “I was shocked,” he said. “I don’t like it when taxpayer money is wasted.”

The loophole is “egregious and unnecessary,” said the subcommittee’s ranking member, Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D. “A man with assets in the millions—who was able to receive more than a nominal SNAP benefit month after month because of Minnesota’s abuses of their administrative flexibility—Mr. Undersander is not alone,” he said. 

“Mr. Undersander didn’t lie on his forms. He exposed the flaws of a failed system,” Johnson said. “It’s not his fault that we in D.C. haven’t done our job. Receiving a welfare check shouldn’t be easier than applying for a job. If millionaires are receiving those benefits—as they have—this committee has work to do.”    

The “broad-based” policy also allows states to make decisions outside the federal guidelines. For example, Johnson noted that Vermont determined that receiving a mailer about public assistance can convey food stamp eligibility.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the “broad-based categorical eligibility” also allows someone to qualify for food stamps based on receiving a heating assistance flyer in the mail.       

However, subcommittee Chairwoman Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, rejected the notion that there is a need for any reforms to the system and instead targeted Undersander.     

“I heard about that ridiculous millionaire stuff,” Fudge said, looking at Undersander. “You willfully and maliciously gamed the SNAP system. You, an alleged millionaire, used mischaracterizations of your finances.

“You took benefits from the very citizens you serve in your volunteer work. You did all this to continue your right-wing crusade against poor people,” the Ohio Democrat said.

During the hearing, Fudge said of Undersander’s donations of his food stamp benefits to charity: “It wasn’t yours to give.”

Undersander countered in an interview after the hearing that he “did a better job of distributing that money than the government did.”

“I didn’t give it to millionaires,” he said.

Fudge also questioned why Republicans chose this particular program to oppose giving states more flexibility.

“Republicans love talking about states’ rights, promoting state flexibility, and handing over to states the administration of federal safety net programs,” Fudge said. “But when it comes to putting that rhetoric into practice for SNAP, they want something very different.”

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, a Democrat, was among those testifying for the need to maintain the program.

“If the broad-based categorical eligibility were to be eliminated, it would have a profound impact on the health and well-being of children in Wisconsin,” Barnes told the subcommittee. “Roughly 24,000 children in the state would lose access to nutritious food under the proposed rule change. That’s 41% of those who qualify for SNAP under broad-based categorical eligibility.”

Fudge cited a Congressional Budget Office estimate that eliminating the “broad-based” policy would result in 400,000 fewer people eligible for food stamps.

Johnson referenced an Agriculture Department report that estimated most food stamp income-eligible homes have financial resources that exceed the federal limit of $20,000 in assets. One in five had more than $100,000 in assets, while tens of thousands had more than $1 million in assets, the South Dakota Republican said.

A Congressional Research Service report from January said eliminating broad-based categorical eligibility would save roughly $12 billion over the next decade.

With regard to fraud, a separate Congressional Research Service report last year found 11% of food stamp overpayments resulted from fraud. However, it found just 5% of food stamp recipients were overpaid.

However, a Government Accountability Office report from 2012 “found that a greater percentage of SNAP households eligible under broad-based categorical eligibility that had incomes over the federal limits had errors than other households (17.2 percent compared to 6.7 percent) in fiscal year 2010.” It warned that fraud could rise.

Undersander told The Daily Signal he’s glad he didn’t testify because of the criticism he thinks would have been leveled against him. Still, he would have preferred the chance to tell a fuller story.

“I wish I could have told the committee I never told anyone in the county something that wasn’t true,” Undersander said. “I wasn’t trying to become famous.”



Gallup: Americans Radically Overestimate LGBT Population

Although U.S. adults think LGBT persons make up nearly 24% of the U.S. population, this is a dramatic overestimation, according to Gallup, which asserts that the LGBT population is in reality closer to 4.5%. Gallup also reports that the percentage of Americans identifying as LGBT is most prevelant among millenials.

In its survey, Gallup asked, "Just your best guess, what percent of Americans today would you say are gay or lesbian?"

From the respondents' answers, the average was 23.6%. In other words, American adults think LGBT people make up nearly 24% of the population, which is more than 5 times the real percentage of 4.5%.

"[A]ll available estimates of the actual gay and lesbian population in the U.S. are far lower than what the public estimates," said Gallup, "and no measurement procedure has produced any figures suggesting that more than one out of five Americans are gay or lesbian."

"Overestimations of the nation's gay population may in part be due to the group's outsized visibility," said the survey firm. "An annual report by GLAAD, an LGBT advocacy group, found that representation of LGBT people as television series regulars on broadcast primetime scripted programming reached an all-time high of 8.8% in the 2018-2019 television season, which is nearly twice Gallup's estimate of the actual population."

Gallup added that it has "seen the percentage of self-identifying LGBT people grow among millennials, who are making up an increasing share of the U.S. adult population. It is, therefore, possible that Americans' perceptions of the gay population may be influenced by the greater representation they see among young people.

"This also likely explains why younger adults produce higher estimations, as LGBT self-identifiers make up a larger share of their peers than is the case for older Americans."



Cuccinelli: 'The Liars Are Getting in the Way of...True Asylum Seekers'

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said the nation has a backlog of more than 300,000 asylum cases, as more and more people flood into this country, expecting to stay.

"We're doing everything we can to knock that backlog down," Cuccinelli told "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo. "But until Congress fixes the loopholes, meaning gets rid of them...we are not going to see an end to this crisis."

Cuccinelli said many people are coming here for economic reasons -- they want a job, but that is not a valid reason to grant asylum.

"Well, overwhelmingly, they just want opportunity. Plenty of them are lying and saying they want asylum and trying to make up cases for asylum. It is our job to filter through those...and vet those cases to find only the true ones.

"And what's happening here is, the liars are getting in the way of America's historic and continuing merciful approach to true asylum seekers...The whole system is clogged, including for the good ones." "They are jumping the line," Cuccinelli said.

Cuccinelli just returned from the border, where he saw Border Patrol agents doing what he called a "phenomenal" job, despite the overcrowding pressures.

"I mean, you think about the logistics of screening these people who come across uncontrolled into our country. You have medical screening. They've got to be held.

"And, remember, the Border Patrol was designed and their facilities were designed basically to intercept, capture, process and return adult Mexican males. And they can do that in hours, literally in hours."

But Cuccinelli noted that the rules are different for Central Americans and for people claiming to be families. Those people cannot be immediately returned to their home countries until their cases are heard.

At last week's second Democrat debate, every one of the ten candidates raised their hands when they were asked if they would provide health coverage for illegal aliens.

"And it's those incentives that are the problem here that Congress refuses to fix," Cuccinelli said. "We can't just issue memos, like President Obama did. Courts strike those down when President Trump does it. And they defend the memos of President Obama, even when they were illegal, even acknowledged to be by the president, meaning President Obama himself, like DACA. So we don't have these options.

"Congress has to fix these loopholes. And that means closing them."



The True Story of Two Dead Migrants

“Photo of drowned migrants triggers fight over Trump asylum clampdown.” That’s how Reuters headlined the fallout following this week’s revelation that two Salvadorans, a father and his two-year-old child, failed in their attempt to traverse the Rio Grande. The photo is unequivocally heartbreaking. It’s the kind of picture that makes one sick to his stomach. But like most things in life, emotional incidents without proper context inevitably result in irrational knee-jerk reactions.

According to The Daily Mail, the family’s journey began on April 3, when they departed El Salvador. For the next two months, the family — which was seeking asylum in the U.S. — was lodged in a migrant camp in southern Mexico. Restless and intent on engineering a more expeditious asylum process, they jumped onto a bus that took them to the U.S. border this past weekend. “When they arrived, the consulate was closed but they also learned they were far down a list of hundreds of migrants in line for interviews,” the Mail reports. “They decided to make the crossing illegally rather than wait — a decision that led to their deaths.”

Bad choices have consequences. Furthermore, as The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh observes, “This was not a family turned coldly away as it fled violence and oppression. They were not turned away at all. They simply grew impatient waiting for the bureaucratic wheels to turn. Indeed, family members confirm that the family was not being persecuted in its home country.”

Which gets us to the other half of the story. The Mail goes on to reveal that the father had been employed at Papa John’s Pizza. Granted, his income of $350 per month was paltry, but seeking entry based on low or insufficient income, as Walsh explains, “isn’t how the asylum program is traditionally meant to be used.”

Yet Democrats are hell-bent on hanging the incident around President Donald Trump’s neck. Sen. Bernie Sanders bellowed, “Trump’s policy of making it harder and harder to seek asylum — and separating families who do — is cruel, inhumane and leads to tragedies like this.” And according to NBC News, presidential candidate Julian Castro “pointed to the Trump administration’s metering policy as what ‘prompted’ the father and daughter who were found dead Monday to cross the Rio Grande illegally.” (Side note: An NBC “fact check” absurdly labeled this assertion as “true.”)

Actually, to Sanders’s point, other countries’ failure to enforce their own borders is what leads to tragedies like this. And to Castro’s point, Democrats are prompting this behavior — both with open-borders advocacy and legislative malfeasance. As Trump put it, “If they fixed the laws you wouldn’t have that. People are coming up, they’re running through the Rio Grande. They can change it very easily so people don’t come up, and people won’t get killed.”

But that would mean losing an important narrative leading up to the 2020 elections. Can’t have that.

Part of the Democrat effort to push Trump out of the Oval Office and to take over both chambers of Congress is to suggest that “Republicans don’t care about kids.” They point to this week’s photo of two drowned people as proof. Yet it’s Democrats who won’t budge on fixing the laws. And that’s to say nothing of the people who really don’t care about kids — the ones trafficking them. The Department of Homeland Security has so far flagged 316 fraudulent families. Sadly, our lawmakers have also perpetuated this fraud.



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 July, 2019

The peacemaker

Can you imagine Hillary doing anything like this?

President Trump made history on Sunday by crossing into North Korea as part of a meeting with Kim Jong Un in which he and the North Korean leader agreed to restart stalled nuclear talks.

Trump and Kim shook hands across a concrete slab forming the line between to the two nations at the Demilitarized Zone, according to a reporter traveling with the president.

“Good to see again,” Kim said, according to a translator. He added he would have “never expected” Trump “at this place.”

Trump then became the first sitting U.S. president to step into North Korea. “Good progress, good progress,” Trump said as he and Kim crossed back into South Korea.

“Stepping across that line was a great honor,” Trump said, adding that he would invite Kim to visit the White House. “I think it’s historic, it’s a great day for the world.”

Trump and Kim then met for approximately 45 minutes at the Freedom House on the South Korean side of the DMZ, where the North Korean leader said he was “willing to put an end to the unfortunate past.”

Kim credited the “excellent relations between the two of us” for the development.

“You hear the power of that voice” Trump said, adding that the North Korean leader “doesn’t do news conferences.” “Thus is a historic moment, the fact that we’re meeting,” he added.

Trump later told U.S. troops at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea that he noticed that “many people … from Korea were literally in tears” when he crossed the DMZ.



Democrat Candidates Agree: Taxpayers Will Cover Health Care For All Who Break Into The United States

Paving the Way for Trump Victory

Whereas Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg called coverage for illegal immigrants an “insurance program” and “not a hand out,” Clinton said in 1993—well before the most recent waves of migration—that “we do not want to do anything to encourage more illegal immigration into this country. We know now that too many people come in for medical care, as it is. We certainly don’t want them having the same benefits that American citizens are entitled to have.”

Likewise, whereas Joe Biden said “you cannot let people who are sick, no matter where they come from, no matter what their status, go uncovered,” the president whom he worked for promised the American people that “the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.” Granted, the promise had a major catch to it—Obamacare verifies citizenship but not identity, allowing people here illegally to obtain benefits using fraudulent documents—but at least he felt the need to make the pledge in the first place. No longer.

Ironically enough, even as all Democrats supported giving coverage to illegally present foreigners, the candidates seemed less united on whether, how, and from whom to take health insurance away from U.S. citizens. Only Sens. Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders said they supported abolishing private health insurance, as Sanders’ single-payer bill would do (and as Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged on Wednesday evening). For Harris, it represents a return to her position of January, after fudging the issue in a follow-up interview with CNN last month.

As usual, Sanders made typically hyperbolic—and false—claims about his plan. He said that his bill would make health care a human right, even though it does no such thing. In truth, the legislation guarantees that individuals would have their bills paid for—but only if they can find a doctor or hospital willing to treat them.

While Sanders pledged that under his bill, individuals could go to whatever doctor or hospital they wished, such a promise has two main flaws. First, his bill does not—and arguably, the federal government cannot—force a given doctor to treat a given patient. Second, given the reimbursement reductions likely under single payer, many doctors could decide to leave the profession altogether.

Sanders’ home state provided a reality check during the debate. Candidates critical of single payer noted that Vermont had to abandon its dream of socialized medicine in 2014, when the tax increases needed to fund such a program proved too overwhelming.



Who will foot the bill for all the spending Democrats have proposed? Take a guess

In dueling campaign rallies, former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump made their argument to voters in Iowa. Biden joined his Democratic opponents in calling for higher capital gains taxes to pay for his pet programs.

Democrats are racing to the left in a desperate attempt to mollify their radicalized base. Almost every 2020 Democratic presidential candidate is abandoning capitalism.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who has said she is a "capitalist to my bones," sings the same chorus with her massive wealth tax plan. Her campaign estimates that it would cost the American people $3 trillion over 10 years.

Taxing the rich is never the answer, and it’s proven to bring in far less revenue than one may optimistically estimate due to many factors.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., introduced a bill earlier this year called "For the 99.8 Percent." This legislation would heavily tax the 0.2 percent of the country by taxing the estates of those who inherit more than $3.5 million. This would eliminate the ability to pass hard-earned companies, such as family farms, down to new generations.

Despite the left’s best efforts, the Trump economic plan keep fueling the incredible growing economy we’re currently experiencing in the United States.  For the large field of Democratic candidates, that's a big problem. Not one can deny Trump’s "America first" economic policies are working.

We have seen Democratic candidates across the board rail against Trump’s tax cuts in a completely falsified messaging campaign. They want to implement more taxes instead. A gas tax, a carbon tax, a wealth tax, higher capital gains tax, carried-interest capital gains, you name it, they will raise it! But despite the left’s best efforts, the Trump economic plan keep fueling the incredible growing economy we’re currently experiencing in the United States.

For the large field of Democratic candidates, that's a big problem. Not one can deny Trump’s "America first" economic policies are working.

American workers are seeing their wages increase at a rate not seen in more than a decade. The New York Times earlier this month even ran a column, the headline of which reads “Why Wages Are Finally Rising, 10 Years After the Recession.”If our nation wants to remain the economic powerhouse it has become in recent years, it is imperative that policy proposals which would stunt domestic growth remain on the cutting-room floor.

A higher gas tax? No! Motor fuel is one of the most taxed goods in America. A higher gas tax would hurt working Americans and increase the cost of goods. Some estimates suggest that raising the gas tax by even 1 percent takes a whopping $1 billion out hardworking families' pockets. Raising the gas tax simply doesn’t solve the real problem, but lowering it does.

A higher carbon tax? No! What Americans don’t know is that carbon taxes hit consumers hard almost everywhere imaginable — grocery stores, shopping centers, you name it. And if we want to get to the root of our world’s pollution problems, let’s start with China, which emits more carbon dioxide than America and the European Union combined.

A wealth tax? No! This is not only a radical idea but a terrible one no matter how you slice it. It would wreak havoc on our healthy economy. Taxing the wealthy even more than we already do would drain resources that go toward the entrepreneurs who create startups and small businesses.

Higher capital gains taxes? No! Taxing long-term investment would be a blow to thousands of good-paying jobs. This would hurt our local communities and job creators the most. Why would we want to punish entrepreneurs who risk everything to start small businesses on "main street" and bring new jobs to our neighborhoods?

Higher taxes are never the solution. Trump’s economy is doing better than ever thanks to the tax reform he signed into law in December 2017. The unemployment rate is at the lowest level in over 50 years, wages are at a 10-year high, and over four million jobs have been created since Trump took office.

When we lower taxes, Americans are better off because they keep more of their hard-earned income instead of letting the fiscally reckless government dictate where it is spent.



‘He Is The Enemy Of Every Entrepreneur’ — Home Depot Founders Blast Socialism, Issue Dire Warning For Bernie Supporters

Home Depot founders Bernie Marcus and Ken Langone had strong words for socialism and the politicians who espouse it, particularly 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, during a Monday interview with Fox News host Neil Cavuto.

The wide-ranging interview with the billionaire businessmen included topics like trade, the company’s history and philosophy, and even tax policy, but Cavuto hit a “red flag” for Marcus when he brought up the topic of Sanders and his socialist campaign proposals.

“He is the enemy of every entrepreneur that’s ever going to be born in this country and has been born in the past,” Marcus said.

“If he became president, what would you guys do?” Cavuto asked.

“Probably move to Australia,” the Home Depot founder responded, laughing. “Well what could he do? I mean he can’t do anything to us. He’s going to affect my grandchildren.”

Marcus then contrasted Sanders and his socialized medicine proposals with work his foundation is doing with war veterans:

And let me just bring up one thing, Bernie Sanders talks about socialized medicine. My foundation now is working on one issue and that is taking care of these veterans, kids who’ve fought in Afghanistan, Iraq. You know that 20 a day commit suicide, 20 every single day. What is Bernie Sanders doing about that? Why doesn’t he shut his mouth and do something about these kids? They go to the Veterans Administration, they can’t take care of it.

The proof in the pudding is 20 a day are committing suicide. If it was measles, the CDC – the world will be in an uproar. But it’s the kids that put their lives on the line that are treated so badly, I didn’t hear one single candidate talk about it.

By the way, Trump is fully supportive of this and you know he’s done some things, they could fire people that have done the wrong thing at the Veterans Administration. The Veterans Administration is what medical care is going to be like in the United States if Bernie Sanders is elected president.

Cavuto thought he was going to switch the subject to something else, but Langone wasn’t finished with the topic of Sanders.

“I don’t know, but let me go back to Bernie Sanders for a minute,” said Langone. “Believe it or not, Chavez in Venezuela came to power through a democratic process. If the people in America today, the fellows out here with the hard hats on, if they want to know what the future holds for them, and they follow Bernie Sanders, go to Cuba, go to Venezuela, go to Russia, go to eastern Europe. Guess what? It doesn’t work. It never works.

“The average Venezuelan last year lost 34 pounds. There is no food out there,” he added

Earlier in the interview, Marcus responded to a question about higher taxes by joking that people who want them “trust the government” more than he does. He then pointed to the billions his own foundation has given away.

“Look we do better with our money than the government,” he said. “Why would I want the government to have it? Anything they touch …”


Sean Hannity: Trump Is 'Not Going to Start a War with Boots on the Ground' in Iran

On his nationally syndicated radio talk show “The Sean Hannity Show” on Monday, host Sean Hannity suggested that President Trump is “not going to start a war with boots on the ground.”

“He's not going to start a war with boots on the ground,” stated Sean Hannity. “So, whatever he decides militarily is going to be devastating to Iran.”

Sean Hannity's comments came after a tense week between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. President Trump used an executive order to introduce new sanctions targeting the Iranian regime as a reaction to Iran shooting down an American drone.

Here is a transcript of Sean Hannity’s remarks from his show on June 24:

“So people want to just— There’s nothing Donald Trump can ever do that’s ever going to be right in the eyes of those people that have decided they hate him. There’s nothing. They cured cancer, gave everybody ten million dollars, it’s not gonna matter. So the president, you know, the media is saying, ‘Oh, no. Donald Trump is going to get us … it’s World War III starting.’ No, no it’s not.

“I do believe Donald Trump absolutely is standing back, he's watching, he's negotiating, and he's doing things that we don't know, and he will do it in his time. And if you doubt he has the ability and willingness to do what's necessary to obliterate Iran than you don't know Donald Trump.

“But now, he is acting, and what he's done is we have struck Iranian military computers hard, apparently, over the weekend. He's now put sanctions on the Ayatollah himself The president is being prudent. We have the ability to be more prudent than ever before in any Middle Eastern entanglement because of his decision to make us energy independent, which every other President before could have but never did.

“And it to me— And if he does— He's not going to start a war with boots on the ground. So, whatever he decides militarily is going to be devastating to Iran.

“I think we eventually, one day, as hard as it is, considering the, how big the Iranian landmass is and the location of their nuclear reactors, I think there's going have to be a partnership to take all those facilities out, and that's a very difficult military operation."



Twitter Blue Checks Celebrate After Chicago Restaurant Employee Spits On Eric Trump

U.S. Secret Service took an employee of a Chicago restaurant into custody Tuesday evening after she spit on President Donald Trump’s son Eric Trump.

“It was purely a disgusting act by somebody who clearly has emotional problems,” Eric Trump told Breitbart News when reached by phone late Tuesday evening. “For a party that preaches tolerance, this once again demonstrates they have very little civility. When somebody is sick enough to resort to spitting on someone, it just emphasizes a sickness and desperation and the fact that we’re winning.”

According to Breitbart News, Eric Trump declined to press charges and the woman was released, which will now make her a 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)


1 July, 2019

If Trump is Hitler, then Obama was Hitler too

Why is Trump’s treatment of migrants ‘fascism’ but Obama’s wasn’t?

Under the Obama administration, hundreds of migrants died every year at the Mexican-US border. Thousands were detained in camps. Children were detained in those camps, too. The average daily population of these detention centres was between 30,000 and 40,000. Children were often the first to be cast out of the country – as one report put it, the border authorities moved unaccompanied children to ‘the head of the line’ for deportation. More undocumented migrants were deported by the Obama administration than by any previous administration. One critic called Obama ‘the most stringent enforcer of immigration laws in American history’.

So, was Barack Obama Hitler? Was that fascism?

To see the double standards, the hypocrisy, the staggering lack of principle in contemporary radical politics, look no further than the discussion of the immigration crisis in the US. As a result of his immigration policies, President Trump is being branded fascistic, the architect of ‘concentration camps’, someone who has, in the words of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, failed to heed the message of ‘Never Again’ – that is, he’s doing something eerily and dreadfully similar to what the Nazis did in the 1930s.

And yet Obama did all these things too. Where were those people back then? They were on their comfortable college campuses or in their swanky New York or London bars, and the 47,000 minors apprehended by the US authorities as they crossed the border in the US in the first eight months of 2014 alone – some of whom were as young as three – never crossed their minds.

Or if they did cross their minds, perhaps fleetingly stirring their dormant morality as they perused their New York Times over a Shake Shack lunch, they didn’t call it fascism. They didn’t compare Obama to Hitler. They didn’t say, ‘This is like the 1930s’. AOC didn’t trek to the processing centres in which children were being crammed into cells and were sleeping under rough blankets and allow a photographer to capture her weeping, as she did with Trump’s detention centres last year. Those painfully staged photos, these much-tweeted, much-cheered displays of hollow virtue, have been shared widely today. And yet they raise an embarrassing and pressing question, not only for AOC but for all of those horrified by Trump’s apparently Hitlerian treatment of migrants – where were your tears when Obama did this?

A horrible photo of a man and his daughter who drowned while crossing the Rio Grande between Mexico and the US has been widely published today. It’s on the front page of the London Evening Standard, which refers to the image as ‘The picture that shames America’. It is held up as proof of Trump’s wickedness. But again that question rises up – why are you more horrified by this death than you were by the thousands of migrant deaths under Obama?

Migrant deaths just over the border in the US have been rising since the mid-1990s and especially during the Obama administration. So in 1996, there were at least 87 deaths of migrants within the US border. In 2012, the year Obama was re-elected, to the whoops and cheers of liberals across the West, there were at least 463. In total, 7,216 people died crossing the US-Mexico border between 1998 and 2017. Where were the frontpage headlines? Why weren’t there massive marches when Obama visited London? Why was there no talk of ‘America’s shame’ or ‘America’s concentration camps’?

The answer to this question is as straightforward as it is disturbing. It’s because the current discussion isn’t really driven by a concern for migrants. Rather, it is driven by an exhausted left’s urge to find an issue on which it might successfully harm its political opponents and, even more importantly, demonstrate its own presumed virtue. The thoroughness with which contemporary radicals reduce every issue to an opportunity for political point-scoring and virtuous public preening is summed up in their sudden, cynical discovery that bad things happen on the Mexico-US border.

Numerous questions are thrown up by the Mexico-US border problem. A key one, which very few of Trump’s critics want to address, is the issue of national sovereignty. Surely it is the right of a nation to determine who may enter the country and how they may do so? The contemporary cult of erasing borders, promoted by everyone from Brussels suits to the supposedly liberal chattering classes, can be seen as an attempt to undermine the idea of the nation itself, and the thing that the nation embodies: the right of a people democratically to determine their country’s affairs and policies, including on immigration.

And a broader question is raised by all this; a question about the state of Western politics in general. Principle and morality seem to have disappeared. Instead, everything is reduced to a shallow Culture War game of moralistic oneupmanship. This is where those AOC photos become important. The way in which, today, this has been turned into a story about her, and about how virtuous she is, is actually grotesque. The narcissism is staggering. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that for her and many other Trump-haters, those detained migrants are little more than props in their own moral drama about themselves and their virtue and decency.

All the time these days, serious political issues – in this case, the issues of borders, democracy and how we treat migrants – are reduced to shallow, soapbox-style opportunities for observers to hysterically denounce politicians they hate and to narcissistically display their own presumed goodness.



China And U.S. Agree To Restart Trade Talks Following Trump, Xi Meeting

President Trump agreed to restart trade negotiations with China on Saturday after meeting with the country’s leader, Xi Jinping, during a Group of 20 summit in Japan.

The Hill reports,

Trump said during a news conference Saturday afternoon that he would scale back restrictions on Chinese telecom giant Huawei and delay slapping new tariffs on Chinese goods as talks resume between the two countries.

“U.S. companies can sell their equipment to Huawei,” Trump said, explaining that the move was aimed at helping American tech companies that had complained about the ban. The company is on an “entity list” that essentially bars it from buying components from American firms without approval from the U.S. government.

Trump said China, in turn, had agreed to resume large purchases of American farm products and other goods from U.S. companies, though he did not offer further details.

The Trump administration will keep in place the 25 percent tariffs previously levied on roughly half of China’s annual exports to the U.S., according to The New York Times.

The major concessions came after the two economic giants had been locked in an escalating trade war for more than a month, hitting the other with sanctions on billions of dollars worth of goods. Talks came to a standstill in May in the lead-up to the G-20 in Japan.

The Trump administration had insisted that any trade deal with China must address intellectual property theft protections, enforcement mechanisms, tariffs and other barriers to commerce.

Trump struck a cautiously optimistic note late Friday on the prospects of reaching such an agreement with Xi.

“I actually think that we were very close and then we — something happened where it slipped a little bit and now we’re getting a little bit closer,” the president said as he sat down with Xi for a highly anticipated meeting at the G-20 summit.

All eyes had been on the outcome of the Trump-Xi sit-down, given the potential ripple effects for the world economy. Trump previously threatened to implement tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods if the talks did not yield progress.



David Limbaugh: Making America Great – for All Americans

I know I'm not the only Trump supporter who is tired of progressives maliciously accusing President Trump and his supporters of racism. They've used the slander against conservatives for years, and it has only intensified in the Trump era.

Of all their other nasty smears, they get the most mileage with the race card, so it's unlikely they'll do the right thing and abandon it. They probably wouldn't stand a chance in presidential elections if they were to do so, as they depend on some 90 percent of the African American vote, which they seek to maintain by constantly stirring agitation.

They didn't need Trump as their ideal bogeyman on race, but caricaturing the GOP's leader sure doesn't hurt in perpetuating the fiction. For them Trump is an equal opportunity scoundrel — he's bad in every category, so it's not a great leap to tar him as a racial bigot. His signature issue, immigration, just fell into their lap. Why else would he be such a border hawk if not for his racism? Please don't get me started on this outrage again. Just pray to God that the thrust of their message — that you can't support American sovereignty unless you're a racist — doesn't prevail, or the country truly is finished.

As I've noted before, I'm not sure what percentage of progressives actually swallow this bilge versus those who push it for political gain. But they are pushing it, and it has caused great damage. Many rank-and-file leftists claim they feel threatened in the presence of MAGA hat-wearing citizens. Some writers have likened them to an unsophisticated version of Klansmen because Klansmen had the sense to wear hoods to conceal their identity.

Tolerant leftists believe that Trump supporters provoke them simply by evidencing their support for Trump, because they can't possibly support him without being racists, sexists and homophobes. They wear the hats not to signify their support but as an in-your-face symbol of their unapologetic bigotry.

Can you fathom how sick this is? How out of phase with reality? But it's apparently real to progressives, or they want you to believe it is.

On Tuesday's "Morning Joe," MSNBC's Joy Reid talked about her new book, "The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story."

Co-anchor Willie Geist asked her, "As you write about in the book, the people who heard the phrase 'Make America Great Again,' it meant to them an America that appeared to be slipping away was going to be reclaimed by this man, and their lives would return to what they were. I'm interested in the other side of it. What do you hear when you hear 'Make America Great Again'?"

Reid's response illustrates the extent to which progressives are promoting this delusional malice. "I hear exactly that," said Reid. "I hear make America a country that, in the 1950s, meant white Christian men had dominion over everyone else. That's exactly what it means when I hear it. It's George Wallace. He's just Republican George Wallace, and that message has been resonant and has actually been potent for a very long time. David Duke used that message when he ran for governor of Louisiana; George Wallace obviously used it and — he had a pretty good chunk of the — at the time, the Democratic Party. Richard Nixon used it. It's a common message because you just do have a certain quarter, maybe a third of the country, that does not like the idea that we're becoming a more multiracial society where women have a lot of asserted rights and where they're not on top."

There we have it again: If you are bullish on America, you are advertising your bigotry. Under this standard, at least leftists don't have to fear they'll be accused of bigotry.

When you couple this nonsense with old white guys like Joe Biden — Democratic presidential front-runner, no less — saying Republicans want to put black people back into chains, and tons of other abominable slanders, what are African Americans supposed to think about us?

Well, many progressives don't want them to see the truth: that they have been stoking the flames of racial disharmony to obscure the reality that Republicans, conservatives and other Trump supporters believe in the equal dignity of all human beings, and that the Christians among them — probably the vast majority — believe this is true because we are all made in God's image.

The proof is in the pudding. Trump's economic policies — lower taxes and regulations — have generated explosive growth benefitting most Americans, including minorities, who are prospering and getting back to work at unprecedented numbers.

I realize that experts say you give credence to false allegations when you dignify them with a response, but I'll take my chances, because silence can sometimes be the elephant in the room.

So let's proclaim the message that we do indeed seek to restore and amplify America's greatness for the benefit of all Americans directly — and the world, derivatively. God bless America.



Sen. Collins: Trump Has a Duty to Enforce Immigration Law, U.S. Needs ‘Stronger Border Security’

Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) said President Donald Trump has a “constitutional duty” to enforce immigration laws and added that America has a “crisis” at the border and needs “to have stronger border security.”

At the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, CNSNews.com asked Sen. Collins, “Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution says the president ‘shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.’ Does the president have a constitutional duty to enforce the immigration laws?”

Senator Collins said,  “The president has a constitutional duty to enforce all duly passed laws by the Congress.”

CNSNews.com then asked, “Should the president deport aliens who are in the United States illegally?”

The senator did not answer the question directly but said, “We have a crisis and we need to have stronger border security. But we also cannot ignore the very serious humanitarian needs that are affecting children who have come to this country through no choice of their own.”

A 2018 study conducted by researchers at Yale University and MIT estimated the illegal immigrant population in the United States to be 22.1 million.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimated in 2017 that “the total cost of illegal immigration for the United States – at the federal, state, and local levels – was approximately $116 billion.”

Many Americans have been killed by illegal aliens. FAIR provides details on these cases here and videos here.



De Blasio: 'There's Plenty of Money in This Country, It's Just in the Wrong Hands'

It's mostly in the hands of those who earned it. Those are the RIGHT hands

The topic of "income inequality" arose at Wednesday's Democrat debate, with various candidates explaining how they would address it.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke not only for himself, but for the Democrat Party in general: "There is plenty of money in this world, and there's plenty of money in this country, it's just in the wrong hands. Democrats have to fix that," he said.

De Blasio also embraced a 70 percent tax rate on wealthy people, although he did not define the term "wealthy."

Here is his full answer to the question, "How would you address income inequality?"

Well, we've been addressing income inequality in New York City by raising wages, by raising benefits, by putting money back in the hands of working people -- $15 minimum wage, paid sick days, pre-k for all, things that are making a huge difference in working people's lives.

But let me tell you, what we're hearing in the first round of questions is that battle for the heart and soul of our party. I want to make it clear. This is supposed to be the party of working people.

Yes, we are supposed to be for 70% tax rate on the wealthy; yes, we're supposed to be for free college, free public college, for our young people. We are supposed to break up big corporations when they're not serving our democracy. This Democratic Party has to be strong and bold and progressive.

And in New York, we've proven that we can do something very different, we can put money back in the hands of working people.

And let me tell you, every time you talk about investing in people and their communities, you hear folks say there's not enough money -- what I say to them every single time is, there's plenty of money in this world, there's plenty of money in this country, it's just in the wrong hands. We Democrats have to fix that.



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

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


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Social justice is injustice. What is just about taking money off people who have earned it and giving it to people who have not earned it? You can call it many things but justice it is not

But it is the aim of all Leftist governments to take money off people who have earned it and give it to people who have not earned it

At the most basic (psychological) level, conservatives are the contented people and Leftists are the discontented people. Conservatives don't think the world is perfect but they can happily live with it. And both those attitudes are largely dispositional, inborn -- which is why they so rarely change

As a good academic, I 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. 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

The fundamental aim of Leftist policy in a democracy is to deliver dismay and disruption into the lives other people -- whom they regard as "complacent" -- and they are good at achieving that.

As usual, however, it is actually they who are complacent, with a conviction of the rightness and virtue of their own beliefs that merges into arrogance. They regard anyone who disagrees with them with contempt.

Leftists are wolves in sheep's clothing

Liberals are people who don't believe in liberty

Because they claim to have all the answers to society's ills, Communists often seem "cool" to young people

German has a word that describes most Leftists well: "Scheinheilig" - A person who appears to be very kind, soft natured, and filled with pure goodness but behind the facade, has a vile nature. He is seemingly holy but is an unscrupulous person on the inside.

The new faith is very oppressive: Leftist orthodoxy is the new dominant religion of the Western world and it is every bit as bigoted and oppressive as Christianity was at its worst

There are two varieties of authoritarian Leftism. Fascists are soft Leftists, preaching one big happy family -- "Better together" in other words. Communists are hard Leftists, preaching class war.

Equality: The nonsensical and incoherent claim that underlies so much Leftist discourse is "all men are equal". And that is the envier's gospel. It makes not a scrap of sense and shows no contact with reality but it is something that enviers resort to as a way of soothing their envious feelings. They deny the very differences that give them so much heartburn. "Denial" was long ago identified by Freud as a maladaptive psychological defence mechanism and "All men are equal" is a prize example of that. Whatever one thinks of his theories, Freud was undoubtedly an acute observer of people and very few psychologists today would doubt the maladaptive nature of denial as described by Freud.

Socialism is the most evil malady ever to afflict the human brain. The death toll in WWII alone tells you that

American conservatives have to struggle to hold their country together against Leftist attempts to destroy it. Maduro's Venezuela is a graphic example of how extremely destructive socialism in government can be

The standard response from Marxist apologists for Stalin and other Communist dictators is to say you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. To which Orwell retorted, ‘Where’s the omelette?’

You do still occasionally see some mention of the old idea that Leftist parties represent the worker. In the case of the U.S. Democrats that is long gone. Now they want to REFORM the worker. No wonder most working class Americans these days vote Republican. Democrats are the party of the minorities and the smug

"The tendency of liberals is to create bodies of men and women — of all classes — detached from tradition, alienated from religion, and susceptible to mass suggestion — mob rule. And a mob will be no less a mob if it is well fed, well clothed, well housed, and well disciplined." —T.S. Eliot

We live in a country where the people own the Government and not in a country where the Government owns the people -- Churchill

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others" -- Cicero. See here

The Left have a lot in common with tortoises. They have a thick mental shell that protects them from the reality of the world about them

Definition of a Socialist: Someone who wants everything you have...except your job.

ABOUT: Postings here 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

Let's now have 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.

'Gay Pride' parades: You know you live in a great country when "oppressed" people have big, colorful parades.

A favorite Leftist saying sums up the whole of Leftism: "To make an omelette, you've got to break eggs". They want to change some state of affairs and don't care who or what they destroy or damage in the process. They think their alleged good intentions are sufficient to absolve them from all blame for even the most evil deeds

In practical politics, the art of Leftism is to sound good while proposing something destructive

Leftists are the "we know best" people, meaning that they are intrinsically arrogant. Matthew chapter 6 would not be for them. And arrogance leads directly into authoritarianism

Leftism is fundamentally authoritarian. Whether by revolution or by legislation, Leftists aim to change what people can and must do. When in 2008 Obama said that he wanted to "fundamentally transform" America, he was not talking about America's geography or topography but rather about American people. He wanted them to stop doing things that they wanted to do and make them do things that they did not want to do. Can you get a better definition of authoritarianism than that?

And note that an American President is elected to administer the law, not make it. That seems to have escaped Mr Obama

That Leftism is intrinsically authoritarian is not a new insight. It was well understood by none other than Friedrich Engels (Yes. THAT Engels). His clever short essay On authority was written as a reproof to the dreamy Anarchist Left of his day. It concludes: "A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon — authoritarian means"

Inside Every Liberal is a Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out

Insight: "A man's admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him." —Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

Leftists think of themselves as the new nobility

Many people in literary and academic circles today who once supported Stalin and his heirs are generally held blameless and may even still be admired whereas anybody who gave the slightest hint of support for the similarly brutal Hitler regime is an utter polecat and pariah. Why? Because Hitler's enemies were "only" the Jews whereas Stalin's enemies were those the modern day Left still hates -- people who are doing well for themselves materially. Modern day Leftists understand and excuse Stalin and his supporters because Stalin's hates are their hates.

"Those who see hate everywhere think they're looking thru a window when actually they're looking at a mirror"

Hatred has long been a central pillar of leftist ideologies, premised as they are on trampling individual rights for the sake of a collectivist plan. Karl Marx boasted that he was “the greatest hater of the so-called positive.” In 1923, V.I. Lenin chillingly declared to the Soviet Commissars of Education, “We must teach our children to hate. Hatred is the basis of communism.” In his tract “Left-Wing Communism,” Lenin went so far as to assert that hatred was “the basis of every socialist and Communist movement.”

If you understand that Leftism is hate, everything falls into place.

The strongest way of influencing people is to convince them that you will do them some good. Leftists and con-men misuse that

Leftists believe only what they want to believe. So presenting evidence contradicting their beliefs simply enrages them. They do not learn from it

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves.

Leftists who think that they can conjure up paradise out of their own limited brains are simply fools -- arrogant and dangerous fools. They essentially know nothing. Conservatives learn from the thousands of years of human brains that have preceded us -- including the Bible, the ancient Greeks and much else. The death of Socrates is, for instance, an amazing prefiguration of the intolerant 21st century. Ask any conservative stranded in academe about his freedom of speech

Thomas Sowell: “There are no solutions, only trade-offs.” Leftists don't understand that -- which is a major factor behind their simplistic thinking. They just never see the trade-offs. But implementing any Leftist idea will hit us all with the trade-offs

Chesteron's fence -- good conservative thinking

"The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley"[go oft astray] is a well known line from a famous poem by the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns. But the next line is even wiser: "And leave us nought but grief and pain for promised joy". Burns was a Leftist of sorts so he knew how often their theories fail badly.

Mostly, luck happens when opportunity meets preparation.

Most Leftist claims are simply propaganda. Those who utter such claims must know that they are not telling the whole story. Hitler described his Marxist adversaries as "lying with a virtuosity that would bend iron beams". At the risk of ad hominem shrieks, I think that image is too good to remain disused.

Conservatives adapt to the world they live in. Leftists want to change the world to suit themselves

Given their dislike of the world they live in, it would be a surprise if Leftists were patriotic and loved their own people. Prominent English Leftist politician Jack Straw probably said it best: "The English as a race are not worth saving"

In his 1888 book, The Anti-Christ Friedrich Nietzsche argues that we should treat the common man well and kindly because he is the backdrop against which the exceptional man can be seen. So Nietzsche deplores those who agitate the common man: "Whom do I hate most among the rabble of today? The socialist rabble, the chandala [outcast] apostles, who undermine the instinct, the pleasure, the worker's sense of satisfaction with his small existence—who make him envious, who teach him revenge. The source of wrong is never unequal rights but the claim of “equal” rights"

Why do conservatives respect tradition and rely on the past in many ways? Because they want to know what works and the past is the chief source of evidence on that. Leftists are more faith-based. They cling to their theories (e.g. global warming) with religious fervour, even though theories are often wrong

Thinking that you "know best" is an intrinsically precarious and foolish stance -- because nobody does. Reality is so complex and unpredictable that it can rarely be predicted far ahead. Conservatives can see that and that is why conservatives always want change to be done gradually, in a step by step way. So the Leftist often finds the things he "knows" to be out of step with reality, which challenges him and his ego. Sadly, rather than abandoning the things he "knows", he usually resorts to psychological defence mechanisms such as denial and projection. He is largely impervious to argument because he has to be. He can't afford to let reality in.

A prize example of the Leftist tendency to projection (seeing your own faults in others) is the absurd Robert "Bob" Altemeyer, an acclaimed psychologist and father of a Canadian Leftist politician. Altemeyer claims that there is no such thing as Leftist authoritarianism and that it is conservatives who are "Enemies of Freedom". That Leftists (e.g. Mrs Obama) are such enemies of freedom that they even want to dictate what people eat has apparently passed Altemeyer by. Even Stalin did not go that far. And there is the little fact that all the great authoritarian regimes of the 20th century (Stalin, Hitler and Mao) were socialist. Freud saw reliance on defence mechanisms such as projection as being maladjusted. It is difficult to dispute that. Altemeyer is too illiterate to realize it but he is actually a good Hegelian. Hegel thought that "true" freedom was marching in step with a Left-led herd.

What libertarian said this? “The bureaucracy is a parasite on the body of society, a parasite which ‘chokes’ all its vital pores…The state is a parasitic organism”. It was VI Lenin, in August 1917, before he set up his own vastly bureaucratic state. He could see the problem but had no clue about how to solve it.

It was Democrat John F Kennedy who cut taxes and declared that “a rising tide lifts all boats"

Leftist stupidity is a special class of stupidity. The people concerned are mostly not stupid in general but they have a character defect (mostly arrogance) that makes them impatient with complexity and unwilling to study it. So in their policies they repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot; They fail to attain their objectives. The world IS complex so a simplistic approach to it CANNOT work.

Seminal Leftist philosopher, G.W.F. Hegel said something that certainly applies to his fellow Leftists: "We learn from history that we do not learn from history". And he captured the Left in this saying too: "Evil resides in the very gaze which perceives Evil all around itself".

"A man who is not a socialist at age 20 has no heart; A man who is still a socialist at age 30 has no head". Who said that? Most people attribute it to Winston but as far as I can tell it was first said by Georges Clemenceau, French Premier in WWI -- whose own career approximated the transition concerned. And he in turn was probably updating an earlier saying about monarchy versus Republicanism by Guizot. Other attributions here. There is in fact a normal drift from Left to Right as people get older. Both Reagan and Churchill started out as liberals

Funny how to the Leftist intelligentsia poor blacks are 'oppressed' and poor whites are 'trash'. Racism, anyone?

MESSAGE to Leftists: Even if you killed all conservatives tomorrow, you would just end up in another Soviet Union. Conservatives are all that stand between you and that dismal fate. And you may not even survive at all. Stalin killed off all the old Bolsheviks.

A Conservative manifesto from England -- The inimitable Jacob Rees-Mogg


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)

Just the name of Hitler's political party should be sufficient to reject the claim that Hitler was "Right wing" but Leftists sometimes retort that the name "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" is not informative, in that it is the name of a dismal Stalinist tyranny. But "People's Republic" is a normal name for a Communist country whereas I know of no conservative political party that calls itself a "Socialist Worker's Party". Such parties are in fact usually of the extreme Left (Trotskyite etc.)

Most people find the viciousness of the Nazis to be incomprehensible -- for instance what they did in their concentration camps. But you just have to read a little of the vileness that pours out from modern-day "liberals" in their Twitter and blog comments to understand it all very well. Leftists haven't changed. They are still boiling with hate

Hatred as a motivating force for political strategy leads to misguided ­decisions. “Hatred is blind,” as Alexandre Dumas warned, “rage carries you away; and he who pours out vengeance runs the risk of tasting a bitter draught.”

Who said this in 1968? "I am not, and never have been, a man of the right. My position was on the Left and is now in the centre of politics". It was Sir Oswald Mosley, founder and leader of the British Union of Fascists

The term "Fascism" is mostly used by the Left as a brainless term of abuse. But when they do make a serious attempt to define it, they produce very complex and elaborate definitions -- e.g. here and here. In fact, Fascism is simply extreme socialism plus nationalism. But great gyrations are needed to avoid mentioning the first part of that recipe, of course.

Three examples of Leftist racism below (much more here and here):

Jesse Owens, the African-American hero of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, said "Hitler didn't snub me – it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn't even send me a telegram." Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt never even invited the quadruple gold medal-winner to the White House

Beatrice Webb, a founder of the London School of Economics and the Fabian Society, and married to a Labour MP, mused in 1922 on whether when English children were "dying from lack of milk", one should extend "the charitable impulse" to Russian and Chinese children who, if saved this year, might anyway die next. Besides, she continued, there was "the larger question of whether those races are desirable inhabitants" and "obviously" one wouldn't "spend one's available income" on "a Central African negro".

Hugh Dalton, offered the Colonial Office during Attlee's 1945-51 Labour government, turned it down because "I had a horrid vision of pullulating, poverty stricken, diseased nigger communities, for whom one can do nothing in the short run and who, the more one tries to help them, are querulous and ungrateful."

The Zimmerman case is an excellent proof that the Left is deep-down racist

Defensible and indefensible usages of the term "racism"

The book, The authoritarian personality, authored by T.W. Adorno et al. in 1950, has been massively popular among psychologists. It claims that a set of ideas that were popular in the "Progressive"-dominated America of the prewar era were "authoritarian". Leftist regimes always are authoritarian so that claim was not a big problem. What was quite amazing however is that Adorno et al. identified such ideas as "conservative". They were in fact simply popular ideas of the day but ones that had been most heavily promoted by the Left right up until the then-recent WWII. See here for details of prewar "Progressive" thinking.

Leftist psychologists have an amusingly simplistic conception of military organizations and military men. They seem to base it on occasions they have seen troops marching together on parade rather than any real knowledge of military men and the military life. They think that military men are "rigid" -- automatons who are unable to adjust to new challenges or think for themselves. What is incomprehensible to them is that being kadaver gehorsam (to use the extreme Prussian term for following orders) actually requires great flexibility -- enough flexibility to put your own ideas and wishes aside and do something very difficult. Ask any soldier if all commands are easy to obey.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a war criminal. Both British and American codebreakers had cracked the Japanese naval code so FDR knew what was coming at Pearl Harbor. But for his own political reasons he warned no-one there. So responsibility for the civilian and military deaths at Pearl Harbor lies with FDR as well as with the Japanese. The huge firepower available at Pearl Harbor, both aboard ship and on land, could have largely neutered the attack. Can you imagine 8 battleships and various lesser craft firing all their AA batteries as the Japanese came in? The Japanese naval airforce would have been annihilated and the war would have been over before it began.

FDR prolonged the Depression. He certainly didn't cure it.

WWII did NOT end the Great Depression. It just concealed it. It in fact made living standards worse

FDR appointed a known KKK member, Hugo Black, to the Supreme Court

Joe McCarthy was eventually proved right after the fall of the Soviet Union. To accuse anyone of McCarthyism is to accuse them of accuracy!

The KKK was intimately associated with the Democratic party. They ATTACKED Republicans!

High Level of Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrants in the USA. Low skill immigrants receive 4 to 5 dollars of benefits for every dollar in taxes paid

People who mention differences in black vs. white IQ are these days almost universally howled down and subjected to the most extreme abuse. I am a psychometrician, however, so I feel obliged to defend the scientific truth of the matter: The average African adult has about the same IQ as an average white 11-year-old and African Americans (who are partly white in ancestry) average out at a mental age of 14. The American Psychological Association is generally Left-leaning but it is the world's most prestigious body of academic psychologists. And even they (under the chairmanship of Ulric Neisser) have had to concede that sort of gap (one SD) in black vs. white average IQ. 11-year olds can do a lot of things but they also have their limits and there are times when such limits need to be allowed for.

The heritability of general cognitive ability increases linearly from childhood to young adulthood

The association between high IQ and long life is overwhelmingly genetic: "In the combined sample the genetic contribution to the covariance was 95%"

The Dark Ages were not dark

Judged by his deeds, Abraham Lincoln was one of the bloodiest villains ever to walk the Earth. See here. And: America's uncivil war was caused by trade protectionism. The slavery issue was just camouflage, as Abraham Lincoln himself admitted. See also here

At the beginning of the North/South War, Confederate general Robert E. Lee did not own any slaves. Union General Ulysses L. Grant did.

Was slavery already washed up by the tides of history before Lincoln took it on? Eric Williams in his book "Capitalism and Slavery" tells us: “The commercial capitalism of the eighteenth century developed the wealth of Europe by means of slavery and monopoly. But in so doing it helped to create the industrial capitalism of the nineteenth century, which turned round and destroyed the power of commercial capitalism, slavery, and all its works. Without a grasp of these economic changes the history of the period is meaningless.”

Revolutionary terrorists in Russia killed Tsar Alexander II in 1881 (after three prior assassination attempts). Alexander II was a great reformer who abolished serfdom one year before the US abolished slavery. If his democratic and economic reforms had continued, Russia may have been much less radical politically a couple of decades later, when Nicholas II was overthrown.

Did William Zantzinger kill poor Hattie Carroll?

Did Bismarck predict where WWI would start or was it just a "free" translation by Churchill?

Conrad Black on the Declaration of Independence

Some rare Leftist realism: "God forbid if the rich leave" NY Governor Cuomo February 04, 2019

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

"Foreign aid is the process by which money is taken from poor people in rich countries and given to rich people in poor countries." -- Peter Bauer

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.

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


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.

"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

Some personal 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

In my teenage years, however, I was fortunate to be immersed (literally) in a very fundamentalist Christian religion. And the heavy Bible study I did at that time left me with lessons for life that have stood me in good stead ever since

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

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.

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

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.

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

A real army story here

It's amusing that my army service gives me honour among conservatives but contempt from Leftists. I don't weep at all about the latter. I am still in touch with some of the fine people I served with over 50 years ago. The army is like that

This is just a bit of romanticism but I do have permanently located by the head of my bed a genuine century-old British army cavalry sword. It is still a real weapon. I was not in the cavalry but I see that sword as a symbol of many things. I want it to be beside my bed when I die

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day and there is JUST ONE saying of Hitler's that I rather like. It may not even be original to him but it is found in chapter 2 of Mein Kampf (published in 1925): "Widerstaende sind nicht da, dass man vor ihnen kapituliert, sondern dass man sie bricht". The equivalent English saying is "Difficulties exist to be overcome" and that traces back at least to the 1920s -- with attributions to Montessori and others. Hitler's metaphor is however one of smashing barriers rather than of politely hopping over them and I am myself certainly more outspoken than polite. Hitler's colloquial Southern German is notoriously difficult to translate but I think I can manage a reasonable translation of that saying: "Resistance is there not for us to capitulate to but for us to break". I am quite sure that I don't have anything like that degree of determination in my own life but it seems to me to be a good attitude in general anyway

And something that was perceptive comes from the same chapter. Hitler said that the doctrines of the interwar Social Democrats (mainstream leftists) of Vienna were "comprised of egotism and hate". Not much has changed

I have used many sites to post my writings over the years and many have gone bad on me for various reasons. So if you click on a link here to my other writings you may get a "page not found" response if the link was put up some time before the present. All is not lost, however. All my writings have been reposted elsewhere. If you do strike a failed link, just take the filename (the last part of the link) and add it to the address of any of my current home pages and -- Voila! -- you should find the article concerned.

COMMENTS: I have gradually added comments facilities to all my blogs. The comments I get are interesting. They are mostly from Leftists and most consist either of abuse or mere assertions. Reasoned arguments backed up by references to supporting evidence are almost unheard of from Leftists. Needless to say, I just delete such useless comments.

You can email me here (Hotmail address). In emailing me, you can address me as "John", "Jon", "Dr. Ray" or "JR" and that will be fine -- but my preference is for "JR" -- and that preference has NOTHING to do with an American soap opera that featured a character who was referred to in that way


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