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 March, 2019

It’s Not Collateral Damage To The Victims Of The Mueller Witch Hunt

Now that the Mueller investigation has cleared President Trump and demonstrated beyond any doubt that the entire affair was a hoax founded upon lies perpetrated by the Hillary Clinton campaign, the Obama administration, Democrat political operatives and the Deep State political class embedded in the government, conservatives and other fair-minded Americans ought to demand that those whose lives and reputations have been shattered by this hoax be made whole.

We’re talking about those whom the establishment media and the vile instigators of the Trump – Russia collusion narrative have dismissed as “collateral damage” in the investigation.

Honest, hardworking patriotic men like Michael Caputo, who served in the Army, worked for conservative luminaries such as Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp, and advised numerous Republican political candidates before signing-on to the Trump campaign.

Caputo was dragged through hell by the Mueller investigation and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence merely because he had lived in Ukraine and Russia and had done public relations and campaign work in those countries… and worked for Donald Trump.

Caputo was forced to liquidate his children’s college fund to pay his legal expenses for the “crime” of being associated with Donald Trump.

Likewise, longtime conservative pundit, bestselling author and media personality Jerome “Jerry” Corsi was threatened with what amounted to life in prison and mired in untold thousands of dollars of legal fees for the “crime” of exchanging email with Roger Stone and correctly predicting the Wikileaks dumps on Podesta and the DNC and trying get in touch with Julian Assange to confirm his hypotheses.

Corsi was never charged with any crime, although special counsel Robert Mueller's team offered Corsi a proposed plea agreement, which would have required him to admit to one criminal charge with two components: lying to investigators and obstruction of justice before congressional or grand jury proceedings.

Corsi refused to sign the plea deal. He then released drafts of his plea agreement and indictment, went on a media tour slamming Mueller's team and published a book detailing his experiences with the special counsel.

Corsi accused Mueller's team of trying to push him to plead guilty to a crime he didn't commit.

"I went in there to cooperate with them. They treated me as a criminal," Corsi told CNN. In the end, Mueller concluded his investigation without ever bringing charges against Dr. Corsi.

But there are others who didn’t fare quite so well as Dr. Corsi, especially Roger Stone and George Papadopoulos.

Papdopoulos, the young energy policy expert and volunteer Trump advisor who was set-up by the Obama administration to give them a pretext to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil the Trump campaign was arguably the most ill-used of all the figures in the Mueller investigation.

A neophyte in presidential politics, Papdopoulos was lured to London and set-up by Obama administration consultant Stephan Halper to pass along the bait that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton to the Australian Ambassador, Alexander Downer.

Why and how the Ambassador found his way into contact with a junior figure like George Papadopoulos has never been explained, nor has the path of transmission of the information from Papadopoulos to Downer to the Obama intelligence apparatus ever been disclosed.

What is clear, based on what has been disclosed, is that the basis for the surveillance and interrogation of Papadopoulos was a closed loop system of false information being generated by Obama and Clinton connected operatives who then fed the information to Papadopoulos through Halper and then back through Downer to the Obama intelligence apparatus.

Again, after being threatened and swamped with legal bills, Papadopoulos pled guilty to the process crime of making false statements to FBI agents relating to contacts he had with agents of the Russian government while working for the Trump campaign. The guilty plea was part of a plea bargain reflecting his cooperation with the Mueller investigation.

However, after Papadopoulos pled guilty and served 12 days in prison, no other indictments or convictions have ever been attributed to Papadopoulos’ cooperation with the Mueller investigation.

Perhaps the most egregious “collateral damage” has been the bankrupting and recent indictment of longtime conservative political strategist, best-selling author, media personality, style and public relations guru extraordinaire Roger Stone.

Mr. Stone, who helped launch the Trump campaign, left any official capacity long before the set-up of George Papadopoulos and the Russian collusion narrative were put in motion.

Stone’s “crime” was exchanging emails about Wikileaks with Jerome Corsi and using his considerable skills at generating media buzz to promote the narrative that what had been leaked by Wikileaks before the election was just the tip of the iceberg of dirt Assange had on the Democrats and Hillary Clinton.

That some of Stone’s predictions were unsubstantiated or inaccurate mattered not to the Congressional committees that called Stone in, nor did it matter that Stone voluntarily appeared before Congress. What mattered were perceived inconsistencies in his recollections – and perhaps his vigorous advocacy of Donald Trump and his unwillingness to kowtow to Trump’s persecutors.

After a lengthy and financially debilitating dangling over the hot coals by Mueller’s team of angry Democrats, Mr. Stone was indicted on one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering.

Again, as in the Papadopoulos case, these are all process crimes that would not have occurred had the unjustified Special Counsel investigation never taken place.

Caputo, Corsi, Papadopoulos and Stone are just four of the most prominent and obvious case of “collateral damage” from the Mueller investigation. Many others, such as former Navy officer Carter Page (who was surveilled but never indicted), longtime Trump staffer Hope Hicks and former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer have also been dragged through the mud and been forced to spend untold thousands of dollars to defend their freedom and their reputations.

Unlike Democrat and Far Left figures, such as Christine Blasey Ford, there is no million-dollar GoFundMe pot of gold at the end of the ordeal for Caputo, Corsi, Papadopoulos, Stone and the rest of those caught up in the hoax that became the Mueller investigation.

And that’s the vilest part of the Democrat strategy, first tried and perfected against former Alaska Governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin: Mire the target in legal fees that will punish them with bankruptcy if they are lucky enough to survive the gantlet of perjury traps Democrats set for them.



Why Democrats must go back to school on taxes

Try explaining marginal tax cuts to a room of 5th graders.

Once, on Ronald Reagan’s birthday, I tried to explain what the top rate was like before our 40th president took office. “Imagine doing some chores for your grandparents,” I said, “and your grandma gives you $10. Then, when you get home, your parents take $7 from you. That’s what the tax rates were like before President Reagan took office.

The students immediately said that wasn’t fair.

Even 5th graders get it.

The last time the top tax rate was 70 percent was back in the days when President Jimmy Carter talked about a country in a malaise. Now, socialists like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Sen. Ed Markey want to bring that top tax rate back as part of the so-called “Green New Deal.”

AOC’s response when I tweeted about the fact that even 5th graders realized that wasn’t fair was to suggest that only a limited number of people would pay the tax. It reminded me of when former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said, “the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money” to spend.

Politicians in Maryland helped make that point years ago when they passed a “millionaire tax” presumably to soak the “rich.” Apparently, the targeted taxpayers decided to flee and revenue projections were not met. Eventually, the governor proposed a new tax on households making $100,000 or more.

Think about that: The income of a fire fighter and a nurse could easily exceed $100,000 (particularly on the East Coast). Hardly wealthy. Uncontrolled spending in Maryland eventually hurt the middle class. Sooner or later they ran out of other people’s money to spend.

History is full of examples like that.

Remember the federal budget deal in 1990 that increased taxes on “luxury” items?

So who got hurt by the tax? According to a Wall Street Journal editorial, “Yacht retailers reported a 77 percent drop in sales that year, while boat builders estimated layoffs at 25,000.” All of the fuss about sticking it to the rich really just ended up hurting the thousands of middle-class workers and their families who got pink slips.

The taxes also took in $97 million less than had been projected for the first year. Consumers were buying fewer of the “luxury” items — or at least not buying them in America. In effect, the socialist dream of taking from the wealthy ended up hurting sales, which lead to massive layoffs and revenue projections that missed the mark.

Conversely, tax reductions have consistently had a positive impact on the economy.

Tax rates were cut several times during President Reagan’s tenure and America enjoyed many years of economic recovery. Plus, revenues continued to go up.

Revenues also continued to grow under the tax cuts proposed by President John F. Kennedy in the 1960s and during and around the Coolidge era in the 1920s. Liberals and many in the media (sometimes hard to discern which is which) mistakenly believe that lower taxes produce a reduction in revenues. History suggests otherwise.

But taxes are about more than just fiscal and economic policy. They are really about freedom.

Take Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Tax, for example. It’s not enough to just raise taxes on income, now they want to tax your savings, too.

To me, that is like telling a straight “A” student that she must share her grades with the other students. Rightly so, she would say this is not fair.

Instead of stealing from her, why not help each of the other students do better?

As President Reagan said, “the weakness in this country for too many years has been our insistence of carving an ever-increasing number of slices from a shrinking economic pie. Our policies have concentrated on rationing scarcity rather than creating plenty.”

Instead of fighting over who gets the last piece of shrinking economic pie, let’s help the people of our country produce a bigger pie so that everyone will have a chance to live a better life. That is a uniquely American idea.

We are blessed to live in the land of equal opportunity, but the outcome is still up to each of us. True freedom and prosperity do not come from the clumsy hand of the government. They come from people being able to control their own life and their own destiny through the dignity that is born of work.

As policy makers consider tax increases or tax cuts, I hope they will remember these simple facts. Lest they forget we celebrate the 4th of July and not April 15th, because, in America, we celebrate our independence from the government and not our dependence on it.



GOP launches path to nuclear option rules change in Senate

Senate Republicans took the first step Thursday toward triggering the “nuclear option” and cut down on the amount of time Democrats can obstruct presidential nominees.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled a test vote next week on a change to Senate rules that would trim the 30 hours of debate allowed on each nominee once a filibuster is defeated.

That vote is expected to fail — and the GOP is then likely to use the nuclear option, a shortcut to change the rules by majority vote.

Mr. McConnell said he’s been forced into the move by Democrats who, he said, have blocked President Trump’s nominees “out of spite.”

“The Senate is going to do something about it,” he said.

The Kentucky Republican didn’t specifically mention the nuclear option on the floor, but did obliquely refer to it, urging Democrats to accept the rules change without having to resort to the more extreme option.

Mr. McConnell told colleagues earlier this month that Republicans have the votes for the nuclear option — though it does not appear any Democrats will back the normal rules change.

Some Democrats have said they agree that the Senate has gotten off track, but said they won’t approve any change that would help Mr. Trump — a standard that Mr. McConnell said is unsustainable.

“Fair is fair,” he said.

Republicans say Democrats have treated Mr. Trump unfairly by any yardstick.

They’ve had to face attempted Democratic filibusters on more than 120 of Mr. Trump’s nominees — easily swamping any previous administration’s total. Once a filibuster is surmounted, the rules call for up to 30 hours of debate to follow.

That means that if the full time is used, a single nominee can take more than a day’s worth of floor time, crowding out any other substantive legislative business.

Multiple times over the last two years the Senate has spent entire weeks approving four or five nominees.

Democrats acknowledge they’re treating Mr. Trump differently, but say it’s deserved because of the quality of his nominees.

The GOP’s rules change would still keep a maximum of 30 hours of debate on major nominees such as Cabinet-level positions, Supreme Court justices and circuit court judges. But other picks would only face a maximum of two hours’ additional debate once a filibuster has been surmounted.

The Senate experimented with a similar rules change in 2013, when Mr. McConnell led Republicans to join Democrats in lowering debate time for President Obama’s nominees. That experiment expired in 2015.

Thirty-five members of the Democratic Caucus who are still in the Senate voted for the change in 2013. Among them was Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, who is now Democrats’ floor leader.

On Thursday, he accused Mr. McConnell of changing his position to suit his own needs.

“Senator McConnell’s approach has always been to manipulate Senate rules when it helps him and then change Senate rules when the tables turn,” Mr. Schumer said. “This is just another step in his effort to limit the rights of the minority and cede authority to the administration.”

The only member of the Democratic Caucus to oppose the rules change in 2013 was Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent.

Ten Republicans who opposed that 2013 temporary rules change are also still in the Senate.

The nuclear option was used by Democrats in 2013, when they triggered it to reduce the threshold for overcoming a filibuster on most nominees from 60 to only a simple majority. That paved the way for Mr. Obama to stack an important appeals court in Washington, D.C., with his nominees.

GOP senators then used it in 2017, finishing Democrats’ work by applying the majority standard to Supreme Court picks. That paved the way for the confirmation of Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh.



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 March, 2019

Trump’s been boosted by good fortune, but there are traces of genius

GREG SHERIDAN, writing from Australia

It is tempting to say Donald Trump is a lucky politician. And there is some truth in this. His margin of victory in the 2016 presidential election was so slender in the critical midwest states he won that no one could have predicted it. And no one did, including Trump’s own campaign.

Like most lucky generals Trump also has a big hand in making his own luck. He and his campaign chose the key battleground states that could just conceivably deliver him the presidency and he out-campaigned Hillary Clinton in all of them. To win all of them so narrowly is statistically astonishingly improbable, but Trump is the master of the improbable.

Similarly, one reason Trump has an excellent chance of re-election is that the recession the US seems to be heading for could come after the 2020 presidential election. In any event it should be quite mild. The yield curve inversion indicates it’s coming but there are no massive structural imbalances in the US economy.

Here again, Trump has made a lot of his own luck. I don’t mean the tax cuts and business deregulation that have helped spur the US economy on. They are big policy commitments and should yield long-term growth dividends. I mean instead the way Trump has bullied the Federal Reserve into keeping interest rates low. He is not the first political leader to make cyclical economic policy serve political timetables.

But nothing so perfectly embodies the fusion of Trump’s luck with the undeniable trace of political genius — it’s not too strong a word — that is emerging in Trump as the report of the independent counsel Robert Mueller into allegations of criminal collusion during the 2016 campaign between Trump and Russia.

The element of luck is not Mueller finding no collusion. That, presumably, just reflects reality. The element of luck is the way most of Trump’s enemies, in the Democratic Party and in large slabs of the media, so wildly, insanely, overhyped everything to do with the Russia collusion idea.

Trump is immensely lucky in his enemies. But he creates his own fortune because he drives his enemies crazy. As a result they exercise appalling judgment in their attacks.

I think as President, Trump is a mixed grill. He is a better president than I thought he would be. During the election campaign I followed the debate about whether they should support Trump in a number of US Christian journals. It was a conscientious and serious debate. They recognised Trump was not one of them and would certainly not lead America’s moral revival. But they faced a binary choice: Trump or Clinton. Clinton, they felt, would appoint Supreme Court judges who would abridge their religious freedom and she would support social programs and values they opposed. So most backed Trump, with reservations.

He has delivered good outcomes and bad outcomes. Among the good are four of particular consequence. One is excellent Supreme Court justices and similarly good choices across all the federal courts to which the president can appoint judges. Two is tax cuts and business deregulation. Three is increased defence spending. Four is calling out China on trade and other malpractice, though this could have a bad effect on Australia if a US-China deal results in Beijing buying commodities from the US it would otherwise buy from us.

Democrats, and Trump’s opponents generally, have had relatively little to say on these issues. Instead they’ve concentrated on Trump’s obvious character flaws and the equally obviously seedy nature of some of his associates. Because Trump’s very existence as President contradicts everything they think and, more importantly, feel, they have invested in and created all kinds of crazy conspiracy theories against Trump.

I have come to the view that the independent counsel institution is a corruption of due process that almost always does more harm than good. The Mueller investigation was set up in the hysterical atmosphere that followed Trump’s sacking of James Comey as FBI director. The instant conspiracy interpretation was that Trump sacked Comey because Comey was too vigorously investigating allegations of collusion between Trump and Russia.

It turns out, according to Mueller, there was no such collusion. This takes the wind out of the sails of all Trump’s critics. And because so much of what the Trump critics said was so overblown, so ridiculous, so extravagant and now we can say plainly so wrong, even the credible criticisms they make of him can now be discredited.

This was already so for Trump’s supporters, who won’t hear a word against him. But Mueller had a lot of credibility with independent voters. In his re-election bid, Trump will need some independent voters to add to his base. The Mueller exoneration means it should be much easier for Trump to sell his re-election message to those independents.

Those who think independent counsels are a good thing in general, and Mueller was especially good, will point to the numerous convictions or confessions Mueller obtained. But these fall entirely into two categories. The first, and most pernicious, are process convictions. Mueller has convicted some people and charged others with lying to him. In other words these are alleged crimes that would not have been committed if Mueller’s inquiry had not been called into existence.

The second category of convictions are for tax avoidance and the like among Trump associates, at times when they had nothing to do with Trump’s presidency.

There are some allegations against Trump, such as his paying hush money to a woman he had an affair with, that are simply not grave enough to threaten any presidency. This precedent was established when Democrats forgave Bill Clinton for lying under oath because he was “only” lying about an affair.

Bob Woodward’s book Fear is much more balanced about Trump than its critics allow and is sharply critical of the disrespectful, clumsy and partisan way some of the intelligence agencies dealt with Trump. A former CIA boss, John Brennan, accused Trump of “treason”. Brennan now looks a complete fool. Polls do not show these collusion issues rank seriously with voters. If Democrats focus on them they will strengthen Trump. That Mueller could not find sufficient evidence for even so elastic a charge as obstruction of justice, but nonetheless apparently makes some negative comments about Trump anyway, just shows how dysfunctional the independent counsel mechanism is. If it’s not indictable, it’s up to the political system to sort out, not unelected officials.

This is an enormous win for Trump. The next election is unpredictable, but I put Trump slightly better than even-money odds.



Israel's Golan sovereignty should have been recognized years ago

by Jeff Jacoby

DURING A White House meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, President Trump signed a formal proclamation that the United States recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. In so doing, the president acknowledged a longstanding fact of life, bolstered a vital American ally, promoted stability in a deeply unstable neighborhood, and upheld the oft-ignored but crucial distinction between acquiring territory through aggression and acquiring it through lawful self-defense. Good outcomes all, extending the Trump administration's already exemplary record when it comes to the Middle East.

Trump's policy shift didn't sit well with everyone, of course. Those angrily denouncing it included the dictators and terror-sponsors who rule Iran, Turkey, Russia, Syria, and the Palestinian Authority. A few reflexively anti-Trump editorial boards chided the president for a "pointless provocation" that will "damage US diplomacy." Tellingly, though, there was barely any protest from most Arab governments, which in recent years have come to value Israel as an ally against Iran and its proxies. As a CNN headline put it, "Trump's Golan Heights announcement met with a shrug in the Arab world."

Mr Trump gets a rare smile from PM Netanyahu

Trump's announcement is being described as a pro-Netanyahu campaign ploy, but no matter who wins Israel's upcoming election, the Golan will remain part of Israel. Which is why even Netanyahu's political foes applauded the American announcement. Benny Gantz, the retired general hoping to become Israel's next prime minister, publicly thanked Trump for his proclamation.

The president's signature changes nothing on the ground. Israel has held the western two-thirds of the Golan Heights — a plateau that towers over the Sea of Galilee and much of northern Israel — since the 1967 Six Day War. That war, recall, was one of blatant aggression against Israel: Syria joined Egypt and Jordan in an assault that Syria's Defense Minister Hafez Assad had labeled "a battle of annihilation" to "explode the Zionist presence" in the Mideast.

But Israel declined to be annihilated or exploded. It repelled its invaders and seized the Golan Heights, from which Syria had been shelling Jewish farms and towns for more than 20 years. In the aftermath of the war, Israel offered to return the territory in exchange for peace. Damascus refused to negotiate. It tried to recapture the Golan Heights in a massive armored invasion in 1973. Israel repelled that threat too.

Thus, Israel has ruled the Golan Heights for 52 years (1967-2019) — more than twice as long as the 21 years of Syrian rule that began in 1946. The contrast between the two eras could not be more open-and-shut, as Michael Doran, a former senior director at the National Security Council, testified before Congress last year:

"The last 70 years constitute the laboratory of real life, and its results are incontrovertible," Doran told the House Oversight Committee during a hearing on US-Israel relations. "When in the hands of Syria, the Golan Heights promoted conflict. When in the hands of Israel, they have promoted stability."

Nonetheless, Israeli and US leaders well into the 1990s kept trying to entice Damascus to make peace with its Jewish neighbor in exchange for a return of the Golan. In his first term as prime minister, Netanyahu used a secret back channel to communicate with Syrian President Bashar Assad about a land-for-peace deal.

Fortunately, nothing came of those efforts. Syria's implosion in 2011 plunged the country into a hellish civil war that eventually included Iran, Russia, the Islamic State, and Hezbollah. If Israel hadn't retained the Golan Heights, the plateau would likely have been captured by Iran or ISIS, and Israel might well have faced an unspeakable existential nightmare. Instead, the Golan Heights remained an oasis of stability and decency amid the savagery of the Syrian war. Israel even made use of the territory to provide medical care to thousands of Syrian civilians.

If Israel had seized the Golan Heights as an act of aggression, it would arguably have no right to keep the land even after all these years. But in 1967, Israel was the target. It seized the Golan in a defensive war against an enemy explicitly bent on "annihilation." Syria forfeited its sovereign right to the territory when it was defeated by its intended victim. To claim otherwise is to claim that a belligerent aggressor should lose nothing for waging an unlawful war. That would be folly. By endorsing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, the Trump administration is sending a message of deterrence to would-be warmongers. It's a message that should have been sent years ago. Better late than never.



Assume the Left Lies and You Will Discover the Truth

Reflections on the Trump-Russia collusion lie

Dennis Prager
From the beginning, I repeatedly said the charge that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election was a lie. The president’s description of it as a “witch hunt” was accurate.

I regularly acknowledged that I was putting my credibility on the line by stating that it was all a hoax. But how did I know that? After all, I wasn’t privy to any confidential intelligence.

One answer is I used common sense. The Trump-Russia collusion charge and the Donald-Trump-is-an-agent-of-the-Kremlin charge struck me — and tens of millions of other Americans — as absurd. Vladimir Putin’s influence on the 2016 election was negligible, and as president, Trump has been harder on Russia — in supporting Ukraine’s anti-Russian government, in fighting Syria’s pro-Russian government and in confronting Iran’s pro-Russian regime — than Barack Obama was.

But the biggest reason I never believed the Russian collusion charge was that the charge emanated from the left. And the left lies about everything. Truth is a liberal value, and truth is a conservative value, but it has never been a left-wing value. People on the left say whatever advances their immediate agenda. Power is their moral lodestar; therefore, truth is always subservient to it.

The left wanted to undo the 2016 presidential election from the day Trump won. So they made up the Russian collusion story. This was obvious to every conservative — except for “Never Trumpers,” who, with regard to Trump, have been indistinguishable from the left and were therefore as prepared as any leftist to believe the Trump-Russia collusion tale. We conservatives knew that a) the left wanted to invalidate the election and b) the left lies when it is in their interest to do so. So we knew the collusion charge was a fabrication.

We also suspected that the collusion hoax may well have been an effort to divert attention from the real crimes here: American intelligence agencies’ being used to spy on a presidential candidate for the first time in American history; getting Clinton off the hook for her illegal use of a private server while secretary of state; her use of that office to enrich herself and her husband; and her destruction of the evidence once her hidden emails were subpoenaed.

If you always doubt a leftist claim, you will almost always be closer to the truth. I employed that rule in concluding the collusion story was a fraud, and it served me well.

Name the issue and you will likely find a left-wing lie. The left claims our universities are saturated by a “culture of rape.” Not only is that a lie, but deep down, leftists know it’s a lie. The proof? Every left-wing parent who speaks about the “culture of rape” on college campuses sends his or her daughter to college. As no parents would ever send their daughter to an actual rape culture, left-wing parents who send their daughters to college know it is not really a rape culture. They say it is a rape culture solely to buttress the feminist argument that American males are misogynists and to provide young women with the highest status in the left-wing value system: victim.

Although I haven’t been a student or taught at a college in many decades, that’s how I knew American colleges were not rape cultures. I knew it because the left said they were. Again, just assume the left is lying and you will be close to arriving at the truth.

How do I know there are only two sexes? The most obvious reason is, again, common sense. But the second most powerful reason is the left denies there are only two sexes and claims there is no such thing as sex, only subjective “gender.” Last week, a writer for the left-wing magazine The Nation defended the victory of two high school male-bodied trans women who defeated all the female-bodied women in a Connecticut track competition — because, in his words, “trans women are in fact women.”

Now, we all know trans women are not in fact women, that they are biologically men who regard themselves as women. And in private life, I have no problem treating trans women as women if they look and dress female and take on a female name. But it is completely unjust to have them compete against born females in sports. They are not in fact women; they consider themselves women despite the facts. Again, assuming the left is lying to advance its agenda leads one to truth.

When the left tells us the Earth has 12 years left because of global warming, I assume they are not telling the truth. One bit of proof is that almost no one on the global-warming-will-destroy-life left advocates the safest, cheapest and most practical non-fossil-based source of energy: nuclear power. If they really believed life was existentially threatened by fossil-based fuel, they would be building nuclear reactors as fast they could make them. One reason I haven’t believed man-made global warming will destroy the Earth is that the left does.

So, while the latest left-wing lie — Trump-Russia collusion — is now exposed, there is little to cheer about. Without missing a beat, the left — the Democratic Party, the media and academia — will move on to another lie.

And there will be no soul-searching on the part of the media or the rest of the left.

Why won’t there be? Because no leftist acknowledges the collusion story was a lie.

Truth has never been a left-wing value. Like “gender,” it is whatever you want it to be.



House fails to overturn Trump’s veto

It didn't even get to the Senate

The House of Representatives failed in a vote to override President Donald Trump’s veto of a resolution that would have blocked Trump’s national emergency declaration on the southern border to build the wall, with a vote of 248 to 181, well short of the 287 votes that would have been needed to send the measure to the Senate.

So, that’s it. Trump’s emergency declaration stands, and the $6.7 billion of uncommitted military construction funds and other funds Congress had allocated will be put towards the wall.



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 March, 2019

In praise of the Roman Catholic clergy

I suppose that what I am about to say will be a voice crying in the wilderness -- ignored by everyone.  But I feel I should say it -- particularly in the light of all the justified horror over priestly pedophilia.  My basic point is that a significant minority is not the whole and I want to talk about those priests who have remained godly men.

I am particularly concerned that the foul deeds of a few may lead to victimization of innocent priests.  Like most Australian conservative writers, I suspect that we have already seen a grievous instance of that in the conviction of Cardinal Pell -- who added to his sin of being a priest the even greater sin of being an outspoken conservative.  He doesn't even believe in the great Leftist global warming hoax!  Unforgiveable!  And that he was doing important work in a senior position at the Vatican also put a target on his back

So the Left were out to "get" him for years, with a constant blizzard of unsubstantiated accusations hurled at him so when even a very weakly substantiated accusation of pedophilia against him came before a jury they appear to have decided that there is no smoke without fire.  It seems very likely that the court of appeal will exonerate him.

So am I a Catholic apologist?  Am I writing to defend my own faith?  As Margaret Thatcher famously once said:  "No, no and no"  For starters, I am in fact the most thoroughgoing atheist you could meet.  I agree with German analytical philosopher Rudolf Carnap that no metaphysical statement is meaningful. If you want to know why, read Carnap.

Secondly, I was baptized into the Presbyterian church and I was a strong evangelical Christian throughout my teens.

A Prime Minister of Australia once called the Premier of my home State a "Bible-bashing bastard".  I was of that ilk before a study of philosophy re-oriented me.  So I have NO Catholic background.

I do however rejoice that I have a religious background.  Billy Graham once said that there is a God-shaped hole in everyone. For some people (Muslims?), Satan occupies that hole but the hole is there. Putting it less colorfully, man (including women) is a religious animal and never to have experienced religious commitment is to have missed out on an important part of life. Putting it most prosaically, the old anthropologist's maxim holds true: You have to become part of something to understand it.  And because of my religious background I do have an empathy for and an understanding of religious people, Christians in particular

And that is fundamental to the simple thing that I want to say:  There are God-filled people in all religions, a small minority from whom the love of Christ and the assurance of eternity shines out almost visibly. They stand out vividly to me when I encounter them.  And among the spirit-filled men I have met most have been Catholic priests. 

I could name some but to avoid embarrassment I will name just one -- one now deceased.  I am thinking of Father Brady, of the Little Kings movement in Brisbane.  He was an elderly man when I met him, one of the last Irish priests in Australia, but he wore that unmistakeable smile of serene happiness and assurance which told you of his inner peace and willingness to help.  I could see the love of Christ shine out from him. It was unmistakeable to me.  I recognized it immediately.

That is all I want to say.  Some of the best men I have met have been Catholic priests.  The ill deeds of the criminal few should not dim the devoted, lifelong and sometimes inspirational lives of the many.


The Real Threat to Our Republic: The Democratic Party

It seems like only three years ago that liberals were accusing Donald Trump of not committing to accepting the election results if he were to lose — as everyone expected him to. Oh, wait, that was three years ago. In fact, there were a lot of things being said by liberals three years ago that are amusing to look back on today, such as this gem from Jason Silverstein, national politics reporter at the New York Daily News:

Even if Donald Trump wins the popular vote for President in November, it is entirely possible — and even Constitutionally acceptable — that we could be spared from his leadership. For that, we can thank the Electoral College.
“We take for granted every four years that the Electoral College will vote accordingly to the winners of each state's popular vote,” Silverstein said, but "there is nothing in the Constitution, federal law or electoral history” that says that’s how it has to work. “The Electoral College has the freedom to override the people's choice — in part, to expressly stop someone like Trump from taking over.” To Silverstein, the Electoral College was designed to stop Trump, not enable him to be president. The scenario he then presented, that rogue Electors could simply ignore the popular vote in their state and not cast their ballots for Trump, was a ridiculous pie-in-the-sky scenario, but is a fascinating look into how the left fantasized that the Electoral College could “save us” from Trump. In fact, Silverstein’s scenario may have inspired anti-Trumpers to harass and threaten Electors to do just as he envisioned… you know, to preserve the Republic, or something.

Others believed that the Electoral College system gave Hillary Clinton an advantage from the start. “Even before candidates were decided in the 2016 presidential election,” explained MSNBC political reporter Alex Seitz-Wald, “Democrats started with a major advantage – thanks to changes in the Electoral College – over presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.” Of course, once Trump won the election without winning the popular vote, Democrats’ attitudes toward the Electoral College changed drastically. What they had counted on to keep Trump out of the White House had suddenly put him in. The last time this happened was, of course, the 2000 election, where Bush’s narrow margin in Florida gave him an Electoral College victory without winning the national popular vote.

Democrats are pointing to these two elections as reasons why the Electoral College is outmoded, racist, homophobic, transphobic, something-phobic, whatever. The national popular vote is the only truly democratic way to choose our president, they now say. Democrat presidential hopefuls are embracing this idea, and blue states across the country are entering into the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, in the hopes of, essentially, overthrowing the Electoral College system. To “preserve” our Republic.

The problem with their position now, besides the obvious, is that when it comes to the Electoral College, it’s not the system they have a problem with, it’s that's the system doesn’t work for them. The last time a Republican won both the national popular vote and the Electoral College vote was in 2004, when George W. Bush defeated John Kerry. But Democrats didn’t simply concede defeat when it was obvious they’d lost fairly.

Bush won Florida easily in 2004, but the results in Ohio were a lot closer, and John Kerry was urged to contest the results in Ohio over allegations of voting “irregularities” statewide. He did not. No number of recounts in Ohio could have resulted in flipping the state and the national popular vote. The only purpose of challenging Ohio was to overturn the Electoral College results. A recount in Ohio only netted Kerry about 300 votes statewide, but that didn’t stop Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) from filing an objection (on behalf of a group of Democrats in Congress) to the counting of Ohio’s electoral votes, and delaying certification of the 2004 presidential election results. This was only the second time in history such a challenge occurred. Nothing came of the challenge, as we know, but it’s also interesting to note that even now, John Kerry believes that the election was stolen from him.

The Democrats’ attitudes toward the Electoral College have nothing to do with the merits of the system, but the merits of the results. If they lose, the system is rigged and undemocratic. If they win, the system has proven itself to work. Democrats have a history of wanting to change the rules for their benefit. Senate Democrats were more than happy to use the filibuster to block President Bush from nominating judges to the courts, but took that power away from Republicans when they used it to block Barack Obama from nominating judges, citing a “broken system.” Democrats don’t believe in the sanctity of rules or law and order, they believe in winning at all costs. They won’t be happy in a system that doesn’t allow them to win 100 percent of the time.

Democrats the mentality of four-year-old children. They have to win every time, otherwise, it’s not fair. The Electoral College isn’t a threat to our Republic, the Democratic Party is.



Russiagate -- a Bright, Shining Lie

By Patrick J. Buchanan

"The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia ... to influence the 2016 US presidential campaign."

So stated Attorney General William Barr in his Sunday letter to Congress summarizing the principal findings of the Mueller report.

On the charge of collusion with Russia, not guilty on all counts.

After two years of hearing from haters in politics and the media that President Donald Trump was "Putin's poodle," an agent of the Kremlin, guilty of treason, an illegitimate president who would leave the White House in handcuffs and end his days in prison, we learn the truth.

It was all a bright, shining lie.

Reeling from Trump's exoneration, big media are now scurrying to their fallback position: Mueller did not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice.

But Mueller was not obstructed. No one impeded his labors.

As for Trump's rages against his investigation, they were the natural reaction of an innocent man falsely accused and facing disgrace and ruin for a crime he did not commit, indeed, a crime that had never been committed.

The House Judiciary Committee may try to replicate what Mueller did, and re-investigate obstruction. Fine. This would confirm what this whole rotten business has at root always been about: a scheme by the deep state and allied media to bring down another president.

The Mueller investigation employed 19 lawyers and 40 FBI agents. It took two years. It issued 2,800 subpoenas. It executed 500 search warrants. It interviewed 500 witnesses. And it failed to indict a single member of Trump's campaign for collusion with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

Which raises this question:

If Mueller could find no collusion, after an exhaustive two-year search, what was the compelling evidence that caused James Comey's FBI and Barack Obama's Department of Justice to believe that such collusion had occurred and to launch this investigation?

Sunday, after Barr's summary of the Mueller report became public, Trump aired his justified anger: "It's a shame that our country had to go through this. To be honest, it's a shame that your president has had to go through this. ... This was an illegal takedown that failed."

Is there not truth in this?

Millions of Americans still believe what is now a manifest falsehood — that their president collaborated with Putin in cheating Hillary Clinton out of the presidency. The legal bills of Trump, his family, his campaign aides and his White House staff must be huge. Careers, reputations have been damaged.

The nation has been distracted and bitterly divided over this since Trump's first days in office. He has had a cloud over his presidency since he gave his inaugural address. Any ability the president had to fulfill his campaign pledge and negotiate with the largest country on earth, Russia, a superpower rival, has had to be put off.

Is it unfair to ask: Who did this to us?

Who led the Justice Department into believing Trump conspired with the Russians? Why did it take two years to discover there was no collusion? Who gave Putin and the GRU this victory by helping to tear our own country apart?

Our establishment is forever demanding apologies. Where are the apologies for the outrageous accusations that Trump was guilty of something next to treason?

Sen. Joe McCarthy did not do a fraction of the damage to the reputations of Dean Acheson or George Marshall that the elite media have done, unjustly and maliciously, to the reputation of Donald Trump.

Years after French Artillery Capt. Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of colluding with the Germans in the late 19th century, and was sent to Devil's Island, evidence against another officer emerged.

Soon, it was Dreyfus' accusers who were in the dock of public opinion.

That needs to happen now. The instigators of this investigation, launched to bring down a president, have damaged and divided this nation, and they need to be exposed, as do their collaborators in the press.

The roots of Mueller's investigation go back to the Clinton campaign's hiring of the opposition research firm Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Trump. Fusion GPS hired ex-British spy Christopher Steele. He had sources in Russian intelligence who provided him with the contents of his infamous dossier. This was delivered to a grateful cabal at the FBI, which used it as the basis of a FISA court warrant to surveil the Trump campaign.

The dirt in the Steele dossier, much of it false, would be secretly shared with Trump-haters in the media to torpedo his candidacy; then, when Trump won, to destroy his presidency before it began.

Now that Trump has been exonerated, the story of how his accusers, using the power of the state, almost murdered a presidency with lies, propaganda and innuendo, needs to be brought out into the sunlight.

For democracy dies in darkness, and this can't happen again.



Mueller Report a Damning Indictment of Media

The fact is that after nonstop allegations and insinuations that Trump was a Manchurian candidate and a puppet of the Putin regime, there appears to be no evidence whatsoever to back up those claims.

This, after devoting almost endless airtime to the issue.

A NewsBusters report found that: “From January 20, 2017 (Inauguration Day) through March 21, 2019 (the last night before special counsel Robert Mueller sent his report to the Attorney General), the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts produced a combined 2,284 minutes of ‘collusion’ coverage.”

As The New York Times’ Peter Baker wrote on Friday, the release of the report would serve as a “reckoning” for Trump, Mueller, and the media.

The result comes as vindication for some in the media like Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist, and a few others who remained skeptical of all the rumors and poured cold water on the rush to indict the president on what seemed to be flimsy charges from the outset.

But for the rest of the who perpetrated the collusion narrative, this isn’t working out so well.

Of course, this indictment in the minds of viewers won’t cause media figures to retreat in shame. But it will likely further deepen Americans’ distrust of the media establishment.

From BuzzFeed’s publishing of the Steele dossier to CNN’s botched story (later retracted) that Congress was investigating a “Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials,” the media has made numerous errors that turned out to be drive-by hits. These errors received little mainstream attention as reporters moved on to new stories—a new attempt at “resistance” reporting, as former ABC host Ted Koppel called it.

This coverage fueled the wild fantasies of progressive activists around the country: bizarre viral Christmas songs and stories of elderly critics attempting to stave off death to see the Mueller report, to name just a couple.

All for nothing.

Trump is now 2-0 against the media—first, beating Hillary Clinton after reports said it could never happen, and now, coming out on top in the Mueller report.

Trump takes a lot of flak for his attacks on the press, but it’s clear that the media itself has done the most lasting damage to its own credibility, only ensuring that Trump’s criticisms leave a mark.

As Matt Taibbi, a journalist who published a scathing critique of the media, wrote:

“This has been a consistent pattern throughout #Russiagate. Step one: salacious headline. Step two, days or weeks later: news emerges the story is shakier than first believed. Step three (in the best case) involves the story being walked back or retracted by the same publication.”

Taibbi wrote that the “sheer scale” of this media failure will have ramifications for years to come.

“We’ve become sides-choosers, obliterating the concept of the press as an independent institution whose primary role is sorting fact and fiction,” he wrote.

Is there any doubt that this is true?



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

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


27 March, 2019

Taxpayers paid for 22 Months, 19 Lawyers, 40 FBI, 2,800 Subpoenas, 500 Search Warrants, 500 Witnesses to investigate baseless Leftist claims about Russia

And still they are not happy

In his summary to congressional leaders on Sunday, Attorney General William Barr said Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his staff "thoroughly investigated allegations" that members of the Trump presidential campaign and others associated with it "conspired with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, or sought to obstruct the related federal investigations."

The FBI launched the counter-intelligence investigation into the Trump campaign in July 2016; Mueller took it over the following May, after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed him as special counsel.

According to Barr, in the course of his 22-month probe, Mueller "employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.

Still unknown: How much did all of that cost us, the taxpayers?

President Trump tweeted in November 2018 that the "Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt" had wasted "more than $40,000,000," but the final tally has not been released.

The Office of Special Counsel has posted its direct expenditures through September 30, 2018, as follows:

For the period May 17, 2017 through September 30, 2017: $3,213,695

 For the period October 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018: $4,506,624

For the period April 1, 2018 through September 30, 2018: $4,567,533

That's a total of $9,394,300, by the reckoning of Mueller's office, with 6 months unaccounted for.

Judicial Watch in December sued the U.S. Department of Justice for records of costs incurred by the security detail for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

As a result of his thorough investigation, Mueller indicted several Trump associates on charges unrelated to Russian collusion or coordination.

But he "did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities," Barr said, quoting from the report.

The second part of Mueller's report involves obstruction of justice, and here Mueller "did not draw a conclusion one way or the other as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction."

Following are the relevant paragraphs from Barr’s summary, which have been seized on by Democrats determined to forge ahead with their investigation/s into Trump world.

After making a "thorough factual investigation" into these matters (obstruction), the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion one way or the other as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as "difficult issues" of law and fact concerning whether the President's actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction.

The Special Counsel states that "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

Barr noted that Mueller left it to Barr himself "to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime." And Barr said it does not:

As Barr wrote:

Over the course of the investigation, the Special Counsel's office engaged in discussions with certain Department officials regarding many of the legal and factual matters at issue in the Special Counsel's obstruction investigation. After reviewing the Special Counsel's final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel's investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense. Our determination was made Without regard to, and is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president.

In making this determination, we noted that the Special Counsel recognized that "the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference," and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President's intent with respect to obstruction.

Generally speaking, to obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction, the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person, acting with corrupt intent, engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding. In cataloguing the President's actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department's principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of-justice offense.

Barr concluded his summary by saying he understands the public interest in the investigation: "For that reason, my goal and intent is to release as much of the Special Counsel's report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies."

He noted that some material in the report, including grand jury matters and information that may bear on other pending legal cases, may not be disclosed by law.

But Barr promised to "move forward expeditiously in determining what can be released in light of applicable law."



Trump has driven the Left mad.  They have lost touch with reality and the possible

Michael Reagan

Democrats are so desperate to prevent a second Trump term that their mob of 2020 presidential wannabes are throwing out every dumb, out-of-the-box or unconstitutional idea they can think of to stop him:

– Eliminate the Electoral College.

– Lower the voting age to 6 — sorry, 16.

– Pack the Supreme Court.

The other day Sen. Elizabeth Warren came up with getting rid of the Electoral College and electing presidents directly by popular vote.

It’s a horrible idea that only comes up when Republicans win the White House despite the wishes of huge Democrat majorities in large states like California, New York and Illinois.

It came up in 1980 with my dad and in 2000 with Bush II.

Here it is again with Trump, who lost the national popular vote by several million in 2016 only because Hillary won big in New York and California.

People like Sen. Warren think if we closed up the Electoral College — which was set up by the Founding Fathers as a compromise between big states and small states — it will put their splintered, increasingly leftist and apparently suicidal party back in the White House in 2020.

Other Democrat presidential candidates who’ve never read the Constitution or believe we can simply get rid of the 12th Amendment over a weekend think it’s a great idea.

“Let’s get rid of the Electoral College” is a great applause line when a limousine socialist college professor like Warren throws it out to one of her Constitutionally challenged audiences on the campaign trail.

But since ending the Electoral College would take a Constitutional amendment ratified by three-fourths of the states, it will never happen — and she and the other desperate Democrats know it.

But what about that other radical idea to put Democrats back into power in D.C. — lowering the voting age to 16?

Democrats like it because they know they’d easily get the votes of most 16-year-olds, thanks to the diet of liberal political crap they’re fed everyday by their teachers.

All Democrats have to do is keep promising the kids a fake future that includes free college, stricter gun control laws and a socialist paradise of free health care and green jobs that don’t involve work.

They can also keep telling the kids scary stories about how the world is going to end in 12 years if the party of AOC doesn’t get control and begin outlawing fossil fuels, cows and capitalism.

As for the idea of expanding the size of the Supreme Court from nine to 15, it’s an old Democrat Party trick that FDR tried in the 1930s.

It was brought out of mothballs this week by Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., who’s probably right to think he’s just as qualified to be president as Kamala, Corey and at least half of the other wannabes.

FDR tried to add as many as six friendly judges at the beginning of his second term because the Supreme Court’s conservative majority kept slapping down his New Deal laws for being what they were — unconstitutional over-reaches of executive power.

Packing the Supreme Court with new judges who agree with you is not unconstitutional.

But the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937 was such a transparent abuse of executive power that many Democrats in Congress joined with the Republican minority to oppose FDR’s planned power play.

Unfortunately for the country, FDR ultimately got his way when two justices changed their minds and voted to uphold the constitutionality of the Social Security Act and other New Deal legislation.

But his scheme to pack the high court backfired on him politically, which is something today’s desperate Democrats might want to remember.



An up-and-coming conservative: Marion Maréchal in France

If anything, the French are even more Patriotic and Conscious of their National Identity than Americans are. Perhaps because they are a more homogeneous population.   So Mr Trump might be a pointer to the future success of Marion Maréchal

Marine Le Pen’s niece takes her crusade to protect Catholic France into the classroom

The revamped Confluence neighbourhood of Lyon is a laboratory for modern eco-living. A self-driving electric bus runs along the river Rhône, and green architecture overlooks converted docks. Waterfront cafés serve health food, and arts centres rise on former industrial land. The new influx of metropolitan types into the district helped Emmanuel Macron win fully 82% of the vote in the second round of the French presidential election in 2017 against the nationalist Marine Le Pen.

Yet today this neighbourhood is also the improbable new home to a rather different sort of experiment, run by the youngest member of the Le Pen political dynasty. In a side street a private graduate school, the Institute of Social, Economic and Political Science, opened its doors last autumn. It is the brainchild of Marion Maréchal, niece of Marine, and granddaughter of Jean-Marie, founder of the National Front (now the National Rally). In theory the 29-yearold Ms Maréchal has given up politics, having been elected to the National Assembly for a term in 2012 while still a law student. In reality the third-generation Le Pen has ambitious plans to shape the agenda on the right—from outside electoral politics.

France may cherish conceptual thinking, but its aspirant politicians usually tread a route to electoral office via jobs as party hacks or on ministerial staff. Time spent in think-tanks or academia, American-style, is uncommon. What makes Ms Maréchal’s choice arresting is not that it reflects her political retirement: sitting in an empty classroom at the Lyon site, she states unambiguously that “I will certainly go back into politics.” It is, rather, that she sees the spread of ideas, and honing of a right-wing ideology, as a means of “continuing to be in politics, but in a different way”.

Dismissed by French educationalists as a gimmick, the school is a centre of training, not research. It offers two-year diplomas— not yet approved by the French state—to just 90 students in social sciences and business. Class topics, pinned to the wall in the entrance hall, range from media training and leadership to “France, Christianity and secularism” and “world Islamist organisations”. This push to break the “ideological conformity” of French thinking is part of what Ms Maréchal calls “cultural politics” or “meta-poli-tics”. “Our fight cannot only take place in elections,” she told the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington last year.

Ms Maréchal calls her brand of politics “conservative”. Which is telling, not least because the word is rarely used in France to define politics, and carries American echoes. Indeed, Benjamin Haddad, of the Atlantic Council in Washington, sees a parallel between the youngest Le Pen’s plans and the way American conservatives built institutions to mount a takeover of the Republican Party ahead of Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980. She is in contact, if irregularly, with Steve Bannon; and the former editor of the London edition of Breitbart News is on her school’s advisory board.

The conservative label also reflects Ms Maréchal’s obsession with preserving French Catholic identity, in an attempt to put an acceptable face on what is often a toxic nativist discourse. If Ms Maréchal rails against French secularists, who chase nativity scenes from town halls at Christmas, her main gripe is mass Muslim immigration. “I don’t want France to become a land of Islam,” she says. The “great replacement” theory popularised by Renaud Camus, an essayist who warns that Europe will be demographically swamped, is “not absurd”, she adds, quoting a study suggesting that the “indigenous French” will be a minority by 2040. “Just like you,” she told her Washington audience, “we want our country back.”

Perhaps most striking, Ms Maréchal’s embrace of the word “conservative” reflects a political strategy that sets her apart from her aunt. Marine Le Pen is more exercised by unfettered capitalism and “savage globalisation” than by family values, in line with her courtship of the working-class former Communist vote in France’s rustbelt. Hers is a classic anti-elite populism—her slogan for elections to the European Parliament in May is “Let’s give power to the people” —and she wears the populist tag as a badge of pride.

Ms Maréchal, like her grandfather, is more attuned to the economic worries of small businesses and artisans. And her core project is the defence of a France of church spires, rural roots and family values, which taps into a seam of Catholic nationalism. Unlike her aunt, she marched against gay marriage. Naturally, she does this with a modern French twist: Ms Maréchal is separated from the father of her young daughter, and photos of her with a member of Italy’s Northern League have made the celebrity press. But Ms Maréchal’s aim is not, Italian-style, to unite the populist right and left; “I don’t call myself a populist,” she says. It is, rather, to merge the right and the far right, by allying the working-class vote with that of the “bourgeoisie enracinée” (rooted bourgeoisie).

A new Maréchal plan [Maréchal is French for "marshall"]

Plenty of obstacles stand in the way, among them historical baggage and wide differences between the far right and the French Republicans over Europe, not to mention Ms Le Pen’s tight grip on her own party. Ms Maréchal will not challenge her aunt any time soon. Yet party politics in France, and in Europe, are unusually fluid. The Republicans have bled moderates to Mr Macron, shifting the party’s centre of gravity to the right. One ex-deputy, Thierry Mariani, recently defected to Ms Le Pen. Italy shows how unlikely political bedfellows can nonetheless end up together, and in power.

Above all, Ms Maréchal is in no rush. She stands to benefit from the broader success of reactionary books (by authors such as Eric Zemmour) and journals. Valeurs Actuelles, a right-wing magazine, sells more copies each week than Libération, a leftish paper, does each day. The editor of L’Incorrect, a monthly, sits on Ms Maréchal’s advisory board. It was in 1992 that the youngest Le Pen made her debut, as the blonde infant on a campaign poster in her grandfather’s arms. Today, confessing “admiration” for “his struggles”, she is playing the long game. It would be rash to ignore her.



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 March, 2019

Wealth is less to do with hard work or luck and more to do with your genes, DNA study shows

The findings below were well-known from twin studies but our knowledge of genetics has now advanced to the stage where we can look for the actual genes which underlie those findings.  And we are now begining to see them.  We can see that the genes that lead to high intelligence also lead to higher income etc.  In their usual blind way, Leftists usually dispute that IQ tests really measure anything.  But when you are seeing the associations in actual human genes, there is much less room for dispute.  The full, very detailed paper underlying the report below is here

It should be noted that the same studies which show a strong IQ influence on income also show negligible effects from family environment and other environmental variables.  Your genes really are your destiny and there's not much you can do about it. That finding will put a lot of noses out of joint on both the Right and the Left but that is what the data shows

Wealth and success may be less to do with hard work or luck and more to do with DNA, it seems. An analysis of 286,000 Britons showed that the genetic make-up of those who earned over Ł100,000 differed from those on low incomes.

A scan pointed to 24 ‘golden genes’ that affect intelligence, the immune system, and the strength of muscles and heart – and so can make the difference between economic success and poverty.

The discovery follows work at the Centre For Cognitive Ageing in Edinburgh.

Three-quarters of the genes are linked to intelligence, the scientists found. But physical attributes also affect the chances of being wealthy and some of these may be inherited.

‘Genetic variants associated with higher income correlate with a genetic predisposition for greater intelligence, a longer lifespan, better physical and mental health, fewer feelings of tiredness, having fewer children and better living conditions,’ the researchers say in a paper which is yet to be published.



'Progressive' = The New Nazi.  Both show an obsession with race and a contempt for life

Democratic Socialists, National Socialists and the ties that bind.

Before Donald Trump was elected President, and certainly since, self-described "progressives" or "democratic socialists" in the Democratic Party have denigrated anybody who opposes their agenda as Nazis. But are they engaging in psychological projection? Consider the following recent events.

Comments by Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Jim Clyburn and Rep. Rashida Tlaib display contempt for Jews -- in Rep. Clyburn's case, for victims of the Holocaust. Heavily Democratic legislatures in New York, Illinois and Virginia perpetuate the wanton destruction of human life by passing laws allowing abortion to the moment of birth. In Virginia, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam said a woman can choose whether a baby who survived a botched abortion should live. False flags are cynically organized to delude the unsuspecting and promote an agenda. Behind those developments is the pervasive identity politics that defines some groups as inherently better than others.

In those four areas -- anti-Semitism, genocide, false flags and identity politics -- do "democratic socialists" and Nazis share more than the former want to admit.

Contempt for Jews is not limited to Nazis or "democratic socialists." But by embracing Islam in their politics of "diversity" and "inclusion," the "democratic socialists" tolerate Islam's anti-Semitism. The Nazis understood the connection between Islam and anti-Semitism so well that they sought Islam as an ally in their politics of extermination.

Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, broadcast anti-Semitic messages from Berlin with Hitler's blessing from 1941 until the end of World War II. Al-Husseini -- a close ally of Hassan al-Banna, the Muslim Brotherhood's founder -- told Arabs in the British Mandate of Palestine to "kill the Jews wherever you find them," thereby continuing a personal campaign that lasted nearly 25 years.

The Waffen-SS also had a special Muslim division, the Handschar, named after the German word for scimitar. Comprised of Bosnian Muslims, the Handschar division perpetrated atrocities against Jewish civilians. Notably, it was the only division in the Waffen-SS allowed to have chaplains, with one imam presiding over each battalion.

Today, Hitler's "Mein Kampf" circulates widely in the Arab world, with no discouragement from Muslim clerics.

The House Democrats' flaccid response to its members' anti-Semitic remarks reflects the refusal to confront Islam's anti-Semitism. Their resolution condemning all forms of bigotry -- without mentioning Rep. Omar by name or Islamist terrorism -- reveals Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the house, to be this century's Neville Chamberlain.

Promoting the wanton destruction of human life extends beyond abortion. Last March, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown -- a Democrat whom Planned Parenthood endorsed for re-election last year -- signed legislation allowing mentally ill patients to be denied food and water unless that patient issued an advanced directive to the contrary before becoming debilitated. Previously, only caregivers with power of attorney could make such a decision. The bill received unanimous support from the Democrats in the Oregon legislature's House of Representatives.

In January, Oregon's Democrats introduced another bill expanding the state's law governing medically assisted suicide to include any patient with an incurable disease or intolerable pain. Currently, only patients who are expected to live no more than six months because of a terminal disease qualify.

This March, Maryland's House of Delegates -- the lower chamber of that state's legislature, the General Assembly -- approved legislation allowing medically assisted suicide. The bill passed 74-66 on March 7 -- with 73 of the chamber's 99 Democrats supporting it. Within days, members of Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer Labor Party sponsored similar legislation in each house of the state legislature. Six states and the District of Columbia permit physician-assisted suicide.

Such laws follow the ultimate logic of the Nazis' euthanasia program, Aktion T4, which Hitler personally initiated in 1939 and which doctors administered. Designed to eliminate what the Nazis called "life unworthy of life," the program focused on the chronically ill, the elderly, the disabled, and the mentally incapacitated -- whether adults or children -- using mercy as one excuse for extermination.

During Aktion T4's two years of open operation, nearly 70,000 died from starvation, dehydration, lethal injection and gassing. The Nazis built six gas chambers designed as showers to fool the victims. Though public pressure forced the Nazis to discontinue the program in 1941, it provided the basis for the murderous methods used in death camps.

The utilitarian impulse governing the use of tissue from aborted fetuses for such bizarre experiments as creating humanized mice -- usage that has the Democrats' implied consent -- also governed the Nazis' use of prisoners for their own macabre experiments in concentration camps. In one example, camp doctors infected children with tuberculosis, removed their lymph nodes to determine the disease's progress, then executed their subjects.

The "democratic socialists" and the Nazis even share the propensity to promote their agendas by fabricating incidents. Eight decades before Jussie Smollett staged a hate crime supposedly perpetrated by Trump's supporters, the Nazis orchestrated a scenario that plunged the world into war.

On Aug. 31, 1939, with relations between Germany and Poland rapidly deteriorating, Polish troops attacked and briefly took over a German radio station near the Polish border to broadcast this message: "Attention! This is Gliwice. The broadcasting station is in Polish hands."

Gliwice was the Polish name for the then-German town of Gleiwitz. Gunfire could be heard during the broadcast. German police overpowered the troops and re-captured the radio station.

Only the Polish troops were not Polish troops. They were members of the SS, who not only carried out the attack but dressed concentration-camp inmates in Polish army uniforms and killed them as "proof." One of the "troops" was an unmarried German farmer who sympathized with the Poles. The SS arrested him a day earlier and murdered him.

German radio carried news of the faux attack within hours. It seemed that Hitler's assertions about the Poles oppressing and killing German nationals had merit. The next day, Sept. 1, Hitler declared war against Poland. World War II had begun.

The Gleiwitz "attack" belonged to a campaign of false flags orchestrated in late August 1939 by the SS and German military intelligence, the Abwehr. Attention to detail was so meticulous that the Abwehr also provided Polish military equipment and Polish military identification to the fake troops.

Nearly 80 years later, a swastika and the words, "Heil Trump" and "Fag Church" were found on the walls of St. David's Episcopal Church in Brown County, Ind. immediately after Trump's election. The graffiti was "among numerous incidents that have occurred in the wake of Trump’s Election Day win," wrote the Washington Post. Yet six months later, police arrested organist George Nathaniel Stang for vandalizing his own church.

"I suppose I wanted to give local people a reason to fight for good, even if it was a false flag," wrote Stang, who wanted to "mobilize a movement."

That movement reflects the "democratic socialists' " goal of arbitrarily favoring ostensibly oppressed groups at the expense of those in power. That goal varies from the Nazis' racial policies only in the nature of the groups. Otherwise, both narratives are fundamentally identical.

Just as the "democratic socialists" view women, African Americans, Latinos, Muslims and the sexually non-straight as needing special protection from powerful whites, Christians and capitalists, so did the Nazis view "Aryans" as needing special protection from Jews, socialists and capitalists. Just as the Nazis viewed "Aryans" as superior due to their race, so do "democratic socialists" view the marginalized as inherently superior due to their victimization.

If racism is the belief that ethnicity matters more than values, ideas and ethics, then "democratic socialists" and Nazis are identically racist. In both cases, individual rights and equality under the rule of law mean nothing.

Herbert Marcuse, a philosopher of the neo-Marxist Frankfurt School, rejected the American ideal of individual liberty under law in favor of preferences for designated groups at others' expense. Marcuse advocated a "policy of unequal treatment" that "would protect radicalism on the Left against that on the Right,” he wrote.

Such a policy, Marcuse wrote, would demand "the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups and movements" that oppose Leftist goals, and "may necessitate new and rigid restrictions on teachings and practices in the educational institutions."

This was the Nazis' practice in service of their ideology. This is the democratic socialists' goal in service of theirs. 

Tucker Carlson discussed the applied consequences of Marcuse's approach March 11 during his Fox News show:

"You sometimes hear modern progressives described as the new Puritans. That’s a slur on colonial Americans. Whatever their flaws, the Puritans cared about the fate of the human soul and the moral regeneration of their society. Those aren’t topics that interest progressives. They’re too busy pushing late-term abortion and cross-dressing on fifth graders. These are the people who write our movies and sitcoms.

The Left’s main goal, in case you haven’t noticed, is controlling what you think. In order to do that, they have to control the information you receive. Google and Facebook and Twitter are on board. They’re happy to ban unapproved thoughts without apology. They often do. So do the other cable channels, and virtually every major news outlet in this country. ... They demand total conformity."

Indeed, in issuing warnings about Nazis, the "democratic socialists" and their appeasers in the Democratic Party are issuing warnings about themselves. 



Liberalism Is Dehumanizing

By David Limbaugh

Liberal ideology is rife with inconsistencies, but none is greater than how its supposedly animating motivation — human compassion — is contradicted by its devaluation of human life.

Liberals have long claimed superior compassion and demonized conservatives as being uncaring. This has always been untrue while superficially appearing to be true, and liberals have evangelized countless young minds with this seductive canard.

It's difficult to convince embryonic liberal activists that individual liberals may be compassionate but their governing ideology and the inevitable consequences of their policies are not. It's also difficult to make them see that conservatives are compassionate and tolerant when we stand for unchanging moral standards and openly disagree with policies that liberals successfully peddle as compassionate.

But beyond the superficial rhetoric, liberalism does not stand the test of compassion, because it subordinates individuality to identity groups and the collective and degrades human dignity. One of the great ironies of secular humanism is its purported championship of mankind as the measure of all things while undermining what makes us human. How can a philosophy that devalues human individuality ultimately be compassionate toward human beings?

The most obvious example is liberals' extreme advocacy of abortion, making it a holy sacrament that is not about individual choice but a paranoid conviction that pro-lifers threaten women's rights, health care and autonomy.

Another example is socialism, which the leftist-dominated Democratic Party is virtually embracing today. Throughout history, socialists have duped millions of well-meaning people into believing that free market capitalism is evil and socialism is noble. I don't even subscribe to the glib pitch that it is wonderful in theory but doesn't work in practice. It's also unappealing in theory because it is fundamentally at odds with human nature and the human spirit. It arrogantly assumes it can remake human beings as irresponsive to incentives and devoid of their competitive spirit and their natural yearning for liberty.

In practice, socialism has consistently impoverished and enslaved. With its top-down control of the economy, it obliterates individual economic liberty and thus robs individuals of an essential part of their humanity. Government-forced transfer payments — taking other people's money to satisfy one's sense of moral self-worth — is a far cry from charity and compassion. I know of no conservatives who oppose a social safety net for the truly needy, provided it incentivizes the able-bodied to return to the workforce.

When it comes to health care, of course conservatives want to maximize people's access to the highest-quality care at the lowest prices and most choices, but they dispute that forcing everyone to be insured helps achieve any of those goals efficiently. What is true of socialized medicine is true of socialism generally: It doesn't work anywhere in the long run — including in Sweden, truth be told. How compassionate are socialism and less extreme big-government liberalism when they destroy economic growth and prosperity and, left to their own devices, often lead to totalitarianism? Socialism, just like much of economic and political liberalism, is more about people seeking power and control over individual lives.

The latest rage is intersectionality, which establishes new hierarchies of victimhood and privilege based on the overlapping and interrelated categories of disadvantages that groups of people have experienced. We must no longer look at discrimination through the "single-axis framework" of race, gender, class, disability, etc., but understand how the various identities intersect. Some people have multiple "burdens" or "disadvantages," such that black women, for example, suffer more discrimination than black men and white women. Unless we refine our thinking to account for these combinations of disabilities, the most disadvantaged will be ignored. Isn't this exhausting? Who really thinks like this if not forced to?

This is why feminists have recently been shamed for promoting their singular cause while presumably ignoring the plight of transgender people, gay people, the disabled and black women in particular. It is why intersectionality zealots are questioning whether Sen. Kamala Harris is "black enough" to be president, as her father is Jamaican and her mother is Indian. She may not be black enough because she is not African-American — a bona fide descendant of American slaves. It is why race- and gender-obsessed people are upset that the three Democratic presidential front-runners are white men.

It doesn't seem to occur to these self-described supporters of democracy that three white guys happen to be ahead because people are voicing their opinions. It also doesn't seem to bother the Democrats expressing their preference for white men that though they won't dare challenge the orthodoxy of intersectionality, they are violating its premises with their voting inclinations.

Among other things, intersectionality is dehumanizing because people are demonized or protected depending on their group, not on what they have done or what they have personally experienced. How can people not see that this kind of thinking violates our basic sense of justice and accountability? Intersectionality, perhaps even more than the rudimentary forms of identity politics that preceded it, is also damaging to people because it forces them to focus on themselves as victims of disadvantaged groups rather than encourage them to strive, as individuals, to be the best they can be.

If the results of liberals' policies — as opposed to their good intentions, posturing and virtue signaling — count for anything and if the ideas they promote are as dehumanizing as they appear, though many individual liberals may have enormous hearts, the ideology to which they are in thrall is stunningly uncompassionate.



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 March, 2019

The stupid Leftist dream of "affordable housing"

The dream is not stupid but the means Leftists use to address it invariably are.  Read the article below and I will add some comments at the foot of it

Cambridge has emerged as ground zero in the struggle to create more affordable housing amid Greater Boston’s sizzling real estate market.

Sure, other communities — Newton and Arlington among them — are debating controversial zoning changes that could spur taller, bigger buildings. And in Boston, city councilors are weighing a new tax for high-end properties that would funnel money to affordable-housing construction.

But a step that the Cambridge City Council could take might be considered even more radical.

City officials are essentially deciding whether to establish an entirely new citywide zoning code, but one that just applies to 100-percent affordable residential projects.

Developers of these affordable units would be able to build taller and denser projects than what would normally be allowed in a particular neighborhood. Apartment buildings could go up in places currently limited to just one- or two-family homes.

The proposal drew passionate pleas from both sides during a City Council committee hearing on Wednesday. To many people, this zoning change is a long-needed concept that should be replicated in other Greater Boston cities to keep up with the intense demand for housing. To others, it’s the kind of well-intentioned urban planning that could wreck a neighborhood.

The truth is, Cambridge already does more than most communities. About 15 percent of the city’s housing stock is considered affordable, compared to a statewide average of nearly 10 percent.

But affordable-housing developers, many of them nonprofits, say this dramatic zoning change could be essential to compete in a city where 1,100-square-foot condos can hit the market for nearly $1 million.


Who the heck do these Leftist clowns think is going to build in these rezoned areas?  Building any new building runs big financial risks so the final project has to be very profitable before any builder is prepared to leap in.  And how is it going to be profitable if the owner can charge only "affordable" rents.  I predict that one of two things will happen:

 1) Nothing new will be built in the areas concerned as builders look elsewhere for profitable projects;

2).  New projects will be built but the rents will be "affordable" to only a token degree.  No other outcome is possible

What is needed to get housing costs down is deregulation in general and ending land use restrictions in particular, both of which are anathema to the control freaks of the Left


The Insane Want to Run the Asylum

By Rich Kozlovich

The left is insane.  How do I know that?  It's real easy. Leftism has been a massive failure from its very beginning with the French Revolution and the resulting "Terror" the ruling class imposed on French society. A totalitarian pattern that's been repeated with every socialist dominated society.  So, to keep insisting on repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting a different outcome is insane.  At least that's what Einstein thought, and I agree!

Currently, there's a "clown car" of leftist loons running to become President of the United States in 2020.  What are they promoting?

Every one of them wants to abolish the Electoral College, pack the Supreme Court, lower the voting age to 16, create new states by splitting up California, recognizing Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia as states, in order to create more Democrat Senators, impose a New Green Deal that will destroy the economy all the while claiming it will "reinvigorate the workforce" , demonstrating a complete lack of economic clarity.

They work to stop prosecutions on illegal aliens who've committed crimes claiming it's discriminatory. How can anyone not think this is complete nonsense?  Have we lost our minds? Why would the Supreme Court have to hear this?

These people have committed crimes. First, they're here illegally and secondly, they're stealing someone else's identity.  They're criminals! Why is that so hard to accept?  But leftist logic declares it discriminatory.

In spite of the fact student loans have, destroyed the affordability of a college education they want to forgive all those loans and make college free. Can you imagine how the costs would skyrocket then?

They insist that Global Warming is man made and is going to destroy the world in twelve years. Prince Phillip said something like that fifteen years ago.  He also said there were only months left before we were past the point of no return.  Amazing! He's still flying around the world and living the good life. But in the sane world,  time is on the side of those of us who've taken an opposing view.

Islamists have practically taken over the Democrat party to the point many have a legitimate fear we're facing a new holocaust in the near future.

As for those who claim to be conservatives - what a confused lot!

Many who refer to themselves as conservatives are lost because they're not real conservatives with firm moral and intellectual foundations.

 "Democrats talk about legalizing marijuana, murdering babies, welcoming Jihadists, seizing our guns, Soc. Sec. payments to illegals, demanding the popular vote over the Electoral vote and supporting ignorant Marxist puppet loons like AOC who wants everything free for all with no idea how to pay for it, short of the common tactic used by all governments… steal it from the producers. This applies to Bernie and the high cheek boned, blond Indian Princess, Elizabeth Warren. While other Democrat contenders may lurk in the shadows, they only try to out promise the other guy with what they would do with our money. These are simple people, you know, Morons."

How could any legitimate conservative feel they're "wandering in the wilderness" or "culturally powerless" in the face of all that?  Every one of these initiatives should all be a fuse that light fires in every real conservative.  The rest are all phonies and traitors to the very concept of conservatism, like John Kasich, John, McCain and a host of others.  All with stunningly slippery moral convictions.

As I see it, as a society we have four options.

Ignorance, which is fixable.

Stupidity, which is ignorance coupled with complacency.

Insanity, which is unavoidable if you accept their conclusions
- or -
Clear rational thinking which means accepting the reality that to be on the left is irrational and misanthropic, morally defective and everything these leftist loons say are lies of commission and lies of omission.

Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180 C.E.) once noted; "The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."  How much more important is it to keep the insane from turning society into an insane asylum with they, the lunatics in charge? 



The Left Is Doubling Down on Schemes to Pack the Supreme Court

I am pretty sure the court itself would disallow "packing"

Anything the left can’t control, it aims to destroy.

From campaigns to abolish the Senate to the growing movement to upend the Electoral College after Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 presidential election, progressives have few qualms about getting rid of long-standing constitutional institutions.

Now they’re doubling down on their efforts to wage war on the Supreme Court.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday that Democrats should consider court-packing during an appearance at Yale, noting that he would try to add two seats if he were president.

The left has relied on the Supreme Court to solidify its policy gains over the past half-century in particular. Now it faces the prospect of an originalist-leaning institution overturning some progressive precedents.

Left-wing groups are openly advocating that the next Democrat president pack the Supreme Court to expand the number of justices behind the now traditional nine.

Politico reported that one initiative, appropriately named “Pack the Courts,” is trying to get 2020 presidential candidates to sign onto a pledge to do just that.

“At Demand Justice, we strongly believe that reforming the court—especially by expanding it—is the cornerstone for rebuilding American democracy,” said Brian Fallon, director of Demand Justice and a former Hillary Clinton press secretary, according to Politico. “The Kavanaugh court is a partisan operation, and democracy simply cannot function when stolen courts operate as political shills. We are thrilled to work in coalition with the team at Pack the Courts to undo the politicization of the judiciary.”

Some Democrats, at least initially, have resisted the court-packing temptation.

However, the left will exert enormous pressure on Democrats to buckle under the power of a left-wing base that is unconcerned about preserving institutions that they see as standing in the way of social justice.

This partisan attempt to pack the court under the guise of “reform” is nothing new. When Justice Anthony Kennedy—often seen as a swing vote on the high court—retired, some progressives immediately jumped in to make the case that it was time to use full-blown court-packing once they return to power.

The fact that progressives made this argument before Justice Brett Kavanaugh even sat on the high court shows that there wasn’t really a deeper problem with “the Kavanaugh court” other than the fact that it now contained more originalists.

One has to imagine too that if President Donald Trump simply took the left’s advice and started carrying out his own court-packing, they would denounce him as a tyrant.

However, it’s far too much to expect intellectual consistency in this matter. The Supreme Court as traditionally constituted is a threat to the left’s ability to radically transform America.

It must be destroyed.

While this brazenly partisan attempt to blow up the Supreme Court has certainly been an uncommon phenomenon in recent political debates, it’s not entirely unprecedented.

The Constitution actually says nothing about the number of Supreme Court justices, who serve for life, or more specifically “during good behavior.”

In the early 19th century, the Supreme Court’s size changed a few times with little fanfare. In part due to the lesser capacity of the federal government in those days, the court wasn’t seen as powerful and important as it is today.

The high court settled into having nine justices in 1869, and has stayed that way ever since.

Only once was this number seriously challenged after that time. President Franklin Roosevelt infamously attempted court-packing in the 1930s.

When the Supreme Court struck down many of his cherished New Deal programs, FDR threatened to pack the court with new justices. Specifically, he requested that Congress allow him to appoint a new justice for every current justice over 70.

Roosevelt cited age and caseload as the reasons to carry out his plan. But as popular as FDR was in 1937, the country responded negatively.

The plan was met with fierce resistance. Democrats had almost unprecedented control of Congress, but many lawmakers recoiled at the idea of bludgeoning the Supreme Court and undermining its independence.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Erwin Griswold, a professor at Harvard Law School, said dramatically in 1937, according to Smithsonian Magazine:

"There are at least two ways of getting rid of judges. One is to take them out and shoot them, as they are reported to do in at least one other country. The other way is more genteel, but no less effective. They are kept on the public payroll but their votes are canceled"

Many Americans saw FDR’s move as a naked power grab, not unlike Thomas Jefferson’s attempt to impeach Federalist justices when he was president (which didn’t go well).

Almost paradoxically, these perceived partisan attacks on the court have served to strengthen its reputation in the American mind, for good or ill.

But can we be so sure that the country would be united in thwarting such a brazen scheme today?

Openly embracing socialism was once thought unthinkable in mainstream American politics, too.

For now, the movement to pack the court may just be a palliative to soothe the anger of the left-wing base. However, if these ideas ever came to fruition they would cause further damage to the notion that we live under a constitutional system that puts laws over men.

Sen. Burton Wheeler, a staunch Democrat ally of Roosevelt, gave perhaps the most succinct reason to oppose such a court-packing scheme in a 1937 speech:

"Create now a political court to echo the ideas of the executive and you have created a weapon. A weapon which, in the hands of another president in times of war or other hysteria, could well be an instrument of destruction. A weapon that can cut down those guarantees of liberty written into your great document by the blood of your forefathers and that can extinguish your right of liberty, of speech, of thought, of action, and of religion. A weapon whose use is only dictated by the conscience of the wielder"

It’s certainly correct to worry about the power of the Supreme Court, which has become distended compared to the original intent of the Founding Fathers.

But taking a partisan ax to the way the court is structured won’t fix the problem.



Democrats' Orwellian 'Equality' Act

House Democrats reintroduced their so-called "Equality Act" last week. The bill would add "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the protected classes under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, as The Heritage Foundation explains, "Where the original Civil Rights Act of 1964 furthered equality by ensuring that African-Americans had equal access to public accommodations and material goods, the Equality Act would further inequality by penalizing everyday Americans for their beliefs about marriage and biological sex. Similar sexual orientation and gender identity laws at the state and local level have already been used in this way."

Frankly, the "Equality Act" would step all over Americans' First Amendment rights. Heritage further highlights five specific groups who would be harmed should the act ever become law: employers and workers, medical professionals, parents and children, women, and nonprofits and volunteers. In other words, the law would directly impact virtually everyone living in America.

This ill-conceived legislation is the kind of heavy-handed, government-forced thinking that many have long warned against. The law would not merely protect those individuals expressing new sexual "norms" or gender "identity" from suffering physical harm; rather it seeks to force all Americans to accept and embrace leftist ideology. It would compel speech. We have already seen examples of this reality, where in Virginia just last year a high-school teacher was fired for his refusal to address a gender-dysphoric individual by their preferred pronoun. The teacher argued that to use a pronoun contrary to the biological sex of the student went against his faith, as it would be engaging in a lie. He noted that he believed God created human beings and furthermore determined their biological sex, and therefore the teacher was not free to ignore this reality or pretend otherwise.

Democrats claim the law would ban discrimination, but the reality is that it would simply insert a new and much more dangerous discrimination — a kind of discrimination that runs counter to the Liberty all Americans share under the Constitution. It would effectively create a more "equal" classification of individual whose status would trump the freedom and rights of others. The truth is, this law is not about equality at all; it's about using the power of government to force others into conforming to the immoral ideals of a protected class. It is in fact evil.



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 March, 2019

Trump's Rose-Colored Forecasts Surprisingly Accurate

Veronique de Rugy
Much of my time is spent criticizing politicians for misrepresenting the impact of their policies. So, for once, I’d actually like to note an area where the Trump White House has represented the impact of its policies more accurately, and even better, than any other administration: economic growth forecasts. It may not sound like much, and I’d rather they balance the budget, but that’s a start.

The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 requires that each administration report “the economic and programmatic assumptions” underlying a budget. The result is a database of every administration’s growth forecasts released since 1975. Using this data, the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) just released a report showing that this administration “is the first on record to have experienced economic growth that meets or exceeds its own forecasts in each of its first two years in office.”

The report displays two charts that span the Carter administration through the Trump administration. One chart shows the first year in office, the other the second year, and each show what the administration forecasted growth to be versus what was achieved.

For both years, the Trump administration’s actual growth was equal or slightly higher than the projected growth rates. While it forecasted growth of 2.3 percent during Trump’s first year in office, it reached 2.5 percent. In the second year, its projection of 3.1 percent was equal to actual growth.

By comparison, President George W. Bush’s projections were seriously off during his first year in office. His administration predicted 2.6 percent growth but only achieved 0.2 percent. His second-term projections were again overly optimistic by nearly a full percent. Growth projections for his father, President George H. W. Bush, were off by 0.6 percent during his first year and by 1.7 percent in his second year. President Ronald Reagan’s projections were only off by 0.1 percent in his first year, but his forecast was off by 4.6 percent during his second year due to a recession.

The Trump administration’s accuracy is an interesting anomaly. CEA acknowledges, “Forecasting macroeconomic growth is never an exact science.” This is true, regardless of which public entities published the forecast. It’s also generally true, regardless of the country. Back in 2011, Harvard economist Jeffrey Frankel published a National Bureau of Economic Research paper on the unreliability of economic forecasting. Frankel looked at data from 33 countries and found a systematic bias toward overly optimistic official forecasts for gross domestic product and budget balances.

Overly optimistic assumptions for economic growth lead to over-optimism in budget estimates. Frankel suggests that the “average upward bias in the official forecast of the budget balance, relative to the realized balance, is 0.2 percent of GDP at the one-year horizon, 0.8 percent at the two-year horizon, and 1.5 percent at the three-year horizon.” However, Frankel notes the United States tends to be even more overly optimistic than other countries: “The U.S. and UK forecasts have substantial positive biases around 3 percent of GDP at the three-year horizon (approximately equal to their actual deficit on average; in other words, on average they repeatedly forecast a disappearance of their deficits that never came).”

Unsurprisingly, optimism bias is more pronounced during boom times, or times of economic prosperity. Yet Frankel found that optimism also persists during busts: “Evidently official forecasters … over-estimate the permanence of the booms and the transitoriness of the busts.”

While the Obama administration got tripped up by how long the burst lasted, the Trump administration could get cocky about the longevity of the boom. His latest budget projects 10 straight years of 3 percent real growth, but if this forecast fails to materialize, it will make the budget deficits and debt levels worse than projected.

Interestingly, the CEA report adopts a posture of humility by not taking too much credit for the forecasting performance of the administration’s first two years, noting, “Forecasts today could perform better than forecasts in the past, for instance, due to improvements over time in the economics literature. The data seem consistent with at least this pattern: this Administration, as the figures in aggregate show, is the first on record to have experienced economic growth that meets or exceeds its own forecasts in each of its first two years in office.”

I suspect this humility will serve the administration well, as we advance through this president’s term and future forecasts.



Gavin Newsom's death-row betrayal

by Jeff Jacoby

ON JUNE 15, 1990, Rosie Alfaro went to the house of a friend in Anaheim, Calif. She thought no one would be home, and planned to break in and steal valuables to sell for drug money.

But the house wasn't empty. The door was opened by 9-year-old Autumn Wallace, who recognized her older sister's friend, and let her in when she said she needed to use the bathroom. As Autumn returned to what she had been doing — coloring paper dolls with crayons — Alfaro took a knife from the kitchen. Then, pretending she needed help with an eyelash curler, she coaxed Autumn into the bathroom and stabbed the little girl 57 times. Autumn bled to death on the bathroom floor, and Alfaro stole household items that she later sold for less than $300.

At trial two years later, Alfaro was sentenced to death. Superior Court Judge Theodore Millard called the murder of Autumn Wallace the most "senseless, brutal, vicious, and callous" killing he had ever encountered. After 15 years of delays and appeals, the California Supreme Court unanimously upheld the lawfulness of Alfaro's punishment.

That punishment has never been imposed. Though California has the largest death row in the nation, it hasn't executed a murderer since 2006. If the state's new Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, gets his way, that won't change: Newsom last week announced a unilateral reprieve for all 737 capital murderers on California's death row. In effect, he declared that should any execution be scheduled while he is in office, he will use his authority to grant temporary reprieves to block it. Newsom made it one of his first priorities to ensure that neither Alfaro nor any other killer awaiting punishment in California is ever put to death.

At Alfaro's trial, her defense lawyer urged the jury to reject the death penalty, which he said should be reserved for serial killers. There are plenty of them on Death Row, too — monsters like Chester Turner, who murdered 14 women, one of them pregnant, between 1987 and 1998, and Eric Leonard, who in 1991 gunned down three people in a Sacramento market for kicks, then a week later killed three more in a pizza parlor. Indeed, among the inmates Newsom has pledged to keep alive are 160 murderers each of whom was convicted of killing at least three victims. There are 25 prisoners on Death Row who slaughtered six or more human beings apiece.

Capital punishment is a controversial subject in California. Through ballot propositions, voters have repeatedly been asked to abolish the death penalty — and have repeatedly upheld it instead. During Newsom's tenure as lieutenant governor and campaign for governor, the subject came up often. In 2012, he vigorously supported Proposition 34, a well-funded initiative to replace capital punishment with life imprisonment. After that attempt failed, he just as vigorously supported Proposition 62, another initiative to end the death penalty. It too was defeated.

As a gubernatorial candidate, Newsom solemnly pledged to abide by the voters' death-penalty decisions, despite disagreeing with them. He promised to be "accountable to the will of the voters" and not let his "personal opinions" interfere with "the public's right to make a determination" about capital punishment. His spokesman last year told the San Francisco Chronicle that Newsom "recognizes that California voters have spoken on the issue and [would] respect the will of the electorate." In editorial-board meetings, Newsom agreed that "it would be an affront for a governor to say 'Here's what I'm going to do by fiat.'"

His word was not to be trusted.

Newsom plainly believes his betrayal will benefit him politically. He is being cheered by many on the left — including, it should be said, many liberals appalled by President Trump's unilateral declaration of a "national emergency" at the border. Rachel Maddow hailed him on her MSNBC show the other night as "a potential vice presidential choice."

Double-dealing politicians are not a new phenomenon; neither is Newsom's reputation for deceit. And in practical terms, the governor's reprieve for everyone on death row changes little: Executions weren't being carried out in California anyway. Newsom's decree means only that the justice long ago promised to Autumn Wallace, and to so many hundreds of other murder victims, will go on being denied. The depraved killers who sent them to early graves will never pay the penalty that judges, juries, and appellate courts — and voters — all agreed they should pay. California's worst murderers can look forward to living to a ripe old age, adding pitiless insult to unspeakable injury, as a smug and preening governor does his best to make sure that murder in his state will not be taken too seriously.



CNN Political Commentator Goes FULL Racist, Shouts: President Trump Is A ‘White Nationalist’

Despite constantly condemning white nationalists, President Trump is still referred to by many on the left as a …wait for it… white nationalist.

Friday on CNN’s “The Lead,” network political commentator Symone Sanders reacted to President Donald Trump’s statements on white nationalism one day after the mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques that left 49 dead.

When asked if white nationalism is a rising threat, Trump said, “I don’t, really. It’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. I guess, if you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that’s a case.”  .....

She added, “I believe Donald Trump is a white nationalist. I believe he has allied himself with white supremacist ideology for the very reason, given the policies he has advocated for. He said, just in the remarks in Oval Office, that invaders are coming, these criminals. He is other people, and that type of language is dangerous.”

According to the far-left outlet’s own fact sheet, CNN is currently available in 90 million households. This means 90 million people pay money to CNN every month even though fewer than one million on average actually watch CNN.

It is called a carriage fee, and every month you subsidize this hate network to the tune of about $1.00 a month, or around $12.00 a year.

That means the welfare queens at CNN snatch about $90 million a month just because the game is rigged to force you to pay for a propaganda outlet that encourages and legitimizes violence, a hate network that runs one blacklisting campaign after another to de-platform conservatives or anyone who challenges that establishment.

The bottom line is that CNN needs, nay, must do better. The nonsense and hatred that emanates from the network toward Trump and workaday Republicans is beyond the pale – even for them.



Israel Thanks US for Targeting Int’l Criminal Court Probe: ‘This Court Has Lost its Way’

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu thanked the Trump administration Wednesday for its decision to bar admission to anyone involved in an International Criminal Court probe into alleged U.S. abuses in Afghanistan.

Israel and others share U.S. concerns that “this court has lost its way,” he said.

“Instead of dealing with mass atrocities, the court engages in unwarranted and politicized efforts to target the states that are committed to the rule of law and that have not joined the court,” Netanyahu said during a joint appearance in Jerusalem with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“It’s exact opposite of what it should be doing.”

Netanyahu said the fact Pompeo had spoken out against that was “of stellar importance.”

“I thank the United States for taking the moral and necessary steps to protect the citizens of both our countries against this outrageous distortion of international law.”

Neither the U.S. nor Israel ratified the ICC’s founding Rome Statute, which was adopted in 1998 and came into effect in 2002.

Washington’s key concern was that troops stationed abroad could find themselves hauled before the tribunal. President Clinton signed the treaty, but chose not to seek Senate advice and consent. The George W. Bush administration then signed more than 100 agreements with nations undertaking not to surrender U.S. citizens to the ICC without U.S. consent.

Israel, although an early proponent of the initiative, walked away over the decision to classify Jewish settlement on disputed territory (“the transfer of an occupying power’s population into a territory it occupies”) as a war crime punishable by the court.

Of ten situations currently undergoing “preliminary examination” by the ICC prosecutor’s office, those focusing on Afghanistan and the disputed territories are among the most politically sensitive:

--Allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity by U.S. troops and CIA personnel in Afghanistan and at secret facilities in eastern Europe since 2002-3

--Allegations of war crimes committed by Israeli personnel in “the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,” since a mid-2014 date that marked the run-up to the Israel-Hamas conflict that year.

On Friday, Pompeo announced that the U.S. will bar entry to and withhold visas from anyone “directly responsible for any ICC investigation of U.S. personnel,” and that those restrictions may also be applied “to deter ICC efforts to pursue” personnel of allies, including Israelis, without their consent.

“We are determined to protect the American and allied military and civilian personnel from living in fear of unjust prosecution for actions taken to defend our great nation,” he said.

The action followed a warning by National Security Advisor John Bolton last fall, that the U.S. not only would not cooperate with the court, but would take punitive measures if it pursues U.S. citizens.

The U.S. would “not sit quietly” if the ICC continues action against Israel or other allies, Bolton said at the time. (Another ICC preliminary probe deals with allegations of war crimes by British personnel during the Iraq War.)

Cooperation prohibited under US law

While the U.S. and Israel are not party to the Rome Statute, Afghanistan is, and in 2015 the “State of Palestine” was allowed to join despite not being a sovereign entity. Two weeks later the court’s chief prosecutor in The Hague launched a “preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine.”

The ICC’s Afghanistan probe relates to allegations of “torture, outrages upon personal dignity and rape and other forms of sexual violence” by U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan, and by CIA personnel in Afghanistan and at covert facilities in Poland, Romania and Lithuania.

The investigation is also looking into alleged abuses by the Taliban and Haqqani network terrorist groups, and by the Afghan armed forces.

Apart from the fact that the U.S. is not a party to the ICC treaty, U.S. law also forbids cooperation with the tribunal.

The American Service Members’ Protection Act, signed by Bush in 2002, prohibits the use of federal funds “for the purpose of assisting the investigation, arrest, detention, extradition, or prosecution of any United States citizen or permanent resident alien by the International Criminal Court.”

Under the Rome Statute’s “principle of complementarity,” the ICC may exercise jurisdiction only where national legal systems fail to do so, or when they are unwilling or unable genuinely to prosecute.

In 2006, the Bush administration reported to a U.N. body in Geneva that it had carried out more than 600 criminal investigations into alleged mistreatment by personnel in the campaign against terrorism. It said more than 250 individuals had been held accountable for detainee abuse, with punishments including prison terms of up to ten years.

Reacting to Pompeo’s announcement, the president of the ICC Assembly of the 122 countries now party to the treaty, P-Gon Kwon of South Korea, said the ICC is “non-political.”

The assembly was committed to preserve the ICC’s integrity, “undeterred by any threats against the court, its officials and those cooperating with it,” 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)


22 March, 2019

‘Damn socialism, why are you chasing me?’ Chinese-Americans see ghost of communism in Democrats’ leftward turn

When Saga Zhou first moved to the United States from China in 2009, she steered clear of politics. The Communist Party rules supreme in China, so most Chinese immigrants bring a built-in aversion to political involvement.

But Zhou’s interest in politics was piqued as she began to see the American Left embracing policies that reminded her of those she’d fled in China.

One such policy was the Left’s support for late-term abortion. When she lived in China, Zhou, like many young Chinese, didn’t consider abortion to be a big deal. But her view changed after moving to America, getting married, and bearing two children.

“After I became a mother, my understanding about life fundamentally changed,” she told me when we met at a Panera Bread in Irvine. “Now I am totally a mother.”

Zhou said her heart broke upon learning about a Virginia bill to loosen restrictions on late-term abortions. Appearing on a radio show as the bill was being debated, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam pledged to sign the legislation, even suggesting it would sanction infanticide.

“Oh, when I saw the news, I cannot even open [the article],” Zhou said through tears. “It was really hard. I just felt something really strong into my chest. And then I said, ‘Let me adopt him, don’t kill him.'”

The proposed law hit especially close to home for Zhou, whose mother became pregnant with her just as China’s government began implementing its brutal one-child policy.

The policy prohibited most couples from having more than one child. Women who became pregnant with a second child were often forced to undergo sterilization; sometimes their babies were killed in the womb. Though she was her mother’s second child, Zhou escaped death because the one-child policy had not yet been implemented in her city.

“Somebody has to understand the roots, where these policies come from,” Zhou said. “That’s why I’m so pissed. Damn socialism. Why are you chasing me?”

As Democrats embrace policies such as so-called "Medicare for all," “free” college, 70 percent tax rates, the "Green New Deal," and late-term abortion, Republicans see an opportunity to frame the 2020 election as a referendum on socialism.

President Trump now includes a riff on the “dangers of socialism” in most of his speeches, including in last month’s State of the Union. “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country,” he told Congress and the nation.

An internal memo from the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican super PAC, discusses its plan to win the suburbs and retake the House of Representatives by framing the 2020 election as a choice between socialism and economic opportunity.

The Republican Party’s anti-communism has long attracted many Cubans, Vietnamese, Eastern Europeans, and other immigrants who fled communist countries during the Cold War.

Chinese immigrants have historically been an afterthought. But their numbers are rising. There are more than 3 million Chinese immigrants living in America today, up from fewer than half a million in 1980.

As their numbers grow, Chinese-Americans are becoming more active in politics. In 2014, a group of Chinese-Americans in Orange County, Calif., formed The Orange Club, a political action committee whose original purpose was to defeat Senate Constitutional Amendment No. 5, which sought to overturn a 1996 initiative that ended affirmative action in state university admissions. The club argued that SCA-5 would unfairly hurt their high-achieving children’s chances of getting into California’s top state-run universities.

SCA-5 ultimately failed, due in part to strong opposition from Asian-American groups including The Orange Club, which remains active in local public policy debates and endorses candidates for office.

Zhou joined TOC last year and ever since has been attending meetings, signing online petitions, and protesting at public events–all things she couldn’t have imagined doing in China.

When I first met Zhou in February, she was volunteering at a phone bank for Don Wagner, the mayor of Irvine who was running in a special election for Orange County supervisor. On March 13, the morning after Wagner won the race, the Orange County Register’s front-page story included a photo of Wagner standing in front of several jubilant supporters, including Zhou.

In 2008 and 2012, many Chinese-American voters cast their presidential ballots for Barack Obama, believing Obama’s Democratic Party was more hospitable to immigrants. “On the first day when we land here, the media and Left reinforce the concept that minorities and immigrants are supposed to vote for Democrats and not supposed to be aligning with conservatives,” said George Li, a Chinese immigrant I met at a Starbucks in Irvine.

But many Chinese-Americans are repelled by the Democrats’ more recent embrace of policies they consider socialist. Socialism “is a great, great concern to [Chinese-Americans], which is why I’m really motivated to stop that,” Li said. “It’s our duty.”

As a college student in China in the late 1980’s, Li was active in China’s democracy movement and knew some of the students involved in the Tiananmen Square protests.

Not long after, Li moved to the U.S., earning a master’s degree in computer information systems and starting a family. Li has become active in local politics through The Orange Club, which he led last year.

Li believes the Republican Party is a natural fit for Chinese-Americans.

Traditional Chinese culture is conservative, he said, emphasizing hard work, independence, education, and family values.

He finds the Left’s obsession with political correctness maddening because it intimidates people into silence. “This intimidation is so bad for freedom of speech,” he said. “A lot of things I see in this country are very similar to what I saw in the Cultural Revolution era in China,” He calls political correctness a “form of cultural Marxism.”

Benjamin Yu, also of Irvine, saw the Democratic Party moving toward socialism long before some of its members began embracing the term.

Yu immigrated to the U.S. with his mother in the late 1990s. In the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, Yu, then a U.S. Green Card holder, felt a “surge of patriotism,” prompting him to join the Army.

“When something happens so close to you, it doesn’t matter if you are an American by legal status,” he said. “You get a sense that that’s your country. You feel part of the community.”

Yu saw a nascent socialism developing under President Barack Obama, whom he voted for twice before turning to Trump in 2016. He believes more and more Chinese are voting Republican, though he thinks many are reluctant to say so for fear of being ostracized.

Zhou, Li, and Yu believe Republicans can win over Chinese-American voters by emphasizing the Democrats’ embrace of socialism, and the GOP’s staunch opposition to it.

“I just want America to be America,” Li said, “not another Soviet Union, Cuba, or China.”



IT BEGINS: Beto Is Already Apologizing For His Whiteness On The Campaign Trail; “I’ve Enjoyed White Privilege”

Betomania has had a rough launch this week as embarrassing details continue to emerge about the quirky Texan who believes that is his destiny to save the planet if he is able to parlay his celebrity support into a shot at the White House.

It wasn’t that long ago that nobody had ever heard of Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, an obscure backbencher who was relegated to obscurity in the House Of Representatives.

However, the desire of Democrats to get a signature victory by taking down Texas incumbent Senator Ted Cruz somehow transformed Beto into the second coming of John F. Kennedy and with the help of boatloads of California money, he nearly sprung the upset.

Now the 46-year-old with a record of exactly zero accomplishments is the trendy pick with limousine liberals to emerge from the identity politics mosh pit of the upcoming primaries to go mano a mano with President Trump next fall with the presidency as the ultimate prize.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the coronation because Beto has quickly proven to be his own worst enemy from the bizarre video from the couch with his wife announcing his entry to the publication of a buried story about his past as a hacker, poet and writer of stories about running down children.

The guy is wasting no time showing that in addition to being an empty suit, that his head may be just as empty which might explain his contrition for his “white privilege” and early concession to the race-obsessed social justice warriors who wouldn’t cast their votes for a white man if their lives depended on it.

Beto O’Rourke said Friday night that he had been wrong for joking at several events in his first two days campaigning in Iowa that his wife has been raising their three children “sometimes with my help.”

The former congressman from Texas, who launched his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination Thursday, addressed the remarks during a recording of the podcast Political Party LIVE! in Cedar Rapids. The comments triggered complaints from Democratic operatives and activists, many of them women, that female candidates could never similarly joke about their roles raising their children.

“Not only will I not say that again, but I’ll be more thoughtful going forward in the way that I talk about our marriage, and also the way in which I acknowledge the truth of the criticism that I have enjoyed white privilege,” he said.

He pointed to his ability to walk away from two arrests as a young man without serious consequences as an example.

The use of the racially-charged term “white privilege” has little to do with Beto’s rise but the privilege of being the product of a wealthy family didn’t hurt.

Not just any schmuck can get into the hoity-toity Ivy League Columbia University and the family connections certainly didn’t hurt when it came to launching his political career either.

Clout like that also goes a long way in helping to bounce back from an ugly DUI arrest and a prolonged time spent as a member of a punk rock band, a slacker and as previously mentioned a computer hacker with the notorious Cult Of The Dead Cow collective.

On top of that, Beto married into money too and like other phony socialists like Comrade Bernie, isn’t exactly hurting while he whips up anti-capitalist sentiment with resentful, gullible millennial suckers who are too intellectually lazy to do a bit of research into this dopey snake oil salesman.



Even WaPo Rejects Negative Demo Spin on Good Economy

Presidential hopefuls spread the misleading claim about Americans working multiple jobs.

In a surprising bit of actual journalism, The Washington Post published an article today calling out Democrats for their fallacious attempts to spin good economic news as somehow bad. While the Post pulled away from its usual practice of awarding “Pinocchios” to establish the degree of a falsehood uttered by a politician — maybe in an effort to soften the criticism — the article was critical of three leading Democrat presidential candidates and their fallacious statements on the economy.

The particular economic talking point several Democrats have recently and regularly asserted — and that has the Post crying foul — is the claim that the historically low unemployment numbers are hiding a nasty reality. And what is this nasty reality? Well, according to Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Beto O'Rourke, the number of Americans forced to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet has increased under President Donald Trump.

Harris uses personal anecdotes in spinning her yarn, as she carefully seeks to avoid making any direct assertions. Sanders works his spin by removing context that would otherwise undermine his entire argument. O'Rourke sites a notoriously unreliable data type, the self-selected survey, as the basis for his claim that “half” of teachers work “a second or third job just to put food on the table.” In fact, the U.S. Education Department’s most recent nationally representative sample survey finds that only 17% of teachers in the South and 18% across the rest of the nation work a second job. They do, after all, have summers off of school.

The fact is that the number of Americans working two or more jobs has actually decreased under Trump. The Post reports, “There are almost 156 million people with jobs. But only 251,000 people had two full-time jobs in February [2019], compared with 343,000 in February 2018, according to BLS. That’s a decline of more than 25 percent. Another 4.5 million had both a full-time job and a part-time job, while nearly 2 million were juggling part-time jobs.” In total, there are approximately 7.8 million Americans working more than one job. Sanders is technically correct when he references millions of Americans working multiple jobs, but he fails to note that this represents only 5% of working Americans.

Furthermore, who’s to say why they are working multiple jobs? It was under Barack Obama that many Americans were forced into working multiple jobs due to ObamaCare, which mandated employers provide medical insurance to employees who worked 30 or more hours a week. As a result, many Americans found their hours cut below the ObamaCare threshold because employers couldn’t afford that massive new expense. Thus, workers were often forced to get a second job. (Thanks Obama.) Trump, on the other hand, has worked to cut back on government regulations, which in turn has freed up employers and boosted the American economy. Spinning Trump’s economic record as bad is simply dishonest. And even the Post admits it.



Trump administration approves Medicaid work rules in Ohio as judge weighs their legality

The Trump administration has approved Medicaid work rules in Ohio, even as a federal judge is currently weighing whether they are legal.

"With unemployment steady under 5%, there are great opportunities to connect adults on #Medicaid w/ opportunities to improve their lives & health – so I’m pleased to send @GovMikeDeWine the 9th approval of a community engagement waiver!" tweeted the administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Seema Verma, after she signed off on the rules Friday.

The rules will require people who are on Medicaid, a government-funded healthcare coverage program, to work, take classes, or volunteer for 80 hours a month as a condition of being allowed to stay on the program. Ohio is the eighth state to be approved for work rules by the Trump administration. Only Arkansas has put its program into effect so far, though the Trump administration has encouraged more states to apply for similar programs.

Federal officials say Medicaid, which added low-income people to its rolls in most states under Obamacare, should instead be reserved for the most vulnerable populations. They have said the rules will help people move out of poverty and acquire private coverage.

A federal judge will decide by April whether to block the rules in Arkansas and strike them in Kentucky, where they are set to be enforced beginning July 1. Depending on how he rules, other states may have to halt their plans to impose the work rules. The case may also be appealed and eventually go before the Supreme Court.

Roughly 18,000 people are expected to fall from Medicaid rolls in Ohio once the rules go into effect, according to a report by the state. The rules won't apply to adults who are disabled, nor to pregnant women, children, caretakers, or to people living in parts of the state with high unemployment.

Critics of the policy argue that requiring people to report their work is overly burdensome and that the programs are intended not to help people find jobs but to kick people off Medicaid. In Arkansas last year, more than 18,000 people were disenrolled from Medicaid after failing to report their work.

Ohio applied for its work rules on April 1, 2018, and under the proposal they are set to go into effect July 1.



Pentagon finds $12.8 billion for Trump's border wall

The Defense Department has identified $12.8 billion in possible funding that it could use to fulfill President Trump's call for a border wall.

Trump last month declared a national emergency at the border, and said he wants to use $3.6 billion for border wall projects. The Pentagon's list said it has found possible funding sources that are "in excess of the amount needed."

But it's not clear which projects the Defense Department will draw from. Some states that have been allocated big chunks of money that haven't been spent could see a hit.

California, for example, was identified as having more than $700 million in unused Army and Navy military construction that could be used. Hawaii has more than $400 million that could be used.

More than $200 million in similar funding allocated for Hawaii, Maine, New York, North Carolina, Guam, Germany, Guam, and Guantanamo Bay Cuba are also on the list.



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  March, 2019

Jobs miracle in Britain as employment hits new record high

Britain is one of the most heavily governed countries there is.  Everything is regulated.  Britain was once a dynamic innovative place but enveloping bureaucracy stifles all that these days.  One index of that is that Britain has still  not got a single fracking well producing commercially, despite excellent geology for it.  The drillers have had to go through years of red tape.

But it seems that the old spirit of business is still there in the hearts of British businessmen -- and recent events have unleashed it.  For the last two years the British parliament has talked about almost nothing except Brexit -- how Britain will relate to Europe once Britain leaves the EU -- which is now due at the end of this month.  So while the parliament has been wrangling about Brexit, they have not had time to poke their noses into other things.  Britain has had two years of very little new legislation and regulation. 

So without Nanny continually trying to run their affairs, British businessmen have thrived.  And part of that thriving is a big boost in jobs as British businesses branch out into new activities.  You can read the result below

Unemployment fell to its lowest level in 44 years at the start of 2018 as Britain’s businesses defied Brexit worries to put on a new hiring spree.

Employment surged by 222,000 in the three months to January, almost double the expected growth.

This was the fastest pace of jobs growth since 2015, flying in the face of fears that political uncertainty was starting to bite. There are now more than 32.7m people in work, a record high.

Compared with the same time last year, an extra 473,000 people are in work, the Office for National Statistics said.

Full-time employment accounted for 90pc of the increase.



Lower the voting age? Let's raise it instead

by Jeff Jacoby

AYANNA PRESSLEY'S first legislative proposal as a Massachusetts congresswoman was an amendment to lower the voting age for federal elections from 18 to 16. On March 7, the House of Representatives made short work of the measure, defeating it by a large bipartisan majority.

In her floor remarks before the roll call, Pressley claimed that 16- and 17-year-old kids are qualified to vote by virtue of the "wisdom" and "maturity" that comes from being alive and confronting the "challenges, hardships, and threats" of 2019. "Some have questioned the maturity of our youth," she told her colleagues. "I don't." If that was her best argument for lowering the voting age, it's no wonder 70 percent of House members weren't persuaded.

Then again, if Pressley has such unquestioning faith in the maturity of high school sophomores, why seek merely to give them the vote? To be consistent, she should push as well to lower the legal drinking age to 16. And the minimum age for buying cigarettes, handguns, and recreational marijuana. And the age at which one can adopt a child. And at which a criminal offender is automatically prosecuted as an adult. Come to think of it, Pressley should also want to lower the age of enlistment in the military to 16, and to require everyone reaching that age to register with the Selective Service System. After all, if the wisdom and maturity of 16-year-olds qualifies them to vote, why shouldn't it qualify them to be treated as adults in every other way?

The reason all these activities are legally barred to kids in their mid-teens is because, as almost all adults understand, the "maturity of our youth" is in fact highly questionable. Certainly there are some 16-year-olds who are thoughtful and astute, but as a general rule — and public policy relies on generalizations — maturity comes later. That's a function not just of experience, but also of biology: Adult and teen brains operate differently. The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain associated with rational judgment and awareness of long-term consequences, doesn't fully develop until the mid-20s. Teens more often rely on the amygdala, the more emotional, primitive part of the brain. It isn't from gratuitous animus that car-rental agencies make it difficult for young drivers to rent a vehicle. Or that the Constitution establishes 25 as the minimum age to be a member of Congress.

Of course, another reason that 16-year-olds are subject to so many restrictions that don't apply to grown-ups is that they don't know anything — or in any case, they don't know enough to be trusted to make sound decisions about liquor, firearms, joining the Marines, and governing the United States. The ignorance of teens is practically a cliché. "If you go to any college campus and talk to the first thousand 18-year-olds you meet," wrote Josh Gelernter for National Review in 2014, "you'll find five who are qualified to vote and 800 who don't know who Churchill was."

In 1971, the 26th Amendment lowered the voting age nationwide from 21 to 18, largely on the strength of the claim that if 18-year-olds were old enough to be drafted — many young men were being called up and sent to Vietnam — they were old enough to be given the vote. The moral force of that argument couldn't be denied, but let's face it: The quality of American politics and governance wasn't improved by letting 18-year-olds vote.

Like Pressley now, Senator Ted Kennedy then was sure that giving teens the vote would be a boon. "We will gain a group of enthusiastic, sensitive, idealistic and vigorous new voters," Kennedy said at the time. He was wrong. Newly enfranchised young people immediately became the least engaged cohort, invariably turning out to vote at a lower rate than any other age group. Speculation about a "youth wave" revives every election season, but it never amounts to anything: Turnout among voters in their teens and early 20s always lags far behind turnout among their elders.

I don't share the popular fetish for maximizing voter turnout, and have long argued that people who don't have an interest in voting shouldn't be hectored to do so. Nonetheless, if Pressley wants to increase the level of voter participation and involvement, I have a suggestion.

Instead of trying to lower the voting age, Boston's new congresswoman should lead an effort to raise it. Let's require Americans to wait until they are 25 before they can cast a ballot. That would immediately boost voter turnout, since participation in elections rises as the concerns of adulthood rise. The more likely people are to have jobs, to support themselves, to be married, to worry about schools or mortgages or taxes, the more likely they are to take an interest in how they are governed — and the more likely to show up on Election Day.

Pandering to children will do nothing to elevate our democracy. Restoring the link between democracy and adulthood, on the other hand, just might. Young people who join the military should immediately be entitled to vote; everyone else should have to wait until they turn 25. Keep Americans from the polls until their prefrontal cortex has finished growing. More mature voters might just mean more mature politics. Isn't that an outcome worth pursuing?



Build the Wall to Save Taxpayers Billions

President Donald Trump launched another battle for border-wall funding on Monday, calling for $8.6 billion additional dollars in his proposed federal budget for next year. Top Democrats came out swinging, bashing a border wall as "expensive and ineffective."

The truth is, Dems are not leveling with the public about the billions we're already forced to spend on shelters, food, diapers, medical care and child care for migrants sneaking across the border and claiming asylum.

Not to mention the costs of public schooling and healthcare provided free to migrants once they are released into communities. The wall will pay for itself in less than two years. It's a bargain.

Look what it costs us when a Central American teen crosses the border illegally without an adult. Uncle Sam spends a staggering $775 per day for each child housed at a shelter near Florida's Homestead Air Reserve Base. There they have access to medical care, school and recreation. They stay, on average, 67 days at the Homestead shelter before being released to a sponsor. Do the math. That's almost $52,000 per child. American parents would appreciate the government spending that money on their kids. Imagine the government handing you a check for $52,000 for your teenager.

However, there are bigger costs ahead. The number of illegal border crossers just hit an 11-year high with a total of more than 76,000 during the month of February alone. U.S. and Mexican officials predict hundreds of thousands more in the coming months.

The migrants use the word "asylum" as their get-in-free card. When they say it to a border agent, they gain entry to the U.S. 80 percent of the time according to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. They are temporarily housed and eventually released with an immigration court date. But half never go on to file an asylum claim, disappearing into the U.S., said former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

They're turning asylum into a scam. The system is meant to protect victims of persecution, such as Cubans fleeing Castro's prisons. Now it's overwhelmed by Central Americans escaping poverty for a lifestyle upgrade.

Legal immigrants also want to better their circumstances, but they play by the rules. What a slap in the face to see migrants jump the line.

Unfortunately, a federal appeals court just made the asylum hoax even easier. Last week, the left-leaning 9th Circuit ruled that migrants who fail to convince border authorities they face danger in their home country still have a "right" to a day in court in the U.S. That bizarre ruling won't stand. Another circuit court ruled the opposite way in 2016, clarifying that a border agent's decision is final and entering the U.S. is a privilege, not a right. The Supreme Court let that earlier decision stand, so count on the Supremes to reverse the 9th Circuit.

In the meantime, though, taxpayers are getting fleeced by caravans of fake asylum-seekers.

Even before the latest surge, the Department of Homeland Security spent over $3 billion in 2018 sheltering and feeding illegals at the border, which is nearly double the cost from 2011.

Add to that the hundreds of millions being spent caring for unaccompanied teenagers in 130 shelters overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services.

President Trump has tried several strategies to protect taxpayers from these rip-offs. First, he barred illegal migrants from asking for asylum, requiring that asylum-seekers enter the country through official ports of entry. That would have reduced the numbers considerably. But in November, a federal district judge, also from the 9th Circuit, nixed the president's regulation.

Then, Trump devised a "Remain in Mexico" arrangement to make Mexico the waiting room for asylum-seekers. As long as they're south of the border, the U.S. doesn't have to house them, and they have no "right" to public schooling and emergency medical care on our tab. The program, if successful, will save U.S. taxpayers a bundle. It's one way Mexico is already helping to pay for the wall.

Dems claim it's a waste to spend billions on a wall. But the facts show we can't afford not to build it. As the cover of the president's new budget says, "Taxpayers First."



Rabbi Spero Leads Protest Against Anti-Semitism at Speaker Pelosi’s Office

Rabbi Aryeh Spero, along with numerous Christians and Jews, gathered at the Capitol Hill office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday to protest the apparent growing anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party and specifically the anti-Semitism of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

Rabbi Spero is the leader of the National Conference of Jewish Affairs, which, the rabbi explained in an email to CNSNews.com, “speaks for the conservative and non-left leaning segments of American Jewry” and believes that “politically and socially conservative positions more accurately reflect the authentic view of historic Judaism, and is thus good for the Jewish people and good for America as well.”

At the protest, Rabbi Spero said that House Speaker Pelosi “failed us -- she had the chance to condemn [Rep.] Omar. She didn’t.  She had a chance to condemn, stand alone by itself, anti-semitism.  She didn’t. She failed us.”

Rabbi Spero was referencing the anti-Semitic remarks made by Rep. Omar over the last several weeks and the resolution, crafted by Pelosi and other top Democrats, to condemn anti-Semitism.

Although the resolution condemns anti-Semitism, it also condemns other forms of bigotry, such as white supremacy and anti-Muslim prejudice. As a result, some critics claimed the document was overly broad. Rep. Omar and her anti-Jewish remarks are not mentioned in the resolution.

The House of Representatives “rejects the perpetuation of anti-Semitic stereotypes in the United States and around the world, including the pernicious myth of dual loyalty and foreign allegiance, especially in the context of support for the United States-Israel alliance,” reads part of the resolution.

It also “condemns anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against all minorities as contrary to the values of the United States."

Rabbi Spero said, “What this resolution basically says is you better remain silent, because if you respond to anti-Semitic remarks coming out of the mouth of the Islamic congresswomen or a member of the Islamic community, you’re Islamophobic. You’re racist somehow.”

“Well, that’s a formula for silencing us all,” said the rabbi.

Back on Feb. 10, Rep. Omar retweeted a post about members of Congress defending Israel and she remarked, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” meaning money. She later said that AIPAC, the American-Israeli Political Action Committee was paying the lawmakers.

Omar also retweeted an item that said “Israel is like the south before 1963.” Back in 2012, Omar tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

At Pelosi’s office, Spero declared, “I think that Miss Omar is here to destroy Israel as a Jewish state. And to malign all of us… Who believe in supporting Israel.”

On Capitol Hill, CNSNews.com asked Rabbi Spero, “What would you say was [Rep. Omar’s] most egregious example of those anti-Semitic remarks?”

Spero replied,  “I would say that the Jews — if they support Israel — are disloyal to America. I mean, listen, I’m sure she supports the Islamic countries (there 57 of them) and she was just recently taking a tour [of them] and nobody accused her of being disloyal to America because she supports certain Islamic governments.”

There were about twenty protesters at Pelosi’s office with Rabbi Spero. A group of about a half-a-dozen counter-protesters from Code Pink also showed up. Code Pink is a feminist grassroots organization that supports Palestine over Israel.

One of the Code Pink protesters said in an interview with CNSNews.com, “We are just here to support Ilhan Omar because she is absolutely amazing, and I love everything that she said about Elliot Abrams, and I love the way that she is a representative who is — you know — speaking truth to power.

“And she is out here, as a role model for young women, especially young Muslim women who don’t usually see representation of themselves in Congress,” said the activist.



Trump derangement


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

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


20 March, 2019

That "Right-wing" accusation again

When a domestic terrorist strikes, the media automatically label him "Right wing".  That usually implodes.  Take the Jared Loughner case.  Remember him?  He started out as "Right-wing" after he shot a Democrat Congresswoman but suddently one day he just faded from notice. We never hear of him now.  It turned out that he was floridly mentally ill, though his reading included Leftist materials such as the Communist Manifesto.

And so it seems is the NZ gunman Brenton Tarrant.  Tarrant definitely shared the sort of disquiet about Muslim behaviour that conservstive writers often express but does that make him conservative or Right wing?  Is it only conservatives who are critical of Jihadi attacks?

The entire Left wing worldwide is asserting Tarrant's Rightism but what does Tarrant himself say?  He says in his manifesto: “The nation with the closest political and social values to my own is the People’s Republic of China”. 

So an admirer of Chinese Communism is "Right wing"?  Tell us another funny story!

The fact of the matter of course is that Tarrant had a variety of ideas from a variety of sources so that putting any wings at all on him was just propaganda.


Trump complains he is being blamed for New Zealand attack

US President Donald Trump waded into the controversy over his response to the massacre of 50 people in two New Zealand mosques.

President Donald Trump waded into the controversy over his response to the massacre of 50 people in two New Zealand mosques, complaining that he was being blamed for the tragedy.

“The Fake News Media is working overtime to blame me for the horrible attack in New Zealand,” Mr Trump told his more than 59 million followers on Twitter. “They will have to work very hard to prove that one,” he tweeted. “So Ridiculous!”

Mr Trump appeared to be referring to criticism of his response to the attack, which was allegedly carried out by a 28-year-old white supremacist claiming to be resisting genocide against white people.

In a lengthy written rant, the alleged killer Brenton Tarrant referred to Mr Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity.”

Mr Trump did on several occasions tweet and speak to condemn the “horrible” attack and offer any US assistance to New Zealand’s authorities.

However, he courted controversy on Saturday when he played down the wider implications of the gunman’s ideology, saying that violent white nationalism is not a growing problem. “It’s a small group of people,” he said.

Mr Trump, whose own previous responses to the movement have drawn scrutiny, expressed sympathy for the victims who died at “places of worship turned into scenes of evil killing.” But he declined to join expressions of mounting concern about white nationalism, saying “I don’t, really” when asked whether he thought it was a rising threat around the world.

“I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess,” Mr Trump said.

Speaking on Fox and Friends, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said it was “predictable” and “outrageous” that Mr Trump had been linked with the shooter.

“Unlike like most mass shootings, this man came with pre-receipts, if you will,” Conway said. “He put out a 70-page manifesto, and I guess everybody scoured it, searched for Donald Trump’s name, and there it is, one time.

“But he also said he aligns closely with the ideology of China. He said he’s not a conservative, he’s not a Nazi, I think he referred to himself as an eco-naturalist or an eco-fascist. But people should read the entire — in its entirety.”

Mr Trump’s homeland security chief, Kirstjen Nielsen, said on Monday in a speech where she said that “domestic terrorists,” like the New Zealand killer, increasingly resemble the better known threat from Islamist groups.

“The primary terrorist threat to the United States continues to be from Islamist militants and those they inspire, but we should not and cannot and must not ignore the real and serious danger posed by domestic terrorists,” she said.

“They are using the same do-it-yourself, mass murder tactics as we saw with the horrible assault last week in New Zealand against Muslim worshippers,” she said.

Mr Trump’s dismissal of a broader security threat led to a flurry of criticism from Democrats and other critics over the weekend.

They pointed to his frequent labelling of illegal immigrants as invaders, his high-profile restrictions on immigration from several Muslim-majority countries, and a lukewarm condemnation of a neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

“Time and time again, this president has embraced and emboldened white supremacists - and instead of condemning racist terrorists, he covers for them. This isn’t normal or acceptable,” tweeted Kirsten Gillibrand, who formally entered the Democratic race for the White House on Sunday.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney went on television on Sunday to push back, saying “the president is not a white supremacist. I’m not sure how many times we have to say that.”

“To simply ask the question every time something like this happens overseas, or even domestically, to say, ‘Oh, my goodness, it must somehow be the president’s fault,’ speaks to a politicisation of everything that I think is undermining sort of the institutions that we have in the country today,” he said on Fox television.



Trump Blasts GM For Closing Assembly Plants: “She blamed the UAW Union – I don’t care, I just want it open!”

Sounds like it is the UAW Trump should be targeting.  It is their high labor costs that push work aboard

President Donald Trump continued excoriating General Motors on Monday, for closing an automotive plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

Breitbart reports:

“Get that big, beautiful plant in Ohio open now,” Trump said. “Close a plant in China or Mexico, where you invested so heavily pre-Trump, but not in the U.S.A. Bring jobs home!”

The president also expressed frustration that “talks” between General Motors and the United Auto Workers Union would begin in September or October.

“Why wait, start them now!” he wrote. “I want jobs to stay in the U.S.A. and want Lordstown (Ohio), in one of the best economies in our history, opened or sold to a company who will open it up fast!”

Trump began attacking General Motors CEO Mary Barra on Sunday for closing down the plant at a time when the American economy was booming.

His posts on Twitter earned a phone call from Barra over the weekend.

“I asked her to sell it or do something quickly,” Trump revealed. “She blamed the UAW Union — I don’t care, I just want it open!”

The Lordstown, Ohio plant employed about 1,500 American workers and produced the Chevrolet Cruze before it closed. General Motors announced plans in November 2018 to lay off up to 14,700 workers in North America.

In June, General Motors announced that the revamped Chevrolet Blazer would be produced in Mexico, as the company employs about 15,000 people there. In December, they announced a new plant opening up in China.

Barra and Trump initially had a good relationship as she joined him for meetings and roundtables promoting the U.S. auto industry.

But GM’s continued layoffs raised tensions between the president and the CEO of General Motors, who was once considered a possible Vice President candidate by failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland,” Trump wrote in November 2018. “Nothing being closed in Mexico & China. The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get!”



Democrats are pushing the biggest tax increase you've never heard of

Joseph Semprevivo

House Democrats are currently pushing the biggest tax increase that nobody's heard of.

Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., along with more than 200 Democratic cosponsors, recently introduced the Social Security 2100 Act. The legislation would raise the effective payroll tax rate by 2.4 percentage points, split between employer and employee, to 14.8 percent. And this tax increase would apply to all earned income.

At a Capitol Hill hearing this week, I testified about how this tax increase would hurt workers, entrepreneurship, and small businesses like mine.

Larson’s plan would increase small businesses’ annual payroll tax burden per employee earning $50,000 per year by $600, to $3,700. While the plan calls for a donut hole exemption between the current payroll tax cap of $132,900 and $400,000 of earnings, this ceiling is not indexed to inflation, meaning that within a couple of decades all employees, no matter their income, would be subject to it. Eventually, for an employee earning $200,000 a year, a business like mine would have to pay $2,400 more in payroll tax than we do today.

Consider the impact on a business employing 50 people at an average annual salary of $50,000. This tax increase would raise the business portion of payroll tax costs by $30,000, to $185,000. That increase amounts to the cost of hiring one new entry-level employee or giving significant wage increases to existing employees.

Businesses would fund such a tax increases by holding off on hiring or reducing employee wages. It would undo the benefits of the tax cuts that took effect last year and are allowing small businesses like mine to hire, raise wages, and expand.

This payroll tax increase would also directly tax wage increases. This is a peculiar public policy strategy, given the bipartisan push to increase the wages of ordinary Americans. Every time I consider raising an employee’s wages, I would have to factor in the increased costs of this associated payroll tax hike to see if the potential pay raise still makes financial sense.

For some small business owners who operate on tiny profit margins, this tax increase will put them out of business. Consider the restaurant industry, where profit margins pivot around 3 percent. Labor makes up about one-third of their total expenses. To raise restaurants' labor costs by 1.2 percentage points is enough to put some of them out of business altogether.

This proposed tax increase would hurt my employees as much as it would hurt me and other small business owners. For many employees, the payroll tax is the biggest tax burden they face. Raising the payroll tax burden to 7.4 percent will push some workers into poverty. It will prevent other workers from having the funds to make their car or housing payments. It will prevent others from having the funds to take a vacation.

Particularly negatively affected by this tax increase would be sole proprietors, including Uber and Lyft drivers, realtors, and insurance agents — people who, working independently, make up the vast majority of small businesses in this country. Sole proprietors must pay both the employer and employee sides of the payroll tax. This means that a sole-proprietor earning $100,000 would have to pay nearly $15,000 in payroll tax in addition to their federal and state liabilities under this tax proposal, an increase of $2,400 from the current tax regime.

This tax increase would hurt entrepreneurship rates as workers will be disincentivized from striking out on their own in the face of a nearly 15 percent flat payroll tax on their earnings. This is a worrying prospect, given the important role that entrepreneurship plays in job creation, standards of living, and economic growth. I don’t know whether I would have started my business if I had to pay 15 cents in payroll taxes on every dollar I earned.

Competing testimony was offered by the AARP, which supports boosting Social Security payments. As Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., indicated at the hearing, while we have to keep our commitment to seniors, we also need to keep our commitment to young people by giving them more economic opportunities, opportunities that this tax hike would curtail.

Another witness was Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who leads a group called Global Policy Solutions. According to its website, Ms. Cummings has experience "spanning federal, state and local government, academia, think tanks, and nonprofit organizations." Yet, at the hearing she described herself as a small business "expert."

Aside from me, there were no small business owners or ordinary American workers testifying. I would encourage the committee and all politicians to get out and ask these people about whether they want a tax increase before moving forward with Larson's bill. I think people will tell them that they are taxed enough already.



IT’S OFFICIAL: Steele Admits To Using COMPLETELY Unverified Reports To Write Trump Dossier

For the past two years, President Trump has been claiming that the Steele Dossier, which attempts to portray President Trump as someone who colluded with Russia, is totally phony and fake. Recent revelations show that President Trump was absolutely correct.

Earlier this week, transcripts were released that show that Steele admitted to using an unverified 2009 iReport on CNN’s website. An iReport is where any member of the public can go onto CNN’s site and report information. Steele claims that he had no clue that the CNN report he used was unverified and posted by a random person.

CNN described this iReport section of their website by saying, “iReport.com is a user-generated site. That means the stories submitted by users are not edited, fact-checked, or screened before they post.”

In the dossier, Steele, a Cambridge-educated former MI6 officer, wrote about extensive allegations against Donald Trump, associates of his campaign, various Russians and other foreign nationals, and a variety of companies — including one called Webzilla. Those allegations would become part of an FBI investigation and would be used to apply for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

During his deposition, Steele was pressed on the methods he used to verify allegations made about Webzilla, which was thought to be used by Russia to hack into Democratic emails.

Steele was asked about anything relating to the allegations made relating to Webzilla which he responded by saying, “We did. It was an article I have got here which was posted on July 28, 2009, on something called CNN iReport.”

It appeared that Steele had no clue how the iReport website worked.”I do not have any particular knowledge of that.” Steele said.

He was then asked if he understood that content generated on the iReport site was not created by CNN reporters, which he responded by saying, “I do not.” He was then asked: “Do you understand that they have no connection to any CNN reporters?” Steele replied, “I do not.”

The questioning continued: “Do you understand that CNN iReports are or were nothing more than any random individuals’ assertions on the Internet?” Steele replied: “No, I obviously presume that if it is on a CNN site that it may has some kind of CNN status. Albeit that it may be an independent person posting on the site.”

One of the most important pieces of the transcript came when Steele was asked about the process by which he searched for an obtained the information. The ex-British spy described it as “what we could call an open source search,” which he defined as “where you go into the Internet and you access material that is available on the Internet that is of relevance or reference to the issue at hand or the person under consideration.”

Continuing, Steele then admitted that the unverified dossier contained “raw intelligence” which means the evidence that was collected could be totally false or misleading.

There you have it. The man who created the Trump Russia Dossier has admitted that the evidence he collected is NOT verified and could easily be untrue.



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 March, 2019

CNN Spends Entire Segment Blaming TRUMP For New Zealand Attacks

Just when you thought that CNN had hit rock bottom they continue to drill deeper by the day.

The network hasn’t been as fixated on an event in the southern hemisphere since Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 went missing and they are exploiting the rampage of a deranged terrorist at two New Zealand mosques for maximum impact in their war on President Trump.

Never mind having the common decency to wait until the victims of the unthinkable slaughter in Christchurch were buried and their grieving families be given time to mourn the loss of their loved ones, the fanatics at what can best be described as a propagandistic hate factory are busily brainwashing gullible suckers that it is all Trump’s fault.

The nadir was on Friday during a segment with the nasty little race-baiter Don Lemon and warmongering lunatic Max Boot who are both foaming at the mouth Trump haters.

It wasn’t only Boot and Lemon either: EVERYONE at the fake news command center got the memo on this one.

CNN’s ace “journalist” Jake Tapper also hosted a panel with the ubiquitious bloodthirsty neocon Bill Kristol and unhinged race-obsessed Symone Sanders to hammer the message that Trump and his supporters are all white nationalists which will only serve to incite the extremists and socialists on the left who are already assaulting people in red MAGA hats on a regular basis.

The CNN reporter compared the language in the manifesto of the alleged gunman in the New Zealand mosque shootings to that used by Donald Trump.

Fox’s Greg Gutfield summed it up: "The NZ terrorist stated his aim plainly: to sow division in the US so intense that it results in violent conflict.  Sad to see so many in media breathlessly indulging him. Stop. Step away. See that you're being played."

These days one has to wonder whether the North Korean media is less propagandistic than the network which is the equivalent of Deep State-run media.

The terrorist who just murdered all of those innocent people has to be overjoyed at how CNN is acting as his public relations firm and it doesn’t cost him a dime.

As former President George W. Bush once famously said, “You are either with us, or with the terrorists” and is comes as no big shock as to whom CNN is lining up with.



Leftism Eradicates Character

Dennis Prager

Every year, many thousands of American parents find that the son or daughter they sent to college has been transformed by college into a leftist. For left-wing parents, this may be a blessing, but for parents who are not leftist—not to mention conservative—it is often painfully jolting.

It is jolting because their beloved child now holds America in contempt; prefers socialism to capitalism; regards all white people and police as racist; believes the Bible, Christianity, and Judaism are not only nonsense, but dangerous nonsense; no longer believes men and women are inherently different—or even that male and female objectively exist; is disinterested in getting married and having children; believes the president of the United States is a fascist—as are all those who voted for him; and supports the suppression of speech that he or she regards as “hate speech.”

While this is music to the ears of left-wing parents, most traditionally liberal parents will not be all that happy with this transformation.

Unlike leftists, most liberals do love America and think that, despite its flaws, it is worthy of respect. They do not believe male and female are subjective categories, and they believe in free speech—even for “hate speech.”

For conservative parents, the transformation is far worse. “Nightmare” is not too strong a description. Not only does their child hold everything they cherish in contempt, their child, who loved and respected them a year or two before, now holds them in contempt.

It is a nightmare for another reason: Young people who are transformed into leftists almost always become less kind, less happy, and more angry.

It’s hard to imagine the opposite could occur—that is, that a young person could buy into all the left-wing views described above and become a sweeter human being.

It is a sad rule of life that whatever the left touches, it ruins; music, art, literature, religion, late-night TV, the Academy Awards, sports, economies, the family structure, the Boy Scouts, and race relations are just a few examples. It also ruins people—their character and their happiness.

How could it not?

One of the prerequisites of good character—as well as of happiness—is gratitude, and leftism is rooted in ingratitude. If you are grateful to be an American, you are, by definition, not a leftist.

If you are, for example, a black who is grateful to be an American, you are a “traitor to your race,” an “Uncle Tom.”

If you are a woman who is grateful to be an American, you are a “traitor to your gender.” Feminist icon Gloria Steinem once called female Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison a “female impersonator” because a real woman cannot be a conservative.

In addition, the left drills into every nonwhite and every woman the idea that they are victims, and people who see themselves as victims are ungrateful and angry, two traits that always make a person meaner.

Every parent whose child came home from college (or, increasingly, high school) a leftist should be asked: “Is your daughter or son happier as a result of becoming a leftist? Is he or she kinder? More tolerant? More respectful?”

So it is not only institutions that the left ruins, but also the character of its adherents.

Where are the prominent conservative equivalents of Robert De Niro shouting “F— Trump” at awards ceremonies?

Of Sarah Silverman tweeting to the president of the United States: “I’m just gonna go with F— YOU, and also add that you are a smelly penis hole with balls that touch water. Eat s—, you greedy t—“?

Of Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., telling supporters, among whom were children, “We’re gonna impeach the motherf—er”?

Every American should watch how a group of 10-year-old girls recently treated 85-year-old California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Being indoctrinated into leftism apparently permitted them to treat a U.S. senator, not to mention a woman 75 years older than them, with contempt.

It is inconceivable that a group of 10-year-old conservative kids, accompanied by their teachers, would ever treat an 85-year-old, senator or not, so condescendingly.

When you send your child to college, you are not only playing Russian roulette with their values. You are playing Russian roulette with their character and the way they will treat you.

Left-wing parents do not have a similar worry. If their child somehow returns home from college a Christian or a religious Jew, not only will they not be treated with contempt, they will probably be treated with even more respect than before.

Leftism makes you worse. Judeo-Christian religions make you better. That might not be the fashionable view, but it just happens to be true.



Trump Backs Fox News Hosts: ‘Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro’

President Trump on Sunday defended Fox News hosts, warning that the Democrats and the “Fake News” media are trying to silence a majority of the country through a campaign against the network’s conservative hosts.

"Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro. The Radical Left Democrats, working closely with their beloved partner, the Fake News Media, is using every trick in the book to SILENCE a majority of our Country. They have all out campaigns against @FoxNews hosts who are doing too well. Fox ....."

The Hill reports,

“The Radical Left Democrats, working closely with their beloved partner, the Fake News Media, is using every trick in the book to SILENCE a majority of our Country. They have all out campaigns against @FoxNews hosts who are doing too well,” he tweeted.

Trump specifically named Jeanine Pirro, host of “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” calling for Fox to “bring back @JudgeJeanine.” Pirro’s Fox News show did not air on Saturday night.

Last week, Fox News condemned remarks made by Pirro after the host on air questioned whether Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is loyal to Sharia because she wears a hijab.

“We’re not commenting on internal scheduling matters,” a Fox News spokesperson told The Hill of Pirro’s show being preempted.

Several advertisers pulled their ads from Pirro’s show last week in the wake of the Omar controversy. Tucker Carlson, host of Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” also lost advertisers after a left-leaning blog resurfaced comments he made during appearances on a radio show between 2006 and 2011.



Activists Blame Chelsea Clinton For New Zealand Massacre

Chelsea Clinton is to blame for the crazed attacker that killed at least 49 mosque-goers in New Zealand on Friday.

The former first daughter was confronted by activists tonight at a memorial service at NYU for the victims.

A video was posted to Twitter — which would likely qualify as a violation of Twitter rules — showing Clinton calmly defending herself amid the hostile accusations.

“A lot of students feel uncomfortable. People haven’t forgotten the Islamophobic mob she incited against @IlhanMN. There is no sense of responsibility,” Esor said in the tweet that is now protected.

The video shows Clinton being accused of being responsible for the attack.

“I am so sorry you feel that way,” Clinton responded, “it was certainly never my intention. I do believe words matter,” she said in apparent reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s repeated anti-Semitic comments.

“This right here,” the activist said, waving her arms wildly, “is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words you put out there,” she said, “And I want you to know that,” the woman lectured, “and I want you to feel that deep inside.”

“Forty-nine people died because of the rhetoric you put out there,” the woman said, poking her finger towards Clinton as her backers snapped in approval.

“I’m so sorry you feel that way,” Clinton responded.

In February, Chelsea tweeted a response to one of Omar’s anti-Semitic statements.

"Co-signed as an American. We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism."

That is apparently what triggered the NYU confrontation.



AG Bill Barr: “Your Declaration of Border Emergency is CLEARLY Authorized

President Trump signed his first presidential veto on Friday in the Oval office.  The Gateway Pundits reports,

Several Border Angel parents joined President Trump during the signing to kill the congressional bill blocking the president’s emergency declaration.

Despite the tens of thousands of illegal aliens crossing into America each month, the tons of illegal narcotics and strain on the US economy Democrats and 12 turncoat Republicans voted to kill the president’s emergency declaration.

On Friday Attorney General Bill Barr sided with President Trump. Barr said the president “absolutely has the right to declare a national emergency on the southern border there. He says the veto is the right thing to do. And the declaration will hold up in a court of law.

AG Bill Barr: Mr. President your declaration of an emergency on the southern border was clearly authorized under the law and consistent with past precedent… The humanitarian and security crisis that we currently have right now on the border is exactly the type of emergency that presidents are permitted to address.



To win on White House budget, Trump must wield his veto pen

President Trump released his third White House budget proposal today, and kudos to his acting budget director Russ Vought for crafting a plan that promotes fiscal restraint. Under this budget request, hundreds of wasteful programs will be eliminated and every domestic agency will be required to make a 5 percent cutback in spending. This budget blueprint includes $2.7 trillion in government spending cuts over the next decade.

Vought has told me, “No other administration has proposed this level of spending reductions.”ť Not even Ronald Reagan. The problem is Trump is already facing a stone wall of resistance to his budget priorities. Even before the budget was officially released, Democratic Representative John Yarmuth, chairman of the House Budget Committee, said over the weekend that the Trump budget plan has “no chance in the House.”ť Why? He claimed that the budget contains “severe cuts in essential programs.”ť

Here we go again. This is exactly what Reagan faced in the 1980s when then Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill declared his conservative budgets “dead on arrival.”ť The Democrats repelled most of the spending cuts that Gipper proposed, and then blamed him for the deficit spending. Congress ended up outspending the Reagan budget requests every year.

For Trump to make progress on trimming deficit spending as this latest plan foresees, the president needs two things to happen. Trump needs continued solid growth of 3 percent or more as we had in 2018. Growth is everything when it comes to bringing revenues up and deficits down. Even with the tax cuts, federal revenues in 2018 came in matching the highest year for tax collections in our history. Vought is right when he concluded, “We don’t have a revenue problem. It’s a spending problem.”ť

Trump will have to enforce this latest budget with steely resolve. So far he has used the veto pen sparingly. Now he must recognize that it is his best weapon to prevent a dangerous fiscal situation. His first two budgets were almost completely ignored by a Republican Congress. (Excessive pork spending is a bipartisan problem on Capitol Hill.) House Republicans, outside the Freedom Caucus, showed no interest in curbing spending.

But now Trump faces House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose Democratic caucus wants free everything. House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters said this weekend that she is committed to increasing the budget on social programs and reversing the few cuts that Trump has already made. The only idea for paying for the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, $15 minimum wage, Social Security benefit hikes, free college tuition, and the like are by repealing the Republican tax cuts. First, that is not going to happen. Second, this would only pay for a sliver of the cost.

The most powerful tool Trump has over legislation is the veto. He needs to use it often in the months ahead for his agenda. Trump should declare that if spending bills come in even a dime over his new budget totals, he will veto each and every one. The budget crafted by Vought is a powerful fiscal marker that must be enforced. This is his best tool for controlling federal spending, and presidents have historically used it to great effect.

Powerful presidents have used the veto power to assert their control over Congress. Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt used it routinely to repel overspending. Grover Cleveland, an underrated president, vetoed more than 1,000 special interest spending bills. Reagan was reluctant to veto in his first term, and preferred to play nice with Congress. Once he finally realized that did not work with Democrats, he started vetoing regularly, which helped cut the deficit as a share of gross domestic product in half. The veto power is a sign of strength and confidence.

Trump can also gain credibility with voters on the deficit by vetoing early and often under the Pelosi reign of power. The Democrats cannot at once attack Trump for vetoing obese spending bills, and then hypocritically blame soaring deficits on him. The veto will allow Trump to define for voters the extent of the coming Pelosi spree. If he does not do this, his sensible federal budget plan will not be taken seriously. It will be wheeled off to the intensive care unit. House Democrats and Senate Republicans will serve a banquet of spending all paid for with debt and tax increases.

The president has unveiled a first class budget for our government. It is fiscally conservative and supports more economic growth, while wisely prioritizing spending on the most critical problems of national security, border control, opioid epidemic, and infrastructure modernization. Now Trump can enforce it with his veto pen. That is the art of the budget deal.



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 March, 2019

Fact-checking Trump's notion that white nationalism is not a rising threat

Having enemies seems to be a good political tactic.  It can mobilize your base.  It is a tactic much used by the Left.  They exaggerate even the slightest opposition to their schemes -- and anything untowards happening in the world is due to bad men whom they know all about.  And a favourite mythical beast that they are fighting is "white nationalists" or a "white supremacists".  Anybody who mentions any human group can be declared a "white supremacist" at the drop of a hat.  And often you don't even need to drop the hat.

So anybody who is critical of the doings of any Muslim becomes an "Islamophobe" for starters and he doesn't have to say much more to become a "white supremacist".

No doubt there are some real white supremacists about the place.  Some people believe that the earth is flat.  But do they exist in any numbers?  There is no evidence of it.  There are some people who attack minorities from time to time but none of them seems to be part of any organization or even have many friends.  And why would anybody be bothered to proclaim white supremacy when it is perfectly obvious that whites do have overwhelming influence in the world?  You might as well go around making proclamations that that the sky is blue.

So Mr Trump was right when he said recently of white nationalists that "I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems"

But that could not be allowed to pass, of course.  And CNN did a "fact check" of what Trump said.  It is below.  And they do list a number of individuals whom they allege to be white supremacists -- but at no point do they make the slightest effort to show that any of the individuals concerned were in fact white supremacists.  If they were truly white supremacists a sentence or two from each of them confirming that they were white supremacists would have given the needed confirmation.

But no such evidence is given,  We are expected to accept the assertions of CNN as all the evidence we need.

Just to illustrate how quickly they would become unglued if they tried to back up their assertions, just consider the man of the hour, the NZ gunman.  Every leftist alive would fervently assure us that he is a white supremacist despite that fact that many of his targets were a passable shade of white.  Does that upset the applecart at all?  If it doesn't, try this:  The person whom the gunman stated was the greatest influence on him was Candace Owens.  Candace is an American black.  So is the gunman a black supremacist?  In the insane world of the Left, he might as well be.

On my reading of his manifesto he is principally concerned about the large influx of foreigners into European-origin countries.  He identifies with white Europeans and sees himself as conducting a defensive operation.  He is not asserting the dominance or superiority of white Europeans but simply wants them not to fade away under immigration pressures.  He says that wherever he goes he sees invaders and that disturbs him.  So he is certainly a racist of sorts but not a white supremacist. 

Is he a white nationalist?  Maybe but that depends on your definition of nationalism.  On Orwell's definition he is not, as he shows no interest in conquering other countries

So Mr Trump again gets it right.  Even the NZ gunman is arguably not a white nationalist.  He is in fact something of an internationalist.  His concern is for the survival of European civilization as a whole

During a press conference Friday, President Donald Trump was asked if he "see(s) today that white nationalism is a rising threat around the world?" in the wake of the terrorist attacks on two mosques in New Zealand, which left at least 50 dead.

"I don't really. I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess," the President said. "If you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that's the case, I don't know enough about it yet. They're just learning about the person and the people involved. But it's certainly a terrible thing."

The man charged with murder in the New Zealand attack cited a list of white nationalists who inspired him in his putative manifesto posted online.

Facts First: White nationalism is certainly a rising threat in the US, with plenty of evidence to back it up.

In the past two years there have been a number of high profile incidents involving white nationalists, perhaps most notably the Unite the Right march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. One woman was killed and 19 were injured when a speeding car slammed into a throng of counter-protesters.

Last year's shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh claimed the lives of 11 people. Federal prosecutors charged the gunman, an avowed white nationalist, with hate crimes. In February, authorities arrested a Coast Guard lieutenant, an alleged white supremacist, who was planning an attack on several television anchors and elected officials.

The data suggests these are all part of a broader rise in white nationalism across the US.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organization focused on tracking extremist activity, found last year that white supremacist murders in the US "more than doubled in 2017," with far-right extremist groups and white supremacists "responsible for 59 percent of all extremist-related fatalities in the U.S. in 2017." They were responsible for 20% of these fatalities the year before.

"This attack (in New Zealand) underscores a trend that ADL has been tracking: that modern white supremacy is an international threat that knows no borders, being exported and globalized like never before," ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a press release.

ADL also reported that propaganda efforts from white supremacist groups increased by 182% in the US in 2018; causing the number of incidents to jump from 421 the previous year to 1,187.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think-tank based in Washington, DC, reports that "the number of terrorist attacks (in the US) by far-right perpetrators rose over the past decade, more than quadrupling between 2016 and 2017."

White nationalism, supremacism, and far-right extremist attacks and propaganda are on the rise. The President is incorrect in suggesting that these groups do not present a growing threat.

Domestic terrorism -- as a whole -- has seen a recent uptick in the US, with nearly 25 related arrests in the last three months of 2018, an FBI official told CNN. These cases are separate from plots relating to international terrorism investigations, like those involving al Qaeda and ISIS.

As CNN recently reported, the FBI has approximately 900 open domestic terror investigations.



A Republican revolt against Trump? Not so fast

This week, Senate Republicans served President Donald Trump the first two resolutions he's likely to veto -- one rescinding his national emergency declaration to build the border wall, (which he vetoed on Friday afternoon), the other on cutting assistance to the Saudis' war in Yemen.

The breaking of ranks naturally prompted speculation about GOP allegiance to Trump and whether it signals some sort of shift away from him by congressional Republicans.

Bucking the President on his signature issue is certainly a big deal. But a deeper examination of both the numbers and the politics indicates that the GOP remains firmly in Trump's grip.

If anything, given the constitutional rhetoric of elected Republicans, the President might have had a true revolt on his hands. Instead, he was given an effective slap on the wrist by a small fraction of Republican lawmakers.

Of the 250 Republicans in Congress (197 in the House, 53 in the Senate) only 10% broke ranks with the President on the national emergency resolution. After 13 Republicans in the House joined Democrats to pass the resolution last month, a dozen Republican senators ended up breaking ranks this week to send it to the President's desk. Even fewer Republicans -- just seven senators -- crossed Trump and voted Wednesday for the resolution directing the removal of US forces from Yemen without a war authorization from Congress.

This isn't the first time Trump has faced resistance from the upper chamber on issues like trade and foreign policy. But is it the beginnings of a GOP revolt?

"I think 12 is significant," said Doug Heye, a former spokesman for the RNC and a CNN contributor. "I don't think it's a watershed moment."

It's notable which Republicans were willing to vote against the President. Half of the Republican senators who voted for the emergency declaration -- which redirects funds intended for other uses to build the border wall -- sit on the Appropriations Committee. And 11 are not running for re-election and facing the threat of a primary challenge in 2020. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is unlikely to lose the GOP nomination, and Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee has already announced he won't be seeking another term next year.

But what kept 90% of Republicans in the fold was the fact that this resolution would have been a rebuke of the President's signature domestic issue: the wall on the southern border.  "If this were a different issue, it would have been higher," Heye said. "But it's about the wall."

And crossing Trump may pose a significant risk for elected Republicans.



Trump’s pro-growth policies appear to be all the magic the manufacturing sector needed

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump consistently promised to revive America’s manufacturing economy.

Trump’s focus on manufacturing brought out high-profile critics who scoffed at the notion. President Obama notably said in June 2016 that manufacturing jobs “are just not going to come back.” He said this at a time when manufacturing job growth had flatlined, falling by 31,000 from January of 2016 to when he delivered his pessimistic comments in June of that year.

While President Obama’s time in office did see job gains, even in manufacturing, it’s important to note that jobs always come back in a post-recession recovery. But comparing the nation’s most-recent economic recovery from the trough in June 2009, the pace of job growth was slower in Obama’s tenure than in any past recovery—except for the rebound from the mild eight-month recession in 2001, following the deflation of the dot-com bubble.

Much of the blame for the weak economy can be set at the feet of two failed economic policies: monetary and fiscal. From the reliance on the Federal Reserve’s easy money—$4.5 trillion of “quantitative easing"—to the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) started under President Bush to Obama’s Cash For Clunkers program, the post-2009 recovery was marked by government intervention at levels not seen since the Great Depression 70 years earlier.

Furthermore, with federal regulatory activity at historic highs under President Obama, investors were scared off from making long-term commitments. As a result, much of the Federal Reserve’s easy money sat safely on the sidelines.

As the shock was settling in less than three weeks after Trump’s election, Paul Krugman, a New York Times columnist and economist, said of President-elect Trump’s manufacturing jobs promises, “Nothing policy can do will bring back those lost jobs. The service sector is the future of work; but nobody wants to hear it.”

Yet last Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its February jobs report. Comparing the Trump administration’s first 26 months of employment data with the last 26 months under Obama is insightful.

Both periods are considered by most economists to be in the mature stage of the business cycle. In Obama’s case, slow economic growth, especially regarding sluggish manufacturing employment, was considered the “new normal.” The national economy grew by 1.6% in 2016, Obama’s last year.

From October 2014 to December 2016, private sector employment grew by 4.2% as the unemployment rate dipped to 4.7%. In the past 26 months, private employers have grown their payrolls by 4.0% as the job market has tightened considerably, with official unemployment dropping to 3.8%.

While overall employment numbers are comparable, the difference in manufacturing is profound. In the last 26 months of Obama’s presidency, manufacturing employment grew by 96,000 or 0.8%. In Trump’s first 26 months, manufacturers added 479,000 jobs, or 3.9%, 399% more jobs than Obama’s record.

Is it any wonder that President Obama derided then-candidate Trump for needing a “magic wand” to deliver on his manufacturing jobs promise?

On the other hand, federal, state and local government jobs, many of them creators of job-stifling red tape, grew by 1.7% in Obama’s last 26 months compared to 0.8% under Trump.

In fact, over the past 26 months, there were 168% more jobs in manufacturing created than in government, while during Obama’s last 26 months, there were 303% more government jobs created than in manufacturing. This was not sustainable. Government jobs don’t pay for themselves.

And here’s where President Trump’s pro-growth policies come into play.

The current stretch in increased manufacturing employment started in November, 2016—the month of Trump’s election. Employers, especially those faced with making long-term investments in physical plants and equipment, anticipated regulatory relief under Trump.

They got the relief they hoped for.

By October 2018, the Trump Administration cut 2.7 major regulations for every one added, greatly reducing regulatory cost and risk.

In addition, the tax cuts signed into law in December 2017 not only reduced corporate tax rates, encouraging investment, they also incentivized U.S.-based multinational corporations to bring home profits held overseas.

In the first nine months of 2019, these firms repatriated $571.3 billion—money needed for job-creating investment at home, but had been held in foreign countries because America had the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world.

Trump’s pro-growth policies appear to be all the magic the manufacturing sector needed .



CA Gov Touts “Safe” Border While Standing In Front Of GIANT Barrier

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newson claimed late last week that there’s “no national emergency” at America’s southern border. The only problem is that he made the bizarre comment while standing behind a wall.

Last week, Newsom visited San Ysidro, California, and declared that there’s no “national emergency” at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“So we’re right here on the Mexican border, you can see the Mexican sign,” Newsom said. “We are at arguably the busiest border crossing in the United States. We are trying to highlight a different story as it relates here,” he added.

Newsom said he was trying to “highlight the economic vibrancy that is demonstrable here at the border.”

For starters, the area Newsom visited not only has one border wall, but a second one is currently being built and other physical barriers are being replaced and/or upgraded.

Secondly, the Trump administration has deployed thousands of U.S. troops to the southern border to help install additional hardening infrastructure at the port of entry — where Newsom was standing near in his video clip.

This also includes razor wire wrapped around border barriers to prevent illegal aliens from climbing the wall and jumping over into the U.S.

The area is economically vibrant and completely safe because it is now one of the safest areas on the border thanks to walls.

Without a whiff of self-awareness, Newsom stood behind a massive wall and other safety barriers — many of which have been installed and/or upgraded by the Trump administration — to claim there’s “no national emergency.” That’s almost like standing in front of a police station and declaring that there’s no crime or danger.

Trump declared a national emergency last month in order to secure billions of dollars from other agencies to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump has made it clear that his administration will keep the nation secure and safe, and maybe Democrats like Newsom should get on board and help the president.



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 March, 2019

The New Zealand Massacre

Almost as bad as the massacre itself are the false media claims about it.  It is invariably said that the gunman was "right wing" or "far right". What in conservative thought justifies the killing of the innocents?  There is nothing. 

What we do know is that the gunman isued a manifesto that is decribed as full of Nazi ideas.  But Nazism was a socialist sect.  Conservatives -- such as Churchill -- opposed Nazism. It is nothing more than a survival of Soviet disinformation that says Nazism is rightist.  Hitler was to the right of Communism but to the left of just about everyone else.  Ever since the French revolution it is the Left who have been the mass murderers --Robespierre, Trotsky, Stalin, Hitler, Mao -- not conservatives  -- and that was again true in Christchurch.

One thing that was Leftist about the gunman even by modern standards was his identifying himself as a representative of a group -- Western whites.  He saw the Jihadi attacks on Western whites as attacks on a group that he identified with and that he wished to save. The Jihadi attacks were attacks on his people. And identity politics are a major obsession of Leftists at the moment.  They try to divide everyone into groups -- blacks, whites, homosexuals, transsexuals women etc.  And they then treat people according to their group identity.  Conservatives, by contrast, treat people primarily as individuals.

And the gunman did make it abundantly clear that his actions were  provoked by Muslim hostility towards Western whites as evidenced in the innumerable attacks on Westerners by Jihadis.  He did not act at random. He was provoked.  So those who provoked him bear at least some of the blame for what he did.  Muslims should be deeply thankful that the Jihadis who arise from among their ranks so seldom provoke a violent reaction. 

It may be however that the Christchurch massacre is the harbinger of things to come.  It may not be the last time that someone horrified by Jihadi violence decides to strike back.  If Muslims want to avoid that they should urge their Mullahs to stop preaching Jihad.  Jihadis mostly seem to strike at random so Muslims too could be struck at random.  It would be a great pity if bloody attacks on Muslims were the only thing capable of persuading Muslims to desist from attacking others.


The evils of group identity

I have alluded above to the identity obsession of the Christchurch gunman.  BRENDAN O'NEILL writes on similar lines in an email introduction to the latest edition of "Spiked", which he edits:

The barbaric racist massacre in New Zealand has shocked the world. It has also shone a light on one of the most worrying things in contemporary society: the rise and rise of communal and cultural tensions. Whether it’s the hundreds of Europeans slaughtered by Islamist terrorists in recent years or the murder of Jews by a white extremist in the US or this killing of 49 Muslims by a self-styled defender of the white race, identity-based conflict is intensifying.

It is ridiculous to blame this on President Trump’s Twitterfeed, or the right-wing media, or the tiny white-supremacist movement, as some people are doing in relation to the NZ massacre. Instead we have to dig down into the scourge of identity politics, which increasingly seems to be the only political game in town, and the way it has rehabilitated racial thinking, cultural division, and competitive grievance. Spiked’s rallying cry for the whole 18 years of its existence feels as urgent as ever: we need a humanist politics, a politics of common values, a politics of democratic engagement over communal separatism, not this relentless race into the cesspit of identitarian warring.


McConnell Considers the Next Nuclear Option

Democrats are obstructing judicial nominations by abusing 30 hours of debate. Not for much longer.

For all their talk about bipartisanship and making government work, Democrats have put up one obstacle after another to prevent Republicans from filling important federal court vacancies. And they’re doing it because of (you guessed it) politics. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), for example, refused to work together with Republicans after the midterm elections to fill vacancies. Yet another problem is that any senator can hold up the process and force the Senate to engage in a lengthy debate on each nominee.

But isn’t this just politics as usual — or is there a uniquely concerted effort to block Trump’s court picks?

Just last year, The Heritage Foundation published a report called The Left’s Obstruction of Qualified Trump Nominees is Yet Another Front in the War Against the President. One of the highlights is the stunning figure that in a little more than one year since Trump’s election, the Republican Senate was forced to take 106 cloture votes on executive and judicial nominations. These votes require a 60-vote majority to end debate on a nominee.

Compare this to the past 12 administrations combined during which only 20 of these votes occurred, according to Thomas Kipping of Heritage.

But now, finally, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and some of his GOP colleagues have had enough. Their plan is to expand the so-called “nuclear option” so as to greatly reduce the amount of time spent on debating nominees. All they have to do is change the Senate’s rules, which can be accomplished with a simple party-line vote.

Burgess Everett and Marianne Levine write at Politico that the plan would “shave debate time from 30 hours to just two hours for those judges and lower-level executive branch nominees.” They add, “Trump currently has 128 District Court vacancies to fill, and each one can take multiple days under current rules if any senator demands a delay; if Republicans change the rules, Trump could conceivably fill most of those over the next 20 months.”

But the Leftmedia know that the American public has a short memory, and they’re already blaming Republicans for threatening to change the historic traditions of the Senate. Of course, the Democrats had no problem tossing tradition aside when Nevada Senator Harry Reid was the majority leader back in 2013.

As Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey writes, “Reid buried the filibuster on all presidential appointments short of the Supreme Court on a rule change passed by simple majority vote, the first time that had ever been done after the start of a session of Congress. Reid and his fellow Democrats ignored the clear historical precedents to claim that they could accomplish this without consulting Republicans.” And Democrats did it after years of sanctimoniously professing their reverence for the filibuster.

There’s always a backstory in politics, and it usually reveals Democrats having already done exactly what they’re criticizing Republicans for thinking about doing. In fact, Sen. McConnell warned Reid and his fellow Democrats about deploying this “nuclear option” back in 2013: “I say to my friends on the other side of the aisle, you’ll regret this,” he told them. “And you may regret it a lot sooner than you think.”

If McConnell is going to make that threat a reality, now’s the time. Democrats are demanding the return of “blue slips” in exchange for working with Republicans to fill vacant seats in the judiciary. Once again, it was the Democrats who in 2013 broke with a longstanding Senate tradition of requiring both senators from a judicial nominee’s state to return blue slips indicating a favorable or unfavorable opinion. At the time, Democrats eliminated the slips for lower court nominees and then Republicans did the same last year for Supreme Court nominees. Even The New York Times opposes the practice of blue slips, which can hold up the process if senators refuse to return them.

For those worried about reducing time for debating the worthiness of potential judges, we have to wonder whether 30 hours of partisan squabbling is really needed to confirm these appointments. After all, the nominees are fully vetted after clearing the Judiciary Committee. At that point, senators already know how they’re going to vote and are actually more interested in making bold, dramatic speeches that end up on the evening news instead of engaging in philosophical debates with their colleagues.

Democrats always claim that elections have consequences, but they only honor their words when one of their own sits in the White House. Now that Republicans control the executive branch and the Senate, they need to play hardball. They need to fill those seats now to ensure a properly functioning and more constitutionally conservative judiciary.



‘Self-Sufficiency, Not a Sinkhole’: JOBS Act Updates Work Requirements for Welfare Recipients

Republicans in the House and Senate are making another legislative push to enforce work requirements for able-bodied adults on welfare.

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday announced the Jobs and Opportunity with Benefits and Services Act.

The JOBS Act comes as the Trump administration makes a renewed push for work requirements for welfare recipients in its fiscal year 2020 budget proposal.

The successful 1996 welfare reform law is now broken, Daines said, asserting that states that find loopholes to avoid imposing work requirements undermine the aim of that law.

The 1996 law created the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, passed by a Republican Congress and signed by a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, to tie work and job-training requirements to welfare payments.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is the largest welfare program in the country, and the Daines proposal would reauthorize and modernize it.

“Our welfare programs should be a springboard to work and self-sufficiency, not a sinkhole into government dependency,” Daines said in a statement. “My bill supports struggling low-income families and equips them with the skills and resources they need to find and keep a job—something that gives them hope, dignity, and a better future.”

Some Democrats and other critics have argued that work requirements can be onerous since welfare recipients are often more vulnerable populations.

In recent years, many states have begun to ignore the work requirements. The new legislation requires each state’s caseworkers to engage with job-seekers to help Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients find jobs and keep them.

The legislation also addresses matters such as mental health issues, as well as drug and alcohol addiction. It also seeks to close the “jobs gap” by connecting employers with potential workers.

The legislation could help lift more Americans out of poverty, said Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James.

“We know the history of government assistance programs. Rather than lift people out of poverty, they have created generational poverty and left millions of Americans perpetually dependent on government,” James said in a statement. “There are few things more debilitating than not being able to provide for oneself and one’s family.

“Assistance programs must help—not harm—the people they are intended to serve,” James said. “It’s time to ensure that people not only get the temporary assistance they need to get through the tough times, but that they also get help with the more permanent solution of finding meaningful work.”

The House version of the legislation is called the Jobs and Opportunity with Benefits and Services (JOBS) for Success Act.

According to House Republicans, less than half the total program dollars sent to states go toward supporting work requirements and job training. Instead, many states use the federal funds for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to plug state budget gaps.

The bill would also limit the use of funds dedicated for welfare recipients to those with a monthly income below 200 percent of the poverty level and require states to spend a minimum level of funding on transportation and other work-support services to help more Americans prepare for jobs and keep them.

The federal government would also track states for how many in the caseload find work under the legislation.

The bill also renames Temporary Assistance to Needy Families as Jobs and Opportunity with Benefits and Services.

“Following the GOP tax cuts, our economy continues to soar, with wages rising at their fastest pace in a decade and near 50-year-low unemployment,” said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee and a co-sponsor of the House version.

“There are a record 7.3 million job openings, and millions of folks on the sidelines who we need—and want—to take part in this expanding economy,” Brady said in a statement. “This proposal builds on that by reforming our nation’s cash-for-work welfare program, refocusing this important program on the outcome of parents getting and keeping a job.”

A 2017 poll found 92 percent of Americans favor work requirements for welfare recipients.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children after the 1996 law. Caseloads, poverty rates, and welfare spending decreased in the near term.

However, by 2000, the trend began to reverse, according to a report released last year by Robert Rector and Vijay Menon of The Heritage Foundation. State welfare bureaucracies lapsed back into check-writing agencies, they wrote, and more than half of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients in the average state is not engaged in any work or job-training program.

President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2020 budget proposal, released on Monday, would implement a requirement of at least 20 hours a week for work or job training for certain welfare benefits, such as food stamps and assistance with the cost of rents.

A job is the best solution to poverty, said Tim Chapman, executive director of Heritage Action for America, the lobbying arm of The Heritage Foundation.

“Americans in need deserve our best efforts in assisting them,” he said in a statement. “One of the best ways to ensure people receive the help they need is to aid them in finding a job.

“That’s what the JOBS for Success Act accomplishes. It helps provide a permanent solution for Americans struggling to make ends meet. The solution is a job,” Chapman said.



Peter Navarro: President Trump's trade policies make great strides

The U.S. trade deficit for goods hit a record high in 2018, but critics wrongly blame this on a failure of President Donald Trump’s trade policies.

Gross domestic product  growth of 3 percent in 2018, coupled with a rapid rise in real wages and the  lowest unemployment in 50 years, boosted import demand even as slower growth in markets like Europe suppressed U.S. exports. The robust Trump economy is one of the deficit’s biggest drivers.

Meanwhile, Trump trade policies have raised billions of dollars in revenue, encouraged the onshoring of new factories, helped create nearly half a million new manufacturing jobs, and induced a strong revival of our steel and aluminum industries.

The president’s tough trade agenda has also helped bring recalcitrant trading partners to the negotiating table. The newly negotiated U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement will dramatically boost investment in the U.S. manufacturing sector and likely shrink our deficit with Mexico — which is why Congress must quickly approve it.

The Trump trade team is likewise negotiating dramatic structural changes to China’s mercantilist economy. Proposed reforms include an immediate end to China’s cyber intrusions into our business networks, intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, unfair currency practices and excessive subsidies for state-owned enterprises.

Even as President Trump has made these great strides, World Trade Organization rules have hampered additional progress by continuing to allow other countries to charge much higher tariff rates than does the United States. This is simply unfair — and why President Trump urged Congress in his 2019 State of the Union to pass the U.S. Reciprocal Trade Act.

President Trump remains fiercely committed to reducing America’s trade deficit, and he will attack the problem on all fronts, including eliminating unfair and nonreciprocal trade practices.



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 March, 2019

Why the 'excellent' Electoral College is well worth keeping

by Jeff Jacoby

THE FOES of the Electoral College are back in the news.

Late last month, Colorado legislators voted to make their state the 13th (including the District of Columbia) to join the National Popular Vote compact, which is designed to circumvent the Electoral College by having states to cast their electoral votes for the candidate who wins the most popular votes nationwide.

By its terms, the arrangement only takes effect when it has been adopted by enough states to reach 270 electoral votes, the total needed to win the White House. The Colorado bill, which still requires the signature of Governor Jared Polis, brings the number to 181. That would increase to 184 if Delaware joins the compact, as its state senate voted to do last week.

Complaints about the Electoral College are an old story. The National Archives says there have been more than 700 attempts to scrap or modify the Electoral College. None has succeeded, obviously, and it is virtually certain that the popular-vote compact won't either. For one thing, it is unconstitutional — the Electoral College can be changed only by amending the Constitution. Even if that weren't an obstacle, a majority of legislatures will never sign on to a plan designed to undermine their own voters.

The standard indictment against the Electoral College is that it's anti-democratic. It is, of course: The framers of the Constitution devised it deliberately as a check on direct democracy, one of many such checks and balances — think of the power they entrusted to unelected Supreme Court justices, or to a Senate in which states, not people, are equal. Again and again, the Founders went to great lengths to thwart blind majority rule, not wanting important national decisions to be driven by unbridled public emotion, populist demagoguery, or the passions of the mob.

The direct election of the president, argued Elbridge Gerry as the Constitution was being drafted in the summer of 1787, could lead to "radically vicious" outcomes. Hence the interposition of an Electoral College, which ensures that presidents are elected not in one national plebiscite, but through elections within each state to choose electors.

Thanks to the Electoral College, it isn't enough for presidential candidates merely to pile up votes in the few states where they are most popular. In order to win, they must demonstrate appeal across numerous states. And because electoral votes have almost always been awarded on a winner-take-all basis, candidates have a powerful incentive to focus in particular on "swing" states — they work extra-hard to carry states where the public is closely divided, because the reward for doing so is significant.

The ticket that racks up the most votes nationwide nearly always wins a majority of the Electoral College. But twice in the last two decades, the popular-vote winner lost the electoral vote. Both times a Republican ended up in the White House, which explains why so many Democrats are now on the warpath against the Electoral College. All the states that have voted to join the National Popular Vote compact are solid blue states; except for Colorado, none has voted Republican in a presidential election for at least 30 years. Had the compact been in force in recent elections, the candidates those states supported — Al Gore in 2000, Hillary Clinton in 2016 — would have become president. The popular-vote pact would have ratified the choice made by most voters in those states.

But in 2004, when the popular vote was won by George W. Bush, 12 of the states in the compact voted for John Kerry. Enforcing the compact then would have meant overturning the will of the voters in those states. Critics of the Electoral College denounce it as undemocratic — but what could be less democratic than state legislatures deliberately nullifying the choice of a majority of their state's voters?

For a nation like ours — ideologically quarrelsome, geographically vast, socially diverse — the advantages of the Electoral College far outweigh its drawbacks. It guarantees that no one can become president without demonstrating an appeal that crosses state, regional, and communal lines. It makes victory all but impossible for candidates who write off whole constituencies of Americans — Mitt Romney's "47 percent," Hillary Clinton's "basket of deplorables" — even if those candidates are intensely popular in a few specific states or within a few narrow demographic slices. Above all, it balances federalism with democracy: It preserves the central role of the states in American life without sacrificing the principle of one-person, one-vote.

With good reason, Alexander Hamilton pronounced the Electoral College system an "excellent" arrangement. With good reason it has endured for 225 years. Presidents come and presidents go, but the Constitution's system for choosing them is here to stay.



Is Income Inequality Fair?

Walter E. Williams
Some Americans have much higher income and wealth than others. Former President Barack Obama explained, “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” An adviser to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who has a Twitter account called “Every Billionaire Is A Policy Failure” tweeted, “My goal for this year is to get a moderator to ask ‘Is it morally appropriate for anyone to be a billionaire?’” Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in calling for a wealth tax, complained, “The rich and powerful are taking so much for themselves and leaving so little for everyone else.”

These people would have an argument if there were piles of money on the ground called income, with billionaires and millionaires surreptitiously getting to those piles first and taking their unfair shares. In that case, corrective public policy would require a redistribution of the income, wherein the ill-gotten gains of the few would be taken and returned to their rightful owners. The same could be said if there were a dealer of dollars who — because of his being a racist, sexist, multinationalist and maybe a Republican — didn’t deal the dollars fairly. If he dealt millions to some and mere crumbs to others, decent public policy would demand a re-dealing of the dollars, or what some call income redistribution.

You say, “Williams, that’s lunacy.” You’re right. In a free society, people earn income by serving their fellow man. Here’s an example: I mow your lawn, and you pay me $40. Then I go to my grocer and demand two six-packs of beer and 3 pounds of steak. In effect, the grocer says, “Williams, you are asking your fellow man to serve you by giving you beer and steak. What did you do to serve your fellow man?” My response is, “I mowed his lawn.” The grocer says, “Prove it.” That’s when I produce the $40. We can think of the, say, two $20 bills as certificates of performance — proof that I served my fellow man.

A system that requires that one serve his fellow man to have a claim on what he produces is far more moral than a system without such a requirement. For example, Congress can tell me, “Williams, you don’t have to get out in that hot sun to mow a lawn to have a claim on what your fellow man produces. Just vote for me, and through the tax code, I will take some of what your fellow man produces and give it to you.”

Let’s look at a few multibillionaires to see whether they have served their fellow man well. Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, with a net worth over $90 billion, is the second-richest person in the world. He didn’t acquire that wealth through violence. Millions of people around the world voluntarily plunked down money to buy Microsoft products. That explains the great wealth of people such as Gates. They discovered what their fellow man wanted and didn’t have, and they found out ways to effectively produce it. Their fellow man voluntarily gave them dollars. If Gates and others had followed President Obama’s advice that “at a certain point” they’d “made enough money” and shut down their companies when they had earned their first billion or two, mankind wouldn’t have most of the technological development we enjoy today.

Take a look at the website Billionaire Mailing List’s list of current billionaires. On it, you will find people who have made great contributions to society. Way down on the list is Gordon Earle Moore — co-founder of Intel. He has a net worth of $6 billion. In 1968, Moore developed and marketed the integrated circuit, or microchip, which is responsible for thousands of today’s innovations, such as MRIs, advances in satellite technology and your desktop computer. Though Moore has benefited immensely from his development and marketing of the microchip, his benefit pales in comparison with how our nation and the world have benefited in terms of lives improved and saved by the host of technological innovations made possible by the microchip.

The only people who benefit from class warfare are politicians and the elite; they get our money and control our lives. Plus, we just might ask ourselves: Where is a society headed that holds its most productive members up to ridicule and scorn and makes mascots out of its least productive and most parasitic members?



SOCIALIST BACKFIRE: New York City On Verge Of Going Bankrupt For First Time In FOUR DECADES

After decades of adopting and implementing socialist policies, New York City is on the verge of going bankrupt for the first time in nearly 40 years.

According to Breitbart, financial experts are predicting — and warning — that there are signs that the city is headed for a financial disaster.

The experts argue that many individuals and businesses leaving the city for lower tax areas coupled with city government spending being at an all-time high is also having a major effect on the Big Apple.

Making matters even worse, the last time New York City almost filed for bankruptcy was in 1975, when former President Gerald Ford was in office and would not give the city a bailout package to settle its massive debt.

Here’s more from the Breitbart report:

“The city is running a deficit and could be in a real difficult spot if we had a recession, or a further flight of individuals because of tax reform,” economist Milton Ezrati told the New York Post. “New York is already in a difficult financial spot, but it would be in an impossible situation if we had any kind of setback.”

The city’s budget deficit has reached an all-time high over the past year. New York City’s long-term liabilities— including pensions, bonded debt, and retirement benefits for city government employees— reached a record-high $257.3 billion, according to an October 2018 Citizens Budget Commission report.

Even though the city’s budget deficit has reached record highs, Mayor Bill de Blasio has shown no signs of curbing the city’s spending.

In fact, de Blasio is adding $3 billion in spending to the current $89.2 billion budget, and spending money at a rate that is three times the rate of inflation, according to the Post.

It also appears that de Blasio will not get help from fellow Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is trying to address a $2.3 billion state budget deficit by using auditors to bill wealthy residents fleeing the state for lower-tax regions.

Cuomo’s preliminary budget proposed $600 million in cuts to money allocated to New York City.

For starters, the Big Apple has been behind Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist “Green New Deal,” which studies reveal could bankrupt the entire nation.

One study revealed that the price tag for socialist measure comes out to $7 trillion, with another finding that it could actually cost nearly $50 trillion, which would be roughly seven times more than the original study.

The same goes for the “Medicare for All,” another socialist idea that NYC has been behind.

A study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University found that the “Medicare for all” plan would increase government health care spending by $32.6 trillion over 10 years.

While getting “free” Medicare and health benefits sounds appealing, notable socialists fail to mention how taxpayers will be stuck footing the $32.6 trillion bill over 10 years.

A second study from Vox.com revealed that the “Medicare for All” plan would cost the United States a jaw-dropping $218 trillion over the next 30 years.

All of those socialist policies and agendas sure are expensive, and it could be pushing New York City into a total collapse.



SICK! Nancy Pelosi SCOLDS Americans For Being Against Dem Measure Allowing Illegals Right To Vote

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi scolded Americans late last week for being against a Democrat measure that allows illegal aliens the right to vote.

During a press conference in Austin, Texas, Pelosi argued that America must not suppress the vote of newly arrived legal immigrants, including those who arrive in caravans at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Pelosi actually appeared to admit that the Democrats overall immigration goal is to ensure millions of new arrivals who come to the U.S. every year are eligible to vote in America’s elections.

“When we talk about newcomers, we have to recognize the constant reinvigoration of America that they are, that we all have been – our families,” Pelosi began.

“And that, unless you’re blessed to be Native American – which is a blessing in itself that we respect – but that constant reinvigoration of hope, determination, optimism, courage, to make the future better for the next generation, those are American traits,” she added.

She continued: “And these newcomers make America more American. And we want them, when they come here, to be fully part of our system. And that means not suppressing the vote of our newcomers to America.”

Did you catch that?

Pelosi argued that immigrants, not American citizens, make the nation “more American.”

She went on to argue that these “newcomers” should be able to participate in voting, which presumably includes the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens and border crossers who arrive at the southern border every year.

“We, in California, see people coming from a different direction, but the same welcome. You see them coming, many from the south, southern border, but should be the same welcome,” Pelosi said.

Her scathing comments came just a few days after she claimed that President Donald Trump being office is like getting kicked by a mule.

While speaking with a local news outlet in Alabama, a reporter asked Pelosi, “Women across the country were traumatized at the loss for Hillary Clinton. Do you remember what that night was like for you personally?”

“It was like getting kicked in the back by a mule constantly,” Pelosi said.

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“It was physical— it was so unbelievable that not only would Hillary Clinton not succeed in winning, but that Donald Trump would be president of the United States,” she added.

Pelosi continued, “I thought that was just impossible to happen. But it did.”

Last week, Pelosi suffered several face spasms and brain glitches when trying to argue that Trump’s national emergency declaration is “unpatriotic.”

Aside from something clearly being wrong with Pelosi, her comments on argument that Trump’s national emergency declaration being unpatriotic will not sit well with many Americans who want the southern border secured.

Pelosi is completely obsessed with the going after the president and will say whatever she can for attention.

And now she’s attacking Americans if they don’t support the Democrats obvious plan to allow more illegals the right to vote.



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 March, 2019

Media Hostility Could Help Trump Win Reelection

Ronald L. Trowbridge

Numerous high-profile investigations, including new probes just announced by Democrats in the House of Representatives, add to uncertainty about President Trump’s election prospects in 2020. Nevertheless, a strong case can be made that a hostile media environment will actually make the president’s reelection highly likely.

Although I have been a student of politics for decades, having worked for President Reagan and later Chief Justice Warren Burger, I have never seen the intensity of media hostility now directed at President Trump. But not until very recently did I come to the realization that such animosity works very much in the president’s favor.

My epiphany came on February 11, 2019, with President Trump’s campaign rally in El Paso. It was déjŕ vu all over again: 10,000 supporters, say local authorities, gathered to hear the president. I thought to myself: it’s the same huge, wild, yelling, clapping crowd that attended his campaign rallies in 2016. His poll approvals shot up to 52 percent, having been before El Paso at some 41 percent. It has of late been in the high 40s.

Caitlin Flanagan, a writer for the center-left, cerebral The Atlantic, has written two prescient articles that show that media animosity and myopia against Donald Trump could bring about his reelection. The stronger the resistance, the stronger the resistance to that resistance by a silent majority.

In January, Flanagan published the perceptive article, “The Media Botched the Covington Catholic Story” with the tag line, “And the damage to their credibility will be lasting.” After showing how the media initially falsely reported that a group of MAGA-hat-wearing teenage boys had, for racist reasons, harassed a Native American elder drumming at the Lincoln Memorial, Flanagan concludes the piece by addressing the New York Times:

You were partly responsible for the election of Trump because you are the most influential newspaper in the country, and you are not fair or impartial. Millions of Americans believe you hate them and that you will casually harm them. Two years ago, they fought back against you, and they won.

Then her bombshell: “If Trump wins again, you will once again have played a small but important role in that victory.”

“If Trump wins again” is an explicit comment that the president’s reelection is possible, that the silent majority could rise again. Flanagan had voiced such irony and paradox in her Atlantic piece of May 2017. Her title said it all: “How Late-night Comedy Fueled the Rise of Trump.” She emphasized that “hosts of the late-night shows decided that they had carte blanche to insult not just the people within this administration, but also the ordinary citizens who support Trump.”

Hillary Clinton, two months before the 2016 election, blew herself out of the water by calling these ordinary citizens the “deplorables.” As Mitt Romney can attest, it is political suicide for a candidate to attack voters. Many today continue to attack ordinary people by commanding them to “Take off that MAGA hat!” or claiming “He has a MAGA hat and is therefore racist.”

The word may be spreading that an angry, myopic media can possibly help get Trump reelected. John Diaz, editorial page editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote a prescient editorial on January 25, entitled, “Covington Catholic story shows danger of a rush to judgment.” Like Flanagan, Diaz calls out “the danger of a rush to judgment” – an inclination that aids Trump by giving him more “Fake News!” ammunition to shoot on the campaign trail.

Earlier polls showed President Trump’s approval rating at a low 41 percent. But recall that this was roughly his favorable rating when he surprisingly defeated Hillary Clinton. The media is still angry about that one, and they were made to look foolish. But they seem determined to exercise the same animosity and myopia against Trump that he turned into an advantage. Similarly, I have to wonder if, say, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nancy Pelosi are doing Trump a big favor by attempting to pummel him.

If Trump runs in 2020, the election could be a horserace. It is the inchoate, silent (electoral) majority that remains the greatest unknown. In 2016, Democrats, liberals, progressives, the media—all were certain that Hillary Clinton would win. Some even laughed about it in certainty.

We should remember Santayana’s insight: Those who “don’t remember history are condemned to repeat it.” But the hostile media apparently don’t remember history and are at it again.



Trump’s Proposed Foreign Ops Budget Again Targets UN Funding

For the third consecutive year, the Trump administration has proposed a budget that cuts spending on foreign affairs, including funding for the United Nations – but congressional Democrats are unimpressed.

President Trump’s FY 2020 budget proposal seeks $42.803 billion for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, around $726 million more than requested in the 2019 budget, but significantly below what the U.S. Congress approved for 2019, $54.418 billion.

The State/USAID budget for FY 2018 was $56.386 billion and for FY 2017 was $59.752 billion.

The proposal to Congress says the funding requested for the U.N. and other international organizations aims to fully fund “those organizations critical to our national security but makes cuts or reductions to those whose results are unclear, whose work does not directly affect our national security interests, or for which the funding burden is not fairly shared among members.”

“The [State] Department will continue to work with the international organizations including the U.N. to reduce costs, improve effectiveness, and more fairly share the funding burden.”

At the same time, the proposal says the administration is committed to “promoting U.S. leadership in international organizations as a means of countering actions by countries that do not share U.S. national security interests and values.”

--For the “contributions to international organizations” (CIO) account – which goes towards funding the U.N., U.N.-affiliated agencies and other international organizations – the administration is requesting $1.013 billion for FY 2020. (Actual CIO funding in FY 2018 was $1.467 billion and in FY 2017 was $1.359 billion.)

--For the “contributions for international peacekeeping activities” (CIPA) account – which funds U.S. assessed obligations to U.N. peacekeeping operations – the administration is asking for $1.136 billion in FY 2020. (CIPA funding in FY 2018 was $1.381 billion and in FY 2017 was $1.907 billion.)

--For the U.N. regular budget, the administration is requesting $473.7 million for FY 2020. (Actual funding for the U.N. budget in FY 2018 was $609.9 million and in FY 2017 was $593.2 million.)

‘Not the best use of taxpayer dollars’

House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Senate Appropriations Committee ranking member Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) both called the proposal “dead on arrival” in Congress.

“Even though the Administration doesn’t seem to get the message, it bears repeating: at a time when the United States is facing crises across the globe, investing in diplomacy and development advances American interests, values, and security,” said Engel in a statement.

Leahy said the budget was “not worth the paper it is printed on,” and predicted that it will be rejected by Congress.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said he looked forward to reviewing additional details, saying the committee would hold hearings in the coming months and “carefully review the president’s proposal as we work to draft and pass spending bills for FY 2020.”

Briefing at the State Department, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said that “President Trump has made it clear that U.S. foreign assistance should serve America’s national interest and should support those countries that help us to advance our foreign policy goals.”

Doug Pitkin, director of the department’s Bureau of Budget and Planning, said the proposal includes reductions in some programs which the administration “believes are either a lower priority or perhaps are not the best use of taxpayer dollars.”

“An example of that is continuing to request lower amounts for contributions [to] international organizations than Congress has provided, as an effort to try to drive greater burden-sharing among those organizations.”

Pitkin conceded that there will be “back and forth” with lawmakers over the proposed budget, but said that just because Congress has not taken up some of the proposed reductions in recent years “does not change the administration’s position.”


The Better World Campaign (BWC), a group that “works to foster a strong relationship between the U.S. and the U.N.,” criticized the plan, saying it “greatly underfunds the U.N. regular budget and peacekeeping operations.”

“The proposed budget cuts will make it more difficult for the U.N. to help those who need it most around the world,” said BWC president Peter Yeo. “It will undermine ongoing efforts to implement the ambitious reform agenda that the U.S. has championed. And it will also exacerbate the financial crisis at the U.N.”

BWC called on Congress to reject the proposal.

The 193 U.N. member-states’ contributions to the U.N. regular and peacekeeping budgets are assessed according to their “capacity to pay,” a formula based on factors including population size and gross national income.

Under those assessments, U.S. taxpayers are expected to provide 22 percent of the U.N. regular budget and – in 2019 – 27.89 percent of the U.N. peacekeeping budget.

Legislation signed by President Clinton in 1994 set a 25 percent cap on the U.S. contribution to U.N. peacekeeping, however, and the discrepancy between that cap and the U.N. assessment led to arrears mounting.

Under legislation negotiated in 1999, the U.S. agreed to settle the arrears in return for a U.N. pledge to gradually reduce the assessment, which was then above 30 percent, to 25 percent.

In the meantime, according to the BWC, U.S. arrears stand at around $750 million and, under the FY 2020 proposal, would increase to more than $1 billion next year.



Pelosi Rejects Impeachment ... For Now

She concedes not enough evidence for impeaching Trump, while still leaving the door open.

In a wide-ranging interview published in The Washington Post Magazine, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a statement that appears to be aimed at tamping down all the Democrat rhetoric on wanting to impeach President Donald Trump. “I’m not for impeachment,” Pelosi stated. “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.”

So, what can be made of Pelosi’s statement? Three possibilities, and perhaps a combination of all three.

First, it’s important to note that Pelosi’s statement does not preclude any future impeachment attempts. Instead, she has simply conceded that Democrats do not presently have enough political capital to instigate impeachment proceedings. In other words, Pelosi recognizes that as things currently stand, an attempt at impeachment would be more politically damaging for Democrats than for President Donald Trump. And practically speaking, with the Senate under GOP control, an impeachment attempt without any real evidence would only push Republicans to further coalesce behind Trump. To put it bluntly, Pelosi knows it would be a politically damaging effort in futility.

Second, Pelosi may have deduced something about or even been privy to Robert Mueller’s forthcoming report. If, as we have long speculated, the report finds no evidence of any Trump/Russia collusion conspiracy, Pelosi will need to have her party repositioned in such a fashion as to avoid appearing to have invested any real political capital in Mueller’s findings. By downplaying the impeachment mantra that has been entirely linked to Russian collusion, Pelosi is attempting to pull back and make Democrats look the part of objectively minded statesmen, not the politically invested hacks they are.

Finally, Pelosi is flexing her intra-party authority over the young and popular upstarts within her own party. By publicly speaking out to a prominent Leftmedia outlet, Pelosi is communicating to her young leftist firebrands that whatever their rhetoric may be, she will be the one to decide what if any action will be taken on impeachment, not them. And no action will be taken — yet. Of course, that will all change if House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler’s fishing expedition turns up anything.



AOC Hates the USA
According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 51% of voters agree with this statement: “Right now we have people in Congress who hate our country.” Only 34% disagree, and 15% aren’t sure. But that a majority of voters, and perhaps as many as two-thirds of voters, feel that way should be cause for alarm.

You don’t have to look far to find politicians who are hostile to America. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC as she is often referred to) went on quite a tirade this weekend at the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas.

Borrowing from Hillary, AOC blasted capitalism as “irredeemable.” If she likes socialism and taxes so much, she should start by paying her own!

She attacked Ronald Reagan as a racist for wanting to reform welfare. And she trashed America as “garbage,” saying that her ideas shouldn’t be seen as radical because America needs to be fundamentally transformed. She said:

“I think all of these things sound radical compared to where we are. But where we are is not a good thing. And this idea of like, ten percent better than garbage, it shouldn’t be what we settle for.”

Yes, her remarks are outrageous. But don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s just her. AOC is reflecting the kind of American history that has been taught in our schools for the last 30 years, which is all too often anti-American history.

Ocasio-Cortez is just the first of many leaders now rising out of that generation with the same worldview. I have commented many times on the fact that the Millennial generation is the least patriotic in history. That didn’t happen by accident.

Given her views about capitalism and America, I’m not surprised Ocasio-Cortez attacked Reagan; he loved this country and he cherished freedom.

Sadly, Reagan is often just a footnote in our textbooks. Or he is portrayed as presiding over an “era of greed” and criticized for employing racist tactics.

In reality, he presided over an era of tremendous growth, defeated the Soviet Union and was reelected in one of the greatest landslides in American history. He left office with a 63% approval rating — all before AOC was even born!

I could just imagine what Reagan’s reaction would be to Ocasio-Cortez’s criticism. As he once said, “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant, it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”



Mumps, other outbreaks force U.S. detention centers to quarantine over 2,000 migrants

The number of people amassed in immigration detention under the Trump administration has reached record highs, raising concerns among migrant advocates about disease outbreaks and resulting quarantines that limit access to legal services.

As of March 6, more than 50,000 migrants were in detention, according to ICE data.

Internal emails reviewed by Reuters reveal the complications of managing outbreaks like the one at Pine Prairie, since immigrant detainees often are transferred around the country and infected people do not necessarily show symptoms of viral diseases even when they are contagious.

Mumps can easily spread through droplets of saliva in the air, especially in close quarters. While most people recover within a few weeks, complications include brain swelling, sterility and hearing loss.

ICE health officials have been notified of 236 confirmed or probable cases of mumps among detainees in 51 facilities in the past 12 months, compared to no cases detected between January 2016 and February 2018. Last year, 423 detainees were determined to have influenza and 461 to have chicken pox. All three diseases are largely preventable by vaccine.

As of March 7, a total of 2,287 detainees were quarantined around the country, ICE spokesman Brendan Raedy told Reuters.

More HERE  


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

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


13 March, 2019

New Yorkers Do To Florida What Latin Americans Do To America

Given the constantly reiterated left-wing charge that opposition to massive immigration is racist and xenophobic, it is important to restate the truth: The reason for opposition to mass immigration into the United States — from almost anywhere in the world, whether legal or illegal — has nothing to do with race or ethnicity. The issue is entirely one of values. Every immigrant, to anywhere, brings a set of social, moral, political and religious values. No one on earth is devoid of values, be they noble, ignoble or merely confused.

Wishful-thinking conservatives and Republicans have long argued that Latinos are potential Republicans because at heart they are social conservatives. They are said, for example, to oppose abortion and to have a strong commitment to the traditional nuclear family.

Yet, even assuming Latinos' overall opposition to abortion and strong belief in the mother and father-led family, this has paled in significance compared to Latinos' belief in big government. That the state should take care of people is now the most widely held belief in the world. More people believe in big government than believe in the God of the Bible. That is one reason, as I frequently note, that the most dynamic religion of the last hundred years has not been Christianity or Islam, but leftism.

America is the only country in the world founded on a belief in limited government. It is a uniquely American value. And that is precisely the problem: It is uniquely American. Very few immigrants to America bring with them a belief in limited government.

That is one reason Democrats want more and more immigrants — more or less from anywhere (except Western Europe). Almost every immigrant is another vote for the Democratic Party. The only exceptions are some Europeans who crave individual liberty, and people fleeing socialist and communist dictatorships, such as those of the Soviet Union, Cuba and Venezuela. First-generation Cubans became a bedrock of the Republican Party in Florida. So, too, first-generation immigrants from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe formed a strong conservative block. And today, one suspects most Venezuelans allowed to immigrate to the United States would find American millennials' love affair with socialism ludicrous.

However, in every case, the words "first-generation" are operative. Once the children of first-generation immigrants from left-wing tyrannies attend American colleges (or, increasingly, American high schools), they are likely to become left-wing Democrats. Their parents' horrific experience with big government — nearly always meaning left-wing government — becomes irrelevant to them.

Take, for example, Sergey Brin, a co-founder of Google. Brin, about the 10th-richest man in the world, with an estimated net worth of $50 billion, was born in the Soviet Union, which he and his family fled, immigrating to the United States when he was 6 years old. Yet he is a man of the left who now censors PragerU videos and other conservative content and plays a major role in making Silicon Valley the closed left-wing world it is. Though his family fled the Soviet state, Soviet values have apparently influenced Brin more than American values have.

So, whether immigrants bring big-government values with them or embrace them within a generation, few immigrants of the last generation either brought American values or embraced them for long after coming here.

Nor is it only a belief in big government that nearly all immigrants bring with them. For example, many Muslim immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa bring with them a value that permeates the societies from which they came — anti-Semitism. Witness the two newest Muslim members of Congress: Ilhan Omar, who came from Somalia, and Rashida Tlaib, whose parents are Palestinian.

The problem with mass immigration into America has nothing to do with ethnicity or race; it is entirely about values. The proof is this: The problem is the same with "internal" immigration. New Yorkers immigrating to Florida and Californians immigrating to Texas and Arizona do to those states what Latin Americans do to America: They bring different values — specifically, left-wing values, starting with belief in big government.

Next time someone labels your opposition to mass immigration "racist" or "xenophobic," tell them you are equally opposed to New Yorkers immigrating to Florida and Californians immigrating to Arizona. And for the same reason: They bring with them the very values that caused them to flee. The only difference is Latin Americans are largely unaware of what they are doing; New Yorkers, Californians and other leftists who move to conservative states know exactly what they're doing: voting for the government policies from which they fled.



On the Cusp of Catastrophe, California Has No Margin for Error

Californians brag that their state is the world’s fifth-largest economy. They talk as reverentially of Silicon Valley companies Apple, Facebook, and Google as the ancient Greeks did of their Olympian gods.

Hollywood and universities such as Caltech, Stanford, and Berkeley are cited as permanent proof of the intellectual, aesthetic, and technological dominance of West Coast culture.

Californians also see their progressive, one-party state as a neo-socialist model for a nation moving hard to the left.

But how long will they retain such confidence?

California’s 40 million residents depend on less than 1 percent of the state’s taxpayers to pay nearly half of the state income tax, which for California’s highest tier of earners tops out at the nation’s highest rate of 13.3 percent.

In other words, California cannot afford to lose even a few thousand of its wealthiest individual taxpayers. But a new federal tax law now caps deductions for state and local taxes at $10,000—a radical change that promises to cost many high-earning taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.

If even a few thousand of the state’s 1 percent flee to nearby no-tax states such as Nevada or Texas, California could face a devastating shortfall in annual income.

During the 2011-16 California drought, politicians and experts claimed that global warming had permanently altered the climate, and that snow and rain would become increasingly rare in California. As a result, long-planned low-elevation reservoirs, designed to store water during exceptionally wet years, were considered all but useless and thus were never built.

Then, in 2016 and 2017, California received record snow and rainfall—and the windfall of millions of acre-feet of runoff was mostly let out to sea. Nothing since has been learned.

California has again been experiencing rain and cold that could approach seasonal records. The state has been soaked by some 18 trillion gallons of rain in February alone. With still no effort to expand California’s water storage capacity, millions of acre-feet of runoff are once again cascading out to sea (and may be sorely missed next year).

The inability to build reservoirs is especially tragic given that the state’s high-speed rail project has gobbled up more than $5 billion in funds without a single foot of track laid. The total cost soared from an original $40 billion promise to a projected $77 billion.

To his credit, newly elected Gov. Gavin Newsom, fearing a budget catastrophe, canceled the statewide project while allowing a few miles of the quarter-built Central Valley “track to nowhere” to be finished.

For years, high-speed rail has drained the state budget of transportation funds that might have easily updated nightmarish stretches of the Central Valley’s Highway 99, or ensured that the nearby ossified Amtrak line became a modern two-track line.

California politicians vie with each other to prove their open-borders bona fides in an effort to appeal to the estimated 27 percent of Californians who were not born in the United States.

But the health, educational, and legal costs associated with massive illegal immigration are squeezing the budget. About a third of the California budget goes to the state’s Medicare program, Medi-Cal. Half the state’s births are funded by Medi-Cal, and in nearly a third of those state-funded births, the mother is an illegal immigrant.

California is facing a perfect storm of homelessness. Its labyrinth of zoning and building regulations discourages low-cost housing. Its generous welfare benefits, nonenforcement of vagrancy and public health laws, and moderate climate draw in the homeless.

Nearly one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients live in the state, and nearly 1 in 5 live below the poverty line.

The result is that tens of thousands of people live on the streets and sidewalks of the state’s major cities, where primeval diseases such as typhus have reappeared.

California’s progressive government seems clueless how to deal with these issues, given that solutions such as low-cost housing and strict enforcement of health codes are seen as either too expensive or politically incorrect.

In sum, California has no margin for error.

Spiraling entitlements, unwieldy pension costs, money wasted on high-speed rail, inadequate water storage and delivery, and lax immigration policies were formerly tolerable only because about 150,000 Californians paid huge but federally deductible state income taxes.

No more. Californians may have once derided the state’s 1 percent as selfish rich people. Now, they are praying that these heavily burdened taxpayers stay put and are willing to pay far more than what they had paid before.

That is the only way California can continue to spend money on projects that have not led to safe roads, plentiful water, good schools, and safe streets.

A California reckoning is on the horizon, and it may not be pretty



Majority of Likely Voters Agree with Trump: ‘We Have People in Congress that Hate Our Country’

A majority of Americans agree with President Donald Trump that some members of Congress “hate our country,” a new Rasmussen Reports survey of likely voters shows.

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last Saturday, March 2, Trump said:

“We have people in Congress, right now, we have people in Congress that hate our country.”

“And, you know that, and we can name every one of them, if they want. They hate our country. Sad. Very sad. When I see some of the statements they made. Very, very sad.”

In its national survey of 1,000 likely voters, conducted March 5-6, Rasmussen asked: “Do you agree or disagree with the following statement – ‘We have people in Congress, right now we have people in Congress, that hate our country’?”

While slightly more than half of likely voters agreed with the statement, only about a third disagreed that some members of Congress hate America:



Another Horror Story of Government Spending

That 90% of Silicon Valley start-ups fail is often mentioned in these columns. The 90% number is a reminder that bad ideas in Silicon Valley quickly fail. The Valley’s immense wealth isn’t an effect of constant success; rather it’s a certain consequence of persistent failure that forces constant learning and improvement. What makes no sense dies with great rapidity in northern California, so that good ideas can be born.

While what fails in the private sector is mothballed, what belly flops in the governmental sphere is frequently rewarded with more taxpayer funds. That’s why government waste is a first order redundancy. Of course it's waste. Absent the possibility of investor withdrawal whereby what makes no sense is rapidly starved of resources, what’s ridiculous just grows and grows.

Which brings us to a front page Wall Street Journal article from Tuesday. Even though airplanes can transport passengers from Chicago to St. Louis in less than 1 hour, Amtrak (our national train service) has a train route in place that can similarly transport passengers between the two cities. The problem is that what takes less than an hour by plane takes 5 ˝ hours by train. Sadly, the Amtrak story gets worse.

As the Journal went on to report, “a fast-rail project is under way in Illinois.” It’s hard not laugh while typing, but this project will push the top speed of Amtrak trains traveling from Chicago to St. Louis up to 110 miles per hour, thus “shaving just an hour” off a trip that as previously mentioned takes 5 ˝ hours. Fear not, the story gets even worse. 

You see, $2 billion was spent so that Amtrak trains traveling between STL and Chicago would take 4 ˝ hours instead of 5 ˝. Unsurprisingly, this non-improvement isn’t or won’t impress passengers. The present expectation is that, assuming top speeds of 110 mph, “the share of people who travel between the two cities by rail could rise just a few percentage points.” On its own, American Airlines already flies seven times per day from Chicago to St. Louis. In an hour. 

So while there are countless stories and lessons about the folly of government spending, the waste of $2 billion on something that makes no economic sense loudly exposes the horrors of Congress controlling so much of the wealth first created in the real world. The waste is monstrous. And this is just Amtrak. Ideally the Amtrak story instructs.

Ideally it’s a reminder that with government spending, it’s not a Democrat or Republican thing. Politicians exist to spend, so the cost of government grows and grows regardless of the Party in charge.

Readers would be wise to consider how the money is spent. The federal government costs close to $4 trillion each year, and with Amtrak in mind, readers might imagine all the other waste taking place across various federal programs. Crucial here is that the nearly $4 trillion used to be in the private sector.

Now it’s not, which means close to $4 trillion is annually allocated by politicians in obnoxiously obtuse fashion. That it’s misallocated is a blinding glimpse of the obvious. When failure doesn’t inform one’s actions, the inevitable result is economy-sapping waste.

It cost Amtrak $2 billion to “improve” service that was never necessary, while $500,000 was all it took for Peter Thiel to purchase 10 percent of Facebook in 2004. With the long history of nosebleed federal spending very much in mind, how many Facebooks have been suffocated by government waste that economists laughably tell us stimulates economic growth?

This is not a partisan issue. It’s one of common sense. Government, whether run by Republicans or Democrats, can only mis-appropriate what’s precious. Sane people on each side should energetically oppose the falsehood that is “government spending” simply because it’s not government spending.

"Government spending" is a horror story that cannot be stressed enough simply because it has everything to do with suffocating the amazing under the gargantuan weight of what has to be flamboyantly dumb by virtue of failure informing none of it. Call "government spending" what is: freedom-sapping economic contraction that robs us of trillions worth of experimentation necessary to employ us much better, improve our living standards, and substantially elongate our lives.



Harvard law professor says 'slimy' Jared Kushner is the 'beating heart' of the 'corrupt and deeply evil' Trump administration

Tribe is well-known for going off half-cocked at the very mention of the Trump name so  this is just more of the same.  He comes from an ethnic group that is reflexively Leftist

Constitutional law professor, Laurence Tribe, made the comments on Saturday. Tribe was responding to Newsweek columnist, Seth Abramson, who had called President Donald Trump's son-in-law 'the greatest domestic danger to America'.

'I’m with @sethabramson here. Smarmy, slimy, smiling Jared Kushner of 666 Fifth Avenue is the beating heart of this unprecedentedly corrupt and deeply evil administration,' Tribe tweeted. 'He’ll eventually be exposed as an insatiably greedy Benedict Arnold,' he added, implying that Kushner would betray the United States.

Tribe responded to Abramson's Twitter thread after he made the case that 'Kushner is going to get us into a *devastating* war with Iran'.

'Jared, singlehandedly. Jared, to make money for himself. I'll say now that Jared more richly deserves to be in prison for the rest of his life than Manafort, and Manafort richly deserves it. That's how bad this is,' Abramson wrote.

In a series of tweets, Abramson said that 'our foreign policy is totally off the rails in a way that is dangerous, and the sole reason for this is the Kushner-Trump axis'.



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 March, 2019

Centrists squirm as 2020 Democrats swerve left

Comment from the Left-leaning Boston Globe below:

The sharp left turn in the Democratic Party and the rise of progressive presidential candidates are unnerving moderate Democrats who increasingly fear that the party could fritter away its chances of beating President Donald Trump in 2020 by careening over a liberal cliff.

Two months into the presidential campaign, the leading Democratic contenders have largely broken with consensus-driven politics and embraced leftist ideas on health care, taxes, the environment, and Middle East policy that would fundamentally alter the economy, elements of foreign policy and ultimately remake American life.

Led by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a democratic socialist who is the top candidate in the race at this early stage, many vocal leaders in the party are choosing to draw lessons from liberal victories in 2018 rather than the party’s breakthroughs in moderate suburban battlegrounds that delivered Democratic control of the House.

These progressive Democrats risk playing into Trump’s hands — he has repeatedly branded them “socialists” — yet they argue that their ambitious agenda can inspire a voter revolt in 2020 that elects a left-wing president.

“Those ideas that we talked about here in Iowa four years ago that seemed so radical at the time, remember that?” Sanders, returning to Iowa this past week for the first time as a 2020 candidate, crowed Thursday. “Shock of all shocks, those very same ideas are now supported not only by Democratic candidates for president but by Democratic candidates all across the board, from school board on up.”

The sprint toward populism amounts to a rejection of the incremental and often-defensive brand of politics that has characterized the party’s approach to highly charged issues for 40 years. Yet when nearly half of voters indicate in polls that they will not support the president’s reelection, many moderates say the cautious strategy in 2018 that helped the party pick up 21 House seats that Trump carried two years earlier should be the playbook for next year.

“What we saw in the midterms is a lot of people from the center and moderate part of the party really win and take back the House,” said Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, alluding to the careful and poll-tested campaigns many Democrats in Republican-leaning districts ran last year. “We need to make sure we’re being as pragmatic as we can.”

This moderate wing of the party lacks an obvious standard-bearer. Former mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, who would have run a centrist campaign, begged off this past week; Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, a Midwestern progressive who favors a within-the-system style of pragmatic politics, also decided not to run. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who is running, has presented herself as a centrist but has not yet gained traction.

Should former vice president Joe Biden enter the race, as his top advisers vow he soon will, he would have the best immediate shot at the moderate mantle. (And if he does not run, Democrats like former governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia or governor Andrew Cuomo of New York might try to seek that role.)

Biden’s candidacy would immediately thrust a fundamental dispute to the center of the Democratic race: Do Americans simply pine for a pre-Trump equilibrium, less chaos and more consensus, or do the yawning disparities of these times call out for a more transformational administration?

Sanders and other Democratic candidates, like Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, are plainly wagering that voters want more than a return to normalcy.

Warren proposed Friday that the government break up big tech giants like Amazon and Facebook, the latest, and perhaps boldest, proposal to come from her campaign. And Sanders’ platform — “Medicare for all,” free college tuition, and an aggressive plan to combat climate change — has grown in popularity, according to polls.

Speaking at the University of Iowa on Friday evening, Sanders took aim at “establishment Democrats” and won his loudest and most sustained applause by pledging to push through his universal health care bill.

Sanders and Warren, along with a new generation of high-profile progressives like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, have emerged this winter as the clearest and most vocal arbiters of Democratic aspirations, if not the immediate congressional agenda.

They are, at least, hastening the tectonic shifts taking place in the party. It was no accident that House Democrats modified a resolution targeting Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota — for her controversial claim that pro-Israel advocates carry an “allegiance” to a foreign country — after Ocasio-Cortez, other lawmakers of color, and the party’s leading presidential hopefuls rebelled against singling out Omar. The episode marked a striking departure from the down-the-line support for Israel that has characterized the upper ranks of most Democratic primaries.

Yet Biden, in speeches at home and abroad, has used much of the first part of this year pledging to restore the dignity he believes that the country has lost in the Trump years, promising a restoration rather than a revolution. And, as his supporters put it less subtly, his campaign would represent something else.

“Overwhelmingly, the primary electorate of the Democratic Party wants to win,” Senator Chris Coons of Delaware said. He argued that Biden could “repair a lot of the ways in which our position in the world has been harmed” while offering a “hopeful, optimistic, positive” vision at home that would heal the divisions he said Trump has exacerbated.

To such moderate Democrats, the most instructive recent election is not that of Trump in 2016 but rather the 2018 midterms, when many of the Democrats who won in battleground House districts and governor’s races were decidedly less confrontational than Sanders.

“The overwhelming majority of seats we picked up were by center-left candidates representing more centrist-type districts,” said Representative Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania, adding, “There’s still lots of folks on our side who are OK with compromise.”

Democrats in Washington are seeing the tensions within the party firsthand as they try to balance an agenda that their newly elected moderates can support while also mollifying more liberal newcomers who are eager to impeach Trump and pursue far-reaching goals, such as the Green New Deal.

“A lot of young people have come into a world where there was more diversity, more opportunities and where they had use of social media,” said Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland about the expectations of next-generation activists and lawmakers, some of whom serve on the oversight committee he chairs. “A guy like me, I had to fight to even get in the door.”

To tell some of these younger Democrats that a uncompromising progressive platform may be unattainable, let alone who can and cannot be elected president, is difficult given Trump’s victory and the chasm they see between the scale of the problems they will confront and the policies in place today.

And unlike many in the party’s pragmatic wing, these Democrats believe the recipe for success in the general election is not to nominate another seemingly safe candidate like Hillary Clinton, who was unable to galvanize the base and lost crucial votes to a Green Party nominee, but to put forward somebody who will energize reluctant voters.

“Obviously we’ve shown that we’re at a place where we’re OK with nontraditional candidates,” said Riley Wilson, a 29-year-old Nebraskan who crossed the Missouri River to see Sanders. He added: “I think so many people just aren’t involved at all in politics, and I think he would be able to bring some of those people into the fold because they’ll feel like they have options that they haven’t had before, politically speaking.”



Dad Of Sick Child Explains Why Government-only Medicine Always Leads To Rationing

Would you like all hospitals to run like the typical DMV?

The reintroduction of Democrats’ single-payer legislation has some families contemplating what total government control of the health-care sector would mean for them. Contrary to the rhetoric coming from liberals, some of the families most affected by a single-payer system want nothing to do with this brave new health care world:

Pouncing Joe Pilot, MD: "I promised you all a thread on the state of modern American healthcare from the unique perspective of both a pediatrician and a father of a gravely ill child undergoing surgery"

As this father realizes, giving bureaucrats the power to deny access to health care could have devastating consequences for some of the most vulnerable Americans.

Determining the ‘Appropriate’ Use of Medical Resources

To summarize the Twitter thread: The father in question has a 12-year-old son with a rare and severe heart condition. Last week, the son received an implantable cardioverter defibrillator to help control cardiac function.

But because the defibrillator is expensive and cardiologists were implanting the device “off-label”—the device isn’t formally approved for use in children, because few children need such a device in the first place—the father feared that, under a single-payer system, future children in his son’s situation wouldn’t get access to the defibrillator needed to keep them alive.

The father has reason to worry. He cited a 2009 article written by Zeke Emanuel—brother of Rahm, and an advisor in the Obama administration during the debate on Obamacare—which included the following chart:

The chart illustrates the “age-based priority for receiving scarce medical interventions under the complete lives system”—the topic of Emanuel’s article. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this chart sure speaks volumes.

Also consider some of Emanuel’s quotes from the same article, in which he articulates the principles behind the allocation of scarce medical resources:

Adolescents have received substantial education and parental care, investments that will be wasted without a complete life. Infants, by contrast, have not yet received these investments.
The complete lives system discriminates against older people….[However,] age, like income, is a ‘non-medical criterion’ inappropriate for allocation of medical resources.

If those quotes do not give one pause, consider another quote by Zeke Emanuel, this one from a 1996 work: “[Health care] services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.” When that quote resurfaced during the debate on Obamacare in 2009, Emanuel attempted to claim he never advocated for this position—but he wrote the words nonetheless.

The Flaw in Centralized Decision-Making

Beyond their Orwellian tone, these quotes ignore a more fundamental flaw in this kind of centralized system, where bureaucrats like Emanuel determine who gets scarce medical resources and who does not. Research into various drugs and treatments determines their effectiveness on average. But by definition, a single individual is by no means “average.”

The father in his Twitter thread hit on this very point. Medical device companies have not received Food and Drug Administration approval to implant defibrillators in children in part because so few children need them to begin with, making it difficult to compile the data necessary to prove the devices safe and effective in young people.

Likewise, most clinical trials have historically under-represented women and minorities. The more limited data make it difficult to determine whether a drug or device works better, worse, or the same for these important sub-populations. But if a one-size-fits-all system makes decisions based upon average circumstances, these under-represented groups could suffer.

To put it another way: A single-payer health care system could deny access to a drug or treatment deemed ineffective, based on the results of a clinical trial comprised largely of white males. The system may not even recognize that that same drug or treatment works well for African-American females, let alone adjust its policies in response to such evidence.

A ‘Difficult Democratic Conversation’

In a 2009 interview with The New York Times, Barack Obama mused aloud about whether government bureaucrats would have to make tough health care decisions at the end of human life:

The chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here….There is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place.

Some would argue that Obama’s mere suggestion of such a conversation hints at his obvious conclusion from it. Instead of having a “difficult democratic conversation” about ways for government bureaucrats deny patients care, such a conversation should center around not giving bureaucrats the right to do so in the first place.



Fascist Democrats Won't Condemn Anti-Semitism

Even Ilhan Omar voted for the resolution that was originally supposed to rebuke her

The whole point of the Democrats’ originally planned resolution this week was to rebuke the repeated and specific anti-Semitic remarks of a sitting member of Congress. The actual resolution they passed Thursday did not do that. Worse, but predictably, the 23 Republicans who declined to participate in what became a generic “anti-hate” charade are now being vilified for daring to vote against “condemning hatred and bigotry.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has been the source of much consternation since winning a seat in Congress last November, showing her true hateful colors on multiple occasions. Nevertheless, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) protested that Omar’s “words are not based on any anti-Semitic attitude” but are instead because “she didn’t have a full appreciation of how they landed on other people.” Translation: Omar is dumb, not racist. As for the resolution, Pelosi insisted, “It’s not about her. It’s about these forms of hatred.”

The resolution was so watered down to include “Islamophobia,” anti-Hispanic sentiment, and even law-enforcement profiling that Hamas-supporting Omar herself voted for it. Again, given that its original purpose was indeed, contra Pelosi, a rebuke of Omar, that should tell you all you need to know about the radicals who now run the Democrat Party.

Now, the resolution didn’t cover every kind of hate — just those flavors Democrats wanted to highlight. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) said he was “shocked” that the measure “refused to similarly condemn discrimination against Caucasian Americans and Christians.” We’re sure he meant “shocked” about as facetiously as Captain Renault in “Casablanca.”

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) opposed the resolution, calling it a “sham” that was actually “designed to protect anti-Semitic bigotry.” Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) added, “By refusing to mention Rep. Ilhan Omar by name and allowing her to keep her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Democrats have sent a message that anti-Semitism is less serious than other types of hate.” Indeed, House Minority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) said as much, dismissing families of Holocaust survivors as not truly understanding how the former refugee Omar is the one “living through a lot of pain.”

Why has anti-Semitism been legitimized by Democrats? Because they are increasingly becoming fascist — a bastardized socialist philosophy in which anti-Semitism is deeply rooted. Their 2020 platform is one of authoritarian government control of private industry, class warfare, and a race-based hierarchy of victim groups. That’s fascism in a nutshell, despite the fashionable leftist historical lie that puts 20th-century fascists and their ideological descendants on the Right. After all, as Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels is attributed to have said, “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.”

And if anyone knows how to repeat a lie often enough, it’s Democrats.



Hispanic Unemployment Breaks Another Record Low, But TOTALLY Ignored By Telemundo & Univision

President Trump is breaking records left and right. In the month of February, the Hispanic unemployment rate hit another record low, the fourth time since this past June. So what did the two main Spanish news networks in America (Telemundo and Univison) have to say about this great news? Absolutely nothing!

Trump has done more for the black and hispanic communities in the past two years than Obama did in his entire presidency. That’s a fact. Check out what the Epoch Times reported:

Hispanic unemployment dropped from 4.9 to 4.3 percent between January and February, following the previous trend of historically low unemployment for the group and in general, which was somewhat broken in January by the temporary increase in furloughed workers due to the partial government shutdown.

Telemundo and Univision both ran articles on the unemployment data, but neither mentioned the historical significance of the Hispanic rate. The Telemundo article didn’t mention the Hispanic rate at all.



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

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


11 March, 2019

Let me try my hand at prophecy: About Mr. Trump's Emergency declaration

Prophecy is a mug's game.  Something like 95% of prophecies don't turn out.  But there is a class of prophecy that does turn out: Prophecies based on a correct understanding of natural phenomena.  The big challenge there is "correct".  Warmists think that CO2 warms the earth. But that is demonstrably not correct.  There is no synchrony between the two. But prophesying the position of the earth  relative to the other planets at any one time can be done with great accuracy because we do have a very good and correct knowledge of orbital dynamics.

And in principle, the same applies with regard to all other natural phenomena, including what people do.  The social sciences exist because people think they can see regularities in human behaviour and once you have a regularity, accurate prophecy should be possible.  And in economics that definitely happens.  If you restrict the supply of something, its price will go up, for instance.  It always does. 

But when you get into the other social sciences prophecy is rarely possible.  My academic background is principally in psychology and the only sound generalization from human psychology that I know of that has much in the way of real-life application is the generalization that your educational success will be almost entirely a product of your IQ.

But as well as my background in psychology, I also have a substantial background in sociology and economics.  I taught in a sociology school for a number of years and I am also a former high School economics teacher. So it would seem possible that a combination  of three social science disciplines might occasionally enable accurate prophecies.  And I have repeatedly found that it does. What I think will happen or should happen in the world of politics often does end up actually happening.  I am a pretty good knowledge-based prophet.

So far I have never put one of  my prophecies into writing so perhaps it is now time that I did.  I may be hilariously wrong but I can handle that.  And what I want to prophecy is quite daring.  I want to forecast both the verdicts and the reasoning of both the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of the United States.  And I dare to do that without having any formal knowledge of law or any legal qualifications.  So I am setting myself a very difficult task indeed. I am setting myself up for a fall but it will be fun if nothing else

I refer to the Emergency Declaration that President Trump is using to fund his wall. It generally takes a while for matters to come up before a court but it should fairly quickly come before the 9th Circus.  I anticipate that there will be 4 arguments put to the court in favour of the declaration:

1). The courts have no jurisdiction over how the Commander in chief discharges his duties.  It is for the commander to command and he, not the courts, has the final word about that. So he can therefore use military resources to build a wall. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers carries out many tasks without explicit congressional authority and a wall is just another example of that.

There are some legal restrictions on what the commander can do with the military but none mention wall building.  And even the restrictions that do exist are customarily applied only lightly.  Many wars have been initiated without the authority of Congress, for instance

2). Since passage of the National Emergencies Act in 1976, every U.S. President has declared multiple national emergencies, so Trump is not doing anything out of line. And  123 enumerated powers are invoked by an executive declaration with no Congressional input. This should actually be the core issue in the case and will no doubt be  examined in great detail so I will say no further about that approach.  The sudden arrival of whole caravans of illegals could well be held to be an emergency requiring extra powers.

3). Reallocating funds away from their original purpose is routine so again Trump is well within precedent.  He could do his intended reallocation of funds even WITHOUT an Emergency declaration.  To deny him that customary right would greatly hobble all future administrations and cast into legal limbo many past funding arrangements.  That is surely not to be done lightly.

4). Government by regulation is already well established.  Mr Obama used his "pen and phone" to circumvent Congress on some quite major matters -- notably the creation of DACA immigrants. Trump is simply trying to ENFORCE the law by using regulatory powers.  Obama explicitly CREATED a whole class of new law with no Congressional authority.  The courts have so far upheld the authority of the DACA declaration so it should be merely consistent to uphold Trump's much less innovative declaration.

This argument, by the way, is a complete answer to the idiocy of Rand Paul, who says he will vote against the emergency declaration in the Senate because he fears what a future Democrat president will do with the precedent.  He forgets that the precedent has already been set -- by Obama -- and that Trump's declaration sets no new precedent. Rand Paul is doing a classical act of trying to close the door after the horse has escaped.

So I am pretty sure that at least one of those arguments will ultimately prevail.  There is even a possibility that one will prevail at the 9th Circuit level.  Let me go out on a limb and prophecy that the 9th Circuit with find the emergency declaration improper but will allow that Trump is nonetheless entitled to build his wall using recycled funds because recycling funds has strong precedent.  If that is the verdict, the matter will probably not go to SCOTUS.  If it does go to SCOTUS, they will probably use that reasoning too.


Medicare for All Would ‘Result in Care for None,’ Doctor-Turned-Lawmaker Says

A congressman from Maryland who is also a physician says Medicare for All would end up depriving Americans of health care, rather than make it more accessible.

“The Medicare for All plan that was announced a couple of weeks ago by my Democrat colleagues, over 100 of them, really will result in care for none. That’s the bottom line,”  Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., an anesthesiologist by profession, said Wednesday at Conversations with Conservatives, a monthly press question-and-answer session hosted by The Heritage Foundation. 

“You can’t offer ‘free’ care to everyone and expect anything but rationing to be the result,” said the six-term lawmaker. “The costs are huge. We already have a trillion-dollar deficit in the federal government spending. To add more to it will result in rationing.”

Medicare for All—specifically, the plan from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.—comes with a price tag estimated at $32.6 trillion over 10 years.

Among other things, Sanders’ plan would “prohibit ordinary Americans from purchasing any alternative health coverage, except for items such as ‘cosmetic surgery’ or health services that government officials decide are not ‘medically necessary,’ according to a recent commentary from Bob Moffit, a senior fellow in domestic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation.

The Maryland lawmaker says socialized health care is not the answer to rising health care costs and limited insurance options.

“When you dissect this plan, piece by piece, including the elimination of all private insurance, not even socialized medicine in England has that … so, we go well beyond the socialized medical schemes of Europe in the Medicare for All plan,” Harris said. “It is just going to be a nonstarter.”

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., who owned his own dental practice prior to serving in Congress, joined Harris and Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., at the Conversations with Conservatives event, said more effort needs to be placed on making the free market work in health care.

“It is amazing what actually happens when you lower premiums, lower drug prices, lower doctor and hospital visits, and it empowers people to create new ideas,” Gosar said. “Making a market-driven solution is actually beneficial.”

DesJarlais, a physician by profession now in his fifth term in Congress, said Medicare for All would only make the ability to receive health care more of a problem.

“Access is the big thing. There just is not enough to go around,” he said.

“And when you consider that Medicare for All would eliminate what over half the country realizes now in an employer-based plan, most people, despite all the horrors we have heard about Obamacare, which is really bad, get their insurance through their employer,” DesJarlais added. “So, it would change that and eliminate private insurance altogether, and so people would be left with what the government tells them they can have.”

Harris said the importance of patient care needs to be restored as part of health care reform.

“When I was trained, almost 40 years ago, the bottom line is the relationship between the patient and her doctor was the most important,” he said. “That was it. Fast-forward to now. You got an insurance company in the room. You got a government bureaucrat in the room. You have a pharmacy benefits manager in the room. You got all these outside parties that are now involved in that relationship.

“We have got to come full cycle and restore it to the primacy of a patient,” Harris said.



New Tax Proposal Could Devastate Americans’ Retirement Accounts

A new tax proposal in Congress aims to stick it to the rich. But if passed, it could devastate the U.S. financial system and ruin the value of ordinary Americans’ retirement accounts.

The proposal, introduced by a team of Democrats in the House and Senate, would assess a penalty each time someone sells a stock, bond, or other financial instrument. It would tax each of the roughly 10 billion U.S. equity market trades each year, among other transactions.

The goal, presumably, is to hit the rich. But the stock market is not just a tool for the wealthy.

Some of the largest shareholders and beneficiaries of our modern financial system are pension funds for public-sector employees and private retirement account holders. Firefighters, teachers, university endowments, and private retirement savings all benefit from sophisticated equity markets. Many employers issue short-term debt to cover payroll and young start-ups sell securities to fund their growth.

The stock market may seem opaque to the average American, but they still benefit from it through new jobs, advances in productivity, and increases in retirement and other invested savings.   

This proposal would handicap markets for U.S. saving and investment. It would levy a tax of 0.1 percent on the value of every stock, bond, and derivative transaction in the U.S. or made by a U.S. resident.

Depending on the purveyor you listen to, this new tax could make the stock market fairer and less volatile. The tax would stop the dreaded practice of high-frequency trading, whereby large volumes of trades are made quickly by algorithm. Its backers also project that it would raise a sizable chunk of revenue that purportedly would be paid by the “rich.”

But a financial transactions tax fails to meet each of these goals. It would increase rather than decrease market volatility; it would hurt digital traders, who benefit the market; it would not raise as much revenue as projected; and the tax would ultimately be paid by American savers through lower investment returns and fewer economic opportunities. 

A financial transaction tax is not a new idea. The Congressional Budget Office regularly includes it in its yearly list of budget options. Its report notes, however, that the tax could “have a number of negative effects on the economy stemming from its effects on asset prices, the cost of capital for firms, and the frequency of trading.”

These concerns bear out in the real world, too. Evidence from France’s experiment with a transactions tax in 2012 shows that it lowers trading volumes and reduces market liquidity, which hurts market quality.

Fewer trades mean it is harder to buy and sell stock, and markets operate less efficiently. Inefficient markets hurt everyone. They translate into fewer new jobs and less productive investment.  

Italy also tried a transactions tax. There, it  increased market volatility. 

The transactions tax is designed to cut out short-term and speculative traders who trade for small gains by increasing cost of the trade. But without these participants, market prices are less accurate, leading to more frequent and larger price swings. This is borne out in a 2015 study that shows how the tax would indeed increase the likelihood of boom-bust cycles and exacerbate overall return volatility.

In addition, University of California, Berkeley professor Maria Coelho found that financial transactions taxes are “poor instruments” for fixing the market problems identified by advocates. 

As written, the bill is so expansive that it would likely tax short-term, non-exchange traded commercial paper that is used to cover short-term business obligations, like payroll. So a transactions tax could make paying workers more expensive.

The tax would also increase costs for small businesses and start-ups trying to raise funds. A start-up that sells $50 million in securities would now owe a $50,000 tax—not a trivial sum.

But most of all, the tax would hurt ordinary American savers.

In the United Kingdom, it was estimated in the 1980s that cutting the limited financial transactions tax rate “from 2 percent to 1 percent would have led to a 10 percent rise in share prices.” To the extent there is a transactions tax, stock values will fall.

A transactions tax would therefore decrease the stock of wealth for any American who has investments. Private retirement accounts and pension plans could be hurt the most.

Consider a retirement account: a $300,000 self-directed IRA equities portfolio turning over once every year. Just a 0.1 percent tax would result in additional costs of $300 annually. This may sound minimal, but a $300 annual investment growing at 7 percent amounts to more than $20,000 after 25 years.

Perhaps most fundamentally, the tax would impose its largest effective rate on marginal investments—those investments that just barely make a profit. These are the more common type of investments , even though high-return projects are also important.

For instance, under the proposed tax, a block of 1,000 shares of a $25 stock that is sold for $25.01 would face a 250 percent tax rate on the profit made from the sale. By design, these marginal investments are the type that would be most harmed by a transactions tax. The higher the tax rate, the larger the harm.

Despite claims that a new tax would have little effect, history shows that traders respond markedly to new transactions taxes. This means such proposals raise “significantly lower revenues than projected,” as Coelho found in Italy and France.

It is unlikely the new tax would raise anything close to the $777 billion over 10 years that proponents hope for.

It is clear that financial transactions taxes are a poorly designed policy for achieving their proponents’ stated goals. But even if it were the best way to raise revenue, we should question whether maximizing revenue is even a proper goal for governments to have as a matter of policy. 

The government class will always have an insatiable desire to tax and spend at ever higher levels, which means it will search for new and innovative ways to raise revenue. Governments, like most monopolies, are prone to waste and inefficiency.

A better course of action is for Washington to let people of all income levels keep more of the money they earn—to spend, save, and invest how they see fit for themselves, their family, and their local communities.

Washington already has plenty of ways to tax Americans—rich and poor alike. Adding a new tax to the financial system is not the way forward—especially when it will hurt American workers, students, and retirees the most.



Senate Delivers CRUSHING Blow To Democrat Agenda With 52-46 Vote

The Republican-controlled Senate confirmed another judge to serve a lifetime appointment on a prominent court, and Democrats are furious. The Senate voted 52-46 this week to confirm Eric Murphy to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The confirmation is significant because it gives President Donald Trump another young, conservative judge a lifetime appointment on a critical appeals court.

As noted by Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur, this is the 90th judge Trump has successfully nominated since he took office two years ago.

“[Donald Trump] has now put 90 judges on the U.S. courts for lifetime-tenured jobs. Ninety. 54 district court judges, 34 circuit court judges, 2 Supreme Court justices,” Kapur wrote.

“These are young conservatives—mostly aged 40s or 50s, some 30s. They will shape the law for generations,” he added.

Soon after the confirmation vote, Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown — who many thought was running for president but announced he was staying in the Senate — attacked Murphy as being “far right” and “inexperienced.”



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 March, 2019

Are the Japanese conservative?

In 2002, a reader of this blog, Derk Lupinek, who was living in Japan, sent me an email questioning my definition of conservatism.  He said that my definition seemed irrelevant to Japanese politics.  Here is what he wrote:

"I live in Japan, and when I first moved here I found myself trying to decide whether the Japanese were deeply conservative, as I had been led to believe, or whether they were actually quite liberal, especially given their attitudes toward sex.

They clearly do not value individual liberty, which would mean they are not conservative by your definition, but they seek to preserve their culture down to the most excruciating details, leaving me with the feeling that they are in fact deeply conservative, at least in the sense that Philosoblog intends.

So, while I do agree with your definition as it relates to conservatism in the West, it certainly doesn't account for deeply conservative individuals in other cultures, and those individuals are indeed trying to "conserve" something.

In other words, you seem to be using the term "conservative" to refer to a political movement that has occurred in the West, and Philosoblog is just using the term more generally to refer to a psychological mindset. Am I mistaken?"

I think I can now give a fuller reply than I did in 2002: I agree that "conservative" has come to have the lexical meaning of "opposed to change".  And that is fine.  I have no desire to re-write the dictionary.

But to understand what is going on we have to look at WHY conservatives oppose some changes. My point is that those individuals usually labelled "conservative" in the Anglosphere are motivated primarily by a love of liberty and that their opposition to what the Left want stems not from an opposition to change in general but from skepticism about the wisdom and  benefit of Leftist policies, which are invariably authoritarian.  Leftists want to stop us doing things we normally do and make us do things that we would not normally do, which is the irreducible core of authoritarianism

So, yes, the Japanese are conservative but they have different reasons for that -- reasons that I know little about. 

So it is OK to characterize all conservatives, including Western conservatives, as being opposed to change -- as long as we do not take big mental leaps to say WHY they oppose some changes. 

The claim that conservatives oppose ALL change is patently absurd Leftist propaganda.  Notable conservatives such as Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Donald J. Trump are clearly energetic agents of change. Mr Trump seems to do just about everything differently. So by and large it is only the poorly thought-out  ideas of the Left that conservatives rapidly reject. They have no attitude to change as such.  They just don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

The people who DO have a particular attitude to change are the Left. Change is their entire message.  They basically want to change everything -- out of an arrogant and ignorant assumption that they know how to create a new Eden.  The Soviets even thought that they could create a "New Soviet man".

Currently, the "Green New Deal" championed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez exemplifies just how sweeping in scope and just how empty-headed Leftism can be.  In good Leftist style, AOC wants to change just about everything in America. Sadly for America her ideas are hugely popular among American Leftists.  She would create huge destruction given her way

The "New Deal" that the "Green New Deal" refers to was a series of economic initiatives in the 1930s by Democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt that was modelled on the policies of Fascist Italy.  Hillary Clinton's slogan in the last presidential election -- "Better together" -- was also the central idea of Italian Fascism.

And there is always the unapologetic authoritarianism of "Bernie" Sanders:

He really has defended government bread rationing and he really does pledge that he will "transform the country"

In such circumstance politics is largely a contest between the self-righteous and impetuous dreamers who want to tear down our existing society in order to move us towards a new Eden and those who stand in the way of that folly. As Bill Buckley famously said: "A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling ’Stop!’"  Bill was a very polite man so he said "history" where I would have said "Leftist folly".


Democrats Are Goose-Stepping Towards Irrelevancy

In a party where loyalty is paramount but the goalposts keep moving, what happens next?

Democrats recently held a meeting where party leaders made it clear loyalty is the only thing that matters. Unsurprisingly, a headline from The Washington Post article describing the meeting vastly understated reality: “House Democrats explode in recriminations as liberals lash out at moderates.” Socialist/Marxist hard-core radicals lashing out at progressives is more like it — in a party where ever-increasing demands for “authenticity” are the only currency that matters.

What kind of authenticity? “Triggering the blowup was Wednesday’s votes on a bill to expand federal background checks for gun purchases,” the Post explained. “Twenty-six moderate Democrats joined Republicans in amending the legislation, adding a provision requiring that ICE be notified if an illegal immigrant seeks to purchase a gun.”

In other words, Democrat Party members who would like to take Americans’ guns away were furious that some of their colleagues supported making sure illegals can’t get guns. As a result, media-made “superstar” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declared through her spokesman that Democrats who side with Republicans “are putting themselves on a list.”

It’s going to be quite a list, and ideology is only half of the equation. As Victor Davis Hanson so aptly explains, Democrats are a party where “ending capitalism, the internal combustion engine, and so-called white privilege become, for now, the new revolutionary agendas.” And while the old party elitists may pay lip service to the first two tenets, he warns, “The third canon of race unfortunately is not apparently, like gender, a social construct, but innate, unchanging and genetic — and historically an igniter of tribal strife every time it is elevated to being essential rather than incidental to identity.”

The new breed of Democrats, whose ignorance is only exceeded by their arrogance, couldn’t care less. If the old guard won’t get more tribal, they are eminently expendable. Thus, when former VP Joe Biden called current VP Mike Pence a “decent guy,” he infuriated leftists who believe Pence’s anti-same-sex marriage stance is all that matters. And when failed New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon called him out, Biden backtracked. “You’re right, Cynthia. I was making a point in a foreign policy context, that under normal circumstances a Vice President wouldn’t be given a silent reaction on the world stage. But there is nothing decent about being anti-LGBTQ rights, and that includes the Vice President,” he tweeted.

Biden is the tip of the iceberg. Bernie Sanders? Just “an old white, and rather affluent career politician, still barking at the class-struggle moon,” as Hanson puts it. A person “burdened by his utter lack of intersectionality,” National Review editor Rich Lowry adds. Elizabeth Warren? Her Native American “ancestry” has proved to be as tenuous as her explanations for exploiting it, making her just another rich, old, white women.

Kamala Harris? In order to authenticate her “blackness,” the daughter of a Tamil Indian mother and Jamaican father told a radio audience she used to get high in college while listening to “Snoop” and “Tupac” — neither of whom released music until years after she graduated. Cory Booker? Apparently inventing a drug dealer friend named “T-Bone” was his ticket to “down with the struggle” relevancy.

And on it goes, as each of these Democrats and others try to out-authenticize one another by moving further and further left. Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70% tax rate? Punked by Ilhan Omar, who wants to jack it to 90%. Both are outflanked by Warren, who apparently believes advocating for outright wealth confiscation will mitigate her tribal deficiencies.

The party’s new breed and their establishment fanboys and fangirls are also on board with a Green New Deal, universal Medicare (and the subsequent elimination of private insurance), tearing down the existing border wall, reparations for black and Native Americans, abolishing ICE, and embracing post-birth abortions.

And yet, as always, Democrats remain fearful too much elucidation of their intentions is their worst enemy. “Democratic leaders agree that candidates need to be careful not to say anything now that could haunt them in the general election, if they become the nominee,” The Washington Post reports.

The haunting is in full swing. As Hanson points out, Democrats are a party “in which over a dozen and often overlapping victim cadres agree that each degree of non-white-maleness adds authenticity and becomes a force multiplier of left-wing radicalism.”

It is a force multiplier whose ultimate destination elicits a question: How could any white, heterosexual, male — routinely vilified as “privileged,” “cisgender,” and “toxic” — still be a member of the Democrat Party, much less one of its presidential candidates?

And what about Christians, who were referred to as “bitter clingers” by the former Democrat president, and saw the Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization, vilified as a promoter of “extremist” views by two Democrat senators?

Jewish Americans? How many anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, pro-BDS, Louis Farrakhan-supporting Democrats does it take to engender irreparable alienation?

After all, the House failed to pass a resolution condemning anti-Semitism.

Yet the rush to the left remains undimmed. “So many Democratic presidential prospects are now claiming the progressive mantle in advance of the 2020 primaries that liberal leaders are trying to institute a measure of ideological quality control, designed to ensure the party ends up with a nominee who meets their exacting standards,” Politico reports.

Quality control? Exacting standards? Ideological purity with all the attendant fanaticism is more like it. “You don’t just get to say that you’re progressive,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told party donors at a conference last December. She and her followers envision 2020 as a watershed election where they will get a chance to “leverage our power.”

As always, power is all that matters to the American Left. That’s at least partly why DNC chairman Tom Perez announced Fox News would be barred from holding a Democrat Party presidential debate because of its “inappropriate relationship” with President Trump. Apparently 90% negative coverage of the president by the media is insufficient.

The list of initiatives mentioned above is all about the Liberty-crushing empowerment of progressive-controlled government, and their desire to abolish the Electoral College and pack the Supreme Court with four new leftist justices is all about making the arrangement permanent. Yet why are the same Democrats who hid behind a facade of “tolerance” for decades now embracing in-your-face radicalism?

Two reasons: The election of Donald Trump so enraged them they can’t contain themselves, to the point where they’ve made it clear they intend to investigate unprecedented portions of his adult life, and the lives of his associates and family, irrespective of their relationship to his presidency — and irrespective of what the Mueller investigation finds.

In other words, Democrats are embracing the Stalinesque “show me the man and I’ll find you the crime” mindset championed by the Soviet dictator’s secret-police director Lavrenty Beria.

Yet far more important, Democrats think a combination of mass immigration — absent assimilation — and five decades of indoctrination-based education, that produced legions of Americans united solely by the idea they live in an inherently flawed nation needing radical transformation, has reached critical mass.

Don’t bet on it. “Progressives are like a worn rope being pulling apart at both ends,” Hanson states. “At one end, there is an effort to radicalize prior radicalization, and on the other end victimhood is heading toward parody.”

Not parody. Self-inflicted political irrelevancy.



Jonah lives!

Director of Dive Expert Tours Rainer Schimpf, 51, from South Africa, had set off with his team of divers to document a sardine run when events took a surprising turn off Port Elizabeth Harbour, east of Cape Town.

In a situation reminiscent to the Old Testament's Jonah and the whale, Mr Schimpf was left facing a potentially fatal outcome as he entered the inside of the large creature's mouth.

Mr Schimpf and his team, who had split into two groups, had been documenting a natural event which sees the likes of gannets, penguins, seals, dolphins, whales and sharks come together to capture large quantities of fish.

The team were 25 nautical miles from shore when the sea suddenly began to churn and Mr Schimpf was swallowed into the mouth of the beast like the Bible's Jonah.

During the biblical story, Jonah is tossed into the water during a storm and stuck in the belly of the beast for three days before he is thrown up onto the shores of Nineveh.

Following the incredible incident, Mr Schimpf told Barcroft TV that he had been trying to film a shark going through a bait ball when his surroundings suddenly became dark and he felt the large whale grab hold of his body.

He told Barcroft TV: 'I could feel the pressure on my hip, there is no time for fear in a situation like that – you have to use your instinct.'

Mr Schimpf added: 'Nothing can actually prepare you for the event when you end up inside the whale – it's pure instinct.

'I held my breath because I thought he is going to dive down and release me much deeper in the ocean, it was pitch black inside.'

As the experienced diver, who has been a dive tour operator for more than 15 years, was sucked into the whale's mouth, his colleague and photographer Heinz Toperczer kept the camera focused on Mr Schimpf and watched on in horror from the team's boat.

He later described how he saw dolphins leap out of the water and a white spray erupt from the top of the whale as his colleague was swallowed by the sea animal.

After being spewed out of the creature's mouth, Mr Schimpf was able to swim back to his boat unharmed.

Bryde Whales are known to grow up to 40-55 feet in length and are typically found in Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific ocean. The whales are usually dark grey and can dive to depths of 300 metres.



On Hill, Homeland Security Officials Describe Emergency at the Border

Changing immigration laws could reduce the inflow of illegal border crossers by almost two-thirds, a top border security official testified Wednesday at a Senate hearing.

Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Border Patrol should be able to detain families as a unit, which is prohibited under the government’s interpretation of current law.

Congress also should reform the asylum laws and make it easier for immigration officials to send illegal border crossers to to their home countries, McAleenan said.   

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., chairman of the Judiciary Committee, asked whether a change in law or more resources—including funds for a border wall—would make a bigger dent in illegal immigration.  

Border Patrol officials need both, McAleenan replied.

“But the immediate impact—63 percent of our traffic at the border would be addressed by a change in the laws,” McAleenan said.

The hearing comes as President Donald Trump makes his case to Congress for the national emergency he declared Feb. 15 to secure funds to build a wall or other barrier along sections of the southern border.

On the other side of the Capitol, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, McAleenan’s boss, testified Wednesday before the House’s Democrat-controlled Homeland Security Committee.

At the House hearing, Nielsen testified that illegal immigration across the border is “spiraling out of control” and is now a “humanitarian catastrophe.”

“Our capacity is already severely strained, but these increases will overwhelm the system entirely,” Nielsen said. “This is not a manufactured crisis. This is truly an emergency.”

More HERE 


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

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


8 March, 2019

The Left Seeks to 'Smear and Destroy Us All' -- 'Good People Stand Up and Fight'

During her March 1 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), columnist and best selling author Michelle Malkin stressed that "diversity is not our strength" but "unity is," and she called on the "good people" of America to "stand up and fight" against the political left, whose goal is "to smear and destroy us all."

"Our enemies are both foreign and domestic," said Malkin at the conference held in National Harbor, Md. "Inside our already flimsily defended borders, we are not at peace, or rather, the radical left is not at peace with us."

"From the comfort of TV green rooms, Beltway backrooms, corporate boardrooms, and conference ballrooms, it may not look like civil war is imminent," she said.  "But threats and outright violence against you, ordinary, law-abiding people are now regularized features, not just random bugs, of political life in these dis-United States."

She continued, "College students are being punched; elderly citizens are being harassed; MAGA hat-wearers are being kicked off planes and assaulted in school hallways and restaurants; conservative speakers are being mobbed and Molotov cocktailed; ICE agents and their families are being targeted; pro-lifers are being kicked and menaced; pro-Trump, anti-jihad moms on social media are being monitored and doxed. The madness is beyond parody."

"Where are the sanctuary spaces for law-abiding conservatives who simply want to exercise their rights to free speech and peaceable assembly?" said Malkin. "The divide in this country is between decent people who stand up for America and dastardly people who want to bring America to its knees."

"We certainly should make common cause with others across the aisle who share our values, but we should not rush to embrace those whose fundamental aim is to smear and destroy us all," she said.  "That is suicidal."

Noting that her Friday speech was occuring on the seventh anniversary of the death of Andrew Breitbart, Malkin told the conservative crowd that America needs more "disrupters" like Breitbart. America also needs "politicians who will do something to stop the sowers of hate and their handmaidens," she said. "Use the tools at your disposal. Don’t just stand there. Do something!"

In conclusion, Malkin said, "Diversity is not our strength. And I know those words are a trigger. Diversity is not our strength. Unity is. Our common purpose is the common defense of our nation. Good people make America great. Good people stand up and fight. Thank you."



Dan Crenshaw on Limited Government

The congressman eloquently articulated the reason for disagreement on taxes  

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) is no stranger to the fight. The former Navy SEAL lost an eye in an IED explosion during his third combat tour in Afghanistan. Ironically, he’s probably best known so far for his amicable performance on “Saturday Night Live” last November. But he’s not just a warrior who can get along with his leftist opponents. He’s a philosopher espousing the principles of constitutionally limited government.

“Why does the left hate the tax cuts?” Crenshaw rhetorically asked Tuesday. “[Because] they think the people exist to fund the [government]. We believe the [government] exists to protect the inalienable rights of the people. When people keep their money, we get more jobs & wage growth, & less wasteful spending by ‘benevolent’ bureaucrats.”

With that comment, he posted video of his remarks at a House hearing, where he really nailed it (emphasis his):

We’re talking about a difference in philosophy, not just tax rates. It’s a question of whether the government should be taking more of your money or whether you should keep more of your money. It’s the difference in the role of government, in what we believe. It seems to me that you all believe that the role of government is to tax the people as much as possible so that you and your benevolent fellow academics can dream up more programs for the government to spend money on. I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that’s what the role of government is for.

The role of government is to protect God-given rights that we have and to ensure that we live as free as possible. The role of government is to tax people to the least extent possible, while still taxing them enough to cover basic needs for government. And if we’re questioning what those needs are, we can just look at our Constitution; they’re generally pretty clear there.

Indeed, the Constitution is quite clear on the role of government, and today’s federal behemoth exceeds its mandate at nearly every turn. Much of that growth has been fueled by exactly what Crenshaw rightly criticizes: “more programs for the government to spend money on.” Democrats have become increasingly cynical and “generous” in their vote-buying scheme to offer “free stuff” to more people. But Republicans are hardly blameless. In 2017 and 2018, Republicans controlled both branches of government responsible for spending — and it increased drastically. Everyone wants to cut government, so long as it’s not their program. Thus, government never gets smaller.

If more elected Republicans would follow through on Crenshaw’s philosophy, that might begin to change.



Meet the California Lawyer Defending Covington Teens, Former Google Employee

What’s it like to be a conservative lawyer in a liberal bastion like San Francisco? That’s exactly what Harmeet Dhillon does every day, and her clients include a dozen of the Covington High School teens, pro-life activist David Daleiden, and many others. Listen to the interview in the podcast or read the transcript below. Plus: Rob Bluey and Rachel del Guidice sit down with Congressman Mike Johnson, who now heads up the largest conservative caucus in the House.

We also cover these stories:

President Trump now says he agrees 100 percent with keeping U.S. troops in Syria.

New Attorney General Bill Bar will not recuse himself and will oversee the investigation conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

An Alabama woman who joined ISIS is trying to get back into the country — and her first effort just failed.

This is a lightly edited transcript.

Katrina Trinko: Joining us from CPAC is Harmeet Dhillon, who is a lawyer who lives in San Francisco, so we know she’s used to defending what she believes in.

I wanted to start off with who you represent … clients who were injured in the 2016 Trump rally in San Jose, California, about an hour from San Francisco. Remind us what happened there, and how is the case going?

Harmeet Dhillon: Sure. On June 2, 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump came to San Jose for a big rally. I was actually at the rally and did the Pledge of Allegiance. It was a great event. The problem is that the city of San Jose has a liberal mayor, and they did not want Trump to come and so they tried to discourage it. Then he came anyway because California people wanted to hear him, and there were 250 riot gear-clad police from San Jose and surrounding jurisdictions there.

Basically, there was a very aggressive organized protest by people waving Mexican flags and shouting very aggressive anti-Trump epithets, and the police forced all the people who were leaving the event directly into the mob that was protesting the event and then stood there and watched people get assaulted, so we have, I think, 19 plaintiffs who were physically assaulted or chased or otherwise put into fear of their lives at this event.

We sued the city of San Jose, its mayor, its chief of police, and several other police officers on civil rights grounds for violating the civil rights of the attendees, and we were able to keep that case in court. After two motions to dismiss, the city of San Jose appealed it to the 9th Circuit where it languished for almost two years, but we—

Trinko: Really? In the 9th Circuit?

Dhillon: Yes, but we won in the 9th Circuit.

Trinko: Oh, wow. OK.

Dhillon: The court then sent the case back down, and now we’re in the middle of depositions, so we’re having depositions taken of our clients. We’re taking depositions of the police, and we are set by the court for a settlement conference with the federal judge to try to see if we can … broker a settlement.

Trinko: And do you have other political clients right now?

Dhillon: Many. I am also representing David Daleiden, who is the gentleman from the Center for Medical Progress who exposed the National Abortion Federation’s trafficking in human body parts. We’re representing him in the 9th Circuit in an appeal of one of the rulings in the district court case.

I am also representing teachers who are seeking to challenge the union dues in the post-Janus era that’s an ongoing soon-to-be-filed situation in California, and I’m representing families of 12-plus Covington kids who were the target of this mob hatred there, and James Damore, who sued Google for firing him for expressing anti-PC viewpoints in the workplace … and there are more, but those are a few.

Trinko: That’s a lot right there. How is James Damore’s case going? He, of course, as you mentioned, expressed unpolitically correct views. He suggested that maybe, if you look at women as a group and men as a group, they might occasionally have different skill sets, which I think a lot of us would say is common sense. How is his case going?

Dhillon: He didn’t even say they have different skill sets. He said that they have different approaches to problem-solving and that if Google wanted to attract women, which he thinks is a good goal, they need to look at those issues and make Google more attractive to women as opposed to simply forcing quotas down the throats of the workers.

His case, unfortunately, is stuck in arbitration, because workers in all these big tech companies file arbitration, sign arbitration agreements, so we are in arbitration right now with his case, another case of another person who was fired there, and then, in court, we have a class of job applicants who believe they were not hired because they were conservative, white, and male.

Trinko: So you’re in Silicon Valley. You’re representing clients who are no longer with these tech companies. Obviously, we all use Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, etc. Do you think these tech companies can be trusted when they say they want to be a platform for everyone, or do you have concerns?

Dhillon: No, they can’t be trusted. I’m going to be on a panel tomorrow with James O’Keefe, who exposed yesterday the equivalent of shadow banning at Facebook. We’re aware from his prior work of the shadow banning at Twitter, and the leaders of all of these companies, Google is really the worst of all of them, but they’re very liberal.

They wanted Hillary Clinton to win. She didn’t win, and they’re still trying to get their vengeance out of that. But some of these people have this messianic complex as they really want to change the world and shape it in a progressive way, and so I don’t think you can trust them at all.

In fact, many consumer lawsuits have been filed about privacy violations and so forth, so I’d love to see more conservatives take this issue seriously and not just say the market will shift and the market will handle these issues. There’s a certain point in time and a certain volume of power where the market cannot do that.

Trinko: You said you’re representing some of the teams who were involved in the Covington fake news crisis, for lack of a better term. What’s going on there?

Dhillon: One lawsuit has already been filed by a different lawyer for Nick Sandmann, and I can’t reveal the strategy, but there will be more lawsuits filed.

Trinko: Can you say what’s the hope here? Is it holding the media accountable, or what’s the overall goal?

Dhillon: Keep in mind it wasn’t just the media that attacked these boys. There were prominent liberals and politicians who doxed them, who called for them to suffer harm and their families to be shamed and suffer harm. The school was harmed, so it’s actually a much broader societal problem.

I think this problem of mob rule on the internet and group-shaming and destroying people’s lives over something they said or a smile or a smirk, if you have that, is a big societal-cultural problem that we need to address. So the courts are only going to be able to address so much, but we’re hoping to draw attention to these issues, and it’s bad on both sides when that happens.

Trinko: On that, I think a lot of conservatives are reluctant to often take things to the court. They don’t want to be lawsuit-happy, etc., but it seems like there’s beginning to be a shift where people are more comfortable, perhaps, realizing they don’t have any other option. Do you think that we’re going to see more of these battles fought in the courts going forward?

Dhillon: If we don’t see them, you’re not going to hear anything from conservatives. Nobody’s going to hear your podcast. Nobody’s going to hear from any of us in five years, so we cannot be fighting the wars of the 20th century with the tools of the 19th century.

We have got to fight back in the same way the liberals do. The minute the president signs an executive order, somebody files a lawsuit over it. Republicans and conservatives need to do the same thing.

Trinko: So what is it like for you being a conservative in the San Francisco area?

Dhillon: I was a conservative at Dartmouth College. I was a Sikh in the Deep South where I grew up, and I’m an immigrant. It doesn’t faze me. Popularity contest is not what I’m about, so I believe what I believe and I’m going to say it until my voice is muffled.

Trinko: Did you grow up conservative or did you become conservative, or what was that journey like for you?

Dhillon: My parents registered as Republicans when they became United States citizens, and I’ve always been a conservative.

Trinko: OK. Thanks very much for joining us.

Dhillon: My pleasure.



Number of migrant families crossing border is breaking records

For the fourth time in five months, the number of migrant families crossing the southwest border has broken records, border enforcement authorities said Tuesday, warning that government facilities are full and agents are overwhelmed.

More than 76,000 migrants crossed the border without authorization in February, more than double the levels from the same period last year and approaching the largest numbers seen in any February in the last 12 years.

“The system is well beyond capacity, and remains at the breaking point,” Kevin K. McAleenan, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, told reporters in announcing the new data.

Diverted by new restrictions at many of the leading ports of entry, migrant families continue to arrive in ever-larger groups in remote parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. At least 70 such groups of 100 or more people have turned themselves in at Border Patrol stations that typically are staffed by only a handful of agents, often hours away from civilization. By comparison, only 13 such groups arrived in the last fiscal year, and two in the year before.

More than 90 percent of the new arrivals were from Guatemala, officials said, with a significant change in the dynamics of the migration: While Central American migrants once took weeks to journey through Mexico to the United States, many Guatemalan families are now boarding buses and reaching the southwest border in as little as four to seven days “on a very consistent basis,” McAleenan said.

The high number of families crossing the border suggest that President Donald Trump’s policies aimed at deterring asylum-seekers are not having their intended effect. Up to 2,000 migrants who traveled in a caravan from Central America last year and faced lengthy delays in Tijuana appeared to have given up their cause as of last month after being discouraged by months of delays at the border. But the families following behind them seem only to have adjusted their routes rather than turn back. Indeed, they are traveling in even larger numbers than before.



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 March, 2019

The Democrats decide to lead with their losers

Alex Beam is an unusually realistic Democrat -- though he does want to keep Asians out of Harvard -- so he is pretty right below

Why is the Democratic Party fetishizing losers?

About a month ago, the party chose failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams to deliver its response to president Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. Abrams performed creditably (“Good evening my fellow Americans and happy Lunar New Year”), but why showcase a politician who lost an election?

There are 46 Democratic women of color in the House and Senate, some of whom, such as Boston’s Ayanna Pressley, won dramatic victories over entrenched incumbents. It’s true, as Bob Dylan observed, that there is no success like failure. But failure is no success at all.

Another Democratic loser of the moment: Beto O’ Rourke. “Here’s What Beto Could Unleash on Trump” was the headline on a recent Politico analysis of congressman O’Rourke’s recent Senate campaign against incumbent Ted Cruz. Huh? In an article that never seems to end, veteran campaign analyst Sasha Issenberg samples the secret sauce that propelled O’Rourke to . . . one of the more spectacular defeats of the 2018 election cycle.

O’Rourke outspent Cruz, deemed to be one of the least liked politicians in Texas or anywhere, by $30 million and still lost. O’Rourke’s loss was so egregious that Politico itself published a post-mortem of his failed race two days before the election occurred: “Did Beto Blow It?” Writer Tim Alberta reported that even Texas Republicans who hoped Cruz would lose were “baffled by . . . the tactical malpractice of [O’Rourke’s] campaign.”

Bernie Sanders raises $1 million hours after announcing 2020 bid
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders raised more than $1 million within hours of launching his 2020 presidential bid.

There are more losers where those came from. Look who is the leading fund-raiser among current Democratic presidential candidates — Vermont’s Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders, fresh off his 2016 primaries thumping at the hands of failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, represents a state so far off the charts politically and demographically that it was a recent punch line on “Saturday Night Live.”

In the now-famous SNL skit, neo-Confederates and “BlacKkKlansman ” star Adam Driver decide to move to Vermont, a state with “no immigrants, no minorities, an agrarian community where everyone lives in harmony because every single person is white.”

Democratic Socialism tests well in Putney; less so in Peoria, I suspect.

Now Democratic Party whisperers are preparing the way for the biggest loser of them all, former vice president Joe Biden. For younger voters, Biden is the avuncular, do-nothing vice president of the halcyon Barack Obama years. But people like me remember how Biden got to be vice president in the first place: with two botched runs at the presidency, in 1988 and in 2008.

Biden quit the 1988 campaign in the wake of plagiarism charges, and exited the brutal 2008 contest after placing fifth in the gateway Iowa caucuses. He may be a nice guy, but to paraphrase longtime baseball manager Leo Durocher: Nice guys poll poorly in Democratic primaries.

Why trot out this rogues’ gallery of fossils and losers? While it may be true that Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are not exactly “my cup of tea” (Spike Lee’s hilarious characterization of the movie “Green Book,” speaking to two British journalists at the Oscars), I certainly respect their militant spirit and political acuity. “And yet she persisted” – right on.

It’s going to take a lot of persistence, and a track record of impressive victories, to unseat Trump. Forget the losers and the also-rans. Let’s put in the A team, and hope for a win.



Sen. David Perdue Went to the Border To See for Himself, He Was Not Prepared for What He Saw

Sen. David Perdue of Georgia said he was “not prepared” for the explosion in drug trafficking that he learned about during a recent visit to the U.S. border with Mexico. “I saw something that I was not expecting,” the Republican lawmaker told The Western Journal at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside of Washington, D.C., late last week.

“I expected to see the human trafficking, and we saw that with (Border) Patrol overnight,” Perdue said. “What I was not prepared for was the size and scope and how dramatically the drug trafficking has grown.” He said that there has been an “explosion” in drug trafficking in the McAllen, Texas, area, where he visited.

The senator said seizures of fentanyl are up 73 percent from a year ago and methamphetamine is also flowing through the border at high levels.  “This is a drug crisis of gargantuan proportion,” Perdue said.

He said Mexican cartels use human trafficking as a “distraction” to tie up Border Patrol agents, making it easier for drug traffickers to slip through.

NBC News reported the number of migrants crossing into the U.S. hit a 12-year-high for the month of February at 76,100.

Since the beginning of the fiscal year in October, Border Patrol has apprehended over 268,000 individuals entering in the country, a 97 percent increase over the same period in the previous year, according to the White House.

Cartels are thought to make about $2 billion in human trafficking, while trafficking drugs nets over $30 billion, Perdue said.

The senator related there is no doubt in his mind that what is happening at the border is a crisis, noting that is how former President Barack Obama described it, as well.

Perdue said 135 miles of barriers were built along the southern border while Obama was in office.

President Donald Trump has 124 miles under construction and improvement to existing barriers underway, and Congress just authorized 55 miles of new construction, Perdue said.

About 650 miles of the 1,954-mile border are covered with barriers of various forms, including 374 miles of pedestrian fencing, CNN reported.

Perdue said there’s no question that walls work. “We know that where you build walls, illegal activity drops by 95 percent,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Monday he anticipates enough Republican senators will join with Democrats to pass a resolution seeking to block President Donald Trump’s border wall funding emergency declaration, according to The Hill.

“I think what is clear in the Senate is that there will be enough votes to pass the resolution of disapproval, which will then be vetoed by the president and then in all likelihood the veto will be upheld in the House,” McConnell told reporters in Kentucky.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Rand Paul of Kentucky have all said they will vote for a resolution of disapproval, clinching the 51 senators needed.

The resolution of disapproval passed the Democrat-controlled House last week. Trump has the veto power, which would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers to override him.

In addition to the $1.375 billion Congress voted to authorize for barrier funding, the White House plans to redirect $3.6 billion from a military construction fund, $2.5 billion from a Department of Defense drug interdiction program and $600 million from the Treasury Department from a drug forfeiture fund.

The national emergency is specifically being used to tap the $3.6 billion from the military construction fund.

Politico reported that Trump expressed confidence on Friday that if he vetoed the measure, it would not be overridden. “We have too many smart people that want border security so I can’t imagine it (the resolution) will survive a veto,” Trump said.



ACLU blasts Democrats' election bill as unconstitutional

The American Civil Liberties Union dealt a blow Monday to Democrats’ new election overhaul legislation, saying the bill does too much damage to the First Amendment and the storied rights group cannot support it.

ACLU officials said they support parts of the bill, such as making it easier to register to vote, but said the legislation attempts to control even the mere mention of a politician, which goes too far.

“They will have the effect of harming our public discourse by silencing necessary voices that would otherwise speak out about the public issues of the day,” the ACLU’s national political director and senior legislative counsel wrote in a 13-page letter announcing opposition.

Democrats plan to put the bill, H.R. 1, on the chamber floor for a vote later this week.

They’ve cast it as their top legislative priority, after saying last year’s elections were tainted by too many problems with voting, and too much money controlling the outcomes of elections and legislating.

The bill is going nowhere beyond the House. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday he won’t even bring it to his chamber’s floor.

But opposition from the ACLU could damage the bill’s bona fides with the left.

“When groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, who have traditionally supported the Democratic party, echo my concerns with H.R. 1, it underscores why election reform legislation should not be developed in a partisan manner,” said Rep. Rodney Davis, the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, which approved the bill last week.

The ACLU said it objected to lobbying restrictions Democrats wrote into the bill, saying they’re so broad they could prevent a former official from communicating with a senior government policymaker in any agency for up to eight years.

The group also said new disclosure rules are so broad as to be unworkable, preventing independent organizations from taking political action based on something they’d read or talked about even before someone became a candidate.



US new-home sales rose 3.7 percent in December

Sales of new U.S. homes climbed in December to their highest pace in seven months, a sign that lower mortgage rates are helping the real estate market.

The Commerce Department says that new-home sales rose 3.7 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000. November’s sales were revised down to 599,000 from an annual rate of 657,000.

For all of 2018, new-home sales rose 1.5 percent. Purchases began to dip in June as higher mortgage rates worsened affordability, but mortgage rates have fallen since peaking in early November and that appears to be supporting a sales rebound.

Price growth has stalled as sales sipped last year. The median sales price of a new home in December was $318,600, a 7.2 percent drop from a year ago.



Did Trump Just Remind Ilhan Omar Where America Stands by Shutting Down Palestinian ‘Embassy’?

Donald Trump’s presidency has meant some controversial changes in policy here in the United States, but some of those decisions are also having an impact on regions thousands of miles away.

On Monday, the administration announced that it was finally closing its consulate in Jerusalem, and combining those consulate services into the new U.S. Embassy in the same city.

That may seem like a small thing, but it has already resulted in a significant shakeup in the relationship between the U.S. and the Palestinians — and possibly a calculated message from the White House to its domestic opponents.

“For decades, the consulate functioned as a de facto embassy to the Palestinians,” The Associated Press explained. “Now, that outreach will be handled by a Palestinian Affairs Unit, under the command of the embassy.”

According to CNN, the move “leaves the US as the only major world power without a diplomatic mission to the Palestinians.”

Although that change had been planned for several months, it seemed to come about abruptly. “The announcement from the State Department came early Monday in Jerusalem, the merger effective that day,” the AP reported.

When the closure of the consulate was announced in October, “the move infuriated Palestinians, fueling their suspicions that the U.S. was recognizing Israeli control over east Jerusalem and the West Bank, territories that Palestinians seek for a future state,” the AP reported.

There might have been a message being sent on the domestic American political front, too, since the move on Monday came at a time when questions about Palestinian and Israeli relations are even more sensitive than usual.

The same day the consulate closure angered Palestinians, liberals in the U.S. were scrambling to do political damage control after a Muslim-American lawmaker known for her anti-Israel views once again found herself in hot water.

“Leading House Democrats will offer a resolution Wednesday condemning anti-Semitism in response to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s latest remarks on Israel,” pointed out the AP in a separate report.

Omar is the Minnesota liberal who has faced a series of controversies after she implied that Israel — one of the United States’ closest allies — was “evil,” and appeared to repeat anti-Semitic stereotypes about the Jewish people.

Even her own party is distancing itself from Omar, drafting a symbolic resolution to scold the outspoken promoter of Palestine.

“It’s at least the third time the Minnesota Democrat’s words have put her colleagues in a more delicate spot than usual on the U.S.-Israel relationship, and the second time in two months that she’s drawn a stern backlash from party leaders,” said the AP.

That is where the Trump administration’s announcement that the de-facto embassy in Palestine was closing for good could be significant. It sends a firm message to Omar and other Palestinian apologists: America stands with Israel.

Trump is known for his strong negotiating tactics, which he recently put on display by canceling Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s military-sponsored international trip in order to put pressure on Democrats during the government shutdown.

And the same day that the administration ordered the consulate closed, the president lambasted Omar on social media.

It would definitely be his style.



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

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


6 March, 2019

What Is Conservatism?

Allen West

This past week and weekend the American Conservative Union put on its annual CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) just outside of Washington, D.C. at the National Harbor. It is widely regarded as the largest gathering of “conservatives” in the United States, drawing the top voices in the conservative movement. But, if there is one question that must be posed, does America truly know the answer to the question: What is conservatism?

If there is one thing that the progressive, socialist left has been very adept at doing, it is manipulating language to their advantage. Case in point, government spending is now referred to as an investment. Or who would not want to be considered, progressive? After all, it does connotate moving forward. The actual policies of “progressives” always end up regressing the simple ideals of individual liberty, freedom. And the political left in America, aided by the progressive, leftist media is very good at demonizing and denigrating any opposing philosophy of governance. Consider how a grassroots constitutional conservative movement called the Tea (Taxed Enough Already) Party was assailed. They were rebranded as “extremists,” and still to this day, no one in the federal government has been held accountable for unleashing the might of government against citizens who just wanted fiscal discipline from our government.

If one really wants to know what is extreme, talk about a $93 trillion delusion called the “Green New Deal” – an ideological agenda folly that is based on one person’s Nostradamus-like prediction that the world will end in twelve years.

The problem at hand with conservatism is that conservatives are constantly being forced to defend something that needs no defense. And if you truly had a principled discussion with most people, you would find that they embrace conservative values. Sadly, we do not carry that fundamental message across this nation, and yes, it seriously resonates within the minority communities … I know. My parents were registered Democrats. John Lewis was my congressional representative growing up in Atlanta. However, the principles of my folks, affectionately known as Buck and Snooks West, were – faith, family, individual responsibility, quality education, and service to the nation. These were not, and still are not, associated with the principles of progressive socialism.

Case in point, Christianity is based upon an individual decision to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. This is something that only a singular, individual, person can attain – personal salvation. In Christian churches, there is something towards the end of the service called an “altar call,” where congregants are asked to step forward and make the decision for themselves, not as a group. An individual is baptized, not a collective group. That is what is being preached in Christian churches all over our nation on Sundays, and in some cases on Saturday.

And so it is in conservatism, the individual is sovereign, and this political philosophy establishes in our Declaration of Independence that our unalienable rights – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – are endowed to us by the Judeo-Christian Creator, God. It is not a groupthink assignment. It is something bestowed upon everyone regardless of station in life or demographic. And where did this belief, this philosophy, find its beginning? It all began with the man referred to as the father of classical liberalism, British philosopher, John Locke.

In Locke’s time, the prevailing belief was in Divine Right of Kings Theory (“Divine Rights”). That is where the understanding was a designation of someone as the repository of rights, endowed to them by the Creator, and they determined your bye and your leave, your coming and going. Divine Rights theory was suitable for the monarchial rule system. The king and queen were empowered by God to make any and all decisions affecting the people, and favor was given to those of stature, as determined by the royalty.

However, John Locke introduced a revolutionary concept called Natural Rights theory. His assertion was that there was a direct relationship between all men and women to their Creator, God naturally, and that their rights – life, liberty, and property – emanated from God with no intercessory to them. Of course, Thomas Jefferson studied Locke, and that theory was the basis of our Declaration of Independence.

Classical liberalism and Natural Rights theory both elevate the sovereignty of the individual over the institution of government. This new thought shifted the relationship from one of people being ruled to one of people being governed, and government was formed, and dissolved, based upon the consent of the governed. Today’s conservatism is the heir to the principles, philosophies, and fundamental beliefs of classical liberalism because it is grounded in the premise of individual liberty, freedom, and sovereignty. But how interesting that somewhere along the path of the political spectrum, leftists claimed the moniker of being “liberal.” That goes back to their ability to rebrand themselves, and others, as well as manipulating language, and ideas, to advance their ideological agenda.

At the same time President Donald Trump was speaking at CPAC, there was another speech being given. The other speech was one avowed Democratic Socialist, Sen. Bernie Sanders, speaking to a crowd in Brooklyn. While conservatives were gathered, Sanders was speaking of a philosophy of governance extremely antithetical to the founding premise of America. Sen. Sanders was not talking as a classical liberal, conservative, but rather as a Marxist/Socialist. See, Sen. Sanders and his ilk do not believe that we have the innate power, right to determine the path we take for ourselves. Those in favor of socialism do not believe in the concept of equality of opportunity. No, socialism, as an ideology, embraces and espouses the equality of outcomes, which is the true difference between classical liberalism and progressive socialism.

In our Constitution, the final two amendments in our individual Bill of Rights – the Ninth and Tenth Amendments – refer to the fact that those powers not enumerated to the federal government reside to the states, and to the individual, the governed. What those who support socialism prefer is to rule and for progressive socialists to determine what is a right, and their definition of a right is tied to their ideological agenda. The progressive, socialist left does not support the idea that you have a right to keep and bear arms, to defend yourself. And why would they? After all, if the left cannot impose their will by way of threats, coercion, mandate, dictate, intimidation, and violence, they fail – evidence, Venezuela.

Conservatism is classical liberalism. It is all about individual rights. The folks calling themselves liberal are hardly so. They are truly the legacy of Karl Marx and Friederich Engels – progressives, statists, collectivists, Marxists, and communists. I do not disparage them for being so. I just do not care for the deceitfulness, but truthfully, they are no longer in hiding.

Classical liberalism, our modern-day conservatism, comes from folks like John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, and Ronald Reagan. The other folks trace their legacy from Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, and Chavez/Maduro.

Seriously, folks, on whose side do you wish to be?



A 129 Year Old ‘Grave’ Warning About Democrats Proves True Today

In Kansas, one man, Nathaniel Grisby, had his dying wish, to warn future generations about the Democratic Party, fulfilled. 129 years ago, this warning was etched on his gravestone in accordance with his final wishes.

A bit of background on Lt. Nathaniel Grisby:

Son of Reuben Davis GRIGSBY Sr. & Nancy BARKER. Born 11 October 1811 in Nelson Co., KY. Died 16 April 1890 in Attica, Harper Co., KS. Buried in Attica, Harper Co., KS. He was a Civil War veteran, a 2nd Lieut., of Company G, 10th Indiana Cavalry. He was a farmer.

Nathaniel was a dear friend of Abraham Lincoln.

After Lincoln moved to Illinois in 1830, Nathaniel moved with his father to Carroll Co., MO in 1855.

In 1860, he was living in Norborne. He wrote to Lincoln and received an appointment as Republican Precinct Committee Man. He placed Lincoln’s name on the 1860 ballot. All of Natty’s neighbors were Southern sympathizers. He had been talking about electing Lincoln for president in town. One morning at about 2 or 3 a.m. a neighbor rode up and told Natty not to light any lights. The neighbor wanted to warn him that his neighbors were planning to murder him and if he wanted to live he should be on his way.

After the warning, Natty moved back to Spencer Co., IN where he and four of his five sons enlisted in Company C 10th IN Cavalry (Richmond Davis did not enlist). Natty was named 2nd Lieutenant.

The family apparently returned to Carroll Co., MO but in 1885 they moved to Harper Co., KS and settled on a farm in the extreme northwest corner of the county. In 1890, they moved to Attica, KS. Nathaniel was buried in Attica.

After Nathaniel died, this inscription was added to his grave, fulfilling his last request:

“Through this inscription I wish to enter my dying protest against what is called the Democratic party. I have watched it closely since the days of Jackson and know that all the misfortunes of our nation has come to it through this so called party therefore beware of this party of treason"

Put on in fulfillment of promise to Deceased. Reprinted as posted on one side of the monument of N. Grigsby.”

Snopes confirms that this is real, and not a photoshop.

Do you think Nathaniel’s 129 year old “warning” about Democrats is still spot-on?



Polling Populist Socialist Support

More and more voters — especially Democrats — are opting for a deadly ideology.

The entire Democrat Party, from leadership to the grassroots, is moving far and fast to the left. Poll after poll shows that many of the rank and file now prefer socialism to capitalism. An avowed socialist named Bernie Sanders will be a formidable threat for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2020. And much of the field is running on Medicare for All and some version of the Green New Deal. No wonder President Donald Trump threw down the gauntlet on socialism in his State of the Union Address.

Thus, it’s no surprise to see more polling bearing this out. First up, Harvard University asked registered voters whether the U.S. economy should be “mostly capitalist” or “mostly socialist.” Some 65% chose capitalism, but a very troubling 35% favored socialism, including a majority of voters between the ages of 18 and 24. A similar percentage — 64% — identified the Democrat Party as promoting socialism. Among Democrats? The split was just 51% to 49% in favor of capitalism.

Second, a Public Opinion Strategies survey found that 77% of Democrats think the country would be “better off” by going socialist. Likewise alarming: 45% of surveyed registered voters agree, while just 51% disagree. Again, younger voters are the driving force here — those under age 45 favor socialism by a 53% to 40% margin.

Then again, an NBC News poll found that of a list of qualities or characteristics for a president — black, white, woman, homosexual, Christian, Muslim, someone under 40, someone over 75, etc. — voters are least enthusiastic about a socialist, followed closely by someone over 75. Bernie Sanders, call your office.

As for the first two polls and the overall trend, we’d argue that socialism’s favorability is a case of the average voter — especially young ones who don’t remember the Soviet Union — having no idea that socialism actually means government control of the means of production. Instead, they’re enticed by all the “free” stuff being dangled by Demo politicians to buy votes.



President Trump right to walk away from North Korean denuclearization talks

By Robert Romano

Telling the world that “sometimes you have to walk,” President Donald Trump on Feb. 28 walked away from the Hanoi Summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, citing an insufficient agreement on the part of North Korea to fully disarm its nuclear arms and capabilities.

It was the right call. President Trump deserves all the credit in the world for attempting to bring an end to the Korean War after almost 66 years, denuclearizing the peninsula and for encouraging North Korea to join the global economy. There haven’t been any nuclear tests or rocket launches for many months that, if nothing else, have made the endeavor worthwhile and dialogue possible when in 2017 it looked like war might be possible.

Doing so protects American interests and national security, as well as the interests and security of North Korea’s neighbors and U.S. allies, South Korea, Japan and Australia. It also advances the interests of the other nations in the region including Vietnam that wish to avoid war.

It doesn’t mean that the talks are necessarily over, as Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged to continuing working with their counterparts.

But North Korea’s demand that the sanctions come down without achieving full denuclearization had to be a non-starter. Trump was right to walk away from what would have been a bad deal.

As Trump explained at his press conference in Hanoi, “Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that.  They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for that. So we continue to work, and we’ll see.  But we had to walk away from that particular suggestion.  We had to walk away from that.”

Going back to the commitments that were made in 2018 at the Singapore Summit, the agreed-upon framework stated, “President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

So, North Korea already has its security guarantee. In return it had agreed to commit to complete denuclearization. The next step was to open up the country and begin disarming, and as progress was made, the sanctions could be lowered. But not beforehand.

But as Trump noted, “[Kim] has a certain vision and it’s not exactly our vision, but it’s a lot closer than it was a year ago.  And I think, you know, eventually we’ll get there. But for this particular visit, we decided that we had to walk, and we’ll see what happens.”

So, they still need to come to an agreement about what “complete denuclearization” is, but in the meantime that does not mean all the progress made to date is lost.

The security guarantee made sense and continues to make sense, as it signals to Kim that President Trump meant business and would be a man of his word — and leaves open the possibility that the process can continue. The North Koreans need only consider the examples Iraq, Libya and Ukraine where disarmament of major weapons programs led to leaving each country vulnerable and open to being destabilized and even leading to civil war. Disarmament programs in recent history have not necessarily led to peace and security.

So, it’s a heavy lift diplomatically for President Trump and the State Department to outline an alternative where Kim and his government have a future post-disarmament. It’s not an easy task. Which is why Trump is right not to rush it. He’s doing the right thing. It’s better to get it done correctly than to get it done fast.

At the same time, Trump and Pompeo have to be wary that Kim is not just trying to run out the clock on the Trump administration. And they must also consider the ongoing trade talks with China as Beijing sponsors Kim and North Korea and is its top trading partner.

It could be that North Korea represents nuclear blackmail in China’s bid for global dominance in trade. Meaning, it may not be possible for North Korea to be settled while trade with China is still an open question. President Trump recently postponed increasing tariffs against Chinese goods. It may be that to exert pressure on North Korea to come to terms, the U.S. needs to get tougher in its trade posture with China to achieve a resolution throughout the region. Stay tuned.



Total Leftist bigotry


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 March, 2019
Why do Folk Hate Trump?

Below in the answer given by John C. Wright, followed by some of the comments

Someone asked me why folk hate Trump. The answer, of course, is that only two groups of folk hate Trump, once he became the GOP nominee and, later, leader of the free world: Leftists, who are traitors to their nation and species, and Nevertrumpers, who are traitors to their party.

But why the hate?

Because he is blunt and inarticulate and tactless, immoral, womanizing, and rich as Croesus. Add to that the fact that he is a genius for organization, a canny manipulator of the news, and has sympathy for the common man. He restored balance to the Supreme Court. He is also a patriot. He heaps scorn on idiotic leftwing pieties which everyone else, including right wing opponents, never dare treat with disrespect. He has restored the military, lowered taxes and unemployment and singlehandedly removed all Obama era obstacles to our current oil golden age.

Therefore, by leftwing ideas, he should be failing at everything he attempts. Foreign powerS should scorn and loathe him, not love and respect him. But in fact the elite hate him most of all because he is one of them, but he is more elite than any of them, richer than their millionaires, more famous than their tv stars, more popular and far, far more effective than their politicians.

They thought Hillary would finish Obama's work and usher in a socialist utopia with themselves in charge, glorious days of adultery and pederasty, and no Constitution to hinder their powergrabs, and no Church to call them sinners. Then Trump smashed it all. For the first time in living memory, the progressives are losing ground


Tim Hansen

Also, people are lying. I remember after he won how people told they were scared on the behalf of their transgender, lesbian and gay children and friends. He has never said anything in that regard that gives them reason to be scared.

Small children apparently asked their parents and teachers; "Will there be a nuclear war now when the evil man is in power?".
And many hate him because in their mind Hillary was already president. When she lost they was furious and believed their anger and protests could alter reality by sheer will.

A march for women's rights ended up being a protest against Trump. They were wearing pink hats and many were literally dressed as giant vaginas. And they made their small girl wearing obscene signs or signs that claimed they were the future president because they were females (these are the same kind of people that wanted the female Marine Le Pen to lose in France).
The media is lying and portraying him as a monster who takes children away from their parents. They claim he is a racist and white supremacist.

Celebrities who don't know anything about politics pretend they are politicians and rage against him. There are never any arguments, just rumors and emotions. He is so hated that people think they have the right to pull off Trump supporters their MAGA hats.


Rudolph Harrier

Nevertrumpers hate Trump because he exposes all of their cons. For example, one big con that they had was that the only thing that matters is winning the presidency, because the president will appoint Supreme Court justices and the Supreme Court will determine law for longer than any congress or president.  Therefore the right thing for conservatives to do was to sacrifice most of their principles (such as pro-life issues, defense of the family, fiscal responsibility, border security, etc.) to vote in a "moderate" who could win, as opposed to someone who was more conservative and would surely lose.

The presidency of Donald Trump reveals that someone outside of that "moderate" mold can win (and much more easily than the likes of McCain and Romney who we were asked to sell our principles for). Beyond that, since President Trump actually has been able to appoint justices, it reveals that the nevertrumpers never cared about that in the first place. Now everyone can see that all the nevertrumpers wanted were cozy positions of power for themselves and their friends, where they never had to do anything controversial on behalf of their voters.

The longer President Trump is successful, the more difficult it will be for nevertrumpers in the future to disguise themselves as "principled conservatives." We know that all of their talk of focusing on candidates who can win is a lie, and that they would prefer to lose if it made their lives easier. We know that their talk of the importance of the Supreme Court is a lie, and that they only talk about it because they never thought they would ever be able to appoint a justice. And worst of all for them, we know that they can be ignored without consequence.



In honesty I've always disliked the man because he's an open and unrepentant adulterer who has spent his entire life worshipping Mammon, and gloried publicly in the ways Mammon has blessed him, prosletyzing wide and far the idea that being rich and famous is the only way to win. Not uncommon or unusual, of course, and these offences are not crimes in the books of those who hate him. (They anathemized the word "sin" long ago.)


John C Wright

"In honesty I've always disliked the man because he's an open and unrepentant adulterer who has spent his entire life worshipping Mammon"

That is a perfectly good reason to dislike him as a man. It is for that reason I hate King David and George Washington. They were also wealthy womanizers.

But this is also precisely what makes Trump a thorn in the eye of the Left, who, as socialists, worship Mammon more perfectly than any capitalist ever would or could. To them, the acquisition of material wealth justifies mass murder, mass theft, and the abrogation of all terms of the invisible social contract binding ruler to ruled.

Trump is more Hollywood than Hollywood, more Soros than Soros, and just as bling as a rap star. Very tasteless. But he also saved the Republic. Shame on us that we let things get to within one election of the end of our form of government -- Hillary would have been the last in all but name -- without allowing our more polite, more godly, and more civil gentlemen of the right to fight. So we picked a fighter, someone too rude and crude to care when the fainting matrons of the press clutched their pearls.

It is also evidence that God Almighty can use the weak and foolish of the world -- and Trump. morally , is a very weak man -- to upend those the world deems wise.



Scaramucci Fires Back At Michael Cohen In Classic Fashion

The Mooch is loose once again! Former White House Communication Director Anthony Scaramucci went after ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen in an interview with Fox and Friends and also said that he could give hundreds of examples that prove President Trump is not a racist.

Cohen, who once loved President Trump so much that he wrote love letters in an attempt to make a book deal, has seemed to have a “change of heart” now that he is going to jail for three years and seeking a shorter prison sentence. With no evidence, Cohen stated in his testimony last week that the President is a “racist.”

The Mooch had some words for Cohen saying that he didn’t like the ex-lawyers approach. Read what he said below:

"I’m not in love with the approach because at the end of the day, you know, we have to be — hold sacred a couple things. The neighborhood I grew up in you can’t do what Michael is doing right now … I would never agree with it, I would never tell my kids to do it, Michael might be mad at me for saying it but I just don’t like the approach of going after somebody who helped build you. And you spent 12 years with."

Keep in mind that Scaramucci and Cohen were good friends at one point. Scarramucci then went on to address Cohen’s comments where he blamed the President for being a racist.

"The president’s not a racist. People forget this but he got the Rosa Parks Medal for helping to get the New York Stock Exchange to close during the Martin Luther King Jr. birthday. If you guys remember, I’m on Wall Street for 30 years. Ronald Reagan signed the Martin Luther King Act for the national holiday, and the New York Stock Exchange stayed open for many years. It was Donald Trump and Sandy Weill and Reverend Jesse Jackson that lobbied and pushed the Stock Exchange to close to recognize that holiday."

Later on, Scarramucci stated that he could give “hundreds of examples” of why President Trump is not a racist and even brought up the time where Cohen introduced then-candidate Trump at a Cleveland rally.

By the way, Michael gave a speech with Darrell Scott and others in Cleveland introducing then-candidate Donald Trump, expressing all the things that he has done where he doesn’t really think about race. So, to me, I don’t like it. I think it’s, you know, and I would tell my kids — I’ve got five of them — you can’t do that.

When it comes down to it, Cohen has been taken over by the far Left agenda in an effort to take down the President. Cohen, who is literally going to jail for lying to Congress, is hoping that if he continues to lie to Congress in an effort to please the Left, that maybe his three year prison sentence will be reduced. Thank goodness we have people like The Mooch to set the record straight.



Trump Secures MULTI-BILLION Dollar Deal For America, Didn’t Leave Vietnam Empty-Handed

President Trump cut short his second summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un after the sides couldn’t come to terms on an agreement for denuclearization. Kim wanted all sanctions lifted in return for partial denuclearization. Trump wasn’t about to let that happen, so he left.

However, POTUS did not leave Vietnam empty-handed. He secured a $15 billion deal.

Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways and VietJet Aviation JSC signed deals to buy 110 aircraft from Boeing Co. during President Donald Trump’s visit to Hanoi for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

Bamboo agreed to purchase 10 787-9 Dreamliners worth about $3 billion, while VietJet’s order is for 100 737 Max planes valued at $12.7 billion, Boeing said Wednesday. VietJet’s 100-plane commitment was unveiled at the Farnborough air show last year. The accords were signed in the presence of Trump and Vietnam’s President Nguyen Phu Trong.

Vietnam’s airlines are expanding their fleets as rising incomes and the region’s growing economies are spurring many to fly for the first time, boosting demand in the Asia Pacific, whose air-travel market is projected to surpass that of North America and Europe combined. Demand in Vietnam is also expected to climb after U.S. regulators last month gave their approval to the nation’s air-safety system, making its airlines eligible to begin direct flights to the U.S. and codeshare with American carriers.

U.S.-based aviation technology company Sabre also inked a deal with Vietnam Airlines.



Ocasio-Cortez Turns on Her Party After Rogue Dems Defy Pelosi on Gun Measure

The new face of the Democratic Party might be turning into a headache for some of her own allies.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York Democrat who has vaulted into fame for her progressive politics, is making things uncomfortable for Democrats who split with the party line on a gun control measure in the House.

And she’s doing it very publicly. In a Twitter post on Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez turned on members of her own party who voted with Republicans to add a provision for illegal aliens to a gun control bill mandating universal background checks on all firearms transfers.

Republicans introduced an amendment that would require that the bill include Immigration and Customs Enforcement being notified if an illegal alien attempted to buy a gun.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had implored Democrats to vote against the amendment as part of a “blanket policy” to oppose Republican procedural motions, according to The Hill.

In a news conference on Thursday, Pelosi told reporters she wanted members of her conference to deny Republicans even a symbolic victory. The amendment eventually passed, according to The Daily Caller.

“Vote ‘no.’ Just vote ‘no,’ because the fact is a vote ‘yes’ is to give leverage to the other side, to surrender the leverage on the floor of the House,” Pelosi said after a closed-door meeting of House Democrats, according to The Hill.

But 26 Democrats voted with the Republicans on the measure, likely fearful of having to explain in the next election why they were apparently protecting illegal aliens.

“I vote my district,” Rep. Conor Lamb told The Hill on Thursday.   The Pennsylvania Democrat represents a largely conservative area of western Pennsylvania, where gun rights are strong.

At that Democrats’ private meeting, Ocasio-Cortez told Democratic moderates they were putting themselves on a “list” to face primary challenges in 2020 from more progressive liberals, according to The Washington Post.

In a Twitter post on Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez continued her criticism. “Mind, you, the same small splinter group of Dems that tried to deny Pelosi the speakership, fund the wall during the shutdown when the public didn’t want it, & are now voting in surprise ICE amendments to gun safety legislation are being called the ‘moderate wing’ of the party,” she wrote.

“We can have ideological differences and that’s fine. But these tactics allow a small group to force the other 200+ members into actions that the majority disagree with. I don’t think that’s right, and said as much in a closed door meeting.”

However, Ocasio-Cortez denied she was planning to support primary challengers to Democratic incumbents in the next election cycle.

“If you’re mad that I think people SHOULD KNOW when Dems vote to expand ICE powers, then be mad. ICE is a dangerous agency with 0 accountability, widespread reporting of rape, abuse of power, + children dying in DHS custody,” she wrote. “Having a D next to your name doesn’t make that right.”

ICE is a dangerous agency with 0 accountability, widespread reporting of rape, abuse of power, + children dying in DHS custody. Having a D next to your name doesn’t make that right.

Every Democrat in Congress knows the kind of national audience Ocasio-Cortez is commanding these days, and know how important she has become to the progressive wing of their party.

Even if Ocasio-Cortez isn’t threatening a primary battle, she could well be giving Democrats in swing districts a headache all the way into the 2020 election cycle.



‘Black Guns Matter’ Founder Has Plan To Turn Inner Cities Conservative

Trying to break the stranglehold of the Democratic Party on the United States urban areas, the founder of the group Black Guns Matter told the Conservative Polical Action Conference last week that the key for conservatives to make gains in traditionally Democratic districts is to take the message to the streets.

And that means focusing on the right guaranteed under the Second Amendment.

“We have to put more conservative principles in urban America,” Maj Toure told National Rifle Association board member Willes Lee on Thursday during an on-stage CPAC interview.

“We go to where there’s high violence, high crime, high gun control, high ‘slave mentality’ to be perfectly honest, and inform urban America about their human rights, as stated in the Second Amendment, to defend their life.

“Urban America has been left out of that conversation,” he said.

A resident of North Philadelphia, Toure knows something about the urban environment.

He knows about firearms. He might be familiar to viewers of NRA TV, where he’s made numerous appearance, and has been recognized with this group by the National Sports Foundation.



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 March, 2019

Trump Boldly Defends America During CPAC Speech. Naturally, CNN Compares Him To Hitler

On Saturday, President Trump spent his day at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) where he addressed a wide variety topics. The extremely patriotic speech was greatly loved by the conservative audience.

The speech, which to the normal viewer, was a good, patriotic speech, was interpreted completely different by CNN analyst Sam Vinograd who compared President Trump’s speech to Adolf Hitler killing six million jews. You can’t make this stuff up.

“The men and women here today are on the front lines of protecting America’s interests, defending America’s value, and reclaiming our nation’s priceless heritage,” Trump said to the audience at CPAC. “With your help, we are reversing decades of blunders and betrayals. These are serious, serious betrayals to our nation and to everything we stand for. It’s been done by the failed ruling class that enriched foreign countries at our expense. It wasn’t America first, in many cases it was America last. Those days are over, long over.”

Seems pretty innocent, right? Well according to Vinograd, this speech was just as bad as killing 6 million jews. The radical CNN analyst who is also a former Obama official, said: “His statement makes me sick, on a personal level, preserving your heritage, reclaiming our heritage, that sounds a lot like a certain leader that killed members of my family and about six million other Jews in the 1940s.”

Vinograd then said that Trump “pretends that there are massive flows of illegal immigrants coming over our borders.” She conveniently ignored the fact that there were over 360,000 arrests made on the border last year.

It gets worse. Vinograd then suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind Trump’s CPAC speech. Trump Derangement Syndrome runs deep at CNN.

“By the way, this whole CPAC speech, how many pieces, parts of President Putin’s to-do list was President Trump trying to accomplish today?” Vinograd said. “He denigrated our institutions – the Department of Justice and U.S. Congress, he spread misinformation and conspiracy theories, he undermined the credibility of several of our institutions – he sowed divisions, he sowed confusion, he was speaking to his base but he was also saying things that really looked like Vladimir Putin scripted his speech. So it helped him perhaps with his base, and politically, while at the same time, making Russia’s job a lot easier.”

Talk about a sociopath! It’s one thing to not like someones speech, but quite bizarre to compare someones innocent speech to the killing of six million jews and blaming the Russian President for what was said as well.

Maybe Vinograd was just a little butt hurt at what Trump had to say about CNN.

“I’ve learned because with the fake news — if you tell a joke, if you’re sarcastic, if you’re having fun with the audience, if you’re on live television with millions of people and 25,000 people, in an arena and if you say something like Russia please, if you can, it is Hillary Clinton’s e-mails! Please, Russia, please!” Trump said jokingly at CPAC. “Please, get us the e-mails! Please!”

“So everyone is having a good time, I’m laughing, we’re having fun and then that fake CNN and others say, ‘he asked Russia to go get the e-mails. Horrible!'” Trump said. “I mean, I saw it like two weeks ago. I’m watching and they are talking about one of points. He asked Russia for the e-mails. These people are sick and I’m telling you — they know the game. They know the game and they play it dirty. Dirtier than anyone who’s played the game. Dirtier than it’s ever been played.”

One thing Trump is extremely good at, is getting under the skin of CNN employees which obviously seemed to be the case considering Vinograd compared the speech to Adolf Hitler killing six million jews. CNN’s radical agenda seems to be getting more and more out of hand and it’s an extreme disservice to the American people.



Amid a sea of Leftist lies, the truth still matters

We were listening to Jordan Peterson, along with thousands of other Sydneysiders who turned out to hear him. Lots of men in suits, some in shorts and cut-away tanks, all neat and polite and eager to listen. Some women too, but mostly men, and mostly young men.

This Canadian psychologist became famous only a few years ago for refusing to follow a Canadian law that instructs people about which pronouns to use. That Peterson is a now a cultural phenomenon is itself a phenomenon worth pondering.

His fame speaks to the enduring power of reason. It tells you that not everyone has fallen for the new rules where victimhood must be prized, and feelings are the new measurement of morality.

There is a hunger for Peterson’s core messages about responsibility and reason, values many others have discarded as relics of another age.

Peterson took his rapt audience on a tour of the importance of truth, in part by examining this question to the panel on Monday night’s Q&A program.

“Do you believe in God?” asked someone in the audience.

Peterson critiqued the answer from one panel member in particular. In response to the question, feminist, trade unionist and writer for The Guardian Van Badham said she is both a Christian and a Marxist.

Wrong, said Peterson. You can be a Christian and a Marxist only if you are deluded or disingenuous. It is not that Christianity and Marxism are different, like an apple v a pear. They are ­diametrically opposed to one another. Only someone who understands only one or the other, or neither, could claim to be both.

Why did Peterson pursue this issue for so long on Tuesday night? Because truth matters, and it matters to understand the difference between being a Christian and being a Marxist.

Peterson took the audience on a long excursion through the collective guilt and class war tenets of Marxism. It is a doctrine premised on materialism and the violent overthrow of a rich oppressor class.

Christianity is a spiritual belief system for the soul that focuses on the power of the individual. Christianity makes room for the state: Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.

Whereas Karl Marx believed that “the first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion”.

Victorian pastor Murray Campbell kicked a goal for truth too, writing on his blog after listening to Badham that not a single country that has fully embraced Marxism has allowed for religious freedom. In fact, “the sum total of Marxist states that support Christianity is zero”.

Badham can be either a Marxist or a Christian. She cannot be both. Care to punt whether she prefers collective guilt or individual responsibility?

The Marxist idea of collective guilt is having an unfortunate resurgence. It explains the Smollett story after all. The actor faked a hate crime on himself because he assumed that people would jump to defend a gay black victim bashed by two men in MAGA hats, no questions asked.

Just as so many people sided with a woman to stop a white, middle-class, conservative man being appointed to the Supreme Court, no matter how flimsy the evidence against him. Just as people jumped, brains disengaged, to condemn schoolkids from Covington Catholic school so they could side with a Native American man, even though the adult man was the ­aggressor.

In this brave new world, social justice movements are based on this one guiding principle: in the hierarchy of power, if you’re up near the top, you are presumed guilty of oppressing those below.

Notice that this word “social” is used to signal incontrovertible goodness, as in social justice, ­social conscience, social equality, social licence to operate, or corporate social responsibility. Being incontrovertibly good renders them beyond challenge by decent people. Except they are not always good.

The #MeToo movement was always prone to abuse by those who assume an accused man is a guilty man because women must be believed. It explains why Gillette knew it would hit a social conscience sweet spot with an advertisement premised on all men being bad, hence the need for a commercial telling them to be good.

Other movements, from Black Lives Matter to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Jewish businesses, are all premised on this same crooked notion of presumed collective guilt.

Here, then, is the next question for those interested in the truth. Can we trust our justice system not to succumb to this same misguided tenet of our times? What happens if the idea of collective guilt seeps into the legal system, into a jury room, and ensnares an innocent man?

Take the shocking sexual abuse crimes within the Catholic Church. What if this new, yet old Marxist idea — if you find the powerful, you will locate the guilty — dislodges the fundamental idea that a person’s guilt must be established beyond reasonable doubt?

Is the guilty verdict against Cardinal George Pell, convicted last December for sexual abuse crimes in a he said/he said trial, an example of this new form of justice? The first jury could not agree on Pell’s guilt.

The second jury found him guilty. Pell has always maintained his innocence. There are legitimate concerns about the evidence supporting a guilty verdict.

To be sure, none of us here knows what happened in the sacristy of St Patrick’s Cathedral in December 1996. But all of us should agree that the truth matters. Except many don’t agree that truth matters.

On Wednesday, The Australia Institute’s Ben Oquist plumbed the sewers of collective guilt. He claimed that the causes that Pell believed in, from his support of traditional marriage to his scepticism about the hype over climate change, and political allies who shared those views are now diminished by Pell’s conviction.

Welcome to our brave new world where the retreat from reason and truth continues apace.



Oregon’s Proposed Rent Controls Would Shrink Supply of Housing

Some follies never die

Oregon just took a big step this week toward becoming the first state in the nation to impose statewide rent controls—a step in the wrong direction.

Senate Bill 608—which has now passed both houses of the Legislative Assembly—limits annual rent increases to the inflation rate plus 7 percent and imposes stringent restrictions on the ability to evict tenants without cause. (It exempts new construction for 15 years.)

A united Republican caucus was joined by only three Democratic House members in opposition when it passed the lower chamber Tuesday. Only one Democrat opposed the legislation when it cleared the state Senate on Feb. 12.

The Willamette Week reported that Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, is likely to sign the measure into law.

Unfortunately for Oregon residents, public policy crafted in defiance of economic reality yields poor results, good intentions notwithstanding.

Rent control is the cause celebre of the chief sponsor of the legislation, state Sen. Shemia Fagan, D-Portland. She knocked off incumbent state Sen. Rob Monroe in a Democratic primary last May in part by sharply criticizing his opposition to rent control.

Her win proved instrumental in shifting the entire Democratic caucus to the left on the issue. Her stern message to fellow Democrats: “They need to take a message from my victory. My community is not interested in watering down my victory.”

Across Oregon, stringent zoning restrictions, density limitations, and aggressive environmental regulation limit supply of housing while increasing the costs of construction.

Rental costs reflect those realities. Capping rent increases does nothing to make housing less costly to build. But it will have the perverse effect of shrinking future supply by deterring new construction and incentivizing landlords to spend less money on upkeep and remodeling.

With rents capped, demand likely will increase further, but with supply unable to keep up with demand, housing shortages will likely continue.

“Oregon Democrats are carpet-bombing our state with regulations that will deliberately destabilize the housing market and leave it obliterated,” said Jonathan Lockwood, a spokesman for a group of Republicans in the Oregon House and Senate. “And in the smoldering remains, they will cry out that Senate Bill 608 wasn’t enough.”

The legislation also denies landlords the option to give a tenant a one-month “no-cause notice” to vacate a unit after 12 months of tenancy. Ostensibly, the intent of the sponsors is to protect tenants from higher-priced rents elsewhere or the inconvenience of relocating.

Legislators neglected to take note that a no-cause notice is also the best way for a landlord to remove a tenant engaged in harassment of his or her neighbors. In effect, this new prohibition will restrict compliance with Fair Housing Act protections against harassment.

Salem, Oregon, property manager Melodie Atkinson warned in a Feb. 8 op-ed in The Oregonian that “taking away landlords’ ability to issue these no-cause notices removes a valuable tool in protecting other tenants from one who has been harassing them or engaging in behavior that falls short of a for-cause eviction.”

She added, “Under current law, residents are better protected, and bad actors creating a hostile environment are given ample time to make alternative arrangements.”

Criticism of rent control as bad economics is hardly limited to landlords or to free-market conservatives.

As far back as 1965, Gunnar Myrdal, one of the visionaries behind Sweden’s welfare state, warned, “Rent control has in certain Western countries constituted, maybe, the worst example of poor planning by governments lacking courage and vision.”

Economics professor Assar Lindbeck, Myrdal’s fellow Swede, cautioned in 1972, “In many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city—except for bombing.”

In 1989, communists running Vietnam linked the abject condition of Hanoi’s housing directly to rent control. Then-Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach said, “The Americans couldn’t destroy Hanoi, but we have destroyed our city by very low rents. We realized it was stupid and that we must change policy.”

Although the Oregon legislation may score cheap political points, rent control and handcuffing property managers does nothing to solve the affordable housing problem.

It’s no surprise that with its already onerous restrictions on landlords, rents in Portland soared 42 percent from 2010 to 2017, more than triple the overall rate of inflation. Now, these ills are likely to adversely affect the rest of the state, too.

By contrast, reforming land-use laws—in effect, increasing supply—would be a big step in the right direction. With increased supply, rental prices could plateau or even decline.

The governor defends land-use regulations as a reason why the state’s wine industry thrives. Even if that were true, the unaffordable rental costs would amount to a hidden tax on the general public (many of them working class) in order to allow wealthy vineyard owners to thrive.

Adding new controls will only force renters to live in more dilapidated conditions and preclude additional units from being built.

That’s what you might call a Pyrrhic victory for Fagan and her fellow advocates of rent control.



Lookit that chin

Lying Liz Warren has a hatchet jaw.  So what?  It in fact explains a lot about her.  Females normally have much more receding chins than males.  That's why a receding chin on a male is commonly regarded as "weak". A "strong" jaw on a woman is normally inherited but what exactly is inherited?  Testosterone, male hormones. 

And as most men who live with women know, hormones can have strong behavioral effects. Male hormones tend to enable ambition, strong drive and aggression.  And that summarizes comrade Warren pretty well.  Despite the huge gaffe of falsely claiming native  ancestry, she is still pushing on.  She still wants to be President. Most women would have gone home to their families after such a big setback but not the lady with the chin -- JR.


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 March, 2019

The party to be at

A report of fun times in the big tent

The most popular organization at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is one most famous for filming its members wearing diapers on a college campus.

Turning Point USA’s Thursday-night bash was the most sought-after party at CPAC, the annual conference of right-leaning college students, presidential aspirants, overly passionate political junkies, and attention-starved conservative media stars.

White House communications director Bill Shine, a former Fox News executive, mingled with guests in the party’s VIP section, while serial plagiarist Benny Johnson—now TPUSA’s chief creative officer after leaving The Daily Caller in February—warmed up the crowd. On the sidelines, conspiracy theorist Jacob Wohl chatted with college students drinking a tequila cocktail called “Mexico Will Pay for It.”

The party also served as a celebration of the group and its founder Charlie Kirk, the baby-faced conservative pundit whose popularity is on full display this week at CPAC.

Among the high-profile attendees was lawmaker Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), who rose to fame for his beef and eventual reconciliation with a Saturday Night Live cast member, and members of President Trump’s innermost circle.

Former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle spoke briefly at the TPUSA party, saying the executive director of the college conservative group “always brings the house down.”

Her boyfriend Donald Trump Jr. toasted Kirk, too, recalling how he initially dismissed him, but eventually came to love him for “kicking some ass for the youth of America.”

“This didn’t exist a few years ago. Charlie, thank you for doing that man,” the president’s son said. “Thank you for making me party, and making people see what this party is all about.”

Each year, the conservative conference buzzes with the energy—and the tension—set off by combining the right’s various factions and superstars. And each year, the ethos of the conservative movement is typically reflected by the group holding court the most.

For example, Breitbart News—now seemingly a non-entity compared to TPUSA—blew out its budget in 2017 for a post-CPAC party on a boat, the same year white nationalist Richard Spencer was kicked out of the conference. And while many attendees found 2018’s CPAC conference to be sleepier than past years, that conference was when conservative media stars like Dr. Sebastian Gorka, freshly ushered in by the Trump era, were swarmed by supporters seeking selfies.

This year, TPUSA took its turn in the bizarre CPAC spotlight. “For years it’s been a revolving door of who is bubbling to the top of the conservative movement,” BlazeTV host Eric Bolling told The Daily Beast. “A couple years ago, Ben Shapiro was that guy. It feels it’s moved to TPUSA,” he observed.

The group has an outsized presence at the 2019 conference. According to a Turning Point spokesman, at least 30 staffers and more than 100 “student ambassadors” have flocked to the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center to represent TPUSA.

The group’s evening bash featured a mechanical bull ride, a cardboard cut-out of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)—the conservative movement’s newest villain—with “pendeja,” Spanish for moron, scrawled on her face, and prominently placed TV screens featuring pro-Trump memes on loop.

CPAC attendees gave Kirk two standing ovations for his Thursday afternoon speech, which he used to position Turning Point USA as the right’s first line of defense against insurgent leftists like Ocasio-Cortez.

“For years, I have warned the conservative base that there is going to be a socialist under the age of 35 who’s going to come to Congress,” Kirk, who is 25 years old, said.

Speaking earlier in the day, the pro-Trump CEO of the pillow company My Pillow dubbed Kirk and the group’s communications director Candace Owens “two of the most amazing speakers I’ve ever met.” During her speech, Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel also praised TPUSA leadership.

“People like Candace Owens, like Charlie Kirk, we need more leaders like that,” the powerful Republican Party official declared.

At TPUSA’s exhibit booth, a crowd of Kirk fans waited for the chance at free stickers and buttons. One of the group’s signs mocked the “Coexist” bumper sticker—a plea for peaceful relationships between all religions— by replacing the religious symbols with guns and bullets.

Nearby, Turning Point fans posed with a life-size cut-out of Kirk dressed in his signature outfit: A navy suit and sneakers.

Grant Newcome, a student at Maryland’s Salisbury University, walked away from the booth excited about his new TPUSA “Socialism Sucks” button. Newcome said Kirk and the organization have reached out to millennials on campus, while other conservative groups have failed to reach young people.

“I just love the way he goes on campuses and challenges the academics to their faces,” Newcome said.

Even Turning Point’s critics have noticed the group’s outsized presence at CPAC.

Kevin Martin, a young conservative activist who has organized students and anti-Turning Point dissidents, and created a rival group, remarked that TPUSA stepped up its CPAC operation “big time.” Kirk walked right past him, trailed by students pleading for selfies.

And while the group has been warmly embraced at CPAC, TPUSA faces increasing flak from the outside, and from within its own ranks.

Owens—who roamed the halls Thursday surrounded by an entourage, a bodyguard, and selfie-seeking fans—shot to fame last year after Kanye West tweeted positively about her. But she alienated the rapper by falsely claiming that he had designed the logo for “Blexit,” her group devoted to convincing African-Americans to vote Republican.

After Owens blundered through a bizarre statement about Adolf Hitler in December, making international headlines, several Turning Point campus chapters called on her to resign as the national organization’s communications director.

And Kirk’s feverish and prolific tweeting often veers into conspiratorial, far-right, and typically fact-free rhetoric—always in the service of defending all things Trump.

Turning Point has also been plagued by leaked internal chats and text messages that show its members making racist remarks—often making its members sound more like the alt-right than a mainstream conservative group. In one set of leaked chats, members joked about Muslim refugees raping people, and discussed dressing up as ICE agents to “aggressively grapple Latinas and deport them.”

In a leaked text exchange, TPUSA’s former national field director Crystal Clanton remarked: “I hate all black people. Like fuck them all… I hate blacks. End of story.”

But none of that mattered Thursday night.

Sporting an oversized red MAGA T-shirt, Kirk led the bar in chants of “USA” and “build the wall,” while exhilarated, blazer-clad fanbros swarmed to take pictures and videos of him.

At one point, Kirk took the stage to thank attendees and proudly survey his new kingdom. “This is MAGA country,” he shouted.



Lindsey Graham Credits Trump for ‘Tough’ Leadership

When President Donald Trump first entered the Oval Office two years ago, Sen. Lindsey Graham was a little reticent to give him his phone number.

“President Trump and I did not start well,” the South Carolina Republican said in remarks Thursday to hundreds of conservative activists. “But now I’ve given him my phone number.”

Trump famously gave out Graham’s old cellphone number to the world when both men were seeking the Republican nomination for president.

“We’ve got a lot in common. I like him, and he likes him,” Graham quipped, provoking laughter.

Graham, now chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told his audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference that he was “never more proud of Trump” than during the ultimately successful effort to win Senate confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Graham attracted the admiration of skeptical conservatives in September, when he made an impassioned defense of Kavanaugh as fellow Judiciary Committee members weighed a newly surfaced accusation that the nominee sexually assaulted a teenage girl when they were in high school.

“I want to thank the president for nominating Brett,” Graham said at CPAC. “He did something not everyone does. He had somebody’s back when it really mattered. There were a bunch of people saying we need to move on, and the president said, ‘No, thank you.’ That’s truly called draining the swamp.”

Graham asked the CPAC audience to imagine what would have happened if Democrats had been able to block Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Qualified prospective nominees would be reluctant to step forward if the tactics employed against Kavanaugh had prevailed, he said.

Graham also made it clear that he would work with Republican colleagues on the Judiciary Committee to confirm more conservative judges.

Throughout his talk, Graham also credited Trump on a range of topics:

“Why is Rocket Man talking to Trump? Because he knows he means business.”

“Why is the Taliban at the peace table? Because we are kicking their a–.”

“Why is the caliphate destroyed? Because Trump is letting the military do its job.”

“Why is Iran on the run? Because Trump recognizes a bad deal.”

“Why is Kavanaugh on the court? Because Trump is tough.”



Progressives vs the working class

The Amazon-NYC debacle revealed whose side AOC and Co are on

New Yorkers are still sore about Amazon abandoning its planned NYC headquarters, and with it the prospect of thousands of new jobs. And they know who to blame for it: the city’s progressive politicos.

Most New Yorkers wanted the tech giant to come to New York City, especially the working-class people of the outer borough of Queens in which the company’s new ‘HQ2’ was to be located. An overwhelming majority of Latinos and blacks – 81 per cent and 70 per cent respectively – were in favour. The main source of opposition came from white elites in Manhattan.

And it is not hard to understand why workers were in favour. Amazon committed to bring 25,000 jobs, with an average salary of $150,000. This would have had a strong knock-on effect, creating thousands of additional jobs in construction, retail and restaurants. The tech firm would have generated billions in tax revenues to spend on local services, including badly needed infrastructure improvement. Amazon would have attracted other tech companies, too, creating the possibility of moving the city’s economy away from its over-reliance on Wall Street.

The loss of such opportunities felt like a blow to most New Yorkers. This is why the celebrations among left Democrats who campaigned to kill the Amazon deal sounded so discordant, so out-of-touch. ‘Anything is possible’, tweeted congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was a prominent opponent of the Amazon deal, and who represents a district in Queens that would have benefited from it. She and her fellow progressives had ‘defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world’. Democratic presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren joined the celebrations.

The progressives’ opposition to Amazon was pure grandstanding, and the cavalier way they treated the removal of thousands of jobs revealed how aloof they are. They claimed to oppose the $3 billion incentive agreement that the city had offered Amazon. But in truth they only sought to score political points against ‘greed’ and ‘billionaires’, not giving a damn about the people whose lives would be affected. Outside of New York, especially in the harder-hit areas of the Rust Belt, people looked on with amazement: we, the sentiment went, are dying for new jobs, and you have an opportunity for thousands, and you just turn them away? And then congratulate yourselves?

It was especially galling to know that the opposition to Amazon was built on financial stupidity. ‘If we were willing to give away $3 billion for this deal, we could invest those $3 billion in our district ourselves, if we wanted to’, said Ocasio-Cortez. ‘We could hire out more teachers. We can fix our subways.’ Sorry, Alexandria, but there’s no pile of $3 billion for you to spend now that Amazon has left. This was structured as a tax break: if Amazon generated $30 billion in tax revenues over 10 years, it would get a break on $3 billion, and the city would get $27 billion. Such nonsense from Ocasio-Cortez only added to the impression that she is an airhead who has no idea what she’s talking about. (See her brilliant economic insight that ‘unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs’.)

In one sense, it is understandable that Ocasio-Cortez is so out of touch with the majority of her constituents: she rarely speaks to them. She is a celebrity, and her powerbase is Twitter and the adoring media who report her every utterance to us on a daily basis. Time spent on social media and in front of cameras in Washington means no time for locals. Indeed, she has yet to open her district office (she says it is still under construction), while other first-time Congress members from New York have set up their offices.

The even more damning truth is that Ocasio-Cortez’s and other progressives’ opposition to Amazon was entirely consistent with the group whose outlook they truly reflect: the white upper-middle class. In her primary victory over Democrat Joe Crowley, Ocasio-Cortez’s main support came from the whiter, more gentrified parts of Queens; the black and Latino areas voted for Crowley. That group, along with the city’s more elite set in Manhattan, formed the minority opposition to Amazon. These are people who don’t want their comfortable lives disrupted by a newcomer like Amazon. Their self-centred opposition is rooted in NIMBYism, not social justice.

The Amazon debacle has exposed as utterly false progressives’ claims to speak for working people. The reality is that they were dead-set against what the majority of workers wanted. The opposition claimed they were protecting workers’ rights, by demanding New York City remain a ‘union town’. But Amazon workers would have had the right to form a union, as per federal law; these progressive politicos wanted to impose a union. While sounding pro-worker, they were in fact being patronising. It is up to the workforce to organise themselves, not have a ready-made union bestowed on them by Democratic Party representatives. Now New York workers won’t have any opportunity to start a union at Amazon.

Another key plank of opposition to Amazon was an apparent opposition to subsidies (tax incentives) to corporations. Yet Democrats have been happy to cut deals in the past. As Seth Barron noted, the two politicians that led the local opposition to Amazon – state senator Michael Gianaris and city council member Jimmy Van Bramer – have been big supporters of subsidies for film and television producers. In turn, these media companies just happen to be large donors to the Democrats’ election campaigns.

Amazon is a powerful behemoth of a company, with questionable labour practices, for sure. And it looks like its owner, Jeff Bezos, is increasingly trying to assert political influence. (Some speculate that the only reason he wanted to locate his two new HQs in Washington and New York was for the networking connections, not the engineering talent.) But the kneejerk rejection of Amazon in a particular location like New York is an own goal. The better approach would have been to accept Amazon, and then fight any bad practices. Now the 25,000 jobs will simply be created elsewhere – Amazon says it will mainly place them in northern Virginia and Tennessee. It is hard to see how anyone could claim this as a ‘defeat’ for the company.

The opposition to Amazon shows how progressives claim the mantle of the people, yet represent the upper strata of society, whose interests are opposed to those of workers. In the name of stopping gentrification, they are in fact enforcing the desire of the urban gentry for a quiet life. They are fearful of the destabilising consequences from economic growth, while workers are desperate for change. The only good thing to come from the Amazon pull-out from New York is that it has exposed who the progressive Democrats really represent.



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 March, 2019

Left's Latest Demand: Race-Based Reparations

Race is the Left's unending obsession

Having embraced "Medicare-for-all," free college tuition and a Green New Deal that would mandate an early end of all oil, gas and coal-fired power plants, the Democratic Party's lurch to the left rolls on.

Presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren both called last week for race-based reparations for slavery.

"Centuries of slavery, Jim Crow, legal discrimination and segregation, and discrimination that exist today have led to a systemic wealth gap between black and white Americans," Harris told The New York Times. "I'm serious about taking an approach that would change policies and structures and make real investments in black communities."

Echoed Sen. Warren: "We must confront the dark history of slavery and government-sanctioned discrimination in this country." This history has crippled "the ability of black families to build wealth in America for generations."

That black Americans are handicapped by their history in this country, and cannot accumulate wealth as easily, and require compensatory reparations for slavery and segregation, is more than a controversial assertion.

Are the Democrats going to say this in their national platform in 2020? And how much will be the rest of America be forced to pay, and for how long?

Warren says Native Americans, too, must be "part of the conversation." Apparently, they suffer from a similar handicap and need the same reparations.

How far and fast has the Democratic Party lunged leftward? In 2016, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders all rejected reparations.

Have Warren and Harris thought this through?

The questions that instantly arise are: Who would qualify as a beneficiary of reparations, and who would pay the immense transfer sums involved?

In 1860, there were 4 million slaves in 15 states and D.C. There are 45 to 50 million African-Americans in the USA today.

Would all black Americans, even the middle class and affluent, be entitled to reparations? How would the government go about proving that folks living here today had ancestors in slavery before 1865?

Do we, as Warren did to prove her Native American ancestry, conduct a DNA test? Do we consult Ancestry.com for every applicant for reparations?

The last 50 years have seen many marriages between blacks and whites. Would the children of such marriages qualify for reparations?

Barack Obama, whose mother was a white teenager and father was a Kenyan, would not qualify. But would wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia?

Harris's mother was from India, her father from Jamaica, where the British abolished slavery in the mid-1830s. But if the father had ancestors who were enslaved in Jamaica, would the senator qualify, or do reparations go only to the descendants of slaves within the USA?

While a higher percentage of African-Americans than whites are poor, there are more white poor than black poor in the USA. Does not endemic poverty produce the same negative consequence regardless of race?

What is the justice in excluding poor whites, or poor Asians and Hispanics, whose ancestors were not here in the USA when slavery existed before 1865?

From 1845 to 1849, the Irish fled a potato famine that persisted under the indifferent rule of the same British who introduced slavery into what became the United States.

As for the great migration of Eastern and Southern Europeans — Poles, Italians, Jews, Slavs, Slovaks — slavery was gone before they arrived. They had nothing to do with instituting Jim Crow. Why should they pay reparations?

Asians and Hispanics were a tiny fraction of the U.S. population as late as 1960, when segregation was being outlawed everywhere, but they are more than 75 million Americans today.

Should they be made to pay for sins their ancestors did not commit?

Warren took a DNA test to prove she was partly American Indian, as she put down on various legal forms. Would her less than 1 percent of Indian DNA be sufficient to provide her with reparations for America's Indian wars?

If slavery and segregation explain the disparity in wealth between black and white in the U.S., what explains the equally wide disparity in wealth between Hispanics and Asians?

Politically, the party of slavery, secession and segregation was the party of Jefferson, Jackson, Clay, Calhoun, Wilson and FDR, who put a Klansman on the Supreme Court — the Democratic Party. It was the Republican Party that was formed to contain and end slavery, and did.

One need not be a cynic to suspect Warren's motivation. Her claim to be an American Indian angered Native Americans, and she would like to mollify them, and ingratiate herself with African-Americans, who constitute more than 60 percent of all Democratic voters in the crucial South Carolina Primary.

By pushing for compensatory reparations, Warren and Harris may be helping themselves, but they are further splitting their party along the lines of ethnicity and race and elevating an issue certain to divide their country more than it already is.



The Left Hates Children
The Left hate everyone.  Karl Marx hated his own mother and Lenin had most of his fellow Bolsheviks put to death

In recent days, little children and teenagers have been all over Capitol Hill. They were being used as props in a campaign to pass radical legislation that we are told will stop climate change.

These children have been told that they are all going to die in 12 years unless the “adults” in Congress completely turn life upside down as we know it. No more air travel. No more hamburgers. No more fossil fuels. But lots and lots of big government controlling what little would be left of our economy.

Oh, by the way, there would be no more children either.

The darling of the progressive left, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), discussed in a recent Instagram video the “legitimate question” of whether we should even have children given the damage done to the planet.

Using frightened children to advocate for socialism and something more barbaric than China’s “one child policy” would be bad enough. But Senate progressives managed to outdo AOC with a vote Monday night essentially allowing fourth trimester abortions.

I know there are only three trimesters in pregnancy. But the left is now arguing for the right to kill a baby if it manages to escape the womb alive.

The vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act was 53-to-44. Fifty out of fifty-three Republicans voted for the bill. (Due to travel delays, three Republican senators were unable to vote.) But even with their support, the bill still would have failed to overcome the 60-vote threshold needed to defeat the Democrat filibuster.

Just to be clear, the bill did not limit abortion in any way. It simply declared that a born baby is entitled to legal protection and medical care; that infanticide is not acceptable in this country. Incredibly, 44 out of 47 Democrats, including every announced or likely Democrat presidential candidate in the Senate, seem to believe it is.

Remember back in 2008 when Pastor Rick Warren asked Barack Obama, “When does a baby get human rights?” Obama couldn’t answer the question then. Sadly, 44 senators couldn’t answer it Monday night.

This is where the slippery slope of abortion has taken us: We are now debating whether a born baby has any rights at all.

Trump Responds

President Trump was quick to respond, tweeting Monday night:

“Senate Democrats just voted against legislation to prevent the killing of newborn infant children. The Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don’t mind executing babies AFTER birth.

"This will be remembered as one of the most shocking votes in the history of Congress. If there is one thing we should all agree on, it’s protecting the lives of innocent babies.”

Once again, this president is showing a willingness to fight on values issues. No one had to pressure Trump to issue a statement following the vote. And I guarantee you that none of the “professional” GOP consultants would have written THAT statement.

Thank you, Mr. President, for boldly defending the sanctity of life.

Meanwhile, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted this after Monday night’s vote:

“Republican politicians just tried (and failed) again to score political points at the expense of women. Enough. Women and their doctors should decide what’s best for their health — not the @SenateGOP.”

Read that again, and remind yourself that we’re talking about a baby outside the womb.

The woman who wants to be president thinks it is a matter of the woman’s health to kill the baby outside of the womb. At that point, Senator Warren, it’s not about the woman’s health anymore. It’s about the baby’s life.



Protect Life Rule Is Good News for America
The Trump administration has taken another critically important step in strengthening the moral health of our nation, and hence our future.

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued the Protect Life Rule, stopping the flow of Title X federal funds to family planning clinics that perform abortions or do abortion referrals.

It also requires that clinics receiving Title X funds be “physically and financially” separate from any entity providing abortions.

This puts a stop to organizations like Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, from claiming that, although they perform abortions, Title X funds they receive are used for other purposes.

Estimates are that this rule will reduce federal funding flowing to Planned Parenthood by some $60 million.

The Title X program was enacted in 1970, as part of the Public Health Service Act, to provide family planning assistance, primarily to low-income families.

In 2018, $286,479,000 was appropriated to this program.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., chairman of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, notes that Title X funds were “never” meant to fund abortions services. Given that the program was enacted three years before abortion was legalized nationwide as result of Roe v. Wade, his case is convincing.

A Planned Parenthood spokesperson attacked this rule-making, saying that “the Trump-Pence administration has aggressively targeted the … rights and bodily autonomy of people of color.”

There was a time in our nation’s history when the rights and bodily autonomy of people of color were aggressively violated.

But as vile a sin slavery was, those that committed it did so by choice. Americans who wanted no part of it weren’t forced to participate as slave owners.

This isn’t the case when taxpayer funds are channeled by the federal government to abortion providers.



9th Circus gets another Trump-picked judge, after White House bypasses consultation with Dems

Once again the Dems have shot themselves in the foot.  They abused the blue slip system to delay confirmations and now they have lost it

Senate confirms President Trump's nominee to be a judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals 53-46 in a party-line vote
The Senate confirms President Trump's nominee Eric Miller to be a judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals 53-46 in a party-line vote.

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Trump's nominee to be a judge on the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a party-line vote -- and, in a historic snub, the White House ignored the input of the judge's two Democratic home-state senators in the process.

The aggressive and unprecedented move to bypass the traditional "blue slip" consultation process and plow ahead with the confirmation comes as the Trump administration seeks to systematically erode left-wing dominance on the key appellate court, which Trump has called "disgraceful" and politically biased.

The new 9th Circuit judge, Seattle attorney Eric Miller, was confirmed 53-46. Miller was one of the 51 federal judicial nominees left over from the previous Congress whom the White House re-nominated last month.


The Federal Government’s Great American Cheese Stockpile

In the 1930s, the U.S. federal government established dairy subsidies to bail out America’s dairy farmers from the Great Depression. Managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, those same subsidies are still in effect today, where they have underwritten a massive surplus of milk in the U.S. dairy industry that far exceeds the appetites of over 327 million Americans to consume it.

But rather than reduce the subsidies to reduce the surplus to more reasonable levels, the USDA is instead paying the U.S. dairy industry to make billions of pounds of cheese from the millions and millions of gallons of surplus milk. According to Emily Moon’s reporting at Pacific Standard, the USDA now has a stockpile of 1.4 billion pounds of processed American cheese.

The United States’ dairy surplus has reached a record high, rounding out at 1.4 billion pounds of cheese. Reports attempting to quantify this astonishing amount have deferred to metrics like “enough to wrap around the U.S. Capitol.” Suffice to say, nobody’s suggesting we could consume it all.

The nation eating this much cheese is not only mind-boggling: It’s growing less and less likely. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, Americans have cut their milk consumption down from 35 pounds to an average of 15 per person annually. The excess is turned into cheese for storage and longevity (and the enjoyment of delicious cheese products). At the same time, government subsidies have continued to support dairy production, buying up surplus to keep prices steady. That leaves us with more cheese than anyone, even the experts, knows what to do with.

It also leads to the question of what the government has been doing with the cheese it has been buying for all these years. Beginning in the 1980s, the government’s primary solution was to give as much of it away to the poor as they can. Today, this is provided through multiple federal nutrition assistance welfare programs such as SNAP, CACFP, NCE, SFSP, WIC, and also through school lunch programs.

But in the 1990s, they also started making deals with fast food restaurant chains to incorporate more cheese products in their menus at low prices.

To help sell its surplus in the 1990s, the National Dairy Promotion Board created Dairy Management Incorporated, a semi-public marketing branch of the USDA funded through government “checkoff” fees from dairy producers. This agency gave us the “Got Milk?” campaign and a host of popular fast food menu items, including Domino’s seven-cheese pizzas and Taco Bell’s very cheesy Quesalupa. A 2017 Bloomberg Businessweek investigation called the group of chemists and nutritionists the “Illuminati of cheese.” “The checkoff [program] puts DMI’s agents inside Burger King, Domino’s, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and Wendy’s, where they’re privy to each restaurant chain’s most closely guarded trade secrets,” writes Clint Rainey.

There is an unintended consequence in the federal government forcing so much unwanted cheese into the diets of American consumers. It is contributing to the growing health problem of obesity.

For a federal agency dedicated to improving overall nutrition and providing dietary guidance, these partnerships may seem like a contradiction—with good reason, experts say. DMI’s efforts “impose health costs on Americans generally, but disproportionately harm low-income African Americans and Latina/os who live in urban centers dominated by fast food restaurants,” argues legal scholar and food oppression expert Andrea Freeman in a 2013 report.



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

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Postings from Brisbane, Australia by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.) -- former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party. And now a "Deplorable"

When it comes to political incorrectness, I hit the trifecta. I talk about race, IQ and social class. I have an academic background in all three subjects but that wins me no forgiveness

The fundamental aim of all Leftist policy is to disrupt the lives of their fellow citizens -- whom they regard as "complacent" -- as much as possible

At its most basic psychological level, conservatives are the contented people and Leftists are the discontented people. And both are largely dispositional, inborn -- which is why they so rarely change

As a good academic, I first define my terms: A Leftist is a person who is so dissatisfied with the way things naturally are that he/she is prepared to use force to make people behave in ways that they otherwise would not.

So an essential feature of Leftism is that they think they have the right to tell other people what to do

Leftists are the disgruntled folk. They see things in the world that are not ideal and conclude therefore that they have the right to change those things by force. Conservative explanations of why things are not ideal -- and never can be -- fall on deaf ears

Leftists aim to deliver dismay and disruption into other people's lives -- and they are good at achieving that.

Leftists are wolves in sheep's clothing

Liberals are people who don't believe in liberty

Because they claim to have all the answers to society's ills, Communists often seem "cool" to young people

German has a word that describes most Leftists well: "Scheinheilig" - A person who appears to be very kind, soft natured, and filled with pure goodness but behind the facade, has a vile nature. He is seemingly holy but is an unscrupulous person on the inside.

The new faith is very oppressive: Leftist orthodoxy is the new dominant religion of the Western world and it is every bit as bigoted and oppressive as Christianity was at its worst

There are two varieties of authoritarian Leftism. Fascists are soft Leftists, preaching one big happy family -- "Better together" in other words. Communists are hard Leftists, preaching class war.

Equality: The nonsensical and incoherent claim that underlies so much Leftist discourse is "all men are equal". And that is the envier's gospel. It makes not a scrap of sense and shows no contact with reality but it is something that enviers resort to as a way of soothing their envious feelings. They deny the very differences that give them so much heartburn. "Denial" was long ago identified by Freud as a maladaptive psychological defence mechanism and "All men are equal" is a prize example of that. Whatever one thinks of his theories, Freud was undoubtedly an acute observer of people and very few psychologists today would doubt the maladaptive nature of denial as described by Freud.

Socialism is the most evil malady ever to afflict the human brain. The death toll in WWII alone tells you that

The standard response from Marxist apologists for Stalin and other Communist dictators is to say you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. To which Orwell retorted, ‘Where’s the omelette?’

You do still occasionally see some mention of the old idea that Leftist parties represent the worker. In the case of the U.S. Democrats that is long gone. Now they want to REFORM the worker. No wonder most working class Americans these days vote Republican. Democrats are the party of the minorities and the smug

"The tendency of liberals is to create bodies of men and women — of all classes — detached from tradition, alienated from religion, and susceptible to mass suggestion — mob rule. And a mob will be no less a mob if it is well fed, well clothed, well housed, and well disciplined." —T.S. Eliot

We live in a country where the people own the Government and not in a country where the Government owns the people -- Churchill

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others" -- Cicero. See here

The Left have a lot in common with tortoises. They have a thick mental shell that protects them from the reality of the world about them

Definition of a Socialist: Someone who wants everything you have...except your job.

Let's start with some thought-provoking graphics

Israel: A great powerhouse of the human spirit

The difference in practice

The United Nations: A great ideal but a sordid reality

Alfred Dreyfus, a reminder of French antisemitism still relevant today

Eugenio Pacelli, a righteous Gentile, a true man of God and a brilliant Pope

Leftism in one picture:

The "steamroller" above who got steamrollered by his own hubris. Spitzer is a warning of how self-destructive a vast ego can be -- and also of how destructive of others it can be.

R.I.P. Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet deposed a law-defying Marxist President at the express and desperate invitation of the Chilean parliament. Allende had just burnt the electoral rolls so it wasn't hard to see what was coming. Pinochet pioneered the free-market reforms which Reagan and Thatcher later unleashed to world-changing effect. That he used far-Leftist methods to suppress far-Leftist violence is reasonable if not ideal. The Leftist view that they should have a monopoly of violence and that others should follow the law is a total absurdity which shows only that their hate overcomes their reason

Leftist writers usually seem quite reasonable and persuasive at first glance. The problem is not what they say but what they don't say. Leftist beliefs are so counterfactual ("all men are equal", "all men are brothers" etc.) that to be a Leftist you have to have a talent for blotting out from your mind facts that don't suit you. And that is what you see in Leftist writing: A very selective view of reality. Facts that disrupt a Leftist story are simply ignored. Leftist writing is cherrypicking on a grand scale

So if ever you read something written by a Leftist that sounds totally reasonable, you have an urgent need to find out what other people say on that topic. The Leftist will almost certainly have told only half the story

We conservatives have the facts on our side, which is why Leftists never want to debate us and do their best to shut us up. It's very revealing the way they go to great lengths to suppress conservative speech at universities. Universities should be where the best and brightest Leftists are to be found but even they cannot stand the intellectual challenge that conservatism poses for them. It is clearly a great threat to them. If what we say were ridiculous or wrong, they would grab every opportunity to let us know it

A conservative does not hanker after the new; He hankers after the good. Leftists hanker after the untested

Just one thing is sufficient to tell all and sundry what an unamerican lamebrain Obama is. He pronounced an army corps as an army "corpse" Link here. Can you imagine any previous American president doing that? Many were men with significant personal experience in the armed forces in their youth.

A favorite Leftist saying sums up the whole of Leftism: "To make an omelette, you've got to break eggs". They want to change some state of affairs and don't care who or what they destroy or damage in the process. They think their alleged good intentions are sufficient to absolve them from all blame for even the most evil deeds

In practical politics, the art of Leftism is to sound good while proposing something destructive

Leftists are the "we know best" people, meaning that they are intrinsically arrogant. Matthew chapter 6 would not be for them. And arrogance leads directly into authoritarianism

Leftism is fundamentally authoritarian. Whether by revolution or by legislation, Leftists aim to change what people can and must do. When in 2008 Obama said that he wanted to "fundamentally transform" America, he was not talking about America's geography or topography but rather about American people. He wanted them to stop doing things that they wanted to do and make them do things that they did not want to do. Can you get a better definition of authoritarianism than that?

And note that an American President is elected to administer the law, not make it. That seems to have escaped Mr Obama

That Leftism is intrinsically authoritarian is not a new insight. It was well understood by none other than Friedrich Engels (Yes. THAT Engels). His clever short essay On authority was written as a reproof to the dreamy Anarchist Left of his day. It concludes: "A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon — authoritarian means"

Inside Every Liberal is a Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out

Insight: "A man's admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him." —Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

Leftists think of themselves as the new nobility

Many people in literary and academic circles today who once supported Stalin and his heirs are generally held blameless and may even still be admired whereas anybody who gave the slightest hint of support for the similarly brutal Hitler regime is an utter polecat and pariah. Why? Because Hitler's enemies were "only" the Jews whereas Stalin's enemies were those the modern day Left still hates -- people who are doing well for themselves materially. Modern day Leftists understand and excuse Stalin and his supporters because Stalin's hates are their hates.

"Those who see hate everywhere think they're looking thru a window when actually they're looking at a mirror"

Hatred has long been a central pillar of leftist ideologies, premised as they are on trampling individual rights for the sake of a collectivist plan. Karl Marx boasted that he was “the greatest hater of the so-called positive.” In 1923, V.I. Lenin chillingly declared to the Soviet Commissars of Education, “We must teach our children to hate. Hatred is the basis of communism.” In his tract “Left-Wing Communism,” Lenin went so far as to assert that hatred was “the basis of every socialist and Communist movement.”

If you understand that Leftism is hate, everything falls into place.

The strongest way of influencing people is to convince them that you will do them some good. Leftists and con-men misuse that

Leftists believe only what they want to believe. So presenting evidence contradicting their beliefs simply enrages them. They do not learn from it

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves.

Leftists who think that they can conjure up paradise out of their own limited brains are simply fools -- arrogant and dangerous fools. They essentially know nothing. Conservatives learn from the thousands of years of human brains that have preceded us -- including the Bible, the ancient Greeks and much else. The death of Socrates is, for instance, an amazing prefiguration of the intolerant 21st century. Ask any conservative stranded in academe about his freedom of speech

Thomas Sowell: “There are no solutions, only trade-offs.” Leftists don't understand that -- which is a major factor behind their simplistic thinking. They just never see the trade-offs. But implementing any Leftist idea will hit us all with the trade-offs

Chesteron's fence -- good conservative thinking

"The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley"[go oft astray] is a well known line from a famous poem by the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns. But the next line is even wiser: "And leave us nought but grief and pain for promised joy". Burns was a Leftist of sorts so he knew how often their theories fail badly.

Mostly, luck happens when opportunity meets preparation.

Most Leftist claims are simply propaganda. Those who utter such claims must know that they are not telling the whole story. Hitler described his Marxist adversaries as "lying with a virtuosity that would bend iron beams". At the risk of ad hominem shrieks, I think that image is too good to remain disused.

Conservatives adapt to the world they live in. Leftists want to change the world to suit themselves

Given their dislike of the world they live in, it would be a surprise if Leftists were patriotic and loved their own people. Prominent English Leftist politician Jack Straw probably said it best: "The English as a race are not worth saving"

In his 1888 book, The Anti-Christ Friedrich Nietzsche argues that we should treat the common man well and kindly because he is the backdrop against which the exceptional man can be seen. So Nietzsche deplores those who agitate the common man: "Whom do I hate most among the rabble of today? The socialist rabble, the chandala [outcast] apostles, who undermine the instinct, the pleasure, the worker's sense of satisfaction with his small existence—who make him envious, who teach him revenge. The source of wrong is never unequal rights but the claim of “equal” rights"

Why do conservatives respect tradition and rely on the past in many ways? Because they want to know what works and the past is the chief source of evidence on that. Leftists are more faith-based. They cling to their theories (e.g. global warming) with religious fervour, even though theories are often wrong

Thinking that you "know best" is an intrinsically precarious and foolish stance -- because nobody does. Reality is so complex and unpredictable that it can rarely be predicted far ahead. Conservatives can see that and that is why conservatives always want change to be done gradually, in a step by step way. So the Leftist often finds the things he "knows" to be out of step with reality, which challenges him and his ego. Sadly, rather than abandoning the things he "knows", he usually resorts to psychological defence mechanisms such as denial and projection. He is largely impervious to argument because he has to be. He can't afford to let reality in.

A prize example of the Leftist tendency to projection (seeing your own faults in others) is the absurd Robert "Bob" Altemeyer, an acclaimed psychologist and father of a Canadian Leftist politician. Altemeyer claims that there is no such thing as Leftist authoritarianism and that it is conservatives who are "Enemies of Freedom". That Leftists (e.g. Mrs Obama) are such enemies of freedom that they even want to dictate what people eat has apparently passed Altemeyer by. Even Stalin did not go that far. And there is the little fact that all the great authoritarian regimes of the 20th century (Stalin, Hitler and Mao) were socialist. Freud saw reliance on defence mechanisms such as projection as being maladjusted. It is difficult to dispute that. Altemeyer is too illiterate to realize it but he is actually a good Hegelian. Hegel thought that "true" freedom was marching in step with a Left-led herd.

What libertarian said this? “The bureaucracy is a parasite on the body of society, a parasite which ‘chokes’ all its vital pores…The state is a parasitic organism”. It was VI Lenin, in August 1917, before he set up his own vastly bureaucratic state. He could see the problem but had no clue about how to solve it.

It was Democrat John F Kennedy who cut taxes and declared that “a rising tide lifts all boats"

Leftist stupidity is a special class of stupidity. The people concerned are mostly not stupid in general but they have a character defect (mostly arrogance) that makes them impatient with complexity and unwilling to study it. So in their policies they repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot; They fail to attain their objectives. The world IS complex so a simplistic approach to it CANNOT work.

Seminal Leftist philosopher, G.W.F. Hegel said something that certainly applies to his fellow Leftists: "We learn from history that we do not learn from history". And he captured the Left in this saying too: "Evil resides in the very gaze which perceives Evil all around itself".

"A man who is not a socialist at age 20 has no heart; A man who is still a socialist at age 30 has no head". Who said that? Most people attribute it to Winston but as far as I can tell it was first said by Georges Clemenceau, French Premier in WWI -- whose own career approximated the transition concerned. And he in turn was probably updating an earlier saying about monarchy versus Republicanism by Guizot. Other attributions here. There is in fact a normal drift from Left to Right as people get older. Both Reagan and Churchill started out as liberals

Funny how to the Leftist intelligentsia poor blacks are 'oppressed' and poor whites are 'trash'. Racism, anyone?

MESSAGE to Leftists: Even if you killed all conservatives tomorrow, you would just end up in another Soviet Union. Conservatives are all that stand between you and that dismal fate. And you may not even survive at all. Stalin killed off all the old Bolsheviks.

A Conservative manifesto from England -- The inimitable Jacob Rees-Mogg


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)

Just the name of Hitler's political party should be sufficient to reject the claim that Hitler was "Right wing" but Leftists sometimes retort that the name "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" is not informative, in that it is the name of a dismal Stalinist tyranny. But "People's Republic" is a normal name for a Communist country whereas I know of no conservative political party that calls itself a "Socialist Worker's Party". Such parties are in fact usually of the extreme Left (Trotskyite etc.)

Most people find the viciousness of the Nazis to be incomprehensible -- for instance what they did in their concentration camps. But you just have to read a little of the vileness that pours out from modern-day "liberals" in their Twitter and blog comments to understand it all very well. Leftists haven't changed. They are still boiling with hate

Hatred as a motivating force for political strategy leads to misguided ­decisions. “Hatred is blind,” as Alexandre Dumas warned, “rage carries you away; and he who pours out vengeance runs the risk of tasting a bitter draught.”

Who said this in 1968? "I am not, and never have been, a man of the right. My position was on the Left and is now in the centre of politics". It was Sir Oswald Mosley, founder and leader of the British Union of Fascists

The term "Fascism" is mostly used by the Left as a brainless term of abuse. But when they do make a serious attempt to define it, they produce very complex and elaborate definitions -- e.g. here and here. In fact, Fascism is simply extreme socialism plus nationalism. But great gyrations are needed to avoid mentioning the first part of that recipe, of course.

Three examples of Leftist racism below (much more here and here):

Jesse Owens, the African-American hero of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, said "Hitler didn't snub me – it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn't even send me a telegram." Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt never even invited the quadruple gold medal-winner to the White House

Beatrice Webb, a founder of the London School of Economics and the Fabian Society, and married to a Labour MP, mused in 1922 on whether when English children were "dying from lack of milk", one should extend "the charitable impulse" to Russian and Chinese children who, if saved this year, might anyway die next. Besides, she continued, there was "the larger question of whether those races are desirable inhabitants" and "obviously" one wouldn't "spend one's available income" on "a Central African negro".

Hugh Dalton, offered the Colonial Office during Attlee's 1945-51 Labour government, turned it down because "I had a horrid vision of pullulating, poverty stricken, diseased nigger communities, for whom one can do nothing in the short run and who, the more one tries to help them, are querulous and ungrateful."

The Zimmerman case is an excellent proof that the Left is deep-down racist

Defensible and indefensible usages of the term "racism"

The book, The authoritarian personality, authored by T.W. Adorno et al. in 1950, has been massively popular among psychologists. It claims that a set of ideas that were popular in the "Progressive"-dominated America of the prewar era were "authoritarian". Leftist regimes always are authoritarian so that claim was not a big problem. What was quite amazing however is that Adorno et al. identified such ideas as "conservative". They were in fact simply popular ideas of the day but ones that had been most heavily promoted by the Left right up until the then-recent WWII. See here for details of prewar "Progressive" thinking.

Leftist psychologists have an amusingly simplistic conception of military organizations and military men. They seem to base it on occasions they have seen troops marching together on parade rather than any real knowledge of military men and the military life. They think that military men are "rigid" -- automatons who are unable to adjust to new challenges or think for themselves. What is incomprehensible to them is that being kadaver gehorsam (to use the extreme Prussian term for following orders) actually requires great flexibility -- enough flexibility to put your own ideas and wishes aside and do something very difficult. Ask any soldier if all commands are easy to obey.

It would be very easy for me to say that I am too much of an individual for the army but I did in fact join the army and enjoy it greatly, as most men do. In my observation, ALL army men are individuals. It is just that they accept discipline in order to be militarily efficient -- which is the whole point of the exercise. But that's too complex for simplistic Leftist thinking, of course

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a war criminal. Both British and American codebreakers had cracked the Japanese naval code so FDR knew what was coming at Pearl Harbor. But for his own political reasons he warned no-one there. So responsibility for the civilian and military deaths at Pearl Harbor lies with FDR as well as with the Japanese. The huge firepower available at Pearl Harbor, both aboard ship and on land, could have largely neutered the attack. Can you imagine 8 battleships and various lesser craft firing all their AA batteries as the Japanese came in? The Japanese naval airforce would have been annihilated and the war would have been over before it began.

FDR prolonged the Depression. He certainly didn't cure it.

WWII did NOT end the Great Depression. It just concealed it. It in fact made living standards worse

FDR appointed a known KKK member, Hugo Black, to the Supreme Court

Joe McCarthy was eventually proved right after the fall of the Soviet Union. To accuse anyone of McCarthyism is to accuse them of accuracy!

The KKK was intimately associated with the Democratic party. They ATTACKED Republicans!

High Level of Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrants in the USA. Low skill immigrants receive 4 to 5 dollars of benefits for every dollar in taxes paid

People who mention differences in black vs. white IQ are these days almost universally howled down and subjected to the most extreme abuse. I am a psychometrician, however, so I feel obliged to defend the scientific truth of the matter: The average African adult has about the same IQ as an average white 11-year-old and African Americans (who are partly white in ancestry) average out at a mental age of 14. The American Psychological Association is generally Left-leaning but it is the world's most prestigious body of academic psychologists. And even they (under the chairmanship of Ulric Neisser) have had to concede that sort of gap (one SD) in black vs. white average IQ. 11-year olds can do a lot of things but they also have their limits and there are times when such limits need to be allowed for.

The heritability of general cognitive ability increases linearly from childhood to young adulthood

The association between high IQ and long life is overwhelmingly genetic: "In the combined sample the genetic contribution to the covariance was 95%"

The Dark Ages were not dark

Judged by his deeds, Abraham Lincoln was one of the bloodiest villains ever to walk the Earth. See here. And: America's uncivil war was caused by trade protectionism. The slavery issue was just camouflage, as Abraham Lincoln himself admitted. See also here

At the beginning of the North/South War, Confederate general Robert E. Lee did not own any slaves. Union General Ulysses L. Grant did.

Was slavery already washed up by the tides of history before Lincoln took it on? Eric Williams in his book "Capitalism and Slavery" tells us: “The commercial capitalism of the eighteenth century developed the wealth of Europe by means of slavery and monopoly. But in so doing it helped to create the industrial capitalism of the nineteenth century, which turned round and destroyed the power of commercial capitalism, slavery, and all its works. Without a grasp of these economic changes the history of the period is meaningless.”

Revolutionary terrorists in Russia killed Tsar Alexander II in 1881 (after three prior assassination attempts). Alexander II was a great reformer who abolished serfdom one year before the US abolished slavery. If his democratic and economic reforms had continued, Russia may have been much less radical politically a couple of decades later, when Nicholas II was overthrown.

Did William Zantzinger kill poor Hattie Carroll?

Did Bismarck predict where WWI would start or was it just a "free" translation by Churchill?

Conrad Black on the Declaration of Independence

Malcolm Gladwell: "There is more of reality and wisdom in a Chinese fortune cookie than can be found anywhere in Gladwell’s pages"

Some people are born bad -- confirmed by genetics research

The dark side of American exceptionalism: America could well be seen as the land of folly. It fought two unnecessary civil wars, would have done well to keep out of two world wars, endured the extraordinary folly of Prohibition and twice elected a traitor President -- Barack Obama. That America remains a good place to be is a tribute to the energy and hard work of individual Americans.

“From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time.” ? Friedrich Hayek, The Constitution Of Liberty


The 10 "cannots" (By William J. H. Boetcker) that Leftist politicians ignore:
*You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
* You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
* You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
* You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
* You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
* You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
* You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
* You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
* You cannot build character and courage by destroying men's initiative and independence.
* And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

A good short definition of conservative: "One who wants you to keep your hand out of his pocket."

Beware of good intentions. They mostly lead to coercion

A gargantuan case of hubris, coupled with stunning level of ignorance about how the real world works, is the essence of progressivism.

The U.S. Constitution is neither "living" nor dead. It is fixed until it is amended. But amending it is the privilege of the people, not of politicians or judges

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong - Thomas Sowell

Leftists think that utopia can be coerced into existence -- so no dishonesty or brutality is beyond them in pursuit of that "noble" goal

"England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution" -- George Orwell

Was 16th century science pioneer Paracelsus a libertarian? His motto was "Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest" which means "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself."

"When using today's model of society as a rule, most of history will be found to be full of oppression, bias, and bigotry." What today's arrogant judges of history fail to realize is that they, too, will be judged. What will Americans of 100 years from now make of, say, speech codes, political correctness, and zero tolerance - to name only three? Assuming, of course, there will still be an America that we, today, would recognize. Given the rogue Federal government spy apparatus, I am not at all sure of that. -- Paul Havemann

Economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973): "The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office."

It's the shared hatred of the rest of us that unites Islamists and the Left.

American liberals don't love America. They despise it. All they love is their own fantasy of what America could become. They are false patriots.

The Democratic Party: Con-men elected by the ignorant and the arrogant

The Democratic Party is a strange amalgam of elites, would-be elites and minorities. No wonder their policies are so confused and irrational

Why are conservatives more at ease with religion? Because it is basic to conservatism that some things are unknowable, and religious people have to accept that too. Leftists think that they know it all and feel threatened by any exceptions to that. Thinking that you know it all is however the pride that comes before a fall.

The characteristic emotion of the Leftist is not envy. It's rage

Leftists are committed to grievance, not truth

The British Left poured out a torrent of hate for Margaret Thatcher on the occasion of her death. She rescued Britain from chaos and restored Britain's prosperity. What's not to hate about that?

Something you didn't know about Margaret Thatcher

The world's dumbest investor? Without doubt it is Uncle Sam. Nobody anywhere could rival the scale of the losses on "investments" made under the Obama administration

"Behind the honeyed but patently absurd pleas for equality is a ruthless drive for placing themselves (the elites) at the top of a new hierarchy of power" -- Murray Rothbard - Egalitarianism and the Elites (1995)

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. -- G. Gordon Liddy

"World socialism as a whole, and all the figures associated with it, are shrouded in legend; its contradictions are forgotten or concealed; it does not respond to arguments but continually ignores them--all this stems from the mist of irrationality that surrounds socialism and from its instinctive aversion to scientific analysis... The doctrines of socialism seethe with contradictions, its theories are at constant odds with its practice, yet due to a powerful instinct these contradictions do not in the least hinder the unending propaganda of socialism. Indeed, no precise, distinct socialism even exists; instead there is only a vague, rosy notion of something noble and good, of equality, communal ownership, and justice: the advent of these things will bring instant euphoria and a social order beyond reproach." -- Solzhenitsyn

"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." -- Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NIV)

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. -- Thomas Jefferson

"Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power" -- Bertrand Russell

Evan Sayet: The Left sides "...invariably with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success." (t=5:35+ on video)

The Republicans are the gracious side of American politics. It is the Democrats who are the nasty party, the haters

Wanting to stay out of the quarrels of other nations is conservative -- but conservatives will fight if attacked or seriously endangered. Anglo/Irish statesman Lord Castlereagh (1769-1822), who led the political coalition that defeated Napoleon, was an isolationist, as were traditional American conservatives.

Some wisdom from the past: "The bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent and respectable stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment." —George Washington, 1783

Some useful definitions:

If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one. If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat. If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.
If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels. Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.
If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church. A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced. (Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)
If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

There is better evidence for creation than there is for the Leftist claim that “gender” is a “social construct”. Most Leftist claims seem to be faith-based rather than founded on the facts

Leftists are classic weak characters. They dish out abuse by the bucketload but cannot take it when they get it back. Witness the Loughner hysteria.

Death taxes: You would expect a conscientious person, of whatever degree of intelligence, to reflect on the strange contradiction involved in denying people the right to unearned wealth, while supporting programs that give people unearned wealth.

America is no longer the land of the free. It is now the land of the regulated -- though it is not alone in that, of course

The Leftist motto: "I love humanity. It's just people I can't stand"

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

Envy is a strong and widespread human emotion so there has alway been widespread support for policies of economic "levelling". Both the USA and the modern-day State of Israel were founded by communists but reality taught both societies that respect for the individual gave much better outcomes than levelling ideas. Sadly, there are many people in both societies in whom hatred for others is so strong that they are incapable of respect for the individual. The destructiveness of what they support causes them to call themselves many names in different times and places but they are the backbone of the political Left

Gore Vidal: "Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little". Vidal was of course a Leftist

The large number of rich Leftists suggests that, for them, envy is secondary. They are directly driven by hatred and scorn for many of the other people that they see about them. Hatred of others can be rooted in many things, not only in envy. But the haters come together as the Left. Some evidence here showing that envy is not what defines the Left

Leftists hate the world around them and want to change it: the people in it most particularly. Conservatives just want to be left alone to make their own decisions and follow their own values.

The failure of the Soviet experiment has definitely made the American Left more vicious and hate-filled than they were. The plain failure of what passed for ideas among them has enraged rather than humbled them.

Ronald Reagan famously observed that the status quo is Latin for “the mess we’re in.” So much for the vacant Leftist claim that conservatives are simply defenders of the status quo. They think that conservatives are as lacking in principles as they are.

Was Confucius a conservative? The following saying would seem to reflect good conservative caution: "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved."

The shallow thinkers of the Left sometimes claim that conservatives want to impose their own will on others in the matter of abortion. To make that claim is however to confuse religion with politics. Conservatives are in fact divided about their response to abortion. The REAL opposition to abortion is religious rather than political. And the church which has historically tended to support the LEFT -- the Roman Catholic church -- is the most fervent in the anti-abortion cause. Conservatives are indeed the one side of politics to have moral qualms on the issue but they tend to seek a middle road in dealing with it. Taking the issue to the point of legal prohibitions is a religious doctrine rather than a conservative one -- and the religion concerned may or may not be characteristically conservative. More on that here

Some Leftist hatred arises from the fact that they blame "society" for their own personal problems and inadequacies

The Leftist hunger for change to the society that they hate leads to a hunger for control over other people. And they will do and say anything to get that control: "Power at any price". Leftist politicians are mostly self-aggrandizing crooks who gain power by deceiving the uninformed with snake-oil promises -- power which they invariably use to destroy. Destruction is all that they are good at. Destruction is what haters do.

Leftists are consistent only in their hate. They don't have principles. How can they when "there is no such thing as right and wrong"? All they have is postures, pretend-principles that can be changed as easily as one changes one's shirt

A Leftist assumption: Making money doesn't entitle you to it, but wanting money does.

"Politicians never accuse you of 'greed' for wanting other people's money -- only for wanting to keep your own money." --columnist Joe Sobran (1946-2010)

Leftist policies are candy-coated rat poison that may appear appealing at first, but inevitably do a lot of damage to everyone impacted by them.

A tribute and thanks to Mary Jo Kopechne. Her death was reprehensible but she probably did more by her death that she ever would have in life: She spared the world a President Ted Kennedy. That the heap of corruption that was Ted Kennedy died peacefully in his bed is one of the clearest demonstrations that we do not live in a just world. Even Joe Stalin seems to have been smothered to death by Nikita Khrushchev

I often wonder why Leftists refer to conservatives as "wingnuts". A wingnut is a very useful device that adds versatility wherever it is used. Clearly, Leftists are not even good at abuse. Once they have accused their opponents of racism and Nazism, their cupboard is bare. Similarly, Leftists seem to think it is a devastating critique to refer to "Worldnet Daily" as "Worldnut Daily". The poverty of their argumentation is truly pitiful

The Leftist assertion that there is no such thing as right and wrong has a distinguished history. It was Pontius Pilate who said "What is truth?" (John 18:38). From a Christian viewpoint, the assertion is undoubtedly the Devil's gospel

Even in the Old Testament they knew about "Postmodernism": "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

Was Solomon the first conservative? "The hearts of men are full of evil and madness is in their hearts" -- Ecclesiastes: 9:3 (RSV). He could almost have been talking about Global Warming.

Leftist hatred of Christianity goes back as far as the massacre of the Carmelite nuns during the French revolution. Yancey has written a whole book tabulating modern Leftist hatred of Christians. It is a rival religion to Leftism.

"If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action." - Ludwig von Mises

The naive scholar who searches for a consistent Leftist program will not find it. What there is consists only in the negation of the present.

Because of their need to be different from the mainstream, Leftists are very good at pretending that sow's ears are silk purses

Among intelligent people, Leftism is a character defect. Leftists HATE success in others -- which is why notably successful societies such as the USA and Israel are hated and failures such as the Palestinians can do no wrong.

A Leftist's beliefs are all designed to pander to his ego. So when you have an argument with a Leftist, you are not really discussing the facts. You are threatening his self esteem. Which is why the normal Leftist response to challenge is mere abuse.

Because of the fragility of a Leftist's ego, anything that threatens it is intolerable and provokes rage. So most Leftist blogs can be summarized in one sentence: "How DARE anybody question what I believe!". Rage and abuse substitute for an appeal to facts and reason.

Because their beliefs serve their ego rather than reality, Leftists just KNOW what is good for us. Conservatives need evidence.

Absolute certainty is the privilege of uneducated men and fanatics. -- C.J. Keyser

Hell is paved with good intentions" -- Boswell's Life of Johnson of 1775

"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus


"Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him" (Proverbs 26: 12). I think that sums up Leftists pretty well.

Eminent British astrophysicist Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington is often quoted as saying: "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine." It was probably in fact said by his contemporary, J.B.S. Haldane. But regardless of authorship, it could well be a conservative credo not only about the cosmos but also about human beings and human society. Mankind is too complex to be summed up by simple rules and even complex rules are only approximations with many exceptions.

Politics is the only thing Leftists know about. They know nothing of economics, history or business. Their only expertise is in promoting feelings of grievance

Socialism makes the individual the slave of the state -- capitalism frees them.

Many readers here will have noticed that what I say about Leftists sometimes sounds reminiscent of what Leftists say about conservatives. There is an excellent reason for that. Leftists are great "projectors" (people who see their own faults in others). So a good first step in finding out what is true of Leftists is to look at what they say about conservatives! They even accuse conservatives of projection (of course).

The research shows clearly that one's Left/Right stance is strongly genetically inherited but nobody knows just what specifically is inherited. What is inherited that makes people Leftist or Rightist? There is any amount of evidence that personality traits are strongly genetically inherited so my proposal is that hard-core Leftists are people who tend to let their emotions (including hatred and envy) run away with them and who are much more in need of seeing themselves as better than others -- two attributes that are probably related to one another. Such Leftists may be an evolutionary leftover from a more primitive past.

Leftists seem to believe that if someone like Al Gore says it, it must be right. They obviously have a strong need for an authority figure. The fact that the two most authoritarian regimes of the 20th century (Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia) were socialist is thus no surprise. Leftists often accuse conservatives of being "authoritarian" but that is just part of their usual "projective" strategy -- seeing in others what is really true of themselves.

"With their infernal racial set-asides, racial quotas, and race norming, liberals share many of the Klan's premises. The Klan sees the world in terms of race and ethnicity. So do liberals! Indeed, liberals and white supremacists are the only people left in America who are neurotically obsessed with race. Conservatives champion a color-blind society" -- Ann Coulter

Politicians are in general only a little above average in intelligence so the idea that they can make better decisions for us that we can make ourselves is laughable

A quote from the late Dr. Adrian Rogers: "You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

The Supreme Court of the United States is now and always has been a judicial abomination. Its guiding principles have always been political rather than judicial. It is not as political as Stalin's courts but its respect for the constitution is little better. Some recent abuses: The "equal treatment" provision of the 14th amendment was specifically written to outlaw racial discrimination yet the court has allowed various forms of "affirmative action" for decades -- when all such policies should have been completely stuck down immediately. The 2nd. amendment says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed yet gun control laws infringe it in every State in the union. The 1st amendment provides that speech shall be freely exercised yet the court has upheld various restrictions on the financing and display of political advertising. The court has found a right to abortion in the constitution when the word abortion is not even mentioned there. The court invents rights that do not exist and denies rights that do.

"Some action that is unconstitutional has much to recommend it" -- Elena Kagan, nominated to SCOTUS by Obama

Frank Sulloway, the anti-scientist

The basic aim of all bureaucrats is to maximize their funding and minimize their workload

A lesson in Australian: When an Australian calls someone a "big-noter", he is saying that the person is a chronic and rather pathetic seeker of admiration -- as in someone who often pulls out "big notes" (e.g. $100.00 bills) to pay for things, thus endeavouring to create the impression that he is rich. The term describes the mentality rather than the actual behavior with money and it aptly describes many Leftists. When they purport to show "compassion" by advocating things that cost themselves nothing (e.g. advocating more taxes on "the rich" to help "the poor"), an Australian might say that the Leftist is "big-noting himself". There is an example of the usage here. The term conveys contempt. There is a wise description of Australians generally here

Some ancient wisdom for Leftists: "Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself over wise: Why shouldest thou die before thy time?" -- Ecclesiastes 7:16

Jesse Jackson: "There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery -- then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved." There ARE important racial differences.

Some Jimmy Carter wisdom: "I think it's inevitable that there will be a lower standard of living than what everybody had always anticipated," he told advisers in 1979. "there's going to be a downward turning."

Heritage is what survives death: Very rare and hence very valuable

Big business is not your friend. As Adam Smith said: "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty or justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary

How can I accept the Communist doctrine, which sets up as its bible, above and beyond criticism, an obsolete textbook which I know not only to be scientifically erroneous but without interest or application to the modern world? How can I adopt a creed which, preferring the mud to the fish, exalts the boorish proletariat above the bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia, who with all their faults, are the quality of life and surely carry the seeds of all human achievement? Even if we need a religion, how can we find it in the turbid rubbish of the red bookshop? It is hard for an educated, decent, intelligent son of Western Europe to find his ideals here, unless he has first suffered some strange and horrid process of conversion which has changed all his values. -- John Maynard Keynes

Some wisdom from "Bron" Waugh: "The purpose of politics is to help them [politicians] overcome these feelings of inferiority and compensate for their personal inadequacies in the pursuit of power"

"There are countless horrible things happening all over the country, and horrible people prospering, but we must never allow them to disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to sabotage and annoy them whenever possible"

The urge to pass new laws must be seen as an illness, not much different from the urge to bite old women. Anyone suspected of suffering from it should either be treated with the appropriate pills or, if it is too late for that, elected to Parliament [or Congress, as the case may be] and paid a huge salary with endless holidays, to do nothing whatever"

"It is my settled opinion, after some years as a political correspondent, that no one is attracted to a political career in the first place unless he is socially or emotionally crippled"

Two lines below of a famous hymn that would be incomprehensible to Leftists today ("honor"? "right"? "freedom?" Freedom to agree with them is the only freedom they believe in)

First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean

It is of course the hymn of the USMC -- still today the relentless warriors that they always were. Freedom needs a soldier

If any of the short observations above about Leftism seem wrong, note that they do not stand alone. The evidence for them is set out at great length in my MONOGRAPH on Leftism.

3 memoirs of "Supermac", a 20th century Disraeli (Aristocratic British Conservative Prime Minister -- 1957 to 1963 -- Harold Macmillan):

"It breaks my heart to see (I can't interfere or do anything at my age) what is happening in our country today - this terrible strike of the best men in the world, who beat the Kaiser's army and beat Hitler's army, and never gave in. Pointless, endless. We can't afford that kind of thing. And then this growing division which the noble Lord who has just spoken mentioned, of a comparatively prosperous south, and an ailing north and midlands. That can't go on." -- Mac on the British working class: "the best men in the world" (From his Maiden speech in the House of Lords, 13 November 1984)

"As a Conservative, I am naturally in favour of returning into private ownership and private management all those means of production and distribution which are now controlled by state capitalism"

During Macmillan's time as prime minister, average living standards steadily rose while numerous social reforms were carried out

"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see." --?Arthur Schopenhauer


The Bible is an Israeli book

There is a view on both Left and Right that Jews are "too" influential. And it is true that they are more influential than their numbers would indicate. But they are exactly as influential as their IQs would indicate

To me, hostility to the Jews is a terrible tragedy. I weep for them at times. And I do literally put my money where my mouth is. I do at times send money to Israeli charities

My (Gentile) opinion of antisemitism: The Jews are the best we've got so killing them is killing us.

It’s a strange paradox when anti-Zionists argue that Jews should suffer and wander without a homeland while urging that Palestinians ought to have security and territory.

"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" -- Genesis 12:3

"O pray for the peace of Jerusalem: They shall prosper that love thee" Psalm 122:6.

If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy -- Psalm 137 (NIV)

Israel, like the Jews throughout history, is hated not for her vices but her virtues. Israel is hated, as the United States is hated, because Israel is successful, because Israel is free, and because Israel is good. As Maxim Gorky put it: “Whatever nonsense the anti-Semites may talk, they dislike the Jew only because he is obviously better, more adroit, and more willing and capable of work than they are.” Whether driven by culture or genes—or like most behavior, an inextricable mix—the fact of Jewish genius is demonstrable." -- George Gilder

To Leftist haters, all the basic rules of liberal society — rejection of hate speech, commitment to academic freedom, rooting out racism, the absolute commitment to human dignity — go out the window when the subject is Israel.

I have always liked the story of Gideon (See Judges chapters 6 to 8) and it is surely no surprise that in the present age Israel is the Gideon of nations: Few in numbers but big in power and impact.

Is the Israel Defence Force the most effective military force per capita since Genghis Khan? They probably are but they are also the most ethically advanced military force that the world has ever seen

If I were not an atheist, I would believe that God had a sense of humour. He gave his chosen people (the Jews) enormous advantages -- high intelligence and high drive -- but to keep it fair he deprived them of something hugely important too: Political sense. So Jews to this day tend very strongly to be Leftist -- even though the chief source of antisemitism for roughly the last 200 years has been the political Left!

And the other side of the coin is that Jews tend to despise conservatives and Christians. Yet American fundamentalist Christians are the bedrock of the vital American support for Israel, the ultimate bolthole for all Jews. So Jewish political irrationality seems to be a rather good example of the saying that "The LORD giveth and the LORD taketh away". There are many other examples of such perversity (or "balance"). The sometimes severe side-effects of most pharmaceutical drugs is an obvious one but there is another ethnic example too, a rather amusing one. Chinese people are in general smart and patient people but their rate of traffic accidents in China is about 10 times higher than what prevails in Western societies. They are brilliant mathematicians and fearless business entrepreneurs but at the same time bad drivers!

Conservatives, on the other hand, could be antisemitic on entirely rational grounds: Namely, the overwhelming Leftism of the Diaspora Jewish population as a whole. Because they judge the individual, however, only a tiny minority of conservative-oriented people make such general judgments. The longer Jews continue on their "stiff-necked" course, however, the more that is in danger of changing. The children of Israel have been a stiff necked people since the days of Moses, however, so they will no doubt continue to vote with their emotions rather than their reason.

I despair of the ADL. Jews have enough problems already and yet in the ADL one has a prominent Jewish organization that does its best to make itself offensive to Christians. Their Leftism is more important to them than the welfare of Jewry -- which is the exact opposite of what they ostensibly stand for! Jewish cleverness seems to vanish when politics are involved. Fortunately, Christians are true to their saviour and have loving hearts. Jewish dissatisfaction with the myopia of the ADL is outlined here. Note that Foxy was too grand to reply to it.

Fortunately for America, though, liberal Jews there are rapidly dying out through intermarriage and failure to reproduce. And the quite poisonous liberal Jews of Israel are not much better off. Judaism is slowly returning to Orthodoxy and the Orthodox tend to be conservative.

The above is good testimony to the accuracy of the basic conservative insight that almost anything in human life is too complex to be reduced to any simple rule and too complex to be reduced to any rule at all without allowance for important exceptions to the rule concerned

Amid their many virtues, one virtue is often lacking among Jews in general and Israelis in particular: Humility. And that's an antisemitic comment only if Hashem is antisemitic. From Moses on, the Hebrew prophets repeatedy accused the Israelites of being "stiff-necked" and urged them to repent. So it's no wonder that the greatest Jewish prophet of all -- Jesus -- not only urged humility but exemplified it in his life and death

"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here. For roughly two centuries now, antisemitism has, throughout the Western world, been principally associated with Leftism (including the socialist Hitler) -- as it is to this day. See here.

Karl Marx hated just about everyone. Even his father, the kindly Heinrich Marx, thought Karl was not much of a human being

Leftists call their hatred of Israel "Anti-Zionism" but Zionists are only a small minority in Israel

Some of the Leftist hatred of Israel is motivated by old-fashioned antisemitism (beliefs in Jewish "control" etc.) but most of it is just the regular Leftist hatred of success in others. And because the societies they inhabit do not give them the vast amount of recognition that their large but weak egos need, some of the most virulent haters of Israel and America live in those countries. So the hatred is the product of pathologically high self-esteem.

Their threatened egos sometimes drive Leftists into quite desperate flights from reality. For instance, they often call Israel an "Apartheid state" -- when it is in fact the Arab states that practice Apartheid -- witness the severe restrictions on Christians in Saudi Arabia. There are no such restrictions in Israel.

If the Palestinians put down their weapons, there'd be peace. If the Israelis put down their weapons, there'd be genocide.


Many people hunger and thirst after righteousness. Some find it in the hatreds of the Left. Others find it in the love of Christ. I don't hunger and thirst after righteousness at all. I hunger and thirst after truth. How old-fashioned can you get?

The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody. And I have NO investments in oil companies, mining companies or "Big Pharma"

UPDATE: Despite my (statistical) aversion to mining stocks, I have recently bought a few shares in BHP -- the world's biggest miner, I gather. I run the grave risk of becoming a speaker of famous last words for saying this but I suspect that BHP is now so big as to be largely immune from the risks that plague most mining companies. I also know of no issue affecting BHP where my writings would have any relevance. The Left seem to have a visceral hatred of miners. I have never quite figured out why.

I imagine that few of my readers will understand it, but I am an unabashed monarchist. And, as someone who was born and bred in a monarchy and who still lives there (i.e. Australia), that gives me no conflicts at all. In theory, one's respect for the monarchy does not depend on who wears the crown but the impeccable behaviour of the present Queen does of course help perpetuate that respect. Aside from my huge respect for the Queen, however, my favourite member of the Royal family is the redheaded Prince Harry. The Royal family is of course a military family and Prince Harry is a great example of that. As one of the world's most privileged people, he could well be an idle layabout but instead he loves his life in the army. When his girlfriend Chelsy ditched him because he was so often away, Prince Harry said: "I love Chelsy but the army comes first". A perfect military man! I doubt that many women would understand or approve of his attitude but perhaps my own small army background powers my approval of that attitude.

I imagine that most Americans might find this rather mad -- but I believe that a constitutional Monarchy is the best form of government presently available. Can a libertarian be a Monarchist? I think so -- and prominent British libertarian Sean Gabb seems to think so too! Long live the Queen! (And note that Australia ranks well above the USA on the Index of Economic freedom. Heh!)

The Australian flag with the Union Jack quartered in it

Throughout Europe there is an association between monarchism and conservatism. It is a little sad that American conservatives do not have access to that satisfaction. So even though Australia is much more distant from Europe (geographically) than the USA is, Australia is in some ways more of an outpost of Europe than America is! Mind you: Australia is not very atypical of its region. Australia lies just South of Asia -- and both Japan and Thailand have greatly respected monarchies. And the demise of the Cambodian monarchy was disastrous for Cambodia

Throughout the world today, possession of a U.S. or U.K. passport is greatly valued. I once shared that view. Developments in recent years have however made me profoundly grateful that I am a 5th generation Australian. My Australian passport is a door into a much less oppressive and much less messed-up place than either the USA or Britain

Following the Sotomayor precedent, I would hope that a wise older white man such as myself with the richness of that experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than someone who hasn’t lived that life.

IQ and ideology: Most academics are Left-leaning. Why? Because very bright people who have balls go into business, while very bright people with no balls go into academe. I did both with considerable success, which makes me a considerable rarity. Although I am a born academic, I have always been good with money too. My share portfolio even survived the GFC in good shape. The academics hate it that bright people with balls make more money than them.

I have no hesitation in saying that the single book which has influenced me most is the New Testament. And my Scripture blog will show that I know whereof I speak. Some might conclude that I must therefore be a very confused sort of atheist but I can assure everyone that I do not feel the least bit confused. The New Testament is a lighthouse that has illumined the thinking of all sorts of men and women and I am deeply grateful that it has shone on me.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age. Conservatism is in touch with reality. Leftism is not.

I imagine that the RD are still sending mailouts to my 1950s address

Most teenagers have sporting and movie posters on their bedroom walls. At age 14 I had a map of Taiwan on my wall.

"Remind me never to get this guy mad at me" -- Instapundit

It seems to be a common view that you cannot talk informatively about a country unless you have been there. I completely reject that view but it is nonetheless likely that some Leftist dimbulb will at some stage aver that any comments I make about politics and events in the USA should not be heeded because I am an Australian who has lived almost all his life in Australia. I am reluctant to pander to such ignorance in the era of the "global village" but for the sake of the argument I might mention that I have visited the USA 3 times -- spending enough time in Los Angeles and NYC to get to know a fair bit about those places at least. I did however get outside those places enough to realize that they are NOT America.

"Intellectual" = Leftist dreamer. I have more publications in the academic journals than almost all "public intellectuals" but I am never called an intellectual and nor would I want to be. Call me a scholar or an academic, however, and I will accept either as a just and earned appellation

A small personal note: I have always been very self-confident. I inherited it from my mother, along with my skeptical nature. So I don't need to feed my self-esteem by claiming that I am wiser than others -- which is what Leftists do.

As with conservatives generally, it bothers me not a bit to admit to large gaps in my knowledge and understanding. For instance, I don't know if the slight global warming of the 20th century will resume in the 21st, though I suspect not. And I don't know what a "healthy" diet is, if there is one. Constantly-changing official advice on the matter suggests that nobody knows

Leftists are usually just anxious little people trying to pretend that they are significant. No doubt there are some Leftists who are genuinely concerned about inequities in our society but their arrogance lies in thinking that they understand it without close enquiry

My academic background

My full name is Dr. John Joseph RAY. I am a former university teacher aged 65 at the time of writing in 2009. I was born of Australian pioneer stock in 1943 at Innisfail in the State of Queensland in Australia. I trace my ancestry wholly to the British Isles. After an early education at Innisfail State Rural School and Cairns State High School, I taught myself for matriculation. I took my B.A. in Psychology from the University of Queensland in Brisbane. I then moved to Sydney (in New South Wales, Australia) and took my M.A. in psychology from the University of Sydney in 1969 and my Ph.D. from the School of Behavioural Sciences at Macquarie University in 1974. I first tutored in psychology at Macquarie University and then taught sociology at the University of NSW. My doctorate is in psychology but I taught mainly sociology in my 14 years as a university teacher. In High Schools I taught economics. I have taught in both traditional and "progressive" (low discipline) High Schools. Fuller biographical notes here

I completed the work for my Ph.D. at the end of 1970 but the degree was not awarded until 1974 -- due to some academic nastiness from Seymour Martin Lipset and Fred Emery. A conservative or libertarian who makes it through the academic maze has to be at least twice as good as the average conformist Leftist. Fortunately, I am a born academic.

Despite my great sympathy and respect for Christianity, I am the most complete atheist you could find. I don't even believe that the word "God" is meaningful. I am not at all original in that view, of course. Such views are particularly associated with the noted German philosopher Rudolf Carnap. Unlike Carnap, however, none of my wives have committed suicide

Very occasionally in my writings I make reference to the greats of analytical philosophy such as Carnap and Wittgenstein. As philosophy is a heavily Leftist discipline however, I have long awaited an attack from some philosopher accusing me of making coat-trailing references not backed by any real philosophical erudition. I suppose it is encouraging that no such attacks have eventuated but I thought that I should perhaps forestall them anyway -- by pointing out that in my younger days I did complete three full-year courses in analytical philosophy (at 3 different universities!) and that I have had papers on mainstream analytical philosophy topics published in academic journals

As well as being an academic, I am an army man and I am pleased and proud to say that I have worn my country's uniform. Although my service in the Australian army was chiefly noted for its un-notability, I DID join voluntarily in the Vietnam era, I DID reach the rank of Sergeant, and I DID volunteer for a posting in Vietnam. So I think I may be forgiven for saying something that most army men think but which most don't say because they think it is too obvious: The profession of arms is the noblest profession of all because it is the only profession where you offer to lay down your life in performing your duties. Our men fought so that people could say and think what they like but I myself always treat military men with great respect -- respect which in my view is simply their due.

A real army story here

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day and there is JUST ONE saying of Hitler's that I rather like. It may not even be original to him but it is found in chapter 2 of Mein Kampf (published in 1925): "Widerstaende sind nicht da, dass man vor ihnen kapituliert, sondern dass man sie bricht". The equivalent English saying is "Difficulties exist to be overcome" and that traces back at least to the 1920s -- with attributions to Montessori and others. Hitler's metaphor is however one of smashing barriers rather than of politely hopping over them and I am myself certainly more outspoken than polite. Hitler's colloquial Southern German is notoriously difficult to translate but I think I can manage a reasonable translation of that saying: "Resistance is there not for us to capitulate to but for us to break". I am quite sure that I don't have anything like that degree of determination in my own life but it seems to me to be a good attitude in general anyway

And something that was perceptive comes from the same chapter. Hitler said that the doctrines of the interwar Social Democrats (mainstream leftists) of Vienna were "comprised of egotism and hate". Not much has changed

I have used many sites to post my writings over the years and many have gone bad on me for various reasons. So if you click on a link here to my other writings you may get a "page not found" response if the link was put up some time before the present. All is not lost, however. All my writings have been reposted elsewhere. If you do strike a failed link, just take the filename (the last part of the link) and add it to the address of any of my current home pages and -- Voila! -- you should find the article concerned.

COMMENTS: I have gradually added comments facilities to all my blogs. The comments I get are interesting. They are mostly from Leftists and most consist either of abuse or mere assertions. Reasoned arguments backed up by references to supporting evidence are almost unheard of from Leftists. Needless to say, I just delete such useless comments.

You can email me here (Hotmail address). In emailing me, you can address me as "John", "Jon", "Dr. Ray" or "JR" and that will be fine -- but my preference is for "JR" -- and that preference has NOTHING to do with an American soap opera that featured a character who was referred to in that way


"Tongue Tied"
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"Australian Politics"
"Education Watch International"
"Political Correctness Watch"
"Greenie Watch"
Western Heart


"Marx & Engels in their own words"
"A scripture blog"
"Some memoirs"
To be continued ....
Coral reef compendium.
Queensland Police
Australian Police News
Paralipomena (3)
Of Interest
Dagmar Schellenberger
My alternative Wikipedia


"Food & Health Skeptic"
"Eye on Britain"
"Immigration Watch International".
"Leftists as Elitists"
Socialized Medicine
QANTAS -- A dying octopus
BRIAN LEITER (Ladderman)
Obama Watch
Obama Watch (2)
Dissecting Leftism -- Large font site
Michael Darby
Paralipomena (2)
AGL -- A bumbling monster
Telstra/Bigpond follies
Optus bungling
Vodafrauds (vodafone)
Bank of Queensland blues

There are also two blogspot blogs which record what I think are my main recent articles here and here. Similar content can be more conveniently accessed via my subject-indexed list of short articles here or here (I rarely write long articles these days)

Some more useful links

Alt archives for "Dissecting Leftism" here or here
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General Backup 2

Selected reading



Rightism defined
Leftist Churches
Leftist Racism
Fascism is Leftist
Hitler a socialist
Leftism is authoritarian
James on Leftism
Irbe on Leftism
Beltt on Leftism
Van Hiel
Pyszczynski et al.

Cautionary blogs about big Australian organizations:

Bank of Queensland
Queensland Police
Australian police news
QANTAS, a dying octopus

Main academic menu
Menu of recent writings
basic home page
Pictorial Home Page
Selected pictures from blogs (Backup here)
Another picture page (Rarely updated)

Note: If the link to one of my articles is not working, the article concerned can generally be viewed by prefixing to the filename the following:

OR: (After 2015)