Sunday, November 30, 2008

Google chicanery worsens

You can read here the story about how Pamela Geller and her "Atlas Shrugged" blog have been "sandboxed" by Google -- meaning that her page-ranking has been stripped -- which in turn means that Google searches that should put her stuff on the front page of results in fact lead to her site only at the very end of the search results.

I used the search term: "couple of days ago I was wiped off google search pages". It is from one of Pamela's recent posts, a post that I and many other conservative bloggers have reproduced. And because so many people have linked to it, it should have appeared at the top of the search results. It did not. All the posts by other people (including mine) came first and the original post came up only at the bottom of the searches. So it is crystal clear that Google is now deliberately perverting its own automatic ranking system to divert attention away from blogs it does not like. And because lots of people go no further than the first page of search results, that is a very effective form of censorship. Obama is not yet even in office and the censorship of conservative speech has begun!

I wondered whether Google was doing something similar to this blog and it looks like they do. Let me explain: There are no less than five group-blogs where the owners have kindly given me posting privileges -- in addition to my own 11 regular blogs. So most days I post to 16 blogs. What I post on the group blogs are one or two cross-posts of what I think are the more widely interesting posts on my own blogs.

Since only one of the group blogs gets more readers than this one, it seems likely that their page rank should be behind this one. There are around 1,500 links leading to this blog according to Technorati -- and that is pretty good as blogs go. So anything appearing here should come up close to top in search results. I checked, however, and it did not. Results from this blog appeared LAST. I found that a post put up on one of the group blogs will be listed in a Google search result BEFORE the same post on this blog. So my page ranking appears to have been manually tampered with too.

But I am not as driven as Pamela so as long as my posts are listed at all I am happy. Most of my posts are recycled bits from elsewhere anyway and the stuff that is original to me is VERY original (What other conservative blog has extolled the Eton Boating Song, for instance?) so, for want of competition, my own thoughts should still appear well up on searches even if their page-rank is low. The time may come however when Google completely delists pesky conservative bloggers like me. America will be well on the road to Fascism when that happens.


St. Andrew's Day

As most Scots will be aware, today (30th) is St. Andrew's Day. Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and St. Andrew's Day is Scotland's official national day, although Burns' Night is more widely and lavishly celebrated. It is a "bank holiday" in Scotland. So I have just hoisted the Saltire of St. Andrew on the flagpole at the front of my house. I encourage others with Scottish loyalties to do likewise. I am also hoping that I will be having something Scottish for dinner tonight. I seem to be out of haggis but I do have some Forfar Bridies in my freezer -- to be had with tatties, of course.

Below is one of the great Scottish patriotic songs. Play the music, read the words and sing along:


1). Hark when the night is falling,
Hear! hear the pipes are calling,
Loudly and proudly calling,
Down thro' the glen.
There where the hills are sleeping,
Now feel the blood a-leaping,
High as the spirits of the old Highland men.

Chorus: Towering in gallant fame,
Scotland my mountain hame,
High may your proud standards gloriously wave,
Land of my high endeavour,
Land of the shining river,
Land of my heart for ever,
Scotland the brave.

2). High in the misty Highlands
Out by the purple islands,
Brave are the hearts that beat
Beneath Scottish skies.
Wild are the winds to meet you,
Staunch are the friends that greet you,
Kind as the love that shines from fair maidens' eyes.


3). Far off in sunlit places
Sad are the Scottish faces,
Yearning to feel the kiss
Of sweet Scottish rain.
Where the tropics are beaming
Love sets the heart a-dreaming,
Longing and dreaming for the hameland again.


4). Hot as a burning ember, (This verse is not always sung)
Flaming in bleak December
Burning within the hearts
Of clansmen afar!
Calling to home and fire,
Calling the sweet desire,
Shining a light that beckons from every star!



BOOK REVIEW OF: Leave Us Alone by Grover Norquist

This is a book about politics in America. Norquist-the President of Americans for Tax Reform-argues there are two great coalitions struggling for control of government. They are the "Takings Coalition" and the "Leave Us Alone Coalition". After defining these coalitions, he weaves a lucid outline of the American political scene, including history, policy, tactics, demographic trends, and possible outcomes.

The book initially appears partisan as it has a clear "Republican good"/"Democrat bad" flavor to it. This is a little bit misleading, since the conflict discussed is really between the interest groups both political parties tend to represent. Norquist criticizes Republicans who have not advanced the cause of the Leave Us Alone Coalition, either in terms of policy or in terms of poor political presentation of policy. Winning an election is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

The book presents a game plan to unseat Democratic incumbents who support big government. Privatization of Social Security accounts and establishment of medical savings accounts are part of creating the ownership society discussed earlier in the Bush Administration. These are sellable ideas that can move people away from government dependency. There is also a long and coherent addressing of Federal tax policy and helpful ideas on how to reform and reduce the tax bite.

The problem is getting those who naturally support a "leave us alone worldview" to recognize the common themes in their coalition and concentrate on bringing them to the attention of the electorate. Any one who violates basic rules such as opposition to tax hikes needs to be thrown over the side so that a clear branding of ideas exists in the minds of voters. I know Grover has worked tirelessly on trying to achieve this. I believe his game plan will work. I can only hope more people will adopt it.



List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Obama supporters were ignoramuses

Just 2% of voters who supported Barack Obama on Election Day obtained perfect or near-perfect scores on a post election test which gauged their knowledge of statements and scandals associated with the presidential tickets during the campaign, a new Zogby International telephone poll shows. Only 54% of Obama voters were able to answer at least half or more of the questions correctly.

The 12-question, multiple-choice survey found questions regarding statements linked to Republican presidential candidate John McCain and his vice-presidential running-mate Sarah Palin were far more likely to be answered correctly by Obama voters than questions about statements associated with Obama and Vice-President-Elect Joe Biden. The telephone survey of 512 Obama voters nationwide was conducted Nov. 13-15, 2008, and carries a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points. The survey was commissioned by John Ziegler, author of The Death of Free Speech, producer of the recently released film "Blocking the Path to 9/11" and producer of the upcoming documentary film, Media Malpractice...How Obama Got Elected.

"After I interviewed Obama voters on Election Day for my documentary, I had a pretty low opinion of what most of them had picked up from the media coverage of the campaign, but this poll really proves beyond any doubt the stunning level of malpractice on the part of the media in not educating the Obama portion of the voting populace," said Ziegler.

Ninety-four percent of Obama voters correctly identified Palin as the candidate with a pregnant teenage daughter, 86% correctly identified Palin as the candidate associated with a $150,000 wardrobe purchased by her political party, and 81% chose McCain as the candidate who was unable to identify the number of houses he owned. When asked which candidate said they could "see Russia from their house," 87% chose Palin, although the quote actually is attributed to Saturday Night Live's Tina Fey during her portrayal of Palin during the campaign. An answer of "none" or "Palin" was counted as a correct answer on the test, given that the statement was associated with a characterization of Palin.

Obama voters did not fare nearly as well overall when asked to answer questions about statements or stories associated with Obama or Biden -- 83% failed to correctly answer that Obama had won his first election by getting all of his opponents removed from the ballot, and 88% did not correctly associate Obama with his statement that his energy policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry. Most (56%) were also not able to correctly answer that Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground.

Nearly three quarters (72%) of Obama voters did not correctly identify Biden as the candidate who had to quit a previous campaign for President because he was found to have plagiarized a speech, and nearly half (47%) did not know that Biden was the one who predicted Obama would be tested by a generated international crisis during his first six months as President.

In addition to questions regarding statements and scandals associated with the campaigns, the 12-question, multiple-choice survey also included a question asking which political party controlled both houses of Congress leading up to the election -- 57% of Obama voters were unable to correctly answer that Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate.




The Religion of Peace Strikes Again: "The attacks in Mumbai, India are the latest in the 1,400 year history of Islam and yet people continue to express surprise that the alleged religion of peace could harbor so many cold-blooded killers of innocent people. Since 9/11, Muslims have carried out more than 11,000 attacks all in the name of Islam and Muhammad. Americans got a taste of it when 3,000 of their own were mercilessly killed without warning and, I might add, without any better reason than Muhammad's call to "wage war against such of the infidels as are your neighbors." With more than 1.3 billion Muslims in the world, about 21 percent of the world's population, that's a lot of neighbors and wherever Muslims are gathered in great numbers or wherever they have immigrated, the demand for unbelievers is always the same, convert or die. The death toll in Mumbai as of this writing is nearing 130 and the target area, just as with 9/11's attack on the World Trade Center, is the financial center of India. Islam takes a dim view of capitalism wherever it is practiced, but then Islam takes a dim view of everything that is not Islamic."

Hard Truths For RINOS : "After a GOP beating, there is always a debate between the people who want the party to become more principled and those who want to turn the GOP into a poll-driven pile of mush that they believe will be more appealing to centrists. The problem with this whole discussion is that the "we need to be more moderate" crowd tends to simply ignore a number of inconvenient facts that make their position completely untenable. We've already gone the moderate route -- and lost. One of the most surreal aspects of the post-2008 campaign is listening to moderates pretend that the last eight years never happened. You say that the GOP can't win as a small government party. Well, we've already tried being a big government party for the last 8 years and it failed. You think running a moderate, pro-amnesty candidate who eschews social issues is the key to winning elections? Well, that's who we ran in 2008 and he received even less votes than George Bush did in 2004"

Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State would be unconstitutional: "The Emoluments Clause of Article I, section 6 provides "No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time." As I understand it, President Bush's executive order from earlier this year "encreased" the "Emoluments" (salary) of the office of Secretary of State. Last I checked, Hillary Clinton was an elected Senator from New York at the time. Were she to be appointed to the civil Office of Secretary of State, she would be being appointed to an office for which "the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased" during the time for which she was elected to serve as Senator. The plain language of the Emoluments Clause would thus appear to bar her appointment ... if the Constitution is taken seriously"

Prominent conservative blog blacklisted by Google: "A couple of days ago I was wiped off google search pages. Yes, if you google Pamela Geller or Atlas Shrugs, I come up, that is not the issue. My work is not there, it does not come up in google's search results. It is critical to building Atlas that I be searchable.Youtube searches are still intact as are images. Further my google search box (left sidebar) which I use almost constantly to search my site for reasearch (as do my readers) has been dramtically affaected. Input any term, any word in my search box and the same thing comes up - FORBIDDEN."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Friday, November 28, 2008

Lucky me!

It took them a week but Google have decided that this is not a spam blog after all. So they have lifted their restrictions. In the past, a review request to them used to produce a response within 1 or 2 days so I wonder what took so long this time. Maybe the fate of this blog had to be "kicked upstairs" to the "big boys" for a decision to be produced!


Don't know much about history--Public officials edition

US elected officials scored abysmally on a test measuring their civic knowledge, with an average grade of just 44 percent, the group that organized the exam said Thursday. Ordinary citizens did not fare much better, scoring just 49 percent correct on the 33 exam questions compiled by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI)....

Among the questions asked of some 2,500 people who were randomly selected to take the test, including "self-identified elected officials," was one which asked respondents to "name two countries that were our enemies during World War II." Sixty-nine percent of respondents correctly identified Germany and Japan. Among the incorrect answers were Britain, China, Russia, Canada, Mexico and Spain.

Forty percent of respondents, meanwhile, incorrectly believed that the US president has the power to declare war, while 54 percent correctly answered that that power rests with Congress.

Asked about the electoral college, 20 percent of elected officials incorrectly said it was established to "supervise the first televised presidential debates." In fact, the system of choosing the US president via an indirect electoral college vote dates back some 220 years, to the US Constitution.

The question that received the fewest correct responses, just 16 percent, tested respondents' basic understanding of economic principles, asking why "free markets typically secure more economic prosperity than government's centralized planning?" ...

I think they have blundered into an explanation of liberalism. It requires an ignorance of history and economics to survive. As the recent Zogby poll indicated Obama voters were even grossly ignorant of facts related to the election campaign. What is really strange about this is that liberals tend to think they are the smartest people in the room. Go figure.



BrookesNews Update

America is in recession and the Democrat sare to make it worse: Obama's destructive economic program is causing havoc on the markets that could lead to a run on the dollar. His silence on the economy and what needs to be done is only aggravating the situation. One thing, however, is absolutely clear: Obama is utterly clueless on the economy
Why Obama's economic program will collapse: Any attempt to kick-start an economy with a program of public works, more regulations, higher taxes and greater government spending is doomed to fail. Such a program failed under Roosevelt, if failed in Japan and it will fail under Obama if he implements
Obama appoints Castro-lover as White House counsel : Obama's appointment of Gregory Craig as White House counsel is further evidence of just how leftwing - not to mention anti-American - the Obama regime could be. Craig is a truly nasty leftist and Castro-lover
The Democrats' economic stupidity and Detroit's big three : The majority of Americans are opposed to the Democrats' proposal to bailout Detroit. They are right to oppose it. The bailout would be the first of more payments all of which would be used to prop up an important Democrat constituency. If Detroit is to be then let the market do it. Any alternative is doomed to failure
Is "being born an American still first prize in the lottery of life?" : In the 1960s President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty. In the end poverty grew in numbers and trillions of dollars spent did nothing more than enlarge government
The Henry Waxman wane: Henry Waxman, green fanatic, bullyboy and political bigot has been made chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Further evidence of how extreme an Obama regime will be
Evil on a Minneapolis Campus: Political bigotry on campuses is not new, it is plainly clear, in these supposed bastions of free inquiry. They've become politicized to the core. Free speech itself is imperilled by oppressive codes. Leftwing professors rule. Conservatives are muzzled. It runs one-way on campuses, fiercely anti-Republican and, in general if not more so, wildly against all conservatives
Donkeys, rinos, and pumas. Oh my! Can we be please conservatives now: The Republican Party must become the new progressive. It must shelve its clever electoral strategies and muster the courage to be faithful to its principles even if polling data says to lie, or at least equivocate
Why they quit being leftists: Marxism is based on a major intellectual mistake and on a lamentable lack of morality that inevitably led to disaster and terror. That is why the more intelligent people, and those who were genuinely interested in their neighbors, abandoned it. The book Why I Quit Being a Leftist explains that with irrefutable clarity



The Teflon President-Elect : ""How long do you think it will take for the press to turn on Obama?" a friend asked. "Eight years, if he's in that long," I told him. "Doesn't matter what happens. Either they'll blame Bush or 'circumstances beyond Obama's control' while writing articles about how heroically Obama handles them." It's already started."

Some positive thoughts: "Many Americans have lost their homes or their jobs. Many others are struggling to afford gas or groceries. These times are not easy for anyone, but we should not despair. Our lives are not defined by how much we own or where we live. Our worth is not dependent on our material possessions. Our relationship to God and to our fellow man is what really defines us. God, family, and community always remain, despite our financial difficulties. These are the things for which we should give thanks. There is a temptation to worry obsessively about our financial plight. But this temptation betrays too great a reliance on self. God knows our needs and He cares for us. The Gospel of Luke assures us that God cares for the birds of the air, the lilies, and the grass of the field and that we are more valuable to Him than they (Luke 12). He assures us that he will provide for us if we will but seek his kingdom. In good times and bad, he exhorts us to place our confidence not in ourselves but in him. We, of course, have a duty to make wise, careful decisions, but we will not add "a single hour" to our lives by worrying. (Luke 12:25 NIV) We have better things to do with our energy. Worry helps no one and harms our souls"


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Thursday, November 27, 2008


I have put up a "Thanksgiving" edition of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH. Thanksgiving is of course a continuation of traditional harvest festivals. Human beings have always joyously celebrated a successful harvest and given thanks to their Gods for it. It takes the hate-filled modern-day Left to find any fault with that.


More on the emotional difference between Leftists and Rightists

What Thanksgiving has in common with Eton College!

A few days ago, I put up a post which characterized Leftism as the politics of rage. But all I said about conservatives was that they are cautious. But caution is not really an emotion. It is a disposition and some emotions have to go with that but I think I should say a little more about what those emotions are.

What I did mention is that conservatives are always shown in research as being happier than Leftists and that leads into what I think is important. Because conservatives are NOT full of rage, they feel free to enjoy whatever is around them. And one of the great satisfactions in human life is fellowship: Feeling part of a group of people whom you like or respect. So instead of screaming "racism" at every sign of group loyalty, conservatives can simply enjoy their group loyalties. They are untroubled patriots, for instance.

So American conservatives can feel warm inside to be Americans and they can greatly value the fellowship they find in their church. And where conservatives diverge most strongly from Leftists is that they can also feel a sense of fellowship and belonging with their ancestors and forebears. We often see this very strongly expressed among American conservatives when they talk about the "Founders" of the nation and the wisdom the founders bequeathed in the Constitution etc. And such thoughts are of course often to the fore on Thanksgiving day.

And another common expression of solidarity with the past is of course the great respect that conservatives pay to those who have died in war in the service of their nation. In my country, Australia, that day of remembrance (which we call Anzac day) is our only really solemn national occasion. Leftists have tried to laugh at it from time to time but it goes from strength to strength, with young people as well as old participating in the services of remembrance.

And there is no doubt that the army is always one of the most solidly conservative bodies of people that exists in any community. And the degree of fellowship in the army must be very close to maximal. If you pass a member of your old army unit in the street, you always stop to say a few words at least. There is a lasting bond between men who have fought together that outsiders can only dimly understand. My time in the Australian army was most undistinguished (though very fondly remembered) but I was an army psychologist so perhaps I have a little more awareness of what the army is about than most. I am certainly pleased to say that I have worn my country's uniform.

All these sorts of fellowship that conservatives feel are generally felt pretty strongly. There is often a swelling of pride and gratitude associated with such feelings. And the poor sad old Leftist is basically left out of all that. Their hate and rage bars them from feeling some of the most basic human emotions.

And I now want to give a vivid example of that: Something that Leftists will hate viscerally but which most conservatives should understand and enjoy. I reproduce below the Eton Boat Song. Eton is of course Britain's most elite school and British private schools are famous for fostering a sense of fellowship among their pupils. And you will see that vividly below. Listen to the music as you read the words and I will add a few comments afterwards. The song refers of course to competitive rowing regattas:

Jolly boating weather,
And a hay harvest breeze,
Blade on the feather,
Shade off the trees;
Swing, swing together,
With your bodies between your knees.

Rugby may be more clever,
Harrow may make more row:
But we'll row forever,
Steady from stroke to bow,
And nothing in life shall sever
The chain that is round us now.

Others will fill our places,
Dressed in the old light blue;
We'll recollect our races,
We'll to the flag be true;
And youth will be still in our faces
When we cheer for an Eton crew.

Twenty years hence this weather
May tempt us from office stools:
We may be slow on the feather,
And seem to the boys old fools:
But we'll still swing together,
And swear by the best of schools.

I went to a totally undistinguished school in a small Australian country town but that song does tend to bring a tear to my eyes. It is a powerful expression of being part of something bigger and better, and something that transcends time. I hope some of my readers get that powerful feeling too.

And note that is also a humble song. It talks of pride in a great identity but without any thought of dominating others -- which is the Leftist preoccupation. It talks of the singers as being "old fools" sitting on "office stools". There is no Fascist aggression there at all. In characteristically English style, it actually spends quite a lot of time talking about the weather! No egotistical "Tomorrow belongs to me", "We are the people we have been waiting for" or "Yes we can" there.

Yet it is a song that expressed a powerful feeling. British officers in World War I were known to go "over the top" in the dreadful charges of that war singing the Eton Boat song. That to me is a sort of nobility which I know that no Leftist egotist will ever understand.

Leftists do of course still have the normal human need for fellowship so when they do at last find an outlet for it that passes muster with them we get the completely over the top hysteria of Fascism, Nazism or Obama-worship. (Anybody who has been conned into believing that the National Socialist Hitler and the Marxist Mussolini were Rightists should read here and here)

Note: The above is a slightly expanded version of the original post



45 Years for a Joke: "If I did not laugh I should die," Abraham Lincoln once remarked. It's a concept the people of Burma understand well. One of their most famous celebrities is a comedian known for his antiregime jokes who goes by the name Zarganar, or "Tweezers." The junta that rules the country, however, doesn't appreciate Zarganar's sense of humor. Last week, he was sentenced to 45 years in jail for using the Internet to spread "disaffection" toward the government. Translation: laughing at your leaders can be a crime. More than 2,000 political prisoners are in jail in Burma, nearly double last year's number, according to human-rights workers. Zarganar is one of about 100 pro-democracy activists, monks, lawyers and entertainers who have been sentenced this month. The harshest sentences have gone to monks who helped organize the Saffron Rebellion last year, but no one has gotten off light -- one antigovernment blogger got 20 years."

Will Obama rein in America's farm stupidity? "Barack Obama yesterday introduced his new White House budget director, Peter Orszag, vowing to conduct a "line by line" review of the federal fisc. Most incoming chief executives promise that sort of thing. But here's a detail that really caught our eye: As part of his plan to kill government programs "that have outlived their usefulness," the President-elect singled out farm subsidies for the rich. If he really means it, this would be big news. Mr. Obama cited a recent Government Accountability Office report that found that of the 1.8 million people receiving farm payments from 2003 to 2006, nearly 3,000 had incomes above $2.5 million, which ought to make them ineligible for aid. Nevertheless, they cashed in to the tune of some $49 million. Having written 40,000 or so editorials against this corporate welfare over the years, we'd love to see a Democrat join the fight."

Liberalism = Genius? : "If there is a dreadfully overused word in the giddy countdown to the Obama inauguration, it is "smart." Not just "smart," but also its stronger cousins like "brilliant" and "genius." These words have been offered shamelessly for nearly every person assigned a role by President-Elect Obama. They are assembling an "all-star cabinet." This was not an honor for those having attended all the right schools, but a tribute to people who have all the "right" ideas. Liberals are smart because they're liberals. Conservative beliefs are honed from having been dropped on your head as an infant."

Google feeling the pinch (great to hear): "The company is is cutting back its workforce - although not the permanent staff. Instead, it is reducing its 10,000-strong army of contractors, who are not entitled to the same benefits as full-time employees. A spokesman for Google said: "We have been thinking for some time, before the acute phase of the economic crisis, about significantly reducing the number of contract workers." The contract staff, who are easier to shed, amount to about a third of Google's workforce and include not only programmers but service staff, such as canteen workers and campus bus drivers. As yet, the company will not specify how many will go as it tries to cut a cost base that hit $3.9 billion in the three months to September 30. "


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Why Reporters -- and Judges and Professors -- Are Biased

By Dennis Prager

That the news media were biased in the 2008 presidential election is now acknowledged by fair-minded people, left or right. As Time Magazine's Mark Halperin said this weekend at a Politico/USC Conference on the 2008 election: "It's the most disgusting failure of people in our business. . It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage."

Given how obvious this bias is, the question is not whether liberals in the media tend to offer biased reporting. The question is why? Why can't liberal news people report the news without any slant? The answer is that for people on the left, all -- I repeat, ALL -- professions are a means to an end, not ends in themselves. That end is the social transformation of society, meaning the promoting of "social justice" as the left understands that term.

For most liberal news reporters, therefore, the purpose of news reporting is not to report news as objectively as possible. The purpose of the media in general and of reporting specifically is to promote social justice and the social transformation of society.

For most liberal judges, the primary purpose of being a judge is to promote social justice and transform society. That is why liberal judges are so much more likely to be judicial activists than conservative judges. Most liberal judges do not see their roles as merely adjudicating a dispute according to the law. They see their role primarily as using the law and their power to rule on the law to promote social justice.

For most university professors -- and many high school teachers, as well -- outside of the natural sciences and math, the same holds true. The task of a teacher is to teach, i.e., to convey the most important information as honestly as possible. But, again, this conflicts with the social justice goal of the left. History teachers who merely teach history are of little use to the left. History -- and English and political science, and sociology and other liberal arts -- teachers must use their classroom to produce young people who will wish to engage in society-transforming work for social justice.

For most liberals in the arts (there are very few conservatives in the arts) there is no denial of their having an agenda. They state quite candidly that the purpose of the arts is to challenge the (conservative) status quo, to raise political and social consciousness by advancing a "progressive" political and social agenda. The artist whose agenda is merely to produce beautiful art is looked upon as a reactionary buffoon, and is not likely to be taken seriously -- no matter how talented -- in the worlds of music, dance, painting, and sculpture.

Even the natural sciences are increasingly subject to being rendered a means to a "progressive" end. There was the pseudo-threat of heterosexual AIDS in America -- science manipulated in order to de-stigmatize AIDS as primarily a gay man's disease and to increase funding for AIDS research. There are the exaggerated secondhand smoke data popularized so as to decrease smoking and fight "Big Tobacco." And now we have the scientifically questionable belief in man-made carbon emissions causing global warming leading to natural catastrophe - and recommended "solutions" many of which, if adopted, will serve the goal of undermining corporate capitalism.

The best analogy of the directing of all human endeavors toward a left-wing purpose would be those early medieval centuries of European life when just about everything man made was supposed to reflect a religious consciousness. Virtually nothing stood apart from the Church. The arts were religious, the sciences were handmaidens of theology, and schools were religious in nature.

Most moderns look upon that period as a dark age -- perhaps a bit unfairly at times. But the people who most scorn what they deem the religious "Dark Ages" are trying to building a secular-left dark age in our time. Because the left is a religion, a substitute for the Christianity it seeks to displace.




I was rather pleased when Obama picked economist Larry Summers as his chief financial adviser. He is a smart and honest guy and almost certainly one of the few who actually understand what is going on in the financial world at the moment. The WSJ is also guardedly complimentary.

It is a commonplace for non-Catholics to portray the Catholic church as narrow and dogmatic. By contrast, I am sometimes amazed at how broad and tolerant the church is. It certainly does not insist on strict theological conformity among its clergy. The very different views of Hans Kung, who rejected the infallibility of the Pope, did eventually lead to him being barred from teaching theology but he is still a priest within the church. And there is here a close look at the writings of Australian priest Fr. Peter Dresser, which reveals a man who could hardly be more heretical. He clearly denies the divinity of Christ, which is central to all major Christian denominations. Even the Sydney Methodists put Ted Noffs on trial for heresy over similar views. Rome, however, seems content to let Fr. Dresser ramble on. Fr. Dresser would however make a good Anglican. Bishop Robinson, author of "Honest to God" said that God is "the ground of our being" back in the 60s and Bishop Spong also seems to have similar vaporous beliefs.

New York Christmas Boat Parade Changes Name, Loses Fans: "An annual parade of boats on a Long Island river that dropped "Christmas" from its name has apparently lost lots of supporters. About 1,000 people showed up Sunday for the Patchogue Boat Parade of Lights. That's 500 fewer than usually showed up when it was called the Patchogue Christmas Boat Parade. Brookhaven-based fireworks company Fireworks by Grucci dropped its sponsorship after the Greater Patchogue Foundation removed "Christmas" from the parade's name. The change was made after some residents complained the name wasn't inclusive enough. Grucci vice president Philip Butler opposes the secularization of Christmas. His supporters encouraged area residents to stay away from the parade on Patchogue River. Organizers say the parade still was a success."

Canada takes advantage of Donk stupidity: "In a grim world economy, the news that Canada and Colombia signed a free trade agreement at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Lima last week is something to celebrate. Unless you are an American farmer or manufacturer. The Canada-Colombia FTA will expand bilateral trade by lowering tariffs on a wide variety of products. Some Canadian agricultural products -- including wheat, barley and lentils -- and many manufactured goods will enter Colombia tariff-free immediately. Running in the reverse direction, Colombian producers will find a more open Canadian market and Canada's consumers will have more choice at better prices. The agreement will also give new legal protections to investment and improved market access in services. It's what you call a win-win. But not for American exporters who compete with Canadians in Colombia. Because Speaker Nancy Pelosi has blocked a vote in Congress on the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, American goods will automatically be more expensive than those from Canada"

Preview of Anti-Obama Documentary Outrages Left : "John Ziegler didn't know the kind of fury the left would unleash on him when he unveiled his web video "How Obama Got Elected." The ten-minute short featured 12 interviews he conducted with Obama supporters at Los Angeles polling stations on Election Day and the final product wasn't flattering to liberals. His subjects couldn't answer basic questions like "Who controls Congress" and "Who is Nancy Pelosi" or "Who is Harry Reid." They could, however, correctly answer questions about GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's pregnant daughter and wardrobe budget without any problem. The web video spread like wildfire around the internet, getting more than 1.4 million views. As a result Ziegler's email inbox has been flooded with profanity-laced emails accusing him of racism, bigotry and hate mongering. (He submitted 25 of these emails for my review, but many of them are unprintalbe.) "Whoever started this sight [sic] is a racist!" one email sent from someone identified as Andrea Gurule said.... Ziegler argues that he never intended to make Obama supporters look bad. Rather, they could not answer the questions because the media misinformed them throughout the election."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wow! A piece of psychological research that favours Christians!

In the report below, it was found that Calvinist Christians were more perceptive. But I doubt the speculative explanation of that given below. So let me meander towards what I think is a more likely explanation. I had a Calvinist upbringing myself, though not a strict one.

I suspect that the real explanation has something to do with the type of people who are capable of being Calvinists. There are a lot of restrictions inculcated (on gambling, alcohol etc.) in that and in other strict Protestant religions. But I took to it like a duck to water. I became a VERY strict Protestant in my teens. I suspect that I am a born Calvinist, even though I am an atheist these days. I still occasionally pop in to a service at my old church -- which was originally "Wee Free", a very strict sect (No dancing, no "graven images" etc.).

So I am inclined to think that you are to a considerable extent BORN a Calvinist (or some similar strict Protestant religion). Calvinists and other strict Protestants are perfectly at home with Matthew 7:14. Note that the word there is "strait", not "straight". Maybe I am still a dour old Calvinist at heart, though I do have rather a weakness for Mr. John Walker of Scotland these days. But I still don't gamble! Bottom line so far: It is a lot more demanding to be any sort of strict Protestant than to be an atheist and perhaps that shows up in a general mental superiority among strict Protestants. Heh!

In case my reasoning above seems obscure, let me offer an Irish contribution to the discussion: In Ireland they always ask (if they don't know you) whether you are a Protestant or a Catholic. And if you say that you are an atheist, they ask you: "But are you a Protestant atheist or a Catholic atheist?" Which is a PERFECTLY reasonable enquiry. It is an enquiry about one's origins and background. I am a Protestant atheist, and delighted to be one.

The idea that there could be a genetic difference underlying religious differences will of course seem preposterous to many but, as revelations about genetic influence pile up in both the medical genetics and behaviour genetics literature, the more one tends to throw up one's hands and exclaim: "EVERYTHING is genetic"!. Read here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here just for starters. And note that among the research revelations is a strong genetic influence on political orientation. And there is in fact specific confirmation of a genetic influence on religion.

And if one looks at the distribution of religions in Europe, the Catholic/Protestant divide is still very largely a North/South one -- with the native populations of the most Northerly (Scandinavian) countries being something like 98% Protestant (though mainly nominally so these days). And there are also clear North/South racial differences. Inhabitants of Naples and inhabitants of Oslo tend to look and behave very differently. Clearly, genetics is not the whole of it but I am still inclined to the generalization that Protestantism is a form of Christianity that the Northern Europeans evolved to suit their own natural inclinations. Luther survived where Savonarola did not because Luther's surrounding population were immediately sympathetic to his views -- and that included his King (Frederick the wise of Saxony) -- who zealously protected Luther from all those who wished him ill. And in another largely Saxon country (England) the Lollards long preceded Henry VIII.

I write at great length about apparent Teutonic (Northern) psychological differences here
It might be cliched to say that religious people see the world differently, but new research finds that Dutch Calvinists notice embedded visual patterns quicker than their atheist compatriots.

Culture has long been known to distort visual perception, says Bernhard Hommel, a psychologist at Leiden University in the Netherlands who led the new study. For example, one previous experiment found that Asians tend to dart their eyes around a photograph, while North Americans fix on specific people. To see if religious differences might skew perception, Hommel's team tested 40 Dutch atheist and Calvinist university students, who, religion aside, had similar cultural backgrounds.

On a computer screen, Hommel's team showed participants a large triangle or square made of either smaller triangles or squares. The volunteers had to focus on either the big object or its component shapes, and indicate whether they were square or triangular. Both groups recognised the large shapes more quickly than small, embedded ones, but the Calvinists picked out the smaller shapes 30 milliseconds faster than atheists, on average - a small, but significant, difference.

This could reflect a greater focus on self than external distractions for Calvinists, says Hommel. He suggests it may even be a cognitive consequence of their religion and speculates that Calvinists might be more inward looking than atheists because they have lived their whole lives with an emphasis on minding their own business.

In the future, Hommel plans to give the same test to Catholics, as well as Muslims and Jews, but he must first figure out how to eliminate other cultural differences that could mask any insights. "It doesn't make any sense to compare Iranian Muslims with Dutch atheists," he says.

"This is a thought-provoking study," says Ara Norenzayan, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia. "Their finding is consistent with the literature on cross-cultural cognition - that cultural traditions involving independent view of the self, such as Calvinism, encourage a more feature-based processing style."




Once again I find conservative fundraising to be moronic. I clicked on the link to subscribe to National Review and what did I get? "Page not found"! I donate to a lot of conservative causes and I would say that about half of my attempts to donate fail to go through for one reason or another. Why are the advocates of capitalism such inefficient capitalists?

Stop the Presses! AP's Important Story: Obama Had Corned Beef Sandwich for Lunch: "Ya gotta hand it to them. The Associated Press knows how to cut out all the extraneous background noise and get right to the important issues of the day. Barack Obama will surely be in the center of the vortex of some of the most important decisions in the world during the next four years and even his preparations for taking office are vitally important as a marker to what he might do in office. There are wars and rumors of wars, disasters and relief efforts and historic decisions will soon be made. But no decision is so important, as the AP dutifully tells us, than the one of what the president elect had for lunch. The shocking, heartwarming and resolute decision the leader of the free world. no the leader of all mankind. made for his lunch was apparently a corned beef sandwich."

Obama and Government Job Creation: "Media sources seemed to be thrilled that Obama is promising to save or create millions of new jobs. The only problem is they seem to purposefully fail to mention that these will primarily be government jobs. The AP is typical of the style of reporting: "On Saturday, Obama announced his plan to save or create 2.5 million jobs by investing billions of dollars to rebuild roads and bridges, modernize schools and develop alternative energy sources and efficient cars. "These aren't just steps to pull ourselves out of this immediate crisis. These are the long-term investments in our economic future that have been ignored for far too long," Obama said in the weekly Democratic radio address. A video was available on Obama's transition Web site." Nowhere in the 14 paragraph article, is it mentioned that the jobs Obama plans to create are entirely in the public sector. But it's not limited to the AP. The Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, and NY Times described Obama's plan similarly to the AP, without mentioning that these were public sector, or government jobs."

Obama not strictly a socialist: "Accusing Obama of socialism is unwise for three reasons: 1) It's not true, and 2) it makes the accuser sound like an idiot, and 3) it distracts from Obama's true inclinations, which are worrisome enough... His biggest shortcoming is a common one in his party: the assumption that every problem can be solved by government intervention, and that if a little intervention is good, more is better.... This belt-and-suspenders approach reflects a familiar liberal vice: the insatiable urge to meddle. It's like the team owner offering the coach a generous new contract if he wins the championship -- and then dictating the starting lineup and the play selection for the entire season. It presumes that the government knows in advance the right mix of changes to achieve cleaner energy use at the lowest cost, which neither it nor Stephen Hawking nor anyone else does... Obama exhibits blithe confidence in the government's power to take economic problems and make them better. He will fare better if he keeps in mind its unbounded capacity to make things worse. For that you don't need socialism."

Hard Times For Lefty Peaceniks: "Mr Obama has moved quickly in the last 48 hours to get his cabinet team in place, unveiling a raft of heavyweight appointments, in addition to Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State. But his preference for General James Jones, a former Nato commander who backed John McCain, as his National Security Adviser and Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, a supporter of the war, to run the Homeland Security department has dismayed many of his earliest supporters. The likelihood that Mr Obama will retain George W Bush's Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, has reinforced the notion that he will not aggressively pursue the radical withdrawal of all combat troops from Iraq over the next 16 months and engagement with rogue states that he has pledged. Chris Bowers of the influential blog complained: "That is, over all, a centre-right foreign policy team. I feel incredibly frustrated. Progressives are being entirely left out of Obama's major appointments so far.""

An unexpected change: "We should all let President-elect Obama have some honeymoon time, but that said, so far the sudden cessation in 'hope and change' that became part of the American mindset for two years is surreal, and one of the most remarkable developments in recent American political history. Obama's Clintonite appointments, his reliance on those well-known DC fixtures credentialed by Ivy League Law Schools, and his apparent backtracking on radical tax hikes on the "wealthy", instantaneous shut-down of Gitmo, prompt withdrawal from Iraq, and repeal of anti-terror legislation seem to have delighted conservatives, relieved that the Daily Kos and Huffington Post are not calling the shots."

Florida towing company owners charged with hundreds of felonies: "Towing company workers regularly took down the tow-away signs in a Boynton Beach parking lot to lure unsuspecting parkers, and then replaced the signs after they removed the cars, police said Friday. After a months-long investigation, police on Friday arrested the company owners, Debra Corti, 48, her son Leonard Corti, 30, and her daughter Jessica Corti, 26, on more than 500 charges, including 390 felonies..."

There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Monday, November 24, 2008

In Defense of "The Oogedy-Boogedy Branch of the GOP"

Every time the GOP takes a beating at the ballot box there are calls to get rid of those doggone social conservatives -- or as Kathleen Parker refers to them, the "oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP." This is a fascinating argument -- well, fascinating if you like watching people who don't even realize that they're doing little more than projecting their own personal biases onto the Republican Party and calling it political strategy.

Atheists, agnostics, Elvis worshippers, Jedis, Satanists -- it doesn't matter; they're all welcome in the Republican Party (Ok, not the Satanists so much. They're creepy losers). However, we live in an overwhelmingly Christian nation founded on Christian principles -- and reaching out to people who have Christian values makes so much sense that even the Democrats hold their nose and do it -- a little.

Additionally, maybe it's just my imagination, but didn't we just run a candidate for President who's notoriously unfriendly to social conservatives? I'm also pretty sure I remember some sort of "wrinkly white haired guy" who almost completely ignored issues like gay marriage and abortion on the campaign trail, even though Obama had huge weaknesses on those issues. So, if a non-socially conservative GOP is such a huge winner at the polls, shouldn't John McCain be gleefully preparing to knife the conservative movement in the back from the White House -- as opposed to gleefully preparing to knife the conservative movement in the back from the Senate?

I guess that's one of those questions we'll never be able to answer. You know, sort of like: if socially conservative issues like opposition to gay marriage are such huge political losers, how is it that those issues keep winning at the ballot box? Moreover, why is it that Barack Obama -- who has done everything except be a flower girl at a gay wedding to let people know that he really supports gay marriage -- adamantly claims to believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman? This is not exactly up there with the Bermuda Triangle on the mystery meter, my friends....

If the GOP is going to tell 26% of American voters to take a hike, who, pray tell, are we going to replace them with? The 500,000 people who voted for Bob Barr? Maybe we can get Scott McClellan, Colin Powell, and Christopher Buckley to start voting Republican again. That's not quite 26%, but it's a start, right?

It's also worth noting that if the GOP wants to reach out to demographic groups that we're not doing very well with, like Hispanics and black Americans, socially conservative issues are one of the best ways to do it. "About one-third of Catholics in the United States are now Hispanic." Moreover, 90% of Hispanics are members of some branch of the Christian faith. The same goes for black Americans, "85 percent (of whom) say religion is very important in their lives."

More here


Lessons from Britain Could Save the GOP?

Much has been written lately regarding how the Republican Party might re-form itself into a winning operation. Of course, this debate has been around for a long time, but our recent losses have reignited the debate. This time, however (perhaps having learned from liberals that "progressive" sounds better) -- the moderates have re-branded themselves as "modernizers", "reformers", or "pragmatists". And to give their revolution some historical credibility, they have given themselves a new hero: British Conservative Party Leader David Cameron.

Cameron has repositioned his party closer to the center of the political spectrum. However, moderation in itself has not always worked for him. In fact, one of his biggest plans to seize the middle-ground blew up in his face. After his election as party leader, Cameron almost immediately adopted environmentalism as his key issue and launched a new party slogan: "Go Green, Vote Blue" (Blue being the color symbolic of the party). That slogan is long gone today (it's one of the few pieces of the Cameron experiment not to have succeeded). Now, to be sure, environmentalism is still a big part of the party's appeal. Actually, the party has always been seen as strong on that front considering the left-wing Labour Party's association with not-so-green labor interests such as coal miners. However, it is still safe to say that the "Go Green" marketing gimmick flopped.

Most of the program did, however, succeed. If you go to the party's website or watch their ads you will see a much more hopeful message than you did a few years ago. Gone is the old logo, a rather intimidating hand grasping a torch. It has been replaced by a very happy-looking tree. Everything about the new message is hopeful, sunny, and forward looking -- and the focus is now on "quality of life" issues like family, healthcare and education. Granted, the old "taxes and national security" message is still there, but it comes packaged as part of a larger message that the Conservative Party cares about people. Cameron also makes a point of being modern and tech-savvy, as illustrated by his "WebCameron" video blogs. These are all fantastic moves, and the Republican Party should move quickly to implement them (of course, technology is philosophically neutral). By the way, the people who are broadening this discussion here in America are conservative governors like Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal. They are the real "American Camerons" in my mind.

Another big part of the Cameron approach was solidify and reassure all wings of his party, including the "traditionalist" right wing. In fact, one of the first moves was to give plum positions in his "Shadow Cabinet" (essentially the cabinet in-waiting) to the two right wingers he defeated to win the party leadership. Runner-up David Davis was given the hugely powerful post of Shadow Home Secretary, while third place candidate Liam Fox became Shadow Secretary of State for Defense. Furthermore, two of Cameron's predecessors as party leader scored influential positions as well, with William Hague (leader from 1997-2001) becoming Shadow Foreign Secretary and Iain Duncan Smith (leader from 2001-2003) heading up the party's new Social Justice Policy Group. All of these people became genuine players on the Cameron team, and Cameron has benefited from this inclusive approach. Far from jettisoning the right wing or the traditional leaders, Cameron has made a point of including them in his revolution.

Another thing that David Cameron would never consider is taking social issues off the table. In fact, he is largely responsible for putting them back on the table as a way of making his party look more compassionate than the left wing alternatives. Now, the Brits don't deal with the same social issues we do - abortion is considered a non-issue and the main issue is keeping marriages and families from breaking apart rather than debating gay marriage. However, Cameron has revolutionized the social debate by hijacking the left wing term "social justice" and lumping the protection of marriage and the family in with other "social justice" issues such as healthcare and education. Of course, that wasn't really a Cameron idea. It was the brainchild of the more "traditionalist" former party leader Iain Duncan Smith, who founded the "Centre for Social Justice".

Cameron saw the genius of Duncan Smith's idea, made it a major piece of the platform, and put Duncan Smith himself in charge of party policy on that front. So, again, Cameron didn't throw the SoCons overboard - he incorporated them, revitalized them, and utilized them to his advantage. In fact, family issues seem to animate Cameron like few others. Watch his recent rant about a high-profile domestic violence case and British social services - I don't think anyone can say with a straight face that this man doesn't care about social issues.

On some issues, Cameron has even put forward some proposals that (for Britain) are extremely conservative. For instance, he has been extremely solid on reforming the UK's bloated welfare state. Instead of swinging to the center and embracing these big government programs, Cameron is proposing a welfare-to-work program he says is "the biggest shake-up of the welfare state for 60 years." One might point out that Margaret Thatcher took office only 29 years ago, so if Cameron can live up to his rhetoric, then he actually intends to go further than Thatcher in his crusade to get Brits off welfare.

The key thing to remember about David Cameron is that he dramatically changed the way his party approaches the issues. He shifted the focus onto new issues and made conservatives think of themselves as smiling, forward-looking change agents rather than brooding, tax-obsessed fear-mongers. Still, he didn't change the basic values that the party holds dear. In a lot of ways he's like Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota. Both are seen as a little moderate because they try to be optimistic pragmatists rather than ideologues, but they also fit into the broad conservative mainstream in their respective nations.

More here



As readers here are presumably aware, I no longer maintain a specialized Obama site. Any comments from me about Obama now appear here on this site. There are however other Obama-focused sites still up. This one has some good posts up

An amusing solution to traffic problems here. Have the government design and build the cars! You will be lucky to get one and they will break down all the time.

Stupid Leftist attempt to drive away Britain's best industries rolled back: "Alistair Darling will announce tomorrow he has bowed to the threat of businesses quitting Britain by saying he will introduce a tax exemption on foreign dividends. The move on foreign dividends, for which businesses have campaigned hard, was rejected last year by Treasury ministers, who warned that the cost of such an exemption would run into hundreds of millions of pounds. But the chancellor's move, to be unveiled in his prebudget report, underlines the government's determination to present its fiscal plan as business-friendly and to avoid a haemorrhaging of tax revenues as a result of companies moving abroad. In recent months several high-profile companies have announced that they are moving their headquarters to other countries, including WPP, Shire, United Business Media, Charter, Regus and Henderson. Darling's advisers hope the exemption to be announced tomorrow will stem the flow."

Good! New privatizations to help offset bank nationalizations in Britain: "A string of state-owned household names including the Met Office, mapmaker Ordnance Survey and the Forestry Commission, are being prepared for sale by the government in the next two years to raise cash for the stretched public purse. Alistair Darling, the chancellor, is thought to have drawn up a list of 10 companies to offload, including the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster. He will outline the programme in the prebudget report tomorrow alongside details of a Whitehall efficiency drive. Several companies will now be groomed for sale by the Shareholder Executive, the body charged with improving the government's performance as a shareholder. Many of the smaller assets being considered for sale were sized up by the Conservatives in the mid-1990s, when Lord Heseltine succeeded in privatising the commercial arm of the Atomic Energy Authority but failed to sell the Forestry Commission. Channel 4 is excluded for the moment but will be assessed by the new communications minister, Lord Carter, before a decision is made. A backlog of maintenance will probably keep British Waterways from being sold, while the Royal Mint and the Land Registry are more likely to be offloaded."

Jobs bonanza for British pen-pushers: "There has never been a better time to look for a new job - so long as you are an equality and diversity manager, a home-to-school transport service manager, or a senior play pathfinder. While thousands of private sector workers are being made redundant, local authorities and government departments are still creating a plethora of obscure pen-pushing posts at taxpayers' expense. These roles offer salaries of up to $100,000, a 37-hour week and enviable job security. Jobs on offer range from an integrated whole systems care pathway manager at Camden Primary Care Trust to an appointment for a principal nuisance response officer at Reading borough council. According to the council, the latter "exciting" role entails the management of three nuisance response officers as well as three "advice shops" as part of an effort to devise solutions to antisocial behaviour. A spokeswoman for the council - whose members have recently called for officers to "maximise efficiency" in the face of a bleak financial outlook - defended the appointment, saying: "The job is definitely an essential job which the council needs and is vital to the service." The London borough of Newham seems to be undaunted by tough times. Last week the council found $80,000 to create a post as a casework support services manager for a burgeoning team of administrators, co-ordinators, occupational therapists, handymen and surveyors within its Home Improvement Agency (HIA)."

Richly rewarded bureaucrats in Britain: "Nearly 200 public sector "fat cats" are earning more than [Prime Minister] Gordon Brown, according to a new rich list published today. Executives paid at the taxpayer's expense are enjoying record salaries, huge bonuses, job security and perks that are the envy of those in the business world. The list identifies 387 people earning more than $300,000 a year. Half of them earn more than the prime minister, who is paid $350,000. Four receive packages totalling at least $2m. James Hall, chief executive of the Identity and Passport Service (IPS), the agency charged with introducing the ID card, enjoys a home-to-work travel allowance of $20,000, equal to the salary of an office junior in many firms. The public even has to fork out for the 40% tax on this perk. Hall, 54, has need of the allowance as the owner of Barlaston Hall, an 18th-century pile in Staffordshire which is 160 miles from his office in Whitehall... Bernard Herdan, 61, a fellow IPS director who lives in a former Victorian rectory in the Bedfordshire village of Swineshead, received a $20,000 home-to-work allowance as part of his $300,000 package."

Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan to get life saving anti-sniper device : "British and American forces fighting the guerilla insurgence in Iraq and Afghanistan could soon be protected by an anti-sniper device that can pinpoint the position of the shooter within a fraction of a second. The palm-sized device designed by Qinetiq, the British defence firm that was once the government research laboratories, is pinned to the uniform and uses acoustic technology to calculate the exact position of the rifle fire. Then a electronic voice passes on the "bearing and range" to the soldier allowing him to jump to safety and return fire. The machine has already been purchased by the Americans for deployment in the New Year and the British are looking at a vehicle mounted version. After roadside bombs, snipers have been the biggest cause of the 301 British fatalities in both wars, and army chiefs are convinced the device could save dozens of lives."It is all about saving guys' lives," said Don Steinman, one of the leaders of the project at Qinetiq North America who developed the device called EARS for Early Attack Reaction System.


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Do the Obama crowd really love Europe?

I reproduce below a small part of a very erudite essay by John Fonte headed: "The World is My Constituency. Are liberals rejecting the liberal-internationalist tradition?". Fonte claims, rightly, I think, that the Democrat elite these days don't really like Europe very much after all. They want to build an entirely new world system and Europe plays only a small part in that.

What I think Fonte misses is WHY the Donks have that focus. It is simply that they are anti-American. Europe served for a while as an alternative model to the USA, just as the Soviet Union did in earlier times. But in the end the USA and the EU are too similar. France has done a lot of privatization, Germany always was very capitalist and there is more school choice in Sweden than there is in the USA. And one part of the EU (Britain) even speaks English!

So what the Democrat elite propose instead is a system that is altogether new -- something very different from anything that has gone before -- a "new world order" (to use a much abused phrase). They want an internationalized world where all local or national loyalties are gradually erased or made irrelevant. The outlines of this new global system are of course vague and it is truly amazing that the one part of such a system that actually exists right now -- economic globalization -- somehow does not seem to be part of the deal. Expecting consistency from Leftists is too much to ask, of course.

But in the most basic way, they ARE consistent: Their focus is really on the USA as it exists today, not on anything outside it. "Non-American is good" is their underlying theme. And since the USA is a major player in economic globalization, their hostility to economic globalization is perfectly consistent. So in the end they are typically American, whether they like it or not. As Fonte also notes: "The same Harris poll asked: "Do you think of yourself more as a citizen of the U.S. or a citizen of the world?" The result among registered voters: 83 percent American citizens".

So the Donks are just as America-focused as any other American. It is just that their focus is negative. Instead of loving America they despise it -- and anything non-American will do in a pinch as an alternative. The "global" ideal is just a vague version of extreme anti-Americanism.

They cannot openly acknowledge the depth of their anti-Americanism, of course. Americans are overwhelmingly a patriotic people so to set out openly how much they despise America would be electoral death. But Leftism just IS hatred of the status quo and America is a very large lump of the status quo.

It is interesting that right up to JFK, the Democrats were vocally patriotic. They were less extreme in those days. In those days they hated only some parts of the prevailing system. Now they hate just about all of it. And Sarah Palin embodies all that they hate. That they hate her there is no conceivable doubt and that she also embodies traditional America is also clear.
`We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy," declared Barack Obama in accepting the Democratic nomination. Is that still true? Peter Beinart analyzed the liberal-internationalist tradition in the summer issue of World Affairs, arguing that Wilson and FDR's optimistic vision of liberal internationalism, grounded in collective security and collective peace, confronts a rival Republican vision that he correctly describes as "conservative internationalism" rather than isolationism. The Republican internationalist tradition, from Henry Cabot Lodge to Reagan to McCain (as opposed to the more anti-interventionist Borah-Taft-Paul school), sees the world as a dangerous place. It is less optimistic about human nature and focused more on military alliances than on international institutions, Beinart tells us. Fair enough.

The problem with Obama's oratory and Beinart's thesis is that the traditional framework of liberal internationalism is dying. Liberal internationalism is first of all inter-national, concerned with relations between sovereign nation-states. As practiced by Wilson, FDR, and Truman, liberal internationalism meant American leadership while working with other nations in alliances and in creating new international organizations to promote peace and collective security, such as the United Nations. While they were unquestionably internationalists, those Democrats were also nationalists, pursuing American interests and willing to use force to secure them. While they were mostly Wilsonians, to borrow Walter Russell Mead's formulation, they were also quite willing to employ Hamiltonian (which is to say, economic) and defense-oriented Jacksonian means. Mead specifically mentions the World War II bombing of Japanese and German cities as a Jacksonian turn. In sum, they were national progressives, not transnational progressives.

Today, in the major precincts of mainstream American liberalism, the merely international is passe; the transnational, or global, is ascendant. As John Ruggie of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government puts it, "Postwar institutions including the United Nations were built for an inter-national world, but we have entered a global world. International institutions were designed to reduce external friction, between states; our challenge today is to devise more inclusive forms of global governance."

Typical of leading law-school opinion is a comment in May 2008 by the dean of Georgetown University Law School, Alexander Aleinikoff, who was general counsel of the immigration service under Clinton. Aleinikoff envisions new transnational political authorities above and beyond American constitutional democracy. He writes that we should expect the "development and strengthening of other political institutions - regional, transnational, some global . . . exercising what will be perceived as legitimate legal and coercive authority. . . . That is, a decline in citizenship in the nation-state is likely to be accompanied by new kinds of citizenships associated with `polities' that tax and spend, organize armies and police, establish courts, and promulgate what are perceived to be binding norms. There is no reason that standard accounts of citizenship that link governance and a people cannot be stated at the appropriate level of abstraction to apply to new forms of political association." Aleinikoff's account may be read as both predictive and normative, an indication that American elites not only believe that our constitutional democracy will be subordinated to global authorities but also desire that this come to pass....

All indications are that an Obama administration will move beyond traditional liberal internationalism of the Wilson-FDR-JFK variety to transnationalism. Ultimately this means that the evolving norms of international law would trump the U.S. Constitution.

A Harris poll taken for the Bradley Project on America's National Identity (I participated in the project) asked: "When there is a conflict between the U.S. Constitution and international law, which one should be the highest legal authority for Americans?" Sixty-six percent of registered voters preferred the Constitution, 16 percent put international law first, and 17 percent were undecided. The same Harris poll asked: "Do you think of yourself more as a citizen of the U.S. or a citizen of the world?" The result among registered voters: 83 percent American citizens, 12 percent global citizens, 4 percent not sure.


Interviews With Obama Voters

On Election day twelve Obama voters were interviewed extensively right after they voted, to learn how the news media impacted their knowledge of what occurred during the campaign. These voters were chosen for their apparent intelligence/verbal abilities and willingness to express their opinions to a large audience. The rather shocking video below seeks to provide some insight into which information broke through the news media clutter and which did not.

(Via Right Bias)

Rather amazing that they think the GOP currently controls Congress. On the other hand, it is rather cheering to think Pelosi & Co have made so little impact. And the fact that Sarah Palin so strongly made it through into consciousness is very encouraging if she runs in 2012. No wonder the Donks and the media (but I repeat myself) are so afraid of her.



Tim Blair has a good laugh at the lily-livered shrieks emanating from the Left over Sarah Palin's visit to a turkey slaughterhouse. How do they think turkey arrives on their Thanksgiving dinner plates? Let them all eat vegie-Turkey (presuming there is such a thing)! Aborting healthy babies is no trouble to them but killing a turkey is like Wow!

Lawyer says alcohol testing device is "racist"‏: "A lawyer representing a man charged with drunken driving claims Connecticut's breathalyzers discriminate against blacks. Attorney James O. Ruane represents 40-year-old Tyrone Brown of Norwalk, who was arrested April 9 by state police on Interstate 95 in Fairfield. In a motion filed Tuesday in Bridgeport Superior Court, Ruane asked a judge to suppress his client's breathalyzer test results. He contends the device used by state police and most local police departments, the Intoxilyzer 5000, discriminates against blacks. Ruane says research shows that the lung capacity of a black man is 3 percent smaller than a white man and, therefore, black men's test results vary from the sobriety standard set by the device."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Google have found a new way to harass conservative bloggers

I get the following message from Google when I query why this blog is allegedly blocked:
Your blog is locked

Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog. Since you're an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive.

We received your unlock request on November 19, 2008. On behalf of the robots, we apologize for locking your non-spam blog. Please be patient while we take a look at your blog and verify that it is not spam.

I have had blogs classed as spam by Google before and when I challenged it, I used to get the spam classification lifted within a day or two. I first saw a change of policy with my original Obama blog. They classed it as spam and I challenged that repeatedly but they have ignored me. It is now over a MONTH and they are still treating it as a spam blog.

They have three levels of harassment. The most serious is to prevent anybody seeing anything at all on the blog. The blog is effectively deleted. I have never suffered that one so far.

The second level is to leave the blog up but prevent any new postings on the blog. They did that a few months back to GREENIE WATCH but lifted it promptly when I protested.

The third level is to permit continued posting but make you do a very difficult letter-copying task before each post. That is what they subjected my original Obama blog to. And they have kept that restriction in place. In an act of small mercy, however, they have not carried through on their threat to delete the blog entirely.

But the harassment of this blog is a weird mixture of the second and third procedures. They SAY that posting is blocked (level two) but it is not in fact. Only level 3 (preliminary task) is in operation. And that restriction does not look like it is going to go away.

So I infer that they have concluded that level 1 and 2 harassment is a bit uncool so are applying permanent level 3 harassment to any blog that they dislike. They have decided that conservatives like me will be burdened permanently with what is supposed to be only a temporary restriction.



By Jeff Jacoby

We've heard it again and again: The financial crisis was caused by the Bush administration's reckless plunge into deregulation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for example, blames the mess on "the Bush administration's eight long years of failed deregulation policies." Billionaire investor George Soros declares that "excessive deregulation is at the root of the current crisis." Nouriel Roubini, the widely-quoted New York University economist, pins it on "these Bush hypocrites, who spewed for years the glory of unfettered Wild West laissez-faire jungle capitalism." A New York Times editorial pronounces the American financial system "the victim of decades of Republican deregulatory and anti-tax policies." President Jimmy Carter attributes it to the "atrocious economic policies of the Bush administration," particularly "deregulation and . . . a withdrawal of supervision of Wall Street."

Deregulators run amok undoubtedly make a flamboyant culprit. But do they exist? Should we really be taking seriously the claim that the past eight years have been characterized by letting "the market run wild"? Granted, there has been significant recent legislation easing financial restrictions. Most often mentioned is the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which, as The New York Times described it on Monday, "removed barriers between commercial and investment banks that had been instituted to reduce the risk of economic catastrophes." Some argue that the law, which allowed traditional banks and investment firms to be affiliated under one holding company, helped bring on the credit meltdown. Even if true, how was that George W. Bush's fault? The law was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1999, after being passed by lopsided majorities in both houses of Congress.

Now, this is not to say that Bush hasn't also been responsible for legislation having a decided impact on the country's regulatory climate. On July 31, 2002, declaring that free markets must not be "a financial free-for-all guided only by greed," he signed the Sarbanes-Oxley law, a sweeping overhaul of corporate fraud, securities, and accounting laws. Among its many tough provisions, the law created a new regulatory agency to oversee public accounting firms and auditors, and imposed an array of new requirements for financial reporting and corporate audits. Whatever else might be said about Sarbanes-Oxley, it was no invitation to an uninhibited capitalist bacchanal.

Like the alligators lurking in New York City sewers, Bush's massive regulatory rollback is mostly urban legend. Far from throwing out the rulebook, the administration has expanded it: Since Bush became president, the Federal Register -- the government's annual compendium of proposed and finalized regulations -- has run to more than 74,000 pages every year but one. During the Clinton years, by contrast, the Federal Register reached that length just once.

Amid the stress and storm of the financial crisis, "deregulation" makes a convenient villain. But the facts tell a different story: The nation's regulatory burden has grown heavier, not lighter, since Bush entered the White House. Too little government wasn't what made the economy sick. Too much government isn't going to make it better.

More here



Supremes to review citizenship arguments: "A case that challenges President-elect Barack Obama's name on the 2008 election ballot citing questions over his citizenship has been scheduled for a "conference" at the U.S. Supreme Court. Conferences are private meetings of the justices at which they review cases and decide which ones to accept for formal review. This case is set for a conference Dec. 5, just 10 days before the Electoral College is scheduled to meet to make formal the election of Obama as the nation's next president. If four of the nine justices vote to hear the case in full, oral argument may be scheduled."

Elton John talks sense: "One of the world's most prominent gay entertainers offered some rare common sense on the explosive issue of same sex marriage. In New York City for a gala AIDS benefit, rock legend Sir Elton John appeared with his long-time partner, David Furnish. "We're not married," he told the press, "Let's get that straight. We have a civil partnership.I don't want to be married! I'm very happy with a civil partnership. The word `marriage,' I think, puts a lot of people off. You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships". If more people on all sides of this issue embraced the simple, irrefutable logic of this clear-thinking superstar, a vastly divisive, unnecessary controversy could reach a successful and amicable solution.

Auto Bailout Ignores Excessive Labor Costs: "Without government intervention, one or more of the Big Three automobile manufacturers--General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler--faces restructuring in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy would not be the end of the Big Three but a new beginning. Coming out of bankruptcy, the automakers would start fresh, free of the contractual obligations that have kept them uncompetitive. The United Auto Workers (UAW) and Detroit automakers want to avoid bankruptcy and are seeking a taxpayer bailout. Such a bailout, however, is not an acceptable alternative to bankruptcy because it would delay the restructuring the Big Three need to become competitive again. UAW workers earn $75 an hour in wages and benefits--almost triple the earnings of the average private sector worker. Detroit autoworkers have substantially more health, retirement, and paid time off benefits than most Americans."

Auto hub may go South: "If it's no surprise that Michigan lawmakers are behind the pitch for a $25 billion lifeline for Detroit automakers, then it might be just as predictable that Southerners would be leading the charge against it. Southern politicians have spent years luring foreign automakers to build cars in their states, with huge success. Most recently, Tennessee attracted a $1 billion Volkswagen assembly plant to Chattanooga. South Carolina has BMW. Mississippi landed a major plant for Toyota Motor Corp. Alabama boasts plants run by Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co."

Canada: Obese have right to two airline seats: "Obese people have the right to two seats for the price of one on flights within Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Thursday.The high court declined to hear an appeal by Canadian airlines of a decision by the Canadian Transportation Agency that people who are "functionally disabled by obesity" deserve to have two seats for one fare.The airlines had lost an appeal at the Federal Court of Appeal in May and had sought to launch a fresh appeal at the Supreme Court. The court's decision not to hear a new appeal means the one-person-one-fare policy stands."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Friday, November 21, 2008

Dems Seek Only To MITIGATE THE CONSEQUENCES of the Evil That They Promote

"There's no such thing as right and wrong" is an abandonment of thought

There are fundamental differences between the VISIONS of the left and the right. Visions are the basic beliefs about humanity, human nature, the role of government and more that lie BENEATH policy -- that LEAD to policy -- and the Democrat and the Republican are fundamentally at odds.

The left, seeing all judgment as prejudice (since anything you believe is tainted by your own circumstances such as skin color, nation of birth, religoin -- or lack thereof -- economic status, etc) believe the only way to eliminate the evils of bigotry is to never think at all. To the Modern Liberal, rational and moral thought is believed to be a hate crime. To them, "discriminating thought" is the evil of having discriminated. The Right, on the other hand, believes that discriminating and moral thought is, while clearly flawed, utterly essential and, in fact, the only way to make a better world.

This leads the Left and the Right to very different places with regard to policy. Because of these diametrically opposed visions, the Right seeks to help people live better lives by encouraging them to engage in the better behaviors. The Left -- rejecting the discriminating thought required to RECOGNIZE the better behaviors -- does not create policy designed to promote these better behaviors and, in fact, seeing the recognition of the better as acts of bigotry, actually works to promote the lesser behaviors which they see as "under seige" from the bigots.

At this point, when their work to undermine the promotion of the better behaviors -- and, their efforts to rehabilitate the image of the lesser behaviors -- lead as they have and must to greater suffering and failure, the Democrat THEN steps in with policy designed for no other purpose than to help mitigate the consequenes of the behaviors that they themselves have made prevelant.

On the institutional level, one sees the institutions of the Right -- from the Church to the Boy Scouts -- promote better lives by working to encourage people to better themselves. The institutions of the Left -- from the ACLU to the radicacl feminist movement -- do seek not to help people become better, but only to force society to accept and REWARD people AS THEY ARE, unchanged.

On the policy level, one finds that the Right seeks to promote those behaviors that best help people to achieve their goals. The Left works only to undermine the recognition of those bettter behaviors and then to legislate policy that seeks to (somewhat) mitigate the consequences of the failure to engage in the better behaviors.

For example, the Right recognizes that childhood abstinence is a behavior that improves the child's chances for future success. To us it's a no-brainer that unwanted pregancies, grisly abortions and being infected with sexually transmitted diseases makes less likely the child free to achieve as much with their lives as they would like. The Left, on the other hand, sees the promotion of the better behavior as a form of bigotry, calling it the work of "religious fanatics" or the "sexually repressed," and, in turn, work to rehabilitate the image of promiscuity in their movies, TV shows, schools and the legislatures they control. When this promotion of the destructive behaviors lead -- as they have and must -- to the undermining of the child's future success, the Democrat then seeks policies designed to lessen the suffering that they themselves induced.

So, where the Right Thinker promotes childhood and teenage abstinence (knowing full well that it won't work 100 percent of the time, as NOTHING works 100 percent of the time), the Democrat promotes promiscuity and then advances policies like easy and free abortions to mitigate the consequences of childhood and teenage promiscuity. Similarly, when their policies lead -- as they have and must -- to an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases amongst the children of America (with fully one out of four young girls in New York City now infeccted with at least one or more STD) -- they then put forth policy that forceably injects ALL children with one vaccine or another to make less likely the chance of contracting one of the STDs that now run rampant.

The problem, of course, beyond the mere moral destruction of our society and the theft of the innocence of the youth of America, is that, while some of these vaccines -- injected into even the children who act in the better ways -- may prevent ONE of these diseases, it does nothing to prevent a whole range of others.

Another example of this paradigm is the Rights' insistence that immigrants learn to speak English. It is self-evident to those of us on the Right that the ability to speak the language of the majority is a big plus for those immigrant who wish to accomplish their dreams in America. Clearly, if an immigrant is a salesman, he can sell to more people if he speaks the language of the majority. If the immigrant is a scientist, he can apply for a job as a scientist at AMGEN or Johnson and Johnson. If he DOESN'T speak the language of the other scientists, the ONLY job he can get is one where his communications skills are of minimal importance, such as the minimum wage job of janitor.

The Left, on the other hand, sees the insistence that one learn the language of the majority as a form of bigotry. Some have gone so far as to call it an attempt by the Right to commit "cultural genocide" of the immigrant. For this reason the Left works to undermine efforts to encourage the immigrant to learn the language of the majority, guaranteeing that they will be locked into minimum wage jobs, and then hop into action to mitigate the suffering of those they have forced to suffer by insisting upon a raise in the minimum wage.

It gets worse. Since the immigrant has rights, in order to satisfy these rights, the majority must learn the many, many languages of the immigrants. Voting documents must be printed up in hundreds of languagess while police departments in every city and town must learn to speak Spanish (etc) in order to properly "Mirandize" suspected criminals. In other words, once again, the indiscriminateness of thought that is the defining trait of the Modern Liberal movement leads the Modern Liberal to create an Orwellian world where their subjects suffer, while a cultural genocide IS taking place -- against America and against our children



Oregon Learns that Limiting Consumer Freedom Hurts

Straight on the heels of newly approved regulations that effectively ban payday lending services in Ohio, a study released today from Dartmouth College demonstrates that a 2007 cap on short-term payday loans in Oregon has substantially harmed borrowers there. The study shows why anti-payday activists are so misguided, and reinforces what we have been saying all along: Limiting credit access harms consumers. Economist Jonathan Zinman found that when payday lenders left the state, Oregonians had to turn to alternatives that were all more costly than the short-term loans:
I find that the Cap dramatically reduced access to payday loans in Oregon, and that former payday borrowers responded by shifting into incomplete and plausibly inferior substitutes. Most substitution seems to occur through checking account overdrafts of various types and/or late bills. These alternative sources of liquidity can be quite costly in both direct terms (overdraft and late fees) and indirect terms (eventual loss of checking account, criminal charges, utility shutoff).

Zinman compares his statistics on households in Oregon to those in Washington (where short-term payday loan services remained intact) and found that "the Oregon households were far more likely to experience a change for the worse in the key financial outcomes."

Especially in a time when more and more Americans are struggling to gain access to short-term credit, payday lenders have filled a void and helped consumers bridge temporary gaps in their finances. Zinman's findings even showed that the majority of respondents took out payday loans for "bills, emergencies, food/groceries, and other debt service." Only 6 percent used payday loans for "shopping or entertainment."

It doesn't take an economist to understand that, for many, paying $15 for a two-week $100 loan is better than pawning a family television or bouncing checks. Sadly, Nanny State lawmakers and bureaucrat-knows-best activists have already eliminated that choice for Oregonians and Ohioans, and are pushing to further eliminate this valuable financial option across the country.

Source (See the original for links)



There is a good article here about Kool-Aid fan Jim Jones and his "People's Temple". It was only marginally religious but it was VERY Leftist -- and it was aided and abetted for years by the San Francisco Leftist establishment.

Al Qaeda buying old ambulances: "MI5 have warned Britain’s cash-strapped National Health Services that dozens of ambulances–along with old police cars and fire engines past their sell-by date–are being snapped up by al-Qaeda operatives in the United Kingdom to mount suicide bomb attacks. So serious is the problem that counter-terrorism officials at the Home Office have written to eBay, the Internet auctioneer, asking them to stop selling emergency service vehicles, equipment and uniforms. But eBay has insisted it can only halt the sales if a new law is passed by Parliament.  That could take many months to enact. The use of ambulances is of particular concern to Britain’s terrorist chiefs.  They say the tactic has already been used in Iraq with devastating effects. A report by Lord Carlisle–the government terrorist czar who last month warned about the possibility of private planes being used for an attack on London–has been issued to all of Britain’s 48 police forces warning of the danger of selling-off emergency service vehicles. Lord Carlisle, who works closely with the Terrorism Analysis Centre in London set up since the 9/11 attacks, said ambulances were the ideal weapon of choice for terrorists."

The germy one has a point: "Feminist Germaine Greer says the dress Michelle Obama wore to her husband's US election declaration was a "butcher's apron" and looked like a "geometrical hemorrhage". In her regular column for The Guardian, Greer described the outfit as: "All black with an eye-burning red panel that splattered itself down the front like a geometrical haemorrhage." It was "a poster in the most disturbing colours known to man, the colours of chaos. Coral snakes and venomous spiders signal their destructive potential by the display of similarly violent contrasts", she wrote."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Thursday, November 20, 2008


By Jeff Jacoby

The 2008 presidential campaign may be over, but Sarah Palin's moment in the spotlight has yet to run its course. In a media marathon last week, the Republican Party's vice presidential nominee sat down for interviews with CNN's Larry King and Wolf Blitzer; had Matt Lauer of the "Today" show up to Wasilla for a family dinner; and told Fox News's Greta Van Susteren about getting the call from John McCain on her cellphone while she was admiring the local produce at the Alaska State Fair. She disdained the Republican "jerks" who spread anonymous rumors painting her as geographically illiterate, and vehemently denied the accusation that she had milked the campaign for a $150,000 wardrobe for herself and her family.

All that was a prelude to her star turn at the Republican Governors Association meeting in Miami, where she met reporters at a press conference, drew standing ovations from several hundred GOP donors, and humorously updated her fellow governors on what she'd been doing since last year's meeting. "I had a baby," she told them. "I did some traveling; I very briefly expanded my wardrobe; I made a few speeches; I met a few VIPs, including those who really impact society, like Tina Fey."

Of course she was asked whether she plans to run for president in 2012, and of course she deflected the question. "The future is not that 2012 presidential race; it's next year and our next budgets," she said. But there can't be much doubt that Palin has become the brightest star in the GOP firmament. A whopping 91 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of her, according to a recent Rasmussen poll, and she is the runaway favorite when they are asked to rank possible contenders for the party's 2012 presidential nominee.

Elsewhere, however, the savaging of Palin continues. In The New York Times, Maureen Dowd devotes yet another column to bashing Alaska's governor ("a shopaholic whack-job diva"). The popular Washington blog Wonkette, characteristically crude, pronounces her "human garbage." At, an obsessed Andrew Sullivan calls her "deluded and delusional . . . clinically unhinged" and describes her as a nitwit with "the educational level of a high school dropout" who "regards ignorance as some kind of achievement."

Not everyone on the left is in a gibbering rage over Palin. The feminist social critic Camille Paglia, a pro-choice Democrat, is appalled by the Democrats' anti-Palin debauch, especially their attacks on her intelligence. "As a career classroom teacher, I can see how smart she is," Paglia writes, "and, quite frankly, I think the people who don't see it are the stupid ones, wrapped in the fuzzy mummy-gauze of their own worn-out partisan dogma."

After witnessing the poise, energy, and panache with which John McCain's 44-year-old running mate handled herself on the national stage, can the backbiters working overtime to trash her intellect really believe she is nothing but a vain and ignorant airhead? Well, maybe; partisans and ideologues are good at seeing only what they want to see. But they might want to recall that the last Republican to inspire such ardor and admiration among the party faithful -- Ronald Reagan -- was also derided as a dim bulb. Diplomat Clark Clifford called Reagan an "amiable dunce." The New Republic's Robert Wright viewed him as "virtually brain dead." Nicholas von Hoffman lamented that it was "humiliating to think of this unlettered, self-assured bumpkin being our president." That "bumpkin" became one of the greatest presidents of the 20th century.

I suspect that the loathing of Palin by so much of the opinion elite is driven not by contempt for her brainpower but by fear of her political potential. She is cheerful and charismatic, an unabashed and likable conservative who generates extraordinary grassroots enthusiasm. Tens of thousands of voters showed up at her campaign rallies, and even now, when she appears on TV, record-breaking numbers of viewers tune in. "Her politics aren't my politics," said Lorne Michaels, the creator and executive producer of "Saturday Night Live," after Palin's appearance on the show. But "I watched the way she connected with people, and she's powerful."

Whether Palin has the skill and stamina it would take to win a presidential nomination, let alone capture the White House, it is way too early to tell. But the smart money says she is a force to be reckoned with. That may be just what her critics are afraid of.



'No' To Obama's Experimental Government

On Sunday night, President-elect Barack Obama told "60 Minutes" that Franklin D. Roosevelt would be a model of sorts for him. "What you see in FDR that I hope my team can emulate is not always getting it right, but projecting a sense of confidence and a willingness to try things and experiment in order to get people working again."

This is a problematic standard. What do you want in a surgeon? One who "gets it right" or one who projects "a sense of confidence?" Ditto accountants, defense lawyers, mechanics and bomb-disposal technicians: cocky and self-assured, or gets it right?

Before you answer that, please ask yourself what your point of view on this question was during the eight years of the Bush administration.

In short, there can be a chasm between being right and merely appearing to be right. Why anyone stakes greater value on the appearance than reality is a mystery to me.

But as Obama clearly recognizes, that was a big part of the FDR magic. FDR came into office promising "bold, persistent experimentation" -- and delivered. Raymond Moley, an early member of FDR's "brain trust," saw the New Deal for what it was. "To look upon these programs as the result of a unified plan was to believe that the accumulation of stuffed snakes, baseball pictures, school flags, old tennis shoes, carpenter's tools, geometry books and chemistry sets in a boy's bedroom could have been put there by an interior decorator," Moley wrote later.

Yet Americans thought it was all part of a plan, even though experimentation and planning are in fact near opposites. Why? Because FDR always projected such confidence, even as he made things worse. But this isn't another column about how FDR prolonged the Depression. Been there, done that. I'd rather be forward-looking.

In fact, I want to be experimental, too. So here's my idea: Just stop. Stop talking about bailouts and stimuli. Stop pondering ever more drastic action. Give it a rest. Let it be.

One of the main reasons there's all of this "money on the sidelines" out there among private investors is that Wall Street doesn't know what the government will do next. Will it bail out the auto industry? The insurance companies? Which taxes will go up? How far will interest rates go down? How long will the federal government own stakes in the banks? Will more stimulus checks go out? If so, how big will the deficit get?

Interventionists, bailout czars and "bold experimenters" in all parties claim to be like firefighters; they can't stop what they're doing until the fire is out. But this analogy only works if you understand the nature of the fire. If it's a credit crisis, that's one thing. If it's uncertainty, it's quite another. And if the problem right now is uncertainty, then these aren't firefighters, they're arsonists.



Brookes News Update

Will Obama's economic policies drag the US down?: "Things are turning nasty for the US economy. Just how nasty was made clear when on hearing of Obama's victory the markets fired a salvo across the bows of the Democratic Party. Markets are always forward looking, and what they said was that Obama's ragtag baggage of economic nostrums pose a severe threat to the American economy and hence recovery
The economy sinks deeper into recession while the economic commentariat flounders : The economy is in recession and has been for several months, and yet our brilliant economic commentariat are still debating when it will happen. In the meantime they are losing their hair over the 'global financial meltdown'. Nevermind: The truth is still out there
Is Obama another Roosevelt and will 2009 be another 1937?: Obama's union, spending and taxation policy was first implemented by Roosevelt during the Great Depression. The Result was another crash and a dramatic rise in unemployment
The myths of Clintonomics : Obama's attempts to reassure markets have failed. This is because markets know that Obama is recycling myths about the Clinton years. Naturally, that pack of economic illiterates that we call the media are cheering Obama's economic nostrums
I am proud to be a conservative : With few exceptions conservatives play by the rules, respect property and rights of others and do not resort to tricks and fraud to succeed. This is because they believe their views will prevail if people can be properly informed and because they believe Americans will do the right thing for the country even if other policies will enable them to unfairly receive more than they deserve. This cannot be said of the Democrat Party
Ten years of 'change' in the UK : For real change to come - for the dominant 20th century culture of grievance and victimhood to move on to some more healthy social psychology rooted in a degree of personal responsibility and self reliance - this would take leaders of far sterner stuff than Barack Obama
The worse is yet to come under President Barack Obama: Opponents have unsuccessfully tried to inform Americans about changes in the tax law to "spread the wealth" from the so-called "wealthy" to lower income voters. Though under the current "progressive" tax system this already occurs; President Obama will enshrine and expand the tax policy toward the Marxist ideal
Counterfeit Marriage and its Counterfeit Movement: With a unified voice amplified several million-fold through the ballot box megaphone, African-Americans have spoken on the issues of marriage, family and human sexuality. Whether young or old, male or female, Democrat or Republican, blacks are justifiably fed up with the deceptive antics of the self-described and craftily contrived 'gay rights movement'
Obama's New Deal v. the US economy : Just as I predicted, the US economy is in another recession. And what does Team Obama intend to do about it? The same things that Roosevelt did. And informed people know just how well that worked. The man will be an economic disaster if he implements his economic program


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Obama is a liberal Fascist

Liberalism or progressivism seeks to create a nanny state in which the state mandates all kinds of things for the good of the people. And no person is entitled to opt out or to thwart the decisions of the state. Thus liberal fascism.

Goldberg has on his cover a happy face with a Hitler mustache on it. By this he suggests that liberal fascism is appealing. Many people want a nanny state and thus are drawn to Hugo Chavez, Che Guevera and Barack Obama. i.e., fascism with a happy face. But as we have seen with Nazism, Communism and Islam, it can have dire consequences. In all cases it is accompanied by mind control which starts with controlling the message. Remember George Orwell's 1984, or Mao's farms for re-education or Arafat's inculcation of Jew hatred

Barak Obama is a proponent of liberal fascism. Not only does he want to take care of everyone, he means to take your money as if he was entitled to it, in order to finance his, the state's, plans. Gov. Palin pointed this out in her stump speeches. Joe Biden called giving your money to the state "patriotism".

In order to accomplish his ends he has concentrated on reeducating the kids to reject conventional wisdom and embrace his and Bill Ayers, wisdom. He supported ACORN and trained them to be shock troops. He mobilized and the MSM to assist in cudgeling the people. We have seen videos of kids in school in fatigues chanting pro-Obama messages. This is very suggestive of the Hitler Youth movement that all German children were required to join. Many schools in the US are now educating the children to these socialist principles without the consent of the parents. Its called "social engineering".

On September 4th Investor's Business Daily (IBD), a mainstream paper of great repute, reported,
"Barack Obama was a founding member of the board of Public Allies in 1992, resigning before his wife became executive director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies in 1993.

Big Brother had nothing on the Obamas. They plan to herd American youth into government-funded reeducation camps where they'll be brainwashed into thinking America is a racist, oppressive place in need of `social change.

The pitch Public Allies makes on its Web site doesn't seem all that radical. It promises to place young adults (18-30) in paid one-year "community leadership" positions with nonprofit or government agencies. They'll also be required to attend weekly training workshops and three retreats. In exchange, they'll get a monthly stipend of up to $1,800, plus paid health and child care. They also get a post-service education award of $4,725 that can be used to pay off past student loans or fund future education.

But its real mission is to radicalize American youth and use them to bring about "social change" through threats, pressure, tension and confrontation - the tactics used by the father of community organizing, Saul "The Red" Alinsky.

And Lee Cary wrote about Obama's Civilian National Security Force
Barack Obama's recent words to promote his image as Community Organizer in Chief were not about forming a paramilitary force of volunteer brown shirts. They were about turning America into one, giant, community organizer's sandbox at enormous cost to taxpayers. Senator Obama was nearly 17 minutes into his July 2 speech (yet another one where naming Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was required) in Colorado Springs, Colorado when he deviated from his pre-released script and performed without the teleprompter net saying,
"We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."

The immediate context for that amazing statement was a preview of parts of his plan to vastly expand community service opportunities for Americans of nearly all ages. He said,
"People of all ages, stations, and skills will be asked to serve."

On his web site he said that people would be "required" to serve. After much criticism he changed it to read "asked" to serve. And to make matters easier for his plans, he wants to disarm the people.

To be fair, both liberals and conservatives want to provide a security net for the people. They debate how big and strong that net should be. The real issue is at what cost to our freedom and independence. Conservatives are trying to protect such things and the liberals don't value them in the same way or to he same extent. They value the collective over the individual.

Democrats are quick to charge Republicans with fascism because, for example, Republicans want to maintain Guantanamo Bay and want profiling or wire tapping in certain cases. In effect they say this is an infringement of personal rights. As I said just above, providing the security net or or this case security itself, certain rights are infringed. What separates us is when restrictions are warranted and when they are not. Everyone must decide for themselves what is the biggest threat to their freedom.

Taking care of the weak in society is an admirable objective. The liberals have claimed this as their brand. But will they deliver on their promise?



Liberals clinically mad, concludes top psychiatrist

Just when liberals thought it was safe to start identifying themselves as such, an acclaimed, veteran psychiatrist is making the case that the ideology motivating them is actually a mental disorder. "Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded," says Dr. Lyle Rossiter, author of the new book, "The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness." "Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave."

While political activists on the other side of the spectrum have made similar observations, Rossiter boasts professional credentials and a life virtually free of activism and links to "the vast right-wing conspiracy." For more than 35 years he has diagnosed and treated more than 1,500 patients as a board-certified clinical psychiatrist and examined more than 2,700 civil and criminal cases as a board-certified forensic psychiatrist. He received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago.

Rossiter says the kind of liberalism being displayed by both Barack Obama and his Democratic primary opponent Hillary Clinton can only be understood as a psychological disorder. "A social scientist who understands human nature will not dismiss the vital roles of free choice, voluntary cooperation and moral integrity - as liberals do," he says. "A political leader who understands human nature will not ignore individual differences in talent, drive, personal appeal and work ethic, and then try to impose economic and social equality on the population - as liberals do. And a legislator who understands human nature will not create an environment of rules which over-regulates and over-taxes the nation's citizens, corrupts their character and reduces them to wards of the state - as liberals do."

Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:

* creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;

* satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;

* augmenting primitive feelings of envy;

* rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.

"The roots of liberalism - and its associated madness - can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind," he says. "When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious."




Iraq's security deal with U.S. shows gains amid 'failure' mantras: "On Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's cabinet approved by a 21-7 vote a status of forces agreement with the U.S. It says that U.S. forces will withdraw from Iraq's populated areas by June 2009 and all forces will withdraw by the end of 2011. We have our own misgivings about the limits on U.S. forces suggested by the 2009 date. We suspect both sides understand the need to revisit this if conditions on the ground change dramatically. With George Bush gone, though, Mr. Maliki may have a harder time getting President Obama to approve U.S. troops leaving their bases, no matter how badly needed. This still won't satisfy the Democratic left in Congress or in the blogosphere, but now they will be President Obama's problem, as he transitions from campaign rhetoric to international realities. To that end, we offer a brief compendium of campaign myths about "failure" in Iraq that are belied by the Maliki government's security deal with the U.S."

Now the gutless Europeans bow down before Russia!: "EU leaders on Friday said they were resuming talks with Moscow toward an economic-cooperation agreement. The negotiations were put on ice 10 weeks earlier because of Russia's invasion of its tiny neighbor and refusal to abide by a French-brokered cease-fire. But by Friday's EU-Russia summit in Nice, France, Moscow's fulfillment of "a large part of its obligations" was good enough for French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Thus ends the lone sanction Europe placed on its belligerent neighbor after the August war. The talks are back on, but Georgians are still waiting for the promised pullback of Russian soldiers to their prewar positions. Numerous Russian troops remain in the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, whose self-declared independence has been recognized by only Russia and Nicaragua. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of ethnic Georgians are still unable to return to their homes both in and outside the conflict zone. EU and other Western observers remain blocked from entering the most war-torn areas, and as recently as Sunday were still reporting incidents in which they'd been fired upon near Abkhazia."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The psychology of politics

I did my first piece of research into the psychology of politics in 1968. It was my Masters dissertation. I have been studying the subject ever since -- now with many academic publications on it behind me. So it seems reasonable that in 2008 -- 40 years later -- I should look back and say as briefly as possible what I have learned in those 40 years.

In good academic style I start with a definition: The first thing to say is that Leftism is emotional. The second is to say that the emotion is negative and the third thing to say is that the negative emotion (anger/hate) is directed at the world about the Leftist, the status quo if you like. The Leftist is nothing if he is not a critic, though usually a very poorly-informed critic. And the criticisms are both pervasive and deeply felt.

What is routinely overlooked in most discussions of ideology is that conservatives don't like the status quo either -- but they don't hate it and they don't get burned up about it. Ask almost any conservative and he will give you a long list of things he would like to see changed in the world about him. It is only a Leftist caricature to say that conservatives support the status quo.

Left and Right do indeed differ in their response to the status quo but not in the simplistic "for and against" way that Leftists claim. The difference is in depth of feeling and in the changes desired. Leftists want change passionately and feel very righteous about the changes they want. Conservatives can see fault and do at times set out at length the reasoning behind the changes they think desirable -- but mostly they just want to get on with their own lives. There are undoubtedly some people who are completely happy with the world as it is but they are not concerned about politics. They probably do, however, vote conservative when called upon to vote. They would not be able to find much in common with the constant complaint that is the mark of the Leftist. The typical conservative does not simmer if his wishes for change are not implemented. The Leftist does.

One marker of the difference just set out will be well known to anyone who reads blogs from both sides of the divide: Profanity is hugely more common on Leftist blogs. A systematic study of the matter found profanity to be TWELVE TIMES more common on Leftist blogs. Profanity is of course an attempt to express one's feelings strongly.

Note that I do NOT use the word "liberal" for the Left side of politics. "Liberal" as a name for any left-leaning political party is just camouflage. Except in sex-related matters, liberty is in general a very low prioritiy for them. Tearing down sexual mores is a form of change that they have had much success at.

So what is conservatism? Basically it is caution based on a perception that the world is an unpredictable, dangerous and often hostile place. So change is not rejected. It is in fact, as just said, sometimes desired. But it is approached in a skeptical, step by step, way to ensure that its effects are beneficial or at least benign. And an important criterion of what consitutes "benign" is how the change affects individual liberty. At a minimum, a conservative wants to ensure that change will not reduce his individual liberty.

Because the Leftist is angry rather than prudent, however, he cares not a bit for the conservative's caution. The most thorough-going Leftist just wants to smash everything that exists around him out of the feeling that it is all so hateful that none of it is worth preserving. And in the French revolution, the Bolshevik revolution, the Maoist revolution and many more minor revolutions, the Leftists got their way -- with results we all know about. Doing any sort of a good job of putting back together what they have smashed is beyond them. They are destroyers only. Hate is not constructive.

Because we all know of those dismal results, Leftist activists and politicians in entrenched democracies have to be more careful. Expressing the full extent of their feelings and advocating revolution would simply marginalize them and they know that. So they have to find ways of undermining society in more subtle ways. And they are greatly aided in that by the complex nature of modern society. Most people have only the vaguest notion of how society works so the Leftist politician can propose various changes that sound good but which will be disastrous in practice -- with "share and share alike" being the classic example of that. And when the disasters unfold the committed Leftist cannot lose. He will get an internal glow of satisfaction from the suffering and disruption unleashed on all those fools around him that he hates but will be excused from blame because he "meant well".

So what motivates a Leftist to be so full of negative emotions toward the surrounding world? Many things. There is no one cause of Leftism. The Leftist activist or politician is mostly motivated by ego needs. He craves attention and praise. He needs to be perceived as wise and righteous -- and he tries to achieve that by pretending to be all heart and condemning the world for its many faults and imperfections. But it could simply be that the Leftist was born into a subset of society that is in general hostile to the larger society. Miners are a common example of that. Mining towns were once bedrock Left-voting places. Why that was so is beyond the scope of what I want to say at the moment, however.

And, as mentioned, there are of course degrees of Leftism -- degrees to which society is disliked. The out-and-out-Leftist (generally an intellectual of some sort) is just a rage-filled hater who wants to smash everything -- but the average Leftist voter is a gentler soul. They may simply be upset that they personally are not getting a very good deal from society as it exists and be generally critical of society for that reason. But the biggest category of Leftist voters by far would appear to be genuinely well intentioned people who are strongly emotionally affected by suffering in others. They see other people who are not doing well in some way and urgently want that fixed by whatever means it takes. They are angered by what they see as "injustice". And that emotion dominates all else. And it is the strong negative emotions evoked by the surrounding society that unites these people with the vicious and deliberately destructive haters at the top of the Leftist pyramid.

But anger is a very bad frame of mind in which to make decisions and craft policies so these basically good people will often be lured into voting for some unscrupulous Leftist politician who promises to fix it all -- but who must know in his own heart that the cure will be worse than the disease. But if offering false hope gets the activist into power, too bad! And the poor old conservative who knows how things work and says that there is no easy fix will be ignored -- and called "heartless".

And that, I believe is how politics works: It is particularly the people who are especially sensitive to the suffering of others who make us all suffer, paradoxical though that may seem. Without their numerous votes, the Leftist politicians would never gain power. And the converse of that is that a little bit of heartlessness can be desirable. Balance is needed in fellow-feeling, as in many other things.

One test of the above explanation is that Left-voters should be more unhappy than conservatives -- and that has been borne out in almost all the happiness surveys that I have seen. For some discussion of that, see here. Because they are less emotional and not as easily upset, conservatives are happier and more level-headed -- and so are not as easily stampeded into foolish actions by emotional appeals. Most of them don't even believe in global warming!

So, for most Leftists, their Leftism mostly dwells deep within the personality. Which is why from age 2 I could tell that my son would be a conservative. His favourite "joke" at that age (and indeed for some years afterward) was: "The boy fell in the mud". He was able to see the funny side of a minor mishap that would have been seen as a tragedy by an emotional Leftist.

And the soft-hearted Leftists have much to thank conservatives for. The conservative element in the population protects them from the consequences that they wish for. Nowhere is that better seen than when the revolution succeeds. Among the first people to be "liquidated" by the hard men of the revolution are the soft-hearted revolutionaries.

Fortunately, time also plays a part. Many of the well-intentioned Leftists do over time come to see that simplistic solutions to society's ills don't work and end up voting for more complex and balanced solutions. They become conservatives. Even the once very Leftist George McGovern sounds remarkably conservative these days. Many of the most vocal conservatives started out as Leftists and have become quite evangelical as a consequence of learning from experience that Leftist policies are destructive. They have the same benevolent aims as before but have grown wiser about what will best serve those aims. And the older they get, the more chance they have to see the counterproductive nature of simplistic Leftist "solutions".

The most succinct summary of what I have said above is that Leftism is the politics of rage. This contrasts with the usual summary that Leftism is the politics of envy. But Leftists these days seem to be a generally affluent bunch. They are certainly not on average materially disadvantaged. So I cannot see that material envy is any sort of major motive for most of them.

The above is of course only a summary. I go into great detail about what the history of Leftism and conservatism tells us here and here.

Note: The post above is an expanded version of the original -- JR


Why Dogs, Not Liberals, Are Man's Best Friend

by Burt Prelutsky

Some people are convinced that a compassionate conservative is an oxymoron. But, I know better. I'm not suggesting I am one, but I do know a few. They're the people who occasionally take me to task for being too critical of liberals. They'll insist that some of their best friends are liberals. Liberals, they'll inform me, make fine neighbors and positively first-rate relatives. I patiently explain that they're preaching to the choir. I know first-hand that liberals can be all of those things, and more. My only problem with liberals is that they're hypocrites and they can't help lying.

Perhaps, like my friends, you now think I'm too harsh in my judgment. On the contrary, I think I tend to give liberals the benefit of the doubt. I happen to believe they are so besotted by their emotions that they can't help painting themselves into indefensible corners. To blame a liberal for lying and blatant hypocrisy would be as heartless as blaming an alcoholic for drinking. In fact, I suspect that, like alcoholics, liberals suffer from a chemical imbalance. Otherwise, how would you explain the enormous gulf between what they say and what they do?

For instance, how often have we read newspaper editorials arguing for Affirmative Action in schools and in the work place? In most cases, those pieces are not being written or edited by members of a racial minority group. So, if they were sincere, shouldn't these journalists clear out their desks and surrender their jobs to somewhat less qualified, but far more deserving, blacks and Hispanics?

Or consider, if you will, how consistently liberals object to tax cuts. They prattle on incessantly about how much the wealthy benefit, ignoring the logic that if there's a 10% reduction across the board, it figures that the person who pays more will save more. But, when liberals blather about the inequities of tax cuts, you realize they actually believe that if a millionaire saves fifty thousand on his tax bill, the guy who only earns, say, thirty grand-a-year should get the same return!

Liberals, for reasons that some of us will never comprehend, are convinced that the federal government can be trusted to spend money more wisely than the people who actually earn it. When Bill Clinton was in the White House, he said as much. They're entitled to their beliefs, you say. Where does the inconsistency come in, you ask? It's simply this -- liberals spend just as much money as conservatives on shrewd attorneys and clever C.P.A.'s, attempting to lower their own tax liability. There is nothing in the tax laws, after all, that prohibits an American citizen from paying Uncle Sam more than he owes. But, I have yet to hear of a liberal, even one as rich as George Soros, who claimed that, even though he belonged in the highest bracket, he so admired the way in which Congress spent his money, he was going to send the I.R.S. 70 or maybe even 80 percent of his earnings.

Finally, I have never heard a liberal speak out in favor of school vouchers. Instead, they wave the flag for public schools, even though everybody in his right mind knows that, in spite of the No Child Left Behind program, a majority of public schools in America are a disgrace. The system has routinely passed along youngsters who wound up graduating from high school lacking self-discipline and even rudimentary math and reading skills. Yet, every liberal in Congress can be counted on to pay lip service to public education, although not one of them has a child enrolled in the Washington, D.C., school system!




What is Obama hiding?: "The California secretary of state should refuse to allow the state's 55 Electoral College votes to be cast in the 2008 presidential election until President-elect Barack Obama verifies his eligibility to hold the office, alleges a California court petition filed on behalf of former presidential candidate Alan Keyes and others. The legal action today is just the latest is a series of challenges, some of which have gone as high as the U.S. Supreme Court, over the issue of Obama's status as a "natural-born citizen," a requirement set by the U.S. Constitution."

The $639 Million Loophole: "We're fresh off the most expensive election cycle in history, in which the winning candidate raised record amounts of money while opting out of the campaign finance limits. With victory in hand, Barack Obama's allies now want to return to the alleged virtues of public money. If there was ever a demonstration of the folly and hypocrisy of campaign finance reform, this would be it. The GOP is using this demonstration to make another constitutional challenge to McCain-Feingold"

Russia in trouble: "Putin's personal fortune and the Kremlin's cash cow lies in Gazprom, the Russian gas monopoly that supplies over 20% of the government's budget. Six months ago - last May - Gazprom had the largest market cap of any company in the entire world, US$360 billion. It is now (11/13) $91b. It has lost 75% of its value and so has its share price. That's gas. Let's take oil. The Kremlin says its budget is based on a price of $65 a barrel, while independent analysts think its at least $70. Yet the collapse of benchmark oil prices to below $60 currently masks the fact that Russia sells a lower grade, Urals Crude, than benchmark grades like Brent or WTI (West Texas Intermediate). Today, Urals crude closed at $48.80. Not only is Russia getting less money per barrel, it's producing less. Oil production fell for the 10th straight month in October. As the Russian economy disintegrates, so is the Russian state and the Kremlin's control over it. As respected commentator Dmitry Tayevsky recently wrote: "Of course there will not be a crisis in Russia. There will be something immeasurably worse."

A glamorous puppet: "The swooning frenzy over the choice of Barack Obama as President of the United States must be one of the most absurd waves of self-deception and swirling fantasy ever to sweep through an advanced civilisation. At least Mandela-worship - its nearest equivalent - is focused on a man who actually did something. I really don't see how the Obama devotees can ever in future mock the Moonies, the Scientologists or people who claim to have been abducted in flying saucers. This is a cult like the one which grew up around Princess Diana, bereft of reason and hostile to facts. It already has all the signs of such a thing. If you can believe that this undistinguished and conventionally Left-wing machine politician is a sort of secular saviour, then you can believe anything. He plainly doesn't believe it himself. His cliche-stuffed, PC clunker of an acceptance speech suffered badly from nerves. It was what you would expect from someone who knew he'd promised too much and that from now on the easy bit was over. He needn't worry too much. From now on, the rough boys and girls of America's Democratic Party apparatus, many recycled from Bill Clinton's stained and crumpled entourage, will crowd round him, to collect the rich spoils of his victory and also tell him what to do, which is what he is used to".

UN spends aid money on $25 million office ceiling: "A $25m decorative ceiling for a United Nations building in Geneva has come under fire after it was disclosed that it was partly paid for by Spain's overseas aid budget. The decision to hire Miquel Barcelo, 51, one of the world's most highly paid abstract artists, to redesign a 14,000 sq ft dome has prompted furious protests from campaigners who believe it is an extravagant misuse of development funds. Barcelo has said his design aims to create a "grotto", with stalactites reflecting "infinity and the multiplicity of view-points". He has built a honeycomb of aluminium from which to hang resin stalactites up to 3ft long. They are coloured with paint containing pigments from all over the world. The work, at the headquarters of the UN Human Rights Council, will be unveiled this week by Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain and Jose Luis Zapatero, the Spanish prime minister."

There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Monday, November 17, 2008

A Way Out of the Wilderness

We've been walloped in consecutive elections, but we can't just dwell on the past. The future is already here

By Karl Rove (excerpts)

Yes, we lost the election. But in a year when all currents were running against Republicans and our campaign was lackluster and erratic, Barack Obama received only 3.1 points more than Al Gore in 2000 and only 4.6 points more than John Kerry in 2004. The Democratic victory becomes durable only if Republicans make it so with the wrong moves.

Losing the election has led to a debate about whether the GOP should return to its Reaganite tradition or embark on a new reform course. This pundit-driven shoutfest presents a sterile, unnecessary choice. The party should embrace both tradition and reform; grass-roots Republicans want to apply timeless conservative principles to the new circumstances facing America.

In the coming year, we will be defined more by what we oppose than what we are for; the president-elect and the Democrats in Congress will control the agenda. We must pick fights carefully and center them around principle. The goal is to have the sharp differences that emerge make the GOP look like the more reasonable, hopeful and inviting party-which is easier said than done. A road map:

1. Avoid mindless opposition. We should support President Obama when he is right (Afghanistan), persuade him when his mind appears open (trade) and oppose him when he is wrong (taxes). It is the Republican Party's job to hold him accountable on the merits only.

2. Be as comfortable talking about health care and education as national security and taxes. Republican health-care proposals are strong; they can trump the Democrats' big-government ideas, but only if we advocate them with clarity, passion and conviction.

We must stress that the GOP wants families to be able to save, tax-free, for out-of-pocket medical expenses. People should be able to take their insurance from job to job. Small businesses should be able to pool risk to get the same discounts that big companies get. You can buy auto insurance from anywhere in America, even from a lizard, so why not health insurance? A national market would mean that health coverage for a 25-year-old New Yorker wouldn't cost four times what it does in Pennsylvania. Individuals and families, not just companies, should get a tax break for buying health insurance. And we must stop junk lawsuits that drive up everybody's health-care bills.

3. Winning the war on terror is a matter of national survival. Republicans must be President Obama's best allies in waging unrelenting war against terrorists, and prod him sharply if he weakens or wavers.........

This is a long to-do list. But parties that have just been trashed in consecutive elections always have a lot of work to do. Yet Republicans, in recognizing the size of the challenge ahead, shouldn't despair: President Obama and the Democrats in Congress will, fairly or not, own every problem that emerges. We remain a center-right nation, and the GOP will remain a center-right party based on an optimistic conservatism.

And political fortunes can change quickly. In 1992, Bill Clinton stood atop the political world; in 1994, he stood defeated after Republicans took control of the House. We can't count on a replay of 1994, but we can take steps that will make 2010 a good year-and, with a bit of luck and skill, a very good year. Democrats control the levers of power, but Republicans still control their own fate.

More here


Now that they control the White House and Congress, will Democrats usher in a new "progressive" era?

The last "Progressive" era produced the Great Depression so the question is of grave concern. "Progressivism" can be enormously destructive

Not likely. At first glance, the numbers do look encouraging for proponents of a new New Deal era in government: Obama claimed at least 364 electoral votes and more than 52.5 percent of the overall popular vote, while Democrats now control at least 57 seats in the Senate and 255 in the House.

But look more closely, and you see a heavy influx of moderate to conservative members in the incoming freshman Democratic class, particularly in the House. Of the 24 Republican-held districts that Democrats won in 2008, Kerry carried just three in 2004. Democratic victories on Nov. 4 included Alabama's 2nd district (where Kerry took 33 percent of the vote) and Idaho's at-large seat (where Kerry won just 30 percent). In fact, according to tabulations by National Journal's Richard E. Cohen, 81 House Democrats in the 111th Congress will represent districts that Bush carried in 2004.

The fact that roughly a third of the Democratic House majority sits in seats with Republican underpinnings (at least at the presidential level) is almost certain to keep a liberal dream agenda from moving through Congress. The first rule of politics is survival, and if these new arrivals to Washington want to stick around, they are likely to build centrist voting records between now and 2010.

More here


Racism is dead . . . and we killed it!

I think that the article below is a bit optimistic but one hopes that the constant Leftist accusations of racism do die down a bit

Yep, you heard me right. Racism in America is dead. Allegations about inequality of opportunity have been smashed. Deader than a bug on the windshield. You and I killed it. Over 66 million voters waited in line to deliver the coup de grace. Many of them were proud blacks who've lived long enough to know what I'm saying. You gotta' feel good about that. Most, however, were guilty whites who queued up to the voting booth to get shed of an ugly stigma. As for the other 57 million voters, they already knew that racism was dead and decided to vote on principle. Well . . . okay . . . that last statement was tongue-in-cheek, but not as much as you think.

So join me, please, as we collectively stab our fingers at the rotting corpse of racism and - in unison with Robert DeNiro's character Al Capone in The Untouchables - shout our eulogy to America's great sin: Black inferiority: DEAD! White guilt: DEAD! Race-baiting: Dead! The U.S. of KKK: Dead! The politics of victimhood: Dead! On November 4, America took a baseball bat to those notions and knocked them out of the park. It was a grand slam of epic proportions.

Will diehards continue to preach that America is a horridly racist country? Of course they will. Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton still aim to make a living. The New York Times hasn't yet shut its doors. And pseudo-intellectual multiculturalists still have tenure in our colleges because . . . well, you know why. But the rest of us in America - red and yellow, black and white - have stopped listening to them.

Actually, racism in America died several decades ago, but the memo got lost. Last year I read with amusement about a black college student who traveled to Jena, Louisiana with a busload of other protestors - all going to support the "Jena 6" thugs - because she wanted to see what racism looked like. The irony of her comment is an epitaph in itself.

Racism died in America after decades of legislation and hundreds of billions in taxpayer reparations. Professional sports and the entertainment industry also helped. Oprah is one of the richest women in the world - and a former Miss America. And college athletic departments have produced far more black millionaires than white ones over the past thirty years. No one had to cross a picket line to get there.

More here



Rahm Emanuel sorry he is not an Arab: "Obama chief of staff's father is a very right-wing Jew, a former member of Irgun. In the interview to Maariv, he wrongly surmised that Rahm will be very pro-Israel because "he is not an Arab." (Never mind Jimmy Carter also was not an Arab.) Rahm apologized to American Arabs for his father's remark."

Does anyone care about economic common sense?: "A bailout won't fix GM. It will only prop it up. And given it's situation, that won't last long either. So it most likely would mean a further --investment' would be necessary later -- the AIG model if you will. Bankruptcy is not only the smarter choice, it avoids the moral hazard inherent in government bailouts as well as avoiding throwing good money after bad."

Surprising sense from a Leftist: "Gordon Brown tonight called on the world's most powerful industrial nations to agree a programme of immediate and coordinated tax cuts to prevent the global economy sliding deeper into recession. Arriving in New York for this weekend's unprecedented gathering of the leaders of the world's leading 20 economies, the prime minister said the need for a "fiscal stimulus" both for the UK economy and the world had increased after an autumn in which accelerating job losses had intensified fears of a deep and lasting slump."

Wayne Lusvardi has an article up on California's latest "sustainable growth" legislation -- pointing out that it will require irrational use of one of California's scarcest resources, water.


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Why they hate Sarah

(Irrelevant comment: Wotta babe!)

If it is generational change the electorate wants, some American conservatives are pinning their hopes on Sarah Palin. Unlike the recent crop of successful conservative leaders around the world, Palin is a bonfire lighter. She sparks a visceral hatred among her ideological opponents, more malign and more extreme than was the case even for Hillary Clinton, the previously most vilified politician since Margaret Thatcher. Note they are all women.

While race may no longer be an issue in post-partisan times, sexism is alive and well, but perpetrated most nakedly by the Aunty Alices of the media firmament. These are women who seek to ingratiate themselves with the dominant power group, even if it means trashing their own kind. They are to women what Uncle Tom was to black people.

And why? Mostly because of abortion, because as the American political analyst Michael Barone said this week, Palin did not abort her disabled baby. Barone later claimed he was joking, after being booed by journalists during a speech in Chicago when he reportedly said: "The liberal media attacked Sarah Palin because she did not abort her Down syndrome baby. They wanted her to kill that child." Palin represents so radical a disruption of the cultural order that she just has to be smashed. The amount of mud being thrown at her now is a measure of how seriously the threat of a Palin presidential campaign in 2012 is taken.

Source. Non-editorializing report of her recent press conference here


All's Fair with the Left

Media ignore how unfair liberal plans really are.

Fair's fair, right? Not always - especially in the new America that dawns January 20. That's when the Obama administration takes over and they have bold plans for making America a fairer place to be. The Democratic platform Obama supports has 30 separate references to fairness in some form or another. Obama wants a "fair economy," "fair trade," women to get "fair pay," to make "sure that workers get their fair share," and to restore "fairness to our tax code." These items have nothing at all to do with being fair. They are Orwellian doublespeak like: "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength." They are the antithesis of what those terms are supposed to mean.

And America's sycophantic media refuse to call any of it into question. They even embrace some of it, like supposedly "fair trade." But what is fair or what makes up a "fair economy?" Is it one where everyone has the opportunity to succeed or the mandate for equality?

The Democratic platform makes it clear that the left wants government to do everything for us but tuck us in at night. "We Democrats want - and we hereby pledge - a government led by Barack Obama that looks out for families in the new economy with health care, retirement security, and help, especially in bad times. Investment in our country - in energy, education, infrastructure, science." That's their model of a "fair economy." They also plan to take a fair amount of money from hard-working taxpayers.

Look at fair trade. Liberals opposed to Western nations benefiting from globalization endorse the idea of "fair trade" over actual market freedom. The Fair Trade Federation calls the idea "a holistic approach to trade and development that aims to alter the ways in which commerce is conducted, so that trade can empower the poorest of the poor." It's so touchy-feeling you can almost feel it hug you. But it has nothing to do with business. Running a company means creating the best products for you customers and making the most money for your owners or investors. It does not mean sending love notes to the third world.

Yet the mainstream media love it. For Mother's Day 2007, CBS did a flattering story on an Ecuadorian florist embracing the "big color" green as part of "fair trade." In a coffee story, "Today" Food Editor Phil Lempert said "fair trade is very important" because "farmers are actually paid a fair wage." No one even questioned his use of the loaded term.

Then there are taxes. Obama is already famous for his ridiculous tax answer to ABC's Gibson Gibson during the primary debates. When told by Gibson that cuts to capital gains taxes produce more revenue than increases, Obama still favored hikes - because they are what he calls "fair." "I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness," he explained. He then described the current tax structure as "not fair." Liberals don't grasp that their interpretation of "fair" is un. One of the most obvious examples of this is their attempt to restore the misnamed "Fairness Doctrine," designed to silence critics in talk radio.

It's not a Fairness Doctrine. It's a Censorship Doctrine. Its rules are designed to force conservative talkers into submission by mandating equal time for liberal voices. As if those same voices aren't already dominant in every other form of media. Still several prominent Democrats have pushed for this regulation of free speech as a "fair" way to neutralize their opponents. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., was only the most recent to promote this anti-1st Amendment regulation. In a Fox News interview he commented, "I think we should all be fair and balanced, don't you?" Other top Democrats who fear opposition voices have made a similar push from Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to Senate Rules Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

So far, the new president is not agreeing. Back in June, Broadcasting & Cable magazine reported then-candidate Obama opposed that kind of "fairness." "`Sen. Obama does not support reimposing the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters,' press secretary Michael Ortiz said in an e-mail to B&C late Wednesday," it reported. But that was when he was running for election and before he was openly complaining about Fox News and the Drudge Report or bumping reporters off the plane after their newspapers endorsed his opponent.

A newly empowered and prickly POTUS could decide he likes having the press as lapdogs instead of watchdogs. By going after talk radio, he gets rid of critics and ingratiates himself to media allies who despise talk radio. Conservatives need to fight this fight today and make sure Obama's "fairness" doesn't destroy our already limited voice. It's time we said fair enough.




Wow! First we had a phony birth certificate for Obama now we have a phony selective service registration. Is there anything about this guy that is legit?

Next Up for Nationalization: the Internet: "Following the nationalization of investment banks, Fannie and Freddie, consumer banks, and private insurance companies, taxpayers are likely asking: What's left for the federal government to nationalize? How about the Internet? Network neutrality, or net neutrality, is the beneficent-sounding name for sweeping new government regulatory power that would prohibit Internet service providers from innovating in their own networks. This could lead to much less broadband investment by private companies, and could potentially force government subsidization, control, and outright nationalization of the Internet. The implications of this are chilling"

One reason why Detroit is broke: "Detroit is trying to clean up its image. In efforts to do so, the city council wants to give a $200,000 contract to a non-profit organization dedicated to the reforestation of the city. It's being called The Greening of Detroit. The group made up of volunteers would plant 2,000 saplings in neighborhoods that have been plagued by some invasive species. Enter the local union: AFSCME Local 542. This union has now stalled the City Council from authorizing this agreement for The Greening of Detroit. Why? Because the local union sees this as competition for the city's 50 forestry workers and they believe that the city is outsourcing THEIR jobs by allowing this non-profit organization to plant trees. Instead, this union would rather the government spend the $200,000 on trees and then pay the union workers to do the labor on top of that ... rather than allowing these volunteers to plant the trees for free."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hate By Any Other Name

The LA Times covers the mass protests against the passage of Proposition 8, which amends the California constitution and clarifies that marriage is restricted to one man and one woman. Set aside the fact that African Americans were the most overwhelmingly pro-Prop 8 voters, or that some may have supported the measure simply because they were offended at gay marriage being imposed through a one-vote margin by California Supreme Court judicial fiat.

What's worth noting is that since the proposition passed, some of its opponents have behaved in a way that would be universally condemned if, say, conservatives had behaved in the same manner about Obama's victory. Most appalling, here is video of a cross being ripped out of an elderly woman's hand and being trampled upon.

Just asking: Where is the ACLU, and where are all the hate crimes advocates? Surely if a Christian had stomped on a symbol of gay pride, there would be you-know-what to pay. What makes it all right for gay activists to stamp on the most sacred symbol of the Christian faith?

It strikes me that different standards of behavior are expected from Americans depending on their political persuasion. Acts that would be characterized as unacceptable and hateful if employed by conservatives are treated as an acceptable expression of legitimate grievance when committed by the left.



Hank Paulson, Naked Emperor

The urgent necessity of a few weeks ago is now useless, we hear

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson finally confirmed what lonely bailout opponents tried to tell the American public all along: The man doesn't know what the hell he's doing.

Paulson held a bazooka to taxpayers' heads. He groveled on his knees in front of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He lured leaders from both political parties into linking arms in a panicked Chicken Little line dance for the beleaguered mortgage industry. Paulson demanded an unprecedented $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) for the good of the country. For the health of the housing market. For the survival of the economy. No time for deliberation. No time to review the failures of such interventionist approaches around the world. Now, now, now!

And now? The pulled-out-of-the-posterior "$700 billion" price tag has ballooned into the trillions. The "mortgage industry rescue" has expanded to banks, insurance companies, automakers, credit card companies and possibly the entire national volume of consumer lending. Oh, and that vaunted "TARP" component, Paulson admitted this week, is nothing but a four-letter word that rhymes with TRAP.

In September, Paulson offered his lofty pledge: "The ultimate taxpayer protection will be the stability this troubled asset relief program provides to our financial system, even as it will involve a significant investment of taxpayer dollars. I am convinced that this bold approach will cost American families far less than the alternative -- a continuing series of financial institution failures and frozen credit markets unable to fund economic expansion."

Two months later, Paulson's conviction melted faster than microwaved butter. "Our assessment at this time is that this is not the most effective way to use TARP funds," he sheepishly told the nation Wednesday.....

Wielding his enormous authority, Paulson is desperately throwing our money at banks in a futile attempt to convince them to lend. Instead, those banks are either hoarding the cash or acquiring more assets. In other words: Paulson is helping the banks that were "too big to fail" grow even bigger with taxpayer backing. Swell.

Hank Paulson is not to be trusted. I repeat: This is the man who proclaimed the subprime crisis "largely contained" in April 2007; "near the bottom" in May 2007; and "largely contained" again in August 2007. This is the man who pledged that he had "no interest in bailing out lenders or property speculators" in October 2007 and couldn't "think of any situation where the backdrop of the global economy was as healthy as it is today."

This is the man who patted himself on the back for refusing to "put taxpayer money on the line" to rescue Lehman Brothers on Sept. 15 -- and then turned around the next day and engineered the $85 billion taxpayer-funded bailout of AIG. This is the man who vowed he had "no plans to insert money" into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- and then turned around and committed $200 billion in capital and credit lines to those corrupt, bloated, crumbling institutions.

Emperor Paulson's bipartisan courtiers in Congress berated anyone who dared challenge his wisdom. Minority Leader John Boehner sniffed: "This is no time for ideological purity." Well, ideological pollution begat this mess. It's time for a fiscal-conservative counterinsurgency to disrobe and disarm the charlatans before they do more harm.

More here


Brookes News Update

Obama's New Deal v. the US economy: Just as I predicted, the US economy is in another recession. And what does Team Obama intend to do about it? The same things that Roosevelt did. And informed people know just how well that worked. The man will be an economic disaster if he implements his economic program
Why Keynes is not the answer to the financial crisis: We find it extraordinary to suggest that Keynes' ideas are now coming back to save the world. Keynesian ideas have never left the rooms of government and central bank decision makers. The essence of the thinking of the most influential economists was and still is Keynesian
Recession is already here - and has been for months: The economy started to slide into recession months ago. Yet the economic commentariat is still blaming the financial crisis. So what really happened and how is it to be dealt with?
Obama's wheelbarrow economics: Obama's primitive economics. The Messiah is seriously considering creating millions of new jobs by destroying capital, despite the fact that it is capital that raises real wages. That anyone about to occupy the Oval Office should give this garbage more than a moment's thought should beggar belief
The tide is finally turning against global warming cultists: All over the western world, the penny is dropping. People are coming to realise that "global warming" is a phony crisis. More slowly they are learning that the misguided policies being promoted to change future climate will create real crises in energy and food supplies and costs
Obama to shut down talkback radio? The right To remain silent: Obama's thugocracy is already moving to destroy conservative talkback radio. No doubt they will have the full support of America's viciously corrupt 'mainstream media', not to mention a horde of leftwing foreign 'journalists'
Miracles of the Obamaic faith: What Obama says does not make sense. His speeches, when not totally devoid of content, unceremoniously contradict themselves - and that is exactly why they work so well. Their content has no importance at all


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Friday, November 14, 2008

Conservatives have a better sense of humour

The article below starts out with the claim -- popular among Leftist psychologists -- that conservatives are dogmatic and rigid and less flexible and less open to new ideas. There was never any good evidence for that, just some methodologically very weak research among college students. See here and here, for instance. It is a very common finding that conservatives are happier though. Whining is basic to Leftism. It is interesting that the findings below seem to have been based on an adult sample. The findings should therefore be more generalizable than the findings from college students -- whom psychologists normally study

In strict accordance with experimental protocol, we begin by asking you to rate, on a scale of 1 (not funny at all) to 9 (hilarious) the following three attempts at humor:

A) Jake is about to chip onto the green at his local golf course when a long funeral procession passes by. He stops in midswing, doffs his cap, closes his eyes and bows in prayer. His playing companion is deeply impressed. "That's the most thoughtful and touching thing I've ever seen," he says. Jake replies, "Yeah, well, we were married 35 years."

B) I think there should be something in science called the "reindeer effect." I don't know what it would be, but I think it'd be good to hear someone say, "Gentlemen, what we have here is a terrifying example of the reindeer effect."

C) If you saw two guys named Hambone and Flippy, which one would you think liked dolphins the most? I'd say Flippy, wouldn't you? You'd be wrong, though. It's Hambone.

Those were some of the jokes rated by nearly 300 people in Boston in a recent study. (You can rate some of the others at TierneyLab, The researchers picked out a variety of jokes - good, bad, conventional, absurdist - to look for differences in reactions between self-described liberals and conservatives.

They expected conservatives to like traditional jokes, like the one about the golfing widower, that reinforce racial and gender stereotypes. And because liberals had previously been reported to be more flexible and open to new ideas, the researchers expected them to get a bigger laugh out of unconventional humor, like Jack Handey's "Deep Thoughts" about the reindeer effect and Hambone.

Indeed, the conservatives did rate the traditional golf and marriage jokes as significantly funnier than the liberals did. But they also gave higher ratings to the absurdist "Deep Thoughts." In fact, they enjoyed all kinds of humor more.

"I was surprised," said Dan Ariely, a psychologist at Duke University, who collaborated on the study with Elisabeth Malin, a student at Mount Holyoke College. "Conservatives are supposed to be more rigid and less sophisticated, but they liked even the more complex humor."

Do conservatives have more fun? Should liberals start describing themselves as humor-challenged? To investigate these questions, we need to delve into the science of humor (not a funny enterprise), starting with two basic kinds of humor identified in the 1980s by Willibald Ruch, a psychologist who now teaches at the University of Zurich.

The first category is incongruity-resolution humor, or INC-RES in humor jargon. It covers traditional jokes and cartoons in which the incongruity of the punch line (the husband who misses his wife's funeral) can be resolved by other information (he's playing golf). You can clearly get the joke, and it often reinforces stereotypes (the golf-obsessed husband).

Dr. Ruch and other researchers reported that this humor, with its orderly structure and reinforcement of stereotypes, appealed most to conservatives who shunned ambiguity and complicated new ideas, and who were more repressed and conformist than liberals.

The second category, nonsense humor, covers many "Far Side" cartoons, Monty Python sketches and "Deep Thoughts." The punch line's incongruity isn't neatly resolved - you're left to enjoy the ambiguity and absurdity of the reindeer effect or Hambone's affection for dolphins. This humor was reported to appeal to liberals because of their "openness to ideas" and their tendency to "seek new experiences."

But then why didn't the liberals in the Boston experiment like the nonsense humor of "Deep Thoughts" as much as the conservatives did? One possible explanation is that conservatives' rigidity mattered less than another aspect of their personality. Rod Martin, the author of "The Psychology of Humor," said the results of the Boston study might reflect another trait that has been shown to correlate with a taste for jokes: cheerfulness.

"Conservatives tend to be happier than liberals in general," said Dr. Martin, a psychologist at the University of Western Ontario. "A conservative outlook rationalizes social inequality, accepting the world as it is, and making it less of a threat to one's well-being, whereas a liberal outlook leads to dissatisfaction with the world as it is, and a sense that things need to change before one can be really happy."

Another possible explanation is that conservatives, or at least the ones in Boston, really aren't the stiffs they're made out to be by social scientists. When these scientists analyze conservatives, they can sound like Victorians describing headhunters in Borneo. They try to be objective, but it's an alien culture.

The studies hailing liberals' nonconformity and "openness to ideas" have been done by social scientists working in a culture that's remarkably homogenous politically. Democrats outnumber Republicans by at least seven to one on social science and humanities faculties, according to studies by Daniel Klein, an economist at George Mason University. If you're a professor who truly "seeks new experiences," try going into a faculty club today and passing out McCain-Palin buttons.

Could it be that the image of conservatives as humorless, dogmatic neurotics is based more on political bias than sound social science? Philip Tetlock, a psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who reviews the evidence of cognitive differences in his 2005 book, "Expert Political Judgment," said that while there were valid differences, "liberals and conservatives are roughly equally closed-minded in dealing with dissonant real-world evidence."

So perhaps conservatives don't have a monopoly on humorless dogmatism. Maybe the stereotype of the dour, rigid conservative has more to do with social scientists' groupthink and wariness of outsiders - which, come to think of it, resembles the herding behavior of certain hoofed animals. Ladies and gentlemen, what we have here is a terrifying example of the reindeer effect.




PayGo is now PayWent: "As Congress gears up to pass another spending "stimulus" bill, there's one political silver lining: Democrats are being forced to abandon the pretense of fiscal conservatism known as "pay as you go" budgeting. Late last week the leader of the House Blue Dog Coalition, Tennessee Democrat Jim Cooper, announced that with Barack Obama about to enter the White House, "I'm not sure the old rules are relevant anymore." Why not? Because, Mr. Cooper said, "It would be unfair to the new President to put him in a budget straitjacket." Democrats ran on "paygo" in 2006, promising to offset any new spending increases or tax cuts with comparable tax increases or spending cuts. Once in charge on Capitol Hill they quickly made exceptions, waiving paygo no fewer than 12 times to accommodate some $398 billion in new deficit spending -- not that the press corps bothered to notice. That didn't stop Majority Leader Steny Hoyer from announcing in May that "We're absolutely committed to paygo. Speaker [Nancy Pelosi] is committed to paygo. I'm very committed to paygo. Our caucus is committed to paygo." Yet now Mr. Cooper is delivering official last rites, as the Washington spending machinery powers up in earnest. Paygo was always a big con"

The next Palin run is beginning: "As she seeks to recover politically from her failed election bid on Senator John McCain's ticket, the big question for Gov. Sarah Palin has been whether her backers would remain enthusiastic over the long run. As it turns out, over the past few days, about 1,000 people have donated tens of thousands of dollars to Our Country Deserves Better, a political action committee that is planning a pro-Palin advertisement later this month. "We thought it would be appropriate to have the thank-you ad run around Thanksgiving," said Joe Wiezbicki, the PAC's coordinator. The group expects to shoot on Monday and raise "a couple hundred thousand dollars" to buy airtime nationally."

Anti-science appointment to the EPA? "But what is no laughing matter is the lack of reason and the total disregard for science in what may be the imminent appointment of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to head the EPA. I keep seeing his name bandied about among lists of potential cabinet members, but he must be barred in the name of science and reason. In short, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has proved himself little better than Jenny McCarthy, that detestable mouthpiece of the anti-vaccine crowd who has directly contributed to declining health among children, has deluded countless parents, and has supported dubious, unscientific methods. This would be a disaster and an appointment anything but reality-based. You can read much, much more from Steven Novella at NeuroLogica Blog or from David Gorski at Science-Based Medicine, or from the many, many science bloggers and skeptics who have blogged in opposition. Notable among these is Orac who goes into very great depth on Kennedy and why he's such a terrible choice"

So General Motors is struggling. How come nobody is saying much about one of the major reasons? : "Unbelievably, at its assembly plant in Oklahoma City, GM is actually obliged by its UAW contract to pay 2,300 workers full salary and benefits for doing absolutely nothing. As The New York Times describes it, "Each day, workers report for duty at the plant and pass their time reading, watching television, playing dominoes or chatting. Since G.M. shut down production there last month, these workers have entered the Jobs Bank, industry's best form of job insurance. It pays idled workers a full salary and benefits even when there is no work for them to do."

What a mockery! Saudi Arabia to Lead U.N. Faith Forum: "Saudi Arabia, the oil-rich Islamic kingdom that forbids the public practice of other religious faiths, will preside Wednesday over a two-day U.N. conference on religious tolerance that will draw more than a dozen world leaders, including President Bush, Israeli President Shimon Peres and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown."

Obama likely to escape campaign audit: "The Federal Election Commission is unlikely to conduct a potentially embarrassing audit of how Barack Obama raised and spent his presidential campaign's record-shattering windfall, despite allegations of questionable donations and accounting that had the McCain campaign crying foul. Adding insult to injury for Republicans: The FEC is obligated to complete a rigorous audit of McCain's campaign coffers, which will take months, if not years, and cost McCain millions of dollars to defend. Obama is expected to escape that level of scrutiny mostly because he declined an $84 million public grant for his campaign that automatically triggers an audit and because the sheer volume of cash he raised and spent minimizes the significance of his errors"

A brilliant American military rescue that the media have "overlooked": "The American businessman lay shackled in a mud hut 8,000 feet up a remote mountain in Afghanistan, armed captors posted inside and outside to prevent any escape attempt... he said. "In my mind I'd given a military intervention a one out of a hundred chance. Not that they couldn't do it, but they're busy and I'm not that important a fellow." On an airstrip many miles away, however, several twin sets of Chinook helicopter rotor blades were starting to turn as about 60 of America's most elite troops prepared to prove him wrong. Members of a task force that Military Times agreed not to name, the commandos had been hunting for the businessman since soon after he went missing. Now they were ready to act. This is the story of one of the most daring and successful U.S. hostage-rescue missions in years."

Obama's 'Change': Appointing Beltway Has-Beens: "What's with Obama's choice of old-time Clinton cronies and recycled Washington insiders to run the transition to his new politics of change? Can't the anti-Washington-insiders and the president-elect find anyone who isn't a Beltway has-been? Judging by the appointments to his transition committee and leaks about possible top staff and Cabinet choices, Obama appears to be practicing the politics of status quo, not the politics of change. Obama based his innovative campaign on an emphatic and convincing commitment to change the culture of Washington and bring in new people, new ideas, and new ways of doing business. But now, Obama has definitely changed his tune. As president-elect, he's brought back the old Washington hacks, party regulars, and Clinton sycophants that he so frequently disparaged"


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Thursday, November 13, 2008


By Jeff Jacoby

The storyline goes something like this: America's one-time popularity in the world was squandered by George W. Bush, whose belligerence and unilateralism after Sept. 11, 2001 alienated allies and engendered widespread anti-Americanism. But now, with the election of Barack Obama, America can restore its good name and regain the world's goodwill. One vigorous exponent of this narrative has been Obama himself. "The single most important issue that we're facing in this election," he said during the campaign, is choosing a leader "to repair all the damage that's been done to American's reputation overseas." On the day I become president, he often told voters, "the world will look at America differently."

Sure enough, much of the international reaction to Obama's election has been ecstatic. "Legions of jubilant supporters set off firecrackers in El Salvador, danced in Liberia, and drank shots in Japan," the Los Angeles Times reported. Kenya declared a national holiday, while a minister in the French government likened the occasion to "the fall of the Berlin Wall times 10." South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu exulted: "We have a new spring in our walk and our shoulders are straighter." BBC correspondent John Simpson pronounced Obama's election one of those events that renders the United States "young and vibrant, the envy of the world" and The Sun, Britain's most popular newspaper, headlined its story "One Giant Leap for Mankind."

For the president-elect, such worldwide jubilation must be gratifying. He should take it all with a healthy shake of salt, however. Because it isn't going to last. Antagonism to the United States is as old as the United States. It didn't begin with the current president, unpopular though he is, or in response to American military action in Iraq. Nor is it going to vanish on January 20.

In Hating America, a survey of more than two centuries of anti-American hostility, Barry Rubin and Judith Colp Rubin note that an upsurge of anti-Americanism was already "strong in the Middle East and well under way in Europe" before Bush took office in 2001. In the 1990s, for example, Greeks opposed US support for Kosovo's Muslims, and vented their anger at President Bill Clinton. "Among the epithets flung at Clinton in the mainstream Greek media," the Rubins recount, "were criminal, pervert, murderer, imposter, bloodthirsty, gangster, slayer, naive, criminal, butcher, stupid, killer, foolish, unscrupulous, disgraceful, dishonest, and rascal."

A decade earlier, it was Ronald Reagan who provoked eruptions of anti-American fury. In 1983, millions of Europeans marched in protest when the Reagan administration countered the Soviet Union's deployment of nuclear weapons in Eastern Europe by installing US ballistic and cruise missiles in West Germany.

But it isn't only issues of war and peace that set off America's braying critics. In A Dangerous Place, a memoir of his tenure as ambassador to the United Nations, Daniel Patrick Moynihan describes a 1974 world food conference in Rome that had been convened by the United States. "The scene grew orgiastic as speakers competed in their denunciation of the country that had called the conference, mostly to discuss giving away its own wheat," he wrote. America is a big, rich, and powerful nation; that alone is enough to provoke global resentment, no matter who lives in the White House.

As a presidential candidate, Obama argued that America's standing in the world had declined because of the Iraq war and unilateral actions by the Bush administration "emphasizing military action over diplomacy." Yet there will almost surely be times in Obama's administration when the United States will have to take action when others won't, to defend its principles or protect a threatened party. As one notable American has written: "There will be times when we must again play the role of the world's reluctant sheriff. This will not change -- nor should it." The author of those words? Barack Obama, in The Audacity of Hope.

Popularity is nice, but it isn't the goal of American foreign policy. Great nations have great interests -- interests that cannot always be secured through patient negotiation or Security Council resolutions. As the foremost military power, the United States must at times be "the world's reluctant sheriff," using force to maintain order or defend liberty. President Obama may speak more softly than his predecessor, but he will still be carrying a very big stick. Like other presidents, he will be loudly condemned when he uses it. As George W. Bush can tell him, the abuse goes with the job.



Some Positive Reactions from the Right

By Dennis Prager

I spent a good part of the past year speaking and writing against the election of Barack Obama. During the last week of the campaign, my Salem Radio Network colleagues, Hugh Hewitt and Michael Medved, and I spoke on behalf of the McCain-Palin ticket in the Battleground states of Colorado, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. One would expect that I would be devastated at Barack Obamas election -- as devastated as liberals were at the reelection of George W. Bush in 2004. I am not -- yet. Here are some reasons why:

1. Republicans won the election of 2004, an election that was more important to the future of America and the world than was this election. Had Sen. John Kerry won in 2004, America would have left Iraq in defeat and Islamists would have won their greatest victory ever. Millions of young Muslims would likely have seen in Islamic jihadism humanitys future and signed up for terror; and Iraq would have degenerated into genocidal chaos.

2. The election of a black president is good for blacks, good for whites, and therefore very good for America. At least at this moment -- no one can predict the future -- many more blacks feel fully American, and fewer blacks regard white America as racist than ever before. One cannot attain a higher status than the American presidency, and a black man will now occupy that position. As the Hoover Institutions Shelby Steele wrote, this is the first time in history that a majority white nation elected a black as its leader. Conservatives are not surprised. I have argued for decades that America is the least racist country in the world. By and large, only Americans on the right have believed, or at least had the courage to say, this. Now that fact is obvious to virtually anyone with eyes to see.

3. The Obama victory poses a serious challenge to liberalism and to the doctrine of black victimhood. If fewer and fewer blacks perceive white Americans as racist, a major reason for black support for liberalism could lose its appeal to blacks. On the other hand, if liberalism continues to portray blacks as victims of white racism, more white Americans will regard liberalism as phony -- or worse, as stirring up racial tensions for political gain. Most whites are tired of racial tension, tired of being portrayed as racist, tired of their children being taught in college that they are either consciously or unconsciously racist, tired of lowering standards for blacks or anyone else.

So the Obama victory puts liberals in a bind. They either acknowledge the reality of an essentially non-racist America and thereby alienate black and white liberals still committed to this proposition or they continue to play the America is racist card and alienate many whites.

The challenge the Obama victory poses to many blacks is that they will have to abandon ascribing black problems -- such as disproportionate amounts of violent crime and the highest rate of out-of-wedlock births in America -- to racism. Fewer and fewer white Americans will tolerate being blamed for problems within black life.

4. The Obama victory will bring clarity to Americas place in the world. Now that America is apparently loved again, we shall see how this plays out beyond emotional rhetoric. Will Europe contribute significantly more troops to Afghanistan? Will Germany now allow its NATO troops to shoot at Taliban fighters (thus far they have been allowed to shoot only if shot at)? Will our allies and Russia and China place the needed sanctions on Iran to prevent it from developing a nuclear device? Or is Americas being loved irrelevant to how other countries behave?

5. Conservatives will be able to show how much more decently they act when they are out of power. The treatment of President George W. Bush by liberals has been despicable, undeserved and unprecedented. We who oppose Barack Obamas policies will, hopefully, act in accordance with conservative values of decency. Hence my simple announcement on the day after the election: I did not vote for him. I did not want him to be president. But as of January 20, 2009, Barack Obama will be my president. Barack Obama may have a successful presidency or a failed one. If he allows the left wing of the Democratic Party to set his agenda, it will be the latter. In the meantime, however, we can celebrate the aforementioned good of Barack Obamas election and pray for him and for our beloved country.




"Compassionate" conservatism was a mistake : "The liberal pundits who embraced the candidacy of Barack Obama are also eager to issue a death certificate for free market capitalism. They're wrong, and they remind me of what the great Willie Nelson once said: `I'm ragged but I'm right.' To be sure, the American people have handed power over to the Democrats. But today there is a categorical difference between what Republicans stand for and the principles of individual freedom. Parties are all about getting people elected to political office; and the practice of politics too often takes the form of professional juvenile delinquency: short-sighted and self-centered."

Freedom works: The case of Hong Kong : "Hong Kong has an impressive reputation for economic freedom and classical-liberal virtues. In a series of articles, Milton Friedman used Hong Kong to show how the power of free markets combined with little else can create wealth, pointing out that its per-capita income rose from 28 percent of Britain's in 1960 to 137 percent of Britain's in 1996. As Friedman wrote in 1998, `Compare Britain - the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the nineteenth-century economic superpower on whose empire the sun never set - with Hong Kong, a spit of land, overcrowded, with no resources except for a great harbor.'"

Guess what else is in the bailout bill: "Do you think the IRS should set up undercover operations to entrap unsuspecting taxpayers? Do you think the IRS should release your confidential tax returns to law enforcement and intelligence agencies upon request? If you answered `No!' to either question, you're out of luck. Before its October recess, Congress passed a bill giving the IRS these powers. You may ask, `Why didn't Downsize DC oppose this bill?' As a matter of fact, we wrote against it virtually non-stop for two weeks! Don't remember? That's understandable. These provisions are buried in Sections 401 and 402 of Division C in H.R. 1424, the Bailout bill."

Goodbye neoconservatives; hello to their liberal brethren?: "The media and the Washington foreign policy elite breathed a sigh of relief when Barack Obama thumped John McCain in the election. Had John McCain won, there was always the chance that the neoconservatives would have beaten out the Republican realists for his foreign policy soul. With a victory by the liberal Obama, however, the stake would finally be driven into the heart of the `jingoistic' neoconservative vampire. Yet even after Obama takes power, an evil foreign policy ghoul will still hover over the White House - this time wearing the benign clothes of a compassionate angel. Obama's top foreign policy advisors include Susan Rice, a member of the `muscular liberal' crowd - you know, the same crew that includes the bombing progressives Madeleine Albright and Richard Holbrooke."

GOP needs Night of Long Knives: "The GOP has been laid low, thanks to politicians who swapped their principles for power and lost both. As the chief electoral vehicle for conservative and free-market ideas, the Republican Party cannot regain America's confidence, nor should it, until the guilty have been catapulted into the nearest volcano. Comrade George W. Bush has spearheaded the most aggressive federal expansion since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As a delivery system for socialism, he has been the most effective Trojan Horse since that pine steed rolled into Troy."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Are conservatives less creative than liberals?

The article below, which asserts that conservatives are less creative than liberals, is just the usual Leftist bigotry, based on a very poor knowledge of the research literature. Creativity does not generalize much, meaning there is no such thing as an overall trait of creativity. If there were an overall trait of creativity, lots of great painters would also be great composers but there are in fact no examples of that. You can be creative in one field and not in another. Take my own case: I am extremely good at writing iconoclastic academic journal articles but could not write a novel for nuts. So we find there that even creativity via the written word does not generalize from one sort of writing to another. So all that is shown below is that Leftists judge one-another as more creative and are more likely to take an interest in self-indulgent activities.

Cognitive complexity /Openness to experience/ rigidity are other old interrelated Leftist shibboleths which we see mentioned below. Again they generalize poorly, amusingly badly, in fact. The two halves of the widely-used Budner scale of "rigidity" do not correlate at all in fact! Again there is no such thing as an overall trait of cognitive complexity (except as an aspect of IQ). Conservatives are more complex on some things and Leftists on other things. Conservatives, for instance, tend to have carefully differentiated and complex views on moral questions whereas Leftists just say: "There is no such thing as right and wrong". Can you get more simplistic than the Leftist position there? See here and here for relevant research background. Amusing that the guy below confirms the common finding that conservatives are happier, though.

I am reproducing the full article below so people can admire the propaganda effort. It sounds quite plausible and fair if you don't know the underlying facts
By Scott Barry Kaufman

Barack Obama is the new President-elect of the United States. The significance of this cannot possibly be overstated. While certainly this is a historic moment because it raises the bar of what African Americans can aspire to, and takes us one step closer to equality in American, I'd like to focus on a potentially overlooked outcome of this historical moment: America will become more creative.

This is because Obama represents many of the core liberal values that promote creativity and innovation. In fact, we may soon see something similar to what Psychologist and Politcal Scientist Jay Seitz observed during the 17th century rise of liberalism when he noted that the rise "fostered creative production by encouraging individual creative expression."

And this is something sorely needed in our country at the moment. Today, Proposition 8 was passed in California, banning gay marriage. This bill is a serious threat to individuality. Of course, change won't happen overnight. But with Obama, change is on its way. How can I be so optimistic that Obama, and the new liberalism he will bring to the White House will spur creativity and increase our appreciation for individuality in America? Surely this is my subjective spin. But is it? New research suggests that I may be right.

We already know from prior studies that conservatives prefer simple representational art over abstract art, traditional poetry over the avant-garde, and music that is simple, familiar, and 'safe'. But what about when it comes to engagement in creative behaviors and actual creative ability? Are conservatives less creative than liberals?

Psychologist Stephen J. Dollinger assessed the creative behaviors and products of 426 undergraduates. For behavior, he assessed engagement in various creative activities, spanning the domains of visual arts, literary arts, performance, and crafts. For creativity, he had participants complete an incomplete figure in any way they liked. The figures had already been started by an artist. Each drawing was then rated by three MFA graduate students on the quality of the details as well as the overall creative impression.

He also had participants take photos, and write essays on how each photo represented themselves. These photos were judged by psychologists for the degree of individuality inherent in the essays. Interestingly, prior research has shown these ratings predict performance on other creativity measures as much as seven years later! For both creativity tasks, the judges agreed highly with each other on the creativity of the products.

Dollinger also administered measures of vocabulary and openness to experience, since each of these have shown linkages to creativity in prior studies. A sample openness item is "likes to reflect, play with ideas." Finally, and most importantly, Dollinger also assessed whether the students favored, opposed, or held a neutral view on the following issues:

Death penalty, Multiculturalism, Stiffer jail terms, Voluntary euthanasia, Bible truth, Gay rights, Pre-marital virginity, Immigration of foreigners, Church authority, Legalized abortion, Condom vending machines, Legalized prostitution

He found that compared to liberals, those endorsing more conservative positions had fewer creative accomplishments, and produced photo essays and drawings that were judged as less creative (although statistically significant, note that the effect sizes weren't huge). Even taking into account the vocabulary and openness to experience of each participant, the results for drawing products and creative behaviors still held up. Interestingly, he also found that those who were more conservative did worse on the vocabulary test and were less open to experience.

What can explain these findings? This study suggests that conservatives are indeed less creative than liberals. Why could this be? Dollinger proposes various potential explanations. First, conservatives may have found the ambiguity of the creativity tasks threatening, and the anxiety associated with this sense of threat may have hindered the expression of creativity. Prior research has indeed shown that those that are more conservative have lower cognitive-complexity and therefore may dislike amniguity more than those who are less conservative.

As Dollinger suggests, it would be interesting to evaluate the immediate affective responses of high and low conservative students as they encounter tasks that are explicitly described as "creativity tests". Someone should do that study.

Another explanation is that conservatives are more inclined to follow convention in general. And of course, convention sounds the death knell for creativity. A related possibility is that the authoritarian and anti-hedonistic aspects of conservatism may cause imagination to be devalued amongst conservatives. It is interesting to note that in support of this hypothesis, Dollinger did find that conservatives in the study scored lower on openness to experience.

Another intriguing possibility presented itself in this study. Dollinger checked out the actual photo essays that his participants produced and noticed that the conservative students' photo essays were generally "wholesome" and indicated a satisfaction with their lives, including their family lives (religiosity was also a common theme). In contrast, liberal students' photo essays were related to "boundary-crossing behaviors", creative energy, and the unconventional exercise of their civil liberties.

As I've argued in my recent article Confessions of a Late Bloomer (check out the latest issue of Psychology Today), trauma or family conflict in childhood can be a major driving force for creativity. So can discontent with the established order. This study suggests that this driving force may be missing in conservatives.

Of course, these findings may not generalize beyond American college students who were receiving extra credit to produce creative products. As Dollinger notes, many of the students in the sample weren't able to vote yet, and they may not yet have well-formulated political ideas. Also, as college students, they may not have fully had time to engage in creative pursuits. Interestingly, and in support of this idea, Dollinger found that that the relationship between conservatism and engagement in creative behaviors was much higher among participants in the 25-53 age range than participants in the 18-24 age range.

Also, it's unclear how much these findings generalize to all forms of creativity. Perhaps conservatives are better at other domains not sampled in Dollinger's study. That's an interesting question that should be studied.

"Change is gonna come" There are many reasons why change is gonna come with Obama as President of the United States. In addition to his intelligence and open mindedness, I add to the list his creativity and appreciation for human individuality. Being a liberal, many of his core values are the opposite of those that define a conservative outlook. I look forward to the creative times ahead.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008


The 11th of November in 1918 was when the First World War officially came to an end. And that day has been formally marked every year since in remembrance of those who died. When I was growing up it was known as Armistice Day in Australia and I still think of it as that. It is however now formally Remembrance Day. It is Veterans Day in the USA. It is perhaps a little more significant this year as the 60th anniversary of the event. Britain certainly seems to have been engaging in more than the usual amount of commemoration in the last few days.

It is indeed a fitting occasion to remember. All wars are bad but that one probably reached a highpoint in ghastliness. And the amount of the slaughter was phenomenal. Few British and Australians emerged from it without the loss of at least one family member. One of my uncles twice removed died in it.

The suffering endured by the troops at the front was so awful that the war became known as "the war to end all wars". No reasonable person wanted another war. Even Theodore Roosevelt lost his enthusiasm for war when one of his sons died in it. And no politician thereafter could come to power unless he was seen as anti-war. The history books have washed memory of it away but even Hitler came to power as an advocate of peace.

I am putting up below a picture of a Nazi propaganda poster of the 1930s that you won't believe unless you are aware of how readily all Leftists preach one thing and do another. It reads Mit Hitler gegen den Ruestungswahnsinn der Welt. And what does that mean? It means "With Hitler against the armaments madness of the world".

And how about the second poster below? It would be from the March 5, 1933 election when Hitler had become Chancellor but Marshall Hindenburg was still President. Translated, the poster reads: "The Marshall and the corporal fight alongside us for peace and equal rights" (Der Marschall und der Grefreite kaempfen mit uns fuer Frieden und Gleichberechtigung)

Convinced yet? If not, maybe the next one below will convince. It is a poster for one of Hitler's famous Nuremberg rallies. It reads: Reichsparteitag des Friedens, 1939. That translates as "National party rally for peace, 1939".

And the fourth poster reads: Mit Adolf Hitler "Ja" fuer Gleichberechtigung und Frieden -- which translates as "With Adolf Hitler "Yes" for equal rights and peace" -- the same old standby slogans that the Left trot out to this day, of course.

So if there is any lesson to be learnt from the ghastliness of the 20th century, it surely is that loud "antiwar" cries from the Left are fraudulent. Such cries are just bait for the gullible and a mask for their real love of destruction.

Sadly, there will never be an end to the desire of some people to prey on others so there will never be an end to war. And any pretence otherwise is at best ignorant.


The Polls Show That Reaganism Is Not Dead

Barack Obama won the White House by campaigning against an unpopular incumbent in a time of economic anxiety and lingering foreign policy concerns. He offered voters an upbeat message, praised the nation as a land of opportunity, promised tax cuts to just about everyone, and overcame doubts about his experience with a strong performance in the presidential debates. Does this sound familiar? It should. Mr. Obama followed the approach that worked for Ronald Reagan. His victory confirmed that voters still embrace the guiding beliefs of the Reagan era.

During Reagan's campaign, the nation suffered from high unemployment and high inflation. This time around, data from the Rasmussen Reports Daily Presidential Tracking Poll showed that Mr. Obama took command of the race during the 10 days following the collapse of Lehman Brothers -- when the Wall Street meltdown hit Main Street. Before that event John McCain was leading nationally by three percentage points. Ten days later Mr. Obama was up by five and never relinquished his lead.

Mr. Obama's tax-cutting message played a key role in this period of economic anxiety. Tax cuts are well-received at such times: 55% of voters believe they are good for the economy. Only 19% disagree and see them as bad policy. Down the campaign homestretch, Mr. Obama's tax-cutting promise became his clearest policy position. Eventually he stole the tax issue from the Republicans. Heading into the election, 31% of voters thought that a President Obama would cut their taxes. Only 11% expected a tax cut from a McCain administration.

The last Democratic candidate to win the tax issue was also the last Democratic president -- Bill Clinton. In fact, the candidate who most credibly promises the lowest level of taxes has won every presidential election in at least the last 40 years. But while Mr. Obama was promising to cut taxes, the Bush administration took the lead on a $700 billion, taxpayer-backed bailout bill -- with very little marketing finesse. Few Americans supported the bailout, and a majority of voters were more concerned that the government would do too much rather than too little. In terms of getting the economy going again, 58% said that more tax cuts would better stimulate the economy than new government spending.

A Rasmussen survey conducted Oct. 2 found that 59% agreed with the sentiment expressed by Reagan in his first inaugural address: "Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." Just 28% disagreed with this sentiment. That survey also found that 44% of Obama voters agreed with Reagan's assessment (40% did not). And McCain voters overwhelmingly supported the Gipper.

The real challenge for the new president will be attempting to govern with a message that resonates with most voters but divides his own party. Consider that 43% of voters view it as a positive to describe a candidate as being like Reagan, while just 26% consider it a negative. Being compared to Reagan rates higher among voters than being called "conservative," "moderate," "liberal" or "progressive." Except among Democrats, that is. Fifty-one percent of Democrats view that Reagan comparison as a negative. There's Mr. Obama's dilemma in a nutshell.

Mr. Obama won the White House promising tax cuts, but he will be governing with a Democratic Congress bursting with desire for a more activist government. As he faces this challenge, he might remember the fate of another man who made taxes the central part of his campaign: the first President Bush, whose most memorable campaign line -- "Read my lips, no new taxes" -- was as central to his victory as Mr. Obama's promise to cut taxes for 95% of Americans. George H.W. Bush famously reneged on that promise. Voters rejected his bid for a second term. Mr. Obama ran like Reagan. Will he be able to govern that way, too?




Big British welfare shakeup: "People living in council houses will no longer be entitled to a subsidised tenancy for life under Whitehall proposals to address waiting lists. New tenants would have fixed-term contracts under the plans, with regular reviews every few years, The Times has learnt. If a tenant's financial position improved he or she would be encouraged to take an equity share or to move to the private sector. If they refused they could face higher rents. The right to a council home is also likely to be tied to a requirement to have or be actively looking for a job. The measures are being considered by Margaret Beckett, the new Housing Minister, in the most radical shake-up of the social housing system for decades to ensure that those who deserve council homes get them."

The death of the American idea: "I disagree with my fellow conservatives who think the Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Frank liberal behemoth will so obviously screw up that they'll be routed in two or four years' time. The President-elect's so-called "tax cut" will absolve 48 per cent of Americans from paying any federal income tax at all, while those that are left will pay more. Just under half the population will be, as Daniel Henninger pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, on the dole. By 2012, it will be more than half, and this will be an electorate where the majority of the electorate will be able to vote itself more lollipops from the minority of their compatriots still dumb enough to prioritize self-reliance, dynamism, and innovation over the sedating cocoon of the nanny state. That is the death of the American idea - which, after all, began as an economic argument: "No taxation without representation" is a great rallying cry. "No representation without taxation" has less mass appeal. For how do you tell an electorate living high off the entitlement hog that it's unsustainable and you've got to give some of it back?"

Homosexuals reject democracy: "Protests continued Friday in several California cities, including San Francisco, Palm Springs and Long Beach, over the passage of Proposition 8, which outlaws same-sex marriage. The ballot initiative, which passed 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent Tuesday, overturns a May ruling by the California Supreme Court that struck down a 2000 ban on same-sex unions. In San Francisco, an estimated 2,000 protesters marched down Market Street toward Dolores Park. The march stretched out for at least three city blocks, and the protesters completely blocked Market Street's westbound lanes and the eastbound lanes in places."

Iraqi: We need U.S. troops: "A top Iraqi official warned Saturday that time is running out to sign a new security agreement with Washington, saying the country still needed U.S. troops despite improved security. Also Saturday, a suicide bomber killed eight people and wounded 17 west of Baghdad -- another sign that militants have still not given up the fight despite setbacks at the hands of U.S. and Iraqi forces. ''I hope that we can settle this matter as soon as possible because time is running out,'' Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh said of the long-delayed security pact. ''The security improvement that has been achieved is very important. The support of U.S. forces in the coming period will still be very important.''


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Monday, November 10, 2008


We have seen it all the last two years: Weeping journalists on election night; a journalist openly promising to help make Obama successful ("Yeah, it is my job."); film takes of journalists cheering an Obama speech; the savaging of Sarah Palin and the hands-off treatment of Biden; soft-ball interviews and long puff-pieces on Obama as the young cool crusader;comparisons to JFK's Camelot, and on and on.

In the 3rd book of his history, Thucydides has some insightful thoughts about destroying institutions in times of zealotry-and then regretting their absence when there is a need for refuge for them. The mainstream press should have learned that lesson, once they blew up their credibility in the past election by morphing into the Team Obama press agency.

There will come a time in the year ahead when either Obama's unexamined past will come back to haunt him, or his inexperience and tentativeness in foreign affairs will be embarrassingly apparent, or his European-socialist agenda for domestic programs simply won't work. And as public opinion falls, what will MSNBC, the New York Times, the editors of Newsweek, a Chris Matthews or the anchors at the major networks say?

Not much-since they will have one of two non-choices: (1) either they will begin scrambling to offer supposed disinterested criticism, which will be met with the public's, "Why should we begin believing you now?" or "Why didn't you tell this before?", or (2), They can continue as state-sanctioned megaphones of the Obama administration in the manner that they did during the campaign. They will lose either way and remain without credibility.

In short, we live now in the Age of Post-Journalism. All that was before is now over, as this generation of journalists voluntarily destroyed the hallowed notion of objectivity and they will have no idea quite how to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again.




By Jeff Jacoby

To be a conservative in Massachusetts is to know disappointment, never more so than on Election Day, when candidates and causes of the right rarely stand a chance. Waiting in line at my Brookline polling place yesterday, I was under no illusion that my vote would change the outcome: Barney Frank would be re-elected to the US House, John Kerry would go back to the Senate, and Massachusetts would vote decisively for Barack Obama. To say nothing of the rest of the nation poised to elect the most lopsidedly liberal government in years.

But why succumb to gloom? Even for a red voter in the bluest of states, Election 2008 has its consolations: The Clintons really won't be going back to the White House. We haven't seen the last of Sarah Palin, who demonstrated genuine star power as she withstood with aplomb and good humor a vicious assault from the left.

Government financing of political campaigns, always a dreadful idea, is dead. Yes, Obama egregiously broke his solemn promise to accept public financing and its attendant spending limits. But having witnessed Obama's astonishing financial blowout -- he raised well over $600 million, crushing his rival in the money war and therefore in advertising and field organization -- no future candidate will agree to be shackled by those limits.

A turn in the wilderness will do Republicans good. During the GOP's years in power, the one-time party of fiscal sobriety and limited government turned into a gang of reckless spenders and government aggrandizers. If a few years in exile can lead Republicans back to their conservative, Reaganite roots, yesterday's losses will not have been in vain.

But the most lustrous silver lining of all, even for disappointed Republicans, is the racial one. As a politician and policymaker, Obama distresses me; his extreme liberalism is decidedly not what the nation needs in its president. But as a symbol -- a son of Africa elected to lead a majority-white nation that once enslaved Africans and treated their descendants with great cruelty -- Obama's rise makes me proud of my country. The anthem of the Civil Rights Movement was "We Shall Overcome." Impossible as it might have seemed scant decades ago, we have.




Thanks to Financial Fiasco, This Holiday Season Has 'Wal-Mart' Written All Over It: "Sales at department stores and specialty retailers are in free fall. They are cutting staff, discounting merchandise and closing stores to survive. But even as the financial turmoil strangled discretionary spending at many stores, it sent struggling consumers into the arms of Wal-Mart - and left it, the world's largest retailer, poised for a blockbuster Christmas, the NY Times reports."

Richest Voters Supported Obama: "The wealthiest Americans voting in yesterday's presidential election supported Sen. Barack Obama over Sen. John McCain, 52% to 46%, according to the exit poll conducted for the television networks. The poll asked voters to place themselves in one of 8 different income categories, ranging from under $15,000 per year to $200,000 per year or more. Those who said they earned $200,000 per year or more picked Obama over McCain, 52% to 46%. McCain, by contrast, won among voters in 3 of the 4 middle categories of income. Voters who said they earned $50,000 to $75,000, picked McCain over Obama, 49% to 48%. Voters who said they earned $100,000 to $150,000, picked McCain over Obama, 51% to 48%. Voters who said they earned $150,000 to $200,000 picked McCain over Obama, 52% to 46%"

New Zealanders come to their senses: "New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark, is to stand down as Labour leader after conceding defeat in the country's general election. The victorious National Party, led by John Key, took 59 seats in the vote and its partner ACT 5. United Future leader Peter Dunne will join them, making a total of 65. Labour has 43 seats, the Greens eight, and they are joined by Progressive Party leader Jim Anderton for a total of 52. Mr Key said: "New Zealanders have voted for prosperity, for a brighter, more ambitious future." Ms Clark said: "In politics we all experience the highs and the lows ... tonight is a night for the winners to savour, but we won't be going away." [Like Obama, she talked a good talk but all she delivered was failure]

Obama to appoint talk radio's executioner?: "Democrat Henry Rivera, a former commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, is expected to head President-elect Barack Obama's FCC transition team, a move that has sparked fear in media circles that the Fairness Doctrine may return to silence conservative talk radio. If reenacted, the "Fairness Doctrine" would require broadcasts over the public airwaves to give equal time to opposing political views. For talk radio, which boomed after the law's repeal in 1987 by building an audience devoted to conservative talk, the law's return would decimate the industry's marketability. Many fear the "Fairness Doctrine" would drive talk radio hosts - like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage - out of business. Rivera, according to Maloney, "is expected to lead the push to dismantle commercial talk radio that is favored by a number of Democratic Party senators. Rivera will play a pivotal role in preventing critics from having a public voice during Obama's tenure in office."

Israel Braces for Obama's Engagement in Iran, Gaza: Israeli leaders have become accustomed to President George W. Bush's reticence to push them into making tough decisions. In Barack Obama, they are bracing for a president who may not be so accommodating. Obama's plan to engage Iran in direct negotiations over the Shiite Muslim state's drive to enrich uranium to produce nuclear weapons could limit Israel's option to use military force to block the program. And his pledge to be actively involved in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians could lead him to exert pressure against settlement-building and travel restrictions on the Palestinians in the West Bank. ``There could be more pressure on Israel to take more risks, like removing security checkpoints in the West Bank,'' said Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv. ``The Iranians will exploit Obama's willingness to talk to them to play for time.''


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Army men marry nurses

It's not always so by a long chalk but there is a lot of it nonetheless. So how come? I think it is in a way a good answer to the common Leftist accusation that the military are "murderers". Talk about the pot calling the electric kettle African-American! Nurses are those who succour the sick. Why would such people want to associate with soldiers if soldiers really were "murderers"?

It's even true in my own life. My military career was of no moment to anybody but me -- but I did enjoy it greatly and I am still proud to identify myself as an Army man. I was in a professional corps rather than being one of the guys at the cutting edge -- in the infantry, sappers etc. -- but nonetheless I have had rather a lot to do with nurses. I even married one. And the lady in my life these days is also a nurse.

It's really no mystery. Both occupations bring you into sharp contact with real life. Both occupations are incompatible with illusions. Stupid theories tend to get detonated by harsh reality.

It's interesting how nurses speak of their choice of occupation as "going nursing". It's not "doing nursing" or "becoming a nurse". It is a vocation. It is a venture into a way of life. And the armed services are like that too. Both occupations are very demanding, in their own way, and both often subjugate their own needs to a higher cause.

So from all that is it any surprise that both military men and nurses tend to be conservative?


For those who take an interest in political history, I have just put up on Paralipomena a most revealing article by a historian about the Great Depression. I am something of a student of the period but there is a lot of good stuff there that even I did not know.


Sarah answers back

After all the lies that the press invented about her during the campaign, all that the latest flood of unsourced allegations show is that the press realize she might unseat Obama in 2012

Sarah Palin refused to rule out a run for the White House in four years' time as she hit back at extraordinary allegations from aides to John McCain about her "hillbilly" shopping sprees and breathtaking ignorance. As the controversy over her vice-presidential candidacy intensified following the Republican defeat on Tuesday night, Mrs Palin responded to a barrage of anonymous allegations from the McCain camp, including binge-buying of luxury clothes and a claim that she did not know that Africa was a continent....

Landing in Anchorage, Alaska, after one of her aides described the allegations as "unfair and sickening", Mrs Palin was greeted by crowds chanting "2012!", to which she replied: "We'll see what happens then." Addressing the Africa allegation, she said: "If they're an unnamed source, that says it all. I won't comment on anyone's gossip based on anonymous sources. "That's kind of small, of a bitter type of person who anonymously would charge that I didn't know an answer to a question. So until I know who's talking about it, I won't have a comment on a false allegation."

She has also denied going on shopping sprees. Nicolle Wallace publicly defended Mrs Palin yesterday, taking to a morning television show to call her "the most undiva politician I have ever seen". Mr McCain's aides say they were also dismayed that, without informing the campaign hierarchy, Mrs Palin scheduled a call from President Sarkozy of France just before the election. In fact, the call was from Marc-Antoine Audette and his fellow comedian, Sebastien Trudel, who are notorious for prank calls to heads of state. Mrs Palin appeared to believe that she was talking to Mr Sarkozy and when told that she would make a good president herself some day, she replied: "Maybe in eight years."

On Wednesday, as the finger-pointing began, Mrs Palin said: "I have absolutely no intention of engaging in any of the negativity because this has been all positive for me." She said it was time to savour Barack Obama's victory and "not let the pettiness, or maybe internal workings of a campaign, erode any of the recognition of this historic moment".

Meanwhile, interview requests from such talk-show luminaries as Larry King and Oprah Winfrey poured in to Mrs Palin's office in Alaska. "The intensity of all the interest is amazing. Everyone wants to talk to her," said Bill McAllister, her spokesman.


Michelle Malkin has more. And there is a good Canadian comment here. And a bit on the possible source of some of the accusations here.



by Walter E. Williams

For the U.S. Congress, news media, pundits and much of the American public, a lot of economic phenomena can be explained by what people want, human greed and what seems plausible. I'm going to name this branch of economic "science" wackonomics and apply it to some of today's observations and issues.

Since July this year, crude oil prices have fallen from $147 to $64 a barrel. Similarly, average gasoline prices have fallen from over $4 to a national average of $2.69 a gallon. When crude oil and gasoline were reaching their historical highs, Congress and other wackoeconomists blamed it on greedy oil company CEOs in their lust for obscene profits. But what explains today's lower prices? The only answer, consistent with wackonomic theory, is easy: Oil company CEOs have lost their lust for obscene profits. Or, maybe, since many of these CEOs are getting up in years, they might have begun to heed Matthew's warning (19:24), "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

Speaking of CEOs, there's the "unconscionable," "obscene" salaries they receive, in some cases over $10 million a year. Wackonomics has an easy answer for these high salaries: it's greed. However, CEOs don't have the corner on greed. There are other greedy people we don't scorn but hold in high esteem. According to Forbes' Celebrity 100 list, Oprah Winfrey receives $275 million, Steven Spielberg gets $130 million, Tiger Woods $115 million, Jay Leno $32 million and Dr. Phil $40 million. I need to talk to these people and learn their strategy. I've been making every effort to get that kind of money. I go to bed greedy, dream greedy dreams, awaken greedy and proceed through the day greedy. Despite my heroic efforts, it's all been for naught; I earn a pittance by comparison.

Wackonomics can help us understand what some people call the income distribution. The logical extension of wackonomic thought is that the unequal or unfair distribution of income is the handiwork of a dollar dealer who distributes dollars. The dollar dealer might deal one person a million dollars a year while dealing most others a mere pittance like $10, $20 or $30 thousand a year. Thus, the reason why some people are wealthy while others are poor is because the dollar dealer is a racist, sexist, a multi-nationalist, or just plain mean. Economic justice requires a re-dealing of the dollars, income redistribution or spreading the wealth, where the government takes the ill-gotten gains of the few and returns them to their rightful owners. Wackonomics might have a greed-based explanation for income inequality. There is a pile of money called income and greedy people got there first and took their unfair share. Similarly, economic justice requires a redistribution of income.

Wackonomics isn't just practiced by the uninitiated. This year's Nobel Laureate, Princeton University Professor Paul Krugman, after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, gave one rendition of wackonomics in his column "After the Horror," New York Times (9/14/01). Krugman wrote, "Ghastly as it may seem to say this, the terror attack -- like the original day of infamy, which brought an end to the Great Depression -- could do some economic good." He went on to point out how rebuilding the destruction in New York and Washington, D. C., would stimulate the economy through business investment and job creation. For practitioners of non-wackonomics, this reasoning doesn't even pass the smell test. If Professor Krugman's vision is correct, and extending his logic, the terrorists would have made an even larger contribution to our economic well-being had they been able to fly a plane into the White House and destroyed buildings in other cities.

Wackonomics isn't all bad. There's an upside to it. It spares people the bother of having to understand the complexities of the world.



List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mephistopheles revisited

I was hoping that someone would scream "racist" at me after I yesterday compared Obama with Mephistopheles (The Devil in human form). I had hoped that they would say that I was equating a brown skin with evil. I had the perfect reply ready: Mephistopheles is a product of the European imagination and, as such, is normally portrayed as white. So, if anything, I was in fact seeing Obama as white. But it was not to be. No shriek of protest arrived. Apparently no Leftists were reading this blog. I guess that's no surprise.

A deeper point I had in mind was that another widely-used name for Satan is "Lucifer" -- which is Latin for "light bearer". Compare that with the now widely mocked effusion about Obama by the egregious Mark Morford:
Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.

So Morford saw similarities between Obama and the Evil One too! And that great inspiration of both Obama and Hillary, the far-Leftist Saul Alinsky, wrote as follows:

(H/T Moonbattery)

So there is more than one connection of Obama to the Evil One. I am not religious so I do not believe in the Devil but if I did, I think I would be concerned about that connection.


The big picture: America is no longer ruled by whites

The article below is written by the Chief Reporter for Britain's leading conservative newspaper. It addresses matters that U.S. commentators tend to slide over (out of political correctness) but which need mentioning, in my view. There have been many knowledgeable analyses of the demographics behind Obama's victory (e.g. by Karl Rove) but to me they seem unable to see the forest for the trees. The plain fact is that there is large population growth in segments of the population who are systematically hostile to the GOP and it is difficult to see a way around that. Will Obama be the first in a long line of Democrat Presidents?

The only hope -- and it is a good one -- is that the Donks will make such a huge mess of things in the next two to four years that many voters will vote for any alternative to them. That suggests to me that the GOP senators should make sparing use of the filibuster in the next two to four years. Let the Democrats have their own way on most things and just say "I told you so" when it all implodes (e.g. in huge unemployment). Let them hang themselves by their own stupidity.
President-Elect Obama attracted 43 per cent of the white vote, with 55 per cent backing John McCain. But because white voters make up an ever-decreasing percentage of the total, Mr Obama still achieved an overwhelming victory because he attracted 95 per cent of the black vote and two thirds of Hispanic and Asian voters. Black and ethnic minority voters accounted for 26 per cent of all votes cast in the election. As recently as 2000, they made up just 19 per cent of voters. At the current rate of change, white voters will be in the minority by 2042, and with black and ethnic minority voters traditionally voting Democrat, regardless of the candidate's skin colour, the Republicans are facing a long-term problem.

Mr Obama's campaign team said the Democrat had put together a "national coalition" of voters from all backgrounds. "We were able to overcome a lot of the things that a lot of people thought were insuperable barriers in our politics," his chief strategist, David Axelrod, said. Mr Obama may not have won over the majority of white voters but he still managed a larger slice of the white vote than any of his recent predecessors, including Bill Clinton. The President-Elect also increased the Democratic share of the vote in almost every other demographic sector. Male voters were split almost exactly down the middle between the two candidates, compared with 55 per cent voting Republican in 2004, and Mr Obama increased the Democratic share of the female vote from 51 per cent in 2004 to 56 per cent.

One of the biggest swings to the Democrats came among the youngest voters, with 66 per cent of 18-29 year old voters backing Mr Obama, compared with 54 per cent in the previous election. Mr Obama also picked up 69 per cent of first time voters, compared with just 53 per cent who voted for John Kerry in 2004. One in five of all first time voters were black. Dr Scott Blinder, Research Fellow in US Politics at Nuffield College, Oxford, said: "As well as the changes in the racial composition of the electorate, we have seen a significant shift in the youth vote towards the Democrats. "Obama has taken 69 per cent of first time voters, a significant increase on previous elections, and that might have long-term implications for the Republicans, as we are seeing a whole new generation of Democratic voters coming through.

More here



The ladies liked Obama: ""Soccer moms" - suburban married women with young children - have drawn the attention of campaign strategists over the past decade, but an exit poll of voters showed single women were a decisive factor in Barack Obama's historic victory. "If not for the overwhelming support of unmarried women, John McCain would have won the women's vote and with it, the White House," said the international research firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. Tuesday night, unmarried women supported the Democratic candidate by a stunning 70 to 29 percent margin, the firm said in a summary of its calculations, based on the Edison/Mitofsky National Election Pool published by CNN. By contrast, married women supported Obama by a 50 to 47 percent margin."

Swing Voters Don't Want Big Government: "Barack Obama and congressional Democrats won big on Tuesday night, but they should not mistake their victory for a big-government mandate. The evidence tells a very different story. A poll commissioned by the Club for Growth in 12 swing congressional districts over the past weekend shows that the voters who made the difference in this election still prefer less government -- lower taxes, less spending and less regulation -- to Sen. Obama's economic liberalism. Turns out, Americans didn't vote for Mr. Obama and Democratic congressional candidates because they support their redistributionist agenda, but because they are fed up with the Republican politicians in office. This was a classic "throw the bums out" election, rather than an embrace of the policy views of those who will replace them."

British security chief quits over failure to check his own staff: "The boss of the Government agency that vets security guards quit his $200,000-a-year job last night after admitting some of his own staff did not have proper clearance. Mike Wilson was forced out after 14 months as chief executive of the Security Industry Authority, which has licensed more than 40,000 guards in four years. The Home Office is reviewing all decisions made by staff who were not vetted for criminal records or immigration status. Seven did not have clearance. At least one has since failed a security check. It will check if guards passed to work in posts such as pubs or Government sites were wrongly cleared. Last year, the authority was found to have cleared more than 7,000 illegal immigrants to work as guards and last month, the National Audit Office accused it of overspending by $34 million.

British injustice: "Drivers who challenge speeding fines should be made to pay their legal bills even if they win their case, ministers said yesterday. The proposal would see successful defendants lose their century-old right to claim back their costs. A change in the law would affect many of the 1.7million drivers a year who take their cases to court. It costs around $3,000 to fight charges of speeding, illegal parking and other motoring offences. Motoring groups and lawyers said the proposal was a breach of fundamental legal principles. Edmund King, president of the AA, said: 'This is against the common law and against the common man. If you prove your innocence you shouldn't have to pay for it.' Ian Kelcey, head of the Law Society's criminal law committee, called the scheme a disgrace. He added: 'This means that an awful lot of people will not be able to get a fair trial. They will not be able to get a proper defence.' "


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Friday, November 7, 2008

McCain was too "moderate"

Excerpts from Ann Coulter below:

Last night was truly a historic occasion: For only the second time in her adult life, Michelle Obama was proud of her country! The big loser of this election is Colin Powell, whose last-minute endorsement of Obama put the Illinois senator over the top. Powell was probably at home last night, yelling at his TV, "Are you KIDDING me? That endorsement was sarcastic!"

The winner, of course, is Obama, who must be excited because now he can start hanging out in public with Bill Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah Wright again. John McCain is a winner because he can resume buying more houses. And we're all winners because we will never again have to hear McCain say, "my friends."

After Bill Clinton won the 1992 presidential election, Hillary Clinton immediately announced that, henceforth, she would be known as "Hillary Rodham Clinton." So maybe Obama can now become B. Hussein Obama, his rightful name.

This was such an enormous Democratic year that even John Murtha won his congressional seat in Pennsylvania after calling his constituents racists. It turns out they're not racists - they're retards. Question: What exactly would one have to say to alienate Pennsylvanians? That Joe Paterno should retire? Apparently, Florida voters didn't mind Obama's palling around with Palestinian activist Rashid Khalidi and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, either. There must be a whole bunch of retired Pennsylvania Jews down there.

Republicans lost this presidential election, and I don't blame the messenger; I blame the message. How could Republicans go after B. Hussein Obama (as he is now known) on planning to bankrupt the coal companies when McCain supports the exact same cap and trade policies and earnestly believes in global warming?

How could we go after Obama for his illegal alien aunt and for supporting driver's licenses for illegal aliens when McCain fanatically pushed amnesty along with his good friend Teddy Kennedy? How could we go after Obama for Jeremiah Wright when McCain denounced any Republicans who did so? How could we go after Obama for planning to hike taxes on the "rich," when McCain was the only Republican to vote against both of Bush's tax cuts on the grounds that they were tax cuts for the rich?

And why should Republican activists slave away working for McCain when he has personally, viciously attacked: John O'Neill and the Swift Boat Veterans, National Right to Life director Doug Johnson, evangelical pastors Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and John Hagee, various conservative talk radio hosts, the Tennessee Republican Party and on and on and on?....

How many times do we have to run this experiment before Republican primary voters learn that "moderate," "independent," "maverick" Republicans never win, and right-wing Republicans never lose? Indeed, the only good thing about McCain is that he gave us a genuine conservative, Sarah Palin. He's like one of those insects that lives just long enough to reproduce so that the species can survive. That's why a lot of us are referring to Sarah as "The One" these days.

For now, we have a new president-elect. In the spirit of reaching across the aisle, we owe it to the Democrats to show their president the exact same kind of respect and loyalty that they have shown our recent Republican president. Starting tomorrow, if not sooner.

More here


A Mephistophelian look

I am following the Coulter advice above:

The above looks to me like Mephistopheles saying: "Now you've got it coming to you. You just wait and see"


Brookes News update

Monetary policy: Is the fed pushing on a piece of string?: Determined to make sure there will be no repeat of the 1930s depression, the fed cut the funds rate to 1 percent, the lowest level since 2003-04. Moreover, from the 8 October to the 22 October the fed raised the monetary base from $984,375 billion to $114,749 billion, a 16 per cent increase in two weeks. Clearly Mr Bernanke is a man of action. But is it the right action?
Did Bernanke learn the lesson of the Great Depression?: The best policy is for the Fed to do nothing as soon as possible. By doing nothing the Fed will enable wealth generators to accumulate real savings. The policy of doing nothing will force various activities that add nothing to the pool of real savings to disappear. This will make the life of wealth generators much easier
Real factors signalled an impending recession, not the financial crisis: The financial crisis has exposed the economic commentariat's ignorance of the potency of money. They ignore real factors while focusing on financial factors . . What they refuse to consider is the fact that it is the change in real factors that signal recession
Hatred and politics: It is not surprising that hatred of political opponents is so virulent on the left. 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'
Let businesses fail: The U.S. economy during the period 1870 to 1913 grew significantly faster than it did after the Fed was established. Since then we've had the Great Depression, the S&L meltdown and now perhaps the greatest worldwide credit crisis ever
Obama vows blood for the bloodthirsty: Just as Obama lied about public funding for election campaigns, he is lying about reducing the number of abortions. He intends - with one stroke of the pen - remove every commonsense regulation placed on the abortion industry over the past three decades. Moreover, doctors who refuse to perform abortions will be stripped of their license to practice medicine. Welcome to Obama's thugocracy
When political correctness becomes conventional wisdom: Gray, a renowned scientist, has testified on global warming before Congress. He has given speeches, written articles and done all he can think of to get his message out. Yet, he has been ostracized by his colleagues, cut off from government funding and invested more than $100,000 of his own money to keep his research going - all because he contends that global warming is a fraud.



Californians say no to gay marriage again: "A ban on gay marriages in California has been approved in a referendum only months after it was legalised, prompting thousands of same-sex couples to tie the knot. With 95 per cent of the votes in, the proposal to limit marriage to members of the opposite sex has been approved by 52.1 per cent of voters, compared with 47.9 per cent who voted against. The referendum called for the California constitution to be amended by adding the phrase that: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognised in California." Known as "Proposition 8", the proposal was trumpeted by conservative groups as the people's way of overturning the state Supreme Court's ruling in May that legalised gay marriage. The court's ruling had overturned an earlier plebiscite in 2000 when 61 per cent of voters agreed marriage should be defined as only being between a man and a woman".

Stupid and corrupt New Zealand socialists on the way out: "The National Party has been polling 10 to 15 points ahead of Labour. On present indications it looks as though the Clark Labour era will end this Saturday, though it's still possible Labour will be able to scrape together the support of all the minor parties and form an unwieldy coalition government. The Labour Party came into office nine years ago promising to lift NZ back into the top half of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development league tables in terms of per capita gross domestic product. On that criterion it has failed. Instead, NZ has dropped from 20th to 22nd place in the rankings since 1999. Of countries that have belonged to the OECD since before 1994, only Portugal and Turkey rank below NZ. Why has NZ's growth rate been ordinary at best for the past decade? A primary answer is that the policies that have been implemented to appeal to Labour's core supporters have clearly failed to increase comparative wealth. These policies include re-regulating the labour markets, increasing substantially the percentage of those working in the public sector, channelling an enormous 42 per cent of government tertiary education spending to financial aid for students, and increasing taxes"


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Thursday, November 6, 2008


They created Obama. They could have destroyed him in a minute if they had wanted to. Instead they promoted him, covered for him and used anything they could to discredit his opponents.

What lies ahead

One really has to ask the obvious question: If Obama's economic policies work so well, why isn't Detroit a paradise? In 1950, America produced 51% of the GNP for the entire world. Of that production, roughly 70% took place in the eight states surrounding the Great Lakes: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.

The productive capability of this small area of earth staggers the imagination. Virtually everything that rebuilt the industrial bases of Europe and Japan came from those eight states. Cars, planes, electronics, machine tools, consumer goods, generators, concrete - any conceivable item manufactured by industrial humanity poured out this tiny region and enriched the world. The region shone with widespread prosperity. People migrated from the South and West to work in these Herculean engines of industry. The wealth, power and economic dominance of the region at the time cannot be overstated. Nothing like it has existed in human history.

Yet, a mere 30 years later, by 1980, we called that area the "rustbelt" and it became synonymous with joblessness, collapsing cities, high crime, failing schools and general hopelessness.

What the hell happened? Obama happened. Of course, not Obama personally but rather the same ideas that Obama espouses. What those ideas did to the Great Lakes states, they can do to the entire country. What did they do wrong?

First, unions: Without any serious economic competition, unions could force virtually any salary, benefits and pensions they wished from manufactures. Worse, however, they could set work rules and conditions, effectively dictating the organization of a business and what technology, processes and methods it used. Since increasing productivity, by definition, means doing more work with fewer people, unions froze companies into the methods used in the mid-1950s and refused to let them adapt. Companies rode high for over 15 years, but by the late '60s they faced increasing competition and needed to change and adapt. The unions blocked this.

In the end, however, strong widespread unions turned out for workers to be merely a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Unions got workers in factories better wages, but the people who built the workers' houses, cars, consumer goods and stocked their groceries also had strong unions and the price of everything went up. Strong public-sector unions kept taxes high and public productivity low, so workers' taxes went up. By the time they paid all the increased cost of union labor in everything they consumed, the unions gave them little if any real increases in income.

Second, invasive government: People who grew up during the New Deal and WWII believed that government could solve almost any problem, and they supported high taxes so that government could fix society. Unfortunately, the supposed benefits of an expansive state, good schools, solid public infrastructure, low crime, etc. failed to materialize while zoning and land-use restrictions drove up housing cost and taxes and crime destroyed small businesses. Strong public-sector unions blocked tax cuts and reforms that could have saved them.

By the early '70s the states that once served as the industrial engine for the entire planet began to fall apart. Then came double-digit inflation and the energy crisis (both caused by leftist policies). By 1980, the industrial heartland of America lay in virtual ruins. People called it the "rustbelt" in analogy to the "dustbowl" of the Great Depressions. Even today, nearly 30 years later, the region lags behind the rest of the country in job creation and is steadily losing population to internal migration.

It can happen just that fast. A worker who entered the factories in 1950 at the age of 25 saw 20 good years before things looked bad. At 45 he saw repeated layoffs, and by 55 he was out of a job and his children had little hope of finding one.

Obama clearly plans to try to extend the rustbelt model to the rest of the country. "Card check" will let unions use intimidation to control workers. High taxes on capital gains will slow investment. Environmental regulation will starve workplaces of electricity and mandate inefficient modes of production. Great new bureaucracies will arise to restrain the freedom and creativity of the people.

Obama has no concept of business as a creative and experimental endeavor. On some deep unconscious level, he assumes that material wealth is something akin to a natural phenomenon for which no group of humans can take credit. Therefore, he sees distribution as the only serious economic issue and ignores how politics interferes with the actual process of wealth creation. We may soon be living in a repeat of '70s and looking back at the years 1984-2007 as a golden era.




Just the beginning for Sarah Palin?: "Today's defeat spells the end of Mr McCain's presidential dreams - but is likely to be just the start of his running mate's political ascendancy. Mrs Palin turned out to be an even bigger draw on the campaign trail than John McCain, the name above hers on the Republican presidential ticket. Her inner circle say the mother-of-five is likely to serve out her final two years as Alaska governor and then focus full time on a bid to become America's first woman president. Republican leaders say the election was just the beginning for Sarah Palin. Despite coming under fire for her inexperience, insiders say she is already being groomed to run for the presidency in 2012. She even let slip her own ambitions last week, saying in a TV interview that she's `not doing all this for naught'.

Voter-Fraud condoned in Milwaukee: "Last week Mike Sandvick, head of the Milwaukee Police Department's five-man Special Investigative Unit, was told by superiors not to send anyone to polling places on Election Day. He was also told his unit -- which wrote the book on how fraud could subvert the vote in his hometown -- would be disbanded. "We know what to look for," he told me, "and that scares some people." In disgust, Mr. Sandvick plans to retire. (A police spokeswoman claims the unit isn't being disbanded and that any changes to the unit "aren't significant.")In February, Mr. Sandvick's unit released a 67-page report on what it called an "illegal organized attempt to influence the outcome of (the 2004) election in the state of Wisconsin" -- a swing state whose last two presidential races were decided by less than 12,000 votes. The report found that between 4,600 and 5,300 more votes were counted in Milwaukee than the number of voters recorded as having cast ballots. Absentee ballots were cast by people living elsewhere; ineligible felons not only voted but worked at the polls; transient college students cast improper votes; and homeless voters possibly voted more than once.

Some coming disappointments for Peggy the Moocher: "Who is Peggy the Moocher? She's Peggy Joseph, a voter in Sarasota, Fla., who exulted earlier this week at a Barack Obama rally that this was "the most memorable time of my life." Why? As she told a Florida reporter on a YouTube video that has been viewed by hundreds of thousands: "Because I never thought this day would ever happen. I won't have to worry about putting gas in my car. I won't have to worry about paying my mortgage. You know. If I help [Obama], he's gonna help me." You can't blame Peggy the Moocher for viewing Obama as the superior Santa Claus. With a relentless messianic campaign, a grievance-mongering wife touting him as the country's soul fixer and a national infomercial promising to take care of every need from night classes to medical bills to rent and fuel-efficient cars, Obama effectively channeled Oprah Winfrey's Big Give.

RIP for a Ripley you can believe in: "John W. Ripley, a highly decorated former colonel who entered Marine Corps lore when he single-handedly blunted a major North Vietnamese offensive during the Vietnam War by blowing up a strategically placed bridge, died Oct. 28 at his home in Annapolis, Md. He was 69."

There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand now up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

McCain better for libertarians

I have been a lifetime Libertarian Party activist, for over 25 years. I've served in numerous capacities, including on the Libertarian National Committee, as a Libertarian State Rep. candidate, and as Ron Paul's Personal Travel Aide in his 1988 Libertarian Presidential campaign. I've also served as Ron Paul's Congressional Campaign Coordinator and as his Senior Congressional Aide for 7 years, 1997-2004.

This election year, I've been supporting Libertarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr. As a matter of fact, I'm the very guy who recruited his running mate Wayne Root into the race. Since the Spring, I've been the Party's lead petitioner around the Nation. I've collected tens of thousands of signatures to get Barr/Root on the ballot in Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine and Rhode Island.

However, I was greatly encouraged by McCain's pick of Sarah Palin for his VP. Palin has a solid libertarian background. In 2005/06 she was the guest speaker at two Libertarian Party meetings in Anchorage. She has been called a "libertarian" by many in Alaska politics and in the Anchorage media. She even received the last minute backing of the Libertarian Party leadership in the State for her successful gubernatorial race, and today, she is the most popular governor in America.

Up until now, I've encouraged my fellow Libertarians to follow their conscience and vote for either McCain/Palin or for Barr/Root, if it suits them better. I now believe, two days before Election Day, that this campaign is just too critical to risk on such a strategy, and if Libertarians won't put the liberty of our country ahead of our party ambitions, who else in this country will?

Obama is fundamentally opposed to virtually all libertarian stances on all issues. From taxes, to freedom of speech, to protecting property rights, to putting a halt to the ever-encroaching Nanny-state, and 4 years of an Obama Presidency will have disastrous results for liberty, and supporters of the limited government view. As evidence of this, Obama has taken to lodge a full frontal assault on the libertarian movement within the last couple days. In two separate speeches Obama accused McCain/Palin of supporting tax cuts because they believed in the "Virtue of Selfishness." ABC News confirmed that the phrase was most likely a direct hit at libertarian icon Philosopher Ayn Rand. By attacking Rand, and her Individualist philosophy, in essence, Obama has declared war on libertarians and the libertarian movement in these closing days of Election '08.

More here


Don't Rock the Vote, Baby!

Voter registration drives have been ubiquitous this election cycle. These efforts, however, could have a pernicious effect on the country and Americans' understanding of the duties of citizenship. Consider the `Rock the Vote' campaign. Begun in 1992, Rock the Vote "uses music, popular culture and new technologies to engage and incite young people to register and vote in every election." If you visit the Rock the Vote website, DJ Diplo will e-mail you a copy of your state's voter registration form. Bloggers rave about Diplo's work at registration events, noting that his music is so loud that groupies "can still feel the dull throb of the speakers blasting full force" 24 hours later.

Not to be outdone by Diplo, offers prospective voters maps to the polling places and runs an aggressive advertising campaign. One of the ads features a blond bombshell salaciously whispering "I just can't picture myself sleeping with a non-voter." Not only can you help solve the country's problems by voting, you might get lucky too.

With all the commotion about voter registration, one would think that barriers to registration abound. This is not the case. Since 1995, state governments have been required to provide uniform registration services through drivers' license registration centers and government offices offering public assistance benefits. The states also must permit citizens to register using mail-in forms. Or they can choose the old fashioned way and go to the local voter registration office to fill out the necessary paperwork.

Participation in local, state, and national elections is not something Americans should take lightly. In our system of government, the people are recognized as the ultimate sovereigns and exercise their power in special conventions (such as the conventions that ratified the Constitution) or during elections when they vote for representatives, and, in some states, for various ballot initiatives. In 1776, the General Court of Massachusetts summed up popular sovereignty as follows: "It is a maxim, that, in every government, there must exist, somewhere, a supreme, sovereign, absolute, and uncontrollable power; But this power resides, always in the body of the people, and it never was, or can be delegated, to one man, or a few." Thus, elections should be viewed as bulwarks of our Republic.

But for elections to serve this lofty purpose, the people must be informed. In recognition of this, the First Amendment was added to the Constitution, in part, to ensure the free flow and availability of information regarding public concerns. Because an informed electorate is a prerequisite to an intelligent exercise of the franchise, the Founding Fathers, in the words of James Madison, viewed the dissemination of information as "the only effectual guardian of every other right." An ignorant public exercising the franchise was seen as inimical to a free society.

Today's mass voter drives stand this notion on its head. Because it is already so easy to register without the aid of Rock the Vote or, one must wonder what sort of person the mass voter-registration drives are reaching. Obviously not people who take their citizenship seriously enough to register without the assistance of DJ Diplo or the enticement of a "party-on" atmosphere.

Although the First Amendment is still in place and information is readily available, an intellectual laziness has crept into much of society. Recent polls show that when asked to name two of Snow White's Seven Dwarfs and two of the nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 77 percent of those polled were able to identify two dwarfs, while only 24 percent could name two Supreme Court Justices. Regarding the basic structure of our government, only 42 percent of Americans could name the three branches, whereas 73 percent could name all of the Three Stooges.

If Rock the Vote and Bothervoting really wanted to contribute to solving the problems facing our country, they would focus less on numbers and more on knowledge. An ignorant voter is more dangerous to the Republic than a non-voter. Unfortunately, the registration movement teaches citizens that an uneducated vote is better than no vote at all. Such a lesson is pernicious and could have lasting effects on the electorate.



Exit poll warning

We all remember how far off the exit polls were in 2004. But we don't recall how far off some of the leaked exit poll results were in 2006. In the races were expected blowouts - Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island - the exit polls were pretty accurate. But on some of the close ones - the ones where race-watchers want reliable data the most - they managed to botch it pretty badly.

Virginia Exit Poll Result: D: 52 R: 47. Actual result: Webb 49.59 percent, Allen 49.2 percent. The exit poll margin was 5 percent; the actual margin was less than one percent.

Montana Exit Poll Result: D: 53 R: 46. Actual result: Tester 49.16, Burns 48.29. The exit poll margin was 7 percent; the actual margin was less than one percent.

Arizona Exit Poll Result: R: 50 D: 46. Actual result: Kyl 53, Pederson 44. The exit poll margin was 2 percent, the actual margin was 9 percent.

Because they correctly predicted the ultimate winner, no one remembers these poll results as being egregiously off-base. But a few thousand votes here and there, and they would have had the wrong winner in Virginia and Montana. And you notice which direction these results skew.


NOTE: Suitably Flip and Jim Geraghty have been looking closely at the public opinion polls and predict a McCain win.


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A great day

Note the date at the head of this post. Nov. 4th. A great national day of decision. A great race will be decided. Millions will watch the outcome. And the outcome will make many jubilant while others will be sad or indifferent. I am referring, of course, to the Melbourne Cup, Australia's premier horserace and the one race of the year for which everyone stops in Australia. They flock to their nearest TV or glue a trannie (transistor radio) to their ear. Businesses stop. Schools stop. Factories stop. Offices stop. And even Presbyterians have been known to bet on the outcome. Due to the peculiarites of timezones, however, the race will be run on Nov. 3 in America. And what happens in America on 4th, will happen on 5th in Australia.

My Presbyterian background is still a strong and valued influence and I basically never gamble but I will today enter a "sweep". It is early morning as I write this. In a sweep, you put in money to draw the name of one of the horses out of a hat. If "your" horse wins, you get all the money. It is probably the world's fairest gamble -- but it won't make you rich. There will be sweeps in almost every office and workplace in Australia today. It is a great day! Below is a good comment written by an American last year:
On the first Tuesday of November, most people in Melbourne get the day off for the public holiday. What holiday you ask? Is it the Queens birthday? Boxing Day? Australia Day? No friends, today is a holy occasion where a little over 100,000 people dress up, get drunk, and bet on a bunch of horses as they run around a track. Basically, everyone gets the day off for a race that only lasts minutes.

This is actually a big deal here. Someone told me that teachers in grade school have the kids do "play bets" on what horse they want to win. Women seem to especially love this day as they dress up all pretty and wear funny hats as you see below. There are several contests as well at the cup including "best hat" and "best overall dressed". Today a horse named "Efficient" won the cup and the owner won a prize of $5 million dollars. I know what you are asking me now, "well who won the best hat!?!" Well, I scoured the internet and couldn't find the winner of best hat, which is the thing I was really interested in. Again, what a fun and great country. I'm in Brisbane and so didn't get the day off, but I still got to enjoy a city full of pretty girls wearing funny hats.


Say Goodbye to America

No matter who wins Tuesday America is going to be a different country. When the sun rises on November 5, regardless of who the president-elect is, a more un-United States than has existed since the Civil War will wake to dispute the results of the disgusting campaign that has mercifully come to an end.

Whoever the losers, they will believe they were cheated, and will point fingers at those they believe responsible. Almost half the nation will view the winner as illegitimate, and will do everything in their power to undermine his authority as long as he's in the White House. With this animosity will come a new level of hatred between those of differing political persuasions like nothing our country has experienced in the modern era. Putting it bluntly, and without sounding too much like Rev. Jeremiah "G-d Damn America" Wright, there will be no such thing as Americans anymore.

Instead, there'll be Democrats and Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives, and encounters between the members of these groups will for years nay decades be at best unfriendly, and at worst quite hostile if not downright violent.

Think this an overstatement? Consider first what Wednesday will look like if John McCain pulls off the upset. To begin with, let's be very clear about one thing: Democrats believe that if they lose an election it's because their opponent cheated. It's never their fault. It's never because they ran a poor campaign. It's never because their opponent ran a better one. Heck no! It's always about voter fraud, disenfranchisement, not enough ballots, faulty machinery, hanging chads, negative advertising, intimidation tactics, campaign finance abuses, you name it.

Such is the legacy of Al Sore Loser Gore: regardless of how many news outlets went to Florida in January 2001 and found that if the counting had continued Bush still would have won, the overwhelming majority of Democrats think that election was stolen....

To make my point, I offer the now overly-discussed Bradley effect and how it relates to exit polls: How many people as they leave the voting booth Tuesday will lie to pollsters about who they voted for? Before you answer, try to imagine the pressures many people are going to feel in certain districts around the country to answer "Obama" rather than "McCain" irrespective of the truth. Also consider the possibility that many McCain supporters will just refuse to answer the question thereby skewing the results.....

Can you imagine the Rodney King-style rioting that might occur as a result, especially when folks like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, and the usual suspects get in front of television cameras blaming Republicans and John McCain for stealing another election, this time from a black man? They'll be on all the morning shows Wednesday doing what they do best: fomenting hate, and pointing fingers....

On the flipside, although an Obama victory will likely not result in immediate acts of violence, Republicans already feel cheated by this campaign for a number of reasons, and understand full well that they literally have the most to lose in this election; the Messiah, contrary to all his lies on the stump, clearly intends to redistribute wealth, and it sure isn't Republicans that are going to be on the receiving end of the junior senator from Illinois' charity....

Once Hillary was tossed aside like so much garbage, media ignored each and every issue that could possibly undermine Obama's ascendancy while savagely attacking Sarah Palin as well as an Ohio plumber that had the unmitigated audacity to actually ask the Messiah a decent question. Don't even get me started on how the so-called impartial press overlooked every gaffe and misstatement made by Joe Biden while giving the Messiah a pass for going back on his promise to accept public campaign funds instead opting to raise and spend more money on his presidential aspirations than anybody ever believed possible....

Just imagine the kind of press McCain would have gotten if he had refused public financing, and spent the kind of ad dollars Obama has. Americans likely would have been told virtually 24 hours a day, seven days a week that rich Republicans were trying to buy the election. However, because this is the Messiah, such talk was practically verboten.

Without a doubt, the media playing field this campaign season was as un-level as most Americans have probably ever experienced, or, for that matter ever imagined, and if Obama wins, this is going to leave a bad taste in the mouths of Republicans for many years to come....

And therein lies the real tragedy, for November 4, 2008, could have been a shining moment in American history. After all, a black man is running for president, and might actually win. This should have united the country like never before, and come close to ending the racism that has been one of our nation's banes since its inception. However, because Obama used race to get himself to this point, while also pitting folks of differing incomes against each other for his own political benefit, it seems far more likely that tomorrow will divide our country like it hasn't been in over a century ushering back in hatred that will make Martin Luther King Jr. roll over in his grave.

More here


Fickle voters and other frights that pollsters dread

An old newspaper photograph haunts the dreams of every US pollster. A grinning Harry Truman, having won the 1948 presidential election despite every prediction, is holding up a copy of the Chicago Tribune. It reads: "Dewey defeats Truman". Could it happen again? Every pollster is predicting a victory for Barack Obama. Might a grinning John McCain be pictured on Wednesday triumphantly holding a pile of incorrect polling data?

There are two things that say that he might. The first is that American pollsters have not yet experienced what happened here in 1992 - when the polls pointed to a Labour victory but John Major won. The conventional wisdom is that 1992 was great for the Tories but terrible for the pollsters. In the long run, the opposite turned out to be true. Victory in 1992 turned to ashes for the Conservatives, whereas the pollsters used the debacle to get themselves sorted out.

Now British polls are properly and carefully weighted, taking account of what is known as the spiral of silence - the tendency of voters for the less fashionable party to keep their intentions to themselves. British pollsters weight their results to allow for these shy voters. US pollsters do not. It isn't unreasonable to believe that there could be a Republican spiral of silence. And that US pollsters are all missing it.

There is some evidence of mistakes among US pollsters. Every poll has a margin of error, to take into account the fact that a limited sample has been consulted. But the website has shown that during the primaries there was on average a 2.3 per cent pollster-introduced error, caused by poor methodology. This is not the case in Britain.

The second, widely canvassed, reason why the polls could be wrong is known as the Bradley Effect. In 1982 exit polls showed the African American Tom Bradley to be on course for victory as Governor of California. He lost. It is argued that voters had refused to support him because of his race but didn't want to tell a pollster. Could this happen to Obama? The Bradley Effect is talked about as if it were incontrovertible but it is only a theory. One of Bradley's campaign team pointed out recently that the same exit polls that predicted victory for Bradley also projected that the white Democrat Jerry Brown would be elected US Senator. And he lost too. These two question marks over the polls are ones that McCain can cling to as the campaign comes to a conclusion. They are not, however, the only reason to doubt the pollsters.

The other ones suggest that the pollsters may be underestimating, not overestimating, Obama. In an election where only 60 per cent may vote, all pollsters have to weigh their findings to reflect how likely respondents are to cast their ballot. The difficulty is deciding how. Usually pollsters use previous elections to help them to decide who is going to vote. But what if, in this election, different sorts of voters are going to turn out? There is reason to believe that young people and African Americans will turn out for Obama as never before. Some pollsters are adjusting for this, others are not (hence some of the variability in the polls). The result will depend to an extent upon who is right about this.

A second unknown is the use of mobile phones. A segment of the electorate - on the whole younger, poorer people - no longer have land lines. Yet pollsters use random digit dialling of landlines to build their samples. Some say that this undercounts Obama support by 2 or 3 per cent.

Lost in all this detail? Then cling on to this. The polls may vary, the methods differ, the lead goes up and down. But every poll by every pollster still agrees that Obama will win.



List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Monday, November 3, 2008

Stealing the Election: The 1960 and the 2008 Contests Compared

If Obama Can't Win It He'll Steal It, note Floyd and Mary Beth Brown.
Obama's ties to ACORN go back much further than his presidential bid. In 1992, Obama worked as executive director of ACORN's voter-registration segment, Project Vote. Obama, along with two other South-Side Chicago community organizers, led the voter-registration drive that played a part in the election of Carol Moseley Braun to the U.S. Senate.

To tighten the connection, in 1993 Obama joined the civil-rights law firm Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, where he sued the state of Illinois on behalf of ACORN. Then-Governor Jim Edgar argued that the Clinton National Voter Registration Act ("Motor Voter" law) would invite voter fraud, and refused to implement it. Consequently Obama and ACORN sued the state. Edgar was proven right about the "Motor Voter" law. Fund says it has "imposed fraud-friendly rules on the states by requiring drivers' license bureaus to register anyone who applies for a license, to offer mail-in registration with no identification needed, and to forbid government workers to challenge new registrants, while making it difficult to purge" voters who have died or moved away.

Despite all the documented evidence tying Obama to ACORN and the overwhelming stench of impropriety, Barack Obama has the unmitigated gall to deny his connection to this far-left, socialist organization. ACORN is the same group that pressured banking institutions into making the toxic loans that are at the heart of our current financial crisis.

Central to the successful working of our republic is honest elections. If citizens believe that politicians are winning elections by committing fraud, our entire governing consensus will break down. Cynicism and despair are the inevitable outcomes.

Paul Johnson goes into detail about how the 1960 election may well have been stolen and about how Richard Nixon decided, nobly and in spite of the evidence, not to contest the results. (Thank you, John McCain, for not choosing a similar path and being gallant and humble like a latter-day Abraham Lincoln.) Apart from that, Paul Johnson notes that
The gradual but cumulatively almost complete transfer of opinion-forming power from the owners and commercial managers of TV stations to the program-makers and presenters was one of the great new facts of life, unheard of before the 1950s, axiomatic by the end of the 1960s. And it was gradually paralleled by a similar shift in the newspaper world, especially on the great dailies and magazines of the East Coast, where political power, with few exceptions, passed from proprietors and major stockholders to editors and writers.

Owners like Hearst and McCormick (of the Chicago Tribune), Pulitzer and Henry Luce (of Time-Life), who had once decided the political line of their publications in considerable detail, moved out of the picture and their places were taken by the working journalists. Since the latter tended to be overwhelmingly liberal in their views, this was not just a political but a cultural change of considerable importance. Indeed it is likely that nothing did more to cut America loose from its traditional moorings.

The change could be seen in 1960, in the way the East Coast media (the New York Times and Washington Post, Time and Newsweek), handled the contest between Nixon and Kennedy. By all historical standards, Nixon should have been an American media hero. He was a natural candidate for laurels in the grand old tradition of self-help, of pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. He came from nowhere.

Yet, from start to finish, the media, especially the 'quality' press, distrusted him, consistently denigrated him, and sought to destroy him, indeed in a sense did destroy him. At every crisis in his career - except the last - he had to appeal above the heads of the media to the great mass of the ordinary American people, the 'silent majority' as he called them.

The Hiss case did Nixon even more damage with the media, which, against all evidence, tried to turn this undoubted Soviet agent and perjurer into an American Dreyfus in order to portray Nixon as a McCarthyite witchhunter.

By contrast, the media did everything in its power to build up and sustain the beatific myth of John F. Kennedy, throughout his life and long after his death, until it finally collapsed in ruins under the weight of incontrovertible evidence. The media protected him, suppressed what it knew to be the truth about him, and if necessary lied about him, on a scale which it had never done even for Franklin Roosevelt. And this was all the more surprising because Kennedy had most of the characteristics of an American anti-hero.

The man who got it right at the time was the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. He grasped the important point that electing a Kennedy was not so much giving office to an individual as handing over power to a family business, a clan, almost a milieu, with a set of attitudes about how office was to be acquired and used which at no point coincided with the American ethic. Having paid his first visit after Kennedy's election as President, Macmillan was asked on his return what it was like in Kennedy's Washington. 'Oh,' said he, 'it's rather like watching the Borgia brothers take over a respectable North Italian city.'



Palin: 'I Haven't Always Just Toed the Line'

The press has brutalized the Alaska governor, playing gotcha with her record, digging through her family life. The liberal intelligentsia has declared her unfit for office, a rube, a right-wing maniac. The conservative intelligentsia has accused her of being a lightweight, of "anti-intellectualism." Polls suggest a significant number of voters believe she is not up for the job.

Yet her supporters idolize her -- all the more because of the criticism. Mrs. Palin has, for millions of Americans, become a symbol of a reformist average Jane, a working mom, ready to take on the Washington they detest. Talking to Missourians before the event, I heard little mention of flashpoint issues like her religious views, or her experience. I was instead repeatedly, and vociferously, informed that a Vice President Palin would "fix that place" and "shape up the GOP." I also heard a lot about how she would accomplish all this because she was a "real" person.

The governor is one of those politicians with the gift of connecting with her audience, a trait that surely has helped with her quick political rise. "I'm so glad you're here!" she said as I walked in to the holding room, with such warmth I wondered if she might actually mean it. As in her staged events, she comes across in person as confident.

The tasks of "fixing" Washington and "shaping up" the GOP are no small things, whether from inside the West Wing, or depending on Tuesday, from some future role as a party leader. And so, after a firm handshake and an introduction to First Dude Todd, I ask the governor if we could forgo the stump speech and talk about her contribution to this ticket, and the future of the party. Why, exactly, are Republicans as a whole struggling so badly? Are the liberal pundits right that modern conservatism has run its course?

"The planks in the Republican platform are good, they are strong. Economically speaking, Republicans support a uniquely American system that rewards hard work and empowers the entrepreneurial spirit that made this country the greatest country on earth. And on the national security front . . . it is about strength through power, it is about diplomacy across this world, allowing America to lead us toward a more peaceful world. On those planks -- economic and national security -- the Republican Party has the right agenda."

The problem, she explains, is a failure to deliver. "We must prove to the American people that we will live out the ideals and the values articulated in that platform." She says that "in too many cases" the GOP has let voters down, in particular on spending and with the abuse of earmarking. She argues the most effective way to revamp the party is from the top, by putting her ticket in the Oval Office, where it will enforce discipline. "We have a track record that proves we can reform government. And ultimately, that will reform the Republican Party."

More here


America compared to what?

After the September financial meltdown, many abroad, and some at home, immediately - and with undisguised glee - blamed America's problems on cowboy excess and forecast the end of American global influence. But while those opportunistic critics had a point that reckless Americans had taken on far more debt than they should, the growing global economic downturn may well hurt others far more than the United States.... Why then would America in recession still be in better shape than others?

First, oil prices are crashing. That will soon save us hundreds of billions in imported-fuel expenses - while denying our overextended enemies in Russia, as well as in Iran, Venezuela and others in the OPEC cartel, half of their accustomed cash to cause trouble.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is increasing natural-gas production; is likely to increase drilling offshore; will all but certainly soon build more nuclear power, wind and solar plants; and is sitting on the world's largest coal reserves. A new generation of hybrid, electric and flex-fuel cars are on the horizon that could even shave off more from our imported-fuel bills.

Second, we are already way ahead of the rest of the world in dealing with toxic debt. Western Europe is discovering that its banks lent more against their reserves than did their American counterparts. European real estate was often more inflated than our own. Bankers in Frankfurt, London and Paris are looking at trillions of dollars in uncollectible Euro loans throughout Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe. Most of our toxic debt was at least owed as mortgages by fellow Americans; far more of Europe's is owed by those outside the European Union.

Even when the United States is reeling from financial panic, foreign investment continues to flow into America; the dollar, meanwhile, is climbing against the Euro. China's export-driven and Russia's energy economies are in crisis. They may have hundreds of billions in dollar reserves, but as the world energy and consumer economies slow, both countries lack our institutions, infrastructure and broad flexibility to easily rebound.

Third, the United States is still growing as the population of Europe shrinks. The populations of Japan and China both age at a faster rate than America's does. Russia faces the perfect storm of a declining, aging and increasingly unhealthy population. The result is that America can much more easily grow itself out of a housing glut.

Fourth, the war in Iraq is no longer even a war in a traditional sense. Four times as many Americans were murdered just in the city of Chicago at peace in July than all those Americans who were killed in Iraq at war in the same period. The cost of deploying American troops in Iraq is nearing the expense to station them elsewhere abroad. As Iraqis continue to take over additional provinces, the American presence will further shrink.

There are also long-term reasons to believe the United States will better weather the current storm. We are a transparent society that blares out problems, affixes blame and then fights publicly over solutions. Japan's real estate meltdown of the 1990s took years to correct, given the emphasis on secrecy and shame within Japanese financial circles.

The United States military remains far stronger - and more battle-hardened - than the rest of the world's armed forces combined. Rogue nations and terrorists try to take advantage of economic uncertainty, but America remains the best-defended democracy in the world.

More here


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Leftist lady is appalled at the attacks on Palin:

Like her or loathe her, Palin has captured the hearts, minds and hairdos of millions of Americans and they will vote for her on Tuesday. To them, she is the perfect antidote to the financial meltdown ravaging their country because she has managed to turn her campaign into a reality TV show. And she makes sense to the millions who put Bush junior and senior and Ronald Reagan in the White House.

They don't care about the 170,000 entries you get when you Google "Sarah Palin gaffes". And they don't care that she has become the most mocked bird in American political history. But the longer the mocking goes on, the more I do care. Somehow I can't help being niggled by the fact that if she were a man, the hysteria being whipped up by comedy writers and the commentariat about her shortcomings just wouldn't be happening. Not to this degree, that's for sure. Palin is not the first ill-experienced or ill-equipped person to run for high political office. The big difference is that these people are usually men and they are never - repeat never - subjected to the same scrutiny or reduced to the same kind of personal attacks as women.

The hullaballoo over her $150,000 clothing allowance is a classic example. Has anyone writing this stuff actually been shopping for women's clothes? Do any of them know how much hair and make-up costs? The woman is running for vice-president of the United States. Not secretary of Wasilla hockey club. If I were Sarah Palin I'd have a personal hair and make-up person too. Can you imagine the carry-on if she appeared onstage or on the telly looking as if she'd been caught in a wind-tunnel? Or if she stepped out in something that looked a little too hokey?

Why aren't we similarly learning about the price of Barack Obama's suits? Or what it cost to deck out Michelle and the kids in those colour-toned matching outfits at the nomination acceptance? I'd estimate $25,000 for the four of them on that night alone - minimum. It is plainly absurd, but the stories of Palin's clothing extravagances squeezed her and Cindy McCain back into jeans this week as a counter-blow while Obama spent millions of dollars on a single ad.

And just why has Palin become such juicy fodder for comedians when comment on Obama's race and colour are completely off limits? Clearly it's OK to pillory women but it's not OK to pillory people of colour. Why? I'm not sure. America, after all, has a proud history of burning white women at the stake [Salem] so it's not as though discrimination and recrimination have been exclusive to colour.

It would just be uncool to make fun of black people, so let the woman take the hit. Clearly. I don't like Palin and the thought of her in the White House terrifies me. But playing the woman - once again - as political sport is even less attractive to watch.

More here


ACLU Supports Fraudulent Voting in Georgia

A federal appeals court in Georgia is the latest venue where the ACLU is fighting to keep illegal "voters" on the rolls. The requirement to use Social Security and drivers license records to confirm that new registrations are what they claim to be, legitimate voters, comes from a federal law. The effort to keep illegal "voters" on the rolls comes from Democrat officials and their supporters.

The facts for this article, but not the legal conclusions, come from an article in the Augusta Chronicle on 23 October, 2008. The ACLU and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund are asking a federal Circuit Court in Atlanta to prevent Georgia from removing apparent aliens from its "voter" rolls.

The state has used Social Security and drivers license records to identify 4,538 "voters," 3,821 of them newly registered, as noncitizens. Election officials sent letters to all apparently illegal voters, informing of them of the data mismatches, and giving them an opportunity to clear up the discrepancies.

The lead plaintiff in the case is one former alien who claims to have become an American citizen in November, 2007. However, he did not respond to two letters asking him to confirm his citizenship. The ACLU and the Mexican group claimed that the very sending of such letters are "a form of intimidation."

The article refers to these two organizations in its lead sentence as "voters rights groups." From the evidence of this case, now on appeal, these are "NON-voters rights groups." They are willing to have a close election in Georgia, at the local, state or national level, decided by "voters" who are not citizens, or for other reasons including death or multiple voting, have no right to vote as currently registered.

The same issue of using Social Security and drivers license information to verify the legitimacy of "voter" registrations have arisen in many states, because the use and comparison of such data are required in the Help Americans Vote Act passed by Congress. The opposition to using such data is coming almost entirely from Democrats and their ideological supporters, who apparently believe that the illegal voters they are protecting, will vote for Democrats if given the chance.




Pollster John Zogby: "Is McCain making a move? The three-day average holds steady, but McCain outpolled Obama today, 48% to 47%. He is beginning to cut into Obama's lead among independents, is now leading among blue collar voters, has strengthened his lead among investors and among men, and is walloping Obama among NASCAR voters. Joe the Plumber may get his license after all. "Obama's lead among women declined, and it looks like it is occurring because McCain is solidifying the support of conservative women, which is something we saw last time McCain picked up in the polls. If McCain has a good day tomorrow, we will eliminate Obama's good day three days ago, and we could really see some tightening in this rolling average. But for now, hold on."

Ohio corruption runs wild: "A federal judge in Ohio has ruled that counties must allow homeless voters to list park benches and other locations that aren't buildings as their addresses. U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus also ruled that provisional ballots can't be invalidated because of poll worker errors. Monday's ruling resolved the final two pieces of a settlement between the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. The coalition agreed to drop a constitutional challenge to Ohio's voter identification law until after the Nov. 4 election. In return, Brunner and the coalition agreed on procedures to verify provisional ballots across all Ohio counties. The coalition was concerned that unequal treatment of provisional ballots would disenfranchise some voters"

Socialist Britain has plenty of money for an army of bureaucrats but little for its real army: "The head of Britain's special forces in Afghanistan has resigned, reportedly in disgust at equipment failures that he believes led to the death of four of his troops. Major Sebastian Morley, commander of SAS troops in Afghanistan, accused the Government of "chronic under-investment" in equipment in his resignation letter, The Daily Telegraph reported. He had repeatedly warned that people would be killed if military commanders and government officials continued to allow troops to be transported in the lightly armoured Snatch Land Rover vehicles, it said. Four of his soldiers died in June when their Snatch Land Rover hit a land mine in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan. Maj Morley believes they died needlessly, the newspaper said."

Obama Continues Airing False Ad: "Barack Obama's campaign continues to air a false and inaccurate TV ad that misrepresents the views of The Heritage Foundation. After formally requesting yesterday that the campaign pull its ad touting the candidate's tax plan, neither Heritage nor our attorney have heard from Obama's campaign (although a campaign spokesman issued a wholly unsatisfactory response). Heritage policy analyst Rea Hederman, who never said what Obama attributes to him in the ad, maintains that Obama's campaign is playing fast and loose with the facts in this new video."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Axis Of Bias

A major newspaper suppresses damning video of Barack Obama partying with pro-terrorism radicals. Meanwhile, Obama punishes news outlets that do their jobs. Fairness Doctrine anyone?

Los Angeles Times owner Sam Zell must have thought of the Chicago Cubs when he OK'd the layoff of 75 editorial employees this week. Zell owns the lovable loser Cubs, who haven't won the World Series in a century, and the liberal media are turning into the Cubs of modern communications. But news-hungry consumers don't find it lovable when the media elite keep important stories to themselves. John McCain has demanded that the L.A. Times release its videotape of a 2003 farewell party in Chicago at which Obama is said to have grandly toasted guest of honor Rashid Khalidi, the late PLO head Yasser Arafat's spokesman. (Ex-terrorist Bill Ayers may have been there too.)

But the Times apparently doesn't think Americans are entitled to see Obama praising a terrorist mouthpiece before they decide whether to make him president for four years. Similarly, major news outlets buried this week's story of Obama calling for "major redistributive change" in a newly discovered 2001 radio interview.

But if you think we've got an unholy alliance between liberal Democrats in Washington and this country's media elite now, just watch what happens if Obama becomes president with a Democratic Congress - especially if it features a filibuster-proof Senate. Major Democratic congressional leaders like Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois, 2004 presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi want the reinstitution of the outdated, pre-Internet "Fairness Doctrine." They want to counter the news revolution in which blogs and talk radio have taken on the Big Three TV networks.

The Obama campaign claims Obama opposes a new Fairness Doctrine, but City Journal editor Brian C. Anderson doesn't think a President Obama would veto such a bill. Moreover, Obama and most Democrats want to impose more "local accountability" on broadcasters, "setting up community boards to make their demands known when station licenses come up for renewal," as Anderson notes. This measure is "clearly aimed at national syndicators like Clear Channel that offer conservative shows," Anderson says. "It's a Fairness Doctrine by subterfuge." Obama would pair that with relicensing stations every two years instead of the current eight.

We have already seen that Obama's forces have no scruples about punishing media organizations who do not act as disciples of "The One." Newswomen with both WFTV in Orlando, Fla., and the CBS affiliate in Philadelphia dared to ask running mate Joseph Biden about Obama's plans to "spread the wealth," as he infamously told Ohio's Joe the Plumber. The Obama campaign let the journalists know they were now personae non grata.

With both the executive and legislative branches firmly in the power of the most liberal leadership ever - Obama, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid - it is naive to think they would not move against those who most threaten their prospects in the midterm elections of 2010. And that is Fox News and conservative talk radio, supported by the blogosphere. The establishment media and liberal Democrats constitute an axis of bias, arming to threaten the free speech of Americans. George Orwell, call your office.



Mississippi voter rolls stuffed with dead and absent registrants

Mississippi's voter situation is hard to believe. Places like Madison County have over 123% more registered voters than people over the age of 18. Sue Sautermeister, First District Election Commissioner in Madison County, tried to purge the rolls, but ran into trouble when it was discovered it takes a vote of three of the five election commissioners and the purge cannot take place within 90 days of a federal election.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann is the first to admit the situation with voter registration in this state is terrible. "It is terrible," he says. "Combined with the fact that we don't have voter ID in Mississippi, anybody can show up at any poll that happens to know the people who have left town or died -- and go vote for them."

"Whenever we have a third party determined by payment, for example, as they did in Benton County -- 'walking-around' money -- and they determine what that vote is going to be, they've taken your vote, whether they may have voted like you would have or not, they've still thwarted the process and they've still have taken your vote away from you," added Hosemann.

Sue Sautermeister is working hard in the First District of Madison County to start a purging of the voter rolls as soon AFTER the election as possible. She has file drawers full of names of people who haven't voted in years and are known to be dead. "We have people who registered in 1965 who have never voted," she says. "We have 486 people (registered who are) over 105."

Hosemann says 190,000 new voters have registered for this election and he believes the turnout will be historic.



McCain Owns the Kitchen Table

By Charles Krauthammer

Last week I made the open-and-shut case for John McCain: In a dangerous world entering an era of uncontrolled nuclear proliferation, the choice between the most prepared foreign policy candidate in memory vs. a novice with zero experience and the wobbliest one-world instincts is not a close call. But it's all about economics and kitchen-table issues, we are told. OK. Start with economics.

Neither candidate has particularly deep economic knowledge or finely honed economic instincts. Neither has any clear idea exactly what to do in the current financial meltdown. Hell, neither does anyone else, including the best economic minds in the world, from Henry Paulson to the head of the European Central Bank. Yet they have muddled through with some success.

Both McCain and Barack Obama have assembled fine economic teams that may differ on the details of their plans but have reasonable approaches to managing the crisis. So forget the hype. Neither candidate has an advantage on this issue.

On other domestic issues, McCain is just the kind of moderate conservative that the Washington/media establishment once loved -- the champion of myriad conservative heresies that made him a burr in the side of congressional Republicans and George W. Bush. But now that he is standing in the way of an audacity-of-hope Democratic restoration, erstwhile friends recoil from McCain on the pretense that he has suddenly become right wing.

Self-serving rubbish. McCain is who he always was. Generally speaking, he sees government as a Rooseveltian counterweight (Teddy with a touch of Franklin) to the various malefactors of wealth and power. He wants government to tackle large looming liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare. He wants to free up health insurance by beginning to sever its debilitating connection to employment -- a ruinous accident of history (arising from World War II wage and price controls) that increases the terror of job loss, inhibits labor mobility and saddles American industry with costs that are driving it (see: Detroit) into insolvency. And he supports lower corporate and marginal tax rates to encourage entrepreneurship and job creation. An eclectic, moderate, generally centrist agenda in a guy almost congenitally given to bipartisanship.

Obama, on the other hand, talks less and less about bipartisanship, his calling card during his earlier messianic stage. He does not need to. If he wins, he will have large Democratic majorities in both houses. And unlike 1992, Obama is no Clinton centrist. What will you get?

(1) Card check, meaning the abolition of the secret ballot in the certification of unions in the workplace. Large men will come to your house at night and ask you to sign a card supporting a union. You will sign.

(2) The so-called Fairness Doctrine -- a project of Nancy Pelosi and leading Democratic senators -- a Hugo Chavez-style travesty designed to abolish conservative talk radio.

(3) Judges who go beyond even the constitutional creativity we expect from Democratic appointees. Judges chosen according to Obama's publicly declared criterion: "empathy" for the "poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old" -- in a legal system historically predicated on the idea of justice entirely blind to one's station in life.

(4) An unprecedented expansion of government power. Yes, I know. It has already happened. A conservative government has already partially nationalized the mortgage industry, the insurance industry and nine of the largest U.S. banks.

This is all generally swallowed because everyone understands that the current crisis demands extraordinary measures. The difference is that conservatives are instinctively inclined to make such measures temporary. Whereas an Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Barney Frank administration will find irresistible the temptation to use the tools inherited -- $700 billion of largely uncontrolled spending -- as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to radically remake the American economy and social compact.

This is not socialism. This is not the end of the world. It would, however, be a decidedly leftward move on the order of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. The alternative is a McCain administration with a moderate conservative presiding over a divided government and generally inclined to resist a European social-democratic model of economic and social regulation featuring, for example, wealth-distributing growth-killing marginal tax rates.

The national security choice in this election is no contest. The domestic policy choice is more equivocal because it is ideological. McCain is the quintessential center-right candidate. Yet the quintessential center-right country is poised to reject him. The hunger for anti-Republican catharsis and the blinding promise of Obamian hope are simply too strong. The reckoning comes in the morning.



List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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)