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

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

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30 November, 2016

Proud Trump voter, crybaby losers of the left notwithstanding

By Rick Manning

I proudly voted for Trump and am tired of the losers in the election trying to discredit me and my vote.

Here is the deal.  Our nation has not had more than 4 percent economic growth since China got permanent normal trade relations and joined the World Trade Organization in 2000.  According to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis in the 47 years from 1953 and 2000 the U.S. economy experienced 4 percent or higher growth in almost half of those years.  Since 2005, our nation has not even achieved a modest 3 percent GDP growth, experiencing the slowest ten-year period of growth since the Great Depression.  If 2016 continues on its current poor trajectory of 1.7 percent annualized growth, the period between 2007 and 2016 will be the worst ten-years since record keeping began, including the terrible 1930s.

But the new normal Obama-Bush economy isn’t just about numbers. It is about the millions of people aged 16-64 who have dropped out of the workforce over the past decade.  A quick fact, if labor participation of people 16-64 had remained the same as in 1997, the September unemployment rate would have been 9.8 percent instead of the reported 5 percent.  This jump represents seven million Americans who are now out of the workforce compared to twenty years ago demonstrating the hidden despair behind the topline unemployment numbers.

I supported Trump because he challenges the new normal resulting from the past thirty years that has caused stagnant wages, lowered expectations and the destruction of formerly thriving industrial America on the altar of bad trade deals, too much regulation and uncompetitive labor conditions.

I support Trump because he will work to make America economically competitive through lowering our nation’s highest corporate tax rate in the world and repatriating stranded corporate profits to be reinvested in the U.S.,  He will also end the deliberate subversion of the U.S. economy by environmental regulations designed to drive up the prices for electricity driving the green cost of manufacturing domestically up so high that it is cheaper to ship products here from distant lands than to make them in places like Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

I support Trump because he will break the stranglehold of the politically connected and the establishment that does their bidding for a price on the government. A stranglehold that results in domestically produced, inexpensive lightbulbs being temporarily outlawed while more expensive, profitable bulbs produced in China were forced into the marketplace, ending hundreds of jobs by the time Congress got around to defunding it.

I support Trump because he will reinforce our nation’s relations with friends like Great Britain and Israel, while holding governments like those in Iran and China honestly accountable. He will build the already authorized wall and fence along the U.S.-Mexican border and seek to enforce our nation’s immigration laws, a welcome change from the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil approach to our southern border.

I support Trump because all lives matter, and the foundation of the United States is built around the ideal that justice is blind must be restored in order for our legal system to have any legitimacy.

I support Trump because terrorism is a real threat and the almost passive acceptance of acts of terrorism by followers of Islam reveals a dangerous national blind spot that must be eliminated.

And I support Trump because the U.S. Navy is down to the fewest number of ships since World War I, and he will build it back up to 350 ships using American steel and highly skilled American workers.  America’s economic and national security depend upon a robust Navy, and a President Trump understands that basic fact and will remedy the poor decisions of the past.

I am not ashamed of standing up for constitutional, limited government principles and I am proud to have voted for Donald Trump for President, and the crybaby losers of the left cannot change that with all of their false narratives about what this presidency means.

A Trump presidency may just be our nation’s last chance for the 21st century to be the next American century.  And the extension of freedom that results when America is strong, benefits the entire world.

I am proud to have stood for freedom through my vote for Donald Trump for President of the United States and so should everyone else who voted for him.



Retired Gen. James Mattis is reportedly front-runner to be Trump's secretary of defense

He has been much attacked by the Left so a story from the archives about the character of the man might help:

A couple of months ago, when I told General Krulak, the former Commandant of the Marine Corps, now the chair of the Naval Academy Board of Visitors, that we were having General Mattis speak this evening, he said, “Let me tell you a Jim Mattis story.”

General Krulak said, when he was Commandant of the Marine Corps, every year, starting about a week before Christmas, he and his wife would bake hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of Christmas cookies. They would package them in small bundles.  Then on Christmas day, he would load his vehicle.

At about 4 a.m., General Krulak would drive himself to every Marine guard post in the Washington-Annapolis-Baltimore area and deliver a small package of Christmas cookies to whatever Marines were pulling guard duty that day.

He said that one year, he had gone down to Quantico as one of his stops to deliver Christmas cookies to the Marines on guard duty. He went to the command center and gave a package to the lance corporal who was on duty.

 He asked, “Who’s the officer of the day?” The lance corporal said, “Sir, it’s Brigadier General Mattis.” And General Krulak said, “No, no, no. I know who General Mattis is. I mean, who’s the officer of the day today, Christmas day?”

The lance corporal, feeling a little anxious, said, “Sir, it is Brigadier General Mattis.”

 General Krulak said that, about that time, he spotted in the back room a cot, or a daybed. He said, “No, Lance Corporal. Who slept in that bed last night?” The lance corporal said, “Sir, it was Brigadier General Mattis.”

About that time, General Krulak said that General Mattis came in, in a duty uniform with a sword, and General Krulak said, “Jim, what are you doing here on Christmas day? Why do you have duty?”

General Mattis told him that the young officer who was scheduled to have duty on Christmas day had a family, and General Mattis decided it was better for the young officer to spend Christmas Day with his family, and so he chose to have duty on Christmas Day.

General Krulak said, “That’s the kind of officer that Jim Mattis is.”

The story above was told by Dr. Albert C. Pierce, the Director of the Center for the Study of Professional Military Ethics at The United States Naval Academy.



Liberals are going to lose their minds over these quotes from General Mattis

President-elect Donald Trump is hard at work picking the people who will run his administration, and the man he’s reportedly tapped to head up the Pentagon is none other than retired Marine Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis.

A retired four-star general and former head of both U.S. Joint Forces and U.S. Central Command, Mattis is undoubtedly qualified for the position of defense secretary. But perhaps even more legendary than his storied 44-year career is his ability to be quoted.

Liberals may just lose their minds when they hear some of these gems:

    “You cannot allow any of your people to avoid the brutal facts. If they start living in a dream world, it’s going to be bad.”

    “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”

    “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.”

    “The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears.”

    “In this age, I don’t care how tactically or operationally brilliant you are, if you cannot create harmony — even vicious harmony — on the battlefield based on trust across service lines, across coalition and national lines, and across civilian/military lines, you need to go home, because your leadership is obsolete. We have got to have officers who can create harmony across all those lines.”



Leftists can't help but fawn over the deceased dictator

Fidel Castro, who ruled Cuba for more than 57 years with an iron fist (notwithstanding his passing power to his brother Raul in 2008), is likely finding his current accommodations a bit warmer than Cuba. But Barack Obama, who wields power as if he wishes to imitate the Cuban dictator, almost mourned the latter’s loss. After all, Obama has always gravitated toward radical Marxist mentors.

Pre-Castro, the U.S. and Cuba enjoyed friendly trade relations. Castro completely destroyed the island’s prosperity, though. The U.S. embargoed Cuba, seeking to isolate and starve the Castro regime, but Fidel found friends in the Soviet Union and Venezuela. After Castro seized power, John F. Kennedy launched the embarrassingly failed coup attempt at the Bay of Pigs, which led to the ensuing Cuban missile crisis involving the Soviets. Nuclear war was only narrowly avoided. Fast forward to 2014, and along comes Obama to normalize relations with Cuba. Perhaps that explains his statement.

“At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing,” Obama said in an official statement, “we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people. We know that this moment fills Cubans — in Cuba and in the United States — with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation. History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.”

Worse, Obama said, “We offer condolences to Fidel Castro’s family.”

Aside from that last outrage, clearly, Obama’s statement was meant to be ambiguous. “Powerful emotions”? Yes, ignorant academics may shed a tear for Castro, but the people he brutally oppressed have somewhat different emotions. Castro “altered the course of individual lives”? Yes, if by “altered” Obama meant ended. “History will judge”? Yes, it will, but why wait for “history”? We already know the extent of Castro’s evil. We can judge him now, and have been judging him since he took over the Caribbean island in 1959.

As The Wall Street Journal briefly recaps, “Castro took power on New Year’s Day in 1959 serenaded by the Western media for toppling dictator Fulgencio Batista and promising democracy. He soon revealed that his goal was to impose Communist rule. He exiled clergy, took over Catholic schools and expropriated businesses. Firing squads and dungeons eliminated rivals and dissenters. The terror produced a mass exodus.”

That exodus includes many Cubans in Miami, hundreds of whom took to the streets to celebrate Fidel’s demise. The refugees included the parents of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. “Sadly,” Rubio said in a statement, “Fidel Castro’s death does not mean freedom for the Cuban people or justice for the democratic activists, religious leaders, and political opponents he and his brother have jailed and persecuted. The dictator has died, but the dictatorship has not.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan hoped for the death of that dictatorship: “Now that Fidel Castro is dead, the cruelty and oppression of his regime should die with him.”

Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump’s statement was also far more appropriate than Obama’s: “Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.” Trump also noted that “Cuba remains a totalitarian island,” but that he is “absolutely” willing to undo Obama’s work to normalize relations with Cuba.

More HERE 


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

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


29 November, 2016

Trump has saved us -- temporarily? -- from a mental Gulag

A useful technique for anaesthetizing the individual citizen and rendering him compliant is the erasure of authentic historical knowledge. We’ve remarked the success of this approach in the U.S. with the “history from below” or “people’s history” movement, associated with Howard Zinn, and the foregrounding of a bowdlerized version of Islamic history in American schools.

Canada is no different. Eric McGeer, author of Words of Valediction and Remembrance: Canadian Epitaphs of the Second World War, writes: “In my last years of high school teaching I was increasingly infuriated and disgusted at the portrayal of Canada in the history textbooks assigned for use in our courses. There was no sense of gratitude in the textbooks, no empathy with the people of the past or an attempt to see them in their own terms, no sense of the effort people made to create one of the few truly liveable societies on earth.

You would have thought that this country was nothing more than a racist, bigoted, this or that-phobic hotbed. My first lesson involved taking the book and dropping it into the waste paper basket and advising the students to do the same.”  The study of history, McGeer concludes, is nothing now but a progressive morality tale and a mechanism of social engineering. Sounds a lot like Title IX. Pride in one’s nation, its accomplishments and sacrifices, is contra-indicated. There is more than one way of burning the flag.

The center-right consensus that has characterized Western nations has been under attack for some considerable time as nation after nation in the once liberal West gravitates progressively leftward. Robert Conquest’s Second of his Three Laws of Politics states that “any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.” The consequence of Conquest’s Law is, inevitably, what Robert Michels in Political Parties called “The Iron Law of Oligarchy,” which formulates how democratic institutions tend to succumb to the rule of an elite—in our day, a progressivist camarilla that controls government policy and media outlets, and harnesses the energies of dissenting associations and cabals. In many countries, the democratic process has become or is on the road to becoming a mere formality.

The oligarchic agenda can be detected in the disastrous nationalization of the health care system; the decadence of an academy which indoctrinates rather than educates; the rise of destructive feminism and the feminization of the culture; the transgendering of everyday life—in Canada, for example, Bill C-16 has been tabled, making “gender expression” a prohibited ground of discrimination and potentially mandating non-binary pronouns such as zhi or hir, as is already the case in New York City where astronomical fines are levied for contravention; the special status ascribed to the incursions of anti-democratic Islam; the “abolition of the family,” as Marx and Engels urged in The Communist Manifesto; and the regulatory strangling of the free market economy and the conjoint attrition of the middle class.

Additionally, the leftist project is materially facilitated by the growing prevalence of kangaroo courts run by committed activists of every conceivable stripe and in which no provision whatsoever is made to assist those too often falsely accused of discrimination or being in violation of some obscure code or policy of sanctioned conduct. The judgments handed down against those who have offended the sensibilities of favored identity groups will often involve harshly punitive forms of retribution that may cost a defendant his employment and his livelihood.

A Romanian friend who suffered through Nicolae Ceau?escu’s dictatorship in his home country tells me that in many ways the situation in the “freedom loving” West is actually worse. In Romania, as in the Soviet Union and the rest of the Eastern Bloc, most people knew that the regime was founded on lies and that the media were corrupt, time-serving institutions. Here, on the contrary, people tend to believe that the government is relatively, if not entirely, trustworthy, that the judiciary is impartial, and that the media actually report the news.

Citizens are therefore susceptible to mission creep and are piecemeal deceived into a condition of indenture to socialist governance, an activist judiciary, a disinformative, hireling press corps, and left-wing institutions. People will vote massively for the Liberal Party in Canada and the Democrats in the U.S., not realizing they are voting themselves into bondage, penury and stagnation.

The process operates insensibly and takes longer to embed itself into the cultural mainstream, but the result is alarmingly effective and durable. My friend has never read F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom or George Orwell’s 1984, but his layman’s insights and practical experience bear out Hayek’s scholarly analysis and Orwell’s dire warnings.

A totalitarian regime will control its citizens through propaganda, censorship, and outright violence, modes of oppression that are at least publicly demonstrable, evident to most. But knowing that the enchainment of the spirit is ultimately more reliable than the enchainment of the flesh, a democratic polity veering towards oligarchy will focus on propaganda and censorship as well, but in a far more subtle form. It will function mainly through public shaming rituals, social ostracism, rigid speech codes, Orwellian disinformation, and legal or quasi-legal assault. It does not need to depend on physical violence.

Fear of social rejection, the lure of groupthink, the pestilence of political correctness controlling what one may say and think, public apathy, historical ignorance, and especially the Damoclean sword of selective hiring, job dismissal, and financial reprisal go a long way to subdue a people to the will of its masters and consign them to a Gulag that may be less observable a such, but one that is nonetheless socially and economically crippling to individuals, families and businesses.

In the last analysis, this system of subjugation looks to be even more effective than the cruder techniques of its tyrannical counterparts. In the absence of public awareness and concerted pushback, we will have sold our birthright for a mess of political pottage.



The Left have no shame and no humane values

Even a brutal Communist butcher and dictator is OK if he is of the Left.  Power is their only value and they will say anything to get it

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under fire for hailing Fidel Castro as 'larger than life' and a 'legendary revolutionary and orator' after he died on Friday.

Trudeau praised the former Cuban president in a tribute that focused on his family's close ties to Castro and made no mention of his history of ruthless suppression.

'It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba's longest serving President,' Trudeau said in his statement, which was released on Saturday.

'While a controversial figure, both Mr Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for "el Comandante'".

Trudeau celebrated Castro's 'significant improvements' to Cuba's education and healthcare systems and said his own father was 'very proud to call him a friend'.

'On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr Castro,' he concluded.

'We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.'

Trudeau's father met Castro in 1976, during a controversial trip that took place at the height of the Cold War.



Some fun

Wonderful to see the Leftist knowalls prove that they know nothing.


Trumping the Media: Donald Continually Confounds the MSM

"The Master Persuader"

Looking back on it now, who do you think provided the best commentary on the run-up to the election?

And a related question: who has provided the most insightful commentary on the aftermath, i.e. "Why Trump Happened," "What His Victory Means," "What the Protesters and Crybullies Want"?

It's amusing now to replay the scenes of those Important People who assured us that Trump, the clown, could never win. My favorite headline was from The Nation: "Relax, Donald Trump Can't Win."

But if the MSM was almost exclusively a source of schadenfreude, who was out there telling the truth?

There were several percipient commentators. But I want to mention one who may be overlooked because the public regards him as an entertainer, not a sage. I mean Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip. Adams, at his blog, has been providing some of the most original and most penetrating commentary on the whole Trump phenomenon.

I was, I admit, a little taken aback when I first encountered his description of Trump as a "Master Persuader" (see here, for example, or here), but the more I think about it, the more right I think he is. Trump on the stump was not articulate in any traditional sense. He was repetitious, digressive, given to stumbling about in sentence fragments. But he honed a message that resonated deeply with the voters.

Adams noted the following in a column posted yesterday:

"If you believe Trump’s skill for persuasion wasn’t the key variable in his win, you have to imagine some other candidate beating Clinton with the same set of policies as Trump. Personally, I can’t imagine it"

I commend Adams' blog to you: among other things, he shows that the people who are protesting against Trump are not really protesting against Trump. They're protesting against a hallucination they call "Trump" that has almost nothing to do with the man who is now the president-elect.

"How," Adams asks, "do you explain away Trump’s election if you think you are smart and you think you are well-informed and you think Trump is OBVIOUSLY a monster?"

You solve for that incongruity by hallucinating -- literally -- that Trump supporters KNOW Trump is a monster and they PREFER the monster. In this hallucination, the KKK is not a nutty fringe group but rather a symbol of how all Trump supporters must feel. (They don’t. Not even close.)

In a rational world it would be obvious that Trump supporters include lots of brilliant and well-informed people. That fact -- as obvious as it would seem -- is invisible to the folks who can’t even imagine a world in which their powers of perception could be so wrong. To reconcile their world, they have to imagine all Trump supporters as defective in some moral or cognitive way, or both."

I think this correct. And I am delighted to see Trump circumventing that hallucination so skillfully.

Forget about the Soros-funded protests: those are already dissipating. Perhaps there will be a brief recrudescence at the inauguration, but the street action is already looking sillier and sillier as Trump is acting more and more presidential.

The really important action is with respect to the MSM. Just yesterday, Trump convened an off-the-record meeting with anchors and executives from the top five networks to complain about the unfair coverage he had been receiving.

CNN reported that this meant Trump was off to a "rocky start" with the media. That's hilarious. Why? Because no one cares what CNN thinks about its relationship with Donald Trump.

To prove the point, Trump circumvented the media altogether yesterday when he released via YouTube a clip of him outlining some of the things he hoped to accomplished in his first 100 days. It all revolved around a "simple core principle," i.e., "putting America first."

What a novel idea, but not one that Wolf Blitzer or Chris Matthews can get his head around.



The latest from two fun ladies

CHRIS BRAND has had a relapse and we may well lose him this time.  I am upset at the thought of losing such an independent mind


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

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


28 November, 2016

Trump brings in the billionaires

The Democrats are going to pick at this and claim that Trump does not stand for the little guy after all.  But the point is that Trump is bringing in high achievers, not inexperienced political hacks.  He is bringing in people of known high competence who will get results. 

And since they are already rich they are not doing it for the salary. And being already rich, they will be very hard to corrupt.  This may be the least corrupt administration for a long time -- just what Trump promised. 

And no-one can say that they did not know Trump had rich friends.  He has long been one of the best known people in America -- and known to be a rich man who hobnobs with other rich people.

Donald Trump is used to being surrounded by rich people, but the squad of billionaires he is lining up to serve in his first cabinet is extraordinary even by his standards.

Hedge funders, heiresses, bankruptcy bankers and baseball barons are being tipped for top positions in the new administration, leading to deep concerns about conflicts of interest and the expectation of a bumpy ride when they face confirmation hearings in the Senate.

“Donald Trump said during the campaign that he doesn’t like hanging out with rich people,” said Larry Sabato, professor of politics at the University of Virginia. “We’re discovering that’s not really true. We’ve had wealthy people in almost every cabinet, but I don’t believe we’ve ever had so many.”



Trump inspires second thoughts from a British libertarian

by Sean Gabb

The election of Donald Trump took nearly everyone by surprise. For some of us, it was a moment of joy, for others a terrible shock. I was in the first category. The British Government was in the second. From Theresa May downward, the Ministers had spent a year heaping scorn on Mr Trump. The scale and nature of their insults will not be quickly forgotten. Their earliest punishment appears to be that they have been told to approach Mr Trump only through Nigel Farage. I have no doubt there will be other humiliations.

Part of me is delighted. I like Donald Trump. I like Nigel Farage. Even if she is better than David Cameron, I remain suspicious of and hostile to Mrs May. Let her and her ministers eat dirt for a few weeks, and then come to a more reasonable view of British interests. All this does, however, leave part of me uncomfortable. This article, I must warn you, will be more than usually solipsistic. On the other hand, I have always tried to be intellectually honest, and I feel obliged at least to describe my present difficulty.

During the twenty years or so till last Tuesday, I held a set of opinions that – I always grant – may have been wrong, but that were internally consistent. They went something like this:

The fundamental interests of every country are the same. These are to give as much freedom and security to their citizens as local circumstances will allow, while living at peace with all other countries. What disturbs this view of the world is that interest and ability do not always coincide. The United States has been able to dominate the world, and it has. Britain is no longer able to do this, but has been able to act above its inherent power through becoming a satellite of the United States. I found both these facts irritating before 1989. After then, America became the home of political correctness and neoconservatism. For me, therefore, America became The Great Satan. Any British Government committed to our fundamental interests should begin by breaking off relations with the United States. In the meantime, I was even willing to see membership of the European Union as a useful counterweight to American power.

I do not know what a Trump Presidency will be really like. But it is possible that the opinions I have just summarised are suddenly obsolete. It is possible that, within a few weeks, America will cease being The Great Satan, and become the seat of the God-Emperor-Daddy. I already find myself in the same position as leftists did towards France in 1789, or towards Russia in 1917. It may, then, be that you can strip out all the Powellite rhetoric, and I shall be revealed as nothing more than a dissident Anglospherist. My only difference with the people I have been denouncing for a generation is nothing more than that I want a different American Empire.

There is some truth in this. The government of my own country is now at the head of the neoconservative interest. I shall certainly be relieved if stiff orders come out of Washington, and Theresa May and Boris Johnson go scuttling off to Moscow to patch up their differences with Mr Putin. But, if the facts are changed, my principles are not.

No hard reset button was pressed last week in America. The country will not revert to what it was supposed to become in the 1780s. America will remain the most powerful country in the world, with interests on every continent. It may conceive and pursue these in a more rational manner. But its interests are unlikely to become perfectly aligned with those of my own country. For this reason, our interests depend, in the long term, on close relations with France and Germany, and an adequate relationship with Russia. If we can add to this friendly relations with America, that will be a bonus.

I turn to the matter of what Mr Trump is already doing to Mrs May. For a long time, the British Establishment has been a wholly-owned franchise of the military-industrial complex in America, taken in its widest sense. British Governments are neoconservative because that is what Washington wanted. They are politically correct for the same reason. If American pressure is not to be removed, but merely changed in a better direction, I shall be grateful for that. I shall be grateful in the short term. In the longer term, I still want full independence. I will put up with a more sensible master when his bailiffs are told to go easy on the whip. The final ambition remains no master at all.

I turn now to how I view the “Anglosphere.” There is no doubt that England and America are rather in the position of Siamese twins. We share a language. We share a culture. Speaking for myself, I have as many American friends as English. When I go abroad, and am among Americans, we always find ourselves part of a single group, almost forgetting differences of passport, and sharing jokes about the foreigners we are among. Always taking account of our different weight, what was done to the world after 1989 was a joint British-American enterprise. The intellectual resistance to this has been no less a joint British-American enterprise – again taking account of our different weights. Libertarians and conservatives in our two countries have not merely worked together over the past few decades – we have belonged to the same movement, and we have worked against the same enemy, though in two different locations. My American friends rejoiced when the British Establishment got a bloody nose last June. We now rejoice that Mr Trump is to be the next President. Our struggle has been, and is, the same. Our victories are their victories. Their victories are ours.

I am not sure if I have made myself as clear as I want to be. Perhaps I need to think more about the events of this year before I can become as self-assured again as I have been for the past third of a century. It remains, however, that I am delighted that the uncertainty I describe has become necessary. All those American leftists last week, their faces like burst balloons, were an early Christmas present. The strained faces of Theresa May and her ministers are of exactly the same kind.

I look forward to Mrs May’s first trip to Washington next year, and I shall have a good laugh when she prostrates herself in the appropriate manner before the God-Emperor-Daddy. It will be a victory for me and everyone else in the world who wants the best for England and America in particular, and for a suffering humanity in general.



Winning Coalition: Married, Mature, Church-Going, Self-Sufficient

Assume, for the next few minutes, that you are a Machiavellian political strategist.  You do not care about the liberty and prosperity of our nation or of future generations. The only thing you want to ensure is that all American presidents elected after Donald Trump are liberals in the mold of Hillary Clinton.

So, what sort of cultural and demographic changes would you like to see in the United States?

An examination of the network exit poll taken last Tuesday might give you a general idea about whom your most likely future supporters will be - and it might not match the model of the liberal coalition the liberal media promotes.

Is marriage an issue? Yes.  Among unmarried voters, according to the exit poll published by CNN, Clinton beat Trump 55 percent to 38 percent. But among married voters, Trump beat Clinton 53 percent to 43 percent. When Americans marry and stay married it hurts the liberal cause.

Is generational change an issue? Yes.  Among voters 44 and younger, Clinton beat Trump 52 percent to 40 percent. But among voters 45 and older, Trump beat Clinton 53 percent to 44 percent.

When Americans live to middle age and longer, it hurts the liberal cause.

Is upward mobility an issue? Yes. Among voters with incomes of $49,999 or less, Clinton beat Trump, 52 percent to 41 percent. But among voters with incomes of $50,000 or more, Trump beat Clinton 49 percent to 47 percent.

Trump's largest margin, among the six income brackets listed in the exit poll published by CNN, was among those who earn between $50,000 and $99,999. Among these voters, Trump beat Clinton 50 percent to 46 percent. But he also beat her 48 percent to 46 percent among voters earning $250,000 or more.  When voters make more money - attaining a middle-class income or higher - it hurts the liberal cause.

Is where you live an issue? Yes. Among voters in urban areas, Clinton beat Trump 59 percent to 35 percent. But among voters in the suburbs, Trump beat Clinton 50 percent to 45 percent; and among voters in rural areas, he beat her 62 percent to 34 percent. When voters move to the suburbs and the country, it hurts the liberal cause.

Does faith play a role in our national destiny? Yes. Among voters who attend religious services only a few times a year, Clinton squeaked by Trump 48 percent to 47 percent. And among voters who never attend religious services, she stomped him 62 percent to 31 percent.

But among voters who attend religious services monthly, Trump beat Clinton 49 percent to 46 percent. And among those who attend religious services once a week or more, he stomped her 56 percent to 40 percent. When voters practice their faith, it hurts the liberal cause.

Now, imagine an unmarried 22-year-old, who lives in a city, works part-time making $20,000 per year, and has not gone to a religious service in four years. How would that person be likely to vote?  Suppose, then, this same person gets married, starts working full-time and overtime, earns more than $50,000 per year, buys a home in the suburbs, and regularly attends religious services with the spouse and children.

How would this person be likely to vote then?

But what if this person followed another path? They married and then divorced, decided it was not worth it working full-time, went on food stamps and never went to church.

The ultimate question is not how a person will vote, but what will give them a fulfilling life. It is not what persons will hold political office in United States of America, but what values will keep us free and prosperous.

The same values that made this nation great can unite this nation again. They are family, faith, hard work and the desire to live a long and good life without government standing in your way.



From my twitter feed:

Ann Coulter: Today, the media take a brief time-out from worrying about Trump being a dictator to praise Fidel Castro.

Donald J. Trump: The Democrats, when they incorrectly thought they were going to win, asked that the election night tabulation be accepted. Not so anymore!

Paul Joseph Watson ?on the death of Castro: What we leaned today: Killing political dissidents, interning gays, & being a dictator for 50 years is fine, so long as you're left wing.

27 November, 2016

Trump's "backdowns"

Trump was so vague and contradictory during his campaigns -- first for the GOP nomination and then for Prez -- that one can argue that his recent "backdowns" are just his general vagueness and nothing new.  His decision not to prosecute Hillary, however, is clearly a change. So why?

He has actually told us why.  He wants to bring the nation together and for that reason he has been extremely conciliatory.  He has been as nice as he can to everybody.  And given the big guns in the media, the bureaucracy and the legal system he might see it as simply safer to lay off Hillary. Push the Donks to the wall and you never know what they will come up with.  Bribes and threats to members of the electoral college?  A cinch.  And that is just the start.

And there are two general reasons for him to go easy:

1).  He is a most experienced businessman and if you want the best result in business you have to do all that you reasonably can to keep people sweet.  To be corny, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. 

2). Nobody seems to be mentioning this  but Trump is himself one of the establishment.  He may not previously have stood for elective office but he knows most of the main players of old and has donated to some of their electoral campaigns. He is one of the best known people in America.  He has long been a celebrity. His marriages and divorces have for decades been front-page news.  There is a reason why he is known as "The Donald".

And that is gold.  People WANT to know and be seen with a celebrity and Trump is a celebrity.  He can hobnob with anybody he wants.  He just has to buy them a flash dinner at one of his establishments and the flashbulbs will flash.  And lots of people crave those flashes.  And guess what?  His beloved and devoted daughter Ivanka is close friends with whom?  Chelsea Clinton.  Would you want to put the mother of your beloved daughter's close friend in jail?

So I think it is clear why Hillary is off the hook. She was always going to be off the hook.

But what of his other backdowns?  Obamacare and the Paris climate agreement?  Again, as a good businessman he knows the value of compromise and he wants to be seen as fair.  "winner takes all" just generates resentment.  The way Obama and his minions pushed Obamacare through with out ANY GOP support is an example of where that approach leads.  All the effort they put in to get it though now looks like being a complete waste -- a cancelled legacy.  So Trump is looking for at least the appearance of compromise.

So what about Obamacare?  He has a clear mandate to abolish it and a majority in both houses who are mad keen to do so.  Any compromise he offers will therefore be greeted with relief.  He can look like the generous man in the middle who reconciles two deeply opposed parties -- And he has already said that he likes some provisions of Obamacare. 

So my prediction is that he will negotiate with both sides of Congress to gut Obamacare but leave enough remnants for both sides to feel that they have been heard and been given something.  That should achieve what Obamacare could not:  A health insurance system that has at least a degree of bipartisan support -- making it resistant to much in the way of future changes. Something as hard-fought as health insurance reform is going to leave people with little appetite for further battles over it.  The new system is likely to win general acceptance as the best that can be done.  Australia has arrived at that point after similar long battles.

So what could he do with the Paris agreement?  There are two things

1). He could present it to the Senate for ratification, which is the legally correct thing to do.  The U.S. Congress as a whole has the great distinction of being the only legislature in the world to have skeptics in the majority and the Senate would certainly not endorse the Paris agreement.  It would thus lapse and Trump would not be to blame.  That blame would fall on the shoulders of the Senate, and they have broad shoulders.

2). He could do nothing.  He could accept the Paris agreement but just fail to enforce it.  Any time some action is demanded of him he could just say things like: "America comes first in my administration and I am not going to hit the coal miners of West Virginia again.  They have already suffered enough".  He could, in other words, always find some higher priority than to worry about global warming.  I think it is highly likely that he will do one of those two things, most likely the former.

So Trump's "backdowns" actually show his wisdom and experience.  People took him for an aggressive and ignorant fool but behind his facade was a cool thinker.  They made the same mistake with Ronald Reagan.


Some recent tweets:

From John Schindler:  "America lost its mind, electing a fraud and conman without any actual skills. All he had was media cover.  8 years later, we elected Trump'

Jason C. on the death of Castro: Many of the same Lefties that hyperventilate about Trump as a 'fascist' will tonight romanticize a dictator that used to send gays to camps.


People are hardwired to fall in love with partners who have a similar level of educational aptitude

The effect sizes noted in the journal abstract below are very small but that may reflect our still rudimentary ability to isolate the genes responsible for IQ.  The very weak tendency so far is for the evolution of a genetic elite

A study co-led by the University of East Anglia (UEA) has found that people with genes for high educational achievement tend to marry, and have children with, people with similar DNA.

Humans generally do not choose their partners randomly, but rather mate 'assortatively', choosing people with similar traits. Among the highest ranking qualities people look for in a potential partner are intelligence and educational attainment.

While it is well known that humans mate assortatively in relation to education - people with similar education levels marry each other - this is one of the first studies to show that this has significance at a DNA level.

The researchers argue that this could increase genetic and social inequality in future generations, since children of couples who mate assortatively are more unequal genetically than those of people who mate more randomly.

The study, published in the journal Intelligence, was co-led by Dr David Hugh-Jones, from UEA's School of Economics, and Dr Abdel Abdellaoui, of the Department of Biological Psychology at VU University in The Netherlands.

They examined whether assortative mating for educational achievement could be detected in the DNA of approximately 1600 married or cohabiting couples in the UK. The sample was drawn from the UK Household Longitudinal Study, a survey that aims to be representative of the population.

Dr Hugh-Jones, a senior lecturer in economics, said: "Our findings show strong evidence for the presence of genetic assortative mating for education in the UK. The consequences of assortative mating on education and cognitive abilities are relevant for society, and for the genetic make-up and therefore the evolutionary development of subsequent generations.

"Assortative mating on inheritable traits that are indicative of socio-economic status, such as educational achievement, increases the genetic variance of characteristics in the population. This may increase social inequality, for example with respect to education or income.

"When growing social inequality is, partly, driven by a growing biological inequality, inequalities in society may be harder to overcome and the effects of assortative mating may accumulate with each generation."

The researchers used polygenic scores that predict educational attainment to see whether they predicted the partner's own educational attainment and polygenic score. They found that the scores correlated between partners and significantly predicted partners' educational outcome, for both sexes, in that individuals with a stronger genetic predisposition for higher educational achievement have partners who are more educated.

The researchers also tested whether their data could be explained by other factors, for example by people simply meeting their partners because they lived in the same county. They re-matched individuals with random partners within the same educational levels and geographical locations. However, they found that the scores of the original couples showed greater similarities than the randomly generated pairs, indicating significant genetic assortative mating for educational attainment regardless of educational level and geographic location.


Assortative mating on educational attainment leads to genetic spousal resemblance for polygenic scores

David Hugh-Jones et al.


We examined whether assortative mating for educational attainment (“like marries like”) can be detected in the genomes of ~ 1600 UK spouse pairs of European descent. Assortative mating on heritable traits like educational attainment increases the genetic variance and heritability of the trait in the population, which may increase social inequalities. We test for genetic assortative mating in the UK on educational attainment, a phenotype that is indicative of socio-economic status and has shown substantial levels of assortative mating. We use genome-wide allelic effect sizes from a large genome-wide association study on educational attainment (N ~ 300 k) to create polygenic scores that are predictive of educational attainment in our independent sample (r = 0.23, p < 2 × 10? 16). The polygenic scores significantly predict partners' educational outcome (r = 0.14, p = 4 × 10? 8 and r = 0.19, p = 2 × 10? 14, for prediction from males to females and vice versa, respectively), and are themselves significantly correlated between spouses (r = 0.11, p = 7 × 10? 6). Our findings provide molecular genetic evidence for genetic assortative mating on education in the UK.

Intelligence, Volume 59, November–December 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2016.08.005


Stop vote-shaming Trump’s female supporters

The fact that 53% of white women voted for Trump really grinds feminists' mental gears

Since Donald Trump’s election last Tuesday, many have taken to the streets, not just in protest, but in mourning. The great and good were so convinced that Hillary Clinton was going to win that, even after the fact, they simply couldn’t believe the result. Then the exit polls came, and with them the news that 53 per cent of white women had voted for Trump.

Clinton supporters on both sides of the pond lost their minds. ‘Most white women don’t want to be part of an intersectional feminist sisterhood. Most white women just want to be one of the guys. And we will all suffer for it’, wrote one American journalist, the morning after the vote. ‘Dear fellow white women: you had the personification of safe white liberal feminism to vote for. You STILL picked racist patriarchy’, tweeted one upset British columnist as the news rolled in. White women chose a misogynist, wrote an Irish Times columnist, ‘like slaves fluffing the pillows of their master’s rocking chair on his porch as he shouts abuse at them’.

White women are filled with self-hatred, an activist wrote: ‘White women understand hate. We have been hating ourselves for so long that self-hatred feels normal. We may well hate people of different skin colours or religious beliefs as well, but we hate ourselves more.’ Another American observer argued that it’s now clear that ‘far too many white women still see white men as their saviours’.

I could go on – there have been endless articles, tweets and public outpourings about how shameful it is that many female voters chose Trump over Clinton. Every woman quoted above claims to be a feminist, and yet they’ve denounced female Trump voters as selfish, traitors, blind idiots, slaves, self-haters. Supposedly progressive feminists argue that women have ‘internalised misogyny’ – that hatred towards women is so ingrained in their daily experience that they can’t help being brainwashed by it and then expressing it in the ballot box. Apparently Clinton voters were able to rise above this subconscious force.

Yes, Trump has said he wants to roll back women’s access to abortion; he’s been a pig in many of his comments about women; and he’s probably not the best candidate to argue for better childcare resources or maternity leave. But the idea that he will send every woman howling back to the dark ages is absurd; that smacks more of fearmongering than a serious feminism designed to criticise and challenge the new president.

White women didn’t vote for Trump because they hate themselves. The fact is, not every woman in the US is a card-carrying feminist. Not all college-educated women go to Harvard and scream at their professors for using the wrong pronoun. In fact, as Elizabeth Nolan Brown points out in Reason, Trump’s female fanbase was made up of mostly older white women, without a college degree, living in rural areas, ‘unlikely candidates to be reading progressive, feminist-focused, millennial publications. Who, exactly, are these impassioned public screeds aimed at white “female misogynists” supposed to sway?’

This election proved that asking women to vote on the basis of their gender, rather than their political ideas, doesn’t work. Clinton’s campaign was a vacuous insult to free-thinking women. Trump is certainly no champion of women’s liberation, but the rejection of Clinton’s vagina-voting sisterhood, which encouraged women to fall in line rather than think for themselves, nonetheless felt pretty good.

Forget the ‘betrayal’ by female Trump voters; the way middle-class media feminists like Caroline Criado-Perez, Polly Toynbee and Jessica Valenti have insulted ordinary women for their political beliefs is far more shameful. By claiming that female Trump voters are merely adhering to ‘the patriarchy’, or have internalised self-hatred, or are mentally enslaved by their men, these feminists strip women of agency. Rather than deal with the fact that some women don’t agree with them, and argue for what they believe in, they smear opposing views as stupid and blind. And rather than accept that politics doesn’t go your way unless you make a good case, they bury their heads in the sand and weep. As one celebrity feminist wrote: ‘Wednesday was a day of mourning. Thursday, too. Hell, I’m giving us till Sunday.’

The more feminism presents itself as a superior girls’ club, a ‘sisterhood’ which only welcomes women who toe the line, the faster it will descend into the dustbin of history. Maybe it’s about time.



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

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


25 November, 2016

A conservative talks to a liberal relative

Possibly useful model for certain Thanksgiving conversations

"I know good people who had good reasons for voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. As for the general electorate, I'm going to make some sweeping generalizations, but they're important for perspective.

Liberals (and I think I'm being fair to include you) see government as the best and biggest possible force for good. You see injustice in the way women, minorities, gays, the poor, etc. are treated. You want equality. You see people killed left and right with guns, and you want to protect your family and your school kids. And you want to rectify all of that where it'll make the most difference for everyone — from Washington, DC.

It's really important for you to realize that conservatives see the same things. We want to solve those problems, not create or defend them. Obviously, however, our solutions are different, and there are some disagreements over what the problem actually is.

We want to protect our right to defend our own families. We want a rising tide to lift all boats — JFK said that about tax cuts — and we want good schools, good jobs, fair pay, equal justice and opportunity (which doesn't mean equal outcome) for everyone. We just don't think DC is the place to accomplish that. Our families, churches, local communities and states are better suited because we're nearer to the problem than some distant bureaucrat or corrupt national politician.

So to the election.

This election was a reaction to the last eight years. During that time in particular, anyone who didn't support massive growth of government through ObamaCare, financial overhaul, the stimulus, increased minimum wage, same-sex marriage, etc. has been told they're not just wrong but horrible people.

To be sure, there are some haters who claim to be on the Right — people who troll the internet to say awful things to and about liberals. Heck, they say awful things about other conservatives if they're not "pure" enough. I've been called plenty of ugly things by Trump's truest believers whenever I've written the slightest criticism. And I can only imagine that you, along with many liberals, minorities, women, and others, felt that Trump grossly offended your humanity with some of the horrible things he's said.

But to Trump voters, it's the liberals in power — whether in media or elected office — who are smearing regular Americans who just want to be left alone.

For example, this sentiment from Slate columnist Jamelle Bouie: "There's no such thing as a good Trump voter: People voted for a racist who promised racist outcomes. They don't deserve your empathy." That column has well over 100,000 shares on Facebook, so it's not just one dude's opinion. He evidently struck a chord for liberals.

But 700 counties voted for Obama twice. 209 of them voted for Trump this time. Are they now racist?

Liberal philosopher Noam Chomsky, in apparent seriousness, calls the GOP "the most dangerous organization in world history."

And of course Hillary labeled Trump supporters a "basket of deplorables" who are "irredeemable."

When was the last time you reacted kindly to someone who completely besmirched your character? Who assumed the absolute worst about you? And not only that, but someone in power who wanted to force you to do things their way?

Reactions can be bad, too, though. "That jerk just cut me off in traffic!" Well yes, but maybe he was just distracted as he rushed to the hospital because his wife is dying. Was it right to cut you off? No, but maybe he needs a little grace. The same can be said of politics.

Trump voters look around and see corruption in government, factories moving to China, illegal immigrants taking their jobs, riots in major cities — and a media complex that blames them for it. You certainly don't have to agree with those voters to realize that if they see things that way, they'd latch on to the vehicle they think will best rectify those wrongs.

You asked specifically about the margin of white evangelicals voting for Trump. First, I'd say that the term "evangelical" is so broad as to be mostly meaningless. There are seemingly countless denominations that don't even agree on what it means to be a Christian, much less about political agendas. That said, certainly some evangelicals were really for Trump, which may be perplexing given his glaring character flaws. But I suspect most are like the believers I fellowship with every Sunday morning: They were against a woman who supports abortion without restriction, funded by taxpayers; who is no friend of religious liberty; and who would nominate Supreme Court justices who agree with these positions. This election perhaps more than any I've ever read about was a "lesser of two evils" election, and Christians chose according to their perceptions of that "evil."

Next, you asked about Trump's incoming chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Here, I'm going to quote The Wall Street Journal: "We've never met Mr. Bannon, and we don't presume to know his character, but maybe one lesson of 2016 is that deciding that Americans who disagree with you are bigots is a losing strategy. Politics would be healthier if accusations of racism in the country that twice elected the first black President were reserved for more serious use."

Really, that sums up my answer to your overarching question: What happened? I believe Trump voters simply tired of being told how awful they are, and many of them didn't bother to share that with pollsters in advance. They just voted."



How President-Elect Donald Trump Can Fast-Track Deregulation And Wealth Creation

On this, the day after the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president (yes, he has already updated his Twitter profile), President Barack Obama’s 2016 Federal Register page count stands at a record-level 78,898.

The Federal Register, so emblematic of Washington excess, is where the hundreds of Washington bureaucracies post their proposed and final rules and regulations each day.

Obama will break his own all-time record of 81,405 pages even before December gets here. Of the ten highest-ever Federal Register page counts, the incumbent president will own seven of them.

Within those pages, several thousand rules get issued annually, no matter which party holds the Oval Office. Big government is bipartisan.

This all matters because, in reaction to expanding regulation, president-elect Trump called for a moratorium and for a 70 percent reduction in regulations during the campaign.

He’ll need to work with Congress to do anything close to the latter ambition (toned down some by an aide), especially since many crony types like regulations just the way they are, let alone progressives who like to rule above all else. But there are a number of things he can do on his own in the meantime.

That is to say, the “pen and phone” made famous by Obama can be used to advance liberty rather than curtail it (and, within the rule of law, no less)

A quick lesson can be learned from Ronald Reagan. Via executive order (E.O. 12291), he set up the still-existing procedure whereby regulations are reviewed by the White House, and in some cases (alas, too few then and now) receive cost-benefit analysis.

The process has been weakened in the decades since. But a fast reduction in Federal Register page counts and in number of rules is possible simply by having a president concerned about regulatory excess, who expects sanity.

In Reagan’s case, his 1981 version of the administrative pen and phone to restrain the regulatory state arguably made a big difference in regulatory volume, at least for a few years.

Federal rules dropped from the all-time high of 7,745 to as low as 4,589, while Federal Register pages that stood at 73,258 in 1980 hit a low of 44,812. (For details and charts, see ” Channeling Reagan by Executive Order: How the Next President Can Begin Rolling Back the Obama Regulation Rampage.”)

Now, executive actions cannot suffice and more permanent, legislatively instituted reforms are needed. President-elect Trump can easily collaborate with the new 115th Congress on these. Abusive and alarmist agencies themselves need to be legislatively targeted, and we need an advanced program of eliminating agencies and rolling back their powers, if legitimate in the first place, securing authority with the states and the people. That’s the forgotten principle of federalism.

The entire process and institution of the modern out-of-control “administrative state” has got to be reined in. There should be no costly or controversial rule allowed to be issued without Congress’ affirmation (examples go on but include recent bureaucratic forays such as the overtime rule, net neutrality and Environmental Protection Agency excesses like the Waters of the United States rule and the Clean Power Plan).

Unelected bureaucrats making sweeping rules governing (and wrecking) entire sectors of the economy needs to be a thing of the past. Conservatives seeking to rationalize delegation or who’ve made peace with it are not helpful to the cause of substantial reestablishment of constitutional bounds on the state. They are playing in a sandbox on the progressives’ administrative-state beach.

We can revive the separation of powers, and enshrine checks and balances that restrain. We need an executive, legislature, and judiciary, not today’s rock, paper, scissors. Special, new emphasis and care must be brought to bear on agencies’ back door rulemaking, whereby agencies use guidance, memoranda, bulletins, circulars and other regulatory dark matter to implement policy, as highlighted by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota) and James Lankford (R-Oklahoma). Note the bipartisan concern.

President-elect Trump may also appreciate that some in Congress appear very eager to implement a regulatory budget. Rep. Tom Price (R-Georgia), Budget Committee Chairman, has held hearings on the idea (which has bipartisan roots) and released a working paper. A statement of principles on regulatory budgeting was incorporated into the fiscal 2017 Budget Resolution; Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced legislation to implement a regulatory budget, while also incorporating regulatory dark matter, in the 114th Congress, and will likely reintroduce it; and Rep. Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, included it in his widely touted BetterWay task force recommendations.

Part of the interest in a regulatory budget likely stems from the parallel, related campaign for dynamic scoring, since regulations have macroeconomic effect. To work properly and to be manageable, agencies need to be downsized ahead of time.

As the 115th Congress contemplates broad economic liberalization, Trump can jumpstart things with executive orders and oversight. Reagan showed that the president, within the rule of law, can do a lot. Trump promised action, and there are significant things he can do while permanent legislative reforms are pending.



Federal Judge Blocks Implementation of Controversial Overtime Rule

A federal judge blocked implementation of a controversial rule addressing overtime pay from taking effect next week, a rule that had businesses, nonprofits, and higher education institutions bracing for the impacts of the measure.

The Department of Labor’s rule was supposed to take effect Dec. 1, and under the new measure, any employee making up to $47,476 each year would’ve been eligible for overtime pay.

The Obama administration finalized the rule in May, and the federal government’s announcement sent many companies and nonprofits scrambling to figure out how to comply with the law while also protecting both their businesses and employees.

“The more I learned, the more shocked I became that a rule like this would pass with so little input from those who were going to be impacted by it,” Albert Macre, a small business owner in Steubenville, Ohio, told The Daily Signal. “It’s the law of unintended consequences.”

In anticipation of Dec. 1, some businesses decided to reclassify workers who were previously salaried to hourly, while others gave raises to employees who were close to the $47,476 threshold, exempting them from the new rule.

More HERE  


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

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


24 November, 2016

Day One of Trump Presidency: Withdraw From the TPP

It does appear that the main beneficiaries of this deal were going to be crony-infested big businesses. It was conceived as a free trade pact but rapidly got corrupted into favours for insiders. The potential benefits for average Americans were slight

President-elect Donald Trump said Monday that on his first day in office next January he will begin the process of withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a prospective trade deal which has been a centerpiece of the Obama administration’s “rebalance” to Asia, but which Trump while campaigning called “horrible.”

Trump said in an online video message on priorities for his first 100 days that he has asked his transition team “to develop a list of executive actions we can take on day one, to restore our laws and bring back our jobs. It’s about time.”

“On trade, I am going to issue our notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country,” he said. “Instead, we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores.”

Trump characterized the move a part of a plan to advance the simple core principle of “putting American first.”

“Whether it’s producing steel, building cars, or curing disease, I want the next generation of production and innovation to happen right here, on our great homeland, America – creating wealth and jobs for American workers,” he said.

The TPP partners the U.S. with 11 countries on either side of the Pacific – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has said the agreement would usher in more than $130 billion a year in estimated GDP growth and more than $350 billion in additional exports.

But Trump during the campaign described the TPP as “horrible” and “one of the worst trade deals,” adding that “I’d rather make individual deals with individual countries. We will do much better.”

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time negotiations for the deal were launched, also opposed it during her presidential campaign – despite having praised it in earlier years, saying in 2012 that it set “the gold standard in trade agreements.”

‘There is no free lunch’

During a series of meetings in New Jersey on Sunday, Trump on Sunday met with Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor who is believed to be in the running to be commerce secretary in a Trump administration.

“They engaged in a conversation regarding negotiating the best foreign deals, American manufacturing and job creation,” the transition team said in a statement afterwards.

Ross is known to be critical of free trade deals.

“Free trade is like free lunch,” he said in a Fox Business interview last August. “There is no free lunch. Somebody wins and somebody loses and unfortunately we’ve been losing with these stupid agreements that we’ve made.”

Trump’s announcement Monday came three days after Obama met with the other TPP leaders in Peru and, in the words of a White House readout, “discussed the United States' continued strong support for trade, our commitment to strengthening ties to the Asia-Pacific, and the need to remain engaged in an increasingly interconnected world.”

“President Obama discussed his support of high-standard trade agreements like TPP, which level the playing field for American workers and advance our interests and values in the economically dynamic and strategically-significant Asia-Pacific region,” it said.

The readout said Obama had urged the other TPP partners’ leaders “to continue to work together to advance TPP.”

During a press conference in Lima on Sunday, Obama said his meeting with the TPP partners had been “a chance to reaffirm our commitment to the TPP, with its high standards, strong protections for workers, the environment, intellectual property and human rights.”

“Our partners made very clear during the meeting that they want to move forward with TPP; preferably, they’d like to move forward with the United States.”

Obama said that not moving ahead with the TPP “would undermine our position across the region and our ability to shape the rules of global trade in a way that reflects our interests and our values.”

In a speech last September, Secretary of State John Kerry urged Congress to pass the TPP during the lame duck session.

“We can’t just stand up and say to the world, ‘Hey, we’re a Pacific power.’ We have to show it in our actions and in our choices,” he said at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

“We can’t talk about the ‘rebalance’ to Asia one day and then sit on the sidelines the next, and expect to possibly send a credible message to partners and to potential partners around the world.”

Trump's other priorities

Other measures listed by Trump in Monday’s video included:

--canceling “job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy, including shale energy and clean coal”

--formulating a rule saying that for every new regulation introduced, two old regulations must be eliminated

--tasking the Pentagon and joint chiefs of staff to develop a comprehensive plan to protect the nation’s vital infrastructure from cyber or other types of attack

--directing the Department of Labor to investigate all visa program abuses “that undercut the American worker”

--introducing a five-year ban on executive officials working as lobbyists after leaving the administration, and a  lifetime ban on executive officials lobbying on behalf of foreign governments

“These are just a few of the steps we will take to reform Washington and rebuild our middle class,” he concluded.



Backward-Looking 'Progressives'

Thomas Sowell
People who call themselves “progressives” claim to be forward-looking, but a remarkable amount of the things they say and do are based on looking backward.

One of the maddening aspects of the thinking, or non-thinking, on the political left is their failure to understand that there is nothing they can do about the past. Whether people on the left are talking about college admissions or criminal justice, or many other decisions, they go on and on about how some people were born with lesser chances in life than other people.

Whoever doubted it? But, once someone who has grown up is being judged by a college admissions committee or by a court of criminal justice, there is nothing that can be done about their childhood. Other institutions can deal with today’s children from disadvantaged backgrounds, and should, but the past is irrevocable. Even where there are no economic differences among various families in which children are raised, there are still major differences in the circumstances into which people are born, even within the same family, which affect their chances in later life as adults.

For example, among children of the same parents, raised under the same roof, the first born, as a group, have done better than their later siblings, whether measured by IQ tests or by becoming National Merit Scholarship finalists or by various other achievements.

The only child has also done better, on average, than children who have siblings. The advantage of the first born may well be due to the fact that he or she was an only child for some time, perhaps for several formative years.

By the time people have grown up and apply to college, all that is history. Nothing that a college admissions committee can do will change anything about their childhoods. The only things these committees' decisions can affect are the present and the future. This is not rocket science.

Nevertheless, there are people who urge college admissions committees to let disadvantaged students be admitted with lower test scores or other academic indicators.

Those who say such things seldom even attempt to see what the actual consequences of such policies have been. The prevailing preconceptions — sometimes called what “everybody knows” — are sufficient for them.

Factual studies show that admitting students to institutions whose standards they do not meet often leads to needless academic failures, even among students with above average ability, who could have succeeded at other institutions whose standards they do meet.

The most comprehensive of these studies of Americans is the book “Mismatch” by Sander and Taylor. Similar results in other countries are cited in my own book, “Affirmative Action Around the World.”

When it comes to criminal justice, there is much the same kind of preoccupation on the left with the past that cannot be changed. Murderers may in some cases have had unhappy childhoods, but there is absolutely nothing that anybody can do to change their childhoods after they are adults.

The most that can be done is to keep murderers from committing more murders, and to deter others from committing murder. People on the left who want to give murderers “another chance” are gambling with the lives of innocent people. That is one of many other examples of the cruel consequences of seemingly compassionate decisions and policies.

Ironically, people on the left who are preoccupied with the presumably unhappy childhoods of murderers, which they can do nothing about, seldom show similar concern about the present and future unhappy childhoods of the orphans of people who have been murdered.

Such inconsistencies are not peculiar to our time, though they seem to be more pervasive today. But the left has been trying, for more than 200 years, to mitigate or eliminate punishments in general, and capital punishment in particular. What is peculiar to our time is the degree to which the views of the left have become laws and policies.

A long overdue backlash against those views has begun in some Western nations, of which the recent election results in the United States are just one symptom. How all this will end is by no means clear. Just as the past cannot be changed, so the future cannot be predicted with certainty.



Australia cuts Clinton Foundation funds

The federal government has not renewed any of its partnerships with the Clinton Foundation.

Labor and coalition governments over the past decade have paid more than $75 million to the anti-poverty foundation set up by the former first family of the United States, but questions have been raised about its accountability.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told the coalition joint party room on Tuesday agreements entered into by the Rudd-Gillard government had not been renewed.



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

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


23 November, 2016

The Politics of Hate

John C. Goodman

One family canceled Thanksgiving dinner so they wouldn’t have to be with pro-Trump relatives. Another family canceled a Christmas reunion for the same reason. One couple changed the date of their wedding so that a pro-Trump relative wouldn’t be able to attend. Another couple chose to get married in Italy — a place too distant for their relatives to travel to. These are just a few of the ruptures that have followed the election of Donald Trump, as reported by The New York Times.

Are we a deeply divided nation? Maybe. But if we are divided the cause of that division comes squarely from the left, not the right. In virtually every case, the people who are canceling reunions and refusing to talk to their friends and family members are Hillary supporters. The Times reported not a single instance of a Trump voter shun.

What’s the cause of all this? I think it is identity politics.

Remember, the two candidates ran completely different campaigns. Trump’s campaign was an issues campaign, mainly economic issues. In every speech he gave, he complained about abandoned factories, lost jobs and low wages. Even if he was completely wrong about the cause of those problems (bad trade deals), his was still campaigning on issues.

Hillary Clinton, by contrast, ran a largely issueless campaign. Do you know what her position was on international trade? Of course not. What she said in private was the opposite of what she said in public. On the Pacific trade deal, as a candidate she contradicted everything she said while she was Secretary of State. Her confidants quietly advised worried Wall Street backers that they could safely ignore what was being said publicly on the campaign trail.

But none of that matters because Hillary wasn’t asking people to vote for her because of differences with Donald Trump over trade policy anyway. Or on corporate tax reform. Or school choice. Or safe neighborhoods. Or environmental policy. Or any other policy.

Hillary' s entire campaign, and the Democratic Party’s approach to elections in general, is based on appeals to people as members of racial, ethnic and sociological groups. Since the days of Franklin Roosevelt, the Democratic Party has approached people as groups, pitted group against group, and promised each to protect them from outsiders. In the Roosevelt era, the appeal was almost exclusively to economic groups.

Today the Democratic party has largely abandoned economic appeals in favor of identity politics. For example, they ask blacks to vote for them because they are black, not because of any policy differences they have with their opponents. And their appeals carry with them an assault on the opposition, either express or implied: The Republican candidate is anti-black. The same approach is used with Hispanics, women, the LGBT community, etc.

For example, here is Michelle Obama telling a black audience they had a duty to vote Democrat, no matter who is on the ticket. (And by implication, no matter what the candidate stands for or what he or she would do once in office.) Her husband was even worse. I have cited many examples in previous posts at Town Hall. (See “Which Is the Party of Hate?”) But you can check it out for yourself. Just Google the words “Obama” and “race baiting” and see how many links pop up.

Now if the election were covered fairly, it would be obvious that one side is talking about issues and the other is not. But as I pointed out last week, the mainstream media viewed the entire election the same way Hillary Clinton did. Even Fox News spent almost the entirety of election night talking about how many blacks were voting versus whites, or women versus men — as if demography were destiny at the polls.

An example of someone who has completely bought into the Democratic Party’s view of the world is Lee Drutman, who has a rather lengthy article explaining why the political fault line between the two parties are based on race and identity and why that is likely to continue for years to come. Much of what he says is correct. But it describes Democrats, not Republicans.

Identity politics works on some voters. I have heard stories of women who break down crying at the mere mention of the election results. Are they crying because NAFTA may be renegotiated? Or the pipeline may be built? Of course not. If elections are about identity, then elections are about you in a very personal way. If the other candidate wins, you have been personally rejected. I would probably cry too if I were naïve enough to believe all that.

As I pointed out last week, Donald Trump uttered not one word during the election that was anti-black, anti-Semitic or anti-gay. Although he may have been insensitive, he really never said anything that was anti-Hispanic. In fact, it’s just the opposite. See this post by Scott Alexander on what Trump really did say, along with the finding that Trump did much better among minorities than either Romney or McCain.



President Trump’s Cabinet picks are likely to be easily confirmed. That’s because of Senate Democrats

Senate Democrats are not going to be able to block Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions bid to become attorney general. And they can’t do much to stop Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo from assuming the helm of the CIA.

And they have only themselves to thank for it. That’s because exactly three years ago, the Democratic Senate majority — led by Harry Reid (Nev.) — rammed through controversial rules fundamentally changing the way the Senate does business. They unleashed in November 2013 what’s called the “nuclear option” allowing senators to approve by a simple majority all presidential appointments to the executive branch and the judiciary, with a big exception for Supreme Court justices.

Democrats took the controversial step because they were so frustrated by what they saw as Republican foot-dragging on President Obama’s choices for his administration and federal judgeships. Under the new rules, it takes only a simple majority of senators to confirm such appointments instead of the 60 typically needed to force Senate action.

But now that Trump is in the White House and Republicans control the Senate, Democrats have lost their most powerful weapon to block his appointments. Democrats will have 48 seats in the new Senate.

The architect of the rules change, outgoing Senate Minority Leader Reid (D-Nev.), says he doesn’t regret his decision to go nuclear.

“Sen. Reid has no regrets on invoking the nuclear option because of Republicans’ unprecedented obstruction,” said Reid spokeswoman Kristen Orthman. “The nuclear option lets presidents show their true colors and guarantees a nominee a fair up-or-down vote. If Republicans want to go on record supporting radicals, that’s their decision and they will have to live with it.

Incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) noted that he opposed the rules change in the first place.

“I wanted 60 for Supreme Court and Cabinet, but I didn’t prevail,” Schumer said in an interview Friday, in which he also expressed hope that Trump would nominate “mainstream” candidates.

“If it’s somebody who is out of the mainstream,” he added, “we’ll fight tooth and nail and use every tool we have.”

The problem is, those tools are now severely limited. It would fall to Republicans to join Democrats to stand in the way of any Trump appointment deemed objectionable.

“The most controversial nominees should attract Republican opposition as well as Democratic,” said Thomas Mann, a congressional expert with the Brookings Institution. “If they don’t, it’s speaking volumes about the Republican Party, and Democrats are relatively powerless to do anything about that.”

Republicans warned at the time that Democrats were making a mistake with what they called a “power grab,” warning they would be sorry about the change when they eventually found themselves in the minority.

Democrats defended the decision crucial to forcing action in a Washington gripped by partisan warfare.  “The important distinction is not between Republicans and Democrats, it is between those who are willing to help break the gridlock in Washington and those who defend the status quo,” Reid said in 2013.



Creepy Billionaire Soros Trying to Buy Prosecutors Across America

Creepy Left wing billionaire George Soros is spending a massive amount of his ill-gotten fortune trying to amass an army of robot prosecutors all across the country he can activate to attack his political enemies at his bidding.

Soros is already well known for his underwriting of direct political “activism” like the Black Lives Matter riots and the recent anti-Trump violence he sponsored.

But a post election analysis shows how the shadowy billionaire is trying to put his globalist open border stamp on America by putting his political enemies in jail on trumped up charges.

Republican Matthew McCord was feeling pretty good about the $12,000 he had raised for his campaign for Henry County district attorney when he was blindsided by a September surprise.
New York billionaire George Soros dumped $147,000 into Georgia Safety & Justice, an independent-expenditure committee registered on Aug. 26, aimed at defeating Mr. McCord and electing his opponent, Democrat Darius Pattillo.

After recovering from the shock, Mr. McCord, a former prosecutor in Clayton and Newton counties, did what he thought was best for himself and the party: He dropped out of the race, allowing Mr. Pattillo to run unopposed.

“It was horrible,” said Mr. McCord, a lawyer in private practice in McDonough. “They rented space, they had a staff, they were using a Washington, D.C.-based PR firm. So what I knew was they could say whatever they wanted to say about me. It didn’t matter if it was true, and I would have no way to respond.”

He had already received a taste of things to come. “I’ve always been fairly centrist. I have a foundation that I started that has paid to send minority kids to school. And they [Soros campaigners] were already trying to paint me as a white racist,” he said. “It’s deplorable.”

Mr. McCord wasn’t alone. In 2015 and 2016 Mr. Soros, a leading Black Lives Matter funder, sunk more than $7 million into at least 11 local prosecutorial races in 10 states in an effort to implement criminal justice reform from the inside.

That’s a lot of money for a simple prosecutor position and for some phony “criminal justice reform” initiative from a billionaire known for ruthless investing and manipulation of the the political process to fatten his already considerable wallet.

Soros’s commitment to so-called reform was called into question when one of his bought and paid for robots was busted for his own brand of criminal justice reform:

Those concerns were heightened when one Soros-backed candidate, Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, was indicted in September on charges of attempting to hinder the prosecution of two criminal defendants. He has pleaded not guilty.

The Mississippi Safety & Justice PAC spent about $56,000 to help re-elect Mr. Smith in November 2015.

Soros’s minions have taken control in many key jurisdictions over the past few years.  Expect plenty of politicized prosecutions from the Soros-bots in the near future.

What happens next is anyone’s guess. “Only time will tell if there was a specific policy he [Mr. Soros] wanted them to implement,” said Mr. Thompson. “But we’re keeping our eyes wide open.”



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

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


22 November, 2016

Why the Radical Left Never Learns

Leftism is inherently violent.  They want to force people to behave in ways that they normally would not

Many everyday citizens are perplexed as to why the Radical Left is resorting to violence to protest the outcome of a democratically held election. And I’m perplexed as to why anyone would not understand why the Radical Left is resorting to violence to protest the outcome of a democratically held election.

It’s not really all that complicated. Plain and simple, violence is a trademark of the Radical Left. Its members resort to violence whenever they’re challenged — or, worse, when a majority legitimately rejects their ideas. This is a result of their being extraordinarily disciplined in staying focused on their two main objectives — implementation of their radical agenda and complete domination over all those who oppose it.

Before going any further, I should point out that not all those on the Radical Left are cut from the same cloth. There are three main groups that comprise this dangerous, anti-liberty segment of the human race.

* Elitists: These are the leaders of revolutions, men like Vladimir Lenin, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Mao Zedung, and Ho Chi Minh. It’s probably true that most Radical Left leaders sincerely believe, at least at the start of their climb to power, that they are acting nobly in an effort to improve the lives of the oppressed masses. But it’s equally true that all of them have one thing in common: While they claim to believe in equality, they simultaneously believe in the cognitive-dissonant proposition that some animals are more equal than others (credit George Orwell, Animal Farm). Translation: Unlike the unwashed masses, revolutionary leaders live like royalty while their duped followers live in misery and poverty.

* Low-information losers: These are the college kids, welfare professionals, and those who, for any one of a number of reasons, are angry about life in general. Whether crying in a “safe space” at Princeton or stealing cigarillos from a convenience store, they are the losers of society who can be paid, if necessary, to vent their anger for any cause drummed up by the Radical Left elites.

* Rank-and-file true believers: These are everyday people who may or may not work for a living, but what they all have in common is a belief that a majority of the world’s population (or at least a majority of the Western world’s population) consists of ruthless and “greedy” people who must be restrained by morally superior folks like themselves. They can be counted on to go to the wall for their leaders whenever a call to action is put out to them.

Now, to understand the violence that the Radical Left is currently engaging in to protest Donald Trump’s victory over the Face of Evil, the first thing you should do is disregard the low-information losers. They are irrelevant because their lack of knowledge relegates them to nothing more than attack dogs who obediently obey the commands of the elites.

The rank-and-file true believers and elitists, however, have one very important thing in common: cunning. Whenever the Radical Left achieves power, its mouthpieces make it clear to all those who disagree with them that they have no interest in compromising and that they intend to implement their agenda one way or another — through legal or illegal means. And, if necessary, through the use of force.

However, when they are out of power, as they are about to be, they cunningly talk about the need for both sides to “come together,” unite, be nonpartisan, and compromise. Because they can be counted on to buy into this age-old, Radical Left tactic, people like the Bushes, John McCain, Mitt Romney, John Kasich, Paul Ryan, and the rest of their ilk are useful idiots every bit as much as are the low-information losers of the Radical Left.

To those on the Radical Left, it’s all about getting their foot in the door. Then, once in, they boldly put down a place marker and use that as the new starting point for future negotiations. It’s a very clever strategy that has paid huge dividends for the Radical Left over the past fifty years. Giving credit where credit is due, Barack Obama has been an absolute master at implementing this strategy during his two terms in office.

A lot of people also seem surprised that since the humiliating repudiation of both Hillary Clinton and, more specifically, Barack Obama’s policies by the voting public, the Radical Left has not let up on its smear and violence tactics. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, because the Radical Left has repeatedly demonstrated that it does not learn anything through experience. That’s because it has no interest in learning. Its interest is focused on achieving and maintaining power.

The Radical Left aligns with George Orwell’s character O’Brien in another of his classics, 1984, who said: “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. … We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. … The object of power is power.”

That being the case, you can count on the Radical Left to double and triple down on its past mistakes. Notwithstanding their feigned introspection on what went wrong on the way to Hillary’s second planned coronation, the same old radical leaders will use the same old tired identity politics to drum up the same old hatred and division among voters.

Their leading lights — villainous people like Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer, and Barack Obama will continue to drive the party’s already far-left agenda further leftward. They not only don’t care what the “forgotten man” outside New York and California thinks, they loathe him and rather enjoying seeing him endure ever more pain.

Thus, it’s not surprising that the Dirty Dems are now talking about making Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison leader of the Democratic National Committee. There’s nothing wrong with Ellison’s being both a black man and a Muslim. The problem is that he’s a Radical Left black man and a Radica Left Muslim. Just the fact that the Dirty Dems are considering him for the role of head of their party is a way of saying to the 60 million forgotten-man voters: “In your face.”

This while they act outraged that Trump has tabbed Steve Bannon as his chief strategist, insisting that he’s too “extreme.” Their hypocrisy takes chutzpah to a new level.

Keeping all this in mind, if you’re still celebrating Donald Trump’s big upset, I feel obliged to sober you up by reminding you yet again that 60+ million people — nearly half of all voters! — voted for a Radical Left career criminal in the most recent election. Do you really believe they are going to have a change of heart and be more civil to their opponents anytime soon?

The uncomfortable reality is that the Radical Left has no intention of backing down. America is irreversibly entrenched in a civil war that is guaranteed to become increasingly violent, and the most dangerous thing the Trump administration can do is bend over backwards to be “inclusive.” Always remember that the Dirty Dems use the inclusiveness trick to get their foot back inside the door with an eye toward regaining power.

As I said in my last article, be careful, Donald … be very, very careful. Just do a little reading on the Internet if you have any doubts about whether the Radical Left is prepared to undertake a violent civil war. Which is why I’ve said for years that the solution to the Radical Left problem is not to work with them, but to try to defeat them.

Sure, total defeat is an unrealistic expectation, but continuously working toward it is not. Harsh containment is a realistic goal, but it takes a steel resolve and an unbudgeable, no-compromise attitude to accomplish it.



The Slacker Mandate and the Safety Pin Generation

News flash, kids: Things aren’t free. Things cost money. And “free” things provided to you by the government cost other people’s money.

Donald Trump gets it — somewhat. He vows to repeal Obamacare’s most burdensome federal mandates that are jacking up the price of private health insurance. But he also plans to preserve the most politically popular provisions of the Orwellian-titled Affordable Care Act, including the so-called “slacker mandate.” It’s the requirement that employer-based health plans cover employees' children until they turn 26 years old.

That’s right: Twenty-freaking-six.

Is it any wonder why we have a nation of dependent drool-stained crybabies on college campuses who are still bawling about the election results one week later?

Trump briefly mentioned during a “60 Minutes” interview on CBS this weekend that the slacker mandate “adds cost, but it’s very much something we’re going to try and keep.” That’s because most establishment Republicans in Washington, D.C., are resigned to keeping it. Once the feds hand out a sugary piece of cradle-to-grave entitlement candy, it’s almost impossible to snatch it back.

Who pays for this unfunded government mandate? As usual, it’s responsible working people who bear the burden.

Earlier this year, the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the No Slacker Left Behind provision resulted in wage reductions of about $1,200 a year for workers with employer-based insurance coverage — whether or not they had adult children on their plans. In effect, childless working people are subsidizing workers with adult children who would rather stay on their parents than get their own.

Moreover, according to company surveys and other economic analysis, the slacker mandate has resulted in overall increased health care costs of between 1 and 3 percent. The nonpartisan American Health Policy Institute reported one firm’s estimate of millennial coverage mandate costs at a whopping $69 million over 10 years.

At the time the federal slacker mandate was adopted in 2010, some 20 states had already adopted legislation requiring insurers to cover Big Kids — some up to age 31!

Yes, thirty-freaking-one.

In Wisconsin, the slacker mandate covered not only adult children, but also the children of those “children” if they lived in single-parent homes. In New Jersey, champions of the provision claimed it would help cover 100,000 uninsured young adults. But health policy researcher Nathan Benefield of the Commonwealth Foundation reported that “only 6 percent of that estimate has been realized” in its first two years. “The primary reason — health insurance is still too expensive.”

That has only gotten worse, of course, as Obamacare’s other expensive mandates — especially guaranteed issue for those with pre-existing conditions — sabotage the private individual market for health insurance, leaving young and healthy people with fewer choices, higher premiums and crappier plans. The solution is not more mandates, but fewer; more competition, not less.

The Obama White House will brag that the slacker mandate has resulted in increased coverage for an estimated 3 million people. As usual with Obamacare numbers, it’s Common Core, book-cooked math. Health care analyst Avik Roy took a closer look and found that the inflated figure came from counting “(1) young adults on Medicaid and other government programs, for whom the under-26 mandate doesn’t apply; and (2) people who gained coverage due to the quasi-recovery from the Great Recession.”

To add insult to injury, another NBER study found that roughly 5 percent of people younger than 26 dropped out of the workforce after the provision was implemented. They used their spare time to increase their socialization, sleeping, physical fitness and personal pursuit of “meaningfulness.”

Then there are the hidden costs of the millennial mandate: the cultural consequences. All this “free” stuff, detached from those actually paying the bills, reduces the incentives for 20-somethings to grow up and seek independent lives and livelihoods. Why bother? The societal sanctions have been eroded.

Now, the nation is suffering the consequences of decades of that collective coddling. Precious snowflakes can’t handle rejection at the ballot box or responsibilities in the marketplace. Appropriately enough, the new virtue signals of tantrum-throwing young leftists stirring up trouble are safety pins — to show “solidarity” with groups supposedly endangered by Donald Trump.

Safety pins are also handy — for holding up the government-manufactured diapers in which too many overgrown dependents are swaddled.


CHRIS BRAND has perked up and is probably now out of danger.


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

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


21 November, 2016

Trump's triumph is all the fault of the thick, ill-informed, irrational mob

Or is it?  Who is REALLY being thick, ill-informed and irrational?

Brendan O'Neill

After Brexit in June and now the victory of Donald Trump, everyone’s freaking out about the howling little people and their ripping up of the political script.

This is the year of rage, commentators claim. Brexit was a “howl of rage”, says The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland. And now it has been joined by the “anti-establishment anger” of those US voters who elected Trump. It was “rage, not reason” that made people go for Trump, says a US neuroscientist. All this hand-wringing over the rage of Them gives an impression of a swarm of folk brutishly disturbing politics and business as usual. Brexit and now Trump have “shaken the postwar liberal order”, says the Financial Times.

Apparently these pesky plebs, driven by “temporary populist passions” rather than “reasoned deliberation”, in the words of British-American conservative Andrew Sullivan, have done great harm to liberal, rational public life.

This is nonsense. It’s a dangerous and distracting myth. For it isn’t ordinary people, whether Brexiteers or Trumpites, who threaten to dismantle important liberal ideals; it’s their critics, the members of the political class raging against what they view as the raging masses, who risk doing this.

Yes, huge numbers of ordinary people are expressing dissatisfaction with the status quo. As British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a speech this week, Brexit and Trump show that people are peeved at the “emergence of a new global elite” and they want change. But this people’s protest, this polite registering of dissent, isn’t blind rage and it isn’t throttling decent politics. That is being done by the response to Brexit and Trump, by the new elites’ demophobia.

It’s this response that is likely to seriously damage political life. The truly disturbing thing about 2016 is not the rage of the masses against the establishment but the rage of the elites against democracy.

In the 20 years I’ve been writing about politics, I cannot remember a time when disgust for democracy has been as explicit as it is now. It’s everywhere.

“Trump won because voters are ignorant”, says a headline in Foreign Policy magazine. The piece, written by Jason Brennan, US professor and author of Against Democracy, says Trump owes his victory to “the uninformed”.

But this goes beyond Trump, says Brennan. The public’s stupidity calls into question the whole idea of making decisions democratically. Perhaps what we need is an “epistocracy”, where “votes are in some way weighted according to basic political knowledge”, he says. In short, let’s have IQ tests and give greater power to the clever over the dumb.

This isn’t an extreme view anymore. Being anti-democratic has become positively fashionable among the chattering classes.

We are no longer successfully “keeping the mob from the gates”, says Matthew Parris in The Spectator. It has been a while since observers openly talked about “the mob”. Trump’s victory calls into question the wisdom of having “government by the people”, Parris says. So who should govern? Kings? Priests? Parris?

We have become “too democratic”, says Sullivan. The “passions of the mob” have become too great a player in political life. We need a better “elitist sorting mechanism” to prevent people’s “untrammelled emotions” from dominating political discourse.

There is much talk of “low-information voters” or “low-information white people”, as Brennan calls them: a politically correct way of saying “the underclass”. Everyday people are ill-suited to big politics, apparently, because they know little and are driven by rage over reason.

In the words of leading US liberal magazine The Atlantic, the masses are “ignorant of basic facts”, meaning they cannot “act reasonably and rationally in the political process”.

The elitist fury that has greeted the low-information mob that voted for Trump echoes what was said after Brexit. The temerity of 17.4 million Brits to vote to leave the EU, when so many of our betters instructed us to vote remain, sent the establishment and commentariat into a rage that overshadows any rage from below.

It was ridiculous to ask “ignoramuses” to decide on the future of the EU, said famed atheist Richard Dawkins. The public, being ignorant of “the highly complex economic and social issues facing our country”, should “have no say on our EU membership”, he said.

Philosopher AC Grayling denounces the politics of the “crowd”. “Rule by crowd acclamation is a very poor method of government,” he says, since most members of the crowd, dimwitted specks, are susceptible to “misinformation, distortion, false promises (and) tabloid urgings”.

That is, our minds are easily fried by demagogues and lying newspapers; we’re controlled more by sentiment than reason.

Post-Brexit, elitists started to express their disdain for democracy casually and frequently. “What if democracy doesn’t work?” The Guardian’s George Monbiot asked. Maybe the idea that ordinary people behaved as “rational beings” was a myth, he said.

“Never before has the fate of a country … been changed by the swing of such a blunt axe, wielded by … poorly informed citizens,” Belgian writer David Van Reybrouck wrote in an essay hilariously titled “Why elections are bad for democracy”.

The horror of Brexit shows that we must not allow “popular sentiment (to hold) sway over informed decision-making”, former UN official Shashi Tharoor said. So let the smart rule the stupid? A pro-remain conservative said the EU referendum took a “noble idea, that everyone’s political views should count equally, too far”. So sometimes certain people’s views should be more equal than others’.

There are now legal efforts to overthrow Brexit, to thwart the will of the low-information people. And a good thing, too, says a writer for The Washington Post, since it was “widespread political ignorance” that fuelled Brexit.

The chattering-class narrative is that Brexit and Trump are products of idiocy and rashness, and we should now rethink how often we ask the plebs to have their say.

It’s naked elitism. And it should worry anyone who thinks of themselves as progressive far more than the rise of Trump or Britain leaving the EU. It echoes dark anti-democratic moments in history. The idea that crowds are manipulated by demagogues and thus can’t be trusted is the same sneer that was made against the Chartists, the 1840s British movement to expand the franchise to working-class men. The “lower orders of the people” did not have a “ripened wisdom”, said one opponent of Chartism. And this meant they were “more exposed than any other class” to be “converted to the ­vicious ends of faction”.

Such ugly snobbery is rehashed in the foul idea today that Brexiteers and Trumpites, being “low-information”, were easily hood­winked by “misinformation”.

The idea that ordinary people lack expertise and are too ruled by emotion was also said of the suffragettes. As one historian says, women back then were seen to “lack the expertise” necessary for “informed political activity”. They were low-information.

They were also said to have difficulty “forming abstract ideas”. They are too emotional, and “government by emotion quickly degenerates into injustice”, the British journal the Anti-Suffrage Review said in 1910. Now that is said about women and men: too many of them are driven by “feeling, emotion”, in the words of Sullivan. And we can’t have government by emotion, can we?

From the Victorian period to the dark days of eugenicist thinking in the early 20th century, there was a profound discomfort among the elites with the idea of democracy. Now it’s making a comeback.

Crowd politics gives rise to “blubbering sentimentality”, Bis­marck said in the 1800s; government by “crowd acclamation” gives us a useless “snapshot of sentiment”, Grayling says today. The language has become politer but the agitation with the throng remains the same.

This is the scary thing about 2016: not Brexit, not even Trump, but the openness with which democracy is now written off as a terrible mistake. We need to stand up for the crowd. It isn’t an unthinking swarm; it’s a collection of thoughtful individuals, each capable of rationalism and goodness.

In fact, these ordinary people, because they live and work in the belly of society in a way that cut-off experts and observers usually don’t, often have a better understanding of what’s wrong with society and how it might be fixed.

Less jaundiced by power, more aware of where everyday society isn’t working properly, the people can have a keener, more sensitive appreciation of political and social problems and what might be done about them.

I would sooner entrust political decisions to the first 50 people I encounter on my walk through town than to 50 people with PhDs. Too much democracy? There isn’t nearly enough.



Hillary’s crybabies need to grow up

Miranda Devine

It’s astonishing that we’re in the second week of anti-Trump protests, with the sore losers showing they have learned nothing from their humbling.   

Their placards read Love Trumps Hate but it’s the other way around for them. Refusing to accept the verdict of the ­people unless it goes their way, they beat up suspected Trump voters, torch cars, break windows and injure police officers.

The impression is of a profound sense of entitlement.

They demand “dump Trump” because they are so certain of their moral superiority. They think if they splash around lazy insults, “racist, sexist, Islamophobe, homophobe”, they’ve won the argument.

They describe a vote for Trump as a “hate crime”. Yet they ignore actual hate crimes, like the bashing of a 15-year-old boy wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat in Maryland, or a 24-year-old on the subway in New York wearing the red Trump cap, or a 50-year-old man in Chicago suspected of being a Trump supporter ­because he was white.

Imagine if it were a Clinton voter who had copped beatings; it would be reported as the end of civilisation and evidence of the utter depravity of Trump voters.

If you needed proof for why Trump won the election, look no further than the hypocrisy of the left’s crybabies and sore losers, even now imagining they can bully their way into refusing Trump the job he won fair and square.

And where is President Obama, as his cities erupt? In Germany, with Angela Merkel, refusing to call for peace: “I would not advise people who feel strongly (about) the campaign. I wouldn’t advise them to be silent.”

Why hasn’t Clinton called off her goons? Why isn’t she urging that “peaceful transition of power” she was so big on when she thought she had the election in the bag?

She’s been at home, feeling sorry for herself. When she finally emerged for her first public function since the election on Friday, she was hailed as a feminist hero for not wearing makeup or brushing her hair. It was a deliberate statement, but what did it mean, other than to enhance the self-pity in which she is wallowing?

“There have been a few times this past week when all I wanted to do is just curl up with a good book or our dogs and never leave the house again”, she said, crying out for sympathy, but not ­respect.

Thus the anti-Trump protesters are being encouraged by their establishment elders, who ought to be setting a good example but instead have resolved their loss by turbocharging their contempt for the “deplorables”.

“Trump won because voters are ignorant, literally,” wrote Jason Brennan in Foreign Policy magazine.

But when anyone bothered to ask real Trump voters why they did it, as the Washington Post did last week, the answers defy the stereotypes.

“I am a gay millennial woman and I voted for Trump because I oppose the political correctness movement which has become a fascist ideology of silence and ­ignorance,” Samantha Styler, 21, of Arizona, wrote.

Deniz Dolun, 22, of Florida: “My entire family — five Muslim immigrants from Turkey — voted for Trump because of the Democratic Party’s pandering to Islamism. As people who have actually experienced Islamism in its purest form... we supported the candidate who promised to help us fight that issue.”

Christopher Todd, 53, of Florida: “I voted for Trump on the calculated bet that he would nominate conservative Supreme Court justices. If people want to permit gay marriage or abortion for any reason, then make both legal through the legislature, not via an unelected oligarchy rewriting the Constitution.”

Lori Myers, 51, of Texas, wrote: “I voted for Trump ­because the media was so ­incredibly biased. They were ­unhinged in their obvious role as the Clinton campaign propaganda machine.”


CHRIS BRAND is gravely ill.  He is however in good hands in Edinburgh so we hope he will pull through.  He is lucid enough to express his regrets that he cannot do his blog updates this week.


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

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


20 November, 2016

Liberals stunned when this icon calls out their Trump hypocrisy

Former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart is as liberal as they come. But he recently called out leftists for being a bunch of hypocrites:

    Mr. Stewart, former host of “The Daily Show,” sat down with CBS’ Charlie Rose in an interview aired Thursday to discuss his new book, “An Oral History” and weigh in on Donald Trump’s stunning Election Day victory.

    “I thought Donald Trump disqualified himself at numerous points,” Mr. Stewart said. “But there is now this idea that anyone who voted for him has to be defined by the worst of his rhetoric.

    “Like, there are guys in my neighborhood that I love, that I respect, that I think have incredible qualities who are not afraid of Mexicans, and not afraid of Muslims, and not afraid of blacks. They’re afraid of their [health] insurance premiums,” he continued.

“In the liberal community, you hate this idea of creating people as a monolith. Don’t look as Muslims as a monolith. They are the individuals and it would be ignorance. But everybody who voted for Trump is a monolith, is a racist. That hypocrisy is also real in our country.”

Stewart added that America isn’t “fundamentally different” today than it was two weeks ago, pointing out that “the same country that elected Donald Trump elected Barack Obama.”

At least one liberal gets it.



Anti-Defamation League Backs Down: ‘We Are Not Aware of Any Anti-Semitic Statements from Bannon’

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has backed away from its earlier accusations against Stephen K. Bannon, stating on its website: “We are not aware of any anti-Semitic statements from Bannon.”

The statement appears at the end of an article on the ADL, “Stephen Bannon: Five Things to Know.”

The “five things” are:

    Bannon has embraced the alt right, a loose network of white nationalists and anti-Semites.

    Under Bannon, Breitbart published inflammatory pieces about women, Muslims, and other groups.

    Bannon is a critic of the Republican establishment and the left.

    Bannon has held a number of positions in his career.

    We are not aware of any anti-Semitic statements from Bannon.

The first two claims are false. The next two claims are true, and innocuous. The final claim is exculpatory.

The ADL further explains:

    While there is a long fact pattern of evidence that Breitbart served as a platform for a wide range of bigotry and there is some controversy related to statements from Mr. Bannon’s divorce proceedings in 2007, we are not aware of any anti-Semitic statements made by Bannon himself.

In fact, Jewish employees of Breitbart have challenged the characterization of him and defended him from charges of anti-Semitism. Some have pointed out that Breitbart Jerusalem was launched during his tenure.

    Nevertheless, Bannon essentially has established himself as the chief curator for the alt right. Under his stewardship, Breitbart has emerged as the leading source for the extreme views of a vocal minority who peddle bigotry and promote hate.

The statement that “Breitbart served as a platform for a wide range of bigotry” is completely false, and reflects the ADL’s left-wing ideological orientation rather than objective reality. The statement that Bannon is “the chief curator for the alt right” is also completely false, and defamatory.

The ADL, which calls itself “the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency,” launched a defamatory campaign on Sunday against Breitbart News and Bannon, the company’s Executive Chairman, when Bannon was named Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor by President-elect Donald J. Trump. (Bannon has been on leave from Breitbart since his appointment in August as CEO of the Trump presidential campaign.)

In a statement noting that the ADL “strongly opposes” Bannon’s new White House appointment, ADL president Jonathan Greenblatt — a former aide to President Barack Obama — called Bannon “a man who presided over the premier website of the Alt Right, a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists.”

That is a completely false accusation.

Breitbart.com is not “the premier website of the Alt Right.” The only supposed “alt-right” content on the site, among tens of thousands of articles, is one widely-cited journalistic article, “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right.”

As one author more familiar with the alt-right noted recently, the main alt-right sites are “/r/altright, Stormfront, and 4chan’s politics board” — not Breitbart News.

Given the wide international interest in the presidential election, and the evident popularity of Trump among some portions of the alt-right (and unpopularity on the far-left), Breitbart has attracted wider attention beyond the company’s core audience of center-right and conservative readers.

But Breitbart is not an alt-right publication, and the daily news content of the website speaks for itself. Moreover, there are no “white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists” working at, or published by, Breitbart.

On Wednesday morning, nationally syndicated talk show host Dennis Prager — who has written a widely-respected book on antisemitism — called the accusations against Bannon “libel” and said that the ADL had damaged itself with the false claims.

Reacting partly to those false claims, hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the Los Angeles City Hall on Wednesday evening to stage a demonstration against Bannon, including signs referring to Bannon as a “Nazi.”

Also on Wednesday, the ADL initially denied press credentials to Breitbart News’ Adelle Nazarian, who was to cover a conference on antisemitism in New York on Thursday.

Nazarian, who is Jewish, is an experienced journalist who has covered antisemitism and foreign affairs for Breitbart News, and most recently covered the 2016 presidential campaign as part of the national traveling press corps.

Late Wednesday, the ADL reversed its decision and credentialed Nazarian for the event.



Leftists Demean Instead of Debate

Rule #5 from Alinsky's Rules for Radicals: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon."

What happens when a leftist disagrees with a conservative? The standard response is Rule #5 from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”

If you stand for the right to keep more of what you’ve earned rather than see 25%, 35% or more legally stolen by the government of course, you’re labeled as greedy and not paying your fair share.

If you voice support for the right to bear arms as enumerated in the Second Amendment, you’ll be declared responsible for untold numbers of deaths due to the lack of gun control.

If you stand for protecting the unborn and for the societal value of marriage and family, you’ll be accused of hating women and homosexuals.

If you oppose massive income redistribution through “Great Society” programs, you’ll be dismissed as racist.

No rationale. No intellectual debate. No substance. But all these issues have a common theme: The one on the Left is permitted to insult, name-call and criticize to create an easily hated target for the masses of uninformed and entitled voters.

Michelle Obama loves to declare, “When they go low, we go high.” Sure thing, FLOTUS. Just tell POTUS and the former FLOTUS that. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton recently warned voters of the Ku Klux Klan’s support of Donald Trump, despite the fact that his campaign swiftly denounced any support of the racial hate group — founded by post-Civil War Democrats.

Then you have Hillary’s September speech where hatred of the Right was only preceded by the Left’s second most-oft used tool, fear. Clinton proclaimed, “I am all that stands between you and the apocalypse.” Her follow-up was, “You could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,” as she rattled off the leftist lexicon calling Trump supporters “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic.” And her conclusion was, “Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”

Now she has the temerity to say, “I think I have some work to do to bring the country together.” Why? Because, she says, “these splits, these divides, have been not only exposed, but exacerbated by the campaign on the other side.”

The other side didn’t call anyone deplorable or irredeemable.

Meanwhile, in Obama and Hillary’s fundamentally transformed America, another target of the hounds of hate are any who would tie terrorism to radical Islam.

A recent case in point is courtesy of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which claims the role of civil authority in identifying and labeling “violent extremist groups.” The SPLC’s website has a “hate map” that charts those whose “Hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing.”

Much of that “hate group” activity, with the exception of criminal acts, sounds suspiciously like political campaigning. Include the criminal acts, and the quote perfectly describes the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The SPLC keeps a list called “Extremist Files.” This list of alleged haters, according to the Left’s immoral mouthpiece, catalogues some authentic agitators whose motives should be exposed — like Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, who despises Jews, as well as black nationalist Malik Shabazz and a few others. These are there solely to “legitimize” the remainder of the hit list.

For example, Libertarian political scientist and author Charles Murray is also labeled an “extremist” for his decades of demographic research that exposes the American welfare system as a contributor to poverty. Christian historian David Barton of Wallbuilders is considered a hater because he dares to document the founding of America on the moral truths of the Christian faith with the audacity to cite specific evidences that reject the “myth” of the separation of church and state. Finally, the SPLC Extremist Files includes Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, for his “false propaganda” in defending traditional families against the Rainbow Mafia’s agenda.

SPLC adds to this list “critics of the violence and extremism too often associated with Islam.” Who makes the updated Extremist Files? Daniel Pipes, Ph.D. in Islamic history from Harvard, who has taught foreign policy in relation to the Middle East at Harvard and the University of Chicago. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Somali-born Dutch-American activist, a former Dutch politician who is a leading opponent of female genital mutilation practiced by Muslims. And Maajid Nawaz, a British Muslim reformist and founding chairman of Quilliam, a counter-extremism think tank, who was held as a political prisoner in Egypt.

The point, simply, is to expect the tool of hate to be employed by the Left in their ongoing efforts of covering their failed policies and corrupt practices — ranging from the epic destruction of America’s health care or the open border that permits cheap, illegal labor, and as this election may record, illegal voters.

Be ready, constitutionalist, when you offer your strong, principled argument for a pro-America, limited government policy, to be shamed and marginalized by your leftist opponent. You must quickly expose the tactic of intellectual dishonesty to deflect from the true issue and restate your stance. The hyper-partisan political climate and inability to govern is a malignancy that is destroying our nation. Let’s continue to expose the Left by rejecting the worn tactic of hate and ridicule while pressing through with effective policy that wins both hearts and minds.

Our Fallen Patriots and our posterity deserve as much.



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

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


18 November, 2016

Trump is the Best Thing That Has Happened to Israel in Years

Leftists never hesitate to lie if that seems expedient.  They have to lie.  Reality is so hostile to their claims and ambitions.  So the media are awash with unapologetic claims that Trump is a racist and sexist.  They state those things without apology or explanation.  They speak it as if it were incontrovertible  and universally accepted.  Yet any objective analysis show both claims to be quite false.  Trump has treated women very well in his businesses and there is no doubt of his friendship to Israel.

Both Trump and I went to Presbyterian Sunday School as kids and, even though I am now an atheist, I cannot lose, nor do I want to lose, a feeling that Jerusalem is the holy city and that  Israel is the God-given land of the Jews.  Some feelings die hard and I strongly suspect that Trump has inherited similar feelings.  You don't have to be a Jew to love Israel.

And the Left are not done lying when they talk about Trump. His supporters get traduced too. "Spengler", below takes on one such myth

The hysteria in the Establishment is astonishing: today's email blast from the usually staid Financial Times begins, "Donald Trump has chosen Reince Priebus, the establishment head of the Republican National Committee, as his chief of staff, while naming Steve Bannon — his campaign chair who ran Breitbart News, a website associated with the alt-right and white supremacists — as his chief strategist and counsellor."

To claim that Breitbart is associated with white supremacists is a despicable lie, but the FT feels compelled to say such things because polite opinion requires ritual anathemas of Trump. And the liberal Jewish website The Forward writes, "The reaction was quick and furious from Jews and anti-hate groups. The Anti-Defamation League, which stays out of partisan politics and vowed to seek to work with Trump after his election, denounced Bannon as 'hostile to American values.'" The Forward headline asks, "Will Steve Bannon bring anti-Semitism into Trump's inner circle?"

This again is a foul slander. I know Steve Bannon, and have had several long discussions with him about politics. I first met him when he approached me at a conference to tell me that he liked my writing, which is unabashedly Zionist. Steve is strongly pro-Israel, and it is utterly ridiculous to suggest that he is anti-Semitic.

The Establishment is floored and flummoxed. It doesn't understand what it did wrong, it doesn't understand why it has been evicted from power, and it can only explain its miserable situation as the consequence of an evil conspiracy. In short, the Establishment is having a paranoid tantrum, compounding its humiliation with a public meltdown. Sadly, that includes liberal Jews.

Trump's election is the best thing that has happened to Israel in many years. It eliminates the risk of a diplomatic stab in the back at the Security Council and sends a dire warning to Iran, the only real existential threat to the Jewish State. The security of the Jewish people in their homeland is vastly enhanced by the vote on November 8, and Jews everywhere should thank God that the head of state of the world's most powerful country is a friend of Israel with Jewish grandchildren. Instead of slanders, Jews should offer up prayers of Thanksgiving.


See also: The SPLC Calls Bannon A Bigot For Something Charlie Rangel Also Said

And: Alan Dershowitz Defends Steve Bannon: ‘Not Legitimate To Call Somebody An Anti-Semite Because You Disagree With Their Policies’


The delusional Left and its tribes

Scott Lively

The rioting of leftist street activists in response to the election of Donald Trump is entirely predictable and will quickly morph into a very large and highly destructive international “resistance” movement if is not effectively countered. To respond appropriately, we must first understand that the political left is delusional and implacable, but easily defeatable if we act quickly and don’t waste our time trying to bargain or compromise with them.

The top tier of the leftist elite is not populated by the self-righteous know-it-alls of academia, nor the Stalinist autocrats of the Democratic Party, nor the utopianist manipulators of the foundations and “nonprofit” sector: It is ruled by the story-tellers and dream-weavers of Hollywood. That is because the core of the Cultural Marxist worldview – what defines its purpose and drives its zealots – is “The Narrative.” According to this narrative, the world is enslaved to an ancient and deep-rooted system of institutional bigotry of various forms to which the masses are largely blind, but thankfully there exists a growing network of enlightened social justice warriors. It is the role and duty of these brave and selfless champions of the oppressed to replace the evil established order with an egalitarian socialist utopia only they are privileged to envision and implement. The urgency of this need, and righteousness of their goal, justifies whatever means are necessary to achieve it.

This is roughly the same narrative introduced by Karl Marx in the 19th century, refined by the Frankfurt School of Cultural Marxism in the 1920s and ’30s and embraced with religious fervor by American liberals since the 1960s. It is what drives every aspect of the leftist political agenda.

If you’ve ever tried to debate a true-believer liberal on any aspect of that agenda, you know that facts, reason and logic are frustratingly unpersuasive. That’s because their “reality” is the closed universe of the social justice narrative. Like the schizophrenic, the leftist ideologue interprets all facts, reason and logic as confirmation of their delusion or disregards them as if they don’t exist.

However, while the fantasy of the schizophrenic is uniquely personal to him, the leftist narrative is a common, shared mass-delusion that is continually being both self and mutually reinforced. It is Hitler’s “Big Lie” phenomenon on a massive scale, and its impact on the society as a whole is dramatically compounded by mutual reinforcement across multiple spheres of social influence.

For example, when Donald Trump recommenced a temporary moratorium on immigration from Muslim countries conditional on proper vetting procedures for applicants, the left (some disingenuously, some delusionally) instantly began misrepresenting that as a “ban on Muslims.” In a truth-oriented culture that claim would have been quickly dismissed, but in our leftist-dominated culture the lie was then continually repeated by leftist media organs, establishment Democrats and Republicans, leftist college professors and street-activist organizations. The chorus of multiple false witnesses created a “false reality” in the general public that persists to this day. It is one of many such misrepresentations fueling the hysterical moral outrage and street violence of the anti-Trump rioters whose narrative-driven sense of purpose and identity blinds them to actual reality.

I have also been and am currently a victim of the leftist “narrative.” A subplot of it holds that all disapproval of homosexuality leads inevitably to hatred, violence and murder of homosexuals. It is a paranoid delusion within a delusion, but when the Ugandan government put forward a bill proposing severe criminal penalties for homosexuality and pederasty following my visit there in 2009, and later, David Kato, a leader of Ugandan’s “gay” movement was murdered in his home, the global leftist media named me as the evil mastermind of a campaign of genocide against homosexuals. It never mattered to them that I opposed the Ugandan bill as written from the beginning and had advocated for rehabilitation and prevention during my visit. Nor did they care that the confessed and convicted murderer of David Kato was his own “gay” lover whom he had bailed out of jail to be his live-in boyfriend. All that mattered was the narrative – and so the whole truth was suppressed in favor of only those facts that fit the false reality.

I’ve endured four years of intensive litigation charging me with “Crimes Against Humanity” as a direct consequence of the leftist commitment to their narrative. As U.S. president, Donald Trump, and what’s left of normal society in this nation, is facing (at least) four years of similar leftist hatred and delusion but on a much, much larger scale.

To paraphrase a famous Hollywood movie, “That army of social justice warriors is out there! It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear! And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead!” The hard left is the Terminator of the cultural/political sphere. It’s mission is conquest, supremacy and elimination of Judeo-Christian civilization. Any attempt at compromise with it is just perceived as weakness to exploit. In the end either the truth or the leftist narrative will prevail.

It’s highly significant that despite its utopian rhetoric, Hollywood’s vision of the future, as portrayed in nearly every forward-looking film, is so dark and dystopian. Subconsciously, the leftist writers, actors and directors know that their worldview produces chaos and disaster, but their fanatical loyalty to the social justice narrative blinds them to the truth, even at the top of the Marxist food chain.

The only effective response to the leftist narrative is the continual reaffirmation of the plain truth without apology or compromise. No spin. No waffling. No pandering to political correctness, I believe this plainspoken approach on policy matters by Donald Trump was by far the single most important factor in his victory over the unified leftist lie-machine. It will define him as one of the greatest American presidents if he continues on that track. He and we must resist the pressure of the GOP establishment and the “experts” on cultural and political matters to trade plainly spoken truth for manipulative “messaging” and public-relations strategies, no matter how well-intentioned.

Trump’s campaign exposed the whole network of hard leftists across the entire culture and every sphere of public influence, including the media. They knew that if Hillary won, they would be vindicated by the elevation of their narrative to the status of officially accepted “reality,” allowing them to lie and spin forever after with impunity. So they came out of hiding, thinking a Clinton presidency was inevitable. Thus, Trump’s victory has made the job of “draining the swamp” all the easier. It is now incumbent upon all of us who love truth and the former truth-based culture we once enjoyed as a nation to work quickly and vigorously to take back all of the seats of power, and use them probatively to affirm truth, like water cannons dousing street anarchists’ fires. If one truth-teller rises up for every leftist liar, their “uprising” will quickly fail.



Stop Calling Mike Pence Homophobic

Democrats unfairly distort Pence’s record with distractions – and sometimes outright lies. Facing the most gay-friendly Republican nominee in history, the LGBT intelligentsia have engineered a phobic Frankenstein Veep to keep their minions from considering non-leftist alternatives.

Start with the most fabulously contrived lie about Mike Pence: that he supports “conversion therapy,” or in one grotesque iteration, that Pence “advocated for public spending on conversion therapy in Indiana.”  The article’s hyperlinks provide no support for the baseless charge.

Conversion (or “reparative”) therapy noxiously tells people, including teens participating involuntarily, that navel-gazing, role-playing, and prayer can “heal” their homosexuality. I’ve been denouncing this fraudulent practice for a decade, since it doesn’t work, misrepresents genuine religion, insults the integrity of queer experience, and tortures innocent youth.

And that’s what the people penning Mike Pence’s Web site (I’ve seen no evidence he wrote it personally) referred to in 2000 when they said federal AIDS money should be redirected “toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

Those 14 words are the only evidence Pence’s detractors have proffered to show the man supports conversion therapy. But conversion therapy is about changing sexual orientations, not behavior. That’s why we’ve been fighting it so hard!

Much more HERE 


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

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


17 November, 2016

Alt-right star Milo Yiannopoulos and what the movement is really all about

A YOUNG Donald Trump supporter and member of the “alt-right” movement pitched for the role of Press Secretary in a Trump Administration said he would relish the chance to turn briefings into a reality television show.

Senior Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, who describes himself as “the most fabulous supervillain on the internet”, has made a name for himself as a leader of the alternative right-wing energised by the President-elect’s campaign and victory.

The UK-born shock columnist has recently seen his name added to a half-genuine list of contenders for Josh Earnest’s role — something Mr Yiannopoulos said he would love to turn Apprentice-style if given the chance.

“I would have everybody show up in my house, throw The New York Times and The Washington Post in the back room, have E! Entertainment Television and TMZ at the front and on Tuesdays only answer questions about fashion,” he told The Sunday Times.

“The more you stick your nose up to the establishment ... the more people are gonna love you for it.”

Now, the young commentator may well get his wish. He’s one of the main figures in the new alt-right powered by Breitbart news that this week confirmed a direct link to the White House with the appointment of former editor Stephen Bannon as Mr Trump’s chief strategist.

It comes alongside the selection of establishment Republican Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff and cements the status of the alt-right as the latest political force on the scene.

So who is Milo Yiannopoulos and what is the alt-right really all about? Here’s what you need to know.


Milo Yiannopoulos made a name for himself peddling shock tactics across US universities on his “dangerous faggot” tour where he defended hazing as a last bastion of masculinity, spoke about “why trannies are gay”, how “feminism is cancer” and the “election is rigged”.

He’s also produced podcasts and election videos railing against mainstream media and the establishment.

He didn’t doubt Mr Trump would “sail” into the White House off the back of the Brexit vote which proved “it doesn’t matter how loudly you call people bigots, racist and sexist, tell them that they’re being xenophobic — you name-calling them doesn’t work anymore,” he told the Times.

It’s an idea central to the new wave of right-wing politics championed by Breitbart which Mr Bannon described as the “platform for the alt-right”.

The site contains merchandise for sale and has been dismissed as “cheerleaders” for the far-right but is now set to become a major source of news on the Trump administration, with expansion planned in France and Germany to coincide with elections there next year.

In March, Mr Yiannopoulous and Allum Bokhari described the group in their “Conservative guide to the alt-right” as an “amorphous movement” of subcultures from “intellectuals” to “natural conservatives” and a “meme team”.

They’re “dangerously bright”, mostly college-educated men who live in a “manosphere” and revel in busting taboos on race, feminism, misogyny and any other kind of political correctness.

“Previously an obscure subculture, the alt-right burst onto the national political scene in 2015. Although initially small in number, the alt-right has a youthful energy and jarring, taboo-defying rhetoric that have boosted its membership and made it impossible to ignore,” the pair claim.

Those involved value homogenous communities over diverse ones, want stability, hierarchy and subversion, with some “young rebels” drawn to it “for the same reason that young Baby Boomers were drawn to the New Left in the 1960s: because it promises fun, transgression, and a challenge to social norms they just don’t understand”.

“Just as the kids of the 60s shocked their parents with promiscuity, long hair and rock’n’roll, so too do the alt-right’s young meme brigades shock older generations with outrageous caricatures,” their guide reads.

They also claim the alt-right is separate to outright racists and white supremacists including the so-called 1488ers who praise Hitler. They claim the rise of the group comes after years of political correctness and a “safe space” culture gone too far.

“Had [the Left and establishment] been serious about defending humanism, liberalism and universalism, the rise of the alternative right might have been arrested.

“Instead, they turned a blind eye to the rise of tribal, identitarian movements on the Left while mercilessly suppressing any hint of them on the Right. It was this double standard, more than anything else, that gave rise to the alternative right. It’s also responsible, at least in part, for the rise of Donald Trump.”

Critics say the movement is dangerous, riddled with racism, xenophobia and misogyny as shown through Breitbart content that has included headlines saying women don’t get jobs in tech because they “suck at interviews”.

Another claimed birth control makes women “unattractive and crazy”. The site has also defended Mr Bannon is a “friend of the Jewish people” after his ex-wife made claims he did not want his daughter “going to school with Jews,” which Mr Bannon denies.

Political analyst and author Thomas J Main has described it as the “main challenge” to America’s way of life — with the anti-gay, diversity, feminism and gun-control positions hiding a “truly sinister” ideology.

“Alt-Right thought is based on white nationalism and anti-Americanism,” he wrote in the Los Angeles Times. “The Alt-Right holds, in essence, that all men are not created equal, and that as racial equality has displaced white dominance, America has declined and no longer merits the allegiance of its white citizens.”

US Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblat also slammed the decision to see Mr Bannon installed in the White House saying: “It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the ‘alt-right’ — a loose knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists — is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house’.”

Even former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro told TIME Mr Bannon “regularly abuses people” and “sees everything as a war”. “Every time he feels crossed, he makes it his business to destroy his opponent.”

University College London US politics professor Iwan Morgan told news.com.au Mr Trump is definitely in for a wake-up call when he will have to reconcile different expectations of his presidency.

“Every president finds what got you to the White House isn’t what’s going to make you good in the White House. There is a sense now of anti-cosmopolitanism and nativism back in vogue. The sense of Making America Great Again is tied up with not only stopping change but reversing change.”

While “it’s very difficult to prove there wasn’t an anti-women vote in 2016,” he said there is a possibility that the first black President and the potential for a woman may have left some Americans feeling “that sequence was possibly too much change”.

“This is a 50/50 nation and the problem is that the 50 per cent who voted for Clinton can’t believe the other 50 per cent voted for Trump and the 50 per cent who voted for Trump can’t believe the other 50 per cent voted for Clinton.,” he said.

“Trump can be a unifier, he just hasn’t showed it yet and I suspect he would find it difficult. He’s going to have to find a way of persuading people to do what he wants.”



At conference, political consultants wonder where they went wrong

Amusing to see the know-alls realizing that they know nothing

Just days after Donald Trump’s surprise presidential victory, the nation’s professional political forecasters and persuaders — the pollsters, the ad creators, the campaign strategists — gathered in Denver for their annual convention.

It was supposed to be a celebration of big data and strategic wizardry for a multibillion-dollar industry that has spent nearly a century packaging political candidates.

Instead, the conference of the International Association of Political Consultants felt like a therapy session for a business in psychological free fall.

At the governor’s mansion in Denver on Friday, Emmy Ruiz placed a hand on the shoulder of a fellow Hillary Clinton operative. “It’s like we’re at a funeral,” said Ruiz, dressed — perhaps coincidentally — in black.

Participants seemed eager to take part in the post-mortem analysis of what went wrong.

“I need to make sure I state this very clearly so that nobody thinks that I feel otherwise: I got this really wrong,” said Chris Anderson, a Democratic pollster who had predicted a Clinton win, speaking during a session before the gathering at the governor’s mansion.

“We’re going to continue to learn from Donald Trump how to effectively message. Because he can do it really well,” Anderson said.

Political consulting was born, many say, in 1933 when newspaper writers Clem Whitaker and Leone Baxter were hired to defeat Upton Sinclair in his antipoverty bid for governor of California. When Sinclair lost, he blamed the defeat on a “staff of political chemists.”

The industry has since evolved into a sophisticated army of data analysts, message crafters, and others whose firms turn billions of dollars given to candidates and their surrogates into services. Television advertisements. E-mail lists. Get-out-the-vote strategies.

But everything about this election seemed to throw into question the value of those tactics — and even of the consultants themselves.

In the end, Clinton’s battalion of advisers was defeated by a wild, seemingly unchoreographed candidate who, according to the most recent data, spent more money on shirts, hats, signs, and similar items than on field consulting, voter lists, and data.

Over the weekend, 150 or so participants moved between a high-ceilinged conference room at the Westin hotel and other activities, including the reception at the governor’s mansion and a dinner at an adobe fort in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Organizers canceled a tour of a marijuana grow house after too many people expressed interest.

In one session dedicated to polling, three panelists who had predicted Clinton would win took to the stage, framed by a royal blue backdrop.

Instead of PowerPoint presentations and state-by-state voter analyses, there was self-flagellation, as some admitted they had spent the election seduced by “magical thinking,” unable to envision a Trump presidency and therefore blind to the story in front of them.

Margie Omero of PSB Research theorized that pollsters had held back Trump-leaning data, unwilling to release something that looked like an outlier. Or that Trump supporters had simply not told pollsters the truth, either embarrassed by their choice or angry at callers whom they perceived as part of a conspiracy against him.

“It was impossible to conceive of an incoming President Trump,” said Omero, whose firm has worked for both Bill and Hillary Clinton over the years.

In one of the more raucous portions of the conference, consultants assembled for a post-mortem session on campaign strategy.

Onstage was Ruiz, who ran Clinton’s operation in Colorado, and Rich Pelletier, a deputy campaign manager for Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, whom Clinton faced in the Democratic primary race. Between them was Wayne Allyn Root, a Trump adviser wearing a pinstripe suit, a red tie, and a very, very broad smile.

“He was going to win from the beginning. Nobody got it. And I got it. I knew it,” said Root, describing a campaign strategy based more on gut and anecdote than science. “No matter how bad the polls look, they are meaningless because the anger and volatility of this electorate does not show up in the polls. My people are not telling the pollster they’re for Donald Trump.”



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

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


16 November, 2016

More reactions to Trump

With Trump the next President, a lot of us conservatives are feeling more relaxed than we have been for a long time.  The tyranny we fought against is now on its last legs. I have certainly made changes in my lifestyle.  I am following the news less and spending more time on personal relationships.  And I am far from alone.  There have been very favorable reactions to Trump in many quarters. 

Most important by far for world peace are the reactions to Trump from Russia and China.  After them, no-one else really matters.  The war-mongering Democrats had built up big tensions with Russia in the probable hope that they could have a nice little war with Russia somewhere -- probably in the Baltics -- that would end up with Russia being humiliated and glory won for themselves. 

But nobody wants peace more than military men.  We die in wars. So we combine readiness to fight with a hope of peace.  And  America's servicemen certainly don't want to die for the glory of someone in Washington D.C. and for someone who despises them. 

And The Donald has won for us the best hope yet of world peace -- something that every sane person wants.  We read that both Russia's Putin and China's President Xi have made strong overtures to Trump for continued peaceful relations, overtures which are consistent with what Trump himself has often advocated.

Trump for peace and prosperity!


With Putin as Trump’s BFF, war fears fade

Although fighting in Aleppo between the rebel forces and Syrian government troops, aided by Russian air power, continues, fears of a global war has eased following the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the US on Wednesday.

No less than Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Trump on his victory over rival Hillary Clinton.

In the congratulatory telegram, Putin said he hopes to work with Trump in removing from the crisis state of the Russian-American relations, Independent reported.

Putin, who looks forward to easing the western sanctions on Russia for Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 from Ukraine, said he has confidence in “building a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington that is based on principles of equality, mutual respect and a real accounting of each other's positions, in the interests of our peoples and the world community.”

Russian MPs even cheered on news that Clinton had conceded to Trump after Vyacheslav Nikonov, chairman of Russia’s parliamentary committee on education and foreign affairs, announced Trump’s poll victory.

Charles Robertson, global chief economist of Renaissance Capital, said the chances of the sanctions on Russia being lifted has risen substantially which would improve investment climate in Russia, Reuters reported.



China's Xi tells Trump cooperation is only choice

Chinese President Xi Jinping told U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in a telephone call that cooperation was the only choice for relations between the two countries, Chinese state media said, in their first interaction since the U.S. election.

Trump had lambasted China throughout the U.S. election campaign, drumming up headlines with his pledges to slap 45 percent tariffs on imported Chinese goods and to label the country a currency manipulator on his first day in office.

His election has injected uncertainty into bilateral relations at a time when Beijing hopes for stability as it faces daunting reform challenges at home, a slowing economy, and a leadership reshuffle of its own that will put a new party elite around Xi in late 2017.

"The facts prove that cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the United States," China Central Television (CCTV) cited Xi as telling Trump in the call that occurred on Monday in China.

"The two sides must strengthen coordination, promote the two countries' economic development and global economic growth, expand all areas of exchange and cooperation, ensure the two countries' people obtain more tangible benefits, and push for better development going forward in China-U.S. relations," Xi said.

CCTV said Trump told Xi he was willing to work with China to strengthen cooperation and that he believed U.S.-China relations can "definitely achieve greater development".

The two agreed to maintain close communication and meet soon, CCTV said. Xi had congratulated Trump in a message delivered shortly after his surprise election victory last week.



Philippines' Duterte says to stop quarrels with U.S. after Trump win

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte congratulated Donald Trump on his election win and said on Wednesday he now wishes to stop quarrelling with the United States, recalling his anger at the Obama administration for criticising him.

The maverick leader, dubbed "Trump of the East" for his unrestrained rants and occasional lewd remarks, has repeatedly hit out at Washington in recent months, threatening to cut defence pacts and end military joint drills.

"I would like to congratulate Mr. Donald Trump. Long live," Duterte said in a speech to the Filipino community during a visit to Malaysia.

"We are both making curses. Even with trivial matters we curse. I was supposed to stop because Trump is there. I don't want to quarrel anymore, because Trump has won."

Duterte won a May election by a huge margin and is often compared with Trump, having himself been the alternative candidate from outside of national politics.

He campaigned on a populist, anti-establishment platform and struck a chord among ordinary Filipinos with his promises to fix what he called a broken country.

But the biggest surprise of Duterte's presidency so far has been his hostility toward the United States, shown during near-daily eruptions of anger over its concerns about human rights abuses during his deadly war on drugs.

He has also threatened repeatedly to severe a military relationship that has been a key element of Washington's "pivot" to Asia.

Duterte on Wednesday told Filipinos how angry he had been at Washington, saying it had threatened to cut off aid and had treated the Philippines like a dog tied to a post.

"They talk as if we are still the colonies," he said.



Britain still wants the impossible

One has to give British Conservatives credit for their strong principles but the idea that you can have any sort of ideal outcome in the Middle East is absurd.  Many fine young British and American men have already died in the pursuit of the ideal there -- and for what benefit?  Sometimes you have to settle for the possible

Britain is facing a diplomatic crisis with the US over Donald Trump’s plans to forge an alliance with Vladimir Putin and bolster the Syrian regime.

In a significant foreign policy split, officials admitted that Britain will have some “very difficult” conversations with the President-elect in coming months over his approach to Russia.

It comes after Mr Trump used his first interviews since winning the US election to indicate that he will withdraw support for rebels in Syria and thank Vladimir Putin for sending him a “beautiful” letter.

Mr Trump said that he will instead join forces with Russia and focus on defeating Isil. He has previously said it would be “nice” if the US and Russia could work together to “knock the hell out of Isil”.

His views are in stark contrast with those of Theresa May, who has accused President Assad’s regime of perpetrating “atrocious violence” and said that the long-term future of Syria must be “without Assad”.

The dramatic shift in US policy has prompted significant concern in the Foreign Office, and Britain will use the next three months before Mr Trump enters the White House to try to convince him of the importance of removing President Assad.

In his first interview Mr Trump told the Wall Street Journal that his administration will prioritise defeating Isil in Syria rather than removing President Assad.

He told the Wall Street Journal: "I've had an opposite view of many people regarding Syria. My attitude was you're fighting Syria, Syria is fighting ISIS, and you have to get rid of ISIS.

He added that if the US attacks President Assad’s regime “we end up fighting Russia”.

It came as Vladimir Putin urged Donald Trump to encourage Nato to withdraw its forces from Russia's borders as part of a bid to improve relations.

Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin's official spokesman, said in an interview with The Associated Press that Russia now sees "NATO's muscles getting bigger and bigger and closer and closer to Russian borders." He said that as a "confidence-building measure" between the US and Russia Mr Trump could help relations between the US and Russia by "slowing down" or "withdrawing" Nato's military presence entirely from its borders.

There are also mounting concerns over the future of Nato after Mr Trump suggested that the US may withdraw support from the organisation because European members are failing to “pay their bills”.  During a visit to Norway Sir Michael Fallon agreed that the levels of expenditure by EU countries is “not good enough”.

The Prime Minister will on Monday evening say in an address at Mansion House in London that Brexit and Mr Trump’s election shows that “change is in the air”.

While defending globalisation she will say that Britain and the West must recognise the concerns of those who feel left behind.

She will say: “These people – often those on modest to low incomes living in rich countries like our own – see their jobs being outsourced and wages undercut. They see their communities changing around them and don’t remember giving their permission for that to be the case.”

Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, hopes that he can act as a “bridge” between Britain and Mr Trump and help to address concerns about the future of Nato.

He told Fox News: “Mrs May’s team have been quite rude about Trump. There are some fences to be mended. He’s got to meet her. We can have a sensible trade relationship, cut tariffs, we’re massive investors in each other countries, we’ve got a bright future.”

In France:

[National Front leader] Marine Le Pen told the Andrew Marr Show on BBC One that US and European aggression have provoked Russia. She also suggested Mr Trump's victory increases her chances of becoming President because of her patriotism.

Ms Le Pen said: "The model that is defended by Vladimir Putin, which is one of reasoned protectionism, looking after the interests of his own country, defending his identity, is one that I like, as long as I can defend this model in my own country."



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

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


15 November, 2016

What to Believe and Do About Statin-Associated Adverse Effects

The Statin craze is a long way from dead yet but the medical establishment is gradually coming to terms with the bad side-effects of statin use. At one time they denied any bad side-effects.  So the article excerpted below is interesting.  It is particularly interesting for the two sentences I have highlighted below.  Basically, medical researchers and drug companies just didn't want to know about side-effects from their new wonder drug.

And they still don't.  The summary below does not capture well, for instance, the mental effects of statins.  These are widely reported by patients but are virtually dismissed below.  Statins can give you Alzheimer-type symptoms so it is possible that the upsurge in Alzheimers in recent years is in fact misidentified statin use. 

So the report below does serve as a warning but should be regarded as a minimal warning.  The problems are undoubtedly greater than the author, Paul D. Thompson, acknowledges.  Thompson is of course convinced that the benefits of Statins outweigh the problems but on my reading of the literature, that only applies to people who already have experienced heart problems: angina, stroke, heart attacks.  Dosing up people with statins as a general preventive measure seems on my reading to be devoid of ANY benefit and likely to do harm.  As another curent article in JAMA says: Statins for Primary Prevention; The Debate Is Intense, but the Data Are Weak

Possible statin-associated adverse effects include diabetes mellitus, hemorrhagic stroke, decreased cognition, tendon rupture, interstitial lung disease, as well as muscle-related symptoms.1 Statins increase the risk of diabetes consistent with the observation that low cholesterol levels increase diabetes risk.1 Although statins reduce total stroke, they increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke consistent with the observation that low cholesterol levels are associated with an increase in hemorrhagic stroke.1 Statins appear to reduce or have no effect on cognitive decline.1 Tendinopathies and interstitial lung disease have possible mechanistic links to statins, but their association with statins is based solely on a small case series.1 The frequency of these possible drug-related complications is unknown but is low and outweighed by the vascular benefits of statins therapy.

Statin-associated muscle symptoms are the most frequent statin-related symptoms. Experts agree that statins can cause muscle symptoms with marked increases in creatine kinase (CK) levels, usually defined as 10 times the upper limits of normal because this has been observed in randomized clinical trials (RCTs) with an estimated occurrence of 1 additional case per 10?000 individuals treated each year.2 In addition, statins can cause a necrotizing myopathy with antibodies against hydroxyl-methyl-glutaryl Co-A reductase.1 This condition must be recognized promptly because it can lead to persistent myopathy. These patients present with muscle pain and weakness plus marked increases in CK levels that do not resolve with drug cessation. Statin-associated necrotizing myopathy is newly recognized and rare but may be more frequently diagnosed now that a commercial test for the antibody is available.

In contrast, there is considerable debate as to whether statins can produce milder symptoms such as myalgia, muscle cramps, or weakness with little or no increase in CK levels. Collins et al2 reviewed the possible adverse effects found in RCTs of statin therapy and concluded that statin-associated muscle symptoms without marked CK elevations do not exist or are extremely rare because they are not reported in the statin RCTs. These authors suggested that these symptoms may be inappropriately attributed to statins due in part to patients being warned of such possible adverse effects by their clinicians.

Most clinicians, however, are convinced that these symptoms exist and are caused by statins. The incidence of statin myalgia has been estimated at 10% from observational studies.1 The Effect of Statins on Skeletal Muscle Performance (STOMP) study is the only randomized, controlled double-blind study designed specifically to examine the effects of statins on skeletal muscle.3 The STOMP trial had predefined criteria for statin myalgia, which included onset of symptoms during treatment, persistence for 2 weeks, symptom resolution within 2 weeks of treatment cessation, and symptom reappearance within 4 week of restarting treatment. Nineteen of 203 patients treated with statins and 10 of 217 patients treated with placebo met the study definition of myalgia (9.4% vs 4.6%, P?=?.054). This finding did not reach statistical significance, but it indicates a 94.6% probability that statins were responsible for the symptoms. This result occurred even though the study participants were young (mean age, 44.1 years), healthy, and treated with statins for only 6 months. Creatine kinase values were not different between the 2 groups. These results not only suggest that the true incidence of statin myalgia is approximately 5% but also support the observation that approximately 10% of patients will report symptoms of myalgia. Collins et al2 reanalyzed the STOMP trial data after including 29 patients treated with atorvastatin and 10 with placebo who discontinued participation because of personal reasons, yielding a P value of .08 and used this finding to support their assertion that statins do not cause muscle symptoms without markedly increased CK levels.

Diagnosing true statin-associated muscle symptoms is difficult. In the Goal Achievement After Utilizing an Anti PCSK9 Antibody in Statin Intolerant Subjects (GAUSS-3) study,4 the presence of statin myalgia was determined by randomly assigning patients with presumed statin muscle symptoms to receive either 20 mg of atorvastatin or placebo each day for 10 weeks followed by a 2-week hiatus before crossover to the alternative treatment. Only 209 patients (42.6%) developed muscle symptoms during atorvastatin treatment. An additional 130 (26.5%) developed muscle symptoms during placebo-only treatment, 48 (9.6%) developed muscle symptoms during both treatments, and 85 (17.3%) did not develop symptoms during either treatment.

Other evidence supports the idea that statins can cause skeletal muscle symptoms without abnormal CK values. Muscle biopsies show differences in gene expression among patients with statin-associated muscle symptoms during statin treatment and compared them with asymptomatic controls.5 Statins also produce slight increases in average CK levels and augment the increase in CK observed after exercise.1 Rhabdomyolysis is more frequent in participants in RCTs who are receiving statins and have variants in the gene for solute carrier organic anion transporter family member 1B1 (SLCO1B1),2 which regulates hepatic statin uptake. The SLCO1B1 gene variants that reduce hepatic uptake allow more statin to escape the liver and enter the extra portal circulation and ultimately skeletal muscle. The SLCO1B1 variants are also associated with mild muscle adverse effects in study participants treated with statins.6

How could the statin RCTs miss detecting mild statin-related muscle adverse effects such as myalgia? By not asking. A review of 44 statin RCTs reveals that only 1 directly asked about muscle-related adverse effects.7 In the STOMP trial, investigators called patients twice monthly to ask specifically about muscle symptoms.

JAMA. 2016;316(19):1969-1970. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.16557


Trump Plans Ambitious Agenda

Donald Trump has announced an ambitious agenda for his first 100 days in office, but it's becoming increasingly clear that achieving it will be more difficult than he suggested during the campaign.

At the top of his list, which he outlined during the past several months, is repealing President Barack Obama's signature health care law, known as Obamacare. Trump has said the program is costing consumers too much, is damaging the economy and represents an unwise intrusion of the government into the health care system.

Prospects are good that the law could be repealed within several weeks of Trump's inauguration as president because voters this week placed the White House and Congress under GOP control. Political scientist Ross Baker of Rutgers University says repealing Obamacare is one of the issues on which Trump can find common ground with congressional Republicans from day one. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that repeal is a top priority for the Senate GOP. The House is likely to agree.

There are several sticking points, however, such as what to do about the estimated 24 million Americans who would lose health insurance if Obamacare were abolished. How Trump and fellow Republicans solve this problem remains unclear.

Another area of apparent agreement within the GOP is immigration, one of Trump's biggest talking points during the campaign. The billionaire real-estate developer has big plans, and congressional Republicans seem willing to move forward with the required legislation despite expected Democratic opposition.

Trump wants to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, and have Mexico pay the bill. Trump also wants to deport millions of immigrants who entered the United States illegally and have committed crimes since they arrived here. One problem, and it's a vexing one for Trump, is that the government of Mexico says it won't pay for the wall. And specifics are still lacking on the deportation plan.

Trump has talked about temporarily prohibiting the entry of Muslims into the United States because some of them might be terrorists. This Muslim ban, if Trump proceeds with it, is likely to be challenged in court, tying up the plan for many months until it is resolved by the judiciary.

Trump wants to persuade Congress to cut taxes and reform the tax system, but this would also take many months and it's uncertain if Democrats and Republicans are willing to take it on.

Trump wants to reduce federal regulation, and he can do much of this through executive action, bypassing Congress. This is likely to include pulling back a number of Obama's controversial executive actions and reversing or modifying the Environmental Protection Agency's plans to make it much harder to build and operate coal-fired power plants. This was an effort to limit climate change, but Trump has questioned the validity of human-caused global warming.

Trump wants to void trade deals made by Obama, such as renegotiating or withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement. And this appears to be very possible.

Other items on Trump's to-do list will be tougher to implement. Trump favors imposing term limits on Congress but McConnell opposes them. And McConnell is less than enthused about Trump's plan to boost spending on infrastructure, apparently because it would cost so much money.

Another big decision will be naming a Supreme Court nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Trump aides say he will quickly make his choice, possibly on his first day in office. This will set up a major confrontation in the Senate as Democrats are expected to rally against Trump's choice.



Disenfranchisement, Democrat Style

In an interview with actress Gina Rodriguez, Barack Obama was asked the following question: “Many of the Millennials, Dreamers, undocumented citizens — and I call them citizens because they contribute to this country — are fearful of voting. So if I vote, will immigration [officials] know where I live? Will they come for my family and deport us?”

Obama replied, “Not true. And the reason is, first of all, when you vote, you are a citizen yourself and there is not a situation where the voting rolls somehow are transferred over and people start investigating, etc. The sanctity of the vote is strictly confidential in terms of who you voted for. If you have a family member who maybe is undocumented, then you have an even greater reason to vote.”

Did Obama just declare that it was ok for illegal immigrants to vote? It seems so, though it’s not case closed because he went on to say illegals are “counting on you to make sure that you have the courage to make your voice heard.” His deliberately ambiguous words are alarming given all that Obama has done to eviscerate Rule of Law on the immigration front.

Meanwhile in Virginia, it was recently learned that Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe has successfully granted 60,000 ex-convicts voting rights in time for voting in the election, helping tip the state in favor of his long-time friend Hillary Clinton. It had been initially reported by his office that he was able to review and sign only 13,000 approvals after the state courts overruled his attempted illegal blanket pardon of more than 200,000 ex-convicts. In fact, those pardoned felons received voter registration forms with a letter from McAuliffe with pre-paid return postage.

It’s clear that Democrats have little problem with the legality of voters, so long as those voters support their candidates. What’s ironic is just how much Democrats wail about voter disenfranchisement, all while disenfranchising citizens with their continued efforts to get votes from illegal immigrants and felons. Is it any wonder that many Americans believed Donald Trump when he talked about the election being rigged?



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

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


14 November, 2016

Major Douglas and the "Social Credit" cult

I see that there are still some people around who believe in the "Social Credit" movement founded in the 1930s on the madcap ideas of Major C.H. Douglas.  Douglas was a clever engineer with an enquiring mind.  He did not restrict his reading to engineering.  And one day he made a most interesting discovery:  There was far more money in circulation than the government had ever issued.  How come?  He could have asked economists and bankers why but instead he made up his own explanation for it.

He decided that it was the fault of the banks. Bank bashing goes back nearly a thousand years, if you count the expulsion of the Jews from England by Edward Longshanks in 1290 A.D., so it was no wonder Major Douglas eyed the banks with suspicion.

But the theory he came up with was really weird.  He decided that the banks lent out money they did not have.  He decided that a banker could have a ledger with $5,000 lent to Bill Blogs at the top of it and the $5,000 would somehow magically end up in the pocket of Bill Bloggs.

He was aided in this preposterous theory by something known as Fractional Reserve Banking.  Under FRB, banks don't have to keep all their deposits under lock and key.  They can lend out (say) 80% of their deposits because most people leave their money in the bank for safekeeping.  They don't all suddenly  withdraw all their money at once.  On the rare occasion that DOES happen it is called a "run" and is sparked by some panic or other.

So major Douglas opined that the $5,000 to Bill Bloggs came out of the funds that were available for lending after the reserves were set aside.  What the good Major didn't realize was that banks have a legal obligation to lend no more than their deposits minus reserves.  Only the government is allowed to print money and any bank that tried to do so would have the government come crashing down on its head.  The money for Bill Bloggs had to come from deposits.  It could not be conjured up out of thin air.

So how does it all really work?  It's so simple it should be taught in grade school.  What happens on average is that when Bill Bloggs gets his loan from Bank A, he promptly deposits most of it in another bank -- or even the same bank. Say he deposits $4,000 of his $5,000 in Bank B. That bank now has a nice little deposit that it can lend on.  The original depositors who gave bank A the deposit of $5,000 to mind still have $5,000 to their name and can draw on it at any time while Bill Bloggs now has $4,000 to his name in bank B and can draw on that at any time.  Add those two together and the citizens of the place where the banks are located now have a total of $9,000 to their name ($5,000 plus $4,000).  $4,000 of money has seemingly been created out of thin air.

So that was what Major Douglas saw.  There was far more money in the banks than there "should" have been.  And he was nearly right in attributing that extra money to the banks.  It was the banking system as a whole that created the money, not any individual bank. No bank benefited from the "created" money.  Only the community as a whole did.  Economists refer to the whole thing as the "velocity of circulation".

If you Google "Major Douglas"or "Social Credit" you will get up heaps of sites claiming that Major Douglas was right.  What I have just said is usually found only in Economics textbooks.  I taught senior High School Economics for a couple of years so that is why I know about it

The above example is of course simplified.  The money held in reserve is not cash.  Cash only forms a small part of the money supply.  Most of the money supply exists in the form of credit balances.  So banks keep only a minor amount of their deposits in cash.  Most of their reserves are amounts they have to their credit with the central bank.


I am afraid that the picture below made me a bit teary

The caption on it was: "My veteran grandpa was asked by a little girl if he would do it all again. He said, "Yes, for you.""

I suppose that I am a sentimental old fool but a tiny part of my excuse might be that I am a former member of Her Majesty's Australian Armed Forces.  Would a Leftist be moved by that picture?  I can't imagine it.


An open confession of Leftist hate

Although he lives in the penthouse high above the crowd, it might be tough for President-elect Donald J. Trump to get some rest when he gets home.

Thousands of protesters chanted “New York Hates You” and “Not My President” in front of Trump’s flagship New York building, the Trump Tower.

Protesters filled 5th Avenue for five blocks, essentially closing down an iconic, much-visited neighborhood of midtown Manhattan. Those who weren’t holding signs raised their middle fingers – many of them taking selfies of the gesture — toward the glassy black 58-story tower that had become a symbol of the Trump candidacy.

The New York protest appeared to be the largest of dozens of anti-Trump demonstrations taking place elsewhere in the country, in Chicago, Boston, Oakland, Portland and other mostly Democratic cities.

The New York crowd was dominated by young people, many of whom had just voted in their first presidential election and were aghast at the results. Tourists in an open-top sightseeing bus that had been surrounded in the clogged street also yelled their opposition to Trump.

"I hate everything about Donald Trump,” said Jaime Reuter, 19, a student at Pace University in Manhattan. "Something has to be done."



A Blow to the Non-Elite Elite

There were a lot of losers in this election, well beyond Hillary Clinton and the smug, incompetent pollsters and know-it-all, groupthink pundits who embarrassed themselves.

From hacked email troves we received a glimpse of the bankrupt values of Washington journalists, lawyers, politicians, lobbyists and wealthy donors. Despite their brand-name Ivy League degrees and 1 percenter resumes, dozens of the highly paid grandees who run our country and shape our news appear petty and spiteful — and clueless about the America that exists beyond their Beltway habitat.

Leveraging rich people for favors and money seems an obsession. They brag about wealth and status in the fashion of preteens.

Journalists often violated their own ethics codes during the campaign. Political analyst Donna Brazile even leaked debate topics to the Clinton team. Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank reportedly asked the Democratic National Committee to provide him with anti-Trump research.

Reading about the characters who inhabit the Clinton campaign email trove, one wonders about the purpose of their Yale degrees, their tenures at Goldman Sachs, even their very stints in the Clinton campaign. Was the end game to lose their souls?

One big loser is the Obama Justice Department — or rather the very concept of justice as administered by the present administration. It has gone the tainted way of the IRS, VA and NSA. The Justice Department clearly pressured the FBI to limit its investigation of pay-for-play corruption at the Clinton Foundation and the State Department.

Seemingly every few weeks of the campaign, FBI Director James Comey flip-flopped — depending on whether the most recent pressure on him came from rank-and-file FBI agents, the Clinton campaign or his boss, Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Lynch met with Bill Clinton in a secret “accidental” encounter on an airport tarmac while Hillary Clinton was under investigation. Immunity was granted to several Clinton aides without the FBI obtaining much cooperation in return. Clinton techies invoked the Fifth Amendment in refusing to testify before Congress.

Clinton campaign organizer John Podesta was in direct contact with his old friend, Peter Kadzik, a high-ranking Justice Department official who was tipping off the Clinton campaign about an impending hearing and a legal filing regarding Clinton’s emails. Until he was reassigned, Kadzik was in charge of the Justice Department’s probe of the Huma Abedin/Anthony Weiner email trove.

A special prosecutor should have been appointed. But Democrats and Republicans alike had long ago soured on the use of special prosecutors. Democrats felt Ken Starr went way beyond his mandates in pursuing Bill Clinton’s excesses. Republicans charged that Lawrence Walsh’s investigation of the Iran-Contra affair had turned into a witch hunt.

But now, it is clear why there was — and still is — a need for special prosecutors in some instances. In an election year, the Obama Justice Department certainly cannot investigate Obama’s former secretary of state and heir to the Obama presidency — much less itself.

Another election casualty is the practice of extended voting. The recent trend to open state polls early and over several days is proving a terrible idea. Campaigns (think 1980, 1992 and 2000) are often not over until the last week. When millions of people vote days or even weeks before Election Day, what the candidates say or do in the critical final days becomes irrelevant. When a candidate urges citizens, “Vote early,” it is synonymous with, “Vote quickly, before more dirt surfaces about my ongoing scandals.”

Voting should return to a single event, rather than becoming a daily tracking poll.

President Obama lost big time as well. He emerged from his virtual seclusion to campaign on behalf of Clinton in a way never before seen with a sitting president. By Election Day, Obama had resorted to making fun of Donald Trump’s baseball hats, and took the low road of claiming that Trump would tolerate the Ku Klux Klan.

While encouraging Latinos to vote during an interview with actress Gina Rodriguez, Obama seemingly condoned voting by illegal immigrants when he said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement would not be investigating voter rolls. A Trump victory, along with a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, is a repudiation of the Obama administration’s legacy and its effort to navigate around the law.

The high-tech industry and Silicon Valley lost as well. The new high-tech class prides itself on its laid-back attitude rather than its super-wealth — casual clothes, hip tastes and cool informality. But in fact, we have learned from WikiLeaks that the 21st-century high-tech aristocracy is more conniving and more status-conscious — and far more powerful — than were Gilded Age capitalists such as John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie.

Billionaire CEO Eric Schmidt of Google advised the Clinton campaign to hire “low paid” urban campaign operatives, apparently in hopes that his efforts would earn him some sort of informal Svengali advisory role in a hoped-for Clinton administration. A leaked email from tech executive Sheryl Sandberg revealed that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg wanted to meet with people on the Clinton team who could help him understand “political operations to advance public policy goals.”

It became easy to say that a “crude” Trump and a “crooked” Clinton polluted the 2016 campaign. The real culprits were a corrupt Washington elite, who were as biased as they were incompetent — and clueless about how disliked they were by the very America they held in such contempt.




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

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


13 November, 2016

A meditation on the Trump triumph

A conservative intellectual finds Trump has many things in common with American thinkers of the past

Trump is the first candidate since Reagan to take the fight directly to the opposition. For the most part, he does not instigate fights, he finishes them. Only after he is attacked does he go all in and defend himself and (it is important to add, the country) while simultaneously leading a counterattack on his opponent. His penchant to counterpunch aggressively has unhinged his opponents, the Clintons in particular, who literally paid people to harm fellow citizens at his rallies. Only someone like Trump could defend the United States against such thuggery. It was his penchant to defend himself, and this country, that ultimately led to his victory.

Jaffa is right about one important thing in this regard. Great statesmen are those who appeal to a timeless ideal and enduring principle.

As Jaffa noted in Crisis of the House Divided, Lincoln’s argument pertained to the rights we all possess by nature. It is this person who gives “rise to legitimate government.” Against the backdrop of one candidate’s attempt to circumvent consent, one thing the anti Trump people have failed to consider is that Trump is actually persuasive and reviving the twin pillars of safety and happiness. That he has attempted to persuade is a necessary condition to legitimate rule. Jaffa is explicit about this: “the first task of statesmanship is not legislation but the molding of that opinion from which all legislation flows.” He goes on to remind us that the “Constitution and Union were means to an end,” that secures “the equality of all men.”

Trump is a particular figure for a particular time no less than Lincoln was for his. Just glance at any number of his speeches, and you will find that his stated intention is to restore America. We also find that the economy’s dangerous trend of increasing debt has the effect of placing our country into a form of slavery—a slavery that is compounded by forcing people to pay for unusable healthcare insurance. His support of school choice and deliberate non-patronizing appeal to black voters is a direct assault on the academic Jim Crow that presently afflicts this nation.  His remarkable goal is the restoration of our ancient faith by defending without apology our Constitution and those natural rights stated therein. As Ken Masugi noted, his campaign’s focus on the fraudulent and rigged nature of the electoral system was not a complaint, but a defense, of the natural right of the consent of the governed. His opponent sought to overthrow that consent. Trump made the case for the consent of the governed. The voters responded by giving their consent to him.

Trump is thus a restorationist and a Declarationist. This is most obvious in his Lincolnian inspired promise to return the government to one “of the people, and by the people.”

Lincoln believed in building up the Union and re-adopting its idea. The current “conservative” elite believe in burning down the house to save it. But, nothing could be gained from destruction of the Republic by handing it over to what is clearly a criminal crime family. It is imprudent at best to suggest that the country could have been saved by handing it over to a party that does not seek our enlightened consent. Yet, our consent is but one aspect of the American Idea. The other is having the ability to secure the blessings of liberty in order to pursue our own happiness. Trump argued that liberty and happiness is strengthened by the means of gainful employment.

NAFTA is a free trade document of more than 1,700 pages. Almost 700 of those pages are the treaty itself. TPP is another marvel of “free trade” weighing in at more than 2,000 pages. Neither are truly free trade agreements. They are riddled with crony capitalism and side deals that defy the very meaning of freedom. While the agreements are supported by many of the Never Trumpkins, the fact is it has not benefitted the majority of the people of this Union in a meaningful way. Cheap goods may be good for the consumer, but not when the consumer is out of a job. As Decius noted, free trade is not a principle, but, following Jaffa, it should only be a means to realizing our humanity founded in our natural equality.

America’s Founders were not strict free traders. Alexander Hamilton’s “Report on the Subject of Manufactures” remarks that domestic markets are preferable over foreign markets. He does not mean this in terms of rejecting foreign trade, but as a matter of national wealth, and even as a defensive mechanism so as not to rely on foreign nations for subsistence. The foreign obstacles to domestic business, are impediments so great, Hamilton believed, that they cannot conduct business equally. Foreign trade must exist on “terms consistent with our interest.”

The longest serving treasury secretary after Hamilton, Albert Gallatin, though in theory a proponent of free trade, stated in his “Free Trade Memorial” of 1832 that equal intercourse with Europe was not desirable because it would not encourage “domestic manufactures.” He supported a duty on imports of 25 percent so they fall “equally upon all.”

As it pertains to Trump, he is the first candidate in the 20th century to be in such concord with the Founders not only in his economic policy, but in the reason for such a policy: the defense of the American Republic against trade that harms the nation. In a modern context, free trade means literally the end of America because it is coupled with a borderless politics.

“The preservation of the hope of an equality yet to be achieved, was the ‘value’ which was the absolutely necessary condition of the democratic political process,” Jaffa wrote. “That men may be called upon to fight for such a conviction cannot be called a failure of democracy. It would be a failure only if they refused to fight for it.”

Those who abandoned our ancient faith failed because they did not fight for the heart and soul of our nation and the idea that gave it its birth.

Trump did.



The Great Liberal Freakout

The Great Liberal Freakout is under way, as we’ve noted below. Here’s my haul:

The head of the Joint Center for Political Studies, which the Washington Post describes as a “respected liberal think tank,” reacted to Trump’s landslide thus: “When you consider that in the climate we’re in—rising violence, the Ku Klux Klan—it is exceedingly frightening.”

Castro, still with us, said right before the election: “We sometimes have the feeling that we are living in the time preceding the election of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany.” 

Claremont College professor John Roth wrote: “I could not help remembering how economic turmoil had conspired with Nazi nationalism and militarism—all intensified by Germany’s defeat in World War I—to send the world reeling into catastrophe… It is not entirely mistaken to contemplate our post-election state with fear and trembling.” 

Esquire writer Harry Stein says that the voters who supported Trump were like the “good Germans” in “Hitler’s Germany.” 

Sociologist Alan Wolfe is up in the New Left Review: “The worst nightmares of the American left appear to have come true.” And he doubles down in The Nation: “[T]he United States has embarked on a course so deeply reactionary, so negative and mean-spirited, so chauvinistic and self-deceptive that our times may soon rival the McCarthy era.”

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, keeper of the “Doomsday Clock” that purported to judge the risk of nuclear annihilation, has moved the hands on the clock from seven to four minutes before midnight.

Oh wait, did I say this was the reaction to Trump??  Sorry—these are what the left was saying the day after Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980. Some things never change.



Republicans Maintain Strong Control of State Capitols. Here’s What That Means

Republicans largely retained their grip over state legislative chambers and governorships in Tuesday’s elections.

The Republican takeover of the presidency may have been the biggest election news, but political experts expect states to continue to take the lead on policymaking in the years ahead.

“Despite total Republican control in Washington now, states are where the action is—and will be—for public policy that actually impacts people,” said Dan Diorio, a policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

As of noon Wednesday, with a few results still not confirmed, Republicans have control of 66 of the nation’s 98 statehouse chambers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. This does not include Nebraska, which has a nonpartisan legislature.

Before Tuesday’s election, Republicans held 68 of the nation’s statehouse chambers.

Republicans now control both legislative chambers in 32 states, compared to 13 for Democrats.

The GOP also increased its majority of governorships from 31 to 33.

In the most high-profile of the 12 states voting for their chief executive, Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper declared victory over incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in North Carolina.

But Republican governors won in Missouri and Vermont in races that had been considered toss-ups.

And Republicans increased the number of states in which they hold what is known as a “political trifecta”—with one party in control of both legislative chambers and the governorship.

Republicans increased the number of states they fully control from 22 to 24. Democrats have total control of six states.

Combined, the results in the states did not dramatically alter the GOP wave of success that followed Republicans’ redrawing legislative districts in 2010.

Republicans were mostly playing defense in the 2016 elections, since most of the state legislature seats being defended by Democrats were safely blue.

“Democrats were poised to make gains due to the natural return of the pendulum to the other side,” said Tim Storey, the director of state services at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “But they did not make huge gains and Republicans got a couple of [new] chambers. So Republicans remain in a dominant position.”

During President Barack Obama’s presidency, Republican politicians have not been shy about enacting their agenda in states.

More than 900 state legislative seats have switched hands from Democrats to Republicans since Obama took office.

“Republicans have taken full advantage of their position in the states, including implementing tax cuts in a number of places, imposing stricter limits on abortion and voting rights, and combating controversial issues like gun control,” Storey said.

Republicans see more areas for policy gains after Tuesday’s elections.

Jonathan Williams, the vice president of the Center for State Fiscal Reform at The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), was especially enthusiastic about one noteworthy chamber that flipped from Democratic to GOP control—the Kentucky House.

The Kentucky House had been the last state chamber in the South with a Democratic majority.

Republicans gained control of the chamber for the first time since 1922 and only the third time in the history of the state.

Williams said that he expects the newly Republican-controlled Kentucky House to help ease the passage of right-to-work legislation, which is backed by Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, and the GOP-controlled state Senate.

Twenty six states have right-to-work laws, meaning workers have the right to not join a union.

“Right-to-work now becomes a slam dunk in Kentucky during the first 100 days,” Williams said.

Williams also counts Iowa as a state ripe for policy action. The hotly contested Iowa Senate flipped for Republicans, giving GOP total control of the state. Iowa’s Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, and its Republican-controlled House, have been stymied by the formerly Democratic-run Senate in enacting tax cuts.

“With the Republican takeover of the Iowa Senate, I can see Iowa as an area of opportunity for conservatives when it comes to tax cuts,” Williams said.

More HERE 


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

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


11 November, 2016

Trump and America win: A letter to America

By Rick Manning

Dear America:

Thank you, thank you, thank you. You just saved the nation.

All of those unconstitutional pen and phone executive orders to do what Congress rejected — ripped up.

The regulations that are intended to destroy the coal industry and drive up the cost of manufacturing forcing jobs overseas — rescinded.

All the bad, bad trade deals that put the wants of big donor multi-national corporations ahead of the needs of American workers — torn up.

The job killing highest corporate tax rate in the world that has stifled economic growth — lowered.

And the near permanent takeover of the Supreme Court by those who don’t believe that the Constitution should be their guide, but instead hate the idea of individual liberties that come from God Almighty himself — prevented.

America, Nov. 8, 2016 will go down in the history books as the day that the people stood up and remembered that their country is one of laws and not men and women, rejecting the easy temptation of continuing a slide into the recesses of history, instead choosing the more difficult, noble path of freedom.

Your choosing in favor of our common national bond over those who would hyphenate each of us, separated by our race, religion and even sexual preference stops the slide into the abyss of mean-spirited fights that deprive us of our individual and national character.

The very transformation that you rejected is one designed to conform our nation to the world, rather than playing the role that God created for America to be a shining beacon of freedom for all in the world to see and be inspired by.

Donald Trump is just one man. He is flawed like all of us. He will need to be kept in check, just as the Framers intended for all presidents. And he may falter and fail, but the vote of 2016 signals that America is not dead, but instead is a concept that its people still cherish and are willing to fight for.

Hope for the future can now replace the despair of acceptance of a new normal where every day each of us were just a little less free, with a little less opportunity to make our own way without Uncle Sam’s forceful guiding hand.

In the end, that is what America is about, a land of individual opportunities to try, sometimes fail, get up and try again with an eye to becoming the best that each of us can be with the collective result being a strong, vibrant people and nation.

America is about an abiding faith that our freedom comes from God Himself, and cannot be taken away by men. A freedom worth fighting for not only here, but abroad as we help others overcome oppressors to join us in the light.

We were losing that confidence and sense of purpose and vision for ourselves. On Nov. 8, a glimmer has been restored in the lamp of freedom.

Thank you, America, for taking a chance on yourself again. Now, let’s get to work with the hard task of restoring our nation.



A view from the Left

Mostly pretty factual

Trump defied all expectations on Tuesday, sending shudders around the world by claiming the keys to the Oval Office. It was the crowning moment of a political career built on proving the so-called experts — pollsters, campaign advisers, and pundits — wrong again and again.

And as the results were tallied, it became clear that Trump was redrawing the electoral map in the same way that he said he was going to. He won over white working class voters who have felt abandoned.

Accusations of groping women? Didn’t matter. Deporting immigrants en masse? Not a problem. Repeated claims that he was unfit, ill-tempered, and too erratic? Didn’t change enough minds.

He played it loose with the truth in a way that, in the past, would have been fatal for other politicians. But voters around the country demonstrated on Tuesday that they were so frustrated, so fed up — so mad as hell — that they were willing to roll the dice on the unknown rather than stick with the status quo.

“The country,” Tom Brokaw said on NBC, “is more agitated than we realized.”

Only 37 percent of voters said in exit polls that Trump is qualified to be president, while a mere 34 percent said he had the right personality and temperament for the office. But the overwhelming thirst for change seemed to take precedence. Some 70 percent of Trump voters said the most important attribute in choosing him was he “can bring needed change.”

It was a monumental loss for Hillary Clinton, but it was also an earth-shattering win for Donald Trump. Clinton dramatically underperformed President Obama in 2012, while Trump far out-performed Mitt Romney.

Rural voters turned out in greater numbers. Over and over in exit polls, voters reported they wanted change. But he also won in Florida, a far more diverse state that Hillary Clinton banked on taking by driving up Hispanic turnout.

Trump supporters gathered at a Boston-area F1 track on election night

Pollsters were woefully wrong, and perhaps unable to capture voters who didn’t vote before — or who were afraid to admit they were voting for Trump until they got into the voting booth. Political analysts late on Tuesday night were flabbergasted. “I literally have no idea what to think right now,” said one.

The New York Times’ Upshot had a projection that had Clinton with an 85 percent chance to win — the same probability that an NFL kicker has at missing a routine 37-yard field goal.

Yet Clinton missed. Despite spending twice as much money. Despite running far more ads. Despite a much bigger campaign staff. Despite a popular sitting president of the United States campaigning relentlessly on her behalf.

Those who couldn’t wait for Trump to exit stage left now have to imagine him sitting down in the Oval Office, giving a State of the Union address, and hosting state dinners. Anyone who turned the channel when Trump came on the news because they didn’t want their children to hear now have to talk with them about Trump or stop watching the news for the next four years.

If you can’t stomach a man who built his campaign on chants of “Build a wall!” and “Lock her up!” — or a man who has a Middle East policy that goes little beyond “Knock the hell out of ISIS” — that man is now your president.

He has rocked the Republican Party, but he now will have House and Senate majorities to try and carry out his priorities.

That means Obama’s health care law could be dismantled, and Supreme Court nominees will be filled by Trump. He almost certainly will attempt to carry out his far-fetched plan to build a wall along the southern border, on the Mexican government’s dime. He wants to deport any immigrant in the United States illegally, which could mean tearing families apart and sending some home.

Any Syrian refugees who had been planning to have safe harbor could be turned away. Muslims could face a temporary ban from entering a country with a motto of e pluribus unum, out of many one.

He could also attempt to follow through on his bold — potentially illegal — suggestion during a debate to instruct his attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to go after Clinton’s e-mail “situation.”

When Clinton said it was a good thing he wasn’t in charge, he vowed, “Because you’d be in jail.”

Trump defies predictions and polls in unexpected win

Later this month, Trump — the president-elect — is slated to testify in a lawsuit from former students who say they were scammed by his Trump University real estate seminars. The case is being overseen by US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, whom Trump said should recuse himself because he is “of Mexican heritage” (the federal judge was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants).

Trump never went on the traditional foreign trip that most presidential candidates do. Instead, he went to Scotland and opened a new golf course. While he was there, Britain took a stunning vote to leave the European Union. In answering questions during the leadup to the referendum, Trump did not seem familiar with it. But as soon as it happened, he embraced it.

“I think it’s a great thing that happened,” Trump told reporters after getting out of a helicopter. “People are angry, all over the world. People, they’re angry.”

He also drew parallels to his own campaign.

“They’re angry over borders. They’re angry over people coming into the country and taking over. Nobody even knows who they are,” Trump said. “They’re angry about many, many things. They took back control of their country. It’s a great thing.”

Nearly five months later, the United States would do something similar.



The left brought the rise of Trump on themselves

A concise and succinct letter to the editor below

DONALD J. TRUMP is the natural result of the left’s highly politically correct, anti-white, anti-male, and anti-American rhetoric.

It turns out that if you demonize the people you disagree with, paint them as racists and oppressors, and tell them that any and all of their successes are a result of some unearned “privilege,” they will create a counterrevolution.

Progressives, President-elect Trump is the consequence of your actions, your rhetoric, and the identity politics you brought into American politics. You made your bed, now lie in it.



Crash? What crash? Stocks defy prediction of a Trump meltdown

Conventional wisdom said Donald Trump couldn’t win the White House. Conventional wisdom said that in the event of an upset, financial markets would crater. Conventional wisdom was wrong.

US stocks rallied Wednesday, as shock over the billionaire’s presidential victory gave way to measured bets that he could stoke economic growth by funding infrastructure and cutting corporate taxes.

Pharmaceutical and biotech stocks rose, freed from Democratic threats to restrict drug prices. Bank stocks gained on prospects of higher interest rates and less regulation.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 1.1 percent, shaking off a 5 percent plunge overnight as global investors had watched Trump claim state after state, despite polls leaning toward Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.

Investors went into the election with a high degree of confidence that Clinton would come out on top, shaking off an 11th-hour e-mail inquiry by the FBI. Wall Street had favored Clinton as a more predictable hand on the economy.

But instead of taking a Brexit-like nosedive Wednesday, stocks showed surprising resilience after the votes were all counted.

Despite the vagueness of Trump’s plans so far, investors liked the sound of spending on job-creating projects, such as roads and transportation, to provide stimulus to the economy that the central bank can no longer provide with near-zero interest rates. Corporate tax cuts, too, appeared to be a welcome prospect.

“Trump has a mandate to get growth going," said Kathleen Gaffney, a bond fund manager at Eaton Vance Management in Boston. If Trump is able to generate blue-collar jobs and lower taxes, she said, “those are two things that could affect our economy in a positive way.”

Trump helped ease the global markets’ early emotional reaction to his win with a conciliatory tone in his acceptance speech, analysts said. But markets were expected to be choppy in the days ahead, as investors at home and abroad try to discern more about the president-elect’s intentions.

More HERE 


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

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


10 November, 2016

It's Trump!

I am so happy I could cry.  America has been saved from the psychopathic b*tch and all her ilk who would destroy America.  In my own tiny way, I helped campaign for him so his victory is a victory for me too.  Great blessings and prosperity ahead for America now.

And Trump has singlehandedly reformed and reinvigorates American conservatism.  The Congressional GOP had become just a watered-down version of the Left.  They refused to oppose Muslim immigration because that would be "racist", which is what the Left say.  Trump has turned all that on its head.  The Left no longer rule the roost.  And with both the Senate and the House still in GOP hands, Trump should have little problem getting through any changes to the law that he wants. I am looking forward to his SCOTUS nominee too.


Donald Trump 'could make the world a safer place', claims former British Army chief

Lord Richards said he believes Trump 'would reinvigorate big power relationships' Former Chief of the Defence Staff Lord Richards said he believes controversial Republican Donald Trump could make the world a safer place if elected.

The ex-head of the British Army said the billionaire’s approach to foreign policy could “reinvigorate big power relationships” and in the process “might make the world ironically safer”.

Lord Richards of Herstmonceux, the chief of defence staff between 2010 and 2013, said: “There is a case for saying that big power politics is what we’re missing.

“If countries and states could coalesce better to deal with these people – and I think Trump’s instinct is to go down that route – then I think there's the case for saying that the world certainly won’t be any less safe.

“It’s that lack of understanding and empathy with each other as big power players that is a risk to us all at the moment.

“Therefore I think he would reinvigorate big power relationships, which might make the world ironically safer.”

Richards, who is now a peer in the House of Lords, said there was no reason to think Trump would cause chaos adding the biggest threat came from such groups as ISIS.

Speaking to The House magazine, he added: “It’s non-state actors like Isis that are the biggest threat to our security."

While on the campaign trail Trump has said he would “make a friend” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.



Want to know why Trump wins? Ask Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton understands the white middle class voter who elected him president over George Herbert Walker Bush in 1992 like few remaining in the Democrat Party.

Wikileaks revealed that Bill Clinton expressed thoughts that sound as if they come straight from a Donald Trump rally to a group of donors in 2015 when he said the following: “We have incredible debates all over America that shouldn’t exist between people in different racial groups because they don’t trust law enforcement anymore.” he said.

“And in the middle of all this we learned, breathtakingly, that middle-aged, non-college-educated white Americans’ life expectancy is going down and is now lower than Hispanics, even though they make less money. And the gap between African Americans and whites is closing, but unfortunately not because the death rate among African Americans is dropping but because the death rate among white Americans is rising.” Clinton continued.

“Why? Because they don’t have anything to look forward to when they get up in the morning. Because their lives are sort of stuck in neutral. Because their lives are sort of stuck in neutral.”

And that is why Donald Trump will be elected President of the United States, because he has given those who had previously lost hope, a glimmer of expectation of being able to achieve the future they had hoped for themselves and their family.

Bill Clinton understands exactly why the slogan, “Make America Great Again” resonates with so many voters. They have been left behind, sand kicked in their collective faces by multi-national corporations who are incentivized by their own elected officials to move job opportunities overseas.

Former President Clinton understands why voters who have been failed by the status quo will listen to an outsider who promises to fight for them against the elites who have abandoned them, after all, that was at least part of his appeal that won him the White House.

It was Bill Clinton’s ability to “feel the pain” of voters contrasted with Bush’s seemingly aloof style which helped him connect with those who he grew up with in Hope, Arkansas, even though he had virtually nothing in common with them.

Isn’t it ironic that his wife is now cast in the villain role as the representative of big Wall Street against the aspirations of the average person, as a true celebrity outsider hits all the chords on trade, jobs and guns against her.

The question is whether the political wheel turned 180 degrees on the Clinton family, or have the Clinton family turned their collective backs to the hopes and dreams of average Americans?


All Americans Now?

A comment from English Libertarian Sean Gabb

For me – and I think for many others – the American presidential election has been a repeat of the European Referendum. I went to bed with a faint hope. The BBC coverage of the results was filled with faintly crumbling Establishment optimism. I woke and turned on the computer, to look at the same shocked faces as last June. It is too early to say for sure if he has won, but it does seem that Donald Trump will be the next President of America.

Now, I make the usual reservation about the Libertarian Alliance that I direct. We are a charity. We take no part in electoral politics. We were, as an organisation, perfectly indifferent between Mr Trum and Mr Clinton. Speaking for myself, I am delighted, and I extend congratulations to all my American friends, who worked so hard and hoped to such to see this result.

The idea that Mr Trump will do all the things he has promised is, and must be, unlikely. It seems to be in the nature of things for politicians to support the people who elect them. But leave that aside. As with the European Referendum, this has been a vote on the New World Order. For generations, the British and American peoples have stood outside a wall of managed democracy. We have been asked to decide between issues that others have defined for us. At best, we have been able to choose between the lesser of evils. Last June, and this November, we given a real choice, and we raced for the exit.

The moral effect of what seems about to happen will be explosive. Two bloated, treasonous Establishments have faced electoral challenges, and have lost. The “loons” and “deplorables” have ignored the big media and the big money, and have voted for their conscience. Cultural leftism is not defeated – it has too great a control of the institutions to vanish overnight. But it has been put on notice of dismissal.

There will not be an escalation of the war in Syria. There will not be a war with Russia. There will be no pressure from the highest points of the American Government for the British Government to fudge our exit from the European Union. There will, almost certainly, be further upsets in the forthcoming elections through Europe.

Speaking personally again, it is too early to be sure. However, I have, for many years, been denouncing the United States as The Great Satan. It was the New World Order. It was the source of all war and unaccountable government. Well, all I can say at the moment, is that the Great Satan appears to have repented, and I shall look on the American flags that I encounter as I go about my daily business in England with far less distaste than at any time this century.

Regardless of our nationality, my friends and I are all Americans this morning.

Via email


Why Elections Today Are So Contentious

The American people have allowed tremendous power to coalesce in DC

It wasn’t that long ago when national elections were more perfunctory, less volatile and certainly less contentious. Those halcyon days are long gone! Today the bile and vitriol spewing over the airwaves mirrors that of society generally, and the seemingly innocent question, “Can’t we all just get along?”, is body-slammed with a resounding “Hell NO!!” So what happened?

To borrow a meme from infamous Clintonista James Carville, “It’s the power, stupid!” That is, it’s the tremendous power the American people have allowed (demanded, even) to coalesce inside the DC Beltway, and particularly at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Decisions that used to be made by individual states or local governments are now decided somewhere in Washington, DC, often by a single branch, or even worse — and more often the case — an unaccountable sub-entity within that branch. As a result, elections nowadays are “for all the marbles.”

We offer as a case-in-point the Supreme Court of the U.S. One facet of the current election is that it is effectively a referendum on who will replace the late, great Antonin Scalia and give the winning party a 5-4 majority on an otherwise (arguably) evenly divided bench. Less than a century ago, the Court was largely apolitical; now it’s an ideology-based “final arbiter” of national law. Instead of faithfully interpreting the plain text and intent of a given law, many justices skew their judgments to “outcome-based” jurisprudence, in which they decide the outcome they want and then “walk-back” their logic — and, unfortunately, their “law” — to support the desired result. Thus whichever party chooses the next justice “wins,” by-and-large, any issue arriving at the doorstep of SCOTUS. But the problem doesn’t stop there.

No, it worsens exponentially because every branch of the federal government has too much power, in one way or another. For example, the Executive Branch has arrogated to itself the power of all three federal branches, temporarily relenting only when checked by another branch of government. As His Worship is fond of saying, “If Congress won’t act, I will” or, alternatively, “I’ve got a pen and a phone.” Translation: “I don’t need the Legislature: I am the Legislature!” In any case, the current Occupation Force inside the Executive Branch does not consider the Separation of Powers doctrine as an impediment to its reach or effectiveness.

As for Congress, with the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment morphing senator selection by state legislature into popular election, senators are no longer accountable to their states, but only to “the people.” That might sound good at first blush, but it crippled states' abilities to check federal government power. Moreover, Congress generally has too much power. The Constitution enumerates specific responsibilities for Congress, the president and the Supreme Court. Those not specifically granted to these branches are supposed to be reserved either to the states or to the people — the Tenth Amendment. Today, the Tenth Amendment is all but a dead letter. Like the Executive Branch, Congress — using the courts as well as the Executive Branch — has assumed far more power than “We The People” ever granted it under the Constitution.

The aggrandizement of power by the federal government was a primary concern of the so-called “Anti-Federalists,” who opposed ratifying the Constitution on the grounds that the federal government would eventually become all-powerful and too distant from those it governed. They were also concerned that the states would become mere conduits through which the federal government would exercise its overwhelming power. Fast-forward to today and the Anti-Federalists have been prophetic. An increasingly distant government brandishes immeasurable power over a vast expanse, over hundreds of millions of people with conflicting ambitions and needs. The input of the average American citizen to the federal Leviathan is so remote that the output — the federal government’s influence upon that individual in daily life — seems totally arbitrary. “No taxation without representation”? What about the case of “no representation,” period?

However, the real issue here is not “who’s right” in a national election, but rather the broader issue of “good governance.” Originally, the Founders viewed the states as individual “experiments” on how to “get along” as a people. The idea was that if a particular state went awry with respect to governance, people would “vote with their feet” and relocate to a better state. With the power of the federal government increasing and the power of the states diminishing over time, these “experiments” became less and less distinguishable: Today all is now “federal.”

The Founders did provide an “out” through which states can bridle an over-expansive federal government: Article V of the Constitution states, in part, “The Congress … on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which … shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress.”

The basic idea behind Article V was — and is — that if the federal government went so off the rails that it was on the verge of becoming uncontrollable, the states could reel it in, via a “Convention of States.” A discussion of the merits and perils associated with such a convention is beyond the scope of this piece, but we’ve written of the merits and risks previously.

Contentious elections are merely a symptom of a much bigger problem: Too much power amassing in the federal government and a discontinuity between its applied power and the will of the people who have no real say in its control. The solution to both problems is to again disperse the federal government’s power by redistributing it across all three branches of the federal government and among the states. But such an act won’t happen from any initiative within the Beltway, which has become so drunk with the mass-accrual of power that the vast majority of today’s members of Congress and senior Executive Branch leaders are millionaires — another clear indicator of the magnitude of the problem. No, it will only happen if the states and the people resolve to cage the tiger.



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

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


9 November, 2016

Could German-Americans install Trump as President?

Some interesting speculation from Germany below.  My translation.  Trump himself has German ancestry

46 million people of German descent live in the US - the majority of them supporting Donald Trump. Many live  in the swing states that could tip the scales in the presumably narrow election.

The "German belt", ranges from Pennsylvania in the Eastern United States to Oregon in the far West. Although Germans have left a deep impact in everyday life (kindergarten, Pretzels), they have  no clear political profile.

Sandra Bullock. Kevin Costner. Kirsten Dunst. David Letterman. Uma Thurman. Christopher Walken. Bruce Willis.  They all have two things in common: They are Americans. And they have German ancestors.

And they are not alone. Every seventh American has at least partly German roots: When asked by the Census Bureau, where their family is from, 14 percent of US citizens give Germany in either first or second place.

In elections this group has been because of their sheer size of great potential. And in the upcoming presidential election this weight could actually come to fruition: According to a survey, German Americans are conspicuously strongly Donald Trump inclined. Over half preferred the Republican candidate - and only a third prefers Hillary Clinton.

46 million people of German ancestry live in the United States. There are more German Americans than Americans of English, Irish or Italian descent.  There are even more German Americans than blacks (43 million) or Mexican Americans (36 million) in the USA.



Is this the last majority white election?

According to a WalletHub survey on the impact of minorities in America, 2016 is the last chance Republicans stand to win the White House… until 2060:

    "The study used two models based on population projections and matched to the overwhelming 65 percent minority turnout for President Obama in 2012 and the underwhelming 50 percent response for George W. Bush in 2004.

    The bottom line: In no presidential election from 2020-60 do the Republicans win. The closest the Republicans come is 2020 when the Democratic vote under the 2004 model reaches 50.48 percent, WalletHub said. The widest gap is projected for 2060, when the minority population will be its biggest, delivering the Democrats 58.8 percent of the vote."

The analysis pretty much states the obvious: that the growth of liberal-leaning minorities is outpacing the growth of both minority and white Republicans. It’s unclear, however, whether WalletHub’s survey accounted for voter fraud, or even acknowledges that it’s a real problem.



Why Trump could really win this

A comment from Australia

AS AMERICANS go to the polls in hours, one of the most respected pollsters in the United States, Nate Silver, is giving Donald Trump a 34.6% chance of being elected. That’s about the same chance of tossing a coin three times and getting heads twice. It’s close.

The question is why. To Australian ears, many of the things that Trump supporters say are outside the boundaries of common experience. The anger and resentment they express towards their entire political system is something that has no real equivalent in the Australian political system.

The idea that the whole election is rigged — which so many of them believe — sounds absurd. In Australia, even outliers like Pauline Hanson respect the basic tenet of the democratic system: That the umpire’s decision is to be respected.

Trump has repeatedly said he won’t necessarily respect the results of the election — unless he wins.

The key that helped me understand the Trump phenomenon is that — contrary to the impression that you receive from much of the Australian coverage — Trump supporters are, on average, richer than Clinton supporters.

The first time this was put to me, I was sceptical. We were talking to a merchandise salesperson at a rally for Trump’s running mate Mike Pence, in Wilmington, North Carolina. Proudly wearing multiple Trump badges, a “Make America Great” cap and a “Hillary for Prison” T-shirt, the salesperson looked like a Trump partisan, but the truth was much better. He was simply a capitalist who knew his market.

He was there to make a buck out of, as he put it, “anyone who is looking to get rid of their money”. That afternoon, he was driving an hour across the state to attend a Clinton rally, presumably while proudly wearing his “I’m With Her” badge.
The salesperson explained that in his experience Trump supporters had a lot more money. He said that Trump supporters were crazy for caps, bumper stickers and T-shirts, while Clinton supporters tended to stick to badges.

The idea that Trump supporters were richer ran contrary to all my expectations. Donald Trump sells himself on being the candidate for low-paid white battlers, living in the America’s vast rust-belt: The eastern and mid-Western states that used to manufacture America’s cars, fridges, airconditioners and anything else made of steel, but had, according to legend, become vast wastelands.
Isn’t that the reason that even on election eve, Michigan — once a union-dominated Democratic stronghold — is in the balance, and could provide Trump with one of the oddest paths to victory for a Republican candidate?

I mean, Detroit, right? It’s byword for urban decay. Right?
But from a logical perspective, it makes sense that Clinton supporters are poorer. Trump’s main supporters are white men. From a statistical perspective, that’s a double whammy for prosperity.

In the US, men enjoy 23% more pay on average than women. And white workers tend to be higher paid than black or Latino workers.

But it still runs contrary to Trump’s rhetoric. What about the fabled rust belt that Trump is drawing his support from?
I’m not saying that the rust belt doesn’t exist, but in our travels through two of the biggest rust belt areas in Pennsylvania and Ohio, it was something that people we met talked about in the past tense.

Take Wooster, Ohio, a town of about 30,000 people, that until the early 1980s, had an economy that centred almost entirely around steel. Steel for car doors, steel for washing machines, steel for old-style American-made toys.

At the beginning of the 1980s, it lost seven thousand jobs directly involved in steel manufacturing at one plant alone, and then tens of thousands more that had supported those industries. Crime soared. The rust set in.

This is Trump territory. For a start, it’s white. Very white. City-Data.com puts its whiteness at over 96%. Our hosts in Wooster claimed it was more like 98%.

At a state level, the Democrats have all but conceded the space to the Republican machine. They aren’t even running a state senatorial candidate in this election. But it’s not because people there are poor and dejected.

Today, unemployment runs at less than 3%. And the new jobs aren’t some race-to-the-bottom Wal-Martification of America that you might expect if you listened to Donald Trump. They’re steel jobs.
But instead of just making steel, Wooster now imports it from China, and then crafts it into high-precision goods. They manufacture 85% of the world’s jet blades in Wooster, and VW now makes its steel drive trains for Audi in the city.

It’s a perfect case-study for Economics 101. Low-value manufacturing got replaced by higher-value manufacturing.
Unfortunately, whereas in the textbook, it happens overnight, it’s taken the better part of four decades for Wooster to rebuild. If you were 30 in 1980, then chances are that even though you’re employed now, you spent much of the second part of your career underemployed, waiting for Economics 101 to kick in.

During that time, the promises that politicians, corporations, and even unions made, bred cynicism — for the entire system.
The life lesson was that you can go from being utterly embedded in “the system”, with all the expectations of suburban stability, to being completely abandoned by the very same system: By the corporations and the government who allowed it to happen. Even if you were a white man.

What Trump delivers is a way to explain and put in context that jolting reality, without threatening the idea that there is nothing really that special about being a white man.

He could blame it on Ronald Reagan — who was in charge when it happened. Or he could place the blame on the companies who fled to first Japan, and then Mexico and later, China. And in some senses he does. But mostly he points to a far more tangible threat: Multicultural America.

If you were a white man who just wasted the best years of your life waiting for the next steel boom, it’s not your fault. It’s someone else’s fault — the ones who look different to you, and whose presence has boomed in the past four decades.

Of course, in Wooster, you don’t see many Latinos or blacks at all. But you do see them on TV, and it kind of makes sense. By some estimates, 2016 is the year that whites become a minority in America, in that they now make up less than 50% of the population (they are still the biggest race, by a long margin).

But this is why that for all the crazies that Trump rallies throw together, who seem utterly foreign to the Australian experience, there is an underlying logic that makes Trump such a potent force, and brings out many sensible people.

Sure, his plan — to return America to a pre-1980s world of protectionism and steel manufacturing without the pesky presence of 11 million illegal immigrants — is an unrealistic journey into nostalgia, but it speaks to a very real experience that millions of Americans have lived through (or who’ve watched their parents live through).

Once you understand that, all the policies that may sound absurd at first glance, start to make more sense. A wall between the US and Mexico is a visual metaphor for stanching the flow of jobs south.

His foreign policy is to “make America safe again,” is about trying to find a way to get America to a place where 9/11 never happened.

If stopping Muslims at the border sounds absurd to us, it works for his supporters, because many of them wouldn’t have even met a Muslim in their life.

And if cutting taxes for those on high incomes sounds like a policy that wouldn’t be popular in the rust-belt, think again: His core base are richer than you’d think.

Annual income is one of the best predictors of whether you’ll turn up on election day. Indeed, one of the main reasons that Donald Trump still has a good chance at the Presidency is that his supporters aren’t that poor. If they were, they would be less likely to turn out.

Which, given his rhetoric, is kind of ironic, really.



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

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


8 November, 2016

The strange way Leftist psychologists measure conservatism

Leftist psychologists have long worked with a concept of conservatism that is very different from what conservatives actually think.  Their idea of conservatism is a caricature.  Their oldest caricature is that conservatives are opposed to change.  Tell that to Trump and his supporters! All the conservatives I know have a whole list of things they would like changed in the world about them.

So where did that strange definition come from?  Easy.  Conservatives oppose LEFTIST changes.  Leftists are all about change and are very authoritarian about it.  Note Mr Obama's aim to "fundamentally transform" America.  If that's not authoritarian, what would be?  So the changes that conservatives oppose are Leftist attempts to boss them around. Mr Trump articulates that.

It's an extreme demonstration of Leftist closed-mindedness that they can conceive of no other explanation for opposition to their policies than a general opposition to change.  The reasons conservatives give for opposing Leftist changes -- e.g. "That has already been tried and it failed" -- are simply not heard or not believed by Leftists.  To them there is no rational reason for opposition to the changes they want.  So opposition to change generally has to be the explanation for what conservatives do and say.

And an inadequate understanding of conservatism leads to dead-ends all the time.  Robert Altemeyer's recent work on "Right-wing authoritarianism" was based on a definition of conservatism as opposition to change and his set of questions ("scale") designed to detect conservatism ended up not detecting it at all.  High scorers on his scale were roughly as likely to be Democrats as Republicans when it came to voting.  Just to rub that in:  The highest scorers on his scale were actually Russian Communists! Altemeyer put a lot of work into his efforts to measure  conservatism but ended up with an abject failure on his hands.  Conservatism is nothing like what he thought it was.

There is actually a larger tradition among psychologists about what conservatives think -- a tradition that goes beyond opposition to change.  Conservatives are also said to have a large body of extreme thoughts about all sorts of things. Some examples:

* Patriotism and loyalty to one's country are more important than one's intellectual convictions and should have precedence over them.

* Treason and murder should be punishable by death.

* The English-speaking countries have reached a higher state of civilization than any other country in the world and as a consequence have a culture which is superior to any other.

* In taking part in any form of world organization, this country should make certain that none of its independence and power is lost.

* Certain religious sects whose beliefs do not permit them to salute the flag should either be forced to conform or else be abolished.

* When the dictator Mussolini made Italy's trains run on time, that at least was an important thing to achieve.

Statements such as the above do draw on tendencies in conservative thought but are expressed in an extreme and aggressive way.  But conservatives are generally rather moderate people so would disagree with such statements.  The first statement could be reworded to attract conservative agreement as:

* Patriotism and loyalty to one's country is important

The last statement would be most likely to attract conservative agreement as:

* "I have never heard of Mussolini"

And so on.  So in their haste to demonize conservatism, Leftists create a set of "conservative" statements that conservatives don't actually agree with!  No wonder then, that agreement with such statements does not correlate with voting conservative.

So the research into conservatism that Leftist psychologists do is not actually about real-life conservatism at all.  They waste their time. They fail to do what they aim to do.  They know nothing about conservatism.

So how come that they keep up such foolish behaviour?  Easy.  Leftists rarely talk to conservatives.  They get their ideas about conservatism from one another.  They live in a little intellectual bubble that is hermetically sealed against the big bad world outside, with all its inconvenient facts.


Dem donor compares Republican blacks to Nazis

Project Veritas Action released another undercover video Wednesday, and this one may be the most difficult to stomach yet. In the footage, prominent Democratic donor Benjamin Barber compares Republican African-Americans to Nazis at a fundraiser in New York City for North Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Deborah Ross (language warning):

    “Have you heard of the Sonderkommandos? Jewish guards who helped murder Jews in the camps. So there were even Jews that were helping the Nazis murder Jews! So blacks who are helping the other side are seriously fucked in the head,” Barber said. “They’re only helping the enemy who will destroy them. Maybe they think ‘if I help them we’ll get along okay; somehow I’ll save my race by working with the murderers.’”

Project Veritas Action shared the video with some black Republican voters. Needless to say they were shocked and disappointed:

    “I think that Deborah Ross has shown her true colors,”  said Bishop Wooden, another black Republican in North Carolina. “If this is not a, if that…what you just showed me is not racism and condescending and basically calling blacks stupid and ignorant and saying that we are voting against our own self-interest if we support any republican [sic]. I am appalled. I am in incensed. Deborah Ross should be called to task for something like that.”



James Carville Loses It, Says House GOP and the KGB Are in Cahoots

Since the GOP was the chief opponent of Russian ambition in thre Soviet period, to say that they are now pro-Russian is strange indeed

When you're insisting that MSNBC is too right-wing, you know you've lost your mind. James Carville argued that his interviewer was defending James Comey and the House Republicans, who he says are behind this investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails. He also alleged that the KGB is hijacking our election. Is it sad to see a once political mastermind become this insane?

SOURCE. (Video at link)


Another campaign ends, and my wishes didn't come true

by Jeff Jacoby

"THE MOST dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself," wrote H. L. Mencken. "Almost inevitably, he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable."

That was in 1922. If the Sage of Baltimore thought the political class during the Age of Harding was "dishonest, insane, and intolerable," God only knows how he would have characterized the Era of Trump and Clinton, or what he would have made of the ghastly presidential campaign of 2016. About the only good thing to be said for it is that it ends on Tuesday, and that one of the two worst presidential candidates in American history will go down to defeat. The other, alas, will go to the White House.

There's no denying that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have been uniquely odious nominees. But in too many ways to count, they have also been depressingly typical examples of American politicians in the modern era. When it came to shallowness, insincerity, and hypocrisy, the 2016 presidential hopefuls (along with most of the contenders who faced off during the interminable primary season) were just more of the same — the latest batch of pettifogging jacklegs greedy for authority, and prepared to debase themselves and the American democratic system by any means necessary to achieve it.

So here we are, on the cusp of another Election Day, dreading the national hangover to follow. If you're like me, you may find yourself wondering why campaigns for the highest office in the land invariably play out at the lowest common denominator.

Just once, I wish I could hear presidential candidates set aside the pandering, and tell voters that there are some problems the government has no business trying to fix.

Just once, I wish candidates could acknowledge candidly that yes, they have changed their position on a slew of issues over the years, and yes, the new position has always been the one polls show to be more popular.

Just once, I wish candidates in a debate would refuse to answer a question posed by the moderator, on the grounds that it raises a subject far too complicated to be answered in two minutes.

Just once, I wish the candidates would remind voters that it's not the president's job to wipe their noses, and that people who make dumb personal choices shouldn't expect Washington to relieve them of the consequences.

Just once, I wish candidates would decline to "approve this message," and would repudiate campaign ads that traffic in the defamation and distortion of an opponent's record.

Just once, I wish candidates would stop bragging about the laws "they" passed, and would point out instead that no bills get passed without the cooperation of scores, or even hundreds, of lawmakers.

Just once, I wish candidates would make a point of reading John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage — or Federalist No. 51 — or Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men — or Abraham Lincoln's 1865 inaugural address — and then deliver a speech explaining what they learned from it, and how it shapes their political understanding.

Just once, I wish candidates would make it clear that merely because they strongly oppose something, that doesn't mean it should be illegal — and that merely because there's some innovation they would passionately support, that's doesn't mean it ought to be mandatory.

Just once, I wish candidates would show that they understand that a course of action can be unwise, undesirable, and unpopular, yet still be perfectly constitutional.

Just once, I wish candidates, while touting their plan to do X or Y, would have the humility to concede that it might not work as envisioned.

Just once, I wish candidates would fairly and respectfully summarize an opponent's position before proceeding to dispute or criticize it.

Just once, I wish candidates would demonstrate that they've given serious thought to some of the tensions built into America's civic culture — such as equality vs. liberty, or individual liberty vs. the common good — and are able to discuss them with more depth than bumper-sticker sloganeering.

Just once, I wish candidates would admit that elected officials and government regulators are as flawed as any other human beings, and as prone to blunders and temptations as people who work in the private sector.

"If experience teaches us anything at all," wrote H.L. Mencken "it teaches us this: that a good politician, under democracy, is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar."
Just once, I wish candidates would spend less time crowing about what they'll do on Day 1 — which is usually of little more than symbolic importance — and would instead spend more time outlining what they'll do prepare themselves before Day 1.

Just once, I wish candidates would emphasize that it is nearly always more important to block bad bills than to pass good bills.

Just once, I wish candidates would place as great a premium on maintaining their personal decency as they do on achieving political victory — that they would be intent, in other words, not merely on winning, but on deserving to win.

Ah, well. Somewhere, I suppose, the shade of Mencken is smirking at the naiveté of my wish list. "If experience teaches us anything at all," the old cynic wrote long ago, "it teaches us this: that a good politician, under democracy, is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar."


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- mainly about immigrants


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

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


7 November, 2016

Former FBI boss slams Crooked Justice Department for election rigging

It’s pretty obvious that the Obama administration is protecting Hillary Clinton from serious scrutiny. So obvious, in fact, that a former FBI assistant director said Thursday that you’d have to be “deaf, dumb, and blind” not to see it:

    James Kallstrom, known for leading the 1996 investigation into the explosion of TWA flight 800, told Fox News’ “Kelly File” on Thursday evening that current agents are “furious” at how higher-ups in the federal agency and Justice Department have “stonewalled” requests to open up a serious probe into an alleged pay-to-play scheme between the Clinton Foundation and State Department.

    “You think they perceive the agency or some at Justice as taking sides?” host Megyn Kelly asked Kallstrom.

    “You’d have to be deaf, dumb, and blind not to see that. Of course that’s what’s happening. I mean just look at what’s in the public domain. I mean, look at the stuff that they left on the table. Top secret codeword documents,” Kallstrom responded.

Kallstrom added that hundreds of current and former agents are “very, very frustrated” because “they see the whole due process thing going down the tubes” under Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

“There’s no way they’re going to indict anybody in this administration,” he finished.




It's typical psychopathic behaviour

Hillary Clinton can’t help herself. She lies constantly. Some of her lies, the most memorable ones, have a common quality: she is a superhero in her own fantasy world. Named after a famous mountain climber! Landed under sniper fire! Tried to join the Marines! Granddaughter of immigrants who left the White House dead broke! Yesterday she added a new one: she understands terrorism because she was in New York in 9/11. She will crush ISIS! Here she is:

That couldn’t have been in the script. It is a matter of record that Hillary was in Washington on September 11, not New York. The Senate was in session. As you probably remember, Senators and Congressmen of both parties gathered on the Capitol steps to sing “God Bless America.” Here is Hillary on the Capitol steps, singing:

And here she is being interviewed by CNN on the Capitol steps at about 8 p.m. on September 11:

Why does she do it? Why does she continue to make up lies that she ought to know will quickly be exposed? There is some psychological defect at work, a need to portray herself as more heroic than she actually is. It is a little creepy, though, when her efforts are so obviously doomed to failure.



Justice, State Departments colluded with Hillary on illegal email server

Everything the Clintons touch turns to corruption. After decades of political involvement, the truth about the Clinton’s reign has come to light thanks to the breathtaking releases from Wikileaks this year. The newest releases show nothing less than outright collusion between the State Department, the Justice Department and the Hillary Clinton campaign to help her cover up her illegal private email server that housed classified information.

In the latest disclosure, Justice Department Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik, who has been leading renewed investigations into the Clinton email server, has also been given the Clintons a heads up regarding news releases to the Clinton campaign for months.

On May 19, 2015 Kadzik emailed Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta informing Podesta that, “There is a HJC oversight hearing today where the head of our Civil Division will testify. Likely to get questions on State Department emails. Another filing in the FOIA case went in last night or will go in this am that indicates it will be awhile (2016) before the Statement Departent posts the emails.” Were they getting their stories straight?

This unbelievable disclosure, has the Justice Department tipping off the Clintons when the State Department would start disclosing some of her emails publicly via the Freedom of Information Act.

While the corruption between the Justice Department and the Clinton campaign has already become obvious to most Americans, the relationship between these actors and the impact of their conversations is much more far reaching.

It all started in the 1990s when Podesta was questioned on perjury during the Monica Lewinsky case. Who was Podesta’s brave lawyer able to manipulate the grand jury to his innocence? None other than Kadzik himself.

Podesta has even noted that Kadzik was a “fantastic lawyer. Kept me out of jail.”

Ever since then the two’s relationship has been nothing shy of complete corruption.

Congress issued the subpoena for all of Clintons private server emails on March 4, 2015. A previous Wikileaks report revealed that on that same day, State Department officials were openly discussing which emails should be deleted, providing Clinton with the perfect opportunity to destroy them. And soon that is exactly what she did.

This is not where the saga ended, though. After destroying evidence that could have been used against her, Clinton had to make sure the press was going to report on this scene lightly and once gain the State Department would assist her.

A March 1, 2015 email shows correspondence between State Department press aide Lauren Hickey and Podesta working with New York Times reporters to “clear” changes to the story to “provide accurate information to the media.”

In a major news story about political corruption, the Times gave the final sign off to the corrupt agencies — and the Clintons — themselves.

Despite her best attempts, the Clinton email scandal is still acting as her biggest obstacle to her being elected president. Just last week the FBI announced it was reopening the email investigation due to new information discovered on former Congressman Anthony Weiner, husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

But we suppose Clinton doesn’t have too much to worry about, after all, this is the crooked game she has spent decades playing. The head of the reopened investigation into Clinton’s email misconduct is appears to be none other than Kadzik himself.

The Clinton campaign has become one with the Justice and State Departments, making it impossible for the current government to investigate her fairly, let alone one she would take control of if she is elected.

After destroying evidence and manipulating Americans perception of the situation, Hillary Clinton still heralds herself as the only presidential choice which is right for our country. But is more important than ever to realize that Clinton’s entire career has been built not on helping the country, but helping herself. She is willing to use government and the law—and subverting the law—to acquire power, and that is the last thing this nation needs.



The ‘Untold Threat’ Responsible for 40% of Illegal Immigrants

While the debate over illegal immigration tends to focus on how to control and treat those who make it across our nation’s borders, a more enduring challenge for the U.S. government has been what to do to stop legal entrants from overstaying their allotted time here.

The problem of so-called visa “overstays”—which make up about 40 percent of the 11 million people living illegally in the U.S.—will continue on past the Obama administration and follow the next president.

That’s partially because the government has not yet delivered on its long-promised—and congressionally mandated—plan to create a better checkout system to track who has left the country on time, and who hasn’t.

“It [visa overstays] is the most overlooked issue when it comes to immigration,” Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, said in an interview with The Daily Signal.

“It’s an untold threat,” McCaul added. “We are allowing millions of people to overstay visas and remain in this country who could potentially pose a threat to homeland security.”

The uncertainty around the scope of the problem comes at a time when a growing percentage of the illegal immigrant population is made up of visa overstays as opposed to people being apprehended at the border.

For more than 20 years, the U.S. government had struggled to quantify just how many people entered the country legally with a visa and stayed too long, making it impossible to prescribe policy fixes.

That finally changed in January, when the Department of Homeland Security released a first-of-its-kind study reporting that 527,127 people who traveled legally to the U.S. for business or leisure and were supposed to leave the country in fiscal year 2015 in fact overstayed their visas.

This figure is larger than the 337,117 people caught crossing the border illegally last year.

The long-awaited data from 2015 was not all-encompassing. It counted only visa holders who entered the U.S. by air and sea, not by land, and it did not include those who came as students or temporary workers.

Still, immigration and security experts as well as policymakers welcomed the new information because they thought it would force the government to move faster on methods to improve, most importantly in trying to assemble a system to obtain biometric data—such as fingerprints, facial recognition images, and eye scans—on those leaving the country.

‘A Top Issue’

The 9/11 Commission recommended the Department of Homeland Security complete an entry and exit system “as soon as possible,” viewing it as an important national security tool because two of the hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001, had overstayed their visas.

Plagued by financial and logistical challenges, the government has introduced various pilot projects at some airports and land borders, but is still a few years off from implementing a biometric exit system on a large scale.....

‘It Doesn’t Matter’

Even if the U.S. were to settle on a workable exit tracking method, some national security experts doubt that such a system would be an effective counterterrorism tool, especially when considering its cost.

David Inserra, a homeland security expert at The Heritage Foundation, says the government could just as well use already collected biographical information, such as a traveler’s name and date of birth, to track exits and collect overstay data. But other experts say bad actors could use fake passports and aliases to bypass a system that did not require biometrics such as fingerprints and facial recognition.

No matter the method used, Inserra and other experts note that an exit system simply reveals who has departed—and remained—in the country. It would not help discover where those that stayed are living, and whether they present a security risk.

“Even if you have the greatest biometric exit system, if someone doesn’t leave, it doesn’t matter,” Inserra said, adding:

You are now left with the problem of every other police officer looking for someone. They are a missing person who doesn’t want to be found. If you want to stop visa overstays, the solution isn’t to spend money on an exit system.

Inserra argues that policymakers instead should give more money to intelligence agencies such as Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement so they can go into communities and try to locate—and deport—people who overstayed their visas.



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

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


6 November, 2016

New book: "The liberal's guide to conservatives"

by J. Scott Wagner.  Summerborne Books.  Cotati CA. 2016

Once upon a time, when liberals wrote about the psychology of conservatives, they did so only to demonize conservatives.  More recently, however, the tendency has been to say that conservatives have a point but Leftists have a better point. Scott Wagner's book is in that camp. He does seem to be a nice guy and he has made some progress towards embracing reality.  He concedes, for instance, that Leftists can be authoritarian.  According to psychologists of the past, only conservatives could be authoritarian -- with Stalin and Mao ignored.

He has however still not thrown off a lot of Leftist baggage. He still thinks conservatives have something in common with Hitler, for instance, quite ignoring that the opposition to Hitler was led by a great Conservative, Winston Churchill.  More technically he is influenced in his conclusions  by such pieces of psychometric garbage as the SDO scale. So his castles are built on sand. Not worth reading. But Leftists will like it.


NYPD to blow the whistle on Hillary

New York Police Department detectives and prosecutors working an alleged underage sexting case against former Congressman Anthony Weiner have turned over a newly-found laptop he shared with wife Huma Abedin to the FBI with enough evidence “to put Hillary (Clinton) and her crew away for life,” NYPD sources told True Pundit.

NYPD sources said Clinton’s “crew” also included several unnamed yet implicated members of Congress in addition to her aides and insiders.

“It involves Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, and Bill Clinton as well as Jeffrey Epstein,” DC insider Doug Hagmann said on The Alex Jones ShowWednesday. “According to my source, these files exist – he did not touch these files so he doesn’t know what’s in them, but the fact that they exist on this computer suggest some sort of overlap here.”

“It involves the Saudis, very big money and interests in the Middle East, and it involves Hillary, Huma, and to a much lesser extent Anthony Weiner.”

The NYPD seized the computer from Weiner during a search warrant and detectives discovered a trove of over 500,000 emails to and from Hillary Clinton, Abedin and other insiders during her tenure as secretary of state. The content of those emails sparked the FBI to reopen its defunct email investigation into Clinton on Friday.

But new revelations on the contents of that laptop, according to law enforcement sources, implicate the Democratic presidential candidate, her subordinates, and even select elected officials in far more alleged serious crimes than mishandling classified and top secret emails, sources said. NYPD sources said these new emails include evidence linking Clinton herself and associates to:

Money laundering

Child exploitation

Sex crimes with minors (children)


Pay to play through Clinton Foundation

Obstruction of justice

Other felony crimes

NYPD detectives and a NYPD Chief, the department’s highest rank under Commissioner, said openly that if the FBI and Justice Department fail to garner timely indictments against Clinton and co- conspirators, NYPD will go public with the damaging emails now in the hands of FBI Director James Comey and many FBI field offices.

“What’s in the emails is staggering and as a father, it turned my stomach,” the NYPD Chief said. “There is not going to be any Houdini-like escape from what we found. We have copies of everything. We will ship them to Wikileaks or I will personally hold my own press conference if it comes to that.”

The NYPD Chief said once Comey saw the alarming contents of the emails he was forced to reopen a criminal probe against Clinton.

“People are going to prison,” he said.

Meanwhile, FBI sources said Abedin and Weiner were cooperating with federal agents, who have taken over the non-sexting portions the case from NYPD. The husband-and-wife Clinton insiders  are both shopping for separate immunity deals, sources said.



The Bottom Line on Clinton

Allow me to summarize where this all stands on the eve of the presidential election.

Mark Alexander

Over the past year, the 24-hour MSM news recyclers across the political spectrum have spun and re-spun, ad nauseam, allegations and denials about the criminal activities of Hillary Clinton and her chief prevaricator, DNC point man Bill Clinton. The media is, first and foremost, interested in ad revenue, and the relentless ranting has resulted in “scandal fatigue.”

The big winners in this election cycle are the MSM bank accounts. The big loser is the American people, because what is important has been diluted by what is not, and too many media consumers can no longer distinguish between the two.

We note Hillary Clinton’s illegal effort to keep all of her communications as secretary of state off the grid in order to conceal them from freedom of information requests, which would expose her role in nefarious activities like the Benghazi cover-up to protect Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election and her own 2016 presidential plans.

I have clearly chronicled Hillary’s prolific record of malfeasance, and like Bill, her pathological penchant for lying. I have provided concise analysis on their criminal Clinton Foundation enterprise and renewed FBI investigation into their criminal activity — despite protection from “Justice” Department fixers.

The fact is, the Clinton’s abject corruption contaminates everything they touch, and it’s about to swamp the national government.

Allow me to summarize where this all stands on the eve of the presidential election.

The announcement by FBI Director James Comey of a renewed investigation into Clinton’s concealed communications is too little too late. The fact is, Clinton ordered 32,000 emails “bleached” from her server archives after congressional subpoenas were issued for those communications. Clinton and her attorneys (who have inexplicably been given immunity) decided for themselves what to turn over and what to destroy. It’s highly unlikely that those destroyed communications will ever surface.

The acknowledgment that the FBI has confidentially continued its investigation into the Clintons' illegal foundation pay-to-play political graft and influence schemes may produce indictments, but to what end?

The courts have determined that a sitting president is immune from criminal prosecution. Thus, if Clinton is elected, the only recourse would be impeachment.

Recall that Bill Clinton was guilty as charged in 1999, but Senate Democrats couldn’t muster enough integrity to reach the two-thirds mandate for conviction. The next House could refer charges to the Senate, but it’s even less likely now that Democrats would muster the integrity to reach the two-thirds mandate.

The only way to avoid nationalizing the Clinton’s crime syndicate is to defeat Hillary Clinton at the polls.



The Sharpest Contrasts Between Clinton and Trump

Freedom of Speech

We know, it’s a shocker that freedom of speech is even on the ballot. But believe it. The FEC is trying to outlaw conservative media and talk radio. The Ninth Circuit upheld a California law requiring pro-life crisis pregnancy centers to promote abortion clinics. Senators and attorneys general are seeking to use RICO laws against so-called “climate change deniers.” And the IRS has gotten away with targeting conservative groups. In other words, while Hillary Clinton may walk free, those who dissent from progressivism get criminal charges.

We will see more of that with Clinton in the White House — you can bet your higher taxes on it. In essence, Trump may be the last line of defense for free speech in this country.

Second Amendment

Here, the differences are as obvious as night and day. Clinton is 100% behind the agenda of gun-grabbers, and has praised the Australian gun confiscation of 1996. But most insidious is her desire to repeal the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

In short, lawsuits from big-city mayors and other gun-grabbers backed by billionaires like George Soros and Michael Bloomberg could drown firearms manufacturers in legal battles — functionally killing the Second Amendment regardless of any pro-2A court ruling.

Confronting the Islamic State/Addressing Syria

Hillary Clinton’s approach of taking in more refugees is, at best, putting a Band-Aid on malignant melanoma. But it’s likely to be far worse. With all the trouble vetting refugees from the region, we could import the perpetrators of the next Paris-style attack.

For better or worse, Trump promises to “bomb the hell out of ISIS” — which, by reducing its power in the region, would help solve the Syrian refugee crisis.

Religious Freedom

Just as our free speech rights are under attack, so is religious liberty. The Hobby Lobby case was a 5-4 ruling — and it’s on the list of rulings the Left wants overturned. They also want to repeal the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. We’ve seen pharmacists in Washington state ordered to either stock abortion pills or shut down. We’ve seen bakeries close over wedding cakes. Under Clinton, we could easily see a federal version of those mandates — or at least, legal support for them.

The stakes are high, as Justice Samuel Alito noted in a dissent from the denial of cert in the Washington case: “Ralph’s [Thriftway] has raised more than ‘slight suspicion’ that the rules challenged here reflect antipathy toward religious beliefs that do not accord with the views of those holding the levers of government power. I would grant certiorari to ensure that Washington’s novel and concededly unnecessary burden on religious objectors does not trample on fundamental rights.”

Which brings us to…

Judicial Nominations

One thing can tie all of the previous four cases together: Who the next president nominates to serve on the Supreme Court and on lower federal courts. The fact is, much of our domestic policy — and even a not insignificant amount of foreign policy — is in the hands of the federal judiciary. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.

These days, a state legislature requiring someone who wishes to vote to show the same ID required to get on a plane, buy a firearm, purchase alcohol or cigarettes, cash a check, attend an NAACP rally against voter ID requirements, and a whole host of other things lands you in federal court. Are your state lawmakers no longer willing to give Planned Parenthood money? A federal court may be the last word on that. Then there’s same-sex marriage — 31 states voted NO, but five Supreme Court justices had the final word. Even the Syrian refugee resettlement could be decided in the federal courts.

In short, the Left uses the federal courts to get their way when the American people reject their agenda at the ballot box. Clinton’s judicial nominees would continue that trend. Trump has a list of strict constructionists for the Supreme Court — and some of them could end up at the Courts of Appeal, which have been packed by Barack Obama.



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

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


4 November, 2016

The DOJ's Cracking Façade

The establishment's desperate attempt to cover up for a lawless and lying Hillary is coming apart at last

When news broke Friday that FBI Director James Comey had notified Congress that the FBI was re-opening its investigation into Hillary Clinton due to newly discovered emails, jaws collectively dropped across the nation. This was the same James Comey who for the past couple of months had become the punching bag of conservative pundits for his lawless decision of recommending no charges be brought against Clinton. Conversely, he received high praise from Democrats for being an apolitical straight shooter.

Suddenly, 11 days before one of the most controversial elections in our nation’s history, the tables turned. The “apolitical” director is now completely politicized — at least that’s what Hillary Clinton and the Democrats charge, while Donald Trump crowed, “Justice will finally be done.” By the way, on Sunday, a letter, ostensibly from former DOJ officials, with Eric Holder topping the list, was circulated castigating Comey: “Justice Department officials are instructed to refrain from commenting publicly on the existence, let alone the substance, of pending investigative matters, except in exceptional circumstances and with explicit approval from the Department of Justice officials responsible for ultimate supervision of the matter. Director Comey’s letter is inconsistent with prevailing Department policy, and it breaks with longstanding practices followed by officials of both parties during past elections.” Except, again, by Democrats four days ahead of Bill Clinton’s election in 1992. We know you will be shocked to learn the letter was drafted by Clinton campaign hacks.

Meanwhile, news has leaked of infighting between Loretta Lynch’s “Justice” Department and the FBI over the direction of the Clinton investigation. The DOJ wanted to end investigations while many agents within the Bureau were frustrated with what amounted to a “stand down” order regarding further probes of the Clinton Foundation. The constant stream of WikiLeaks releases coupled with news of agency infighting seemingly motivated by political concerns reveals that the façade of a government committed to serving the interests of everyday Americans has cracked severely.

Gallup recently released a poll showing that currently fewer than three in ten Americans trust government leaders to do the right thing. In fact, the period since 2007 marks “the longest period of low trust in government in more than 50 years.” Is it any wonder that Donald Trump is in serious contention? It’s precisely because he is not a part of the distrusted and often corrupt political establishment.

And to add more fuel to the increasingly contentious relationship between the agencies and the Clinton campaign, just yesterday the FBI released documents relating to its 2001 investigation into Bill Clinton’s pardoning of fugitive billionaire Marc Rich — an investigation that concluded with no charges filed. Hillary and the Democrats were quick to question the FBI’s timing of the release, accusing the FBI of yet more political schemes. The FBI insisted the release was a result of its automatic programmed response designed to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests that are on a “first in, first out” basis. One thing is for certain, this certainly doesn’t help Hillary.



What has she got to hide?

Destroying emails completely and forever normally suggests something illegal

Hillary Clinton's campaign chief suggested in early 2015 that Clinton's team should quickly "dump" all of the emails on her private server, documents published by WikiLeaks revealed Tuesday.

The remark was made by campaign chairman John Podesta during a March 2-3, 2015, exchange that included chief counsel Marc Elias and top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills as they were discussing whether to hire a new campaign consultant.

"On another matter ... and not to sound like Lanny, but we are going to have to dump all those emails so better to do so sooner than later," Podesta wrote.

It's not clear what he meant by "dump," but the email was written on the same day the New York Times broke the story that Clinton used her own private email when she led the State Department. If he was hoping Clinton's emails would be released quickly, those hopes would soon be dashed — her emails would be released in several tranches each month for most of 2015 and into 2016.

The email scandal continues to follow her into late 2016. Last Friday, the FBI said it believes it has found tens of thousands of additional emails on the computer of her top aide, Huma Abedin. The FBI said many of those might be duplicate emails or messages that aren't relevant to the investigation, but it still might take weeks or even months to find out.

It's also not clear who "Lanny" is in Podesta's email, but Lanny Davis, a former special counsel to Bill Clinton, was urging Hillary Clinton's team from the beginning that she should release her emails.

About a week later, on March 10, 2015, Hillary Clinton announced that she gave emails she deemed to be work-related to the State Department, and deleted 33,000 more she said were personal.

The FBI reported in findings from its investigation that Clinton staffers had instructed the tech firm responsible for maintaining the server, Platte River Networks, to scrub the emails using proprietary software known as Bleachbit. Clinton has long contended those decisions were made in a period spanning December 2014 to January 2015, well before the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued a March 4 subpoena demanding the messages.

It was discovered in September that the process of attempting to destroy the emails lasted longer, at least to the end of March 2015. Tech staffers responsible for the operation were mostly exempt from prosecution as a result of immunity agreements granted by the FBI over the course of its investigation.




Hillary Is No Friend of Small Business

She claims to want to invest, but she means to add burdens

“People who create things nowadays can expect to be prosecuted by highly moralistic people who are incapable of creating anything. There is no way to measure the chilling effect on innovation that results from the threats of taxation, regulation and prosecution against anything that succeeds. We’ll never know how many ideas our government has aborted in the name protecting us.” —Joseph Sobran

In an effort to distract from her core anti-free market ideology, Hillary Clinton threw a proverbial bone to American small business owners during the debates. Speaking in the first debate, the Queen of Pay-to-Play said, “I want us to invest in you. I want us to invest in your future. That means jobs in infrastructure, in advanced manufacturing, innovation and technology, clean, renewable energy, and small business, because most of the new jobs will come from small business. We also have to make the economy fairer. That starts with raising the national minimum wage and also guarantee, finally, equal pay for women’s work.”

Clinton, who has spent her entire adult life in government, is so bereft of understanding regarding the fundamental tenets of the free market that she likely didn’t understand the contradictory clauses in her statement. Or she did, which is even worse.

First, government does not “invest.” Investing requires capital, and in a free market, capital is owned by individuals and businesses. Government does not have a single penny that it does not first confiscate from a private individual who earned it. And when Hillary talks about making the economy “fairer,” she means she wants government to pick winners and losers. Of course, there has to be some kind of system by which winners and losers are determined — like maybe, who donates to the Clinton Foundation?

In a true free market, the winners are those that are best able to allocate scarce resources in the most efficient way in order to meet the demands of the market. Those that innovate, who create goods and services that people want, are the ones who succeed. Those who are inefficient, wasteful, or who don’t recognize what the market wants, are the ones who fail.

Unless they have friends in government.

For decades, we have lived not so much in a free market as a quasi-capitalist/corporate socialism hybrid where small businesses and major corporations operate under different rules. Small businesses innovate, risk capital, and work tirelessly to bring new goods and services to the market, all while being forced to navigate through literally tens of thousands of pages of federal regulations, a byzantine tax code, and the heaviest tax burden in the industrialized world.

Big Business, on the other hand, can afford an army of lawyers and lobbyists to manipulate the system for their benefit. They can buy off politicians who in turn write special exemptions into the tax and regulatory code for them, and then the same politicians hypocritically rail against the exemptions they wrote, demanding an end to these “loopholes.” Small businesses, which create nearly two-thirds of all new jobs in America, and which account for nearly half of all private GDP growth, do not have that luxury, and find themselves crushed under the weight of government bureaucracy.

In the second debate, Hillary had the audacity to say, “We’ve got to provide some additional help to small businesses so that they can afford to provide health insurance.” Clinton has been a champion (godmother, even) of ObamaCare, which is a massive regulatory takeover of the U.S. health care system. Rather than “bend the cost curve down” as Barack Obama promised, it has caused premiums and deductibles to skyrocket, and millions of Americans lost their health insurance. Furthermore, it has forced small business owners across the country to freeze or reduce hiring, cut hours, and shift workers to part-time in order to avoid the more onerous, back-breaking provisions of the health care law.

In the third debate, Hillary claimed that she wants “to do more to help small business” but then, literally in the next sentence, said she wants to raise the minimum wage, which is nothing more than an additional tax on businesses, the levying of which raises their labor costs and reduces profitability, and even drives some businesses out of business altogether.

According to the 2016 Small Business and Priorities Survey, “unreasonable government regulations” is the second biggest worry of small business owners in America. The first? Rising health care costs.

Both of these are a direct result of the very kind of government interference in (or a takeover of) the free market that Clinton advocates. ObamaCare has crippled the health care market, driving up costs and increasing complexity. Likewise, the Obama administration has implemented, since Obama took the oath of office, a staggering 229 new “major” rules (rules expected to cost businesses and individuals at least $100 million in direct compliance costs), for a total of $107.7 billion in new regulatory costs.

That doesn’t even include the massive amount of new indirect costs, in the form of millions of man-hours to fill out federal compliance reports and forms, or the hiring of lawyers and accountants to make sure they don’t end up in jail for accidentally violating some arcane rule. There is also the hidden cost of the distortion this does to business planning, forcing companies to make decisions not based on what is best for the shareholders or employees, or what will sell best, but rather, what will keep them out of the crosshairs of government bureaucrats who often act arbitrarily and vindictively.

Frederick Douglass, the famous freed-slave, abolitionist and orator, once declared, “Everybody has asked the question… ‘What shall be done with the Negro?’ I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us!”

The same, we dare say, should be applied to the free market. End burdensome taxation and slash regulations to only those absolutely necessary to protect the public from harm, a course which has shown immediate benefits. And then keep government out of it, and let businesses thrive or crumble according to their entrepreneurialism and market demands. Government meddling has caused almost nothing but mischief.


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- mainly about Hillary and immigrants


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

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


3 November, 2016

Some very good news below. Effective vaccine for Zika found

Rapid development of a DNA vaccine for Zika virus

Kimberly A. Dowd et al.


Zika virus (ZIKV) was identified as a cause of congenital disease during an explosive outbreak in the Americas and Caribbean in 2015. Because of the ongoing fetal risk from endemic disease and travel-related exposures, a vaccine to prevent viremia in women of child-bearing age and their partners is imperative. Vaccination with DNA expressing the prM and E proteins of ZIKV was immunogenic in mice and nonhuman primates, and protection against viremia after ZIKV challenge correlated with serum neutralizing activity. These data not only indicate DNA vaccination could be a successful approach to protect against ZIKV infection, but also suggest a protective threshold of vaccine-induced neutralizing activity that will prevent viremia following acute infection.

Science 22 Sep 2016: DOI: 10.1126/science.aai9137


Raising ‘good’ cholesterol doesn’t protect against heart disease after all, study finds

“Good” cholesterol might be in for a name change. Raising HDL, widely known as good cholesterol, for years has been thought to protect against heart attack and stroke. But a big new study published Monday found little evidence it does.

The finding upends the advice doctors have been giving millions of patients — and helps explain why the drug industry has failed time and again, despite billions in investment, to develop a drug that cuts deaths from heart disease by boosting HDL levels.

“When you explain [cholesterol levels] to patients, it’s very easy to say one number’s bad and the other number’s good,” said Dr. Dennis Ko, a cardiologist at Canada’s Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and lead author of the study. But it turns out that HDL is associated with poor health generally and does not seem to affect cardiovascular risk.

In the study, Ko and his colleagues looked at years of data from about 630,000 people in Ontario, sorting their HDL scores from low to high. Those with basement-level HDL were more likely to die of cardiovascular complications, but the risk did not drop steadily as good cholesterol levels rose.

Instead, it dipped, then hit a plateau; people with HDL of about 40mg/dL had roughly the same risk as those with about 80 mg/dL. And death risks actually increased for those with extremely high levels of good cholesterol.

Further muddying the picture, people in the low-HDL group were also more likely to die of diseases unrelated to the heart. And they had lower incomes, higher body weights, and poorer diets than others in the study, all of which correlate with increased mortality on their own.

HDL has been thought to lower cardiovascular risk by cleansing the bloodstream of “bad” cholesterol and scrubbing the inner walls of blood vessels, so your levels of HDL were thought to predict your risk of heart attack or stroke. But this new data suggests HDL may just be a fatty substance along for the ride.

“It may be therefore that it’s reflecting other health habits that lead to greater risk, rather than actually being a risk factor itself,” said Dr. Steven Nissen, a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist not involved in the study.



Illegals Migrate Door-to-Door for Hillary

It’s no secret Donald Trump is viewed incredulously by most women and minority voters. But one thing that certainly benefits the Clinton campaign is the presence of non-citizens who are enticing swing voters by undermining the Republican Party. A group called CASA in Action “is knocking on doors in Northern Virginia in support of Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates,” The Washington Post reports. “The vote-seekers are some of the 750,000 recipients of temporary legal status under the Obama administration’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.”

Wasn’t it Clinton who recently sounded the alarm on the “credible reports about Russia interfering in our election”? The Kremlin evidently isn’t the only one. The headline of the Post article says it all: “They crossed the border illegally, and can’t vote. But they can knock on doors.” Sure, they’re not naturalized Americans, but Clinton is recruiting them as lobbyists anyway. And she wants to lecture about interference?

Speaking of interference, you can add child sex trafficking to the list of threats posed by illegal immigrants. Some alarming statistics were compiled in a Washington Times column by William C. Triplett II, who quotes an anonymous government official on Texas' southern border: “All these stories about unaccompanied minors crossing the border, nearly all of them are boys. Where are the girls? The girls are already gone. The cartels spot them and haul them off the buses coming to the Mexican side of the border. They target the 13- to 15-year-olds.”

As Triplett put it, “Some proponents of the current open borders policy also claim to be defenders of women’s rights. It is, therefore, supremely ironic that one unintended consequence of open borders is a substantial spike in sex trafficking of young girls.” In fact, just this week Clinton said, “If you believe women and girls should be treated with dignity and respect, and that women should be able to make our own health care decisions and that marriage equality should be protected, then you have to vote.” Yet it’s obvious that her policies don’t comport with her supposed beliefs, like in May 2013 when Clinton expressed a supportive view of open borders: “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders.”

What’s more important — expanding the constituency of illegal immigrant voters or addressing the crimes of a small but not-inconsequential number of them commit? Perhaps women need to re-examine their preferred candidate’s campaign slogan, “I’m with her.”



Obamacare’s implosion

It exposes the administration’s web of lies and deceit

By now everyone knows that Obamacare is officially the public policy flop of this generation. With the latest news of premium increases of 22 percent, insurance companies dropping out, dwindling competition, and rising costs to taxpayers, this is truly the Hindenburg of health plans.

But there is another part of the story that needs to be told. This wasn’t just a liberal screw up, it was a financial swindle of taxpayers. President Obama’s team and the liberal echo chamber lied about Obamacare from the start and covered up the financial time bomb that would soon detonate in Americans’ laps. These were like Enron officials cooking the books to cover up financial fraud — except in the case of Obamacare, no one ends up in jail.

Anyone remember how the White House said Obamacare would pay for itself by using 10 years of revenue to pay for eight years of spending? Where is Elizabeth Warren when you need her?

The only thing that has caught the left by surprise is that Obamacare has burst into flames so much faster than even severe critics — like myself — ever thought possible. The left was praying the bad news wouldn’t be exposed until after the election. Now at least Americans will go to the polls with the ugly facts right in front of them.

One technique the left used to try to shut up critics was to engage in name-calling and accusing skeptics of exaggerating the costs with false and misleading numbers. In these pages two years ago I wrote a column which started with what now looks pretty prescient:

“If there were a contest for the biggest lie in Washington over the past 30 years, it would be hard to compete with President Obama’s boast that he would put 30 million more Americans on Obamacare subsidies and Medicaid, and this would reduce the deficit … Is there a single promise that Mr. Obama made about Obamacare that has proven truthful?”

Well, it hasn’t bent the cost curve down, it has been a major driver of higher budget costs for health care (as the Congressional Budget Office acknowledged last month), it hasn’t given consumers more choices, and it certainly has not saved the average family $2,500 a year.

But when I wrote this piece, New York Magazine published an article about me titled: “Right Wing Scholar Who Gets Paid to Say Obamacare Doesn’t Work Can’t Find Single true Fact to Support His case.”

Then for several pages the author Jonathan Chait argues that I’m “oblivious to the law’s demonstrable success,” and that I am deliberately deceiving people by “treating the law as a costly and obvious failure.” He says I was “demonstrably wrong” in claiming the law was not saving families $2,500 a year. Well is there anyone who has saved that kind of money?

If anything, I understated the case against Obamacare. The Obamacare insurance companies now want a taxpayer bailout in the billions of dollars because the exchanges are in a cost death spiral. Healthy people aren’t signing up and sick people are enrolling at a record pace. This will add billions more to the program’s cost. So much for Mr. Obama’s claim this wasn’t going to cost taxpayers a penny.

In 2017 about one in five Obamacare enrollees will have only one insurance plan to choose from. One third of counties have only one insurer. That’s a lot of choice and competition. It’s like what Henry Ford said about the ModelT, you can have it in any color as long as it’s black. This contraction of the market is going to get worse in a hurry, which is why Hillary Clinton wants a “public option,” which will soon be your only option.

The few remaining Obamacare defenders meekly say that most people are not facing 22 percent premium hikes because most Americans are in employer plans. But those employer plans are starting to see the same rising price pressures.

Mike Tanner, Cato’s health care expert reports that “not only are Americans going to pay more, they’re going to get less. Deductibles have risen steadily since the ACA began. The average deductible for a family with a Silver plan now exceeds $6,400. Total out-of-pocket costs can exceed $12,000.”

Even the one goal of Obamacare that should have been easy to achieve given the massive cost of the program, is way underperforming. Instead of 24 million covered as promised, the number is half that, or 11.4 million. The vast majority of Americans who have gotten health insurance under the new law were dumped into Medicaid. This is a welfare program for people with very low incomes. Shouldn’t we define success in America when fewer, not more people are receiving welfare?

By the way, Medicaid is such a bad insurance program — with many doctors and treatment centers refusing to take Medicaid enrollees — that the health results of those in the program are barely better than for those with no insurance at all.

So I will ask the same question I asked two years ago, except the evidence is even more persuasive now: is there any sane person today who doesn’t recognize the law “as a costly and obvious failure?”

Also, I’m waiting for an apology from New York magazine or Jonathan Chait for their libel, but that’s about as likely as Obamacare ever saving money.



Obamacare hits restaurant industry

The restaurant industry saw a 2.8% decline in business this past fiscal year, and turned in its weakest performance since 2009. Economic analyst Paul Westra sees the downturn as a looming "restaurant recession." The Wall Street Journal reports that "in the last 10 months, eight major restaurant companies ... have filed for bankruptcy." So what's to blame for the decline? The usual culprit is an increase in the price of gasoline leading to increased food prices. However, gas prices have declined significantly for over a year now. Instead, it appears that the number one reason is ObamaCare. According to a Civic Science survey of Americans, of those who ate fast food regularly, there was a cutback of 47% due to rising health insurance costs. In other words, Americans are really beginning to feel ObamaCare's pinch on their pocketbooks. (That's not to mention restaurant owners themselves.) An April survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association found that nearly 45% of Americans are eating out less than they prefer.

Even some Democrats acknowledge the mounting costs of ObamaCare. Minnesota Democrat Governor Mark Dayton recently stated, "The Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable to increasing numbers of people." Bill Clinton called it "the craziest thing in the world" where Americans "wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half." The truth is, it never was affordable — by design, as its architect, Jonathan Gruber, recently remarked. Unfortunately for the nation, the ObamaCare-created "restaurant recession" is the proverbial "canary in the coal mine" for the rest of U.S. economy. Many economists now fear another recession on the horizon as ObamaCare's impact is felt across the broader economy. The number of Americans who hate this law will only continue to grow.



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

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


2 November, 2016

Democrat Corruption is Much Worse Than Trump

In a hilarious 1996 episode of The Simpsons, evil reptilian aliens Kang and Kodos dress up as Bob Dole and Bill Clinton and run for president by way of taking over Earth. Homer arrives in the nick of time to reveal that the candidates are really horrifying monsters. As the crowd screams, one of the aliens cries triumphantly: "It's true! We are aliens! But what are you going to do about it? It's a two-party system! You have to vote for one of us!" The crowd murmurs disconsolately: "He's right! It is a two-party system!"

Many of us feel the show was an uncanny prediction of the election we're in right now. So I have nothing but compassion and understanding for #NeverTrumpers like Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, who wrote a column this week entitled "My Former Republican Party":

I grew up with parents who liked the old line that they didn’t leave the Democratic Party—the Democratic Party left them.... Now it’s my turn to watch the Republican Party drift away.
Stephens expresses his wholly understandable disappointment in the Trumpian GOP's abandonment of free trade, generosity toward immigrants, a muscular foreign policy and an insistence on decency and character.

Yet if Trump is Kang, I can't help but feel that Kodos is still much worse.

This week the Journal revealed that Clinton crony Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe— no stranger to suspicious fund-raising irregularities — funneled more than half a million dollars to the unsuccessful state senate campaign of the wife of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. McCabe, whom the Journal describes as FBI Director James Comey's "right-hand man," was deeply involved in the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server — an investigation that found Mrs. Clinton in clear violation of the law but unindictable because... well, just because. Fortunately, Mr. McCabe has investigated himself and found himself completely innocent of any wrongdoing!

What makes this even more disgusting is the FBI and the Justice Department's decision to convict retired four star Marine Corps General James Cartwright, a hero with a storied career, who lied about sharing some classified information with reporters in an attempt to protect other information he deemed more important. Cartwright is facing up to five years in the slammer. As U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein said: “People who gain access to classified information after promising not to disclose it must be held accountable when they willfully violate that promise.”


Only Trump Has a Chance to Bring the Country Together - and It's Slight

Add to this, a top story in the New York Times, a former newspaper, saying our blandly sinister Attorney General Loretta Lynch is unhappy with her department's failure to bring charges against the police who arrested Eric Garner. Garner, you'll remember, was busted for selling illegal cigarettes, and died after an arresting officer put a chokehold on him. Thus:

The Justice Department has replaced the New York team of agents and lawyers investigating the death of Eric Garner, officials said, a highly unusual shake-up that could jump-start the long-stalled case and put the government back on track to seek criminal charges.

Federal authorities have been investigating whether officers violated Mr. Garner’s civil rights in his fatal encounter with the police. But the case had been slowed by a dispute because federal prosecutors and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials in New York opposed bringing charges, while prosecutors with the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department in Washington argued there was clear evidence to do so.

In other words, if you don't get the politically correct decision you want, fire the investigators. It stinks — almost as badly as the Clinton investigation and the Cartwright conviction. But then what do you expect of the administration — and the party — that gave us the first attorney general ever to be held in contempt of Congress for his stubborn cover-ups of obvious incompetence and wrongdoing?

Where once the Democrat Party called for jail time for men like Donald Segretti, a Nixon political operative who did four months for some silly dirty campaign tricks, today they shrug off verified reports that Clinton operatives incited violence at Trump rallies and pulled off nasty stunts at the instigation of the candidate herself. Why should such nonsense even make the news, when journalists have given a pass to a corrupt IRS, a corrupted FBI, and a Justice Department with no commitment to justice?

If, as Stephens writes, the Trumpian GOP has lost track of its principles, the Democratic Party has no principles left to lose. It is filthy to its core — and at that core is Hillary Clinton. In the end, she's the one they're protecting. She's the one it's all about. And she's the one this dirty bureaucracy will gladly serve if she wins the White House.

Donald Trump may be no prize as a candidate or a human being, but at least he is not sitting at the heart of the party that has corrupted even our highest instruments of law and justice. Better the devil who does not know the devils we know.



What Have Democrats Done for Blacks?

Nothing good, and it's time more voters realized it

While politics is about policies and the role and scope of government, politicians' appeal to voters is the critical aspect of those proposals in winning elections. This reality created the class-driven politics of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt era and the 1960s-identity politics that we still see today.

In this presidential cycle, identity politics continue with emphasis on the women’s vote, the Hispanic vote and the black vote as opportunities to tickle the ears of these voting blocs with specific messages and promises. Without question, Democrats have excelled in controlling these demographics for decades due to skillful manipulation of issues that create victims of whichever group needs rescuing while painting Republicans as misogynists, racists and bigots. Democrats always present their solutions through the lens of government control, even to the point of becoming a ward of the state, in contrast to Republicans who offer personal achievement and responsibility yielding individual freedoms and prosperity. Yeah, who’d want that, right?

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has approached the black vote just like he’s approached every other aspect of his campaign — vacant of nuance or poll-tested phrases. Instead, Trump directly challenged black voters: What do you have to lose?

He made a speech last week offering his plan for black Americans based on “three promises: safe communities, great education and high-paying jobs.” True to less-than-articulate form, The Donald told a Toledo, Ohio, rally, “And we’re going to work on our — ghettos…” He continued to note these areas to have “so many horrible, horrible problems — the violence, the death, the lack of education, no jobs.”

Naturally, Hillary Clinton’s Leftmedia apparatus latched onto the politically incorrect word “ghetto” so as to charge Trump with racism.

Not even a year ago, calling attention to “too many communities, from Baltimore to St. Louis to Oakland to Memphis to Chicago” a Dec. 10, 2015, CNN article noted the “need for reconstruction in impoverished urban areas” citing the dismal situation in Chicago where “a quarter of black adults and half of black youth are unemployed, about 50 public schools have closed in recent years, along with more than 70 grocery stores and dozens of businesses.” Continuing in the piece written by Wayne Drash and Bill Kirkos, “There are more jobs to be had in the ghetto than there are people.”

Oh, wait! That was Jesse Jackson admonishing Barack Obama and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel — both Democrats — for failing to address key issues in the black community, while using the same term “ghetto.”

Funny, isn’t it? Two men use the term “ghetto,” which Merriam-Webster defines as “a part of a city in which members of a particular group or race live usually in poor conditions.” One is mocked and framed as an out-of-touch man of white privilege and the other makes his living keeping black voters on the take. Actually, that’s not funny. It’s pathetic and outrageous.

What have Americans whose skin at birth has more melanin gained from the Democrats? Even though history documents the true home of racial violence, such as the Ku Klux Klan, is the Democrat Party, while the earliest elected blacks were in the Republican Party, let’s just focus on the years of the first black president and the hard data.

Per the U.S. Census, the poverty rate of black children in 2015 was 32.9%, an improvement from 35.7% when Barack Obama took office in January 2009. During that same window of time, the number of white children born into poverty has fallen from 17.7% to 17.2%. Looking at seniors, Caucasian 65-year-olds have lived in poverty at a rate that fluctuated at 7.5%. For black seniors, 19.5% were in poverty when Obama was sworn in with a reduction to 18.4% last year.

For unemployment, the black unemployment rate was at 12.7% in January 2009 and peaked at 16.8% in March 2010, adjusted to remove those who had given up looking or were underemployed. In September 2016, black unemployment was recorded at 8.3%. For white adults, however, the unemployment rate has consistently been about half that of blacks.

Relative to more subjective characteristics, the turmoil within the urban communities in the grips of gang activity and the economy of illicit drug sales is raging. As Jesse Jackson declared in December of last year, Democrats have failed “to address blighted inner cities and renew hope for black America.”

The greatest hope the inner-city family should cling to in the candidacy of Donald Trump is his support of school choice that frees children trapped by a zip code in failing schools instead of the protected mediocrity enforced by educrats and their school union cartel — a cartel endorsed by the NAACP. Trump promises choice where money follows the child to the school of their choosing. What a concept!

Trump has been blunt. Specifically, he has declared to black voters, “My vision rests on a principle that has defined this campaign: America First…”

Citing the role of black Americans in defending our great nation in battle and beliefs, Trump strides headlong into the fact that all citizens of this nation are his priority — Americans, not illegal immigrants who are sought by corporatists to drive down their cost of labor and compete for entry-level and lower-skilled jobs. That disproportionately harms blacks. “I promise that under a Trump administration the law will be applied fairly, equally and without prejudice,” the GOP nominee offers.

Wow. Think of that. “There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.” Those were once the lofty campaign words of Barack Obama. As Sun Tzu described an impotent king, his words paint the likes of Obama and many in black leadership, “The King is only fond of words, and cannot translate them into deeds.



Soda Tax Nonsense

Soda-tax advocates in San Francisco and Oakland are making a final push for ballot measures—Proposition V and Measure HH, respectively—that would impose a one-cent-per-ounce tax on soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks. For anyone who passed Econ 101, the advocates’ propaganda is sure to leave a bad aftertaste.

Independent Institute Senior Fellow Lawrence J. McQuillan has noted the economic ignorance on display when they claim the tax would burden only distributors, not consumers. Now Independent Institute Research Director William F. Shughart II and Strata Policy Analyst Josh T. Smith are calling them out for touting a fatally flawed study of beverage consumption after Berkeley enacted a similar soda tax. Ironically, the study itself cautions against applying its findings to other cities.

“The fundamental scientific problem with the study,” Shughart and Smith write, “is that it required people in a nonrandom, street intercept survey to recall and compare their pretax and post-tax drinking habits.” Such informal surveys, the two economists note, are highly vulnerable to their respondents’ hazy memories and tendency to placate their interviewers. Moreover, Shughart and Smith write, “it simply is inconceivable that the tax will have perceptible effects on obesity, tooth decay, or any other health problem.”



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

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


1 November, 2016

The American Election through English Eyes

Sean Gabb

I think it in general a bad idea to write about elections in a foreign country. I do not live there and do not understand the particular circumstances of the country. Foreigners who write about England always make silly mistakes. Why should I be better informed about their countries? More than that, what happens outside England is none of my business.

I break the rule for the American election because I regret that it is my business. I regret – indeed, I am outraged – that our relationship with America reverses the normal standing of mother country to former colony. Whatever happens in America has a direct and profound impact on what happens in England. This gives me the moral right to an opinion. If the right does not extend to telling Americans how to vote in their own interests, it does extend to considering how the way that Americans may vote will affect the interests of my own people.

Therefore, I begin.

I hope, though do not believe, that Donald Trump will win the election next month. I do not suppose that he would keep many of his promises. Some of them do not seem capable of being kept. But the fact alone of his victory would be a blow against a New World Order that is underwritten by American military power and cultural influence. In the speech he gave on the 13th October, he said:

Our great civilization, here in America and across the civilized world has come upon a moment of reckoning. We’ve seen it in the United Kingdom, where they voted to liberate themselves from global government and global trade deal, and global immigration deals that have destroyed their sovereignty and have destroyed many of those nations. But, the central base of world political power is right here in America, and it is our corrupt political establishment that is the greatest power behind the efforts at radical globalization and the disenfranchisement of working people. Their financial resources are virtually unlimited, their political resources are unlimited, their media resources are unmatched, and most importantly, the depths of their immorality is absolutely unlimited.

For the man who said this to become President would legitimise an entire critique of the New World Order and the political correctness that it enforces. He might not close down the relevant agencies, or unfund the relevant universities. He might not do much at all. But he is giving voice to a rising tide of protest in America that will not go away, and that is already crossing the Atlantic, to breathe a semblance of life into our own dreary politics. A Trump Presidency would be in itself a political earthquake on both sides of the Atlantic. As such, it would be in English interests for him to win.

But I do not believe he will win. So what might we expect from a Clinton Presidency? Looked at from England, I still see benefits. Mrs Clinton will not start a big war. There may be ten or twenty million Americans who believe that a nuclear war in the Middle East will bring on the Second Coming. None of these, however, has any influence in the Democratic Party. Mrs Clinton and her staff do not wish to spend the rest of their lives stuck with each other in a fallout shelter, arguing over a dwindling stock of tinned pineapple. All they really want is to push Russia and China into a defensive alliance, and then to start a new Cold War against a new “threat.” This is grossly undesirable. But, given that, as in the first Cold War, both sides would continue talking behind the curtain, it is not unaffordable for America or its satellites. Its main cost, apart from the usual hill of non-white corpses, would be a stream of blank cheques to the usual suspects in the military-industrial complex.

I am told that she will open the gates to unlimited immigration. If true, this is a mostly American problem in which I take no interest. Where it is not a purely American problem, I see benefits to England. Every immigrant who turns up in America does not, by definition, turn up here. More importantly, immigration weakens the New World Order.

Put on an American accent, half mournful and half eager, and say with me: “These people are mostly Catholics and other people of faith. They are natural conservatives. We must persuade them to vote Republican.” This is, on the face of it, an absurd statement. The Republican Party is seen – and, below its normal leadership, is – the political voice of white America. It is, in principal at least, opposed to affirmative action and indiscriminate welfare. Why should immigrants from Honduras or Mexico or Somalia vote Republican? Doubtless, some do, because they believe in the American Dream. Good luck to them. But most do not, and will not.

There is, even so, an element of truth in the statement. The sorts of immigrant I have in mind are not leftists in the American sense. They have no interest in “saving the planet.” Most of them smoke. They are not visibly in favour of invading Timbuctoo for its failure to let transsexuals use the ladies’ toilet. The more important they grow as a voting group, the less trouble America will make in the world – and this is in the interest of my own people.

But the most solid benefit of a Clinton win would be its destabilising effect on politics in America. If I think he will lose, I suspect that Mr Trump will pick up more votes than the losing Republicans did in the previous two elections. These voters will not be pleased that their man lost because of a wall of corporate money, and an openly biased media, and voting groups whose roots in the country may go no further back than 1965. There will, as an old friend of mine used to say, be blood on the moon. Whether or not he accepts defeat, the support Mr Trump has identified will be ripe for the picking by anyone else who takes up his standard. The cries of rancour will echo round the world. They will be particularly heard in England.

If I were an American who cared about the nation into which he had been born, my vote would be for Mr Trump. There might be concerns about his personal behaviour and his honesty. He would get my vote all the same. But I am not an American, and, for all manner of reasons, I am glad of that. Speaking as an Englishman, I would prefer Mr Trump to win. I can see many advantages for my country in his victory. But a win by Mrs Clinton would also bring advantages, though fewer.

I will not sit up all night, to watch various Americans based in London talk about the latest results from Hicksville. But I will read the BBC website next morning with more than usual interest



A slippery Leftist law firm

Jon Tester didn’t come all the way from Montana for the scrambled eggs and bacon. The US senator, virtually unknown in Boston, was in a conference room at the Thornton Law Firm that June morning to cash in at one of the most reliable stops on the Democratic fund-raising circuit, a law firm that pours millions into the coffers of the party and its politicians.

Tester, a massive, jovial man who raises livestock on his family farm, was more compelling than many of the other breakfast guests, all of them political candidates the firm hoped would defend the interests of trial attorneys. But the drill was basically the same. The personal injury lawyers listened politely for a few minutes, then returned to their offices. And Tester walked away with $26,400 in checks.

But a striking thing happened the day Tester visited in 2010. Partner David C. Strouss received a payment from the firm labeled as a “bonus” that exactly equaled his $2,400 contribution to Tester’s campaign, the maximum allowed. A few days later, partner Garrett Bradley — until recently the House assistant majority leader on Beacon Hill — got a bonus, too, exactly matching his $2,400 gift to Tester.

This pattern of payments — contributions offset by bonus payments — was commonplace at Thornton, according to a review of law firm records by the Spotlight Team and the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based nonprofit that tracks campaign finance data.

From 2010 through 2014, Strouss and Bradley, along with founding partner Michael Thornton and his wife, donated nearly $1.6 million to Democratic Party fund-raising committees and a parade of politicians — from Senate minority leader Harry Reid of Nevada to Hawaii gubernatorial candidate David Ige to Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Over the same span, the lawyers received $1.4 million listed as “bonuses” in Thornton Law Firm records; more than 280 of the contributions precisely matched bonuses that were paid within 10 days.

That payback system, which involved other partners as well, helped make Thornton the 11th-ranked law firm nationally for political contributions in 2014, according to data analyzed by the center, even though it is not among the 100 largest in Massachusetts.

Thornton, through a spokesman, said its donation reimbursement program was reviewed by outside lawyers and complied with applicable laws. Campaign finance experts said that without reviewing the firm’s records, they cannot say the payback system breaks the law, but that it raises numerous red flags.

That’s because reimbursing people for their political donations is generally illegal, several experts said. When political donors are repaid for their donations, it can conceal the real source of contributions, and enable the unnamed source of the funds to exceed state and federal contribution limits. And in some states — Massachusetts among them — political donations to state candidates from corporations and partnerships such as Thornton Law Firm are flatly illegal.

Reimbursing donors is “among the most serious campaign violations, in the view of both the Federal Election Commission and the Department of Justice,” said Daniel Petalas, an attorney who served as acting general counsel of the FEC until September.

“Using straw donors to make contributions is illegal,” said Larry Noble, general counsel of the Washington-based Campaign Legal Center and a former general counsel of the FEC. “People can go and have gone to prison for this.”

Thornton officials declined to comment, instead hiring a former federal prosecutor to respond to the Globe’s questions.

The ex-prosecutor, Brian Kelly, said the bonuses should not have been called bonuses at all because they were paid from the lawyers’ own money. He said an accountant deducted the payments from their equity, or ownership, in the firm. When lawyers leave Thornton Law and cash in their equity, he said, their financial settlement with Thornton would be reduced by the amount of the bonuses.

Kelly provided a written statement from Michael Thornton saying that “an error made internally” led to the payments being called bonuses. Thornton said he changed the way they were labeled in 2015, several years into the program, when he discovered the mistake.

“It’s obviously not a crime to make lots of donations to politicians, and they certainly did that,” said Kelly. “But their donation program was vetted by prior counsel and an outside accountant, and the firm made every effort to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.”

However, campaign finance experts were skeptical about the system Kelly describes, saying it could allow partners to go years before repaying the firm for the bonuses. Regulators could view the bonuses as open-ended loans, they said, making them hidden, illegal donations from the firm.

“I think they need to be very careful,” said James Kahl, former deputy general counsel of the FEC. “The big red flag is monies being advanced, and the truing up doesn’t happen for many years.”

Kelly, who has given varying explanations of the reimbursement policy since first being asked about it in July, declined to provide a copy of a legal opinion that he said justified the repayment program. He also declined to say whether lawyers who left the firm were required to pay when the bonuses they received exceeded their equity in the firm.

But one thing is certain: The policy was so complicated that some lawyers at the firm didn’t understand it, said former employees. They were just happy to get their money back.



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

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



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Postings from Brisbane, Australia by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.) -- former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party.

As a good academic, I first define my terms: A Leftist is a person who is so dissatisfied with the way things naturally are that he/she is prepared to use force to make people behave in ways that they otherwise would not.

So the essential feature of Leftism is that they think they have the right to tell other people what to do

The Left have a lot in common with tortoises. They have a thick mental shell that protects them from the reality of the world about them

Leftists are the disgruntled folk. They see things in the world that are not ideal and conclude therefore that they have the right to change those things by force. Conservative explanations of why things are not ideal -- and never can be -- fall on deaf ears

Let's start with some thought-provoking graphics

Israel: A great powerhouse of the human spirit

The difference in practice

The United Nations: A great ideal but a sordid reality

Alfred Dreyfus, a reminder of French antisemitism still relevant today

Eugenio Pacelli, a righteous Gentile, a true man of God and a brilliant Pope

Leftism in one picture:

The "steamroller" above who got steamrollered by his own hubris. Spitzer is a warning of how self-destructive a vast ego can be -- and also of how destructive of others it can be.

R.I.P. Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet deposed a law-defying Marxist President at the express and desperate invitation of the Chilean parliament. Allende had just burnt the electoral rolls so it wasn't hard to see what was coming. Pinochet pioneered the free-market reforms which Reagan and Thatcher later unleashed to world-changing effect. That he used far-Leftist methods to suppress far-Leftist violence is reasonable if not ideal. The Leftist view that they should have a monopoly of violence and that others should follow the law is a total absurdity which shows only that their hate overcomes their reason

Leftist writers usually seem quite reasonable and persuasive at first glance. The problem is not what they say but what they don't say. Leftist beliefs are so counterfactual ("all men are equal", "all men are brothers" etc.) that to be a Leftist you have to have a talent for blotting out from your mind facts that don't suit you. And that is what you see in Leftist writing: A very selective view of reality. Facts that disrupt a Leftist story are simply ignored. Leftist writing is cherrypicking on a grand scale

So if ever you read something written by a Leftist that sounds totally reasonable, you have an urgent need to find out what other people say on that topic. The Leftist will almost certainly have told only half the story

We conservatives have the facts on our side, which is why Leftists never want to debate us and do their best to shut us up. It's very revealing the way they go to great lengths to suppress conservative speech at universities. Universities should be where the best and brightest Leftists are to be found but even they cannot stand the intellectual challenge that conservatism poses for them. It is clearly a great threat to them. If what we say were ridiculous or wrong, they would grab every opportunity to let us know it.

A conservative does not hanker after the new; He hankers after the good. Leftists hanker after the untested

Just one thing is sufficient to tell all and sundry what an unamerican lamebrain Obama is. He pronounced an army corps as an army "corpse" Link here. Can you imagine any previous American president doing that? Many were men with significant personal experience in the armed forces in their youth.

A favorite Leftist saying sums up the whole of Leftism: "To make an omelette, you've got to break eggs". They want to change some state of affairs and don't care who or what they destroy or damage in the process. They think their alleged good intentions are sufficient to absolve them from all blame for even the most evil deeds

In practical politics, the art of Leftism is to sound good while proposing something destructive

Leftists are the "we know best" people, meaning that they are intrinsically arrogant. Matthew chapter 6 would not be for them. And arrogance leads directly into authoritarianism

Leftism is fundamentally authoritarian. Whether by revolution or by legislation, Leftists aim to change what people can and must do. When in 2008 Obama said that he wanted to "fundamentally transform" America, he was not talking about America's geography or topography but rather about American people. He wanted them to stop doing things that they wanted to do and make them do things that they did not want to do. Can you get a better definition of authoritarianism than that?

And note that an American President is elected to administer the law, not make it. That seems to have escaped Mr Obama

That Leftism is intrinsically authoritarian is not a new insight. It was well understood by none other than Friedrich Engels (Yes. THAT Engels). His clever short essay On authority was written as a reproof to the dreamy Anarchist Left of his day. It concludes: "A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon — authoritarian means"

Inside Every Liberal is a Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out

Leftists think of themselves as the new nobility

Many people in literary and academic circles today who once supported Stalin and his heirs are generally held blameless and may even still be admired whereas anybody who gave the slightest hint of support for the similarly brutal Hitler regime is an utter polecat and pariah. Why? Because Hitler's enemies were "only" the Jews whereas Stalin's enemies were those the modern day Left still hates -- people who are doing well for themselves materially. Modern day Leftists understand and excuse Stalin and his supporters because Stalin's hates are their hates.

If you understand that Leftism is hate, everything falls into place.

The strongest way of influencing people is to convince them that you will do them some good. Leftists and con-men misuse that

Leftists believe only what they want to believe. So presenting evidence contradicting their beliefs simply enrages them. They do not learn from it

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves.

Leftists who think that they can conjure up paradise out of their own limited brains are simply fools -- arrogant and dangerous fools. They essentially know nothing. Conservatives learn from the thousands of years of human brains that have preceded us -- including the Bible, the ancient Greeks and much else. The death of Socrates is, for instance, an amazing prefiguration of the intolerant 21st century. Ask any conservative stranded in academe about his freedom of speech

Thomas Sowell: “There are no solutions, only trade-offs.” Leftists don't understand that -- which is a major factor behind their simplistic thinking. They just never see the trade-offs. But implementing any Leftist idea will hit us all with the trade-offs

"The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley"[go oft astray] is a well known line from a famous poem by the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns. But the next line is even wiser: "And leave us nought but grief and pain for promised joy". Burns was a Leftist of sorts so he knew how often their theories fail badly.

Most Leftist claims are simply propaganda. Those who utter such claims must know that they are not telling the whole story. Hitler described his Marxist adversaries as "lying with a virtuosity that would bend iron beams". At the risk of ad hominem shrieks, I think that image is too good to remain disused.

Conservatives adapt to the world they live in. Leftists want to change the world to suit themselves

Given their dislike of the world they live in, it would be a surprise if Leftists were patriotic and loved their own people. Prominent English Leftist politician Jack Straw probably said it best: "The English as a race are not worth saving"

In his 1888 book, The Anti-Christ Friedrich Nietzsche argues that we should treat the common man well and kindly because he is the backdrop against which the exceptional man can be seen. So Nietzsche deplores those who agitate the common man: "Whom do I hate most among the rabble of today? The socialist rabble, the chandala [outcast] apostles, who undermine the instinct, the pleasure, the worker's sense of satisfaction with his small existence—who make him envious, who teach him revenge. The source of wrong is never unequal rights but the claim of “equal” rights"

Why do conservatives respect tradition and rely on the past in many ways? Because they want to know what works and the past is the chief source of evidence on that. Leftists are more faith-based. They cling to their theories (e.g. global warming) with religious fervour, even though theories are often wrong

Thinking that you "know best" is an intrinsically precarious and foolish stance -- because nobody does. Reality is so complex and unpredictable that it can rarely be predicted far ahead. Conservatives can see that and that is why conservatives always want change to be done gradually, in a step by step way. So the Leftist often finds the things he "knows" to be out of step with reality, which challenges him and his ego. Sadly, rather than abandoning the things he "knows", he usually resorts to psychological defence mechanisms such as denial and projection. He is largely impervious to argument because he has to be. He can't afford to let reality in.

A prize example of the Leftist tendency to projection (seeing your own faults in others) is the absurd Robert "Bob" Altemeyer, an acclaimed psychologist and father of a Canadian Leftist politician. Altemeyer claims that there is no such thing as Leftist authoritarianism and that it is conservatives who are "Enemies of Freedom". That Leftists (e.g. Mrs Obama) are such enemies of freedom that they even want to dictate what people eat has apparently passed Altemeyer by. Even Stalin did not go that far. And there is the little fact that all the great authoritarian regimes of the 20th century (Stalin, Hitler and Mao) were socialist. Freud saw reliance on defence mechanisms such as projection as being maladjusted. It is difficult to dispute that. Altemeyer is too illiterate to realize it but he is actually a good Hegelian. Hegel thought that "true" freedom was marching in step with a Left-led herd.

What libertarian said this? “The bureaucracy is a parasite on the body of society, a parasite which ‘chokes’ all its vital pores…The state is a parasitic organism”. It was VI Lenin, in August 1917, before he set up his own vastly bureaucratic state. He could see the problem but had no clue about how to solve it.

It was Democrat John F Kennedy who cut taxes and declared that “a rising tide lifts all boats"

Leftist stupidity is a special class of stupidity. The people concerned are mostly not stupid in general but they have a character defect (mostly arrogance) that makes them impatient with complexity and unwilling to study it. So in their policies they repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot; They fail to attain their objectives. The world IS complex so a simplistic approach to it CANNOT work.

Seminal Leftist philosopher, G.W.F. Hegel said something that certainly applies to his fellow Leftists: "We learn from history that we do not learn from history". And he captured the Left in this saying too: "Evil resides in the very gaze which perceives Evil all around itself".

"A man who is not a socialist at age 20 has no heart; A man who is still a socialist at age 30 has no head". Who said that? Most people attribute it to Winston but as far as I can tell it was first said by Georges Clemenceau, French Premier in WWI -- whose own career approximated the transition concerned. And he in turn was probably updating an earlier saying about monarchy versus Republicanism by Guizot. Other attributions here. There is in fact a normal drift from Left to Right as people get older. Both Reagan and Churchill started out as liberals

Funny how to the Leftist intelligentsia poor blacks are 'oppressed' and poor whites are 'trash'. Racism, anyone?

MESSAGE to Leftists: Even if you killed all conservatives tomorrow, you would just end up in another Soviet Union. Conservatives are all that stand between you and that dismal fate. And you may not even survive at all. Stalin killed off all the old Bolsheviks.


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)

Just the name of Hitler's political party should be sufficient to reject the claim that Hitler was "Right wing" but Leftists sometimes retort that the name "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" is not informative, in that it is the name of a dismal Stalinist tyranny. But "People's Republic" is a normal name for a Communist country whereas I know of no conservative political party that calls itself a "Socialist Worker's Party". Such parties are in fact usually of the extreme Left (Trotskyite etc.)

Most people find the viciousness of the Nazis to be incomprehensible -- for instance what they did in their concentration camps. But you just have to read a little of the vileness that pours out from modern-day "liberals" in their Twitter and blog comments to understand it all very well. Leftists haven't changed. They are still boiling with hate

Hatred as a motivating force for political strategy leads to misguided ­decisions. “Hatred is blind,” as Alexandre Dumas warned, “rage carries you away; and he who pours out vengeance runs the risk of tasting a bitter draught.”

Who said this in 1968? "I am not, and never have been, a man of the right. My position was on the Left and is now in the centre of politics". It was Sir Oswald Mosley, founder and leader of the British Union of Fascists

The term "Fascism" is mostly used by the Left as a brainless term of abuse. But when they do make a serious attempt to define it, they produce very complex and elaborate definitions -- e.g. here and here. In fact, Fascism is simply extreme socialism plus nationalism. But great gyrations are needed to avoid mentioning the first part of that recipe, of course.

Three examples of Leftist racism below (much more here and here):

Jesse Owens, the African-American hero of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, said "Hitler didn't snub me – it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn't even send me a telegram." Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt never even invited the quadruple gold medal-winner to the White House

Beatrice Webb, a founder of the London School of Economics and the Fabian Society, and married to a Labour MP, mused in 1922 on whether when English children were "dying from lack of milk", one should extend "the charitable impulse" to Russian and Chinese children who, if saved this year, might anyway die next. Besides, she continued, there was "the larger question of whether those races are desirable inhabitants" and "obviously" one wouldn't "spend one's available income" on "a Central African negro".

Hugh Dalton, offered the Colonial Office during Attlee's 1945-51 Labour government, turned it down because "I had a horrid vision of pullulating, poverty stricken, diseased nigger communities, for whom one can do nothing in the short run and who, the more one tries to help them, are querulous and ungrateful."

The Zimmerman case is an excellent proof that the Left is deep-down racist

Defensible and indefensible usages of the term "racism"

The book, The authoritarian personality, authored by T.W. Adorno et al. in 1950, has been massively popular among psychologists. It claims that a set of ideas that were popular in the "Progressive"-dominated America of the prewar era were "authoritarian". Leftist regimes always are authoritarian so that claim was not a big problem. What was quite amazing however is that Adorno et al. identified such ideas as "conservative". They were in fact simply popular ideas of the day but ones that had been most heavily promoted by the Left right up until the then-recent WWII. See here for details of prewar "Progressive" thinking.

Leftist psychologists have an amusingly simplistic conception of military organizations and military men. They seem to base it on occasions they have seen troops marching together on parade rather than any real knowledge of military men and the military life. They think that military men are "rigid" -- automatons who are unable to adjust to new challenges or think for themselves. What is incomprehensible to them is that being kadaver gehorsam (to use the extreme Prussian term for following orders) actually requires great flexibility -- enough flexibility to put your own ideas and wishes aside and do something very difficult. Ask any soldier if all commands are easy to obey.

It would be very easy for me to say that I am too much of an individual for the army but I did in fact join the army and enjoy it greatly, as most men do. In my observation, ALL army men are individuals. It is just that they accept discipline in order to be militarily efficient -- which is the whole point of the exercise. But that's too complex for simplistic Leftist thinking, of course

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a war criminal. Both British and American codebreakers had cracked the Japanese naval code so FDR knew what was coming at Pearl Harbor. But for his own political reasons he warned no-one there. So responsibility for the civilian and military deaths at Pearl Harbor lies with FDR as well as with the Japanese. The huge firepower available at Pearl Harbor, both aboard ship and on land, could have largely neutered the attack. Can you imagine 8 battleships and various lesser craft firing all their AA batteries as the Japanese came in? The Japanese naval airforce would have been annihilated and the war would have been over before it began.

FDR prolonged the Depression. He certainly didn't cure it.

WWII did NOT end the Great Depression. It just concealed it. It in fact made living standards worse

FDR appointed a known KKK member, Hugo Black, to the Supreme Court

Joe McCarthy was eventually proved right after the fall of the Soviet Union. To accuse anyone of McCarthyism is to accuse them of accuracy!

The KKK was intimately associated with the Democratic party. They ATTACKED Republicans!

High Level of Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrants in the USA. Low skill immigrants receive 4 to 5 dollars of benefits for every dollar in taxes paid

People who mention differences in black vs. white IQ are these days almost universally howled down and subjected to the most extreme abuse. I am a psychometrician, however, so I feel obliged to defend the scientific truth of the matter: The average African adult has about the same IQ as an average white 11-year-old and African Americans (who are partly white in ancestry) average out at a mental age of 14. The American Psychological Association is generally Left-leaning but it is the world's most prestigious body of academic psychologists. And even they have had to concede that sort of gap (one SD) in black vs. white average IQ. 11-year olds can do a lot of things but they also have their limits and there are times when such limits need to be allowed for.

The association between high IQ and long life is overwhelmingly genetic: "In the combined sample the genetic contribution to the covariance was 95%"

The Dark Ages were not dark

Judged by his deeds, Abraham Lincoln was one of the bloodiest villains ever to walk the Earth. See here. And: America's uncivil war was caused by trade protectionism. The slavery issue was just camouflage, as Abraham Lincoln himself admitted. See also here

Was slavery already washed up by the tides of history before Lincoln took it on? Eric Williams in his book "Capitalism and Slavery" tells us: “The commercial capitalism of the eighteenth century developed the wealth of Europe by means of slavery and monopoly. But in so doing it helped to create the industrial capitalism of the nineteenth century, which turned round and destroyed the power of commercial capitalism, slavery, and all its works. Without a grasp of these economic changes the history of the period is meaningless.”

Did William Zantzinger kill poor Hattie Carroll?

Did Bismarck predict where WWI would start or was it just a "free" translation by Churchill?

Conrad Black on the Declaration of Independence

Malcolm Gladwell: "There is more of reality and wisdom in a Chinese fortune cookie than can be found anywhere in Gladwell’s pages"

Some people are born bad -- confirmed by genetics research

The dark side of American exceptionalism: America could well be seen as the land of folly. It fought two unnecessary civil wars, would have done well to keep out of two world wars, endured the extraordinary folly of Prohibition and twice elected a traitor President -- Barack Obama. That America remains a good place to be is a tribute to the energy and hard work of individual Americans.

“From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time.” ? Friedrich Hayek, The Constitution Of Liberty


The 10 "cannots" (By William J. H. Boetcker) that Leftist politicians ignore:
*You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
* You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
* You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
* You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
* You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
* You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
* You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
* You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
* You cannot build character and courage by destroying men's initiative and independence.
* And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

A good short definition of conservative: "One who wants you to keep your hand out of his pocket."

Beware of good intentions. They mostly lead to coercion

A gargantuan case of hubris, coupled with stunning level of ignorance about how the real world works, is the essence of progressivism.

The U.S. Constitution is neither "living" nor dead. It is fixed until it is amended. But amending it is the privilege of the people, not of politicians or judges

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong - Thomas Sowell

Leftists think that utopia can be coerced into existence -- so no dishonesty or brutality is beyond them in pursuit of that "noble" goal

"England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution" -- George Orwell

Was 16th century science pioneer Paracelsus a libertarian? His motto was "Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest" which means "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself."

"When using today's model of society as a rule, most of history will be found to be full of oppression, bias, and bigotry." What today's arrogant judges of history fail to realize is that they, too, will be judged. What will Americans of 100 years from now make of, say, speech codes, political correctness, and zero tolerance - to name only three? Assuming, of course, there will still be an America that we, today, would recognize. Given the rogue Federal government spy apparatus, I am not at all sure of that. -- Paul Havemann

Economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973): "The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office."

It's the shared hatred of the rest of us that unites Islamists and the Left.

American liberals don't love America. They despise it. All they love is their own fantasy of what America could become. They are false patriots.

The Democratic Party: Con-men elected by the ignorant and the arrogant

The Democratic Party is a strange amalgam of elites, would-be elites and minorities. No wonder their policies are so confused and irrational

Why are conservatives more at ease with religion? Because it is basic to conservatism that some things are unknowable, and religious people have to accept that too. Leftists think that they know it all and feel threatened by any exceptions to that. Thinking that you know it all is however the pride that comes before a fall.

The characteristic emotion of the Leftist is not envy. It's rage

Leftists are committed to grievance, not truth

The British Left poured out a torrent of hate for Margaret Thatcher on the occasion of her death. She rescued Britain from chaos and restored Britain's prosperity. What's not to hate about that?

Something you didn't know about Margaret Thatcher

The world's dumbest investor? Without doubt it is Uncle Sam. Nobody anywhere could rival the scale of the losses on "investments" made under the Obama administration

"Behind the honeyed but patently absurd pleas for equality is a ruthless drive for placing themselves (the elites) at the top of a new hierarchy of power" -- Murray Rothbard - Egalitarianism and the Elites (1995)

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. -- G. Gordon Liddy

"World socialism as a whole, and all the figures associated with it, are shrouded in legend; its contradictions are forgotten or concealed; it does not respond to arguments but continually ignores them--all this stems from the mist of irrationality that surrounds socialism and from its instinctive aversion to scientific analysis... The doctrines of socialism seethe with contradictions, its theories are at constant odds with its practice, yet due to a powerful instinct these contradictions do not in the least hinder the unending propaganda of socialism. Indeed, no precise, distinct socialism even exists; instead there is only a vague, rosy notion of something noble and good, of equality, communal ownership, and justice: the advent of these things will bring instant euphoria and a social order beyond reproach." -- Solzhenitsyn

"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." -- Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NIV)

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. -- Thomas Jefferson

"Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power" -- Bertrand Russell

Evan Sayet: The Left sides "...invariably with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success." (t=5:35+ on video)

The Republicans are the gracious side of American politics. It is the Democrats who are the nasty party, the haters

Wanting to stay out of the quarrels of other nations is conservative -- but conservatives will fight if attacked or seriously endangered. Anglo/Irish statesman Lord Castlereagh (1769-1822), who led the political coalition that defeated Napoleon, was an isolationist, as were traditional American conservatives.

Some wisdom from the past: "The bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent and respectable stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment." —George Washington, 1783

Some useful definitions:

If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one. If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat. If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.
If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels. Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.
If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church. A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced. (Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)
If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

There is better evidence for creation than there is for the Leftist claim that “gender” is a “social construct”. Most Leftist claims seem to be faith-based rather than founded on the facts

Leftists are classic weak characters. They dish out abuse by the bucketload but cannot take it when they get it back. Witness the Loughner hysteria.

Death taxes: You would expect a conscientious person, of whatever degree of intelligence, to reflect on the strange contradiction involved in denying people the right to unearned wealth, while supporting programs that give people unearned wealth.

America is no longer the land of the free. It is now the land of the regulated -- though it is not alone in that, of course

The Leftist motto: "I love humanity. It's just people I can't stand"

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

Envy is a strong and widespread human emotion so there has alway been widespread support for policies of economic "levelling". Both the USA and the modern-day State of Israel were founded by communists but reality taught both societies that respect for the individual gave much better outcomes than levelling ideas. Sadly, there are many people in both societies in whom hatred for others is so strong that they are incapable of respect for the individual. The destructiveness of what they support causes them to call themselves many names in different times and places but they are the backbone of the political Left

Gore Vidal: "Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little". Vidal was of course a Leftist

The large number of rich Leftists suggests that, for them, envy is secondary. They are directly driven by hatred and scorn for many of the other people that they see about them. Hatred of others can be rooted in many things, not only in envy. But the haters come together as the Left. Some evidence here showing that envy is not what defines the Left

Leftists hate the world around them and want to change it: the people in it most particularly. Conservatives just want to be left alone to make their own decisions and follow their own values.

The failure of the Soviet experiment has definitely made the American Left more vicious and hate-filled than they were. The plain failure of what passed for ideas among them has enraged rather than humbled them.

Ronald Reagan famously observed that the status quo is Latin for “the mess we’re in.” So much for the vacant Leftist claim that conservatives are simply defenders of the status quo. They think that conservatives are as lacking in principles as they are.

Was Confucius a conservative? The following saying would seem to reflect good conservative caution: "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved."

The shallow thinkers of the Left sometimes claim that conservatives want to impose their own will on others in the matter of abortion. To make that claim is however to confuse religion with politics. Conservatives are in fact divided about their response to abortion. The REAL opposition to abortion is religious rather than political. And the church which has historically tended to support the LEFT -- the Roman Catholic church -- is the most fervent in the anti-abortion cause. Conservatives are indeed the one side of politics to have moral qualms on the issue but they tend to seek a middle road in dealing with it. Taking the issue to the point of legal prohibitions is a religious doctrine rather than a conservative one -- and the religion concerned may or may not be characteristically conservative. More on that here

Some Leftist hatred arises from the fact that they blame "society" for their own personal problems and inadequacies

The Leftist hunger for change to the society that they hate leads to a hunger for control over other people. And they will do and say anything to get that control: "Power at any price". Leftist politicians are mostly self-aggrandizing crooks who gain power by deceiving the uninformed with snake-oil promises -- power which they invariably use to destroy. Destruction is all that they are good at. Destruction is what haters do.

Leftists are consistent only in their hate. They don't have principles. How can they when "there is no such thing as right and wrong"? All they have is postures, pretend-principles that can be changed as easily as one changes one's shirt

A Leftist assumption: Making money doesn't entitle you to it, but wanting money does.

"Politicians never accuse you of 'greed' for wanting other people's money -- only for wanting to keep your own money." --columnist Joe Sobran (1946-2010)

Leftist policies are candy-coated rat poison that may appear appealing at first, but inevitably do a lot of damage to everyone impacted by them.

A tribute and thanks to Mary Jo Kopechne. Her death was reprehensible but she probably did more by her death that she ever would have in life: She spared the world a President Ted Kennedy. That the heap of corruption that was Ted Kennedy died peacefully in his bed is one of the clearest demonstrations that we do not live in a just world. Even Joe Stalin seems to have been smothered to death by Nikita Khrushchev

I often wonder why Leftists refer to conservatives as "wingnuts". A wingnut is a very useful device that adds versatility wherever it is used. Clearly, Leftists are not even good at abuse. Once they have accused their opponents of racism and Nazism, their cupboard is bare. Similarly, Leftists seem to think it is a devastating critique to refer to "Worldnet Daily" as "Worldnut Daily". The poverty of their argumentation is truly pitiful

The Leftist assertion that there is no such thing as right and wrong has a distinguished history. It was Pontius Pilate who said "What is truth?" (John 18:38). From a Christian viewpoint, the assertion is undoubtedly the Devil's gospel

Even in the Old Testament they knew about "Postmodernism": "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

Was Solomon the first conservative? "The hearts of men are full of evil and madness is in their hearts" -- Ecclesiastes: 9:3 (RSV). He could almost have been talking about Global Warming.

Leftist hatred of Christianity goes back as far as the massacre of the Carmelite nuns during the French revolution. Yancey has written a whole book tabulating modern Leftist hatred of Christians. It is a rival religion to Leftism.

"If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action." - Ludwig von Mises

The naive scholar who searches for a consistent Leftist program will not find it. What there is consists only in the negation of the present.

Because of their need to be different from the mainstream, Leftists are very good at pretending that sow's ears are silk purses

Among intelligent people, Leftism is a character defect. Leftists HATE success in others -- which is why notably successful societies such as the USA and Israel are hated and failures such as the Palestinians can do no wrong.

A Leftist's beliefs are all designed to pander to his ego. So when you have an argument with a Leftist, you are not really discussing the facts. You are threatening his self esteem. Which is why the normal Leftist response to challenge is mere abuse.

Because of the fragility of a Leftist's ego, anything that threatens it is intolerable and provokes rage. So most Leftist blogs can be summarized in one sentence: "How DARE anybody question what I believe!". Rage and abuse substitute for an appeal to facts and reason.

Because their beliefs serve their ego rather than reality, Leftists just KNOW what is good for us. Conservatives need evidence.

Absolute certainty is the privilege of uneducated men and fanatics. -- C.J. Keyser

Hell is paved with good intentions" -- Boswell's Life of Johnson of 1775

"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus


"Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him" (Proverbs 26: 12). I think that sums up Leftists pretty well.

Eminent British astrophysicist Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington is often quoted as saying: "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine." It was probably in fact said by his contemporary, J.B.S. Haldane. But regardless of authorship, it could well be a conservative credo not only about the cosmos but also about human beings and human society. Mankind is too complex to be summed up by simple rules and even complex rules are only approximations with many exceptions.

Politics is the only thing Leftists know about. They know nothing of economics, history or business. Their only expertise is in promoting feelings of grievance

Socialism makes the individual the slave of the state -- capitalism frees them.

Many readers here will have noticed that what I say about Leftists sometimes sounds reminiscent of what Leftists say about conservatives. There is an excellent reason for that. Leftists are great "projectors" (people who see their own faults in others). So a good first step in finding out what is true of Leftists is to look at what they say about conservatives! They even accuse conservatives of projection (of course).

The research shows clearly that one's Left/Right stance is strongly genetically inherited but nobody knows just what specifically is inherited. What is inherited that makes people Leftist or Rightist? There is any amount of evidence that personality traits are strongly genetically inherited so my proposal is that hard-core Leftists are people who tend to let their emotions (including hatred and envy) run away with them and who are much more in need of seeing themselves as better than others -- two attributes that are probably related to one another. Such Leftists may be an evolutionary leftover from a more primitive past.

Leftists seem to believe that if someone like Al Gore says it, it must be right. They obviously have a strong need for an authority figure. The fact that the two most authoritarian regimes of the 20th century (Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia) were socialist is thus no surprise. Leftists often accuse conservatives of being "authoritarian" but that is just part of their usual "projective" strategy -- seeing in others what is really true of themselves.

"With their infernal racial set-asides, racial quotas, and race norming, liberals share many of the Klan's premises. The Klan sees the world in terms of race and ethnicity. So do liberals! Indeed, liberals and white supremacists are the only people left in America who are neurotically obsessed with race. Conservatives champion a color-blind society" -- Ann Coulter

Politicians are in general only a little above average in intelligence so the idea that they can make better decisions for us that we can make ourselves is laughable

A quote from the late Dr. Adrian Rogers: "You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

The Supreme Court of the United States is now and always has been a judicial abomination. Its guiding principles have always been political rather than judicial. It is not as political as Stalin's courts but its respect for the constitution is little better. Some recent abuses: The "equal treatment" provision of the 14th amendment was specifically written to outlaw racial discrimination yet the court has allowed various forms of "affirmative action" for decades -- when all such policies should have been completely stuck down immediately. The 2nd. amendment says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed yet gun control laws infringe it in every State in the union. The 1st amendment provides that speech shall be freely exercised yet the court has upheld various restrictions on the financing and display of political advertising. The court has found a right to abortion in the constitution when the word abortion is not even mentioned there. The court invents rights that do not exist and denies rights that do.

"Some action that is unconstitutional has much to recommend it" -- Elena Kagan, nominated to SCOTUS by Obama

Frank Sulloway, the anti-scientist

The basic aim of all bureaucrats is to maximize their funding and minimize their workload

A lesson in Australian: When an Australian calls someone a "big-noter", he is saying that the person is a chronic and rather pathetic seeker of admiration -- as in someone who often pulls out "big notes" (e.g. $100.00 bills) to pay for things, thus endeavouring to create the impression that he is rich. The term describes the mentality rather than the actual behavior with money and it aptly describes many Leftists. When they purport to show "compassion" by advocating things that cost themselves nothing (e.g. advocating more taxes on "the rich" to help "the poor"), an Australian might say that the Leftist is "big-noting himself". There is an example of the usage here. The term conveys contempt. There is a wise description of Australians generally here

Some ancient wisdom for Leftists: "Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself over wise: Why shouldest thou die before thy time?" -- Ecclesiastes 7:16

Jesse Jackson: "There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery -- then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved." There ARE important racial differences.

Some Jimmy Carter wisdom: "I think it's inevitable that there will be a lower standard of living than what everybody had always anticipated," he told advisers in 1979. "there's going to be a downward turning."

Heritage is what survives death: Very rare and hence very valuable

Big business is not your friend. As Adam Smith said: "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty or justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary

How can I accept the Communist doctrine, which sets up as its bible, above and beyond criticism, an obsolete textbook which I know not only to be scientifically erroneous but without interest or application to the modern world? How can I adopt a creed which, preferring the mud to the fish, exalts the boorish proletariat above the bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia, who with all their faults, are the quality of life and surely carry the seeds of all human achievement? Even if we need a religion, how can we find it in the turbid rubbish of the red bookshop? It is hard for an educated, decent, intelligent son of Western Europe to find his ideals here, unless he has first suffered some strange and horrid process of conversion which has changed all his values. -- John Maynard Keynes

Some wisdom from "Bron" Waugh: "The purpose of politics is to help them [politicians] overcome these feelings of inferiority and compensate for their personal inadequacies in the pursuit of power"

"There are countless horrible things happening all over the country, and horrible people prospering, but we must never allow them to disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to sabotage and annoy them whenever possible"

The urge to pass new laws must be seen as an illness, not much different from the urge to bite old women. Anyone suspected of suffering from it should either be treated with the appropriate pills or, if it is too late for that, elected to Parliament [or Congress, as the case may be] and paid a huge salary with endless holidays, to do nothing whatever"

"It is my settled opinion, after some years as a political correspondent, that no one is attracted to a political career in the first place unless he is socially or emotionally crippled"

Two lines below of a famous hymn that would be incomprehensible to Leftists today ("honor"? "right"? "freedom?" Freedom to agree with them is the only freedom they believe in)

First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean

It is of course the hymn of the USMC -- still today the relentless warriors that they always were. Freedom needs a soldier

If any of the short observations above about Leftism seem wrong, note that they do not stand alone. The evidence for them is set out at great length in my MONOGRAPH on Leftism.

3 memoirs of "Supermac", a 20th century Disraeli (Aristocratic British Conservative Prime Minister -- 1957 to 1963 -- Harold Macmillan):

"It breaks my heart to see (I can't interfere or do anything at my age) what is happening in our country today - this terrible strike of the best men in the world, who beat the Kaiser's army and beat Hitler's army, and never gave in. Pointless, endless. We can't afford that kind of thing. And then this growing division which the noble Lord who has just spoken mentioned, of a comparatively prosperous south, and an ailing north and midlands. That can't go on." -- Mac on the British working class: "the best men in the world" (From his Maiden speech in the House of Lords, 13 November 1984)

"As a Conservative, I am naturally in favour of returning into private ownership and private management all those means of production and distribution which are now controlled by state capitalism"

During Macmillan's time as prime minister, average living standards steadily rose while numerous social reforms were carried out

"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see." --?Arthur Schopenhauer


The Bible is an Israeli book

To me, hostility to the Jews is a terrible tragedy. I weep for them at times. And I do literally put my money where my mouth is. I do at times send money to Israeli charities

My (Gentile) opinion of antisemitism: The Jews are the best we've got so killing them is killing us.

"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" -- Genesis 12:3

"O pray for the peace of Jerusalem: They shall prosper that love thee" Psalm 122:6.

If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy -- Psalm 137 (NIV)

Israel, like the Jews throughout history, is hated not for her vices but her virtues. Israel is hated, as the United States is hated, because Israel is successful, because Israel is free, and because Israel is good. As Maxim Gorky put it: “Whatever nonsense the anti-Semites may talk, they dislike the Jew only because he is obviously better, more adroit, and more willing and capable of work than they are.” Whether driven by culture or genes—or like most behavior, an inextricable mix—the fact of Jewish genius is demonstrable." -- George Gilder

To Leftist haters, all the basic rules of liberal society — rejection of hate speech, commitment to academic freedom, rooting out racism, the absolute commitment to human dignity — go out the window when the subject is Israel.

I have always liked the story of Gideon (See Judges chapters 6 to 8) and it is surely no surprise that in the present age Israel is the Gideon of nations: Few in numbers but big in power and impact.

Is the Israel Defence Force the most effective military force per capita since Genghis Khan? They probably are but they are also the most ethically advanced military force that the world has ever seen

If I were not an atheist, I would believe that God had a sense of humour. He gave his chosen people (the Jews) enormous advantages -- high intelligence and high drive -- but to keep it fair he deprived them of something hugely important too: Political sense. So Jews to this day tend very strongly to be Leftist -- even though the chief source of antisemitism for roughly the last 200 years has been the political Left!

And the other side of the coin is that Jews tend to despise conservatives and Christians. Yet American fundamentalist Christians are the bedrock of the vital American support for Israel, the ultimate bolthole for all Jews. So Jewish political irrationality seems to be a rather good example of the saying that "The LORD giveth and the LORD taketh away". There are many other examples of such perversity (or "balance"). The sometimes severe side-effects of most pharmaceutical drugs is an obvious one but there is another ethnic example too, a rather amusing one. Chinese people are in general smart and patient people but their rate of traffic accidents in China is about 10 times higher than what prevails in Western societies. They are brilliant mathematicians and fearless business entrepreneurs but at the same time bad drivers!

Conservatives, on the other hand, could be antisemitic on entirely rational grounds: Namely, the overwhelming Leftism of the Diaspora Jewish population as a whole. Because they judge the individual, however, only a tiny minority of conservative-oriented people make such general judgments. The longer Jews continue on their "stiff-necked" course, however, the more that is in danger of changing. The children of Israel have been a stiff necked people since the days of Moses, however, so they will no doubt continue to vote with their emotions rather than their reason.

I despair of the ADL. Jews have enough problems already and yet in the ADL one has a prominent Jewish organization that does its best to make itself offensive to Christians. Their Leftism is more important to them than the welfare of Jewry -- which is the exact opposite of what they ostensibly stand for! Jewish cleverness seems to vanish when politics are involved. Fortunately, Christians are true to their saviour and have loving hearts. Jewish dissatisfaction with the myopia of the ADL is outlined here. Note that Foxy was too grand to reply to it.

Fortunately for America, though, liberal Jews there are rapidly dying out through intermarriage and failure to reproduce. And the quite poisonous liberal Jews of Israel are not much better off. Judaism is slowly returning to Orthodoxy and the Orthodox tend to be conservative.

The above is good testimony to the accuracy of the basic conservative insight that almost anything in human life is too complex to be reduced to any simple rule and too complex to be reduced to any rule at all without allowance for important exceptions to the rule concerned

Amid their many virtues, one virtue is often lacking among Jews in general and Israelis in particular: Humility. And that's an antisemitic comment only if Hashem is antisemitic. From Moses on, the Hebrew prophets repeatedy accused the Israelites of being "stiff-necked" and urged them to repent. So it's no wonder that the greatest Jewish prophet of all -- Jesus -- not only urged humility but exemplified it in his life and death

"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here. For roughly two centuries now, antisemitism has, throughout the Western world, been principally associated with Leftism (including the socialist Hitler) -- as it is to this day. See here.

Karl Marx hated just about everyone. Even his father, the kindly Heinrich Marx, thought Karl was not much of a human being

Leftists call their hatred of Israel "Anti-Zionism" but Zionists are only a small minority in Israel

Some of the Leftist hatred of Israel is motivated by old-fashioned antisemitism (beliefs in Jewish "control" etc.) but most of it is just the regular Leftist hatred of success in others. And because the societies they inhabit do not give them the vast amount of recognition that their large but weak egos need, some of the most virulent haters of Israel and America live in those countries. So the hatred is the product of pathologically high self-esteem.

Their threatened egos sometimes drive Leftists into quite desperate flights from reality. For instance, they often call Israel an "Apartheid state" -- when it is in fact the Arab states that practice Apartheid -- witness the severe restrictions on Christians in Saudi Arabia. There are no such restrictions in Israel.

If the Palestinians put down their weapons, there'd be peace. If the Israelis put down their weapons, there'd be genocide.


Many people hunger and thirst after righteousness. Some find it in the hatreds of the Left. Others find it in the love of Christ. I don't hunger and thirst after righteousness at all. I hunger and thirst after truth. How old-fashioned can you get?

The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody. And I have NO investments in oil companies, mining companies or "Big Pharma"

UPDATE: Despite my (statistical) aversion to mining stocks, I have recently bought a few shares in BHP -- the world's biggest miner, I gather. I run the grave risk of becoming a speaker of famous last words for saying this but I suspect that BHP is now so big as to be largely immune from the risks that plague most mining companies. I also know of no issue affecting BHP where my writings would have any relevance. The Left seem to have a visceral hatred of miners. I have never quite figured out why.

I imagine that few of my readers will understand it, but I am an unabashed monarchist. And, as someone who was born and bred in a monarchy and who still lives there (i.e. Australia), that gives me no conflicts at all. In theory, one's respect for the monarchy does not depend on who wears the crown but the impeccable behaviour of the present Queen does of course help perpetuate that respect. Aside from my huge respect for the Queen, however, my favourite member of the Royal family is the redheaded Prince Harry. The Royal family is of course a military family and Prince Harry is a great example of that. As one of the world's most privileged people, he could well be an idle layabout but instead he loves his life in the army. When his girlfriend Chelsy ditched him because he was so often away, Prince Harry said: "I love Chelsy but the army comes first". A perfect military man! I doubt that many women would understand or approve of his attitude but perhaps my own small army background powers my approval of that attitude.

I imagine that most Americans might find this rather mad -- but I believe that a constitutional Monarchy is the best form of government presently available. Can a libertarian be a Monarchist? I think so -- and prominent British libertarian Sean Gabb seems to think so too! Long live the Queen! (And note that Australia ranks well above the USA on the Index of Economic freedom. Heh!)

The Australian flag with the Union Jack quartered in it

Throughout Europe there is an association between monarchism and conservatism. It is a little sad that American conservatives do not have access to that satisfaction. So even though Australia is much more distant from Europe (geographically) than the USA is, Australia is in some ways more of an outpost of Europe than America is! Mind you: Australia is not very atypical of its region. Australia lies just South of Asia -- and both Japan and Thailand have greatly respected monarchies. And the demise of the Cambodian monarchy was disastrous for Cambodia

Throughout the world today, possession of a U.S. or U.K. passport is greatly valued. I once shared that view. Developments in recent years have however made me profoundly grateful that I am a 5th generation Australian. My Australian passport is a door into a much less oppressive and much less messed-up place than either the USA or Britain

Following the Sotomayor precedent, I would hope that a wise older white man such as myself with the richness of that experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than someone who hasn’t lived that life.

IQ and ideology: Most academics are Left-leaning. Why? Because very bright people who have balls go into business, while very bright people with no balls go into academe. I did both with considerable success, which makes me a considerable rarity. Although I am a born academic, I have always been good with money too. My share portfolio even survived the GFC in good shape. The academics hate it that bright people with balls make more money than them.

I have no hesitation in saying that the single book which has influenced me most is the New Testament. And my Scripture blog will show that I know whereof I speak. Some might conclude that I must therefore be a very confused sort of atheist but I can assure everyone that I do not feel the least bit confused. The New Testament is a lighthouse that has illumined the thinking of all sorts of men and women and I am deeply grateful that it has shone on me.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age. Conservatism is in touch with reality. Leftism is not.

I imagine that the RD are still sending mailouts to my 1950s address

Most teenagers have sporting and movie posters on their bedroom walls. At age 14 I had a map of Taiwan on my wall.

"Remind me never to get this guy mad at me" -- Instapundit

It seems to be a common view that you cannot talk informatively about a country unless you have been there. I completely reject that view but it is nonetheless likely that some Leftist dimbulb will at some stage aver that any comments I make about politics and events in the USA should not be heeded because I am an Australian who has lived almost all his life in Australia. I am reluctant to pander to such ignorance in the era of the "global village" but for the sake of the argument I might mention that I have visited the USA 3 times -- spending enough time in Los Angeles and NYC to get to know a fair bit about those places at least. I did however get outside those places enough to realize that they are NOT America.

"Intellectual" = Leftist dreamer. I have more publications in the academic journals than almost all "public intellectuals" but I am never called an intellectual and nor would I want to be. Call me a scholar or an academic, however, and I will accept either as a just and earned appellation

A small personal note: I have always been very self-confident. I inherited it from my mother, along with my skeptical nature. So I don't need to feed my self-esteem by claiming that I am wiser than others -- which is what Leftists do.

As with conservatives generally, it bothers me not a bit to admit to large gaps in my knowledge and understanding. For instance, I don't know if the slight global warming of the 20th century will resume in the 21st, though I suspect not. And I don't know what a "healthy" diet is, if there is one. Constantly-changing official advice on the matter suggests that nobody knows

Leftists are usually just anxious little people trying to pretend that they are significant. No doubt there are some Leftists who are genuinely concerned about inequities in our society but their arrogance lies in thinking that they understand it without close enquiry

My academic background

My full name is Dr. John Joseph RAY. I am a former university teacher aged 65 at the time of writing in 2009. I was born of Australian pioneer stock in 1943 at Innisfail in the State of Queensland in Australia. I trace my ancestry wholly to the British Isles. After an early education at Innisfail State Rural School and Cairns State High School, I taught myself for matriculation. I took my B.A. in Psychology from the University of Queensland in Brisbane. I then moved to Sydney (in New South Wales, Australia) and took my M.A. in psychology from the University of Sydney in 1969 and my Ph.D. from the School of Behavioural Sciences at Macquarie University in 1974. I first tutored in psychology at Macquarie University and then taught sociology at the University of NSW. My doctorate is in psychology but I taught mainly sociology in my 14 years as a university teacher. In High Schools I taught economics. I have taught in both traditional and "progressive" (low discipline) High Schools. Fuller biographical notes here

I completed the work for my Ph.D. at the end of 1970 but the degree was not awarded until 1974 -- due to some academic nastiness from Seymour Martin Lipset and Fred Emery. A conservative or libertarian who makes it through the academic maze has to be at least twice as good as the average conformist Leftist. Fortunately, I am a born academic.

Despite my great sympathy and respect for Christianity, I am the most complete atheist you could find. I don't even believe that the word "God" is meaningful. I am not at all original in that view, of course. Such views are particularly associated with the noted German philosopher Rudolf Carnap. Unlike Carnap, however, none of my wives have committed suicide

Very occasionally in my writings I make reference to the greats of analytical philosophy such as Carnap and Wittgenstein. As philosophy is a heavily Leftist discipline however, I have long awaited an attack from some philosopher accusing me of making coat-trailing references not backed by any real philosophical erudition. I suppose it is encouraging that no such attacks have eventuated but I thought that I should perhaps forestall them anyway -- by pointing out that in my younger days I did complete three full-year courses in analytical philosophy (at 3 different universities!) and that I have had papers on mainstream analytical philosophy topics published in academic journals

As well as being an academic, I am an army man and I am pleased and proud to say that I have worn my country's uniform. Although my service in the Australian army was chiefly noted for its un-notability, I DID join voluntarily in the Vietnam era, I DID reach the rank of Sergeant, and I DID volunteer for a posting in Vietnam. So I think I may be forgiven for saying something that most army men think but which most don't say because they think it is too obvious: The profession of arms is the noblest profession of all because it is the only profession where you offer to lay down your life in performing your duties. Our men fought so that people could say and think what they like but I myself always treat military men with great respect -- respect which in my view is simply their due.

A real army story here

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day and there is JUST ONE saying of Hitler's that I rather like. It may not even be original to him but it is found in chapter 2 of Mein Kampf (published in 1925): "Widerstaende sind nicht da, dass man vor ihnen kapituliert, sondern dass man sie bricht". The equivalent English saying is "Difficulties exist to be overcome" and that traces back at least to the 1920s -- with attributions to Montessori and others. Hitler's metaphor is however one of smashing barriers rather than of politely hopping over them and I am myself certainly more outspoken than polite. Hitler's colloquial Southern German is notoriously difficult to translate but I think I can manage a reasonable translation of that saying: "Resistance is there not for us to capitulate to but for us to break". I am quite sure that I don't have anything like that degree of determination in my own life but it seems to me to be a good attitude in general anyway

I have used many sites to post my writings over the years and many have gone bad on me for various reasons. So if you click on a link here to my other writings you may get a "page not found" response if the link was put up some time before the present. All is not lost, however. All my writings have been reposted elsewhere. If you do strike a failed link, just take the filename (the last part of the link) and add it to the address of any of my current home pages and -- Voila! -- you should find the article concerned.

COMMENTS: I have gradually added comments facilities to all my blogs. The comments I get are interesting. They are mostly from Leftists and most consist either of abuse or mere assertions. Reasoned arguments backed up by references to supporting evidence are almost unheard of from Leftists. Needless to say, I just delete such useless comments.

You can email me here (Hotmail address). In emailing me, you can address me as "John", "Jon", "Dr. Ray" or "JR" and that will be fine -- but my preference is for "JR" -- and that preference has NOTHING to do with an American soap opera that featured a character who was referred to in that way


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To be continued ....
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