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

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

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

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30 November, 2017

Shock! Horror!  Conservatives are more cautious

The article below is an amusing example of "spin".  They report research which shows that conservatives are innately more cautious -- something that no-one I know would argue with. We rather celebrate it, in fact.  Caution is almost the definition of conservatism.  But the galoots below seem to think that they have shown something new. 

The only way they justify that is by seeing caution as "fear".  But even that is unoriginal.  Conservatives do indeed have realistic fears and make no apologies for it.  They particularly fear the outcomes of the madcap schemes that Leftists embark upon -- such as the"Affordable Care Act", which has deprived many Americans of healthcare altogether -- via the huge deductibles that are now often asked before any care is given.

The article is rubbishy in other ways too. The sample consisted of people taking an online survey. But such surveys routinely give a different picture from a proper random sample. The generalizability of the findings is therefore unknown.  You can only generalize to a population if you have taken a random or otherwise representative sample of that population.

And they make quite a point about a suspicion of minorities being associated with a germ model.  I quote:  "For centuries, arch-conservative leaders have often referred to scapegoated minority groups as “germs” or “bacteria” that seek to invade and destroy their country from within."

Curiously, they don't name any such leader.  But there certainly is one leader who did that:  Adolf Hitler, a socialist.  Arch-conservatives, such as Winston Churchill opposed him.  He wasn't one of them. 

Hitler even used the old revolutionary slogan "Alles muss anders sein" (Everything must change).  Is that arch conservative?  He wanted to "fundamentally transform" Germany, just as Obama wanted to do to America.  It is an old Marxist lie that Hitler was conservative.

The article seems to imply that the changes they made in people's attitudes were permanent.  But there is no evidence of that given.  It is improbable.

At Yale, we conducted an experiment to turn conservatives into liberals. The results say a lot about our political divisions

By John Bargh

Keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe from harm is perhaps our strongest human motivation, deeply embedded in our very DNA. It is so deep and important that it influences much of what we think and do, maybe more than we might expect. For example, over a decade now of research in political psychology consistently shows that how physically threatened or fearful a person feels is a key factor — although clearly not the only one — in whether he or she holds conservative or liberal attitudes.

Conservatives, it turns out, react more strongly to physical threat than liberals do. In fact, their greater concern with physical safety seems to be determined early in life: In one University of California study, the more fear a 4-year-old showed in a laboratory situation, the more conservative his or her political attitudes were found to be 20 years later. Brain imaging studies have even shown that the fear center of the brain, the amygdala, is actually larger in conservatives than in liberals. And many other laboratory studies have found that when adult liberals experienced physical threat, their political and social attitudes became more conservative (temporarily, of course). But no one had ever turned conservatives into liberals.

Until we did.

In a new study to appear in a forthcoming issue of the European Journal of Social Psychology, my colleagues Jaime Napier, Julie Huang and Andy Vonasch and I asked 300 U.S. residents in an online survey their opinions on several contemporary issues such as gay rights, abortion, feminism and immigration, as well as social change in general. The group was two-thirds female, about three-quarters white, with an average age of 35. Thirty-percent of the participants self-identified as Republican, and the rest as Democrat.

But before they answered the survey questions, we had them engage in an intense imagination exercise. They were asked to close their eyes and richly imagine being visited by a genie who granted them a superpower. For half of our participants, this superpower was to be able to fly, under one’s own power. For the other half, it was to be completely physically safe, invulnerable to any harm.

If they had just imagined being able to fly, their responses to the social attitude survey showed the usual clear difference between Republicans and Democrats — the former endorsed more conservative positions on social issues and were also more resistant to social change in general.

But if they had instead just imagined being completely physically safe, the Republicans became significantly more liberal — their positions on social attitudes were much more like the Democratic respondents. And on the issue of social change in general, the Republicans’ attitudes were now indistinguishable from the Democrats. Imagining being completely safe from physical harm had done what no experiment had done before — it had turned conservatives into liberals.

In both instances, we had manipulated a deeper underlying reason for political attitudes, the strength of the basic motivation of safety and survival. The boiling water of our social and political attitudes, it seems, can be turned up or down by changing how physically safe we feel.

This is why it makes sense that liberal politicians intuitively portray danger as manageable — recall FDR’s famous Great Depression era reassurance of “nothing to fear but fear itself,” echoed decades later in Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address — and why President Trump and other Republican politicians are instead likely to emphasize the dangers of terrorism and immigration, relying on fear as a motivator to gain votes.

In fact, anti-immigration attitudes are also linked directly to the underlying basic drive for physical safety. For centuries, arch-conservative leaders have often referred to scapegoated minority groups as “germs” or “bacteria” that seek to invade and destroy their country from within. President Trump is an acknowledged germaphobe, and he has a penchant for describing people — not only immigrants but political opponents and former Miss Universe contestants — as “disgusting.”

“Immigrants are like viruses” is a powerful metaphor, because in comparing immigrants entering a country to germs entering a human body, it speaks directly to our powerful innate motivation to avoid contamination and disease. Until very recently in human history, not only did we not have antibiotics, we did not even know how infections occurred or diseases transmitted, and cuts and open wounds were quite dangerous. (In the American Civil War, for example, 60 out of every 1,000 soldiers died not by bullets or bayonets, but by infections.)

Therefore, we reasoned, making people feel safer about a dangerous flu virus should serve to calm their fears about immigrants — and making them feel more threatened by the flu virus should cause them to be more against immigration than they were before. In a 2011 study, my colleagues and I showed just that. First, we reminded our nationwide sample of liberals and conservatives about the threat of the flu virus (during the H1N1 epidemic), and then measured their attitudes toward immigration. Afterward we simply asked them if they’d already gotten their flu shot or not. It turned out that those who had not gotten a flu shot (feeling threatened) expressed more negative attitudes toward immigration, while those who had received the vaccination (feeling safe) had more positive attitudes about immigration.

In another study, using hand sanitizer after being warned about the flu virus had the same effect on immigration attitudes as had being vaccinated. A simple squirt of Purell after we had raised the threat of the flu had changed their minds. It made them feel safe from the dangerous virus, and this made them feel socially safe from immigrants as well.

SOURCE/.  There are some further critical comments on the study here


CFPB Is an Offense to the Constitution: Time to Abolish It

The spectacle of two people turning up at a major government bureau claiming to be its Acting Director this Monday is not just an indignity – it’s an affront to the Constitution. Back in 2010, the Democrat-controlled Congress set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to operate independently of oversight. Amid a host of other problems, that arrangement has now resulted in a mid-level bureaucrat from the bureau defying the President, his legal advisers, and the CFPB’s own legal department in an attempt to assert control. Congress needs to recognize its past mistake, abolish this lawless bureau, and start over.

In a normal government agency, its head is responsible to the President. If an agency director overreaches, the President can fire him or her as a check on power. With independent agencies, the director is typically insulated from Presidential firings, but in the past that was balanced by a different sort of accountability: the presence of several commissioners, each answerable to one another. The CFPB was set up as an independent bureau with a sole director.

Moreover, the Dodd-Frank act that set up the bureau says that the President cannot fire the director except “for cause” (e.g. malfeasance), and the director has no colleagues to whom he or she is answerable either. Moreover, because the CFPB gets its funding on demand from the Federal Reserve, Congress cannot exercise the power of the purse to discipline the CFPB director by withholding funds, as is the case with other independent agencies.

In a final rebuke to such constitutional protections, Dodd-Frank says that the director can appoint a deputy director who will take over in the director’s absence, which may include the director’s resignation. That is what happened here, as departing director Richard Cordray appointed his Chief of Staff, Leandra English, as deputy director on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. So Ms. English, a mid-level bureaucrat, is claiming to be the rightful Acting Director.

Problem is, there is also another, general statute that covers vacancies for positions appointed by the President, the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. This allows the President, in the event of a vacancy for a Senate-confirmed position, to appoint another Senate-confirmed official to act as director until he nominates a full-time replacement. The President relied on this statute to promptly appoint Office of Management and Budget head Mick Mulvaney as Acting Director on the same Friday that Cordray tried to appoint English to that post. Incredibly, Ms. English (who, needless to say, has not been confirmed by the Senate) brought a lawsuit two days later, on Sunday, to stop the President’s appointment. (Constitutional lawyer Adam White delves into the dueling legal theories at the Yale Journal of Regulation.)

Yet whoever ends up as Acting Director, the embarrassing and disruptive fiasco illustrates how Dodd-Frank’s attempt to create an all-powerful independent executive agency flouts constitutional norms. The Constitution vests the power to execute the laws and appoint high-level officials in the President, not in bureaucrats. The Constitution vests the power to allocate taxpayer money in the Congress, not the Federal Reserve.

The Constitution was specifically designed to do all this for very good reasons. A government official who lacks the checks and balances of accountability is likely to abuse power. So it proved with the CFPB.

Director Cordray, for instance, abused the due process rights of a New Jersey-based mortgage processing firm, PHH Corporation. His CFPB abruptly changed the long-standing interpretation of a rule to do with reinsuring mortgage products, applied that retrospectively to PHH (and others), and then fined the company millions of dollars for infringing a rule it did not know would be changed. The CFPB appealed the decision of its own Administrative Law Judge that PHH should be fined to none other than … Director Cordray himself! Cordray then upped the fine by many more millions.

Under Cordray, the CFPB has also engaged in attempts to get around Congressional restrictions on its power. The Dodd-Frank Act stops the CFPB from regulating auto loans, but the bureau has nonetheless attempted to exercise power over auto lenders, devising statistical models to show alleged racial discrimination in auto lending and otherwise trying to regulate various products sold as part of auto loans.

The bureau has also engaged in fishing expeditions in an attempt to expand its power. Immigration services provider Nexus Services is currently in court trying to stop the CFPB from demanding countless financial records of both it and its clients. Nexus simply does not provide any sort of credit to its clients, but the CFPB says that it cannot take the company’s word for it, so is demanding the documents.

Unfortunately, it is unlikely that even legitimate Acting Director Mulvaney would be able to fix these institutional problems. A past Congress made the mistake of granting the CFPB Director these unconstitutional powers, so the current Congress should make it a priority to set things right. The best way to do that is to start again, return consumer protection from fraud and deception to the Federal Trade Commission, and just abolish the CFPB entirely.



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

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


29 November, 2017

Victims of hate

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock, you will have noticed an ominous cultural shift resulting in the wholesale condemnation of one class of people, namely, white, American males. In particular white, conservative, American males. By definition, they are evil, and by default, they are guilty. Whatever comes their way, they deserve.

Perhaps the one tweet best expressing this outlook comes from a black woman named Taiyesha Baker who used the moniker “Night Nurse.” She wrote, “Every white woman raises a detriment to society when they raise a son. Someone with the HIGHEST propensity to be a terrorist, rapist, racist, killer, and domestic violence all star. Historically every son you had should be sacrificed to the wolves.”

Are these sentiments extreme? Absolutely, and there has been a firestorm of well-deserved criticism against Baker. And I’m sure many black Americans find her comments utterly abhorrent.

But these sentiments were not expressed in a vacuum. Baker only articulated what some others were thinking, albeit in very extreme terms. Those evil, white males! It’s best if all of them were slaughtered in infancy, “sacrificed to the wolves.”

Emily Lindin, a white columnist with Teen Vogue, shared some similar sentiments, although, in her case, the hostility was not as extreme and was not limited to white males. Any male will do!

She tweeted, “Here's an unpopular opinion: I'm actually not at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/harassment allegations.”

Come again? You have no problem with innocent males losing their jobs after being falsely accused? You wouldn’t mind if it was a fine, respectable, upright, ethical, hardworking, kindhearted man whose reputation was sullied and whose career destroyed because of outright lies? You wouldn’t mind if this happened to your father or your brother (or husband, if you are married)?

Precisely so. As she explained, “Sorry. If some innocent men's reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay.”

Patriarchy must be crushed, and there will always be innocent casualties of war. So be it.

As for whiteness, it is inherently evil and must be eliminated or subjugated.

This is the fruit of decades of radical feminism and identity politics. It is fruit that is rotten to the core.

As for white evangelicals, African American TV host Roland Martin gives us a succinct summary. Martin was asked, “For a party that is evangelical and dealing with someone who was claiming to be a religious moral leader [speaking of Judge Roy Moore], what does that tell us?”  Martin responded, “It tells us, first of all, white evangelicals do not care.”

As he explained, “Because if you look at Jerry Falwell Jr., you look at Ralph Reed, you look at Tony Perkins, you look at Robert Jeffress, you look at how they have defended anything and everything Donald Trump has done. They don’t care.

“White conservative evangelicals also care about power. All they care about is a right-wing judge on the Supreme Court. All they care about are the same judges on the federal bench.”

All clear. White evangelicals are not concerned with the sanctity of life, beginning in the womb. White evangelicals are not concerned with preserving religious liberties, a bedrock of our society. White evangelicals are not concerned with caring for the poor and the needy. White evangelicals only want power so they can dominate society and (as Martin further expressed) make “profits” from their power.

All these comments and quotes reflect what happens when a group of people gets caricatured, when there is an Animal Farm type reaction that demonizes those who are dominant in society, when “justice” means hurting those whom you perceive have previously hurt you.

Have whites oppressed blacks in the past? Then all whites are evil. Have men hurt women? Then all men are evil. Have evangelicals been hypocritical? Then all evangelicals are evil.

It hardly matters that the vast majority of men recently accused of sexual harassment are liberals or that other liberals are covering for them (like Nancy Pelosi claiming that Congressman John Conyers is an “icon” who deserves due process while calling Roy Moore a “child molester,” or MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt defending Al Franken).

No. It is those hypocritical, power-hungry, white evangelicals. Their only agenda is to dominate the country again and rule over everyone else. That’s just what white evangelicals do.

To be sure, anti-white, anti-male, and anti-evangelical sentiments like this are not new. But having simmered and festered for several decades on university campuses and among liberal intelligentsia, they are now rising to the surface with shocking anger and ferocity.

The controversial nature of the Trump presidency, following on the heels of eight years of identity politics under President Obama, provided the perfect breeding ground.

That’s why, in the coming days, I expect even more shrill, more despicable sentiments to be expressed. You have been forewarned.

On our end – and by “our” I mean civil-minded people from every background – we do well to major on the majors: standing for justice for all; standing with the oppressed; and standing against stereotypes and lies.

This way we can be busy doing good while the extremists are getting exposed for who they really are.



Hedonism's Predictable Horrors

At the center of today's outbreak of sexual deviancy lies hedonism and modern liberalism

"There's no such thing as right and wrong" liberals say.  And they practice it

Headlines lately serve as sirens warning of an epidemic of a widespread contagion called sexual misconduct. Presenting in various forms — harassment, groping, fondling, intimidation and rape — these inappropriate behaviors are in the public view because individuals on both sides of the political aisle and within the media/entertainment industry are standing accused as pedophiles, rapists, perverts and power-hungry sex addicts.

The unending disgust is justified. None of these alleged behaviors, if true, is ever right or appropriate, though there is a vast distinction lost to conflation. The #MeToo hashtag activism railing against predators and predatory behavior soars to new heights of moral supremacy, while accomplishing nothing.

But how exactly did the American culture arrive at such a moment? How did our mores slide from viewing pornography in private to living it out in the public square as daily fare?

Those who blame Donald Trump are laughingly ignorant and live blissfully under the banner of victimhood, finding a target of hatred and blame for their own missteps and grievances. Those who blame a prominent institution of our society such as the media or education get a bit closer to touching part of the answer. The aforementioned institutions have been and are tools that have chipped away at our standards and norms to yield such cultural and moral decay.

At the center of today’s outbreak of sexual deviancy lies several factors, among which are two that we’ll approach broadly: hedonism and modern liberalism.

According to Stanford’s Encyclopedia of Philosophy, hedonism is a philosophy, whether taught or simply pursued out of human satisfaction, that’s been argued back to Plato and Aristotle. It’s founded on the premise that humankind is motivated by either pleasure or pain, with the former being understood in terms of pleasant feelings, experiences, delight, gratification and emotions of the like. Restraints to the pure elation sought at all costs of human behavior, consequences to others and even criminality have been the observances and practices of religion, a common morality and the respect of the law.

Those who observe hedonism, whether deliberately or not, possess a few common characteristics of self-indulgences, addictions, excesses, unbridled pursuit of individual satisfaction and the exploitation of others for an end goal. Clearly, the sexual deviants under public scrutiny manifest these characteristics.

But, hey, back in the 1960s, the revolution of the individual — the root of hedonism — and the elevation of a clash of culture against accepted norms heralded self-indulgence, addictions, excess and the “freedom” to do with one’s body as one chose. This birthed a new type of liberalism. Modern liberalism targets an individual’s pleasures and desire for “freedoms.” The Left redefined the “empowered” woman to be one whose anatomy is her own to display, exploit, prostitute, sexualize, objectify, etc., even extending to terminating the life of her unborn child in the name of “choice.” Pleasure without consequence.

These two darlings of deviancy are raging at the core of our cultural war today. Hedonism spans the ages because it’s a doctrine based on the human tendency to satisfy versus experience pain and discomfort. Liberalism, however, has been hijacked by radicals to weaponize egalitarianism and individualism. Thus they inflict societal and individual self-harm under the wrongheaded belief that any standards are to be treated as bigoted judgments instead of logic based on objective reasoning and discernment.

Let’s take these two approaches — hedonism and modern liberalism — and see how today’s “sudden” rash of sexual scandals has been a predictable outcome.

In 1996, Judge Robert Bork wrote a prescient book, Slouching Towards Gomorrah, which greatly expanded the notion of “defining deviancy down” and fingered radical egalitarianism and radical individualism as the responsible culprits in our cultural decay. Bork cited Emile Durkheim, a founder of sociology, who observed a limit ultimately reached by a society of deviant behavior that recalibrates norms. Specifically, as collective behavior coarsens, and deviant behavior prevails, the community will adjust its standards to define deviancy down related to drug use, illegitimacy, promiscuity, and the like, and begin to normalize wrong conduct — even crime.

So, our natural bent to pursue pleasure has been combined with political indoctrination to create today’s cultural cesspool. There’s no shock — it just took time for the mixture to prove its putrid toxicity.

Take pornography. In its original definition, pornography was the visual consumption of material that prostituted an individual’s physical essence for the sexual pleasure of voyeurs. Today, that which was deemed to be pornography just two decades ago is now disguised as various television series and watched by millions.

Remember, applying the philosophy of hedonism, pornography then and now is meant to achieve pleasure. Coupled with modern day liberalism, an individual’s anatomy is theirs to exploit as a government-sanctioned right to empower self. Yet when that which previously restrained hedonism — the ideas of moral limitation, respect of the law and even the application of religion that one’s body is a uniquely created, precious vessel fashioned in the likeness of one’s Creator — has been politically and publicly disdained, we’re supposed to feign shock that sexual squalor in the workplace, in our media, in our entertainment and in our politics is normal.

There was a day when pornography was “look, don’t touch.” In 2017, the predictable horrors of hedonism are rampant and being fanned by liberalism’s indoctrination. So, today pornography is occurring in real time as daily life in the halls of Congress, in the studios of Hollywood, in the newsrooms of major broadcast news organizations and throughout our society.

So, when will society see the value of the boundaries provided through the respect of law and religion? When will society wake up and reject the almost mythical mess created through the follies of modern liberalism?



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

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


28 November, 2017

Scrap the Obamacare mandate

by Jeff Jacoby

ALASKA SENATOR LISA MURKOWSKI, a Republican, repeatedly opposed her party's attempts this year to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But doing away with the ACA's individual mandate, a change included in tax-reform legislation being readied by Senate Republicans, is a different matter.

"I have always supported the freedom to choose," Murkowski wrote in an op-ed for the Daily News-Miner in Fairbanks. "I believe that the federal government should not force anyone to buy something they do not wish to buy, in order to avoid being taxed."

Murkowski's positions — unwilling to kill Obamacare but very willing to kill the individual mandate — put her squarely in the mainstream. The individual mandate, unfair and ineffective, has always been the most disliked feature of the law, and not just by Republicans.

From the outset, Americans across the spectrum resented the notion that the federal government could order citizens to buy something they didn't want — not as a condition to doing something, the way auto insurance is required for those who wish to drive a car on public roads, but simply for being alive. According to an Economist/YouGov survey in February, the requirement to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty was opposed by two-thirds of US adults. In May, a Harris Poll found that 58 percent of the public opposed the individual mandate, with only 24 percent in favor.

You can be a liberal Democrat committed to affordable health insurance for everyone and still be against an individual mandate. That was Barack Obama's original position, and he reiterated it often during his 2008 campaign. "If a mandate was the solution," he said in a Super Tuesday interview, "we could try that to solve homelessness by mandating that everybody buy a house. The reason they don't have a house is they don't have the money."

It was a good argument then; it's an even better argument now. In 2015, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen reported to Congress, about 6.5 million American households paid the tax penalty for not having health insurance. The fine isn't trivial. Tax filers this year who don't acquire health insurance must pay the government a fee equal to $695 per adult plus $347.50 per child, or 2.5 percent of total family income — whichever is greater. Yet, steep as the penalty is, millions of Americans would rather fork it over than buy medical insurance they don't want or can't afford. Nearly 80 percent of those who paid the fee in 2015 earned less than $50,000.

The individual mandate amounts to a tax on low- and middle-income families. And it would be whacking considerably more than 6.5 million households (the number of uninsured is about 28 million) if not for all the "hardship exemptions" included in the ACA. For example, anyone who is homeless or recently faced eviction or foreclosure is not required to obtain insurance. Neither are taxpayers who experienced domestic abuse, filed for bankruptcy, had a utility shut off, or went to prison.

With Obamacare's hefty subsidies, Congress has underwritten many people's purchase of health-care plans. But it has also wrecked the individual insurance market, causing premiums to skyrocket and competition to collapse. That may not be a salient issue for the 82 percent of Americans whose insurance comes from their employers or through Medicare and Medicaid. It's a huge issue for those with no insurance recourse other than the individual market, and who don't qualify for (or know about) the exemptions from the mandate.

In Murkowski's words, "there are many for whom this law has not been helpful" — those who make "the calculated risk to go without insurance and pay the tax . . . They prefer to take a gamble, pay for care out of pocket, and hope nothing too bad happens because the insurance available to purchase is unaffordable." For several million American families, the mandate penalty is a perverse bargain: Better to pay the IRS a stiff fine that nets them nothing than to pay many thousands of dollars in premiums and deductibles for overpriced insurance.

The argument against repealing the individual mandate is that without a law corralling healthy Americans into the overall insurance pool, insurers will face a death spiral: Only sick people will have an incentive to be insured, so average payouts for those with insurance will rise, so insurers will keep raising premiums, so even more people will forgo insurance, so costs and premiums will rise even more, until insurers abandon the individual market altogether.

But the argument fails on both moral and practical grounds.

As a moral matter, it's intolerable to treat citizens as mere instruments of an economic policy. Government has no right to force Americans to engage in unwanted commercial transactions just because that's the only way a Rube Goldberg policy can be made to work. The IRS doesn't penalize taxpayers for not having children, not buying a car, or not going to college. It is unjust to penalize them for not buying health insurance. From that perspective alone, the individual mandate is an outrage.

Even as a practical matter, however, the individual mandate has been a flop. Not only does it hurt the working poor, it has done little — as even a key Obamacare architect, Jonathan Gruber, has acknowledged — to boost coverage rates. Universal health coverage may or may not be a worthy goal, but penalizing a small fraction of non-affluent taxpayers is an especially lousy way to pursue it.

Obama had it right the first time: Health insurance should be voluntary. Punishing people for not buying something they can't afford isn't good public policy. It's just mean. Congress is divided on the future of Obamacare, but scrapping the individual mandate deserves bipartisan support.



A modern witch hunt

Claims of sexual misconduct against leading figures in American politics are piling up, as the #MeToo movement swoops into Washington.

The recent wave began with allegations against Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for the Senate from Alabama, who faces claims of sexual misconduct with teenage girls. Then last week, a radio-show host, Leann Tweeden, accused Al Franken, Democrat senator from Minnesota, of unwanted kissing, as well as taking a photo in which he appeared to grope a sleeping Tweeden (a photo that has since gone viral). Then the floodgates broke, and more claims of sexual misconduct in politics emerged:

* A second woman alleged Franken groped her, at the Minnesota state fair.

* Michigan Representative John Conyers, an 88-year-old civil rights icon and the longest-serving Democrat in Congress, faces allegations of sexual harassment, as he admitted he paid $27,000 in 2015 to a woman who claimed he fired her because she rejected his advances. More women are said to have received unwanted advances from Conyers.

* After pressure, the congressional Office of Compliance released documents showing it had paid out $17million since 1997 to settle workplace claims, including sexual harassment.

* Democrat representative Diana DeGette accused Bob Filner, a fellow Democrat, of groping her in an elevator.

* Multiple media figures covering politics, including Charlie Rose, Glenn Thrush and Mark Halperin, have been suspended or fired for sexual misconduct.

And there is a palpable sense that this is just the beginning.

It was only a matter of time before the #MeToo groundswell would spread from Hollywood and the media to Washington. This outpouring of sex-related accusations is a broader cultural phenomenon, not limited to showbusiness or celebrities. It is a movement that seeks to expose high-profile, powerful men in all institutions, and US politics is full of high-profile, powerful men.

Many politicians and commentators have welcomed the new focus on the issue of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill. Democrat representative Jackie Speier said, ‘Many of us in Congress know what it’s like, because Congress has been a breeding ground for a hostile work environment for far too long’. Speier has described her own instances of being sexually harassed, and has been a leading voice in calling for an overhaul of how Congress handles complaints. Many politicians, including Speier, are supporting calls for ethics investigations into Franken, Conyers and others.

But the expansion of #MeToo to Washington has highlighted how this cause is really a sex-based crusade, a frenzy of puritanism, rather than a constructive movement that might help women. How do we know? Consider the irrational and illiberal ways that #MeToo is playing out in Washington. We have seen:

* The blurring of real (or close-to) criminal acts with awkward flirtation or passes. For example, the allegations against Moore (which include paedophilia) are more serious than those leveled at Franken, yet, in public discussion, both have been considered essentially the same.

* The disregard for context. Franken’s alleged improper moves were in a comedy skit, yet they are considered on a par with Conyers’ alleged acts while in Congress and as an employer.

* The dredging up of old history. There seems to be no statute of limitations when it comes to accusations. Franken’s skit-gone-wrong was in 2006, the allegations against Moore go back 40 years or so – and yet are just becoming public. Now other political figures from the past, with controversial sexual histories, like Bill Clinton and Clarence Thomas, are being re-evaluated.

* The demand that we believe the accusers, and not wait for substantiation of the evidence. Moore’s defenders – who have questioned why the accusers are speaking out now, and wondered if they might be motivated by the fact Moore is in an election contest – have been denounced, while Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, has been praised for saying: ‘I believe the women, yes.’

* Related to this, the calls for removals before any further evidence or investigation, and despite the accused often denying the allegations. Both Democrats and Republicans have called for Moore to drop out of the race, and for Franken to resign. Also, the punishment has no sense of proportion: a boorish come-on, which is what Franken’s move appeared to be, is enough to end a political career. (Maybe Franken, who has prominently supported the moves on campus to deny due process to accused male students, is rediscovering the value of that concept.)

* The demand that all accused must immediately apologise if they want to remain in public life. Franken, like many others who have been accused of sexual misconduct, right away said he was sorry, even if he couldn’t remember what he did. Despite such self-abasement, these forced, hostage-like apologies are no guarantee that the accused will be welcomed back.

Such a fevered, witch-hunt-like atmosphere has severe negative consequences in any social arena, but it is particularly problematic in political life. It is far too easy for such claims of sexual misconduct to be utilised for old-fashioned political advantage. Indeed, we are already seeing the weaponising of sex claims for political ends. See how Democrats have denounced Moore and hope to gain the Alabama Senate seat, while Republicans were giddy at the woes befalling the Democrat Franken.

Of course, the biggest game yet to be caught is Trump himself. We all know how Democrats would like to see Trump impeached, hoping in particular that the allegations of collusion with Russia will stick. As the #MeToo reaction takes off, accusations that Trump abused women are being revived (the Washington Post published a detailed list of allegations this week).

At the same time, it is striking how the latest swirl of accusations have created strange political bedfellows. For example, Republicans have been joined by feminists and activists in calling for Franken to resign. Indeed, we cannot underestimate how conservatives’ conversion to the cause of #MeToo has consolidated a consensus on this issue. We all know how conservatives like to mock campus feminists, blaming them for much of what ails society today. And yet, here we have Republicans like McConnell professing ‘I believe the women’, sounding like a spokesperson for the women’s studies department.

With the spread of #MeToo in Washington, it’s those on the right who are ensuring that the modern-day feminist narratives – all men are potential rapists, and all women are vulnerable damsels in distress – gain further acceptance in our discussions of the topic.

A political take-down by sex accusation is coming to be seen as a reasonable mode of political discourse. This is a degradation of what politics should mean. ‘The personal is political’, goes the old feminist slogan. With #MeToo, our political life threatens to be reduced to personal behaviour.

The potential to use sex claims for short-term gain is just too tempting for our politicians to pass on. They are blind to how destructive these actions can be for the entire political class. It’s like Republicans and Democrats are unconsciously stumbling towards Mutually Assured Destruction. Already, the political class is held in low regard, is not trusted by the public, and lacks legitimacy. Joining the #MeToo bandwagon will only make matters worse for them.

Jane Curtin, who worked with Franken on Saturday Night Live, said of the latest wave of accusations against Franken and others: ‘It’s just like the red menace. You don’t know who’s going to be next.’ Claims of a new McCarthyism are overused, but Curtin is right: this is getting out of control, and it is probably the closest similar experience of mass condemnation and expulsion we’ve had since the McCarthy era. But we must support the women speaking out against our powerful politicians, they say. What they really mean is, let’s rush to believe unsubstantiated allegations from years ago, however trivial, and begin a wholesale purge of politicians from public life.

This witch-hunt will not help women, and, like all witch-hunts, it will not end well.



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

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


27 November, 2017

More sugar crusade nonsense

Ever since the demonization of salt and fat went into a 180 degree turn, sugar has been the favoured dietary nemesis, despite a lot of evidence that sugar is generally harmless.  We eat so much sugar that we would all be dead if it really were harmful.  But the idea that there is no such thing as "healthy" food just seems to be beyond a lot of brains to accept. 

The campaigners below however have found a study which showed sugar as harmful in rats.  Sadly however, the study was never completed or published.  The authors below draw most adverse inferences from that -- blaming "big sugar".

But if big sugar was reponsisible for cancelling the study, they had good reason to do so.  The study was a example of the now discredited strategy of feeding rats huge amounts of something and seeing what happened.  As soon as the paymasters saw that that was what the researchers were doing, they had every right to withdaw funding.  You can show that almost anything -- including water -- can be harmful if you feed some subject huge amounts of it.  The quantities used these days have to bear some relationship to normal consumption.

And none of that is new.  It has long been a basic principle of toxicology that the toxicity is in the dose.  It is no loss that a study which ignored that faded from view

More than four decades ago, a study in rats funded by the sugar industry found evidence linking the sweetener to heart disease and bladder cancer, the paper trail investigation reports.

The results of that study were never made public.

Instead, the sugar industry pulled the plug on the study and buried the evidence, said senior researcher Stanton Glantz. He is a professor of medicine and director of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.

Glantz likened this to suppressed Big Tobacco internal research linking smoking with heart disease and cancer.

"This was an experiment that produced evidence that contradicted the scientific position of the sugar industry," Glantz said. "It certainly would have contributed to increasing our understanding of the cardiovascular risk associated with eating a lot of sugar, and they didn't want that."

In response to the investigation, The Sugar Association issued a statement calling it "a collection of speculations and assumptions about events that happened nearly five decades ago, conducted by a group of researchers and funded by individuals and organizations that are known critics of the sugar industry."

The new paper focuses on an industry-sponsored study referred to as Project 259 in documents generated by the Sugar Research Foundation and its successor, the International Sugar Research Foundation, and dug up decades later by Glantz and his colleagues.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham in England conducted Project 259 between 1967 and 1971, comparing how lab rats fared when fed table sugar versus starch. The scientists specifically looked at how gut bacteria processed the two different forms of carbohydrate.

Early results in August 1970 indicated that rats fed a high-sugar diet experienced an increase in blood levels of triglycerides, a type of fat that contributes to cholesterol.

Rats fed loads of sugar also appeared to have elevated levels of beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme previously associated with bladder cancer in humans, the researchers said.

Months after receiving these results, the International Sugar Research Foundation failed to approve an additional 12 weeks of funding that the Birmingham researchers needed to complete their work, according to the authors behind the new investigation.

SOURCE. Journal article here


Judicial Watch sues Kentucky over alleged 'dirty voting rolls'

A conservative watchdog group is suing Kentucky over its alleged failure to maintain accurate voter registration lists, claiming 48 counties in the state have more registered voters than citizens over the voting age of 18.

Judicial Watch filed the federal lawsuit against Kentucky’s Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky on Wednesday.

In its complaint, Judicial Watch claims that Kentucky leads the nation in the number of counties where total registration exceeds the citizen voting-age population.

“Kentucky has perhaps the dirtiest election rolls in the country,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said Wednesday. “Federal law requires states to take reasonable steps to clean up their voting rolls—and clearly Kentucky hasn’t done that.”

Fitton said the lawsuit aimed to “ensure” that Kentucky citizens have “more confidence” that elections in the state won’t be “subject to fraud.”

Kentucky is required by law to disclose to the federal Election Assistance Commission the inactive registrations it carries on its voter rolls. Judicial Watch claims the state “failed to do so.”

According to Judicial Watch, Kentucky also is required by the National Voter Registration Act to make registration-related records publicly available by request -- but the group claims the state did not make records available to them.

“Dirty voting rolls can mean dirty elections,” Fitton said.

But the Kentucky secretary of state’s office told Fox News the lawsuit is “without merit.”

“We are confident the facts will prove Kentucky is following the law and doing its due diligence to protect voters’ rights and franchise,” Grimes’ spokesman Bradford Queen told Fox News Wednesday.

Queen told Fox News that under Grimes’ leadership, Kentucky “has and will continue to” maintain the state’s voter rolls in accordance with all federal and state statutes, ?“including the National Voter Registration Act and the Help America Vote Act.”

“Judicial Watch is a right-wing organization masquerading as a citizen advocacy group, and a majority of its lawsuits have been dismissed,” Queen said. “In reality, Judicial Watch wants to make it harder for people to vote, and the Commonwealth and its State Board of Elections won’t bow to their efforts.”

Judicial Watch is also currently suing the state of Maryland and Montgomery County over their alleged failure to release voter registration documents.



An End to Democrat Stonewalling on Judicial Picks

Blue slips are out.  "No more Mr Nice guy" from the GOP at last

Don’t say we didn’t warn you, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told Democrats at a rocky Senate Judiciary meeting last week.

When Democrats blew up the 225-year-old judicial confirmation rules in 2013, Grassley said they’d regret it. Now, four years later, the left is finding out just how right he was.

Sure, clearing the way for a simple majority to rubber-stamp Obama's judge nominees seemed like a good idea at the time. But now that the shoe is on the other foot, liberals suddenly find themselves on the wrong side of the same process they manipulated.

President Donald Trump certainly doesn’t mind. He’s been filling bench vacancies at lightning speed, shattering records set in much less partisan times.

Now, left without the only weapon that could stop a confirmation—the filibuster—Democrats are grasping for anything to put the brakes on this high-speed train of nominees. What they’ve settled on is a century-old tradition born out of common courtesy: the blue slip.

Dating back to 1917, if a president nominated someone to the Senate, committee chairmen would send an evaluation form of sorts to the person’s hometown senators. They could return it, signaling their willingness to hold a hearing, or withhold it—usually grinding the progress on that nomination to a halt.

Desperate for leverage, liberal senators like Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn.; Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., have tried to use these blue slips as the obstructionist method du jour.

There’s just one problem: The practice has never been an official Senate rule. Instead, it’s more of a gentlemanly agreement to give deference to the two leaders who may know the person in question best.

So while senators have taken to withholding their blue slips in protest, there’s nothing stopping Grassley from moving forward without them.

And on Thursday, he promised to do just that. The longtime conservative announced to his colleagues that his patience has officially run out.

“As I’ve said all along, I won’t allow the blue slip process to be abused. I won’t allow senators to prevent a committee hearing for political or ideological reasons. … The Democrats seriously regret that they abolished the filibuster, as I warned them they would. But they can’t expect to use the blue slip courtesy in its place. That’s not what the blue slip is meant for.”

The tradition was never created, Grassley went on, to be a home-state veto. And after Thanksgiving, he refuses to treat it like one.

When the Senate flies back from turkey day, the Iowa Republican has already announced his plan to move on 8th and 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nominees David Stras and Kyle Duncan.

“I’ll add that I’m less likely to proceed on a district court nominee who does not have two positive blue slips from home state. But circuit courts cover multiple states. There’s less reason to defer to the views of a single state’s senator for such nominees.”

For Trump, Grassley has been a perfect partner in accomplishing what most voters agreed was one of their biggest priorities: reshaping the federal judiciary.

“When the history books are written about the Trump administration, the legacy will be the men and women confirmed to the trial bench,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, explained. And when that happens, some of the credit will almost certainly belong to leaders like Chuck Grassley.



Blood pressure nonsense

They keep putting the "safe" level down

Seven million more people in England would be classed as having high blood pressure under controversial new guidance.

Doctors have expressed alarm over a change that would result in four in ten adults being classed as ill, warning of a statins-style row over the medicalisation of healthy people.

However, blood pressure experts insist that it is right to focus on a risk that is one of Britain’s biggest causes of death.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) is looking at whether to lower the level at which blood pressure should be treated, saying that there is currently “no natural cut-off point above which ‘hypertension’ definitively exists and below which it does not”.



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

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


26 November, 2017

Karl Marx had his Donald Trump

In my monograph on the subject, I claimed that Leftism versus Conservatism is largely a product of genetic influences that manifest themselves as differences in personality.  Conservatives are born as  generally contented people where Leftists are heavily discontented people.  It follows from that that there will be a recognizable polarity between Left and Right throughout history.  And in my monograph I did a quick tour of history to show that that was so. So there is in one way a tendency for history to repeat itself

I am in a very small way a student of Karl Marx.  I even have a blog devoted to his words.  He was in no way a great thinker but his unrelenting hate for just about everyone -- including his own mother -- has always made him very attractive to the Left and that has made him very influential in world affairs.

And perhaps Marx's most famous saying is that "history repeats itself, the first as tragedy, then as farce" (Exact quote here).

The quote is from Marx's book "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte". and he was comparing the original Napoleon with  his nephew, Napoleon III (Napoleon II was the son of Napoleon I and ruled as the King of the Netherlands).  Napoleon III started out as a popular democratic politician but later made himself a popular emperor with a big message of French patriotism.

And Napoleon III was very frustrating to Marx.  Marx was hoping for some sort of revolution of the workers -- given the many discontents of the workers at that time.  But along came Napoleon III as a very popular ruler who took advantage of worker discontents by making big promises.  So in the preface to the second edition of "The Eighteenth Brumaire", Marx stated that the purpose of his essay was to "demonstrate how the class struggle in France created circumstances and relationships that made it possible for a grotesque mediocrity to play a hero's part."

It amused me that Marx saw Napoleon III in exactly the same way as contemporary American Leftists see Donald Trump.  I would not be surprised to find that some Leftist has described Trump too as a "grotesque mediocrity".  It may be no consolation to the Left  that Napoleon III ended up ruling for 18 years.

Aside from his popularity with the workers and his aim to make France great again, there are few other parallels between Napoleon III and Trump, though Napoleon did carry out extensive public works. Trump has similar aspirations but has been thwarted by RINO traitors in the GOP.

It is interesting to see, however, that the Leftist response to patriotic leaders has remained the same for over 150 years -- and  got the facts completely wrong on both occasions.


Obama regulations under attack
If you can’t legislate, regulate! That was the slogan of the Obama administration, which put enough stuffing in the federal rulebooks to fill every Thanksgiving turkey. By the time the former president left office, the government probably had to chop down entire forests to produce enough paper for the Federal Register — which at a record 97,110 pages was hardly light reading for anyone, let alone the agencies trying to keep up with it!

And those guidelines aren’t just oppressive, they’re pricey. Just putting those changes in effect cost hundreds of billions of dollars each year. (That’s some expensive red tape.) But apart from the expense, conservatives’ biggest beef with Obama’s rule-making is that it took the legislating out of Congress’s hands and put it in his and hundreds of unelected bureaucrats, who all used these regulations to rewrite policies that the House and Senate already passed.

To put the situation in perspective, Congress passed 211 laws in 2016. To implement those laws, President Obama issued a whopping 3,852 regulations. That means the Obama administration had an 18 to 1 advantage over lawmakers in directing the government’s activity. And they weren’t insignificant changes either. They defined everything from “gender” in health care to “reproductive services” in immigration. Obama’s lawlessness got so out of hand that even his own party called him on the carpet. “It’s become an unfortunate tradition of this administration,” the executive director of the Center for Progressive Reform said of the president trying to accomplish his agenda without following the constitutional process. “Congressional rather than agency approval of regulations and regulatory costs should be the goal.”

Instead of waiting for activist judges to read something into the law that wasn’t there, President Obama hung a “We Can’t Wait” banner and used his own pen. Even the former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office weighed in about the last administration’s governing by guidance. “There was a lot of overreach,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin said, and it resulted in a “cumulative burden” of $890 billion in compliance costs. “There’s no question the Obama administration went too far,” he told reporters plainly.

Donald Trump agreed. When he ran for president, he promised to slash as many as 80 percent of all federal regulations. And over the summer, he got a good start. In July, Trump’s agencies announced it “was pulling or suspending 860 regulations. "I cannot express to you enough how much things have changed when it comes to the regulatory burden,” Office of Management and Budget head Mick Mulvaney explained.

Now, thanks to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, they’re changing even more. On Friday afternoon, the Justice Department boss explained that the days of legislative free-wheeling are over at an agency that, under Obama, was one of the worst offenders. In a memo, Sessions banned the DOJ from the lawless practice of the last administration. “Effective immediately,” he ordered, “Department components may not issue guidance documents that purport to create rights or obligations binding on persons or entities outside the Executive Branch (including state, local, and tribal governments)… The Department of Justice is duty-bound to defend laws as they are written, regardless of whether or not the government likes the results. Our agencies must follow the law — not make it.”

For too long, Sessions explained, the DOJ has “[cut] off the public from the regulatory process by skipping the required public hearings and comment periods — and it is simply not what these documents are for… Guidance documents should be used reasonably to explain existing law — not to change it or rewrite the law.” After all, he reminded everyone, “simply sending a letter” to “make new rules” is unconstitutional. Although he didn’t mention it, Sessions was almost certainly referring to Obama’s school bathroom mandate, which he forced on states with the help of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Instead of having a constructive policy debate, the former president defaulted to governing by executive action — stomping over Congress in the process.

That subversion ends now, Sessions vows. As Charles Cooke explained in a great column for National Review, “In America, presidents enjoy the right to use their limited powers to get as much of what they want as is possible. But they enjoy nothing more. When his ambitions are tempered by the ambitions of the other elected figures within the structure… well, nothing happens. That, I’m afraid, is how separation of powers works.”



Liberal denial

They can't see the nose in front of their face

As the media elites roll their eyes and sigh at people who deny the apparently inevitable approach of traumatic climate change, there's one category of denial they always endorse: a liberal bias in the "news." Chest-pounding journalistic activism defines the Trump era, and yet shameless journalists still claim media bias is a myth.

James Warren, a former managing editor and chief of the Chicago Tribune Washington, D.C., bureau, now works at The Poynter Institute for media studies (or media denial?). He posted a commentary on Nov. 20 headlined "How Mega-Media Deals Further Erode the Myth of a 'Liberal' Media."

Liberals made fun of Mitt Romney when he claimed that "corporations are people," but they subscribe to the cartoonish idea that "corporations are all conservative." Corporations have a profit motive, so that somehow inexorably translates to Republican propaganda?

Rupert Murdoch is looking at unloading some of his Hollywood assets, and among the suspected potential buyers are The Walt Disney Co. (ABC) and Comcast Corp. (NBC). To Warren, this somehow heralds a new era of "not just unceasing consolidation but the unceasing influence of folks of distinctly conservative ideology." The Murdochs explore selling off assets, and that's conservative consolidation?

Not only that, Warren says the "caricature" of a liberal media is "dubious" and can be rebutted by the fact that the "aggressively conservative" Sinclair Broadcasting Group "is primed to become the biggest local TV broadcaster." Yet Sinclair stations are routinely airing network news and entertainment content from ... ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

Warren then rounds up academics who sound like they never read or watch the liberal media. Matthew Baum, the Marvin Kalb professor of global communications at the Harvard Kennedy School, claims that conservatives "mostly point to the political views of journalists at mainstream media outlets, who tend to lean Democratic." He adds: "Of course, the core journalistic norm of balance and objectivity run directly counter to that. So at minimum it isn't obvious why personal political views would trump professional norms." He then argues that some "research" shows that "news reporting tends to reflect the interests of ownership," so that predicts "a more pro-conservative bias."

It's official: This professor sounds dumber than a grade schooler.

He seems to have ignored every story written or broadcast over the last two years about President Donald Trump and his allegedly racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic voters, as the "professional norms" have included demeaning Trump and the Republicans as a dangerously ignorant gang shredding democracy.

Warren then cites Danny Hayes, a political scientist at George Washington University who doubles down on the idiocy. "The debate about ideological bias in the media is not productive at all," he says. That's true ... if you're a liberal who wants the average (and, apparently, ignorant) media consumer to think the news is objective. Hayes insists "the social science research finds virtually no evidence in the mainstream media of systematic liberal or conservative bias."

Hayes should be teaching geology because, clearly, he is living under a rock. We've been churning out daily evidence of a dramatic liberal bias in the "objective" news media for 30 years, and this "scientist" in Washington, D.C., thinks there's "virtually no evidence"?

This is a little like arguing that "research" shows there's virtually no evidence of pro football players kneeling during the national anthem this season. Everyone's seen it. No one is fooled. The only fool is the one who thinks denying the obvious just might work



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

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


24 November, 2017

How Fewer Obamacare Options Hurt a 4-Year-Old

The Washington Post recently published a heart-wrenching story of two Virginia families caught up with the consequences of a damaged, declining, and increasingly noncompetitive health insurance market.

Little Collette Briggs, 4, suffers from an aggressive case of leukemia, and the Briggs family for two years has depended upon the medical professionals at a hospital that specializes in pediatric cancer care.

The family’s insurer has withdrawn from the market, and the remaining insurer has no contract with that hospital. Narrow networks of doctors and hospitals have been a common feature of health insurance offerings in the declining and increasingly noncompetitive Obamacare insurance exchanges.

The Briggs family misfortune is hardly an isolated phenomenon. As the Post reported, “It is not uncommon for insurers to cut larger research-based hospitals from its plans on the exchanges as a way to cut costs. By narrowing their networks, carriers avoid paying the higher rates that academic medical centers charge.”

By virtue of its flawed design and inflexible regulations, the evolution of narrow health insurance networks—restricted insurance contracts with doctors and hospitals—was, among other big bugs, baked into Obamacare from its inception.

The historical record is clear. Examining the initial data in 2014, the first full year of Obamacare’s implementation, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the plans in the health insurance exchanges nationwide had “narrower networks” than CBO analysts had anticipated, and the plans in the exchanges were also imposing “tighter management” on the use of medical services, compared with employer-sponsored health insurance.

In 2015, Avalere, a prominent research organization, reported that Obamacare plans included 34 percent fewer medical providers than the average for commercial private health insurance.

Likewise, researchers with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reported that among the “silver plans”—the benchmark plans, or the most popular plans on the Obamacare exchanges—41 percent of them had small or “extra small” networks of medical professionals.

Restricting the availability of medical providers or services is just one way for insurers to stay in these so-called Obamacare “markets.” These “markets” are the way they are, however—beset by soaring costs and declining competition—because of Washington’s deliberate political decisions.

Obamacare transfers vast regulatory authority from the states to the federal government. The federal government is mandating the kind and level of health benefits Americans must get, the levels of coverage Americans must have, and the array of insurance rules that govern “private” health plans in the Obamacare “markets,” including the rating rules for insurance.

This complex set of federal regulations drove up the costs of health insurance coverage for millions of Americans in the individual and small group markets.

Once again, the historical record on costs is clear: Compared with 2013, insurance premiums for 27-year-olds in 11 states more than doubled, and in 13 states, premiums for 50-year-olds increased by more than 50 percent.

In 2015, premium increases slowed, but in 2016, they climbed again. For 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services projected an average national premium increase of 25 percent in the exchanges.

The result: Younger and healthier persons are staying away from coverage in the exchanges in droves. With an older and sicker insurance pool, costs soar.

For next year, by the way, Health and Human Services is projecting that the average increase for the “silver plans” will be 37 percent.

On choice and competition, the historical record is also indisputable. In 2014, Kaiser Family Foundation analysts declared, “The long-term success of the exchanges and other [Affordable Care Act] provisions governing market rules will be measured in part by how well they facilitate market competition, providing consumers with a diversity of choices and, hopefully, lower prices for insurance than would have otherwise been the case.”

The Kaiser Family Foundation analysts were dead right on that one.

Today, being able to pick among a broad choice of health plans and providers is, for millions of Americans, rapidly becoming a rarity—and not just for the beleaguered Briggs family in Virginia. Between 2013 and 2014, the number of insurers offering coverage in the nation’s individual markets declined by 29 percent.

By 2017, consumers in 70 percent of U.S. counties had only one or two insurers offering coverage in the exchanges. By 2018, it is likely to be worse.

The verdict is in. President Barack Obama and his allies in Congress created this mess—from the very beginning. The soaring costs, crazy deductibles, declining choice and competition, along with the increasingly narrow networks, are a direct result of bad policy.

That’s why the Senate needs to get back to work and quickly undo Obamacare’s damage, allow the growth of functional insurance markets, and provide millions of Americans with more choice, a broader range of health care options, and lower costs.



The Billionaire Socialists

Earlier this week, I alerted you about a confab of billionaire socialists who gathered last weekend for a secret meeting at the posh La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, California.

While it may seem that "billionaire socialists" is an oxymoron, it's really not. The fact is, politically and financially, George Soros, Tom Steyer, Jeff Bezos and Michael Bloomberg — the big four antagonists of Liberty — share an insatiable narcissistic quest for power — including centralized government power.

The event, "Beyond #Resistance: Reclaiming our Progressive Future," had an attendance price tag of at least $200,000, though the big four are devoting billions toward their quest for statist power. Recall that just last month Soros transferred $18 billon — "the bulk of his wealth" — into his Open Society Foundation. He may get a tax deduction but there is nothing charitable about his objectives in opposition to Liberty.



Big government, too big to fail banks, and big oil are coming together once again to stick it to the little guy

Isaac Newton’s third law states, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Sir Isaac must have never been in government, because a little-known rule in the Environmental Protection Agency is having a ripple effect across the nation, and is likely to hit consumers in their pocketbook. The EPA must now act to save thousands of jobs across the country and billions in consumer costs.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a program requiring fuel sold in the U.S. to contain a minimum amount of renewable fuels, such as ethanol. The program was originated in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and expanded under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. To track the renewable fuel mandate a renewable identification number (RIN) is assigned to each batch of biofuel. The RINs go towards the Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO), which are the targets for each refiner or importer of petroleum-based gasoline or diesel fuel.

The problem is the rules were written for refiners that have the capability to blend renewable fuels with regular fuel, like gas, diesel, and jet fuel. Every time a renewable fuel is mixed with nonrenewable, or fuel is imported already blended with renewables; the company gets a RINs credit from the government.

Unfortunately, many refiners do not have the capability to blend. These refiners must purchase separated RINs. Enter the Wall Street speculators.

The speculators are buying the RINs from the blending companies and driving up the price. In 2013, a 20-fold price increase in RINs was attributed to speculators stockpiling the phony currency. This was never the intent of the rule. The rule was designed to make sure renewable fuels were blended with nonrenewable fuels, but as usual Wall Street speculators started manipulating the market, after all, they did a great job with the housing market.

RINs have become a multibillion-dollar burden on refiners and a tax on U.S. consumers. The Oil and Gas Journal estimated U.S. refiners paid $2.2 billion for RIN credits in 2016.

The RINs scam has already forced the only refinery in Delaware to close its doors in 2009, sending hundreds of workers to the unemployment line. Jeff Warmann, president of Monroe Energy, warned his refinery might be next. Monroe Energy is an independent energy company with a refinery outside Philadelphia. His company spent more than $200 million last year on RINs, “That’s more than we paid for the refinery,” he says.

Another Pennsylvania refiner being slammed by the RINs scam is Philadelphia Energy Solutions. The company runs the largest refinery on the US Atlantic coast, refining 310,000 barrels per day. The company now spends more on RINs than its total payroll.

Contrary to popular belief, refineries operate on razor-thin margins. Many refiners are on the verge of bankruptcy and laying off hundreds of workers because of the simultaneous burden of the RINs scam and thin margins.

The fight has brought together strange bedfellows. Some of the most conservative Senators are on the same side as northeastern union workers and liberal politicians. If Governor John Carney of Delaware, former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, the United Steel Workers President Leo Gerard, and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) can all get on the same page about an issue, you know the problem is important.

The refineries are not fighting the biofuel mandate; they are fighting the way in which the program is administered. Changing the EPA regulations that require the big fuel blenders and global energy companies that create the credits are also responsible for using the credits is the right thing to do. The EPA established a competitive advantage for some while disadvantaging others. It is time for the EPA to rectify the situation for the sake of good paying blue collar jobs and the consumer’s pocketbook.



Nearly half of white American poll respondents living in the South feel like they’re under attack, a new Winthrop University poll found

Maybe because they are

Forty-six percent of white Southerners polled said they agree or strongly agree that white people are under attack in the U.S. More than three-fourths of black respondents said they believe racial minorities are under attack.

And 30 percent of all respondents in the poll agreed when asked if America needs to protect and preserve its white European heritage. More than half of respondents disagreed with the statement.

Forty percent of respondents said they believed that Confederate statues should remain as is, while nearly a quarter said a plaque should be added to contextualize the statue.

Twenty-seven percent of respondents said the statues should be moved to a museum. Nearly half of black respondents said the statues should be in museums, and a quarter said they should be completely removed.

Southerners overall said that racism is the most important issue facing the U.S., and black respondents were twice as likely to say it is the most important issue.



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

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


23 November, 2017

"Incidents of inappropriate sexual behavior may exist throughout the progressive community"

The shadowy liberal Democracy Alliance donors club created new guidelines on sexual behavior for participants of its posh California conference last week, including that no "promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors" will be permitted, according to a document obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

On the first day of the Democracy Alliance's fall investment conference, held last week at the La Costa Resort and attended by both high-profile Democratic politicians and big money donors, the group's board of directors resolved that it would set new standards for sexual behavior given the rash of recent stories of abuse by people "in a position of authority or power over another."

"The Board recognized that incidents of inappropriate behavior may exist throughout the progressive community, including at the Democracy Alliance," the resolution states.

The board of directors created a "statement of core values," which can be read below along with the resolution, and asked management to spend the next month exploring additional ways to reduce the chance of inappropriate sexual behavior at Democracy Alliance events.

The core values were stated in a "program participant agreement" that threatens attendees with removal if they fail to "uphold these high standards of integrity and professionalism."

First on the list of the "high standards of integrity and professionalism" is a rule forbidding "unwanted sexual advances," "bullying of a sexual nature," and subjecting others to "the explicit or implicit promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors."

Democracy Alliance ‘Program Participant Agreement' on sexual assault by Washington Free Beacon on Scribd

Also prohibited is "behavior that is verbally or physically unwelcome" and refraining from bullying, ridicule, and any personal attacks during disagreements.

Attendees are also alerted to "not mistreat others for any reason, including race, color, creed, sex, religion, marital status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, sexual orientation or gender identity, military service, personal appearance, or family responsibility."

Attendees were told to report any rule violations to the Democracy Alliance's executive vice president Kim Anderson or its general counsel Deborah Ashford.

A representative for the Democracy Alliance did not respond to an inquiry into whether there was an incident that sparked the decision to outline new guidelines or whether any inappropriate behavior was reported after the new guidelines were laid out.

The board's resolution indicates that the decision to write new behavior standards was due to the recent string of sexual assault accusations that have been reported in the media, such as the many against Harvey Weinstein, a major Democratic donor.

"Recent events reported in the media have caused businesses and organizations to focus renewed attention on issues of sexual and other forms of harassment, particularly but not limited to circumstances where one person is in a position of authority or power over another."

The board added that the Democracy Alliance "must examine and refine its own policies, processes, programs, and culture," as well as "undergo continuous self-reflection and improvement."

"As a community of progressive leaders, we accept our responsibility to create a culture and environment that is consistent with these values," it wrote in the statement of core values.

The activities and attendees of Democracy Alliance conferences remain shrouded in secrecy. The group stepped up security at the resort after the Washington Free Beacon published the schedule for the conference and a list of many of its attendees.



Trump's Justice League

The president's list of five possible Supreme Court picks is as impressive as we have now come to expect.

One of the reasons (for some, the only reason) that millions of people voted for Donald Trump just over a year ago was because he promised to choose people to fill judicial seats who were conservative originalists and would thus “support and defend” our Constitution. So far, he has delivered on that promise — and that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.

Trump recently announced a list of five more candidates that he will consider for the next Supreme Court vacancy, and that list is very much in keeping with his promise. This is very troubling for leftists because Trump has already filled twice as many federal judiciary seats on the lower courts as his predecessor did by this point in his term.

“The new list of candidates for the high court includes Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a conservative stalwart on the high-profile U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit who clerked for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, and Judge Amy Barrett of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, an outspoken opponent of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion,” reports The Washington Times. “Rounding out the list are Judge Britt Grant of the Georgia Supreme Court, Judge Kevin Newsom of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Patrick Wyrick. Judge Grant previously clerked for Judge Kavanaugh on the appeals court.”

These individuals have been hailed by conservatives for having a fantastic track record of judicial experience and are each welcome additions to Trump’s list. Instead of being activists or despots, they are just the kind of constitutionalist judges we so very badly need today. Obviously, there are currently no vacancies on the High Court, but there has been speculation that extreme leftist Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and wild card Justice Anthony Kennedy are set to retire soon. Better not hold your breath on Ginsberg — she’ll probably hold out just to prevent Trump from replacing her with a conservative.

As for Justice Kennedy, however, National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru writes, “It is sometimes thought that Kennedy is more likely to retire if he thinks he will be replaced by someone of whom he thinks highly.” That person could be Kavanaugh, who is the most well-known on the new list of judicial candidates. As the Times notes, Kavanaugh also clerked for Kennedy and is thought of highly by his former boss. The only down side for Kavanaugh is that, at the age of 52, he is the oldest judge on the list.

Trump’s ability to shape the federal courts got a little easier as well following Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley’s decision to curtail one of the last legislative limits on a president’s power. Last week, Grassley, as head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, reined in a tradition that empowered senators to block federal appeals court nominees from their home state.

This move, referred to by members of the Senate as a “blue slip,” is sort of like an individual senator’s filibuster, and Democrats are now decrying its removal as a dirty tactic. Remember all the Democrat outcry when former Majority Leader Harry Reid abolished the filibuster for judicial nominees (except for SCOTUS) for the entire Senate? Neither do we.

On this, Grassley stated, “The Democrats seriously regret that they abolished the filibuster, as I warned them they would. But they can’t expect to use the blue-slip courtesy in its place. That’s not what the blue slip is meant for.”

Nevertheless, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is crying foul. “Taken together,” she complained, “it’s clear that Republicans want to remake our courts by jamming through President Trump’s nominees as quickly as possible.” She might, after all her years in the Senate, actually be correct, though she’s complaining about a feature, not a bug.

Aside from the courts, some say Trump has done a poor job filling other vacancies within the federal government. In this case, it’s not solely the Democrats’ fault for delaying Trump in filling these vacancies — rather, Trump has either not found willing and qualified individuals or he has just decided not to fill those positions. In fact, Trump insisted just last week that this was no accident, but rather that it was his way of shrinking certain agencies.

Trump stated, “I’m generally not going to make a lot of the appointments that would normally be — because you don’t need them. … I mean, you look at some of these agencies, how massive they are, and it’s totally unnecessary.” He is, of course, correct.

This is an additional tactic to drain the swamp in Washington and many conservatives agree with it. On the down side, there are many positions within the various federal agencies still held by people whom Barack Obama put there, and some are fill-ins until they are replaced.

By all indications Trump does not intend to fill or replace those positions, choosing instead to focus on his judicial nominees. This is, after all, what he said he would do and his ability to shape the federal courts may very well be his presidency’s longest lasting impact on our country.



The Stupid Party Gets Smart

Stephen Moore
Republicans have long been known as “the stupid party.” They do stupid things, such as waiting until mid November to push a must-pass tax cut that should have been done by April.

But in recent weeks the GOP is finally showing some brains and some backbone on taxes. It is using its majorities in Congress to roll back and roll over the Left, and it’s about time. In a more rational world, tax reform could have been bipartisan. But once Democrats declared they would be unified obstructionists on tax reform, there was no reason to throw a bone to the “resistance movement.” Playing nice with Chuck Schumer won’t buy any votes, so why bother?

It’s hard not to be impressed with how Republicans have instead suddenly gotten very smart on the “pay fors” in their tax bill. Three of these revenue raisers are welcome policy changes, and they help defund the Left.

Start with the elimination of the state and local tax deduction. Congress shouldn’t subsidize flabby and inefficient state and local services and bankrupt public pension programs. Just as one would predict, the states with the highest taxes are Democrat-controlled states. There is no evidence that higher taxes in these states lead to better schools or safer streets. New York spends around $7,500 per person on state and local government, while New Hampshire spends less than $4,500. Yet public services are better in New Hampshire than in New York.

The big blue states must cut their taxes and costs, or the stampede of high-income residents from these states will accelerate. The big losers here are the public employee unions — the mortal enemies of Republicans. This all works out nicely.

Next is the decision by Republicans to offset the cost of the tax cut by eliminating the individual mandate tax imposed mostly on moderate-income Americans. About three of four people who pay the tax earn less than $50,000 a year. The purpose of the tax is to force low-income Americans to purchase insurance they either don’t want or can’t afford.

Isn’t it amazing that Obamacare provides subsidies to Americans if they buy the insurance and imposes penalties if they don’t, yet at least 13 million Americans still refuse to buy it? What a great product this must be.

Eliminating the individual mandate will allow poorer and younger Americans to buy less expensive forms of coverage, such as health savings accounts. These additional options will lead to the slow death of Obamacare. Smart.

Finally, there is the proposed tax on college endowments. These are massive storehouses of wealth: Harvard and Yale combined sit on a nest egg of almost $60 billion, enough to give every student free tuition at these schools from now until forever. Instead these university endowments act like giant financial trading dynasties, with very little of the largesse going to help students pay tuition. The GOP plan would put a small tax on the unspent money in the endowments if they don’t start spending the money down. My only complaint is that the tax is way too low. But the first shot against the university-industrial complex has finally been fired.

The productivity of American universities, as Richard Vedder of Ohio University has documented, continues to decline. Vedder also found that university tuitions don’t go down when these schools have bigger endowments. They go up. These endowments subsidize the six- and seven-figure salaries of pompous, tired, and tenured professors (who teach four or five hours a week) and administrators. Bravo to Republicans for starting to turn off the spigot.

The best indication that this is all working is the rise of what I call the “tax-bill crybaby caucus.” This group consists of health insurance companies, Obamacare supporters, public employee unions, state and local officials, the welfare lobby, municipal bond traders, lobbyists and, most of all, the liberal politicians who are funded by all of the above.

Not only are we getting pro-growth tax policy but also Donald Trump and the GOP are finally draining the swamp. It doesn’t get any better than this.



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

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


22 November, 2017

Obama's IRS crooks fear retribution for their ill deeds

They should be fearing prosecution

Former IRS executive Lois G. Lerner told a federal court last week that members of her family, including “young children,” face death threats and a real risk of physical harm if her explanation of the tea party targeting scandal becomes public.

Ms. Lerner and Holly Paz, her deputy at the IRS, filed documents in court Thursday saying tapes and transcripts of depositions they gave in a court case this year must remain sealed in perpetuity, or else they could spur an enraged public to retaliate.

“Whenever Mss. Lerner and Paz have been in the media spotlight, they have faced death threats and harassment,” attorneys for the two women argued.

Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz gave taped depositions in a class-action lawsuit brought by tea party groups demanding answers and compensation for having been subjected to illegal targeting for their political beliefs.

The government settled the class-action lawsuit in Ohio and another tea party challenge in the District of Columbia in two agreements last month, admitting to the illegal behavior. The Ohio settlement also called for the government to pay $3.5 million to the tea party groups, according to one of the plaintiffs.

Ms. Lerner came in for particular criticism, with the government admitting she not only didn’t stop the targeting — contradicting the Obama administration’s claims — but also hid it from her superiors in Washington.

During the course of the Ohio case, the tea party groups filed thousands of pages of documents, but testimony from Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz was left out of the public record because of their earlier request for privacy.

Now Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz say that since the case has been settled, there is no reason for their testimony to ever become public.

“The voluminous record of harassment and physical threats to Mss. Lerner and Paz and their families during the pendency of this litigation provides a compelling reason to seal the materials,” the women’s attorneys said.

They particularly blamed Mark Meckler, a tea party leader whose organization helped fund the class-action lawsuit, saying he helped stoke the threats against them by calling IRS agents “criminal thugs.”

“These words matter. They have created a fertile environment where threats and harassment against Mss. Lerner and Paz have flourished,” the lawyers said.

Mr. Meckler laughed when he learned about the filing.

“Four years of harassing innocent American citizens for their political beliefs, and she’s scared of a guy in a cowboy hat talking to a bunch of little old ladies at a tea party event?” he said, recounting the speech where he called IRS agents “thugs.”

He said if the depositions didn’t show any bad action on her part, then Ms. Lerner should have nothing to fear from their release to the public.

“The reality is because she knows she is guilty as the day is long and she doesn’t want people to know what she actually did,” he said.

“It’s hard to have any sympathy for the women. And frankly, I don’t believe she’s genuinely scared,” Mr. Meckler said.

The Trump administration backs making the documents public, according to court documents, which leaves Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz fighting a rearguard action.

So far, they have had Judge Michael R. Barrett on their side. As the case was proceeding, he kept the two IRS employees’ testimony secret at their request, allowing only the lawyers involved to see the information.

Papers filed by the tea party groups’ attorneys repeatedly made reference to their testimony in documents, but it was always redacted.

The Cincinnati Enquirer, a newspaper that covers the Cincinnati office of the IRS that initially handled tea party groups’ applications and that Ms. Lerner initially blamed for the targeting, has been fighting to make her version of events public.

The paper renewed that request last month, the day the government and the tea party groups announced their settlement. The paper has argued that there is no “clear and imminent danger” to Ms. Lerner or Ms. Paz.

Ms. Lerner has refused to talk publicly about her handling of the tea party cases, even being held in contempt of Congress when she botched her assertion of Fifth Amendment rights during testimony.

But the Obama Justice Department refused to prosecute the case, saying it concluded Ms. Lerner’s assertion of Fifth Amendment rights was correct.

Under President Obama, the department, in its own investigation into the IRS handling of tea party cases, also credited Ms. Lerner with being one of the bright spots, saying she attempted to curtail the targeting when she learned of it.

But the government now says that is not true. In its settlement last month, the government says Ms. Lerner not only didn’t stop the targeting, but also hid the behavior from superiors.

Ms. Lerner has yet to comment on that settlement.



In Illinois a chance to crack union dominance

In 2018 Illinois will have the nation’s most important, expensive and strange election.

Its importance derives from this fact: Self-government has failed in the nation’s currently fifth-most populous state (Pennsylvania soon will pass it). Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner will seek re-election with a stark warning: The state is approaching a death spiral — departing people and businesses suppress growth; the legislature responds by raising taxes; the exodus accelerates.

Rauner, whose net worth earned as a private-equity executive is $500 million, give or take, probably will be running against someone six times richer. The race might consume $300 million — “maybe more,” Rauner says — eclipsing California’s $280 million gubernatorial race in 2010, when that state’s population was three times larger than Illinois’.

The strangeness of the contest between Rauner and the likely Democratic nominee (J.B. Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune) is that Rauner’s real opponent is a Democrat who has been in the state assembly since Richard Nixon’s first term (1971) and has been speaker all but two years since Ronald Reagan’s first term (1983). Michael Madigan from Chicago is the “blue model” of government incarnate. This model is the iron alliance of the Democratic Party and government workers’ unions. Madigan supports Pritzker, who is committed to the alliance. This is the state of the state under it:

Unfunded state and local government retirement debt is more than $260 billion and rising. Unfunded pension liabilities for the nation’s highest-paid government workers (overtime starts at 37.5 hours) are $130 billion and are projected to increase for at least through the next decade. Nearly 25 percent of the state’s general funds go to retirees (many living in Texas and Florida). Vendors are owed $9.5 billion. Every five minutes the population — down 1.22 million in 16 years — declines as another person, and an average of $30,000 more in taxable income, flees the nation’s highest combined state and local taxes. Those leaving are earning $19,600 more than those moving in. The work force has shrunk by 97,000 this year. There has not been an honestly balanced budget — a constitutional requirement — since 2001. The latest tax increase, forced by the legislature to end a two-year budget impasse, will raise more than $4 billion, but another $1.7 billion deficit has already appeared.

The one Democrat who did not vote for Madigan for speaker this year says he’s since been bullied. Another Democratic legislator — an African-American from Chicago’s South Side, a supporter of school choice — broke ranks to give Rauner a victory on legislation requiring arbitration of an impasse with a 30,000-member union. Madigan enlisted Barack Obama to campaign against the heretic, who was purged. These were warnings to judges, who must face retention elections. They — including the one who refused to trigger arbitration by declaring a negotiation impasse — are, Rauner says, “part of the machine” in this “very collectivist state.”

Thuggishness has been normalized: Because Rauner favors allowing municipalities to pass right-to-work laws that prohibit requiring workers to join a union, Madigan’s automatons passed a law (Rauner’s veto stood) stipulating up to a year in jail for local lawmakers who enact them.

In 2018, Rauner will try to enlist voters in the constructive demolition of the “blue model.” It is based on Madigan’s docile herd of incumbent legislators, who are entrenched by campaign funds from government unions. Through them government, sitting on both sides of the table, negotiates with itself to expand itself. Term limits for legislators, which a large majority of Illinoisans favor, would dismantle the wall.

A 60 percent supermajority of the legislature is required for such a constitutional reform. So, next year voters will be urged to oppose any legislature candidate who will not pledge to vote to put term limits on the ballot. And all candidates will be asked how often they have voted for Madigan for speaker — he has a 26 percent approval rating — and to pledge not to sin again.

“I love a fight,” says an ebullient Rauner, whose rhetoric cannot get much more pugnacious. He calls Madigan “the worst elected official in the country” and Madigan’s machine “evil.” The nation has a huge stake in this brawl because the “blue model” is bankrupting cities and states from Connecticut to California, so its demolition here, where it has done the most damage, would be a wondrous story enhancing the nation’s glory.



Poll: Black and Hispanic Democrats Break from Whites on Transgender Beliefs

While Americans’ transgender beliefs vary widely by party, Black and Hispanic Democrats are far closer to Republicans’ views than are White Democrats, a new Pew Research survey reveals.

In its latest poll, Pew surveyed on transgenderism views of a nationally representative panel of randomly selected 4,573 U.S. adults recruited from landline and cellphone random-digit-dial (RDD) surveys between Aug. 8 and Sept. 28, 2017.

A majority (54%) of all Americans said that whether a person is a man or a woman is determined by “the sex they were assigned at birth,” while 44% said “it can be different.”

Among Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents, 80% said sex is determined by a person’s birth-sex.

Only 34% of all Democrats and Democrat-leaning Independents said sex is determined at birth – but a majority (55%) of Black Democrats and 41% of Hispanic Democrats said birth determines sex.

Just 24% of White Democrats believe birth determines sex.

Likewise, while 68% of White Democrats say society “hasn’t gone far enough” in accepting people who are transgender, only 46% of Black Democrats and half (50%) of Hispanic Democrats agree.

Only 12% of Republicans said societal acceptance of transgenders hasn’t gone far enough, compared to 60% of Democrats and 39% of all Americans surveyed. Conversely, 57% of Republicans said society has gone “too far” with transgender acceptance, while only 12% of Democrats agree.

In all, 59% of Americans said society’s acceptance of transgenders is either “About Right” (27%) or has “Gone Too Far” (32%). The belief that acceptance “Hasn’t Gone Far Enough” was expressed by 39% of respondents.



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

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


21 November, 2017

The Hate I Learned from the New York Times

So aggressive, oppressive and intolerant is the behaviour of many American Leftists today that conservatives are increasingly coming to accept that Leftist "compassion" is just a camouflage suit for sweeping hate.  Slaking their hate is their only real motivation -- JR


I am traveling and yesterday the Sunday edition of the New York  Times was placed outside the hotel door. I don't usually read it much -- but I thought, why not give it a chance? Big mistake. It's filled with hate -- embarrassingly so. What did I learn about hate?

I learned in one article that Christians were complicit in murder since they were not for gun control. In another I learned that some horrid socially conservative parents did not like their son's new wife's low-cut blouses that she wore to all events and these self-righteous jackasses should be looked down upon. And I found out that a friendly man asking what was going on at a women's event in NY was not acknowledged and this sexism was seen as "fighting the patriarchy."

In an article on "The Christian Case for Gun Control,  the author, Richard Parker, says that "failing to prevent murder is nearly as bad as the act of murder itself."  Apparently, the way to do this is to get rid of guns: "Christianity demands action. It insists on the protections of the innocent."  The article mentions that "the Jewish bystander is to rescue a person in peril. Islam requires the protection of innocent lives."  Note that Christians are the problem here, but somehow Islam isn't.    Yeah, right.

Another article shares some women's event on Mercer Street in Soho where women in their 20s and 30s  are lining up but when a man walks by and asks why they are waiting,  no one answers him or notices him. "What business was it of his anyway?"  Behavior that most of the time would be thought of as rude is now seen as some kind of triumph for women.  But the women's attitude and that of the Times is hate, plain and simple.



'Trust But Verify' -- Why Trump Is Right on Russia


In the midst of the quondam Russia Investigation that seems to have been going on since the Peloponnesian War, our president tweeted out the following.

"When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. They're always playing politics - bad for our country. I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!

Shortly thereafter, Andrew McCarthy, a man I respect immensely and who only the day before had posted a brilliant article virtually eviscerating the aforementioned investigation, tweeted thusly:

This is so galactically stupid it’s impossible to quantify. I’m happy to be a hater and fool, and await the 8-dimensional chess explanation for why idiocy is the new brilliant

Though Andy may have employed the word "galactically" to accrue Twitter attention -- something of which we are all frequently guilty -- I think he is in error anyway. Leaving aside the Trumpian bravura and clumsy language, the president's basic approach is correct.

It was also the approach employed by George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and Barack Obama before him, all of whom, it is well known, sought outreach to Putin (pathetically in Obama's case) and largely failed. Before the politically charged current investigation, which impelled the Democratic Party and most of the media to have the ideological equivalent of an impromptu sex change operation re: Russia, Trump was apparently going to make an attempt of his own.

Would he have succeeded?  Hard to say, though Donald's mercurial negotiating style is arguably more effective than his predecessors' utterly conventional one. As an example, when the president said the U.S. had been paying too much for NATO and questioned whether the organization had outlived its usefulness, our partners suddenly coughed up.

Notably, another American president made an outreach to Russia, then the Soviet Union, and did succeed.  As we all know, his name was Ronald Reagan and his catch phrase in dealing with the Russians was "trust but verify." It got a lot accomplished,  including, at least in part, the demise of the Soviet Union.

Now it was a different time, obviously, and Reagan was dealing with Mikhail Gorbachev, a different personality from Vladimir Putin, but the strategy remains.  It's not so distant, really, from "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" --  a tactic some attribute to Sun Tzu and Machiavelli and more recently to Michael Corleone.  (The two phrases are, in essence, corollaries.  Keep you enemies close to verify them.)

I would wager that Trump -- who immediately sent in the missiles when Assad acted out -- is more equipped to deal with Putin than any of the previous presidents, other than Reagan.  Obama clearly floundered disastrously, making a hash of Syria (and Libya) and helping to cement the alliance between Russia and Iran.

An opportunity might exist for Trump to weaken that Russia-Iran nexus, which would benefit the world, but the Russia investigation impedes that.  Looked at in macro, that investigation seems less like a serious look at Russian intervention in our elections, which isn't all that great in any case, but rather a blood-letting among American elites, ironically rather like typical internal Politburo behavior.  Who will be left sitting on the dais after the purge?  Who will come out the worse -- Manafort or the Podestas?  Trump or Hillary?

Granted that Russia loves to play us.  They always have, to greater or lesser degrees. Diana West's American Betrayal details a level of Soviet infiltration during the FDR-Alger Hiss era that is staggering. Whether exaggerated or not, it's a reminder of who our enemies are.

But Mueller's Russia investigation seems aimed not so much at unearthing anything about Russia -- the FBI apparently didn't seriously investigate even the most obvious questions like who actually hacked the DNC server -- as it is at facilitating this blood-letting and preserving the FBI as an institution. It is a Deep State enterprise and, as with so many Deep State activities, the lives of regular American citizens are irrelevant.  In this case we could also say world citizens.

It's to the credit of Donald Trump that, though assaulted for non-existent Russian ties from the beginning of his presidency and even before (as is now emerging from the despicable tale of the Fusion GPS dossier), he has continued to examine possible areas of agreement with Russia for the good of our country and everyone else as well. As the man said -- "Trust but verify!"

ADDENDUM: I would never consider myself a "Russia expert" (whatever that means) but I have visited the country four times, twice for extended periods during Soviet times.  I was friends for many years until he died with their most famous thriller writer, himself allegedly a colonel in the KGB.  So I have some sense of how they think and it has always stuck me as completely ludicrous that they would meddle in our election in order to get Trump elected.  They are not idiots and would have seen that as a hopeless task since some 98% of our pundits and virtually all the polls saw Clinton as the winner.  Of course, they  engaged in data/email theft and disinformation activities.  Spying is as Russian as borscht.  But like everyone else, they expected Hillary to win.  You can take whatever implications from that that you wish. And, yes, I still believe Julian Assange about the emails until proven otherwise.



Rolling Stone, Sacred Text of the Left?

On November 9, Rolling Stone magazine celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first issue, published in the hippie neighborhood of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco. True to form, liberal journalists – who claim to care so deeply about the menace of fake reporting – honored founder Jann Wenner and dismissed as insignificant the magazine’s 2015 “A Rape on Campus” scandal about the University of Virginia.

On November 5, CBS Sunday Morning host Jane Pauley gushed over Wenner as “the rock star of publishing,” and then minutes later, upgraded the flattery to “perhaps the most influential rock star on the planet.”

Out of nearly nine minutes, CBS correspondent Anthony Mason spent less than a minute on the fake-rape story. He asked “How much did UVA hurt the magazine?” Wenner said “A little.” Mason pushed back, and Wenner complained it was “one incident” in fifty years. “I think that the people who were in charge of this at the time, you know, let certain standards slide. Were it not for this one woman who fabricated – that was golden, that was a great story.” Had both the interviewer and interviewee yawned at this point, it would have done justice to the mood.

“This one woman” was the center of the story, which became a national outrage about gang-raping fraternity boys. It turns out Rolling Stone didn’t even get to Square One, attempting to check if there was a party at the Phi Alpha Psi frat house on the night in question. There wasn’t. That’s why they had to fork over $1.6 million in damages.

Put yourself in the shoes of those innocent young men, accused of such a heinous crime, found guilty by such a powerful magazine, and soundly condemned by a nation. $1.6 million does not begin to erase the humiliation.  

NBC’s Today interviewed Wenner and didn’t even bring up the subject. Matt Lauer was more interested in asking “what are you most proud of, in terms of a social issue that you got ahead of?” How about rape on campus? At least Lauer asked about the Rolling Stone cover that glamorized Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev, then asked “Was that your biggest do-over? Or are there some others?” Wenner volunteered the UVA story, that “we got, you know, really duped.” So it just wasn't their fault. How's that for taking responsibility?

ABC’s Good Morning America aired a story on Rolling Stone and a new Jann Wenner biography on October 20, which never whispered a word about the fake-rape story as it gushed over a nude cover photo of Partridge Family star David Cassidy in 1972.

Despite being exposed as an unreliable source of lies and character assassination, almost every liberal-media notice started with comparing Rolling Stone to the Holy Bible. This suggests that they’re all eager lackeys of the hippie magazine’s public-relations staff. CBS began with “It’s been the cultural Bible of baby boomers for half a century.” NBC also called it “the cultural Bible for baby boomers.” The New York Times used “shiny entertainment-industry bible.”A few weeks ago, the Times headline was “Rolling Stone, Once a Counterculture Bible, Will Be Put Up for Sale.”

If Rolling Stone represents the “sacred text” of the Sixties-mythologizing Left, then that’s a sad indictment. But it’s obvious that the magazine was part of transforming the “counterculture” into the “culture.” Its revered status as a cultural "agent of change" seems to be a major reason why the media elites grant them a pass on smearing entire universities.

And with that, let's return to those media lectures about the need for honest and competent journalism.



Hillary Clinton Does Complete 180 on Questioning 2016 Election's Legitimacy

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who warned that questioning the legitimacy of the 2016 election was "threatening our democracy," has reemerged as sore loser Hillary Clinton now questioning the legitimacy of the 2016 election.

Her comments attacking the legitimacy of the last election came in an interview with Mother Jones published this past Friday:

Exclusive: @hillaryclinton tells me “there are lots of questions” about legitimacy of Trump's election because of Russian interference & GOP voter suppression

"Do you think it was a LEGITIMATE election?" Clinton: "I think there are lots of questions about its legitimacy, and we don't have a method for contesting that in our system. That's why I've long advocated for an independent commission to get to the bottom of what happened."

So as Hillary Clinton has completely reversed course on election legitimacy and is now calling for an independent commission to investigate her "Russia hacked the election" conspiracy theories, she also told Mother Jones that any investigation into her own dealings with Russia would be an abuse of power:

So in review, Hillary Clinton doesn't believe that she should be held to her own standard about questioning the legitimacy of elections -- and she believes that she is literally above the law. If you're Hillary Clinton, laws (and elections, apparently) are for the little people.



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

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


20 November, 2017

Trump right on trade. Reciprocity is the only sustainable path to free trade

Economic theory tells us that America as a whole would benefit by abolishing all restrictions on imports.  Everything tradeable would then be available in America at the word's lowest prices.  To do so, however, would be politically impossible. So the only way forward is bargaining -- offering another nation a reduction in American tariffs if that other nation also cuts their tariffs on imports from America.  That is "reciprocity".  It is politically saleable because it should led to a reduction in some American jobs being balanced by an increase in other American jobs

In order to understand the need for reciprocity, one need not look any further than Professor Boudreaux’s own book, “Globalization,” a $61 requirement for his ECON 309 Students at George Mason University.

Professor Boudreaux writes unequivocally on page 123, “By far the most important modern institution for promoting freer international trade is the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)…” Why?

As Professor Boudreaux explains in his book, GATT was based on reciprocity and he outlines all of its advantages: “Under GATT, countries mutually agree to lower their tariffs and to grant most-favored trading status to each member of the GATT agreement. From each government’s perspective, the immediate gain—the gain that is most politically beneficial—is that each government can assure its citizens that, in exchange for lowering tariffs at home, that government has extracted promises from foreign governments to lower their tariffs… Because each government’s tariff reductions are bound together in a single agreement, no government has to worry that it will lower tariffs without other governments lowering their tariffs simultaneously and in accordance with the terms of the agreement.”

As the book continues, so Boudreaux must agree, lower tariffs have only encouraged more global trade, arguing the result has been freer trade. It was GATT which propelled U.S. tariff rates on imports to fall from an average of 30 percent at the end of World War II to about 5 percent today and drove down tariff rates all around the world between developed nations, too. GATT facilitated the tariff reductions that the affirmative world so desires, proving that the tariff reduction could not be done unilaterally, but only through reciprocal trade agreements.

Professor Boudreaux ends the argument succinctly on page 124, writing “No other such sustained decrease in tariff rates is found in U.S. history,” and “Most informed observers credit GATT for this success.”

Singapore has pursued reciprocal trade agreements

In contrast, I expect a lot will be made tonight over Singapore’s long-held, unilateral near-zero percent tariff.  For a number of reasons, this island nation’s experience negates all three of the affirmative’s burdens — UNILATERAL being more desirable than reciprocal, the real-world SHOULD test, and the reciprocal agreements being UNNECESSARY test.

It is instructive that as Singapore entered GATT with their near-zero tariff rate in 1973, their Finance Minister Hon Sui Sen argued vociferously for developed countries like the U.S. to lower their tariffs, noting that Singapore had already unilaterally lowered theirs.  Hon also urged special and differential treatment for developing economies whereby developed countries lower their tariffs first in order to help the lesser developed economies to grow.

But, since Singapore’s tariffs were already low, Hon demanded no such non-reciprocal protection for Singapore. From Singapore’s perspective, then, it was seeking reciprocal trade tariff reductions from the developed economies.

To disprove the affirmative, one need only find a single reciprocal trade agreement being necessary in a post-unilateral tariff reduction environment. Here, with Singapore, we have several to look at. Thirty years later, Singapore has succeeded in getting reciprocal trade deals permanently eliminating all tariffs with the U.S. and Australia, and others where there is still more work to be done in removing barriers, as with China and India.

Coupled with the sustained dramatic decline in tariffs globally under reciprocity achieved in GATT, it would be foolish to move away from the only proven model for success, which is reciprocity.

At this point, I’d like to augment this SHOULD slash REALITY argument to the export subsidy statement in the affirmative. For the past seventy or so years, conservatives and libertarians have argued for ending agricultural subsidies and have failed. The reason they have failed is as clear as the red political sea throughout the farm belt and rural communities on the electoral map. These farm state Republicans like farm subsidies for political purposes, if for no other ones. Exhibit A of the dangers of opposing these subsidies is Representative Tim Huelskamp, a member of Congress from Kansas. Huelskamp tested whether voting against farm subsidies was politically viable in the heartland last Congress, and now he is known as former Representative Tim Huelskamp.

This proves that voting against farm subsidies is a political non-starter for scores of Republican members of Congress. Heck, we can’t even fully get rid of ethanol subsidies because the road to the presidency runs through Iowa.

More HERE 


Reporting the Rand Paul attack: Was it lawn clippings, or journalistic fertilizer?

If a Democratic senator was attacked by a conservative neighbor with relatively fanatical ideas and online sharing habits about politics, the New York Times reporting would look very different from its Rand Paul assault coverage. Frankly, the incident provides a case study on mainstream press bias.

On Friday, Nov. 3, Sen. Paul had just stepped off his riding mower at his Bowling Green, Ky., residence. Rene Boucher, whose home sits on an adjoining lot, suddenly tackled the senator from his blind side with enough force to break several ribs and cause a pleural effusion, which is a buildup of fluid around the lungs.

Boucher admitted to going onto the senator’s property and tackling him, according to his arrest warrant.

The Washington Post reported on Nov. 5 a former city commissioner’s description of Boucher as a socialist. His Facebook page, now blocked from public view, “included links to articles and memes critical of President Trump and a news article about a Montana Republican congressional candidate who attacked a reporter the day before winning his seat.”

These are details that Times reporters Nicholas Fandos, Noah Weiland, and Jonathan Martin apparently deemed unfit to print in their Nov. 6 article, “Is Landscaping Drama at the Root of Rand Paul’s Assault?" While the article notes that Paul and his neighbor were known to have “divergent political views,” the clear focus is on the narrative that the incident stems from the libertarian senator’s allegedly libertine approach to yard maintenance.

“Mr. Paul, 54, has long stood out in the well-to-do gated neighborhood south of Bowling Green, Ky.,” they write, adding: “The senator grows pumpkins on his property, composts, and has shown little interest for neighborhood regulations. ... Competing explanations of the origins of the drama cited stray yard clippings, newly planted saplings and unraked leaves.”

But this theory is increasingly looking like so much detritus. Maybe a better description is "fake news." For one thing, the Times article cites only a single named source for the supposition that the men had an ongoing landscaping feud: Jim Skaggs, a neighbor who also developed the subdivision. Skaggs said the men “just couldn’t get along,” that the incident “had very little to do with Democratic or Republican politics” and that they had “different [opinions] about what property rights mean.”

“Asked about long-leveled allegations that Mr. Paul had disregarded neighborhood regulations,” the article reads, “Mr. Skaggs, who is also a former leader of the county Republican Party, said the senator ‘certainly believes in stronger property rights than exist in America.’”

But here's the thing: Skaggs has subsequently told the Louisville Courier Journal that he didn’t witness the assault and has heard of “other theories” for the attack. And no fewer than seven neighbors have told the Washington Examiner that press reports about a landscaping dispute are rubbish. The Paul family keeps a nice yard and are great neighbors, they say.

There was ample reason to be skeptical of Skaggs’s vague and non-specific story from the start. Indeed, the only specific “problem” he’s cited concerns a disagreement from 17 years ago between the senator and the homeowners' association concerning association control over home design plans back when the Pauls built their house.

In any case, imagine that a Democratic senator was assaulted in his yard by a Republican whose social media activities evinced a strong dislike for Hilary Clinton. I suspect the Times reporters would be working harder to check for a political motivation. The reporting surely wouldn’t be so flip.

New York Times reporters’ tweets on the issue are also worth a look. For example, Jason Horowitz, whom Sen. Paul and his wife Kelly invited into their home in connection with a 2013 story Horowitz wrote for Vogue, tweeted a snippet of a transcript of his interview wherein Kelly and her husband discuss how they use fish emulsion (a common fertilizer sold at Home Depot) to grow pumpkins. Apparently this is proof to Horowitz that the criminal assault isn’t political. “I called this one,” he proclaims. “I’m guessing pumpkin vine, squirrels or sequoia as motive”.

Again, you wouldn’t see such fun and frivolity from Times’ reporters if a liberal Congressman was attacked by a Republican. It’s unprofessional. Perhaps a better description is liberal compost.



‘My sons love hunting, I don’t’: Trump reprieves elephants

Some who’ve criticized Trump might have done a double take when they read one of his tweets Friday morning. The message effectively put the brakes on a new administration policy that would allow American hunters to bring pieces of recently slaughtered African elephants back to the United States:

But Trump’s opposition to big-game hunting isn’t new.

Just ask Cher. In 2012, an outraged Queen of Comebacks tweeted a story with a picture of Donald Trump Jr., a belt of ammunition around his hips, posing with slain animals: an elephant, a leopard and a water buffalo, among others.

Cher’s point was clear from the Gothamist headline: “Photos: Donald Trump’s Sons Awesome At Killing Elephants And Other Wildlife.”

But the elder Trump took to Twitter to set the record straight:

"Old story, one of which I publicly disapproved. My sons love hunting, I don’t"

The younger Trump, on the other hand, has consistently defended his hunting from occasionally profane critics, saying he’s not going to let fear of the “PETA crazies” stop him from posting hunting pictures.

So maybe Cher wasn’t totally surprised by the Trump family’s divide on the moral quandary of taking the life of a large and possibly endangered mammal for sport.

The president’s tweet led to the quick — and likely fleeting — redrawing of a few battle lines. It was also part of a quick-moving flurry of activity regarding African elephants this week.

As The Washington Post wrote, on Wednesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to end a 2014 ban on big-game trophy hunting in Zimbabwe and Zambia. Its justification was that killing elephants and bringing pieces of their corpses back to the United States to grace hunters’ dens would help the species. Coincidentally, helping the species is the only way that hunters can legally bring elephant “trophies” back to the United States.

The ruling, and its justification, angered environmentalists and elephant lovers.

In a tweet, Fox News host Laura Ingraham expressed her dismay, writing, “I don’t understand how this move by @realDonaldTrump Admin will not INCREASE the gruesome poaching of elephants. Stay tuned.”

It was unclear if Trump had heard the words of elephant lovers or his fellow Republicans, but he thumbed out the tweet saying the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision was on hold.

His tweet had environmentalists thanking the president.



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

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


19 November, 2017

Is the swamp winning?

The President must appoint more good, loyal people – or swamp creatures will triumph

Scot Faulkner

President Trump made draining Washington’s Swamp the centerpiece of his Presidency. The swamp is winning.  Its RINOgators are on the verge of destroying the Trump Presidency.

Trump’s Executive Branch is now running on empty. His appointment process is the slowest since Jimmy Carter in 1977. He recently defended his depleted ranks of loyalists, “we don’t need all of the people. You know, it’s called cost saving.”

In fact, Trump not bringing in his loyalists means the Executive Branch is being run by Obama holdovers, and senior careerists, who run the government from acting positions. They owe their last eight years of promotions and bonuses to their loyally enforcing and implementing Obama’s policies.

The swamp is exploiting Trump’s misunderstanding of “people equal policy.”

The few political managers Trump has placed are completely isolated and outmaneuvered. Worse, most of Trump’s appointments are people who owe their loyalty to everyone but Trump. The inner circles of the White House, and legions of political operatives in the Departments and Agencies, wish Jeb Bush were President. Their disloyalty to Trump is manifest in leaks and their ineffectual and slow paced efforts to change anything.

Insiders explain that Trump dislikes people with government experience and that he feels Reagan and his appointees could have done more to shrink government. If that is so, why is he fixated on bringing in Bush alumni who grew government?

Trump declared that he would drain Washington’s swamp by not hiring lobbyists. During the transition, countless personnel clearance forms were used supposedly to prevent lobbyists insinuating themselves. This failed. USA Today reports that more than 100 former federal lobbyists are now working inside the Trump Administration.

Trump has been ill-served and misled from the very beginning. During the spring of 2016, key elements of the Reagan coalition, including Reagan Administration alumni and key think tanks, were ready, willing and able to help Trump be successful. They were ignored.

In June 2016, Trump realized he needed to prepare for being President. Instead of turning to those conservatives who were openly and passionately supporting him, Trump turned to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Where Trump conservatives would have opened the door to legions of proven change agents, Christie opened the flood gates to Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush operatives. Where Trump loyalists would have worked for free, Christie spent millions on hiring the Boston Consulting Group to run the Transition. The Boston Consulting Group had never run a Presidential Transition, but the Managing Partner in charge of the contract was the daughter of longtime Bush loyalist.

The Trump Transition ended up preparing for the Romney/Bush Administration. Even Steve Bannon was duped into believing only the Washington Establishment was capable of helping Trump prepare for his Presidency. Highly capable conservatives, Reagan alumni and professionals who were for Trump since June 2015, were systematically shut out. Never-Trumpers, even ones who ran anti-Trump floor operations at the Republican National Convention, were welcomed.

The Romney/Bush Transition became the Romney/Bush Administration on January 20, 2017. At the same time, Reince Priebus and his minions from the Republican National Committee (RNC) took over core White House operations. This included the Office of Presidential Personnel that clears and recommends all political appointees.

Priebus rightly deserves credit for quelling Republican rebellion in the final months of the 2016 campaign. For this, Trump should have rewarded Preibus with the non-critical Ambassadorship of his choice. Instead, Priebus became Chief of Staff and proceeded to fill Trump’s inner circle with RNC operatives, few of whom even liked Trump.

The RNC operatives in charge of Presidential Personnel placed their friends on Trump’s political front line. They even conducted purges of the few Trump loyalists who had made it inside.  Ironically, Never-Trumpers got away with accusing Always-Trumpers of being disloyal.

While President Trump was signing Executive Orders and making inspiring speeches, the RINOgators of the Washington, DC swamp were commandeering key positions, making sure Trump’s vision would never become a lasting operational reality. They are doing everything possible to protect their swamp.

The most tragic result of Trump being misled is that he is spending his time on actions that will be swept away with the next Administration.

The Washington swamp is drawing Trump into this trap. Time magazine recently ran an alarmist cover story on Trump’s regulatory reductions. Even Trump’s inner circle believes the hype.

His communications director declared, “No President or Administration has deregulated or withdrawn as many anticipated regulatory actions as this one in this short amount of time.” In reality, saving $560 million is a pittance against the $2+ trillion regulatory burden faced by America business.

At best, stopping new regulations is like trimming kudzu. All these bad policies and regulations have only been driven underground. They remain in desk drawers and computer files ready to be unleashed. Unless the underlying policies, people, and laws are changed, all these sidelined regulations will spring forth the moment Trump leaves office.

The people who would actually pull-up the regulatory kudzu by its roots are not in place. Washington, DC’s “RINOgators” have settled in to protect their status quo and wait out Trump.

Real and lasting change will happen only if Trump appoints sufficient numbers of his actual loyalists as soon as possible. He must act quickly and decisively to remove Bush/Romney traitors and replace them with those fully committed to his revolution.

Perhaps the dual attacks by Bush 41 and 43 will open Trump’s eyes to the treachery around him.

Via email


Leftists Finally Throw Bill Under the Bus

The soullessness of the Democratic Party

The recent effort to upend the Senate candidacy of Alabama Judge Roy Moore is dominating headlines these days. The charges against Moore are troubling, serious and credible, while his denials are less than persuasive. But the speed with which Democrats and Republicans alike have demanded Moore's exit from the race presents a high ethical standard that never seems to apply to Democrats.

Just yesterday, in fact, Minnesota Democrat Sen. Al Franken was accused of committing sexual assault against a woman in 2006, and it looks like other victims might be coming forward. But the outrage toward Franken, a sitting U.S. senator, has been timid compared with the treatment that candidate Moore has had to endure. And buried beneath the Franken headlines was the news that a hung jury had spared another sitting senator, New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez, from a deserved corruption conviction.

We've been down this road before. Republicans are always quick to destroy their own (deserved or not), while Democrats circle the wagons around the sleaziest politicians and public figures. This hypocrisy has paved the way for sexual predators on the Left to assume vast amounts of power and wealth without ever having to face their accusers, while those on the Right are cut off at the knees.

Case in point: Bill Clinton. For years Americans have waited for the convincing allegations of sexual abuse and even rape by Clinton to get the attention they deserve. Sure, Clinton was impeached (along party lines), paid a fine, and lost his law license, but Democrats never stopped embracing him or his enabling wife. Indeed, once he escaped conviction in the Senate (nearly along party lines), even Republicans seemed to forgive and forget.

Ironically, the person who broke the radio silence on Bill Clinton was none other than Donald Trump.

After the notorious "Access Hollywood" tape nearly derailed his bid for the White House, Trump held a press conference in which the women who claimed to be Clinton's victims were given the collective attention they deserved. And then, in a brilliant move, Trump seated the women at the presidential debate right near Clinton himself. Trump did more to hold Bill Clinton accountable for his actions than any Republican had done since the former Arkansas governor moved into the White House in 1993.

When Trump put the spotlight on Clinton, Democrats had a perfect opportunity to make things right and condemn Bill's predatory behavior. After all, they were poised to take down Trump over alleged groping, not rape. But those on the Left couldn't bring themselves to be critical of a man they'd forgiven for actually engaging in behavior that was far worse than what Trump was only caught describing.

Now, nearly 20 years after Juanita Broaddrick went public with her credible accusation of Bill Clinton raping her, and with the Clintons having failed in their party's most urgent mission — defeating Trump — the Left is suddenly emboldened. Indeed, some are even opportunistically admitting that Clinton should have resigned from office 20 years ago.

Too little, too late. The societal damage has long since been done.

Caitlin Flanagan writes in The Atlantic, "It was a pattern of behavior; it included an alleged violent assault; the women involved had far more credible evidence than many of the most notorious accusations that have come to light in the past five weeks. But Clinton was not left to the swift and pitiless justice that today's accused men have experienced. Rather, he was rescued by a surprising force: machine feminism. The movement had by then ossified into a partisan operation, and it was willing — eager — to let this friend of the sisterhood enjoy a little droit de seigneur."

Perhaps the parade of "progressive" sexual predators in the past year made it difficult to continue ignoring Clinton's past — difficult to self-righteously condemn the likes of Weiner and Weinstein and Franken while continuing to dismiss Clinton's decades of depravity.

But don't take this as a sign that progressives are suddenly holding their own accountable. They just couldn't keep their dirty little secret any longer. There have been plenty of moments when Democrats could have taken a stand to end sexual abuse post-Clinton.

Matthew Yglesias contends, "The United States, and perhaps the broader English-speaking world, is currently undergoing a much-needed accountability moment in which each wave of stories emboldens more people to come forward and more institutions to rethink their practices. Looking back, the 1998 revelation that the president of the United States carried on an affair with an intern could have been that moment."

If only leftists like Yglesias had shown the courage of their convictions when it really mattered.

Yes, the feminist movement could have become legitimate instead of selectively allowing the very behavior that it proclaims to detest. It could have been a pivotal moment in which the nation reasserted its values and principles, and took a stand against the moral degradation of the past. It could have been the moment for us to enforce the ethical standards that we have long expected of our public figures, and the moment for the media to put the plain truth ahead of its agenda.

It could have been, but it wasn't. And they're now reaping what they sowed.

One of the more troubling aspects of the 1998 Clinton-Lewinsky affair is that mainstream media outlets had all the information they needed in 1998 but chose largely to ignore the very serious accusations of Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and especially Juanita Broaddrick.

As David Harsanyi writes, "However reluctant editors might have been in moving forward with these stories, the fact is that most of them were ultimately brought to the public's attention by established news organizations, not shady right-wing outlets. Still, Democrats weren't merely skeptical of these women, they often treated them with disdain and smeared them for political expediency."

Yes, they were smeared by just about everyone on the Left including Hillary Clinton. Remember her vicious and dismissive "bimbo eruptions" comment? That a female politician was willing to shame and degrade other women in order to advance her career mirrored the soullessness of the Democrat Party.

Sadly, the cover-ups from the Kennedys to Clinton to Harvey Weinstein allowed scores of women to be abused by powerful men — so long as these monsters were publicly supporting leftist causes.

Since the 1960s, Democrats have pushed a culture of unbridled sexuality on American society while at the same time calling for men to respect women. It's not possible to have both.

Had Bill Clinton and others been held accountable, perhaps we could have saved a lot of women some serious pain and suffering. Perhaps we could have prevented another generation of sexual perverts from preying on innocent victims. And perhaps we could have emerged as a nation dedicated to ethical and moral behavior in personal and public life.



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

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


17 November, 2017

Senate Makes Bold Move, Includes Repeal of Obamacare’s Individual Mandate in Tax Bill

News broke on Tuesday that the Senate will include repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate in its final tax bill.

This is something President Donald Trump has called for, and it’s exactly the right move.

It’s critical that Congress take every opportunity to undo Obamacare’s damage. Repealing the individual mandate is a great place to begin the necessary work of undoing Obamacare regulatory burdens and tax increases that have driven up costs and reduced plan value and availability .

The individual mandate is Obamacare’s requirement that every American enroll in health insurance or be fined. The idea was to push lots of healthier people—who didn’t need or want Obamacare’s expansive, overpriced coverage—to buy those plans in order to subsidize the cost of care for others.

But the experience with Obamacare over the last four years shows that the individual mandate does not work.

According to the most recent IRS reports, 6.2 million tax filers chose to pay the tax penalty rather than buy Obamacare insurance, 12.7 million tax filers obtained an exemption from the mandate, and 4.3 million tax filers omitted their health insurance status on their tax return.

In total, 23.2 million tax filers paid the fine, obtained an exception, or simply ignored the individual mandate.

And with good reason—the products they were being forced to buy were from a private market broken by Obamacare’s many regulatory mandates. Plan prices skyrocketed and plan quality and availability dropped.

In the face of this situation, many Americans had to choose: Do I buy an overpriced product that doesn’t meet my needs, or do I pay a tax penalty and look for other alternatives?

With costs for plans continuing to rise, and possibly outpacing the ability of individuals to pay, it’s likely that a growing number of individuals will determine that it’s better to pay the penalty than pay for overpriced coverage.

And pay they will. Until now, the IRS has been lax in its enforcement of the mandate. However, this upcoming tax year the IRS will begin to actively enforce the individual mandate by requiring proof of health insurance coverage.

In previous years, Americans have been able to omit reporting health care coverage and still receive a tax refund. No longer will this be the case.

Moving forward, the IRS will refuse the submission of a tax return unless it includes proof of coverage, a coverage exemption, or payment (read: tax) for lack of coverage.

Repealing the individual mandate would provide relief to millions of Americans who have to either buy a health insurance product they don’t want, or pay tax penalties.

It’s possible that coverage numbers would go down at least somewhat after repealing the individual mandate. But that wouldn’t be because people are being kicked off of coverage. It would be because some Americans will either drop plans that are a bad deal for them, or not buy those plans in the first place.

Rather than forcing people to buy coverage that government bureaucrats think they should have, lawmakers should focus on creating market conditions that allow Americans to buy plans that they actually want.

That requires Congress to roll back the broken Obamacare regulations that are driving up the cost of insurance for millions of Americans—including the benefit mandates, actuarial value standards, and rating restrictions that drive up the cost of premiums.

Moreover, if Congress wants to encourage people to buy coverage rather than force them to do so, it could provide regulatory relief to the states to give them options to reward healthy individuals for buying and keeping continuous coverage.

Congressional leaders need to get back to work to undo Obamacare’s damage, and the Senate is leading the way by placing the individual mandate on the chopping block.



Wave of Judicial Appointments Fulfills Trump Promise to Focus on Courts

Eight federal appellate judges confirmed, and a ninth on the way, mark the success of President Donald Trump's campaign promise to make putting conservatives on the court a top priority of his administration.

Trump's eight appellate court appointments are the most this early in a presidency since Richard Nixon, the New York Times reported.

The appointments are the product of an aggressive strategy led by White House counsel Don McGahn. McGahn and his team have focused on filling appeals court vacancies where Democratic Senators from Trump-voting states could be pressured to back nominees.

Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) has also been essential to the fast clip of nominations. In the past year, Grassley has organized three hearings with two appellate nominees, rather than the customary single nominee. Two-nominee hearings happened only three times total in the eight years of the Obama administration.

The nominees have strong academic credentials, the Times noted, as well as a history of clerking for conservative judges like the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

"We will set records in terms of the number of judges," Trump said in a recent White House speech. "There has never been anything like what we’ve been able to do together with judges."

"What makes this a unique opportunity in modern history is the sheer number of vacancies, the number of potential vacancies because of the aging bench, and the existence of a president who really cares about this issue in his gut," said Leonard A. Leo, executive vice president of the conservative law organization the Federalist Society, and an adviser on Trump's judicial appointments.

Trump entered office with 21 open seats on the federal appellate courts. That high number of vacancies was driven by Senate Republicans' refusal to confirm many appointees of President Barack Obama from 2015 onwards.

An additional six judgeships have opened since inauguration. Additionally, almost half the 150 active appeals court judges can take a semiretirement "senior" status, freeing up their seats for Trump-appointed replacements.

Exit polls suggest that conservatives concerned about the future of federal courts helped deliver Trump his electoral college victory last November. In the wake of Scalia’s death, Trump memorably promised to nominate his replacement from a list put together by the Federalist Society.

The burst of nominations has provoked controversy as Senate Republicans consider dropping several traditional practices.

That includes the use of so-called "blue slips," issued by Senators from the home state of a judicial nominee to give their assent before he proceeds to hearings. Democratic senators, including Sen. Al Franken (Minn.), have refused to return blue slips for several Trump nominees.

This has resulted in calls by Republicans to end the practice. They have also been critical of the American Bar Association, which customarily rates the qualification of judicial nominees, and which is perceived by many as being biased against conservatives. After the ABA returned "not qualified" rankings for two nominees, reports indicated that the White House is considering discouraging future nominees from releasing certain records to or interviewing with the group.

While these possible changes may be controversial, advisers like Leo remain focused on their central goal—taking advantage of an unprecedented opportunity to put conservatives on the bench.

"[Trump] understood that the American people cared about judges, and he for his own purposes cared very deeply about it and recognized that he could be a president who could help restore the judiciary to its proper role," Leo said.



Louisiana’s Kyle Duncan, Trump’s Superb Choice for the 5th Circuit

Ed Meese

A legal powerhouse from Louisiana with a history of championing religious freedom is among President Donald Trump’s outstanding nominees for federal judgeships.

Kyle Duncan is one of Trump’s excellent picks for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals as the president works to reshape the federal courts by announcing slate after slate of his choices to fill more than 160 vacancies across the country. These are men and women who take the Constitution and the rule of law seriously, and Duncan is a superb example.

I got to know Duncan when he was general counsel of Becket Law, a nationally recognized public interest law firm based in Washington, and I am confident he will be a dedicated and thoughtful jurist. He understands the proper, limited role judges should play in our government—that judges are not supposed to be legislators, but impartial arbiters of the law.

Duncan will be committed to interpreting the Constitution and laws according to their text, setting aside his personal views and policy preferences.

At Becket, Duncan fought for religious liberty for all people. As the lead lawyer in Hobby Lobby’s challenge to the Obamacare contraceptive mandate, he secured a big victory for religious freedom at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hobby Lobby, a retail chain run by David Green and his family, sought to operate in accordance with the family’s Christian faith. But Duncan didn’t represent only Christians. He supervised Becket’s representation of an Orthodox Jewish inmate when a prison violated his rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, and he helped defend a mosque under the same law when it faced a discriminatory land-use regulation.

Stuart Kyle Duncan, who was born in 1972 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has had a distinguished legal career as an appellate lawyer, arguing more than 30 cases before federal and state appellate courts—including two at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Currently a partner at Schaerr Duncan LLP in Washington, Duncan has served as counsel for parties and amici in more than 40 cases before the high court. For his exceptional written advocacy there, the National Association of Attorneys General twice presented him with its Best Brief Award.

It’s fitting that the president nominated Duncan to a 5th Circuit seat in Louisiana, where he has deep ties. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from Louisiana State University, clerked for a judge on the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit, and for four years was Louisiana’s first solicitor general.

Even after starting his law practice in Washington, Duncan continued to advance Louisiana’s interests. The state retained him time and time again to help defend its laws on everything from abortion to religious freedom to criminal offenses.

In addition to Louisiana, the 5th Circuit hears cases from Texas and Mississippi, and Duncan has ties to those states as well. He was assistant solicitor general of Texas for three years and taught constitutional law, law and economics, admiralty law, and legal ethics at the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Duncan’s record demonstrates that he is an exceptionally qualified nominee who cares a great deal about the Constitution. As Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director at the Judicial Crisis Network, put it at National Review, he

is a superstar who can translate sophisticated arguments for the general public. His knack for thoughtful and incisive legal analysis will serve him well on the 5th Circuit, as will his humility and integrity. Kyle is the complete package.

To date, the Senate has confirmed only 13 of Trump’s outstanding judicial nominees, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should be commended for getting those judges confirmed despite Senate Democrats’ obstruction, there is still plenty of work to do.

The president could do no better than nominating Kyle Duncan. Now, the Senate must work swiftly to confirm him.



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

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


16 November, 2017

Last Crusade: War with the Phantoms

John C. Wright

We live in an age obsessed with glass ceilings, dog whistles, and micro-aggressions.

Note what these have in common.

The glass ceiling is the alleged invisible barrier which prevents women from being promoted into the positions of top management and bars the from the highest levels of power.

Dog whistles are the alleged inaudible messages sent as code from one racist to another over public airwaves to coordinate and perpetuate their continued oppression of blacks.

Micro-aggressions are the alleged impalpable assaults subtly hidden as thoughtless comments or discourteous gestures.

Micro-aggressions are just like various other forms of assault and battery, such as being lacerated, stabbed, drowned, bloodied, bruised, bludgeoned, or beaten senseless, except that these aggressions are so microscopically slight and insignificant that no one, not even the alleged perpetrator, can detect them. Even the alleged victims will not feel them unless told and trained to do so.

For example, asking someone where he is from is a micro-aggression, as this betrays an unconscious racism, which oppresses the weak. Using the pronoun “he” when grammar calls for it also oppresses the weak. As of the current news cycle, taking tests at a college, doing math, or having a daughter who wears a Disney princess costume of a Polynesian at Halloween, are all forms of oppression.

What these have in common is that all are phantoms.

Now, obviously, no one can take these claims with even the slightest degree of seriousness. Even on their own terms, they make no sense.

If a woman is frustrated with the promotion offered in her current career, let her change jobs, or start her own business. Either you have the skill and drive and talent needed to win for yourself the high position you desire, or you do not. If you do, there is no need to wait for someone else to remove the alleged invisible barrier keeping you from the high position. If you do not, then being given the position as a gift will not give you the skill and drive and talent needed to face real adversity, a union riot or an antitrust lawsuit, fortune might then place between you and your further success.

Likewise, either alleged oppressors have the power to oppress the blacks or not. If they have the power, they would not bother to speak in whispers and codes. If they lack the power, the whispers and codes can be safely ignored, for then no one is being oppressed.

Likewise for micro-aggressions. If someone innocently offers you an undiscernibly small insult, and you are in a position to demand the innocent to apologize, you have power over him, not he over you.  You are the Grand Inquisitor here, and he the heretic in chains.

If he actually had the motive, opportunity, and power to oppress you, there would be visible signs of it: water fountains marked “colored” and “white”, governors standing in schoolhouse doors, police in riot gear with firehoses and attack dogs, death camps surrounded with barbed wire, and the whole visible apparatus of the state.

The alleged oppressors here do not actually have the power to oppress. Or do anything visible or obvious.

Far from being able to call upon armed men in riot gear to enforce Democrat-style Jim Crow laws, in America these days, anyone accused of racism, misogyny, or thoughtlessness to the hypersensitive feelings of any mascot of the Left faces social opprobrium, ostracization, loss of livelihood, and civil or even criminal penalties. In Europe, the penalties are more severe for even small infractions.

So the most that can be said for the Leftist narrative about glass ceilings, dogwhistles, and whispered non-insults is that the perpetrators, if they exist at all, are not more than a scattered, demoralized, and decimated remnant of a once-proud segregationist and slave-owning political party, now fallen, who comfort themselves by nursing a sullen resentment at the loss of their power to oppress blacks and women.

(That would be the party of racists Jefferson Davis, John C. Calhoun, Orval Faubus, George Wallace, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Robert C. Byrd, homophobe Fred Phelps, and women-abusers Bill Clinton, Harvey Weinstein, and so on.)

Please note that there are careers in which a whispered campaign of lies can derail or kill a career, and where anonymous accusations bring on a witch-hunt. Obviously any field where there is a clear and obvious way of judging the merit of a man’s performance is not open to whisper campaigns. But in such fields as the theater, or academia, or politics, where one’s position can insulate one from the results of incompetence, such whispers would be all powerful.

Anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of the coordinated hatred from a group of unemployed women, mentally ill men, or cowardly unmanly men, is well aware of how glass ceilings, dog whistles, and micro-aggressions work. The girls and crazies and girlish cowards never confront you directly, never criticize your work directly, but they giggle and offer insults in the form of indirect symbols whose symbolic value they themselves never publicly admit. They anonymously feed stories to a compliant press. They cheer wildly for things which seem to have no meaning, since they are all actually cheering for something else. And they fix the votes or fix the game, all the while accusing you of the same.

Please note the three fields where this is rampant: the theater, the academic world, and the halls of power.  Places where no one is judged on his work, only on his connections. Places where incompetents prosper. These are the places were the Left is paramount.

In sum, the secret conspiracy of oppressors we hear the Left endlessly bewailing exists, if at all, only among them, and only to oppress those who do not conform to their narrative.

Like Hollywood starlets forced into prostitution with overweight producers to win a desirable billing, who then complain about a patriarchy and a rape culture, the Leftists who whine about glass ceilings and dog whistles  are speaking of a world which they build for themselves, as a prison for themselves, but which they fear to blame on their gurus (who are also their jailers), and so blame on those who hold the only hope of liberation from their prison.

At this point, the candid reader might be thinking, “if glass ceilings, dog whistles, and micro-aggressions are by definition invisible, inaudible and impalpable, on what grounds does anyone assert that they actually exist?”

Well, the Left answers this question by shrieking like insane baboons if anyone raises it, slandering and libeling anyone who questions this or any other part of their dogma, and attempting to ruin their livelihood and life. This will deter the question from being asked.

It will not answer the question, of course, because there is no answer.

Leftism does not require grounds to make assertions. Only in a logical and rigorous form of thought, as legal or scientific reason, is precedent or observation or some other form of support offered to uphold an assertion.

In Leftist thought, statements are not statements of fact; they are statements of power.

There is a famous Chinese story of a time when a vizier, thinking the Emperor weak, and wishing to find out which courtiers would join him in rebellion, brought a deer into the court and called it a horse. The emperor politely corrected him, some courtiers agreed with the emperor. The vizier noted who these were, and later had them assassinated, exiled, or executed.

Hence, if a Chinese vizier points at a deer and calls it a horse, the other courtiers who agree with him agree because they fear or admire his power. Those who disagree expect their disagreement to be taken as an act of defiance. The courtiers who say “deer” are in the vizier’s camp and have expressed their loyalty. Those who say “horse” are his foes. Whether or not a horse is a horse never enters into the matter.

In Leftist thought, statements are neither true nor false. True and false are properties that only have a place in describing statements related to reality. “The sun rises in the East” is a statement, for example, that is true, but, if the sun ever were to rise in the west, would be false. “Bow to the idol!” is not a statement that can be either true or false. It is not a statement at all, but an imperative. It is a demand for loyalty.

But this is not the whole explanation. The Chinese vizier in the old story did not, after all, point to a gelding and call it a stallion, or point to a slow horse and call it fast. He did not demand the courtiers to say something haste or bad judgement might allow them honestly to believe. He demanded the courtiers say an obvious, blatant, unambiguous lie. Men place their flags on a flagpole so that they are above all obstructions and clear to see. The lie must be obvious, insolent in its disregard for truth, so that the falsehood is clear to see.

What kind of loyalty is being demanded?

The Leftwing narrative is not merely a political theory nor merely a worldview. It is an ideology. The difference between an ideology and a worldview is this:

A worldview is written in the indicative mood. it can be summed up in a list of statements which one believes to be true or false. An ideology is written in the imperative mood. It can only be summed as a list of duties and prohibitions.

An ideology is a heresy of Christian thought disguised as a political or economic policy. An ideology, by its nature, is something like a glass ceiling and a dog whistle, because it is a phantom that seems to be talking about one thing, but is actually talking about something else.

I say it is a Christian heresy because Ideology as a parasite on the Church. There are no Buddhist nor Shinto ideologies.

I use the word heresy advisedly. A heresy is the act of taking one branch of an organic whole of thought, ignoring its roots and consequences, inflating or elevating that branch out of its proper context, and then using it as a bludgeon to pummel all other branches of the teaching into silence. For example, the Pelagesian heresy took the doctrine of the free will of man to undermine the doctrine of the fall of man. Likewise Calvinism takes the doctrine of the omniscience of God to undermine the doctrine of the free will of man.

In the modern world, all ideologues, starting with French Revolutionaries and up though the Cultural Marxism of the Social Justice Warriors, take the doctrine of compassion for the poor and needy, and the doctrine that God is no respecter of persons, to undermine the doctrine of the fall of man. Man is saved not through Christ, but through Caesar, that is, through the alleged application of scientific reasoning to political and economic institutions. Man is naturally good and improvable, and will evolve into utopian perfection, once certain artificial sources of institutional evildoing and oppression are swept away, such a private property, inequality of income, or unconscious racism.

Heresies are also simplistic. They are, as said above, a reduction of an organic and balanced system of thought into a few simpleminded slogans.

Likewise, an ideology is a one-size fits all answer for all life’s problems: Black and white with no colors, no balancing act, no counting of costs versus benefits, no understanding of the tragic view of life.

Conservativism, by this definition, is not an ideology, for it regards the state merely as one social institution among many, and not the sole, nor even the primary institution. The state is the institution used to maintain law and order, enforce contracts, encourage virtue, and defend from invasion and trespass against natural rights. The free market is an institution for the exchange of goods and services peacefully; marriage is the institution for raising the young and building communities; the Church is the institution for prayer and sacrifice and learning the meaning of life; the arts are for expressing the glory of nature and nature’s great author; and so on. Each has its proper and organic place in the organism of society, and certain personal matters are beyond the reach of any institution.

But the heresy of ideology says all things are submissive to Caesar. Marriage is subordinate to the state; the market is subordinate to the state; the Church is most certainly subordinate to the state; all things serve the state, and even what thoughts are allowed or are forbidden to be expressed, public or private, conscious or unconscious, are all political matters, hence within Caesar’s purview.

Ironically, because ideologies are simplistic, one-sided, and false, all fail at what the attempt. Marxism says one can produce abundant wealth by eliminating all incentives to create it. Cultural Marxism says women can gain equality by helpless dependence on the state, blacks can gain equality by aggravating all mildest dispute with whites, and homosexuals can gain love and approval for their lifestyle by savagely demonizing the vast majority of straights, and rejecting all attempts at peaceful coexistence with them. The success rate of socialism, with between one hundred million and one hundred fifty million innocent men, women and children murdered, at producing peace and plenty is obvious to all but the willfully blind.

By the nature of ideology, they ideologue is and must be willfully blind. To cast doubt on the list of imperatives that comprise his ideology is one of the imperatives. To entertain any doubt, or to hear any debate, on any topic under the control of the ideologue is thoughtcrime. To doubt that America is racist is itself racism. To doubt any iota of the shrieking nonsense uttered by feminists is itself sexism. And so on.

Because they are blind, the natural limits of reality which cause the failure of their ideological Cloudcuckooland theories are invisible to them. Always and ever will the ideologue run into a boundary or barrier that halts upward progress, which always and ever he will not permit himself to see. To him it will be invisible. A glass ceiling.

Because they have left the realm of reason and reality, the ideologue is never talking about the topic of your debate with him. For example, suppose that after a horrific mass shooting, you want to debate a proper response to see it not to happen again. Naturally, you wonder about the foolish leftwing policy that prevents locking patients with dangerous insanity up in an asylum. But this is never discussed. The ideologue can only discuss, with ever increasing shrillness, frustration, and fury as he beats against an invisible glass ceiling, his hope that by taking guns away from sane and law-biding citizens, somehow, by unicorn-powered fairy glitter magic, the guns will vanish from the hands of the insane and the criminal. When you point out that unicorns do not exist, hence cannot make guns vanish, he responds by saying you are aiding and abetting the murders.

He is frustrated because he is pounding against a glass ceiling. The gun control laws cannot produce the unicorn glitter happy-land result he imagines. Gun control laws produce Chicago murder rates.

You think you are talking about gun control. You are really talking about whether government can solve the problem of evil.

Hence, this is a dog-whistle, that is, a conversation meant for the ears of his compatriots alone, which has a second meaning inaudible to normal people. He cannot and dare not say aloud what he is actually thinking, because, were he to say it, the falsehood and fatuous fatheadedness of the whole sacred list of his ideological imperatives would stand naked to the mocking gaze of reality. Fear prevents him.

His ideological system cannot work and never will, because, fundamentally, it is false-to-facts. To believe a fact because it is factual is something his moral code calls wrong, and a hate crime. See, for example, crimes rates among Blacks. To believe a falsehood because it is false, and the more outrageous the falsehood the better, is something his moral code rewards as a sign of absolute party loyalty. See, for example, evidence for manmade global warming.

And so reality irks him with countless tiny splinters of fact. No program ever seems to go right. The feminist is angered that men do not use their superior power over women to impose equality on women as a gift. The black rioters demand police abandon their neighborhoods to crime, and then they are angered when the crime rate rises.

For them, reality itself is an endless micro-aggression. It is an endless, tiny stream of buried and inaudible slights and slanders against the pretensions of the ideologues.

In reaction, the ideologue utters tiny and invisible insults against everyone around him. His continuous sniping, snarking, snarling and risible pose of moral and mental superiority to all mortal men is his retaliation to the mockery the reality makes of his stillborn and dreams.

So the world of phantoms is the world in which the Leftwinger actually lives. All about him is a hidden and apparently all-powerful foe. The foe taunts and mocks him, and eludes his grasp. He is everywhere and nowhere. Normal conversations between normal men now sound like the murmurings of conspirators. Facts and reality form invisible ceilings to progress. Gnat clouds of endless failures and insults accompany every moment. Everything actually is controlled by glass ceilings, dog whistles, and micro-aggressions.

The problem is that these phantoms are all produced by the ideologue himself. They form the thought prison in which he is trapped. They are the false narrative to which he is addicted, and which is slowly killing him, brain-first.

Granted, he placed the fetters on his own limbs with his own hands, and, like Oedipus, with his own thumbs drove out the eyes of common sense. He castrated his own conscience, he lobotomized his own reason, drove a stake through the heart of compassion and humanity in his own breast. We must pity the poor, suicidal fool even as we condemn his suicide. The pain he suffers is real, even if the phantoms he imagines to be causing it are no more than shadows in a looking glass.

The war with these phantoms is real, even if the phantoms are not real. It falls to us to undo all the damage his madness causes. Ask not whether it is fair that this task is ours. The hard fact is that if we do not bind up the wounds to civilization he makes, they will not be healed.

He blames us for his problems. We cannot salve his brow or solve his woe. His problem is spiritual. His savior is not Caesar.



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

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


15 November, 2017

Plain truth can be hate-speech on Quora

I responded to the following question on Quora.com:

"Why has the free movement of people between Canada, Australia, New Zealand & the UK not been implemented? There are similar population sizes, common language, & social, political, economic, & educational systems are all based on the British model"

I replied:

"Australia and NZ don’t want the blacks — too crime-prone"

Quora deleted my reply on the grounds that it violated their Be  Nice, Be Respectful policy

I wrote in response to them:

"Since when is the truth simply expressed disrespectful? The alternative is BS"

On behalf of Quora, Amelia then replied:

"Thanks for your email. We'll be more than happy to clarify our moderation decision here.

Your content was in violation of our Be Nice, Be Respectful policy. This core Quora principle requires that people treat other people on the site with civility, respect, and consideration.

More specifically, your content contained what we consider to be hate speech:

Users are not allowed to post content or adopt a tone that would be interpreted by a reasonable observer as a form of hate speech, particularly toward a race, gender, religion, nationality, ethnicity, political group, sexual orientation or another similar characteristic. Questions and question details about generalizations in these topics should be phrased as neutrally and respectfully as possible.

Our decision is final, and your content will not be reinstated"

My closing comment:  "I imagine Amelia is just an apparatchik at Quora so shares the current politically correct hysteria about any mention of blacks that fails to praise them -- but her action deprives their questioner of the answer to his question.

Is that what Quora is about?  Is it a cover-up service or an information service?  No American is in any doubt about the black crime-rate so why can it not be mentioned in an objective information context?  I have had many articles published in the academic journals of the social sciences on questions about race and racism but such discussions must be kept from the general public, apparently. So I suppose that this episode is just another example of Leftists having big problems with the truth -- JR. 


‘I hate everything.’ says Jerry Brown

The Left gives itself away now and then

Nine days into his European trip, Jerry Brown might have been enjoying himself.

The Democratic governor had just wrapped interviews with Japanese and German reporters late Saturday, after holding a climate coalition signing ceremony with Terry McAuliffe, or His Excellency, the honorific used for the governor of Virginia. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer were also at the photo op.

That’s when Brown was asked whether he enjoyed it at the UN climate conference.

“No, I hate everything,” he said, allowing the slightest smile. “Why do you ask that silly question?”

I mean it earnestly, the reporter responded.

Brown asked whether, at age 79, he would be running around Europe if he didn’t enjoy it?

Maybe, his interrogator replied.

“Why, because I’m a masochist?” Brown asked.

Brown said he doesn’t think of it as “joy,” but did for some reason say he was glad the conversation had meandered to the subject. An accurate reflection of his existential position is one that is constantly changing, Brown eventually confessed.

“There are certain things you have to do that aren’t as pleasant as other things you have to do, but if it’s something you want to get accomplished, you will do it, and there will be different levels of joy, from zero to 100 percent,” he said



Covered California Still Spreading Misery

During the heyday of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, Emily Bazar of the Center for Health Reporting kept track of how Covered California, the ACA’s wholly owned subsidiary, actually performed. As she noted, Covered California wasted millions on promotion, handed out lucrative deals to cronies, and its $454 million computer system was dysfunctional. Last year Bazar showed how, despite skyrocketing premiums, Covered California dropped 2,000 pregnant women from coverage, causing them to lose their doctors and miss key prenatal appointments.

Earlier this year, Bazar reported that the state’s vaunted health exchange sent incorrect tax information to the health plans, which led to “higher premiums than consumers initially anticipated,” and people also “owed more out of pocket than they originally thought.” Bazar had already charted how Obamacare hiked premiums 13.2 percent, and canceled policies when people reported changes in income. As a result, many Californians did not get the tax credits they they sought. Covered California may have helped “multitudes” apply for health insurance, Bazar wrote, but “it also is responsible for countless glitches and widespread consumer misery.” So how is it performing now?

Emily Bazar, now with Kaiser Health News, warns that Anthem Blue Cross is pulling out of a large swath of California’s individual market, “forcing hundreds of thousands of consumers to find new plans.” Rate hikes average 12.3 percent and “silver-level” plans “will bear an additional 12.4 percent average surcharge.” Doctor’s networks are smaller and smaller all the time, and “if you are in the middle of treatment for a complex medical condition and lose your insurer, you may have options.” But then, you might not have options. So for all its lofty promises, Covered California still works best as a misery index.

The ACA was essentially a statist coup camouflaged in a white coat. In this plan, you get only the health care the government wants you to have. The same is true for the so-called “single player” scheme, better known as government monopoly health care.



Hollowed-out blue chips are the next subprime

Subprime mortgages caused much of the 2008 financial crisis by defaulting in much greater concentrations than the experts expected. The next financial crisis is likely to be caused by a similar disaster that surprises the experts. I have an excellent candidate: Fortune 500 companies that have been repurchasing their shares like maniacs for a decade, and in many cases have left themselves with negative net worth. In a major recession, when their business drops off and their cash flow turns negative, they will only need a breath of adverse wind to default. Like the subprime mortgages, once a few major companies default, the rest, with fragile credit structures, will fall like dominoes.

There are two mechanisms by which the balance sheets of major companies have been hollowed out: overpriced acquisitions and share repurchases. Both are products of a decade of interest rates held far below their natural level, which have abominably skewed the economy’s allocation of resources.

In the case of overpriced acquisitions, even companies that make a low return appear attractive purchases if you can borrow at a negative real cost to finance their acquisition. Share repurchases meanwhile are more attractive than dividends because they goose the value of management’s stock options. If long term money can be borrowed at 3% on a tax-deductible basis, then it makes sense to go on buying the company’s shares up to 33 times earnings, even if there is no earnings growth to be had.

The effect on balance sheets of the two bad practices is significantly different. In the case of acquisitions, the accountants make the acquirer record a “goodwill” item reflecting the difference between the price paid for the company acquired and the value of its- assets. In the 1970s and 1980s, that goodwill item could be taken as reflecting real value. Much of the assets’ value in the books reflected construction and acquisition costs from decades earlier, so in a time of high inflation, when stock prices were not extended, acquirers generally did not pay much more than the true value of assets.

Now the “goodwill” item reflects genuine water, in the nineteenth century sense of that term. Nineteenth century investors, mostly in railroads, were very concerned at promoters “watering” the stock – issuing shares at a price far above net asset value – because they knew that railways could be replicated at the same cost, or even somewhat less (since some survey and other costs might be common). If your competitor had issued less stock than you to construct the same route, he would have lower costs, because he would have to pay fewer dividends and/or less debt interest.

In industrial companies, the “watering” principle does not apply so rigidly; industrial companies often have patented technologies, marketing networks or business relationships that cannot easily be replicated. Nevertheless, if you buy $1 of assets for $2, and finance the $2 by debt, you are still in trouble in a recession. Gold miners have seen this problem recently; a few of them have been bankrupted not by operating losses but by goodwill write-offs that destroyed their balance sheets.

Goodwill at least arguably has some value. However, what remains when you have borrowed money to repurchase stock has no value at all. In that situation, your stockholders’ equity has been eaten away and you have literally nothing to show for it. In good years, earnings per share are increased, because there are fewer shares outstanding. In bad years, if you lack capital you will find it very difficult to finance yourself. If cash flow and earnings falter, potential creditors will take a suddenly skeptical look at the infinitely leveraged balance sheet and shy away.

The Fortune 500’s problem is that the period of funny money and slow growth has lasted so long. For a year or two, if profits look good, you can buy back stock worth 150% of earnings and make some overpriced acquisitions, and the hit to the balance sheet will only be moderate. But if you keep on doing it for close to a decade, you will run out of equity.

The Fortune 500 companies that are in this difficulty (and not all of them are) can be divided into two groups. The acquirers have eaten away their stockholders’ equity through overpriced acquisitions; they still have a positive book net worth, but a negative tangible net worth. Their fate during a deep downturn will be determined by how much of that goodwill must be written off through “impairment of value” and whether net worth remains positive after doing so.

The second group, who have destroyed their shareholders’ equity by repurchasing shares, often worth several times their earnings, will have only moderate amounts of goodwill, and negative net worth even including intangible assets. If their business turns down substantially, they are in trouble from Day 1.



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

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


14 November, 2017

Blame a dithering Congress, not Trump, for Democratic wins

After a hotly contested — and highly expensive — 2017 election cycle, the Democrats have taken the governor’s mansions in both Virginia and New Jersey. In both cases, it was a sweeping victory, with Ralph Northam winning nearly 54 percent of the Virginia vote and Ryan Murphy winning 56 percent of the New Jersey vote.

Contrary to what the mainstream media would have you believe, this was not a referendum on President Trump. This was a warning shot to congressional Republicans. Congressional Republicans have shown themselves unable to deliver. After running for years on promises of a wholesale repeal of ObamaCare and a replacement of it with a patient-centered, free market alternative, they couldn’t even get enough consensus to pass the “skinny repeal.”

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Republicans failed to win the day. Why would voters turn out for a party that can’t keep its promises? Why would conservatives support leaders who are utterly indifferent to skyrocketing premiums and crippling taxes? Why back a group as disorganized and duplicitous as today’s Republican party?

And why on earth would Virginia conservatives back Ed Gillespie? When conservatives chose Donald Trump in 2016, they were rejecting the seamy, swampy insider politics that have dominated D.C. for far too long and opting instead for an outsider and an innovator who would shake things up.

But Ed Gillespie is just the kind of politician voters rejected in 2016. He’s been a lobbyist; he’s been a chairman of the Republican National Convention; and he’s been a counselor for the Bush White House. All voters had to do was look at his resume to know exactly what they were getting: more carve outs for insider interests, more personal politics and favoritism, and more elitist interference. Conservative voters deserved better options than what they got this November — and they know it.

This election should be a wake-up call for Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Americans won’t tolerate delay and dithering any longer. They want a party that has a vision for America and the drive to see it through. Unless Republican leadership can convince citizens that they are this party, they’re looking at a bloodbath in 2018. Conservative voters will stay home, and liberals and moderates will flock to the polls to vote Ryan, McConnell and all other Republicans out of office.

If Republicans want to keep their seats, they need to act. They need to deliver a tax plan that gets rid of special favors for special interests, that cuts rates for businesses, families and individuals, and that brings American companies back home. They need to repeal and replace ObamaCare, once and for all. They need to bring federal spending under control and start hacking away at our $20 trillion-dollar debt. And they need to ensure three percent growth or higher.

This — and only this — will secure their seats in 2018. When Americans start finding more and more money in their wallets, when tax day arrives and they can finish their returns in a matter of minutes, when they aren’t steamrolled by health care costs, and when they can quickly find well-paying jobs, they’ll vote Republican.

Until then, my bet is on the Democrats — although I certainly hope I’m proven wrong. If I’m proven right, however, and Republicans lose the House and the Senate in 2018, you can bet they’ll try to blame Trump. But the fact of the matter is that, ultimately, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.



An ICE Agent's Quest for Justice

By Michelle Malkin

Victor Avila is a survivor. Soft-spoken but iron-willed, he dedicated his life to law enforcement and to his country. Yet, the feds are now fighting tooth and nail to bury the full truth about the 2011 ambush by Los Zetas drug cartel thugs in Mexico that left him gravely wounded and his partner, special agent Jaime Zapata, dead.

This week, two of the Mexican gangsters convicted in the horror on Highway 57 between Mexico City and Monterrey were sentenced to double life terms in prison.

“HSI Special Agents Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila were in Mexico to protect and serve our country when they were ambushed by these ruthless criminals, who will now spend the rest of their lives in a prison cell,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco announced on Monday.

“This case serves as a reminder that if you harm a U.S. agent, the U.S. government will pursue you to the ends of the earth to ensure that you are brought to justice.”

Five others received lesser sentences of 35, 34, 30, 28 and 12 years for murder and attempted murder, which Avila on Tuesday called a “complete and utter disappointment.” As he described in his victim impact statement, “I was shot in three places and had shrapnel and glass imbedded in my body in too many places to count. Not only did I have to undergo multiple surgeries to remove the bullets and shrapnel and stitch together my shredded muscles and skin, but I also had to learn to walk again.”

Avila’s wife, who also worked for the government, lost her job. The ICE agent’s health care costs and other bills related to the attack’s aftermath piled up, leaving the family nearly $200,000 in debt and his wife and two children traumatized. “To this day, the government has not reimbursed my out-of-pocket expenses related to my work injuries,” he told U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth.

Another disgraceful indignity: This week, the feds refused to cover the Avilas’ $3,000 in travel and lodging costs from Texas to DC for the sentencing hearing, but did provide humanitarian parole for several of the Zetas’ family members from Mexico to attend the trial.

Even more disappointing, however, is the callousness of Beltway bureaucrats obstructing the Avilas’ and Zapatas’ search for answers. The families want to know who ordered the agents to travel through Zetas-infested territory unprotected to pick up equipment from another agent; why their superiors ignored a State Department security warning banning travel by U.S. personnel on Highway 57; and what the Obama administration hid as evidence mounted that the semi-automatic weapons ad handguns used in the ambush came from one of its botched gun-walking operations that echoed the infamous and deadly Operation Fast and Furious scheme.

“The significant importance here,” Avila explained on an upcoming episode of my CRTV.com show, “Michelle Malkin Investigates,” is that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “had identified the arms traffickers, had them under surveillance, and had the opportunity to arrest them months before, and did nothing. They still allowed these individuals … the Osorio brothers, to continue trafficking in arms, and allowing the weapons to be walked south into Mexico. Once the weapons went south into Mexico, there is no trace of them. They were long gone. They were lost.”

While the feds have paid lip service to Zapata’s sacrifice and Avila’s courage, their actions have administered a collective slap in the face. The families’ public records requests have been stymied every step of the way. Not a single Justice Department official has been punished for President Obama’s deadly gun-walking failures. Instead, Avila was ostracized, transferred against his will and issued a “3R” letter to “resign, retire or relocate.”

As Avila’s wife, Claudia, told my program: “He had to give up his passion … he loved his job. And the government ended that. I think more than anything we feel betrayed. We feel like complete outcasts … Very unfair. If you didn’t know any better, you would think that Victor was this criminal person that did something very wrong in his line of duty and is being punished for it. I mean, we’re outraged. We’re very disheartened. The government has most definitely turned their back on us. And not only us but the Zapata family. I mean, they lost their son. They’re still trying to find answers; they are overwhelmed.”

Where is Congress? Where is President Trump? True justice for the Avila and Zapata families requires full accountability and real consequences — not just for the triggermen but for the crapweasels who enabled them.



Bernie Sanders goes to Canada and turns a blind eye to their failing health system

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., traveled to Canada in late October. His goal? To highlight the supposed benefits of that nation's single-payer healthcare system. "How is it that here in Canada, they provide quality health care to all people ... and they do it for half the cost?" he asked rhetorically.

If Sanders took off his rose-colored glasses, he'd see that Canada doesn't provide "quality" care to all people. And it only keeps costs low by rationing who can see doctors and obtain treatment.

That's hardly a model Americans should envy.

The Vermont socialist is willfully oblivious to the Canadian system's shortcomings. He went so far as to deny "there is any debate that the quality of care is as good or better than the United States."

If Canada's healthcare system was really as top-notch as Sanders claims, why do so many Canadians flee the country to obtain treatment? A Fraser Institute report from this summer finds that more than 63,000 Canadians sought medical treatment elsewhere in the world in 2016.

Could it have something to do with Canada's atrociously long wait times? When Canadian patients receive referrals from general practitioners, the median wait time is 20 weeks until specialists treat them. Here in the United States, waiting five months for treatment is unheard-of.

The problem isn't limited to specialist care. One-in-five Canadians must wait longer than a week to see a family doctor. About three-in-ten wait more than four hours at emergency departments. The crisis is so widespread that #CanadaWAITS is trending on Twitter.

Canada's rationed care is the predictable result of a healthcare system funded and administered by government bureaucrats. Americans mustn't let Sanders fool them into adopting a system that guarantees free, universal access to a waitlist.





Compare and contrast


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

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


13 November, 2017

The best hope for world peace

Mr Trump obviously gets on well with Mr Putin and enjoys talking to him.  With its stupid sanctions, Congress has done what it can to foster cold war with Russia so the world is fortunate to have a real statesman in  charge of the U.S. administration.  The entente between Trump and Putin at the very least ensures good communication between them and that ensures that no mistakes will be made between them

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin shook hands Saturday in Da Nang, Vietnam for the second time in two days during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders' summit.

Trump entered the summit meeting room and walked straight to his Russian counterpart, who was already seated at the room's giant round table.

Putin stood and the two shook hands and spoke briefly, with Trump smiling and doing most of the talking.

Later, the two heads of state chatted before posing for a 'family photo' with all the other presidents and prime ministers.

The two presidents stood next to each other Friday night for a less formal group photo, shaking hands before waving at onlookers as shutters snapped.



Prince Charles suggested the 'influx of foreign Jews' was partly to blame for unrest in the Middle East and asked who will stand up and take on 'Jewish lobby' in America in controversial letter

He is just a fool.  Coming on top of his love for the global warming fraud, this confirms it. I have always defended him as being well meaning but I can no longer justify that.  And I am (and will remain) a keen monarchist.  His eldest son will re-establish the sterling reputation so outstanding in the Queen. For the sake of the monarchy, Charles should not take up the crown when the times comes but pass that duty over to Prince William

Prince Charles was fiercely criticised last night after it emerged he once urged the US to ‘take on the Jewish lobby’ – and blamed ‘the influx of foreign Jews’ for causing unrest in the Middle East.

Writing to his close friend Laurens van der Post in 1986, the Prince makes a startling assessment of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

He argues it was the exodus of European Jews in the middle of the last century that ‘helped to cause the great problems’.

He goes on to say terrorism in the region will only end when its causes are eliminated.

He then expresses the hope a US President will find the courage to stand up to the American ‘Jewish lobby’.

The term ‘Jewish lobby’ is considered by many to be anti-Semitic – suggesting wealthy Jews in the US operate behind the scenes to exercise undue influence over government policy.

Other high-profile figures have been heavily criticised for using the term.

Last night, Stephen Pollard, influential editor of The Jewish Chronicle, said: ‘To me this is the most astonishing element of the Prince’s letter. The “Jewish lobby” is one of the anti-Semitic themes that have endured for centuries. It is this myth there are these very powerful Jews who control foreign policy or the media or banks or whatever.’

Mr Pollard described the letter as ‘jaw-droppingly shocking’, adding: ‘That they [the Prince’s comments] come from the heir to the throne is unsettling, to put it mildly.’

While the letter is inflammatory, there is no suggestion Charles holds anti-Semitic views.

He has many prominent Jewish friends and in 2013 became the first Royal to attend a chief rabbi’s inauguration ceremony. In a speech that year, he expressed concern at the apparent rise of anti-Semitism in Britain.

In the past it has been reported that the Prince is privately critical of US policy in the Middle East, with one diplomatic source accusing him of having ‘fairly dodgy views on Israel’.

At the same time, he is seen as a defender of Islam, with one historian noting that no other major Western figure has as high a standing in the Muslim world.

It has also been suggested he has pro-Palestinian leanings, a perception the letter appears to support.

The Prince’s candid letter surfaced in a public archive. It was written on November 24, 1986, immediately after an official visit the then 38-year-old Prince made to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar with Princess Diana.

The Prince’s reference in the letter to the influx of European Jews also caused dismay.

It is not clear if he is referring to immigration before or after the Second World War, or both. Mr Pollard said: ‘It is the absolute classic Arab explanation of the problems in the Middle East.

'And it is what everyone has always said the British aristocracy actually thinks – the idea that Jews were some kind of foreigners who had no real place in Israel until we decided to make it their homeland. Historically it is nonsense and it’s quite stunning when it comes from the heir to the throne.’

A senior Israeli diplomatic source said last night: ‘He [Charles] was travelling around the Gulf states [just before he wrote the controversial letter], which in those years were very anti-Israel. It seems he was presented with a narrative in a very convincing way.’

Earlier this month, Britain marked the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, the document that paved the way for the state of Israel, with a gala dinner in London attended by Theresa May and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In 1993, Charles delivered what was then considered to be the most pro-Islamic speech ever made by a member of the Royal Family. He said: ‘Islam can teach us today a way of understanding and living in the world which Christianity is poorer for having lost.’

In 2003, it was reported the Prince had not been to the US for the previous six years on Foreign Office advice, largely because of his criticism of US policy in the Middle East.

A diplomatic source said at the time the Prince had ‘in American terms and international terms, fairly dodgy views on Israel. He thinks American policy in the Middle East is complete madness.’

In 2007, leaked emails between senior Clarence House staff put Charles at the centre of a row about the Royals’ attitude towards the Jewish state.

Exchanges between Sir Michael Peat, the Prince’s then principal secretary, and Clive Alderton, Sir Michael’s deputy, contained apparently disparaging remarks about Israel.

Over the years, the Prince has forged a close relationship with the Saudi royal family. But no Royal has ever visited Israel in an official capacity. Officials say it is because there is no permanent peace deal in the region.



Outsiders vs. Insiders: 2017’s lessons – To ‘win’ more, Republicans need to man-up and change

I see the results discussed below as a reproof to the small band of Senate RINOs who blocked Trump's agenda.  The results show that their actions did nothing for the GOP but were a boon to the Democrats.  Trump needs to show that he can deliver on behalf of the GOP and they have blocked that -- JR

What happened?  It’s a legitimate question coming two days after Democrats dominated the 2017 elections. Granted gubernatorial contests were held only in two Mid-Atlantic states (New Jersey and Virginia) this year – both either solid blue or trending blue – but the results pretty much equaled a whitewash for Republicans in their first state-level test of the Donald Trump era.

Not only did Democrat candidates for governor win convincingly in both cases, by all appearances the minority party picked up enough seats in the Virginia House of Delegates to at least pull even in the chamber. When coupled with the GOP’s narrow two-seat majority in the state senate, Virginia could now be the most evenly partisan divided state in the country (with Democrats holding all the executive offices, of course).

The media narrative of the drubbing was about what you’d expect from the chattering class – voters rejected Trump; they were fed up with the Republicans’ “negative” tone; people revolted against racism… you know, standard stuff for the liberal journalism profession.

Tunneling a little deeper below the surface there is some evidence that the Democrats, at least in Virginia, pulled out all the stops to win when they had to. They went low and it doesn’t look like they’re ashamed of it either.

Charles Hurt wrote in the Washington Times, “Over the past 40 years, only once has Virginia elected a governor from the same party that won the White House the previous year. With Republican Donald Trump in the White House, Mr. Northam, nee [Jim] Crow, was all but guaranteed to win this off-year election in a walk.

“This trend has only intensified in the favor of Democrats in recent elections as the state turns bluer and bluer because of population in the swampy northern part of the state. Add to that the unique distaste for the government-bashing Mr. Trump, an outsider who is loathed by all the swamp creatures who commute into the District from Northern Virginia.

As the federal government grows, so do the Virginia/Washington D.C. suburbs. Even in my home of Prince William County the voters kicked out long-serving principled conservative Delegate Bob Marshall in favor of what is probably the first transgender elected official in the country (at least at the state-level). Daniel “Danica” Roem won with 54 percent of the district 13 vote.

But judging by the number of seats Democrats pulled-in statewide, it wasn’t just a transgender thing on Tuesday. This election was a sure sign that something isn’t quite right with the state Republican Party. Democrats not only portrayed poor nice guy Ed Gillespie as a child-threatening racist, they also firmly pinned the establishment label to the former lobbyist’s lapel. “Enron Ed” they called him in several TV ads.

Ralph Northam will take over for outgoing Clinton buddy Governor Terry McAuliffe in January. The former head of the Democrat National Committee is widely rumored to be considering a run for president in 2020. Carpetbagger McAuliffe likely won’t get far – he’s too closely tied to the Clintons -- but with the clueless Democrats, you never can tell.

Beyond the local matters at stake in this year’s elections it’s clear blame for the GOP’s losses also lies with the national Republican Party, and to some extent, with President Trump himself. Congress’s multiple well-reported failures to pass a promised Obamacare repeal and replace bill gave average voters little reason to choose Republicans two days ago. And Trump’s tweeting habit remains a sore spot for some who might otherwise be inclined to support his agenda.

After what happened this week it’s only natural to lean towards panicking, but it’s probably too early for candidates to completely jump off the Trump bandwagon and start taking up the Gillespie-esque strategy of distancing themselves from the president in order to appeal to those in the so-called “middle” (if there is such a category any more).

While I agree it’s in the Republican Party’s own best interests to pound the healthy economic numbers it shouldn’t be forgotten many of the items on Trump’s agenda have been summarily pushed to the side by party elites who believe they can get away with waffling on immigration, tax cuts and conservative cultural issues and still win elections.

Let’s not leap off the bridge just yet – after all, this was blue-trending Virginia and bluer than blue New Jersey we’re talking about. The GOP is growing stronger in regions such as the Midwest where Trump’s agenda hits home with the citizens. Democrats and the media have turned Virginia into the modern-day battleground over confederate statues and politically correct race issues. I highly doubt the country has wholesale changed in less than a year’s time and likewise taken up the cause of those who want to erase history to appease some political constituency.

If anything, the GOP needs more Trump, not less; or should I clarify, it needs more of Trump’s agenda, not less.

Historic trends usually lead away from the incumbent president in off-year elections. 2017 was no different. There’s plenty of time to “recover” for the GOP, but not if the Congress doesn’t get to work and keep some of its promises. This should be a wake-up call, indeed.

Byron York wrote in the Washington Examiner, “Unlike during the campaign, Trump today has a record as president for voters to evaluate. If the economy were to stumble, he would certainly pay a political price. But what if current trends continue for a while, and the economy stays strong or keeps getting better?

“Should that happen, there's no doubt Trump's adversaries, in Congress and in the press, will focus even more relentlessly on his tone, on the hair-on-fire controversy of the day, in an effort to make voters overlook their general level of satisfaction and oppose Trump, even as their lives improve.”

This already seems to be happening as economic growth is stronger now than it’s been for most of this century and the unemployment numbers are similarly trending positively downward for the GOP. Consumer confidence is sky-high and the stock market keeps setting new records. Americans are feeling good about a lot of things, but still don’t like Trump because of his Twitter “tone.”


Another suggestion:  We should make the District of Columbia include any adjacent county in Maryland and Va and it becomes a state. absurd to let  adjacent VA and MD counties loaded with DC interests control both those states.


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

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


12 November, 2017

Armistice day -- lessons from "Kanzler" Bismarck and General Monash

The 11th day of the 11th month (also known as Remembrance Day and Veterans Day) was originally made memorable because it marked the end of WWI.  And well might it be commemorated.  The war it ended was unbelievably grisly.  It has often been compared to a meat grinder.  And it was pretty much that.  Strong and healthy young men were marched forward ("over the top") into withering machine gun fire.  Most died instantly. It was if their lives did not matter.  They were deliberately kil;led by their own generals.  Both sides did it but Britain's general Haig was most known for it.  He became known as the "Butcher of the Somme"

This strange behaviour was because they could think of no other way of waging war.  An outright charge on the enemy was how wars had been conducted since time immemorial.  That was what you did in a war.  But it was madness in the era of the machine gun and rapid firing field artillery.

One would have thought that manpower would be seen as the ultimate resource in a war and that it should therefore be conserved and carefully used.  It should not be squandered as in the disastrous Somme Offensive.

There was one General who did work to conserve his men:  Australia's General Monash, a son of emigrant German Jews.  As a  Jew he might well have been horrified by the mass deaths Jews had experienced and wanted no more of that.  A small excerpt about him:

"In July 1916 he took charge of the newly raised 3rd Division in northwestern France and in May 1918 became commander of the Australian Corps, at the time the largest corps on the Western Front. The successful Allied attack at the Battle of Amiens on 8 August 1918, which expedited the end of the war, was planned by Monash and spearheaded by British forces including the Australian and Canadian Corps under Monash and Arthur Currie. Monash is considered one of the best Allied generals of the First World War and the most famous commander in Australian history"

It's an irony that he spoke, read, and wrote German fluently.

And there is another very eminent German who might well have been horrified by mass deaths.  Prussia's "Iron Chancellor" and founder of united Germany, Otto von Bismarck.

One of Bismarck's better known remarks (misquoted by Churchill) was: "Der ganze Balkan ist nicht die gesunden Knochen eines einzigen pommerschen Grenadiers wert"  (The whole of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier).  You can't get more conserving of manpower than that.

Bismarck died in 1898.  Had he lived and ruled a few years longer,  World War I might have been fought very differently, if it was fought at all.  Monash showed what could be done in the field. 

I can't resist a few more quotes from Bismarck:

A little caution outflanks a large cavalry.

What we learn from history is that no one learns from history.

The most significant event of the 20th century will be that the fact that the North Americans speak English.

The secret of politics? Make a good treaty with Russia.

The Americans are truly a lucky people. They are bordered to the north and south by weak neighbors and to the east and west by fish.

Whoever speaks of Europe is wrong: it is a geographical expression.


The Navy Swamp Needs Draining Too

From Obama-style social engineering to rampant corruption, the Navy is in trouble.

A scathing Navy report released Nov. 2 reveals that two major collisions — one between the USS Fitzgerald and merchant ship ACX Crystal off the Japanese coast on June 17 that killed 17 sailors and another between the USS John McCain and oil tanker Alnic MC near Singapore on Aug. 20 that killed another 10 — were caused by “fundamental failures to responsibly plan, prepare and execute ship activities to avoid undue operational risk.”

The USS Fitzgerald’s collision was precipitated by a “compilation of failures by leadership and watchstanders,” including lookout crews who “were inattentive, disengaged in developments on the Bridge, and unaware of several nearby vessels.” As a result they “failed to visually differentiate between two vessels in close proximity” while “attempting to cross a highly congested sea lane at night.”

Moreover the Officer of the Deck, the person responsible for safe navigation of the ship, “exhibited poor seamanship by failing to maneuver as required, failing to sound the danger signal and failing to attempt to contact CRYSTAL on Bridge to Bridge radio,” the report states. The officer also failed to “call the Commanding Officer as appropriate and prescribed by Navy procedures to allow him to exercise more senior oversight and judgment of the situation.”

The USS McCain’s collision was an equally damning sequence of errors. Because the person at the helm was having difficulty maintaining course while also adjusting the throttles for speed control, the Commanding Officer “ordered the watch team to divide the duties of steering and throttles.” This unplanned shift “caused confusion in the watch team,” that ultimately led the helmsman to believe the steering mechanism had failed. According to the report, crews attempted to fix the mistake by transferring steering “among various controlling stations four times within the two minutes leading up to the collision.”

Crew members also accidentally decoupled the ship’s two engines, and the two shafts “working opposite to one another in this fashion caused an un-commanded turn to the left.” This error, coupled with “lost situational awareness” on the ship’s bridge, effectively accelerated the McCain’s turn into the Alnic MC.

“The thing that stood out to me was in both situations they had minimal situational awareness,” stated Capt. Rick Hoffman, a retired cruiser captain who reviewed the report for Defense News. “In the case of Fitzgerald, nearly criminal negligence on the part of the bridge watch team. And in neither case did the ship sound five short blasts or raise the general alarm to let anyone know they were in danger.”

Incredibly, there were two additional incidents involving 7th Fleet vessels last year. In January, the USS Antietam guided missile cruiser ran aground near Yokosuka base. In May, the USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing boat.

The report minced no words regarding why these incidents occurred: “In each of the four mishaps there were decisions at headquarters that stemmed from a culturally engrained ‘can do’ attitude, and an unrecognized accumulation of risk that resulted in ships not ready to safely operate at sea.”

Since the collisions, eight senior leaders have been relieved of duty, and members of both ships’ bridge and Combat Information Center watch teams have also received administrative actions. And while the Navy does not make these actions public, they may include career-killing letters of reprimand. Moreover, if the continuing investigation demands additional punishment, it will be forthcoming.

“We are dangerously underinvesting in our military,” insisted Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) after reading the report. “Training, readiness and maintenance are hit the earliest — and tragic errors like this are the canary-in-the-mine warning bells.”

While true in some respects, Sasse’s assertion — essentially that basic competence requires increased funding levels — rings exceedingly hollow, especially when one remembers that Barack Obama’s Navy Secretary, Ray Mabus, made political correctness one of his primary objectives.

Marines in Congress from both parties criticized Mabus, also the former Democrat governor of Mississippi, for force-feeding co-ed training on the Marine Corps. They viewed the move as retaliation following the Corps request for an exemption from allowing women in combat. That request was based on studies showing sex integration would raise the risks of casualties. Mabus also attempted — and ultimately failed — to make all service job titles “gender neutral.”

And funding has nothing to do with a massive corruption scandal encompassing as many as 440 Navy personnel, current and retired — including at least 60 admirals — under investigation for their involvement with Malaysian contractor Leonard “Fat Leonard” Glenn Francis. Francis allegedly provided Navy personnel with cash kickbacks and “wild times” in return for receiving classified information and contracts.

Contracts with whom? The Navy’s 7th Fleet.

In 2015, Francis pleaded guilty to bribery and fraud that included scamming the Navy out of approximately $35 million. He remains in jail in San Diego awaiting sentencing on Dec. 1. In the meantime, he is cooperating with the DOJ, which has already filed criminal charges against 28 individuals, including two admirals.

The Navy is enacting some after-the-fact reforms following the acknowledgment in September that budget constraints, 100-hour workweeks, extended deployments, and training and maintenance delays have severely taxed the nation’s fleet and personnel. But top leaders speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee refused to directly tie the quartet of accidents to those problems.

“These collisions, along with other similar incidents over the past year, indicated a need for the Navy to undertake a review of wider scope to better determine systemic causes,” the report states.

The past year? On Jan. 12, 2016, two Navy riverine command boats were captured by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). A Navy report on that incident also cited “failed leadership at multiple levels from the tactical to the operational” as the reasons for the debacle.

What kind of leadership? The unidentified commander in charge of the boats “opted to surrender rather than fight back, citing later fears that a confrontation could endanger the Obama administration’s efforts to lock in a deal with Tehran on its nuclear program,” The Washington Times reported.

“Clearly, under President Obama’s plan to fundamentally change America, the degradation of our military forces was a key element,” asserts U.S. Navy Admiral and former commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet James A. Lyons. “The capitulation of our military leadership to accept these mandates was more than shocking, as it was a manifestation of the corrupt ‘political correctness’ mentality run amok.”

Thus the ongoing effort to embrace progressive dogma proceeds, even if military readiness and people lives are sacrificed as a result.

A sailor aboard the USS Shiloh, one of the Navy’s missile cruisers monitoring North Korea, told an anonymous Navy survey everything Americans need to know. “I just pray we never have to shoot down a missile from North Korea, because then our ineffectiveness will really show,” the sailor wrote.

As the aforementioned incidents indicate, it’s already showing. Thus it behooves the Trump administration to drain this particular swamp ASAP. National security cannot be held hostage to social engineering and political correctness.

And commanders in every branch of the military who disagree should be sent packing.



Chicago, land of gun control, hits homicide highs — and blames Trump

Five-hundred-and-ninety-three — that’s the number of homicides Chicago has seen this year so far. Oh, apologies. That’s the number of homicides the gun controlling city of Chicago has seen this year so far.

You’d think it time to admit the anti-Second Amendment atmosphere isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, at least in terms of curbing gun-related violence — yes? Nope. The city just came off a near-800 homicide count for last year. The mantra seems to be: Let’s focus on the positive.

Nevertheless, Trump’s at least partly to blame for Chicago’s high homicide rates — at least in the eyes of the left-leaning media.  More, from the Tribune: “Trump doesn’t care about the daily carnage on our city’s streets. Remember during the campaign, when he pledged he would solve everything, when he hinted of some magical police officer here who told him he knew just what to do to solve Chicago’s decades-long violence problems? There’s no magical police officer. Trump has done nothing. Trump will do nothing.”

The question is, Chicago: What will you do? Apparently — criticize.

More HERE 


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

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


10 November, 2017

Russian meddling in American politics is long-standing

But is is the Left who are their tools

Paul Kengor

Newly declassified documents confirm Moscow always knew to play the American left like a fiddle.

President Trump recently authorized a mass declassification of documents relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963. Among the material subsequently released, one document that instantly grabbed headlines was a December 1966 FBI memo reporting the reaction of Soviet and Communist Party USA officials to the Kennedy shooting. The document was headlined in (among other publications) the New York Post, which, in turn, was flagged at the top of the Drudge Report, which attracted a lot of readers. Old JFK conspiracy theorists picked up the torch and were off and running.

“The Soviet Union theorized that President Lyndon B. Johnson could have been behind JFK’s assassination,” began the New York Post, “and also learned Moscow could be blamed and attacked, according to documents in a major release of files related to Kennedy’s slaying.”

This sounds very intriguing, and very new. It isn’t new. And it also requires crucial historical context, especially as certain conspiracy theorists thump their chest in quasi-vindication. Here I’d like to offer that context before delving into the contents of the newly declassified FBI memo.

I provide the context in a book that was published in May. That book, A Pope and a President, focused on Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan, and deals at length with the Soviet role in the shooting of John Paul II, but also deals with the Soviet disinformation campaign launched in response to the Kennedy assassination.

The Soviets were extremely cynical and extremely shrewd. In late November 1963, they immediately saw how the American left reacted to the Kennedy shooting. American liberals, hysterical then as they still are today, didn’t waste a minute blaming everything and everyone but Lee Harvey Oswald and his love of communism, the USSR, and Castro’s Cuba. Of course, those were the obvious motivations behind the bullet fired into the brain of America’s young president.

And yet, true to everlasting form, liberals back then, in November 1963, attempted to blame the shooting on “right-wing hysteria,” on “conservatism,” on right-wing “hate.” They smeared the entire city of Dallas as a “City of Hate.” They fingered right-wing “extremism,” “paranoia,” “kooks,” gun violence, and an assorted list of bogeymen on the right. They even oddly hurled stones at the rightist, intensely anti-communist John Birch Society. This was an especially brazen charge given that Oswald in April 1963 had tried to assassinate Edwin Walker, a retired U.S. Army general who headed the Dallas chapter of the Birch Society; in fact, Oswald used the same rifle to shoot Kennedy.

Nonetheless, American liberals had their narrative, and it did not take long for them to run with it to besmirch their domestic political opponents.

No sooner than the very afternoon of the assassination, Chief Justice Earl Warren blamed Kennedy’s shooting on “the hatred and bitterness that has been injected into the life of our nation by bigots.” In his eulogy at Kennedy’s funeral, Democratic Senator Mike Mansfield attributed the shooting to “bigotry, hatred, and prejudice.” Popular columnist Drew Pearson blamed the shooting on a “hate drive.” In his first column after the assassination, James “Scotty” Reston, longtime liberal columnist for the New York Times, lamented the “violent streak” and “strain of madness” plaguing America, which he placed at the feet of “extremists on the right.” Since the beginning of his administration, Kennedy had been “trying to damp down the violence of the extremists on the Right.” “America wept,” said Reston, not only for its dead young president, “but for itself.”

Nowhere in Reston’s article ascribing blame at America and her alleged deadly conservatives were these three words: Lee Harvey Oswald. And certainly nowhere were the words communism, Cuba, or the Soviet Union as driving inspirations of Oswald.

James Burnham, the conservative intellectual and convert from atheistic communism, once famously stated that “for the Left, the preferred enemy is always to the Right.” Reston’s reaction was spot-on confirmation of the Burnham maxim. The New York Times rewarded it with a prominent page-one display.

And thus, no doubt sensing how easy this could be, with a more-than-receptive audience on the American left, the Soviets wasted no time doing what they did best: concocting malicious disinformation. If the American left was looking for phony demons as culprits for the Kennedy killing, Kremlin sorcerers were more than willing to conjure them up.

Detailing all of that here is too much, but two later sources were especially revealing in regard to these Soviet efforts: 1) the 1994 book, The First Directorate, by Oleg Kalugin, who spent 32 years in the Soviet KGB, rising to the rank of major general and chief of foreign counterintelligence, and 2) Ion Mihai Pacepa, in his 2013 book (co-authored with Ron Rychlak) Disinformation and his 2007 book on the Soviets and the Kennedy assassination.

As for Kalugin, he was the highest-ranking KGB officer to record his story. In November 1963, Kalugin was deputy station chief in Washington for the KGB. Kalugin notes that immediately after the disclosure that Oswald had Soviet connections (more on that in a moment), he and his fellow agents in Washington began receiving “frantic cables from KGB headquarters in Moscow, ordering us to do everything possible to dispel the notion that the Soviet Union was somehow behind the assassination” (which, to Kalugin’s knowledge, it was not). The Kremlin, he noted, was “clearly rattled by Oswald’s Soviet connection.” So, how to dispel that notion? Kalugin explained their orders: “We were told to put forward the line that Oswald could have been involved in a conspiracy with American reactionaries displeased with the president’s recent efforts to improve relations with Russia.” And so, said Kalugin, “I spoke with all my intelligence assets, including Russian correspondents and various U.N. employees, and told them to spread the official Soviet line. In the end, our campaign succeeded.”

It sure did. American liberals swallowed the Soviet line. They not only reflexively accepted Soviet innocence, but they heartily and happily pointed the finger at American conservatives — their preferred enemy.

As for Ion Mihai Pacepa, he argues two primary points: 1) The KGB had a thorough, ongoing, and very successful disinformation campaign to blame the Kennedy assassination on domestic elements in the United States, from “right-wingers” and anti-communists to the CIA (as Kalugin affirmed); and 2) Picking up from his 2007 book, Programmed to Kill: Lee Harvey Oswald, the Soviet KGB, and the Kennedy Assassination, Pacepa believes (and I cannot confirm) that the Soviets were involved in the actual assassination, or at least in earlier steps leading toward or helping to precipitate the event.

As to the first point, Pacepa recalls the date November 26, 1963, four days after Kennedy’s death. On that day, Soviet General Aleksandr Sakharovsky landed unannounced in Bucharest, where he met with Pacepa and other high-level members of Romanian intelligence and leadership. This was to be his first stop in a “blitz” tour of top KGB “sister” services in the Communist Bloc. “From him,” recalls Pacepa, “we in the DIE [Romanian intelligence] learned that the KGB had already launched a worldwide disinformation operation aimed at diverting public attention away from Moscow in respect to the Kennedy assassination, and at framing the CIA as the culprit.” Nikita Khrushchev himself, said Sakharovsky, wanted it made clear to the sister services that “this was by far our first and most important task.” It was crucial “to spread our version about the assassination before Washington could spread its own, so that our disinformation machinery could plant the idea on virgin soil that the CIA was responsible for the crime.” They also circulated rumors that Lyndon Johnson specifically and the “military-industrial complex” generally had been involved.

To repeat: The Kremlin peddled deliberate disinformation about the alleged role of LBJ in killing Kennedy.

The effort would be called Operation Dragon. It became, said Pacepa, one of the most successful disinformation operations in contemporary history. Pacepa points to Hollywood film director Oliver Stone’s 1991 movie, JFK, which blamed the Kennedy assassination on a cabal that included the CIA, Lyndon Johnson, and the military-industrial complex. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards, and won two.

The material from Pacepa is just one source for this information. There are other excellent sources, but I need not lay them out here. Generally, they show how Moscow did its damnedest to direct eyes of suspicion elsewhere, especially toward “ultra-right” elements in the United States. Pravda would claim that American “reactionaries” were exploiting Kennedy’s death to try to “fan anti-Soviet and anti-Cuban hysteria.”

That’s the context we already knew — or should have known — prior to the new Trump declassification of a December 1, 1966 FBI memo titled, “Reaction of Soviet and Communist Party Officials to the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.”

That document (click here) begins by noting that “officials of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union believed there was some well-organized conspiracy on the part of the ‘ultraright’ in the United States to effect a ‘coup.’ They seemed convinced that that assassination was not the deed of one man, but that it arose out of a carefully planned campaign in which several people played a part. They felt that those elements interested in utilizing the assassination and playing on anticommunist sentiments in the United States would then utilize this act to stop negotiations with the Soviet Union, attack Cuba and thereafter spread the war.”

As I’ve shown in the historical context above, this was precisely the Soviet Party line. Thus, this longtime secret FBI memo — only now released — merely reflected the Communist Party’s propaganda line at the time.

Speaking of which, in the next paragraph in the memo, the FBI repeated the Soviet line that sought to deflect any blame for the shooting on the far left, which is where it belonged: “It was the further opinion of the Soviet officials that only maniacs would think that the ‘left’ forces in the United States, as represented by the Communist Party, USA, would assassinate President Kennedy.”

Yeah, right. Only maniacs. This was classic communist mendacity.

The memo also added that “Soviet officials claimed that Lee Harvey Oswald had no connection whatsoever with the Soviet Union. They described him as a neurotic maniac who was disloyal to his own country and everything else.”

That was half-true. Yes, Oswald was disloyal to the United States of America, but he was fully loyal to the deadly ideology of communism.

The memo also reported — here going by a second unnamed source — that all the diplomatic personnel at the Soviet Mission in the United States were just broken up by the news of Kennedy’s death. It was a “considerable shock,” which they “very much regretted” to hear.

Sure, comrade. I bet the boys in the Kremlin were all torn up. Crocodile tears in Moscow for their beloved JFK.

Never stopping with just one lie, or a series of prevarications, the KGB whoppers smothered the FBI memo. Yet another unnamed Communist Party source alleged that “now” the KGB was suddenly “in possession of data purporting to indicate President Johnson was responsible for the assassination of the late President John F. Kennedy.”

Yes, LBJ. And on this blockbuster… well, that data was never supplied in the memo.

The remainder of the memo repeated the Kremlin’s pleas of innocence that it had no connection between Oswald and the Kennedy shooting, even as both the memo and Kremlin itself unavoidably acknowledged that Oswald had indeed visited the USSR in 1959, had expressed his desire to defect to the Soviet Union, had shared his willingness to offer his services to the communist cause, and had even met his wife back in the USSR. The noble apparatchiks (allegedly) rejected Oswald as “mentally unstable” and sent him home.

As usual, you see, the Kremlin’s hands were squeaky clean — no dirt, no blood. This ghastly regime that murdered tens of millions graciously “had no interest” in a U.S. Marine looking to enlist his sniper rifle in their righteous cause.

As if all of that hogwash isn’t enough to make one sick to the stomach at the steaming, putrid pile of bilious lies, the memo then claimed that “President Kennedy was held in high esteem by the Soviet government.”

That, my friends, is pure bilge. No one, not even the most naïve Camelot liberal usually easily duped by the Kremlin, buys that bunch of bunkum.

And still worse, the final two pages of the six-page memo concluded with (at last) a named source. Who was this source? It was one Gus Hall, longtime head of Communist Party, USA, and a contemptible Party hack that even Moscow didn’t trust. Good old comrade Gus chimed in on December 4, 1963, not even two full weeks after the Kennedy shooting, assuring an unnamed FBI source that the assassination “could have been done by no one other than the ‘ultraright.’”

Thanks, Gus.

After that, Gus literally headed back to his regular duty of pilfering Kremlin cash sent to subsidize his Party’s activities and cronies at CPUSA.

And finally, the FBI memo did, at last, mercifully, note that this angle on the Kennedy shooting by Communist Party USA had been set forth clearly in the Daily Worker. Yep, it sure had. The memo observed this common Party line in Moscow as well — namely, in Pravda, Izvestia, and other “news” organs.

So, in short, what we have here with this widely publicized declassified document from December 1966, released two weeks ago to great and growing fanfare in some circles — including conservative ones — is merely a rehash of once-moribund Soviet and Communist Party USA malicious misinformation.

The stirred up stench of old Kremlin lies still stinks so bad — with the denials and propaganda and disinformation so shameless — that it makes one wonder what Moscow was really seeking to cover up in November 1963.



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

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


9 November, 2017

The Politics of Hatred

Sen. Rand Paul is recovering from a blindside attack by his neighbor. Was it politically motivated?  

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was attacked from behind by his neighbor as he was mowing his own lawn (think about that for a minute) in Bowling Green, Kentucky, last Friday. “Senator Paul was blindsided and the victim of an assault. The assailant was arrested and it is now a matter for the police,” said Kelsey Cooper, Sen. Paul’s communications director. Paul suffered five broken ribs, including three displaced fractures. Clearly, that wasn’t very neighborly. And as details slowly emerge, it was worse than that.

The lawyer for Rene Boucher, the neighbor who attacked Paul, claims the dispute that precipitated the attack had nothing to do with politics but was over some “trivial” matter. He insisted, “Senator Paul and Dr. Boucher have been next-door neighbors for 17 years. They are also prominent members of the local medical community and worked together when they were both practicing physicians. The unfortunate occurrence of November 3rd has absolutely nothing to do with either’s politics or political agendas.” Perhaps, but it’s no secret that Paul and his neighbor are on opposite sides of the political spectrum and evidently have not spoken to each other in years.

There is an obvious reason why Boucher’s lawyer would seek to distance his client’s motivation from anything political. If it was political, then Boucher is looking at a federal rather than a state offense, and attacking a U.S. senator “on account of the performance of official duties” carries an 8 to 20 year prison term. At the very least, Boucher faces felony rather than misdemeanor charges due to the severity of the attack.

Irrespective of how this particular incident plays out, the fact that we are questioning if politics was a motive says much about the current state of our national political climate — a political climate in which congressional Republicans are targeted for assassination by a socialist. When Democrats, the mainstream media and popular culture feel entirely justified to regularly and falsely paint Republicans and conservatives as the party of racists and bigots, when Hillary Clinton labels Donald Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables,” and when the Left sees no problem resisting and calling for the impeachment of a justly elected president simply because they don’t like him, we have a real problem. This is type of hatred is the result of one side choosing to exploit identity politics. It remains to be seen if Paul’s neighbor was indeed driven by politically fueled hatred, but there is little question that on a national level America has a dangerously growing problem with “progressive” hate.



Network News Ignores Clinton-DNC Bombshell

The broadcast evening newscasts on three major networks on Thursday didn’t mention bombshell revelations by former Democratic National Committee interim Chairwoman Donna Brazile.

Brazile has written in a new book that she discovered evidence that she said showed Hillary Clinton’s campaign “rigged” the Democratic presidential primary.

“ABC’s World News Tonight,” “NBC Nightly News” and “CBS Evening News” all didn’t report the allegations by Brazile on Thursday evening despite it receiving considerable coverage on cable news and in print and online media. Brazile was also trending as one of Twitter’s top topics on Thursday.

In excerpts released to Politico Thursday, Brazile writes in her new book, “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House,” that it “broke [her] heart” upon discovering evidence that she said showed the Clinton campaign “rigged” the Democratic nomination system.



Russia:  More fake news from the Left

OMG! Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross held stake in a company that ships natural gas, and actually found natural gas producers who wanted to ship it. One of them was Russia.

Stop the presses!  Actually, in this case, they probably should have stopped the presses.

The breathless reporting by NBC News and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross failed to disclose to Congress his financial stake in Navigator Holdings Ltd., a British company that ships natural gas and liquid petrochemicals, which did business with Russia — is utterly false and completely indefensible. Nothing was hidden from Congress.

So says Ross, in an exclusive interview with CNBC, saying, “That’s totally wrong. It was disclosed on the form 278 which is the financial disclosure form, in my case, three times,” Ross said.

The form with his interest in Navigator, listed openly on the Office of Government Ethics website, was filed by Ross on Dec. 19, 2016, before Ross was ever confirmed by the U.S. Senate in Feb. 2017.

That’s bad enough. But the allegation that a company that ships natural gas around the world, including from Russia — the number two producer of natural gas in the entire world second only to the U.S. — is somehow suspicious is laughable.

Just read the headlines.  “Offshore Trove Exposes Trump-Russia links and Piggy Banks of the Wealthiest 1 Percent.” “Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross benefits from business ties to Putin’s inner circle.”

This new red scare has reached a new low. This would make Sen. Joe McCarthy blush.

Navigator’s fleet includes 38 seafaring vessels that ship natural gas everywhere.

As for Russia, according to Navigator’s website, “Russia’s largest gas processing and petrochemicals company saw an opportunity to meet European demand for LPG from increased local production. A new terminal was constructed near St Petersburg, but Sibur still faced the challenge of sustaining exports during freezing winters. At the time, no adequately-sized ice class gas carriers existed. In partnership with Sibur, we explored the various vessel capabilities that would suit its intended trade routes. We then constructed four handysize vessels with ice class capability sufficient for operating in the harsh climate of the Baltic Sea.”

Does that sound incredibly suspicious? Like some espionage plot? No, it’s a business strategy to work with natural gas exporters by a company that specializes in shipping natural gas. Nothing more. It’s about as unusual as a paper boy delivering newspapers.

This company is five-by-five. A true innovator.

But the purveyors of this bit of fake news have no problems with simply playing on unfounded Russia hysteria and fears that have engulfed the U.S. press corps. This story is utterly irresponsible that fails in the most basic of fact checks or even of putting the facts it did have into any meaningful context.

To repeat, Ross did disclose his stake in Navigator prior to Senate consideration. And a natural gas shipping company doing business with a natural gas producer is not suspicious.

Are oil tankers suspicious, too? Russia exports a lot of oil, you know. Perhaps some Trump officials had ties to major oil companies.

Next thing you know, NBC News will publish secret documents that prove that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson once ran Exxon — a company that did business with Russia! Oh wait…

If this is what the state of the Russia debate in the U.S. has degenerated to, where now any business dealings are considered espionage, our discourse has become utterly poisoned by this Russia witch hunt.

What’s worse, to the extent that such innuendo apparently now leads to federal investigations and who knows what else, as in the case of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, we are in a truly dark place as nation.

To NBC and the Consortium, somehow, this rather benign business dealing proves the Trump-Russia nexus that everyone’s been looking for. It’s a despicable smear. Insanity, pure and utter bat guano. Just stop.



How wrong they were
Time magazine’s cover story for the week of Nov. 6 is a classic. It blares: “The Wrecking Crew: How Trump’s Cabinet Is Dismantling Government As We Know It.” The New York Times ran a lead editorial complaining that team Trump is shrinking the regulatory state at an “unprecedented” pace.

Meanwhile, last week the stock market raced to new all-time highs; we had another blockbuster jobs report with another fall in the unemployment rate; and housing sales soared to their highest level in a decade.

Are the editors at Time and the Times so ideologically blinded that they are incapable of connecting the dots?

The U.S. economic revival of 3 percent growth has already defied the predictions of almost every Donald Trump critic. I vividly remember debating Hillary Clinton’s economic gurus during the campaign: They accused Trump and advisers such as myself of “lying” when we said that pro-growth policies would speed up economic growth to 3 to 4 percent.

Jason Furman, who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama, told reporters earlier this year that the chances of reaching 3 percent growth over a decade were about 1 in 25 — which is what many political experts said was Trump’s chance of winning the election. Another Obama economist, Alan Krueger, called the 3 percent growth forecast “extremely rosy.”

Larry Summers, a top economic adviser to Obama, questioned the “standards of integrity” of the Trump economic team’s forecast for 3 percent (or more) growth. “I do not see how any examination of U.S. history could possibly support the Trump forecast as a reasonable expectation,” he wrote in The Washington Post.

Congress weighed in, too. “This budget relies on absurd economic projections and pretend revenues that no credible economist would validate,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) announced at a House budget hearing.

The sharp-penned Paul Krugman of The New York Times declared Trump’s growth forecast an act of “economic arrogance.” He said that the productivity improvement necessary for faster growth was as likely as “driverless flying cars” arriving “en masse.”

Admittedly, we shouldn’t read too much into six months of very good economic data (with 3 percent growth) or the booming stock market. These trends can always reverse course quickly. Trump’s more restrictive policies on trade and immigration could harm growth potential.

But so far the Trump haters have missed the call on the economy’s trajectory. Doubly ironic is that the same Obama-era economists who are trashing Trump’s increasingly realistic forecast of 3 percent growth are the ones who predicted 4 percent growth from the Obama budgets. Obama never came anywhere near 4 percent growth, and at the end of his second term, the economy grew at a pitiful 1.6 percent.

Under Obama, free enterprise and pro-business policies were thrown out the window. What was delivered was the weakest recovery from a recession since World War II, with a meager 2.2 percent average growth rate. Middle America felt it, which is why Trump won these forgotten Americans.

One reason that economist Larry Kudlow and I and others assured Donald Trump that 3 to 4 percent growth was achievable was that Trump could capitalize on the underperformance of the Obama years. Under Obama, business investment fell almost two-thirds below the long-term trend line — thanks to higher taxes on investment. Now, partly in anticipation of the tax cut, business spending keeps climbing.

Maybe the liberal economists and their shills in the media should show some humility. They should acknowledge they were dead wrong about how much Obamanomics was going to grow the economy and about how Trumponomics would crash the economy and the stock market. Or better yet, maybe the rest of us should all just stop listening to them.



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

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


8 November, 2017

Communism’s Bloody Century

In the 100 years since Lenin’s coup in Russia, the ideology devoted to abolishing markets and private property has left a long, murderous trail of destruction

A century ago this week, communism took over the Russian empire, the world’s largest state at the time. Leftist movements of various sorts had been common in European politics long before the revolution of Oct. 25, 1917 (which became Nov. 7 in the reformed Russian calendar), but Vladimir Lenin and his Bolsheviks were different. They were not merely fanatical in their convictions but flexible in their tactics—and fortunate in their opponents.

Communism entered history as a ferocious yet idealistic condemnation of capitalism, promising a better world. Its adherents, like others on the left, blamed capitalism for the miserable conditions that afflicted peasants and workers alike and for the prevalence of indentured and child labor. Communists saw the slaughter of World War I as a direct result of the rapacious competition among the great powers for overseas markets.

But a century of communism in power—with holdouts even now in Cuba, North Korea and China—has made clear the human cost of a political program bent on overthrowing capitalism. Again and again, the effort to eliminate markets and private property has brought about the deaths of an astounding number of people. Since 1917—in the Soviet Union, China, Mongolia, Eastern Europe, Indochina, Africa, Afghanistan and parts of Latin America—communism has claimed at least 65 million lives, according to the painstaking research of demographers.

Communism’s tools of destruction have included mass deportations, forced labor camps and police-state terror—a model established by Lenin and especially by his successor Joseph Stalin. It has been widely imitated. Though communism has killed huge numbers of people intentionally, even more of its victims have died from starvation as a result of its cruel projects of social engineering.

For these epic crimes, Lenin and Stalin bear personal responsibility, as do Mao Zedong in China, Pol Pot in Cambodia, the Kim dynasty in North Korea and any number of lesser communist tyrants. But we must not lose sight of the ideas that prompted these vicious men to kill on such a vast scale, or of the nationalist context in which they embraced these ideas. Anticapitalism was attractive to them in its own right, but it also served as an instrument, in their minds, for backward countries to leapfrog into the ranks of great powers.

The communist revolution may now be spent, but its centenary, as the great anticapitalist cause, still demands a proper reckoning.

In February 1917, Tsar Nicholas II abdicated under pressure from his generals, who worried that bread marches and strikes in the capital of St. Petersburg were undermining the war effort against Germany and its allies. The February Revolution, as these events became known, produced an unelected provisional government, which chose to rule without the elected parliament. Peasants began to seize the land, and soviets (or political councils) started to form among soldiers at the front, as had already happened among political groups in the cities.

That fall, as the war raged on, Lenin’s Bolsheviks undertook an armed insurrection involving probably no more than 10,000 people. They directed their coup not against the provisional government, which had long since become moribund, but against the main soviet in the capital, which was dominated by other, more moderate socialists. The October Revolution began as a putsch by the radical left against the rest of the left, whose members denounced the Bolsheviks for violating all norms and then walked out of the soviet.

The Bolsheviks, like many of their rivals, were devotees of Karl Marx, who saw class struggle as the great engine of history. What he called feudalism would give way to capitalism, which would be replaced in turn by socialism and, finally, the distant utopia of communism. Marx envisioned a new era of freedom and plenty, and its precondition was destroying the “wage slavery” and exploitation of capitalism. As he and his collaborator Friedrich Engels declared in the Communist Manifesto of 1848, our theory “may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.”

Once in power in early 1918, the Bolsheviks renamed themselves the Communist Party as they sought to force-march Russia to socialism and, eventually, to history’s final stage. Millions set about trying to live in new ways. No one, however, knew precisely what the new society was supposed to look like. “We cannot give a characterization of socialism,” Lenin conceded in March 1918. “What socialism will be like when it reaches its completed form we do not know, we cannot say.”

But one thing was clear to them: Socialism could not resemble capitalism. The regime would replace private property with collective property, markets with planning, and “bourgeois” parliaments with “people’s power.” In practice, however, scientific planning was unattainable, as even some communists conceded at the time. As for collectivizing property, it empowered not the people but the state.

The process set in motion by the communists entailed the vast expansion of a secret-police apparatus to handle the arrest, internal deportation and execution of “class enemies.” The dispossession of capitalists also enriched a new class of state functionaries, who gained control over the country’s wealth. All parties and points of view outside the official doctrine were repressed, eliminating politics as a corrective mechanism.

The declared goals of the revolution of 1917 were abundance and social justice, but the commitment to destroy capitalism gave rise to structures that made it impossible to attain those goals.

In urban areas, the Soviet regime was able to draw upon armed factory workers, eager recruits to the party and secret police, and on young people impatient to build a new world. In the countryside, however, the peasantry—some 120 million souls—had carried out their own revolution, deposing the gentry and establishing de facto peasant land ownership.

With the devastated country on the verge of famine, Lenin forced reluctant party cadres to accept the separate peasant revolution for the time being. In the countryside, over the objections of communist purists, a quasi-market economy was allowed to operate.

With Lenin’s death in 1924, this concession became Stalin’s problem. No more than 1% of the country’s arable land had been collectivized voluntarily by 1928. By then, key factories were largely owned by the state, and the regime had committed to a five-year plan for industrialization. Revolutionaries fretted that the Soviet Union now had two incompatible systems—socialism in the city and capitalism in the village.

Stalin didn’t temporize. He imposed coercive collectivization from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean, even in the face of mass peasant rebellion. He threatened party officials, telling them that if they were not serious about eradicating capitalism, they should be prepared to cede power to the rising rural bourgeoisie. He incited class warfare against “kulaks” (better-off peasants) and anyone who defended them, imposing quotas for mass arrests and internal deportations.

Stalin was clear about his ideological rationale. “Could we develop agriculture in kulak fashion, as individual farms, along the path of large-scale farms” as in “America and so on?” he asked. “No, we could not. We’re a Soviet country. We want to implant a collective economy, not solely in industry, but in agriculture.”

And he never backtracked, even when, as a result of his policies, the country descended into yet another famine from 1931 to 1933. Forced collectivization during those few years would claim 5 to 7 million lives.

The Soviet Union’s awful precedent did nothing to deter other communist revolutionaries. Mao Zedong, a hard man like Stalin, had risen to the top of the Chinese movement and, in 1949, he and his comrades emerged as the victors in the Chinese civil war. Mao saw the colossal loss of life in the Soviet experiment as intrinsic to its success.

His Great Leap Forward, a violent campaign from 1958 to 1962, was an attempt to collectivize some 700 million Chinese peasants and to spread industry throughout the countryside. “Three years of hard work and suffering, and a thousand years of prosperity,” went one prominent slogan of the time.

Falsified reports of triumphal harvests and joyful peasants inundated the communist ruling elite’s well-provisioned compound in Beijing. In reality, Mao’s program resulted in one of history’s deadliest famines, claiming between 16 and 32 million victims. After the catastrophe, referred to by survivors as the “communist wind,” Mao blocked calls for a retreat from collectivization. As he declared, “the peasants want ‘freedom,’ but we want socialism.”

Nor did this exhaust the repertoire of communist brutality in the name of overthrowing capitalism. With their conquest of Cambodia in 1975, Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge drove millions from the country’s cities into the countryside to work on collectives and forced-labor projects. They sought to remake Cambodia as a classless, solely agrarian society.

The Khmer Rouge abolished money, banned commercial fishing and persecuted Buddhists, Muslims and the country’s ethnic Vietnamese and Chinese minorities as “infiltrators.” Pol Pot’s regime also seized children to pre-empt ideological infection from “capitalist” parents.

All told, perhaps as many as 2 million Cambodians, a quarter of the population, perished as a result of starvation, disease and mass executions during the four nightmarish years of Pol Pot’s rule. In some regions, skulls could be found in every pond.

Marx’s class analysis denied legitimacy to any political opposition, not just from “bourgeois” elements but from within communist movements themselves—because dissenters “objectively” served the interests of the international capitalist order. The relentless logic of anticapitalist revolution pointed to a single leader atop a single-party system.

From Russia and China to Cambodia, North Korea and Cuba, communist dictators have shared key traits. All have conformed, more or less, to the Leninist type: a fusion of militant ideologue and unprincipled intriguer. And all have possessed an extreme willpower—the prerequisite for attaining what only unspeakable bloodshed could bring.

Communism was hardly alone over the past century in committing grand carnage. Nazism’s repression and wars of racial extermination killed at least 40 million people, and during the Cold War, anticommunism spurred paroxysms of grotesque violence in Indonesia, Latin America and elsewhere.

But as evidence of communism’s horrors emerged over the decades, it rightly shocked liberals and leftists in the West, who shared many of the egalitarian aims of the revolutionaries. Some repudiated the Soviet Union as a deformation of socialism, attributing the regime’s crimes to the backwardness of Russia or the peculiarities of Lenin and Stalin. After all, Marx had never advocated mass murder or Gulag labor camps. Nowhere did he argue that the secret police, deportation by cattle car and mass death from starvation should be used to establish collective farms.

But if we’ve learned one lesson from the communist century, it is this: That to implement Marxist ideals is to betray them. Marx’s demand to “abolish private property” was a clarion call to action—and an inexorable path to the creation of an oppressive, unchecked state.

A few socialists began to recognize that there could be no freedom without markets and private property. When they made their peace with the existence of capitalism, hoping to regulate rather than to abolish it, they initially elicited denunciations as apostates. Over time, more socialists embraced the welfare state, or the market economy with redistribution. But the siren call to transcend capitalism persists among some on the left.

It also remains alive, though hardly in orthodox Marxist fashion, in Russia and China, the great redoubts of the communist century. Both countries continue to distrust what is perhaps most important about free markets and private property: Their capacity to give independence of action and thought to ordinary people, pursuing their own interests as they see fit, in private life, civil society and the political sphere.

But anticapitalism also served as a program for an alternative world order, one in which long-suppressed nationalist aims might be realized. For Stalin and Mao, heirs to proud ancient civilizations, Europe and the U.S. represented the allure and threat of a superior West. The communists set themselves the task of matching and overtaking their capitalist rivals and winning a central place for their own countries on the international stage. This revolutionary struggle allowed Russia to satisfy its centuries-old sense of a special mission in the world, while it gave China a claim to be, once again, the Middle Kingdom.

Vladimir Putin’s resistance to the West, with his peculiar mix of Soviet nostalgia and Russian Orthodox revival, builds on Stalin’s precedent. For its part, of course, China remains the last communist giant, even as Beijing promotes and tries to control a mostly market economy. Under Xi Jinping, the country now embraces both communist ideology and traditional Chinese culture in a drive to raise its standing as an alternative to the West.

Communism’s bloody century has come to an end, and we can only celebrate its passing. But troubling aspects of its legacy endure.



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

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


7 November, 2017

Make no mistake, Donald Trump is at his zenith

Leftist writer Bruce Wolpe below notes how much Trump has accomplished despite very little help from Congress

Donald Trump is the most unpopular president at this stage of his tenure than any president in modern American history. But that's not the end of the story.

Mr Trump has lost his chief of staff, chief strategist, press secretary, national security adviser, head of the FBI, and a cabinet officer within the first eight months in office, and has publicly and repeatedly humiliated two other members of cabinet.

He regularly insults the Republican leaders in Congress. He has brought the United States to the edge of war with North Korea.

But make no mistake: as we near the anniversary of Mr Trump's election last November 8, and notwithstanding the legal clouds looming over the White House, Mr Trump is at his zenith astride Washington and his party.

We asked if you thought Mr Trump was maximising the strength of the presidency and its power.

Trump's strength

Mr Trump's great strength is his fidelity to what he said he would do in the campaign. While he has failed at governing in partnership with Congress — even though the Republicans control the White House and both houses of Congress — he has ruthlessly pursued the policy and political agenda he outlined last year.

At home, he is enforcing his agenda through executive power and the bully pulpit, pushing his cabinet to go full throttle on erasing the Obama legacy: defunding Obamacare and the financing essential to maintaining insurance coverage for millions; slashing immigration intake and slowing access to America at the borders; repealing anti-carbon pollution rules and efforts to fight global warming; opening up national parks to energy development; undercutting support for public schools.

Every judicial appointment, from the Supreme Court down, has been a bedrock conservative, starting with where they stand on the constitutional right (under present rulings) to abortion. His man will run the Federal Reserve.

Abroad, Mr Trump has walked away from the Paris climate agreement; has initiated talks that will likely terminate the free trade agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico; brought the US to the brink of withdrawing from the nuclear agreement with Iran; and reduced US support for NATO — all core elements of his campaign message.

In terms of America's political culture, Mr Trump has relentlessly pushed the populist and nativist buttons that drew millions to his rallies: viciously attacking the media, labelling journalists "enemies" of the American people, and threatening to silence a major television network; railing against immigrants and continuing to push for construction of the wall with Mexico; using the players of the National Football League as foils in the debate over the state of race and justice in the country; and unmistakably aligning himself with white nationalists, the National Rifle Association, and anti-abortion forces.

All of them know they have a friend in the White House.

Taken together, Mr Trump is maximising the underlying strength of the presidency and its executive power — and channelling it to maintain the support of those who put him in office.

In 2016, Mr Trump engineered a hostile takeover of the Republican Party by prevailing over a dozen competitors who divided the field and ultimately could not counter the solid core of Mr Trump's grassroot support.

In 2017, Mr Trump has consolidated his control over the party, and those who oppose him have capitulated.

It is telling that Mr Trump's most vocal Republican critics are retiring and leaving the field. Trump's hardline strategist, Steve Bannon, is waging a political cleansing war on conservatives who are not Trump partisans.

Trump agenda stands strong

At the same time, no Republican leader in Congress has broken with the Trump agenda. There is no movement among Republicans to "take back" their party from Mr Trump and his America First vision — to reclaim the traditional Republican mantle of fiscal responsibility, free trade, open markets, internationalism, and multiculturalism and tolerance.

At the ballot box, Democrats have not won one special election since last November — there have been no gains in their seats in Congress.

There is no Senate Estimates-style oversight by Republicans in Congress over what Mr Trump is doing, and whether he is, pursuant to his oath of office, taking care that the laws are faithfully executed.

The House and Senate investigations of Russia and its interference in the 2016 election, and whether officials in the Mr Trump campaign committed treason in colluding with the Russians, have ground to a halt.

The mood in Washington right now is that even if Special Counsel Robert Mueller finds criminal activity at the highest levels of the Trump campaign, including possible obstruction of justice by trying to shut down the probe, the Republicans in the House will not vote to impeach Mr Trump.

Mr Trump is not going anywhere. He is prosecuting his agenda with abandon. He has overpowered those in his party in Congress who resist his leadership.

Democrats have not translated Mr Trump's unpopularity into a potent political counterforce.

For those who voted for Mr Trump, their man is on the hustings keeping full faith with his campaign policies and blaming all those standing in his way — Republicans and Democrats — for not getting with the program. The economy is growing at 3 per cent. The stock market is near all-time highs.

One year on from his shock election over Hillary Clinton, this is Mr Trump at his zenith.



A Century Since the Balfour Declaration

Much to celebrate, despite all the distortions and lies and misrepresentations about its meaning and significance ever since


A mere sixty-seven words helped alter the course of history. A century years ago this past week, November 2, 1917, the Balfour Declaration was issued, declaring British support for the establishment within the then-Ottoman Empire territory of Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.

The British Foreign Secretary, Arthur James, Lord Balfour, sent the following communication to Walter, Lord Rothschild, one of the most prominent Jews in England, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland:

His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
The Balfour Declaration was the first step on the political road to reversing two millennia of Jewish statelessness and exile which had resulted in the Jews being the most dispersed and persecuted minority in history.

The British commitment did not envisage Jewish statehood in all or indeed any part of Palestine, a sparsely populated, backwater district of the soon-to-be dismembered Ottoman Empire, even though some such prospect was in the fullness of time anticipated by its proponents, especially Balfour and also the Prime Minister, David Lloyd-George. Supporters of Zionism, like South Africa’s Jan Smuts, believed as early as 1918 that a heterogeneous population like Palestine (512,000 Muslims, 66,000 Jews and 61,000 Christians at the time of the Balfour Declaration — the Jewish population had dropped by about a third due to Ottoman depredations during the War) required something other than outright autonomy, with its minorities thrown on the mercy of the majority. (Similar thinking with regard to Lebanon, with its large, multi-confessional Christian population, was also prevalent at the time.)

The Declaration resulted in the subsequent, post-war British Mandate over the territory being dedicated to the upbuilding of the Jewish national home. Even though the British later reneged on this commitment in a bid to appease the Arabs on the eve of the Second World War by drastically curtailing Jewish immigration and land purchases, the state of Israel did eventually arise when the Mandate was terminated in May 1948.

Accordingly, Israel was not anyone’s gift to the Jews. The Jews of Palestine sacrificed scarce blood and treasure to obtain and preserve their independence from five invading Arab armies and internal Palestinian Arab militias led by the war-time Nazi collaborator, Haj Amin el Husseini. One percent of Israel’s population was killed defending Israel from the invasion which all Arabs belligerents declared would result in the destruction of Israel and the massacre of all its Jews.

However, precisely because the Arabs lost and because that loss has been recast to depict the Palestinian Arabs as innocent victims assaulted and dispersed by aggressive Zionism, the Balfour Declaration, as the first installment in the political drama leading to Jewish statehood, has been vilified as an injustice inflicted on Palestinian Arabs.

Thus, the PLO has claimed Britain has primary responsibility for the “historical injustice in Palestine,” while Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly last year that “Britain gave, without any right, authority or consent from anyone, the land of Palestine to another people.” Or, in the famous formulation of Arthur Koestler, “one nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third.”

It has also been ceaselessly argued that the Balfour Declaration defrauded the Arabs who, it is alleged, had been promised an independent Arab state in territories that included Palestine by Sir Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner in Egypt, in correspondence with Sherif Hussein ibn Ali of Mecca and King of the Hijaz, during 1915-16 (the Hussein–McMahon Correspondence).

All of this turns out to be untrue.

First, the Balfour Declaration was not a lone, imperial act: it was an allied commitment, agreed upon by the allied powers in the First World War. It was incorporated in the Treaty of Sèvres, signed by the 13 allied powers, including the Kingdom of the Hijaz, the chief Arab interlocutor at the post-War Paris Peace Conference, as well as Turkey. In 1922, the Declaration was incorporated into the terms of the Mandate for Palestine awarded Britain by all 51 members of the League of Nations. Whatever force of argument commended the Declaration to the British who first issued it also communicated itself to the international community that endorsed it.

For these reasons, Ashley Perry has rightly observed, “the Balfour Declaration was unique, not only in Jewish history, but possibly in the history of national movements. For a short period, all the major powers, the leader of the Arab world and most interested parties created a mechanism to fulfill the Zionist dream.”

The moment in time proved short-lived. As Europe in the next two decades was to prove, there was no way to confer self-determination on some peoples without creating new minorities, because populations were intricately intertwined. The best that might be achievable — and this is the course that was followed — was to seek statehood for both Arabs and Jews across the region. Mounting Arab opposition to Jewish self-determination foredoomed a peaceful post-war settlement in the Middle East along these lines and led eventually to Zionism being put to the test of the sword.

Second, Britain had no control at all at the time over the territory in question, which was still lodged firmly in Ottoman hands. It was thus in no position to give the territory to the Jews, merely to state its preferred policy.

Third, nor was a country or people being usurped; no Palestinian country or nationality had pre-existed its Ottoman landlords, nor did the local population conceive of itself as anything other than the inhabitants of the southern part of Syria. Their political allegiance was centered on the Ottoman Empire, not on any national aspirations which were then virtually non-existent.

Fourth, no British commitment to create an Arab state in Palestine was at any time given to Sherif Hussein or any other Arab interlocutor. As Isaiah Friedman demonstrated in exquisite detail in his 2000 book, Palestine: A Twice Promised Land?, the original Arabic letter of October 24, 1915 from McMahon to Hussein (which Friedman uncovered), as well as its retranslation into English by the British in Cairo in November 1919, makes it clear beyond peradventure that the territory of what became the British Mandate of Palestine west of the Jordan River was not among the territories earmarked for Arab statehood. Moreover, there was no unilateral British commitment of any sort, but rather a conditional promise in the event of an Arab revolt against the Ottoman Turks which never materialized; to the contrary, the Arabs of Palestine and Syria in their overwhelming majority fought on the Ottoman side.

While T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) raised an army of Arab irregulars in the Hejaz, no indigenous revolt occurred in Syria or Iraq and indeed only the landing of a British army led to the driving out of Ottoman forces from Palestine after the victories of Gaza, Beersheba, and Megiddo. There was thus no “twice-promised land” — and consequently no fraudulent British dealings — which both friends and foes of Israel have frequently alleged to lie at the root of the conflict.

It is one thing to see the Balfour Declaration as a vital link in a chain leading to Israel’s creation over thirty years later, which it was. It is quite another to invest the Declaration with responsibility for the tragic consequences of the war Arabs insisted upon launching to abort Israel’s creation.

The Palestinian tragedy is not the Balfour Declaration. It is the Arab and Muslim supremacism that has determined Palestinian Arab political decisions at virtually every turn in the past century, ensuring that the Palestinian leadership opposed and denied — and continue to deny — any Jewish claim or connection with the land and refuse to countenance the idea that Jews are entitled to the self-determination they insist upon for themselves. The Palestinian Arab leadership’s demand of a British apology for the Declaration leading up to its anniversary merely underscores this fact.

This ongoing tragedy is unlikely to end until Palestinian Arabs relinquish the dream of Israel’s dismemberment, recognize the right of the Jews to their sovereign existence, and undertake to work with it to bring about peace, not war.

Blame for all manner of decisions and acts across intervening decades can be leveled at all parties involved. But that is no reason for Israel, or Britain, not to celebrate Lord Balfour’s high-minded act of statesmanship one hundred years ago which helped the Jewish people to rejoin the family of sovereign nations after two millennia of statelessness, persecution, and massacre.



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

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


6 November, 2017

Why do American Jews vote Democrat?

Jews vote overwhelmingly for Democrat candidates.  It is weird that they do.  They are generally very smart people so many must know that it was a socialist who burnt 6 million of them during WWII.  The media and the education establishment constantly regurgitate the old Soviet propaganda that Hitler was "Right-wing" but the truth is not far away for anybody who cares to enquire.  And for Jews, Hitler's national socialism is of life and death interest.  So most Jews must know the truth.  I have known it since I was a kid and I am not a Jew.

So why do they do it?  It's actually pretty simple.  Jews have taken incredible knocks from the world around them.  So they have to be deeply dissatisfied with that world.  They would love a just and brighter world.  But that is exactly what the Left claim to offer.  For their own various reasons, Leftists are dissatisfied with the world around them too.  So Jews buy into that. And that "buy" is sometimes literally true.  Jews are major donors to Leftist candidates and causes.

So what they do shows the power of propaganda.  People instinctively believe what other people say.  It would be a dismal world if we had to disbelieve it all. So Jews must hope that the Left really mean their "compassionate" pretences this time around.  Jews really NEED that hope and people are good at believing what they want to believe.

And the amazing thing is that antisemitism is only just beneath the surface of Democrat politics.  It rumbles to the surface at times, usually under the thin disguise of anti-Zionism. A Jew, Jonah Goldberg, has even written a book showing that Fascism/Nazism is/was Leftist but that seems to have had little penetration into Jewish minds.  The wish remains father to the thought.

Jews might ponder the ethics of their political decisions.  Conservatives are their friends.  It was a great Conservative, Winston Churchill, who was the most unrelenting foe of Hitler while Stalin allied himself with Hitler until Hitler attacked him.  So why do Jews support and fund the enemies of their friends?  Is that a principled stance? 

Even worse is Jewish enmity towards Christians.  American evangelical Christian voters are the rock on which American support for Israel rests yet the ADL has long been an unremitting opponent and critic of Christian observance.  Christians were once enemies of Jews but that reality has reversed.  It seems strange that Jews cannot see that.  Old habits of thinking die hard I guess -- JR.


The Left Always Needs a Human Sacrifice

Rich Kozlovich is very cynical about the Brazile revelations:

I'm really getting a chuckle over all this hoopla regarding Donna Brazile and her condemnation of Hillary. It turns out, just like Captain Louis Renault... she's was SHOCKED... SHOCKED I tell you.


I met Donna Brazile and Pat Buchannan a couple of years ago and she claimed she never saw corruption in Washington.  It turns out she and Pat are friends.  And according to her she talks to his sister Bay every week.  Amazing isn't it.  She's a far left as you can go and Pat and his sister are as far right as you can go.  What can they possibly have in common to talk about?  Covering all the bases maybe?

But the thing I came away with was how dangerous she is, and in some ways, more dangerous than Hillary Clinton.  Why?  Because she's so stunningly likable!  The total opposite of Hillary who is as likable as a poisonous pet scorpion.  But that likability component disguises a whole other person.

Let's get this clear once and for all - she was part of Hillary's corrupt cabal. 

It's been established she sent an e-mail to John Podesta to let the Hillary campaign people know about questions that would be asked in order for her to be prepared.    It's also known she sent Jennifer Palmieri an e-mail letting her know she gets the questions ahead of time and was clearly conspiring to let the corrupt Hillary cabal know what they were, and did so on more than one occasion.

She vehemently denied all these charges claiming Wikileaks was trying to "destroy [her] groove". Later she accused TYT Politics reporter Jordan Chariton of "badgering a woman." She told Megan Kelly,  "As a Christian woman, I understand persecution. I will not sit here and be persecuted because your information is totally false." 

She later said these Wikileaks which exposed her corruption were meant to "manipulate an election, disrupt or discredit or destroy our democracy" and blame the Russians who were trying to "produce an outcome more favorable to them and their interests."  When the truth of her deception could no longer be denied she stated:  "If I had to do it all over again, I would know a hell of a lot more about cybersecurity."

Her whole defense was she's a black Christian woman wrapping herself in the American flag, who the right is out to destroy.  But the statement that counts is "If I had to do it all over again, I would know a hell of a lot more about cybersecurity"  because she's acknowledging she did exactly what Wikileaks exposed - she knew it was wrong - and would be more than willing to do it all over again if she could be assured she wouldn't be caught.

So now she's coming to Jesus and exposing for the world to see just how corrupt was the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton.   And she was shocked to find Hillary had rigged the Democratic primary process by buying the DNC with an agreement that would give her control of the DNC, their money and strategy.  She became Queen Hillary of the DNC. 

And whose fault was that?  It was Obama's fault, because he left the party in debt to the tune of 24 million dollars.  She wasn't at fault for anything, except lying and conspiring to destroy the integrity of the process.  Amazing for someone who never saw corruption in Washington. 

Brazile claims she called Bernie when she found out the truth and that truth "broke her heart".  I guess she was shocked, shocked I tell you!  Or is it possible she could see this thing way down the road and was covering her bets? 

Now she's being hailed as a hero of the left for her exposure of the Clintons, Obama, Debbie Wasserman Shultz and the DNC.  Amazing!  Are we to believe this was a surprise to many in the party leadership?  I don't think so. 

Hillary just wouldn't go away.  She ran around the country whining and crying how she'd been treated badly by her supporters, the DNC, the media...well any unnamed others.  Her constant whining was doing more to destroy any future short term hopes of the Democrats than anything the Republicans could possibly do.  She made them look like fools and idiots.  So Donna Brazile has stepped up to solve the Democrats Clinton issue. 

As one writer noted:

She's a survivor, full of pluck, and she has a lot of friends because she is as likable as Hillary Clinton is not.  She was implicated in fixing the nomination for Hillary, and she doesn't want to go down with the Clintons.

The writer went on to say:

The serious people with a vested interest in the continued existence of the Democratic Party – the pols, interests, and apparatchiks of the Dem Deep State – realize that they have a "Clinton problem."  An unlikable candidate bound to lose will not go away, and she embarrasses herself and the party on a continuing basis.  Worse still, Uranium One is a ticking time bomb – one that implicates not only the Clintons, but the entire Obama administration.

It was clear there needed to be a Hillary purge within the party and the real power brokers in the Democrat Party, and these crying snowflakes she draws at her events aren't among them. Brazile was chosen to violate Omerta, the criminal code of silence, and she willing has done so in order "to align herself with the left wing of the party, to become the truth-teller whose heart was broken when she found out the truth of their betrayal."

"Cause she was really on their side, even while she held her tongue in public."  Yeah, right!

And now they're calling for Hillary's head.  She's to be the human sacrifice that will save their party. So, does that mean Bernie will run in 2020?  Will his wife be in prison?  Will John Kasich switch parties and run as a Democrat?

This, I think I can safely predict.  This 2018 midterm election may be the biggest mid term blood bath in American history.  For the Republicans it will be in the primaries, some of which has already been fixed by those retiring so they won't have to face their constituents - but for the Democrats - it will be in the general election, except for the far left districts, like those with Representatives like Maxine Waters and Senators like Chuckie Shumer.  All gifts that will keep on giving. 

Who knows.  After Hillary and Debbie Wasserman Shultz have been sacrificed - maybe they'll need another sacrifice after next November.  Maybe it will be Brazile? 

Nah....that won't happen.  They're more than happy to eviscerate Hillary and Debbie.  Both are white.  One is from a southern state and the other is Jewish.  No problem there!  But can you imagine the Democrats going after a politically prominent black woman who is now wrapping herself in the flag?

Maybe they can go after  Bernie, but he's only a Democrat when he's running for President.  Then there's Warren. She's white, rich and an indian.  Oh, wait.... I forgot... Warren lied, she's not an indian, but she is white and rich.  Good enough - Go get her Dems!



Jobs Report: US Economy Adds 261,000 Jobs in October, Unemployment Drops to 4.1 Percent

Trump gets results just by being himself

The US economy added 261,000 jobs in October, rebounding from a hurricane-drenched September.  Other indicators were mixed, although the primary 'U3' unemployment rate has tumbled to 4.1 percent -- the lowest level in 17 years, as various Trump administration officials are eagerly pointing out today.  Despite some lingering concerns about the strength of employment and economic growth, the overall picture continues to improve.  Here is the Associated Press write-up:

U.S. employers added a solid 261,000 jobs in October in a bounce-back from the hurricanes that slammed the Southeast in September. The unemployment rate declined to 4.1 percent, the lowest in nearly 17 years, from 4.2 percent in September, the Labor Department said Friday. But the drop in the rate occurred mostly because many people stopped looking for work and so were no longer counted as unemployed....October’s burst of hiring largely reflects a rebound from the hurricanes that temporarily depressed job gains in September.

But it also shows that for all their fury, the storms didn’t knock the economy or the job market off course. Over the past three months, job growth has averaged 162,000, similar to the pace of hiring before the hurricanes.
Estimates from previous months were also revised upward, erasing September's apparent losses:

The government also revised up its estimate of the job total for the previous two months. In August, employers added 208,000, up from 169,000. They added just 18,000 in September as thousands of businesses were forced to close. But that figure was revised higher from a previous estimate that showed a loss of 33,000. With September’s jobs figure back in the positive column, the economy has now added jobs for 85 straight months, a record streak...

Restaurants and bars regained 89,000 jobs last month. Manufacturers added 24,000 jobs. A category that includes mostly higher-paying professional jobs, such as accountants and engineers, added 50,000. Retailers shed 8,300...Americans are also sounding more optimistic about the economic outlook, which could prompt more people to open their wallets in the coming months. Consumer confidence reached its highest level in nearly 17 years in October, according to the Conference Board.
The AP story notes that the broader 'U6' number slid slightly in October, reflecting a rise among those who've stopped actively seeking work

Nonetheless, wages failed to break out in October, rising 2.4% from a year earlier, a slowdown from the prior month. “With the swings from the hurricanes now largely behind us, the longer-term challenge of wage growth returns to the foreground,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist at job site Indeed

The economy isn't exactly roaring, but it's in a pretty good place -- hence the low unemployment rate and robust consumer confidence, each of which are at their strongest levels in nearly two decades.



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

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


5 November, 2017

Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC

Confirmation in the excerpts below that Hillary "bought" the Democratic nomination in 2016.  The famous Clinton fundraising came into its own.  But it's all rather ho hum to aware conservatives.  We expect Leftists to have no principles

The interesting thing in it all is that it may be Hillary's machinations that gave us Donald Trump. Hillary was an uninspiring candidate whose only real message was that she was a woman.  She  appears to have been blind to the fact that most women are attracted to an Alpha male (even though she married one herself)  -- and Trump is an Alpha male.  So 53% of white women voted for The Donald -- leaving the "sisterhood" aghast.

But Sanders was the opposite to Hillary.  He sounded like he had a good message and he aroused real enthusiasm among Democrat voters -- particularly America's education-deprived youth. So combine those followers with the usual "rusted on" Democrat voters -- particularly Blacks, Hispanics and Jews -- and a candidate Sanders might have been a President Sanders by now.


I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested.

The Saturday morning after the convention in July, I called Gary Gensler, the chief financial officer of Hillary’s campaign. He wasted no words. He told me the Democratic Party was broke and $2 million in debt.

“What?” I screamed. “I am an officer of the party and they’ve been telling us everything is fine and they were raising money with no problems.”

That wasn’t true, he said. Officials from Hillary’s campaign had taken a look at the DNC’s books. Obama left the party $24 million in debt—$15 million in bank debt and more than $8 million owed to vendors after the 2012 campaign—and had been paying that off very slowly. Obama’s campaign was not scheduled to pay it off until 2016. Hillary for America (the campaign) and the Hillary Victory Fund (its joint fundraising vehicle with the DNC) had taken care of 80 percent of the remaining debt in 2016, about $10 million, and had placed the party on an allowance.

On the phone Gary told me the DNC had needed a $2 million loan, which the campaign had arranged.

“No! That can’t be true!” I said. “The party cannot take out a loan without the unanimous agreement of all of the officers.”

The campaign had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearinghouse.

“Wait,” I said. “That victory fund was supposed to be for whoever was the nominee, and the state party races. You’re telling me that Hillary has been controlling it since before she got the nomination?”

Gary said the campaign had to do it or the party would collapse.

“That was the deal that Robby struck with Debbie,” he explained, referring to campaign manager Robby Mook. “It was to sustain the DNC. We sent the party nearly $20 million from September until the convention, and more to prepare for the election.”



Why Democrats Are Obsessed With Wealth Inequality

I think Dennis Prager is too kind below. Equality could only be achieved by tearing down the whole of existing society and its arrangements.  THAT is why the Left advocate it. They WANT to tear down the whole of existing society and its arrangements

If you want to understand today’s Democratic Party, a word search of a Democratic debate in 2015 provides a pretty clear picture.  Here is how many times keywords were spoken:

Wall Street: 23
Tax: 20
Inequality: 9
Wealthy: 7

Now, compare the number of times other national concerns were mentioned:

Terror/ists/ism: 2
Defense: 2
Military (excluding Jim Webb): 1
Freedom: 1
Debt (national): 0
Liberty: 0
Strength: 0
Armed forces: 0
Islamist/Islamic: 0

Material inequality is the predominant concern of the Democratic Party. Indeed, material inequality has been the predominant concern of the left since Karl Marx.

This raises two questions: How important is material inequality? And if it is not that important, why does it preoccupy the left-wing mind?

The answer to the first question is: It depends. It depends, first of all, on the economic status of the poorer members of the society.

If the bottom percentile society has its basic material needs met, then the existence of a big gap between its members and the wealthiest members of the society is not a moral problem.

But if the members of the bottom rung of society are in such an impoverished state that their basic material needs are not met, and yet there is a supremely wealthy class in the same society, then the suffering of its poorest class renders that society’s inequality a moral problem.

And what most matters in both cases is whether the wealthiest class has attained its wealth honestly or corruptly. If the wealthy have attained their wealth morally and legally, then the income gap is not a moral problem.

In a free society, wealth is not a pie —meaning that when a slice of pie is removed, there is less of the pie remaining. And the poorer members of society have the ability to improve their economic lot.

Through hard work, self-discipline, marriage, and education—and with some degree of good luck—the poor can join the middle class and even the wealthy class.

The latter is generally the case in America. Unlike in most societies, for most Americans being poor is not a fate. The only time being poor becomes permanent is when noneconomic factors render it so.

These factors include not having a father in one’s life, growing up with no family or social emphasis on education, women having children without a man, and men having children without committing to the mother of those children.

The left, with its materialist view of life, refuses to concede these nonmaterial producers of poverty and that changing behavior is therefore the only way to raise the majority of the poor out of their poverty.

Of course, when bad luck —such as chronic illness or being the victim of a violent crime— is the reason for one’s impoverished condition, societal help is a moral imperative.

Instead, the left believes that the focus of attention must be on reducing the wealth of the wealthy —again, as if the wealth is a pie.

Thus, the left demands a redistribution of wealth in society—taking money (that was honestly earned) from those who are wealthier and giving that money to the poor.

But all that does most of the time is prolong the poverty of the poor, as they are not only not forced to engage in productive behavior, they are actually paid to continue whatever unproductive behaviors they are engaged in.

All this should be obvious to anyone with common sense. But incorrect ideology always distorts common sense.

So, why is the left preoccupied with inequality in a society in which most poor people have the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty?

Because of its class-based materialist ideology. Because seeing some people own luxury vehicles, multiple homes, and even private jets while others live in small apartments feels wrong to the left —and leftism is based on feelings.

Because it prefers that the state, not the individual citizen, has as much wealth as possible.

And because when you don’t fight real evils (communism during the Cold War, and now Islamism, Russian expansion, Syria’s use of chemical weapons), you fight non-evils. And material inequality is non-evil.



Millennials: Communism sounds pretty chill

‘This report clearly reveals a need for educating our youth on the dangerous implications of socialist ideals’

According to the latest survey from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a D.C.-based nonprofit, one in two U.S. millennials say they would rather live in a socialist or communist country than a capitalist democracy.

What’s more, 22% of them have a favorable view of Karl Marx and a surprising number see Joseph Stalin and Kim Jong Un as “heroes.”

Really, that’s what the numbers show.

“Millennials now make up the largest generation in America, and we’re seeing some deeply worrisome trends,” said Marion Smith, executive director of the organization. “Millennials are increasingly turning away from capitalism and toward socialism and even communism as a viable alternative.”

But do they even know what it is?

The survey, which was conducted by research and data firm YouGov, found that millennials are the least knowledgable generation on the subject, with 71% failing to identify the proper definition of communism.

Smith explained that this “troubling turn” highlights pervasive historical illiteracy across the country and “the systemic failure of our education system to teach students about the genocide, destruction, and misery caused by communism since the Bolshevik Revolution one hundred years ago.”

Other findings include the belief held by 53% of millennials that America’s economic system works against them, which is the same percentage in the prior study. Meanwhile, 66% of Gen Z, ages 16-20, say the system works for them.

When it comes to the wealth divide, Americans seem to be on the same page, with 80% saying it’s a serious issue, up from 78% a year ago. They also mostly agree (68%) that the highest earners don’t pay their fair share in taxes.

“This report clearly reveals a need for educating our youth on the dangerous implications of socialist ideals.” Smith said. “We will continue to work with educators to build curriculum to address this important need.”



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

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


3 November, 2017

Hillary Clinton, Julian Assange And The ABC’s War On Truth

John Pilger is a master of distortion when it suits him but sometimes he gets it pretty right -- as in his reports on Cambodia. I see no distortion in his comments below.  Reality is enough in this case. It's good that he reminds us which administration destabilized the Middle East

On 16 October, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation aired an interview with Hillary Clinton: one of many to promote her score-settling book about why she was not elected President of the United States.

Wading through the Clinton book, What Happened, is an unpleasant experience, like a stomach upset. Smears and tears. Threats and enemies. “They” (voters) were brainwashed and herded against her by the odious Donald Trump in cahoots with sinister Slavs sent from the great darkness known as Russia, assisted by an Australian “nihilist”, Julian Assange.

In The New York Times, there was a striking photograph of a female reporter consoling Clinton, having just interviewed her. The lost leader was, above all, “absolutely a feminist”. The thousands of women’s lives this “feminist” destroyed while in government – Libya, Syria, Honduras – were of no interest.

In New York magazine, Rebecca Trainster wrote that Clinton was finally “expressing some righteous anger”. It was even hard for her to smile: “so hard that the muscles in her face ache”. Surely, she concluded, “if we allowed women’s resentments the same bearing we allow men’s grudges, America would be forced to reckon with the fact that all these angry women might just have a point”.

Drivel such as this, trivialising women’s struggles, marks the media hagiographies of Hillary Clinton. Her political extremism and warmongering are of no consequence. Her problem, wrote Trainster, was a “damaging infatuation with the email story”. The truth, in other words.

The leaked emails of Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, revealed a direct connection between Clinton and the foundation and funding of organised jihadism in the Middle East and Islamic State (IS). The ultimate source of most Islamic terrorism, Saudi Arabia, was central to her career.

One email, in 2014, sent by Clinton to Podesta soon after she stepped down as US Secretary of State, discloses that Islamic State is funded by the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Clinton accepted huge donations from both governments for the Clinton Foundation.

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton approved the world’s biggest ever arms sale to her benefactors in Saudi Arabia, worth more than $80 billion. Thanks to her, US arms sales to the world – for use in stricken countries like Yemen – doubled.

This was revealed by WikiLeaks and published by The New York Times. No one doubts the emails are authentic. The subsequent campaign to smear WikiLeaks and its editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, as “agents of Russia”, has grown into a spectacular fantasy known as “Russiagate”. The “plot” is said to have been signed off by Vladimir Putin himself. There is not a shred of evidence.

The ABC Australia interview with Clinton is an outstanding example of smear and censorship by omission. I would say it is a model.

“No-one,” the interviewer, Sarah Ferguson, says to Clinton, “could fail to be moved by the pain on your face at that moment [of the inauguration of Trump]… Do you remember how visceral it was for you?”

Having established Clinton’s visceral suffering, Ferguson asks about “Russia’s role”.

CLINTON: I think Russia affected the perceptions and views of millions of voters, we now know. I think that their intention coming from the very top with Putin was to hurt me and to help Trump.

FERGUSON: How much of that was a personal vendetta by Vladimir Putin against you?

CLINTON: … I mean he wants to destabilise democracy. He wants to undermine America, he wants to go after the Atlantic Alliance and we consider Australia kind of a … an extension of that …

The opposite is true. It is Western armies that are massing on Russia’s border for the first time since the Russian Revolution 100 years ago.

FERGUSON: How much damage did [Julian Assange] do personally to you?

CLINTON: Well, I had a lot of history with him because I was Secretary of State when ah WikiLeaks published a lot of very sensitive ah information from our State Department and our Defence Department.

What Clinton fails to say – and her interviewer fails to remind her – is that in 2010, WikiLeaks revealed that Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton had ordered a secret intelligence campaign targeted at the United Nations leadership, including the Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and the permanent Security Council representatives from China, Russia, France and the UK.

A classified directive, signed by Clinton, was issued to US diplomats in July 2009, demanding forensic technical details about the communications systems used by top UN officials, including passwords and personal encryption keys used in private and commercial networks.

This was known as Cablegate. It was lawless spying.

CLINTON: He [Assange] is very clearly a tool of Russian intelligence. And ah, he has done their bidding.

Clinton offered no evidence to back up this serious accusation, nor did Ferguson challenge her.

CLINTON: You don’t see damaging negative information coming out about the Kremlin on WikiLeaks. You didn’t see any of that published.

This was false. WikiLeaks has published a massive number of documents on Russia – more than 800,000, most of them critical, many of them used in books and as evidence in court cases.

CLINTON: So I think Assange has become a kind of nihilistic opportunist who does the bidding of a dictator.

FERGUSON: Lots of people, including in Australia, think that Assange is a martyr for free speech and freedom of information. How would you describe him? Well, you’ve just described him as a nihilist.

CLINTON: Yeah, well, and a tool. I mean he’s a tool of Russian intelligence. And if he’s such a, you know, martyr of free speech, why doesn’t WikiLeaks ever publish anything coming out of Russia?

Again, Ferguson said nothing to challenge this or correct her.

CLINTON: There was a concerted operation between WikiLeaks and Russia and most likely people in the United States to weaponise that information, to make up stories … to help Trump.

FERGUSON: Now, along with some of those outlandish stories, there was information that was revealed about the Clinton Foundation that at least in some of the voters’ minds seemed to associate you ….

CLINTON: Yeah, but it was false!

FERGUSON: … with the peddling of information …

CLINTON: It was false! It was totally false! …..

FERGUSON: Do you understand how difficult it was for some voters to understand the amounts of money that the [Clinton] Foundation is raising, the confusion with the consultancy that was also raising money, getting gifts and travel and so on for Bill Clinton that even Chelsea had some issues with? …

CLINTON: Well you know, I’m sorry, Sarah, I mean I, I know the facts ….

The ABC interviewer lauded Clinton as “the icon of your generation”. She asked her nothing about the enormous sums she creamed off from Wall Street, such as the $675,000 she received for speaking at Goldman Sachs, one of the banks at the centre of the 2008 crash. Clinton’s greed deeply upset the kind of voters she abused as “deplorables”.

Clearly looking for a cheap headline in the Australian press, Ferguson asked Clinton if Trump was “a clear and present danger to Australia” and got her predictable response.\

This high-profile journalist made no mention of Clinton’s own “clear and present danger” to the people of Iran whom she once threatened to “obliterate totally”, and the 40,000 Libyans who died in the attack on Libya in 2011 that Clinton orchestrated. Flushed with excitement, the Secretary of State rejoiced at the gruesome murder of the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi.

“Libya was Hillary Clinton’s war”, Julian Assange said in a filmed interview with me last year. “Barack Obama initially opposed it. Who was the person championing it? Hillary Clinton. That’s documented throughout her emails … there’s more than 1,700 emails out of the 33,000 Hillary Clinton emails that we’ve published, just about Libya. It’s not that Libya has cheap oil. She perceived the removal of Gaddafi and the overthrow of the Libyan state – something that she would use in her run-up to the general election for President.

“So in late 2011 there is an internal document called the Libya Tick Tock that was produced for Hillary Clinton, and it’s the chronological description of how she was the central figure in the destruction of the Libyan state, which resulted in around 40,000 deaths within Libya; jihadists moved in, ISIS moved in, leading to the European refugee and migrant crisis.

“Not only did you have people fleeing Libya, people fleeing Syria, the destabilisation of other African countries as a result of arms flows, but the Libyan state itself was no longer able to control the movement of people through it.”

This – not Clinton’s “visceral” pain in losing to Trump nor the rest of the self-serving scuttlebutt in her ABC interview – was the story. Clinton shared responsibility for massively de-stabilising the Middle East, which led to the death, suffering and flight of thousands of women, men and children.

Ferguson raised not a word of it. Clinton repeatedly defamed Assange, who was neither defended nor offered a right of reply on his own country’s state broadcaster.

In a tweet from London, Assange cited the ABC’s own Code of Practice, which states: “Where allegations are made about a person or organisation, make reasonable efforts in the circumstances to provide a fair opportunity to respond.”

Following the ABC broadcast, Ferguson’s executive producer, Sally Neighbour, re-tweeted the following: “Assange is Putin’s bitch. We all know it!”

The slander, since deleted, was even used as a link to the ABC interview captioned ‘Assange is Putins (sic) b****. We all know it!’

In the years I have known Julian Assange, I have watched a vituperative personal campaign try to stop him and WikiLeaks. It has been a frontal assault on whistleblowing, on free speech and free journalism, all of which are now under sustained attack from governments and corporate internet controllers.

The first serious attacks on Assange came from the Guardian which, like a spurned lover, turned on its besieged former source, having hugely profited from WikiLeaks’ disclosures. With not a penny going to Assange or WikiLeaks, a Guardian book led to a lucrative Hollywood movie deal. Assange was portrayed as “callous” and a “damaged personality”.

It was as if a rampant jealousy could not accept that his remarkable achievements stood in marked contrast to that of his detractors in the “mainstream” media. It is like watching the guardians of the status quo, regardless of age, struggling to silence real dissent and prevent the emergence of the new and hopeful.

Today, Assange remains a political refugee from the war-making dark state of which Donald Trump is a caricature and Hillary Clinton the embodiment. His resilience and courage are astonishing. Unlike him, his tormentors are cowards.



A Muslim idiot


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

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


2 November, 2017

DOJ ends political targeting of conservative, religious groups

For eight years the Department of Justice under former President Barack Obama was weaponized. Religious liberty and free speech were constantly under assault. Spiritual institutions were forced to violate their religious beliefs. Citizen organizations were targeted because they had a different interpretation of the Constitution than President Obama. Attorneys General Holder and Lynch launched an all-out assault on freedoms of Americans.

Attorney General Sessions is leading the fight to depoliticize the DOJ and put the blindfold back on Lady Justice.

Early in President Obama’s first term in the wake of the Citizens United ruling, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began scrutinizing organizations with specific words in the names. Words like “tea party” and “patriots” would cause the determinations unit to provide extra scrutiny when reviewing the application for tax-exempt status.

The targeting would also include groups with specifically outlined goals. Groups that wanted to challenge the Affordable Care Act, complained about government spending, or raised questions about illegal immigrants voting spent well over a year on the list to become tax exempt.

In 2012, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa expressed concerns to the IRS about allegations he was hearing. The Inspector General for the IRS would launch an investigation looking at the claims.

One year later in 2013, the IRS, through Lois Lerner, would issue an apology for targeting conservatives, days before the results of the IG would be released. Congressional investigations would soon follow. The actions of the IRS during the congressional investigations would also draw attention. Computers, emails, and back up tapes would all be destroyed while under a subpoena be retained. Americans and Congress smelled a rat, but could not quite get a handle on the scandal.

Following years of legal battles, the IRS finally reached settlements with over 400 groups targeted by the Obama IRS last week. The settlements include an official apology with AG Sessions stating, “Hundreds of organizations were affected by these actions, and they deserve an apology from the IRS.  We hope that today’s settlement makes clear that this abuse of power will not be tolerated.”

This Department of Justice has also signaled it will defend the First Amendment’s freedom of religion. One of the main components of Obamacare was the contraceptive mandate. The law mandated female contraceptive coverage for all employers and educational institutions, except churches and other houses of worship. This created a problem for the thousands of religious hospitals, religious charities, Christian universities and organizations owned or controlled by religious establishments. Many of the institutions took legal action and sued the Obama administration for violating their First Amendment rights.

After years of expensive legal battles, the DOJ settled with more than 70 plaintiffs that challenged the mandate. The settlement was allowed after the Trump administration issued new guidelines to all federal agencies that allow for religious exemptions. Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior stated, “This brings to a close protracted litigation that never should have happened in the first place. As this president and this attorney general have made clear, they will always seek to protect and defend religious liberty.”

Free speech has been under assault for years on college campuses, and the Obama DOJ ignored the mugging of the Constitution by institutions receiving billions in taxpayer funds. In September, the DOJ announced it would take the fight to the bastions of anti-constitutionalism by filing a Statement of Interest in two campus free speech cases, with more to be filed.

In a statement about the move, Attorney General Sessions stated, “A national recommitment to free speech on campus and to ensuring First Amendment rights is long overdue. Which is why, starting today, the Department of Justice will do its part in this struggle. We will enforce federal law, defend free speech, and protect students’ free expression.”



The Left and Right are not equally bad: Here's the crucial difference

Harry Binswanger, below, seems to deplore the Christian Right but otherwise he has a good point

It's becoming increasingly clear to me that we are seeing a wholesale, frontal assault on America, in the hopes of establishing a dictatorship--since respect for America's past and the American "sense of life" are the only things holding us back from dictatorship.

The "God Damn America" viewpoint is not a pose or a tactic: these people have really talked themselves into the belief that America is and always was essentially evil. It began as a hatred for American individualism and capitalism. It now seems to be more of a free-floating hatred.

Accordingly, this is not the time to say, "Well, yes, there are some bad things in America's past, and yes some police do horrid things, but . . ."

The Weimar Republic, as the Nazis were gaining strength, was not the place and time to say, "Well, yes, some Jews are money-grubbers but . . ."

I've seen this movie before. In the 60s, the Left was also anti-police, which means pro-anarchy. In the 60s, as today, the Left charged that America is a fascist nation. In the 60s, as today, black athletes were making symbolic gestures of defiance against America during the national anthem.

But today, we are a lot further down the road to dictatorship than we were in the 60s. And a lot deeper into the lobotomizing effects of Comprachico-style "education." Further, today, equally reprehensible things are growing on the Right. And religion has become tremendously stronger in the culture and on the Right than it was in the 60s (it was hard then to find a student at my college (MIT) who had any respect for any religion).

However, there's not a symmetry of Left and Right here. The relation of the far Left to the rest of the Left is different from the relation of the "alt-Right" to the rest of the Right. And by Left and Right here, I mean as the terms are conventionally taken. You can almost substitute Democrats and Republicans.

Take Antifa on the Left and neo-Nazis on the Right. The entire Left is sympathetic to Antifa. They may, with varying degrees of sincerity, condemn Antifa's violent means, but, to a man, they share Antifa's ethical-political viewpoint.

Does anyone in the Democratic Party think, for instance, that egalitarianism is wrong, that the rich are benefactors, not fat cats, that banks are not vampire squids sucking the blood of society, that America is not a racist society? Maybe someone somewhere, but you get the point: the extreme Left is just an undiluted version of the moderate Left.

But the alt-right is not just an undiluted version of what most all Republicans hold. Steve Bannon is not a purer version of Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, or even Sarah Palin. Neo-Nazis are not a group that Tea Partiers, Establishment Republicans, or Libertarians would say have the right idea but the wrong means. You can say that about a disturbing number of Trump supporters, but that Trump-fringe, though quite alarming, is only a small minority on the Republican side (if they are even on that side).

But Michael Moore, Sean Penn, the kneeling footballers, Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, et al. are not a small minority on the Democrat side. They are the beating heart of the Party.

So, yes, there is a very ugly and growing cancer on the Republican side, the side conventionally called the Right. But the Democrats and the Left are a sea of malignancy with islands of healthier tissue.

To concretize, you can look for, and occasionally find, good Republicans politicians for whom you are happy to vote. Can you do that with Democratic politicians?

Or, you can often find some halfway decent editorials in the Wall St. Journal (never fully good, however), but how often can you find them in the NY Times? Sometimes, but not a twentieth as frequently as in the WSJ.

Yes, I know, at the deeper level, even the people on the right who look good hold some very bad premises--especially regarding religion. And the Wall St. Journal is largely neo-conservative, which is death on wheels.

So, I'm not here to praise the people or the essays of the Republicans. I'm just here to point out that as bad as the Republicans are, they are not nearly as far gone as the Democrats.

I also hasten to observe that if you take the fundamental ideas--communism and theocracy--there's no choosing between them. It's death by drowning or death by burning.

But my point is that the Left is more communist than the Right is theocratic.



The Catholic Church Actually Has Pretty Good Standards For Immigration

From the Catechism

In Church teaching 2241, the Church offers a very reasonable and fairly balanced approach to immigration. The nation is called to accept immigrants to “the extent they are able” and protect their inalienable rights. The immigrant, however, is "expected to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens."

2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

Compare that principle to President Donald J. Trump’s stance on immigration and you will find the two are not at odds. In a statement on September 5th, 2017, the executive branch called for immigration reform that rids the nation of immigrants who have committed crimes, promotes economic prosperity for all Americans, and reforms the current immigration system so that immigrants can come here legally.

In that statement, Trump said,

 “Our enforcement priorities remain unchanged. We are focused on criminals, security threats, recent border-crossers, visa overstays, and repeat violators.  I have advised the Department of Homeland Security that DACA recipients are not enforcement priorities unless they are criminals, are involved in criminal activity, or are members of a gang.” 

Getting rid of drug dealers and gang members is not the same as deporting law-abiding illegal aliens. In fact, Trump makes it very clear that those illegal aliens who are here respecting the laws of the land, contributing, and working to earn a living that they otherwise could not in their native country is not law enforcements concern.

His statement continues,

“The decades-long failure of Washington, D.C. to enforce federal immigration law has had both predictable and tragic consequences: lower wages and higher unemployment for American workers, substantial burdens on local schools and hospitals, the illicit entry of dangerous drugs and criminal cartels, and many billions of dollars a year in costs paid for by U.S. taxpayers.  Yet few in Washington expressed any compassion for the millions of Americans victimized by this unfair system. Before we ask what is fair to illegal immigrants, we must also ask what is fair to American families, students, taxpayers, and jobseekers.”

President Trump is essentially saying that our failure to enforce the laws of the land for so long is now limiting the extent to which we are capable of accepting foreigners. Because of that, reform is needed as well as immediate enforcement of current laws.



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

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


1 November, 2017

Bible history vindicated once again

Once you translate the ancient Hebrew  correctly

The Old Testament Book of Joshua may contain the oldest known reference to a solar eclipse recorded by humanity. And it occurred 3224 years ago

The text in question is in the 12th and 13th verses of the 10th chapter of the Book of Joshua. According to the King James version of the Bible, these verses read,

"Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. … So, the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day."

The passage is part of the story of Joshua leading the Israelites into Canaan (today's Israel and Palestine) and beating back their enemies (the Amorites) after the Amorite armies laid siege to the Israelite camp. Astronomically speaking, the text may refer to a solar eclipse (when the moon blocks the sun's light from reaching portions of the Earth), said Sir Colin Humphreys, a materials science professor at the University of Cambridge in England.

The King James translation of the Bible refers to the sun and moon standing still, Humphreys said, but the original Hebrew uses a root word that, in Babylonian, a related tongue, can also describe eclipses. What Joshua may have prayed, in other words, was not that the moon and sun would freeze in the sky, but that they would stop their usual shining.

Previous researchers have attempted to validate this eclipse hypothesis by linking the Book of Joshua to an independent indicator of when the Israelites were in Canaan: a stele from the reign of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah, son of Ramesses the Great. The Merneptah stele, carved in the fifth year of Merneptah's reign, mentions that the pharaoh ordered a (successful) campaign against the people of Israel in Canaan. Dating the stele puts the Israelites in Canaan between 1500 B.C. and 1050 B.C.

But until now, scientists haven't had much luck cross-referencing the two dates. Astronomical calculations turned up no total solar eclipses that matched. Humphreys and his colleagues expanded the search to include not only total eclipses, but also annular eclipses. In these celestial events, the moon slips between the Earth and the sun but not at a distance at which it appears to cover the sun's face entirely. The result is an impressive display that looks like a ring of fire in the sky, but without the sudden twilight darkness of a total solar eclipse.

Humphreys and his colleagues use astronomical calculations to determine that the only annular eclipse visible from Canaan between 1500 B.C. and 1050 B.C. was on the afternoon of Oct. 30, 1207 B.C.



Optimism Must Be Balanced With Reality

Rich Kozlovich below has a rather dire view of the future but it is a future to be wary of

“I begin with the young. We older ones are used up. We are rotten to the marrow. But my magnificent youngsters! Are there any finer ones in the world? Look at these young men and boys! What material.  With them I can make a new world. My teaching will be hard. Weakness will be knocked out of them. A violently active, dominating, brutal youth – that is what I am after. Youth must be indifferent to pain. There must be no weakness and tenderness in it. I want to see once more in its eyes the gleam of pride and independence of the beast of prey.  I will have no intellectual training. Knowledge is ruin to my young men. I would have them learn only what takes their fancy. But one thing they must learn – self-command. They shall learn to overcome their fear of death under the severest tests. This is the heroic stage of youth. Out of it will come the creative man, the god-man.”
“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation."

 “When an opponent declares, "I will not come over to your side," I calmly say, "Your child belongs to us already... What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.” 

Various quotes by Adolf Hitler above

The Main Stream Media is now under attack and being exposed for the corrupt propaganda tool of the left that it's been for decades.  Politicians, environmental and social activists, left leaning businessmen, entertainment people, academics, bureaucrats and unions - all bulwarks of the left - are being exposed for who and what they really are. 

But in spite of all of that - I've not been entirely optimistic about the future.  Although I see glimmers of hope with the change in the White House.  RINO's are abandoning their leftist ship before they're humiliated in the primaries, and I especially enjoy watching the media squirm and practically burst into tears over a President of the United States that doesn't just take it - he dishes it out - hard, fast and regularly, and clearly doesn't care what his opponents or his supporters think.  Worse yet for them - especially after all the arrogant snickering and eye rolling - he keeps ending up being right most of the time. And America is loving it. But for America to take this small start and turn it into a great age of optimism would take rolling back liberal initiatives that have been evolving in America for over 125 years. 

We may be living in an information age explosion showing how these leftist schemes have brought us to where we are today but that's not the real issue.  The real issue is  - will America accept that information and act on it?

These efforts by the left started in the late 19th century with public education. And the goal wasn't reading, writing and arithmetic. The goal of public education was to make sure "the apple fell as far away from the tree as possible." What was that apple and what was that tree? The children of America were the apple, and the parents and churches that molded their values and morality was the tree!  America's institutions were also part of that apple.   The goal of progressivism (American socialism) was to make sure government was to be the great and last arbitrator of morality. Not the church and not the family - at least until they were infiltrated, subverted and converted. As Mussolini stated: "All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state."

In America, that didn't come about by accident.  Both Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson believed the Constitution was an impediment to human progress, and both imposed policies to promote progressive ideas, and they both were believers in the axiom uttered by Louis XIV of France: L'état, C'est Moi - I am the state! 

In all the 20th century there were only three conservative Presidents.  Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan, and in total they were only in control for 16 years.  For the other 84 years the nation was controlled by the liberals or leftists of both parties.  We've also had 16 years of liberal control from both parties in this century.  Bush wasn't a conservative and neither were John McCain or Mitt Romney.  That's 100 out of the last 117 years of liberal corruption in power in America. 

Without support of the nation's leaders none of this could have come about.  Both Republicans and Democrats have been stunningly dishonest and gotten away with it because the nation's public education system was designed to subvert our children - not educate them.

As a result:

Too many Americans graduate from school semi-illiterate, unable to do basic math, read, write or spell properly.

Too many Americans graduate from college filled with false information on how the world works, or should work, and are arrogant in their ignorance

Too many Americans are remarkably ignorant of American history.

Too many Americans fail to realize how unique American style republican democracy is in all of world history.

Entirely too many "Americans" don't think they're Americans.
Too many Americans hate America.

Too many Americans think sports and entertainment are more important than politics or religion.

Too many people believe celebrities' views are valid and more important than the views of those who actually know what they're talking about.
Too many Americans no longer are people of faith, and as a result have no moral foundation other than the latest philosophical flavor of the day.

Too many Americans are stunningly uninformed, ill informed and confidently stupid, and that's the result of our public education system.

Too many Americans think socialism is a plan for successful government.

Is it any wonder foolish young people in our universities wear T-shirts with the faces of mass murderers Fidel Castro and Che Guevara on them, and go around telling the world to "Feel the Bern", supporting a Marxist lunatic?   Is it any wonder society is being washed back and forth like waves crashing against the rocks to its destruction?

I don’t believe Social Security will there for my children and it may not be there for me for much longer since the now for the first time the outlay is going to be over 1 trillion dollars, and by 2020 Social Security will be paying out more than it's taking in. 

I don't believe my children and grandchild will have a better life than I did.

 I don’t believe Medicare and Medicaid can survive much past this decade.

I don’t believe crony capitalism will be less but more – especially since this pattern goes back to the Whiskey Act of 1791.

I don’t believe those who left California because they made a mess of it won’t attempt to make a mess of the states they moved to.

I don't believe you can convince liberals their leftist philosophy has been the most misanthropic belief system in all of world history.

I don’t believe the national debt can be paid unless the government sells its assets - which amounts to 150 trillion dollars.

I don’t believe academia can be purged of its Frankfurt School aficionados unless we stop funding them and make them all "for profit" institutions.

I don’t believe anything can be fixed until the 16th and 17th amendments are repealed.

So, what do I believe?

I believe the world is headed for a massive economic downturn, with the fake economies of China and Russia collapsing into a chaotic swirl of revolution and national devolution creating new and smaller, desperately broke starving nations based on geography, ethnicity or religion.

I believe the only modern advanced country in the world that will still survive - albeit with a few dents but safe and intact - is the United States.  The U.S. can feed itself, fuel itself, arm itself and defend itself without the help or need of anyone else in the world.

I believe there will be European countries that will cease to exist as intact independent nations by 2030. Europe will soon cease to exist as we know it and whatever survives will be third rate, broke, desperate and devolving into more and smaller countries, as is already developing is parts of Europe with a lot civil violence.

As a result of all of this I believe the world's leftists will make one last big push to impose world governance under the auspices of the United Nations.

Finally, While I believe the U.S. will be the only nation to successfully survive the upcoming worldwide economic downturn, I also believe that once again the sheeple will return leftist politicians to power and they will fund this effort by allowing the U.N. to tax Americans and create their own military force, and then turning the most effective military force in the world - the United States Navy - over to U.N. control.

In spite of my last post - A New Renaissance Awakening! - I'm not optimistic because the left is constantly changing itself into an angel of light in order to fool the sheeple with promises and visions of utopia in order to gain the one thing they desire beyond rational comprehension - power! 

Why?  Because the left is still in complete control of the nation's young minds, and they hear the promises, and believe them.  And it's been a long time since anyone publically stood up to them.   But the left has no answers and the result is always dystopia because they live in a world that's an intellectual bubble of hate, envy, corruption, greed and self-interest. 

That's history, and that history is incontestable.



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

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Postings from Brisbane, Australia by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.) -- former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party. And now a "Deplorable"

When it comes to political incorrectness, I hit the trifecta. I talk about race, IQ and social class. I have an academic background in all three subjects but that wins me no forgiveness

At its most basic psychological level, conservatives are the contented people and Leftists are the discontented people. And both are largely dispositional, inborn -- which is why they so rarely change

As a good academic, I first define my terms: A Leftist is a person who is so dissatisfied with the way things naturally are that he/she is prepared to use force to make people behave in ways that they otherwise would not.

So an essential feature of Leftism is that they think they have the right to tell other people what to do

Leftists are the disgruntled folk. They see things in the world that are not ideal and conclude therefore that they have the right to change those things by force. Conservative explanations of why things are not ideal -- and never can be -- fall on deaf ears

Leftists aim to deliver dismay and disruption into other people's lives -- and they are good at achieving that.

German has a word that describes most Leftists well: "Scheinheilig" - A person who appears to be very kind, soft natured, and filled with pure goodness but behind the facade, has a vile nature. He is seemingly holy but is an unscrupulous person on the inside.

The new faith is very oppressive: Leftist orthodoxy is the new dominant religion of the Western world and it is every bit as bigoted and oppressive as Christianity was at its worst

There are two varieties of authoritarian Leftism. Fascists are soft Leftists, preaching one big happy family -- "Better together" in other words. Communists are hard Leftists, preaching class war.

Socialism is the most evil malady ever to afflict the human brain. The death toll in WWII alone tells you that

You do still occasionally see some mention of the old idea that Leftist parties represent the worker. In the case of the U.S. Democrats that is long gone. Now they want to REFORM the worker. No wonder most working class Americans these days vote Republican. Democrats are the party of the minorities and the smug

We live in a country where the people own the Government and not in a country where the Government owns the people -- Churchill

The Left have a lot in common with tortoises. They have a thick mental shell that protects them from the reality of the world about them

Definition of a Socialist: Someone who wants everything you have...except your job.

Let's start with some thought-provoking graphics

Israel: A great powerhouse of the human spirit

The difference in practice

The United Nations: A great ideal but a sordid reality

Alfred Dreyfus, a reminder of French antisemitism still relevant today

Eugenio Pacelli, a righteous Gentile, a true man of God and a brilliant Pope

Leftism in one picture:

The "steamroller" above who got steamrollered by his own hubris. Spitzer is a warning of how self-destructive a vast ego can be -- and also of how destructive of others it can be.

R.I.P. Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet deposed a law-defying Marxist President at the express and desperate invitation of the Chilean parliament. Allende had just burnt the electoral rolls so it wasn't hard to see what was coming. Pinochet pioneered the free-market reforms which Reagan and Thatcher later unleashed to world-changing effect. That he used far-Leftist methods to suppress far-Leftist violence is reasonable if not ideal. The Leftist view that they should have a monopoly of violence and that others should follow the law is a total absurdity which shows only that their hate overcomes their reason

Leftist writers usually seem quite reasonable and persuasive at first glance. The problem is not what they say but what they don't say. Leftist beliefs are so counterfactual ("all men are equal", "all men are brothers" etc.) that to be a Leftist you have to have a talent for blotting out from your mind facts that don't suit you. And that is what you see in Leftist writing: A very selective view of reality. Facts that disrupt a Leftist story are simply ignored. Leftist writing is cherrypicking on a grand scale

So if ever you read something written by a Leftist that sounds totally reasonable, you have an urgent need to find out what other people say on that topic. The Leftist will almost certainly have told only half the story

We conservatives have the facts on our side, which is why Leftists never want to debate us and do their best to shut us up. It's very revealing the way they go to great lengths to suppress conservative speech at universities. Universities should be where the best and brightest Leftists are to be found but even they cannot stand the intellectual challenge that conservatism poses for them. It is clearly a great threat to them. If what we say were ridiculous or wrong, they would grab every opportunity to let us know it

A conservative does not hanker after the new; He hankers after the good. Leftists hanker after the untested

Just one thing is sufficient to tell all and sundry what an unamerican lamebrain Obama is. He pronounced an army corps as an army "corpse" Link here. Can you imagine any previous American president doing that? Many were men with significant personal experience in the armed forces in their youth.

A favorite Leftist saying sums up the whole of Leftism: "To make an omelette, you've got to break eggs". They want to change some state of affairs and don't care who or what they destroy or damage in the process. They think their alleged good intentions are sufficient to absolve them from all blame for even the most evil deeds

In practical politics, the art of Leftism is to sound good while proposing something destructive

Leftists are the "we know best" people, meaning that they are intrinsically arrogant. Matthew chapter 6 would not be for them. And arrogance leads directly into authoritarianism

Leftism is fundamentally authoritarian. Whether by revolution or by legislation, Leftists aim to change what people can and must do. When in 2008 Obama said that he wanted to "fundamentally transform" America, he was not talking about America's geography or topography but rather about American people. He wanted them to stop doing things that they wanted to do and make them do things that they did not want to do. Can you get a better definition of authoritarianism than that?

And note that an American President is elected to administer the law, not make it. That seems to have escaped Mr Obama

That Leftism is intrinsically authoritarian is not a new insight. It was well understood by none other than Friedrich Engels (Yes. THAT Engels). His clever short essay On authority was written as a reproof to the dreamy Anarchist Left of his day. It concludes: "A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon — authoritarian means"

Inside Every Liberal is a Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out

Insight: "A man's admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him." —Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

Leftists think of themselves as the new nobility

Many people in literary and academic circles today who once supported Stalin and his heirs are generally held blameless and may even still be admired whereas anybody who gave the slightest hint of support for the similarly brutal Hitler regime is an utter polecat and pariah. Why? Because Hitler's enemies were "only" the Jews whereas Stalin's enemies were those the modern day Left still hates -- people who are doing well for themselves materially. Modern day Leftists understand and excuse Stalin and his supporters because Stalin's hates are their hates.

Hatred has long been a central pillar of leftist ideologies, premised as they are on trampling individual rights for the sake of a collectivist plan. Karl Marx boasted that he was “the greatest hater of the so-called positive.” In 1923, V.I. Lenin chillingly declared to the Soviet Commissars of Education, “We must teach our children to hate. Hatred is the basis of communism.” In his tract “Left-Wing Communism,” Lenin went so far as to assert that hatred was “the basis of every socialist and Communist movement.”

If you understand that Leftism is hate, everything falls into place.

The strongest way of influencing people is to convince them that you will do them some good. Leftists and con-men misuse that

Leftists believe only what they want to believe. So presenting evidence contradicting their beliefs simply enrages them. They do not learn from it

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves.

Leftists who think that they can conjure up paradise out of their own limited brains are simply fools -- arrogant and dangerous fools. They essentially know nothing. Conservatives learn from the thousands of years of human brains that have preceded us -- including the Bible, the ancient Greeks and much else. The death of Socrates is, for instance, an amazing prefiguration of the intolerant 21st century. Ask any conservative stranded in academe about his freedom of speech

Thomas Sowell: “There are no solutions, only trade-offs.” Leftists don't understand that -- which is a major factor behind their simplistic thinking. They just never see the trade-offs. But implementing any Leftist idea will hit us all with the trade-offs

"The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley"[go oft astray] is a well known line from a famous poem by the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns. But the next line is even wiser: "And leave us nought but grief and pain for promised joy". Burns was a Leftist of sorts so he knew how often their theories fail badly.

Mostly, luck happens when opportunity meets preparation.

Most Leftist claims are simply propaganda. Those who utter such claims must know that they are not telling the whole story. Hitler described his Marxist adversaries as "lying with a virtuosity that would bend iron beams". At the risk of ad hominem shrieks, I think that image is too good to remain disused.

Conservatives adapt to the world they live in. Leftists want to change the world to suit themselves

Given their dislike of the world they live in, it would be a surprise if Leftists were patriotic and loved their own people. Prominent English Leftist politician Jack Straw probably said it best: "The English as a race are not worth saving"

In his 1888 book, The Anti-Christ Friedrich Nietzsche argues that we should treat the common man well and kindly because he is the backdrop against which the exceptional man can be seen. So Nietzsche deplores those who agitate the common man: "Whom do I hate most among the rabble of today? The socialist rabble, the chandala [outcast] apostles, who undermine the instinct, the pleasure, the worker's sense of satisfaction with his small existence—who make him envious, who teach him revenge. The source of wrong is never unequal rights but the claim of “equal” rights"

Why do conservatives respect tradition and rely on the past in many ways? Because they want to know what works and the past is the chief source of evidence on that. Leftists are more faith-based. They cling to their theories (e.g. global warming) with religious fervour, even though theories are often wrong

Thinking that you "know best" is an intrinsically precarious and foolish stance -- because nobody does. Reality is so complex and unpredictable that it can rarely be predicted far ahead. Conservatives can see that and that is why conservatives always want change to be done gradually, in a step by step way. So the Leftist often finds the things he "knows" to be out of step with reality, which challenges him and his ego. Sadly, rather than abandoning the things he "knows", he usually resorts to psychological defence mechanisms such as denial and projection. He is largely impervious to argument because he has to be. He can't afford to let reality in.

A prize example of the Leftist tendency to projection (seeing your own faults in others) is the absurd Robert "Bob" Altemeyer, an acclaimed psychologist and father of a Canadian Leftist politician. Altemeyer claims that there is no such thing as Leftist authoritarianism and that it is conservatives who are "Enemies of Freedom". That Leftists (e.g. Mrs Obama) are such enemies of freedom that they even want to dictate what people eat has apparently passed Altemeyer by. Even Stalin did not go that far. And there is the little fact that all the great authoritarian regimes of the 20th century (Stalin, Hitler and Mao) were socialist. Freud saw reliance on defence mechanisms such as projection as being maladjusted. It is difficult to dispute that. Altemeyer is too illiterate to realize it but he is actually a good Hegelian. Hegel thought that "true" freedom was marching in step with a Left-led herd.

What libertarian said this? “The bureaucracy is a parasite on the body of society, a parasite which ‘chokes’ all its vital pores…The state is a parasitic organism”. It was VI Lenin, in August 1917, before he set up his own vastly bureaucratic state. He could see the problem but had no clue about how to solve it.

It was Democrat John F Kennedy who cut taxes and declared that “a rising tide lifts all boats"

Leftist stupidity is a special class of stupidity. The people concerned are mostly not stupid in general but they have a character defect (mostly arrogance) that makes them impatient with complexity and unwilling to study it. So in their policies they repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot; They fail to attain their objectives. The world IS complex so a simplistic approach to it CANNOT work.

Seminal Leftist philosopher, G.W.F. Hegel said something that certainly applies to his fellow Leftists: "We learn from history that we do not learn from history". And he captured the Left in this saying too: "Evil resides in the very gaze which perceives Evil all around itself".

"A man who is not a socialist at age 20 has no heart; A man who is still a socialist at age 30 has no head". Who said that? Most people attribute it to Winston but as far as I can tell it was first said by Georges Clemenceau, French Premier in WWI -- whose own career approximated the transition concerned. And he in turn was probably updating an earlier saying about monarchy versus Republicanism by Guizot. Other attributions here. There is in fact a normal drift from Left to Right as people get older. Both Reagan and Churchill started out as liberals

Funny how to the Leftist intelligentsia poor blacks are 'oppressed' and poor whites are 'trash'. Racism, anyone?

MESSAGE to Leftists: Even if you killed all conservatives tomorrow, you would just end up in another Soviet Union. Conservatives are all that stand between you and that dismal fate. And you may not even survive at all. Stalin killed off all the old Bolsheviks.

A Conservative manifesto from England -- The inimitable Jacob Rees-Mogg


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)

Just the name of Hitler's political party should be sufficient to reject the claim that Hitler was "Right wing" but Leftists sometimes retort that the name "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" is not informative, in that it is the name of a dismal Stalinist tyranny. But "People's Republic" is a normal name for a Communist country whereas I know of no conservative political party that calls itself a "Socialist Worker's Party". Such parties are in fact usually of the extreme Left (Trotskyite etc.)

Most people find the viciousness of the Nazis to be incomprehensible -- for instance what they did in their concentration camps. But you just have to read a little of the vileness that pours out from modern-day "liberals" in their Twitter and blog comments to understand it all very well. Leftists haven't changed. They are still boiling with hate

Hatred as a motivating force for political strategy leads to misguided ­decisions. “Hatred is blind,” as Alexandre Dumas warned, “rage carries you away; and he who pours out vengeance runs the risk of tasting a bitter draught.”

Who said this in 1968? "I am not, and never have been, a man of the right. My position was on the Left and is now in the centre of politics". It was Sir Oswald Mosley, founder and leader of the British Union of Fascists

The term "Fascism" is mostly used by the Left as a brainless term of abuse. But when they do make a serious attempt to define it, they produce very complex and elaborate definitions -- e.g. here and here. In fact, Fascism is simply extreme socialism plus nationalism. But great gyrations are needed to avoid mentioning the first part of that recipe, of course.

Three examples of Leftist racism below (much more here and here):

Jesse Owens, the African-American hero of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, said "Hitler didn't snub me – it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn't even send me a telegram." Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt never even invited the quadruple gold medal-winner to the White House

Beatrice Webb, a founder of the London School of Economics and the Fabian Society, and married to a Labour MP, mused in 1922 on whether when English children were "dying from lack of milk", one should extend "the charitable impulse" to Russian and Chinese children who, if saved this year, might anyway die next. Besides, she continued, there was "the larger question of whether those races are desirable inhabitants" and "obviously" one wouldn't "spend one's available income" on "a Central African negro".

Hugh Dalton, offered the Colonial Office during Attlee's 1945-51 Labour government, turned it down because "I had a horrid vision of pullulating, poverty stricken, diseased nigger communities, for whom one can do nothing in the short run and who, the more one tries to help them, are querulous and ungrateful."

The Zimmerman case is an excellent proof that the Left is deep-down racist

Defensible and indefensible usages of the term "racism"

The book, The authoritarian personality, authored by T.W. Adorno et al. in 1950, has been massively popular among psychologists. It claims that a set of ideas that were popular in the "Progressive"-dominated America of the prewar era were "authoritarian". Leftist regimes always are authoritarian so that claim was not a big problem. What was quite amazing however is that Adorno et al. identified such ideas as "conservative". They were in fact simply popular ideas of the day but ones that had been most heavily promoted by the Left right up until the then-recent WWII. See here for details of prewar "Progressive" thinking.

Leftist psychologists have an amusingly simplistic conception of military organizations and military men. They seem to base it on occasions they have seen troops marching together on parade rather than any real knowledge of military men and the military life. They think that military men are "rigid" -- automatons who are unable to adjust to new challenges or think for themselves. What is incomprehensible to them is that being kadaver gehorsam (to use the extreme Prussian term for following orders) actually requires great flexibility -- enough flexibility to put your own ideas and wishes aside and do something very difficult. Ask any soldier if all commands are easy to obey.

It would be very easy for me to say that I am too much of an individual for the army but I did in fact join the army and enjoy it greatly, as most men do. In my observation, ALL army men are individuals. It is just that they accept discipline in order to be militarily efficient -- which is the whole point of the exercise. But that's too complex for simplistic Leftist thinking, of course

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a war criminal. Both British and American codebreakers had cracked the Japanese naval code so FDR knew what was coming at Pearl Harbor. But for his own political reasons he warned no-one there. So responsibility for the civilian and military deaths at Pearl Harbor lies with FDR as well as with the Japanese. The huge firepower available at Pearl Harbor, both aboard ship and on land, could have largely neutered the attack. Can you imagine 8 battleships and various lesser craft firing all their AA batteries as the Japanese came in? The Japanese naval airforce would have been annihilated and the war would have been over before it began.

FDR prolonged the Depression. He certainly didn't cure it.

WWII did NOT end the Great Depression. It just concealed it. It in fact made living standards worse

FDR appointed a known KKK member, Hugo Black, to the Supreme Court

Joe McCarthy was eventually proved right after the fall of the Soviet Union. To accuse anyone of McCarthyism is to accuse them of accuracy!

The KKK was intimately associated with the Democratic party. They ATTACKED Republicans!

High Level of Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrants in the USA. Low skill immigrants receive 4 to 5 dollars of benefits for every dollar in taxes paid

People who mention differences in black vs. white IQ are these days almost universally howled down and subjected to the most extreme abuse. I am a psychometrician, however, so I feel obliged to defend the scientific truth of the matter: The average African adult has about the same IQ as an average white 11-year-old and African Americans (who are partly white in ancestry) average out at a mental age of 14. The American Psychological Association is generally Left-leaning but it is the world's most prestigious body of academic psychologists. And even they have had to concede that sort of gap (one SD) in black vs. white average IQ. 11-year olds can do a lot of things but they also have their limits and there are times when such limits need to be allowed for.

The association between high IQ and long life is overwhelmingly genetic: "In the combined sample the genetic contribution to the covariance was 95%"

The Dark Ages were not dark

Judged by his deeds, Abraham Lincoln was one of the bloodiest villains ever to walk the Earth. See here. And: America's uncivil war was caused by trade protectionism. The slavery issue was just camouflage, as Abraham Lincoln himself admitted. See also here

At the beginning of the North/South War, Confederate general Robert E. Lee did not own any slaves. Union General Ulysses L. Grant did.

Was slavery already washed up by the tides of history before Lincoln took it on? Eric Williams in his book "Capitalism and Slavery" tells us: “The commercial capitalism of the eighteenth century developed the wealth of Europe by means of slavery and monopoly. But in so doing it helped to create the industrial capitalism of the nineteenth century, which turned round and destroyed the power of commercial capitalism, slavery, and all its works. Without a grasp of these economic changes the history of the period is meaningless.”

Did William Zantzinger kill poor Hattie Carroll?

Did Bismarck predict where WWI would start or was it just a "free" translation by Churchill?

Conrad Black on the Declaration of Independence

Malcolm Gladwell: "There is more of reality and wisdom in a Chinese fortune cookie than can be found anywhere in Gladwell’s pages"

Some people are born bad -- confirmed by genetics research

The dark side of American exceptionalism: America could well be seen as the land of folly. It fought two unnecessary civil wars, would have done well to keep out of two world wars, endured the extraordinary folly of Prohibition and twice elected a traitor President -- Barack Obama. That America remains a good place to be is a tribute to the energy and hard work of individual Americans.

“From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time.” ? Friedrich Hayek, The Constitution Of Liberty


The 10 "cannots" (By William J. H. Boetcker) that Leftist politicians ignore:
*You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
* You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
* You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
* You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
* You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
* You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
* You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
* You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
* You cannot build character and courage by destroying men's initiative and independence.
* And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

A good short definition of conservative: "One who wants you to keep your hand out of his pocket."

Beware of good intentions. They mostly lead to coercion

A gargantuan case of hubris, coupled with stunning level of ignorance about how the real world works, is the essence of progressivism.

The U.S. Constitution is neither "living" nor dead. It is fixed until it is amended. But amending it is the privilege of the people, not of politicians or judges

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong - Thomas Sowell

Leftists think that utopia can be coerced into existence -- so no dishonesty or brutality is beyond them in pursuit of that "noble" goal

"England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution" -- George Orwell

Was 16th century science pioneer Paracelsus a libertarian? His motto was "Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest" which means "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself."

"When using today's model of society as a rule, most of history will be found to be full of oppression, bias, and bigotry." What today's arrogant judges of history fail to realize is that they, too, will be judged. What will Americans of 100 years from now make of, say, speech codes, political correctness, and zero tolerance - to name only three? Assuming, of course, there will still be an America that we, today, would recognize. Given the rogue Federal government spy apparatus, I am not at all sure of that. -- Paul Havemann

Economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973): "The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office."

It's the shared hatred of the rest of us that unites Islamists and the Left.

American liberals don't love America. They despise it. All they love is their own fantasy of what America could become. They are false patriots.

The Democratic Party: Con-men elected by the ignorant and the arrogant

The Democratic Party is a strange amalgam of elites, would-be elites and minorities. No wonder their policies are so confused and irrational

Why are conservatives more at ease with religion? Because it is basic to conservatism that some things are unknowable, and religious people have to accept that too. Leftists think that they know it all and feel threatened by any exceptions to that. Thinking that you know it all is however the pride that comes before a fall.

The characteristic emotion of the Leftist is not envy. It's rage

Leftists are committed to grievance, not truth

The British Left poured out a torrent of hate for Margaret Thatcher on the occasion of her death. She rescued Britain from chaos and restored Britain's prosperity. What's not to hate about that?

Something you didn't know about Margaret Thatcher

The world's dumbest investor? Without doubt it is Uncle Sam. Nobody anywhere could rival the scale of the losses on "investments" made under the Obama administration

"Behind the honeyed but patently absurd pleas for equality is a ruthless drive for placing themselves (the elites) at the top of a new hierarchy of power" -- Murray Rothbard - Egalitarianism and the Elites (1995)

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. -- G. Gordon Liddy

"World socialism as a whole, and all the figures associated with it, are shrouded in legend; its contradictions are forgotten or concealed; it does not respond to arguments but continually ignores them--all this stems from the mist of irrationality that surrounds socialism and from its instinctive aversion to scientific analysis... The doctrines of socialism seethe with contradictions, its theories are at constant odds with its practice, yet due to a powerful instinct these contradictions do not in the least hinder the unending propaganda of socialism. Indeed, no precise, distinct socialism even exists; instead there is only a vague, rosy notion of something noble and good, of equality, communal ownership, and justice: the advent of these things will bring instant euphoria and a social order beyond reproach." -- Solzhenitsyn

"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." -- Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NIV)

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. -- Thomas Jefferson

"Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power" -- Bertrand Russell

Evan Sayet: The Left sides "...invariably with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success." (t=5:35+ on video)

The Republicans are the gracious side of American politics. It is the Democrats who are the nasty party, the haters

Wanting to stay out of the quarrels of other nations is conservative -- but conservatives will fight if attacked or seriously endangered. Anglo/Irish statesman Lord Castlereagh (1769-1822), who led the political coalition that defeated Napoleon, was an isolationist, as were traditional American conservatives.

Some wisdom from the past: "The bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent and respectable stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment." —George Washington, 1783

Some useful definitions:

If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one. If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat. If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.
If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels. Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.
If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church. A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced. (Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)
If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

There is better evidence for creation than there is for the Leftist claim that “gender” is a “social construct”. Most Leftist claims seem to be faith-based rather than founded on the facts

Leftists are classic weak characters. They dish out abuse by the bucketload but cannot take it when they get it back. Witness the Loughner hysteria.

Death taxes: You would expect a conscientious person, of whatever degree of intelligence, to reflect on the strange contradiction involved in denying people the right to unearned wealth, while supporting programs that give people unearned wealth.

America is no longer the land of the free. It is now the land of the regulated -- though it is not alone in that, of course

The Leftist motto: "I love humanity. It's just people I can't stand"

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

Envy is a strong and widespread human emotion so there has alway been widespread support for policies of economic "levelling". Both the USA and the modern-day State of Israel were founded by communists but reality taught both societies that respect for the individual gave much better outcomes than levelling ideas. Sadly, there are many people in both societies in whom hatred for others is so strong that they are incapable of respect for the individual. The destructiveness of what they support causes them to call themselves many names in different times and places but they are the backbone of the political Left

Gore Vidal: "Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little". Vidal was of course a Leftist

The large number of rich Leftists suggests that, for them, envy is secondary. They are directly driven by hatred and scorn for many of the other people that they see about them. Hatred of others can be rooted in many things, not only in envy. But the haters come together as the Left. Some evidence here showing that envy is not what defines the Left

Leftists hate the world around them and want to change it: the people in it most particularly. Conservatives just want to be left alone to make their own decisions and follow their own values.

The failure of the Soviet experiment has definitely made the American Left more vicious and hate-filled than they were. The plain failure of what passed for ideas among them has enraged rather than humbled them.

Ronald Reagan famously observed that the status quo is Latin for “the mess we’re in.” So much for the vacant Leftist claim that conservatives are simply defenders of the status quo. They think that conservatives are as lacking in principles as they are.

Was Confucius a conservative? The following saying would seem to reflect good conservative caution: "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved."

The shallow thinkers of the Left sometimes claim that conservatives want to impose their own will on others in the matter of abortion. To make that claim is however to confuse religion with politics. Conservatives are in fact divided about their response to abortion. The REAL opposition to abortion is religious rather than political. And the church which has historically tended to support the LEFT -- the Roman Catholic church -- is the most fervent in the anti-abortion cause. Conservatives are indeed the one side of politics to have moral qualms on the issue but they tend to seek a middle road in dealing with it. Taking the issue to the point of legal prohibitions is a religious doctrine rather than a conservative one -- and the religion concerned may or may not be characteristically conservative. More on that here

Some Leftist hatred arises from the fact that they blame "society" for their own personal problems and inadequacies

The Leftist hunger for change to the society that they hate leads to a hunger for control over other people. And they will do and say anything to get that control: "Power at any price". Leftist politicians are mostly self-aggrandizing crooks who gain power by deceiving the uninformed with snake-oil promises -- power which they invariably use to destroy. Destruction is all that they are good at. Destruction is what haters do.

Leftists are consistent only in their hate. They don't have principles. How can they when "there is no such thing as right and wrong"? All they have is postures, pretend-principles that can be changed as easily as one changes one's shirt

A Leftist assumption: Making money doesn't entitle you to it, but wanting money does.

"Politicians never accuse you of 'greed' for wanting other people's money -- only for wanting to keep your own money." --columnist Joe Sobran (1946-2010)

Leftist policies are candy-coated rat poison that may appear appealing at first, but inevitably do a lot of damage to everyone impacted by them.

A tribute and thanks to Mary Jo Kopechne. Her death was reprehensible but she probably did more by her death that she ever would have in life: She spared the world a President Ted Kennedy. That the heap of corruption that was Ted Kennedy died peacefully in his bed is one of the clearest demonstrations that we do not live in a just world. Even Joe Stalin seems to have been smothered to death by Nikita Khrushchev

I often wonder why Leftists refer to conservatives as "wingnuts". A wingnut is a very useful device that adds versatility wherever it is used. Clearly, Leftists are not even good at abuse. Once they have accused their opponents of racism and Nazism, their cupboard is bare. Similarly, Leftists seem to think it is a devastating critique to refer to "Worldnet Daily" as "Worldnut Daily". The poverty of their argumentation is truly pitiful

The Leftist assertion that there is no such thing as right and wrong has a distinguished history. It was Pontius Pilate who said "What is truth?" (John 18:38). From a Christian viewpoint, the assertion is undoubtedly the Devil's gospel

Even in the Old Testament they knew about "Postmodernism": "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

Was Solomon the first conservative? "The hearts of men are full of evil and madness is in their hearts" -- Ecclesiastes: 9:3 (RSV). He could almost have been talking about Global Warming.

Leftist hatred of Christianity goes back as far as the massacre of the Carmelite nuns during the French revolution. Yancey has written a whole book tabulating modern Leftist hatred of Christians. It is a rival religion to Leftism.

"If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action." - Ludwig von Mises

The naive scholar who searches for a consistent Leftist program will not find it. What there is consists only in the negation of the present.

Because of their need to be different from the mainstream, Leftists are very good at pretending that sow's ears are silk purses

Among intelligent people, Leftism is a character defect. Leftists HATE success in others -- which is why notably successful societies such as the USA and Israel are hated and failures such as the Palestinians can do no wrong.

A Leftist's beliefs are all designed to pander to his ego. So when you have an argument with a Leftist, you are not really discussing the facts. You are threatening his self esteem. Which is why the normal Leftist response to challenge is mere abuse.

Because of the fragility of a Leftist's ego, anything that threatens it is intolerable and provokes rage. So most Leftist blogs can be summarized in one sentence: "How DARE anybody question what I believe!". Rage and abuse substitute for an appeal to facts and reason.

Because their beliefs serve their ego rather than reality, Leftists just KNOW what is good for us. Conservatives need evidence.

Absolute certainty is the privilege of uneducated men and fanatics. -- C.J. Keyser

Hell is paved with good intentions" -- Boswell's Life of Johnson of 1775

"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus


"Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him" (Proverbs 26: 12). I think that sums up Leftists pretty well.

Eminent British astrophysicist Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington is often quoted as saying: "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine." It was probably in fact said by his contemporary, J.B.S. Haldane. But regardless of authorship, it could well be a conservative credo not only about the cosmos but also about human beings and human society. Mankind is too complex to be summed up by simple rules and even complex rules are only approximations with many exceptions.

Politics is the only thing Leftists know about. They know nothing of economics, history or business. Their only expertise is in promoting feelings of grievance

Socialism makes the individual the slave of the state -- capitalism frees them.

Many readers here will have noticed that what I say about Leftists sometimes sounds reminiscent of what Leftists say about conservatives. There is an excellent reason for that. Leftists are great "projectors" (people who see their own faults in others). So a good first step in finding out what is true of Leftists is to look at what they say about conservatives! They even accuse conservatives of projection (of course).

The research shows clearly that one's Left/Right stance is strongly genetically inherited but nobody knows just what specifically is inherited. What is inherited that makes people Leftist or Rightist? There is any amount of evidence that personality traits are strongly genetically inherited so my proposal is that hard-core Leftists are people who tend to let their emotions (including hatred and envy) run away with them and who are much more in need of seeing themselves as better than others -- two attributes that are probably related to one another. Such Leftists may be an evolutionary leftover from a more primitive past.

Leftists seem to believe that if someone like Al Gore says it, it must be right. They obviously have a strong need for an authority figure. The fact that the two most authoritarian regimes of the 20th century (Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia) were socialist is thus no surprise. Leftists often accuse conservatives of being "authoritarian" but that is just part of their usual "projective" strategy -- seeing in others what is really true of themselves.

"With their infernal racial set-asides, racial quotas, and race norming, liberals share many of the Klan's premises. The Klan sees the world in terms of race and ethnicity. So do liberals! Indeed, liberals and white supremacists are the only people left in America who are neurotically obsessed with race. Conservatives champion a color-blind society" -- Ann Coulter

Politicians are in general only a little above average in intelligence so the idea that they can make better decisions for us that we can make ourselves is laughable

A quote from the late Dr. Adrian Rogers: "You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

The Supreme Court of the United States is now and always has been a judicial abomination. Its guiding principles have always been political rather than judicial. It is not as political as Stalin's courts but its respect for the constitution is little better. Some recent abuses: The "equal treatment" provision of the 14th amendment was specifically written to outlaw racial discrimination yet the court has allowed various forms of "affirmative action" for decades -- when all such policies should have been completely stuck down immediately. The 2nd. amendment says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed yet gun control laws infringe it in every State in the union. The 1st amendment provides that speech shall be freely exercised yet the court has upheld various restrictions on the financing and display of political advertising. The court has found a right to abortion in the constitution when the word abortion is not even mentioned there. The court invents rights that do not exist and denies rights that do.

"Some action that is unconstitutional has much to recommend it" -- Elena Kagan, nominated to SCOTUS by Obama

Frank Sulloway, the anti-scientist

The basic aim of all bureaucrats is to maximize their funding and minimize their workload

A lesson in Australian: When an Australian calls someone a "big-noter", he is saying that the person is a chronic and rather pathetic seeker of admiration -- as in someone who often pulls out "big notes" (e.g. $100.00 bills) to pay for things, thus endeavouring to create the impression that he is rich. The term describes the mentality rather than the actual behavior with money and it aptly describes many Leftists. When they purport to show "compassion" by advocating things that cost themselves nothing (e.g. advocating more taxes on "the rich" to help "the poor"), an Australian might say that the Leftist is "big-noting himself". There is an example of the usage here. The term conveys contempt. There is a wise description of Australians generally here

Some ancient wisdom for Leftists: "Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself over wise: Why shouldest thou die before thy time?" -- Ecclesiastes 7:16

Jesse Jackson: "There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery -- then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved." There ARE important racial differences.

Some Jimmy Carter wisdom: "I think it's inevitable that there will be a lower standard of living than what everybody had always anticipated," he told advisers in 1979. "there's going to be a downward turning."

Heritage is what survives death: Very rare and hence very valuable

Big business is not your friend. As Adam Smith said: "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty or justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary

How can I accept the Communist doctrine, which sets up as its bible, above and beyond criticism, an obsolete textbook which I know not only to be scientifically erroneous but without interest or application to the modern world? How can I adopt a creed which, preferring the mud to the fish, exalts the boorish proletariat above the bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia, who with all their faults, are the quality of life and surely carry the seeds of all human achievement? Even if we need a religion, how can we find it in the turbid rubbish of the red bookshop? It is hard for an educated, decent, intelligent son of Western Europe to find his ideals here, unless he has first suffered some strange and horrid process of conversion which has changed all his values. -- John Maynard Keynes

Some wisdom from "Bron" Waugh: "The purpose of politics is to help them [politicians] overcome these feelings of inferiority and compensate for their personal inadequacies in the pursuit of power"

"There are countless horrible things happening all over the country, and horrible people prospering, but we must never allow them to disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to sabotage and annoy them whenever possible"

The urge to pass new laws must be seen as an illness, not much different from the urge to bite old women. Anyone suspected of suffering from it should either be treated with the appropriate pills or, if it is too late for that, elected to Parliament [or Congress, as the case may be] and paid a huge salary with endless holidays, to do nothing whatever"

"It is my settled opinion, after some years as a political correspondent, that no one is attracted to a political career in the first place unless he is socially or emotionally crippled"

Two lines below of a famous hymn that would be incomprehensible to Leftists today ("honor"? "right"? "freedom?" Freedom to agree with them is the only freedom they believe in)

First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean

It is of course the hymn of the USMC -- still today the relentless warriors that they always were. Freedom needs a soldier

If any of the short observations above about Leftism seem wrong, note that they do not stand alone. The evidence for them is set out at great length in my MONOGRAPH on Leftism.

3 memoirs of "Supermac", a 20th century Disraeli (Aristocratic British Conservative Prime Minister -- 1957 to 1963 -- Harold Macmillan):

"It breaks my heart to see (I can't interfere or do anything at my age) what is happening in our country today - this terrible strike of the best men in the world, who beat the Kaiser's army and beat Hitler's army, and never gave in. Pointless, endless. We can't afford that kind of thing. And then this growing division which the noble Lord who has just spoken mentioned, of a comparatively prosperous south, and an ailing north and midlands. That can't go on." -- Mac on the British working class: "the best men in the world" (From his Maiden speech in the House of Lords, 13 November 1984)

"As a Conservative, I am naturally in favour of returning into private ownership and private management all those means of production and distribution which are now controlled by state capitalism"

During Macmillan's time as prime minister, average living standards steadily rose while numerous social reforms were carried out

"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see." --?Arthur Schopenhauer


The Bible is an Israeli book

There is a view on both Left and Right that Jews are "too" influential. And it is true that they are more influential than their numbers would indicate. But they are exactly as influential as their IQs would indicate

To me, hostility to the Jews is a terrible tragedy. I weep for them at times. And I do literally put my money where my mouth is. I do at times send money to Israeli charities

My (Gentile) opinion of antisemitism: The Jews are the best we've got so killing them is killing us.

"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" -- Genesis 12:3

"O pray for the peace of Jerusalem: They shall prosper that love thee" Psalm 122:6.

If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy -- Psalm 137 (NIV)

Israel, like the Jews throughout history, is hated not for her vices but her virtues. Israel is hated, as the United States is hated, because Israel is successful, because Israel is free, and because Israel is good. As Maxim Gorky put it: “Whatever nonsense the anti-Semites may talk, they dislike the Jew only because he is obviously better, more adroit, and more willing and capable of work than they are.” Whether driven by culture or genes—or like most behavior, an inextricable mix—the fact of Jewish genius is demonstrable." -- George Gilder

To Leftist haters, all the basic rules of liberal society — rejection of hate speech, commitment to academic freedom, rooting out racism, the absolute commitment to human dignity — go out the window when the subject is Israel.

I have always liked the story of Gideon (See Judges chapters 6 to 8) and it is surely no surprise that in the present age Israel is the Gideon of nations: Few in numbers but big in power and impact.

Is the Israel Defence Force the most effective military force per capita since Genghis Khan? They probably are but they are also the most ethically advanced military force that the world has ever seen

If I were not an atheist, I would believe that God had a sense of humour. He gave his chosen people (the Jews) enormous advantages -- high intelligence and high drive -- but to keep it fair he deprived them of something hugely important too: Political sense. So Jews to this day tend very strongly to be Leftist -- even though the chief source of antisemitism for roughly the last 200 years has been the political Left!

And the other side of the coin is that Jews tend to despise conservatives and Christians. Yet American fundamentalist Christians are the bedrock of the vital American support for Israel, the ultimate bolthole for all Jews. So Jewish political irrationality seems to be a rather good example of the saying that "The LORD giveth and the LORD taketh away". There are many other examples of such perversity (or "balance"). The sometimes severe side-effects of most pharmaceutical drugs is an obvious one but there is another ethnic example too, a rather amusing one. Chinese people are in general smart and patient people but their rate of traffic accidents in China is about 10 times higher than what prevails in Western societies. They are brilliant mathematicians and fearless business entrepreneurs but at the same time bad drivers!

Conservatives, on the other hand, could be antisemitic on entirely rational grounds: Namely, the overwhelming Leftism of the Diaspora Jewish population as a whole. Because they judge the individual, however, only a tiny minority of conservative-oriented people make such general judgments. The longer Jews continue on their "stiff-necked" course, however, the more that is in danger of changing. The children of Israel have been a stiff necked people since the days of Moses, however, so they will no doubt continue to vote with their emotions rather than their reason.

I despair of the ADL. Jews have enough problems already and yet in the ADL one has a prominent Jewish organization that does its best to make itself offensive to Christians. Their Leftism is more important to them than the welfare of Jewry -- which is the exact opposite of what they ostensibly stand for! Jewish cleverness seems to vanish when politics are involved. Fortunately, Christians are true to their saviour and have loving hearts. Jewish dissatisfaction with the myopia of the ADL is outlined here. Note that Foxy was too grand to reply to it.

Fortunately for America, though, liberal Jews there are rapidly dying out through intermarriage and failure to reproduce. And the quite poisonous liberal Jews of Israel are not much better off. Judaism is slowly returning to Orthodoxy and the Orthodox tend to be conservative.

The above is good testimony to the accuracy of the basic conservative insight that almost anything in human life is too complex to be reduced to any simple rule and too complex to be reduced to any rule at all without allowance for important exceptions to the rule concerned

Amid their many virtues, one virtue is often lacking among Jews in general and Israelis in particular: Humility. And that's an antisemitic comment only if Hashem is antisemitic. From Moses on, the Hebrew prophets repeatedy accused the Israelites of being "stiff-necked" and urged them to repent. So it's no wonder that the greatest Jewish prophet of all -- Jesus -- not only urged humility but exemplified it in his life and death

"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here. For roughly two centuries now, antisemitism has, throughout the Western world, been principally associated with Leftism (including the socialist Hitler) -- as it is to this day. See here.

Karl Marx hated just about everyone. Even his father, the kindly Heinrich Marx, thought Karl was not much of a human being

Leftists call their hatred of Israel "Anti-Zionism" but Zionists are only a small minority in Israel

Some of the Leftist hatred of Israel is motivated by old-fashioned antisemitism (beliefs in Jewish "control" etc.) but most of it is just the regular Leftist hatred of success in others. And because the societies they inhabit do not give them the vast amount of recognition that their large but weak egos need, some of the most virulent haters of Israel and America live in those countries. So the hatred is the product of pathologically high self-esteem.

Their threatened egos sometimes drive Leftists into quite desperate flights from reality. For instance, they often call Israel an "Apartheid state" -- when it is in fact the Arab states that practice Apartheid -- witness the severe restrictions on Christians in Saudi Arabia. There are no such restrictions in Israel.

If the Palestinians put down their weapons, there'd be peace. If the Israelis put down their weapons, there'd be genocide.


Many people hunger and thirst after righteousness. Some find it in the hatreds of the Left. Others find it in the love of Christ. I don't hunger and thirst after righteousness at all. I hunger and thirst after truth. How old-fashioned can you get?

The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody. And I have NO investments in oil companies, mining companies or "Big Pharma"

UPDATE: Despite my (statistical) aversion to mining stocks, I have recently bought a few shares in BHP -- the world's biggest miner, I gather. I run the grave risk of becoming a speaker of famous last words for saying this but I suspect that BHP is now so big as to be largely immune from the risks that plague most mining companies. I also know of no issue affecting BHP where my writings would have any relevance. The Left seem to have a visceral hatred of miners. I have never quite figured out why.

I imagine that few of my readers will understand it, but I am an unabashed monarchist. And, as someone who was born and bred in a monarchy and who still lives there (i.e. Australia), that gives me no conflicts at all. In theory, one's respect for the monarchy does not depend on who wears the crown but the impeccable behaviour of the present Queen does of course help perpetuate that respect. Aside from my huge respect for the Queen, however, my favourite member of the Royal family is the redheaded Prince Harry. The Royal family is of course a military family and Prince Harry is a great example of that. As one of the world's most privileged people, he could well be an idle layabout but instead he loves his life in the army. When his girlfriend Chelsy ditched him because he was so often away, Prince Harry said: "I love Chelsy but the army comes first". A perfect military man! I doubt that many women would understand or approve of his attitude but perhaps my own small army background powers my approval of that attitude.

I imagine that most Americans might find this rather mad -- but I believe that a constitutional Monarchy is the best form of government presently available. Can a libertarian be a Monarchist? I think so -- and prominent British libertarian Sean Gabb seems to think so too! Long live the Queen! (And note that Australia ranks well above the USA on the Index of Economic freedom. Heh!)

The Australian flag with the Union Jack quartered in it

Throughout Europe there is an association between monarchism and conservatism. It is a little sad that American conservatives do not have access to that satisfaction. So even though Australia is much more distant from Europe (geographically) than the USA is, Australia is in some ways more of an outpost of Europe than America is! Mind you: Australia is not very atypical of its region. Australia lies just South of Asia -- and both Japan and Thailand have greatly respected monarchies. And the demise of the Cambodian monarchy was disastrous for Cambodia

Throughout the world today, possession of a U.S. or U.K. passport is greatly valued. I once shared that view. Developments in recent years have however made me profoundly grateful that I am a 5th generation Australian. My Australian passport is a door into a much less oppressive and much less messed-up place than either the USA or Britain

Following the Sotomayor precedent, I would hope that a wise older white man such as myself with the richness of that experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than someone who hasn’t lived that life.

IQ and ideology: Most academics are Left-leaning. Why? Because very bright people who have balls go into business, while very bright people with no balls go into academe. I did both with considerable success, which makes me a considerable rarity. Although I am a born academic, I have always been good with money too. My share portfolio even survived the GFC in good shape. The academics hate it that bright people with balls make more money than them.

I have no hesitation in saying that the single book which has influenced me most is the New Testament. And my Scripture blog will show that I know whereof I speak. Some might conclude that I must therefore be a very confused sort of atheist but I can assure everyone that I do not feel the least bit confused. The New Testament is a lighthouse that has illumined the thinking of all sorts of men and women and I am deeply grateful that it has shone on me.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age. Conservatism is in touch with reality. Leftism is not.

I imagine that the RD are still sending mailouts to my 1950s address

Most teenagers have sporting and movie posters on their bedroom walls. At age 14 I had a map of Taiwan on my wall.

"Remind me never to get this guy mad at me" -- Instapundit

It seems to be a common view that you cannot talk informatively about a country unless you have been there. I completely reject that view but it is nonetheless likely that some Leftist dimbulb will at some stage aver that any comments I make about politics and events in the USA should not be heeded because I am an Australian who has lived almost all his life in Australia. I am reluctant to pander to such ignorance in the era of the "global village" but for the sake of the argument I might mention that I have visited the USA 3 times -- spending enough time in Los Angeles and NYC to get to know a fair bit about those places at least. I did however get outside those places enough to realize that they are NOT America.

"Intellectual" = Leftist dreamer. I have more publications in the academic journals than almost all "public intellectuals" but I am never called an intellectual and nor would I want to be. Call me a scholar or an academic, however, and I will accept either as a just and earned appellation

A small personal note: I have always been very self-confident. I inherited it from my mother, along with my skeptical nature. So I don't need to feed my self-esteem by claiming that I am wiser than others -- which is what Leftists do.

As with conservatives generally, it bothers me not a bit to admit to large gaps in my knowledge and understanding. For instance, I don't know if the slight global warming of the 20th century will resume in the 21st, though I suspect not. And I don't know what a "healthy" diet is, if there is one. Constantly-changing official advice on the matter suggests that nobody knows

Leftists are usually just anxious little people trying to pretend that they are significant. No doubt there are some Leftists who are genuinely concerned about inequities in our society but their arrogance lies in thinking that they understand it without close enquiry

My academic background

My full name is Dr. John Joseph RAY. I am a former university teacher aged 65 at the time of writing in 2009. I was born of Australian pioneer stock in 1943 at Innisfail in the State of Queensland in Australia. I trace my ancestry wholly to the British Isles. After an early education at Innisfail State Rural School and Cairns State High School, I taught myself for matriculation. I took my B.A. in Psychology from the University of Queensland in Brisbane. I then moved to Sydney (in New South Wales, Australia) and took my M.A. in psychology from the University of Sydney in 1969 and my Ph.D. from the School of Behavioural Sciences at Macquarie University in 1974. I first tutored in psychology at Macquarie University and then taught sociology at the University of NSW. My doctorate is in psychology but I taught mainly sociology in my 14 years as a university teacher. In High Schools I taught economics. I have taught in both traditional and "progressive" (low discipline) High Schools. Fuller biographical notes here

I completed the work for my Ph.D. at the end of 1970 but the degree was not awarded until 1974 -- due to some academic nastiness from Seymour Martin Lipset and Fred Emery. A conservative or libertarian who makes it through the academic maze has to be at least twice as good as the average conformist Leftist. Fortunately, I am a born academic.

Despite my great sympathy and respect for Christianity, I am the most complete atheist you could find. I don't even believe that the word "God" is meaningful. I am not at all original in that view, of course. Such views are particularly associated with the noted German philosopher Rudolf Carnap. Unlike Carnap, however, none of my wives have committed suicide

Very occasionally in my writings I make reference to the greats of analytical philosophy such as Carnap and Wittgenstein. As philosophy is a heavily Leftist discipline however, I have long awaited an attack from some philosopher accusing me of making coat-trailing references not backed by any real philosophical erudition. I suppose it is encouraging that no such attacks have eventuated but I thought that I should perhaps forestall them anyway -- by pointing out that in my younger days I did complete three full-year courses in analytical philosophy (at 3 different universities!) and that I have had papers on mainstream analytical philosophy topics published in academic journals

As well as being an academic, I am an army man and I am pleased and proud to say that I have worn my country's uniform. Although my service in the Australian army was chiefly noted for its un-notability, I DID join voluntarily in the Vietnam era, I DID reach the rank of Sergeant, and I DID volunteer for a posting in Vietnam. So I think I may be forgiven for saying something that most army men think but which most don't say because they think it is too obvious: The profession of arms is the noblest profession of all because it is the only profession where you offer to lay down your life in performing your duties. Our men fought so that people could say and think what they like but I myself always treat military men with great respect -- respect which in my view is simply their due.

A real army story here

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day and there is JUST ONE saying of Hitler's that I rather like. It may not even be original to him but it is found in chapter 2 of Mein Kampf (published in 1925): "Widerstaende sind nicht da, dass man vor ihnen kapituliert, sondern dass man sie bricht". The equivalent English saying is "Difficulties exist to be overcome" and that traces back at least to the 1920s -- with attributions to Montessori and others. Hitler's metaphor is however one of smashing barriers rather than of politely hopping over them and I am myself certainly more outspoken than polite. Hitler's colloquial Southern German is notoriously difficult to translate but I think I can manage a reasonable translation of that saying: "Resistance is there not for us to capitulate to but for us to break". I am quite sure that I don't have anything like that degree of determination in my own life but it seems to me to be a good attitude in general anyway

I have used many sites to post my writings over the years and many have gone bad on me for various reasons. So if you click on a link here to my other writings you may get a "page not found" response if the link was put up some time before the present. All is not lost, however. All my writings have been reposted elsewhere. If you do strike a failed link, just take the filename (the last part of the link) and add it to the address of any of my current home pages and -- Voila! -- you should find the article concerned.

COMMENTS: I have gradually added comments facilities to all my blogs. The comments I get are interesting. They are mostly from Leftists and most consist either of abuse or mere assertions. Reasoned arguments backed up by references to supporting evidence are almost unheard of from Leftists. Needless to say, I just delete such useless comments.

You can email me here (Hotmail address). In emailing me, you can address me as "John", "Jon", "Dr. Ray" or "JR" and that will be fine -- but my preference is for "JR" -- and that preference has NOTHING to do with an American soap opera that featured a character who was referred to in that way


"Tongue Tied"
"Dissecting Leftism"
"Australian Politics"
"Education Watch International"
"Political Correctness Watch"
"Greenie Watch"
Western Heart


"Marx & Engels in their own words"
"A scripture blog"
"Some memoirs"
To be continued ....
Coral reef compendium.
Queensland Police
Australian Police News
Paralipomena (3)
Of Interest
Dagmar Schellenberger
My alternative Wikipedia


"Food & Health Skeptic"
"Eye on Britain"
"Immigration Watch International".
"Leftists as Elitists"
Socialized Medicine
QANTAS -- A dying octopus
BRIAN LEITER (Ladderman)
Obama Watch
Obama Watch (2)
Dissecting Leftism -- Large font site
Michael Darby
Paralipomena (2)
AGL -- A bumbling monster
Telstra/Bigpond follies
Optus bungling
Vodafrauds (vodafone)
Bank of Queensland blues

There are also two blogspot blogs which record what I think are my main recent articles here and here. Similar content can be more conveniently accessed via my subject-indexed list of short articles here or here (I rarely write long articles these days)

Some more useful links

Alt archives for "Dissecting Leftism" here or here
Longer Academic Papers
Johnray links
Academic home page
Academic Backup Page
General Backup
General Backup 2

Selected reading



Rightism defined
Leftist Churches
Leftist Racism
Fascism is Leftist
Hitler a socialist
Leftism is authoritarian
James on Leftism
Irbe on Leftism
Beltt on Leftism
Van Hiel
Pyszczynski et al.

Cautionary blogs about big Australian organizations:

Bank of Queensland
Queensland Police
Australian police news
QANTAS, a dying octopus

Main academic menu
Menu of recent writings
basic home page
Pictorial Home Page
Selected pictures from blogs (Backup here)
Another picture page (Best with broadband. Rarely updated)

Note: If the link to one of my articles is not working, the article concerned can generally be viewed by prefixing to the filename the following:

OR: (After 2015)