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, 2018

Flaky Flake makes a nuisance of himself again

He has always hated Trump and wants to protect Mueller from being shut down by Trump. Thank goodness he is out in a couple of weeks.

He has no leverage anyway. The Senate is in GOP hands for the next two years so he doesn't matter. And it would be a grave mistake to let one man rule the roost the way he wants to.  Do that once and others would soon follow.  There would be a bedlam of competing special positions

It reminds me of the doings in Austria's Abgeordnetenhaus (lower house of Parliament) in the early years of the 20th century.  Many of the deputies had strongly held personal views that they would not compromise on, so almost no new laws would get through it. There was such dissatisfaction with the situation that some deputies would ring bells and sound horns in response to things they disagreed with. It was chaos.  It was so disorderly that citizens would sit in on its sessions for entertainment. 

One of those sitters was the young Adolf Hitler. He ensured that nothing like that happened once he took charge

The head of the Senate Judiciary Committee canceled votes on nearly two dozen of President Trump’s judicial nominees.

The move Wednesday evening by Sen. Charles Grassley, Iowa Republican, resulted from a standoff in the panel caused by the refusal of Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona to vote for any judicial picks.

Mr. Flake has said he will oppose all judge nominations unless a bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller gets a floor vote. An effort to force one failed Wednesday.

As a result, the committee’s Thursday business meeting was canceled.



Far Left Judges Starting A New Civil War

The ongoing insurrection against the duly elected government of the United States isn’t being led by the violent Far Left thugs of Antifa, nor is it being led by the political thuggery of power-hungry Democrats on Capitol Hill and in their corrupt urban strongholds – it is being led by black-robed revolutionaries working from federal courthouses, especially in the California-centered Ninth Circuit.

The latest raid on the constitutionalist forces was led by U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar who preemptively prohibited the President from declining to process the asylum claims of aliens who enter the United States illegally.

The Mexican government says it is aiding more than 5,600 migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala on the U.S. border — 2,610 in Tijuana and 2,995 in Mexicali.

Judge Tigar, appointed by President Barack Obama, issued a 37-page ruling that appears to ignore the Supreme Court’s ruling that upheld President Trump’s Executive Order barring travelers from a list of majority-Muslim nations

According to the Washington Post, four Far-Left advocacy groups — the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Al Otro Lado, Innovation Law Lab and Central American Resource Center of Los Angeles — filed suit over the asylum policy hours after the administration issued the new rule in early November.

The order is full of political comments and dicta that render it more of an open borders manifesto than a sober judgement of the legal authorities and precedents that were relied upon in constructing the President’s Executive Orders issued earlier this month.

Tigar’s TRO was the latest in a series of judge-led assaults on presidential authority to defend the United States against the illegal alien invasion and the internal enemies that seek to facilitate it. As the Washington Post noted, federal judges have temporarily blocked President Trump’s efforts to strip funding from ‘sanctuary’ cities and rescind temporary work permits and deportation protections from roughly 1 million illegal aliens who were protected by Obama and thwarted the President’s “zero tolerance” policy that was intended to detain illegal aliens to prevent them from refusing to appear for asylum hearings and simply disappearing into the United States.

Our friend Andrew C. McCarthy, writing for National Review, predicted Tigar’s ruling well before it was issued, writing:

"Therefore, the fact that the administration’s action is entirely reasonable will not matter. No more will it matter that, contrary to numbing media repetition, the rule and proclamation derive from federal statutory law. Nor will it make any difference that, in part, the president is relying on the same sweeping congressional authorization based on which, just four months ago, the Supreme Court affirmed his authority to control the ingress of aliens based on his assessment of national-security needs.

Just two things will matter. The first is that the asylum restrictions represent a Trump policy that reverses Obama policies — specifically, policies of more lax border enforcement, and of ignoring congressionally authorized means of preventing illegal aliens from filing frivolous asylum petitions (with the result that many of them are released, evading further proceedings and deportation). The second is that, precisely to thwart the reversal of Obama policies, President Obama made certain that the vast majority of the 329 federal judges he appointed were progressive activists in the Obama mold.

The media-Democrat complex will tell you this is “the rule of law.” In reality, it is the rule of lawyers: the Lawyer Left on the front line of American decision-making, a line that runs through courtrooms, not Capitol Hill."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called Tigar’s ruling “yet another example of activist judges imposing their open borders policy preferences.”

“This decision will open the floodgates, inviting countless illegal aliens to pour into our country on the American taxpayer’s dime,” she said in a statement. “We will take all necessary action to defend the executive branch’s lawful response to the crisis at our southern border.”

What Andy McCarthy calls “the front line of American decision-making” is no longer decision-making; it is an all-out Civil War with Far-Left activist judges acting as the shock troops of the insurgents.



The rise of the mind-reading left

Imputing the motives of one’s opponents is no way to win an argument.

The Oxford Union faced heavy criticism last week for extending an invitation to Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former chief strategist. When asked to defend the decision, the president of the union, Stephen Horvath, explained that it ‘is only through listening to the opinions of others that we can fully understand those opinions’. This is not only a reasonable and measured response, it also has the advantage of being true.

In an article for the Guardian, Fred Dimbleby attacked the union for its decision, and in doing so exemplified one of the most troubling aspects of the censorial mindset. ‘So why has the Oxford Union invited him?’, asked Dimbleby, a somewhat redundant question given that he had already quoted Horvath’s answer. But Dimbleby apparently knows the ghastly truth: ‘It’s for the excitement. Leaders of the union are titillated by the idea of having someone like Bannon speak at their institution.’

I am less interested in Dimbleby’s fatuous arguments against freedom of speech, and more in what his article reveals about the intellectually defunct approach of so many on the left. Too often we see polemicists attempting to intuit the motives of those with whom they disagree. Speculation would be one thing, but the certainty which they tend to make these assumptions is chilling. Dimbleby’s sixth sense apparently knows no bounds. He shouldn’t be writing articles for the Guardian, he should be vying for Mystic Meg’s job.

Not only does he claim to have a telepathic insight into the minds of the Oxford Union’s standing committee, he also knows for sure that Bannon is a fascist. As far as I am aware, Bannon has never expressed support for imperialism, the violent suppression of political opposition, or a paramilitary coup against the state. Bannon may be a right-wing nationalist with whom I share little ideological common ground, but I also know that to brand him a fascist would be to open myself up to accusations of historical illiteracy.

It is rarely possible nowadays to read an article by a leftist identitarian without the writer at some point divining the secret motives of his or her adversaries. It is the same mentality that has led so many to assume that the Brexit vote was predominantly driven by xenophobia. In a broad poll analysis by the Centre for Social Investigation at the London School of Economics, it was discovered that Leavers were ‘better at characterising Remainers’ reasons than vice versa – something which may be linked to progressives’ greater tendency to disengage from their political opponents’. The findings are depressing, but no great surprise.

After the election of Donald Trump, leftists desperately sought to understand why people had not voted in the ‘correct’ way. It soon became clear that a nuanced discussion of the possibilities was to be rejected in favour of groundless assertions. So we had Suzanne Moore diagnosing the majority of American women as suffering from ‘internalised misogyny’ because they voted Republican. It apparently didn’t cross her mind that there might be women out there who simply do not share her political perspective.

In a similar vein, Laurie Penny decided that Trump won because of ‘white resentment’ born of a frustration that ‘women, migrants and people of colour no longer seem to know their proper place’. When Trump supporters express concern for ‘ordinary people’, Penny tells us, ‘they mean white people’. Few would be foolish enough to deny that there are many individuals whose politics are motivated by prejudice, but this kind of blanket assessment of such a broad contingent of the electorate is hardly a productive tactic.

And last week Carole Cadwalladr, feature writer for the Observer, accused BBC interviewer Andrew Neil of trying to limit her speech by comparing her to the ‘crazy cat woman’ from The Simpsons. Whereas most would surely assume that Neil’s tweet was simply a throwaway barb of the kind one regularly sees on social media, Cadwalladr assures us that it was in fact ‘an attempt to silence’ her, and an exercise in ‘slut-shaming’. If Neil had genuinely intended to slut-shame, one imagines he might have chosen a better example of sexual debauchery than an elderly cartoon woman who keeps cats.

Whenever I read articles of this kind, I am always struck by the sheer sense of certitude on display. Has it ever occurred to the likes of Dimbleby, Moore, Penny and Cadwalladr that they might be wrong? If it has, there is little evidence of it in their work. This kind of rigidity comes when critical thinking is abandoned. To close oneself off to the possibility of alternative opinions, and only to see the world through the lens of confirmation bias, is a form of intellectual death.

Nobody has ever been persuaded to alter their convictions by having them misrepresented. I do not disbelieve these prominent voices on the left when they tell us how frustrated they are at what they perceive to be the rise of the far right. I also have little doubt that their intentions are good, even if their conclusions are bad. But if they are serious about changing minds, it would serve them well to try arguing against their detractors’ actual viewpoints rather than those they imagine them to hold.



Border Patrol Union: Agents Will Use 'Reasonable Force' to Repel 'Invasion'

Hector Garza, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing Border Patrol agents, told Fox News Monday night that agents used great restraint in dealing with rock-and-bottle-throwing migrants in Tijuana on Sunday, as the foreigners tried to storm across the border into the United States.

"This was an assault. This was an invasion on our agents, on our country. And our agents had to respond with a very low level of force, which is the tear gas that was deployed."

The caravan members easily overran the Guatemala-Mexico border, but it won't happen here, Garza said:

These people think that they're going to do the same things they did on the Guatemala-Mexico border, they're wrong. Our agents are properly trained. They are going to be using reasonable force.

And something that they are reporting to us is that these migrants were using these children as human shields as they were launching rocks at our agents. So they had no regard for human life. They did not care about the other migrants; they did not care about the kids. And our agents did a great job by using this tear gas to be able to disperse the crowd.

Now, our agents could have been justified to use a higher level of force, but they did not. They used a very low level of force and they were successful. They did a great job out there.

Garza said it's a "good thing" that President Trump has sent the U.S. military as backup and support for Border Patrol agents.

"But with more caravans on the way, "it is going to get out of control," he said, "and that's why Congress needs to act and we have to make sure we do build that wall so that we can avoid these type of confrontations because people will end up getting hurt.

"Now again, our agents are properly trained and they're going to do the best job that they can out there. But again, these caravans, they need to stop. And we need to do our job and also Mexico needs to do their job as well, helping us on the southern border."



The Left Hysterical Over Border Patrol But Where Were They When Obama Admin Used Pepper Spray On Rock-Throwing Migrants?

The reaction Sunday by the pearl-clutching left and their media allies to the chaotic scene on the southern border could serve as Exhibit A in a case study on hypocrisy, and goes to show that it’s all about politics.

Unless the Obama administration is held to a different standard when setting the precedent for actions taken by the Trump administration.

Hundreds of illegal immigrants from the migrant caravan made a mad rush on the U.S. border, with some becoming violent, attacking Border Patrol agents with rocks. Agents held their ground, fighting back with flash bang grenades and tear gas.

All of which sent Democrats into a frenzy.

And while the rock throwing drew little attention, the media was quick to report on children — who were forced on this perilous journey and placed directly into harms way by their parents — being caught up in the fracas.



Trump rescues Britain from its elite

Being half British, Mr Trump has an interest in Britain

He slams Theresa May's Brexit deal as 'great for the EU' and warns it will harm UK-US trade

President Donald Trump has warned Britain “may not be able to trade with the US” because of Theresa May’s Brexit deal in comments that could torpedo her hopes of winning Parliament’s backing.

Mr Trump said the agreement Mrs May reached with Brussels on Sunday “sounds like a great deal for the EU” as he urged the Prime Minister to think again.

The President’s intervention flies in the face of Mrs May’s claims that Britain will be able to strike free trade deals around the world after Brexit despite her concessions to the EU.

The timing could hardly have been worse for Mrs May, coming after she had spent hours in the Commons trying to convince MPs that her deal was the right one for Britain.



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, 2018

The mask is off the American Left

They were ruling nicely until Trump came along so they are pitting all their great resources against him

In 2010, Claremont Institute Senior Fellow Angelo Codevilla reintroduced the notion of "the ruling class" back into American popular discourse. In 2017, he described contemporary American politics as a "cold civil war." Now he applies the "logic of revolution" to our current political scene.

The primary objective of any people who find themselves in the throes of a revolution is to find ways of diverting its logic from its worst conclusions. Prior to the 2016 election I explained how America had already “stepped over the threshold of a revolution,” that it was “difficult to imagine how we might step back, and futile to speculate how it might end.”

Regardless of who won the election, its sentiments’ growing “volume and intensity” would empower politicians on all sides sure to make us nostalgic for Donald Trump’s and Hilary Clinton’s moderation. Having begun, this revolution would follow its own logic. What follows dissects that logic.

It has unfolded faster than foreseen. Its sentiments’ spiraling volume and intensity have eliminated any possibility of “stepping back.” The Democratic Party and the millions it represents having refused to accept 2016’s results; having used their positions of power in government and society to prevent the winners from exercising the powers earned by election; declaring in vehement words and violent deeds the illegitimacy, morbidity, even criminality, of persons and ideas contrary to themselves; bet that this “resistance” would so energize their constituencies, and so depress their opponents’, that subsequent elections would prove 2016 to have been an anomaly and further confirm their primacy in America.

The 2018 Congressional elections are that strategy’s first major test. Regardless of these elections’ outcome, however, this “resistance” has strengthened and accelerated the existing revolutionary spiral. We begin with a primer on such spirals, on the logic of mutual hate that drives them, and on their consequences; move to a general description of our evolution’s driving logic, describe the 2016 elections as the revolutionary spiral’s first turn and the “resistance” thereto as the second. Then we examine how the “resistance” affects the other side, and how this logic might drive our revolution’s subsequent turns.

The Cycle and Us

Corcyra’s revolution in 427 BC, the fifth year of the Peloponnesian War, is a paradigm of revolutionary logic. Thucydides tells us that the citizens’ divisions had been of the garden-variety economic kind. Its Assembly had taken an ordinary vote on an ordinary measure. But the vote’s losers, refusing to accept political defeat, brought criminal charges against their opponents’ leader. By thus criminalizing differences over public policy, by using political power to hurt their opponents, they gave the revolutionary spiral its first turn.

The spiral might have stopped when the accused was acquitted. But, he, instead of letting bygones be bygones, convinced the assembly to fine those who had brought the charges. After all, they had to be taught not to do such things again. The assembly approved the fine.

But the second use of political power to hurt opponents gave the revolutionary spiral its second turn. Had the original wrongdoers paid up, the problem might have ended right there. Instead, outraged, they gave it the third push, bursting into the Assembly and murdering him. That ended all private haven from political strife. Civil war spiraled into mutual destruction, until the city was well-nigh depopulated.

Thus does Thucydides’ account of how revolutionary logic manifests itself in personal behavior echo through the ages—an account that strikes Americans in October, 2018 as all too familiar: “men too often take upon themselves in the prosecution of their revenge to set the example of doing away with those general laws to which all alike can look for salvation in adversity, instead of allowing them to subsist against the day of danger when their aid may be required.”

The more freely to harm enemies, “words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them.” “Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal ally; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question, inaptness to act on any. Frantic violence became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting, a justifiable means of self-defense. The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy; his opponent a man to be suspected … even blood became a weaker tie than party …. The fair proposals of an adversary were met with jealous precautions by the stronger of the two, and not with a generous confidence … when opportunity offered, he who first ventured to seize it and to take his enemy off his guard, thought this perfidious vengeance sweeter than an open one…success by treachery won him the palm of superior intelligence.”

How near we are to all that, and how far from once-great America! The American republic’s essence had been self-restraint toward fellow citizens deemed equals. The Constitution of 1787 had been its paradigm. Under its words and by its laws, Americans had enjoyed safety and predictability for themselves and their way of life. But Progressives’ subordination of the Constitution, laws, and institutions to their own purposes and for their own primacy ended all that.

The rest of America’s increasing realization that only fire can fight fire has followed naturally. This is our revolution: Because a majority of Americans now no longer share basic sympathies and trust, because they no longer regard each other as worthy of equal consideration, the public and private practices that once had made our Republic are now beyond reasonable hope of restoration. Strife can only mount until some new equilibrium among us arises. Our Logic The logic that drives each turn of our revolutionary spiral is Progressive Americans’ inherently insatiable desire to exercise their superiority over those they deem inferior.

With Newtonian necessity, each such exercise causes a corresponding and opposite reaction. The logic’s force comes not from the substance of the Progressives’ demands. If that were the case, acquiescing to or compromising with them could cut it short. Rather, it comes from that which moves, changes, and multiplies their demands without end. That is the Progressives’ affirmation of superior worth, to be pursued by exercising dominance: superior identity affirmed via the inferior’s humiliation.

It is an inherently endless pursuit. The logic is rooted in disdain, but not so much of any of the supposed inferiors’ features or habits. If it were, the deplored could change their status by improving. But the Progressives deplore the “deplorables” not to improve them, but to feel good about themselves. Hating people for what they are and because it feels good to hate them, is hate in its unalloyed form.

Hence, in our revolution, as in others, which side first transgressed civility’s canons matters only historically. In our revolution, as in others, truth comes to be what serves to increase fellow partisans’ animus against socio-political opponents, and words to mean neither more nor less than what serves the speaker at any given time. As Thucydides pointed out, once people cease adhering to “those general laws to which all alike can look for salvation in adversity,” partisan solidarity offers the only immediate hope of safety. And that, in turn, is because “those general laws” are by, of, and for the good of all.

 Once people no longer see any good common to all, justice for each becomes identical with advantage. The only good or justice that prevails is the good or justice of the stronger. As Plato points out in Book I of The Republic, far from being a rare phenomenon, this is mankind’s default state. Hence, among us as well, subjection by force is replacing conviction by argument.

Here too, as contrasting reactions to events fan antagonisms into consuming flames like a bellows’ blows, victory’s triumphs and defeat’s agonies’ become the only alternatives

Although understanding our revolution’s logic tells us nothing about how it will end, keeping it in mind sheds light on what is happening at any given time.

Our Revolution

The 2008 financial crisis sparked an incipient revolution. Previously, Americans dissatisfied with their Progressive rulers had imagined that voting for Republicans might counter them. But then, as three-fourths of Americans opposed bailing out big banks with nearly a trillion dollars, the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates joined; most Republican legislators joined all Democrats; The Wall Street Journal joined The New York Times, and National Review joined The Nation; in telling Americans that doing this was essential, and that their disapproval counted for nothing.

And then, just as high-handedly, all these bipartisan rulers dropped that bailout scheme, and adopted another—just as unaccountably. They showed “government by the people, for the people” to be a fable. This forced the recognition that there exists a remarkably uniform, bipartisan, Progressive ruling class; that it includes, most of the bureaucracies of federal and state governments, the judiciary, the educational establishment, the media, as well as major corporate officials; that it had separated itself socially, morally, and politically from the rest of society, whose commanding heights it monopolized; above all that it has contempt for the rest of America, and that ordinary Americans have no means of persuading this class of anything, because they don’t count.

As the majority of Americans have become conscious of the differences between this class and themselves they have sought ever more passionately to shake it off. That is the ground of our revolution.

Identity and Power

Our time’s sharp distinction between rulers and ruled, the ever decreasing interchange and sympathy between them, is rooted in the disdain for ordinary Americans that the universities have sown since the Civil War. Ordinary Americans and their rulers are alienated now in ways unimaginable to the Northerners and Southerners who killed each other a century and a half ago, but who nodded when Abraham Lincoln noted that they “prayed to the same God.” Both revered the American founding. Both aspired to the same family life. Often, opposite sides’ generals were personal friends. And why not? The schools they attended, the books they read, did not teach them the others’ inferiority. They were one people.

Now, we are no longer one people. In our time, the most widespread of differences between rulers and ruled is also the deepest: The ruled go to church and synagogue. The rulers are militantly irreligious and contemptuous of those who are not. Progressives since Herbert Croly’s and Woodrow Wilson’s generation have nursed a superiority complex. They distrust elections because they think that power should be in expert hands—their own. They believe that the U.S Constitution gave too much freedom to ordinary Americans and not enough power to themselves, and that America’s history is one of wrongs.

 The books they read pretend to argue scientifically that the rest of Americans are racist, sexist, maybe fascists, but above all stupid. For them, Americans are harmful to themselves and to the world, and have no right to self-rule. That is why our revolution started from a point more advanced in its logic than many others. The anti-establishment “wave elections” of 2010 and 2014, in which the Democratic Party lost Congress and control of a majority of state legislatures, only led America’s Progressive rulers to double down on their positions of power in the judiciary, the media, corporations, etc. The Supreme Court struck down a referendum by liberal California defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The federal Defense of Marriage Act, which had become law by near-unanimity, was overturned bureaucratically and judicially. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, on the books just as firmly, was undone by executive, judicial, bureaucratic, corporate, and mediatic subordination of religious freedom to anti-discrimination.

By the 2016 election, America’s Progressive rulers were demonizing and punishing persons who define male and female by their birth and personal plumbing. 1984’s Big Brother had not been so imperious. The 2016 election’s primaries were all about the American people’s search for means of de-throning increasingly insufferable rulers. Even on the Democratic side, many bridled at their self-serving unaccountability. But since the Democrats are the party of government, it was clear that protection from and vengeance against the existing power structure would have to come from the nominal opposition party.

Yet the Republicans were very much part of the problem. That is why 2016’s real struggle took place within the Republican primaries, the most enduringly significant fact of which is that Jeb Bush, the candidate most closely identified with the Progressive ruling class, spent some $150 million and secured only three convention delegates. Americans in general, and Republicans in particular, were looking for the polar opposite. Donald Trump was out of central casting—seemingly a caricature of what the ruling class said about its opponents. But the words he spoke were less significant than that he spoke with angry contempt for the ruling class. That—and the crowded field that never allowed a head-to-head choice—is what got him the chance to be the alternative to the ruling class. And that is what got him elected President of the United States.

Those who voted for Trump believing or hoping that he would do a, b, or c, were fewer than those who were sure that he offered the only possibility of ending, or at least pausing, the power of an increasingly harmful, intolerant, disdainful, socio-political identity. In 2016 one set of identities revolted against another. That was the revolution’s first turn. “The Resistance” The ruling class’s “resistance” to the 2016 election’s outcome was the second turn. Its vehemence, unanimity, coordination, endurance,and non-consideration of fallback options—the rapidity with which our revolution’s logic has unfolded—have surprised and dismayed even those of us who realized that America had abandoned its republican past.

The “resistance” subsequent to the election surprises, in part, because only as it has unfolded have we learned of its scope prior to the election. All too simply: the U.S government’s upper echelons merged politically with the campaign of the Democratic Party’s establishment wing, and with the media. They aimed to secure the establishment candidates’ victory and then to nullify the lost election’s results by resisting the winners’ exercise of legitimate powers, treating them as if they were illegitimate.

The measure of the resistance’s proximate success or failure would come in the 2018 elections. Partisan “dirty tricks” are unremarkable. But when networks within government and those who occupy society’s commanding heights play them against persons trying to unseat them, they constitute cold civil war against the voters, even coups d’etat. What can possibly answer such acts? And then what? These people, including longstanding officials of the FBI and CIA, are related to one another intellectually, morally, professionally, socially, financially, politically, maritally, and extramaritally. Their activities to stop the anti-establishment candidate, and president—in this case, Trump—have spanned the public and private realms, and involved contacts in Britain and Australia. They enjoy The Washington Post’s, The New York Times’, the Associated Press’s, CBS’, NBC’s,  ABC’s, and CNN’s unquestioning megaphone effect to the rest of the media.

The Democratic Party’ opposition “research,” for which the wife of a senior FBI official was partly responsible, was cross-validated by the FBI and became the substance of a counterintelligence warrant for surveilling the Trump campaign.

After Trump’s victory, the intelligence agencies’ summits continued their political and socially partisan alliance as “resistance” against the elected President. Even before inauguration, the Times and the Post published what the highest intelligence officials said were the agencies’ conclusion (no evidence, just conclusions) based on highly classified information, that Trump had “colluded” with Russia to steal the election.

When the surveillance and the investigation turned up nothing, intelligence and Justice Department officials played peek-a-boo with snatches of classified information behind transparently bogus claims of national security, and tried to catch him in perjury traps and other “procedural violations.” With the Media’s help, they created headlines and hampered Trump from governing. Two years later, the agencies continue to fight Congress’s demand that the classified bases for the allegations be made public. The intelligence agencies’ “resistance” has also meant that the executive aides whose jobs require security clearances—nearly all do—are hostage to these agencies’ agendas.

Even as Trump was being inaugurated, CIA withdrew the clearance from the official he had appointed to oversee African affairs at the National Security Council. The reason? The young man had criticized the Agency. Trump’s accession to the agencies’ assertion of the power to decide with whom he may or may not speak of the nation’s secrets radically decreased the number and quality of appointees. Trump’s similar deference to the Agencies’ classification and selective leaking of politically sensitive materials has also helped “the resistance.”

The bipartisan ruling class inside and outside the government have made the “resistance” a “full court press.” Non-governmental parts of the ruling class are full partners in the “resistance,” often in partnership with government, from which they draw money directly or via special treatment, with the support, of course, of the media. Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the NAACP, and countless other such groups have helped restrict the 2016 election’s effects by an unending stream of lawsuits and “reports,” amplified by the press, that have intensified attacks on the politically incorrect.

Silicon Valley’s corporate giants played a large and growing part. Since well before the 2016 election, suppressing dissent has been at the very top of Progressives’ agenda. Suppression of dissent is what Political Correctness is all about. The First Amendment and dedication to freedom of speech’s deep roots in American life have limited its grip and blunted the ruling class’s efforts to penalize whatever they choose to call “hate speech.” E.g., one Blake Lemoine, a senior engineers at Google, discussed with colleagues censoring anything favorable to Tennessee’s Republican senatorial candidate, Marsha Blackburn because said they, she is a terrorist.

Such talk in such places is as good evidence as any of how broad and deep is the assault on Americans’ freedom of speech. Every executive order, every law, every utterance, occasions obstruction, and obloquy in the strongest terms. Reductio ad Hitlerum is commonplace.

Since the beginning of the Trump administration, some federal district court judge somewhere has either stayed or outright declared every action of his and his subordinates unconstitutional, dictated remedies, and passed that off as the rule of law.

Thus do such judges exercise the powers of the president and Congress. At a minimum, fighting such obstruction through the appellate courts (panel and then en banc) and then to the Supreme Court takes months or years. And since the Supreme Court has been the Left agendas’ chief legitimizer, holding on to it by any and all means has been a priority.

Pons asinorum

 The revolutionary import of the ruling class’ abandonment of moral and legal restraint in its effort to reverse election results cannot be exaggerated. Sensing themselves entitled to power, imagining themselves identical with legitimacy, “those general laws to which all alike can look for salvation in adversity“—here the US Constitution and ordinary civility—are small stuff to them. Their ruling class’s behavior regarding Judge Brett Kavanaugh’ nomination to the Supreme Court has been a further, epochal step in this regard. No one doubted that the ruling class would “Bork” Kavanaugh. But the 1986 attacks on Judge Bork had caricatured his ideas, not slandered the man. The 1991 charges against Clarence Thomas, though untrue, had involved an accuser who actually had contact with him and hence might possibly have been true. But it was virtually impossible for the accusations against Kavanaugh to be true. Their patently insincere manner and substance advertised their purely slanderous nature. Those who made them did so knowing that all alleged witnesses denied knowledge of the event.

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)


28 November, 2018

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Compares Migrant Caravan To Jews Fleeing Holocaust

As usual, she is being brainless.  The central Americans in the caravan have asylum already -- in Mexico.  They are in no danger where they are.  The Mexican government even has a resettlement scheme for them which some of them -- likely the genuine refugees among them -- have accepted.  Those remaining in the caravan are simply economic migrants, trying to steal access to assets and systems in the USA built up by others

New York Democratic Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Sunday compared members of the migrant caravan attempting to enter the United States to Jews fleeing Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.

Members of the caravan on Sunday rushed the border at the San Ysidro port of entry, which connects Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol closed the port of entry in response and reportedly used tear gas to disperse the crowd of migrants.

Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to denounce the treatment of the caravan members.

“Asking to be considered a refugee & applying for status isn’t a crime,” she wrote. “It wasn’t for Jewish families fleeing Germany. It wasn’t for targeted families fleeing Rwanda. It wasn’t for communities fleeing war-torn Syria. And it isn’t for those fleeing violence in Central America,” she added.

Some of the caravan members reportedly threw rocks at American authorities before tear gas was used.



Migrants Arrested And Deported After Rushing the U.S. Border

Members of both American and Mexican law enforcement are delivering justice to the migrant caravan that’s attempting to storm the U.S.-Mexico border, making dozens of arrests and hundreds of deportations.

While the media was happy to give the caravan cover as mere “asylum seekers” (and certainly some percentage of the caravan are simply asylum seekers), law enforcement knows better.

As we reported earlier today, border patrol has thus-far apprehended 42 migrants from the caravan, who were throwing rocks at law enforcement (strange behavior for asylum seekers, don’t you think?). Caravan migrants stormed the U.S.-Mexico border when they reached it yesterday, rather than legitimately claim asylum. The majority of those arrested were adult males.

Ironically, our response has been comparatively tame compared to Mexico’s, who is outright deporting caravan migrants. According to the Washington Examiner, “The Mexican government announced Sunday evening that it will deport nearly 500 migrants who rushed the U.S. border between Tijuana and San Diego. In a statement, Mexico’s interior department said these migrants were captured with the help of local authorities of the government from the state of Baja California and will be deported after attempting to cross the border ‘violently’ and ‘illegally.'”

It’s not right-wingers in the media presenting the caravan as a violent invasion, it’s Mexican authorities themselves. Indeed, the caravan appears less popular on Mexico’s side of the border than in the mainstream media. While members of the media are happy to brand any criticism of the caravan as “racist,” Mexican’s are protesting the caravan en-masse. Tijuana’s mayor joined the protests sporting a “Make Tijuana Great Again” hat.

The Myth of “Racist” Border Control

Anyone that’s ever derided pro-border control policies as “racist” should see Mexico’s response to the caravan as a complete refutation of that (but they won’t). In addition to the overwhelming opposition the Mexican public is having to the caravan (which isn’t even trying to migrate to their country), Mexico’s immigration laws are stricter than ours in some regard. In addition to deporting more illegal immigrants to Central America than the United States, Mexico:

* Rejects a far larger percent of requests for asylum than the U.S.

* Regulations immigration based on race, as not to disrupt the “domestic demographic equilibrium.”

* Vigorously enforces their “invisible” border with Guatemala.



You’ve Been Hoaxed! The ‘Illegal Alien Mom With Barefoot Kids’ Photo Was Staged

Yesterday’s Headline is today’s hoax. The illegal alien mother ‘fleeing’ from the border wall was all a lie. It was a setup.

After further review, yesterday’s ‘horrific’ picture of a woman with barefoot children running from the US border wall was a hoax. In the background of the picture a group of men are posing for one camera man and another is running towards another camera man. In other areas, people are just standing around. The woman with the children was just a photo-op:

The Gateway Pundit notes: The high resolution picture shows guys in the background posing for a cameraman proving again that liberals are easily fooled:



Trump on Monday: 'We Will Close the Border Permanently If Need Be'

President Donald Trump began his work-week very early Monday morning, tweeting before 6:30 a.m.:

"Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries. Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A. We will close the Border permanently if need be. Congress, fund the WALL!"

Television footage on Sunday showed a crowd of illegal immigrants trying to storm the U.S. border in Tijuana, near San Diego. The rushing of the border prompted U.S. Border Patrol agents to close the San Ysidro port of entry to both foot and vehicular traffic on Sunday morning through late Sunday afternoon.

When some of the caravan members tried to rush into the U.S. outside the port of entry, federal agents fired tear gas to turn them back, press reports said.

On Sunday, Trump tweeted, "Would be very SMART if Mexico would stop the Caravans long before they get to our Southern Border, or if originating countries would not let them form (it is a way they get certain people out of their country and dump in U.S. No longer). Dems created this problem. No crossings!"



Poll: Immigration Up Sharply as No. 1 Problem in U.S.A.

A new survey shows that Americans view "immigration/illegal aliens" as the number one problem facing the United States this month. It was cited by 21% of Americans as the most important problem and this percentage is up from 13% in October, an increase of 8 percentage points.

In the survey, Gallup asked Americans to mention the problems they view as most important. Gallup reported the answers for problems  cited by at least 3% of respondents.

At the top of the list was "immigration/illegal aliens" at 21%.

"Dissatisfaction with government/Poor leadership" came in second at 18%.

"Healthcare" was third at 11% and "unifying the country" was tied at fourth and fifth with "Race relations/Racism," both at 9%.

"Unemployment/jobs" was at the bottom of the list, tied with "Education," at 3%.

Neither climate change nor gun control made the list.

"Americans are more likely to name immigration as the top problem facing the U.S. in November than they were in October -- it surged to 21% from 13%," said Gallup. "Mentions of healthcare as the most pressing issue also increased, from 6% last month to the current 11%."

"The current 21% who cite immigration or illegal aliens is about as high as the record 22% Gallup recorded in July," reported Gallup.  "The issue's move to the top of the list comes after a large group of Central American immigrants, widely described in the media as a caravan, formed last month with intentions of crossing the U.S. border."

"It became politicized by President Donald Trump, who declared the caravan a 'national emergency' and sent 5,000 troops to the border to try to prevent illegal entries," said the survey firm.

Gallup further reported, "Currently, 35% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. -- consistent with the 33% to 38% range for this issue since May. Twin 38% readings, recorded in June and October, marked a 12-year high for the measure."

Gallup conducted its survey Nov. 1-11, prior to and after the Nov. 6 midterm elections.



Let’s Give Thanks For Leftists Being Themselves

Traditionally, CHQ has posted a Thanksgiving message lauding the history of Thanksgiving and asking our readers and friends to join us in the traditions and quintessentially American spirit of the holiday. And we extend that greeting and good wishes again this year to our readers and friends.

But we also have a somewhat counterintuitive cause for thanksgiving this year that we want to share with our conservative, populist and libertarian friends.

We ask that everyone give a brief thanks for the fact that the mask is finally off the new Radical Leftist  Alexandria Ocasio CortezDemocrats, and that Americans are going to be given the opportunity to see them, and their frightening vision for America’s future, in wide screen technicolor now that they have the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

True, had Republicans maintained the majority in the House, many of us would be giving thanks for the Divine intervention that preserved that GOP majority despite its many lies, failures and betrayals, but one should also recognize the providential hand in revealing the truth about the Democrats that had been successfully hidden behind the veil of Republican incompetence.

While Democrats ran their campaigns on their traditional issues of giving voters free stuff, such as health care for all, that was not really why they were running for office, and now that they have the House majority their real agenda is slowly being revealed.

You may recall that we shared with CHQ readers Prof. Angelo Codevilla’s recent essay “Our Revolution’s Logic” and highlighted his conclusion that, “Progressives deplore the ‘deplorables’ not to improve them, but to feel good about themselves. Hating people for what they are and because it feels good to hate them, is hate in its unalloyed form.”

People of good will might be inclined to object to that characterization of Democrats: Surely “public service” or a desire to help the less fortunate or other eleemosynary ideals motivate most people seeking public office they would argue.

Post-election, Democrats have, without apology, proven that idealistic view to be complete bunk.

Rep. Eric Swalwell on Friday said the U.S. government would use its nuclear weapons in a hypothetical war against Second Amendment supporters refusing to give up their firearms.

As Fox News reported, the California Democrat, who is openly considering a run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020, made the outlandish remark on social media after a gun-rights advocate pointed out that the lawmaker once called for gun owners to surrender their assault weapons.

“So basically @RepSwalwell wants a war. Because that's what you would get. You're outta your f------ mind if you think I'll give up my rights and give the [government] all the power," Joe Biggs tweeted at Swalwell.

This prompted Swalwell to defend himself, saying it would be a “short war” because “the government has nukes,” implying the government would use its nuclear arsenal against its own citizens.

Does Democrat Eric Swalwell want to improve you or help you? No, he wants to kill you if you disagree with him.

Democrats like Rep. Eric Swalwell aren’t running because they are committed to “public service” or to improving life for the American people; they’re running to make you do things you may not want to do, and they want to use all the power the government has to bend you to their will.

The Democrats have also elected two Muslim women to Congress, and they are already getting the truth out about the anti-Semitism that has infected the Democratic Party, particularly at its youthful grassroots level.

Representative-elect Ilhan Omar (MN-5) and Representative-elect Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, been feted in the national news media for becoming the first Muslim women in Congress, gracing the cover of magazines and becoming the subjects of glowing profiles. However, omitted from all of that oozing reporting is the inconvenient truth that Omar and Tlaib are about as anti-Semitic as you can get.

As Tiana Lowe documented in an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, in 2014, Tlaib headlined an anti-Israel “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” rally with Dawud Walid, a flagrant anti-Semite who has blamed the "wrath of Allah" on "the Jews." Tlaib is also a friend of Linda Sarsour and an admirer of Rasmea Odeh, an anti-Semitic terrorist.

Omar's rhetoric is far more openly unhinged on the matter. In 2014, Omar tweeted, "Israel has hypnotizes the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel." This year she called Israel an "apartheid regime."

Lest any American be left wondering what all of this means, it means that for the first time since the fall of the Democrats’ southern power base in the Ku Klux Klan, anti-Semitism will have open advocates on the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

And then there is Democratic – Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the new face of the Democratic Party, whose incredibly dumb comments have launched a cottage industry of internet memes and social media trolling.

You can view two good ones through these links: Ken Webster Jr’s Pursuit of Happiness Radio Show and another by Amanda Head of TheRebel.media “socialism makes you stupid.” However, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s dumb comments mask a hard-Left Socialist agenda that is anything but a joke.

Healthcare is a “human right,” says Representative-elect Ocasio-Cortez, and “the most very basic needs to sustain modern life should be guaranteed in a moral society.”

What’s more, “Capitalism has not always existed in the world and will not always exist in the world,” and Ms.  Ocasio-Cortez “can't name a single issue with roots in race that doesn't have economic implications, and I cannot think of a single economic issue that doesn't have racial implications. The idea that we have to separate them out and choose one is a con.”

All of this socialist cant is mixed in with complaints that Ocasio-Cortez can’t afford an apartment in DC until her congressional salary kicks in (despite declaring between $5,000 and $15,000 in cash on her financial disclosure) and promises that Democrats will act on her Socialist Manifesto "If we work our butts off to make sure that we take back all three chambers of Congress — uh, rather, all three chambers of government: the presidency, the Senate, and the House…"

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez may not be as dumb as she often sounds, her social media presence shows a certain strategic sense that bears further study, but what she says about where she wants to take America should mobilize every limited government constitutional conservative to action between now and the 2020 election.

There’s much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving; a world at relative peace, a booming U.S. economy and a President who has worked hard to lift the heavy hand of government from the backs of America’s working families. But let’s not forget to also give thanks for the power of truth, as Democrats, through their own words, slowly disclose who they really are.



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, 2018

Is Ocasio-Cortez the gift to the GOP that keeps on giving?

Democrats are starting to turn on each other as the Democratic Party moves further left, and it’s only going to help Republicans in the end.

Far-left Democrats and so-called progressives were ecstatic about the election of self-described democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but some of her peers in Congress are probably less thrilled. Last week, Ocasio-Cortez made it known that she was setting her sights on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi by protesting in her office with a group of environmental activists.

On Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez confirmed that she will be opposing establishment Democrats who are not left-wing enough.

Ocasio-Cortez teamed up with far-left group Justice Democrats to launch a campaign to challenge some Democrats in primaries, according to Politico.

“Long story short, I need you to run for office,” she urged far-left radicals.

If there is one thing that Democrats in Congress care about, it’s their comfortable jobs.

“All Americans know money in politics is a huge problem, but unfortunately the way that we fix it is by demanding that our incumbents give it up or by running fierce campaigns ourselves,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “That’s really what we need to do to save this country. That’s just what it is.”

Ocasio-Cortez continued her rhetoric against incumbent Democrats on Twitter.

“If you’re a strong progressive leader in your community and committed to getting money out of politics, I want you to join me in Congress. I want you to run,” she tweeted.

The ever-increasing movement to the left from the Democratic Party base puts other Democrats in a tough spot.

Moderate Democrats have the decision to either sacrifice their values and go along with the madness, or they could try to work with Republicans again.

If Democrats want to keep their seats in Congress, they need to show moderate voters that they won’t succumb to socialism. Working with Republicans to help President Donald Trump’s agenda could help.

Some Democrats might even leave their party after being singled out by the radicals coming in. However, some unprincipled Democrats will likely capitulate and join the radical leftists.

Either way, such a large schism in the party will no doubt hurt Democrats in the long-run. Ocasio-Cortez’s activity could well rip the party apart. And that will only help President Donald Trump. Ocasio-Cortez clearly doesn’t see that now, but she likely will before too long.

If Democrats have an ounce of integrity left, they will see that their party is off the rails. If they don’t, that’s good news for Republicans.



Charting the Danger of the Modern Left
No one understands the dysfunctions and debilitating impact of America’s political system in the swamp better than Mark Melcher and Steve Soukup. For decades between them, they followed Washington for Wall Street at one of America’s largest brokerage houses. For the last 16 years, the two have run their own, independent research shop, delivering political commentary and forecasting to the investment community, studying the intersection between politics and economics. This pushed them into a relentless pursuit of the new left — measuring its deleterious impact on everything it touches — most especially Western civilization.

To this end, Melcher and Soukup have put the fruits of their study into print. “Know Thine Enemy: A History of the Left,” is nearly 1,000 pages long. It has been divided into two volumes, the first of which is available from Amazon (and Barnes & Noble). The purpose of this effort is to teach readers everything they can about the left, its origins and its many forms. They also identify the men and women who pushed back against the left, including the conservative icon Russell Kirk, to whom their book is dedicated.

The authors start their story at the Enlightenment, one of mankind’s greatest achievements, but also one of its most dangerous moments, or as they write in the introduction:

“(The left) emerged in the eighteenth century during the so-called Enlightenment period, and was based on the belief that science and reason should replace religion as the foundation of a modern society. The purveyors of his new ideology had trouble agreeing on details of this new belief system, and this resulted in the wide proliferation of leftist prototypes, among the best-known of which are communism, socialism, Marxism, fascism, and, in the United States, progressivism and liberalism.

"While different from each other in many important ways, all of these models originally shared several important philosophical ideas. These include an aversion to Christianity and religion generally, to capitalism, and to the concept of private property; a belief in the perfectibility of mankind; a belief in the superiority of reason over faith; a claim to an affinity with the working classes; and the promise of a world of peace, equality, and prosperity, free from the evils that religion had foisted on the mankind.”

In volume one, the two political historians trace the left from Voltaire and Rousseau, through the French Revolution, to Kant and Marx, to Great Britain with its Utopian Socialists and Bloomsburies, back to the Continent for the anarchists and proto-fascists, and then to the United States and its “progressives.” Most people think of the left only as Marx and his murderous acolytes, but Melcher and Soukup demonstrate that the left has been a consistent feature of Western civilization since the French Revolution, each scheme dedicated to undermining the existing order and creating a “new” man — whether he likes it or not.

The book allows the left to indict itself by citing the words of leftists themselves — most of which were written by dense and arrogant men in dense and arrogant prose. Fortunately, the authors’ narrative and their collection of easy-to-understand and highly respected secondary sources provide the reader with more than enough information to see just how dangerous and how similar various leftist movements have been.

I have spent my entire career advocating for free-market economic policies, trying to convince the leaders of this country that unnecessary government interference in the marketplace — and let’s face it, most government is totally unnecessary — destroys liberty and inhibits prosperity. The authors help to explain why this effort is absolutely necessary. The authors document the inevitable destruction unleashed by the left wherever it has reared its ugly head. They show how the ideas of leftism played a huge role in the creation of our administrative state, the bureaucratic apparatus that defies the Founders’ instructions that the government exists to secure our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

“Know Thine Enemy” is a comprehensive takedown of the left and it should be read by those who want good to triumph over evil. (No, I’m not inciting violence here, but those who have abused political power for their own self-aggrandizement are not just misguided intellects.) Too often, we say that the left is wrong but well-intentioned. Some are. But most simply want government to control other people’s lives and they believe in Stalinistic methods to achieve that goal.

Stalin, Lenin, Marx, Mao, Pol Pot, Antifa, Castro, Che Guevara and the like use power to reduce the sanctity of the individual for the common good of the collective. It is a kind of enslavement that degrades the human spirit and makes us poorer over time. But the real villains here are not the leftists of yesteryear who set back the quest for human freedom and material progress, but the modern left — the academics, the politicians, the media mavens — who know, or should know, full well the destruction and retardation of statism, but still selfishly pursue it.

The underlying message of this book is that the modern left must be stopped and thoroughly discredited before they do society real and irrevocable harm.



An anti-poverty program even conservatives can love

Why subsidizing wages is the best way to help lower-income Americans — and their communities.

For most of America, it’s been the economic recovery that wasn’t. The most prosperous fifth of the nation’s ZIP codes account for all job growth since 2007, according to the Economic Innovation Group’s Distressed Communities Index; the rest of the country has experienced a net employment loss. Just five counties account for the entire gain in business establishments; the rest of the country has fewer than before the recession hit.

We need to spread prosperity more widely, but we have little experience doing that well. Government efforts to spur development in a particular place tend to falter, with resources steered by the political process toward boondoggles that do little to buttress a region’s economic vitality. Most support ends up coming from our safety net’s transfer payments, which help to meet people’s immediate needs but perversely weaken the labor market in the process.

There’s a better way, one with bipartisan pedigree, mechanisms for implementation in place and funding available. It’s called a “wage subsidy.”

The principle behind a wage subsidy is simple enough: If society recognizes the value of work and truly wants to promote it, we should be prepared to help pay for it. When you subsidize something, you get more of it. Subsidizing work makes jobs pay more than they otherwise would, attracting people from the sidelines into the labor force. Some of the subsidy’s value accrues to employers, too, who will find it more attractive to create jobs for less-skilled workers. The result is higher employment levels at higher wages, with enormous benefits for not only struggling households, but also struggling communities.

We subsidize work on a limited scale today, through a program called the Earned Income Tax Credit that makes low-income households eligible for substantial payments during tax season each year—more than $5,000 for some families. But the EITC’s annual, lump-sum payments have serious limitations: They align poorly with the financial needs of people living paycheck to paycheck. They don’t make clear the full earnings that workers can expect from low-wage jobs. And as structured today, the benefit goes almost entirely to households with children, even though drawing young, single workers into the labor force should be a top priority.

A properly designed wage subsidy would operate much like the current payroll tax, but in reverse—instead of deducting money from each paycheck based on how much the worker has earned, the government would put money in. The amount would be calibrated to the worker’s hourly wage, so someone earning $9 per hour might get a $3-per-hour subsidy; someone earning $13 per hour might get an extra $1. Once a worker’s market wage reached $15 per hour, the subsidy would cease.

The critical distinction between a wage subsidy and traditional approaches to supporting struggling households and communities is its direct attachment to work. America already transfers more than $1 trillion annually to lower-income households, a total that has surged four-fold since the 1970s even as median wages stagnated. But nearly all that support is provided without reference to work, and in fact usually discourages work. That’s because increases in earned income reduce benefits, which makes the decision to try to earn a living seem a losing proposition for recipients. With a wage subsidy, by contrast, the incentive is reversed: taking a low-wage job is the way to become eligible, and working more is the way to receive a larger benefit.

A parallel problem, and solution, exists for depressed places. Local economies suffering from deindustrialization now rely on the safety net to stay afloat, which means in practice that they “export need.” In other words, instead of making things that others want in return for the goods and services they want from the wider world, they rely on their own lack of earned income to attract transfer payments. Taxpayer largesse supplies them with the things they want in return for nothing at all. The thriving occupational therapy office in an otherwise vacant plaza becomes the town’s exporter, selling to the nation its care of local residents on disability. Using similar logic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture promotes food stamp enrollment as a “win-win for local retailers and communities. Each $5 in new SNAP benefits generates almost twice that amount in economic activity for the community.” Add in Medicare and Social Security, and in vast swaths of the country a third or even a half of all personal income arrives via government benefits.

As with people, a wage subsidy reverses this dynamic for places. Subsidy payments are also transfers, of course, but they arrive in paychecks attached to the community’s productive workers. Rather than rely on people not working to attract dollars from Washington, the community’s workers become its engine of prosperity—and all jobs within the community can be ones that generate resources. To be sure, an economy in which all communities support themselves without transfers is the goal; but until we reach it, a wage subsidy represents the best substitute. Instead of suggesting food-stamp enrollment as the way to help your local economy, the government can suggest getting a job—any job.

Some wage-subsidy proposals have a more explicitly “place-based” orientation, targeting support to depressed regions. This goes too far. For one thing, the politics of deciding who should be eligible would be a nightmare. For another, low-wage workers struggling to make ends meet are a pervasive feature of our national economy, and they deserve this form of support wherever they live. By setting a standard subsidy calculation nationwide, most of the subsidy will already flow to those places that have the weakest labor markets and lowest wage structures.

Certainly, a nationwide subsidy costs more than a targeted one, but America’s ever-expanding safety net already contains the resources to fund the program—resources that are being spent less effectively, in ways that deliver less value to recipients and often discourage work in the process. Without disrupting our support for people who cannot work, we could shift assistance for people who can work—or, indeed, already are working—toward this new form that encourages work and delivers cash in each paycheck to those who do work. Substantial funding would come from replacing the existing Earned Income Tax Credit. Programs like food stamps and disability could revert to their pre-recession scales. Some Medicaid spending, which yields appallingly low returns for recipients, could likewise be redirected. Best of all, as the subsidy moves people back into the workforce, their need for government transfers will decline.

The principle of supporting work is a bipartisan one, but Republicans resist the creation of yet more programs, while Democrats reject any shifting of funds from existing programs as “cuts”—even when the resources would still flow toward low-income households, but in a more effective manner. Both sides, however, can achieve their goals through a wage subsidy. It would make what we already spend go further, strengthen labor markets, reward work and move more families and communities toward self-sufficiency.



Italy: Salvini says going forward on 'father and mother' ID card

Minister says will ignore privacy watchdog's view

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has said the ministry is "going forward" on replacing "parent 1" and "parent 2" with "father" and "mother' on electronic ID cards for children.

"We are going forward" despite the opposition of Italy's privacy watchdog which is against the change, said Salvini.

"There is no privacy guarantor that can deny a child's right to have a mother and a father," he said. The Italian association of municipalities, ANCI, also came out against Salvini's proposed change on Friday.

Family Minister Lorenzo Fontana, a League member, said "well done Matteo, you go forward on right things!".


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, 2018

A short hiatus

My son is getting married this weekend so am taking a few days off blogging. I should however be back after the weekend


Trump’s asylum ban blocked by San Francisco judge

So the illegals can apply for asylum.  No harm in applying.  But will their applications be accepted?

An American federal judge blocked President Trump today from denying illegal migrants the chance to apply for asylum in the US.

The US president declared this month that America would ban any foreigner who entered the country without a visa the right to asylum. Under the proclamation, Mr Trump said only people who enter at official checkpoints — as opposed to sneaking across the border — can apply for asylum.

However, Jon Tigar, a district judge in San Francisco, ruled today that the president cannot “rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden”.

His ruling comes into effect immediately and applies nationwide. The declaration lasts until December 19 when the judge has scheduled another hearing to consider a permanent injunction.

The legal row over asylum comes as 3,000 Central American migrants have reached Tijuana, a Mexican town near the border with California. They have pledged that they will try to storm the frontier to enter America. Mr Trump has sent more than 5,000 troops to the border to block their entry.



Bill Nelson won the Florida recount’s ‘found’ votes 74 percent to 26 percent

Talk about disparate impact.

Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) beat out Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) for the Florida Senate seat, but looking back on the recount totals, 25 percent of Bill Nelson’s gained votes in Florida recount were in Broward County alone, even though Broward County only made up 8 percent of the state’s total vote count. Was it fraud?

Looking at the county data from election night to what happened in the Florida recount for the U.S. Senate seat, and Broward County and a few other counties do stand out as anomalous. That is to say, these few counties chalked up a disproportionate share of recount votes in favor of soon to be former Sen. Nelson compared to their shares of the population: Broward, Orange, Miami-Dade, Alachua, Suwannee, Leon, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Hamilton.

What you might expect would happen is that there would be a certain change in the vote tally between the initial count from election night, which includes early voting, and a manual recount, and that those differences would be roughly distributed evenly throughout the counties based on their overall percentage of the population, accounting for machine error and the like.

Instead, in the recount, 5,325 new votes were recorded, which Nelson won 74 percent to 26 percent statewide, about the same as Broward County. In Orange County, Nelson won the new recount votes 84 percent to 16 percent, 91 percent to 9 percent in Alachua County and an absurd 98 percent to 2 percent in Miami-Dade County.

Overall, Broward County accounted  for 24.8 percent of the entire state’s recount net votes in favor of Nelson even though it only accounted for 8.3 percent of the state’s total vote count, Orange County accounted for 12.3 percent even though statewide it only accounted for 5.8 percent of total votes, Miami-Dade was 11.7 percent versus 9.8 percent, Alachua was 3.2 percent versus 1.4 percent, Suwannee was 0.8 percent versus 0.2 percent, Leon was 2.3 percent versus 1.7 percent, Hillsborough was 6.6 percent versus 6.4 percent and Pinellas was 5.6 percent to 5.3 percent.

Nelson picked up about 2,529 votes in the recount, cutting the victor Gov. Rick Scott’s (R-Fla.) lead to a little more than 10,000 votes. Of the 2,529 votes Nelson picked up in the recount, 67.3 percent of those were in these 10 counties even though overall they only made up 41.5 percent of votes cast statewide.

Meaning the recount itself for whatever reason is what produced the irregularity. Only two of the 10 counties that produced anomalies in favor of Nelson were ones that Scott won, but being so much smaller they can more or less be discounted as they only produced 29 out of the 2,529 net votes in favor of Nelson, or just 1 percent.

Also interestingly, the recount statewide only resulted in net gains for Scott in eight out of 67 counties. Four had no net gain or loss. 55 counties produced gains for Nelson.

President Donald Trump, before the recounts were underway, noted that recounts always favor Democrats. On Nov. 9, he tweeted, “Rick Scott was up by 50,000+ votes on Election Day, now they ‘found’ many votes and he is only up 15,000 votes. ‘The Broward Effect.’ How come they never find Republican votes?”

Trump has got a point. In some of these counties almost all of the new votes “found” after Election Day favored Democrats, and statewide three-quarters of the new votes favored Democrats.

Now, I’m not saying there was fraud. What I am saying is that the difference between what these particular counties initially reported and what they reported in the recount stand out as anomalies, particularly considering their shares of the state’s population. Where did all these new votes come from? Someone should find out.

It could be that the new votes simply were not delivered in time to make the machine count, but then turned up in the manual count, including provisional ballots. But isn’t that why there are state-imposed deadlines?

Voter suppression does not appear to have been at play as a reason for the votes to have not been initially counted, unless anybody believes Democrats were suppressing their own votes in the initial count in counties they overwhelmingly control.

The fact is, Broward County and other Democrat-heavy counties in Florida produced disproportionate shares of recount votes in favor of Bill Nelson that, on the surface, appear irregular. In order to rule out any potential fraud and to make sure this doesn’t happen again, the state Attorney General and the Justice Department Civil Rights Division should look into it — before 2020.



Leftists Claim Gillum Lost Florida Because of Racists, Forget Obama Won State Twice

Lose an election? Blame irrational voters.

That was the explanation given by many liberals after Democrats failed to win the White House in 2016 — blind misogyny among Americans made them unable to vote for a woman, even for female voters. Now, racism is being trotted out to explain how Andrew Gillum lost Florida.

Gillum, who is black, ran a tough campaign for governor against Republican Ron DeSantis. After a down-to-the-wire vote recount, the Republican has emerged victorious … but now the inevitable race card is being waved once again.

As the Tampa Bay Times reported, many liberals in Florida, including a state senator, have decided that skin color is the main reason Gillum was handed defeat. “Andrew Gillum would have won if he were white,” declared Judy Beck, one of several Democrat voters the newspaper talked to.

“That sentiment is widely shared among Gillum supporters, who saw poll after poll suggest Gillum was headed for a victory,” the Times reported.

Of course, even that statement is bizarre. If Florida voters are allegedly so racist, why did the candidate poll so well?

As Townhall astutely noticed, however, the “Florida is racist” narrative falls apart under basic scrutiny. Anybody with a memory slightly longer than a goldfish will remember that in two recent presidential elections, those same voters had no problem embracing a black candidate.

“President Barack Obama beat white Republican candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012” in Florida Townhall pointed out. Obama, you may have noticed, is black. (His opponents, in case anyone forgets, were white.)

So the liberal narrative is now that for a period of eight years, Florida voters eagerly supported the first black president. Then, inexplicably, in the last month, millions of them in a state filled with all different ethnicities changed their minds and decided that dark skin is evil.

Again, it simply isn’t possible that they preferred DeSantis’ leadership for their state. No. For Democrats It has to be racism.

This is the problem with the liberal narrative: By twisting themselves into pretzels trying to explain election losses, they’re not only insulting huge swaths of voters, they’re also setting themselves up for more failure by refusing to learn anything. (See also: Clinton, Hillary R.)

If liberals would drop the denial for a few minutes and do some honest soul-searching, they might realize that it was Gillum’s position on the far left and not his skin color that put off voters in a fairly moderate state.

But that, of course, would require Democrats to admit that their message has drifted outside of the mainstream. It would require them to be rational.



Another Leftist attempt to deceive

If you followed the Georgia gubernatorial election, you probably know that the Democrats have placed the onus for Stacey Abrams’ loss on the allegation that Brian Kemp, in his role as Georgia secretary of state, deliberately engaged in voter suppression.

In her preposterous non-concession concession speech on Friday, Abrams said that “democracy failed Georgia” and basically implied Kemp was behind it. At issue were several Georgia laws involving “exact match” voter registration and purging non-active voters from the rolls.

Almost anyone involved should have known this. However, if you’ve been on Twitter recently and have some Democrats on your feed, you probably have seen a few tweets like this:

1.5 million purged by Brian Kemp

53k registrations on hold

4.5 hour lines

214 polling places closed

Dems falsely accused of cyber crimes

Candidate overseeing own election

A Republican won the Georgia governor's race, but it was tainted by voter suppression. As secretary of state, the Republican oversaw his own election, in which a slew of restrictions and missteps prevented people from voting.

Prominent Twitter user @AG_conservative was sick of seeing these sorts of complaints, so he put together a Twitter thread in which he addressed the accusations.

If no one else is going to respond to this, I guess I will have to. This list is intentionally misleading to give readers who don't know the facts a false impression and thus undermine a legitimate election. Thread with the truth about each of these accusations:

The "1.5 million purged" is the total number of voters that have been removed from the rolls since 2012. Many have been removed because they moved, committed felonies, died etc.

The overwhelming majority of the rest were removed because of Georgia's "Use it or lose it" law. And you may be surprised to find out who was responsible for that law. Or not.

This law was passed in 1997 by A Dem legislature and a Dem Governor in Georgia. Similar laws have been upheld by SCOTUS.  It requires the rolls to be updated by removing voters that have not voted for some time and do not respond to contact from the state.

Worth noting that the reason there was a large spike in 2017 was that the legally required maintenance was not done in 2015. 3 state officials oversee this effort to prevent major errors. None of them are Brian Kemp.

As for the 53,000 registrations on hold, he pointed to the “exact match” law — something that was often dismissed or glossed over by the media.

These registrations were labeled pending, but that occurred because there was some discrepancy between their registration and their files. All of these voters could still vote w/ normal ballots as long as they provided ID at the polling place

As for the lines, well, welcome to Election Day. Of course, that’s something voters could have avoided and it had little to do with Kemp:

These registrations were labeled pending, but that occurred because there was some discrepancy between their registration and their files. All of these voters could still vote w/ normal ballots as long as they provided ID at the polling place.

5 Hour lines. Yes, there were long lines at some polling locations. That happens on election day. GA does have early voting options. Local officials manage those place and it has little to do with the Secretary of State.

Ok. Let me further elaborate on this one. Most places had relatively short waiting times (varies by time of day). There was ONE polling location (Anniston Elementary School) in ONE county (Gwinnett) that had machines malfunction, which led to that wait.

"214 polling places closed"

This is the total number of polling places closed across the state since 2012. Those places were consolidated with other locations to save money. Those decisions were made by local County officials to save money, and have 0 to do with Kemp.

"Dems falsely accused of cyber crimes"

This one probably has the most basis for controversy, but the investigation is still pending. Dems hired cybersecurity experts to test a voter info page after a report from a voter about vulnerabilities. This raised red flags

I don't think Kemp's office handled the allegation in #5 well, especially given how close they were to the election, but almost all of the other examples were legitimate activities that had little to do with Kemp. Creation of a myth to suggest otherwise undermines our elections.

Yes, all the evidence and that apparently still doesn’t make it right. The only thing that would have made it right, one guesses, is if Stacey Abrams had won. If not, well, it was definitely voter suppression — and of the racist variety, no less.

This should be treated as a joke, but the media has been covering Abrams’ allegations as if there was a definite ring of truth behind them. There isn’t. All they have to do is look at the facts. We’ve presented them before, but this is the best adumbration of it that we’ve seen thus far.

The pretense that Gov.-elect Kemp did anything wrong is insulting to our intelligence and to the democratic process. It’s time for Democrats to admit that they lost, that it was a fair election and that their baseless, race-baiting innuendoes have poisoned the process.

Nothing less, at this point, will suffice.



NBC report highlights need to confirm Trump nominee for public housing

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging Senate confirmation of Hunter Kurtz to Assistant Secretary of Public Housing in response to an NBC News report on many multifamily housing units failing their inspections:

“Secretary Carson has made it a priority to push for a complete overhaul of the public assisted housing program, with a goal towards to eliminating all substandard living conditions. Incredibly Senate Democrats have blocked the Trump administration nominee for Assistant Secretary of Public Housing, Hunter Kurtz, who would oversee this critical public safety and health area within HUD. If anything, the NBC report highlights the importance of confirming the President’s nominees to put the Trump agenda into place and enforce housing law. The Democrats think it’s funny when they play politics with Trump’s nominees, when in reality hamstringing attempts to improve the lives of those who need housing assistance is anything but.”



Election posters

Election posters can be a strong guide to the policy of the party that puts them up.  That was certainly so in prewar Germany.  So I have collected a few Nazi posters over the years.  They often show how Leftist was Hitler's appeal.  A new such poster has come my way.  It is below. It tells the workers how much better is life under the Nazis. The worker orientation is of course traditionally Leftist

The lines at the bottom translate as follows:

Before: Unemployment; Loss of hope
        Neglect, strikes, lockouts
Today:  Work, joy, duty, racial comradeship
Therefore give your voice to the Leader (Hitler)

I am not a native speaker of German so would welcome a possibly better translation from anyone who is


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, 2018

Pregnant women who take paracetamol could lower their child's IQ and raise their risk of autism, research finds

No drug is free of side-effects but I have long noted that paracetamol (APAP) is much more dangerous than aspirin, principally because of its well-established liver toxicity.  The findings below would seem to add to that message but maybe not.  People who take a lot of painkillers are probably of worse health overall.  So maybe all we are seeing is that the children of unhealthy mother are unhealthy too. 

The journal article is "Prenatal Exposure to Acetaminophen and Risk for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis, and Meta-Regression Analysis of Cohort Studies" and the authors  there are also cautious about the meaning of the findings.  They say: "These findings are concerning; however, results should be interpreted with caution given that the available evidence consists of observational studies and is susceptible to several potential sources of bias.

Women who take paracetamol during pregnancy risk lowering their child's IQ, a study has revealed. Taking the drug is also associated with a higher risk of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and autism.  

Researchers from US universities, including Harvard, reviewed nine studies that looked at 150,000 mothers and babies in total.  Their findings suggest that the balance of hormones in the uterus are altered by taking paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen (APAP).

One study analysed found a three-point drop in IQ for five-year-old children whose mothers had taken paracetamol for pain relief without fever. Other research shows youngsters exposed to the drug in the womb struggled with speech.

It's not the first time scientists have found a link between paracetamol use and delayed speech.

In January, research from New York found that taking the go-to-pain relieving drug during pregnancy delays babies' speech by up to six times.  

Expectant mothers who take acetaminophen more than six times during their early pregnancies are significantly more likely to have daughters with limited vocabularies, the study found.   

Paracetamol is generally available without prescription and is the most commonly used medication in pregnancy.   

Research this year has shown the common painkiller can raise a child's risk of ADHD by up to 30 per cent, and up to a 20 per cent for autism, when taken by their mothers.

The study, led by Dr Ilan Matok, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, analysed 132,738 mother-child pairs over three-to-11 years.

Dr Matok said: 'Our findings suggest an association between prolonged acetaminophen use and an increase in the risk of autism and ADHD.'



Bernie Sanders Vows in Tweet to ‘Put an End’ to Walmart's ‘Outrageous Greed’ with ‘The Stop WALMART Act’

It's pretty clear that, as a traditional Leftist, what drives him is rage at wealth.  His real aim is to tear down the rich, not lift up the poor

In a flurry of tweets on his Twitter page late last week, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) vowed to “put an end” to Walmart’s “outrageous greed” by introducing “The Stop WALMART Act.”

“While Walmart claims it cannot afford to pay its workers $15 an hour, it was able to find enough money to pay its CEO more than $22 million last year,” wrote Sen. Bernie Sanders on Twitter Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. “Tomorrow @RepRoKhanna and I will be introducing The Stop WALMART Act to put an end to their outrageous greed.”

A day prior, Sen. Sanders went after the Walton family specifically, noting the amount he claims they make in one day and reiterating his intention to introduce legislation to compel Walmart to pay its workers more money.

“Last year, 4 members of the Walton family of Walmart made $12.7 billion in 1 day,” wrote Sen. Bernie Sanders in a tweet on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. “It would take a full-time Walmart worker making $11/hr over 653,000 years to make that much.

“Thursday, @RepRoKhanna and I are introducing legislation to make Walmart pay its workers a living wage,” continued Sanders in the same tweet.

It would take a full-time Walmart worker making $11/hr over 653,000 years to make that much.

Thursday, @RepRoKhanna and I are introducing legislation to make Walmart pay its workers a living wage.

“The Walton family on Walmart owns more wealth than the bottom 40% of Americans. “Meanwhile 55% of Walmart’s associates are food insecure.

“This is what we mean when we talk about a rigged economy, and why I’m introducing a bill tomorrow to make Walmart start paying a living wage.”

In another post, Sen. Sanders retweeted a piece from CNN.com on the unveiling of the “Stop Walmart Act.” The CNN piece did acknowledge that Walmart “raised its minimm wage to $11 an hour” this past February.

In a final tweet on the topic to date, Sen. Sanders said Friday, “I say to the Walton family of Walmart: The American people are sick and tired of subsidizing your greed. Get off of welfare and pay your workers a living wage.”



Ocasio-Cortez Makes Embarrassing Gaffe; Doesn’t Know What The 3 Branches Of Govt Are

She must be the most ill-informed politician of all time.  She has only her hate going for her.  She even appears to hate some of her fellow Leftists

New York Democratic Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who will officially become a member of Congress in January, has no idea how the federal government works.

On Saturday night, the young socialist held a Facebook live video chat to urge people to support Democrats taking back “all three chambers of Congress.”

“The Progressive movement works and it wins in all districts. If we work our butts off to make sure that we take back all three chambers of Congress– three chambers of government,” she said.

After realizing there aren’t three “chambers” of government, she attempted to clarify by saying she meant the House, Senate, and White House.

The three branches of government are the legislative, executive, and judicial. And it was quite obvious to many that the socialist darling had no idea what she was talking about.



Prison Reform: Major Achievement for President Trump

Trump has endorsed the bipartisan criminal justice reform bill. It would  expand rehabilitative opportunities and reduce mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related crimes

Ken Blackwell
The FIRST STEP Act is the beginning of a transformation of America’s federal criminal justice system into what it should have always been: a system that makes America safer. This legislation unites conservatives, police, civil rights advocates, civil libertarians, business leaders, and supporters of social justice. Supporting this legislation means supporting an America that is fair.

The fact that law-enforcement groups like the Fraternal Order of Police and The International Association of Chiefs of Police support this legislation indicates this is nothing of what critics' claim. In fact, it is a conservative issue whose time has come at the federal level. I have battled with many of my friends about what criminal justice reform is and what it is not. 

As conservatives, we should ensure that the punishment fits the crime. Our judicial system should not be one size fits all. Yet an adherence to rigid mandatory minimum laws means that federal judges too often must impose a sentence that cannot be adjusted based on the specific facts of the case. This is not a conservative position.

It is also not a conservative position to put faith in a bureaucratic system like the Bureau of Prisons as a tower of virtue. We know what bureaucracies do — primarily spend too much money with a lot of overhead and no real solutions to problems. A prison population that is overwhelmed with low-level crimes like selling an elephant tusk on the Internet or violating a fishing license is absurd.

Or take Weldon Angelos, a man who was sentenced to 55 years in federal prison because he sold marijuana while possessing an otherwise legal firearm, even though he never used the gun. The judge in this case had no choice but to impose an absurd sentence for a low-level drug offense.

Even as we feel a moral command to ensure our criminal justice system reflects our values, it is important to remember that the First Step Act is not an article of faith. It is based on proven results in states across the country. Indeed, it is red states like Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina that have proven we can both cut crime and incarceration at the same time.

Part of these states' recipe for success was expanding proven rehabilitation programs, including those with a faith component, which has been excluded from the federal component. I have many friends and colleagues who have been in prison ministries that see results, whether it is through education or helping prisoners to turn their lives around. The empathy we show the less fortunate is a mandate by God to do justice but to love mercy.

This legislation provides a way for prisoners to reenter society and become productive citizens again via education and job programs that get them back on the right track. Ninety-five percent of prisoners who enter federal prison will one day get out. Why would we not do what we can as a society to make sure they are connected with their families?

The First Step Act invests $250 million over the next decade in such programs, but research suggests by reducing recidivism we will obtain a strong return on this investment.

This legislation is a win for the American people, but it is also a win for this president. Not only would he be transforming the lives of millions of Americans, he would be achieving something his predecessor only gave lip service to. Even when he had complete control of Congress, Barack Obama didn’t even try to move legislation that would most notably impact the African-American community.

I see the leadership of this president. Donald Trump has not forgotten about the disenfranchised, whom the Left always says it is looking out for.

This is a law-and-order president who believes in justice, and the First Step Act will get us closer to true justice. It is surprising that supporters of President Trump would not see how significant and important this would be for the president and the country. It would show he can work across the aisle leading with conservative principles, as he has for the past two years.

It’s time to get it done!



Stoking Division
Do you recall during the final 2016 presidential debate when Donald Trump was asked to preemptively surrender by accepting the results of the presidential election if he lost? Trump said it would depend on the circumstances. In other words, he wasn’t going to accept cheating.

Democrats and their media allies were shocked and outraged. Hillary Clinton accused Trump of “denigrating” and “talking down our democracy.”

Well, Democrats were shocked again on Nov. 8, 2016, when they lost the presidential election. Hillary Clinton refused to accept the results on Election Night. She sent her campaign chairman, John Podesta, out to tell the crowd to go home.

And almost immediately, Clinton’s top campaign officials met and plotted out a narrative to undermine the legitimacy of Trump’s election by promoting the idea that he colluded with the Russians.

They have convinced a sizable percentage of the country that the president was not duly elected, that the election was stolen from them. They further undermined the confidence of the same portion of the country that is already inclined to violence.

As I have noted before, the Left has been engaging in political violence for decades. It subsided for a time, but came roaring back with the Occupy Wall Street movement in the Obama years and then with the rise of antifa.

One recent poll found that as many as 35% of Americans feel it is okay to engage in violence to pursue political ends.

Fast forward to 2018. Once again, Democrats are the ones refusing to accept the results of the elections and “talking down our democracy.”

Lawyers representing Stacey Abrams, the Democrat nominee for governor of Georgia, are preparing to go into court to demand a new election. She is being encouraged by top Democrats, all possible 2020 contenders, who are stoking the fires on the fringe Left by suggesting that the Georgia race was “stolen” from Abrams.

At a financial summit on Tuesday, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker said, “I think that Stacey Abrams’ election is being stolen from her, using what I think are insidious measures to disenfranchise certain groups of people.”

That same evening, Hillary Clinton told an audience in Austin, Texas, “If [Abrams] had a fair election, she already would have won.”

And speaking to Al Sharpton’s group Wednesday, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown said, “If Stacey Abrams doesn’t win in Georgia, they stole it. It’s clear. It’s clear. I say that publicly.”

Ironically, they are saying this when it seems more and more races are being stolen by the Left. By the way, all three federal judges who have been dragging out the election disputes in Florida and Georgia are Obama appointees!



72 percent say media ‘dividing Americans,’ spreading ‘hate’

Nearly three-quarters of the country believes that the media are “dividing Americans” along political, racial, and gender lines, a stunning condemnation of the press, according to a new national survey.

What’s more, the Zogby Analytics poll provided to Secrets said that the media bias is sparking hate and misunderstanding.

And while Americans also blame President Trump for dividing voters, the survey analysis said the media are worse. Those surveyed, said Zogby Analytics, “felt the mainstream media spreads hate and misunderstanding, also felt that President Trump is responsible for the spread of hate and misunderstanding, but more voters overall, and in most sub-groups, blame the media slightly more!”

While 7-in-10 men and women agreed that the media are to blame for dividing the nation, Republicans were nearly unanimous while just 51 percent of Democrats said the press was to blame.



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, 2018

If Trump Ended Birthright Citizenship by Executive Order, He’d Be Enforcing Existing Law

President Donald Trump’s critics have found something else to rend their garments over: his determination to end so-called “birthright citizenship.” Why, they thunder, it’s unconstitutional. And even if it could be changed, it can’t be by executive order.

They’re wrong on both counts.

That probably comes as a surprise to many Americans, including some who consider themselves Trump supporters. Haven’t we all been told for years that if you’re born here, you’re automatically a U.S. citizen? It’s all right there in the 14th Amendment. No matter who your parents are or what their status is, you’re an American. Simple as that.

Or is it? Consider the actual wording: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside.”

Seems pretty cut and dry, but check out that crucial clause: “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” It’s easy to mumble over it, but we shouldn’t. The Senate included it there for a reason when it passed the amendment in 1868: to make it clear that not everyone born here is automatically a citizen.

Being born here is only half the equation. You also must be “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” The original proposed wording of the amendment did not include that phrase. It was inserted specifically to make it clear that the law did not, in fact, confer citizenship on everyone born here.

Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan, a member of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction and a strong supporter of the Citizenship Clause, noted that Congress intended to exclude “persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, [or] who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States.” Supreme Court cases decided in the years soon after the amendment’s passage confirm this view.

Moreover, says constitutional scholar Edward Erler: “It is hard to conclude that the framers of the 14th Amendment intended to confer citizenship on the children of aliens illegally present when they explicitly denied that boon to Native Americans legally present but subject to a foreign jurisdiction.”

Notes Hillsdale College’s Matthew Spalding: “Few developed nations practice the rule of jus soli, or ‘right of the soil.’ More common is jus sanguinis, ‘right of blood,’ by which a child’s citizenship is determined by parental citizenship, not place of birth.”

In short, it was wise of Congress to limit the scope of the amendment. And those who misinterpret it are wrong. Trump should be commended for trying to bring current understanding back in line with the original intent of the framers.

That leaves us with the question of whether he would be right to set this issue straight via an executive order. Some people who agree with him on birthright citizenship, such as National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy, believe that he shouldn’t. They argue that it should be done by the same body that issued the amendment in the first place: Congress.

In other words, this is a job for Congress, the branch of government that creates our laws, not the executive, which enforces them.

According to McCarthy, a president cannot “unilaterally change an understanding of the law that has been in effect for decades under a duly enacted federal law.”

Granted, but as constitutional scholar Hans von Spakovsky points out, “that assumes the ‘understanding’ is the correct one. If that understanding actually violates the plain text and intent of the law, the president as the chief law-enforcement officer can, and indeed has an obligation, to direct the federal government to begin applying and enforcing it correctly.”

To put it another way, the president here would not be attempting to make a new law, but to enforce the correct view of an existing law.

Sure, his order would be immediately challenged. Perhaps we’d even wind up with Congress clarifying the original intent of the law. All the more reason to do it. Fairness demands that we get this issue settled—and soon.



The kosher-industrial complex

When there's a need, a free market will answer it

by Jeff Jacoby

IN THE 1960s and 1970s, when my four siblings and I were kids, we weren't allowed to eat Oreo or Pepperidge Farm cookies. Tootsie Rolls were off-limits, too. So were Bazooka bubble gum and Jelly Bellies. And though we often heard the commercial jingle proclaiming "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee," that was a claim the Jacoby youngsters could never verify empirically.

Our parents weren't opposed to sweets. But we grew up in an Orthodox Jewish home where kashrut — the kosher dietary laws — were observed. And none of those yummy treats was kosher.

Now, however, all of them are kosher, along with scores of thousands of other products available in American supermarkets — everything from salsa and spring rolls to salmon and scotch. And thereby hangs a tale: a tale of age-old religious commitment combining with capitalist innovation and in the process transforming a major US industry.

With kosher food as with so many other things, where there is a need, a free market will satisfy it.

America has undergone a kosher revolution. It wasn't all that long ago that demand for kosher food was restricted to a tiny niche of the public — Jews amount to less than 2 percent of the US population, and only a minority of Jews keep kosher. When my mother, who was raised in a non-observant Jewish home in Ohio, began keeping the dietary laws in the early 1950s, she at first had so much trouble finding kosher food that in three months she had lost 20 pounds.

Today, kosher is everywhere. More than 40 percent of packaged foods and beverages now sold in the United States are kosher, their labels bearing the logo of a trusted kashrut-certifying agency, such as the Orthodox Union (OU) or Star-K. Mainstream supermarkets routinely stock large kosher sections. Some grocery chains have become a kosher foodie paradise. American consumers spend an estimated $13 billion annually on kosher food, with sales growing by double digits each year. In her 2010 book Kosher Nation, a deep dive into kashrut in contemporary America, journalist Sue Fishkoff explained that the desire for food certified as kosher goes far beyond the relatively tiny demographic of observant Jews.

"More than 11.2 million Americans regularly buy kosher food, 13 percent of the adult consumer population," Fishkoff writes. "These are people who buy the products because they are kosher, not shoppers who pick up Heinz ketchup, Miller beer, or Cheerios because they like the taste or the price." But only about 1.5 million of those customers are Jews committed to keeping kosher, she points out, which means that "at least 86 percent of the nation's 11.2 million kosher consumers are not religious Jews." Eighty-six percent!

The rules of kashrut, which originated in biblical times, govern both the permissibility and the preparation of food. Some foods are explicitly banned, such as shellfish or pork. Others, such as beef and poultry, are allowed — but only if the animal was properly slaughtered and the meat drained of blood. Moreover, dairy and meat products may never be combined. As with most codes of law, the general principles are only the starting point. The devil is in the details, which multiply exponentially when food is processed and packaged in industrial facilities, with ingredients that often include additives, emulsifiers, colorings, or enzymes sourced from manufacturers worldwide.

With the rise of 20th-century food technology, determining whether a product was kosher increasingly required expertise far beyond the ken of a typical Jewish homemaker. That led to the birth of professional, nonprofit kashrut agencies. "In the early 1920s, the OU came up with a plan to offer food manufacturers a kosher supervision and certification process that would be recognized by Jewish consumers nationwide," Fishkoff recounts. The first company to take up the offer was Heinz, whose canned vegetarian beans began carrying kosher certification in 1923 — a distinction the company played up in advertising targeted to Jews.

But other companies were slow — very slow — to follow suit. In 1945, the OU's kosher symbol appeared on just 184 products made by 37 companies; by 1961, that had grown to 1,830 products from 359 companies — still a mere drop in the food-industry bucket.

Gradually, though, market demand for kosher food was spreading beyond observant Jews. Vegetarians began to see kosher certification on a dairy product as a guarantee that it contained no animal byproducts whatsoever. Muslims, for whom pigs are anathema, learned that the kosher symbol on a package meant there was no pork or lard inside. Other consumers came to associate kashrut with a higher level of purity than US law mandates — an association encouraged by the tagline of a famous Hebrew National hot dog commercial: "We're kosher, and have to answer to an even higher authority."

Critical mass was reached in the late 1980s. "Applications for kosher certification have been pouring in at a rate of 25 to 30 a month, double that of five years ago," observed The New York Times in 1989. Food companies had discovered that the costs of going kosher — replacing ingredients, upgrading equipment, paying for on-site supervision — were more than repaid with increased sales. Jelly Belly, for example, had to spend $650,000 to replace the non-kosher starch it had always used in its candy. Yet within a year of becoming kosher, the company's chief operating officer exulted: "Our product is flying off the shelf."

Big Food's stampede to kashrut has turned kosher certification into a global operation. According to OU officials, the agency now certifies 800,000 products produced in more than 8,500 plants in nearly half the world's countries. And OU is only one (albeit the largest) of the kashrut agencies.

Some foods, of course, can never be kosher. Unlike the forbidden Oreos of my youth, McDonald's Double Cheeseburgers and New England clam chowder will never be brought under the tent. But kosher has undeniably gone mainstream. In the rise of the kosher-industrial complex, all parties have come out ahead. It has generated a vast array of formerly inaccessible options for a small religious minority. It has enabled a key industry to meet a growing market demand and reap billions of dollars in revenue. It has enriched contemporary American culture with one of the most ancient food traditions of all. And it has done it all not through top-down coercion, but through voluntary private cooperation.

What could be more quintessentially American?



GOP House Scrambling To Pass Agenda Before Democrats Take Over

With the impending change in power in the House of Representatives following the midterm elections, the outgoing majority Republicans have a ticking clock to make headway on their agenda initiatives.

According to The Daily Caller News Foundation, Republican representatives are optimistic that they will be able to pass key legislation before the end of their term.

Ohio’s Republican Rep. Jim Jordan named a list of priority bills that he thinks Republicans should try to send to President Donald Trump’s desk before Republicans lose their majority.

“Republicans still have an opportunity to do what we said,” Jordan told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Tuesday.

“We should fund the border security wall, pass a farm bill that requires able-bodied adults to work if they receive welfare, and keep working to hold the FBI and (Department of Justice) accountable for their misconduct during and after the 2016 election,” he said.

Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, recommended that Trump find bipartisan issues that both parties will agree to push forward.

“The Democrats risk looking like a party having a temper tantrum if they continue to just resist and persecute,” Schlapp said to TheDCNF. They may dislike the president but he persists and they need to find a way to be constructive.”

“The administration should also try to work on issues they can work together on like infrastructure, 5G, increasing labor availability, limiting overseas military engagements and the Nat’l security issues around China,” he continued.

“The Democrats have a chance to look like they are ready for this moment and with big problems voters will be judging if this is a fling or a long-term commitment.”

Prior to the midterms, outgoing House Majority Leader Paul Ryan promised Trump a “big fight” to find funding for the border wall as soon as midterm elections had passed, The Associated Press reported.

“We intend on having a full-fledged discussion about how to complete this mission of securing our border and we will have a big fight about it,” Ryan said during a speech at the National Press Club.

Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady was positive as he spoke to reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Brady said Republicans will pass legislation before the end of the year if they’re not obstructed by Democrats.

Among the issues that Brady believes Republicans should address are the Family Savings Act and Tax Reform 2.0.

“So we’ve got a couple of priorities for the lame duck. Obviously, Tax Reform 2.0 passed out the House in July with 44 Democratic votes for the three bills, so we’re hopeful that we can find bipartisan support and common ground for some of that here in the lame duck,” Brady said, according to The Daily Caller.

“I think, especially the Family Savings Act, which is a big step forward on helping families and workers save more and earlier. I think we’ve done good bipartisan work there, with the Senate as well, so I’m hopeful,” he added.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, who is slated to win the Senate seat following the end of the Florida recount, told TheDCNF that he plans to work with “everybody” on crucial legislation.

“I think everyone comes up here with an idea of what they’d like to accomplish for their citizens they represent,” Scott told TheDCNF on Wednesday.

“I’m in the same position. I’m going to work with everybody I can to get stuff done and I hope everybody else does the same thing.”



Trump Predicts Democrats Will ‘Come to Their Senses,’ Threatens Government Shutdown If They Don’t

President Donald Trump said Saturday the looming arrival of a caravan of migrants would make the coming weeks a time to take a stand for border security or risk a government shutdown.

Trump said he thinks Democrats will “come to their senses” and no shutdown will be necessary.

The president spoke to the media briefly Saturday as he was preparing to leave for California. “We’re talking about border wall, we’re talking about quite a big sum of money, about $5 billion,” Trump said.

The proposal has been a hard sell for many Republicans and is rejected by most Democrats. It is now coming to the fore as an issue because border wall funding is part of a bill that must be passed by Dec. 7 to keep the government fully operational.

“I think probably, if I was ever going to do a shutdown over border security, when you look at the caravans, when you look at the mess, when you look at the people coming in, this would be a very good time to do a shutdown,” Trump said.

Trump said he does expect that eventuality, the Washington Times reported.

“I don’t think it’s going to be necessary, because I think the Democrats will come to their senses, and if they don’t come to their senses, we will continue to win elections,” he said.



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

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


19 November, 2018

A New Face and a New Mission For Republicans

Address by David Horowitz to a gathering of Colorado legislators following the mid-terms

Here’s my lesson from the recent election in my newly adopted state: You’re too damn nice.

Democrats call Republicans “racists, sexists, homophobes, Islamophobes, xenophobes” and “Nazis.” And Republicans call Democrats … “liberals.” Stop it! What are Democrats liberal about except sex, drugs, spending other people’s money, coddling criminals, giving America’s mortal enemies like Iran the benefit of the doubt, nuclear weapons and billions in cash to finance their terrorist activities, and opening borders to terrorists, sexual predators and whoever comes along? Democrats don’t even believe in due process any more. Innocent until proven guilty? That’s for aging white men – Republicans. The Democrats are satisfied with guilt by accusation. The Democratic Party is a party of racists, character assassins and, oh, liars. Say it.

Democrats, as should also be apparent from this election are the party of the rich – they outspent you by $330 million in this election. Why are you keeping that a secret? Why don’t you ever mention that fact and nail them for their hypocrisy as pretending to be champions of the poor? Democrats are the party of race and gender oppression: if you are white Christian and male, you are guilty before the fact, and if you are female or “of color,” you are innocent even if the facts prove you guilty. Democrats control every inner city of size in America 100%, and have for 50 to 100 years. Every injustice, every oppression, every killing field, every failed school system which year in and year out destroys the lives of poor mainly black and Hispanic children, Democrats are 100% responsible for. Yet you are too polite to ever mention it. Democrats are a party of racists with their boot heels on the necks of the inner-city poor, mainly black and Hispanic. Fight fire with fire. Before you say anything else, blast them with these facts. You need this to neutralize their efforts to demonize you.

How did the Democratic Party become a party of leftwing racism and anti-Americanism? Through the schools. From kindergarten to university, American schools have been transformed by the ideological left into training and indoctrination centers for radical, anti-American ideas. On every publicly funded university campus from Boulder to Fort Collins, without exception, conservatives are as rare as unicorns, and conservative required texts and speakers as well. This purging of conservatives from publicly supported schools does not happen by accident. Yet it has happened over a forty-year period without any challenge from Republican legislators.

Fifteen years ago, I came to Colorado to launch a campaign for an Academic Bill of Rights that would ensure that university students were presented with two sides to controversial questions, presented in a fair-minded manner, and that they would have access to required readings from conservatives as well as leftists. I met with eleven of you at the Brown Palace. John Andrews who was then leader of the Colorado senate sponsored a resolution supporting my bill that was passed unanimously by both houses of the legislature.

But Republicans lost the elections the following year, and nothing was ever done to implement viewpoint diversity in the educational system. During the next fifteen years, while Republicans did nothing to push back, the academic left became more and more radical, so now the primary curriculum of the liberal arts divisions of Colorado public universities, teaches hatred of white Christian males, and hatred of this great democracy they created.

I’m back again to try to prod you to do something so that the destructive left doesn’t have another 15 years to groom communist cadres to enter the Democratic Party and work to destroy this country.

To begin with, I would like to persuade you to form a committee or caucus that focuses on education, and specifically on what is taught in the classroom, rather than just educational budgets and the like. Let me give you can idea of what is being taught in the classroom. Here is a curriculum that ought to make your hairs stand on end. It is called “Forms of Oppression.”

When I hear the word “oppression” in reference to America, I immediately know that there is an anti-American Marxist behind it. No one is oppressed in America – although you couldn’t tell that to Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren or the Democrat National Committee, who think America is a nation of racial and sexual hierarchies, and is characterized by systemic racism and sexism. This is the leftwing, identity politics fantasy that warps the thinking of progressives and Democrats. The reality is nothing of the kind. No one – no race, no gender, no class - is oppressed in America. If they were there would be an exodus from this country. If you are oppressed and you are free to leave, you do. No one is leaving America. There are legions and caravans composed of people of color risking their lives to come here. Why do you think Haitians risk their lives to become Americans? To be oppressed? On the contrary. They are desperate to come here because they have more rights, more privileges, more freedom and more opportunity as black Haitians in America than they do in Haiti, which has been run by blacks for over 200 years.

But in our schools they are teaching that America is a system of racial and sexual hierarchies oppressing women, minorities and the poor. This is the curriculum “Forms of Oppression” I just mentioned:

So, whites, heterosexuals, successful people, Christians are oppressors, while “people of color,” women, gays, poor people, and all religions but Christians are oppressed. And social justice requires attacks on white privilege, male privilege, heterosexual privilege, class privilege and Christianity. This is the creed of cultural Marxism, and it is the current philosophy of the Democratic Party, and the American educational system, including all of Colorado’s universities.

This particular curriculum I have outlined – or rather provided the outline of, is not for college students, however. It has been drawn up especially for K-12 students. It is, in fact, a K-12 curriculum underwritten by the Santa Barbara California School District to the tune of a quarter of a million dollars. The organization responsible for it, which calls itself “Just Communities,” is already operating in a dozen states, and is only one of dozens, maybe hundreds of similar radical organizations that are providing K-12 curriculums across the country, including Black Lives Matter, and the Muslim Brotherhood front group, CAIR.

To combat these sinister forces, my organization has drawn up a “Code of Ethics for K-12 Teachers,” which would, if enforced, stop the current use of K-12 classrooms as political platforms for the left, and restore the only kind of education appropriate to a democracy – one that teaches students how to think, and doesn’t tell them what to think.

If you’re not familiar with what is going on in K-12 schools across the country, kindergarteners and first graders are being taught that they have “gender fluidity” and “white skin privilege,” and that the election of Donald Trump was a tragedy. The National Science Foundation has given a $1 million grant to Drexel University to train 20 teachers in “Social Justice in Mathematics,” which consists of using leftwing statistics as examples in arithmetic problems. Apparently no part of the K-12 curriculum is to be free of indoctrination in racist, destructive, and discredited leftwing ideas.

The whole nation witnessed what this politicization of the K-12 schools can entail following the Parkland School shooting, when Democrat-aligned teacher unions across the country, recruited their K-12 students to leave their classrooms and participate in a gun control “March for Life” to advance a specific Democrat political agenda.

How would the “Code of Ethics for K-12 Teachers” stop this politicization of our educational system? By legislation that would declare partisan advocacy unprofessional and unacceptable for K-12 teachers. Based on the Hatch Act, which prevents civil servants from using their position to advance partisan political agendas, the Code forbids public school teachers from advocating for a political candidate or political party in the classroom, and extends that principle to preventing them advocating on either side of any controversial issue. A controversial issue is defined as any issue that appears in the platform of a political party.

I would like you first to form an education caucus which would focus on these curriculum issues and see that teachers adhere to a professional standard appropriate to a democracy like ours. In addition to forming the aforementioned education caucus, I would like you to put the K-12 Code in statutory form, as has already been done in Virginia, and is being done in other states. Obviously, the legislation cannot be enacted at this moment, since you have lost your majority. But the battle is itself important, something that unlike Democrats, Republicans don’t often understand. The battle itself will draw attention to what is actually going on in our schools, and will have the effect of mobilizing parents to fight back.

I consider this to be one of the most important battles Republicans can wage. Not only because it exposes the racism of the identity politics left, and their abuse of our children. But because our country and its principles cannot survive if we surrender our schools to people at war with them.



Crooks and Communists Fight to Lead House Democratic Caucus

These are the charmers in the new Democrat House

The chair of the Democratic Caucus is one of those influential positions that nobody thinks twice about.

In 2016, Rep. Linda Sanchez got to be the vice-chair of the Democratic Caucus and her appointment was touted as an identity politics first. To get the job, Rep. Sanchez had to beat out Rep. Barbara Lee, an admirer of murderous Communist dictator Fidel Castro. And Sanchez only beat out Lee by two votes.

Together with sister, Loretta Sanchez, who had warned, "the Vietnamese and the Republicans are... trying to take this seat", the Sanchez sisters were also the only disgraceful sister duo in the House.

Rep. Sanchez had set her sights on serving as the chair of the Democratic Caucus, a position formerly held by luminaries like Senator Bob Menendez, Rep. John Larson, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Dan Rostenkowski, sent to prison for mail fraud. But then her husband was indicted on corruption charges.

Sanchez announced that she was dropping out of the contest to due to “an unexpected family matter.”

”Earlier today I learned that my husband is facing charges in Connecticut,” Sanchez stated. “After careful consideration of the time and energy being in leadership demands, I have decided that my focus now needs to be on my son, my family, and my constituents in California."

James Sullivan, Sanchez’s husband, who served as the chair of the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Corporation, along with others is accused of misusing $800K from CMEEC on trips to the Kentucky Derby and luxury golf resorts, chartered planes and high end hotels.

The Justice Department press release mentions, “trips for Sullivan and his family members to attend the Kentucky Derby in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and airfare for a flight for Sullivan’s wife to travel to Key West, Florida, in December 2014.”

That refers to Rep. Linda Sanchez, whose House Democrats bio claims that she had fought to help “hard working people get ahead”.  Or at least the hard working horses at the Kentucky Derby

It’s best to focus on the needs of your constituents in California when flying to Florida and Kentucky at the expense of homeowners in Connecticut and the Department of Energy is no longer an option.

Sanchez’s office had claimed that the Kentucky Derby trip had been okayed by the House Ethics Committee whose approval she had sought “out of an abundance of caution”.

And then the FBI investigation began.

But that’s not the end of that scandal.

Norwich Public Utilities had also paid out $35,000 to settle a harassment complaint against Sanchez's husband by a female employee.

The love story of Sanchez and Sullivan was the usual romantic Democrat tale of crony love at taxpayer expense. Sullivan met Sanchez while on a trip to lobby Congress for an exception for stimulus spending for the Metropolitan District Commission in Hartford.

Sullivan talked Rep. Larson into getting his guys a taste of that sweet stimulus spending. Then Rep. Larson introduced his new best friend to Rep. Sanchez and it was a match made in the swamp.

James Sullivan brought back $90 million back for the MDC and married his blushing bride in Rep. Larson’s office. Rep. Sanchez described their relationship as, “down to earth, committed and heartfelt.”

Now it’s Sullivan who might end up being committed.

Rep. Larson, a major stimulus booster, was the former chair and vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus. Sullivan’s relationship with Rep. Larson dated back to his college days. Sullivan had tried to run for Congress and his bio describes him as “long active in Democratic Party politics” and a "delegate to the 2000 Democratic National Convention." He won his primary and was backed by the New York Times.

Sullivan seemed to combine his lobbying with JMS Consulting while serving as a board member and chairman at the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative and a board member and chairman at Norwich Public Utilities. Sullivan had been paid to lobby for the Metropolitan District Commission.

While Sullivan was on the CMEEC board, MDC got into business with the CMEEC. Sullivan was also paid to lobby for Brightfields, a solar energy company, which partnered with CMEEC for the “largest solar and energy storage system in Connecticut”.

If Rep. Sanchez had been a Republican, the entanglement of a House vice-chair in vice would have been front page news. Instead it was carefully buried. There were few stories about it before the midterms.

And almost all the coverage has been local.

With Rep. Sanchez out, the Vice-Chair of the Democratic Caucus has become a two person race between Rep. Barbara Lee, an admirer of Fidel Castro, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who was paid $1.65 million by a law firm for which he worked, even while holding public office, allegedly without any clear sign of ever working on a case. Once in the House, Rep. Jeffries had vowed to tackle Republican corruption.

It’s a tough choice.

Rep. Barbara Lee is a radical leftist who praised Castro for having, “led a revolution in Cuba that led social improvements for his people.”

“We need to stop and pause and mourn his loss,” she had declared after his death.

Rep. Sanchez had only beaten out Rep. Lee for vice chair of the Democratic Caucus by two votes.

According to Jeffries, he received $1.52 million from a personal injury firm from the $25 million judgement for Eugene Sims, an armed criminal shot during a struggle over a gun with a police officer.

The race between Rep. Lee and Rep. Jeffries will divide the Congressional Black Caucus between its older hidebound members and a new generation of smoother activists. Either way though the position will belong to the Progressive Caucus: Lee, Jeffries and Sanchez are all members of the radical lefty club.

But some members are more radical than others.

If Rep. Barbara Lee becomes the next House Democratic Caucus chair, she will be its most “progressive” yet. Lee has a history with the Black Panthers and of collaborating with Communists. When Rep. Lee accuses Trump of colluding with Russia, it’s coming from a woman who did collude with the USSR.

“Outraged by President Trump’s 2 hr meeting w/Putin, the man who orchestrated attacks on our democracy. Where do his loyalties lie?” Rep. Lee demanded.

That might be a better question to ask a politician who aided Communist regimes throughout the Cold War, and who was publicly supported by the Communist Party in the United States. She’s an opponent of Israel, and opposed military action after 9/11. She’s also the likely next House Dem Caucus chair.

Rep. Lee used to serve on the board of a Soviet front group. Now she’ll be near the top of the Dems.

The new Democrat House will be divided between corrupt crooks and crooked Communists. The nearly $1 billion that bought them the House in the midterms will be used to steal trillions at taxpayer expense.

Edwin Edwards had famously run against a neo-Nazi on the slogan, "Vote For the Crook. It's Important." The Democrats may have lost their chance to vote for the crook. They’re stuck with the Communist.



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

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


18 November, 2018

Laura Ingraham Issues Dire Warning To GOP: Fix Voter Fraud Or Kiss 2020 Goodbye

Laura Ingraham is sounding the alarm for the GOP to fix voter fraud or else risk losing the 2020 election at their own peril.

In an op-ed for Fox News, Ingraham began by recalling the John F. Kennedy victory over Nixon, where voter fraud in Illinois and Texas is believed to have been what propelled the young Democrat to victory in 1960.

“We may be witnessing yet another in a series of stolen elections in Florida,” she began. “Democrats are experts at pulling swifties at the ballot box, you know, it is widely believed that they resorted to voter fraud in Illinois and Texas to tilt the election of John F. Kennedy over Nixon in 1960. And they may be up to their old tricks again.”

The Daily Wire reports:

Since last week’s mid-term election, all eyes have been focused on Broward County in Florida, where County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes has been exposed as a woman of either gross incompetence or shrewd machinations. Finding ballots in the trunks of people’s cars, lack of transparency with officials on the ballot counting process, and mixing illegal provisional ballots in with legal ones are just a few of the allegations leveled against her. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has even called for Snipes to step down.

Ingraham rightly noted that Republicans who raised the issue of voter fraud in Florida were roundly dismissed by the media, with both The New York Times and Chris Cuomo of CNN asserting that no proof exists of voter fraud.

She provides some helpful facts:

Things are so bad in Palm Beach that Governor Rick Scott, who is in a tight Senate race there, sued the county election supervisor, Susan Bucher.

The judge determined that she had illegally withheld over voted and under voted ballots from the canvassing board. And worse, she has refused to allow public scrutiny of the ballots.?

And the governor has also sued Broward County election supervisor — something of, kind of her own rock star, these days, Brenda Snipes. Now, Snipes is a piece of work. Her predecessor literally walked out of her office in 2003 for a grave and neglect mismanagement and incompetence. Practically a tradition down there in Broward. And in May, a judge found Brenda Snipes guilty of illegally destroying ballots during a primary election in 2016. Then in August, a court found her guilty of secretly opening mail-in ballots, which is illegal in her state.

Then on Friday, Governor Scott won his lawsuit against Snipes. The court found that in this election, she continued to “discover” new ballots. She was found in violation of the state’s public records law and has been ordered to release information to Governor Scott. So far, she hasn’t complied with the order.

Ingraham concluded her piece by warning the GOP that they have to take voter fraud seriously or risk losing the 2020 election, which could come down to close calls in key swing states.

“We cannot allow this flouting of the rules and procedures by corrupt officials or political hacks,” Ingraham asserted. “We can’t let it stand. If we allow this to go unchecked, it will undermine our democracy, and like a contagion, it’s going to spread across the nation.”

“If this isn’t cleaned up, I’m telling you, the GOP can kiss any hopes of restoring their majority, let alone a presidential victory, well, they can kiss it bye-bye in 2020,” she concluded.



Nancy Pelosi Isn’t Radical Enough For The Democrats: It’s Ocasio Cortez’s Party Now

Socialist know-nothing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the future of the Democrat Party. Nancy Pelosi is its past, but she’s probably its present too despite threats to deny her another Speakership.

Spectator USA reports:

The Ocasio-Cortez contingent in the party has determined that Nancy Pelosi simply isn’t radical enough. That will be news to many on the American Right for whom she has served as a longtime bête noir and whose strident advocacy of San Francisco values provided fodder for countless Republican campaign ads and fundraising letters.

For Republicans she’s a radical who favors amnesty, citizenship, and voting rights for illegal aliens, government funded abortion on demand, and impeaching the president. But in the current Democrat Party she’s a mushy moderate. For her part, Ocasio-Cortez spent Tuesday, her first day in Washington, DC, protesting climate change in Pelosi’s office. And here I thought climate change was President Trump’s fault.

So what do Democrats want? For one thing, they seem to want people decidedly to the Left of Pelosi. After all, in the recently past election they elected not only Ocasio-Cortez but also fellow-travelers like Lauren Underwood in Illinois and the Israel-hating Ilhan Omar who has been accused of marrying her brother. But that doesn’t mean Pelosi won’t take up the Speaker’s gavel again. She’s a shrewd and ruthless political operator who retains the loyalty of much of the caucus, even though some progressives promised in their campaigns this fall that they would not support her. And Democrats might not want internal strife right now.

Two years ago, when Donald Trump’s victory made the white working class that year’s electoral unicorn, some Democrats thought they needed a leader like Tim Ryan, a white, male, blue-collar Democrat from a rust-belt district in Ohio. He unsuccessfully challenged Pelosi for Speaker in 2017 and said the day before the midterms that he might do so again. This year, with a raft of recently-elected radical progressive women, Democrats are unlikely to find him compelling.

Democrats have, as ever, an aggressive legislative agenda that would, in Barack Obama’s words, ‘fundamentally transform the country’ but they know it’s going nowhere. House Democrats will probably pass a massive expansion of Medicaid, an amnesty bill, and maybe legislation to take control of elections away from the states. They won’t become law, but they will whet the appetite of their base and give them rallying points for their campaign to take control of the Senate in 2020 when Republicans will be defending 22 seats. But for now, with a divided Congress, everything but essential legislation will be mooted until 2021.

But unlike Republicans who, under the ineffectual leadership of the Ryan-McCarthy team dithered away two years of unified government, Democrats will use the power they have. And that means aggressive application of the House’s subpoena power to defame, delegitimize, and destroy the president and everyone in his circle. Already incoming House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) has made it clear that he intends to ‘go all in on Russia’ and impeach Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

At this point, Nancy Pelosi, who was long on the leftward fringe of her party, is now no longer truly representative of the new Jacobins who form the center of power. But so far none have emerged to challenge her. That’s mostly structural: the powerful committee leaders, who ascend to power on seniority and fealty are mostly devoted to Pelosi, while the claque most likely to want to oust Pelosi is composed largely of backbenchers and incoming freshman.

What’s more, Pelosi has the backing of the institutional Left. The Washington Post reports that the pro-abortion lobbying and donation dispensing juggernaut, Emily’s List has made calls to incoming Democrats supporting Pelosi and that ‘The leaders of two major unions — the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the American Federation of Teachers — sent letters Monday declaring their support.’ So while there’s probably an appetite for new leadership there is no obvious new leader. And as politicos are wont to remind us, you can’t be someone with no one. This means that the 78 year old Pelosi is very likely to become the next Speaker.

But given her age and often remarked upon public disorientation, Democrats should be considering the future. And that means grooming the next generation by replacing Steny Hoyer and others in the leadership structure. Ambitious Democrats who want to lead their party in the post-Pelosi era should be focusing their efforts there.



Socialism’s Empty Seduction

The overarching message of “The Opportunity Cost of Socialism”—a study recently released by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA)—is that the advocacy of socialism cannot reasonably be based on policy preferences; its attraction has always been grounded in a combination of wishful thinking and ignorance. For example, the new CEA study shows that the socialist approach to “single payer” health care advocated by many on the left would cost much more and deliver much less, resulting in the significant worsening of mortality and morbidity, not just higher taxes and reduced economic growth.

One prominent opinion page editor described the CEA study’s conclusions to me as too obvious to warrant mention. That reaction reflects the problem the study seeks to remedy. Obvious facts about socialism are not discussed enough. Few people are willing to read 50-page studies like the CEA’s, and there has been very little media coverage of it—journalists or politicians who could summarize the CEA findings haven’t seen sufficient reason to do so (or may themselves be among the uninformed advocates of socialism). That is too bad because the ignorant advocacy of socialism is currently a significant threat to our democracy.

Socialism has existed in many forms which lie on a continuum, from the central planning nightmare of the USSR, to the Scandinavian democratic experiments of several decades ago. The idea that unites the various embodiments of socialism along that continuum is that economic freedom is counterproductive to the aspirations of humanity. It would be far better and fairer, socialists argue, for the state to distribute scarce resources rather than letting the market allocate goods and services by itself. Socialism seeks control of economic decisions, either through central planning or through expropriative taxation and regulation, in the interest of the common man.

The difference between market-based and socialist economies is not the presence of redistributive policies per se. For over a century, around the world, market-based economies have taxed and redistributed wealth, and provided a host of services such as public education and care for the poor, sick, and elderly. The difference is that in market-based systems taxation is regarded as an unfortunate burden, which is employed out of necessity to ensure that other priorities are achieved. In contrast, in socialist regimes, taxation is not regarded as an undesirable consequence, but as a means to prevent individuals from counterproductively controlling their collective economic destiny.

Socialism’s appeal has always been its false promise to create wealth better than capitalism can. Advocates of socialism promise great economic achievements, which they argue are worth the price of reduced individual economic liberty. It is worth remembering that Karl Marx regarded socialism as an economic necessity that would emerge out of the ashes of capitalism precisely because capitalism would fail to sustain wealth creation. Marx made many specific, and erroneous, predictions about capitalism, including its declining profitability and rising unemployment. His analysis did not consider permanent economic growth in a capitalist system to be a possibility. And his “historical materialist” view of political choice claimed the rich and powerful would never share power voluntarily with their economic lessers, or create social safety nets. Writing in the mid-19th century, Marx fundamentally failed to understand the huge changes in technology, political suffrage, or social safety net policies that were occurring around him.

Not only has socialist theory been wrong about the economic and political fruits of capitalism, it failed to see the problems that arise in socialist governments. Socialism’s record has been pain, not gain, especially for the poor. Socialism produced mass starvation in Eastern Europe and China, as it undermined the ability of farmers to grow and market their crops. In less extreme incarnations, such as the UK in the decades after World War II and before Margaret Thatcher, it stunted growth. In most cases, socialism’s monopoly on economic control also fomented corruption by government officials, as was especially apparent in Latin American and African socialist regimes. The adverse economic consequences of socialism led the Scandinavian countries to dial back their versions of socialism in the past decades. If the United States had imitated Scandinavian-style socialism, the CEA study estimates that our GDP today would be 19 percent lower.

Socialism has been abandoned in virtually all of the developing world. Countries today do not seek to emulate the disasters of North Korea, Cuba, or Venezuela. They also avoid high taxation of the rich. That reflects the recognition that countries compete with each other for capital. Expropriating the rich tends to make them leave, and when they leave they take their wealth with them.

This philosophical shift in the developing world is a major change since the 1980s when socialism was still fashionable among some. The shift away from socialist thinking was grounded in the growing body of empirical evidence about the kinds of policies that produced growth and poverty alleviation—that is, policies that used markets as a lever of economic development. Now developing countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, India, China, South Africa, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia are known as “emerging economies,” a description that recognizes their need to emerge from state control of their economies through privatization, free trade, and the creation of viable private financial intermediaries to promote growth and poverty alleviation. All around the developing world, socialism is understood as a false promise, an ideological opium that repressive elites use to retain and expand power. Capitalism, in contrast, is seen as the force that has lifted over a billion people out of poverty worldwide since 1990.

To historians, that was obvious long before the 1980s. Socialism has never conquered poverty. It has never competed with capitalism as a means of effectively allocating resources and promoting sustainable growth. Over the past half century, scores of economic historians have sought to explain the factors that produced the economic progress that Europe and some of its offshoots enjoyed in the 18th-20th centuries. This group of scholars, which includes Angus Maddison, Joel Mokyr, Eric Jones, David Landes, Deirdre McCloskey and Douglass North, tend to hold quite diverse political preferences, but they universally agree on the facts: Government policies that safeguard a combination of personal economic freedom, secure property rights, and the ability of individuals to gain personally by participating in markets have promoted the effort and innovation that conquered poverty and promoted growth through the ages.

The facts about socialism and capitalism may shock the young people of America, many of whom lionize Bernie Sanders, an unapologetic socialist who honeymooned in the USSR, as the new conscience of our nation—and many of whom, 51 percent according to Gallup, now have a positive view of socialism. Only 45 percent have a positive view of capitalism. That represents a 12-point decline in young adults’ positive views about capitalism in just the past two years.  Many of these young people are thoughtful and intelligent—but they are also ignorant about the history and economics of the systems they favor or condemn. This is the main reason why they must read this important CEA study.



CNN Legend Larry King: CNN 'Is Not a News Network'

Radio and TV legend Larry King, who hosted Larry King Live on CNN for 25 years, said that CNN today is "not a news network" but an "opinion" network -- "they stopped doing news."

King, who has worked in radio and TV since 1957 and has won an Emmy, two Peabodys, and 10 Cable Ace Awards, made his remarks on the Nov. 15 edition of the Law & Crime Network, an online program that covers the U.S. justice system.

When asked about CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta's recent hostile tangle with President Donald Trump, Larry King said, “Jim [Acosta] was a little out of line. I wouldn’t have gone that far. He [Trump] answered one or two questions then he didn’t want to answer anymore."

"You got a room full of people all of whom have the right to ask questions," said King.  "Jim might have gone a little too far. The president kept going back to him, referring you could run CNN, who should run CNN. To me, you know what this was? Eighth grade. It was the playground, ‘That’s my ball and I want to play today on the team.’ It was childish.”

The host then asked, "My question is, what is the role of the journalist? Should they become the star of the story?"

King, who has conducted more than 33,000 interviews in his career, said,  “No. I’ve been in the business 61 years and I’ve always felt that the guest was the star. The person your asking the question of is, for want of a better term, the star."

"At a Trump press conference, Trump is the star," said King.  "You try to learn as much as you can from him. But you’re not bigger than him. It isn’t about you. It’s about him."

Commenting on his old network, King said,  “The terrible part to me is, after all those years at CNN and now – is to see CNN has become — as is Fox, and MSNBC — Trump networks. There’s the anti-Trump network, the partial anti-Trump network




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, 2018

Howard Dean: Republicans will 'have a terrible time because they’re getting older and whiter'

The usual Leftist one-sided commentary.  He forgets that today's young Leftists will mostly be tomorrow's wiser conservatives: As life educates them, they become more conservative.  Both Churchill and Reagan started out as liberals.  The drift from Left to Right through the lifespan is very common

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean was pleased with the party’s performance in last week’s midterm elections — and not just because it regained control of the House.

According to Dean, a much more important trend emerged. “Young people are taking over the Democratic Party, and that’s a very good thing,” the former Vermont governor said in an interview with Yahoo News’ “Bots & Ballots.”

“There’s a huge grassroots movement in this country run by people who are mostly under 35,” Dean said. “And they basically did all of the organization.”

That youth movement, according to Dean, puts the party in a much better position than the GOP. “Republicans, I think, are going to have a terrible time because they’re getting older and whiter,” he said. “And that’s not the direction the country’s going in.”



'Hate Crimes' and Demo Demonization of 'Racist' GOP

Leftist leaders blame Republicans 24/7, so it's no wonder the rank and file believe it.    

“Most Democrats see Republicans as racist, sexist,” blared the headline to a new Axios poll. An astounding 61% of Democrats view their Republican counterparts in this very negative light. (Frankly, we’re surprised it’s only 61%.) Other adjectives that a substantial number of Americans use to describe people of the other party include greedy, corrupt, ignorant, spiteful, and evil.

Granted, this wasn’t a reliably scientific poll and we don’t bring it up because the results are airtight. But they certainly do affirm what we’ve long warned: Heated political rhetoric has consequences, and primarily it’s being driven by the Democrat/Leftmedia complex.

These leftist leaders insist 24/7 that everything Republicans say, think, or do is racist. We’re even told that hiring people based on merit is racist. Notably, it is Republicans who fight for school choice for minorities stuck in failing inner-city schools, In some areas, minorities are noticing; in others, not so much. And it’s Republicans, not Democrats, who are lifting minorities out of poverty. Blacks in particular are thriving under President Donald Trump.

Nevertheless, just before the midterms, Sen. Bernie Sanders declared Trump “the most racist, sexist, homophobic, bigoted president in history.” Is it any wonder that rank-and-file Democrat voters believe what they’re hearing?

Kim Hart of Axios explains the problem with that: “If Americans are this convinced that the other side isn’t just wrong, but dumb and evil, they’ll never be able to find enough common ground to solve real problems. And they’re more likely to elect leaders who can’t do it, either.” As we explained before Thanksgiving 2016, leftist demonization of half the country is why Trump won, though, granted, he wasn’t elected to “find common ground.”

In related news, the FBI reports that 2017 saw a 17% increase in reported “hate crimes,” including a 37% spike in crimes targeting Jews. The Washington Post reports, “Of the more than 7,000 hate crime incidents in 2017, more than 4,000 were crimes against people, ranging from threats and intimidation to assault [and] murder. More than 3,000 were crimes against property, ranging from vandalism to robbery to arson.”

A few observations:

First, this increase is fueled largely by more cities and law-enforcement agencies reporting a category called “hate crimes” — as in 1,000 additional sources nationwide. Second, we’ve long questioned the very category of “hate crimes” because it’s so subjective and because it motivates people in favored victim groups to report crimes that didn’t actually happen — a fad of hate-crime hoaxes. Third, the increase of anti-Semitic sentiments in the country is driven by Democrats and by so-called “alt-right” racists who are all “alt” and no “right.”

Finally — and the reason this relates to the poll where we began — is that leftists blame Trump. The leftist, hate-hustling Southern Poverty Law Center certainly does, and the Leftmedia takes its cues about “hate” from these supposedly unbiased propagandists. Moreover, writes Vox’s German Lopez, “The [FBI] report covers the first year of President Donald Trump’s time in the White House, and he’s been repeatedly criticized, from his campaign to his presidential statements and tweets, of stoking racist sentiment, particularly against immigrants and refugees.”

If “hate crimes” are “rising,” all the better to solidify that blame-Trump narrative and to further divide the country by vilifying all the “deplorables” on the Right. The predictable result is polls showing that everyday Democrat voters view their Republican counterparts as evil racists.



Some people need to see socialism to believe it is bad

Seeing is believing.

People around the country were baffled when exit polls showed Robert or Beto O’Rourke won more votes from native Texans than incumbent Senator Ted Cruz in the midterm elections. But this should not be a surprise, it should be a lesson — some people need to experience socialism to understand its disastrous effects.

Exit polls found that 57 percent of people who moved to Texas (also known as transplants) voted for Cruz while 51 percent of those born in Texas voted for O’Rourke.

While many Texas conservatives blamed the liberalization of the state on transplants from California and New York moving to the area for lower property values, it seems the opposite is taking place. These people are not bringing their liberal ideas, but running away from them.

Chuck DeVore of the Washington Examiner explains, “The lack of economic freedom in California compared to Texas is likely why, according to census, from 2012 to 2016, a net of 521,052 Californians left the state. Texas was their most popular destination, with a net of 114,413 Californians moving 1,300 miles east to the Lone Star State.  In the five years through 2016, some 542,432 more Americans moved to Texas than moved out, supporting a growth rate double that of California’s.”

It seems those who have experienced the socialist policies of high tax states are fleeing to Texas and voting to keep those taxes and regulations low.

Conversely, youth in Texas have rallied behind O’Rourke, increasing youth turnout by 500 percent in the midterm election.

For the youth and those unexposed to progressive policies, increasing government spending with expanded Medicare and free tuition seem like good ideas. But for those who just left a state burdened by these policies, they are reprehensive to reinstitute them.

Nationally, this can also be seen by some immigrant groups who tend back the Republican Party after legally entering the country to escape socialism at home.

In Florida, Cuban voters have historically leaned right, and in 2018 tended to pick Ron DeSantis for Governor and Rick Scott for Senator — the Republican picks.

Similarly, Russian immigrants, particularly Russian-speaking Jews, who grew up under Soviet rule, backed Donald Trump in 2016 and rejected progressive Democrats like Bernie Sanders.

Janna Sundeyeva told the Atlantic in 2016, “I don’t like big government… I would ask [left wingers]: Have you ever lived under a revolution? Do you know what it’s like? When someone comes and takes your family member in the night?”

Another Russian immigrant simply said, “To defend the country from Hillary, I would vote [for] a dinosaur.”

Immigrants who have experienced the harm of big government policies and socialism that strip individuals of their rights overwhelmingly lean Republican so as to avoid bringing that danger to this country. Individuals living in high tax, big government states are fleeing to low tax, individual liberty-based states. The pattern is the same — those who know socialism, know it does not work. Yet the left is working tirelessly to convince young voters there is a chance for the socialism to bloom here in the United States, it is critical the populations who have experienced this harm work to prevent that from coming true.



Trump is not a bad dream

A bit of realism from the Left

Donald Trump is not a bad dream. The world has to accept that he's a waking reality. Remember all the talk of impeachment? It's been two years now. Far from being impeached, he's entrenched himself.

After an ineffectual first year in the presidency, he has worked out how to exert power. He now has a solid record of getting his way. At the end of two full terms, Barack Obama had kept 48 per cent of his election promises, according to the non-partisan Politifact. After just half of one term, Trump has either delivered or is working towards 53 per cent of his. He's broken just 8 per cent.

He's accomplished most of his topline pledges. Among them, stopping immigration from terror-prone countries (the so-called Muslim ban), income tax cuts, company tax cuts, tearing up trade deals, putting taxes on China, pulling out of the Paris accord, impaling the Iran one. He has delivered a majority of the US Supreme Court to conservatives. And the midterm elections last week his party increased its dominance of the Senate.

And in the House? In the 153 years since the US Civil War, the president's party has lost an average of 35 House seats in midterm elections. On the current count, Trump's party has lost 32. This result is "so very normal", writes sociologist Musa al-Gharbi of Columbia University in The Washington Post, that Democrats need to adjust their frame of reference. The midterm results for Trump are eerily similar to those for Ronald Reagan, he points out. Reagan went on to win a second term in a landslide.

But Trump is hated, isn't he? Depends who you ask. He remains unpopular with most of his people, yes. But his grip on the Republican Party is extraordinary. His approval rating among Republicans remains around 90 per cent. The American left talks of waging "resistance". But America is becoming more like Trump, not less. The Democrats have fallen in behind Trump on trade. They aren't proposing bigger immigration intakes, either. "Most Americans in both parties also agree with Mr Trump that America's old allies need to look out for themselves and stop relying on the US to protect them," writes US foreign affairs analyst Robert Kagan in The New York Times.

As time goes on, Trump looks less like an aberration, more like a culmination. The foreign governments who prefer to think that he's just a passing squall need to realise that Trump's America is "not a spasm but a new direction in American foreign policy, or rather a return to older traditions," says Kagan, traditions of "the kind that kept us on the sidelines while fascism and militarism almost conquered the world". The headline on his analysis: "'America First' Has Won."



Capitalism: Understanding Its Secret

The socialists of today, who would have you believe that competition under capitalism is merely another exploitative form of anarchy, do not appreciate the actual situation.

Those of us who are fans of capitalism deeply understand that capitalism is the source of wealth in our modern economy. We also know that governments do not create wealth but merely acquire funds by taking money (via taxes) from productive people who can manage to earn a profit from their business endeavors.

Many of the people who disagree with us think that capitalism is just an anarchistic, zero-sum game that paves the way for rich folks to exploit poor folks and to steal the products of workers’ labor. So which side of this contentious debate is on the right track?

The Law of the Jungle

For a clue, let us first look at some of the things that differentiate humans from animals. Wild animals exist in a state of true anarchy. This word “anarchy” means “no government,” which is the environment where these creatures must live out their lives.

Animals must compete for survival under the law of the jungle, where might makes right and violence is the arbiter of all conflicts.

Animals must compete for survival under the law of the jungle, where might makes right, the ends justify the means, and violence is the arbiter of all conflicts. The animals set up a pecking order in their flock or herd. All of them compete for the top spot and eventually arrange themselves into a hierarchy that defines who gets to do what in their society.

Humans, on the other hand, do not necessarily need to live in anarchy but may form various forms of government to decide how to control behavior among members of their society. Regardless, people also set up pecking orders, except with more nuanced detail. The boss is in charge, and the workers mostly do his bidding while jockeying for better positions among themselves. Everyone who has ever held a job has observed this type of behavior in the workplace.

Producers vs. Consumers

Now let us compare competition in the primitive realm of animals to competition among the more advanced society of humans. Consider a community of lions that live on the Okavango Delta in Botswana and feeds on a herd of Cape buffalo. When a lion kills a buffalo, the chief lion, depending on the pecking order established in the pride, gets first dibs on the carcass. When the chief has satisfied his hunger, the other lions get to feed based on their standing in the lion hierarchy.

In an economic sense, the animals are consumers with no way to become producers.

Lions are at the mercy of nature in providing the limited resource of food, the buffalo herd. If their environment suffers a drought, the buffalo herd will decline, and thus the lions will also suffer a decline in their food resource. When the weather and the flow of the river are more generous, the buffalo herd will flourish and thus so will the lions. The lions have no way otherwise to manage the health and well-being of the buffalo, even though this represents their only food source. The animals are stuck in their limited natural environment with no way to improve upon their anarchistic lifestyle. In an economic sense, the animals are consumers with no way to become producers.

What does the human do in a similar situation? People may discover they like to eat lamb chops, so they gather a bunch of sheep together and build a fence around a pasture to keep the animals safe from other predators. They provide the sheep with food and water and an environment where they can breed and grow a larger herd. These folks realize their sheep have wool coats that may be harvested without harm to the animals and be fashioned into cloth for clothes and many other items.

Somebody discovers he likes the taste of apples, so he saves some of his harvest from the one apple tree he discovered in the forest and plants the seeds to make a grove of trees, and eventually an orchard. Once he has more apples than he can eat himself, he can use the surplus to help feed the sheep, or he can sell his apples to other folks who wish to buy them.

People, through their ingenuity and labor, create wealth where no wealth existed before.

The Creation of Wealth

People, through their ingenuity and labor, create wealth where no wealth existed before. They may engage in production until they have more lamb chops and applesauce than they know what to do with. This wealth becomes a benefit to their society. So the humans have an ability to use their intellect and labor to advance the flourishing of their species, whereas the lions may only exert their labor to carve an existence from the limited resources provided by an uncaring Mother Nature.

Under a system of economic freedom and freedom of competition where the individual human owns the means of production and is free to dispose of his property as he sees fit (a viable definition of capitalism), he is motivated to continue working so he may create even more wealth and trade it with other like-minded people for the fruits of their labor. Unlike the animals, humans can become producers as well as consumers.

The Secret

Note that men and women will lose their motivation to work and create wealth if they are not permitted to benefit from it. If someone creates a large herd of sheep and an orchard of apple trees and is then heavily taxed by the government, this person may decide his or her labor is not worth the effort. Similarly, if roving bands of thieves steal the fruit and run off with the lambs, the owner will have to divert some labor into hiding wealth and thus be unable to be as productive as before.

The socialists of today, who would have you believe that competition under capitalism is merely another exploitative form of anarchy, do not appreciate the actual situation.

Now, here is the secret I promised in the title to this essay. It is a quote from the book Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics by George Reisman. In Section 10 of Chapter 10, Reisman states the concept succinctly: “ ... under capitalism, competition is the diametric opposite of the law of the jungle: it is a competition of producers in the production of wealth, not of consumers in the consumption of wealth.”



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, 2018

The Art of the Veto

To pass a bill over the president's objections requires a two-thirds vote in each Chamber.  The Donks don't have that in either chamber.  So with the co-operation of the Congressional GOP, Trump can block everything coming from the Donks until they give him his wall.  They would have to deal or be impotent for two years.  The Senate could simply fail completely to schedule a vote on anything passed up from the House -- as they already often do -- And that would stop all Democrat in initiatives dead, with not even the conditions for a override vote being met

By Robert Romano

By last count, Republicans lost at least 32 seats in the House in the midterm elections, and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is once again poised to be elected House Speaker. This means all legislation will now have to be worked out between a Democratic House and a Republican Senate led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

To navigate these new waters in 2019, President Donald Trump has signaled a willingness to negotiate but he must remember that his greatest leverage could come in the House minority if he wishes to plot a more conservative path.

Certainly there will be last-minute attempts in the lame duck session to get things done with Republican majorities, which may or may not work. Time is not a luxury. Democrats will believe they can get a better deal in January and will block legislation in the Senate. It’s up to Trump to convince them otherwise.

Looking forward, then, with at least 199 members in the House, Trump and the GOP should have enough votes to sustain any presidential vetoes if they play their cards right. All Trump needs are 145 members who are willing to stand with the President.

It’s how Reagan got tax cuts and defense spending done with a Democratic House in the 1980s, and it’s how Trump can still get things done in 2019.

In “The Art of the Deal,” Trump wrote, “The worst thing you can do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you’re dead.” He was right. It was the major reason why Republicans, besides increasing defense spending, were not able to accomplish much in enacting the President’s agenda — including fully funding and building the southern border wall — despite having majorities in both houses of Congress.

So terrified were Republicans in Congress were of a partial government shutdown, they never even tried to deliver full funding for the wall. It would cost them control of the House, the sage advisors in the D.C. establishment warned.

And therefore the wall was never funded. The government was not shut down. And the House GOP lost the election for the House and their majority anyway. Go figure.

This time, Trump does not have to make that mistake. Instead of relying on a Republican House majority to deliver the wall, he can instead use the art of the veto. He can veto the spending bills until he gets what he wants — as long as one-third of the House is willing to stand with the President and sustain the veto.

As Trump wrote in his book, “The best thing you can do is deal from strength, and leverage is the biggest strength you have. Leverage is having something the other guy wants. Or better yet, needs. Or best of all, simply can’t do without.”

Trump added, “Leverage: don’t make deals without it.” Well, a presidential signature is needed to pass legislation in Congress.

But to get the legislation he wants, the President must be willing to say no deal. Veto the spending bills in 2019. To ratchet up the pressure, Trump and House Republicans could threaten not to provide back pay for federal workers deemed non-essential in a government shutdown situation, but this will require spines of steel by members.

The President should therefore consult with Republican leaders in both chambers on any potential negotiating strategy with Democrats in 2019, but in the end, Trump must be willing to go to bat legislatively for his agenda if he want to see it through.

The first two years of Trump’s term, he relied on outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to deliver key parts of his agenda. That failed, and Republicans arguably lost their House majority because of it. They didn’t fully repeal and replace Obamacare. The wall was not built. Non-defense spending was not cut as in Trump’s proposed budget. And so forth.

It wasn’t all the House’s fault. Obamacare repeal and replace actually passed the House, but it ran into a stone wall in the Senate. Once the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) voted against the bill, it was done. Still, it was House Republicans who paid the price on Nov. 6. Since then, they certainly did not do much to advance their cause. Where’s the wall?

Trump should be able to leverage that failure now to galvanize House Republicans behind the proposition of sustaining his vetoes. He may have to retool his legislative team at the White House to adjust to the new reality — and to exploit Pelosi’s weak position. If Congress cannot override the veto, Pelosi will have to come to the table to deal on the spending bills. She cannot impose her will on the Senate and the White House, something House Republicans had to painfully learn in 2011 and 2013. Now it’s Democrats’ turn to learn the same lesson.



Socialists Won’t Rest Until We Have Single-Payer Health Care. We Must Stop Them

The 2018 midterms could someday be remembered as the beginning of the Democratic Party’s full embrace of creating a single-payer health care system in the United States. For the first time in American history, a large number of Democrats, many of whom identify as socialists, openly campaigned for the creation of a government-run health insurance model.

For instance, Democratic Socialists of America member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won 78 percent of the vote on Election Day, championed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “Medicare for All” proposal, calling it the “ethical, logical, and affordable path to ensuring no person goes without dignified healthcare.” According to Ocasio-Cortez, “Medicare for All will reduce the existing costs of healthcare (and make Medicare cheaper, too!) by allowing all people in the US to buy into a universal healthcare system.”

Ocasio-Cortez says she supports a universal system that would include “full vision, dental, and mental healthcare - because we know that true healthcare is about the whole self, not just your yearly physical.”

The cost of enacting such a radical program would be astronomical. Researchers at the Mercatus Center say Sen. Sanders’ plan would cost $32.6 trillion in its first decade, and they note that even if Congress were to double taxes paid by individuals and corporations, it wouldn’t be enough to pay for the program. That should terrify you, especially since the U.S. government’s deficit for the 2018 fiscal year was $782 billion and the national debt now stands at a $21.7 trillion.

But as shocking as the price tag for single-payer health care would be, it pales in comparison to the numerous health care-related problems that would be created by such a model. For starters, the government has an absolutely terrible record of providing health care. One example is the Veterans Health Administration, which is run by the federal government. It routinely suffers from underfunding and long wait times, which has forced the agency to allow veterans to go elsewhere to receive care. As the Military Times notes, “About one-third of all VA medical appointments today are … conducted by physicians outside the department’s system.”

The Washington Examiner reported in 2017, “VA documents also show there are currently 184,520 veterans across the nation waiting longer than 30 days for an appointment and more than 45,000 new veteran patients waiting more than 90 days. Internal VA documents also indicate 479,239 veterans nationwide are waiting for physician requested follow-up appointments over 30 days for the period July to September 2017.”

The Examiner also reported, “Internal Department of Veterans Affairs data provided by whistleblowers reveals the agency is only filling about half of its capacity to make medical appointments,” which means many of the VA’s problems are related to mismanagement and inefficiencies.

The VA also struggles to find health care professionals to fill open positions. Pew notes “40,000 of the 335,000 positions in the Veterans Health Administration are vacant,” and most of these positions are for nurses and doctors.

Medicaid also has a long track record of failing to provide adequate coverage for enrollees. One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology found Medicaid patients in California died from cancer at much higher rates than those enrolled in private health insurance plans. According to the study’s researchers, they found “substantial and persistent disparities in survival for patients with either no or other public insurance compared with private insurance for all 5 of the cancer sites examined.”

Many doctors, especially highly skilled specialists, refuse to take on patients with Medicaid coverage because of Medicaid’s low reimbursement rates. An important 2011 study found doctors are 35 percent less likely to accept a new patient enrolled in Medicaid than they are to accept a patient with private health insurance.

If the federal government can’t properly run the VA system or Medicaid—or even the Post Office—why does anyone think it could manage one of the largest industries in the United States today?

Even more troubling is the danger posed to individual liberty by a single-payer health care system. In a world in which the government pays your health care bills, it has an incentive to reward and punish behavior. Why not tax overweight Americans more money under a single-payer scheme? Don’t they cost the system more? Why not force Americans to quit smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol? Aren’t those activities associated with numerous health dangers?

Single-payer systems are also notorious for rationing care. In October, the Telegraph (U.K.) noted, “A report by Fertility Fairness reveals that local commissioners are imposing ‘arbitrary’ criteria such as male body mass index (BMI), as well as age, as a means of restricting access to IVF,” which is used to help couples struggling to have children.

In other words, the masterminds in England have determined some men are just too fat to have children.

This story comes on the heels of reports indicating the English National Health Service’s forthcoming 10-year plan will make group appointments with primary care doctors—which could include as many as 15 patients—the “default” option for patients with long-term health problems.

For these and countless other reasons, conservatives and other supporters of individual liberty need to begin mobilizing against some left-wing Democrats’ plan to introduce a single-payer system in the United States. If Democrats manage to gain even more power in 2020, they will almost certainly attempt to enact a single-payer plan similar to Sen. Sanders’ Medicare for All proposal. To save our republic (and lives), we must stop them.



A rather fun picture:  Nancy Pelosi as a little girl smiling at the big dominant male


Florida elections in limbo as recount looms

It’s nowhere near as bad as 2000, but the mess in Florida’s Broward County is at the very least a cautionary tale about massive mail-in and early voting, with events in Arizona adding to the fire.

As a series of tweets by Sen. Marco Rubio flagged on Thursday, Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes was refusing to report the number of ballots still to be counted, or even to provide regular progress reports. A judge late Friday ruled that she’s in violation of the state public records act.

In the past, courts slapped Snipes for illegally destroying ballots in the wake of a contested 2016 vote count for a House seat and again this February for opening mail-in ballots before they’d been authenticated.

Her office has also had troubles with leaving ballot measures off some ballots, illegally reporting early-voting results before the polls closed and on and on.

Now some Republicans suspect Broward’s late count (and similar slow reporting from next-door Palm Beach County) is allowing shenanigans to favor the Democratic candidates for governor and US Senate. Already, they’ve reduced GOP election-night leads enough to force statewide recounts.

Even if it all comes down to incompetence, not chicanery, it could taint the final results.

The same is true in Arizona, where Republicans have gone to court over local election officials’ decisions to continue validating mail-in ballots long after Election Day — something the GOP lawyers say violates the law. This could upend the Senate race, where late-reported votes have put Democrat Kyrsten Sinema ahead of Republican Martha McSally, who led Wednesday morning.

Set your partisan blinders aside, and it’s easy enough to see why Republicans will scream if they see highly irregular and far-from-transparent action by local officials in heavily Democratic counties “stealing” a US Senate seat. Or why Democrats will be furious if GOP “vote suppression” does the “stealing.”

One bottom line: Early voting and vote-by-mail won’t be any cure-all for the woes of New York City’s Board of Elections, as Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson suggest. Gifted bunglers can always find a way to mess up.



The big three current differences between conservatives and progressive

No. 1: Conservatives and progressives have different views about individuals and communities.

Conservatives ask: “What can I do for myself, my family, my community, and my fellow citizens?”

Progressives ask: “What is unfair?” “What am I owed?” “What has offended me today?” “What must my country do for me?”

The traditional American ethic of achievement gives way to the progressive ethic of aggrievement.

As opposed to a variety of individuals making up one American community, progressives seek to place individuals in a variety of competing communities. The first creates unity. The second, identity politics.

No 2.: Conservatives and progressives have different views about diversity and choice.

For progressives, different ethnicities and gender identities are welcomed but a variety of opinions and ideas are not.

Just look at two areas of public life dominated by the left. On college campuses free speech is under attack. If you’re a conservative working at a social media company or using one of their platforms to share your views, you may find your job eliminated or your account deleted.

And when it comes to choice, progressives love the word, but they don’t want it to apply to our decisions on education, health care, and even how and where we live out our religious faith.

Conservatives take a different approach.

Parents, not the zip code they live in, should choose the school that is best for their child.

We all need health care, but we don’t all need the same kind or same amount. And while people should be free to live as they choose, no one should be forced to endorse or celebrate those choices if it violates their religious beliefs.

Conservatives say people should have choices. Progressives say one political solution fits all.

No. 3: Conservatives and progressives have a different view of “We the People.”

Whether it’s the Second Amendment, immigration, or putting limits on abortion, if we the people don’t pass laws progressives approve, they turn to judges, executive orders, and government bureaucrats behind closed doors to overturn the will of voters.

Whatever one may think about the wisdom of hiking the minimum wage, banning plastic straws, or removing controversial historical monuments, conservatives believe voters closest to the issues should be the ones making such decisions for their communities—not lawmakers in Washington or a panel of judges fives states away.

To sum it up, conservatives believe in individual rights, not special rights. Conservatives believe in allowing Texas to be Texas and Vermont to be Vermont. And conservatives believe we the people can vote with our feet about where we want to live and what laws we want to live under.



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, 2018

Beto 2020? How O'Rourke became a Texas sensation who could shape the future of the Democrats

I reproduce in full below an article from the Leftist "Guardian". Like many others, I had noticed the popularity of O'Rourke among Leftists. I had heard nothing of what ideas he stood for and wanted to find out.  So I read the article below carefully.  I found nothing in that long article about his ideas.  The only thing that came close was his approval of the kneeling footballers.  Essentially, he appears to be a man of no ideas, a policy emptyhead.

Contrast that with "Build the wall" and "lock her up", which are succinct but very clear policy proposals.  I in fact wonder why Trump has initiated no legal proceedings against Hillary.  There certainly seem "prima facie" grounds for at least some charges.  I suspect that Trump has simply acted within the wise Western tradition of mercy to the defeated -- something I wrote about recently

So I can only assume that O'Rourke is a smooth-talking supporter of each and every sort of grievance and that he conveys a pervasive dislike of America as it is.  He presumably supports standard Leftist talking points such as free healthcare for all and raising the minimum wage but that in no way makes him unique and therefore does not explain his notable drawing power. It would be sad indeed if such an emptyhead were to attain significant political office in America

O'Rourke is however well within a grand old Leftist tradition of policy vacuity.  When a Leftist sees a problem his reponse is usually little more than "pass a law"!  Any thought about the causes of the problem is minimal and simplistic

Ezra Klein, self-described "wonk" and editor of the Leftist "Vox" site has an article up under the title, "To beat Trump, House Democrats need to fight on policy, not just scandals" -- so he too sees Leftist vacuity as a problem

When Beto O’Rourke, the punk rock guitarist turned US congressman for the distant border town of El Paso, announced in March 2017 that he was going to run for Ted Cruz’s Senate seat in Texas, the spokesman for the state’s Republican party quipped: “Who?”

No one is asking who Beto O’Rourke is now. He may have lost his plucky bid to win the first statewide election in Texas as a Democrat since 1994, but he came so close that he thoroughly wiped the smirks off Republican faces.

Less than three percentage points separated the incumbent senator and his insurgent challenger – 50.9% Cruz, 48.3% O’Rourke – 222,922 votes out of more than 8m cast.

For O’Rourke it marks a phenomenal achievement. In just 19 months, almost unassisted, he took the Texan Democratic party from its virtually moribund condition, gave it a stiff dose of adrenalin, and brought it back to life.

For Texas, and for the US, the fact that O’Rourke came within striking distance represents something even bigger – the hope that the second largest state in the union might finally be freeing itself from the iron grip of the Republican party.

That in turn raises a tantalizing prospect for progressives everywhere – if O’Rourke could do it in Texas, a place synonymous with the modern hardline Republican party, what could he do in other parts of the US?

“If you look at the top line and see O’Rourke losing, you’re missing the point,” said Bethany Albertson, associate professor at University of Texas at Austin. “No Democrat has come close in Texas in decades, voter turnout was way up, and young people who have never voted before were drawn for the first time into the democratic process.”

That’s a formula that the Democratic party nationwide is desperate to replicate. But how did he do it? What was the secret of the Beto magic?

When O’Rourke set out on his unlikely mission he did so with the contemporary equivalent of a horse and cart. As Rolling Stone has pointed out, at that point he had two aides, both of them old friends from El Paso, and a rented sedan.

He put them to good use. By election day he had spawned a vast army of 25,000 volunteers and had raised $70m – all of it through small donations through the online portal ActBlue, not a penny through big corporate donors – more than any US Senate campaign in history.

O’Rourke wore through a lot of shoe leather in the process. He crisscrossed a state that is larger than France – from his hometown of El Paso to the eastern border of Texas is 900 miles – visiting each of its 254 counties. His message was: “I wouldn’t vote for a politician I had never seen either.”

Wherever he went, he sprinkled seeds of Democratic rebirth. Using digital apps, he empowered volunteers in each county to begin mobilizing their neighbors. It was entirely decentralised, with next to no quality control, which meant trusting volunteers implicitly – but it succeeded in unleashing huge reserves of untapped energy.

Carrie Collier-Brown, a lawyer from the suburbs of south-west Austin, was one of the new Beto super-volunteers. She described what it has been like this year creating a team of about 150 volunteers in her area out of nothing.

“We built the infrastructure out of scraps and with no instructions,” she said. “It feels like we’ve been flying by the seat of our pants all year.”

Together with a “bunch of pissed-off suburban women”, as she puts it, she set up in January a group of volunteers which they called “Blue Action Democrats”. Every weekend they knocked on hundreds of doors, liaising closely with the local Beto O’Rourke campaign staff.

In the final weeks of the election they were supported by “pop-up offices”, more than 700 of which mushroomed across Texas. The offices were improvised out of volunteers’ spare rooms, studies, garages, garden sheds – any space where the all-important get-out-the-vote drive could be spearheaded.

The numbers tell the story. Sixty-eight percent of registered voters in Collier-Brown’s area turned out and cast their ballot – twice the proportion in the last midterm elections in 2014 and slightly more even than the 2016 presidential election.

Collier-Brown said that there was a price to pay – “My kids are very close to calling me Aunty Carrie” – but the gains have been immense. “The Beto campaign has taught us an important lesson: that connecting with your neighbors is how to engage everyone, how to take back our democracy, and ultimately how to win elections.”

Collier-Brown is part of one of two key electoral groups which O’Rourke focused on more than any others – white women (or Anglo women as they are known in Texas). Exit polls show that O’Rourke attracted the votes of 39% of Texan white women – compared with the 29% who backed Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Mark Jones, a professor of political science at Rice University, thinks that 10-point swing was partly explained by a female backlash to the vulgarity, aggressive posturing and sexual impropriety of Donald Trump. But that was not all.

“Beto O’Rourke wasn’t just campaigning against Trump. He was campaigning for a different kind of politics that are optimistic, positive. He spoke to thousands of people who are upset about the divisiveness in America today.”

Soon after O’Rourke had conceded defeat on Tuesday night, he addressed thousands of his loyal supporters in a baseball stadium in El Paso. He told them: “We’re not about being against anybody. We are not going to define ourselves by who or what we are against, or what we are afraid of or scared about. We are great people.”

That message also spoke to the second key group mobilized by his campaign – young people. Again, the numbers tell the story.

In 2016, Clinton attracted the votes of 55% of the 18-29 age range in Texas, to Trump’s 36%. This week, O’Rourke won a stunning 71%, to Cruz’s 29%.

Not only did he win over young people in far greater proportions, he also crucially managed to unlock a door that has been frustratingly closed to progressive causes in vast swaths of America for years. He persuaded young voters who usually overwhelmingly opt to stay at home in midterm elections to get off their couches, get over to the polling stations, and vote.

Figures for overall Texas turnout have yet to be completed, but early voting data is again stunning. The number of 18 to 29-year-olds casting an early ballot this year was five times greater than in the 2014 midterms.

One crucial explanation for how O’Rourke opened the door on young voting was that he speaks to Texans in their own language. Literally so, if they are Hispanic – having grown up in El Paso, a city with an 80% Latino population, he is bilingual in Spanish and flips effortlessly between idioms.

He also speaks the language of the young. He is fluent in Instagram and Snapchat, and has a flair for producing viral videos, whether air-drumming to the Who or skateboarding through a Whataburger parking lot.

When the Guardian talked shortly before the election to Karl Rove, the ultimate political kingmaker in Texas who helped turn the state Republican in the 1990s, he was dismissive about O’Rourke’s most viral video. In it, the Democratic candidate defended NFL players who had taken the knee during the national anthem in protest at police brutality, saying there was “nothing more American” than that.

For Rove, that video demonstrated that O’Rourke would never be able to win over the mainstream of the Texan electorate as he was too outspokenly liberal. What Rove may not have counted on, however, was how electrifying such a statement might have been for many younger Texans who are more receptive to new expressions of patriotism.

O’Rourke amplified his natural affinity with younger voters through a heavy push on social media. Much of the $70m he raised through small online donations – twice the amount brought in by his opponent – went on digital advertising, especially on Facebook where ads were kept to six seconds or less and tightly targeted both geographically and on voters’ personal interests.

According to the Texas Tribune, for much of 2018 his campaign invested more than any other political advertiser on Facebook. In the last six months more than $6m of O’Rourke ads on the site were viewed almost 20 million times.

Young voters, white women, Latinos, online fundraising, digital advertising, social media, volunteering, shoe leather – the Beto O’Rourke campaign had it all in terms of modern electioneering. It may have been largely improvised, and there was no instruction manual, but it did the job.

Not only did it bring O’Rourke within a whisker of pulling off the biggest political upset in decades, it also had a knock-on effect for other Democratic candidates lower down the ticket.

What is being dubbed the “Beto coattail” syndrome played a major role in taking back the US House of Representatives for the Democrats by boosting turnout and thus helping Collin Allred in Dallas and Lizzie Fletcher in Houston unseat incumbent Republican Congress members.

The impact was even more pronounced in the state legislature where two Republican state senators were turfed out and at least 12 Texas House seats flipped from the Republicans to Democrats.

In many ways the explosion of energy that O’Rourke has brought to the progressive movement in Texas bears comparison to the equally audacious campaign conjured up by Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race.

Both politicians are notable for their charisma and rhetorical skills, and for the skill in which they communicated through social media and in person.

Which is why, perhaps inevitably, whispers of “Beto 2020” can already be heard floating in the Texas wind. “Beto has done the near impossible,” said Mark Jones. “If he wants to run for the White House, there’s definitely a lane open for him.”



7 Staggering Quotes Made by Progressive Democrats’ Empty-headed New Star

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shocked political observers in June after defeating 10-term incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., in the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th District by nearly 14 points.

The 29-year-old self-described socialist who has become known as the “Sarah Palin of the Left” has used her new national voice to stump for left-wing challengers to establishment Democrats in primaries across the country.

As the fresh face of the progressive left heads to Washington, here’s a look back at some of the congresswoman-elect’s hot-button statements made in media appearances along the campaign trail.

1. Capitalism in the Crosshairs

“Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs,” said Ocasio-Cortez in an interview on PBS’ “Firing Line with Margaret Hoover” in July when pressed on why the unemployment rate was low in a capitalist system. “Unemployment is low because people are working 60, 70, 80 hours a week and can barely feed their kids.”

Ocasio-Cortez continued to argue the days of capitalism are numbered:

And so I do think that right now we have this no-holds-barred, Wild West hyper-capitalism. What that means is profit at any cost. Capitalism has not always existed in the world, and it will not always exist in the world. When this country started, we were not a capitalist [nation], we did not operate on a capitalist economy.

2. Backpedaling on Israel

In the same interview, Ocasio-Cortez also referred to the situation in Palestine as an “occupation” by Israel.

When Hoover asked Ocasio-Cortez to clarify her position after pointing out the term “occupation” was controversial, Ocasio-Cortez, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics and international relations from Boston University, struggled to explain her comment.

“I am not the expert on geopolitics on this issue,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “You know, for me, I’m a firm believer in finding a two-state solution on this issue.”

3. Explaining the Extinction of the Middle Class

In another interview, speaking with former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett on the liberal podcast “Pod Save America,” Ocasio-Cortez claimed the “upper-middle class doesn’t exist anymore.”

Ocasio-Cortez was discussing the political ideology of the country’s different socioeconomic classes when she made the claim:

I think that politically, this upper-middle class is probably more moderate, but that upper-middle class doesn’t exist anymore in America, and thanks to the continued deregulation of Wall Street, thanks to the continued gutting of working- and middle-class people, we need stronger champions.

However, both the Urban Institute, and the American Enterprise Institute have presented evidence showing the upper-middle class is actually growing.

4. A Simple Payment Plan for Progressive Medicare

When asked in an interview with Jorge Ramos last week about how to pay for Sen. Bernie Sanders’, I-V.T., “Medicare for All” proposal, which Ocasio-Cortez has put at the center of her campaign, Ocasio-Cortez responded, “You just pay for it.” She continued:

People often say, how are you gonna pay for it? And I find the question so puzzling because, how do you pay for something that’s more affordable? How do you pay for cheaper rent? How do you pay for—you just pay for it.

During this election cycle, Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive Democrats like Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who lost the Florida gubernatorial race, have claimed Sanders’ “Medicare for All” plan would save the country $2 trillion if implemented, but the claim has been criticized by fact-checkers as inaccurate.

In fact, a study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University shows the plan would cost more than $32.6 trillion over 10 years, requiring historic tax hikes.

5. Comparing Climate Change to World War II

In a speech on her economic plan, Ocasio-Cortez likened combating climate change to the challenge posed by Nazi Germany in World War II, surmising the United States confront the issue with the same amount of resources.

“So we talk about existential threats, the last time we had a really major existential threat to this country was around World War II, and so we’ve been here before and we have a blueprint of doing this before,” Ocasio-Cortez said, adding:

What we had was an existential threat in the context of a war. We had a direct existential threat with another nation, this time it was Nazi Germany, and the Axis, who explicitly made the United States as an enemy, as an enemy. And what we did was that we chose to mobilize our entire economy and industrialized our entire economy and we put hundreds if not millions of people to work in defending our shores and defending this country. We have to do the same thing in order to get us to 100 percent renewable energy, and that’s just the truth of it.

6. Shutting Down Debate on Fossil Fuels

According to Fox News, Ocasio-Cortez declared at a campaign fundraiser there was “no debate” that fossil fuel production should be stopped.

“There’s no debate as to whether we should continue producing fossil fuels. There’s no debate,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

7. Carrying the ‘Organizer’ Torch to Washington

When asked by Chris Hayes on MSNBC about what she plans to do once she gets to Congress in two months, Ocasio-Cortez struggled to develop a coherent response and failed to offer any specifics. Instead, Ocasio-Cortez delivered this message on air:

Well, I think a lot of it has to do with changing our strategy around governance. You know there’s a lot of inside baseball and inside the beltway as you, you always hear that term thrown around. But there are very few organizers in Congress. And I do think that organizers operate differently. It’s a different kind of strategy. And what it is, is really about organizing and, and really thinking about that word: organizing. Segmenting people. Being strategic in their actions in really bringing together a cohesive strategy of putting pressure on the chamber instead of only focusing on the pressures inside the chamber.

To which Hayes responded, “That’s a really interesting thought.”



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, 2018

Socialists and Fascists Have Always Been Kissing Cousins

By Bradley J. Birzer

In 1939, the same year the Germans and the Russians mutually consented to rape Poland, T.S. Eliot rather famously (or, I suppose for some, infamously) declared: “If you will not have God (and He is a jealous God), you should pay your respects to Hitler or Stalin.” Eliot, of course, could not have been more correct. In 1936, you had three choices: National Socialism, international socialism, or dignity.

In 2018, we find ourselves in similar circumstances, even if they aren’t quite as clear cut as they were in 1936.

Of all the disturbing developments in culture and ideas over the last several years—including violence against legitimate authority, violence against the average citizen, and violence against the very ideas that undergird the West—few have been more disturbing than the reemergence of communism and socialism.

Why is this happening now, as much of Western civilization lingers in its twilight state? Most likely, it has to do with three critical things. First, we scholars have failed to convince the public of just how wicked all forms of communism were and remain.

Most historians have focused their research and teaching on how “liberated” every form of eccentricity has become and how—in terms of race and gender—victims remain victims. Almost all historians ignore the most salient fact of the 20th century: that governments murdered more than 200 million innocents, the largest massacre in the history of the world. Terror reigned in the killing fields, the Holocaust camps, and the gulags.

Second, an entire generation has grown up never knowing such things as the Soviet gulags or even the Berlin Wall. Indeed, it’s been more than a full generation since communism existentially threatened sustained violence on a global scale. With America currently at the height of her power (militarily and economically, not spiritually or ethically), we are the bad guys of the world, if for no other reason than we stand—for the most part—above and alone.

Third, the five nations that remain officially communist—Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, North Korea and mainland China—seem to be relentlessly backward, mad, or capitalist. No one thinks about the first three countries anymore. North Korea looks like a loony bin. China seems more bent on profit and power more than anything it might profess officially.

Equally disturbing is that most younger defenders of communism buy into the oldest propaganda line of the Left—that real communism has never been tried and fascism is the polar opposite of communism. That the Nazis were actually “National Socialists,” these apologists argue, was merely a cynical ploy on the part of Hitler to gain the support of the working and middle classes of Germany. The term “socialism” meant nothing to Hitler. He was really a supporter of controlled corporate capitalism, not of the beautiful and compelling idea of socialism. Many of these young communism supporters go so far as to argue that those who label the Nazis “National Socialists” are either ignorant or willfully smearing a good word. While these new supporters have yet to proclaim those who call Nazis socialists as racists, they are coming close. A quick look at the social media response to a British conservative’s recent claim that National Socialism was—surprise!—socialist should be proof enough that communism is hardly dead and gone.

The young communists are more than convinced of their intellectual as well as their moral superiority. With dread certainty, they bully anyone who believes differently than they do. In other words, the Left is back and in full force, up to the same deceptions and tricks as it was in the 1920s and after.

That the National Socialists embraced socialism is factually accurate. Though they did not nationalize to the extent the Leninists wanted, they did nationalize very vital industry in Germany, even if by outright intimidation rather than through the law. In his personal diaries, Joseph Goebbels wrote in late 1925: “It would be better for us to end our existence under Bolshevism than to endure slavery under capitalism.” Only a few months later, he continued, “I think it is terrible that we and the Communists are bashing in each other’s heads.” Whatever the state of the rivalry between the two camps, Goebbels claimed, the two forces should ally and conquer. He even reached out to a communist in a personal letter: “We are not really enemies,” he offered.

Hitler admired Stalin, and the two willingly carved up Poland in 1939. One SS division named itself after Florian Geyer, a Marxist hero promoted by Frederick Engels in The Peasant War in Germany. Hitler actively recruited communists into the National Socialist movement, believing they were far more malleable than Christians.

The Italian fascists had even closer ties to the Marxists, with Mussolini having begun his career as a Marxist publicist and writer. A few Italian fascists even held positions in the Comintern. The only serious divide between the Italian fascists (or those who would become fascists) and Italian communists in the 1910s was their support, or not, of Italy’s participation in World War I.



The next two years: Trump will do his best while the unprincipled Left do their worst

By Patrick J. Buchanan

The war in Washington will not end until the presidency of Donald Trump ends. Everyone seems to sense that now. This is a fight to the finish.

A postelection truce that began with Trump congratulating House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — "I give her a great deal of credit for what she's done and what she's accomplished" — was ancient history by nightfall.

With the forced resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his replacement by his chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, the long-anticipated confrontation with Robert Mueller appears at hand.

Sessions had recused himself from the oversight role of the special counsel's investigation into Russiagate. Whitaker has definitely not.

Before joining Justice, he said that the Mueller probe was overreaching, going places it had no authority to go, and that it could be leashed by a new attorney general and starved of funds until it passes away.

Whitaker was not chosen to be merely a place holder until a new AG is confirmed. He was picked so he can get the job done.

And about time.

For two years, Trump has been under a cloud of unproven allegations and suspicion that he and top campaign officials colluded with Vladimir Putin's Russia to thieve and publish the emails of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

It is past time for Mueller to prove these charges or concede he has a busted flush, wrap up his investigation and go home.

And now, in T.S. Eliot's words, Trump appears to have found "the strength to force the moment to its crisis."

His attitude toward Mueller's probe is taking on the aspect of Andrew Jackson's attitude toward Nicholas Biddle's Second Bank of the United States: It's "trying to kill me, but I will kill it."

Trump has been warned by congressional Democrats that if he in any way impedes the work of Mueller's office, he risks impeachment.

Well, let's find out.

If the House Judiciary Committee of incoming chairman Jerrold Nadler wishes to impeach Trump for forcing Mueller to fish or cut bait, Trump's allies should broaden the debate to the real motivation here of the defeated establishment: It detests the man the American people chose to lead their country and thus wants to use its political and cultural power to effect his removal.

Even before news of Sessions' departure hit Wednesday, Trump was subjected to an antifa-style hassling by the White House press corps.

One reporter berated the president and refused to surrender the microphone. Others shouted support for his antics. A third demanded to know whether Trump's admission that he's a "nationalist" would give aid and comfort to "white nationalists."

By picking up the credentials of CNN's Jim Acosta and booting him out of the White House, Trump has set a good precedent.

Freedom of the press does not mean guaranteed immunity of the press from the same kind of abuse the press directs at the president.

John F. Kennedy was beloved by the media elite. Yet JFK canceled all White House subscriptions to the New York Herald Tribune and called the publisher of The New York Times to get him to pull reporter David Halberstam out of Vietnam for undermining U.S. morale in a war in which Green Berets were dying.

Some journalists have become Trump haters with press passes. And Trump is right to speak truth to mainstream media power and to accord to the chronically hostile press the same access to the White House to which Robert De Niro is entitled. Since the days of John Adams, the White House has been the president's house, not the press's house.

Pelosi appears the favorite to return as speaker of the House. But she may find her coming days in the post she loves to be less-than-happy times.

Some of her incoming committee chairs — namely, Adam Schiff, Maxine Waters and Elijah Cummings — seem less interested in legislative compromises than in rummaging through White House files for documents to damage the president, starting with his tax returns.

To a world watching with fascination this death struggle convulsing our capital, one wonders how attractive American democracy appears.

And just how much division can this democracy stand?

We know what the left thinks of Trump's "base."

Hillary Clinton told us. Half his supporters, she said, are a "basket of deplorables" who are "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it." Lately, America's populist right has been called fascist and neo-Nazi.

How can the left "unite" with people like that? Why should the left not try to drive such "racists" out of power by any means necessary?

This is the thinking that bred antifa.

As for those on the right — as they watch the left disparage the old heroes, tear down their monuments, purge Christianity from their public schools — they have come to conclude that their enemies are at root anti-Christian and anti-American.

How do we unify a nation where the opposing camps believe this?

What the Trump-establishment war is about is the soul of America, a war in which a compromise on principle can be seen as a betrayal.



Federal Judge Says It's Plausible That Andrew Cuomo Violated the First Amendment by Pressuring Banks and Insurers to Shun the NRA

The organization's lawsuit against New York's governor survives a motion to dismiss.

Last night a federal judge said the National Rifle Association may proceed with a lawsuit that claims New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is violating the First Amendment by pressuring banks and insurers to shun the NRA and "similar gun promotion organizations." U.S. District Judge Thomas McAvoy questioned Cuomo's claim that his messages about the wisdom and propriety of providing financial services to the NRA amount to nothing but legitimate regulatory oversight and protected government speech.

As I explained in my column today, and as McAvoy describes in his decision, there is strong evidence that Cuomo and Maria Vullo, superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), are in fact threatening banks and insurers that dare to do business with organizations that oppose the governor's gun control agenda.

In a press release last April, Cuomo said he was "directing the Department of Financial Services to urge insurers and bankers statewide to determine whether any relationship they may have with the NRA or similar organizations sends the wrong message to their clients and their communities." Vullo was more explicit, saying "DFS urges all insurance companies and banks doing business in New York to join the companies that have already discontinued their arrangements with the NRA."

Guidance memos that Vullo sent to banks and insurance companies that day communicated the same message, warning that "reputational risks...may arise from their dealings with the NRA or similar gun promotion organizations" and urging "prompt actions to manage these risks." The next day, Cuomo tweeted: "The NRA is an extremist organization. I urge companies in New York State to revisit any ties they have to the NRA and consider their reputations, and responsibility to the public."

The press release, memos, and tweet were quickly followed by consent degrees in which the companies that had managed and underwritten the NRA's Carry Guard insurance program in New York not only agreed to pay fines for violations of state law but promised to stop doing business with the NRA. During this period, according to the NRA, Vullo's department engaged in "backroom exhortations," warning "banks and insurers with known or suspected ties to the NRA that they would face regulatory action" if they failed to cut ties.

"The temporal proximity between the Cuomo Press Release, the Guidance Letters, and the Consent Orders plausibly suggests that the timing was intended to reinforce the message that insurers and financial institutions that do not sever ties with the NRA will be subject to retaliatory action by the state," McAvoy notes. "The allegations in the Amended Complaint are sufficient to create a plausible inference that the Guidance Letters and Cuomo Press Release, when read together and in the context of the alleged backroom exhortations and the public announcements of the Consent Orders, constituted implicit threats of adverse action against financial institutions and insurers that did not disassociate from the NRA."

Those threats had a noticeable impact, causing insurers and banks to either end existing relationships with the NRA or decline new business. One banker from upstate New York told American Banker that the "politically motivated" guidance memos put people like him in a bind: "If a business is a legal entity, how do I know who is going to come in disfavor with either the New York State DFS or a federal regulator, that they may say, 'Reputationally, you shouldn't be doing business with this company'? It's hard to know what the rules are." Other industry sources told the magazine "such regulatory guidelines are frustratingly vague, and can effectively compel institutions to cease catering to legal businesses."

Far from denying this chilling effect, Cuomo crowed about it. "If the @NRA goes bankrupt because of the State of New York," he tweeted in August, "they'll be in my thoughts and prayers. I'll see you in court."

Now that Cuomo has gotten to court, comments like that present a problem if he wants to deny that he is abusing his powers to pursue an unconstitutional vendetta against his political opponents. "The Guidance Letters and the Cuomo Press Release indisputably are directed at the NRA and similar groups based on their 'gun promotion' advocacy," McAvoy writes. "However controversial it may be, 'gun promotion' advocacy is core political speech entitled to constitutional protection. The Guidance Letters and Cuomo Press Release's comments directed to this protected speech provides a sufficient basis to invoke the First Amendment on these claims." Hence "the critical question here is whether Defendants' statements, including the Guidance Letters and Cuomo Press Release, threatened adverse action against banks and insurers that did not disassociate with the NRA." The answer seems pretty clear.



Mass.: Nasty local bureaucracy

Candles are now illegal for all in Cambridge? Enforcers are on scorched-earth campaign

If you lit a candle in Cambridge for any purpose within the past few weeks without first going to the fire department for permission, you have broken the law.

That’s because the fire department, with no public process, added something that at least looks like a law to its website saying so: “The Cambridge Fire Department does not allow the use of candles unless approved by the Fire Prevention Bureau.”

Department and city officials have been silent when asked about the unannounced addition to its website, but it was done in advance of a Wednesday disciplinary hearing before the License Commission over the use of candles at a North Cambridge wine bar and charcuterie.

Screen captures of the cached Web page shows how recent the addition is, and the order didn’t exist when the owners of the business, called UpperWest, researched whether candles were allowed in Cambridge restaurants – in fact, as recently as Sept. 4 the department was tweeting out candle safety advice and making no reference to the notion that it “does not allow the use of candles” without permission:

Meanwhile, fire and police officials have repeatedly cited a state law that they seemed to think proves UpperWest – and every other Cambridge restaurant and bar, dating back decades – cannot set out candles. The state statute does not show that.

UpperWest’s Kim Courtney and Xavier Dietrich were summoned to the disciplinary hearing in an Oct. 12 letter from the License Commission. Rather than the mysterious new law, the letter cites the same state statute cited in emails, official communications and visits to UpperWest about “portable cooking equipment,” such as a flame or heat source used for fondue. The candles at UpperWest aren’t used for cooking – they’re mood-setting tea lights, also referred to as votive candles, set out on the business’ bar and tables inside small glass containers.

Asked directly what statute that was being violated at UpperWest that drew fire inspectors Aug. 3 and then again Sept. 29, acting chief of the fire department Gerard Mahoney – who also makes up one-third of the commission with the police commissioner and a chairwoman – declined to answer because the “matter is currently under investigation.” When the question was appealed to the City Solicitor’s Office, city spokesman Lee Gianetti responded that “the fire department indicates that the use of candles in restaurants in Cambridge is governed by the Massachusetts Fire Safety Code.” Renewed requests for information last week were ignored.



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, 2018

Message from Germany

Something to keep in mind as we wring our hands and goo-goo over the "plight" of migrant caravans


Just in case you don't think President Trump is doing the right thing! Read this!

"Yesterday, at the hospital, we had a meeting about how the situation here and at the other Munich hospitals is unsustainable. Clinics cannot handle the number of migrant medical emergencies, so they are starting to send everything to the main hospitals.

Many Muslims are refusing treatment by female staff, and we women are now refusing to go among those migrants!

Relations between the staff and migrants are going from bad to worse. Since last weekend, migrants going to the hospitals must be accompanied by police with K-9units.

Many migrants have AIDS, syphilis, open TB and many exotic diseases that we in Europe do not know how to treat.

If they receive a prescription to the pharmacy, they suddenly learn they have to pay cash. This leads to unbelievable outbursts, especially when it is about drugs for the children. They abandon the children with pharmacy staff with the words: So, cure them here yourselves!

So the police are not just guarding the clinics and hospitals, but also the large pharmacies.

We ask openly where are all those who welcomed the migrants in front of TV cameras with signs at train stations? Yes, for now, the border has been closed, but a million of them are already here and we will definitely not be able to get rid of them.

Until now, the number of unemployed in Germany was 2.2 million. Now it will be at least 3.5 million. Most of these people are completely unemployable. Only a small minimum of them have any education. What is more, their women usually do not work at all. I estimate that one in ten is pregnant. Hundreds of thousands of them have brought along infants and little kids under six, many emaciated and very needy. If this continues and Germany re-opens its borders, I am going home to the Czech Republic. Nobody can keep me here in this situation, not even for double the salary back home. I came to Germany to work, not to Africa or the Middle East!

Even the professor who heads our department told us how sad it makes him to see the cleaning woman, who has cleaned every day for years for 800 Euro's and then meets crowds of young men in the hallways who just wait with their hands outstretched, wanting everything for free, and when they don't get it they throw a fit.

I really don't need this! But I am afraid that if I return home, at some point it will be the same in the Czech Republic. If the Germans, with their systems, cannot handle this, then, guaranteed, back home will be total chaos.....

You - who have not come in contact with these people have absolutely no idea what kind of badly behaved desperadoes these people are, and how Muslims act superior to our staff, regarding their religious accommodation.

For now, the local hospital staff have not come down with the diseases these people brought here, but with so many hundreds of patients every day of this is just a question of time. In a hospital near the Rhine, migrants attacked the staff with knives after they had handed over an 8-month-old on the brink of death, who they'd dragged across half of Europe for three months. The child died two days later, despite having received top care at one of the best pediatric clinics in Germany. The pediatric physician had to undergo surgery and the two nurses are recovering in the ICU. Nobody has been punished.

The local press is forbidden to write about it, so we can only inform you through email. What would have happened to a German if he had stabbed the doctor and nurses with a knife? Or if he had flung his own syphilis-infected urine into a nurses face and so threatened her with infection? At a minimum he would have gone straight to jail and later to court. With these people so far, nothing has happened.

And so I ask: Where are all those greeters and receivers from the train stations? Sitting pretty at home, enjoying their uncomplicated, safe lives. If it were up to me, I would round up all those greeters and bring them here first to our hospitals emergency ward as attendants! Then in to one of the buildings housing the migrants, so they can really look after them there themselves, without armed police and police dogs, who, sadly today, are in every hospital here in Bavaria."


Capitalism at work

Capitalism  has an informal sequence for the testing and adoption of innovations -- as described above. Command (Communist) economies lack that so are very slow and inefficient at adopting anything new


How Trump Is Toughening Asylum Rules for Immigrants

President Donald Trump’s administration is clamping down on asylum rules for immigrants coming to the United States, the White House announced Thursday.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department jointly issued a new rule requiring that immigrants seeking asylum along the southern border must present themselves lawfully at a port of entry.

Trump will sign a proclamation with specifics. The president last week announced his intention to do so.

The new rule is aimed at ensuring illegal immigrants who are subject to the terms of the proclamation that Trump issues are not eligible for asylum.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker issued a joint statement on the new policy.

Consistent with our immigration laws, the president has the broad authority to suspend or restrict the entry of aliens into the United States if he determines it to be in the national interest to do so.

Today’s rule applies this important principle to aliens who violate such a suspension or restriction regarding the southern border imposed by the president by invoking an express authority provided by Congress to restrict eligibility for asylum.

Our asylum system is overwhelmed with too many meritless asylum claims from aliens who place a tremendous burden on our resources, preventing us from being able to expeditiously grant asylum to those who truly deserve it.

Today, we are using the authority granted to us by Congress to bar aliens who violate a Presidential suspension of entry or other restriction from asylum eligibility.

The new rule clarifies that anyone who illegally enters the United States will be ineligible for asylum.

The president is relying on the Immigration and Nationality Act, which states in part:

Whenever the president finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. …

Unless otherwise ordered by the president, it shall be unlawful for any alien to depart from or enter, or attempt to depart from or enter, the United States, except under such reasonable rules, regulations, and orders, and subject to such limitations and exceptions as the president may prescribe.

In June, the Supreme Court upheld Trump’s broad statutory authority to implement entry restrictions in a ruling on the policy of extreme vetting that opponents characterized as a “Muslim ban.”

Under the proclamation, those who arrive at a port of entry will remain eligible for asylum. The Department of Homeland Security is deploying additional resources to ports of entry.

Illegal immigrants are often coached in advance to claim “credible fear” in order to claim asylum. Before 2013, about 1 in every 100 arriving immigrants claimed credible fear and sought asylum. Today, that has spiked to 1 in 10, according to the White House.

About two-thirds of immigrants claiming credible fear are from the Central American nations of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, and do not have valid asylum claims, but are released into the country because the existing asylum system has become overwhelmed, the White House said.

Last year, about half of the illegal immigrants who claimed credible fear did not show up for their assigned hearing or even file an asylum application.

In fiscal 2018, which ended on Sept. 30, U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered 612,183 inadmissible immigrants. Of those, 404,142 aliens entered illegally. About 98 percent of the latter—396,579—who entered illegally were apprehended by CBP along the southern border.

The total number of “credible fear” referrals for interviews increased from about 5,000 a year in fiscal 2008 to about 97,000 in fiscal 2018, the White House said.



The Welfare Generation: 51.7% Kids in 2017 Lived in Households Getting Govt Assistance

The Census Bureau has released new data that strengthens the case for calling the current generation of American children “The Welfare Generation.”

Among American residents under 18 years of age in 2017, according to the Census Bureau, 51.7 percent lived in households in which one or more persons received benefits from a means-tested government program.

That was down slightly from the 52.1 percent of Americans under 18 in 2016 who lived in households receiving means-tested government assistance. (Also, because this new Census Bureau estimate is for 2017, it predates the significant economic and job growth the United States has seen in 2018).

But in each of the last five years on record (2013 through 2017), according to the Census Bureau, at least 51 percent of Americans under 18 have lived in households receiving means-tested government assistance.

In fact, the 51.7 percent in 2017 was the lowest percentage in any of the last five years on record.

The programs the Census Bureau includes in its estimate of how many people are living in households receiving means-tested government assistance include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), Supplemental Security Income, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, Medicaid, public housing, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the National School Lunch Program.

The data on the number of people living in households in which one or more persons received means-tested government assistance comes from Table POV-26 of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, 2018 Annual Social and Economic Supplement.

The table enumerates, by various characteristics, “[p]eople who lived with someone (a nonrelative or relative) who received aid.”

“Not every person tallied here,” Table POV-26 says, “received the aid themselves.”

In 2017, the Census Bureau estimates, according to the table, that there were approximately 322,549,000 people living in the United States. Of these, 114,637,000—or 35.5 percent—lived in a household that received means-tested government assistance.

Of the 322,549,000 people in the United States in 2017, 73,356,000 were under 18 years of age. Of these children, 37,908,000—or 51.7 percent—lived in a household that received means-tested government assistance.

Even when the school lunch program was excluded from the group of means-tested government programs, there were still 32,467,000 people in America under 18 (or 44.3 percent of that demographic) living in a household receiving means-tested government assistance.

The 51.7 percent of people under 18 on means-tested government assistance in 2017 was a slight declined from the 52.1 percent on means-tested government assistance in 2016.

In 2016, according to the Census estimate, there were 73,586,000 people under 18 in the United States (compared to 73,356,000 in 2017) and 38,365,000 (compared to 37,908,000 in 2017) were living in households receiving means-tested government assistance.

The percentage of persons under 18 living in households receiving means-tested government assistance also varied by the type of household the person was living in, according to the Census data.

But it was above 40 percent even in married-couple families.

In married couple families in 2017, according to Table POV-26, there were 49,436,000 related children under 18. Of these, 20,230,000—or 40.9 percent—lived in households in which one or more persons received means-tested government assistance.

There were 5,330,000 related children under 18 living in households headed by a male householder with no spouse present. 3,371,000 of these children—or 48.7 percent—lived in a household receiving means-tested government assistance.

There were 17,766,000 related children under 18 living in households headed by a female householder with no spouse present. 13,702,000 of these children—or 77.1 percent—lived in a household receiving means-tested government assistance.

After the 51.7 percent of children under 18 who lived in a household that received means-tested government assistance in 2017, the next most likely age group to live in a household that received means-tested government assistance were those 18 to 24. There were 29,363,000 in that age bracket and 11,855,000—or 40.4 percent—lived in a household getting means-tested government assistance.

The age group least likely to be receiving means-tested government assistance were people 75 and older. There were 20,713,000 in that age bracket in 2017 and only 3,894,000—or 18.8 percent—lived in a household on means-tested government assistance.



Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg Falls: Hospitalized After Fracturing Three Ribs


It is being reported that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, has been hospitialized after taking a fall Wednesday night.

As White House Bureau Chief for VOA News Steve Herman reported, this is not Ginsburg’s first bout with health complications:

President Trump has already appointed two Supreme Court justices in his two years in the Oval Office. Democrats have been worried about liberal Ginsburg’s position due to her age and frail condition.

Politics aside, we all wish Ginsburg a speedy recovery.


She will undoubtedly wish to hold out for 6 more years in order to block another Trump appointment but it seems unlikely that she will make it.


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

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


11 November, 2018

Should blacks be white supremacists?

My heading above will of course expose me to a roar of accusations that I am a white supremacist.  I have certainly been accused of that before.  I have in print around a hundred academic journal articles on race and racism so I at least qualify as being a racist according to the Leftist lexicon -- which is anyone who mentions race or monkeys. I have mentioned both.

The Left throw around the term "white supremacist" with wild abandon so it is very hard to work out what they mean by it. So varied are the words that provoke such an accusation that it could mean a very wide variety of things.  Could it be synonymous with "Good old boy", for instance? It seems possible.

In fact, of course it is not meant to have any particular meaning.  It is simply a term of abuse, like S.O.B.  It sounds bad and that is enough.

So is there any point in trying to look at what it COULD mean?  I personally treat the meaning of words with respect so I think I should at least try.  I think there are two possible underlying meanings: Someone who thinks whites ARE supreme and someone who thinks whites SHOULD BE supreme.

And it is reasonable enough to think that whites are supreme in at least some ways.  Modern Western civilization and the innovations that drive it is almost entirely the creation of whites. And whites  tend not to be good runners or good rappers but in terms of high income and low crime incidence they generally excel in international comparisons.  China will no doubt catch up but they are not there yet.

So is there any problem in reporting that factual situation?  I can't see it.  But Leftists are not concerned with facts of course so I am presumably a villain just for mentioning the facts of the matter.

So then we come to the second type of possible white supremacist:  Someone who believes that whites SHOULD BE supreme.  But are there any such people?  Since whites already are supreme in important ways, what point is there in wishing for such a situation to come about?  You can't open a door that is already open.  So I can't think that there could be any whites in that category.

But there could be some blacks.  What is true of comparisons between countries is also true of comparisons between cities.  And it is a byword about what behavioral sinks black-dominated cities in America are  -- with huge rates of violent crime, great poverty and urban decay generally. Think Detroit.

So it seems possible that there are some  blacks in such cities who would like whites to be fully in charge of their city and enforce white standards of behaviour.  There might even be some who pray for that.  It's not for me to say that they should but  if I were a black living in Detroit, I would -- JR.


Trump did it

The Republican Party defied history in a powerful and commanding fashion in the midterm elections Tuesday by expanding its Senate majority and stopping highly touted, celebrity-backed Democratic nominees in their tracks.

The reason for Republican success is undeniable: President Trump proved to be our closer and our game-changer, making a quantifiable difference in key races across the country.

From Taylor Swift and P. Diddy, to Oprah Winfrey and President Obama, the collective power of both the left and celebrities could not overcome the power of the Trump endorsement, which defied historic trends and delivered Republican Senate victories.

With Senate pickups in Florida, Missouri, Indiana, and North Dakota, Republicans will not only maintain our Senate majority but expand it by one to four seats when all Senate races have been decided.

This tremendous feat can only be fully understood when placed in the context of history. Over the past 80 years, the sitting president’s party has only picked up seven Senate seats collectively in midterm elections. In other words, picking up Senate seats for a sitting president is exceedingly rare and has only been achieved four times since 1934.

This shows that that the success of President Trump and the Republicans in Senate races is a monumental achievement that defies the historic odds.

In the House, although Democrats took back the majority, Republicans once again over-performed when compared to past midterm elections, despite a wave of retirements that made a hard task all the more difficult.

Democrats have only gained 27 House seats as of this writing. But going back to the 1800s, the party of first-term presidents has lost an average of 32 House seats in midterms.

Even if Republicans wind up losing a few more House seats when all races have been decided, their losses will still fall far short of President Obama’s 63-seat loss and President Clinton’s 54-seat loss in midterm elections when those two Democratic presidents were in office.

GOP over-performance is no coincidence. The Republican pickups are directly attributable to a sustained effort by President Trump to boost GOP candidates, aided by an unprecedented Republican National Committee ground game effort to deliver key victories.

Hosting 53 rallies in 24 states since January, President Trump outpaced President Obama’s rally totals by roughly three times. While Democratic candidates distanced themselves from Obama in midterm elections when he was in office, GOP candidates embraced Trump, welcoming the president to their states.

For example, President Trump’s rally on behalf of Republican nominee Marsha Blackburn for a U.S. Senate seat from Tennessee turned a 5-point deficit into a 9-point victory.

In Missouri, a Senate race in a dead heat resulted in a 6-point win for Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley, who defeated Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill after an election eve Trump rally.

In Florida, the president’s three rallies and continual support for Republican nominees delivered victories for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and Republican Senate candidate Gov. Rick Scott. Both were down in the polls; both prevailed after Trump’s efforts.

Likewise, in Texas, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz opened up his first double-digit lead of the fall after an October Trump rally, ultimately defeating the prolific fundraiser and the left’s megastar Robert “Beto” O’Rourke.

And in Georgia, a star-studded effort from Oprah Winfrey to boost Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams could not stop the Trump momentum, with a rally that pushed Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp 2 percent above his opponent in the vote total.

Similar scenarios played out in Indiana, Texas, Kentucky and Ohio, where the president’s rallies once again delivered identifiable, quantifiable, undeniable results.

With 87 percent support among Republican voters, President Trump has the highest approval rating from members of his own party of any president in modern history, with the exception of President Bush in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

President Trump’s extraordinary support in his party was on full display Tuesday as the base turned out in support of Republican candidates, showcasing the president’s ability to make the Trump voter a Republican voter.

President Trump did this to great effect, combined with the Republican National Committee’s unprecedented ground game. The RNC invested a record $275 million into the 2018 midterms, facilitating 2.6 billion voter contacts that mobilized support for GOP nominees across the country and outpaced 2016 investment.

As several analysts have noted, the blue wave crashed Tuesday. It crashed into a Republican Party more unified than ever before, thanks to President Trump.

There is simply no denying the political tailwinds of President Trump. They change the trajectory of races, reverse historical odds, and leave Hollywood and the left speechless. Results from the elections Tuesday proved that once more.



There was no suburban female GOP problem in the 2018 midterms

One conventional wisdom headed into the 2018 midterms was that Republicans would have a very poor night and lose races they might otherwise win because females, specifically, suburban Republican females, were abandoning President Donald Trump and down ballot candidates.

There was only one problem. On election night, it didn’t actually happen. In states that are evenly divided, like Florida or Iowa, Republicans did about as well as Trump did in 2016.

According to 2016 CNN exit poll in Florida, Trump garnered 52 percent of men and 46 percent of women.

In a Nov. 2 St. Pete Polls survey that correctly predicted the outcome, Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), running for Senate against Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), did comparably well along gender lines. Scott got 53 percent of men and 46 percent of women. Almost exactly the same.

In the same poll, DeSantis — who overperformed the poll’s result when voting actually happened — garnered 49 percent of men and 44 percent of women.

If there was some exodus of suburban Republican women from the GOP, it should have proven fatal to Scott and DeSantis in Florida, a state that could not be more closely divided politically.

In similar, statewide outcomes, Republicans held governorships in Iowa, New Hampshire and Ohio, all closely divided states. Surely, a flight of Republican women or just women generally from the GOP would have killed Republicans in those races, too.

In an Emerson poll that correctly predicted Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-Iowa) would be reelected by about 4 points, Reynolds garnered 57 percent of men and 43 percent of women. In the 2016 CNN exit poll in Iowa, Trump garnered 61 percent of men and 44 percent of women, practically the same.

In New Hampshire, Gov. Chris Sununu (R-N.H) garnered 56 percent of men and 45 percent of women in the last Emerson poll before the election. Sununu won. In the 2016 CNN exit poll, Trump got 53 percent of men and 41 percent of women. If anything, there, Republicans improved among both men and women since Trump got elected.

The Emerson poll in Ohio incorrectly predicted Richard Cordray would beat Mike DeWine, 49 percent to 46 percent. It was a bad sample that was too heavy-Democrat. It did show a drop off in support for Trump among men and women. There was just one problem. On election night, DeWine won handily, 50.7 percent to 46 percent. Trump won Ohio 51 percent to 43 percent in 2016. Pretty similar outcomes.

The same trend played out nationally, too, Manzanita Miller, an associate analyst with the Market Research Foundation, told me in an emailed statement, pointing to CNN’s 2018 exit poll.

“Of female voters who were already registered Republican, 93 percent of them voted GOP, and 6 percent broke for Dems. This is nearly equal to registered Republican men, where 94 percent voted GOP, and 6 percent broke for Dems,” Miller said, saying that she was “not seeing an indication of suburban females shifting to Dems at all.”

Which, it turns out, was better than Trump did nationally two years ago, where he garnered 89 percent of Republican men and 88 percent of Republican women in 2016, according to the CNN exit poll. No slippage there.

“The GOP won an equal share of suburban voters, and a greater share of rural households,” Miller added.

To be fair, there was some slippage overall, but it affected men and women equally. Whereas Trump got 52 percent of men and 41 percent of women nationally, Republican House candidates got 51 percent and 40 percent, respectively. The shift, if there was one, occurred among independents, where Democrats got 51 percent of independents who are men, and 56 of independents who are women.  Republicans got 44 percent of independent males, and 39 percent of independent females, compared to Trump’s 50 percent of independent men and 42 percent of independent women.

So, perhaps, there is some flight of suburban Republican women from the GOP that is hurting Republican candidates down ballot somewhere in America, it’s just that when you look for them in a poll or at the ballot box in 2016 and 2018, they’re nowhere to be found.

If the predictors are supposed to be party affiliation and gender, so far the phenomenon of Republican women leaving the GOP remains hypothetical.

They are certainly not appearing in some of the most closely divided and contested states with huge suburban presences that Republicans depend on to win where you would expect to see an impact.

Which makes it unicorns. A fantasy, more or less. Or, a goal or hypothesis of Democrats of how to flip Republican women to vote Democrat because they’re supposed to be just so disgusted with the President.

Here’s an idea, maybe if Democratic leaders and pundits stop calling their husbands racists and sexists — just maybe — Republican women will consider voting for the Democratic candidate. Just a thought.

Narratives don’t vote. People do. Something to keep in mind as we head into 2020.



DC Police Investigating Mob’s Protest At Tucker Carlson’s House As ‘Suspected Hate Crime’

D.C. police are investigating a left-wing mob’s protest at Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s house Wednesday evening as a ‘suspected hate crime‘ with ‘anti-political’ motivations, according to a police report obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The mob, organized by the Antifa group Smash Racism DC, posted Carlson’s Washington address online and sent a mob to his house calling him a “racist scumbag” and demanded he flee the city. Carlson, a co-founder of The Daily Caller News Foundation, was at the Fox News studio when the mob arrived at his home.

A police report indicated that the incident was a “suspected hate crime” and that the case was still open. One box labeled “hate bias/motivation” was filled in “anti-political.”

Carlson’s wife, who was home alone at the time, reported that she heard loud banging and pounding on her front door, according to the police report. She called the police after witnessing a large group of people that had a bull horn and were chanting loudly outside the house.

“Someone started throwing himself against the front door and actually cracked the front door,” Carlson told The Washington Post.

The police “arrived on the scene and found a group of approximately 20 people,” the report read. “It was discovered that unknown persons spray painted an anarchy symbol on the driveway. There were also signs left on the vehicles parked in the driveway as well as a sign left on the front door of the home.”

The vandalism to Carlson’s vehicles and front door made reference to Carlson’s political affiliation, according to the report

The police also seized six hand-written posters from the scene, according to the report. Video of the incident shows the protesters carrying signs and chanting, “Tucker Carlson we will fight! We know where you sleep at night!”

No arrests were made after police arrived on the scene, though there is an active investigation into the incident, Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Alaina Gertz told TheDCNF.

“MPD has allocated more patrols in the area as a response to this incident,” she told TheDCNF. She declined to comment further. It is unclear why no one was arrested.

It’s also unclear who partook in the doxxing and mobbing of Carlson’s house, but it appears that Smash Racism DC began planning the action weeks ago.

Smash Racism DC co-founder Mike Isaacson wrote on his blog Thursday that an active member of the group notified him that the personal information of Carlson and other “far right personalities” had been obtained.

Isaacson wrote that he hasn’t worked with Smash Racism DC for three years, but he wrote that he “probably should have seen [the protest] coming” and referred to the group’s active members as his “comrades.”

“SRDC has really been on fire with the doxxes as of late,” Isaacson wrote. “Anyway, last night my SRDC comrades engaged in what’s known as ‘grassroots lobbying’ – showing up at a powerful person’s doorstep, usually at night, and generally making as much noise as possible.

John Jay College fired Isaacson from his position as an economics professor after tweets surfaced of him promoting political violence and laughing at dead police officers.

Isaacson also appeared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” in September 2017 where he justified the use of violence against political opponents, but said he “would never commit violence against” Carlson personally.

But Isaacson said in a tweet Thursday that he supported Wednesday night’s mob. Isaacson did not return a request for comment.

Carlson said he is now worried about leaving his family at home alone in the aftermath of the incident.

“It wasn’t a protest. It was a threat,” Carlson told The Post.

“They weren’t protesting anything specific that I had said,” he said. “They weren’t asking me to change anything. They weren’t protesting a policy or advocating for legislation. … They were threatening me and my family and telling me to leave my own neighborhood in the city that I grew up in.”



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, 2018

You Won’t Hear the Media Say It, But Last Night Trump Made History

While Tuesday night’s elections gave Democrats a majority in the House of Representatives, the media will likely ignore President Donald Trump’s big win in the Senate, where the GOP held onto its majority and is just awaiting the results of extremely close races to see how big that majority is going to be.

Democrats, meanwhile, suffered a devastating loss in the Texas Senate race, with Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke losing to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Republicans gained three new Republican senators with outright wins in North Dakota, Indiana, Florida and Missouri and likely a fourth in Florida, where Republican Rick Scott appears to have defeated incumbent Bill Nelson, though the winner hadn’t officially been declared as of Wednesday afternoon.

Some of the Democrats who lost might have been hurt for voting against the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

For example, support for incumbent North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who lost to Republican Kevin Cramer, began slipping in the polls after her vote against Trump’s Supreme Court pick.

One thing we know for sure about these midterm elections is that Trump made history with his Senate gains — even if the media isn’t going to say it.

In Twitter posts early Wednesday, Trump quoted conservative political commentator Ben Stein, who had explained the historic significance of the Republican Senate victories Tuesday on Fox Business Network Tuesday night.

“There’s only been five times in the last 105 years that an incumbent president has won seats in the Senate in the off-year election,” said Stein, author of “The Capitalist Code.” “Mr. Trump has magic  about him.”

That’s a detail — and an opinion — that you won’t hear from the establishment media. But Trump was more than happy to publicize Stein’s take.



Republicans Maintain Majority of Governorships

All told, Tuesday featured 36 gubernatorial contests across the nation. All but a handful were relatively perfunctory affairs. It was the exceptions that are of particular interest, as is the fact that Democrats netted an overall pickup of at least seven governorships. Still not bad considering that Republicans were defending 26 of 36 posts.

In perhaps the most-watched race in the country, Democrat Socialist Andrew Gillum lost to Republican Ron DeSantis. Florida is a critical bellwether state, and DeSantis’s victory — combined with outgoing Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s win over incumbent Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson — is a welcome sign. And yet there’s a cloud. Also on Tuesday, Florida restored voting rights to 1.5 million felons, who vote overwhelmingly Democrat. Donald Trump won Florida in 2016 by a little over 100,000 votes.

Neighboring Georgia remains uncalled, as Democrat Socialist Stacey Abrams refuses to concede until “every vote gets counted,” but as we go to press, Republican Brian Kemp leads by nearly 100,000 votes out of almost four million cast. Two factors are at play in the race remaining uncalled. First, Georgia law requires the winner to exceed 50%, which Kemp currently does at 50.5%. Abrams is hoping that absentee and provisional ballots will pull Kemp under that 50% threshold and put the two in a December runoff. Second, and maybe more to the point, Abrams’s entire campaign was built on painting Kemp as a racist vote suppressor. As executive director of the New Georgia Project, she worked to flood Secretary of State Kemp’s office with voter registrations and then insisted he was racist for working to weed out the fraudulent ones. She’s dedicated to keeping that message going.

Notably, Barack Obama hit the trail for both Gillum and Abrams and appears to have come up empty.

Other notable races include Scott Walker’s defeat in Wisconsin. He won two terms and a recall, but he couldn’t keep the streak alive in a state that isn’t as red as Republicans once hoped. Likewise, Kansas turned blue, as incumbent Republican Kris Kobach couldn’t overcome the negative baggage of Sam Brownback’s administration, and Illinois ousted the worst Republican in the country, Bruce Rauner, opting for unified Democrat control under governor-elect J. B. Pritzker. Yet in the Northeast, Republicans held on in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont, meaning they still hold four of 10 governorships in the region. And Republican Mike Dunleavy flipped Alaska, even after the incumbent independent dropped out and endorsed Democrat Mark Begich.

Much of the nation’s economic progress depends on state administrations, and Republicans will still control a majority of governorships.



1,834 Refugees Admitted in October: 77.7 Percent Christians

The first month of the new fiscal year saw 1,834 refugees admitted to the United States, more than three-quarters of them Christians, as agencies involved in resettlement began operating under the lowest refugee admission cap set by an administration since the Refugee Act was enacted in 1980.

Despite the 30,000 ceiling set for fiscal year 2019 – down from 45,000 in FY 2018 and 85,000 two years earlier – more refugees were admitted during October than during the same month last year (1,248), although significantly fewer than the numbers admitted in October 2016 (9,945) and October 2015 (5,348).

Of the 1,834 newcomers, 1,425 (77.7 percent) were Christians of various denominations, and 362 (19.7 percent) were Muslims (including Sunnis, Shi’ites and Ahmadis.) Ahmadi beliefs are deemed heretical by many mainstream Muslim clerics and outlawed in the criminal code of Pakistan – the country of origin of the 15 Ahmadi refugees admitted in October.

Rounding out the October refugee admissions were 47 non-Christian and non-Muslim refugees, including 17 Buddhists, five animists, four Hindus, three Jews, and several others who gave their religious affiliation as “other” or “none,” according to State Department Refugee Processing Center data.

The countries accounting for the largest contingents of refugees arriving in October were the Democratic Republic of Congo (612 refugees, all but 33 of them Christians), Eritrea (358 refugees, including 107 Muslims), Ukraine (345 refugees, all Christians bar three Jews) and Burma (304 refugees, mostly Christians but including 131 Muslims, 13 Buddhists, five animists and three Hindus.)

The countries of the Central American “northern triangle” accounted for just 28 refugees – 23 from El Salvador, three from Guatemala and two from Honduras. Twenty-five of the 28 were Christians.

From key Islamic countries, October’s arrivals included 34 refugees from Afghanistan (including one Christian and six refugees with “no religion”), 24 from Pakistan (including the 15 Ahmadis and four Christians), six Iraqis (all Muslims), five from Sudan (all Muslims), three from Somalia (all Muslims), two Syrians (both Muslims) and one refugee from Iran (a Christian).

Early last month President Trump signed an executive order setting the ceiling for refugee admissions in FY 2019 at 30,000.

The regional breakdown for the allocations was: 11,000 from Africa, 9,000 from the Near East/South Asia, 4,000 from East Asia, and 3,000 each from Europe/Central Asia and Latin America/Caribbean.

(The order does authorize unallocated places from any region being used to accommodate refugees from other regions.)

According to a report to Congress on proposed refugee admissions for FY 2019, individuals suffering religious persecution in the ten countries currently designated by the State Department as “countries of particular concern” (CPC) for egregious religious freedom violations may be eligible for “priority one” referral by a U.S. Embassy or the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR..

The ten CPC countries are Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Pakistan, which the Trump administration last year placed on a second-tier watch list that falls short of CPC designation, is added to the ten, the report states.

(“Priority one” does not affect the order in which cases for refugee status are processed. Applications in all three “priority” groups undergo the same processing steps.)

A common theme running through the CPCs (and Pakistan) is persecution of religious minorities at the hand of the state and/or hostile religious majorities. Victims include Christians of various denominations, Muslims (including Rohingya, Shi’ites and Ahmadis), and in China, Tibetan Buddhists and Falun Gong adherents.

The last fiscal year saw the U.S. admit a total of 22,491 refugees, well below the 45,000 ceiling and the smallest number in the history of the modern refugee resettlement program established in 1980.

By contrast, the Obama administration resettled numbers ranging from a low of 56,424 refugees in FY 2011 to a high of 84,994 refugees in FY 2016.

Even under the Trump administration, the U.S. admitted more refugees – 33,368 – in calendar year 2017 than any other country. The next biggest intakes of refugees that year were in Canada (26,600), Australia (15,100), Britain (6,200) and Sweden (3,400).



Routine Election Monitoring Spurs ‘Suppression’ Claims From Left

In a routine pre-election action, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division will monitor polling sites in a total of 35 jurisdictions in 19 states.

Some left-leaning websites cast the move as a voter-suppression effort because the attorney general’s announcement talked about voter fraud. In a press release Monday, Sessions said voter fraud “corrupts the integrity of the ballot.”

President Donald Trump later tweeted that fraudsters at the polls would face “maximum criminal penalties.”

The Obama administration’s Justice Department sent out nearly identical press releases about plans to monitor election sites ahead of the four national elections in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016.

Each press release from the Obama administration talked about prosecuting fraud in the context of enforcing elections laws and the right to vote.

This year, the Justice Department said it will send monitors to election sites in Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

The total of 19 states actually is scaled down from 2016, when the Justice Department monitored 67 jurisdictions in 28 states. In the preceding national election in 2014, the Justice Department monitored 28 jurisdictions in 18 states, slightly less than this year.

Nevertheless, The Daily Beast warned about a “last-ditch effort of voter suppression” in a story that combined the press release and Trump tweet.

The news and opinion website noted: “The DOJ plans to send officials to 35 jurisdictions in 19 states in an effort to monitor the vote on Tuesday—especially in places Republicans would ordinarily win, like North Dakota and Georgia, who’ve already experienced suppression efforts at the polls.”

The Washington Post appeared alarmed, reporting:

But the statement from former Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the department plans to investigate voter fraud, something President Trump has claimed, without evidence, to be a huge problem since he was a candidate. … The statement doesn’t say what specific fraud-related issues the Justice Department personnel will be looking out for, and how much of their time will be spent investigating impediments to voting as opposed to claims of fraud.

The website AlterNet said: “Jeff Sessions is bending to Donald Trump’s false accusations of voter fraud.”

A database maintained by The Heritage Foundation contains 1,178 proven instances of voter fraud. They include 1,020 criminal convictions, 48 civil penalties, 81 diversion programs, 14 judicial findings, and 15 official findings.

“Voting rights are constitutional rights, and they’re part of what it means to be an American,” Sessions said in his statement Monday, adding:

The Department of Justice has been entrusted with an indispensable role in securing these rights for the people of this nation. This year we are using every lawful tool that we have, both civil and criminal, to protect the rights of millions of Americans to cast their vote unimpeded at one of more than 170,000 precincts across America.

Citizens of America control this country through their selection of their governmental officials at the ballot box. Likewise, fraud in the voting process will not be tolerated. Fraud also corrupts the integrity of the ballot.

Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division is charged with enforcing federal voting rights laws.

“This is nothing unusual,” Han von Spakovsky, manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative at The Heritage Foundation and a former Justice Department lawyer, told The Daily Signal. “The Civil Rights Division has been doing this on a regular basis. They always send out press releases, usually announcing where the monitors will be.”



Skin in the Game

By Walter E. Williams

In describing the GOP tax cuts, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that they and bonuses American workers were getting were "crumbs." They were "tax cuts for the rich." Some argued that the tax cuts would reduce revenues. Pelosi predicted, "This thing will explode the deficit." How about some tax facts?

The argument that tax cuts reduce federal revenues can be disposed of quite easily. According to the Congressional Budget Office, revenues from federal income taxes were $76 billion higher in the first half of this year than they were in the first half of 2017. The Treasury Department says it expects that federal revenues will continue to exceed last year's for the rest of 2018. Despite record federal revenues, 2018 will see a massive deficit, perhaps topping $1 trillion. Our massive deficit is a result not of tax cuts but of profligate congressional spending that outruns rising tax revenues. Grossly false statements about tax cuts' reducing revenue should be put to rest in the wake of federal revenue increases seen with tax cuts during the Kennedy, Reagan and Trump administrations.

A very disturbing and mostly ignored issue is how absence of skin in the game negatively impacts the political arena. It turns out that 45 percent of American households, nearly 78 million individuals, have no federal income tax obligation. That poses a serious political problem. Americans with no federal income tax obligation become natural constituencies for big-spending politicians. After all, if one doesn't pay federal income taxes, what does he care about big spending? Also, if one doesn't pay federal taxes, why should he be happy about a tax cut? What's in it for him? In fact, those with no skin in the game might see tax cuts as a threat to their handout programs.

Whenever tax cuts are called for, it's not long before they are called tax cuts for the rich. Let's look at who pays what in federal income taxes. Using IRS data for 2015, the latest year available, the Tax Foundation reports that the top 1 percent of earners made about 21 percent of the nation's income, but their share of federal income taxes was 39 percent. They paid more in income taxes than the bottom 90 percent, who paid 29.4 percent of federal income taxes.

In 2015, the top 50 percent of taxpayers paid 97.2 percent of all individual income taxes. Also, the top 1 percent had an income tax rate of 27 percent, while the bottom 50 percent had a tax rate of less than 4 percent. It turns out that 892,420 households — out of roughly 34 million total households — paid 39 percent of federal taxes that year. Most Americans have little or no federal income tax obligation, so how in the world is it possible to give a tax cut to them?

Another part of the Trump tax cuts was with corporate income — lowering the rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. That, too, has been condemned by the left as a tax cut for the rich. But corporations do not pay taxes. Why? Corporations are legal fictions. Only people pay taxes. If a tax is levied on a corporation, it will have one or more of the following responses in order to remain in business. It will raise the price of its product, lower its dividends to shareholders and/or lay off workers. Thus, only flesh-and-blood people pay taxes. We can think of corporations as tax collectors. Politicians love our ignorance about this. They suggest that corporations, not people, will be taxed. Here's how to see through this charade: Suppose a politician told you, as a homeowner, "I'm not going to tax you. I'm going to tax your land." I hope you wouldn't fall for that jive. Land doesn't pay taxes.

Getting back to skin in the game, sometimes I wonder whether one should be allowed in the game if he doesn't have any skin in it.



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, 2018

Voter ID Laws Approved in Multiple States

The claim that they disenfranchise blacks is pure racism.  It is a claim that blacks are too dumb to get and use photo ID

Amid competing claims over whether voter ID laws protect the voting process or disenfranchise minority citizens, both Arkansas and North Carolina voters have approved ballot propositions to create voter ID laws.

Arkansas currently requires ID to vote, but the proposal listed as Issue 2 on the ballot would require specific forms of identification.

Voter Eddie Bethany said the proposal made sense. “I think everybody should have a voter ID card, driver’s license, some form of photo ID, preferably a driver’s license,” said Eddie Bethany, a voter.

“It doesn’t make any difference to me if it goes into the constitution or not, it’s something that should be required by law,” Bethany said.

Arkansas has been trying to put a voter ID law in place since 2013, but court decisions have sidetracked implementation. The ballot question would end questions over the law by making it part of the state’s constitution.

In North Carolina, the debate has centered over whether a voter ID law is needed to address voter fraud, or whether it is designed to turn away voters.

“To me, it’s about making sure that every vote counts — one full vote — and that no one’s vote is diluted by votes which are cast either inaccurately or illegally,” said Republican state Rep. John Szoka, the Fayetteville Observer reported.

“This amendment, which we have been calling the ‘voter restriction amendment,’ we think would compromise access to the vote,” said Jen Jones, a spokeswoman for the Democracy North Carolina voting rights organization.

She said that when North Carolina’s voter ID law was in effect in 2016 before being struck down by the courts, legitimate voters were turned away from the polls.

Thirty-four states require ID at the polls, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, according to The Washington Post.

The American Civil Liberties Union said it believes voter ID laws exist to keep away minority voters, according to ABC.

“These types of requirements, these document requirements, they have a disproportionate burden on people of color, the elderly the poor the young and voters with disabilities,” Lakin said. “It is interesting that the voters affected by voter ID requirements and similar things we were seeing… had a disproportionate impact on voters who also turned out in unprecedented numbers in the 2008 election.”

President Donald Trump, however, has said that because of widespread voter fraud, voter ID is a no-brainer. “The time has come for voter ID like everything else,” Trump said at a recent Florida rally.

“Just take a look,” he said recently, according to The Washington Post. “All you have to do is go around, take a look at what’s happened over the years, and you’ll see. There are a lot of people — a lot of people — my opinion, and based on proof — that try and get in illegally and actually vote illegally. So we just want to let them know that there will be prosecutions at the highest level.”



‘Build the wall’ remains Republicans’ priority

With the House lost, legislation in the "lame duck" period may be the only hope of getting more funding for the wall

When President Trump signed a March 2018 spending bill into law, Congress allocated $1.6 billion for border wall construction and $400 million for repairing and replacing existing border fences. At the time, Trump referred to this as a “down payment” to begin wall construction, with more coming in the months ahead.

That money has already been put to good use.

Last week, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kristjen Nielsen unveiled a newly built 30-foot border wall along the border of California and Mexico. During her visit to the wall she reinforced her support for the president’s policy, “Let me be clear: Walls work. That’s not my opinion, it’s not a tagline, it’s not a political statement — it’s a fact. We have seen the success of walls in El Paso, in Yuma, in San Diego, and in the past right here in the El Centro sector”

But she continued to note that the President cannot do this alone and more action is needed by Congress, “It wasn’t just this physical barrier that led to decreased apprehensions, it was a combination of infrastructure, improved technology, and additional manpower. Together these attributes compromise a successful border wall system, this is the wall system we are requesting Congress to fund.”

Now more than ever, Republicans are needed to continue funding the border wall and build on the success they have achieved thus far.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has already introduced a bill that provides $23.4 billion to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, with $5.5 billion in funding available immediately. While a lame duck push is expected on the issue, a Republican majority in the 116th Congress could ensure our border is secured long term.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has already made it clear she does not support a border wall and does not see any Democrats voting for wall funding anytime soon, meaning a Democratic majority might destroy our chances of having a secure border before 2020.

This is particularly pressing as a caravan of several thousand illegal immigrants march toward our southern border demanding entry into the United States. Trump has said he is deploying the military in the meantime to deter the caravan.

Hill contributor Jen Kerns explains, “Humans aren’t the only entity streaming across the border — drugs are, too — at the hands of the Mexican drug cartels and others. In fact, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol data for fiscal 2018 show that seizure of illegal drugs along the border have consistently increased in the past five years. This election season, as U.S. politicians wrangle with whether or not they want to support full funding for a border wall and increase number of border agents, they might also want to consider these other intruders coming uninvited over the border.”

Kerns reminds the American people that in just the first five months of 2018, customs officials and border patrol agents seized 1,060 pounds on fentanyl, a lethal opioid becoming common in the U.S., at the border.

A border wall is necessary to slow the stream of these drugs into the U.S.

While the down payment for the wall has already been received, much more will need to be done to ensure the border is truly secure and if Republicans lose the House on Tuesday, this might be one of the reasons why. If the American people want the wall built, they must realize that will probably never happen if Democrats control Congress.



Snopes Gets Its Own Scathing Fact-Check, Learns the Hard Way Not To Mess with Conservative Media

Snopes is a verified fact checker for Facebook, which should tell you all you need to know about the state of social media in 2018. Few news organizations tilt so far to the left as Snopes does, and it’s supposed to be the site news organizations use to find out if a story is true. Ay dios mio.

Conservative writers and websites are pretty much used to the site’s bias; in fact, to borrow a phrase from Oscar Wilde, the only thing worse in conservative media than being assailed by Snopes is not being assailed by Snopes. It’s a sign that you’ve made it. Or, at least I think so, since I’ve been the subject of what I thought was one of its more eye-rollingly iffy pieces about a ridiculous essay that tried to draw a profoundly tenuous parallel between last summer’s solar eclipse and institutional racism. (Without going into specifics of why Snopes was wrong, let me just say this: Try harder next time, guys, and get a sense of humor.)

I don’t remember receiving any inquiries from Snopes about the piece in question, however. Apparently, that’s now a thing, since Snopes is demanding to know where Breitbart got images of members of the New Black Panther Party campaigning for Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, a Democrat.

“Over the weekend, Breitbart News — among other media outlets — published explosive photographs of armed Black Panthers campaigning for Abrams, holding up her campaign sign while also holding up various guns,” Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle reported Monday.

“In the story, Breitbart News included a quote from the campaign of her GOP opponent, Brian Kemp, calling on her to denounce the radicals campaigning for her.”

"Stacey Abrams needs to denounce these armed thugs, but she won't. She agrees with the racist New Black Panther philosophy"

The story went viral and got picked up by a number of mainstream media outlets. This prompted Snopes to send a series of questions to Breitbart regarding the photos it had obtained.

“On Monday, a self-identified ‘reporter’ for Snopes, Bethania Palma, reached out to Breitbart News with a series of questions about the Black Panther report,” Breitbart reported.

“None of the questions implies anything was inaccurate about the report,” it said. “Facebook relies on Snopes as an official ‘fact checker’ to detect fake news and misinformation on the platform, along with a small group of other primarily left-wing organizations including Politifact.”

Here were some of Palma’s questions:

“The story says Breitbart ‘obtained’ images of the Black Panthers. Where did Breitbart obtain the images from?”

“Why does Breitbart quote the Kemp campaign with no obvious effort to get comment from the Abrams campaign?”

“Why did Breitbart use the term ‘lobby’ in the headline?”

“Breitbart normally takes a pro-gun stance. Does Breitbart maintain that stance when the gun owners are black?”

“Did anyone at Breitbart make an effort to contact the New Black Panther Party for comment?”

That last one is a doozy, because if there’s anything that’s going to make this story look better, it’s a quote from the equable folks at the New Black Panther Party.

However, Breitbart noticed some interesting things about Palma.

“Just a quick glance at Palma’s Twitter account or at her history of writing for radical leftist outlet Alternet shows a hard leftist mentality, one quick to accuse Trump of being ‘racist’ (the latest is a series of tweets attacking the president’s campaign ad on the migrant caravan as such) or linking Trump to the Ku Klux Klan any way she can — a history dating back years, as Breitbart News has reported about Palma before,” the publication said.

So, Breitbart had a few questions for Palma, which thus far have gone unanswered:

“1.) Why can anyone trust Snopes to be an independent authority on fact-checking when you personally are so clearly biased in favor of leftists?

“2.) You implied in your questions to us that our story had something to do with race. The story clearly did not. What made you think that? Please be specific.

“3.) In your questions to us, you did not indicate that there was anything even close to inaccurate in our story. So, again, please be specific: what exactly are you ‘fact checking’?

“4.) Do you send similar lists of questions to outlets like the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and others on their reporting?”

I’m sure the temptation to include that emoji with the smiley-face stroking its chin was very, very tempting.

We don’t need the answer to any of these questions, mind you, nor are they important. What they do is make a point: Snopes is supposed to be about fact-checking. None of what Palma asked had to do with the facts behind the pictures. It was an attempt to smear Breitbart by questioning its sources (I don’t remember Snopes taking a hard-line stance regarding anonymous sources in the past; quite to the contrary, if my desultory reading of the website wasn’t mistaken) and implying that Breitbart was against the New Black Panther Party because of race and not because it’s a revolutionary fringe organization with a history of voter intimidation inserting itself into a campaign.

“Palma has not replied to our request for comment before publication,” Breitbart dryly noted. I wouldn’t be counting on that email, but I’m sure an article “debunking” its piece is on its way.



The old, old folly of Rent Control

It's bad for both landlords and tenants

Californians have just voted on Proposition 10, which would allow local governments to impose and expand rent control laws. Consider the long-term harms the measure would inflict on housing quantity, quality, and affordability.

Rent control is a textbook example of a price ceiling, in which prices are capped below market rates (i.e., where supply and demand are left free to interact). As those Econ 101 textbooks will show you, many more people will demand housing at these lower prices, but fewer landlords will be willing to provide them at those rates. This leads to a shortage of housing, which only exacerbates the affordability problem. Furthermore, diminished landlord profits and a glut of prospective renters lead to less investment in maintaining properties and offering amenities, thereby reducing the quality of rental housing.

This is well understood among economists. Though they struggle to agree on many issues, an astonishing 93 percent of economists in a 1992 survey of American Economic Association members agreed that “a ceiling on rents reduces the quality and quantity of housing.”

And yet, here we have Prop. 10, which would roll back a 1995 law that curbs rent control. The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act prohibited local governments from implementing rent control for housing built after January 31, 1995. It also exempted condos and single-family homes from rent control laws and allowed landlords to bump prices back up to market rates once a tenant left.

Santa Monica, one of the early adopters of rent control, is champing at the bit to double down on the policy if Prop. 10 passes, and property-owners and developers have taken notice. The number of multifamily rental properties up for sale in the city is at the highest level in 20 years—with about 80 percent more listings than usual—and developers are holding off on land deals, the Wall Street Journal noted in May, as they fear plunging property values if the measure passes.

But if rent control is so harmful an economic policy, why is it still being pursued with such vigor at the ballot box? Because it is all about politics. As journalist Henry Hazlitt asserted in his book, Economics in One Lesson, “[t]enants have more votes than landlords.” In an even more sobering analysis, Hazlitt observes: “The more unrealistic and unjust the rent control is, the harder it is politically to get rid of it.” In effect, you have created a group with strong personal interests that feels forever entitled to such subsidies. The truth of this can be seen in any attempt to reduce—or even slow the growth of—any government welfare program.

The best way to improve housing affordability across the state would be to eliminate the laws and regulations that restrict supply and keep it from meeting demand. But this is much more difficult politically than blaming “greedy” landlords, wealthy tech workers in the Bay Area, and “gentrification.” After all, powerful unions want their prevailing wage laws, environmentalists want to prevent development to keep the environment in a “pure” state (and preserve their hiking and biking trails), neighborhood busybodies want to impose “smart growth” and prevent people from developing their own property to “preserve the character of the neighborhood,” and local governments want to impose high development fees and extract concessions from developers to pad city coffers and get others to pay for their priorities.

It is no wonder, then, that California produces 100,000 fewer housing units than it needs each year, particularly in coastal communities, according to a March 2015 Legislative Analyst’s Report, and why California home prices have gone from 30 percent above the national average in 1970 to 80 percent above average in 1980 to two and a half times the national average in 2015 (not to mention rents that are 50 percent higher).

The slogan should not be “The rent is too damn high!” It should be “The government is too damn big!”

It is dishonest for proponents of Prop. 10 to promise that rent control will deliver affordable rents for all. If they were more forthright, they would say, “We are going to violate people’s property rights and right of contract to force them to offer below-market rents, and only a small portion of you will actually benefit from it, while most of you will have to pay even higher prices for a smaller choice of more poorly maintained housing, or move farther away to areas without rent control.” But that requires longer-term thinking—and doesn’t work so well on a bumper sticker or a protest sign.



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, 2018

Perspective: Biggest Midterm House Losses Since WWII: Obama (-63), Truman (-55), Clinton (-54)

Very hard to hold the House in mid-term elections

In 2010, when Obama was in his first term and had signed the Obamacare law, the Democrats lost a net of 63 House seats. In 1946, after Truman had succeeded the late Franklin Roosevelt (who died in April 1945) and real GDP was declining by 11.6 percent, the Democrats lost 55 seats. In 1994, when Clinton was in his first term in which his signature proposal was Hillarycare (a “universal healthcare plan"), the Democrats lost 54 seats.

These losses exceeded the 48 seats the Republicans lost in the 1974 midterm, which took place three months after President Richard Nixon resigned because of the Watergate scandal and in a year when real GDP contracted by 0.5 percent.


Democrat Joe Manchin Wins Re-election in Trump Country After Voting To Confirm Kavanaugh

An old-style Democrat

Despite siding with President Donald Trump on a number of key issues, Democrats cheered when networks announced that Sen. Joe Manchin would win another term representing West Virginia in the U.S. Senate.

According to The Daily Beast’s Gideon Resnick, a joyous uproar could be heard at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee after Manchin was declared the predicted winner in his race against Republican challenger Patrick Morrisey.


GOP Projected To Hold Senate, win some governor races

GOP Picks Up ND Senate Seat as Cramer Defeats Heitkamp

GOP Take IN Senate Seat from Democrats as Braun Defeats Incumbent Donnelly

Mike Braun Unseats Democrat Joe Donnelly in Indiana Senate Race

GOP Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas wins 2nd term

Wyoming Governor Seat Goes to Republican Mark Gordon

Republican Asa Hutchinson Wins Second Term as Arkansas Governor, Defeating Democrat Jared Henderson

Blackburn Defeats Bredesen, Keeps TN Sen. Seat in GOP Column

GOP Picks Up MO Senate Seat as McCaskill Loses to Hawley

Scalise Defeats Dem. Opponent, Holds Louisiana Seat for GOP


Great!  Gillum down

Republican Ron DeSantis has defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum in the hotly-contested race for Florida governor, The Western Journal projects.

The contest between Gillum, who is the mayor of Tallahassee, and DeSantis, who currently represents Florida’s Sixth District in the House, has been a high-profile battle for a state that is pivotal in every presidential election.


Thank goodness! Ted Cruz Projected to Defeat Beto O’Rourke in Senate race

Senate looking good for GOP

Money flowed freely into this race as liberals and conservatives poured campaign donations into the contest. Even before the end of October, the race had broken the $100 million barrier, The Texas Tribune reported.

Although Cruz came into the race with an aggressive fundraising operation honed by his initial campaign for Senate and his 2016 attempt to capture the Republican presidential nomination, O’Rourke was the king of fundraising, leading Cruz throughout the campaign.


The midterms, the left and the Trump effect

By Monica Crowley

As he’s addressed massive campaign rallies, President Trump gives the crowds a singularly important marching order: “Pretend I’m on the ballot.”

His advice is wise. As we head into the final stretch of the 2018 midterm elections, pollsters and strategists are debating which party has the intensity edge, but one thing is crystal clear: There is no enthusiasm gap when it comes to Mr. Trump.

Over the past few months, Mr. Trump has done what he does best, and appears to enjoy the most: Campaign. Not for himself this time, but for Republican Senate and House candidates in tight races in an attempt to preserve the party’s majorities. He draws crowds often in the tens of thousands, as big if not bigger than the ones he drew in 2016, and far bigger than the candidates could attract on their own. A recent rally in Houston to support Sen. Ted Cruz’s re-election attracted so many people that organizers had to move the event to a much bigger arena.

The events have given Mr. Trump a mega-platform to tout his growing record of accomplishments: A thriving economy, tax cuts, deregulation, historically low unemployment (particularly among blacks, Latinos and women), wage growth, confirmation of two U.S. Supreme Court justices and more than 80 federal judges, exit from the Iran nuclear deal, initial work on the border wall, the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem, the return of American hostages from North Korea, the successful renegotiation of NAFTA with the renegotiation of other trade relationships underway. The candidates who stand by his side hope that voters will associate Mr. Trump’s policy success with their ability, if elected, to help keep it going.

Mr. Trump also gleefully criticizes Democrats, flipping the Alinsky script as he mocks their radicalism, failures and hypocrisy. He gives the news media the same treatment, something they are not used to and cannot abide. He is so effective at highlighting their bias, double standards and outright dishonesty that they immediately default to blaming him for the actions of every violent lunatic and ill befalling the nation.

Following the arrests of the maniac who sent threatening packages to prominent Trump critics and the anti-Semitic monster who gunned down 11 innocent souls at a Pittsburgh synagogue, the left immediately attributed the “violent hate” to Mr. Trump’s rhetoric. That’s a staggering jujitsu of projection, given the incessant hate that’s long poured out of leftist precincts.

Projection is, in fact, the left’s main tool of distraction. They denounce “fear tactics” while incessantly preaching fear of Mr. Trump and everything related to his party. They decry “bigotry” while often demonstrating the most intolerant bigotry of their own, particularly when it comes to anyone with an opposing view. When in power, they pay lip service to “coming together” and “finding common ground” while crushing their opposition; when out of power, they feel fully justified in deferring civility until they’re back in control.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump’s power largely comes from giving voice to the silent majority, expressing its legitimate concerns, frustrations and wishes. The left, however, has monopolized the microphone for so long that hearing other views elevated and respected by the president shocks and infuriates them.

To the left, this reads as “division,” when in fact it’s simply a more equitable distribution of expression and views. The division has been there all along, simply hidden under the jackboot of leftist media control, and the silent majority has long been blocked from responding in kind. No longer, now that Mr. Trump is championing them and blasting the left’s tyranny of thought.

This is Mr. Trump’s first midterm cycle, however, and some Republicans still aren’t sure how to navigate him. The smart Republican candidates have embraced him, buoyed by his robust job approval rating and broad public support of the stronger economy and international position he’s delivering.

History suggests that midterm election night may not be a great night for Republicans. But politics hasn’t adhered to normal trends in quite a while. There is a significant shift taking place, accelerated by Mr. Trump who has upended most expectations and shattered traditional precepts of leadership.

Additionally, unforeseen events could further scramble the election calculus, including the imminent arrival of thousands of Central Americans at the southern border, the deployment of troops to support the Border Patrol, more terrorist threats or violence, an economic shock or some other unknown.

But we do know that we’re still in the midst of a major populist realignment, the effects of which continue to ricochet. We will find out on Nov. 6 exactly which old assumptions still apply, which new ones need analysis and how Mr. Trump continues to shape the national landscape. “Pretend I’m on the ballot,” he says, because in so many ways, he is.

As he gives voice to the silent majority, let’s hope the silent majority returns the favor with its votes.



 There is a Republican plan to cover pre-existing conditions — and the House already passed it

Here is a fact that Democrats are desperately trying to keep from the public: Not only do Republicans support providing health insurance coverage for those with preexisting conditions, but Republicans in the House actually passed legislation that did just that.

The American Health Care Act included an amendment that Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., and I introduced. It ensured that anyone with a preexisting condition could purchase health insurance. The Palmer-Schweikert amendment established a risk-sharing plan that allowed any individual with a preexisting condition to purchase insurance at the same price as a healthy individual. This was not an unproven idea — in fact, the plan was modeled after a successful state-level program.

Instead of billions of dollars in bailouts for health insurance companies, the Republican plan was funded by having the majority of the premiums paid by those with preexisting conditions transferred into a fund. This represents an alternative approach to Obamacare’s guaranteed-issue provision, which priced everyone as sick, resulting in far more expensive premiums.

Our amendment put the money in a risk-sharing plan that targeted assistance to cover those with preexisting conditions, but also required the insurers to have some skin in the game. The result was more affordable premiums for all.

By setting up this arrangement, the Republican plan not only guaranteed coverage to people with preexisting conditions, it reduced premiums for everyone else in every age group. According to an analysis by Milliman, one of the nation’s top independent actuarial firms, the Republican risk-sharing plan would have provided prompt assistance for people with high-cost claims, lowered premium costs by 12-31 percent, and increased the number of people with health insurance by up to 2.2 million.

The Republican bill with this amendment passed the House on May 4, 2017 without a single Democrat vote in favor. Even though the ACHA stalled in the Senate, the risk-sharing plan will be part of a legislative package that I, along with others, intend to reintroduce in the next Congress along with provisions that will be a huge step toward repairing and restoring health care in America.

The legislation will allow for the formation of Association Health Plans that help small businesses save money, and allow for the sale of short-term health insurance policies that can help the uninsured. The Trump administration has issued guidelines that allow for both. Our bill would protect these new options.

As a result of Obamacare, health insurance premiums more than doubled and the mandates forced small businesses to cut employees’ hours, lay people off, and stop hiring. Currently, only about 56 percent of small businesses can afford to offer health insurance. But the new guidelines allow for individuals and small businesses to qualify for these lower-cost association health plans — making affordable health insurance available to millions of workers.

Empowering people to purchase short-term health insurance will make coverage available to millions of Americans who are currently uninsured. Short-term plans would allow individuals to purchase one-year plans that are renewable for up to three years. These plans are 50 – 80 percent less expensive.

Republicans are advocating for these options to empower the American people, but Democrats are once again misleading the American public about healthcare. During the debate over Obamacare, they said we could keep our doctors if we liked them. That was a lie for millions of Americans. They promised premiums would be reduced by an average of $2,500 per family per year, but premiums more than doubled for tens of millions of people. They said that over 20 million people would be covered by government exchanges, but it was less than half that number — and insurance companies dropped coverage in many states.

Now, the Democrats are calling for government-run healthcare under the guise of "Medicare for All." What they want is a Canadian-style health system. But in Canada, the average wait time to see a doctor in metropolitan areas is over 18 weeks, and it's over 31 weeks in rural areas. A study by the Fraser Institute of Canada reported that from 1993 to 2009, an estimated 25,000 to 63,000 Canadian women died while waiting for treatment.

By contrast, the Republicans are on record with a sensible plan to cover preexisting conditions, a plan that will help individuals get the health insurance they need at prices they can afford, and which allows small businesses to provide health insurance coverage to their employees.

The difference between the Republican plan and the Democrat’s plan is that our plan will offer Americans more options and make health insurance affordable again.



If We Don’t Enforce the Law, We Get Anarchy

What makes citizens obey the law is not always their sterling character. Instead, fear of punishment—the shame of arrest, fines, or imprisonment—more often makes us comply with laws.

Law enforcement is not just a way to deal with individual violators but also a way to remind society at large that there can be no civilization without legality. Or, as 17th-century British statesman George Savile famously put it: “Men are not hanged for stealing horses, but that horses may not be stolen.”

In the modern world, we call such prompt, uniform, and guaranteed law enforcement “deterrence,” from the Latin verb meaning “to frighten away.” One protester who disrupts a speech is not the problem. But if unpunished, he green-lights hundreds more like him.

Worse still, when one law is left unenforced, then all sorts of other laws are weakened.

The result of hundreds of “sanctuary cities” is not just to forbid full immigration enforcement in particular jurisdictions. They also signal that U.S. immigration law, and by extension other laws, can be ignored.

The presence of an estimated 12 million or more foreign nationals unlawfully living in the U.S. without legal consequence sends a similar message. The logical result is the current caravan of thousands of Central Americans now inching its way northward to enter the U.S. illegally.

If the border was secure, immigration laws enforced, and illegal residence phased out, deterrence would be re-established and there would likely be no caravan.

Campus protests often turn violent. Agitators shout down and sometimes try to physically intimidate speakers with whom they disagree.

Most of the disruptors are upper-middle-class students. Many have invested up to $200,000 in their higher education, often to ensure well-paying careers upon graduation.

Protesters assume that ignoring laws about peaceful assembly poses no consequences. Usually student disruptors are right. College administrators will typically shrug at even violent protests rather than call police to make arrests.

Yet if a few bold disruptors were actually charged with misdemeanors or felonies and had arrests tarnishing their otherwise sterling resumes, there would likely be far fewer illegal and violent protests.

In the last two years, a number of celebrities have openly fantasized about doing physical harm to the president of the United States. Madonna, Kathy Griffin, Johnny Depp, Robert De Niro, Snoop Dogg, and other stars have expressed their wishes that President Donald Trump might be beaten up, blown up, cut up, or shot up.

Their shared premise is that they are too famous, influential, or wealthy to expect consequences that ordinary citizens might face for making threats to the safety of the president of the United States. If the next time a Hollywood icon tweeted or voiced a threat to the president he or she was subsequently put on a no-fly list, the current assassination chic would quickly stop.

Every person assumes the freedom to eat safely in a restaurant, to walk to work without disturbance, and to relax without fear of violence. Now, that is not always the case, at least not if one is deemed politically influential and conservative.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., must worry that when they venture out in public, protesters will scream in their face, attempt to bar their passage, or disrupt their meal—and do so without legal ramifications.

There are many causes of the current legal laxity.

Trump is a polarizing president, and his critics have decided that extraordinary and sometimes extralegal measures are morally justified to stop him. Supposedly high-minded ends are seen as justifying unlawful means. Helping undocumented immigrants evade the law, stopping the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, or otherwise thwarting Trump all warrant special immunity.

The problem with ignoring laws is that it is contagious—and can boomerang.

Sanctuary cities could in theory birth conservative sanctuary zones. Would today’s protesters wish for other jurisdictions to nullify federal laws and court rulings concerning abortion, gun registration, and gay marriage?

If thousands of Hondurans in a caravan are deemed above the law, then why not exempt future mass arrivals of Chinese or South African immigrants?

If Cruz and other Republican politicos can’t eat in peace, will former President Barack Obama; Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., soon face the same disruptions—the illegality justified by higher moral concerns?

If students can block a right-wing speaker or storm a diner, will they also object when anti-abortion protesters bar the passage of a pro-choice campus guest?

German philosopher Immanuel Kant noted that “anarchy is law and freedom without force.”

Translated to our current context, Kant might say that all our high-minded talk about the Bill of Rights means absolutely nothing without the cop on the beat and the local district attorney.



More CNN Racism

Kirsten Powers stated on CNN Tonight that “white men are very violent and a problem” on an episode where Don Lemon was defending his previous comments that aligned white males in America as the “biggest terror threat” to our country.

Lemon discussed an article from the New York Times that included information from a study that was conducted by the Anti-Defamation League.

Their study suggested that our great law enforcement doesn’t have enough concern for the white or right-wing extremism, violence, terror, and hate crimes conducted by the white males.

Lemon stated, “They say, of the extremist-related murders in the U.S., 71 percent came from right-wing extremism, 26 percent Islamic extremism, three percent from left-wing extremism. That’s 387 total deaths from 2008 to 2017. Shouldn’t law enforcement be concerned about it? Shouldn’t we be concerned about it? Shouldn’t we be able to talk about it without being demonized, quite honestly. I did, but it was accurate. What I said was right. What’s the way — what do we do?”

At some point it was Powers who later complained, stating something similar in nature, provided by NewsBusters:

Her complaint was that if school shootings were conducted by someone from the Middle East, that Americans would have a very different reaction. She also stated that if school shootings were done by African-Americans, then there would be a different reaction as well.

“So what we see here is we ignore — and we have statistics here showing that white men are very violent and a problem, and nothing’s being done about it.

And then we have the President of the United States talking about a bunch of brown people like they’re the terrorists. I mean, we have a county where we — every other day it seems like a white woman calls the police on a black man for barbecuing or gardening or delivering the mail, and yet we sit quietly while all these white men are out, you know, terrorizing people essentially. I mean, every time there’s one of these shootings, and it’s a white man.”



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, 2018

Trumpmania: President storms the States on final weekend

Emma Reynolds

THE President has stormed the United States with a dizzying show in the finals days before a crucial vote. This is how it works.

THE scene is pure theatre.

A wall slides open to the setting sun, the crowd is whipped into a frenzy and the music reaches a crescendo. A jumbo jet emblazoned with “United States of America” glides past in a graceful landing, before nosing back into view as Simply The Best blares from the speakers. A door opens, and a man with a stiff orange hairstyle waves and walks down the stairs, taking the stage to God Bless The USA.

At times, during Donald Trump’s Saturday Florida rally, I am almost swept up in the crowd’s mania, feeling an urge to clap as the room goes wild. More often, it is wearisome, with the President repeating all the familiar lines — the dangers of the migrant caravan, the US becoming a “sanctuary for ruthless gang members”, corrupt Democrats who let others “steal our jobs”.

The crowd hangs on every word, booing or cheering as the pantomime requires, waving signs and chanting the key phrases: “Drain the swamp!”, “Lock her up!”, “USA! USA! USA!” and even “Space Force!”

Mr Trump is nearing the end of his astonishing run of 11 rallies in six days leading up to the midterm elections on Tuesday. He’s the “Energiser Bunny”, according to one onlooker, and it may be his greatest strength. There are dramatic storylines, goodies and baddies, and childlike whimsy. This is why Mr Trump is seen as a president who keeps it real.

“He’s not the status quo of Washington,” Chris Oaks, a 30-year-old sound technician, tells news.com.au. “The divide that we have here in America, I kind of put that off on past politicians.

“He is pro-America, he’s not for the socialism that is taking over the world, in my opinion. He’s pro-capitalism.”

The President draws in his fans here in Pensacola with dark tales of socialism and financial disaster under the Democrats, before painting a beautiful picture of his dream America. The audience can’t get enough.

Some in the long queue outside the airport hangar have camped overnight to ensure they get in, while others arrived at dawn for a rally due to start at 6.30pm. There is a festival atmosphere here on the conservative Florida Panhandle, with portable toilets, entrepreneurs selling merchandise from carts, and spontaneous singing from queuers dressed in red, white and blue and slogan T-shirts.

The pop music with a message is key today. There’s Macho Man, Sweet Home Alabama, Under Pressure and YMCA. Mr Trump even sings a few bars of the latter to help us recall the name of his new trade agreement, USMCA (US-Mexico-Canada agreement).

It’s the last weekend before the US goes to the polls, and Mr Trump is going full-throttle to make sure the Republicans retain control of Congress. The Democrats may struggle to gain a majority in the Senate, but are expected to win the 23 House of Representatives seats they need for a majority. Even Mr Trump this week allowed for the possibility, insisting it wouldn’t matter. The crowd here is confident “the red wave’s a-coming”.

The President kicked off his mega-run of rallies in South-West Florida on Wednesday, and was back in the battleground state three days later, determined to ensure the rest of the purple state turns as red as Pensacola, on the northwest Panhandle.

Mr Trump needs Florida. The state chose him in the presidential election by a 1.6 per cent margin, but also twice voted for Barack Obama.

It is where the President spends his weekends at his lavish Mar-a-Lago golf resort.

“It’s my home also,” he tells the crowd. “I love the state of Florida and I have to tell you, we love the Panhandle.”

Here, Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum will fight it out for governor in one of the nation’s tightest and hardest-fought races, while outgoing Republican governor Rick Scott and incumbent Democratic senator Bill Nelson face another too-close-to-call match for the Senate.

Mr DeSantis is a man crafted in Mr Trump’s image. The Republican former navy prosecutor has appeared in a TV advert teaching his young children to “build the wall” with blocks and to say “Make America Great Again”.

He uses the same phrases, the same style of speech — the President at one point jokes that the gubernatorial candidate has “stolen his speech”.

Mr DeSantis is not the only one. “America is back and we’re just getting started, Florida,” Vice President Mike Pence tells the crowd.

It’s a celeb-packed affair, with boxer Evander Holyfield and American football coach Bobby Bowden also in attendance.

Florida is also where Cesar Sayoc allegedly put together a chilling plan to send pipe bombs to some of the country’s most vocal Democrats and Trump critics.

Many have blamed Mr Trump’s incendiary statements and tweets for galvanising the suspect’s white-hot fury, and for hate-fuelled violence such as the killing of 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue, the worst anti-Semitic attack in US history. But the President does not accept culpability, instead pointing the finger at his political opponents and the media.

He tells everyone to turn and insist the media to move the cameras around and show the size of the crowd.

“They never do,” he mocks, as the audience turns, some waving and cheering, some shaking fists and booing. Others are searching for the despised CNN, or their favourite far-right bloggers.

Florida is the perfect embodiment of a deeply divided America, with Mr DeSantis and Mr Gillum a personification of each side.

Mr DeSantis has painted the Tallahasee mayor as anti-police and made much of his acceptance of tickets to Broadway show Hamilton from a group including an FBI agent. Mr Gillum, who could be Florida’s first black governor if he can capitalise on a wafer-        thin lead in the polls, denies any wrongdoing and is not under investigation.

But Mr Trump has seized on the opportunity, calling him “a thief” and mayor of “one of the most corrupt cities in the country”.

On Saturday, he called Mr Gillum “a radical socialist” who “will tax and regulate your jobs into oblivion” and “end all borders”, warning: “When you have people camping out on your front lawn, remember Gillum has people come in.”

On the other side, Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama have been issuing their own warnings as they campaign for Mr Gillum and Mr Nelson in Florida.

“The character of our country is on the ballot,” Mr Obama told a crowd of 4000 in Miami on Friday. “In the closing weeks of this election, we have seen repeated attempts to divide us with rhetoric designed to make us angry and make us fearful, that’s designed to exploit our history of racial and ethnic and religious division, that pits us against one another to make us believe that order will somehow be restored if it just weren’t for those folks who don’t look like we look, or don’t love like we love, or pray like we do.”

Everyone will be watching this election. It has become a debate about what America stands for, and how it exists in relation to the rest of the planet. Gender, class and race are paramount.

“I’m not calling Mr DeSantis a racist,” said Mr Gillum in his final debate with his Republican rival on Wednesday. “I’m simply saying the racists believe he’s a racist.”

Thomas Brown, attending with his 17-year-old son, says he used to vote for Mr Obama, until he realised, “Presidents say things, and don’t do it.”

Mr Brown, one of the few African-Americans in the crowd, isn’t concerned by accusations of racism, and is impressed with Mr Trump’s effectiveness on unemployment and undoing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“He’s no worse than anybody else, judge people by their actions,” says Mr Brown. “He seems to care about America, and when America does well, we all do well.”

 “Look what we’ve done with other countries, they’re respecting us again. Doesn’t it feel different?”

 What a night, crowd hanging off Trump’s every word. Seems like he’s a rockstar here, but will it be reflected across the state on Tuesday? Most of these people are convinced it will

Mr Trump is hoping the great trick he pulled off in 2016 can be repeated, using a tried and tested method. There are always new talking points — birthright citizenship and the unfair treatment of Brett Kavanaugh, for example — but the repeated sound bites and catchy refrains work.

What’s more, they trust his record on employment and the economy is all the evidence they need. “He’s one of us,” says Sandra Miller, from Mississippi.

But that’s just it. Billionaire Mr Trump is, if anything, awkward in his displays of empathy. “Take care of the person!” he tells security when an unwell woman needs to be helped out of the crowd.

His words of sympathy over the recent hurricane are also typically odd. “It was a bad one, that was like a giant tornado, that wasn’t a hurricane that was like a 50-mile wide tornado, incredible,” he tells the crowd.

Perhaps that awkwardness, his stumbling over words, is what makes him relatable.

“Nobody’s ever seen anything like that, but you are great people and we are with you one thousand per cent,” he adds. “In just three days, the people of Florida are going to elect Rick, Scott and Ron DeSantis to protect jobs, defend your borders and continue making America great again we’re just days away from one of the most important elections of our lives.”

There’s one other vote that may be even more important to Mr Trump — the presidential election in 2020. He has never stopped campaigning to win that second term.

“We will never surrender!” he declares at the end of the rally, channelling Winston Churchill as the emotion reaches fever pitch. “We bleed red, white and blue!

“Our new theme — we could probably do it now because we’re so ahead of schedule — is Keep America Great.” The room rings as the crowd joins in with his refrain.



The Privilege of the Grave- and The Voting Booth

Yaacov Ben Moshe

Mark Twain wrote "The Privilege of the Grave" at the age of 69- the same age I am now. I survived a bout with cancer this past spring so I know a bit about having thoughts of the grave. It was Twain's opinion, while a man is living he does not really have free speech. Then he qualifies it, “The living man is not really without this privilege—strictly speaking—but as he possesses it merely as an empty formality, and knows better than to make use of it…,”

That essay was only published recently (in 2008) having been put aside out of a reticence that Twain clearly but coyly described in the last few lines of the essay itself. “I have just finished an article of this kind,” Twain wrote, “and it satisfies me entirely. It does my weather-beaten soul good to read it, and admire the trouble it would make for me and the family. I will leave it behind, and utter it from the grave. There is free speech there, and no harm to the family.”

I would like to commend this delicious essay to my readers at this, the threshold of the 2018 midterm elections because Twain secreted a timely message in this essay. That message is hidden in plain sight within this long neglected masterwork. He wrote these words five years before his own death and they lay dormant for 103 years. Now ten years after that, I have discovered a plea he embedded in it- to try to save us from making a terrible mistake.

Let me explain. He sheepishly admits that thirty years before the Civil War, he and most other Americans actually accepted the existence of slavery. It was, “… not because we wanted to, for we did not, but we wanted to be in the swim. It is plainly a law of nature, and we obeyed it.” “In the swim,” (today we might say, “to be mainstream”) he explained, is the main motive for party and ideological identification.  According to Twain, “The average citizen is not a student of party doctrines…after all the fuss and all the talk, not one of those doctrines has been conclusively proven to be the right one and the best.”

In Twain’s time political feelings were personal and ambient. The only media were newspapers, flyers and the occasional speech. These days, we have television, radio and social media all of which leverage “the mainstream” into a flood tide. In place of Twain’s neighbors, co-workers and townspeople, we are beset by the almost unanimous howling, bleating  and self aggrandizement of preening Mass Media Personalities. They are the avatars of the elite establishment. They are telling you what to think and feel and how to think and feel it 24/7. They mean to make you understand that if you do not do it precisely as they say, you are NOT IN THE SWIM!

This is why the loudest most persistent cries in public and private life are anti-Trump. The constant battering our president takes from luminaries like Don Lemon, Morning Joe and Rachel Madow are as prejudicial as they are unfounded in facts. Its mostly name-calling and hysteria. Then there are the rage filled mobs of “liberals” who publicly harass and intimidate anyone connected to Mr Trump. A reasonable person would accept Twain’s approach: “…oftenest we suppress an unpopular opinion because we cannot afford the bitter cost of putting it forth. None of us likes to be hated, none of us likes to be shunned.”

Hated and shunned! When did it happen that the hard working people in fly-over country became so out of “The Swim” as to be objects of hate? When did it become smart to shun religious principals? The workers, the business people, the taxpayers- when did liberal elitists and media nabobs become so smart that they can tell us what to think? I don’t like it and I don’t accept it.

But then, what hope does Mark Twain offer? What secret message has he left us?

Here it is: “When a man has joined a party, he is likely to stay in it. If he change his opinion—his feeling, I mean, his sentiment—he is likely to stay, anyway; his friends are of that party, and he will keep his altered sentiment to himself, and talk the privately discarded one. On those terms he can exercise his American privilege of free speech, but not on any others. These unfortunates are in both parties, but in what proportions we cannot guess. Therefore we never know which party was really in the majority at an election.”

That’s it! That’s why the polls were all wrong in 2016. It's also why we now have the best economy in decades and we down here in the hoi polloi have the feeling that things have gotten better than we could ever have expected if we had listened to the smart people in Washington and New York. We have remembered that we can vote against “The Swim” and that free speech is not just for the grave it is also the privilege of the vote! Please, let's show them again. Show them that the “Blue Wave” was just their wishful thinking- just like “Ready for Hillary”- whistling past the graveyard, if you will. Get up on Tuesday and express yourself!



156,562,000: Record Employment for 12th Time Under Trump

The economy is the second most important issue for registered voters as the midterm election nears, a new Gallup Poll says. And there was very good economic news on Friday, as the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics rolled out the October employment report -- the final one before next week's midterm election.

The number of employed Americans has never been higher. The 156,562,000 Americans employed in October is the twefth record set under President Donald Trump.

In October, the number of employed men age 20 and up -- 80,405,000 -- set the 12th record since Trump took office; and likewise, for the 12th time, the number of employed women age 20 and up set a record, reaching 70,909,000 in October.

The unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent, the same as September, which is the lowest it's been in decades -- since the end of 1969. And the Hispanic unemployment rate, 4.4 percent, has never been lower.

The unemployment rate for African-Americans, 6.2 percent, remained near the all-time low of 5.9 percent set in May.

On top of those numbers, the economy added a whopping 250,000 jobs last month. After revisions, job gains have averaged 218,000 over the past 3 months.



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, 2018

Lining up for battle in the not so United States

The US has never seen a mid-term election quite like this — but, then again, it has never had a president quite like Donald Trump.

With only days to go before Americans vote on Wednesday (Tuesday US time), polls show an unprecedented level of interest and engagement by voters, suggesting they will turn out in force to cast judgment on the first two years of the Trump presidency.

Love him or hate him, it seems everyone has an opinion on Don­ald J. Trump.

In true Trump style, the President is having it both ways. He says the mid-terms are a referendum on himself, but at the same time if things go badly he says it will be the fault of the Republicans in congress.

Either way, these elections will play a crucial role in shaping the future of the Trump presidency. If Republicans lose control of the House of Representatives or the Senate, then the Democrats will spend the final two years of Trump’s first term trying to tear him down.

They would block his legislative agenda, cruelling his hopes of taking a second shot at repealing Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, raising funds for a border wall, infrastructure reform and other key election promises.

What’s more, Democrats would have the numbers to launch a dizzying series of investigations into Trump himself, ­including his family finances, his tax records and an extension of the Russia probes.

“I don’t want to see him lose the house or the Senate because they will fight everything the man does,” Margie Martindale says as she feeds chickens on her farm south of Allentown, Pennsylvania — a Republican district that the Democrats hope to retake.

“I work in a car yard removing chips and scratches from cars and I have worked all my life, nobody gave me anything. Trump is for us workers and I’m very pleased with what he’s done.

“The economy is booming and he is trying to close our borders ­because we have an invasion coming of 7000 people (in a migrant caravan) ready to come through our borders. If the Democrats come in they will just block and destroy because that’s what they do.”

But history is on the side of the Democrats. Since World War II the president’s party typically loses an average of 26 seats in the mid-terms and often much more when a president’s approval rating is below 50 per cent, as Trump’s is.

Bill Clinton and Obama’s Democrats each lost more than 50 seats and control of the house in their first mid-terms in 1994 and 2010.

To win the house, the Democrats need to win only 23 seats, and while Republicans still see a possible way of stemming a Democrat “blue tide”, pollsters concede they would have to win an almost perfect alignment of toss-up seats across the country.

The Senate is a different story because although the Republicans have a slim 51-49 majority, the Democrats find themselves defending 10 seats in states that were won by Trump.

Polls suggest the Democrats have probably already lost North Dakota to Republicans, meaning they would need to pick up the very few vulnerable Republican seats in Arizona, Nevada and possibly Tennessee to forge a narrow majority. But, if anything, the Republicans are tipped to hold on or even slightly extend their majority in the Senate.

Polls suggest the likeliest outcome is that the Democrats will take the house and the Republicans will keep control of the Senate. This would clear the way for the Democrats potentially to launch impeachment proceedings against the President in the house.

However, this would be little more than a political statement by the Democrats because it almost certainly would be blocked in the Senate, in the same way Clinton’s house-voted impeachment was.

Trump has worked hard to swing the late momentum towards Republicans, blitzing the country with rock star-style rallies to try to energise his Republican base and motivate them to vote.

Polls show the Republicans recently have closed the gap with Democrats in dozens of vulnerable seats, casting doubt on the early assumptions of many Democrats that there would be a giant blue wave of protest votes against Trump delivering them both houses of congress.

Some Republicans even are daring to dream that they may keep the house after polls this month showed Trump’s approval ratings had jumped from the low-40s to the mid-40s.

But the President’s approval rating fell this week in the unsettled aftermath of the twin shocks of pro-Trump mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc — who has been charged with sending at least 14 bombs to Democrat politicians and prominent Trump critics — and the mass shooting of 11 Jews at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

The horrific nature of both crimes has stirred debate in the US about the divisive nature of political rhetoric. Although the Democrats also have been guilty of deeply partisan rhetoric, the issue has greater potential to hurt Trump, whose pugnacious and ­aggressive rhetoric is a hallmark of his leadership style.

“I just want to see an end to the hostility and anger between the Democrats and the Republicans,” Janice Paget says as she walks her dog, Chai, in Quakertown, north of Philadelphia.

“With Trump’s remarks and him attacking everybody, there doesn’t seem to be any unity anymore. All these massacres, this violence. I’ve never seen anything going on like this in my lifetime in America,” says Paget, a retired medical worker who says she will “probably” vote Democrat.

Bob Moran, who has retired after a lifetime working for Sears department stores, says he believes Trump has soured and divided Americans and that is why he is going to cast his first vote in more than 20 years for Democrats.

“I don’t like Trump, I don’t like anything about what’s going on in this country,” he says. “It’s just ­unsettled, too much trouble from everywhere, I am just uncomfortable with it. If I could put a sign out for the Republican Party, it would say they better do something about their own man.”

Trump’s colossal presence in US politics has largely overshadowed the focus on local candidates in these mid-terms.

When Inquirer travelled this week through southeastern Pennsylvania — a key battleground for the mid-terms — many voters cited Trump rather than local candidates as their motivation to vote.

Candidates are tailoring their campaigns to distance themselves from Trump or embrace him, depending on the mood in their electorate. For example, in Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District in Bucks County just outside Philadelphia, Republican candidate Brian Fitzpatrick is cam­paigning as anti-Trump as he tries to win over those voters, especially women in outer-suburban Philadelphia who do not like the President but have conservative leanings. Fitzpatrick, a former FBI agent, has opposed attempts to repeal Obamacare, supports a carbon tax and even has criticised Trump for attacking the FBI.

By contrast, in West Virginia Democrat senator Joe Manchin has aligned himself almost entirely with the Republican President to keep his seat in a deep-red state where 63 per cent of people voted for Trump in 2016 and where his approval ratings ­remain above 60 per cent.

Manchin was the only Democrat to break party ranks and vote in favour of the confirmation of conservative Supreme Court judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The fallout from the bruising confirmation fight over Kavanaugh also is an issue that has energised Republicans and Democrats, with both believing it will work in their favour.

Doris Huntzinger, a former primary school teacher from Hartsville, Pennsylvania, says she is pro-life and is likely to vote Republican because she was appalled by the attacks on Kavanaugh after he was accused by Christine Blasey Ford of sexual assault at a high school party more than three decades earlier.

“The treatment of Brett Kavanaugh was terrible,” she says. “I am a woman, don’t tell me we are not supposed to think because I am a woman. People lie and women lie, but in that whole thing it was like whatever that woman said, that was the truth. I don’t get it. I have a husband, sons and a grandson. Are they going to grow up in a world where women are just going to say something and there is no evidence, no proof? It made me so angry.”

But the Democrat candidate in Huntzinger’s seat, Scott Wallace, says he believes the issue will work in his favour.

“On the independent and Democratic side, and of course moderate Republicans, there is a sense of anger about how Dr Ford was treated,” Wallace says. “My observation is that anger is a stronger motivator than gratitude. So I think by election day you will see the Kavanaugh effect will produce more energy on our side.”

Polls show the most important factors influencing American voters at these mid-terms are the Supreme Court, the economy and jobs, healthcare, immigration and Trump.

The robust and growing US economy is Trump’s biggest selling point with the electorate. Although he was lucky to inherit an economy on the uptick, his pro-business, anti-regulation rhetoric has helped fuel confidence. Unemployment sits at 3.7 per cent — the lowest since 1969 — along with strong job gains and a forecast economic growth of 3.1 per cent this year. If the Republicans can save congress, the buoyant economy will be a central factor.

In Pennsylvania’s 1st District, many voters tell Inquirer they believe Trump is largely ­responsible for this outcome.

“The economy has got a lot better, including around here,” real estate agent Cherry Blumgren says as she loads her grandson Easton, 5, into her car near the town of Dublin. “People are back at work, their confidence is back.”

Blumgren says her decision to vote Republican in the mid-terms is a case of weighing the strong economy against her reservations about Trump’s style. “I know Trump can be a bit opinionated and he can say things that are shocking, but we will put up with it,” she says.

Trump’s efforts to energise his base have been greatly helped by the emergence last week of the 7000-strong migrant caravan slowly winding its way through Mexico towards the US border.

Trump has exploited this opportunity to remind voters of the contrast between his border security polices and those of the Democrats, knowing the issue plays well to his base. He has tweeted about the caravan repeatedly, claiming that it contains criminals and gang members. This week he pointedly ordered up to 15,000 troops to the border as a statement of his intent to prevent them crossing into the US. “This is an invasion of our country and our military is waiting for you,” Trump tweeted, even though the US military is forbidden by law from detaining and ­deporting migrants.

Sandra Ligowski, a former bookkeeper at the local prison near Quakersville, says she will vote Republican because she is worried about illegal immigration.

“I like the idea of building the wall and I like the idea that those people have to have papers to come into the US,” she says. “They think they can just walk into this country and that’s not right, it’s a drain on our economy.”

Floating over all of these issues is the question of Trump’s unique and confrontational style.

The President’s supporters love his combative nature and praise him for his self-declared war on those he dislikes, from the Democrats and the liberal media to special counsel Robert Mueller and America’s trading partners.

“I like that he is stern with some of the other countries and he stands up for the United States,” Patricia Funk says as she takes her morning walk north of Philadelphia. “He doesn’t take any other country’s crap and that’s what we were looking for,” says Funk, who ran her own cleaning business and voted for Obama in 2008.

“I don’t like Trump’s stand on women but I picked him on how he runs the country, not how he runs his personal affairs.”

But Daryle Dobos, a grocery store worker from the small town of Chalfont, says Trump is a bully and he can’t understand why he continues to be popular with many voters.

“He is bombastic, he is loud, he is rude, he is ignorant and it’s effective,” says Dobos, who will vote Democrat. “That’s the mind-boggling thing — it has worked well enough to get him into office.”

Republican strategists are concerned about how Trump’s tariffs trade war with China, Europe, Mexico and Canada will play out in rural midwest states, which have been the President’s strongest supporters but which now have been hit by retaliatory tariffs from those countries. Trump has responded by announcing a $US12 billion ($16.6bn) aid package to US farmers in the hope they will stay loyal to him despite their hip-pocket pain.

“I’m a Republican but we don’t like the tariffs,” says Missy Gannon, a Hartsville mother of three sons who have all enlisted in the military. “My husband is in the (steel) fastener business and the things he sells now get taxed so he is not getting paid as much as he was.” But Gannon says she and her husband will vote Republican.

Trump needs to keep voters such as Gannon, who have been caught in the crossfire of his trade wars, on side if Republicans are going to perform strongly across the crucial farming and rust belt regions of the midwest.

But it is in the suburbs of towns, rather than the countryside, where the mid-terms are likely to be ­decided. This is the heartland of those who voted for Trump but are disillusioned by his style and who pose the greatest risk of abandoning the Republicans.

As Karl Rove, former Republican adviser to George W. Bush, puts it: “To win in many contests, Republican candidates must not only hold the crowd that likes everything about the President but also corral most of the half-happy voters who are pleased with Trump’s results but not how he handles himself.”

The biggest challenge is Trump’s growing disconnect with female voters. Among registered voters, women favour Democrat candidates in the house by a hefty 59 per cent to 37 per cent, while men have a narrow 48 per cent to 46 per cent preference for Republican candidates.

The key battlegrounds in the nation’s suburbs are filled with conservative-leaning, educated women who polls show have had a more adverse reaction to Trump than any other Republican group. A study by the Wall Street Journal this week found that the gap in political views by education and gender has widened in the US as women with college degrees have grown more negative about Trump, while men without degrees have grown warmer towards him since his inauguration.

Former schoolteacher Huntzinger is one of Rove’s “half-happy” voters but she still will vote Republican on Wednesday. “While I like Trump’s policies, I am not particularly fond of the man,” she says. “But he seems to be getting things done, which we haven’t seen for awhile. If I had my choice, I would rather a guy who is going to do something than a guy who is nice and sweet and pleasant to everybody but gets nothing done.”



Al Sharpton Has Complete Meltdown After Seeing Black Crowd Full of MAGA Hats

BizPac Review reported that Trump graciously allowed Turning Points USA to hold this year’s Young Black Leadership Summit at the White House. But, according to Sharpton on MSNBC, “It’s one of the lowest things he could ever do.”

“To go in the East Room, which is sacred, have a staged rally. Notice that all of those youngsters had caps on. It was almost like we’re going to dress you for the photo. And to call it a young black leader summit ….”

His ignorant commentary about Trump and the black youth who participated in the summit was not missed by social media. Twitter users had a field day calling him out over it. First up, the “dress you for the photo” comment, which also implies the hats, etc were bought and paid for by Trump, not the attendees.



Experienced inequality and preferences for redistribution

If you have been poor and risen above it, you tend to see welfare payments as unfair


We examine whether individuals' experienced levels of income inequality affect their preferences for redistribution. We use several large nationally representative datasets to show that people who have experienced higher inequality during their lives are less in favor of redistribution, after controlling for income, demographics, unemployment experiences and current macroeconomic conditions. They are also less likely to support left-wing parties and to consider the prevailing distribution of incomes to be unfair. We provide evidence that these findings do not operate through extrapolation from own circumstances, perceived relative income or trust in the political system, but seem to operate through the respondents' fairness views.

Journal of Public Economics Volume 167, November 2018, Pages 251-262


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

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


4 November, 2018

We will open fire on the immigrant caravan if they throw stones says Trump as he promises to end to catch and release of illegals and put families in 'tent cities' instead

President Donald Trump issued a dire warning to would-be immigrants making their way toward the U.S., warning that thousands of U.S. troops being sent to the border would return fire if caravan members throw rocks at them.

The president once again said the U.S. would build tent cities to manage the problem of would-be asylum seekers, and said: 'We'll be holding the family and the children together' in the tents.  



Trump Is Right: Ending Birthright Citizenship Is Constitutional

By legal expert Hans von Spakovsky

President Donald Trump’s announcement Tuesday that he is preparing an executive order to end birthright citizenship has the left and even some conservatives in an uproar.

But the president is correct when he says that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution does not require universal birthright citizenship.

An executive order by Trump ending birthright citizenship would face a certain court challenge that would wind up in the Supreme Court. But based on my research of this issue over several years, I believe the president’s view is consistent with the view of the framers of the amendment.

Those who claim the 14th Amendment mandates that anyone born in the U.S. is automatically an American citizen are misinterpreting the amendment in a manner inconsistent with the intent of the amendment’s framers.

Universal birthright citizenship attracts illegal immigration. By granting immediate citizenship to anyone born on U.S. soil, regardless of the legal status of the parents, we reward and encourage illegal and exploitative immigration.

Most countries around the world do not provide birthright citizenship. We do so based not upon the requirements of federal law or the Constitution, but based upon an erroneous executive interpretation. That should be changed.

Many Republicans, Democrats, and independents believe the 14th Amendment grants citizenship to anyone born on U.S. soil, even if their parents are here illegally. But that ignores the text and legislative history of the amendment, which was ratified in 1868 to extend citizenship to freed slaves and their children.

Contrary to popular belief, the 14th Amendment doesn’t say that all people born in the U.S. are citizens. It says that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” are citizens. That second, critical, conditional phrase is conveniently ignored or misinterpreted by advocates of “birthright” citizenship.

Critics of the president’s possible action erroneously claim that anyone present in the United States has “subjected” himself or herself “to the jurisdiction” of the United States, which would extend citizenship to the children of tourists, diplomats, and illegal immigrants alike.

But that is not what that qualifying phrase means. Its original meaning refers to the political allegiance of an individual and the jurisdiction that a foreign government has over that individual.

The fact that tourists or illegal immigrants are subject to our laws and our courts if they violate our laws means that they are subject to the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S. and can be prosecuted. But it does not place them within the political “jurisdiction” of the United States, as that phrase was defined by the framers of the 14th Amendment.

This amendment’s language was derived from the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which provided that “all persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power,” would be considered citizens.

The amendment was intended to give citizenship only to those who owed their allegiance to the United States and were subject to its complete jurisdiction. Sen. Lyman Trumbull, R-Ill., a key figure in the adoption of the 14th Amendment, said that “subject to the jurisdiction” meant not owing allegiance to any other country.

Universal birthright citizenship attracts illegal immigration. By granting immediate citizenship to anyone born on U.S. soil, regardless of the legal status of the parents, we reward and encourage illegal and exploitative immigration.

Today many people do not seem to understand the distinction between partial, territorial jurisdiction—which subjects all foreigners who enter the U.S. to the jurisdiction of our laws—and complete political jurisdiction, which requires allegiance to the U.S. government as well.

So while a foreign tourist could be prosecuted for violating a criminal statute, he could not be drafted if we had a military draft or otherwise be subject to other requirements imposed on citizens, such as serving on a jury. If a foreign tourist has a baby while in the U.S., her child is a citizen of her home country and owes no political allegiance to the U.S.

In the famous Slaughter-House cases of 1872, the Supreme Court stated that this qualifying phrase was intended to exclude “children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States.”

This was confirmed in 1884 in another case, Elk vs. Wilkins, when citizenship was denied to an American Indian because he “owed immediate allegiance to” his tribe and not the United States.

American Indians and their children did not become citizens until Congress passed the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924. There would have been no need to pass such legislation if the 14th Amendment extended citizenship to all people born in America, no matter what the circumstances of their birth, and no matter the legal status of their parents.

Most legal arguments for universal birthright citizenship point to the Supreme Court’s 1898 decision in United States v. Wong Kim Ark. But that decision only stands for the very narrow proposition that children born of lawful, permanent residents are U.S. citizens.

The high court decision says nothing about the children of illegal immigrants or the children of tourists, students, and other foreigners only temporarily present in this country being automatically considered U.S. citizens. Those children are considered citizens of the native countries of their parents, just like children born abroad to American parents are considered U.S. citizens, no matter where the children are born.

The Supreme Court’s interpretation of the 14th Amendment as extending to the children of legal noncitizens was incorrect, according to the text and legislative history of the amendment. But even under that holding, citizenship was not extended to the children of illegal immigrants—only permanent, legal residents.

U.S. immigration law (8 U.S.C. § 1401) simply repeats the language of the 14th Amendment, including the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” The federal government has erroneously interpreted that statute to provide passports and other benefits to anyone born in the United States, regardless of whether their parents are here illegally and regardless of whether the applicant meets the requirement of being “subject to the jurisdiction” of the U.S.

As a result, the president of the United States has the authority to direct federal agencies to act in accordance with the original meaning of the 14th Amendment, and to issue passports and other government documents and benefits only to those individuals whose status as U.S. citizens meets this requirement.


Roaring Economy Is GOP's Best Election Pitch

If Republicans focus their closing argument this weekend on the roaring American economy, they’ll strengthen their chances of holding Congress in Tuesday’s midterm elections. Today’s jobs report is a particularly strong one — 250,000 jobs added and a headline unemployment rate of 3.7%, the lowest since 1969. The fuller U-6 measure of unemployment dropped to a historically low 7.4%. MarketWatch reports, “The increase in hiring last month was broad based — not a single major industry shed jobs.” And Investor’s Business Daily notes, “Among blacks, the unemployment rate dropped from 8.3% [two years ago] to 6%, and among Hispanics it’s now 4.5%. It was 5.7% two years ago.”

There are more than seven million job openings, which is more than there are people looking for jobs. “Thirty-eight percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, equal to last month’s record high,” reports National Federation of Independent Business Chief Economist William Dunkelberg. That has put upward pressure on wages, which increased at a 3.1% annual rate — the best since 2009.

As President Donald Trump observed, “It’s the best unemployment numbers we have in 50 years. And that’s wonderful, but we actually need workers now. That’s a good thing to be saying because that hasn’t been said for many, many decades. And we want people to come in. You’ve all been reading about the immigration situation with the caravans and all, but the fact is, we want people coming into the country. We want them to come in legally.”

On a final note, consumer confidence once again hit an 18-year high this week. And what is the economy but a monetary measure of consumer confidence? When people perceive that things are good, that perception becomes reality.

How good is it? “Pretty much everything you could want in a monthly jobs report,” says … Joe Biden’s economic adviser, Jared Bernstein. Granted, he refuses to credit Trump, but still.

The bottom line: The extraordinary midterm record for Trump and congressional Republicans has the nation better off than we were two years go. Will voters reward the GOP with holding both houses, or has Democrats’ divisive rhetoric really made voters “tired of winning”?



43 percent of early voters are Republican and 41 percent are Democrats

Suggesting a narrow GOP win

Six days out from Election Day, over 24 million votes have been counted as early or absentee, a number that exceeds the total nationwide early vote from 2014.

As of Wednesday, 24,024,621 million early and absentee ballots have been counted nationwide in all states with early voting activity.

Six days out from Election Day during the last midterm in 2014, just under 13 million (12,938,596) early or absentee ballots had been counted — a difference of over 11 million — signifying that voters could be shifting more and more toward early voting.

Wednesday's early vote total even surpasses the total nationwide early vote from 2014, which was over 21 million (21,218,015).

Turnout overall is generally lower during midterm elections than presidential elections, but this year the total early vote count six days out is between where it was in 2014 and the over 29 million (29,196,380) early votes that were counted six days out from the presidential election in 2016.

In all of the key states NBC News has been following, early vote counts for so far this year (Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, Nevada, Tennessee and Texas), the six-day-out total is higher in than it was in 2014. The national trend toward early voting has been close between the two parties.

As of Wednesday, 43 percent of early voters are Republican and 41 percent are Democrats. At this point in 2016, 43 percent of early voters were Democrats and 40 percent were Republicans.


New Voter Fraud Cases Show Need to Secure Our Elections

The midterm elections are less than a week away, and that means that ensuring the integrity of the electoral process is more important than ever.

If Americans cannot say with certainty that their votes will be counted, that the process is free of fraud, and the outcome is valid, what incentive do they have to turn out in the first place?

Unfortunately, the latest news on the election integrity front is less than inspiring.

In August, the Justice Department announced it was prosecuting 19 foreign nationals for illegally voting in North Carolina—some of them in multiple elections. Those prosecutions are ongoing.

A month later, Californians learned—just weeks before a tremendously consequential election—that a “processing error” had led to 1,500 people being improperly registered to vote in their state, including at least one noncitizen.

Unbelievably, this is only the latest in a series of snafus that have plagued the state’s new “motor voter” law. Earlier this year, the state Department of Motor Vehicles botched 23,000 registrations and double-registered potentially tens of thousands more.

Just this week, The Heritage Foundation has added 20 new cases to its online election-fraud database, which now documents 1,165 proven cases of election fraud spanning 47 states. And 1,011 of these cases resulted in criminal convictions.

The new entries run the election fraud gamut, but voters heading to the polls may find one from Philadelphia particularly disturbing.

The members of the election board responsible for administering polling station 43-7 during a March 2017 special election abused their authority to deny voters an opportunity to freely cast their ballots.

According to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Calvin Mattox, Wallace Hill, Thurman George, and Dolores Shaw employed “harassment and intimidation against voters who wanted to vote for candidates of their choice—but not the candidate being pushed by the city’s Democratic Party machine.”

Mattox, Hill, and George pleaded guilty to various election law violations and received probated sentences and a loss of their voting rights. Shaw received an accelerated rehabilitative disposition for “compromising the local election board.”

Meanwhile, in Illinois an entire family—Calvin Borders Jr.; his son, Calvin Borders III; his daughter, Candace; and the son’s girlfriend, Janie Walker—registered to vote using a vacant lot on Jefferson Street in Brooklyn, Illinois. None lived in the city.

The two men pleaded guilty to perjury, while Candice Borders and Walker pleaded guilty to forgery. The Borders were sentenced to probation, and Walker is awaiting sentencing later this year.

In one case of double voting, Jeffrey Hartman, a resident of Westminster, Maryland, illegally registered to vote in both Maryland and Morgan County, West Virginia, and on nine different occasions since 2006 cast ballots in both states.

Hartman pleaded guilty in West Virginia to illegal voting and was given a suspended 30-day jail sentence, was put on probation for one year, and ordered to pay a $100 fine and court costs.

These are just a handful of the more colorful cases from Heritage’s database, which is itself likely only the tip of the election fraud iceberg.

Simply put, the full scope of fraud in U.S. elections is unknown, and many states do not have in place the policies and procedures to detect and deter voter fraud.

Yet efforts at studying the problem, such as President Donald Trump’s thwarted Presidential Commission on Election Integrity, or proactively addressing the issue, like Ohio’s move to clean up voter rolls riddled with errors, are vigorously attacked and opposed by liberal activists and politicians.

They have spent years insisting, despite mounting, incontrovertible evidence—to say nothing of common sense—that election fraud is nonexistent. They claim that “election integrity” is a smokescreen designed to conceal efforts at suppression and disenfranchisement.

What they ignore, or more accurately, seek to bury, are the inconvenient facts that dispel these narratives. Participation rates have increased in states that have adopted voter identification laws.

When states do pass photo identification requirements, they include provisions that ensure that anyone without an acceptable ID can get one for free.

Opponents of election integrity also want to deflect attention away from the broad popularity of the measures they attack. Voter ID, for example, is so uncontroversial that even in our bitterly divided era, a Rasmussen poll found that 70 percent of likely voters favor it.

They also want to deflect attention away from the bitter truth that each illegal ballot that is cast essentially disenfranchises a lawful voter. That is something no American should tolerate.

With elections, the process matters at least as much as the outcome, and Americans deserve a process they can trust.



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, 2018

Conservative causes uproar in EU Parliament with Nazi comment

The Eurocrats took refuge in the fact that the Nazis were not the only socialists in prewar Germany but that proves nothing.  It is true that the old union-affiliated Left (Social Democrats) did oppose the Nazis to some degree but that was just sibling rivalry, often the bitterest rivalry. 

Leftists are very prone to "splits" and sometimes  seem to hate one another more than anyone else. Lenin spoke of other Bolsheviks such as Kautsky describing: "the full extent of their stupidity, pedantry, baseness and betrayal of working-class interests".  He could scarcely have spoken greater ill of the Tsar.

And Trotsky was a very senior Bolshevik, leader of the Red Army during the revolution, no less.  But he ended up with an icepick in the head, courtesy of Stalin.

So being an anti-Nazi socialist does nothing to deny that Nazis were socialists too.  There are many flavours of socialism, all pretty poisonous and longing to control you

A leading British Conservative in the European Parliament has come under a barrage of criticism after he compared current-day socialist parties with Nazism.

Addressing socialist lawmakers in a debate Wednesday, Syed Kamall said ‘‘you have to remember that Nazis were National Socialists, a strain of socialism, so let’s not pretend. It’s a left-wing ideology.’’

The remarks caused an immediate uproar. and Kamall added ‘‘you don’t like the truth, do you?’’

Kamall later said he ‘‘apologized directly & unreservedly’’ to the leader of the socialist group, but criticism was scathing.

Socialists opposed Nazism and were among the early victims of the extreme-right ideologies of Adolf Hitler.

EU Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said claims that Nazism is left-wing or socialist have been pushed by the extreme right on the Internet for the past few years, but added ‘‘what is new to me is that the leader in this house of the party of Churchill and Thatcher would appropriate that narrative.’’

‘‘What has happened to the Conservative Party?’’ he asked legislators.

ALDE Liberal leader Guy Verhofstadt, too, was stunned.

Kamall’s words were ‘‘an insult to all the Social Democrats who fought against Nazism and died in concentration camps,’’ Verhofstadt said.

The S&D socialist group said socialists ‘‘throughout Europe resisted Hitler’s regime and paid for it with their lives. With his disgusting comparison, Kamall has mocked these brave people.’’

Kamall tweeted that it was not a comment aimed at anyone and ‘‘I have upmost respect for anyone who stood up & fought against Nazism, Communism & any other kinds of extremism.’’


UPDATE:  A reader has alerted me to a terminological problem in describing the weapon used to kill Leon Trotsky.  Strictly, an ice pick is a rather harmless thing that looks a lot like an office bodkin.  I use one often. The weapon used to kill Trotsky was a sort of pick but it is better described as an ice axe, though the handle had been shortened for concealment purposes.  A picture of it is here, together with a description of how and why it was used

An ice pick.  Not a good murder weapon and NOT the thing used on Trotsky.  Trotsky was a mass murderer who deserved to die as he lived.


More Leftist racism

Fresh off the disgusting coverage of Pittsburgh’s mass shooting at a synagogue, CNN’s Don Lemon is on the prowl to attack Republicans.

During his show on Monday night, Lemon said the “biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right” followed by “there is no white guy ban. So, what do we do about that?”

It was on television and captured on video, then shared multiple times across social media networks, easily going viral because of what Lemon said.

So, we have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them. There is no travel ban on them. There is no ban on — you know, they had the Muslim ban. There is no white guy ban.

President Donald Trump had recently called for unity among Americans, but Lemon’s choice of words appear to be very divisive in nature.

CNN and many pundits left of center have rejected Trump’s call for unity and resorted to attacking the president after the shooting attack at the Pittsburgh synagogue.

The call for unity was welcomed by many Americans, but seems to have fallen short of acceptance from Trump’s biggest critics.



Synagogue slayings are NOT a shot in the culture wars

by Alexander Ryvchin

The partisan advantage-taking began before the bodies had even been identified.

To opponents of the US President, the massacre of 11 Jews during a baby naming ceremony at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, was the logical endpoint of President Trump’s refusal to expressly reject an endorsement from former Grand Wizard of the KKK, David Duke; the President’s drawing of moral equivalence between clashing Antifa extremists and white nationalists in Charlottesville; and his incendiary talk on migration and refugees.

To those calling for tougher gun laws, Pittsburgh was another mass shooting event made possible by the easy availability of high-powered assault rifles.

And to those who never miss an opportunity to direct our attention to the supposedly boundless evil of that little Jewish state on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, the massacre of Jewish civilians in the US was the result of rage against Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies in Gaza and the West Bank, or poetic justice for Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the State’s capital.

The ideologues simply picked their cause of choice, selected their preferred villain and placed the 11 corpses at their feet.

Hardly mentioned are the facts.

This is not the first mass shooting targeting a Jewish community in the US. In 2014, three people were murdered at a Jewish community centre in Overland Park, Kansas. Barack Obama was president then.

Mass shootings of Jews are common throughout the western world, in countries without the Second Amendment and with low gun ownership. Jews were massacred in a kosher supermarket in Paris in 2015; in a Jewish museum in Brussels in 2014; in a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012; and at a synagogue in Copenhagen in 2015.

Far from acting out of frustration at Middle East politics, the Pittsburgh killer didn’t care a jot for the Palestinians or Israel’s foreign policy. The existence of the State of Israel and its absorption of millions of Jewish refugees from throughout the world has saved countless Jewish lives, not imperiled them.

The common factor in every attack of this sort is not the weapon of choice, the religion of the perpetrator or the commander-in-chief at the time of the attack. It is antisemitism - the irrational, irrepressible, consumptive hatred of the Jewish people that pervades elements of every political ideology and every faith.

It is what shatters gravestones in Jewish cemeteries throughout the United States and Europe with appalling regularity. It is what led Louis Farrakhan, a US Muslim leader embraced by major figures in the Democratic Party, to liken Jews to termites, just weeks ago. It is what lodges knives in the backs of Jews standing at bus-stops in Jerusalem. It is what has prompted 40% of British Jews to consider leaving Britain, as Jeremy Corbyn - a man who hosts Holocaust deniers at Westminster and lays wreaths at the graves of terrorists who have spilled Jewish blood - nears the threshold of No.10 Downing Street.

Antisemitism is a remarkably robust and versatile form of hatred. It finds favour in the political left where the Jews are seen as too privileged, too comfortable, too establishment to be a vulnerable minority or accepted as allies in solidarity. To religious extremists, the Jews are too stiff-necked in their rejection of the later monotheistic teachings of Christianity and Islam, too content with their own beliefs and customs, and therefore deserving of scorn and hatred. While to the hard-right, the speed with which the Jews seem to bounce back from each calamity inflicted upon them, through a combination of resilience and bitter experience, only feeds the paranoid conspiracy theories about Jews secretly controlling everything and sowing our misfortune.

The appropriation of the Pittsburgh dead to fight the latest round of the cultural wars is an affront to the memories of the eleven people murdered as Jews in their place of worship.

Condemnations of Trump’s jingoism and dubious associations, right and necessary as they are, ring hollow unless one is equally reviled by the racism of Farrakhan and the associations of Jeremy Corbyn. The condemnation of antisemitism must be a matter of basic decency and not partisan politics. Otherwise, we will merely entrench the discord and polarization in which violent extremism lives and thrives and await the next bout of violence and the next mass burial of the Jewish dead.



Look left, look right, but look left again for hate

Comment from Australia

Was the aggressive rhetoric of ­Donald Trump responsible for the horrific murder of innocent Jews in the synagogue in Pittsburgh last week? The answer is no, but the increasingly hostile, bitter political debate is dangerous in the US and to a lesser extent in Australia.

It is not appealing to trivialise these shocking events by reducing them to partisan politics. But too many commentators have made a simplistic connection between these murders and Trump’s rhetoric. The facts don’t support the charge. The Pittsburgh killer, Robert Bowers, did not vote for Trump, has been violent and semi-deranged for a long time, and hates Trump, whom he sees as a globalist rather than a nationalist.

I certainly find some of Trump’s rhetoric exaggerated and offensive. But the development of the new level of deep, quasi-violent toxicity in political debate has many causes. The anonymity of social media and the vile language of tweets and online abuse is affecting the whole culture of politics. So is identity politics and the destructive sense that mere political debate now routinely involves issues of your deepest identity.

But what contribution does exaggerated rhetoric by politicians make to this toxic culture? The extreme Left and the extreme Right are mirror images of each other. Both are filled with hatred, demonising their opponents, violent language and intolerance.

What of more mainstream politicians? Far from Trump being a unique cause of violent language and intolerant thought, it is much more the Centre Left than the Centre Right, in Australia as well as the US, that routinely resorts to violent language and crude, demonising analogies. Very often they do this in the name of tolerance.

Consider: Many leading Democrats in the US refer to themselves as part of the “resistance” to Trump. Resistance is a term from war — the French resistance to Nazi occupation. Sometimes terror groups such as Hamas in the Gaza Strip refer to themselves as the resistance. So the implication is plain. For Democrats, Trump does not represent an administration they disagree with but an evil, illegitmate “occupying” force.

Former CIA director John Brennan ludicrously accused Trump of treason because of pro-Vladimir Putin remarks Trump made. I thought Trump’s remarks pretty weird and offensive too, but by no stretch of reason could they possibly be described as treason.

The man who shot Republican congressman Steve Scalise and a number of other people at a Virginia Republican event had written on Facebook: “Trump is guilty and should go to prison for treason.” He was also, as Trump himself has pointed out, an admirer of left-wing senator Bernie Sanders.

It is almost always bad manners to let the facts get in the way of a public moral denunciation, especially of Trump, but in terms of language there is a much closer connection between the extreme language of Democrats and that shooter than there is between the language of Trump and any foul right-wing terrorist.

The Democrat and centre-left rhetoric is infused with violence. Hillary Clinton, the perfect if always slightly delayed weather vane, forever blowing with the zeitgeist, explicitly urged her supporters not to be civil to Republicans until after next week’s midterm elections. Former Democratic attorney-general Eric Holder urged Democrats to “kick Republicans”.

There is a natural resort to violent language by what might be called the Centre Left throughout the culture wars. Jimmy Kimmel, a popular US late-night television host with an audience of many millions, said on TV that he wouldn’t mind Brett Kavanaugh being confirmed for the US Supreme Court so long as “we could cut off his pesky penis in public”.

Can you just begin to imagine the outrage if, say, a Fox TV host had said something equivalent about a left-of-centre figure, much less a judge?

Robert De Niro, an Oscar winner and beloved hero of Hollywood, in a considered YouTube video famously said: “I’d like to punch Trump in the face.”

Democratic congresswoman Maxine Waters called on her supporters to publicly confront and harass Trump administration figures in restaurants, gasoline stations, department stores and other public places.

This resort to violent language, extreme demonisation of their opponents and the conviction that people who disagree with them are truly evil is common — not universal — in the Centre Left in the US and Australia.

It comes, I think, partly because the way you signal your own moral virtue is by vehemently denouncing something truly evil. When, inconveniently, your opponent is not truly evil, the easiest thing is just to pretend that they are.

One of the great unconscious ironies of our descent into vituperative hatreds is that very often the people who in one breath sincerely argue for greater civility in public debate, in the next breath denounce people they disagree with in the most extravagant and violent terms. This suggests they don’t fundamentally accept the legitimacy of disagreement. They want civility among people who broadly share their world view and silence from everyone else.

There are countless Australian examples.

Nick Cater on Monday on this page pointed to Kevin Rudd’s new volume of memoirs in which Rudd claims he wanted to “restore civility to our national discourse” and then describes Tony Abbott as “borderline violent”, without a skerrick of evidence or justification, and a “professional hater”.

Benjamin Law in the same-sex marriage debate famously joked that perhaps he would “hate-f..k” Coalition politicians to convince them of the proposal’s merits and later justified this gross and violent language by saying he meant it lightheartedly.

Subsequently he was rewarded with more programs on the ABC because apparently when centre-left people use foul and offensive language, it’s OK.

Dirk Moses, a Sydney University history professor, disagreed with me over the proposal from the Ramsay Centre for a course on Western civilisation and concluded, dishonestly and with no basis in fact, that I oppose racial diversity and support the ideas of Anders Breivik, the Norwegian far-right terrorist and mass murderer.

Without pausing to consider whether Moses studies and teaches history with the same extreme indifference to facts, not to mention common sense, which he exhibited in that article, one struggles to find similarly hysterical and dishonest instant rhetorical escalation on the Centre Right.

These are all respectable figures, esteemed in our public culture, who argue for tolerance yet use the most violent, dishonest, uncivil, polarising, emotional and profoundly unfair language about people who disagree with them.

The roots of our political malaise are many. The group decision by many on the Centre Left that anyone who disagrees with them is a monstrous and illegitimate low-life — taken long before Trump came around — is a big part of it.



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, 2018

Why Does the Left Hate Prosperity?

Stephen Moore

Here is Moore's rule of modern-day politics: The better the economy performs under President Donald Trump and the more successes he racks up, the more unhinged the left becomes. It's a near linear relationship. And it goes for media as well.

That's why the monthly jobs announcements and the quarterly GDP reports, like the one released Oct. 26, are the unhappiest days of the year for the Trump haters. News of 3.5 to 4 percent growth and 7 million surplus jobs are the bane of the resistance movement's existence.

So with the economy flying high, the pundits who predicted Trump would shut down the world economy have had to continually invent new reasons that Trump is the worst thing to happen to the United States since typhoid fever.

Consider the latest leftist rant: Trump has moved the GOP to the far right and has hijacked the principles of the Republican Party. Whatever happened, they ask, to the good ol' days when moderates in the GOP used to compromise, cut deals with Ted Kennedy and capitulate?

Liberals want a return to the days when the GOP's standard bearers were people like George H.W. Bush, Bob Michel, Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and most recently, John Kasich.

Think. What do all these Republicans have in common? Losing.

My intention isn't to disparage these men. I have known all of them and respect them all — especially the noble war heroes. Michel was a Republican minority leader beloved by the left for years and years, precisely because he kept the House Republicans where they belonged — in the minority.

It was only when the mean Newt Gingrich "hijacked" the party with a hard-charging conservative political and economic reform agenda that the GOP blasted out the Democrats with dynamite and won the House for the first time in a half-century.

Or consider Bush, Dole, McCain and Romney. They all lost the White House and now are treated as statesmen and political icons. Lovable losers.

Trump's crime is that he's a winner. Which is why the left now pines for, as The New York Times recently put it, "principled Republicans." The party has "lost its way" and abandoned what it stood for. Nicholas Kristof writes in The Times that "sure, there are still many principled individuals left in the party" — by which the left means people who oppose Trump 00 but "as a national institution the Republican Party is hollow."

Wait a minute. Aren't prosperity and opportunity two of the most cherished Republican principles?

What infuriates Trump haters is that he figured out how to win over tens of millions of disaffected working-class voters with an unapologetic "America First" platform. These voters abandoned the union leaders and the party of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders in favor of an agenda of better trade deals, border enforcement, lower taxes, less regulation and more coal, oil and gas jobs.

Trump found the fault line in the Democratic coalition and exploited it like the bombing of Dresden. He persuaded blue-collar workers that they have nothing in common with people like Tom Steyer, radical environmentalists who have taken over the reins of the Democratic Party and want to destroy manufacturing, mining and energy jobs as a sacrifice to the gods of global warming.

Because Trump has taken on the left's sacred cows of political correctness, victimization, open borders and racial preferences, he's labeled a racist, xenophobic, lslamophobic woman-hater.

It turns out though that a whole lot of voters agree with Trump. If Trump is a bigot for articulating his "America First" paradigm, doesn't that mean the millions of formerly Democratic voters who crossed over to vote for Trump must also be narrow-minded and culturally inferior rednecks?

In other words, liberals really do hold the view that blue-collar voters are a gang of "deplorables." Good luck winning back their votes. Ironically, as Democrats complain that Trump's tax cuts only benefit the rich, the wealthiest counties in America overwhelmingly vote Democratic and the poorest counties and states are more likely to vote Republican.

Politics is a contact sport. There aren't many moral victories in politics. And yes, it really all does come down to winning. As two-time winner Bill Clinton used to say, you can't change the country if you don't win.

The problem for the Trump haters, and the reason they are so spitting angry, is that Trump is changing the country for the better. According to a Quinnipiac poll, 7 of 10 voters rate the economy as good or great. Liberals are doubly angry and frustrated because they were so sure he would fail. Perhaps they are the ones who are intellectually inferior.



Sen. Graham To Introduce Legislation To End Birthright Citizenship

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina announced on Tuesday that he will introduce legislation that would end birthright citizenship.

Graham’s announcement comes after President Donald Trump revealed in a recent interview that he was planning to use an executive order to end birthright citizenship.

“Finally, a president willing to take on this absurd policy of birthright citizenship. I’ve always supported comprehensive immigration reform — and at the same time — the elimination of birthright citizenship,” Graham wrote.

This is a major issue, and has already resulted in liberals threatening lawsuits and to challenge the executive order before the Supreme Court.

Congress is out of session until Nov. 13, so the only thing that might happen before the Nov. 6 midterm elections is that the president will sign an executive order.

Getting the measure passed in Congress may prove to be difficult, especially given the partisan divides.

The South Carolina Republican’s legislation to amend the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution would require two-thirds majorities in Congress and it must be ratified by three-quarters of the states.

Graham’s proposed measure is in response to Trump announcing on Monday to Axios on HBO that he would pursue an executive order to outlaw birthright citizenship just before the midterms.

“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t. You can definitely do it with an act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order…We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States…with all of those benefits. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”

As detailed by The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro, his executive order will undoubtedly be challenged by the lower courts and more than likely make its way to the Supreme Court — which currently has a 5-4 conservative slant.

The issue at hand is the interpretation of the 14th Amendment, which states: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

The key phrase here is “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”

Here’s what Ilya Shapiro of CATO Institute points out:

That phrase was originally written to exclude the children of Native American tribes from American citizenship – since those children were subject to the jurisdiction of Native American governance – as well as the children of foreign diplomats and soldiers from abroad fighting on American land. The amendment was specifically written in order to guarantee the citizenship of freed slaves and their children, in order to abrogate the Supreme Court’s despicable Dred Scott ruling. Senator Jacob Howard (R-MI) explained the purpose of the “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” provision:

“This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States.”



Politicizing and Profiting on Hate: From Fake Bomb Threats to Slaughtering Innocents

Last Friday, Cesar Sayoc, a bankrupt Democrat-hating sociopath criminal living in a van plastered with pro-Trump and anti-Democrat stickers, was arrested in Florida. He is the prime suspect who sent what I noted Thursday were hoax mail bomb packages to 14 Democrat notables. As I wrote, “Given the amateurish construction, packaging, and delivery method, tracking down the threat package maker(s) will be swift.” And it was.

I also noted, “To be clear, whether or not these devices were intended to detonate or disrupt, this is, by definition, an act of terrorism [as was] the case with the envelopes laced with the deadly toxin ricin, sent to the Pentagon and White House three weeks ago.” However, I have confirmed those “bombs” were inert, and it is curious that there has been no confirmation the mail packages a hoax intended to make headlines.

Tragically, over the weekend, there was hateful bloodshed. A self-styled neo-Nazi sociopath, Robert Bowers, murdered 11 mostly elderly innocents during a bris ceremony at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Six people were wounded, including four police officers.

According to confirmed reports, Bowers was inspired, in part, because Donald Trump is the most PRO-Israel president since Ronald Reagan. As you recall, Trump hired prominent Jewish people for his administration, he has Jewish family, and last May Trump boldly made good on a 23-year-old American commitment to move our embassy to Jerusalem.

Bowers reportedly yelled, “All Jews must die!” as he entered the synagogue, reminiscent of the much more frequently heard declaration “Allahu Akbar” when Islamists are slaughtering innocents.

The leftist publication Slate declared, “Bowers made his hatred of Trump clear” — he believed “Trump was under the control of Jews, who are out to destroy Western civilization.” Reuters reported that Bowers “is a registered voter with ‘no affiliation’ who took aim [at] Donald Trump, accusing him of being a ‘globalist’ who did nothing to stop the ‘infestation’ of the United States by Jews.”

“Trump is a globalist, not a nationalist,” Bowers wrote on his social-media page prior to the assault. “There is no #MAGA as long as there is a kike infestation.” He also wrote, “For the record, I did not vote for him nor have I owned, worn or even touched a MAGA hat.”

Trump responded to the attack: “This evil anti-Semitic attack is an assault on all of us. It’s an assault on humanity. It will require all of us working together to extract the hateful poison of anti-Semitism from the world.”

Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer praised Trump’s condemnation of anti-Semitism, saying, “I’ve been following anti-Semitism all of my adult life. I have never heard a stronger statement than the statement the president of the United States made yesterday.” Dermer added, “One of the reasons why anti-Semitism hits the president close to home; his family — his daughter and his son-in-law, his grandchildren — are Jewish.”

Asked if he blamed anyone other than the assailant, Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers said he did not: “Hate does not know religion, race, creed, political party. It’s not a political issue in any way, shape, or form. Hate does not know any of those things.” Despite inflammatory reports to the contrary, when asked if the president would be welcome at his synagogue, Myers responded, “The President of the United States is always welcome. I am a citizen, he is my president. He is always welcome.”

There are on average more than 40 homicides every day in America, disproportionately black-on-black attacks in Democrat-controlled urban centers — the direct result of generations of leftist social policies. And those murder rates continue to rise because of those policies.

But the mass murder of a group of 11 people who have no connection to drug or gang violence, innocents targeted solely because of their faith, should inspire profound and universal righteous indignation in all of us. It should be one of those moments when we come together as a nation to universally condemn such hatred.

That notwithstanding, predictably, before the blood of these precious souls was dry, leftist politicos and their Leftmedia outlets were scheming how to politicize and profiteer from this tragedy. Unfortunately, all the Left has to offer is a platform of fear, hate, and division.“ Typical of those responses was that from former DNC chairman Howard Dean, who declared: "This has now become a struggle about good versus evil. And the President of the United States is evil.”

Beyond the knee-jerk calls for gun control, two political narratives have emerged about the Pittsburgh assailant’s motives.

First is that he is a “right wing” neo-Nazi.

This characterization is correct, except for the commonly misunderstood “right wing” part. Today’s Democrat socialists don’t object to the increasingly violent so-called “antifa movement” of self-proclaimed anti-fascist fascists, but they like to claim that sociopathic Nazis and other seditionist and anarchist groups are “right wing.” That may fit nicely into their politicized sound bites, but seditionists and anarchists, whose primary political goal is to overthrow our government, are by definition “leftist.”

That being said, there is no question that Bowers’s hatred was inspired by Nazism and the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

The second political/MSM narrative is an attempt to pivot the motive for his violence to the approaching “caravasion,” the caravan of migrants organized and supported by leftist groups. They are now passing through Mexico, intent on forcing their way across the U.S. border — which is an invasion, despite the fact that most of these migrants are opportunists looking to better their lives. The MSM points to a recent post by Bowers claiming HIAS, a Jewish refugee agency, is behind the march. According to Bowers’s deluded perspective, “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”

But again, this is not rooted in Bowers’s concern about migrants; it is rooted in his anti-Semitic delusion that the organization of the caravan is a Jewish conspiracy.

Both of these narratives more closely reflect the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Democrat Party allies, including anti-semite leaders of the “Women’s March,” Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour. Nor would they share a stage with consummate Nation of Islam founder Louis Farrakhan, as Bill Clinton recently did.

Regarding Farrakhan, who recently compared Jews to “termites,” John Kass wrote in the Chicago Tribune, “Few if any Democratic voices are being raised against Farrakhan. The Congressional Black Caucus certainly won’t condemn him. And white Democrats aren’t demanding condemnation either. They don’t want to risk losing votes. This silence is dangerous.”

In fact, if Democrats were really concerned about anti-semitism, they would not have made his friend, Islamic Rep. Keith Ellison, Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Currently, Bowers has been charged with numerous federal crimes, including 11 counts of Obstruction of Exercise of Religious Beliefs Resulting in Death, 11 counts of Use of a Firearm to Commit Murder During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence, and four counts of Obstruction of Exercise of Religious Beliefs Resulting in Bodily Injury to a Public Safety Officer.

President Trump and federal prosecutors are calling for his execution if found guilty. The Left will likely object…

A final note on the hate profiteers, those other than the MSM profiteers whose market share and ad revenues depend on sensationalism. As I anticipated when first hearing about the Bowers assault Saturday, within hours, a reflexive fundraising response hit my inbox from the left-wing SPLC, the nation’s most profitable hate-hustling “civil rights” group. In its fundraising “special edition,” the SPLC regurgitated more of its leftist rhetoric.

SPLC has an “endowment” of $320 million and in the most recent year of record, the organization listed revenue in excess of $58 million. So my question for the SPLC: The Pittsburgh assailant had a long history of racist rhetoric and activities — did the SPLC spend one dime of its endowment and revenues identifying this hater and reporting him to law enforcement authorities? Of course 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)


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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.

Leftists are wolves in sheep's clothing

Liberals are people who don't believe in liberty

Because they claim to have all the answers to society's ills, Communists often seem "cool" to young people

German has a word that describes most Leftists well: "Scheinheilig" - A person who appears to be very kind, soft natured, and filled with pure goodness but behind the facade, has a vile nature. He is seemingly holy but is an unscrupulous person on the inside.

The new faith is very oppressive: Leftist orthodoxy is the new dominant religion of the Western world and it is every bit as bigoted and oppressive as Christianity was at its worst

There are two varieties of authoritarian Leftism. Fascists are soft Leftists, preaching one big happy family -- "Better together" in other words. Communists are hard Leftists, preaching class war.

Equality: The nonsensical and incoherent claim that underlies so much Leftist discourse is "all men are equal". And that is the envier's gospel. It makes not a scrap of sense and shows no contact with reality but it is something that enviers resort to as a way of soothing their envious feelings. They deny the very differences that give them so much heartburn. "Denial" was long ago identified by Freud as a maladaptive psychological defence mechanism and "All men are equal" is a prize example of that. Whatever one thinks of his theories, Freud was undoubtedly an acute observer of people and very few psychologists today would doubt the maladaptive nature of denial as described by Freud.

Socialism is the most evil malady ever to afflict the human brain. The death toll in WWII alone tells you that

The standard response from Marxist apologists for Stalin and other Communist dictators is to say you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. To which Orwell retorted, ‘Where’s the omelette?’

You do still occasionally see some mention of the old idea that Leftist parties represent the worker. In the case of the U.S. Democrats that is long gone. Now they want to REFORM the worker. No wonder most working class Americans these days vote Republican. Democrats are the party of the minorities and the smug

"The tendency of liberals is to create bodies of men and women — of all classes — detached from tradition, alienated from religion, and susceptible to mass suggestion — mob rule. And a mob will be no less a mob if it is well fed, well clothed, well housed, and well disciplined." —T.S. Eliot

We live in a country where the people own the Government and not in a country where the Government owns the people -- Churchill

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

Chesteron's fence -- good conservative thinking

"The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley"[go oft astray] is a well known line from a famous poem by the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns. But the next line is even wiser: "And leave us nought but grief and pain for promised joy". Burns was a Leftist of sorts so he knew how often their theories fail badly.

Mostly, luck happens when opportunity meets preparation.

Most Leftist claims are simply propaganda. Those who utter such claims must know that they are not telling the whole story. Hitler described his Marxist adversaries as "lying with a virtuosity that would bend iron beams". At the risk of ad hominem shrieks, I think that image is too good to remain disused.

Conservatives adapt to the world they live in. Leftists want to change the world to suit themselves

Given their dislike of the world they live in, it would be a surprise if Leftists were patriotic and loved their own people. Prominent English Leftist politician Jack Straw probably said it best: "The English as a race are not worth saving"

In his 1888 book, The Anti-Christ Friedrich Nietzsche argues that we should treat the common man well and kindly because he is the backdrop against which the exceptional man can be seen. So Nietzsche deplores those who agitate the common man: "Whom do I hate most among the rabble of today? The socialist rabble, the chandala [outcast] apostles, who undermine the instinct, the pleasure, the worker's sense of satisfaction with his small existence—who make him envious, who teach him revenge. The source of wrong is never unequal rights but the claim of “equal” rights"

Why do conservatives respect tradition and rely on the past in many ways? Because they want to know what works and the past is the chief source of evidence on that. Leftists are more faith-based. They cling to their theories (e.g. global warming) with religious fervour, even though theories are often wrong

Thinking that you "know best" is an intrinsically precarious and foolish stance -- because nobody does. Reality is so complex and unpredictable that it can rarely be predicted far ahead. Conservatives can see that and that is why conservatives always want change to be done gradually, in a step by step way. So the Leftist often finds the things he "knows" to be out of step with reality, which challenges him and his ego. Sadly, rather than abandoning the things he "knows", he usually resorts to psychological defence mechanisms such as denial and projection. He is largely impervious to argument because he has to be. He can't afford to let reality in.

A prize example of the Leftist tendency to projection (seeing your own faults in others) is the absurd Robert "Bob" Altemeyer, an acclaimed psychologist and father of a Canadian Leftist politician. Altemeyer claims that there is no such thing as Leftist authoritarianism and that it is conservatives who are "Enemies of Freedom". That Leftists (e.g. Mrs Obama) are such enemies of freedom that they even want to dictate what people eat has apparently passed Altemeyer by. Even Stalin did not go that far. And there is the little fact that all the great authoritarian regimes of the 20th century (Stalin, Hitler and Mao) were socialist. Freud saw reliance on defence mechanisms such as projection as being maladjusted. It is difficult to dispute that. Altemeyer is too illiterate to realize it but he is actually a good Hegelian. Hegel thought that "true" freedom was marching in step with a Left-led herd.

What libertarian said this? “The bureaucracy is a parasite on the body of society, a parasite which ‘chokes’ all its vital pores…The state is a parasitic organism”. It was VI Lenin, in August 1917, before he set up his own vastly bureaucratic state. He could see the problem but had no clue about how to solve it.

It was Democrat John F Kennedy who cut taxes and declared that “a rising tide lifts all boats"

Leftist stupidity is a special class of stupidity. The people concerned are mostly not stupid in general but they have a character defect (mostly arrogance) that makes them impatient with complexity and unwilling to study it. So in their policies they repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot; They fail to attain their objectives. The world IS complex so a simplistic approach to it CANNOT work.

Seminal Leftist philosopher, G.W.F. Hegel said something that certainly applies to his fellow Leftists: "We learn from history that we do not learn from history". And he captured the Left in this saying too: "Evil resides in the very gaze which perceives Evil all around itself".

"A man who is not a socialist at age 20 has no heart; A man who is still a socialist at age 30 has no head". Who said that? Most people attribute it to Winston but as far as I can tell it was first said by Georges Clemenceau, French Premier in WWI -- whose own career approximated the transition concerned. And he in turn was probably updating an earlier saying about monarchy versus Republicanism by Guizot. Other attributions here. There is in fact a normal drift from Left to Right as people get older. Both Reagan and Churchill started out as liberals

Funny how to the Leftist intelligentsia poor blacks are 'oppressed' and poor whites are 'trash'. Racism, anyone?

MESSAGE to Leftists: Even if you killed all conservatives tomorrow, you would just end up in another Soviet Union. Conservatives are all that stand between you and that dismal fate. And you may not even survive at all. Stalin killed off all the old Bolsheviks.

A Conservative manifesto from England -- The inimitable Jacob Rees-Mogg


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)

Just the name of Hitler's political party should be sufficient to reject the claim that Hitler was "Right wing" but Leftists sometimes retort that the name "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" is not informative, in that it is the name of a dismal Stalinist tyranny. But "People's Republic" is a normal name for a Communist country whereas I know of no conservative political party that calls itself a "Socialist Worker's Party". Such parties are in fact usually of the extreme Left (Trotskyite etc.)

Most people find the viciousness of the Nazis to be incomprehensible -- for instance what they did in their concentration camps. But you just have to read a little of the vileness that pours out from modern-day "liberals" in their Twitter and blog comments to understand it all very well. Leftists haven't changed. They are still boiling with hate

Hatred as a motivating force for political strategy leads to misguided ­decisions. “Hatred is blind,” as Alexandre Dumas warned, “rage carries you away; and he who pours out vengeance runs the risk of tasting a bitter draught.”

Who said this in 1968? "I am not, and never have been, a man of the right. My position was on the Left and is now in the centre of politics". It was Sir Oswald Mosley, founder and leader of the British Union of Fascists

The term "Fascism" is mostly used by the Left as a brainless term of abuse. But when they do make a serious attempt to define it, they produce very complex and elaborate definitions -- e.g. here and here. In fact, Fascism is simply extreme socialism plus nationalism. But great gyrations are needed to avoid mentioning the first part of that recipe, of course.

Three examples of Leftist racism below (much more here and here):

Jesse Owens, the African-American hero of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, said "Hitler didn't snub me – it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn't even send me a telegram." Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt never even invited the quadruple gold medal-winner to the White House

Beatrice Webb, a founder of the London School of Economics and the Fabian Society, and married to a Labour MP, mused in 1922 on whether when English children were "dying from lack of milk", one should extend "the charitable impulse" to Russian and Chinese children who, if saved this year, might anyway die next. Besides, she continued, there was "the larger question of whether those races are desirable inhabitants" and "obviously" one wouldn't "spend one's available income" on "a Central African negro".

Hugh Dalton, offered the Colonial Office during Attlee's 1945-51 Labour government, turned it down because "I had a horrid vision of pullulating, poverty stricken, diseased nigger communities, for whom one can do nothing in the short run and who, the more one tries to help them, are querulous and ungrateful."

The Zimmerman case is an excellent proof that the Left is deep-down racist

Defensible and indefensible usages of the term "racism"

The book, The authoritarian personality, authored by T.W. Adorno et al. in 1950, has been massively popular among psychologists. It claims that a set of ideas that were popular in the "Progressive"-dominated America of the prewar era were "authoritarian". Leftist regimes always are authoritarian so that claim was not a big problem. What was quite amazing however is that Adorno et al. identified such ideas as "conservative". They were in fact simply popular ideas of the day but ones that had been most heavily promoted by the Left right up until the then-recent WWII. See here for details of prewar "Progressive" thinking.

Leftist psychologists have an amusingly simplistic conception of military organizations and military men. They seem to base it on occasions they have seen troops marching together on parade rather than any real knowledge of military men and the military life. They think that military men are "rigid" -- automatons who are unable to adjust to new challenges or think for themselves. What is incomprehensible to them is that being kadaver gehorsam (to use the extreme Prussian term for following orders) actually requires great flexibility -- enough flexibility to put your own ideas and wishes aside and do something very difficult. Ask any soldier if all commands are easy to obey.

It would be very easy for me to say that I am too much of an individual for the army but I did in fact join the army and enjoy it greatly, as most men do. In my observation, ALL army men are individuals. It is just that they accept discipline in order to be militarily efficient -- which is the whole point of the exercise. But that's too complex for simplistic Leftist thinking, of course

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a war criminal. Both British and American codebreakers had cracked the Japanese naval code so FDR knew what was coming at Pearl Harbor. But for his own political reasons he warned no-one there. So responsibility for the civilian and military deaths at Pearl Harbor lies with FDR as well as with the Japanese. The huge firepower available at Pearl Harbor, both aboard ship and on land, could have largely neutered the attack. Can you imagine 8 battleships and various lesser craft firing all their AA batteries as the Japanese came in? The Japanese naval airforce would have been annihilated and the war would have been over before it began.

FDR prolonged the Depression. He certainly didn't cure it.

WWII did NOT end the Great Depression. It just concealed it. It in fact made living standards worse

FDR appointed a known KKK member, Hugo Black, to the Supreme Court

Joe McCarthy was eventually proved right after the fall of the Soviet Union. To accuse anyone of McCarthyism is to accuse them of accuracy!

The KKK was intimately associated with the Democratic party. They ATTACKED Republicans!

High Level of Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrants in the USA. Low skill immigrants receive 4 to 5 dollars of benefits for every dollar in taxes paid

People who mention differences in black vs. white IQ are these days almost universally howled down and subjected to the most extreme abuse. I am a psychometrician, however, so I feel obliged to defend the scientific truth of the matter: The average African adult has about the same IQ as an average white 11-year-old and African Americans (who are partly white in ancestry) average out at a mental age of 14. The American Psychological Association is generally Left-leaning but it is the world's most prestigious body of academic psychologists. And even they have had to concede that sort of gap (one SD) in black vs. white average IQ. 11-year olds can do a lot of things but they also have their limits and there are times when such limits need to be allowed for.

The heritability of general cognitive ability increases linearly from childhood to young adulthood

The association between high IQ and long life is overwhelmingly genetic: "In the combined sample the genetic contribution to the covariance was 95%"

The Dark Ages were not dark

Judged by his deeds, Abraham Lincoln was one of the bloodiest villains ever to walk the Earth. See here. And: America's uncivil war was caused by trade protectionism. The slavery issue was just camouflage, as Abraham Lincoln himself admitted. See also here

At the beginning of the North/South War, Confederate general Robert E. Lee did not own any slaves. Union General Ulysses L. Grant did.

Was slavery already washed up by the tides of history before Lincoln took it on? Eric Williams in his book "Capitalism and Slavery" tells us: “The commercial capitalism of the eighteenth century developed the wealth of Europe by means of slavery and monopoly. But in so doing it helped to create the industrial capitalism of the nineteenth century, which turned round and destroyed the power of commercial capitalism, slavery, and all its works. Without a grasp of these economic changes the history of the period is meaningless.”

Revolutionary terrorists in Russia killed Tsar Alexander II in 1881 (after three prior assassination attempts). Alexander II was a great reformer who abolished serfdom one year before the US abolished slavery. If his democratic and economic reforms had continued, Russia may have been much less radical politically a couple of decades later, when Nicholas II was overthrown.

Did William Zantzinger kill poor Hattie Carroll?

Did Bismarck predict where WWI would start or was it just a "free" translation by Churchill?

Conrad Black on the Declaration of Independence

Malcolm Gladwell: "There is more of reality and wisdom in a Chinese fortune cookie than can be found anywhere in Gladwell’s pages"

Some people are born bad -- confirmed by genetics research

The dark side of American exceptionalism: America could well be seen as the land of folly. It fought two unnecessary civil wars, would have done well to keep out of two world wars, endured the extraordinary folly of Prohibition and twice elected a traitor President -- Barack Obama. That America remains a good place to be is a tribute to the energy and hard work of individual Americans.

“From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time.” ? Friedrich Hayek, The Constitution Of Liberty


The 10 "cannots" (By William J. H. Boetcker) that Leftist politicians ignore:
*You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
* You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
* You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
* You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
* You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
* You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
* You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
* You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
* You cannot build character and courage by destroying men's initiative and independence.
* And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

A good short definition of conservative: "One who wants you to keep your hand out of his pocket."

Beware of good intentions. They mostly lead to coercion

A gargantuan case of hubris, coupled with stunning level of ignorance about how the real world works, is the essence of progressivism.

The U.S. Constitution is neither "living" nor dead. It is fixed until it is amended. But amending it is the privilege of the people, not of politicians or judges

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong - Thomas Sowell

Leftists think that utopia can be coerced into existence -- so no dishonesty or brutality is beyond them in pursuit of that "noble" goal

"England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution" -- George Orwell

Was 16th century science pioneer Paracelsus a libertarian? His motto was "Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest" which means "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself."

"When using today's model of society as a rule, most of history will be found to be full of oppression, bias, and bigotry." What today's arrogant judges of history fail to realize is that they, too, will be judged. What will Americans of 100 years from now make of, say, speech codes, political correctness, and zero tolerance - to name only three? Assuming, of course, there will still be an America that we, today, would recognize. Given the rogue Federal government spy apparatus, I am not at all sure of that. -- Paul Havemann

Economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973): "The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office."

It's the shared hatred of the rest of us that unites Islamists and the Left.

American liberals don't love America. They despise it. All they love is their own fantasy of what America could become. They are false patriots.

The Democratic Party: Con-men elected by the ignorant and the arrogant

The Democratic Party is a strange amalgam of elites, would-be elites and minorities. No wonder their policies are so confused and irrational

Why are conservatives more at ease with religion? Because it is basic to conservatism that some things are unknowable, and religious people have to accept that too. Leftists think that they know it all and feel threatened by any exceptions to that. Thinking that you know it all is however the pride that comes before a fall.

The characteristic emotion of the Leftist is not envy. It's rage

Leftists are committed to grievance, not truth

The British Left poured out a torrent of hate for Margaret Thatcher on the occasion of her death. She rescued Britain from chaos and restored Britain's prosperity. What's not to hate about that?

Something you didn't know about Margaret Thatcher

The world's dumbest investor? Without doubt it is Uncle Sam. Nobody anywhere could rival the scale of the losses on "investments" made under the Obama administration

"Behind the honeyed but patently absurd pleas for equality is a ruthless drive for placing themselves (the elites) at the top of a new hierarchy of power" -- Murray Rothbard - Egalitarianism and the Elites (1995)

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. -- G. Gordon Liddy

"World socialism as a whole, and all the figures associated with it, are shrouded in legend; its contradictions are forgotten or concealed; it does not respond to arguments but continually ignores them--all this stems from the mist of irrationality that surrounds socialism and from its instinctive aversion to scientific analysis... The doctrines of socialism seethe with contradictions, its theories are at constant odds with its practice, yet due to a powerful instinct these contradictions do not in the least hinder the unending propaganda of socialism. Indeed, no precise, distinct socialism even exists; instead there is only a vague, rosy notion of something noble and good, of equality, communal ownership, and justice: the advent of these things will bring instant euphoria and a social order beyond reproach." -- Solzhenitsyn

"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." -- Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NIV)

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. -- Thomas Jefferson

"Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power" -- Bertrand Russell

Evan Sayet: The Left sides "...invariably with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success." (t=5:35+ on video)

The Republicans are the gracious side of American politics. It is the Democrats who are the nasty party, the haters

Wanting to stay out of the quarrels of other nations is conservative -- but conservatives will fight if attacked or seriously endangered. Anglo/Irish statesman Lord Castlereagh (1769-1822), who led the political coalition that defeated Napoleon, was an isolationist, as were traditional American conservatives.

Some wisdom from the past: "The bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent and respectable stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment." —George Washington, 1783

Some useful definitions:

If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one. If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat. If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.
If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels. Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.
If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church. A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced. (Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)
If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

There is better evidence for creation than there is for the Leftist claim that “gender” is a “social construct”. Most Leftist claims seem to be faith-based rather than founded on the facts

Leftists are classic weak characters. They dish out abuse by the bucketload but cannot take it when they get it back. Witness the Loughner hysteria.

Death taxes: You would expect a conscientious person, of whatever degree of intelligence, to reflect on the strange contradiction involved in denying people the right to unearned wealth, while supporting programs that give people unearned wealth.

America is no longer the land of the free. It is now the land of the regulated -- though it is not alone in that, of course

The Leftist motto: "I love humanity. It's just people I can't stand"

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

Envy is a strong and widespread human emotion so there has alway been widespread support for policies of economic "levelling". Both the USA and the modern-day State of Israel were founded by communists but reality taught both societies that respect for the individual gave much better outcomes than levelling ideas. Sadly, there are many people in both societies in whom hatred for others is so strong that they are incapable of respect for the individual. The destructiveness of what they support causes them to call themselves many names in different times and places but they are the backbone of the political Left

Gore Vidal: "Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little". Vidal was of course a Leftist

The large number of rich Leftists suggests that, for them, envy is secondary. They are directly driven by hatred and scorn for many of the other people that they see about them. Hatred of others can be rooted in many things, not only in envy. But the haters come together as the Left. Some evidence here showing that envy is not what defines the Left

Leftists hate the world around them and want to change it: the people in it most particularly. Conservatives just want to be left alone to make their own decisions and follow their own values.

The failure of the Soviet experiment has definitely made the American Left more vicious and hate-filled than they were. The plain failure of what passed for ideas among them has enraged rather than humbled them.

Ronald Reagan famously observed that the status quo is Latin for “the mess we’re in.” So much for the vacant Leftist claim that conservatives are simply defenders of the status quo. They think that conservatives are as lacking in principles as they are.

Was Confucius a conservative? The following saying would seem to reflect good conservative caution: "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved."

The shallow thinkers of the Left sometimes claim that conservatives want to impose their own will on others in the matter of abortion. To make that claim is however to confuse religion with politics. Conservatives are in fact divided about their response to abortion. The REAL opposition to abortion is religious rather than political. And the church which has historically tended to support the LEFT -- the Roman Catholic church -- is the most fervent in the anti-abortion cause. Conservatives are indeed the one side of politics to have moral qualms on the issue but they tend to seek a middle road in dealing with it. Taking the issue to the point of legal prohibitions is a religious doctrine rather than a conservative one -- and the religion concerned may or may not be characteristically conservative. More on that here

Some Leftist hatred arises from the fact that they blame "society" for their own personal problems and inadequacies

The Leftist hunger for change to the society that they hate leads to a hunger for control over other people. And they will do and say anything to get that control: "Power at any price". Leftist politicians are mostly self-aggrandizing crooks who gain power by deceiving the uninformed with snake-oil promises -- power which they invariably use to destroy. Destruction is all that they are good at. Destruction is what haters do.

Leftists are consistent only in their hate. They don't have principles. How can they when "there is no such thing as right and wrong"? All they have is postures, pretend-principles that can be changed as easily as one changes one's shirt

A Leftist assumption: Making money doesn't entitle you to it, but wanting money does.

"Politicians never accuse you of 'greed' for wanting other people's money -- only for wanting to keep your own money." --columnist Joe Sobran (1946-2010)

Leftist policies are candy-coated rat poison that may appear appealing at first, but inevitably do a lot of damage to everyone impacted by them.

A tribute and thanks to Mary Jo Kopechne. Her death was reprehensible but she probably did more by her death that she ever would have in life: She spared the world a President Ted Kennedy. That the heap of corruption that was Ted Kennedy died peacefully in his bed is one of the clearest demonstrations that we do not live in a just world. Even Joe Stalin seems to have been smothered to death by Nikita Khrushchev

I often wonder why Leftists refer to conservatives as "wingnuts". A wingnut is a very useful device that adds versatility wherever it is used. Clearly, Leftists are not even good at abuse. Once they have accused their opponents of racism and Nazism, their cupboard is bare. Similarly, Leftists seem to think it is a devastating critique to refer to "Worldnet Daily" as "Worldnut Daily". The poverty of their argumentation is truly pitiful

The Leftist assertion that there is no such thing as right and wrong has a distinguished history. It was Pontius Pilate who said "What is truth?" (John 18:38). From a Christian viewpoint, the assertion is undoubtedly the Devil's gospel

Even in the Old Testament they knew about "Postmodernism": "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

Was Solomon the first conservative? "The hearts of men are full of evil and madness is in their hearts" -- Ecclesiastes: 9:3 (RSV). He could almost have been talking about Global Warming.

Leftist hatred of Christianity goes back as far as the massacre of the Carmelite nuns during the French revolution. Yancey has written a whole book tabulating modern Leftist hatred of Christians. It is a rival religion to Leftism.

"If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action." - Ludwig von Mises

The naive scholar who searches for a consistent Leftist program will not find it. What there is consists only in the negation of the present.

Because of their need to be different from the mainstream, Leftists are very good at pretending that sow's ears are silk purses

Among intelligent people, Leftism is a character defect. Leftists HATE success in others -- which is why notably successful societies such as the USA and Israel are hated and failures such as the Palestinians can do no wrong.

A Leftist's beliefs are all designed to pander to his ego. So when you have an argument with a Leftist, you are not really discussing the facts. You are threatening his self esteem. Which is why the normal Leftist response to challenge is mere abuse.

Because of the fragility of a Leftist's ego, anything that threatens it is intolerable and provokes rage. So most Leftist blogs can be summarized in one sentence: "How DARE anybody question what I believe!". Rage and abuse substitute for an appeal to facts and reason.

Because their beliefs serve their ego rather than reality, Leftists just KNOW what is good for us. Conservatives need evidence.

Absolute certainty is the privilege of uneducated men and fanatics. -- C.J. Keyser

Hell is paved with good intentions" -- Boswell's Life of Johnson of 1775

"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus


"Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him" (Proverbs 26: 12). I think that sums up Leftists pretty well.

Eminent British astrophysicist Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington is often quoted as saying: "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine." It was probably in fact said by his contemporary, J.B.S. Haldane. But regardless of authorship, it could well be a conservative credo not only about the cosmos but also about human beings and human society. Mankind is too complex to be summed up by simple rules and even complex rules are only approximations with many exceptions.

Politics is the only thing Leftists know about. They know nothing of economics, history or business. Their only expertise is in promoting feelings of grievance

Socialism makes the individual the slave of the state -- capitalism frees them.

Many readers here will have noticed that what I say about Leftists sometimes sounds reminiscent of what Leftists say about conservatives. There is an excellent reason for that. Leftists are great "projectors" (people who see their own faults in others). So a good first step in finding out what is true of Leftists is to look at what they say about conservatives! They even accuse conservatives of projection (of course).

The research shows clearly that one's Left/Right stance is strongly genetically inherited but nobody knows just what specifically is inherited. What is inherited that makes people Leftist or Rightist? There is any amount of evidence that personality traits are strongly genetically inherited so my proposal is that hard-core Leftists are people who tend to let their emotions (including hatred and envy) run away with them and who are much more in need of seeing themselves as better than others -- two attributes that are probably related to one another. Such Leftists may be an evolutionary leftover from a more primitive past.

Leftists seem to believe that if someone like Al Gore says it, it must be right. They obviously have a strong need for an authority figure. The fact that the two most authoritarian regimes of the 20th century (Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia) were socialist is thus no surprise. Leftists often accuse conservatives of being "authoritarian" but that is just part of their usual "projective" strategy -- seeing in others what is really true of themselves.

"With their infernal racial set-asides, racial quotas, and race norming, liberals share many of the Klan's premises. The Klan sees the world in terms of race and ethnicity. So do liberals! Indeed, liberals and white supremacists are the only people left in America who are neurotically obsessed with race. Conservatives champion a color-blind society" -- Ann Coulter

Politicians are in general only a little above average in intelligence so the idea that they can make better decisions for us that we can make ourselves is laughable

A quote from the late Dr. Adrian Rogers: "You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

The Supreme Court of the United States is now and always has been a judicial abomination. Its guiding principles have always been political rather than judicial. It is not as political as Stalin's courts but its respect for the constitution is little better. Some recent abuses: The "equal treatment" provision of the 14th amendment was specifically written to outlaw racial discrimination yet the court has allowed various forms of "affirmative action" for decades -- when all such policies should have been completely stuck down immediately. The 2nd. amendment says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed yet gun control laws infringe it in every State in the union. The 1st amendment provides that speech shall be freely exercised yet the court has upheld various restrictions on the financing and display of political advertising. The court has found a right to abortion in the constitution when the word abortion is not even mentioned there. The court invents rights that do not exist and denies rights that do.

"Some action that is unconstitutional has much to recommend it" -- Elena Kagan, nominated to SCOTUS by Obama

Frank Sulloway, the anti-scientist

The basic aim of all bureaucrats is to maximize their funding and minimize their workload

A lesson in Australian: When an Australian calls someone a "big-noter", he is saying that the person is a chronic and rather pathetic seeker of admiration -- as in someone who often pulls out "big notes" (e.g. $100.00 bills) to pay for things, thus endeavouring to create the impression that he is rich. The term describes the mentality rather than the actual behavior with money and it aptly describes many Leftists. When they purport to show "compassion" by advocating things that cost themselves nothing (e.g. advocating more taxes on "the rich" to help "the poor"), an Australian might say that the Leftist is "big-noting himself". There is an example of the usage here. The term conveys contempt. There is a wise description of Australians generally here

Some ancient wisdom for Leftists: "Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself over wise: Why shouldest thou die before thy time?" -- Ecclesiastes 7:16

Jesse Jackson: "There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery -- then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved." There ARE important racial differences.

Some Jimmy Carter wisdom: "I think it's inevitable that there will be a lower standard of living than what everybody had always anticipated," he told advisers in 1979. "there's going to be a downward turning."

Heritage is what survives death: Very rare and hence very valuable

Big business is not your friend. As Adam Smith said: "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty or justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary

How can I accept the Communist doctrine, which sets up as its bible, above and beyond criticism, an obsolete textbook which I know not only to be scientifically erroneous but without interest or application to the modern world? How can I adopt a creed which, preferring the mud to the fish, exalts the boorish proletariat above the bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia, who with all their faults, are the quality of life and surely carry the seeds of all human achievement? Even if we need a religion, how can we find it in the turbid rubbish of the red bookshop? It is hard for an educated, decent, intelligent son of Western Europe to find his ideals here, unless he has first suffered some strange and horrid process of conversion which has changed all his values. -- John Maynard Keynes

Some wisdom from "Bron" Waugh: "The purpose of politics is to help them [politicians] overcome these feelings of inferiority and compensate for their personal inadequacies in the pursuit of power"

"There are countless horrible things happening all over the country, and horrible people prospering, but we must never allow them to disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to sabotage and annoy them whenever possible"

The urge to pass new laws must be seen as an illness, not much different from the urge to bite old women. Anyone suspected of suffering from it should either be treated with the appropriate pills or, if it is too late for that, elected to Parliament [or Congress, as the case may be] and paid a huge salary with endless holidays, to do nothing whatever"

"It is my settled opinion, after some years as a political correspondent, that no one is attracted to a political career in the first place unless he is socially or emotionally crippled"

Two lines below of a famous hymn that would be incomprehensible to Leftists today ("honor"? "right"? "freedom?" Freedom to agree with them is the only freedom they believe in)

First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean

It is of course the hymn of the USMC -- still today the relentless warriors that they always were. Freedom needs a soldier

If any of the short observations above about Leftism seem wrong, note that they do not stand alone. The evidence for them is set out at great length in my MONOGRAPH on Leftism.

3 memoirs of "Supermac", a 20th century Disraeli (Aristocratic British Conservative Prime Minister -- 1957 to 1963 -- Harold Macmillan):

"It breaks my heart to see (I can't interfere or do anything at my age) what is happening in our country today - this terrible strike of the best men in the world, who beat the Kaiser's army and beat Hitler's army, and never gave in. Pointless, endless. We can't afford that kind of thing. And then this growing division which the noble Lord who has just spoken mentioned, of a comparatively prosperous south, and an ailing north and midlands. That can't go on." -- Mac on the British working class: "the best men in the world" (From his Maiden speech in the House of Lords, 13 November 1984)

"As a Conservative, I am naturally in favour of returning into private ownership and private management all those means of production and distribution which are now controlled by state capitalism"

During Macmillan's time as prime minister, average living standards steadily rose while numerous social reforms were carried out

"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see." --?Arthur Schopenhauer


The Bible is an Israeli book

There is a view on both Left and Right that Jews are "too" influential. And it is true that they are more influential than their numbers would indicate. But they are exactly as influential as their IQs would indicate

To me, hostility to the Jews is a terrible tragedy. I weep for them at times. And I do literally put my money where my mouth is. I do at times send money to Israeli charities

My (Gentile) opinion of antisemitism: The Jews are the best we've got so killing them is killing us.

It’s a strange paradox when anti-Zionists argue that Jews should suffer and wander without a homeland while urging that Palestinians ought to have security and territory.

"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" -- Genesis 12:3

"O pray for the peace of Jerusalem: They shall prosper that love thee" Psalm 122:6.

If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy -- Psalm 137 (NIV)

Israel, like the Jews throughout history, is hated not for her vices but her virtues. Israel is hated, as the United States is hated, because Israel is successful, because Israel is free, and because Israel is good. As Maxim Gorky put it: “Whatever nonsense the anti-Semites may talk, they dislike the Jew only because he is obviously better, more adroit, and more willing and capable of work than they are.” Whether driven by culture or genes—or like most behavior, an inextricable mix—the fact of Jewish genius is demonstrable." -- George Gilder

To Leftist haters, all the basic rules of liberal society — rejection of hate speech, commitment to academic freedom, rooting out racism, the absolute commitment to human dignity — go out the window when the subject is Israel.

I have always liked the story of Gideon (See Judges chapters 6 to 8) and it is surely no surprise that in the present age Israel is the Gideon of nations: Few in numbers but big in power and impact.

Is the Israel Defence Force the most effective military force per capita since Genghis Khan? They probably are but they are also the most ethically advanced military force that the world has ever seen

If I were not an atheist, I would believe that God had a sense of humour. He gave his chosen people (the Jews) enormous advantages -- high intelligence and high drive -- but to keep it fair he deprived them of something hugely important too: Political sense. So Jews to this day tend very strongly to be Leftist -- even though the chief source of antisemitism for roughly the last 200 years has been the political Left!

And the other side of the coin is that Jews tend to despise conservatives and Christians. Yet American fundamentalist Christians are the bedrock of the vital American support for Israel, the ultimate bolthole for all Jews. So Jewish political irrationality seems to be a rather good example of the saying that "The LORD giveth and the LORD taketh away". There are many other examples of such perversity (or "balance"). The sometimes severe side-effects of most pharmaceutical drugs is an obvious one but there is another ethnic example too, a rather amusing one. Chinese people are in general smart and patient people but their rate of traffic accidents in China is about 10 times higher than what prevails in Western societies. They are brilliant mathematicians and fearless business entrepreneurs but at the same time bad drivers!

Conservatives, on the other hand, could be antisemitic on entirely rational grounds: Namely, the overwhelming Leftism of the Diaspora Jewish population as a whole. Because they judge the individual, however, only a tiny minority of conservative-oriented people make such general judgments. The longer Jews continue on their "stiff-necked" course, however, the more that is in danger of changing. The children of Israel have been a stiff necked people since the days of Moses, however, so they will no doubt continue to vote with their emotions rather than their reason.

I despair of the ADL. Jews have enough problems already and yet in the ADL one has a prominent Jewish organization that does its best to make itself offensive to Christians. Their Leftism is more important to them than the welfare of Jewry -- which is the exact opposite of what they ostensibly stand for! Jewish cleverness seems to vanish when politics are involved. Fortunately, Christians are true to their saviour and have loving hearts. Jewish dissatisfaction with the myopia of the ADL is outlined here. Note that Foxy was too grand to reply to it.

Fortunately for America, though, liberal Jews there are rapidly dying out through intermarriage and failure to reproduce. And the quite poisonous liberal Jews of Israel are not much better off. Judaism is slowly returning to Orthodoxy and the Orthodox tend to be conservative.

The above is good testimony to the accuracy of the basic conservative insight that almost anything in human life is too complex to be reduced to any simple rule and too complex to be reduced to any rule at all without allowance for important exceptions to the rule concerned

Amid their many virtues, one virtue is often lacking among Jews in general and Israelis in particular: Humility. And that's an antisemitic comment only if Hashem is antisemitic. From Moses on, the Hebrew prophets repeatedy accused the Israelites of being "stiff-necked" and urged them to repent. So it's no wonder that the greatest Jewish prophet of all -- Jesus -- not only urged humility but exemplified it in his life and death

"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here. For roughly two centuries now, antisemitism has, throughout the Western world, been principally associated with Leftism (including the socialist Hitler) -- as it is to this day. See here.

Karl Marx hated just about everyone. Even his father, the kindly Heinrich Marx, thought Karl was not much of a human being

Leftists call their hatred of Israel "Anti-Zionism" but Zionists are only a small minority in Israel

Some of the Leftist hatred of Israel is motivated by old-fashioned antisemitism (beliefs in Jewish "control" etc.) but most of it is just the regular Leftist hatred of success in others. And because the societies they inhabit do not give them the vast amount of recognition that their large but weak egos need, some of the most virulent haters of Israel and America live in those countries. So the hatred is the product of pathologically high self-esteem.

Their threatened egos sometimes drive Leftists into quite desperate flights from reality. For instance, they often call Israel an "Apartheid state" -- when it is in fact the Arab states that practice Apartheid -- witness the severe restrictions on Christians in Saudi Arabia. There are no such restrictions in Israel.

If the Palestinians put down their weapons, there'd be peace. If the Israelis put down their weapons, there'd be genocide.


Many people hunger and thirst after righteousness. Some find it in the hatreds of the Left. Others find it in the love of Christ. I don't hunger and thirst after righteousness at all. I hunger and thirst after truth. How old-fashioned can you get?

The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody. And I have NO investments in oil companies, mining companies or "Big Pharma"

UPDATE: Despite my (statistical) aversion to mining stocks, I have recently bought a few shares in BHP -- the world's biggest miner, I gather. I run the grave risk of becoming a speaker of famous last words for saying this but I suspect that BHP is now so big as to be largely immune from the risks that plague most mining companies. I also know of no issue affecting BHP where my writings would have any relevance. The Left seem to have a visceral hatred of miners. I have never quite figured out why.

I imagine that few of my readers will understand it, but I am an unabashed monarchist. And, as someone who was born and bred in a monarchy and who still lives there (i.e. Australia), that gives me no conflicts at all. In theory, one's respect for the monarchy does not depend on who wears the crown but the impeccable behaviour of the present Queen does of course help perpetuate that respect. Aside from my huge respect for the Queen, however, my favourite member of the Royal family is the redheaded Prince Harry. The Royal family is of course a military family and Prince Harry is a great example of that. As one of the world's most privileged people, he could well be an idle layabout but instead he loves his life in the army. When his girlfriend Chelsy ditched him because he was so often away, Prince Harry said: "I love Chelsy but the army comes first". A perfect military man! I doubt that many women would understand or approve of his attitude but perhaps my own small army background powers my approval of that attitude.

I imagine that most Americans might find this rather mad -- but I believe that a constitutional Monarchy is the best form of government presently available. Can a libertarian be a Monarchist? I think so -- and prominent British libertarian Sean Gabb seems to think so too! Long live the Queen! (And note that Australia ranks well above the USA on the Index of Economic freedom. Heh!)

The Australian flag with the Union Jack quartered in it

Throughout Europe there is an association between monarchism and conservatism. It is a little sad that American conservatives do not have access to that satisfaction. So even though Australia is much more distant from Europe (geographically) than the USA is, Australia is in some ways more of an outpost of Europe than America is! Mind you: Australia is not very atypical of its region. Australia lies just South of Asia -- and both Japan and Thailand have greatly respected monarchies. And the demise of the Cambodian monarchy was disastrous for Cambodia

Throughout the world today, possession of a U.S. or U.K. passport is greatly valued. I once shared that view. Developments in recent years have however made me profoundly grateful that I am a 5th generation Australian. My Australian passport is a door into a much less oppressive and much less messed-up place than either the USA or Britain

Following the Sotomayor precedent, I would hope that a wise older white man such as myself with the richness of that experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than someone who hasn’t lived that life.

IQ and ideology: Most academics are Left-leaning. Why? Because very bright people who have balls go into business, while very bright people with no balls go into academe. I did both with considerable success, which makes me a considerable rarity. Although I am a born academic, I have always been good with money too. My share portfolio even survived the GFC in good shape. The academics hate it that bright people with balls make more money than them.

I have no hesitation in saying that the single book which has influenced me most is the New Testament. And my Scripture blog will show that I know whereof I speak. Some might conclude that I must therefore be a very confused sort of atheist but I can assure everyone that I do not feel the least bit confused. The New Testament is a lighthouse that has illumined the thinking of all sorts of men and women and I am deeply grateful that it has shone on me.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age. Conservatism is in touch with reality. Leftism is not.

I imagine that the RD are still sending mailouts to my 1950s address

Most teenagers have sporting and movie posters on their bedroom walls. At age 14 I had a map of Taiwan on my wall.

"Remind me never to get this guy mad at me" -- Instapundit

It seems to be a common view that you cannot talk informatively about a country unless you have been there. I completely reject that view but it is nonetheless likely that some Leftist dimbulb will at some stage aver that any comments I make about politics and events in the USA should not be heeded because I am an Australian who has lived almost all his life in Australia. I am reluctant to pander to such ignorance in the era of the "global village" but for the sake of the argument I might mention that I have visited the USA 3 times -- spending enough time in Los Angeles and NYC to get to know a fair bit about those places at least. I did however get outside those places enough to realize that they are NOT America.

"Intellectual" = Leftist dreamer. I have more publications in the academic journals than almost all "public intellectuals" but I am never called an intellectual and nor would I want to be. Call me a scholar or an academic, however, and I will accept either as a just and earned appellation

A small personal note: I have always been very self-confident. I inherited it from my mother, along with my skeptical nature. So I don't need to feed my self-esteem by claiming that I am wiser than others -- which is what Leftists do.

As with conservatives generally, it bothers me not a bit to admit to large gaps in my knowledge and understanding. For instance, I don't know if the slight global warming of the 20th century will resume in the 21st, though I suspect not. And I don't know what a "healthy" diet is, if there is one. Constantly-changing official advice on the matter suggests that nobody knows

Leftists are usually just anxious little people trying to pretend that they are significant. No doubt there are some Leftists who are genuinely concerned about inequities in our society but their arrogance lies in thinking that they understand it without close enquiry

My academic background

My full name is Dr. John Joseph RAY. I am a former university teacher aged 65 at the time of writing in 2009. I was born of Australian pioneer stock in 1943 at Innisfail in the State of Queensland in Australia. I trace my ancestry wholly to the British Isles. After an early education at Innisfail State Rural School and Cairns State High School, I taught myself for matriculation. I took my B.A. in Psychology from the University of Queensland in Brisbane. I then moved to Sydney (in New South Wales, Australia) and took my M.A. in psychology from the University of Sydney in 1969 and my Ph.D. from the School of Behavioural Sciences at Macquarie University in 1974. I first tutored in psychology at Macquarie University and then taught sociology at the University of NSW. My doctorate is in psychology but I taught mainly sociology in my 14 years as a university teacher. In High Schools I taught economics. I have taught in both traditional and "progressive" (low discipline) High Schools. Fuller biographical notes here

I completed the work for my Ph.D. at the end of 1970 but the degree was not awarded until 1974 -- due to some academic nastiness from Seymour Martin Lipset and Fred Emery. A conservative or libertarian who makes it through the academic maze has to be at least twice as good as the average conformist Leftist. Fortunately, I am a born academic.

Despite my great sympathy and respect for Christianity, I am the most complete atheist you could find. I don't even believe that the word "God" is meaningful. I am not at all original in that view, of course. Such views are particularly associated with the noted German philosopher Rudolf Carnap. Unlike Carnap, however, none of my wives have committed suicide

Very occasionally in my writings I make reference to the greats of analytical philosophy such as Carnap and Wittgenstein. As philosophy is a heavily Leftist discipline however, I have long awaited an attack from some philosopher accusing me of making coat-trailing references not backed by any real philosophical erudition. I suppose it is encouraging that no such attacks have eventuated but I thought that I should perhaps forestall them anyway -- by pointing out that in my younger days I did complete three full-year courses in analytical philosophy (at 3 different universities!) and that I have had papers on mainstream analytical philosophy topics published in academic journals

As well as being an academic, I am an army man and I am pleased and proud to say that I have worn my country's uniform. Although my service in the Australian army was chiefly noted for its un-notability, I DID join voluntarily in the Vietnam era, I DID reach the rank of Sergeant, and I DID volunteer for a posting in Vietnam. So I think I may be forgiven for saying something that most army men think but which most don't say because they think it is too obvious: The profession of arms is the noblest profession of all because it is the only profession where you offer to lay down your life in performing your duties. Our men fought so that people could say and think what they like but I myself always treat military men with great respect -- respect which in my view is simply their due.

A real army story here

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day and there is JUST ONE saying of Hitler's that I rather like. It may not even be original to him but it is found in chapter 2 of Mein Kampf (published in 1925): "Widerstaende sind nicht da, dass man vor ihnen kapituliert, sondern dass man sie bricht". The equivalent English saying is "Difficulties exist to be overcome" and that traces back at least to the 1920s -- with attributions to Montessori and others. Hitler's metaphor is however one of smashing barriers rather than of politely hopping over them and I am myself certainly more outspoken than polite. Hitler's colloquial Southern German is notoriously difficult to translate but I think I can manage a reasonable translation of that saying: "Resistance is there not for us to capitulate to but for us to break". I am quite sure that I don't have anything like that degree of determination in my own life but it seems to me to be a good attitude in general anyway

And something that was perceptive comes from the same chapter. Hitler said that the doctrines of the interwar Social Democrats (mainstream leftists) of Vienna were "comprised of egotism and hate". Not much has changed

I have used many sites to post my writings over the years and many have gone bad on me for various reasons. So if you click on a link here to my other writings you may get a "page not found" response if the link was put up some time before the present. All is not lost, however. All my writings have been reposted elsewhere. If you do strike a failed link, just take the filename (the last part of the link) and add it to the address of any of my current home pages and -- Voila! -- you should find the article concerned.

COMMENTS: I have gradually added comments facilities to all my blogs. The comments I get are interesting. They are mostly from Leftists and most consist either of abuse or mere assertions. Reasoned arguments backed up by references to supporting evidence are almost unheard of from Leftists. Needless to say, I just delete such useless comments.

You can email me here (Hotmail address). In emailing me, you can address me as "John", "Jon", "Dr. Ray" or "JR" and that will be fine -- but my preference is for "JR" -- and that preference has NOTHING to do with an American soap opera that featured a character who was referred to in that way


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