DISSECTING LEFTISM MIRROR
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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31 January, 2017

Some comments about the Left from a Christian psychologist who works in counselling and social services

Counselling is an area heavily populated by the Left so he sees them close-up daily

I am well aware of the amount of hatred in the world, in both the non-western world and the hatred that the left has for the western world and western society. Western society, free society, Christianised society, is the target of the worldís hatred. The overall force of hatred in the world is directed at us. Other hatreds are secondary, reactionary and minor in comparison.

The Left really does hate us. They want to see our society collapse. I hear all types of leftists say so frequently. Whether economic, social, political, spiritual or religious leftists, they all want and foresee the collapse of western society as we know it. Socio-political leftists-feminists (including psychologists, counsellors, social welfare workers, most teachers, university academics, media workers, lesbians and homos) are convinced that if they keep working at it that they will turn society into a socialist, non-white, non-capitalist, non-Christian, non-patriarchal, equalised society, where even gender will not exist. 

The ďspiritual-but-not-religiousĒ leftists fantasise that a utopian society will come about when our current society collapses. That people will live in happy little villages without technology and close to nature.

Leftists are generally ignorant of how things are and how things work, and the smarter ones amongst them are determined to dumb others down, they deprive students of learning true political history, they discourage morality, teach that there is no truth, no right or wrong, no good or bad, they teach emotionalism as a religion, they encourage feeling in place of thinking, they indoctrinate children and youth with a sense of un-fairness and resentment, and with a sense of ignorant knowing better how things should be, they encourage cannabis use, homosexuality, ill-discipline and hatred in all its forms.

Just as anger always feels itself to be in the right, so does hatred always feel itself to be right, always feel good and justified. Leftists teach that feeling right is being right. They teach jealousy, resentment, anger and hatred as being feel-good emotions, as guiding personal lights. They teach jealousy, resentment and hatred as if they are good emotions to have, as if they are love and caring. They teach a sick kind of false love and caring driven by hatred, that is not love at all, just hatred dressed as love and caring.

They lead naive people astray, into a delusion of false virtue. And they teach these awful things to primary children, youths, university students, to women and mothers, to counselling clients, to people in all sorts of support groups, corrections rehabilitation programs, drug and alcohol programs, through the media, and through every avenue they can.

It all gets me down. Most of the time I soldier on in my little life, doing what I can to relieve hardship on others, to encourage in my fellow humans a love of freedom, and individual strength and virtue. I create my own little bubble of goodwill around me that, along with prayer, protects me from the oppressive radiance of disguised hatred that exists around me, for hatred by definition is the desire to harm, the desire for destruction, and lefties I mix with have lots of that.

But sometimes my protective bubble seems to burst and I feel the hatred and the false virtue of the world come upon me like finding oneself deep under the sea with no air to breathe, just water. My heart aches for something but I donít know what for Ė for a home? Where could that be? Where is there a place like me? Possibly nowhere. I expect it will pass. I will walk and do my prayers and fortify myself, rebuild my protective bubble of forgiveness for others that enables me to work amongst deluded lefties who hate society and want it destroyed while believing they are societyís good people, the caring ones, and I will get back to work doing what I can, at least until another change comes along.

Now we have Trump on the scene, a man at the helm who vows to fight back against the illogicality of leftism, promising to take the fight to the forces of destruction and defeat them.

Other leaders like him are stirring in other parts of the western world. Not all of these rising anti-leftists are truth attuned, some are reacting emotionally against what they see as the illogicality of leftism, and in so doing are themselves expressing a different form of leftism just as prone to error as the leftism they oppose. So leftism fights leftism.

Emotions seldom make good decisions. I cannot see how it is possible to turn the tide of leftism without bringing things to a head. Great societal pendulums donít swing back without great social upheavals. I doubt that Trump can do what he says he will do. Only people en masse can do that. If he tries to turn things around on his own, out of synch with the turning of sufficient masses, then he will fail.

I think success or failure will be in the timing. And either way there is sure to be conflicts and upheavals. Through history left and right have been steadily becoming more intelligent, more polarised, and more powerful. Leftist intelligence manifests as cunning.

Now, with instant communications between individuals and leaders, and rapid transport of individuals, armies, and goods, the world has become one great stage, no longer many stages as it has been through history. The opposing forces of left and right, of emotion and reason, of false and genuine goodness, that exist in potential in every individual, are now manifesting collectively and positioning themselves across the entire world stage like never before. Like a giant chess game.

I think the beginning game is past, and the mid game is building. And I think every seven billion of us, each in our own way, in our own sphere of influence, play a role in this battle.

I think it is the great battle between desire and better judgement from which all other battles stem. I think what we are seeing is the collective human organism living itself out as a result of how each individual is living themselves out.

Via email

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Reforming CFPB Isn't Enough. Eliminate It

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a positive-sounding name. But in five and a half years since its creation, the CFPB has proven that the agency is merely an excuse for a massive expansion of federal regulatory power. The CFPB doesnít protect consumers, as its name suggests. Rather, the American people need protection from the CFPB.

Itís time to end this failed experiment. Letís return the CFPBís regulatory responsibilities to the specific departments and agencies covering the relevant industries, and of course, to the states that have been responsible for basic consumer protection for a long, long time. I should know. As a former attorney general of Virginia, I took my responsibility to protect consumers seriously.

The Dodd-Frank Act created the CFPB as an unaccountable agency, with a director that could not be removed, a budget from the Federal Reserve that was self-determined, and sweeping legislative, judicial and executive powers vested in the person of the director. Indeed, this design was such an affront to the U.S. Constitution that a U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit declared the agencyís single-director structure unconstitutional. In what should be an unsurprising development, the CFPB has abused its unaccountable power.

SOURCE

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When will drug prohibitionists learn what alcohol prohibitionists found out?

January marks the 97th anniversary of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which in 1920 banned the manufacture, sale, and transport of ďintoxicating liquors.Ē Backers hailed Prohibition as a cure for many of societyís problems, arguing it would reduce crime and corruption, prevent the disintegration of American families, and lower the tax burden from prisons and poorhouses.

Despite these good intentions the 18th Amendment failed. Although alcohol consumption sharply decreased at the beginning of Prohibition, it quickly rebounded. Within a few years consumption was between 60 and 70 percent of its pre-Prohibition level. The quality and potency of bootleg liquor varied greatly, resulting in deaths from poisoning and overdoses.

Barred from buying legal alcohol, many former drinkers switched to opium and cocaine. Organized crime flourished.
In light of all those failures, Prohibition was repealed in 1933 by ratification of the 21st Amendment.

The idea that banning a product can stop its sale and use should be laughable even to those untrained in economics. Alas the 18th Amendment wasnít the governmentís last foray into prohibition. For more than 40 years, the U.S. government has waged the War on Drugs.

Proponents of drug prohibition promise many benefits, like reducing crime, preventing the spread of drug-related illnesses, and dismantling criminal cartels. Just like alcohol prohibition, however, these policies have failed. For example, overdoses have skyrocketed.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 1980, 2.7 deaths per 100,000 people in the United States were drug-related. By 1990 that toll rose to 3.4. But in 2014, 40,055 people died of overdosesó14.7 per 100,000 people.

As alcohol prohibition showed, crime thrives in the black market. Today organized drug enterprises like Mexican cartels flourish. JoaquŪn GuzmŠn, better known as ďEl Chapo,Ē sells more drugs today than the notorious Pablo Escobar did at the height of his cocaine empire.

The problems associated with U.S. drug policy have not lessened under the Obama administration. In 2010 President Obama launched a new National Drug Control Strategy, which was to lower overdose deaths, overall use, and use by young people, among other things, by 2015.

By its own measurements, however, the administrationís strategy has been an utter disaster. Between 2013 and 2014 alone, heroin overdose deaths increased 28 percent. They are 440 percent higher today than they were under President Bush. And despite Obamaís goals, prescription-opioid deaths have also increased.

Marijuana use by high school students remains roughly constant, though it was supposed to decline by 15 percent. For 18-25-year-olds the ďpast-monthĒ rate of use was projected to fall 10 percent. Instead it increased 12 percent. Other statistics tell similar stories. ďLifetimeĒ drug use by eighth-graders, for example, is up 8 percent since 2007. Driving under the influence of drugs has also increased.

Itís unclear whether drug policy will improve under the Trump administration, but many are pessimistic. In a recent interview Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a well-known drug-policy-reform advocate, expressed concerns over the appointment of John Kelly as secretary of homeland security, stating that ďthe Trump administration looks like bad news for almost every element of drug policy reformófrom sentencing to marijuana Ö to the international aspects, to the you name it.Ē In another interview, Nadelmann referred to Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trumpís nominee for attorney general, as a ďdrug war dinosaur.Ē He noted Sessionsís support of Nancy Reaganís antiquated ďJust Say NoĒ campaign despite overwhelming evidence of failure. More than 1,200 law professors published an open letter opposing his nomination, citing among other issues ďregressive drug policies.Ē

Drug policy is the concern of all Americans. In 2010 the U.S. government spent some $50 billion on the War on Drugsóthatís $500 a second on policies that have failed.

When policies donít deliver on their promises, policymakers have two options. They can repeal the policies and try something new or double down on their mistakes.  After 13 years, the failure of the 18th Amendment was clear for all to see. The drug war is now more than 40 years old. When will the prohibitionists learn?

SOURCE

NEWS:  Chris Brand is still in hospital and still recovering but still in good spirits, thanks in part to Shiou, his dedicated wife

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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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30 January, 2017

Politician does what he says he was going to do. World reels.

Leftists are a thousand times more upset at people from terror-linked countries being banned than actual Islamic terror attacks. Amazing. 

Funny, but the only time Leftists pretend to support religion is when a Republican President tries to protect America from Islamic terrorism

Obama banned Muslims entering the USA in 2011 for 6 months. Not a word

The elites are horrified at Trump leaping to keep his promises about immigration.  How gauche that is, they appear to think. 

But the uproar the elites have created has provided billions of dollars worth of worldwide free publicity for the new policy.  It will immediately be known to just about everybody in the target countries.  In his election campaign, DT got immense publicity by saying "extreme" things.  Now he is getting immense publicity by DOING "extreme" things.  He is a master media manager.  So whatever happens subsequently everyone will know now that getting to America is no longer a soft touch.

And the elites have long ago shot their bolt with Trump.  They have abused him so often and for so much that they are now like the boy who cried wolf. Their bucketsfull of abuse will bounce right off as they always have from Trump.  Had they been polite and measured in their comments about him they might now have been listened to.  But they were not.  So Trump has no reason to respect their claims and arguments. He has every reason to ignore them.  The only question for Trump will be what his voters think.  And you can be sure that they will be ecstatic at his quickness to keep his promise

Note that there is in fact no actual Muslim Ban. There's a temporary ban for 90 days from 7 countries. That's it.



Top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway took to Twitter to praise the president's executive actions halting refugee admission to the United States

"Get used to it. @POTUS is a man of action and impact," Conway tweeted, along with a link to a Fox News segment in which she talked about how Trump followed through on his campaign promise to implement "extreme vetting" of refugees and migrants from certain countries.

"I don't think Washington is accustomed to somebody who's just been a brilliant businessman, who's accustomed to delivering and producing results, who's accountable to, in this case, the people," Conway said during her Fox News interview.

"Promises made, promises kept," her tweet continued. "Shock to the system. And he's just getting started."

Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday that banned refugees from entering the US for 120 days. Syrians have been banned indefinitely, and asylum-seekers from six Muslim-majority countries -- Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Lebanon, and Yemen -- have been barred entry for at least the next three months.

Critics of Trump's refugee ban say it is discriminatory and violates the Constitution's religious freedom guarantees.

"Today's executive actions dishonor our values and do not address the threat of terrorism," said a statement released by House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Friday. "Americans of all faiths must confront and reject any attempt to target for exclusion or discrimination anyone on the basis of their religion."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also slammed the president's executive actions. "Tears are running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty tonight as a grand tradition of America, welcoming immigrants, that has existed since America was founded has been stomped upon, taking in immigrants and refugees is not only humanitarian but has also boosted our economy and created jobs decade after decade," Schumer said.

He continued: "This is one of the most backward and nasty executive orders that the president has issued."

SOURCE

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Trump Immigration Ban Still In Place Despite Court Ruling, Says DHS
   
Hours after a federal judge issued a stay on President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily restricting entry to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and a senior White House adviser issued robust responses, emphasizing that the order remains in force.

In a statement issued in the early hours of Sunday, the Department said: "President Trump's Executive Orders remain in place ó prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the U.S. government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety."

The responses came just hours after federal Judge Ann Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York granted an emergency stay on parts of the order late Saturday. Her ruling came in response to a lawsuit brought by the ACLU on behalf of two Iraqi refugees who had been detained at New York's John F. Kennedy airport.

The stay will prevent the government from deporting citizens from the affected countries that had already arrived in the U.S.The ACLU estimated that around 200 people would be affected by the ruling.

For travelers outside of the U.S. however, even those with valid visas, the ruling will not change the restrictions imposed on them by the order.

SOURCE

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The hypocrisy of the Left still thriving



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A new alignment with Labor unions?

The picture of the new president sitting with some of his most ardent opponents from organized labor has got to send shivers down the spines of Democratic Party insiders.

Open Secrets reports that private sector unions contributed more than $25 million in political donations in 2016, with an overwhelming majority going to Democrats. But the real political power of labor unions within the Democratic Party is their established political network, which provides instant trained grassroots to benefit candidates they support.

Trumpís White House invitation and meeting threaten to rip asunder the out-of-power Democrat establishmentís precariously balanced coalition of environmental anti-economic-growth elitists and labor union-identifying blue-collar workers.

To date, the top-down rule of labor organizations has assured the Democratic Party the benefits of the money and muscle that these groups can provide, while increasingly losing their votersí support.

In the first 100 hours of the Trump administration, Democratic Party hegemony through that top-down rule has been shaken, as many of the leaders who visited the White House received access they never had to Barack Obama, who was pivoting toward a loose coalition of millennials, Silicon Valley elites and identity politics-based voters, and away from the blue-collar voters who had been a mainstay of decades of electoral success.

The meeting with the labor leaders preceded Trumpís signature on a memorandum withdrawing the United Statesí signature from the crown jewel of Obamaís trade policy, the Trans-Pacific Partnership ó giving the union leaders a big win. Less than two hours later, Trump was signing another memorandum undoing the Democrat policy of administratively killing the job-creating Keystone XL pipeline, a high priority of many of the union leaders who were in the Oval Office.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President James Hoffa Jr. applauded President Trump, crowing in victory: ďThis is a major step toward putting more Americans to work, building the infrastructure that we need and creating economic prosperity.Ē

Just as Candidate Trump dismantled conventional wisdom by ripping through the Democratsí vaunted Blue Wall of Rust Belt states, President Trump seems intent on moving forward with policies he perceives will help rebuild our nationís manufacturing base. However, unlike those Republicans in the 1950s who declared that whatever was good for General Motors was good for America, Trumpís cry seems to be, whatever is good for the American worker who makes, builds and extracts wealth, is good for the country and the world.

SOURCE

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Anti Trump Leftists thought it would be cute to block a street. The police werenít playing

A group of Portland, Oregon anti-Trump rioters who consider themselves ďThe ResistanceĒ thought it would be fun to trap people on a bus as they blocked traffic.

Bringing downtown traffic to a halt, the protesters thought they would be greeted with cheers.  Boy, were they wrong.

Video captured by Fox 12 reporter Kelsey Watts shows the protesters surrounded by screaming commuters, who cursed at them and told them to stop blocking traffic.

And thatís when the police showed up. In riot gear.  The video shows armored police running into the mob of protesters at full speed, plowing them across the pavement like a bulldozer.  The protest was cleared in seconds. 14 liberals were arrested.

As police smashed their way into the protest the crowd in this notoriously liberal cityÖburst into wild cheers.  ďTake them all down!,Ē shouted a man.  ďSome of us just want to get home,Ē said a woman.

Between this, and Washington, D.C. charging anti-Trump leftists with felony rioting, it appears big cities are getting sick and tired of dealing with liberal lunacy.

SOURCE

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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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29 January, 2017

Left wing hate groups on the rise

I have been saying for a long time that hate is the chief identifier of Leftists so I am pleased that David Horowitz (below) has also taken up that theme -- JR

Last weekend's "women's marches" (which actually should have been called "left wing women's marches") had many elements that should make us shudder...

They were filled with embarrassing lewdness and obscenity.
They allowed speakers like actress Ashley Judd to make fools of themselves and showcased politically senile retreads like Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem.

They were accompanied by violent mobs that trashed shopping centers and fought with police. They might have been dressed up in light heartedness, but the silly hats couldn't disguise the fact that they were hatefests in action.

But this shouldn't surprise us. Hatred is the lifeblood of the Left and has been since the French Revolution. Hate is the Left's political homeland and its reason for being.

You see, one of the biggest of the Left's Big Lies is that conservative political groups and movements are universally motivated by hatred Ė of blacks, Hispanics and other ethnic groups; of homosexuals, transsexuals and other gender minorities; of immigrants, Muslims and others who are "marginalized" and therefore vulnerable.

This Big Lie is an exercise in what Freud called "projection" and which psychologists define as denying abhorrent emotions in oneself by attributing them to others.

There are indeed haters on the Right, but for the most part they are on its fringe Ė demented individuals or tiny groups whose political apparatus consists of little more than an obscure post office box and a toxic website.

For the Left, however, hatred is a mass movement. Left hate groups swim successfully in the American mainstream.

And because of the Left bias in our culture and media, their followers, like those at the women's marches, can posture as idealists and protectors of the downtrodden while spewing hate. For them, hatred is no fault.

These groups don't operate in the dark. They spew their hate every day as proud members of the vast leftwing network that supported Barack Obama's efforts to "radically transform America" and they've already declared open war on the Trump administration.

Just look at the Southern Poverty Law Center that raises millions of dollars every year attacking respected conservatives like Charles Murray as "racists" and anti-Islamist intellectuals like Ayaan Hirshi Ali as "Islamophobes..."

Or how Black Lives Matters hate-filled rhetoric has had deadly consequences for police officers...

And let's not forget Students for Justice in Palestine, which has become the chief organizer and sponsor of anti-Israel hatefests that have become common occurrences on our campuses!

Via email.  See also the booklet "Left Wing Hate Groups" for more extensive coverage

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The two-faced Left

Ever thought of blowing up the White House? Madonna has. Addressing the Womenís March in Washington, the star said sheíd thought about doing it ďan awful lot.Ē

Imagine if Donald Trump had said that before he was elected president. Or if our own Pauline Hanson had made a quip about bombs and parliaments in Australia.

Live feeds from Sundayís Washington march were cut by some networks when Madonnaís rant took an expletive-laced turn for the worse. Many were angered by her threats.

Newt Gingrich thought Madonna should be arrested for her remarks. He accused her of being part of ďan emerging left-wing fascism.Ē

ďI spoke in metaphor,Ē Madonna pleaded in self-defence. ďIím not a violent person.Ē She said she was simply trying to express the outrage she felt about the election of Trump.

The so-called Ďfascist Leftí does outrage well. During the campaign, candidate Trump prevaricated about accepting the election result. He was roundly condemned by the left.

But when the result became known, it was the tribunes of outrage on the Left who rejected the result. Thousands took to American streets in violent protest at Trumpís victory.

The Womenís March in DC, a circus of identity politics, was held days after the inauguration ó before many appointments to the Trump administration had even been completed.

There was no basis for such a protest other than ďperceivedĒ fear and ďperceivedĒ threats said to be felt by women whose preferred candidate had been defeated.

Madonna said she hopes to effect change ďwith love.Ē But the American people have effected change already in a fully constitutional presidential election, without bomb threats.

Outrage, violence and vandalism are all now firmly established in the arsenal of the left who claim to be motivated by passion and love, and not hatred. Protest is what they do best.

The hatred of the protesting, fascist Left is not just emerging, as Gingrich suggested. It is already with us.

SOURCE

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Trump's America First Policy Is Conservative Policy

"My goal," said candidate Donald Trump, "is to establish a foreign policy that will endure for several generations."

He spoke these words last April in a prepared address delivered, not at a massive rally in a basketball arena, but before a few Washington insiders at the Mayflower Hotel.

After this speech, Inside-the-Beltway elitists scoffed at what they tried to depict as Trump's simple-minded views on foreign affairs.

The Washington Post was happy to report that Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina had tweeted: "Not sure who is advising Trump on foreign policy, but I can understand why he's not revealing their names."

Dana Milbank, a columnist for the Post, wrote: "This speech was at an eighth-grade comprehension level, five years beyond Trump's usual."

The Post's own editorial was headlined: "Trump's incoherent, inconsistent, incomprehensible foreign policy."

But whose policies have put America in greater peril in recent years?

The foreign policies of the last two administrations - one Republican and one Democrat - were not only simple-minded, but also disastrous.

"It all began with the dangerous idea that we could make Western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interest in becoming a Western democracy," Trump told the Washington insiders assembled at the Mayflower.

"We tore up what institutions they had," he said, "and then were surprised at what we unleashed."

One of President Barack Obama's defining moments in foreign policy was his unilateral and unconstitutional decision to order the U.S. military to intervene in Libya's civil war.

"Today I authorized the Armed Forces of the United States to begin a limited military action in Libya in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians," Obama said at the time.

The Constitution gives Congress the power to determine when this nation will use military force - except, as James Madison recorded in his notes on the Constitutional Convention, when it is necessary for the president to "repel sudden attacks."

Obama never argued he was acting in defense of the United States - or on congressional authority - when he intervened in Libya. He said he was acting in defense of a U.N. resolution.

"Actions have consequences, and the writ of the international community must be enforced," Obama said. "That is the cause of this coalition."

Obama's use of the U.S. military to defend the "writ of the international community" helped precipitate the fall of Muammar Qaddafi - an authoritarian one-time terror backer who had given up his weapons-of-mass-destruction programs and restored diplomatic relations with the United States. It also facilitated the rise of radical Islamic terrorists who murdered American diplomats-and, ultimately, the rise of the Islamic State, which demonstrated its own vision by beheading Christians on a Libyan beach.

In his second inaugural address, President George W. Bush expressed a vision consistent with Obama's intervention in Libya and his own invasion of Iraq.

"So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world," said Bush.

This vision, exemplified by Bush's removal of the secular Iraqi authoritarian Saddam Hussein, resulted in the rise of the Islamic State in Sunni-dominated regions in Iraq and Syria.

Now, the Islamic State is committing genocide against Christians there - and sending thousands of Sunni Muslim refugees, whose backgrounds and intentions cannot be adequately vetted, into Europe and the United States.

"We are going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests, and the shared interests of our allies," Trump said in his speech at the Mayflower.

"We are getting out of the nation-building business, and instead focusing on creating stability in the world," he said.

"Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war and destruction," he said. "The best way to achieve those goals is through a disciplined, deliberate and consistent foreign policy."

It means following a prudential path that puts America first - not some utopian, unachievable internationalist ideal.

"Many Americans must wonder why our politicians seem more interested in defending the borders of foreign countries than their own," Trump said.

"Americans must know that we are putting the American people first again," he said. "On trade, on immigration, on foreign policy - the jobs, incomes and security of the American worker will always be my first priority."

"I will view the world through the clear lens of American interests," he said. "We will no longer," he said, "surrender this country, or its people, to the false song of globalism."

This is not a naive vision. It is a realistic, achievable conservative vision - that, if pursued as Donald Trump promised, can help preserve American prosperity and American freedom.

SOURCE

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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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27 January, 2017

The stockmarket thinks Trump is on the right path

The Dow Jones smashed the landmark 20,000 barrier for the first time ever this afternoon as optimism about Trumpís pro-growth policies boosted financial markets.

Resuming a rally that began in the wake of Donald Trumpís shock US presidential election win, the index rose by as much as 0.73pc to 20,057.89.

The rally was reignited by Trumpís signing of numerous executive orders since his inauguration on Friday. Last night, he also tweeted about his intention to build a wall on the Mexican border.

It has taken the index just two short months, or 42 sessions, to climb from the first close above 19,000 to 20,000. Itís worth noting the rise between 18,000 and 19,000 took some 483 trading sessions.

SOURCE

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Why Leftists are violent and more criminal



It follows from their personalities and beliefs.  It's basic to who they are

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Trump threatens the identity of Leftists

First there was the woman at Hillary Clinton's election night "victory party" who curled up in the fetal position and began crying after learning there was to be no victory. But that's just one person, I thought.

Then, on the eve of his inauguration, New York Times columnist Charles Blow not only declared Donald Trump's presidency illegitimate, he addressed the president elect in this way: "You will wear that scarlet `I' on your tan chest for as long as you sit in the White House." Hmm, I guess that's just like Hester Prynne's scarlet "A." Okay, I thought, that's just one hyperbolic columnist and in one increasingly partisan newspaper - even if it is supposed to be "the paper of record."

But then there was a full-page advertisement in the Times (imagine how much that must have cost), in which activists, celebrities and intellectuals, including Bill Ayers, Deborah Messing, Alice Walker, Cornell West and "thousands more," signed on to this message: NO! IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY, WE REFUSE TO ACCEPT A FACIST AMERICA! The ad blared these words in 36-point type. It followed with: STOP THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME BEFORE IT STARTS.

Normally, as you go through the stages of grief, you are supposed to "get over it." But in this case grief seems to be feeding on grief, and it's spiraling out of hand. At last count, one-third of the Democrats in the House of Representatives boycotted President Trump's inauguration. Paul Krugman, writing in the Times, called the boycott "an act of patriotism."

The anti-Trump mentality has been showing up in the strangest places. The names of First Family members have long been a staple of crossword puzzles. The New York Times puzzles, for example, have routinely used clues for which Obama, Sasha and Malia were the answers. (Constructors love answers with lots of vowels.) But the other day, crossword blogger Rex Parker railed at length over the Times' use of Trump children's names in this manner. The practice "normalizes" the new president, he wrote.

So, what's going on? Is some sort of malady infecting the mental faculties of famous people and the media elite? Or, is the disease more widespread?

The latter it turns out. Facebook reports that liberals are six or seven times more likely to "de-friend" conservatives than the other way around. A doctor writing at Slate says that he and some of his colleagues are seeing quite a few cases of "Trump anxiety," including patients with suicidal thoughts. Now, if you are in the country illegally, I could understand some increased anxiety. But the affected patients included gays, blacks, Jews, women and others who are full-fledged citizens.

Now, for the record, throughout his presidential campaign Donald Trump made not one statement that could be construed as anti-black, anti-gay or anti-Semitic. How do I know that? Because if he did, the statements would have appeared on the front page of The New York Times and in just about every other newspaper in the country. Not only did he not display any of those prejudices, his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach opened to everybody - in the first major challenge to what has probably been the most discriminatory resort city in the whole country.

He did make out-of-bounds statements about women and may have engaged in behavior that was caddish, even brutish, in the past. But remember who he was running against. According to the late Christopher Hitchens (whose honesty no one questioned), there are a number of women who have made credible claims (only one that is public) that Bill Clinton raped them. There is nothing Donald Trump is accused of doing or saying that even begins to match that. Nor, in my opinion, does Trump's behavior even begin to match Hillary Clinton's role as supervisor of "bimbo control."

So how can we explain a women's march to protest the Trump inauguration? Or blacks who tell other blacks they are a "disgrace to their race" if they participate in the inauguration?

One thing seems likely. It has nothing to do with Donald Trump.

Dartmouth professor Sean Westwood and Stanford University professor Shanto Iyengar have been researching these issues and they have concluded that in the modern world, political is personal. People's identities are connected to their political affiliations. Writing in The New York Times, Amanda Taub explains: "Today, political parties are no longer just the people who are supposed to govern the way you want. They are a team to support, and a tribe to feel a part of. And the public's view of politics is becoming more and more zero-sum: It's about helping their team win, and making sure the other team loses."

If you think about the recent election, only one candidate ran on issues. And you probably won't have to think very hard to remember what some of Trump's issues were: trade, taxes, immigration, the way we treat veterans.

Can you say with any certainty what Hillary Clinton's position is on international trade? How about what she would do with the corporate income tax? How would she reform immigration policy? What would she do differently with the VA?

I bet you don't know. And even if you think you know, I bet that almost no one else you know knows - not even your spouse.

There is a reason for that. Hillary Clinton in particular and the Democratic Party in general did not run in this last election on issues. They ran on identity politics. And when they lost, people who bought into their message felt their identity threatened.

SOURCE

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Trump Wants to Slash Regulations by 75%. Hereís How Regulatory Reform Could Boost US

During a White House meeting with business leaders on Monday, President Donald Trump pledged to slash regulations by at least 75 percent.

Activists were positively apoplectic, of course, and media ridicule was swift. But exaggerated as the comment was, the larger point is incontrovertible: The unparalleled expansion of the administrative state is crushing Americaís entrepreneurial spirit, productivity, and economic growth.

Monday was not the first time Trump stressed the need to reduce ďout of controlĒ regulation. As a candidate, he repeatedly vowed to cut regulation ďmassivelyĒ and ďremove the anchor dragging us down.Ē

And heís right about that anchor; the need for regulatory reform has never been greater. There is virtually no aspect of our lives over which laws and ordinances do not reign. Congress and federal bureaucrats routinely ignore regulatory costs, exaggerate benefits, and breach legislative and constitutional boundaries.

Independent estimates peg the cost of regulation at more than $2 trillion annuallyómore than is collected in income taxes each year. In the past eight years alone, the Obama administration issued more than 22,700 rules, which increased annual regulatory costs by more than $120 billion. (And thatís a lowball estimate.)

Combined with the regulatory burdens imposed during the administration of George W. Bush, the annual cost of red tape has increased by at least $200 billion in the past 15 years.

But the problem is not just the number and cost of regulation. It is also the approach.

Conventional wisdom has long held that government controls of industry are the best and only way to protect the public. We now know better. Forty years of command-and-control regimes have led to massive, ineffective, and unaccountable bureaucracies.

Based on fiscal year 2017 budget figures, administering red tape will cost taxpayers nearly $70 billion, an increase of 97 percent since 2000. A big part of the increase is the wages paid to regulatorsówho now number an all-time high of 279,000.

The bigger the federal government has grown, the more essential political influence has become, leading to corruption in the regulatory realm. All of this has weakened property rights, inhibited innovation, and increased the prices of food, fuel, fiber, and minerals.

States and the private sector can and should play a far greater role. It isnít necessaryóor wiseóto allow Washington to control everything. States are better equipped to customize policies for local conditions, and land owners have greater incentives than the government to protect private property. Both groups can act regionally when there are cross-border components to regulatory issues.

A less centralized regime would also mean more direct accountabilityótaxpayers would have an easier time identifying the officials responsible for environmental policies, and the people making those regulatory decisions would have to live with the consequences. Property owners would be held accountable through common law.

Trump will need all of the means available to him to countermand the injurious policies inflicted on the nation by the Obama administration (with help from Congress) during the past eight years.

For purposes of steering regulatory policy, the presidentís authority to appoint the heads of executive branch agencies (under the Appointments Clause of the Constitution) is among the most effective. The president also wields budgetary influence over regulatory agencies, and proposed funding should emphasize regulatory reform over the status quo.

Executive orders represent a direct means by which the president establishes his or her policies (although the president cannot override statutory directives to agencies unless the law expressly grants that power). We hope Trump will waste no time rescinding the numerous orders issued by Obama to sidestep Congress, on labor, immigration, and environmental issues, in particular.

The Trump administration also would do well to review all pending litigation and designate cases for settlement, including challenges to former President Barack Obamaís untenable Clean Power Plan; his radical transgender bathroom directive; and the Environmental Protection Agencyís egregious waters of the U.S. rule, which affects property rights

The ultimate White House influence on rule-making may well be the regulatory review process administered by the Office of Management and Budget.

Specifically, the Office of Management and Budgetís Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is responsible for reviewing proposed and final regulations; managing agency requests for information collection; and overseeing data quality government-wide. That is real power in an era of regulatory overload.

The Trump administration should replace the existing regime by imposing stricter standards for review, expanding the scope of review, and increasing transparency of the review process.

The end of the Obama administrationóperhaps the most regulatory administration in historyógreatly improves the outlook for regulatory reform. It matters little whether Trump errs in his rhetoric as long as his actions reshape regulation for the 21st century

SOURCE

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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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26 January, 2017

Moral conservatism and Nazism

I wrote the post below as an update to my big article on Hitler but I think it has a place here too

Nazis preached tradition and particularly traditional morality in a number of ways.  A well-known example was the role of women, with the traditional German conception of Kinder, KĀueche, Kirche (children kitchen, church) being honoured.  And as is equally well-known, the Nazis persecuted homosexuals. 

Their artistic taste was also conservative.  Rather ironically they organized the most visited art exhibition ever seen:  The exhibition of Entartete Kunst (degenerate art.)  They put up an exhibition of modern German art which they saw as disgusting, in the belief that most other Germans would also see it as disgusting.  We will never know, however, how many of the viewers actually liked what they saw. Below is one of the exhibits:



So how can we reconcile that with their being Leftist? In answering that I once again have to stress that the Nazis were Leftist BY THE STANDARDS OF THEIR DAY.  Most Leftists of the time were conservative in the ways I have mentioned.  With the exception of the role of women, even the Soviets were fairly conservative morally.  Right up to the implosion of the Soviet Union, Soviet representatives claimed that there was no such thing as homosexuality in Russia: "That was before the revolution"

But there is no doubt that the Nazis preached the "conservative" elements of their doctrine more vigorously than other Leftists of the day.  And again, context explains that. Weimar Germany of the 1920s was a time in which social, artistic, and philosophical revolutions took root and flourished.  It was extraordinarily "progressive" and contemptuous of all traditional rules.  The surreal became commonplace in German cinema. The cultural atmosphere at that time was in fact startlingly similar to modern times.  There was open homosexuality and sexual promiscuity generally and traditional mores were mocked.  So the Nazis had a lot to react against. They were just conventional Leftists, not avant garde Leftists. 

What is Leftist in any era changes.  The focus can be on many things. But what abidingly defines the Left is their wish to "fundamentally transform" their society (To quote Mr. Obama). In Hitler's case, he wanted to fundamentally transform the world -- JR

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The Collapse of the Left:  A Marxist view

His characterization of the Democrats is pretty spot-on

The Left is not just in disarray--it is in complete collapse because the working class has awakened to the Left's betrayal and abandonment of the working class in favor of building personal wealth and power.

The source of the angry angst rippling through the Democratic Party's progressive camp is not President Trump--it's the complete collapse of the Left globally. To understand this collapse, we turn (once again) to Marx's profound understanding of the state and capitalism.

We turn not to the cultural Marxism that is passingly familiar to Americans, but to Marx's core economic analysis, which as Sartre noted, is only taught to discredit it.

Cultural Marxism draws as much from Engels as Marx. In today's use, cultural Marxism describes the overt erosion of traditional values--the family, community, religious faith, property rights and limited central government--in favor of rootless Cosmopolitanism and an expansive, all-powerful central state that replaces community, faith and property rights with statist control mechanisms that enforce dependence on the state and a mindset that the individual is guilty of anti-state thinking until proven innocent by the state's own rules.

Marx's critique of capitalism is economic: capital and labor are in eternal conflict. In Marx's analysis, capital has the upper hand until the internal contradictions of capitalism consume capital's control from the inside.

Capital not only dominates labor, it also dominates the state. Thus the state-cartel version of capitalism that is dominant globally is not a coincidence or an outlier--it is the the only possible outcome of a system in which capital is the dominant force.

To counter this dominance of capital, social democratic political movements arose to  wrest some measure of control out of the hands of capital in favor of labor. Social democratic movements were greatly aided by the near-collapse of the first version of cartel-capitalism in The Great Depression, when writing down the bad debt would have brought down the entire banking system and crippled capitalism's core function of growing capital via expansion of debt.

The decimated owners of capital realized that they faced a bleak choice: either resist and be toppled by anarchism or Communism, or cede some of their wealth and power to the social democratic parties in exchange for social, political and economic stability.
Broadly speaking, the Left favored labor (whose rights were protected by the state) and the Right favored capital (also protected by the state).

But over the past 25 years of globalized neoliberalism, social democratic movements have abandoned labor to embrace the self-serving wealth and power offered by capital. The essence of globalization is: labor is commoditized as mobile capital is free to roam the globe for the lowest cost labor. In contrast, labor is far less mobile, and unable to shift as fluidly and frictionlessly as capital to exploit scarcities and opportunities.

Neoliberalism--the opening of markets and borders--enables capital to effortlessly crush labor. The social democrats, in embracing open borders, have institutionalized an open immigration that shreds the scarcity value of domestic labor in favor of lower cost immigrant labor that serves capital's desire for lower costs.

Globalization and neoliberal financial / immigration policies signify the collapse of the Left and the victory of capital. Now capital completely dominates the state and its cronyist structures--political parties, lobbying, campaign contributions, charitable foundations operating as pay-for-play cash vacuums, and all the other features of cartel-state capitalism.

To mask the collapse of the Left's economic defense of labor, the Left's apologists and PR machine have substituted social justice movements for economic opportunities to acquire economic security and capital. This has succeeded brilliantly, as tens of millions of self-described "progressives" completely bought the left's Great Con that "social justice" campaigns on behalf of marginalized social groups were the defining feature of Progressive Social Democratic movements.

This diversionary sleight-of-hand embrace of economically neutered "social justice" campaigns masked the fact that social democratic parties everywhere have thrown labor into the churning propellers of globalization, open immigration and neoliberal financial policies--all of which benefit mobile capital, which has engorged itself on the abandonment of labor by the Left.

Meanwhile, the fat-cats of the Left have engorged themselves on capital's largesse in exchange for their treachery. Bill and Hillary Clinton's $200 million in "earnings" come to mind, as do countless other examples of personal aggrandizement by self-proclaimed "defenders" of labor.

Please examine this chart, which depicts labor's share of GDP (economic output), and tell me the Left hasn't abandoned labor in favor of personal wealth and power.

The Left is not just in disarray--it is in complete collapse because the working class has awakened to the Left's betrayal and abandonment of the working class in favor of building personal wealth and power. Anyone who denies this is still in the fatal grip of the Left's Great Con.

SOURCE

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Conservatives Must Stand Up to Fascist Bullies


The real haters

Inauguration Day was turned into Retribution Day as hordes of angry leftists set fires, smashed windows and clashed with police to protest President Donald Trump. Rampaging mobs caused mayhem across the fruited plain, but especially in our nation's capital. In several instances, conservatives were attacked outside Inaugural balls. Some were left bloodied and battered. Police were pelted with rocks and batteries. Many businesses were vandalized. Car windows were smashed and a limo was set ablaze.

It's all part of an effort to destabilize the nation and delegitimize President Trump's victory. The following day scores of self-described "nasty" women held profane gatherings across the country to protest the new president. Madonna told a crowd of protesters dressed in pink hats and Birkenstocks that she dreamed of blowing up the White House. "Yes, I'm angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House. But I know this won't change anything," she told a crowd of adoring feminists. She later walked back the threat.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Madonna should've been arrested. "What you have is an emerging left-wing fascism," he told Fox & Friends. "She's part of it and I think we have to be prepared to protect ourselves. Frankly, the truth is she ought to be arrested for saying she has thought about blowing up the White House." I concur with Speaker Newt.

Our public universities have been turned into training camps for intolerant thugs hell-bent on silencing any speech they disagree with. And as they demonstrated on Inauguration Day, they will use any means necessary to accomplish that task. We are facing a clear and present danger to our families and the Republic. And we must prepare now to protect ourselves and our loved ones against these violent street thugs. Conservatives are a peaceful and law-abiding people. But we will not be intimidated. We will not be bullied. And we will not be silenced.

SOURCE

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Trump shows that economic efficiency is not everything

The interrelated complex of ideology, identity, solidarity, and collective action form the ground level in fruitful social analysis. Leaving out this complex, as both mainstream and Austrian economists usually do, means that one sacrifices the opportunity to understand what otherwise seems inexplicable or gets explained only by bizarrely twisting the standard model.

At least, so I have argued since the early 1980s, most fully in chapter 3 of Crisis and Leviathan, but with some elaboration and many applications in later works. I sometimes forget this lesson myself, lapsing into a too vulgar reliance on "following the money," but Elizabeth always calls me back to it. For just such correction, I suppose, God gives wives to husbands.

The events of U.S. politics during the past year present as glaring an example of my vision as anything I know. It's comfortable for many of us, especially those trained in mainstream economics, to suppose that economic self-interest is the bedrock of political and other collective action, but clearly-in my view, at least-it is not.

Ideology tells a person what is "in his interest"; he shapes and maintains his identity accordingly; and by acting publicly in conformity with the ideology's tenets, the person enjoys the psychological satisfaction of solidarity among the ideologically defined "good guys." As Sam Bowles once noted, people act for two distinct reasons: to get things, and to be someone. We would do well to remember the second motive, which plays a central role especially in relation to people's participation in large-group collective action.

SOURCE

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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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25 January, 2017

The Grand Delusion of the Progressive Left

Allen West

I love two genres of music, classical and classic rock. One of my favorite classic rock bands is the group Styx and one of my favorite songs of theirs is ďGrand IllusionĒ. However, in the case of what we have seen post the 2016 presidential election through the inauguration of President Donald Trump, it appears the progressive socialist left is operating under a grand delusion.

In 2009, the progressive left embarked upon an ideological agenda evidencing a serious delusion and disconnection with America. Instead of focusing on two simple issues, economic growth and national security, Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and their acolytes engaged a direction for America that was not rooted in sound policy, but their interpretation of ďfairnessĒ.

The first case of delusion was to try and make the American people believe that Keynesian economic policy, tax and spend, was still viable. First thing out of the gate was a massive $1 trillion stimulus package that was centered upon what was termed ďshovel ready jobsĒ. It was a matter of huge embarrassment when Obama sat on a stage with his economic council stating, ďI guess shovel ready was not exactly readyĒ. The fact that Obama did so with a laugh and smirk was a slap in the face of the American taxpayer.

Obama in his eight years focused more on wealth redistribution, you know, we all do better when we ďspread the wealth aroundĒ. Furthermore, Obama made the seminal statement which presented a window into the mindset of the progressive left when he stated, ďif you own a business, you didnít build thatĒ. There could be no more disrespectful, delusional, assertion directed towards the hard working American and their indomitable entrepreneurial spirit. Obama and his disciples of economic disaster failed to grasp the concept that economic growth emanates not from Washington DC, but rather from the policies that unleash American investment, ingenuity, and innovationÖalong with production and manufacturing.

Due to his far left intransigent ideology, Obama sought not to get Americans back to work. His design was to expand the welfare nanny state of government dependency. The result of this delusion was our national debt going from $10.67T to $20T. We have exploded our food stamp and poverty rolls, and we have suffered the lowest workforce participation rate in some 40 years.

Second, Obama and the left sought to use effective free market policy to improve the healthcare situation in America. Instead, they believed there was a mandate to do what they had always wanted, push a government-driven healthcare system. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act a.k.a ďObamacareĒ was nothing more than a domestic wealth redistribution scheme, with some twenty new taxes. It spanned to gamut from increases in capital gains and dividends taxes to creation of an individual and employer mandate tax along with medical device and taxes on health savings accounts.

Obama said that there would be on average $2500 of savings and that you would be able to keep your doctor and insurance. The latter was awarded by Politifact as the ďLie of the YearĒ, 2013, funny, the year after Obamaís reelectionÖand he promised Vladimir Putin more flexibility. The American people in October 2016 did not see savings, they saw massive increases in their health insurance premiums, the result of the delusion of redistribution of healthcare. Obamacare turned out to be nothing more than a huge expansion of Medicaid. It proved unaffordable and did not provide protection for patients, but a segment of people got something for free. A rational policy approach would have meant Obama and his team focused on the real issue, but they overreached. And as Nancy Pelosi said, ďwe have to pass the bill, in order to find out what was in itĒ, a true example of delusion.

Third, Obama departed the White House trying to have us buy into his delusion by stating that on his watch there had not been a terrorist organization attack. He left still embracing the line that Ft. Hood was the result of ďworkplace violenceĒ, and he commuted the sentence of one who had leaked over 700,000 classified documents Ė where some had died as a result of HIS nefarious actions.

Obama and the left could never articulate that the non-state, non-uniform unlawful enemy combatants we face on the 21st-century battlefield are Islamic terrorists and jihadists. Obama was more interested in freeing them under the delusion that their being detained in GITMO was an impetus of their hate and a recruiting tool. Instances of Islamic terrorist attacks on our soil were attributed to the lawful ownership of guns by law-abiding Americans. And the left, aided by the complicit liberal progressive media, tried to castigate those who understood this enemy as ďislamophobesĒ Ė a moniker created by an Islamic organization with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

I could go on about other critical issues, like a lack of focus on our border security leading to deaths of Americans like Kate Steinle.

The overarching issue is that we are watching the progressive left continue to wrap themselves in their own delusion. This past weekend there were marches focused on womenís rights. Where were those voices when Christian and Yazidi girls were being raped and sold as sex slaves by ISIS Ė that group Obama called the JV team, which was not Islamic. If this is about misogyny, where were those voices reference Bill Clinton regularly being welcomed as an ďelder statesmanĒ of the Democrat party?

More violence, threats, intimidation, rantings, protests, denigrating, disparaging, and demeaning language from the left will not win folks over to their cause. It will only further distance them from the America that has rejected and repudiated them, the electoral losses of the past eight years is evidence.

The delusion of the progressive left is that they are not conducting a self-analysis or assessment. Their way did not advance economic growth or national security. Albert Einstein said, ďThe definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing, and expect different resultsĒ. Einsteinís definition certainly befits the grand delusion of the progressive left.

SOURCE

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Is the Age of Violence upon Us?

Today is a day in U.S. political history like no other. The excitement in Washington is like nothing the city has ever before seen. Barack Obamaís inauguration was historic to most Americans, but I would estimate that at least a third of the population knew the truth about the mysterious, unknown young man who seemed to appear out of nowhere. Nevertheless, the anti-Obama people stayed low key through his inauguration and well beyond.

Not so in 2017. A lot of people are concerned about outright violence at todayís presidential inauguration and subsequent presidential balls, and with good reason. As I have repeatedly stated, the Radical Left is comprised of true believers when it comes to employing violence as a justifiable way of overriding the wishes of voters and usurping power.

When I use the term Radical Left, Iím referring not only to those who are committed to an ideology that has brought enormous poverty and suffering to every country where it has been tried, but also to those who support this destructive ideology out of sheer ignorance or stupidity. (The troglodytes in Hollywood are classic examples of the latter.)

As I wrote in my December 17 article titled ďMy Next Unequivocal Prediction,Ē Radical Leftists will never let go of their hate-mongering, childish name-calling and mudslinging, and nonstop lying. Nor will they ever change their warped beliefs that racism in America is institutionalized, that manmade global warming has been proven beyond a doubt, and that the use of violence is justified by those who believe that their objectives are morally superior to those of everyone else.

So now, after a year-and-a-half of dirty tricks, criminal behavior, smear tactics, and rioting in an attempt to stop the peopleís choice, Donald Trump, from becoming the 45th president of the United States, the standard bearers of malevolence and ignorance are primed and ready to try to tear America apart.

I donít know whatís going to happen today, nor do I know how much violence there will be over the next four to eight years, but there will be violence, of that you can be certain. That being the case, the important question becomes, what will be the result of the violence?

Because of the heightened security, those who are intent on creating havoc at the inauguration or the events that follow it throughout the afternoon and evening will have a difficult time achieving their ultimate goal ó inflicting death on those who dare to take part in Donald Trumpís inauguration. But that doesnít mean they wonít try.

The issue of violence, however, goes far beyond Inauguration Day. Regardless of what happens today, my concern is how the entire Trump family can be fully protected 24/7 over the next four-to-eight years. Letís hope the Secret Service finds a way to succeed at this seemingly impossible task.

If, however, those who embrace violence succeed in harming Trump, his wife, his children, or, God forbid, any of his grandchildren, what will that do to America? Because there are millions of people out there with sick minds who would like to see the Trump clan harmed, Iíve given this unpleasant possibility a lot of thought.

What would the result be? There are so many variables thatís itís hard to know for certain, but here are a few possibilities that come to mind:

It could trigger a sympathetic backlash that could result in a dramatic improvement in Trumpís favorability ratings, perhaps to as high as 60 percent. If Trump delivers quantifiable results in addition to this, it could hasten the total disintegration of the Democratic Party, which I believe will happen anyway after the Republicans swamp the Dirty Dems in the 2018 mid-terms.

Funded by George Soros and other wealthy, far-left evildoers who are masters at profiting from social unrest and national upheaval, it could result in an all-out civil war. Our normalcy biases make it hard to picture such a scenario, but if the far left maims and kills enough people, itís entirely possible that the intellectually inferior flyover folks who cling to their guns and bibles might just decide to fight back.

It goes without saying that either way, the violence would be blamed on Trump. When the Radical Left goons inflict pain and death, the Lying Left will yell and scream, just as they did at Trumpís rallies, that it is his divisive rhetoric that caused them to be violent. You know the thinking Ö the Devil made them do it. As the incomparable Chris Plante would say, ďAh, itís good to be a Democrat, isnít it?

Trump could back down, which is highly unlikely. However, there are many spineless men and women in the Republican Party ó Little Marco, Mush McCain, Gomer Graham, and Paul Ryan, to name but a few ó who can be counted on to try to appease the Radical Left and engage in political babble like ďWe have to all come together as AmericansĒ and ďWe need a national dialog.Ē

This could create a knockdown, drag-out fight between Trump loyalists and old-guard Republicans who are intent on preserving the good life to which both Democrats and Republicans have become so accustomed. Which means business as usual and another win for the Dirty Dems.

The Radical Leftists in the Democratic Party could suddenly realize that they are committing political suicide and do an about-face. In other words, they would put aside the phony theatrics and lies and act like adults who really want to work with Republicans for the good of the country. Unfortunately, with the exception of a handful of sane but out of place Democrats (Senator Joe Manchin comes to mind), the chances of that happening are virtually zero.

So, my fellow Americans, we shall see what the lawless Radical Left has in store for us today and from this day forward, and whether or not we can survive it. Just know that violence is a virtual certainty. When and how much are the two big questions. Letís hope that weíre all pleasantly surprised and that the quantity of violence is much less than some might now be expecting.

P.S. I still believe that splitting America into at least two countries is the best possible solution for everyone. The Radical Left could attack each other with reckless abandon in their own country, while those who believe in liberty could spend their time working to make life better for everyone within their borders.

Just think, the United States of Good Guys and the United States of Bad Guys. Has a nice ring to it, doesnít it?

SOURCE

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Leftists:  This is why Trump happened

In extremis, normal people found their hero and defender

It happened because you banned super-size sodas. And smoking in parks. And offensive ideas on campus. Because you branded people who oppose gay marriage Ďhomophobicí, and people unsure about immigration Ďracistí.

Because you treated owning a gun and never having eaten quinoa as signifiers of fascism. Because you thought correcting peopleís attitudes was more important than finding them jobs. Because you turned Ďwhite maní from a description into an insult. Because you used slurs like Ďdenierí and Ďdangerousí against anyone who doesnít share your eco-pieties.

Because you treated dissent as hate speech and criticism of Obama as extremism. Because you talked more about gender-neutral toilets than about home repossessions. Because you beatified Caitlyn Jenner. Because you policed peopleís language, rubbished their parenting skills, took the piss out of their beliefs.

Because you cried when someone mocked the Koran but laughed when they mocked the Bible. Because you said criticising Islam is Islamophobia. Because you kept telling people, ĎYou canít think that, you canít say that, you canít do that.í

Because you turned politics from something done by and for people to something done to them, for their own good. Because you treated people like trash. And people donít like being treated like trash. Trump happened because of you.

SOURCE

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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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24 January, 2017

The Left must change course in the Trump era and do more than march for womenís rights

By Rita Panahi, an Australian conservative journalist of Iranian origin

NO amount of marching, rioting, online activism or indulgence in paranoid fantasies is going to change the fact that Donald Trump is the 45th president of the United States.

Taking to the streets with hordes of like-minded malcontents and screeching incoherently about imagined grievances might make Trumpís democracy-denying detractors feel better, but heíll still be the leader of the free world.

Itís clearly going to be a rough four years for the political and media class, and even rougher for the millions of ďprogressivesĒ from New York to Melbourne struggling to cope with reality.

In the last 48 hours weíve seen protests around the world, from rioters who smashed windows and heads on inauguration day to the Womenís Marches, the biggest of them in DC yesterday.

It says plenty about the vacuousness of modern feminism that it was the ďplightĒ of privileged, empowered American women that drew them out.

There have been no marches for the women of Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Afghanistan and many other parts of the world where females are victims of a systematic, brutal and unrelenting subjugation.

Only a movement that is intellectually and morally bankrupt would ignore the plight of genuinely oppressed girls and women to throw a gargantuan public tantrum because their preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton, lost an election.

Melbourneís feminists didnít bother marching to protest against the growing problem of female genital mutilation, despite a report this month that girls as young as five months are subjected to the barbaric procedure.

The Australian paediatric surveillance unitís study was barely acknowledged by vocal members of the sisterhood.

In the US, a star-studded line-up of virtue-signalling celebrities led hundreds of thousands marching against Mr Trumpís politics of ďdivision and hateĒ.

Madonna, in a profanity-laced speech to the huge Washington crowd, said she had ďthought an awful lot about blowing up the White HouseĒ. To call her speech pitiful would be a kindness.

Actor Ashley Judd likened Trump to Hitler before decrying the taxes imposed on feminine hygiene products ó taxes that have been there throughout Barack Obamaís term.

The rallies have been called ďdemocracy in actionĒ but if the petulant demonstrators pulled their heads out of their collective backsides for a minute they might realise theyíre the ones fanning the flames of division and hate.

Trump not only won the presidency but also secured the Republicans the Senate and the House of Representatives. Republicans now control a record number of state legislatures.

These are unpalatable facts for Leftists, but protests and public hissy fits wonít tip the balance of power in their favour.

If they want to counter Trump they must do better than enlist out-of-touch celebrities and activists to preach to the converted.

They need to stop allowing their movement to be taken over by the likes of Womenís March co-chair Linda Sarsour, whose main claim to fame is leading a successful campaign to close all New York City public schools on two Muslim holidays.

Sarsour is the type of feminist who defends Saudi Arabia and condemns the US. She has claimed that sharia law is ďmisunderstoodĒ and has complained about ď22 statesĒ having ďanti-sharia billsĒ.

The anti-Trump forces must also weed out their most violent and abusive members.

There were so many abusive tweets about Trumpís young son Barron after the inauguration that CNN anchor Jake Tapper implored people to stop the ďodious, immoral and self-defeatingĒ mockery of a child.

Can you imagine the reaction had Barack Obamaís daughters been subjected to such ugly invective?

The Left need to do better if they want to win back disillusioned voters.  They need to tackle the big issues that matter to ordinary people ó like jobs and law and order ó instead of being obsessed with gender-neutral toilets.

Thereís more to America than California and New York.

Labelling your political opponents racist, sexist, Islamophobic, transphobic and bigoted might be fun, but it no longer works. The Left has overused and misused those slurs so much they have lost all impact.

SOURCE

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The Trump Train

There he was, business and media mogul extraordinaire--not a toy Lionel train car or a Pullman coach, but a massive self-propelled locomotive--who showed up at the presidential debates of 2015 and by May of 2016 had run over and decimated 16 opponents, all seasoned and professional politicians!

All of a sudden, both the politicians themselves and members of the media were forced to take Mr. Trump seriously. But they couldn't help themselves; they were still the same supercilious, patronizing, bought-and-paid-for leftist lackeys who had been commenting all along on this runaway train. So they kept up their antagonistic drumbeat, confident that the sheer volume of their commentary and propaganda would be his undoing.

Aiding and abetting their mission were dozens of pollsters across the country whose skewed polls showed consistently that the chronically coughing, wobbling, decrepit-one-day/re-botoxed-the-next-day Hillary--the woman without a platform and lacking even a tiny dollop of charisma--was significantly ahead of the brash billionaire. Pundits on every network and cable news shows echoed these polls and predicted that the Electoral College votes, and Michigan and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and Ohio and of course California and New York, would definitely, positively, unmistakably insure a Hillary victory.

One thing none of them counted on was the tremendous sophistication of voters across the country--the same voters they're still disparaging--who had been watching the devolution of our county for eight years and praying and waiting for at least one sane person to save our country from the malignant leftism in our body politic that Mr. Obama so relentlessly stoked.

They recognized in President-elect Trump the absolute answer to their prayers and proceeded to blanket our entire country in red, except for the few bastions of blue on the East and Left Coasts. Hence Hillary's "popular vote" so-called victory, thanks to a voter-motor law cooked up by Gov. Jerry Brown and enacted into law in October 2015.

A report from Investors Business Daily says that: "According to the American Civil Liberties Union-which opposes the motor-voter law-California houses 3.3 million illegals, or a quarter of the nation's total. So the stage is set not just for extending voting to illegals but for swinging national elections, too."

Meanwhile, the Trump locomotive barreled on with the president-elect interviewing dozens of potential hirees at Trump Tower in NY City, at his resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, at his "winter White House" Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach Island, Florida, ultimately selecting those who will staff his cabinets and administration.

The indefatigable Mr. Trump also embarked on an extensive thank-you tour to Ohio, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, et al, attracting the same huge "rock star" crowds that gave him his thunderous victory.

THE LEFT'S LAST GASP

I know it's not objectively funny, but I can't help actually laughing out loud when witnessing those thousands of badly-behaved three-year-olds soiling their diapers, banging their heads, and generally throwing non-stop temper tantrums since Election Day. They keep hurling things onto the tracks--right in front of the Trump Locomotive--because they still can't absorb the fact that everything they've based their identities on, everything they believe, everything they hoped for, everything they've learned in school and on TV, everything they thought they accomplished--was utterly and totally destroyed by one man and millions of voters.



These children have tried everything:

* Popping up at demonstrations, complete with shiny new placards, in front of Trump Tower.

* Regurgitating stale and wildly inaccurate talking points, as happens five days a week from a woman named Whoopi and a joyless creature name Joy.

*Devolving into an embarrassing freakout at a press conference, as did CNN's Jim Acosta when the grown-up in the room didn't call on him.

* Contriving an evidence-free Russian hacking scandal to rationalize Hillary's crashing loss. Why? So they could kick 35 Russian diplomats out of the U.S. and quickly invade their compounds to purge any records that might implicate Mr. Obama--not Mr. Trump--in subterfuge, not to omit the other desperate purging and shredding of records they've been doing.

* Stacking the hearings for Trump's cabinet nominees with dense Democrats like New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and still-bitter Republicans like Florida's Sen. Marco Rubio.

* Calling on a famed actress to audition for the role of a snooty, finger-wagging scold and display her "selective empathy" at Hollywood's Golden Globes Awards.

* Trotting out a puerile pol like Georgia's Rep. John Lewis to take a cheap potshot.

*Inventing a sex scandal based on made-up gossip from the now thoroughly discredited BuzzFeed.

* Preaching, as The New York Times did about what's wrong with nepotism, when its entire conglomerate is based on nepotism.

* Exposing, as writer Glenn Greenwald did, that [Obama's] CIA and a complicit media are deeply involved in the stop-Trump juggernaut.

* Threatening the most massive and disruptive demonstrations and riots during the upcoming inauguration.

This is all part of the same phenomenon, American-hating leftists gone mad. As one blogger commented: "I haven't seen the Democrats so angry since Republicans took away their slaves!"



This is aberrant behavior which the Wall St. Journal's Kimberly A. Strassel explains: "The more that progressives have failed to win political arguments, the more they have turned to underhanded tactics to shut down their political opponents...Mr. Trump can expect plenty more of this to come.

In winning the election, he blocked the left's ability to use some of its favorite intimidation tactics. It no longer controls an accommodating federal bureaucracy. It no longer runs a Justice Department willing to threaten political opponents and turn a blind eye to liberal abuse.

So the left will increasingly rely on campaigns of delegitimization...this is the best they've got."

Again, the left's vile behavior is not objectively funny. But as  Trump systematically swats away these irritants like so many pesky gnats, I have to admit that I'm loving every minute!

Finally we will have a president who loves America and will fight like a hundred tigers to overturn and fix all the malevolent policies inflicted on our country over the past eight years.
What an exhilarating counter-coup!

SOURCE

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The Chardonnay Left speaks



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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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23 January, 2017

The harsh truth about Barack Obama: He failed



Some sad words from a disappointed Leftist below. He seems to have a better grasp of reality than most Leftists and is spot-on in fingering the unwillingness of Obama and his Democrats to compromise as the cause of Obama's failure. 

In any Western democracy, there has to be a degree of bipartisan consensus for any reform to become entrenched.  Otherwise it can be reversed by the next government of another stripe.  It happened in Britain when it became clear to everyone but the British Labour Party that government ownership of industry was an abject failure.  So Margaret Thatcher was elected and proceeded to uproot decades of British Leftist "work".  The same is now about to happen to reforms associated with Obama.

Leftists tend to live in an eternal present, with no awareness of the past and a blissful lack of concern for the future consequences of their actions.  The quite hilarious actions of Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats in abolishing the filibuster is a prime example of that.  They didn't foresee a future GOP administration and are now left with no weapon in the Senate to obstruct Trump.  They ripped up an important constitutional safeguard in order to get their way on some relatively minor matters and now find that they have given Trump an easy glide  through the Senate confirmation process.

And that lack of vision was strikingly in evidence when Obama came to power.  The Donks were like kids in a candy shop when they found themselves in complete control of both the Presidency and Congress.  So they rushed to construct a huge piece of legislation that would fulfil all their addled dreams about healthcare and much else besides. 

Even many Democrat congressional interest groups could see problems with the legislation but Obama and the congressional Democrat leadership piled on the pressure to get the legislation through. But such were the problems with what became known as Obamacare that most of that "golden" first two years of Obama control were wasted, with little else of significance enacted.

And given the problems with their own people, there was no way any GOP amendments would be considered.  And none were.  So the legislation passed with no hint of bi-partisanship. Which has now doomed it.  There is no constituency in GOP circles in favour of it.  Obamacare might have survived in some modified form if it had been constructed with a degree of GOP consent but it now looks like being completely uprooted.  The Donks just did not look far enough ahead to envisage GOP dominance.

And as the writer below correctly notes, that obstinacy on the part of the Donks generated an equivalent obstinacy in the GOP.  They regained Congressional majorities after the first two years and thereafter blocked most initiatives from Obama and his Democrat flunkies.  Legislatively, Obama was neutered.  And he and the Donks brought it upon themselves.

The major change in social policy during the Obama reign was the valorization of sexual abnormality -- but that was a product of SCOTUS, not Obama. And so many judges on the court are elderly that it seems Trump will have the opportunity to make appointments that will swing the court far to the Right for a long time.  So a more balanced approach to sexual abnormality  could well emerge from that



ALL hope, no change.

The world still swoons over Barack Obama, but we need to face the harsh truth about his presidency: it has been a crushing let-down.

The greatest American presidents are renowned for what they did in office. Abraham Lincoln ended slavery. Franklin Roosevelt created the New Deal. Ronald Reagan stared down the Soviet Union.

Mr Obama will enjoy a broadly positive legacy, but for very different reasons. Heís a cultural icon. History will remember him for what he represented, not what he accomplished. He has been an admirable role model, but an ineffective president.

Eight years ago, when he first ran for the White House, Mr Obama spoke of ďfundamentally transformingĒ the United States. His idealistic speeches and extravagant promises captured the imaginations of Americans suffering through George Bushís wars and the start of the Global Financial Crisis.

Mr Obamaís achievements since then bear little resemblance to the soaring rhetoric, and many of them are about to be dismantled by Donald Trump anyway.

His administration did oversee Americaís relatively slow economic recovery after the GFC, bringing the unemployment rate down below five per cent. It also reformed the regulations governing Wall Street. But all of that was quickly overshadowed by Mr Obamaís top priority ó the health care law known as Obamacare.

The goal, to help millions of Americans who couldnít afford health insurance, was noble. The law itself, and the manner in which it was implemented, set Mr Obamaís presidency on a toxic path from which it would never recover.

Early in his first term, with the Democrats in complete control of Congress, Mr Obama rushed to pass the controversial law in a down-the-line partisan vote, overruling widespread opposition from the American public. No Republican voted for it, and in the midterm elections several months later, the opposition party swept into power on a wave of anger.

For the next six years, Republicans obstructed Mr Obamaís every move, preventing him from passing any other significant reforms. The president was forced to use his executive powers to circumvent Congress wherever he could, particularly on issues such as climate change and immigration.

The problem? Mr Trump can rescind those orders the moment he takes office. Even worse, the health care law itself is extremely unlikely to survive after Mr Obama leaves the White House, as Mr Trump and the Republicans have pledged to repeal it almost immediately.

This means most of Mr Obamaís domestic agenda, including his signature achievement, will be entirely reversed within months.

Mr Obamaís record on foreign policy is just as dicey. He advocated a less interventionist approach than George Bush, withdrawing from Iraq and rehabilitating Americaís image around the world. Those parts of his agenda, along with his decision to authorise the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, were popular.

He also ended the decades-long trade embargo with Cuba, and forged an agreement with Iran aimed at curtailing the rogue stateís nuclear weapons program, though Mr Trump has indicated he will rip up both deals.

Beyond those accomplishments, Mr Obama has left Mr Trump colossal messes to clean up in Libya, Ukraine and particularly Syria, which descended into a cataclysmic civil war on his watch. He was slow to react to the rise of Islamic State, famously comparing it to a ďjunior varsityĒ team, and mocked his opponent in the 2012 election for daring to call Russia a ďgeopolitical foeĒ.

ďThe 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, because the Cold War has been over for 20 years,Ē Mr Obama joked. Since then, Vladimir Putin has annexed Crimea, flagrantly committed war crimes in Syria and apparently interfered in Americaís presidential election.

So, on arguably the two greatest foreign policy challenges of his presidency ó Syria and Russia ó Mr Obama has not managed to find answers.

Mr Obamaís greatest disappointment, however, was his failure to honour the central promise of his 2008 campaign.

Millions of voters were energised by his pledge to end the chronic gridlock plaguing Washington. Sarah Palin infamously referred to this as the ďhopey-changey stuffĒ, and perhaps she was right to make fun of it, because the bipartisan dream Mr Obama spoke of so eloquently never materialised. That wasnít all his fault ó the Republicans were determined not to play ball ó but he could have done far more.

ďMr Obama is simply not the kind of politician that likes to get down and dirty with the kind of everyday politicking, and the horsetrading. He was simply not willing to engage in politics as it is usually done on Capitol Hill,Ē Dr Gorana Grgic, a lecturer in US politics at the United States Studies Centre, told news.com.au after Mr Trumpís election victory.

ďA lot of people have said that itís a kind of product of his personality and who he was previously. An academic, someone whoís very aloof maybe. Heíd rather debate things, heíd rather try to show that his argument is plausible or he has more evidence to support his course of action than make those compromises.Ē

There was a fundamental contradiction at the core of Mr Obamaís presidency. He sounded like a centrist, constantly talking a big game about bipartisanship, but in practise he was condescending towards his political opponents and unwilling to compromise

That greatly hindered his ability to negotiate with Congress, and coupled with the Republicansí own uncompromising shift to the right, it created ďthe most polarising environment everĒ in the US, Dr Grgic said.

That environment led directly to the rise of Donald Trump. It decimated the Democrats, whose numbers have plummeted at federal and state level. Mr Obamaís party has seen most of its rising stars turfed from office, and now there is no obvious leader ready to pick up the pieces when heís gone.

Mr Obama isnít the only one to blame for this ó not even close ó but itís an undeniable fact that he failed to bring the country together. Race relations have soured. Urban elites and rural voters openly sneer at each other. And in a sickening dose of irony, Americaís first black president is about to hand over the White House to the man who spent years hounding him with a racist birther conspiracy theory.

It isnít all negative. Mr Obama has been an exemplary role model in the Oval Office, as both a leader and an admirable father. Heís suffered no personal scandals, and has consistently appealed to Americansí better angels. We wonít be able to say the same about Mr Trump, and you suspect the world will soon look back on the Obama years with fond nostalgia.

He will be remembered ó perhaps even revered ó as a progressive icon for decades to come, having personified a significant leftward shift in Americaís social values. But few will remember what Barack Obama actually achieved, and for a presidency that started with such remarkable promise, that can only be considered a failure.

SOURCE

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A sandwich enthusiast-- seen at the "Women's march"



Looks like she has had way too many sandwiches


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The media have finally shot themselves in the foot

Scot Faulkner

The media, especially the 95 percent within the media who are liberals, are in free fall in audience and credibility. A recent Associated Press survey reported that 96 percent of Americans no longer trust the ďmainstream media.Ē The media elite are still in denial that their world of unaccountable privilege and bias has vanished.

How the media elite respond will determine whether anyone listens to them ever again. The latest Buzzfeed/CNN promotion of false Trump trash is further evidence that the elite are on a different planet from the real world.

The American news media was ďmiddle of the roadĒ and patriotic until the mid-1960s. At that time the older generation of media moguls retired or died, ushering in activist liberals. Media liberalism became radical with the Vietnam War and Watergate.

Accuracy in Media (AIM) was founded in 1969 by Reed Irvine to expose this new liberal media bias.  AIMís documentation remained within conservative circles until Vice President Spiro Agnew used its research in boldly partisan speeches during the 1970 elections.

Americans were also held captive by three broadcast networks and Public Broadcasting until CSPAN cable television entered the scene in 1979. Conservative Members in the House of Representatives used CSPAN to conduct guerrilla theater. Using large photos, graphs and models of Soviet airplanes, House conservatives began to directly educate the public about big government and the Soviet threat. It was the first breech of the liberal media filters.

In April 1980, two senior news editors, Arnaud De Borchgrave and Robert Moss, published The Spike, a novel exposing communist influence within the American media. As importantly, they exposed how liberal media moguls pervert reality as much by what they donít cover as what they do Ė ďspikingĒ stories.

The real media revolution really began in 1987 when the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) eliminated the ďFairness Doctrine.Ē For the first time since 1949, radio stations could feature editorial content in their normal programming. On August 1, 1988, Rush Limbaugh launched his radio show.  Now all Americans finally had access to non-liberal perspectives.

The liberal media fought back. Talk radio hosts and news reporters were denied press credentials to cover Congress until the Republicans took over the House in January 1995. Even though credentialed, talk radio was still shunned. The liberal media elite branded it unprofessional and said it trafficked in conspiracy theories.

Starting in May 1995 with Netscape, the Internet devastated the liberal media citadels. Website news began to supplant broadcast and print media. Social media, along with internet access on mobile devices in 2004, ignited an historic information revolution.

Conservative voices were unleashed by these upheavals. Liberal media elites could no longer ďspikeĒ stories or present their bias unchallenged. Even their own audience favored getting their news from social media and shows on Comedy Central. The media establishment sped its own demise by succumbing to fake news from its reporters like Jayson Blair and Dan Rather, and trafficking in false news like ďhands-up donít shootí and ďa video caused the Benghazi attack.Ē

All the elements of a liberal media cataclysm were in place.  Trumpís blunt talk and his supportersí contempt for the media brought the status quo crashing down.

Nore than any other politician today, Trump understands that he can render the media irrelevant. Pew Research and other studies show that 62 percent of Americans now get all or part of their news from social media. Facebook posts 510,000 comments and 136,000 photos per minute. Nearly 2.5 million emails are sent every second.  Fifty percent of Millennials check out Facebook when they first wake-up.

Trump does not need to have his message filtered and interpreted by Democrat operatives posing as journalists. Chris Matthews and George Stephanopoulos were Democrat flacks long before they took on the trapping of journalists. Dozens of reporters and ďon-air talentĒ are married to Obama Administration officials. Trumpís response is to go over and around them.

Even President-Elect Trump currently has over 50 million Facebook and Twitter followers. Millions of Trump supporters repost or retweet his quotes on countless social media pages. Some 128 million Americans posted or liked Trump content on Facebook during the campaign. No one has ever been so pervasive in communicating and mobilizing.

Mr. Trump is the master of this new media reality. He understands that 140 characters on Twitter or a pithy comment or compelling image on Facebook shapes the media cycle. This is all before he becomes President, with all its additional resources and reach.

Liberal media in the Trump era is fast becoming as credible and relevant as horoscopes.

Via email

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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 January, 2017

Overcoming the Leftist hegemony

"President Trump".  What a magical sound those words are!  I was intermittently laughing and crying with happiness for a couple of hours after listening to his inaugural address.  It is so good to have one of ours in the White House again.  It's been a long time.  The two Bushes were OK but you have to go back to Reagan to get a really revolutionary President in the White House.

Revolutionary?  Yes.  A believer in the American revolution and a counter-revolutionary against the Leftist hegemony; someone who will smash the Leftist ratchet:  The process whereby the government and society get steadily more Leftist year by year, with no going back even being considered by the governing elite.  Note the excerpt from his speech at a  pre-inauguration concert below. Trump speaks there of drawing on the past, of reverting to proven ways as the change that he has in mind.  What a horror for the Left!

To this day Leftists characterize conservatives as people who are opposed to change. They can't accept that it is just Leftist change that conservatives find wanting.  They do that because they have to defend themselves mentally from any suspicion that conservatives may have well-founded objections to their madcap schemes. Their claim has been an obviously false charge ever since Reagan and Thatcher but it is good to see Trump reinforcing the real story. 

Why is Trump so different?  Mainly because he isn't.  What he says was obviously close to the hearts of the millions that voted for him.  But he does differ in saying out loud what a lot of other Americans were only thinking.  He completely ignored political correctness when most others feared to do so. How come?  How come he is so free from the mental and verbal shackles that the Left have managed to place on most people? Even the GOP in recent years have just been Leftism-Lite.  How come Trump escaped that?

It's got to go back to his upbringing as the son of a very rich man.  His riches would have freed his father from much need to seek the approval of others so he did not inculcate young Donald with the then current middle-class notions of what is acceptable and what is not.  Donald grew up as  something of a "natural" child.  His instinctive feelings were minimally suppressed.  So he is rude to those who are rude to him and is annoyed by the rudeness.  He has not been taught not to sweat the small stuff and has not been taught that "A soft answer turneth away wrath" (Proverbs 15:1).  As a kid, he went to a Presbyterian Sunday school, as I did, and he had a Scottish mother so he obviously got a lot of wise guidance, but it was not enough to suppress who he is.



And the charge that he is a rude man is one-eyed.  He certainly is rude to those who abuse him but he seems also to have learned long ago the two most important words in the English language:  "Thank you".  He spends a lot of time thanking people.  In his inaugural address he even thanked Mr. Obama for smoothing his transition to power, which visibly moved Mr Obama.  Obama seems to be basically a nice guy but he has just never managed to break the mental shackles placed on him by his Marxist upbringing. He is probably not terribly bright.  It was just a nice guy in a black skin that people voted for.

Trump's emphasis on the centrality and importance of the ordinary people is rather reminiscent of another great conservative, Benjamin Disraeli, who led Britain at the time of Britain's greatest eminence -- in the late 19th century.  Disraeli was himself a Jew (superficially converted to the Church of England!) but he greatly extolled the wisdom of the ordinary English people, and put his money where his mouth was by greatly expanding the franchise, so that more of those he extolled could vote in national elections.  Disraeli was a great success in leading his nation and Trump will be too



Thousands of Donald Trump supporters have gathered near one of Washington's famous landmarks for a concert celebrating his upcoming inauguration. The president-elect is embarking on a day of inauguration activities

The president-elect has spoken to the crowd at the inauguration concert.

We're going to unify our country," Trump told a crowd of thousands in front of the Lincoln Memorial after a pre-inauguration concert.

"We're going to do things that haven't been done for our country for many, many decades," he added. "It's going to change. I promise you."

SOURCE

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Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway celebrated with her own personal fashion revolution



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Trump is a true force of nature

By Eric Fehrnstrom

What I like about Trump is that he is a force of nature. We used to have characters like him in American politics until that unique specialness was bleached out of every member of the political class so they all look and act the same. When John Silber ran for governor of Massachusetts in 1990, he had a word to describe modern politicians: "plastic."

Only a person of strong personality, full of energy and unstoppable, can deliver on the change Trump has promised.

So on the occasion of Trump's swearing-in as the 45th president of the United States, I come not to bury Caesar but to praise him. This is after all an inauguration, a ceremony marking the beginning of something. Assuming the worst before things have even got started seems uncharitable. Let us at least toast the opening of the play and the introduction of an unfamiliar set of actors to the stage.

Which raises an interesting question: if Trump is the main character in this new unfolding drama, who is the antagonist?

There's a video on the Internet of protesters staging a "cough-in" at the upscale Jean Georges restaurant inside Trump Tower to oppose Obamacare repeal. It started with one protester hacking away, then another, until so many people joined in the spreading of germs that a fancy dining spot was transformed into an infectious disease clinic. Is this what the anti-Trump opposition looks like? Coughing on people? Voltaire once said, "Lord, make my enemies ridiculous." In Trump's case, God granted it.

SOURCE

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Did Trump promise too much in his inaugural address?

Leftist common potatoes are saying he did -- e.g. here. He even seemed to promise a reign of peace and civililty in Chicago.  Is that possible?  I doubt it. 

But we all know Trump's style by now.  He is a positive thinker and simply expresses what he hopes to do in a very firm and confident way.  He is not writing a carefully considered academic journal article. He is telling you where his heart is and identifying himself with great efforts to make it all happen.  Ordinary people understand all that. It is just Leftist nit-pickers who are determined to take him more literally than they should.

Besides, if Mr Trump's promises are too broad, they do at least refer to particular issues.  That's a lot more specific and a lot less sweeping than Obama's statement in October 2008 that "we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America".  Obama was wildly cheered by Leftists for that terminally ambitious statement.  How odd that they are not cheering the LESS ambitious statements from Trump.

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The Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C.

The media are of course all full of news and commentary about DT so I don't want to say too much that others have already said. I am therefore putting up an article below concerning what I imagine is one of the lesser known things about his enterprises.  It comes from a Leftist publication so is a bit snarky but I think it is interesting nonetheless

Step into the Trump International Hotel and you're immediately transported to the new Washington where Donald Trump is in charge.

It's complete immersion: You can sit at the Trump hotel bar, watch Trump on TV, observe Trump White House staffers, while sipping Trump wine. If you hit the right time like this reporter, you might even catch a glimpse of Trump himself in the flesh - he made a brief stop Wednesday night and wolfed down a steak.

"This is my kind of food," the incoming president said before a nice cut - which he famously likes cooked well done - was placed before him.

He stopped by again Thursday afternoon. "This is a gorgeous room. A total genius must have built this place. Under budget and ahead of schedule," Trump told assembled guests who included several of his Cabinet nominees.

This massive 263-room luxury hotel, in the rehabilitated Old Post Office Pavilion smack dab on Trump's Pennsylvania Avenue inaugural parade route, has become the new gathering place for the Republicans in Washington who won the election. It's been a White House-in-waiting of sorts and all indications suggest that it will continue to be a favorite spot for the new ruling class.

"I encourage you to go there," said incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer, using his first televised press briefing on Thursday to plug the president's showcase property, which opened in October. "It's a beautiful place, it's somewhere that he's very proud of."

The Trump foot soldiers, the formal advisers, the informal advisers, the people who wish they were advisers all gather here for breakfasts, lunches, and cocktails to pay tribute - and literally pay tribute with significant bar tabs - to the man who takes over the government Friday.

For Trump supporters visiting town, it's an unofficial monument on the list of places to visit. And, putting the cost of drinks aside, a fairly accessible one. You have to schedule a tour of the White House - but on most days you can just walk right into the hotel and snap selfies.

In many ways the hotel encapsulates much about Trump. He clearly loves the glamour of the place and touted it frequently during the campaign, when a blue sign hung in front of the centrally located hotel that read "Coming 2016 . . . Trump."

The place also embodies the many potential conflicts of interest that his sprawling business empire poses: Never before has an incoming president owned such a complicated business portfolio, including a grand hotel just blocks from the White House.

A series of news stories has already cropped up: The hotel marketed itself just after the election to foreign diplomats who want to get in with Trump and at least one embassy moved a holiday party to the hotel, ostensibly for the same reason. Trump said recently that profits from foreign government officials staying at the hotel will be donated to the Treasury.

But that hasn't stopped domestic groups from cozying up to the Trump Organization. In December the Republican National Committee held its Christmas party at Trump's hotel, in the Presidential Ballroom. That drew the former RNC chairman Reince Priebus, who will now be Trump's White House chief of staff. As party favors, guests got to keep red cups emblazoned with Trump's slogan, "Make America Great Again!"

The conservative Heritage Foundation also held an event at the hotel, featuring incoming Vice President Mike Pence as a draw.

Democrats in Congress are raising some legal questions about whether Trump's elevation to the presidency will violate the terms of the building's lease. The structure is owned by the federal government, and the lease includes a provision banning elected officials from being a party to it.

The General Services Administration, the federal bureaucracy that oversees the building (and an agency that Trump will soon be in charge of) hasn't ruled on whether the lease will be broken when Trump becomes president.

Trump's lawyers have said he's going to turn over the operations of his company to his two sons. They said the Trump hotels and otherassets would be put in a trust, but it's unclear if that will solve the problem.

The hotel, at 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., includes a cavernous lobby, which is a rarity for Washington. A soaring roof and iron braces makes the interior feel like some mash-up between the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame cathedral.

The bar seating includes tall blue chairs with deep cushions. Four flat screen TVs show ESPN, CNN, Bloomberg News, and Fox News. There's no sign of the left-leaning MSNBC.

On the menu some of the wines are so expensive that they're offered by the spoonful. Staff wheel cheese carts from table to table. Champagne carts also patrol the dining room.

Amid all the splendor, the biggest attraction for many is people watching. On any given night you might see Hope Hicks, the young spokeswoman for the Trump campaign who recently relaxed in the lobby with her parents after apartment hunting.

Or Steve Mnuchin, the Goldman Sachs banker turned Hollywood investor who is Trump's pick for Treasury secretary. A Daily Mail reporter recently spotted him at the hotel ordering a bottle of champagne to be sabered.

If you managed to get into the hotel on Wednesday night amid tight security, you would have rubbed elbows briefly with Trump, who ducked in after a dinner in Washington.

Applause broke out in the lobby when Trump arrived. He was accompanied by an entourage that marched through to the BLT Prime restaurant.

Trump seemed to enjoy mingling with guests briefly and praising the chef, David Burke. "I like this. This is the greatest chef," he said.

Then he walked up to the second level of the restaurant, and ate a pre-ordered steak. Other guests gawked, his security detail fretted, and servers tried to navigate the sea of onlookers.

One caste of Washington insiders isn't spending much time there these days: Reporters. The hotel barred a Politico journalist from entering on Wednesday and told the publication that no media were allowed in.

Heavily partisan, and tightly controlled, the new hotel - like Trump himself - is an unusual addition to Washington's traditions. Even its watering holes.

"Whether in private clubs or the Palm and the Sidecar, D.C. has always run on bipartisan mingling of pols and journalists," said Zachary Hastings Hooper, a Washington PR consultant and man-about-town. "The Trump Hotel seems to be the antithesis of that."

SOURCE

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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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20 January, 2017

Weíre evolving stupid: Icelandic study finds gradual decline in genes linked to education, IQ

This has long been predicted.  Robert Zajonc highlighted the problem way back. That the dummies have most of the children would seem to make a decline in average IQ inevitable in a world where welfare policies make sure that the feckless no longer starve.

EVOLUTION is continuing to shape our future, research from Iceland has found. But not in the way we want. Weíre losing our ability to learn.

A study from the genetics firm deCODE in Reykjavik has uncovered an emerging change in our brains.

Put simply, those born in 1910 were more likely to stick with education for longer than those in 1975.

And itís not just a matter of changing attitudes. The gradual demise of a cluster of genes is being blamed for the slow but steady drop in IQ.

At the researchers fingertips was a genetic database of more than 100,000 Icelandic citizens. They matched this against a set of 74 genes identified early last year as being involved in brain development during pregnancy.

Put together, their presence ó or absence ó could be used as an indicator for how long an individual was likely to spend going through the school and university systems. This is what the Icelandic researchers sought to test.

Their study, published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last month, uncovered the decline.

ďAs a species, we are defined by the power of our brains,Ē deCODE CEO Kari Stefansson said in a statement. ďEducation is the training and refining of our mental capacities. Thus, it is fascinating to find that genetic factors linked to more time spent in education are becoming rarer in the gene pool.Ē

Itís a revelation, if proven true, that has dire implications. But it is supported by circumstantial evidence. Itís long been noted people who seek higher education tend to have fewer children.

This, the researchers say, means Icelandís smarter population have been contributing less to the nationís gene pool. And itís beginning to show.

ďThe rate of decrease is small per generation but marked on an evolutionary timescale,Ē the paper reads.

The researchers argue that time spent in the education system itself does not appear to be to blame for the fall in fertility.

Itís all in the genes. Those predisposed towards education appear also to have a predisposition towards having children later in life.

ďIn spite of the negative selection against these sequence variations, education levels have been increasing for decades,Ē Dr Stefansson notes. ďTime will tell whether the decline of the genetic propensity for education will have a notable impact on human society.Ē

SOURCE

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A far-Leftist view of Obama

John Pilger is kmown for exaggeration and selective attention to the facts but there are some truths in what he says below. He is sickened by the way American liberals worship Obama

Donald Trump. for all his flaws, is not Barack Obama, an American president who has set new lows in foreign slaughter and the transfer of wealth from the poor to the mega-rich

On the day President Trump is inaugurated, thousands of writers in the United States will express their indignation. ďIn order for us to heal and move forwardÖ,Ē say Writers Resist, ďwe wish to bypass direct political discourse, in favour of an inspired focus on the future, and how we, as writers, can be a unifying force for the protection of democracy.Ē

And: ďWe urge local organizers and speakers to avoid using the names of politicians or adopting Ďantií language as the focus for their Writers Resist event. Itís important to ensure that nonprofit organizations, which are prohibited from political campaigning, will feel confident participating in and sponsoring these events.Ē

Thus, real protest is to be avoided, for it is not tax exempt.

That the menace of rapacious power Ė rampant long before the rise of Trump Ė has been accepted by writers, many of them privileged and celebrated, and by those who guard the gates of literary criticism, and culture, including popular culture, is uncontroversial. Not for them the impossibility of writing and promoting literature bereft of politics. Not for them the responsibility to speak out, regardless of who occupies the White House.

Today, false symbolism is all. ďIdentityĒ is all. In 2016, Hillary Clinton stigmatised millions of voters as ďa basket of deplorables, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic Ė you name itĒ. Her abuse was handed out at an LGBT rally as part of her cynical campaign to win over minorities by abusing a white mostly working-class majority. Divide and rule, this is called; or identity politics in which race and gender conceal class, and allow the waging of class war. Trump understood this.

ďWhen the truth is replaced by silence,Ē said the Soviet dissident poet Yevtushenko, ďthe silence is a lie.Ē

There is something both venal and profoundly stupid about famous writers as they venture outside their cosseted world and embrace an ďissueĒ. Across the Review section of the Guardian on 10 December was a dreamy picture of Barack Obama looking up to the heavens and the words, ďAmazing GraceĒ and ďFarewell the ChiefĒ.

The sycophancy ran like a polluted babbling brook through page after page. ďHe was a vulnerable figure in many waysÖ. But the grace. The all-encompassing grace: in manner and form, in argument and intellect, with humour and cool Ö. [He] is a blazing tribute to what has been, and what can be againÖ He seems ready to keep fighting, and remains a formidable champion to have on our sideÖ Ö The grace Ö the almost surreal levels of graceÖ.Ē

I have conflated these quotes. There are others even more hagiographic and bereft of mitigation. The Guardianís chief apologist for Obama, Gary Younge, has always been careful to mitigate, to say that his hero ďcould have done moreĒ: oh, but there were the ďcalm, measured and consensual solutionsÖ.Ē

None of them, however, could surpass the American writer, Ta-Nehisi Coates, the recipient of a ďgeniusĒ grant worth $625,000 from a liberal foundation. In an interminable essay for The Atlantic entitled, ďMy President Was BlackĒ, Coates brought new meaning to prostration. The final ďchapterĒ, entitled ďWhen You Left, You Took All of Me With YouĒ, a line from a Marvin Gaye song, describes seeing the Obamas ďrising out of the limo, rising up from fear, smiling, waving, defying despair, defying history, defying gravityĒ. The Ascension, no less.

One of the persistent strands in American political life is a cultish extremism that approaches fascism. This was given expression and reinforced during the two terms of Barack Obama. ďI believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being,Ē said Obama, who expanded Americaís favourite military pastime, bombing, and death squads (ďspecial operationsĒ) as no other president has done since the Cold War.

According to a Council on Foreign Relations survey, in 2016 alone Obama dropped 26,171 bombs. That is 72 bombs every day. He bombed the poorest people on earth, in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan.

Every Tuesday Ė reported the New York Times Ė he personally selected those who would be murdered by mostly hellfire missiles fired from drones. Weddings, funerals, shepherds were attacked, along with those attempting to collect the body parts festooning the ďterrorist targetĒ. A leading Republican senator, Lindsey Graham, estimated, approvingly, that Obamaís drones killed 4,700 people. ďSometimes you hit innocent people and I hate that,Ē he said, but weíve taken out some very senior members of Al Qaeda.Ē

Like the fascism of the 1930s, big lies are delivered with the precision of a metronome: thanks to an omnipresent media whose description now fits that of the Nuremberg prosecutor. ďBefore each major aggression, with some few exceptions based on expediency, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologicallyÖ. In the propaganda systemÖ it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons.Ē

Take the catastrophe in Libya. In 2011, Obama said Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi was planning ďgenocideĒ against his own people. ďWe knewÖ that if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.Ē

This was the known lie of Islamist militias facing defeat by Libyan government forces. It became the media story; and Nato Ė led by Obama and Hillary Clinton Ė launched 9,700 ďstrike sortiesĒ against Libya, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. Uranium warheads were used; the cities of Misurata and Sirte were carpet-bombed. The Red Cross identified mass graves, and Unicef reported that ďmost [of the children killed]were under the age of 10Ē.

Under Obama, the US has extended secret ďspecial forcesĒ operations to 138 countries, or 70 per cent of the worldís population. The first African-American president launched what amounted to a full-scale invasion of Africa. Reminiscent of the Scramble for Africa in the late 19th century, the US African Command (Africom) has built a network of supplicants among collaborative African regimes eager for American bribes and armaments. Africomís ďsoldier to soldierĒ doctrine embeds US officers at every level of command from general to warrant officer. Only pith helmets are missing.

It is as if Africaís proud history of liberation, from Patrice Lumumba to Nelson Mandela, is consigned to oblivion by a new masterís black colonial elite whose ďhistoric missionĒ, warned Frantz Fanon half a century ago, is the promotion of ďa capitalism rampant though camouflagedĒ.

It was Obama who, in 2011, announced what became known as the ďpivot to AsiaĒ, in which almost two-thirds of US naval forces would be transferred to the Asia-Pacific to ďconfront ChinaĒ, in the words of his Defence Secretary. There was no threat from China; the entire enterprise was unnecessary. It was an extreme provocation to keep the Pentagon and its demented brass happy.

In 2014, Obamaís administration oversaw and paid for a fascist-led coup in Ukraine against the democratically-elected government, threatening Russia in the western borderland through which Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, with a loss of 27 million lives. It was Obama who placed missiles in Eastern Europe aimed at Russia, and it was the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize who increased spending on nuclear warheads to a level higher than that of any administration since the cold war Ė having promised, in an emotional speech in Prague, to ďhelp rid the world of nuclear weaponsĒ.

Following the public relations disaster of George W. Bush, Obama, the smooth operator from Chicago via Harvard, was enlisted to restore what he calls ďleadershipĒ throughout the world. The Nobel Prize committeeís decision was part of this: the kind of cloying reverse racism that beatified the man for no reason other than he was attractive to liberal sensibilities and, of course, American power, if not to the children he kills in impoverished, mostly Muslim countries.

This is the Call of Obama. It is not unlike a dog whistle: inaudible to most, irresistible to the besotted and boneheaded, especially ďliberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics,Ē as Luciana Bohne put it. ďWhen Obama walks into a room,Ē gushed George Clooney, ďyou want to follow him somewhere, anywhere.Ē

William I. Robinson, professor at the University of California, and one of an uncontaminated group of American strategic thinkers who have retained their independence during the years of intellectual dog-whistling since 9/11, wrote this last week:

ďPresident Barack ObamaÖ may have done more than anyone to assure [Donald] Trumpís victory. While Trumpís election has triggered a rapid expansion of fascist currents in US civil society, a fascist outcome for the political system is far from inevitableÖ. But that fight back requires clarity as to how we got to such a dangerous precipice. The seeds of 21st century fascism were planted, fertilized and watered by the Obama administration and the politically bankrupt liberal elite.Ē

Robinson points out that ďwhether in its 20th or its emerging 21st century variants, fascism is, above all, a response to deep structural crises of capitalism, such as that of the 1930s and the one that began with the financial meltdown in 2008Ö. There is a near-straight line here from Obama to TrumpÖ. The liberal eliteís refusal to challenge the rapaciousness of transnational capital and its brand of identity politics served to eclipse the language of the working and popular classesÖ pushing white workers into an Ďidentityí of white nationalism and helping the neo-fascists to organise themĒ.

The seedbed is Obamaís Weimar Republic, a landscape of endemic poverty, militarised police and barbaric prisons: the consequence of a ďmarketĒ extremism which, under his presidency, prompted the transfer of $14 trillion in public money to criminal enterprises in Wall Street.

Perhaps his greatest ďlegacyĒ is the co-option and disorientation of any real opposition. Bernie Sandersí specious ďrevolutionĒ does not apply. Propaganda is his triumph.

The lies about Russia Ė in whose elections the US has openly intervened Ė have made the worldís most self-important journalists laughing stocks. In the country with constitutionally the freest press in the world, free journalism now exists only in its honourable exceptions.

The obsession with Trump is a cover for many of those calling themselves ďleft/liberalĒ, as if to claim political decency. They are not ďleftĒ, neither are they especially ďliberalĒ. Much of Americaís aggression towards the rest of humanity has come from so-called liberal Democratic administrations Ė such as Obamaís.

While they ďhealĒ and ďmove forwardĒ, will the Writers Resist campaigners and other anti-Trumpists reflect upon this? More to the point: when will a genuine movement of opposition arise? Angry, eloquent, all-for-one-and-one-for all. Until real politics return to peopleís lives, the enemy is not Trump, it is ourselves.

SOURCE

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

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

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19 January, 2017

The inauguration

I noticed that a popular crossover (pop and classical) singer, Jackie Evancho, will be singing at the Trump inauguration. I gather that she is very popular in America but I had never heard of her.  So I listened to her singing quite a bit on YouTube.  And there is no doubt she is a sweet little singer.  Her voice lacks power, however.  If you want to hear what a real operatic soprano can do, see the video below where Anna Netrebko sings before 10,000 Berliners.  Netrebko is a great gift from Russia to us all



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Why Obamacareís Ď20 Millioní Number Is Fake

Liberals are notorious for caring about ďgroupsĒ of people, but when it gets down to individual persons, not so much. Youíre about to see this play out in spades as Democrats cry crocodile tears over the coming repeal of Obamacare.

You hear it over and over again: ďThis will be catastrophic for the 20 million people who were previously uninsured but now have coverage! You canít take away their health care!Ē

First of all, no one is talking about doing that. Any repeal legislation will have a transition period for those who got coverage through Obamacare to move to new plans. And second, they will have more choices and better options. Win. Win.

But liberals would rather focus on quantity, how many millions weíve given something to, versus quality, what does that ďgiftĒ mean for individual people.

The Obama administration claims 20 million more Americans today have health care due to Obamacare. The reality is that when you look at the actual net gains over the past two years since the program was fully implemented, the number is 14 million, and of that, 11.8 million (84 percent) were people given the ďgiftĒ of Medicaid.

And new research shows that even fewer people will be left without insurance after the repeal of Obamacare. Numbers are still being crunched, but between statistics released by the Congressional Budget Office and one of the infamous architects of Obamacare, the Massachusetts Institute of Technologyís Jonathan Gruber, itís estimated that anywhere from 2 to 7 million people now on Medicaid would have qualified for the program even without Obamacare.

That further discredits the administrationís claim of 20 million more Americans having health insurance because of Obamacare.

Multiple studies have also shown that even those who are uninsured often have better outcomes than those with Medicaid. A University of Virginia study found that for eight different surgical procedures, Medicaid patients were more likely to die than privately insured or uninsured patients. They were also more likely to suffer complications.

And it is important to note that this study focused on procedures done from 2003-2007, prior to the geniuses in Washington deciding it was a good idea to put even more people on the already overburdened Medicaid system.

Additionally, despite what proponents of the law promised, there is little evidence to show that the use of emergency rooms, which have a higher level of medical errors, has decreased due to Obamacare.

Then there is this reality: While Obamacare has handed out millions of new Medicaid cards, that does not mean the recipients now have quality health care. In fact, it doesnít ensure they have health care at all. Thatís because increasing numbers of doctors arenít accepting Medicaid.

As a Louisiana woman told The New York Times, ďMy Medicaid card is useless for me right now. Itís a useless piece of plastic. I canít find an orthopedic surgeon or a pain management doctor who will accept Medicaid.Ē

Keep that in mind every time liberal Democratic senators pull out the Kleenex boxes bemoaning the fact Republicans are the ones trying to take peopleís health care away.

Speaking of which, a much underreported fact of Obamacare is how many truly needy and disabled Americans are NOT getting the services they need because of the expansion of Medicaid for able-bodied adults (aka healthy) of prime working age, 19-54.

So while the left talks about all the new people Obamacare is helping, it neglects to mention that over half a million disabled people, from those with developmental disabilities to traumatic brain injuries, are on waiting lists for care.

And many of them are on waiting lists because Obamacare gives states more money to enroll able-bodied adults than it does to take care of disabled children and adults who qualified for Medicaid prior to Obamacare.

If you think that doesnít have a real-world perverse impact, note this. Since Arkansas expanded its Medicaid program under Obamacare, itís rolls have grown by 25 percent. During that same time, 79 people on the Medicaid waiting list who suffered from developmental disabilities have died. I would encourage you to read my former Heritage Foundation colleague Chris Jacobís full piece on this.

SOURCE

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How One Nebraska Woman Lost Her Health Insurance Three Times Under Obamacare



Strike One

In the months leading up to the Affordable Care Actís implementation on Oct. 1, 2013, millions of Americans began receiving notices from their health insurance companies informing them their policies had been cancelled.

Weldin was one of them. The Nebraska woman, who was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome 15 years ago, had purchased catastrophic coverage through Humana after moving from San Diego, Calif., which she kept until 2013óright before Obamacareís implementation.

By the start of 2014, Weldin would be left without insurance.

Like millions of other Americans who also received cancellation notices, she logged on to HealthCare.gov on Oct. 1, 2013, to browse and purchase new health insurance. But, like millions of other Americans who attempted to sign on to the site, she was a victim of its disastrous launch.

For two months, Weldin attempted to complete her application and was successful by mid-December.

Through CoOportunity, Weldin purchased a platinum level plan with premiums costing $307 a month.

Strike Two

Weldinís insurance with CoOportunity went into effect Jan. 1, 2014, and she had the insurance for most of that year.

Like some consumers, Weldin had issues with the coverage she received through the law. Her original doctor, located seven hours away in Colorado, was no longer in network, and Weldinís plan included services she would never need. At 58 years old, the former dental hygienist had a difficult time understanding why she would need maternity coverage, but it was included in her plan.

Her new platinum plan included a $2,500 deductible, and Weldin qualified for the tax credits touted by the administration.

Then, in November 2014, CoOportunity notified Weldin that they would no longer be offering platinum plans.

For the second time, Weldin ďmuddled throughĒ HealthCare.gov to purchase a new health insurance plan. Again, she encountered issues with the website and had to wait until December before securing coverage with CoOportunity. Weldin ultimately selected a silver-level plan for $165 a month.

ďHere you are, trying to do the right thing, trying to be responsible and have coverage and be diligent,Ē she said. ďAnd still, I have all these problems and glitches and everything.Ē

Strike Three

It wasnít long after purchasing her new insurance with the co-op that Weldin learned CoOportunity was in financial trouble.

One day after Christmas, she read that Iowa state regulators had taken over the nonprofit insurance company, and officials warned it could go under.

CoOportunity originally expected just 12,000 consumers to purchase coverage through the nonprofit. They ended up enrolling 120,000, many of whom were sicker and had costly health issues.

As a result, CoOportunityís expenses and medical claims exceeded their revenue from monthly premiums, which were priced too low.

The state asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for additional money, but the agency denied its request.

ďYou had a perfect storm happen here,Ē Gerhart said.

For Weldin, the new year brought grim news. She learned that CoOportunity would be liquidated. She would be out of health insurance yet again.

For the third time in less than two years, Weldin had lost her health insurance. And for the third time, she went to HealthCare.gov to select a new plan from a new company.

Now, Weldin has health insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield. The ďsilver lining,Ē she said, is that Weldin is able to see her original doctor and nurse practitioner in Colorado. But the cost of her monthly premiums increased to $235.

ďWe have a president who said, If you like your plan, you can keep it. If you like your doctor, you can keep it. You will have choices,íĒ Weldin said. ďAll three things were an outright lie.Ē

SOURCE

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DIAMOND AND SILK CALL OUT JOHN LEWIS

If you donít know Diamond and Silk of ďThe Viewerís ViewĒ YouTube channel, youíre about to be introduced.

Last week, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) proclaimed he doesnít consider Donald Trump to be a ďlegitimate president.Ē Well, Diamond and Silk have a message for Lewis: if he doesnít want to work for the American people, who legitimately voted Trump into office on Nov. 8, then he can pack up and leave Washington with Obama.

Watch their video below:



SOURCE

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Another Leftist flight from reality

Rep. Cardenas: Repealing Obamacare Like Going Back to When We ĎLived in Cavesí

So it was Obama who invented housing?

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

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

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18 January, 2017

The Leftís Siren Song of Coerced Equality

Dan Mitchell

Since I canít even keep track of schools of thought on the right (libertarians, traditional conservatives, neocons, reform conservatives, compassionate conservatives, Trump-style populists, etc), Iím not going to pretend to know whatís happening on the left.

But it does appear that something significant Ė and bad Ė is happening in the statist community.

Traditionally, folks on the left favored a conventional welfare state, which revolved around two components.

Means-tested programs for the ostensible purpose of alleviating poverty (e.g.., Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, etc).
Social-insurance programs for the ostensible purpose of alleviating sickness, unemployment, and aging (e.g., Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, etc).

This agenda was always a bad idea for both macro and micro reasons, and has become a very bad idea because of demographic changes.

But now the left has expanded its goals to policies that are far more radical. Instead of a well-meaning (albeit misguided) desire to protect people from risk, they now want coerced equality.

And this agenda also has two components.

* A guaranteed and universal basic income for everyone.

* Taxes and/or earnings caps to limit the income of the rich.

Taking a closer look at the idea of basic income, there actually is a reasonable argument that the current welfare state is so dysfunctional that it would be better to simply give everyone a check instead.

But as Iíve argued before, this approach would also create an incentive for people to simply live off taxpayers. Especially if the basic income is super-generous, as was proposed (but fortunately rejected by an overwhelming margin) in Switzerland.

Another thing I fear is that politicians would create a basic income but then not fully repeal the existing welfare state (very similar to my concern that politicians would like to have a national sales tax or value-added tax without fully eliminating the IRS and all taxes on income).

Now letís shift to the leftís class-warfare fixation about penalizing those with high incomes.

This isnít a new phenomenon, of course. Weíve had ideologues such as Bernie Sanders, Thomas Piketty, and Matt Yglesias arguing  in recent years for confiscatory tax rates. It appears some modern leftists actually think the economy is a fixed pie and that high incomes for some people necessitate lower incomes for the rest of us.

And because of their fetish for coerced equality, some of them even want to explicitly cap incomes for very valuable people.

The nutcase leader of the U.K. Labour Party, for instance, recently floated that notion. Here are some excerpts from a report in the Guardian.

Jeremy Corbyn has called for a maximum wage for the highest earnersÖ The Labour leader would not give specific figures, but said radical action was needed to address inequality. ďI would like there to be some kind of high earnings cap, quite honestly,Ē he told BBC Radio 4ís Today programme on Tuesday.

When asked at what level the cap should be set, he replied: ďI canít put a figure on itÖ It is getting worse. And corporate taxation is a part of it. If we want to live in a more egalitarian society, and fund our public services, we cannot go on creating worse levels of inequality.Ē

Corbyn, who earns about £138,000 a year, later told Sky News he anticipated any maximum wage would be ďsomewhat higher than thatĒ. ďI think the salaries paid to some footballers are simply ridiculous, some salaries to very high earning top executives are utterly ridiculous. Why would someone need to earn more than £50m a year?Ē

This is so radical that even other members of the Labour Party have rejected the idea.

Danny Blanchflower, a former member of Corbynís economic advisory committee, said he would have advised the Labour leader against the scheme. In a tweet, the former member of the Bank of Englandís monetary policy committee said it was a ďtotally idiotic, unworkable ideaĒ. ÖLabour MPs expressed reservationsÖ Reynolds also expressed some uncertainty. ďIím not sure that I would support that,Ē she told BBC News. ďI would like to see the detail. I think there are other ways that you can go about tackling income inequalityÖ Instinctively, I donít think [a cap] probably the best way to go.Ē

The good news, relatively speaking, is that Crazy Corbyn has been forced to backtrack.

Not because heís changed his mind, Iím sure, but simply for political reasons. Hereís some of what the U.K.-based Times wrote.

Jeremy Corbynís attempt to relaunch his Labour leadership descended into disarray yesterday as he backtracked on a wage capÖ The climbdown came after members of the shadow cabinet refused to back the idea of a maximum income while former economic advisers to Mr Corbyn criticised it as absurd.
There donít seem to be many leftists in the United States who have directly embraced this approach, though it is worth noting that Bill Clintonís 1993 tax hike included a provision disallowing deductibility for corporate pay over $1 million.

And that policy was justified using the same ideology that politicians should have the right to decide whether some people are paid too much.

In closing, I canít help but wonder whether my statist friends have thought about the implications of their policies. They want the government to give everyone a guaranteed basic income, yet they want to wipe out high-income taxpayers who finance the lionís share of redistribution.

Iím sure that work marvelously in the United States. Just like itís producing great outcomes in place like Greece and Venezuela.

More HERE

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Cory Booker and the Lawless Left


He was the first sitting senator to testify against a fellow senator at a hearing to approve a member of the president's cabinet

To Democrats, "justice" requires their favored prejudice.

Never mind that New Jersey Democrat Sen. Cory Booker was deified on the Left for testifying against a fellow member of the chamber considered for a cabinet post.

Booker was the Leftís posterchild in the attempt to personally destroy his Senate colleague and nominee for attorney general, Alabamaís Jeff Sessions. Despite glowing remarks and working directly with Sessions, Booker turned his fire on a qualified public servant.

The content of Bookerís comments was largely ignored because heís a sympathetic minority some view as the next Barack Obama. But Booker unloaded on his fellow senator, painting him as a dangerous man whoíll allegedly target minorities. And he described the job of the attorney general as more or less the opposite of what it should be.

Weíre not going to ignore Bookerís comments. Instead, they should be bookmarked for years to come as this ambitious man chooses to ignore his current oath of office. Booker clearly wants an arbitrary approach to the law thatís rooted in prejudice and, thus, has demonstrated he should not be trusted with a promotion.

Sessions is the clear antithesis to his two predecessors: Eric ďFast and FuriousĒ Holder and Loretta ďLetís talk about our grandbabies on the tarmacĒ Lynch. While these two AGs, according to Obama, supposedly served without scandal or corruption, time and factual history will show them to have politicized and even weaponized the Department of Justice to advance a lawless agenda.

In stark contrast, Sessions, who also served as Alabama attorney general, has always approached the law with respect and the determination to enforce it. For example, not only did Sessions work to ensure racial integration in public schools in his southern state, but he legally pursued the Ku Klux Klan, even prosecuting a leader who was later put to death for his racial crimes. A $7 million successful civil suit resulted against the KKK, bankrupting the hate group, while Sessions lead as chief law enforcement officer in Alabama.

And, there, friends, is the problem that Booker and every other Democrat has with Sessions: As U.S. attorney general, Sessions might actually keep his pledge to enforce the law without fear, favor or affection, malice or partiality. Horrors!

Bookerís statements were purely political, assigning powers outside the office of AG. ďHe will be expected to defend the rights of immigrants and affirm their human dignity,Ē Booker lectured. Please donít misread this to be Bookerís concern with impartial law enforcement of immigration statutes. Instead, the senator assigns a power outside the Rule of Law in concern for illegal immigrants, who he says should be shielded from the consequence of lawless activity ó like the sanctuary city status honored by Booker as mayor of Newark, New Jersey.

Booker continued, ďThe next attorney general must bring hope and healing to our country, and this demands a more courageous empathy than Senator Sessions' record demonstrates.Ē This soaring rhetoric was made in context of Booker claiming that Sessions has a racial bias against minorities. And, Booker warned, ďPersistent biases cannot be defeated unless we combat them.Ē

Mr. Booker, why is the statue of Lady Justice always depicted with a blindfold hiding her eyes while sheís holding a balance in her right hand and a sword in her left? The blindfolded goddess personifies that authentic justice is blind to extraneous factors. She employs the scales to balance truth and fact, not feeling and empathy, in her determinations. And the downward pointed sword represents that justice includes punishment for those who are unlawful.

Thus the Left fiercely works to redefine justice, the law and all that would be within the job description of the attorney general. Thatís because Rule of Law impedes their political agenda.

But back to a disgusting implication made by Booker and the Left. They issue a call to first prejudge the situation based on minority status, sexual preference or identity, immigration status or any other certified aggrieved person or group on the Left. But, to prejudge is to practice prejudice, the Latin word praejudicium. Essentially, remove the blindfold from Lady Justice and place a thumb on the scales depending on factors identified as ďtriggers,Ē ďprivilegesĒ or any other subjective aspect outside of fact.

On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, itís worth noting again that Cory Booker and the Democrats clearly illustrate their devotion to politics, even by lawless means, instead of the call of an American icon who prayed that his children would ďlive in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.Ē

SOURCE

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Fascism creep in America! Send death threats to a blind opera singer so he doesn't sing at the inauguration

Opera star Andrea Bocelli backed out of singing at Donald Trump's inauguration after receiving death threats, The Mail on Sunday has learnt.

The revelation came as another singer Ė Broadway legend Jennifer Holliday Ė last night pulled out of the President-elect's festivities after being threatened and branded an 'Uncle Tom'.

When blind tenor Bocelli announced he would not sing at this Friday's celebration, it was widely reported it was because fans had said they would boycott his concerts and records.

But a source said the 58-year-old had been determined to 'press ahead' and sing but had pulled out on the advice of his security team after receiving threats to his life.

A source close to Bocelli, a friend of Trump's, said: 'Andrea is very sad to be missing the chance to sing at such a huge global event but he has been advised it is simply not worth the risk.'

SOURCE

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

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

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17 January, 2017

As Congress Plots Repeal, Former Pennsylvania Democrat Faces $784 in Monthly Premiums Under Obamacare

Before President Barack Obama signed the "Affordable" Care Act into law, he promised Americans they would have quality, affordable health care, and would be able to keep their same health insurance plans and doctors.

But in the three years since Obamacareís exchanges opened for business, Ross Schriftman, 64, said none of those promises have come to fruition for him.

Before the health care law was implemented, Schriftman was paying $218 per month for coverage from Independence Blue Cross with a $5,000 deductible. In 1974, long before the Obamacare seed was planted, Schriftman recalled paying just $12 per month for his very first health insurance plan.

This year, though, Schriftmanís policy with Independence Blue Cross is costing him $784 per month with a $6,500 deductible. Schriftman, an insurance agent, doesnít qualify for a subsidy.

Before the health care law was implemented and into Obamacareís first years of existence, Schriftman, a former Democrat, deposited money throughout the year into his health savings account, or a medical savings account.

But now that his premiums have increased so substantially, the health insurance agent said he can no longer afford to put away the extra money.

And before the implementation of the health care law, Schriftman, like millions of other Americans, was told he would be able to keep his plan once Obamacare took effect.

But, also like millions of other Americans, his original $218-per-month policy with Independence Blue Cross was canceled.

Schriftman picked a new plan through Aetna, but history repeated itself, and the insurer canceled his plan. ďTalk about choice,Ē he told The Daily Signal. ďTalk about losing.Ē

Now, Schriftman is back where he was before Obamacareís implementation, with a policy from Independence Blue Cross.

This time, though, some things are different. ďIím paying higher premiums. Iím paying higher taxes, and I have worse coverage,Ē he said.

In a statement to The Daily Signal, Paula Sunshine, chief marketing officer for Independence Blue Cross, said the insurer is working with consumers to ďfind the benefits that are right for them and the care they need,Ē but said the company also needs to ďensure a sustainable market.Ē

ďOur rates reflect the changing market trends impacting insurers here and across the country,Ē Sunshine said.

Taking Action

Like so many Americans on both sides of the debate over Obamacare, Schriftman is watching the Republican-led Congress closely as it works on a plan to repeal and replace the health care law.

Since Obama signed Obamacare into law in 2010, GOP lawmakers have been talking about repealing it, and have voted to do so more than 60 times. But with Obama in the White House, their efforts were unsuccessful.

That changed Nov. 8, when voters elected Republican businessman Donald Trump to the White House, and the GOP retained control of both the House and the Senate.

Trump, along with many Republicans on the ballot, campaigned on repealing Obamacare. This year, theyíll finally have their shot.

GOP lawmakers have agreed to roll back much of the health care law using reconciliation, a budget tool that is especially powerful in the Senate.

There, reconciliation bills need just 51 votes to pass, and Republicans hold 52 seats in the upper chamber.

But while the GOP has come to an agreement on how to repeal Obamacare, the party is split over when to vote on its replacementóand hasnít yet agreed on a replacementóand whether to get rid of Obamacareís taxes immediately.

Democrats and the White House, meanwhile, are warning that repealing the law would cause 20 million Americans who gained health insurance under Obamacare to lose coverage.

And itís a concern that has some Republicans rethinking whether repeal first, replace later is a viable strategy.

ďI think itís important that we move sooner on a replacement than later,Ē Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told The Daily Signal, ďjust to alleviate some of the concerns of those that may be fearful of losing their health insurance.Ē

Meadows said he would like to see the House move Obamacareís repeal on a ďparallel trackĒ as a replacement, though he contends Congress will have to act on its repeal first.

ďItís important for us in the House to at least start debating the merits of a replacement plan sooner than later,Ē he said. ďPart of that is hearing from constituents who definitely want it repealed, but thereís also a group who say they definitely want to know what they can count on when repeal takes place.Ē

Republican leaders said they want to have a bill repealing Obamacare on the president-electís desk not long after his Jan. 20 inauguration, and the Senate has already taken the first step toward dismantling the health care law through reconciliation.

But their plan has been disrupted by a group of five GOP senators attempting to delay repeal until March.

Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Rob Portman of Ohio offered an amendment to the budget resolution that would give House and Senate committees with jurisdiction over Obamacare until March 23 to write the legislation that would roll back the health care law.

House Republican leaders, though, are committed to moving forward with repeal.

ďWithout delay, we are taking action,Ē Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters Tuesday. ďWe are putting in place the tools necessary to keep our promise on this law.Ē

Gun-shy

Schriftman, who lives in Maple Glen, Pennsylvania, has been active in Democratic politics since the 1970s.

In 1974, 1976, and 2004, he ran for the Pennsylvania state House of Representatives, but ultimately decided to leave the party.

Now, Schriftman is calling on congressional Democrats to work with Republicans to craft a replacement for Obamacare, or face a continued loss of support from constituents.

ďYou can help craft legislation that provides real reform or you can stubbornly cling to your failed programs and force your constituents to continue suffering with high premiums, high deductibles, lack of choices, and high taxes to pay for it,Ē Schriftman wrote in a letter to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

He fears that if Republicans donít repeal and replace the law, the future of health insurance under Obamacare will continue on a downhill slide.

ďTheyíre not going to do better in 2018 if they stand in the way of reform,Ē Schriftman said of congressional Democrats. ďIf nothing changes and all they do is a little fix and keep the basic structure of Obamacare in place, where are the American people going to be in two years? What are the premiums going to be in two years? How many carriers are going to be left in two years? How many doctors are going to be really happy?Ē

And though he believes Republicans in Congress now have a real opportunity to repeal the law, Schriftman said heís ďanxious about some of the Republicans getting gun-shy.Ē

ďThis is their opportunity. This is it,Ē he said. ďThey either get behind fixing it, or theyíre going to have even worse problems with the public. People are just so fed up.Ē

SOURCE

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Did Hollywood abuse of Trump backfire?

IT ISNíT an opinion heard frequently in the famously liberal Hollywood, but sci-fi queen Zoe Saldana has spoken out against the acting community for bullying abrasive Donald Trump.

The Star Trek, Avatar and Guardians of the Galaxy star ó who is not a supporter of the Republican president-elect ó believes insults flung at him during the race for the White House turned off much of middle America.

ďWe got cocky and became arrogant and we also became bullies,Ē the 38-year-old actress said of Trump, who has been frequently berated himself for bullying tactics, including seemingly mocking a reporter with disabilities.

ďWe were trying to single out a man for all these things he was doing wrong ... and that created empathy in a big group of people in America that felt bad for him and that are believing in his promises.Ē

SOURCE

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Like a fish needs a treadmill

by Jeff Jacoby

ARIZONA'S JEFF FLAKE, who occupies the US Senate seat once held by Barry Goldwater, shares his famous predecessor's dismay for profligate government spending. "Let us be honest with ourselves," Goldwater wrote in 1960, when federal spending totaled $92 billion. "Broken promises are not the major cause of our trouble. Kept promises are."

That hasn't changed, as Flake points out in the introduction to "PORKťmon Go," the latest in his annual Wastebook series, which each year compiles scores of examples of preposterous and wasteful federal outlays.

In 2016, federal outlays were $3.87 trillion ó a budgetary metastasis that must have Goldwater spinning in his grave ó yet Washington, as always, is promising to spend more.

"Politicians in both parties are pushing to further loosen bipartisan budget caps and revive the corrupt practice of earmarking tax dollars for pork projects," writes Flake. "The incoming president's agenda includes $1 trillion for infrastructure, $5 trillion in tax cuts, and nearly $500 billion more for defense."

It can be hard for taxpayers to wrap their minds around sums so vast, which is why Flake's yearly anthology of outrageous spending focuses on small but vivid illustrations of how easy it is to squander other people's money. The new Wastebook rounds up 50 fresh examples of egregious projects funded with federal dollars, and describes them with good humor, bad puns ó and nearly 1,100 detailed footnotes.

Flake's cases read like excerpts from The Onion.

 *  At the University of California San Diego, a $560,000 stimulus grant from the National Science Foundation funded a study measuring the endurance of fish on a treadmill. The fish in question were mudskippers ó amphibious creatures that can use their flippers as legs ó and the researchers forced them to run on a specially designed enclosed treadmill until they collapsed from exhaustion. The study found that with higher levels of oxygen in the chamber, the mudskippers could "exercise longer and recover quicker."

 *  A $5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health was used, in part, to analyze the partying habits of fraternity and sorority members on college campuses. The researchers' conclusions were not exactly jaw-droppers: "Members of Greek letter organizations consume higher quantities of alcohol, report more frequent drinking, and experience more alcohol-related consequences" than other students. Students at fraternity/sorority parties view drinking games "as a means to get drunk quickly and to socialize." And more alcohol is drunk on days with "high-profile athletic events."

 *  The Colorado Department of Transportation installed a 28-foot-tall replica of a marijuana joint on the side of a hotel in downtown Denver. The huge joint, which was made from the wreckage of a mangled car, cost $35,000. Uncle Sam picked up the tab, via funding through National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

 *  A barely used airport in Mascoutah, Ill. ó it handles just 20 flights a week and is so deserted that its few passengers can park for free ó undertook $835,000 in renovations last year. Ninety percent of the costs were absorbed by the Federal Aviation Administration. That's on top of the airport's original $313 million construction ó most of which was also paid out of the federal treasury. Mascoutah, meanwhile, has never come close to making a profit: It lost $12 million in 2014.

The other 46 examples are just as fatuous, dubious, or ludicrous. Which is not to say that none of the projects has merit, nor that those who lobby for them are charlatans. The developers of a museum featuring holograms of dead comedians (Chapter 2), the investigators comparing men's and women's ability to identify different Barbie dolls (Chapter 20), and the researchers studying monkey drool (Chapter 48) can no doubt make a plausible case that what they do is beneficial in some way. Indeed, each year's Wastebook release triggers indignant protests from scientists who point out that what may seem goofy or purposeless can lead to unexpected discoveries and insights. Who knows what breakthroughs may eventually be derived from examining fish on a treadmill or how boys and girls relate to dolls?

Why can't Colorado pay for its own giant marijuana sculptures?
But that isn't the litmus test. For responsible budgeteers in Congress and the White House, the threshold issue should never be whether a given expenditure might lead to something good. It is whether the government of the United States should be the one spending the money.

Why must federal, rather than Colorado, tax dollars subsidize a gigantic sculpture of a doobie in Denver ó even to promote safe driving? Why should the money to examine monkey saliva come from Washington, rather than a university endowment fund or a corporate research budget? America's national debt is about to reach a staggering milestone: Twenty. Trillion. Dollars. If even that can't persuade Congress to stop funding comedy museums and comatose airports, what can?

Flake took over the Wastebook project from Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, who retired after the 2014 election. Coburn's inspiration, in turn, was the late Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin, who used to issue monthly Golden Fleece Awards to dumb or risible expenditures of federal money.

Proxmire, bless him, was a Democrat; Coburn and Flake are Republicans. Just as big-spending wastrels can be found in both parties, so can principled spending hawks. If only the former weren't so common, and the latter so rare.

SOURCE

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

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

***************************




16 January, 2017

'Liberal snowflake' Hollywood stars come under fire for 'pathetic' video which shows them singing 'I Will Survive' about Trump's inauguration

How would they survive a war?  Would they just melt?

Donald Trump's supporters have hit out at Hollywood once again, this time over a video of some of the biggest celebrities defiantly singing before his inauguration.

A new clip by W Magazine and Conde Nast Entertainment shows the likes of Emma Stone, Natalie Portman and Amy Adams reciting the disco classic I Will Survive.

The star-studded cast is seen participating in a 'lyrical improv' reading of the Gloria Gaynor song in the video, released just days before Trump will be sworn in.

It's already racked up more than a million views, but many of Trump's most fervent fans found the video to be 'pathetic', 'out of touch' and even 'uncool'.

'Unbelievable. The liberal Hollywood snowflakes made ANOTHER pathetic video called, I Will Survive,' tweeted one user named Billy.  'They're so defiant of Trump. Terrible!' he added, taking a page from his idol.

'Butt hurt, tolerant left. So glad to hear the little snowflakes will survive,' wrote Catherine. 'But, with all their Trump-bashing, will their careers?'

The video was stacked with many celebrities who may earn Academy Award nominations this month, including Stone, Portman and Taraji P Henson.

Also featured in the video is Andrew Garfield, Chris Pine, Hailee Steinfeld, and Matthew McConaughey, the latter disappointing at least one former fan. 'I seriously cannot believe @McConaughey was involved in something this uncool,' tweeted one user. 

The A-listers will likely survive without their critics' support, but the clash over the video highlights the increasing debate over Hollywood activism.

It came to a head during the Golden Globes last Sunday, when Meryl Streep gave a powerful speech condemning the president-elect without ever speaking his name.

While many praised Streep's 'bravery' for the speech, others tweeted at the actress to stick to movies and said she was out of touch with average Americans.

Many of Trump's supporters joked he would never care what celebrities think about him, but the president-elect took to Twitter to attack Streep despite never seeing the speech.

'Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn't know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes,' he wrote. 'She is a Hillary flunky who lost big.'

It remains to be seen if Trump will comment on the I Will Survive video, which begins with Garfield telling the filmmakers: 'It may get too real.'  

The star chosen to belt out the famous first line of the song is Star Trek actor Chris Pine, followed by Steinfeld, who sings the second line with an appropriately 'petrified' expression.

But the real star of the show is Henson, who waves an indignant finger at the camera at one point before taking it all home with a wail and dancing off into the background. 

SOURCE

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How dare Mr. Trump win the election!

I have never seen such blatant snarkiness, lies, unabashed whining, hatred and outright foolishness surrounding an American election in my life.  I watched as the smears and lunacy from the Left blasted President Ronald Reagan.  But, this latest verbal assassination of President Elect Donald J. Trump is even worse than that. The Left is not only pulling out all the stops in its attempt to remove President-Elect Trump from office before he's even inaugurated but, they are lying about what he's already done since his election. 

No surprise regarding the lies but, it's as if the leftists' now almost lethal insanity has finally begun to infect their entire bodies and minds...or what's left of them.  Trump Derangement Syndrome (remember when it was Bush?) is in full flower and appears to have no intention of withering.  The leftist business community is, also. Now denigrating and unequivocally trashing US citizens who voted for P.E. Trump.  CEO of Timeshare CMO Melinda Byerley said and 1776 Coalition writes: "No educated person wants to live in a sh**hole with stupid people."

Particularly, in a "sh**hole" [Yikes!  What a nasty mouth and from a "CEO" no less] filled with people who are "violent, racist, and/or misogynistic" and "big corporations," do not consider moving to the heart of America because "those towns have nothing going for them."  In other words: "All of you stupid, uneducated people who voted for Trump are going to be blackballed from ever having new jobs in your idiotic towns and cities because you exposed our globalist game to take you over and make you our slaves to the world at large!"

Note:  I suspect they will never get over it.  Another interesting fact is that Mr. Trump has, already, done more for the country than Obama did in 8 years.  Globalists want US presidents to work against their country not for it!

I suspect the leftist globalists in both parties want to "tame Trump" so that their own very lucrative lifetime jobs will be secured.  The American people want just the opposite.  We want elected representatives who will put We-the-People and our country first...not themselves, their petty ambitions and their own fortunes acquired via taxpayer monies.  It's time to drain this swamp and swamp-dwellers on both sides of the aisle and it's now time that the leftists started quieting down and accepting the fact that Mr. Trump won the presidency fairly and squarely. 

Oh and by the way...that John Brennan CIA-inspired "Russian Hacking Report" appears to have used information from a 2012 report.  And former CIA Agent Larry C. Johnson says this latest "intelligence report" is "a farce and a charade."  Also, consider that no evidence-whatsoever--has been presented to prove the case.  Said case began and, in my opinion, was manufactured by Obama and Clinton operative John Brennan (who announced in August 2016 that he had no intention of leaving his CIA position and wanted to work for Hillary after she was elected POTUS) and, likely, James Clapper who told to Congressional committees about both Benghazi and the NSA [not spying on Americans]. 

It's more likely than ever that we have been and are continuing to be duped by the leftist globalists who have invaded and infested virtually every aspect of our federal government.  All of our intelligence agencies seem to have been politicized by the globalist Left; which means...in their current condition... that they may be useless to the protection of the United States of America.  Indeed-this swamp needs draining immediately!

We won the first battle...that of the Presidency of the USA.  But, it was only the first.  The war against us wages daily.  The Democrats have already announced that they plan to challenge every one of Trump's Cabinet appointments.  They have also said that they will try to greatly slow down the confirmation process so that President Trump will not be able to conduct the people's business for a long time. 

It becomes more and more obvious every day that these "representatives" and "senators" have no care for anyone but, themselves and their totalitarian agenda.  But, one of the things which occurred recently comforts me.  California has been touted as having had the worst 6-year drought in its history.  That drought broke shortly after Trump won the 2016 General Election and meteorologists are now saying the current storm could place its water supply into pre-drought conditions.  God-as always-is in charge!

SOURCE

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Donald Trump: Kremlin Employee of the Month?.  That's a recent NYT headline.  How frantic they are!

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Drain the FCC swamp

This obsolete vestige of the New Deal should be dissolved

By Eric Steinmann (Eric Steinmann is an executive with Clear Talk Wireless)

President-Elect Donald Trump is looking for bold actions to ďdrain the swampĒ in Washington, DC and free Americaís economy, so that it can once again become the global leader and innovator. A great place to start would be abolishing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

President Ronald Reagan ended his first term by abolishing the Civil Aeronautics Board. The CAB determined air passenger routes, airline slots at airports and ticket prices. The agency was an obsolete relic from Franklin Rooseveltís New Deal. Its elimination freed the airline industry for unprecedented growth and expanding service to nearly a billion airline passengers a year.

The FCC is another obsolete vestige of the New Deal. It is what happens in Washington when people with little or no experience in actual business dream up regulations and schemes to expand their influence as they see fit, with a virtually unlimited budget and few or no checks and balances.

FCC Commissioners have their own funding source, they answer to no one, the courts defer to them for some unknown reason, and they dream up new and different perceived problems that they can ďsolveĒ with more rules Ė in the process destroying honest American-style competition, time and again.

The wireless communications industry, once an example of American technological prowess, creativity and beneficial competition, has been largely relegated to four big companies and many small FCC-subsidized companies. Instead of competing for the good will and business of American consumers, they often line up to seek more FCC favors.

So what is the FCC doing right now?

* It is spending a purported quarter-billion dollars to auction a radio spectrum that rightfully belongs to the American public. It did so in a manner devised by highly paid thought leaders and game theorists, causing small businesses which wanted to participate to run afoul of its overly complex rules and have to withdraw in the first week.

* Itís crafting programs to further subsidize rural telephone companies under a 1930s era Universal Service landline concept that the commissioners have never relinquished Ė supposedly to provide broadband in rural areas where very serviceable broadband already exists. Worse, they plan to subsidize competition against small businesses that are providing that broadband and cannot afford the lawyers and hassles to go through cumbersome approval processes and become additional FCC sycophants.

* The FCC still refuses to end subsidies to rural phone companies that are part of a 70-year-old program that charges hundreds or even thousands of dollars to companies that want to compete with established entities. Would-be newcomers are compelled to interconnect with existing companies, many of which are notorious for setting up free sex chat lines and conference calling, and for extorting fees per call-minute from those upstart newcomers Ė while the established companies have their operating costs essentially paid for by the FCC.

* The agency continues to sit on rulings that have been pending for well over 13 years, to effectively punish companies it doesnít favor or preclude them from getting any legal determination of their rights. In the process, the FCC violates its own rules, which require that such rulings be issued in five months.

* It continues to take every opportunity to further the interests of certain wealthy foreign monopolists who have donated to the commissionersí affiliated causes, at the expense of American businesses that are trying to compete. In so doing, the FCC employs perverse policy actions or interpretations, to punish or largely put out of business any competitors that are not participating in one of its tentacle programs.

* The FCC is also preventing the full utilization of existing broadcast spectrum and putting wholly unreasonable burdens on companies that are trying to construct new and improved infrastructure on which our nationís networks operate. It is doing this by suspending all such construction, until Indian tribes with no historical connection to a region have given the go-ahead at a snailís pace and at a permit cost that has no upper FCC limit, but which often exceeds the cost of constructing the actual towers.

Adding insult to injury, the FCC has decreed that American businesses must pay whatever the tribes ask, and that only the FCC may communicate with the tribes. The agency has hired a number of additional personnel to conduct these sovereign-to-sovereign discussions, one tribe at a time. But in the many months since this untenable situation has been brought to the agencyís attention, it has not (to the best of our knowledge) had even one discussion or addressed one case of price gouging Ė nor has it provided any valid or convincing reason for its inaction.

The communications industry can largely self-regulate and can certainly negotiate and settle any disputes over construction and other infrastructure matters. If they reach an impasse, the courts or other government agencies can be asked to intervene.

There is no need to issue more broadband spectrum at this time. If a need can be demonstrated, the Department of Commerceís Patent & Trademark Administration or the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) could handle any needed registration.

President Trump should shut down the FCC and its inane government make-work programs. This would save the American People billions of dollars annually and allow competition to flourish.

It is not too late to open the marketplace and allow Americaís communications industry to new ways to benefit our nationís consumers, in an era when they deserve to reap the blessings of the numerous incredible technological breakthroughs of recent years.

Via email

********************************

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

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

***************************







15 January, 2017

Trump strikes back on L.L. Bean

This is a warning to Leftist haters.  Trump has got a bigger megaphone so can cancel out or even reverse Leftist boycotts.  Everything Trump tweets is big news in all the papers the next day and no Leftist group can compete with that.  Bean will probably now sell more stuff than ever before -- even to people who have simply had their curiosity aroused and want to find out what all the fuss is about

Donald Trump on Thursday tweeted his support of Maine catalog retailer L.L. Bean after an activist group opposed to the U.S. president-elect called for a boycott of the company.

The boycott call began online last week after reports that a member of the Bean family that owns the company, best known for its rubber-bottomed hunting boots, had donated money to Trump's candidacy.

"Thank you to Linda Bean of L.L. Bean for your great support and courage," Trump said in a tweet early on Thursday. "People will support you even more now. Buy L.L. Bean."

The "Grab Your Wallet" website added L.L. Bean, based in Freeport, Maine, to a lengthy list of retailers it is urging Trump opponents to boycott because of their ties Trump, who will be sworn in on Jan. 20.

L.L. Bean scrambled to distance itself from Linda Bean's donations, noting that she was one of more than 50 members of the founding family associated with the 105-year-old company, which described itself as politically neutral.

SOURCE

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Ted Cruz on the lawless Obama administration



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The Amusement Elite and Their Lesson for You

Yaacov Ben Moshe nails it

Meryl Streep, Charlie Sheen, Rosie OíDonnell and a legion of their fellow Hollywood illusionists, Popinjays and freaks have taken their stand against Donald Trump. Standing on their credentials as Artists, they want to tell us what is good for us politically. As in all artistic endeavors they are approaching a truth. The irony is, the truth they are exposing is their own moral and intellectual bankruptcy.

How fitting, really! This self-important clown troupe of make-believe professionals, practitioners of exaggeration and village idiot jesters who pretend to be someone other than themselves for a living take themselves seriously, and have arrayed themselves alongside the purveyors of fake news in the mass media as a pathetic Maginot Line against the guy who couldn't pretend to be someone else if he wanted to (and he assuredly does not!) who only wants to deal head-on with the real problems we face without the shackles of political correctness.

Here is the core lesson I take from this: These moonbeams, as do all liberals, start from a false premise at the most basic level. The left is predicated on the assumption that human nature is basically good and that ďpeopleĒ can be ďchangedĒ. All leftist systems posit (at least implicitly) that the evil that people do and the flaws in human character are due to ďoutside" influences such as, bad economic systems or established religions or faulty laws and that all that is needed is a progressive approach and a new system and the innate good can be realized or the human material will become entrained and the world will be healed - or at least much improved. This has proven out in every case history. Nazism (National Socialism!), Chinese Communism, Russian Communism and Chavez in Venezuela were all collectivist systems that not only claimed to aim at a more egalitarian society but also promised some form of ďnew manĒ who would be of a higher and more selfless character.

They particularly resent The Constitution of the United States because, explicit in its conception and structure, is the assumption that human beings are not necessarily good or bad but are creatures with both potentialities. With that as a founding principal, the constitution has exquisitely balanced safeguards that enable the enterprise and ambition of all while, at the same time, keeping balance, opportunity and order through competing branches with equal but countervailing powers. Its less pure and noble sounding that the leftist view, but it is reality.

Just as they can imagine that human nature is exclusively good, they ďreasonĒ that, left to their own devices, people will be happy and content in a ďnaturalĒ state. They ascribe all that is painful and even evil in life to flaws in ďsocietyĒ, ďorganized religionĒ, ďmoralityĒ, ďthe cultureĒ or any other target that exerts control over human behavior. This blameless image of the individual seems soothing and comfortable but the result is, anything but comfort.

It leads to the idea that ďfreeingĒ the sweet angel of the human spirit from those controlling institutions and forces is the way to achieve peace, health, enlightenment and happiness. Wishing only to make life better and more equal for all, they set about dismantling (or, at least, arbitrarily refashioning) all the structures and values that have evolved to maintain health, peace and equilibrium- effectively freeing the dark jinn of evil which also resides in the human heart.

That is why they despise you, working people in America. That is why they feel it their duty to ďeducateĒ and ďupliftĒ you. You know that you need to work at being good. You know that your church or synagogue has played a role in making you honorable and open. You thank god and the founders of America for the liberty and opportunity to work, live and thrive here. You are aware that the responsibility for protecting your self can never be fully entrusted to anyone else (when seconds count, the police are only minutes away!). You know that life is not balloon parties, unicorn festivals and trophies for showing up- and you know a bullshit fantasy when you see it.

But that is not ďliberalĒ to them; they want to tear away the proven culture and safeguards and replace them with a socialism that supplants equality of opportunity with equality of outcome- otherwise known as universal misery. In the name of equality, and protecting the planet they want to bring all economic development to a standstill, redistributing wealth so that industrious and clever people earn no more than the most indolent and incapable. They call it Progress but it is really a corrupt ideology called Progressivism.

The zeal of ďProgressivesĒ springs from their ďfeelingĒ they know what is correct and needed. So sure are they that they are willing to force people to agree to their view of things- whether they like it or not. When reality becomes impossible to ignore and their ďprogressĒ leads to conflict, chaos and inequality (as it inevitably  does in the real world), it is never blamed on Progressivism, it is blamed on whatever system was formerly of is still in place. Revolution, suppression and barbarity often ensue.

Any idea that contradicts the romantic egalitarian principles is punishable. In Nazi Germany they were known as crimes against The Reich in Soviet Russia, Red China and Castroís Cuba they were called counter-revolutionary. If you were imprisoned or exiled for those things, you were getting off lucky! And now, led by the brilliant pretenders and charlatans of the amusement and infotainment aristocracy, we are being urged to euthanize the constitutional system of government that created the finest, richest and most just nation in the history of the human race.

And for what- collectivist government led by people who are so sure that they are correct in everything that lawlessness, fiat and intentional ignorance are acceptable tools for wielding political power?

So, lets have a big round of applause for the puffy faced, pretentious aristocrats who have made it so plain what we really should fear. They lay bare the arrogance and febrile imagination of Progressivism and what it is trying to do to our culture and constitutional politics. When one side proclaims itself inviolably correct and there are no safeguards for those who disagree, you have totalitarianism.

Only imagine, if you dare, the murderous, totalitarian and nihilistic rage that would prevail if the amusement elite had their way. Ruthless totalitarianism always ends up requiring re-education camps, the punishment of retrograde (counter-revolutionary) ideas and assassination and those dangers lurk just behind their smug, superior smiles.  They are, after all, so convinced of their righteousness.

So, thanks, Meryl et al for the reminder of who you are and, more important, who Donald (Make America Great Again)  Trump is. To repurpose the defunct Hillary slogan, Iím with Him!

SOURCE

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Nicole Kidman: Americans need to support Trump

I take zero notice of celebrities usually but this is exceptional

US-based Australian actor Nicole Kidman has called for Americans to throw their support behind President-elect Donald Trump.

In a red carpet interview at the UK premiere of her latest film Lion, Kidman told TV reporter Victoria Derbyshire that ď[Trump is] now elected and we, as a country, need to support whoever is the president.Ē

ďThat is what the country is based on. And however that happened, it happened, and letís go.Ē

While she grew up in Australia, the 49-year-old actor was born in Hawaii and now resides in Nashville with husband Keith Urban and their two children. She holds dual US / Australian citizenship

SOURCE

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Russian Hacking and Glass Houses

Many top U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed a secret intelligence operation for the purpose of discrediting Hillary Clinton, thereby helping Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election.

While Democrats and some Republicans are blasting Russia, they should recall dubious actions by the United States. Presidents from both parties have a long history of lying and attempting to dictate who should rule other nations.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum website reminds: ďÖon November 1, 1963, the South Vietnamese government was overthrown. The coup had the tacit approval of the Kennedy administration. President Diem was assassinated, after refusing an American offer of safety if he agreed to resign.Ē

President Obama undermined the government of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, which led to the election of President Mohamed Morsi, a leader in the radical Muslim Brotherhood. He was replaced by the current government, installed by Egyptians displeased with the radicals, despite opposition from the Obama administration.

President Obama and Hillary Clinton advocated for the overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi, which created a vacuum filled by terrorists who murdered the U.S. ambassador and two other Americans in Benghazi.

The flipside of wrong-headed action is wrong-headed inaction. In Iran, during the 2009 peaceful protests by those who claimed that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had stolen the presidential election from Mir Hussein Moussavi, the top challenger, the Obama administration offered condemnation, but little else, when action might have had a positive influence. Peaceful protestors were shot in the streets, arrested, tortured and imprisoned without trial (not that any trial in Iran would have been fair) and the Ayatollahs tightened their grip. Iran is now on a course that will likely end with the development of nuclear weapons.

President Obama also urged Britons to vote against Brexit and remain with the European Union.

Is any of this morally different from what Putin allegedly orchestrated to influence the American election?

ďOfficials from the United States Central Command altered intelligence reports to portray a more optimistic picture of the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,Ē writes The New York Times. And as The New York Post reported in September 2015, ďAn open revolt is underway within the U.S. intelligence establishment, with more than 50 veteran analysts charging their reports on ISIS were systematically changed to reflect the White House line.Ē

Any Russian involvement in the November election appears to have uncovered information that Democrats were trying to hide and that reporters missed or ignored. Whatís worse, the deeds or the way the deeds were discovered?

SOURCE

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

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

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13 January, 2017

Right-wing people are better looking than those on the left, study claims

The explanation offered below is reasonable enough but may not be true. I suspect that conservatives are better balanced emotionally and that shows up in how attractive you are. The angry people of the Left may look angry -- and that is never attractive.  Whereas contented, peaceful people look good -- probably smile more etc

From improving your salary to making you more popular, being attractive has benefits in a wide range of areas. And a new study suggests that attractiveness of a candidate also correlates with their politics.

The findings indicates that people in Europe, the US and Australia find right-wing politicians better looking than those on the left.

Research suggests that people in Europe, the US and Australia find right-wing politicians, such as Donald Trump, better looking than those on the left, such as Barack Obama

The researchers suggest that being better looking makes you more likely to earn more, and that richer people are typically more opposed to policies favoured by the left, such as progressive taxes and welfare programmes.

Good-looking people also tend to be treated better, and therefore see the world as a more just place.

Previous studies have found that the more attractive people perceive themselves to be, the lower their preference for egalitarianism Ė a value associated with the political left.

An international team of researchers, led by the Research Institute of Industrial Economics in Sweden, looked at the correlation between attractiveness and political belief in candidates.

They suggest that being better looking makes you more likely to earn more, and that richer people are typically more opposed to policies favoured by the left, such as progressive taxes and welfare programmes.

In their paper, published in the Journal of Public Economics, the researchers, led by Niclas Berggren, wrote: 'Politicians on the right look more beautiful in Europe, the United States and Australia.

'Our explanation is that beautiful people earn more, which makes them less inclined to support redistribution.'

The researchers also suggest that good-looking people tend to be treated better, and so see the world as a more just place.

Previous studies have found that the more attractive people perceive themselves to be, the lower their preference for egalitarianism Ė a value associated with the political left.

To assess the link between attractiveness and political values, the researchers showed people pictures of political candidates in Finland, the US and Australia, and asked them to rate them on attractiveness.

The results showed that right-wing politicians were seen as more attractive than left-wingers. 

They also looked at the Finnish elections in more detail, and found that Republican voters care more about appearance in a candidate than Democratic voters.

In the study, voters who didn't know much about candidates tended to see candidates who were better looking as more likely to be conservative. Pictured left is Jeremy Corbyn, head of the labour party, and pictured right is Theresa May, head of the conservative party

And when voters didn't know much about candidates, they tended to see candidates who were better looking as more likely to be conservative.

The researchers added: 'Our model of within-party competition predicts that voters use beauty as a cue for conservatism when they do not know much about candidates and that politicians on the right benefit more from beauty in low-information elections.'

SOURCE

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Americaís reality divide



The dying throes of the Obama Administration have exposed the real challenge in America ó we donít know the same things to be true.  And it isnít because of the latest fad of the left, so-called ďfakeĒ news, but instead due to the information flows that we choose to read, view or listen to and the editorial choices they make.

How else can one explain President Barack Obama stating on Nov. 20, 2016 in Lima, Peru the following, ďIím extremely proud of the fact that over eight years we havenít had the kind of scandals that have plagued other administrations.Ē

The context of Obamaís almost insane remark was a question about whether President-elect Donald Trump should put all of his assets in a blind trust or not to avoid conflicts of interest.  In an interview with CNN, Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, who many believe was the power behind the throne, unabashedly took the claim a gigantic leap further saying, ďThe president prides himself on the fact that his administration hasnít had a scandal and he hasnít done something to embarrass himself.Ē

There are real, honest and good people who actually believe this and cannot be dissuaded by facts in spite of the 663 scandals of the Obama Administration ranging from ďFast and FuriousĒ to ďBenghaziĒ to the ďIRS targeting conservative groupsĒ and beyond.

These same people have spent the past week posting Meryl Streepís Golden Globe speech attacking Donald Trump and casting Hollywood as dissident, aggrieved outsiders. Of course George Clooney, Barbra Streisand and others, who somehow remain in the United States in spite of their pledge to leave, weighed in supporting Streep demonstrating the chasm between how they view the world, and how those who voted for Trump view it.

Meryl Streep is a great actress, able to display a vast array of fake emotions to meet the needs of a variety of roles.  Her performance in Sophieís Choice was perhaps one of the most compelling in the history of cinema. And it should not be surprising that when she stood on the stage being honored by her peers that she would animate words that either she or someone else wrote.

While it is normal for people who just lost an election to feel as if they are out in the cold, it requires a special kind of self-absorption for the wealthiest, best looking and most famous in the world to cast themselves in this role. Yet, there are millions of Americans who will look at these professional fakes who take private jets to conferences on global warming and feel sorry for them.

These same people find it hard to understand that there is no difference between a baker or florist who turn away the business of a homosexual wedding and a performer who declines to perform for an Inaugural function.

But perhaps the most stunning delusional statement of them all was President Obamaís contention to George Stephanopolous on ABC News last week that race relations are better today than when he took office. When pushed by Stephanopolous about the horrific video of four blacks torturing a white disabled man, Obama expressed disgust over the actions, but dismissed it as an insignificant indicator of race relations.

CNN anchor Don Lemon perhaps best demonstrated the true racial divide that has either been exposed or further opened during the Obama Administration when he reacted to the above video stating, ďI donít think itís evil. I donít think itís evil. I think these are young people, and I think they have bad home trainingÖ I have no idea who is raising these young people because no one I know on earth who is 17-years-old, or is 70-years-old, would ever think of treating another person like that. It is inhumane, and you wonder, at 18 years old, where is your parent? Where is your guardian?Ē

And that is the ultimate delusion facing America. The South Carolina shooter who killed nine black Christians in their prayer group is evil just as torturing a special needs white person live on Facebook is evil.

Post-Obama, America is more divided than ever, however the divide is not racial, but rather a reality divide.  This is a divide where half of the country believes that President Obama was scandal-free and the other half has been outraged by the abject abuse of power by the outgoing Administration. It is a divide where the beautiful, wealthy cultural opinion makers in Hollywood feel put upon by the rest of us, and news anchors who are supposed to tell us what is happening cannot see evil even when it is right before their eyes.

Before he was president, in 1858, Abraham Lincoln made what was seen as a politically incorrect, radical speech stating, ďA house divided against itself cannot stand.Ē

ďThe complete works of Abraham LincolnĒ which was edited by Roy Bastrop puts this speech into context reported Lincoln saying this to his friends who urged him to calm his ďhouse dividedĒ language, ďThe proposition is indisputably true Ö and I will deliver it as written. I want to use some universally known figure, expressed in simple language as universally known, that it may strike home to the minds of men in order to rouse them to the peril of the times.Ē

Just as Lincoln worried about the future of his nation, it is fair to ask 159 years later if the current reality divide is the modern equivalent of Lincolnís ďhouse dividedĒ and if so, can our nation stand in light of it.

SOURCE

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Kentucky passes right-to-work, Missouri, New Hampshire on its heels

For the first time in nearly a century, Kentuckyís congress is dominated by the Republican Party, and they have already begun passing policy to empower workers. Kentucky has joined the rest of the South in passing a right-to-work law, allowing workers to opt out of joining labor unions.

The legislation acts as the first victory in what The Hillís Reid Wilson on Jan. 8 called an assault on core pillars of the Democratic coalition. But this right to work legislation means more than a successful fight against Democrats, it is hopefully the first in a long line of policy which will prioritize economic successful and individual freedoms.

Right-to-work laws provide new economic opportunity to the 27 states they currently exist in. By removing barriers to employment such as mandated union membership, right-to-work law adds jobs to the economy and makes companies more competitive.

These states not only experience economic growth, they experience this growth in crucial sectors of the American economy. As  Luke Hilgemann and David Fladeboe explained in the Wall Street Journal of March 2015 explains, in states with right-to-work legislation, personal incomes grew 12 percent more than in state without these laws. Once cost of living is considered, right-to-work states still maintain a 4.1 percent higher per capita person income than non-right-to-work states.

The Democratic Party policy of forced unionization does not just force Americans to comply with union law, it forces them to remain uncompetitive in the national economy.

As the Washington Examinerís Sean Higgins on Jan. 9 furthers, Kentucky was just the first.  The Missouri legislature, one of few states to go red in the 2016 election to not yet have right to work legislation in place, has already begun discussions to put right-to-work legislation on the books. Patrick Semmens, spokesman for the National Right to Work Committee predicts 2017 will be a historic year against forced unionism, with New Hampshire expected to pass right-to-work law this year as well.

Despite Republican control, labor unions across the country are preparing for a strong defensive. Even in Iowa, a proud right-to-work state, unions on the defensive are eager to regain control.

In Wisconsin, Michigan, and West Virginia, lawsuits have already been filed challenging the constitutionality of the new laws. These group argue that non-union members still receive benefits from unions, even without membership. These individuals would then be ďtakingĒ from the unions.

While this argument has had wavering success within district courts, no federal court has agreed. The National Right to Work Foundation cites Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, Communications Workers of America v. Beck, and Air Line Pilots Association v. Miller as only a few of the key Supreme Court case ruling that individuals cannot be forced to comply with union membership that they do not consent to.

While Democratic controlled states continue to fight against right-to-work law nationally, more than half of the states in the country have decided to free their workers of forced unionism. As states like Kentucky experience the economic success to push workers into high wages and better standards of living, the rest of the nation could be in their heels.

SOURCE

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

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

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12 January, 2017

Iím a Lifelong Democrat. Here Are 3 Reasons I Pulled the Lever for Trump

Michael Reeb tells a story from the heart

Asking with a terseness normally associated with changing religions or declaring a new nationality, many people that know me have politely cornered me and demanded: ďHow could youóa lifelong, left-leaning, Obama-believing, Indy-Dem voteróvote for Donald Trump?Ē

My answer to them is simple: Our nation is in the middle of a crisis. We are stuck at the crossroad of hometown humiliation, job fabrication, and cultural mutation. Hereís what I mean by that.

Hometown Humiliation

My reasons for going Trump this election cycle werenít a surprise to my hometown friends in Rust Belt Butler, Pennsylvania, home of the worldís first Jeep.

In Butler, weíve seen the destruction of our middle class, the loss of our factories, and the pollution of our clean water (Butler is now also home to the nationís second most polluted waterway, the Connoquenessing). At the same time, weíve had record-high heroin use and juvenile jailing rates, and the population has shrunk nearly every year since the 1970s.

Butler is my hometown, and Butler is in trouble. My hometown friends and I understand this plain as day, but the nation hasnít been listening to the decades-old problem of hometown humiliation.

Trump proved to be different, and unpredictably so. Fate would have it that the very last person I would have predicted to show love for the common man would be one of the worldís richest men. A businessman who seems to have been hurt the least by our nationís outsourcing has become a champion of the working class.

While Hillary Clinton was hiding from press conferences and startling the world with her hard-left policy dash to catch her opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders, Trump was out visiting Pittsburgh.

While he was out building bridges with working America on any given day, Clinton could be found ducking reporters, recovering from her husbandís latest gaffe about Black Lives Matter. This was but one of many ďblunder-then-bunkerĒ examples that came to define the Clinton campaign.

Did Trump blunder? Daily! But his ultimate atonement was that he showed love for the American people and is a patriot. Itís a lot easier to forgive a blundering candidate hugging the American flag in a room full of blue-collar Americans, than one hiding in the back of a 737 dodging press questions.

The trust between small-town America and her political representatives had been broken. As with all great relationships in turmoil, Trump knew he needed to put in quality time and a true love for the small-town cause in order to kick-start the healing process between Rust-Belt America and the national leadership.

Trump unapologetically did just that. His candidacy was the beginning of the healing process for humiliated hometown America, which had been desperate to find a champion.

Job Fabrication

Statistically, Trump was up against a hard economic game. On paper, President Barack Obama has created jobs every month for years and broken many ďrecordsĒ numerically. Thereís just one problemójobs are not just numbers.

In the wake of the promised tidal wave of more and more jobs, somehow fewer jobs appeared. Not fewer in number, necessarily, but in quality.

Butler lost its factories when I was living there in my teens, and they never returned. Some of my most vivid family memories regarding work consist of suffering the humiliation of my uncle being flown to Mexico to train his factory ďreplacement,Ē with the threat of no severance pay if he objected.

When you take a manís craft away from him, no numeric of fast food, retail, or administrative work positions can ever replace that feeling of seeing something of value that you created move down the line and into Americaís homes. As weíve heard it said a thousand times: ďNot everything valuable is numeric, and not everything numeric is valuable.Ē

Our economy had sold us out, and not just in terms of income or the American dream. The corporate and elite classes of America took the craft away from the men and women who built the Jeeps of Butler County that beat Hitler in World War II. Their new ďjobsĒ werenít jobs at all; we were the victims of job fabrication.

When Trump descended from his golden tower in New York City, I expected a much different presidential announcement. Maybe something witty about how the other side doesnít understand ďrealĒ economics, or perhaps a Ronald Reagan quote from a ďgotchaĒ debate moment.

I was prepared for another in a long line of Republican gaffes about womenís anatomical health, another canned attempt at communicating political ideology, or at the very least something reminiscent of the dehydrated Florida politician that I had on YouTube repeat not so long ago.

In place of that, I was shocked to find a Trump openly criticizing the economic policies that have led to Americaís economic decline. He spoke of jobs being lost to China and Mexico, and asked one of the most biting economic questions Iíve ever heard in my life: ďWhen was the last time you saw a Chevy car in Tokyo?Ē

Somehow, up in a multimillion-dollar New York tower overlooking what seemed like the whole world, Trump heard that our jobs had been fabricatedóand he sounded like the only one who had heard.

So we heard him out. And when he unloaded a mouthful of rage on his political opponents about the issue, it left many of them speechless. And it left many of his Rust Belt critics speechless, too.

I donít know a soul back home who would stand 100 percent behind every single comment Trump has madeóbut I know many that still trust him despite his gaffes.

Weíve all had that mean-spirited co-worker or boss who had the sole saving grace of being amazingly skilled at their job. That is Trump. You may hate him for his thin skin and explosive ďtweet-punches,Ē but I knew that from the vantage point of my hometown, considering the other candidates, we had no other choice.

With no other boxer to bet on in Americaís most dislikable election, and as a last-ditch message of desperation to the political establishment that had sold us out for years, we simply had to believe that Trump could rise to the occasion for us.

A Cultural Mutation

Hypocrisy was as rank as always in this political cycle, but the sources of it were most surprising. Some in the media criticized Trumpís tendency to rate women numerically. This is quite easy to criticize, until we ask ourselves why over 7 million Americans watch women rated numerically every year in our very own swimsuit-laden Miss America pageants.

Should we really be outraged at one and OK with the other?

Ironically, it was not priests and holy men that were castigating Trumpís comments, but a hypocritical media that had done or reported on the exact same things they accused Trump of doing.

Rust Belt America had already been bruised from the last self-righteous political campaign victory in 2012, which played it neutral on moral issues, but ended up trying to legislate men into childrenís bathrooms by 2016.

Hometown Americans understood this hypocrisy and, unlike the ďtenderĒ millennial generation, didnít seem to mind a little rough talk. Upon reflection, the American people knew that they had said worse things, or viewed worse things, felt worse things, and even heard the same things from other political leaders (think President Richard Nixon).

The final straw for hometown Americans was Clinton herselfóshiftlessly avoiding any hard commitment to a policy, and attempting to mount a cultural attack against a man who is enormously versed in pop culture.

Criticizing Trumpís use of celebrities turned out to be a catastrophic and costly move for Clinton. Her accusations of sexism against Trump followed by her complete, open-armed endorsement of Miley Cyrus and the hardly-PC Jay-Z revealed her selective moralism.

Those paying attention saw that Clintonís posture of indignation was simply that: a posture.

In the end, my once go-to party had morphed into a party of unrecognizably veiled actors, much like the Hypokrinesthaióancient actors wearing masks, from whom we derive the English word ďhypocrite.Ē But whereas those once-famous masked actors would play one character, only to pull back the mask to reveal the real hero underneath, this Democratic ďheroĒ was much different.

The Democratic Party did not yield a heroic protagonist this election cycle, but a cultural mutation, constantly in flux and fearful of definition. To many lifelong Democratic voters, Clinton was morally unrecognizable. In political terms, she was the epitome of lukewarmówhich, if anything, meant she would not stand up for hometown America.

Given all these factors, many like myself from small-town, Rust Belt America could no longer afford to take the establishmentís candidate by faith. Trump saw the true state of our hometowns, our fake jobs, and the hypocritical elite, and was willing to break every political norm in the book to address these critical issues.

So we voted for Trump. And he wonóbig league.

SOURCE

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Disgusting racist liberals target Jeff Sessionsí baby granddaughter

Leftists are so sure that conservatives are racist -- when it is in fact they who are obsessed with race

The confirmation hearing of Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions started as expected, with a torrent of psychotic, racist abuse from liberal reporters and activists.

Shockingly, the most disgusting comments werenít directed at Sessions, but his baby granddaughter, who is Asian.

When cameras panned to the toddler sitting in her grandfatherís lap, MTV ďculture writerĒ Ira Madison exploded with racist rage.

ďSessions, sir, kindly return this Asian baby to the Toys ďRĒ Us you stole her from,Ē he tweeted.

Because non-white children arenít human, but toys?

Sessionís daughter Ruth is married to an Asian man.

Thousands of Twitter users immediately blasted Madison, who instead of apologizing, doubled down on his belief that whites canít have grandchildren of another race unless itís a political stunt.

He continued to taunt Sessions, accusing him of somehow planning years in advance to have an Asian granddaughter as a political ploy.

Madison defended the tweets by claiming that Sessions supported laws in the 1800s discriminating against Asians. Not only was Sessions not an elected official in the 1800s, he was not born until 1946.

Madison eventually deleted the tweets after users began pressuring MTV to fire him.

Other liberals tried to stop the hearings by throwing physical temper tantrums in the Senate room. Capitol Police had to escort out several protesters who began shrieking while dressed as Ku Klux Klan members.

SOURCE

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

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

***************************






11 January, 2017

Putin wants to make Russia great again

The screed below seems to have been written to discredit Vladimir Vladimirovich. Yet in the end he simply portrays Putin as a rational and responsible leader of his country.  Russia is a great country and it should be recognized as such.  Waging a cold war on it is the foolish and irresponsible thing

Putinís aims are simple, though achieving them is not. He wants to, in Tsar-like fashion, utterly dominate and control Russian politics. Second, he wants to Ė much as De Gaulle did in France after the war Ė restore his proud country to great power status. Everything else is secondary, merely means serving these two overriding ends.

It is in this basic chess playing context that the rise of a startlingly pro-Russian American President must be viewed. First and foremost, Putin wants to cajole the new administration into dropping Americaís former rock-solid support for the sanctions placed on the Kremlin, following Russiaís successful meddling in Ukraine. , with the Russian finance ministry estimating they have cost the country $40bn a year. With pro-Russian Francois Fillon likely to become the new President of France and Italyís support for the sanctions flagging, the constellation of power is right for Putin to do away with this serious economic wound.

Second, Putin wants the Trump White House to codify what is already happening, be it the settlement of the Syrian War on Russiaís terms or the annexation of Crimea. Given the strong impulse in the Trump cabinet (emanating from both prospective national security adviser Michael Flynn and defence secretary designate James Mattis) for combating Isis as a priority, a deal over Syria Ė wherein the US accepts Assad staying in power in return for joint Russian-American efforts to eradicate Isis in Raqqa Ė seems eminently doable. And while the taking of Crimea is unlikely to be formally recognised, neither is it likely to be much contested by the Trump White House.

Third, Trump Ė in line with the hapless EU and the Obama administration Ė must be kept from coming to the aid of a beleaguered Ukraine. As we have written before, Putinís strategic interest in Kiev is not in taking over the place, but rather in seeing that it does not emerge as a successful, prosperous, pro-Western alternative to Great Russian nationalism on the Kremlinís doorstep.

Given the venal, incompetent Ukrainian government this task has been made easier. But at all costs, Putin wants both America and Brussels to accept the present status quo in Ukraine, where a semi-failed, castrated state serves as a constant reminder to the Russian-dominated region of the fecklessness of western promises.

Lastly, and perhaps above all, Putin wants to stay out of the disastrous Trumpís way. The first rule of politics is that when an enemy is about to commit suicide, donít stand between them and the bullet. As Trump provokes China over trade and tilts away from any form of cooperation with Beijing, and as he demeans the western allies (who admittedly have brought this largely on themselves over decades due to an immoral refusal to pay a fair share for the common western defence), Russia can merely stand by and watch, as Trump antagonises both the past (Europe) and the future (China). Chess players know how to be patient.

SOURCE

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The out of touch president

Will he leave any legacy at all?

President Barack Obama went up to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to counsel congressional Democrats on how to save Obamacare. Or at least thatís how his visit was billed.

But to judge from the responses of some of the Democrats, his advice was typical of the approach heís taken to legislation in his eight years as president ó which is to say disengaged, above the fray, detached from any detailed discussion of how legislation actually works.

He was ďvery nostalgic,Ē said Louise Slaughter, a veteran of 30 years in the House and the ranking Democrat on the House Rules Committee. But, she added, he left it up to Hill Democrats to come up with a strategy to protect Obamacare.

This is in line with the standoffish relations Obama has had with members of Congress, even with Democrats who are inclined to be and capable of being helpful. Schmoozing with those he gives the impression of regarding as his inferiors has not been his style.

Nor has he ever seemed interested in the content of laws, even his trademark health care legislation. His February 2010 decision to move forward on Obamacare despite the election of Republican Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts meant accepting a bill with multiple flaws, many of them glaringly visible after passage.

But policy just hasnít been his thing. At the Hill meeting, Obama ó according to Massachusetts Democrat Bill Keating ó was ďbasically saying, ĎLetís not get down into policy language.íĒ The key word there may be ďdown.Ē

The problem with this approach has been apparent since the 9 o'clock hour on election night, when it became clear that Donald Trump was going to be elected president. In 2010, Obama assumed there always would be a Democratic Congress to repair any glitches in Obamacare. In 2016, he assumed that there would be a President Hillary Clinton to keep his pen-and-phone regulations and ďguidancesĒ in place.

Itís apparent that Obama is thrashing around trying to keep his policies in place. But more than those of other outgoing presidents replaced by successors of the other party, theyíre in danger of being overturned.

One reason is that they were never firmly established in the first place ó and not just because the Democrats' 60-vote Senate supermajority existed for only eight months, from July 2009 to February 2010.

Rather, the Obama Democrats' policies, passed through slapdash legislation or through questionably legal regulations, never really captured the hearts and minds of the American people.

Obamacare was based on the shaky premise that mandating often expensive and limited health insurance would be seen as guaranteeing good health care. As a result, as historian Walter Russell Mead recently wrote for The American Interest, ďit did not generate enough public support to protect itself from its opponents.Ē

Regulations imposed on coal and other fossil fuel production ó instituted after Democrats, even with strong congressional majorities, were unsuccessful in passing cap-and-trade legislation ó failed to impress a population that did not share liberal elites' faith that climate change is certain to produce catastrophe.

And regulations legalizing the presence of millions of undocumented immigrants have failed to pass muster in federal courts, thanks to legal maneuverings as sloppy as the legislative legerdemain that shoved through Obamacare.

Public policies prove to be enduring when they address what people regard as genuine needs and thus create constituencies that politicians dare not defy. Social Security retirement benefits are a prime example. You can jigger the taxes and benefits, as a bipartisan majority did in 1983, but voters who believe they paid for their benefits will insist they not be taken away.

Policies that induce long-term reliance also tend to endure, a prime example being the home mortgage interest deduction. Thereís a good argument that this policy, like the Social Security benefit formula, unduly benefits the affluent. But that argument doesnít move most voters.

In my view, Obama owed his election and re-election to the feeling ó widely shared by Americans, including many who didnít vote for him ó that it would be a good thing for Americans to elect a black president.

What they didnít expect, but got, was a president who governed according to the playbook of campus liberals, imposing ó or attempting to impose ó policies that he believed would be good for people, whether they knew it or not.

This was governance that was both inattentive to detail and law and out of touch with how policies affect peopleís lives. That is why so many of these policies seem headed for the ash heap of history.

SOURCE

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Levin: Obama Has Been a One-Man Wrecking Ball, Will Leave Office with No Accomplishments

On his nationally syndicated radio talk show Thursday, host Mark Levin slammed the first African-American president, Barack Hussein Obama, calling him ďa one man wrecking ballĒ and suggesting that he will leave office with no accomplishments.

Below is a transcript of Levinís comments from his show:

ďBarack Obama will go down in history as the first African-American president, and he has no accomplishments.

ďIn fact, heís got one destructive policy after another, one outrageous speech after another.

ďHe leaves increased unemployment, true unemployment, not the governmentís propaganda.

ďHe leaves increased racial tension of the sort Iíve never seen in my life.

ďHe leaves a country economically on its back.

ďHe leaves our enemies abroad stronger than they could possibly have imagined.

ďHeís eviscerated law enforcement; heís eviscerated our health care system; heís eviscerated our courts Ė having appointed 40 percent of the judges.

ďHeís eviscerated the school lunch program; heís eviscerated NASA; heís eviscerated the Justice Department, which now is a left-wing hack political operation.

ďHeís eviscerated the Environmental Protection Agency, which isnít about the environment at all. Itís about destroying our industries.

ďHeís eviscerated our immigration system and our border; heís eviscerated our intelligence community in many respects.

ďHeís eviscerated our trust by our allies Ė including the state of Israel.

ďObama has been a one-man wrecking ball. Thatís what Iíve called him for eight years, and Iím actually wrong.

ďThereís a lot of wrecking balls in this, including the Democrat Party, the media, academia and these clowns in Hollywood.

ďOh, and yes, heís done enormous damage to our constitutional system, and you really do have to wonder if it can be repaired based on what you hear today from both parties.Ē

SOURCE

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Boomers: Beware SS BS

Shortly before the holiday season, the Social Security Administration sent out an official letter titled ďImportant Information.Ē If you are now at the full retirement age of 66 or older, the letter says, ďyou may keep all of your benefits no matter how much you earn.Ē That kind of generosity is hard to top, but on the other hand, if you are younger than the full retirement age, ďthere is a limit to how much you can earn before we reduce your benefitsĒ and the earnings limit is $16,920. Try paying your bills with that. If you are under 66 and earn more than that, ďwe deduct $1 from your benefits in 2017 for each $2 you earn over $16,920,Ē equivalent to a tax of 50 percent. If you are turning 66 in 2017, SS allows you to earn $44,880 and grabs $1 for every $3 you earn above that limit, equivalent to a tax of 33 percent. This kind of federal poverty enforcement, however, does not apply to everybody.

As we noted, those in the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) can retire at the age of 55, a full seven years earlier than Social Security allows. By all indications, they are not subject to income restrictions and the government even helps early federal retirees get more money through a secretive Special Retirement Supplement (SRS). For privileged federal employees, this is a Dream Act guaranteed to keep the government ruling class far ahead of the working masses. The Obama administration made no attempt at reform.

Meanwhile, the Social Security Administration has been sending money to former Nazis and continued payments to dead people for twenty years. The Social Security Administration has also attempted to grab money from the children of people who were allegedly overpaid benefits decades ago. This happened on the watch of Acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin, who faced allegations that on her watch the Administration hid a report on a $300 million computer boondoggle and retaliated against a whistleblower. Obama nominee Colvin remains ďactingĒ commissioner and reports of retaliation against whistleblowers have continued in 2016. Beyond such waste, abuse and incompetence, the Social Security Administration will still punish productive work in 2017. Happy New Year everybody!

SOURCE

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

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

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10 January, 2017

A teachable moment: Muslims burn German church.  Or did they?

A Breitbart report that a Muslim mob attacked a German church has been taken up by many other publications and seems to be widely believed.  German police, by contrast, say that the night concerned was "quiet".  So whom do you believe?  I would normally believe the police but the German police are well-known to either ignore or play dow any disorders associated with Muslims.

Other German sources support the police account.  But Germany is very politically correct and you can in fact be prosecuted for hate speech if you say anything negative about Muslims.  So, again, whom do you believe?

On balance, I suspect that the Breitbart account was exaggerated.  But how exaggerated I have no means of knowing.

Medical journals regularly feature what they call a "teachable moment":  A story about some adverse event in treating a patient which they believe everyone should learn from.  I think this Breitbart story is a teachable moment for the press coverage of Islam and for political censorship generally.  Leftists are behind both those problems.  Their constant attempts to suppress news and views that they do not like has had a lot of success.  They have largely destroyed impartial journalism.

And Leftist causes are suffering from it.  Because we no longer have any reliable news sources, people will readily believe what could be false accounts about Muslims.  There is no effective kick-back against the Breitbart story, for instance. The Left-leaning media are in the position of the boy who cried wolf.  Even when they are speaking truth, what they say will now be widely discounted and dismissed as propaganda. So in their efforts to protect Muslims, they have in fact exposed Muslims to unfair abuse and the possibility of attack. 

As is so often the case with Leftist policies, their censorship attempts may have achieved the opposite of what was intended.  They have endangered Muslims not protected them.  Their trust in deception has backfired.  And their lack of moral principles is behind their trust in deception.  It is the Left who have created the environment in which fake news thrives.  They are now bemoaning it as it hits them but it is they who have enabled it -- by their own deceptive practices.

So what is increasingly happening now is a very wide split in the population.  With the decay of generally trustworthy news sources, both sides retreat into reading news sources which tell them what they like.  Leftists read Leftist sources and conservatives read conservative news sources.  The two sides live in completely different mental worlds. 

That can hardly be good for mutual understanding.  And without mutual understanding you tend to get hate.  And hate begets hate crimes.  Which is where we are now.  Leftist attack Trump supporters and to a limited extent Trump supporters hit back. If that continues to develop America could become like an ungovernable Latin-American hellhole where nobody is ever safe.

Leftist lack of moral anchors has led us all into a dangerous situation.

Below is an account from Germany disputing the Breitbart story:



Journalists have condemned a report by Breitbart news that claimed a mob of 1,000 men had attacked police and set fire to a church, calling the article a distortion of facts.

Breitbart wrote an article about New Year's Eve in Dortmund on Tuesday with the headline ďRevealed: 1,000-man mob attack police, set Germanyís oldest church alight on New Yearís EveĒ.

"At New Yearís Eve celebrations in Dortmund a mob of more than 1,000 men chanted ĎAllahu Akhbarí, launched fireworks at police, and set fire to a historic church," the alt-right website reported.

The report was attributed to local news site Ruhr Nachrichten, which fired back on Wednesday, accusing Breitbart of ďusing our online reports for fake news, hate and propaganda.Ē

Ruhr Nachrichten pointed out how Breitbart attributed separate unconnected incidents to a larger, collective "mob".

There was in fact a total of around 1,000 people gathered to celebrate New Yearís Eve in Leeds Square, including ďlarge and small groupsĒ of young, foreign men as well as families with children, according to Ruhr Nachrichten.

The original report by the local news site from that night describes how some individuals did start launching fireworks from within the crowd towards police, who told them to stop but were ignored. Broadcaster WDR reported that officers then issued orders for some people to leave and took some into custody.

While Breitbart wrote that the "mob" set the roof of Germany's oldest church on fire, Ruhr Nachrichten pointed out that this was also not accurate.

St. Reinold is not Germany's oldest church - that would be the Cathedral of Trier - and a small fire had started on some netting on scaffolding around the church, not the roof, due to one firework.

And while Breitbart states that the "fireworks were launched at" the church, there was no indication from local news outlets or from the fire services that the fire had been started intentionally.

The fire was small and lasted 12 minutes before firefighters put it out, Ruhr Nachrichten reports.

Police told local media that overall it was a quiet night.

In a report released on Thursday, Dortmund police stated that the number of times they were called out during New Yearís celebrations this year was down from 421 in 2015-16 to 185 in 2016-17.

Breitbart also wrote that a group of Syrians gathered at the square to celebrate the ceasefire in their home country, but claimed that a video posted by a Ruhr Nachrichten journalist showed them holding up a flag of al-Qaeda and Isis collaborators.

In fact, the video shows a man holding a flag widely flown by those opposing the current government.

Ruhr Nachrichten also accuses Breitbart of overemphasizing the fact that the celebrating Syrians chanted ďallahu akbarĒ - which means God is great.

ďThis statement is a Muslim prayer as normal as ĎAmení in the church,Ē Ruhr Nachrichten's editor wrote. ďFake news producers are connecting the groups of people in Leeds Square to [terrorist] attacksÖ The fact is: there was no sign that terrorism was being celebrated in Dortmund.Ē

As Benjamin Konietzny from broadcaster N-tv wrote, the Breitbart report was problematic for how it presented the events. ďThere are differences in the critical details,Ē Konietzny stated.

ďThe report is a lesson on the deliberate over-twisting of facts,Ē wrote another journalist from the German Meedia industry publication.

SOURCE

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A fun cartoon video about Hillary here

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Letís say goodbye to a UN that hates the free world

JENNIFER ORIEL

If the UN is to be believed, there are three Middle Eastern entities that deserve our condemnation and retribution. One is the Syrian regime, which stands accused of using chemical weapons against dissidents. The other is Islamic State, a genocidal jihadist army that decapitates Christians, sexually enslaves women and children and tortures dissidents to death. The third is Israel, a pluralistic democracy that celebrates equality, liberty, free trade and free speech.

With friends like the UN, the free world doesnít need enemies.

Last year, the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council adopted 18 resolutions against Israel. The final judgment of 2016 was the UN Security Councilís Resolution 2334, which declares that Israel has no right to land its people have inhabited since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Britain and France voted for the resolution while the US chose not to exercise its veto power.

According to Palestinian Media Watch, Fatah (the leading faction of the Palestinian Authority) thanked the UN with a violent image depicting a Palestinian flag fashioned as a weapon stabbing the Jewish settlements. Blood pooled on the earth beneath. Rather than take Fatahís apparent threat as a sign that the resolution might facilitate mass murder, the UN is standing firm.

The threat to Israel is serious and without the buffering of settlement areas, the state is more vulnerable to attack from jihadists.

The UN should know the history. After Israel withdrew from Gaza and four West Bank settlements in 2005, Islamist terrorist group Hamas established itself as Gazaís governing force. The notion that Fatah is the moderate reformist alternative to Hamas is appealing, but its response to the UN resolution has distinctly jihadist overtones.

Commentators have defended Resolution 2334 as beneficial to the future of the two-state solution. When pressed, it is common the hear the term ďinternational consensusĒ. It is misleading. The international consensus, in this case, are the parties to the resolution. However, the citizens of those member states do not necessarily support it. The Republican-dominated US House of Representatives has passed a resolution to condemn the Security Council for censuring Israel over settlements. Importantly, the US resolution includes the call for the outgoing Obama administration to veto any future resolutions concerning the matter. However, fears persist that UN members are determined to pass new resolutions against Israel before president-elect Donald Trump takes office.

A central concern is that rules on the implementation of Resolution 2334 will be established at a Middle East conference in Paris on January 15. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants world leaders to respect bilateralism in negotiating a two-state solution, but Islamist and socialist leaders are keen to impose a supranational ruling.

The majority of member states that passed Resolution 2334 against Israeli settlements are Islamic or socialist in nature. Israel, the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, was judged by a panel of theocrats, autocrats and socialists. Of the five permanent Security Council members with the power of veto, three are Western: France, Britain and the US. It is predictable that France would defend the interests of Islamists in line with the socialist EU bloc, but Britainís Tory PM Theresa May also backed the resolution. May is long-time ally of Israel, but believes the settlements impede a viable two-state solution. She might be encouraged to consider the role of Hamas and Fatah in preventing the two-state solution and the popular Palestinian desire for one state under Islamic rule.

[Australian] Foreign Minister Julie Bishop stated if Australia were a Security Council member, we would have opposed the resolution. Israel needs more than words. It needs action. Australia should withdraw funding to protest the UNís pact with militantly anti-Semitic leaders in Palestine. We should oppose apartheid against Jews, including economic apartheid in the form of boycotts, divestment and sanctions campaigns, by preparing a broader and mutually beneficial bilateral trade deal with Israel. And the Australian government should withdraw foreign aid funding from states, regimes and supranational groups that act against Western interests.

The resolution is not only against Israel. It is against universalism, a core UN principle in theory. A common alternative to universalism is double standards, which divide populations and produce mass resentment. In the West, double standards are codified in discrimination law. At the UN, they are used to justify repeated denunciations of Western democracies by the worldís worst abusers of human rights. The UN resolution against Israel is a case in point. If Israel is forced to surrender settlements to the Palestinians, surely China, which voted in favour of the resolution, should relinquish Tibet. The Security Council should pass resolutions against Islamic regimes whose actions genuinely constitute a ďflagrant violation of international lawĒ. It could begin by imposing sanctions on Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. And the UN should be subject to the law of universality. It should be held accountable for violations of international law, including the violation of national security.

In late 2015, UN envoy Robert Serry noted a significant impediment to ending settlements in the West Bank. While he supported a freeze on settlement activity, Serry observed that about 500,000 Israelis live in them, raising the question of how the land could be transferred to PA control. In 2005, about 9000 Israelis evacuated Gaza. If made enforceable, Resolution 2334 would require the eviction of up to 800,000 Israelis. The UN has not elaborated on the fate of 500,000 Jews if evicted from their homes en masse. This story sounds all too familiar.

Thank God for Israel. If it werenít for the Jews, the UN would have to battle despots, communists and Islamists. Instead, it observes a minute of silence for the murderous Fidel Castro. It rails against fascism while excusing the most murderous totalitarians of the past century: communists and Islamists. It channels free-world citizensí money into corrupt regimes, despotic states and jihadist armies whose common resolve is to destroy liberty.

The Security Council resolution on Israel is the latest case of UN aggression against the free world. Itís time to say goodbye.

SOURCE

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Something nice

The female voice in song can be a most exciting thing. And none better than the voice of beautiful Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins below.  It reduces me to tears. She sings it in the original Italian.  Italy has given us much. The best known performance of the song is a duet between Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli at the Piazza dei cavalieri in Pisa but Jenkins has a much more powerful voice.  She is, incidentally, a Christian.



The words and translation are here.

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

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

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9 January, 2017

WashPost Is Richly Rewarded for False News About Russia Threat While Public Is Deceived

Glenn Greenwald

IN THE PAST six weeks, the Washington Post published two blockbuster stories about the Russian threat that went viral: one on how Russia is behind a massive explosion of ďfake news,Ē the other on how it invaded the U.S. electric grid. Both articles were fundamentally false. Each now bears a humiliating editorís note grudgingly acknowledging that the core claims of the story were fiction: The first note was posted a full two weeks later to the top of the original article; the other was buried the following day at the bottom.

The second story on the electric grid turned out to be far worse than I realized when I wrote about it on Saturday, when it became clear that there was no ďpenetration of the U.S. electricity gridĒ as the Post had claimed. In addition to the editorís note, the Russia-hacked-our-electric-grid story now has a full-scale retraction in the form of a separate article admitting that ďthe incident is not linked to any Russian government effort to target or hack the utilityĒ and there may not even have been malware at all on this laptop.

But while these debacles are embarrassing for the paper, they are also richly rewarding. Thatís because journalists ó including those at the Post ó aggressively hype and promote the original, sensationalistic false stories, ensuring that they go viral, generating massive traffic for the Post (the paperís executive editor, Marty Baron, recently boasted about how profitable the paper has become).

After spreading the falsehoods far and wide, raising fear levels and manipulating U.S. political discourse in the process (both Russia stories were widely hyped on cable news), journalists who spread the false claims subsequently note the retraction or corrections only in the most muted way possible, and often not at all. As a result, only a tiny fraction of people who were exposed to the original false story end up learning of the retractions.

Baron himself, editorial leader of the Post, is a perfect case study in this irresponsible tactic. It was Baron who went to Twitter on the evening of November 24 to announce the Postís exposť of the enormous reach of Russiaís fake news operation, based on what he heralded as the findings of ďindependent researchers.Ē Baronís tweet went all over the place; to date, it has been re-tweeted more than 3,000 times, including by many journalists with their own large followings:

But after that story faced a barrage of intense criticism ó from Adrian Chen in the New Yorker (ďpropaganda about Russia propagandaĒ), Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone (ďshameful, disgustingĒ), my own article, and many others ó including legal threats from the sites smeared as Russian propaganda outlets by the Postís ďindependent researchersĒ ó the Post finally added its lengthy editorís note distancing itself from the anonymous group that provided the key claims of its story (ďThe Post Ö does not itself vouch for the validity of PropOrNotís findingsĒ and ďsince publication of the Postís story, PropOrNot has removed some sites from its listĒ).

What did Baron tell his followers about this editorís note that gutted the key claims of the story he hyped? Nothing. Not a word. To date, he has been publicly silent about these revisions. Having spread the original claims to tens of thousands of people, if not more, he took no steps to ensure that any of them heard about the major walk back on the articleís most significant, inflammatory claims. He did, however, ironically find the time to promote a different Post story about how terrible and damaging Fake News is

WHETHER THE POSTíS false stories here can be distinguished from what is commonly called ďFake NewsĒ is, at this point, a semantic dispute, particularly since ďFake NewsĒ has no cogent definition. Defenders of Fake News as a distinct category typically emphasize intent in order to differentiate it from bad journalism. Thatís really just a way of defining Fake News so as to make it definitionally impossible for mainstream media outlets like the Post ever to be guilty of it (much the way terrorism is defined to ensure that the U.S. government and its allies cannot, by definition, ever commit it).

But what was the Postís motive in publishing two false stories about Russia that, very predictably, generated massive attention, traffic, and political impact? Was it ideological and political ó namely, devotion to the D.C. agenda of elevating Russia into a grave threat to U.S. security? Was it to please its audience ó knowing that its readers, in the wake of Trumpís victory, want to be fed stories about Russian treachery? Was it access and source servitude ó proving it will serve as a loyal and uncritical repository for any propaganda intelligence officials want disseminated? Was it profit ó to generate revenue through sensationalistic click-bait headlines with a reckless disregard to whether its stories are true? In an institution as large as the Post, with numerous reporters and editors participating in these stories, itís impossible to identify any one motive as definitive.

Whatever the motives, the effects of these false stories are exactly the same as those of whatever one regards as Fake News. The false claims travel all over the internet, deceiving huge numbers into believing them. The propagators of the falsehoods receive ample profit from their false, viral ďnews.Ē And there is no accountability of the kind that would disincentivize a repeat of the behavior. (That the Post ultimately corrects its false story does not distinguish it from classic Fake News sites, which also sometimes do the same.)

And while itís true that all media outlets make mistakes, and that even the most careful journalism sometimes errs, those facts do not remotely mitigate the Postís behavior here. In these cases, they did not make good faith mistakes after engaging in careful journalism. With both stories, they were reckless (at best) from the start, and the glaring deficiencies in the reporting were immediately self-evident (which is why both stories were widely attacked upon publication).

As this excellent timeline by Kalev Leetaru documents, the Post did not even bother to contact the utility companies in question ó the most elementary step of journalistic responsibility ó until after the story was published. Intelligence officials insisting on anonymity ó so as to ensure no accountability ó whispered to them that this happened, and despite how significant the consequences would be, they rushed to print it with no verification at all. This is not a case of good journalism producing inaccurate reporting; it is the case of a media outlet publishing a story that it knew would produce massive benefits and consequences without the slightest due diligence or care.

THE MOST IRONIC aspect of all this is that it is mainstream journalists ó the very people who have become obsessed with the crusade against Fake News ó who play the key role in enabling and fueling this dissemination of false stories. They do so not only by uncritically spreading them, but also by taking little or no steps to notify the public of their falsity.

The Postís epic debacle this weekend regarding its electric grid fiction vividly illustrates this dynamic. As I noted on Saturday, many journalists reacted to this story the same way they do every story about Russia: They instantly click and re-tweet and share the story without the slightest critical scrutiny. That these claims are constantly based on the whispers of anonymous officials and accompanied by no evidence whatsoever gives those journalists no pause at all; any official claim that Russia and Putin are behind some global evil is instantly treated as Truth. Thatís a significant reason papers like the Post are incentivized to recklessly publish stories of this kind. They know they will be praised and rewarded no matter the accuracy or reliability because their Cause ó the agenda ó is the right one.

On Friday night, immediately after the Postís story was published, one of the most dramatic pronouncements came from the New York Timesís editorial writer Brent Staples, who said this:



Now that this story has collapsed and been fully retracted, what has Staples done to note that this tweet was false? Just like Baron, absolutely nothing. Actually, thatís not quite accurate, as he did do something: At some point after Friday night, he quietly deleted his tweet without comment. He has not uttered a word about the fact that the story he promoted has collapsed, and that what he told his 16,000-plus followers ó along with the countless number of people who re-tweeted the dramatic claim of this prominent journalist ó turned out to be totally false in every respect.

Even more instructive is the case of MSNBCís Kyle Griffin, a prolific and skilled social media user who has seen his following explode this year with a constant stream of anti-Trump content. On Friday night, when the Post story was published, Griffin hyped it with a series of tweets designed to make the story seem as menacing and consequential as possible. That included hysterical statements from Vermont officials ó who believed the Postís false claim ó that in retrospect are unbelievably embarrassing.

That tweet from Griffin ó convincing people that Putin was endangering the health and safety of Vermonters ó was re-tweeted more than 1,000 times. His other similar tweets ó such as this one featuring Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahyís warning that Putin was trying to ďshut down [the grid] in the middle of winterĒ ó were also widely spread.

But the next day, the crux of the story collapsed ó the Postís editorís note acknowledged that ďthere is no indicationĒ that ďRussian hackers had penetrated the electricity gridĒ ó and Griffin said nothing. Indeed, he said nothing further on any of this until yesterday ó four days after his series of widely shared tweets ó in which he simply re-tweeted a Post reporter noting an ďupdateĒ that the story was false without providing any comment himself

In contrast to Griffinís original inflammatory tweets about the Russian menace, which were widely and enthusiastically spread, this after-the-fact correction has a paltry 289 re-tweets. Thus, a small fraction of those who were exposed to Griffinís sensationalistic hyping of this story ended up learning that all of it was false.

I genuinely do not mean to single out these individual journalists for scorn. They are just illustrative of a very common dynamic: Any story that bolsters the prevailing D.C. orthodoxy on the Russia Threat, no matter how dubious, is spread far and wide. And then, as has happened so often, when the story turns out to be false or misleading, little or nothing is done to correct the deceitful effects. And, most amazingly of all, these are the same people constantly decrying the threat posed by Fake News.

A VERY COMMON dynamic is driving all of this: media groupthink, greatly exacerbated (as I described on Saturday) by the incentive scheme of Twitter. As the grand media failure of 2002 demonstrated, American journalists are highly susceptible to fueling and leading the parade in demonizing a new Foreign Enemy rather than exerting restraint and skepticism in evaluating the true nature of that threat.

It is no coincidence that many of the most embarrassing journalistic debacles of this year involve the Russia Threat, and they all involve this same dynamic. Perhaps the worst one was the facially ridiculous, pre-election Slate story ó which multiple outlets (including The Intercept) had been offered but passed on ó alleging that Trump had created a secret server to communicate with a Russian bank; that story was so widely shared that even the Clinton campaign ended up hyping it ó a tweet that, by itself, was re-tweeted almost 12,000 times.

But only a small percentage of those who heard of it ended up hearing of the major walk back and debunking from other outlets. The same is true of The Guardian story from last week on WikiLeaks and Putin that ended up going viral, only to have its retraction barely noticed because most of the journalists who spread the story did not bother to note it.

Beyond the journalistic tendency to echo anonymous officials on whatever Scary Foreign Threat they are hyping at the moment, there is an independent incentive scheme sustaining all of this. That Russia is a Grave Menace attacking the U.S. has ó for obvious reasons ó become a critical narrative for Democrats and other Trump opponents who dominate elite media circles on social media and elsewhere. They reward and herald anyone who bolsters that narrative, while viciously attacking anyone who questions it.

Indeed, in my 10-plus years of writing about politics on an endless number of polarizing issues ó including the Snowden reporting ó nothing remotely compares to the smear campaign that has been launched as a result of the work Iíve done questioning and challenging claims about Russian hacking and the threat posed by that country generally. This is being engineered not by random, fringe accounts, but by the most prominent Democratic pundits with the largest media followings.

Iíve been transformed, overnight, into an early adherent of alt-right ideology, an avid fan of Breitbart, an enthusiastic Trump supporter, and ó needless to say  ó a Kremlin operative. Thatís literally the explicit script theyíre now using, often with outright fabrications of what I say

They, of course, know all of this is false. A primary focus of the last 10 years of my journalism has been a defense of the civil liberties of Muslims. I wrote an entire book on the racism and inequality inherent in the U.S. justice system. My legal career involved numerous representations of victims of racial discrimination. I was one of the first journalists to condemn the misleadingly ďneutralĒ approach to reporting on Trump and to call for more explicit condemnations of his extremism and lies.

I was one of the few to defend Jorge Ramos from widespread media attacks when he challenged Trumpís immigration extremism. Along with many others, I tried to warn Democrats that nominating a candidate as unpopular as Hillary Clinton risked a Trump victory. And as someone who is very publicly in a same-sex, inter-racial marriage ó with someone just elected to public office as a socialist ó I make for a very unlikely alt-right leader, to put that mildly.

The malice of this campaign is exceeded only by its blatant stupidity. Even having to dignify it with a defense is depressing, though once it becomes this widespread, one has little choice.

But this is the climate Democrats have successfully cultivated ó where anyone dissenting or even expressing skepticism about their deeply self-serving Russia narrative is the target of coordinated and potent smears; where, as The Nationís James Carden documented yesterday, skepticism is literally equated with treason. And the converse is equally true: Those who disseminate claims and stories that bolster this narrative ó no matter how divorced from reason and evidence they are ó receive an array of benefits and rewards.

That the story ends up being completely discredited matters little. The damage is done, and the benefits received. Fake News in the narrow sense of that term is certainly something worth worrying about. But whatever one wants to call this type of behavior from the Post, it is a much greater menace given how far the reach is of the institutions that engage in it.

SOURCE

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Why we need Trump:  "Manufacturing Jobs Declined by 45,000 in 2016; Government Jobs Increased by 183,000--Now Outnumber Manufacturing by 9,948,000

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Paul Ryan: Russia Didnít Put the Server in Hillary Clintonís Basement 

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

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

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8 January, 2017

Why Are American Automakers Running to Mexico?

Embarrassment:  In part because Mexico has freer trade than the land of the free does

On his nationally syndicated radio talk show Wednesday, host Mark Levin explained that American automakers are running to Mexico, in part because Mexico has cheaper labor, but more significantly because Mexico has access to more countries willing to trade tariff-free.

"`Why is everybody running to Mexico?' you may ask, and you may think you have the answer," explained Mark Levin. "`Well, because they pay their people next to nothing.' That's not the whole answer. It's not even a significant part of the answer. ...

"`[O]ne of [Mexico's] key advantages is that it has' - you ready?" Levin rhetorically asked moments later in response to the question posed above. "`One of its key advantages is that it has trade agreements with 44 countries giving automakers access to half the global car market tariff-free.'"

SOURCE

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Alt-Left Insanity: The Great Race Toward Racism

It's time once more for the Great Race! No, not the excellent Jack Lemmon/Tony Curtis comedy, I mean the media/alt-left's quest to make everything in America about race - except when it's about race in a way they don't like.

Then it's not about race at all.

We saw in black and white this week how awful racism can be. It's not just about what white people do to African-Americans or what African-Americans do to whites. It's what people do to one another based on race and how the media and the left mock it when it's a narrative they don't like.

For purposes of example, there's Washington Post idiot Callum Borchers who wrote this about the heinous kidnapping and torture: "If you believe discrimination against white people is rampant, that Donald Trump supporters face persecution, that Chicago is a war zone, and the media is dishonest, then your entire worldview is likely to be confirmed by one awful story."

The empathy just oozes off the page.

Some outlets, like our friends at Huffington Post, went out of their way to hide the racist nature of the assault. Here was their headline: "4 Charged With Hate Crime After Facebook Live Broadcast Shows Man Being Tortured." Dang, you'd think they worked at major networks with that spin. We finally have reached Obama's post-racial America after all.

For those who endured watching the torture video, one of the things the attackers said multiple times was: "F--- Donald Trump." Now, that might just be scumbags mouthing off. Or it might be that our monsters were repeating what they heard during the campaign - the song "F--- Donald Trump," which features its title phrase 32 times. The remake starred the talented trio of YG, G-Eazy and Macklemore. (Apparently, Nipsey Hussle wasn't fly enough to make the second recording.)

What we learned in advertising, applies to culture. Repeat something often enough and it sinks in, whether it's buying a Coca-Cola, learning about violence from Tarantino movies or learning to hate Trump and conservatives from no-talent hacks like YG.

`Giving Up White Male Authors':

When you take your reading cues from Buzzfeed, you've got problems. But that's precisely what bigot Layla Schlack did, and she naturally went on to the web to claim moral superiority. Of course, she chose her local Boston NPR outlet. Where else would you post a left-wing, racist tract? In a piece under the elitist category Cognoscenti, she wrote about the modern form of book burning. Maybe call it book Berning, in honor of its far-left roots (and the last item on today's column.) Under the headline: "Banned Books: Giving Up White Male Authors," we are treated to blatant, PC racism.

Actual quote: "One day, a friend and I were talking about books, and she said, `I'm kind of trying not to read things by white men.' So there it was, a description of what I had been doing. And I wasn't the only one." No, it's not about what's written in black and white, it's about the color of the skin of the author.

Schlack, who is an editor (shocker!) at Wine Enthusiast, claimed her actions were "anti-racist." I'm sure I could find Klan literature that claims their actions were much the same. She also argues that it's not much of a loss. Actual quote two: "I'm not looking for a pat on the head for giving up fine literature by white men, because it's not a sacrifice." Yeah, who needs Shakespeare or Hemingway or Twain or . .

Teach The Children:

Once more, Teen Vogue reminds us how much liberals try to propagandize to your kids. The moron mag attacked conservative Philip Anschutz because he takes profits from his many businesses and uses them to support things he believes in. Horrors!! Actual quote: "For example, the Family Research Council (one of the groups that Anschutz supports) describes itself as a `Pro-Marriage and Pro-Life' organization. Their website shows that it is anti-gay rights, anti-transgender rights, and anti-abortion." Notice how the less-than-honest turned supporting something like human life into an "anti"?

Teens, who only recently happened to be small children dependent on their moms for existence, are fed this garbage to indoctrinate them. Still, Teen Vogue wants to whine because Anshutz owns AEG and "one of those events that's run by AEG is Coachella." OMG! Beyonce is, like, performing at Coachella! That's like she works for the conservative movement! Yes, every Teen Vogue editorial meeting (if they have them) must include a hefty dose of exclamation points and emoji. And all of them must be used to react every time a certified cool person like Queen Bee even interacts with a conservative human. And liberals wonder how Donald Trump got elected.

Bernie Sanders:

The Musical `Inspired By The Revolution': I almost fell over laughing when my coworker Eric Scheiner showed me his video of the Bernie Sanders musical. The play about "Santa Bernie" was performed in the lefty stronghold of Burlington, Vt. Natch. "Feel The Bern, The Musical" depicted a future America where socialism and climate change are both dominant. The dueling dystopias weren't seen that way by the fellow travelers in the Village Voice. The Christmas themed performance even remade holiday songs as Bernie ballads. According to the Voice's Michael Appler, "an orange-haired Grinch has slithered down from his tower to promise us gifts." But never fear, "that dream of a Bernie Sanders utopia is still alive."

Actual quote: "Her spectacle is also postapocalyptic and takes place in the year 2132: Global warming has washed away the eastern coast of the United States, and the characters have gathered for their holiday on the new shore - in Cleveland." Perhaps, by that time, the Browns will have had a winning season. Or, Buffy fans might at least hope the hellmouth is closed.

Actual quote two: "Christmas is obsolete in 2132; instead the characters assemble to celebrate NotMeUs, a festival fixated on Sanders, who has returned to Earth in the form of Sanders Claus." Notice how liberals like to turn their politicians into religious, almost-God-like figures? They did it for Obama all the time, especially the halos in the photos. And they even sang redone hymms (or hers) to Hillary. When you lack a moral center, it's easy to manufacture one - as long as you wear your Birkenstocks while doing it.

SOURCE

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Rep. Dave Brat: `The Left Is Trying to Get Rid of History'

In a recent interview with Arutz Sheva TV, Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) talked about the left-leaning bias in U.S. academia, saying, the left is trying to "get rid of history."

"The left is dismantling history and getting rid of philosophy, because that's the data points for human nature," Brat said, "and the left would love to be utopian and think we can all just get along if it wasn't for us capitalists or Christians, right, or other religious groups. They think we'd be in heaven, you know without the bulk of the American people."

Brat was attending the Jerusalem Leaders' Summit and was initially asked about anti-Israel sentiment in academia.

"I'm in academia, and unfortunately, about 90 percent of academia is anti-Israel, and part of that has to do I think unfortunately with first, principles," he explained in the Dec. 27 interview. "I'm, on the other hand, 110 percent pro-Israel, and I went to seminary, and I'm in the Protestant tradition, but that tradition takes very seriously Hebrew scripture.

"That presumption of first principles and the existence of God implies a certain ethics, and so the antagonism, I think in academia, largely comes from that," Brat continued. "Roughly the left has Rousseau and Marx, and those are by the way the only two philosophers of note that had a positive view of human nature."

Brat pointed out in contrast that in Scripture it "takes about two chapters for humanity to fall."

"The left right now is trying to get rid of history," he claimed. "Education in our country in the United States has been totally distorted. K-12 kids aren't taught any religion, no ethics, no ethical system, no philosophers of note."

"The left is dismantling history and getting rid of philosophy because that's the data points for human nature," he emphasized, "and the left would love to be utopian and think we can all just get along if it wasn't for us capitalists or Christians, right, or other religious groups, they think we'd be in heaven, you know without the bulk of the American people."

Brat added that the left even uses "scare tactics" on kids over religious ideas, saying "I've had kids in my own district say God bless you after a kid sneezes and they get in trouble."

"When the central question of all liberal arts education beginning with Socrates, right about 2400 years ago, right, is: what is a good human life," he concluded, "when you can't ask the central question in the liberal arts tradition, what is a good human life and what makes it good - and by the way how do you define what's good, in the Judeo-Christian tradition? We have an answer to the definition of good, and the left cannot give you an answer to what is good today."

SOURCE

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Do you carry? Violence against Trump supporters explodes across country

The FBI ran a record-smashing 27.5 million gun-related background checks in 2016, indicating that many Americans are likely getting their carry licenses. And it's no wonder: a nationwide explosion of violent mob attacks by rabid liberals has Donald Trump supporters trading in "MAGA" for "CCW."

The heinous kidnapping and torture of a special-needs white man by four black youths in Chicago is just the latest anti-Trump assault/hate crime to take place since the election. Here's a rundown of some of the others:

    Again in Barack Obama's hometown of Chicago, a group of black men assaulted a white man after a fender bender because he presumably voted for Trump.

    High school students in Rockville, Md., just outside Washington, D.C., assaulted a fellow student for supporting Trump.

    A black high school student in Redwood City, Calif., accused a white Trump-supporting student of hating Mexicans before viciously beating her.

    An anti-bullying ambassador with ties to Black Lives Matter was charged with felony assault after she shoved a 74-year-old-man to the ground while protesting outside Trump Tower in New York City.

    A man was reportedly attacked and choked on a New York subway for wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat.

    Prior to the election, Trump supporters were assaulted and bloodied by protestors outside a Trump rally in San Jose, Calif.

    A 62-year-old man wearing a Trump shirt was attacked with a crowbar in New Jersey.

This is far from a comprehensive list. Unlike the myriad hoax assaults reported by liberals, the attacks and hate crimes being carried out against Trump supporters are very, very real. It's no wonder Americans are choosing to pack heat.

SOURCE





6 January, 2017

The Mediterranean diet nonsense again

It is hard to know what to laugh at first in the report below.  For a start, where did they find eaters of a Mediterranean diet in Scotland? 

Secondly, Scottish food makes English food look gourmet.  Scottish food is extraordinarily plain, with "mince 'n tatties" being the staple.  So any departure from it should increase the range of nutrients consumed.

Thirdly, do we know that diet had anything to do with it at all?  Scots who deviated from their traditional diet could well have been more health-conscious and done other things to keep themselves healthy -- like jogging and having a "doch 'n doris" (alcohol) less frequently.

Fourthly, if a Mediterranean diet is so good for you, how came Australians are exceptionally long lived?  Foods such as hamburgers, steak, sausages, beef pies and sausage rolls are Australian staples and they are about as far from a Mediterranean diet as Australia is geographically far from the Mediterranean

The study tells us NOTHING about the Mediterranean diet



IT is never too late to start eating a Mediterranean diet, as a study shows it could stop the brains of people in their seventies from shrinking.

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, olive oil, and even a glass of wine a day, may protect the grey matter which declines as we age.

A study of pensioners with this diet found their brain shrinkage, associated with memory loss and Alzheimer's, was half of others their age.

The benefits are believed to come from the antioxidants found in vegetables, olive oil and even the glass of red every day which forms part of the Mediterranean diet. These are thought to reduce damage in the brain from oxidation, which leads to neural degeneration.

Lead author Dr Michelle Luciano, from the University of Edinburgh, said: 'As we age, the brain shrinks and we lose brain cells which can affect learning and memory,

'This study adds to the body of evidence that suggests the Mediterranean diet has a positive impact on brain health.'

The latest study, published in the journal Neurology, gathered information on the dietary habits of almost 1,000 people in Scotland aged 70.

A Mediterranean diet was judged as one high in fruit and vegetables, beans and grains such as wheat and rice, including the mono-unsaturated fats found in olive oil, and even allowing for moderate consumption of up to the equivalent of a large glass of wine a day for women or two for men.

People of this age would be expected to lose around 18ml of their brain volume in the three years between 73 and 76. Up to two per cent of the brain is lost every year as we grow older.

But those found to have most closely stuck to a Mediterranean diet when questioned about it by researchers experienced less than half of that shrinkage, MRI brain scans showed.

This is important because a loss of brain volume as people get older affects their memory, increases the speed at which they process information and even the speed at which they speak and their attention span.

Dr Luciano said: 'In our study, eating habits were measured before brain volume was, which suggests that the diet may be able to provide long-term protection to the brain. Still, larger studies are needed to confirm these results.'

SOURCE

UPDATE:  The academic journal article is "Mediterranean-type diet and brain structural change from 73 to 76 years in a Scottish cohort". The only social controls applied were for education and IQ.

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Trump seeks to repeal Obamacare quickly

President Barack Obama has exhorted fellow Democrats to preserve his legacy-defining healthcare law as Republicans moved ahead with their long-sought bid to scrap it in what Vice President-elect Mike Pence called the "first order of business" of Donald Trump's administration.

The emerging Democratic strategy is to warn that Republicans risk throwing the entire US healthcare system into chaos by moving to dismantle the 2010 Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, without a plan to replace it.

Republicans argue the system is already broken and that they will help more people gain coverage by repealing the law while working to minimise disruptions to those who depend on it.

Both Obama and Pence visited Capitol Hill for closed-door discussions on Obamacare.

Pence, the Indiana governor and a former member of the US House of Representatives, met Republican lawmakers to plot the path forward on scuttling the law.

"The first order of business is to keep our promise to repeal Obamacare and replace it with the kind of healthcare reform that will lower the cost of health insurance without growing the size of government," Pence told a news conference.

Down the hall from Pence, Obama, who hands over the presidency to Trump on January 20, urged Democratic lawmakers to protect his signature domestic policy measure. He told reporters his message was: "Look out for the American people."

Democrats acknowledge they lack the votes needed to stop repeal legislation being pushed by Republicans, who will control the White House and both chambers of Congress when Trump takes office. But they are warning of the risks of the repeal legislation in hopes of spurring a public backlash against it.

Without a replacement by Republicans, as early as 2018, the roughly 20 million people who gained insurance under the law could see their coverage in jeopardy.

"The Republican plan to cut healthcare wouldn't 'make America great again,'" Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told reporters, invoking Trump's campaign slogan. "It would make America sick again and lead to chaos instead of affordable care."

Since the law was enacted, Republicans in Congress have voted more than 50 times to try to repeal all or part of it and conservatives have filed suits to try to invalidate it.

Republicans criticise Obamacare as an excessive government intrusion into the healthcare market and contend it is harming job growth by adding burdens on businesses.

Republicans on Wednesday stepped up their rhetorical attack on Obamacare, with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying the law ruined the American healthcare system.

Trump wrote on Twitter that Republicans "must be careful in that the Dems own the failed ObamaCare disaster, with its poor coverage and massive premium increases."

Pence said Trump would work with congressional leaders for a "smooth transition to a market-based healthcare reform system" through legislative and executive action.

SOURCE

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Can Trump and Putin Avert Cold War II?

BY: PATRICK BUCHANAN

In retaliation for the hacking of John Podesta and the DNC, Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats and ordered closure of their country houses on Long Island and Maryland's Eastern shore.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that 35 U.S. diplomats would be expelled. But Vladimir Putin stepped in, declined to retaliate at all, and invited the U.S. diplomats in Moscow and their children to the Christmas and New Year's party at the Kremlin.

"A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger," reads Proverbs 15:1. "Great move," tweeted President-elect Trump, "I always knew he was very smart!" Among our Russophobes, one can almost hear the gnashing of teeth.

Clearly, Putin believes the Trump presidency offers Russia the prospect of a better relationship with the United States. He appears to want this, and most Americans seem to want the same. After all, Hillary Clinton, who accused Trump of being "Putin's puppet," lost.

Is then a Cold War II between Russia and the U.S. avoidable? That question raises several others. Who is more responsible for both great powers having reached this level of animosity and acrimony, 25 years after Ronald Reagan walked arm-in-arm with Mikhail Gorbachev through Red Square? And what are the causes of the emerging Cold War II?

Comes the retort: Putin has put nuclear-capable missiles in the Kaliningrad enclave between Poland and Lithuania. True, but who began this escalation?

George W. Bush was the one who trashed Richard Nixon's ABM Treaty and Obama put anti-missile missiles in Poland. After invading Iraq, George W. Bush moved NATO into the Baltic States in violation of a commitment given to Gorbachev by his father to not move NATO into Eastern Europe if the Red Army withdrew.

Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, says John McCain.  Russia did, after Georgia invaded its breakaway province of South Ossetia and killed Russian peacekeepers. Putin threw the Georgians out, occupied part of Georgia, and then withdrew.

Russia, it is said, has supported Syria's Bashar Assad, bombed U.S.-backed rebels and participated in the Aleppo slaughter.

But who started this horrific civil war in Syria? Was it not our Gulf allies, Turkey, and ourselves by backing an insurgency against a regime that had been Russia's ally for decades and hosts Russia's only naval base in the Mediterranean?

Did we not exercise the same right of assisting a beleaguered ally when we sent 500,000 troops to aid South Vietnam against a Viet Cong insurgency supported by Hanoi, Beijing and Moscow? That's what allies do.

The unanswered question: Why did we support the overthrow of Assad when the likely successor regime would have been Islamist and murderously hostile toward Syria's Christians?

Russia, we are told, committed aggression against Ukraine by invading Crimea. But Russia did not invade Crimea. To secure their Black Sea naval base, Russia executed a bloodless coup, but only after the U.S. backed the overthrow of the pro-Russian elected government in Kiev.

Crimea had belonged to Moscow from the time of Catherine the Great in the 18th century, and the Russia-Ukraine relationship dates back to before the Crusades. When did this become a vital interest of the USA?

As for Putin's backing of secessionists in Donetsk and Luhansk, he is standing by kinfolk left behind when his country broke apart. Russians live in many of the 14 former Soviet republics that are now independent nations.  Has Putin no right to be concerned about his lost countrymen?

Unlike America's elites, Putin is an ethnonationalist in a time when tribalism is shoving aside transnationalism as the force of the future.

Russia, it is said, is supporting right-wing and anti-EU parties. But has not our National Endowment for Democracy backed regime change in the Balkans as well as in former Soviet republics?  We appear to be denouncing Putin for what we did first.

Moreover, the populist, nationalist, anti-EU and secessionist parties in Europe have arisen on their own and are advancing through free elections.

Sovereignty, independence, a restoration of national identity, all appear to be more important to these parties than what they regard as an excessively supervised existence in the soft-dictatorship of the EU.

In the Cold War between Communism and capitalism, the single-party dictatorship and the free society, we prevailed. But in the new struggle we are in, the ethnonational state seems ascendant over the multicultural, multiethnic, multiracial, multilingual "universal nation" whose avatar is Barack Obama.

Putin does not seek to destroy or conquer us or Europe. He wants Russia, and her interests, and her rights as a great power to be respected. He is not mucking around in our front yard; we are in his.

The worst mistake President Trump could make would be to let the Russophobes grab the wheel and steer us into another Cold War that could be as costly as the first, and might not end as peacefully.

Reagan's outstretched hand to Gorbachev worked. Trump has nothing to lose by extending his to Vladimir Putin, and much perhaps to win.

SOURCE

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

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

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5 January, 2017

The fish-oil fad is fading

Medical wisdom about diet keeps getting overturned.  One of the most enduring bits of "wisdom" is the multifarious benefits of fish oil. But it seems that even that may be a total myth.  The latest  review article in JAMA is:  "The Unfulfilled Promise of ?-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation" by Gregory Curfman, MD.  It is in JAMA Intern Med. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.8236.  A couple of extracts below:





SOURCE

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Surprise! Leftist double standard about hacking

On Thursday, Barack Obama, through the office of the U.S. Treasury Department, announced his response to the alleged Russian hackings of the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign. The U.S. will expel 35 Russian diplomats and intelligence agents, sanction three Russian businesses and close access to two Russian government-owned compounds in Maryland and New York. Obama blamed the highest levels of government in Moscow for the hacks, claiming they were done to interfere in the U.S. election.

Democrats are predictably heaping praise on Obama's decision, while several Republicans, long supportive of taking action against Moscow, have questioned the timing. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) stated, "While today's action by the administration is overdue, it is an appropriate way to end eight years of failed policy with Russia."

What is troubling about Obama's recent actions is indeed the timing. Why now? While Obama decries Russian interference and the need for retaliation and greater security, the truth is, had Hillary Clinton won the election, he wouldn't have even considered lifting a finger. Perhaps this was the yin to his 2012 yang, when he promised more flexibility with Russia after that election.

Furthermore, consider Obama's response to China's unprecedented hacking of the Office of Personnel Management. China stole personal data on more than 21.5 million government workers and Obama said almost nothing. In fact, the New York Times reported at the time that government officials "were under strict instructions to avoid naming China as the source of the attack." How times have changed.

Obama's newfound concern over the nation's cybersecurity has far less to do with protecting the U.S. against future cyberattacks than bitter political retaliation against Donald Trump. Obama's actions belie his lack of respect and trust in the U.S. system of government. He is primarily motivated not by concern for the well-being and security of the nation, but by protecting his own legacy and agenda. Since an incoming Trump presidency is a greater threat to Obama's legacy than a nefarious geopolitical power such as Vladimir Putin's Russia, Obama clearly wants to complicate rather than support future foreign policy efforts by the incoming president. Some legacy.

SOURCE

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Congress Just Punched a Big Hole in Obamacare

President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act on December 13. Promoted as a pro-innovation bill, the new law will improve the Food and Drug Administration's regulatory processes; as well as fund Vice-President Biden's Cancer Moonshot, the National Institutes of Health, and steps to reduce the opioid epidemic.

However, the final version of the bill also included an important payment reform: Significantly expanding the use of Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) by small businesses. The Affordable Care Act limited employers' use of these funding vehicles. The IRS promulgated rules levying an excise tax of up to $100 per employee per day.

The advantage of HRAs and similar funding vehicles is that they allow employers to give money directly to employees, who can spend it on medical care. This gets around health insurers' bureaucracies, which add unnecessary administrative costs.

Obamacare was supposed to be a hand-out to health insurers. It did not quite work out that way. Nevertheless, the law forces as much health spending as possible through insurers' claims processing. Not only does this add bureaucracy, but it inhibits proper price formation (which in a normal market takes place where the marginal supplier meets the marginal producer). Instead, U.S. health prices are determined administratively between insurers, governments, and providers.

Advocates of consumer-driven health care hope that an ever increasing share of medical payments will be paid by patients directly to providers. At some point, the insurers' role in price-fixing will become so obviously absurd it will fall apart, and prices will be determined in a more properly functioning market.

21st Century Cures removes the Affordable Care Act's constraints on small businesses using HRAs to fund employees' medical spending, instead of overpriced health insurance. As one tax expert notes:

Because of the ACA, many small employers have been prohibited from using reimbursement arrangements that previously were long-standing and effective methods of providing employees with health care benefits. The new law is a welcome modification to the ACA since it gives small employers excise tax relief plus a method for providing health benefits to their employees via the QSEHRA [Qualifying Small Employer HRA].

Hopefully, more such reforms will come in the next Congress.

SOURCE

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Liberal Struggle Against Reality

By Walter E. Williams

We will never understand liberals and progressives until we recognize that they often see reality as a social construct subject to being challenged and changed. For example, throughout the world, boys and girls have different toy preferences. Typically, boys like to play with cars and trucks, whereas girls prefer dolls. Liberals explain this with the assertion that boys and girls are socialized and encouraged to play with different types of toys by their parents, peers and "society." Growing scientific evidence suggests that toy preferences have a biological origin. Even studies of male and female primates find that they exhibit similar toy preferences. Despite the growing evidence of biological determinism, liberals have managed to intimidate toy sellers into getting rid of the labels "toys for boys" and "toys for girls."

Another reality issue that's extremely annoying to liberals and progressives is chromosomal sex determination. The XX/XY sex determination system is found in humans. Females have two of the same kind of sex chromosome (XX), whereas males have two distinct sex chromosomes (XY). This chromosomal reality is seen as limiting, annoying and an artifact of a patriarchal, chauvinistic society. So liberals and progressives want to change it. Say you are an XY (male) individual but would like to conduct your affairs in a facility designated for XX (female) individuals, such as a ladies' room. You can satisfy your desire by claiming that you are transgender - that is, you've switched from one gender to another. Therefore, if one has XY chromosomes, he can behave as if he were an XXer.

Plus, there is the expectation of being addressed according to one's chosen gender. The Minneapolis Police Department has a new rule that requires officers to address transgender people using their preferred names and pronouns. When an XYer is arrested but claims he is a woman, I wonder whether the police will place him in a cell with XXers. Just how far the Minneapolis authorities will go is in question; maybe they, too, believe that reality is optional.

Another part of reality that liberals and progressives find difficult to accept is the fact that equality among humans is the exception and inequality the norm. If one were to list the world's top 30 violinists of the 20th century, at least 20 of them would be of Jewish ancestry. Jews constitute no more than 3 percent of the U.S. population but 35 percent of American Nobel Prize winners. One wonders what liberals would propose to promote equality in violin excellence and winning a Nobel Prize. By the way, liberals and progressives love to attend classical concerts, where there is a virtual absence of racial diversity.

Year after year, blacks of West African descent walk away with all of the prizes in the Olympic 100-meter run. The probability of such an outcome by chance is all but zero. It must be a reality - namely, genetic physiological and biomechanical characteristics - that causes blacks to excel in certain sports (e.g., basketball, football and track) and spells disaster for those who have aspirations to be Olympic-class swimmers.

Somehow liberals and progressives manage to cope with some realities but go ballistic with others. They cope well with black domination of basketball, football and track and with the near absence of black performers in classical concerts. They also accept the complete absence of women in the NFL and NBA. They even accept geographical disparities. For example, not a single player in the NHL's history can boast of having been born and raised in Hawaii, Louisiana or Mississippi.

The reality that they go ballistic on is the reality that we are not all equally intelligent. There are many more male geniuses than female, and median male IQ is higher. Liberals might argue bias in the testing. Men are taller on average than women. If liberals don't like that, would they accuse the height-measuring device of being biased?

The lesson liberals need to learn is that despite their arrogance, they do not have the power to alter reality.

SOURCE

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Governors lead a Republican renaissance in New England

BOSTON-Republican governors will lead Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine next month - a remarkable feat considering how much the GOP has struggled in New England for more than a generation.

Phil Scott, the governor-elect in Vermont, defeated his Democratic opponent by nine points, even as Donald Trump got wiped out by 29 points. (The president-elect garnered less than one-third of the vote in the Green Mountain State.)

-- New Hampshire was much closer. Trump lost by just half a percentage point. While Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte went down by fewer than one thousand votes, Chris Sununu won the governor's race by just over 12,000 ballots - out of 629,000. One key factor might have been Chris's decision to stand by Trump after the 2005 "Access Hollywood" tape came out, while Kelly rescinded her endorsement.

-- Ticket splitting has become increasingly uncommon in congressional contests, but voters are perhaps more willing than ever to vote for a governor and president of different parties. Democrats note that they won in West Virginia and Montana last month, and they picked up an open seat in Louisiana last year. Trump carried those states by 42 points, 21 points and 20 points, respectively.

-- Just as there are not many national Democrats who can help out Gov.-elect Jim Justice in the Mountaineer State, neither are there many Republicans who can assist a GOP candidate in Vermont.

-- Charlie Baker is the exception. The Massachusetts governor did events for both Scott and Sununu. "I think New Hampshire is purple. Maine actually goes back and forth quite a bit too. Vermont's obviously pretty blue, so is Massachusetts," Baker said. "Part of what made both of those guys interesting to me was the fact that they're people who would be really hard for someone to stereotype."

Baker has a 70 percent approval rating in the deep-blue Bay State, making him one of - if not the most - popular governor in America. He's viewed as a pragmatist and admired for his effective managerial abilities, even though many of his priorities have been blocked by liberals in the legislature.

Much more HERE 

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

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

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4 January, 2017

Are conservatives moral?

They are certainly not the unprincipled authoritarians that the active Left are but are they consciously concerned about morality? Dennis Prager (below) says they are but he speaks both from his own religious background (Jewish) and from the background of the United States, where conservatism and Christianity are closely linked.  And there is absolutely no doubt that Christianity focuses heavily on morality and moral improvement, partly on sexual morality but also on morality in one's dealings with others generally.  And, as Prager says, Christians are constantly being urged to improve their behaviour and to avoid sin.



But I live in a very conservative country by world standards that is also irreligious. There is for instance no homosexual marriage in Australia nor is there likely to be -- despite frantic pushes for it from the Left.

From its foundation in 1788, Australia has always been a traditionally unholy place with a very low rate of churchgoing. Americans trace their founding fathers to religious zealots but Australians trace their foundations to convicts. And other major population elements in the white settlement of Australia -- such as goldrush "diggers" and Irish rebels -- did little to alter the culture originating from our convict origins.

A majority of Australians have some religious affiliation but only a tiny minority go to church regularly.  When I was young, it was still common for official forms to ask your religion.  My father never set foot in a church after he was married in one but he would always put on the forms as his religion: "C of E" (Church of England).  So census statistics tell you nothing about religion in Australia.  More revealing is that Australians rarely know and rarely ask about any religious affiliation of people they deal with daily -- let alone people they encounter casually.

So an irreligious conservative is both possible and is the norm -- in Australia.

Prager's stress is on moral improvement rather than morality as such.  There is a difference.  Because they are basically contented with their society, conservatives tend to adopt its values.  And as a post-Christian society, Australian values are largely Christian.  The Ten Commandments are respected if not always obeyed.  Additionally there are some other, purely Australian commandments that have never been officially promulgated in any way but are generally accepted in a quite heartfelt way.  To breach them is to expose oneself to scorn. Here is one formulation of them:

* Thou shalt not dob in thy mates
* Thou shalt not bung on an act.
* Thou shalt not be a tall poppy
* Thou shalt give everyone a fair go
* Thou shalt be fair dinkum
* Thou shalt not crawl to the boss

Translating these into standard English yields APPROXIMATELY the following:

* You must not incriminate your friends to the boss, the police or anyone else. Loyalty to your associates is all-important.
* You must not be ostentatious or pretend to be what you are not.
* You must treat others as your equals. If you are seen as being better than others in anything but sport you will be made to suffer for it.
* You must be fair and permissive in your treatment of others.
* You must not be insincere or dishonest.
* You must not be hypocritical towards you employer or try to ingratiate yourself with him.

And wherefrom come those commandments?  From nowhere in particular.  They are just values that most Australians have had from the early days: Particularly working class Australians.  We just absorb them daily from other Australians that we interact with.  Australians will, for instance, generally be rather tolerant of a man who commits adultery but will be utterly contemptuous of a man who crawled to the boss or who bunged on an act.

So Australian are in fact highly moral despite being irreligious. But the idea that they seek to improve themselves morally is basically unknown outside the churches.

So what Prager says about conservatism is probably pretty right about America but not right about conservatives generally. I would juxtapose to the Leftist desire to change society a conservative satisfaction with the way things generally are -- requiring only minor adjustments -- mostly adjustments to get rid of Leftist attempts to tyrannize us into becoming something that we are not.

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Trump Is Looking to Go - `Big League.' Congress Says They're Ready. Let's Do It

President-elect Donald Trump is from all appearances looking from Day One to very rapidly go very "big league."  And by "big league" - he means huge reductions in the amounts of the federal government to which we are subjected.

After more than a century of Washington, D.C. ceaselessly, inexorably vacuuming up power that Constitutionally belongs to the states, municipalities and/or We the People - Trump's revolution will be about re-devolving power.

Trump's not doing this as the implementation of a lifelong ideological crusade.  Because he's not an ideological crusader.  He's a businessman - he just wants things to work.  And he has spent a lifetime watching government (at all levels) royally screw up.basically everything.

Call this the Reality Revolution.  DC has spent a century-plus ignoring Reality - Trump intends to again acknowledge it.

Trump was throughout the campaign routinely ridiculed by the Left and the Never Trump Right for his amorphous pledge to hire "the best people."  Turns out he wasn't kidding.  He is rapidly assembling, almost inarguably, the most deregulatory Cabinet in our nation's history.

Heck, Trump's nominated as Energy Secretary former Texas Governor Rick Perry - who four years ago ran for President pledging to close the Energy Department.  It doesn't get any more deregulatory than that.  (And it should be closed - and be just one of oh-so-very-many to go.)

Because Trump's predecessor Barack Obama grew so much government via Executive Branch fiat - Trump can undo a lot of it himself.  But there are slates of government that must be undone by President Trump and Congress together.  Enter Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan.

I saw Fox News' Bret Baier interview Ryan the day after the election - just after Ryan had met with Trump.  Ryan was so excited, I don't think he blinked once during the entire conversation.  He nigh breathlessly, repeatedly, joyously said how fast Trump says he wants to hit the ground  running.  And Ryan metaphorically had his feet on the desk - lacing up and tying tight his track shoes.  He appears to want to jubilantly join Trump in the race.

Last week during a CNBC interview, Ryan said that at the end of 2015 he had (wisely, I add parenthetically) told his Committee Chairman to spend 2016 writing full-on, ready-to-go reform bills.  Preparing as if the Republicans would in 2017 control both houses of Congress and the White House.

And now Republicans do.  Here's hoping they've learned the lessons of the last time they did - and royally screwed it up.  Under President George W. Bush in the 2000s.  We the People - then as now - wanted less government.  The Republicans instead unleashed a spending and earmark avalanche, passed massive new entitlements, drastically and badly expanded the Feds' role in education and tried to jam through illegal alien amnesty.

A resume that cost them the Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008.  Let us not repeat that mistake.  Save for his ridiculous $1 trillion infrastructure boondoggle, Trump doesn't appear to be anywhere near doing so.  And (cautiously, I add parenthetically) it doesn't sound like Ryan is either.

President Bill Clinton in 1996 famously said "the era of big government is over."  Because, way back then, he knew that that is what We the People wanted.  It was why we had just elected a Republican House for the first time in (then) forty years.

Twenty years later - We the People are still waiting for the epoch to actually end.  Here's hoping that terminus has finally arrived.

Trump ran on truly revolutionary reforms.  And won.  Congress should acknowledge that fact - and act upon it.  Trump ran on repealing and replacing terminally ill Obamacare - and is nominating the people to do it.  Don't futz around, Congress - do it.  All the way.  Trump ran on repealing the Dodd-Frank banking disaster legislation - and is nominating the people to do it.  Don't futz around, Congress - do it.  All the way.

And this full-on, big league reform should be executed in every area government is poisoning the private sector.  Which is.every area of the private sector.  And just because a sector isn't a big part of the conversation - doesn't mean it isn't a big part of the private sector.

To wit: the Tech sector.  Which has rapidly grown to be 1/6 of our entire economy.  And the Obama Administration's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) spent its entire existence pummeling it with huge power grab after huge power grab.

The biggest, Net Neutrality, garnered a correctly derogatory 2014 Trump Tweet.  Trump's Tech transition team matches the rest of the Trump transition team - it is fantastic.  Deregulatory folks who know the sector - and know all that needs to be (un)done.

A Trump FCC can its own self roll back many of these abuses.  And it absolutely should.  But the Commission is operating under the antiquated, sclerotic 1996 Telecommunications Act.  Get that?  Think of the innumerable millions (billions?) of technological advancements that have taken place since NINETEEN-NINETY-SIX.

Think of the exponential evolutions over two decades delivered us by the Internet Service Providers (ISPs).  Who exponentially grew Internet speeds - thus making possible the exponential evolutions of the "edge providers" (Google, Facebook, Netflix, etc), computer companies, cellular phone companies, applications companies, etc, etc, etc.

During all of which Congress updated.nothing.  Again, the Trump Administration-to-be is wide-open for a full-on, big league reform.  Congress shouldn't futz around - they should deliver it.  A complete rewrite of the 1996 Act - the 2017 (or, ok, 2018) Telecommunications Act.

The private sector left the '96 Act completely behind a LONG time ago.  We need a wholly new law - but this time with demarcated, delineated limits on what the federal government can and CAN NOT do.

No more leaving huge decisions to the bureaucrats - they will never, ever defer to and thus leave alone the private sector.  No more nebulous bureaucrat powers to unilaterally determine things like the "public interest" - they will always use them as government weapons against the private sector.

The 21st-Century, constantly-changing Tech Sector needs revolutionary new law.  To represent the times - both technologically, and the long-time sentiment of its long-suffering people.

Now is not the time to tinker around the edges.  Trump didn't run on it.  Ryan didn't prep for it.  We the People don't want it.

Now is the time for big league reforms that result in much less government.  Trump ran on it.  Ryan prepped for it.  We the People want it.

Let's do it.

SOURCE

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Assange To Hannity: Source For WikiLeaks Was Not Russian Government

In an exclusive interview with FOX News Channel's Sean Hannity the founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange said Russia was not the source for the DNC and John Podesta hacks.

HANNITY: Can you say to the American people, unequivocally, that you did not get this information about the DNC, John Podesta's emails, can you tell the American people 1,000 percent that you did not get it from Russia or anybody associated with Russia?

JULIAN ASSANGE: Yes. We can say, we have said, repeatedly that over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party.

SOURCE

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In November 2016, James Clapper resigned as Director of National Intelligence, effective at the end of President Obama's term.



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

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

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3 January, 2017

2016 IN A NUT SHELL



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Mainstream Media Does An About-Face On Clinton's Election Loss

The mainstream media has finally decided that it wasn't racism, Russian president Vladimir Putin or FBI director James Comey that cost Hillary Clinton the presidency - it was Clinton.

In recent days, everyone from The New York Times to the Huffington Post has run feature news analyses pointing the finger at the former First Lady for throwing away her chances at victory in  November.

First, there was former Reagan speechwriter and biographer Lou Cannon writing in Real Clear Politics on December 22.   In a lengthy analysis entitled "The Importance of Being There," Cannon offers a blistering critique of Clinton for failing to show up to campaign in the major Rust Belt states that threw their support to Trump.

Cannon argues that Clinton's campaign was actually more effective than many people realize, pointing to her big win in Nevada and closer than expected showing in Arizona as proof.  In those states, Clinton campaigned heavily and in Nevada, she not only one beat Trump handily but also flipped both houses of the legislature to the Democrats.

But in Blue-leaning states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, Clinton never really campaigned in earnest.  In Michigan, despite pleas from the United Auto Workers and her own field staff, she failed to show up at local events.  In Wisconsin, she failed to make a single appearance anywhere. And she got shellacked.

Cannon is especially contemptuous of suggestions that "racism" among Trump supporters and White voters explains Clinton's loss.

In one electoral district after another where White support for Obama had been strong in 2008 and 2012, voters threw their support to Trump, Cannon shows.

For example, Trump flipped Luzerne County in northeastern Pennsylvania, which went for Obama in 2012 by five percentage points and 12,000 votes. The billionaire real estate mogul won the county by an amazing 20 points and 25,000 votes.

Trump also flipped Erie County, which Obama had won by a whopping 57-41 percent margin. Trump won it, 49-47 percent.   The same story was repeated in counties throughout the Rust Belt, Cannon found.

David Kuhn, in an op-ed published four days later in The New York Times, echoed Cannon's analysis. Kuhn reviewed voting data for those that expressed a low favorability rating for Trump and Clinton and found that the overwhelming majority of them broke for Trump.  His conclusion:  Many people voted for Trump in spite of his views on race and gender - not because of them.

"Bluntly put, much of the white working class decided that Mr. Trump could be a jerk," Kuhn writes.  "Absent any other champion, they supported the jerk they thought was more on their side - that is, on the issues that most concerned them."

Kuhn also looked at Trump voter views on immigration and found that most did not support his hard-line views.  But they voted for him anyway because of his stances on jobs, terrorism and other issues.

Even the liberal Huffington Post has decided belatedly that Clinton was responsible for her own woes. Senior HuffPo political columnist Sam Stein reviewed a host of interviews with late breaking undecided voters who overwhelmingly went for Trump and found that many had actually made up their minds weeks earlier.

One interviewee, Leonard Rainey, said he had serious doubts about Trump, especially his ability to handle an international crisis.  He also complained that Trump "was always running his fucking mouth" and saying "inappropriate" things. But, because of Clinton's basic credibility problems, he voted for the reality star anyway.

Even Comey's revived email investigation, which Clinton herself has singled out as the most important factor swaying late deciding voters, wasn't that significant in the end. "That was not the nail in the coffin," Rainey asserted. "It was the throwing of gas on a fire. . Ultimately, there was too much baggage with her."

Stein also found it wasn't just Republicans that broke late for Trump - it was Democrats, too.  And ultimately many looked beyond Trump's alleged character foibles and made up their minds based on the issues.

"I think Trump is far less likely to get us involved in endless war in the Middle East," Mark Bagley, a native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, told interviewers.  "And the thing to me that is most important is not getting into unnecessary wars.  I am 100% certain that Clinton will get us into a war in the Middle East."

Another Democratic interviewee said that Clinton's incessant harping on Trumps' alleged gender problem actually ended up swaying him toward The Donald.   He came to admire Trump's "perseverance" and concluded that the former First Lady was simply dodging the issues.

The fact that the so many mainstream media organs are running pieces critical of the Clinton campaign may be a sign that the efforts to delegitimize Trump's victory have finally come to an end.

But it's hardly the end of the media's war against Trump.  With Senate hearings to confirm a slew of controversial Trump cabinet nominations still pending, expect these same news organs to go back on the offensive to try to knock the incoming administration off balance.

The big war is over, but the post-election battles are just getting underway.

SOURCE

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Same White House blaming Russia for Trump earlier shot down claims of Russian influence

The White House blames Donald Trump's presidential campaign victory on "fake news" websites run by the Russian government.

That's why Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton is even more confused by President Barack Obama's opposition earlier this year to a plan to combat Russian disinformation.

Concerned by Russian efforts to control the U.S. media, Cotton earlier this year pushed an effort "to force the White House to create a panel with representatives from a number of government agencies to counter Russian efforts `to exert covert influence,' including by exposing Russian `falsehoods, agents of influence, corruption, human rights abuses, terrorism, and assassinations,'" POLITICO reports.

"Vladimir Putin is KGB. He always has been, and he always will be," Cotton tells POLITICO.

The White House responded with a letter, rejecting the plan.

They claim they already had a plan to stop Russia from interfering in U.S. politics.

No they didn't, says Cotton, pointing to Russia's hacking of the Democratic National Committee. While Wikileaks took credit for hacking the server, Russian state-run media were releasing the emails hours before Wikileaks "unveiled" them.

SOURCE

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Trump Likes Chuck Schumer More Than Republican Leadership

President-elect Donald Trump told incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that he liked him much better than Republican leadership in Congress, according to a Sunday report from the New York Post.

The exchange occurred during a private phone call between the two leaders, but staffers with Schumer's office failed to confirm the content of the exchange, according to the report. Trump's lack of affection for Republican leadership stems from the fact that "establishment" Republicans didn't support Trump during his bid for the White House, according to an unnamed staffer with the Trump transition.

Trump "said to Schumer he likes Schumer more than Ryan and McConnell because they both wanted him to lose," the source told the New York Post. "They are Republicans and Trump knows they didn't support him."

Trump describes his relationship with Schumer as "very good," and the two men reportedly shared several phone conversations in the weeks following Trump's election to the White House in November.

That affection could change now that Schumer doubled down on his move to slow every appointee Trump made to his cabinet.

SOURCE

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What experts predict, reality will contradict

by Jeff Jacoby

A NEW YEAR dawns, and you know what that means: Insiders, pundits, and gurus will spend the next 12 months making confident predictions that turn out to be spectacularly wrong.

But the experts themselves - often mistaken, but never in doubt - rarely seem to learn that lesson. Their forecasts will keep flowing in the year ahead, undeterred by their egregious blunders in the one just ended.

2016! Was there ever such a year for making donkeys out of seers? An entire column could be filled with nothing but the names of sages and savants, supposedly adept in the ways of politics, who confidently assured everyone that Donald J. Trump couldn't possibly win the Republican presidential nomination, let alone be elected president of the United States.

"If Trump is nominated, then everything we think we know about presidential nominations is wrong," wrote Larry Sabato, whose highly-regarded website at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics is called Sabato's Crystal Ball. Peering into his crystal ball on Nov. 7, he saw Hillary Clinton poised to harvest 322 votes in the Electoral College, handily defeating Trump in the next day's election.

Countless experts made similar predictions. "GOP insiders: Trump can't win," read a Politico headline last summer. Atop the story was the cocksure analysis of one of those insiders that nothing could keep Trump from losing short of "video evidence of a smiling Hillary drowning a litter of puppies while terrorists surrounded her with chants of 'Death to America.'" Pollsters, politicians, and even the incumbent POTUS announced with perfect certitude that a Trump victory was off the table. Indeed, prophesied Damon Linker, senior correspondent at The Week, not only would Trump lose, he would "lose in the biggest landslide in modern American history."

By no means was it only in the realm of US presidential politics that experts blew it.

Climate experts predicted that by the late summer of 2016, for the first time in 100,000 years, the Arctic Ocean would be effectively ice-free. Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at Cambridge University, said the decline in sea ice was unstoppable. But when satellite images for September were released, they showed ice levels greater than they were in 2012.

Fortune magazine played up the doomsaying of Wall Street strategist Albert Edwards, who warned that 2016 would bring the biggest stock-market crash in a generation. "The illusion of prosperity is shattered as boom now turns to bust," Edwards wrote in January, amid a market swoon. Bust? By year's end, the Dow was flirting with an all-time record high.

British experts of every description made the case for keeping the United Kingdom inside the European Union, and pollsters were sure Brexit would go down to defeat. But on the day of the election, voters tore up the script, handing the "Leave" campaign a victory margin of more than a million votes. Michael Gove, the UK's justice minister and a leading Brexiteer, had been laughed at when he contended: "People in this country have had enough of experts." Maybe the experts should have listened.

Maybe all of us should be more skeptical when experts are telling us what to think.

A book I cherish is The Experts Speak: The Definitive Compendium of Authoritative Misinformation. Compiled by Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky, it mercilessly documents the uncanny ability of experts to get things hopelessly, cataclysmically wrong. Flip through it at random, and marvel at the howlers: Business Week reporting in November 1929 that the Wall Street crash would not lead to a depression because the economy was "stronger than ever before." The 50 political insiders unanimously predicting Thomas Dewey's defeat of Harry Truman in the 1948 presidential race. The 1977 declaration by Ken Olson, president of Boston's Digital Equipment Corp.: "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home."

For hundreds of pages, on hundreds of subjects, the experts get it wrong. I've often wished that The Experts Speak was supplied with an annual supplement, the better to be reminded that knowledge is no guarantee of truth, and that renown doesn't equal prophecy.

SOURCE

UPDATE about Chris Brand:

I have just heard from his wife, Dr. Fang, that he is on the mend but not expected out of hospital soon. She was with him for the ringing in of the New Year -- but she is beside his bedside most of the time.  Natalia Fang is a quality lady so it tells you something about Chris that he has her devotion.  Her degree is in fine arts and she has publications in that field.  The usual Leftist morons would call Chris a racist but the fact that he is married to a very fine Han Chinese lady might make that hard to sustain.

My son Joe is over there at the moment so I liked Natalia's comment about that. She said:  "I met Joe some while ago. He is a dashing, smart and thoughtful young man indeed".  Forgive fatherly pride. 

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

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

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2 January, 2017

Are Liberals Bigger Drug Users?

They are, but why?  This author asserts that drug use MAKES people liberal and gives an extensive rationale for that view but I think it could well work the other way.  Leftists are angry at the world and hence contemptuous of it so to reject its standards of behaviour and conventional ideas of wisdom should come naturally.  And drug use is a good example of that rejection.  Contented people don't need drugs.  Discontented people do

Author Peter Schweizer wanted to know if there could be a link between a person's political leanings and illegal drug use. His eye-opening finding: Liberals are five times more likely than conservatives to use marijuana and cocaine.

His findings are explored in his latest book: "Makers and Takers: Why Conservatives Work Harder, Feel Happier, Have Closer Families, Take Fewer Drugs, Give More Generously, Value Honesty More, Are Less Materialistic and Envious, Whine Less . and Even Hug Their Children More Than Liberals."

Schweizer, a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, writes in his new book "Makers and Takers":

"Academic studies have found that those on the political left are five times more likely to use marijuana and cocaine . . . Another survey found that Democrats were five times more likely to use marijuana than Republicans . . .

"A study published in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse found that among heavy drug users, the ratio of Democrats to Republicans was more than 8-to-1."

Yet another survey found a "direct and linear relationship" between liberalism and the use of any illicit drug.

Schweizer, whose other books include "Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy," observes: "The liberal search for autonomy and the credo `if it feels good do it' have a strong influence on who uses drugs and why. Many liberals denounce drug use as a danger while at the same time engaging in a wink-wink attitude towards its actual use."

Drawing on extensive attitude surveys, Schweizer also details in his book how liberals are more motivated by money than are conservatives, are angrier than conservatives, give less to charity, and are more likely to believe in ghosts, ESP, and reincarnation.

SOURCE  

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Romneycare not so hot

It was the model for Obamacare. It aimed to reform healthcare by providing all MA residents with affordable quality health insurance

By Alan Sager, professor of health law, policy, and management at the Boston University School of Public Health

DAVID TORCHIANA, president and CEO of Partners HealthCare, once again has recited Commonwealth Fund analyses of federal survey data showing that Massachusetts health insurance premiums are a lower share of median income than prevails nationally.

But federal data on actual health spending contradict Torchiana. Massachusetts health spending per person was 36 percent above the US average, the highest in the world. After deducting Medicare and Medicaid dollars, private Massachusetts health costs per person were 40 percent above the US average, an excess of $11 billion over national average costs. Meanwhile, median income here was only 20 percent above the US average.

And US health spending is no bargain. It's five times our defense spending. It's also double the average for rich democracies, while citizens of other nations get more care and live longer.

Health costs fall heaviest on the half of people with below-median incomes. Since income inequality in Massachusetts is third-worst in the nation, our state's lower-income citizens and their employers have particular trouble affording our state's high costs and high insurance premiums.

Worse, high health costs propel employers to raise deductibles and co-insurance. These amount to taxes on being sick; they afflict everyone who needs care and fall heaviest on lower-income people.

To paraphrase the Marx Brothers: Who should we believe - Torchiana or our own lying eyes, wallets, and credit card statements?

SOURCE

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Sorry, Vegan Eatery-Good Intentions Don't Absolve Your Economic Sins

By Abigail R. Hall Blanco

I frequently teach economics principles courses, offering many college students their first exposure to the subject. While we cover all the basics-supply and demand, elasticity (consumer and producer sensitivity to price changes), taxation, trade, and externalities-I'm under no illusion that most of them will remember a lot of the material come a year from now, much less longer.

But there is one thing I hope all my students remember forever-the role of prices and private property. In particular, I want them to remember how these mechanisms are vital for a free and prosperous society. I make it clear to them that I think this material is of the utmost importance. In fact, prior to beginning our discussion of prices, I tell them I will be thrilled if the price system is one thing they remember from the class fifteen years from now.

Prices and private property rights are fundamentally important. Failure to grasp how these forces work leads to positively detrimental outcomes.

A recent example of what happens when one fails to understand these core economic principles occurred in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Garden Diner and Cafā, formerly known as the Butchertown Diner, announced it would close its doors at the end of last month despite a pleasing menu and offering hip vegan food options.

In addition to the food, the diner's business model received a great deal of attention. While some politely say the diner's means of operation were "progressive," at least one media outlet referred to the establishment as "Marxist Vegan."

Several years ago the restaurant's founder, Ryan Cappelletti, told a local news outlet why he had chosen a communist-inspired business model for the restaurant:

"Because of our economy, people are working 12-to-15 hour shifts, servers take home $200 to $300 a night in tips, the cooks are making $10 an hour and the owner takes whatever he takes. We're going to have equal pay and equal say across the board. Everyone working together."

The restaurant had no bosses, and decisions were made collectively by the staff. The workers decided when to open and close, leading to highly irregular hours. Customers might come to the establishment to eat only to find it closed. All workers were paid a "living wage," meaning relatively unskilled workers would earn just as much as workers with more skills. Moreover, customers were not allowed to tip-meaning there was really no way for workers to be rewarded for exceptional service or work. Not surprisingly, this meant the restaurant experienced higher costs and lower revenues. Patrons often complained not just about the hours, but of the sometimes40 minute wait to receive a sandwich.

To add to the ambience and the "collective" spirit of the business, Cappelletti had a mural of Che Guevara, Mao Zedong, and other famous communist leaders "tackling restaurant duties."

Now putting a portrait of the man (Zedong) responsible for a famine that killed tens of millions of people in a restaurant reflects either a really dark sense of humor or complete ignorance of history and economics. Given the aforementioned business model of the diner-I'm going with the latter.

What the creators of the diner (and the communist leaders on their walls) failed to recognize is that private property rights, prices, profit and loss are fundamental to bringing producers and consumers together, giving consumers what they want, and increasing wealth and prosperity.

First, consider the prime importance of private property rights. Having a private property right means that an individual has exclusive rights to use a particular asset. He doesn't have to worry about someone else using his assets without his permission. As a result, the owner internalizes whatever action he takes with regard to his property. If a man takes good care of his business and provides a product or service consumers like, for example, he benefits in several ways. First, his customers reward him with their business and he likely earns a profit. Second, when it comes time to sell, the owner will be again rewarded for his hard work in building and maintaining a profitable enterprise. If, by contrast, he allows his business costs to skyrocket, hires incompetent workers, and produces a subpar product, he will face the negative consequences of his actions. He may earn negative profits or even have to shut down. If he were to sell the venture, he'd fetch a much lower price.

Having something that's "owned collectively" fails to establish the same incentives because no one has the exclusive rights to the property. The owner of a business incurs the wrath of failing to satisfy customers by way of his bottom line. Rightly, he will do what he can to satisfy customers and increase his profit and help himself. So while a sole proprietor with his "skin in the game" knows what's on the line should his business fail, the workers at the diner stood to lose comparatively less should the operation fold. They didn't face the same incentives.

Second, it's important to understand the role of prices. Economists Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok describe a price as a "signal wrapped in an incentive." This is perhaps best explained with an example.

Suppose that the price of sandwiches increases by 50 percent. This change in price sends a signal to both producers and consumers-sandwiches are more valuable. The price increase provides an incentive for consumers to reduce their consumption. Those who value sandwiches comparatively less (i.e. those who aren't willing to pay the higher price) will forego buying them, leaving the sandwiches for people who value them more and are willing to pay the higher price. Simultaneously, the price jump offers an incentive to producers to make more sandwiches! They can fetch a higher price if they do so. As a result, more sandwiches will be produced.

The increase in the number of sandwiches being produced in turn pushes the price back down and more consumers will have sandwiches! It's actually pretty incredible.

When price signals are disturbed, it leads to poor outcomes. Rent controls and the minimum wage are textbook examples of what happens with prices are controlled artificially. Rent controls lead to housing shortages and black markets in real estate. Minimum wages lead to unemployment among the least skilled workers.

The diner largely ignored these signals and ultimately learned that, sooner or later, market forces will find you. That's the thing about those pesky prices and profit and loss signals. While they never fail to reward you for producing something that provides value to your fellow man, they're quick to slap you square in the face with your failures.

While my students may not remember a lot of what we covered in class, I hope this is a lesson they've truly taken to heart. They might not be economists in the end, but they won't be foolish enough to open a "collective" diner with murderous tyrants painted on the walls.

SOURCE

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UPDATE about Chris Brand:

I have just heard from his wife, Dr. Fang, that he is on the mend but not expected out of hospital soon. She was with him for the ringing in of the New Year -- but she is beside his bedside most of the time.  Natalia Fang is a quality lady so it tells you something about Chris that he has her devotion.  Her degree is in fine arts and she has publications in that field.  The usual Leftist morons would call Chris a racist but the fact that he is married to a very fine Han Chinese lady might make that hard to sustain.

My son Joe is over there at the moment so I liked Natalia's comment about that. She said:  "I met Joe some while ago. He is a dashing, smart and thoughtful young man indeed".  Forgive fatherly pride.

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

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

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1 January, 2017

Ancestry

The new year is a good time for reflections and my reflections this year turn to my ancestry.  Because they seem to live in an eternal present, I would be surprised if many Leftists were proud of their ancestors but I am proud of mine -- mainly because I know a fair bit about them. 

Most people start taking an interest in their genealogy in their '60s.  I started in my early '40s.  And because a lot of Australians survive into their '90s, a lot of my older relatives were still there, plugging on -- which meant that they could tell me about their lives and times.  And the people they remembered lived long lives too.  So living memory was able to take me back a long way -- to my great-great grandmother, who arrived in Australia in the hold of a wooden convict ship in the 1840s and who lived into her '90s.

And from what I heard, my father and his father  were typical of the breed: Quiet, hard-working, uncomplaining men who never made a splash but did hard things for the benefit of their families.

My father was a timber contractor ("lumberjack") and his father and grandfather were bullockies. ("teamsters"). As a kid, I watched my father cut down big forest trees with just an axe and a crosscut saw.  There were no chainsaws then. 

And if you want to know what bullockies were like, Henry Lawson's poem "The Teams" is both graphic and accurate.  It is my favourite poem.  My grandfather, "Jack", never went to school as he was working a bullock team by the time he was 10. He was however taught at home how to read and write.


My grandfather's team

Jack Ray's father was Frank Ray.  His obit in The Cairns Post of 28 February 1910 describes him as the first carrier (bullocky) on the Palmer [river goldfield] up Cooktown way.

A couple of small, illustrative details: I remember my grandfather, "Jack", well.  He got a small splinter of steel in his eye in an accident.  He didn't trust doctors so he just squinted for the rest of his life.  In his time, distrusting doctors was probably wise.  And my father's cousin, old Alex Fletcher, tended to get skin cancers, as I do.  But he was a farmer living a long way from town so he just put his hot soldering iron onto the cancers to cure them.  I blanch when I think about it.  But he had it all thought out and explained to me how he did it.  If you admire hardiness, how could you not be proud of such men?  Once upon a time men were men and were in no doubt about how to do it.

The Australian pioneers worked hard to wrench a modern and highly civilized society out of a harsh natural environment -- and I am proud that my ancestors were among them.  My only sadness is that  I am not worthy of them.  I am a degenerate compared to them.

An amusing coda:  My father was far from dumb but the only way he knew to put bread on the table was by hard manual work.  He was  born in 1915 and that was how it was for most people in that era.  So because I spent so much time reading books and not doing outdoor things, my father thought I would never amount to much. He had a vivid way of putting that which I won't relate.  But when he heard how much money I was making from teaching at a major Australian university, he sat bolt upright with surprise and immediately reversed his opinion of his eldest son!

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ZOA: President Obama and Amb. Power 'Have Anti-Semitic Hatred For Israel and The Jewish People'

In reaction to the United States not vetoing the United Nations resolution condmening the Israeli "settlements" in East Jerusalem and which describes Israel's actions as a "flagrant violation under international law," the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) criticized President Barack Obama and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power for enabling "the passage of an extraordinary, racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Israel" resolution that is "filled with falsehoods."

The ZOA further said that Obama and Power "have anti-Semitic hatred for Israel and the Jewish people," and called upon Congress to end the $600 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority and to "cut U.S. funding to the U.N."

"We are outraged  - but not surprised - that President Barack Hussein Obama and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power enabled the passage of an extraordinary, racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Israel UN Security Counsel resolution this afternoon," said ZOA President Morton A. Klein in a Dec. 23 press release. "Also, the Resolution was filled with falsehoods and distortions."

"Obama and Kerry's phony claim that they allowed this Resolution because Jews living in Judea/Samaria eastern Jerusalem would prevent a Palestinian State is a canard," said Klein. "The fact is that almost all Jews living in these very small areas are areas that would never be given away or prevent a State."

"The reason there's no Palestinian State is the Arabs' rejection of a State in 2000, 2001, 2007 in virtually all of Judea/Samaria and parts of Jerusalem," said the ZOA.

Klein continued, "The resolution supports ethnic cleansing of the 750,000 Jewish people from the lawful Jewish homeland in Judea/Samaria and eastern Jerusalem - the site of the Jewish people's holiest places such as the Temple Mount, Western Wall, Mount of Olives Cemetery, the Jewish Quarter,  for discrimination against Jews living in their Jewish homelands, and demands Israel's withdrawal to the indefensible 1949 Armistice lines - lines that have absolutely no legal standing and would enable Arab terrorists to lob rockets into and endanger the entire Jewish State."

The resolution also supports and rewards the Palestinian Authority, said Klein, which reportedly supports terrorism against Jews and teaches Palestinian children to hate and to attack Jews.

Given the U.N. resolution against Israel, the ZOA said Congress and President-elect Donald Trump should stop the "$600 million in U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority and to cut U.S. funding to the U.N."

Because Obama and Power enabled the U.N. resolution to pass -- by not stepping in as a Permanent Member and vetoing it -- they clearly "have anti-Semitic hatred for Israel and the Jewish People," said Klein. "ZOA predicted eight years ago that 'Obama will be the worst president for Israel ever.'"

Pushing the Iran nucelar deal, which "paves Iran's way to a nuclear bomb," was not enough for Obama, added Klein. "Obama was not satisfied with giving Iran the means to destroy Israel; Obama's anti-Semitism runs so deep that he also apparently needed to drive one more knife into Israel's back."

SOURCE

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Rep. Franks: If Russia Leaked Accurate Info., It 'Merely Did What The Media Should Have Done'

Commenting on allegations that the Russian government hacked into computers used by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta and leaked the contents to the public prior to the Nov. 8 election, House Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said, if this is true, then Russia "merely did what the media should have done" -- reported accurate information to the American people.

On Thursday's MSNBC Live with host Hallie Jackson, Rep. Franks said he was "all for doing what's necessary to protect the election. But there's no suggestion that Russia hacked into our voting systems."

"They, if anything, whatever they might have done was to try to use information in a way that might have affected something that they believed was in their best interests," said the congressman.

"If Russia succeeded in giving the American people information that was accurate, then they merely did what the media should have done," said Franks.

President Obama sanctioned several Russian intelligence officials on Thursday and expelled 35 of them from the United States. They have to leave by Dec. 31. He also ordered the closing of two Russian compounds in Maryland and New York. He took the action because of the reported computer hacking by Russia and the alleged harassment of U.S. personnel in Russia.

SOURCE

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Roseanne Barr Tweets: Obama Pushes Anti-Jewish Laws Just Like The Nazis

Actress, comedian, author, and political activist Roseanne Barr, who is Jewish, strongly criticized President Barack Obama and his decision to not veto the U.N. resolution denouncing Israeli "settlements" in East Jerusalem, tweeting that Obama's actions on the eve of Hanukkah mirrored those of the Nazis.

The United States refused to veto the U.N. resolution on Dec. 23, one day before the start of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah.

On Dec. 24, Roseanne Barr tweeted, "Nazis enacted anti jewish laws on the eve of jewish holidays -- exactly as @POTUS has done on eve of Hanukkah. Don't light candles 2night, BHO!" (POTUS stands for President of the United States, and BHO stands for Barack Hussein Obama.)

A few minutes later, Barr tweeted, "Liberal US Jews just helped Obama condemn the Jewish State to worldwide #BDS and Terrorism. If they light Hanukkah candles 2night = ."

BDS refers to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement which, according to its website, "works to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law."  (The g inside the two angle brackets possibly symbolically represents the All-Seeing Eye of God or perhaps Lucifer.)

About one minute later, Barr further tweeted, "Today is Shabbat -- so I will say: Every Evil wished upon Israel and the Jewish Ppl is returned to its Source, cancelled and cleared." Shabbat is the Sabbath, Judaism's day of rest, essentially from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday.

Roseanne Barr, known for her left-wing views, was once a very vocal critic of Israel. In recent years, however, she has changed her opinion on Israel and said in February she was considering moving to Israel because she felt a part of the community, the people, the heritage there.

Contrary to some reports, Barr has clarified that she did not endorse Donald Trump for president.  She said she would only vote for herself as president and write her own name in on the ballot.  Back in August, Barr tweeted, "hillary clinton is surrounded by jew haters who make fun of the holocaust & jewish suffering ...."

SOURCE

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From my Twitter feed:

David Wohl: Funny how so many peacenik, no-nukes, save the whales, hypocrite libs suddenly want war with Russia because their candidate lost.

Apafarkas Agm nd: To weed out charlatans in science look for the ones attempting to shut down debate, and declaring science settled.

Maurizio Morabito: Obama's banning Russian diplomats from entering into two diplomatic properties in the US is likely a violation of the Vienna Convention.

Steve Goddard: Any newspaper article which includes the words "say experts" or "experts say" can immediately be written off as "a giant pack of lies."

Augustine 25: The future should not belong to those who slander bacon.

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

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

***************************








BACKGROUND NOTES:


Home (Index page)

Postings from Brisbane, Australia by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.) -- former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party.

As a good academic, I first define my terms: A Leftist is a person who is so dissatisfied with the way things naturally are that he/she is prepared to use force to make people behave in ways that they otherwise would not.


So the essential feature of Leftism is that they think they have the right to tell other people what to do


The Left have a lot in common with tortoises. They have a thick mental shell that protects them from the reality of the world about them

Leftists are the disgruntled folk. They see things in the world that are not ideal and conclude therefore that they have the right to change those things by force. Conservative explanations of why things are not ideal -- and never can be -- fall on deaf ears


Let's start with some thought-provoking graphics


Israel: A great powerhouse of the human spirit


The difference in practice


The United Nations: A great ideal but a sordid reality


Alfred Dreyfus, a reminder of French antisemitism still relevant today


Eugenio Pacelli, a righteous Gentile, a true man of God and a brilliant Pope





Leftism in one picture:





The "steamroller" above who got steamrollered by his own hubris. Spitzer is a warning of how self-destructive a vast ego can be -- and also of how destructive of others it can be.



R.I.P. Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet deposed a law-defying Marxist President at the express and desperate invitation of the Chilean parliament. Allende had just burnt the electoral rolls so it wasn't hard to see what was coming. Pinochet pioneered the free-market reforms which Reagan and Thatcher later unleashed to world-changing effect. That he used far-Leftist methods to suppress far-Leftist violence is reasonable if not ideal. The Leftist view that they should have a monopoly of violence and that others should follow the law is a total absurdity which shows only that their hate overcomes their reason

Leftist writers usually seem quite reasonable and persuasive at first glance. The problem is not what they say but what they don't say. Leftist beliefs are so counterfactual ("all men are equal", "all men are brothers" etc.) that to be a Leftist you have to have a talent for blotting out from your mind facts that don't suit you. And that is what you see in Leftist writing: A very selective view of reality. Facts that disrupt a Leftist story are simply ignored. Leftist writing is cherrypicking on a grand scale

So if ever you read something written by a Leftist that sounds totally reasonable, you have an urgent need to find out what other people say on that topic. The Leftist will almost certainly have told only half the story

We conservatives have the facts on our side, which is why Leftists never want to debate us and do their best to shut us up. It's very revealing the way they go to great lengths to suppress conservative speech at universities. Universities should be where the best and brightest Leftists are to be found but even they cannot stand the intellectual challenge that conservatism poses for them. It is clearly a great threat to them. If what we say were ridiculous or wrong, they would grab every opportunity to let us know it.

A conservative does not hanker after the new; He hankers after the good. Leftists hanker after the untested

Just one thing is sufficient to tell all and sundry what an unamerican lamebrain Obama is. He pronounced an army corps as an army "corpse" Link here. Can you imagine any previous American president doing that? Many were men with significant personal experience in the armed forces in their youth.

A favorite Leftist saying sums up the whole of Leftism: "To make an omelette, you've got to break eggs". They want to change some state of affairs and don't care who or what they destroy or damage in the process. They think their alleged good intentions are sufficient to absolve them from all blame for even the most evil deeds

In practical politics, the art of Leftism is to sound good while proposing something destructive

Leftists are the "we know best" people, meaning that they are intrinsically arrogant. Matthew chapter 6 would not be for them. And arrogance leads directly into authoritarianism

Leftism is fundamentally authoritarian. Whether by revolution or by legislation, Leftists aim to change what people can and must do. When in 2008 Obama said that he wanted to "fundamentally transform" America, he was not talking about America's geography or topography but rather about American people. He wanted them to stop doing things that they wanted to do and make them do things that they did not want to do. Can you get a better definition of authoritarianism than that?

And note that an American President is elected to administer the law, not make it. That seems to have escaped Mr Obama

That Leftism is intrinsically authoritarian is not a new insight. It was well understood by none other than Friedrich Engels (Yes. THAT Engels). His clever short essay On authority was written as a reproof to the dreamy Anarchist Left of his day. It concludes: "A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon ó authoritarian means"

Inside Every Liberal is a Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out

Leftists think of themselves as the new nobility

Many people in literary and academic circles today who once supported Stalin and his heirs are generally held blameless and may even still be admired whereas anybody who gave the slightest hint of support for the similarly brutal Hitler regime is an utter polecat and pariah. Why? Because Hitler's enemies were "only" the Jews whereas Stalin's enemies were those the modern day Left still hates -- people who are doing well for themselves materially. Modern day Leftists understand and excuse Stalin and his supporters because Stalin's hates are their hates.

If you understand that Leftism is hate, everything falls into place.

The strongest way of influencing people is to convince them that you will do them some good. Leftists and con-men misuse that

Leftists believe only what they want to believe. So presenting evidence contradicting their beliefs simply enrages them. They do not learn from it

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves.

Leftists who think that they can conjure up paradise out of their own limited brains are simply fools -- arrogant and dangerous fools. They essentially know nothing. Conservatives learn from the thousands of years of human brains that have preceded us -- including the Bible, the ancient Greeks and much else. The death of Socrates is, for instance, an amazing prefiguration of the intolerant 21st century. Ask any conservative stranded in academe about his freedom of speech

Thomas Sowell: ďThere are no solutions, only trade-offs.Ē Leftists don't understand that -- which is a major factor behind their simplistic thinking. They just never see the trade-offs. But implementing any Leftist idea will hit us all with the trade-offs

"The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley"[go oft astray] is a well known line from a famous poem by the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns. But the next line is even wiser: "And leave us nought but grief and pain for promised joy". Burns was a Leftist of sorts so he knew how often their theories fail badly.

Most Leftist claims are simply propaganda. Those who utter such claims must know that they are not telling the whole story. Hitler described his Marxist adversaries as "lying with a virtuosity that would bend iron beams". At the risk of ad hominem shrieks, I think that image is too good to remain disused.

Conservatives adapt to the world they live in. Leftists want to change the world to suit themselves

Given their dislike of the world they live in, it would be a surprise if Leftists were patriotic and loved their own people. Prominent English Leftist politician Jack Straw probably said it best: "The English as a race are not worth saving"

In his 1888 book, The Anti-Christ Friedrich Nietzsche argues that we should treat the common man well and kindly because he is the backdrop against which the exceptional man can be seen. So Nietzsche deplores those who agitate the common man: "Whom do I hate most among the rabble of today? The socialist rabble, the chandala [outcast] apostles, who undermine the instinct, the pleasure, the worker's sense of satisfaction with his small existenceówho make him envious, who teach him revenge. The source of wrong is never unequal rights but the claim of ďequalĒ 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? ďThe bureaucracy is a parasite on the body of society, a parasite which Ďchokesí all its vital poresÖThe state is a parasitic organismĒ. 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 ďa 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.


MYTH BUSTING:


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. ďHatred is blind,Ē as Alexandre Dumas warned, ďrage carries you away; and he who pours out vengeance runs the risk of tasting a bitter draught.Ē

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 Ė it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn't even send me a telegram." Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt never even invited the quadruple gold medal-winner to the White House

Beatrice Webb, a founder of the London School of Economics and the Fabian Society, and married to a Labour MP, mused in 1922 on whether when English children were "dying from lack of milk", one should extend "the charitable impulse" to Russian and Chinese children who, if saved this year, might anyway die next. Besides, she continued, there was "the larger question of whether those races are desirable inhabitants" and "obviously" one wouldn't "spend one's available income" on "a Central African negro".

Hugh Dalton, offered the Colonial Office during Attlee's 1945-51 Labour government, turned it down because "I had a horrid vision of pullulating, poverty stricken, diseased nigger communities, for whom one can do nothing in the short run and who, the more one tries to help them, are querulous and ungrateful."

The Zimmerman case is an excellent proof that the Left is deep-down racist

Defensible and indefensible usages of the term "racism"

The book, The authoritarian personality, authored by T.W. Adorno et al. in 1950, has been massively popular among psychologists. It claims that a set of ideas that were popular in the "Progressive"-dominated America of the prewar era were "authoritarian". Leftist regimes always are authoritarian so that claim was not a big problem. What was quite amazing however is that Adorno et al. identified such ideas as "conservative". They were in fact simply popular ideas of the day but ones that had been most heavily promoted by the Left right up until the then-recent WWII. See here for details of prewar "Progressive" thinking.

Leftist psychologists have an amusingly simplistic conception of military organizations and military men. They seem to base it on occasions they have seen troops marching together on parade rather than any real knowledge of military men and the military life. They think that military men are "rigid" -- automatons who are unable to adjust to new challenges or think for themselves. What is incomprehensible to them is that being kadaver gehorsam (to use the extreme Prussian term for following orders) actually requires great flexibility -- enough flexibility to put your own ideas and wishes aside and do something very difficult. Ask any soldier if all commands are easy to obey.

It would be very easy for me to say that I am too much of an individual for the army but I did in fact join the army and enjoy it greatly, as most men do. In my observation, ALL army men are individuals. It is just that they accept discipline in order to be militarily efficient -- which is the whole point of the exercise. But that's too complex for simplistic Leftist thinking, of course

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a war criminal. Both British and American codebreakers had cracked the Japanese naval code so FDR knew what was coming at Pearl Harbor. But for his own political reasons he warned no-one there. So responsibility for the civilian and military deaths at Pearl Harbor lies with FDR as well as with the Japanese. The huge firepower available at Pearl Harbor, both aboard ship and on land, could have largely neutered the attack. Can you imagine 8 battleships and various lesser craft firing all their AA batteries as the Japanese came in? The Japanese naval airforce would have been annihilated and the war would have been over before it began.

FDR prolonged the Depression. He certainly didn't cure it.

WWII did NOT end the Great Depression. It just concealed it. It in fact made living standards worse

FDR appointed a known KKK member, Hugo Black, to the Supreme Court

Joe McCarthy was eventually proved right after the fall of the Soviet Union. To accuse anyone of McCarthyism is to accuse them of accuracy!

The KKK was intimately associated with the Democratic party. They ATTACKED Republicans!

High Level of Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrants in the USA. Low skill immigrants receive 4 to 5 dollars of benefits for every dollar in taxes paid

People who mention differences in black vs. white IQ are these days almost universally howled down and subjected to the most extreme abuse. I am a psychometrician, however, so I feel obliged to defend the scientific truth of the matter: The average African adult has about the same IQ as an average white 11-year-old and African Americans (who are partly white in ancestry) average out at a mental age of 14. The American Psychological Association is generally Left-leaning but it is the world's most prestigious body of academic psychologists. And even they have had to concede that sort of gap (one SD) in black vs. white average IQ. 11-year olds can do a lot of things but they also have their limits and there are times when such limits need to be allowed for.

The association between high IQ and long life is overwhelmingly genetic: "In the combined sample the genetic contribution to the covariance was 95%"

The Dark Ages were not dark

Judged by his deeds, Abraham Lincoln was one of the bloodiest villains ever to walk the Earth. See here. And: America's uncivil war was caused by trade protectionism. The slavery issue was just camouflage, as Abraham Lincoln himself admitted. See also here

Was slavery already washed up by the tides of history before Lincoln took it on? Eric Williams in his book "Capitalism and Slavery" tells us: ďThe 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.Ē

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 Gladwellís 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.

ďFrom 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.Ē ? Friedrich Hayek, The Constitution Of Liberty



IN BRIEF:

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." óGeorge 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 ďgenderĒ is a ďsocial constructĒ. 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 ďthe mess weíre in.Ē 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

THE FALSIFICATION OF HISTORY HAS DONE MORE TO IMPEDE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT THAN ANY ONE THING KNOWN TO MANKIND -- ROUSSEAU

"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




JEWS AND ISRAEL

The Bible is an Israeli book

To me, hostility to the Jews is a terrible tragedy. I weep for them at times. And I do literally put my money where my mouth is. I do at times send money to Israeli charities

My (Gentile) opinion of antisemitism: The Jews are the best we've got so killing them is killing us.

"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" -- Genesis 12:3

"O pray for the peace of Jerusalem: They shall prosper that love thee" Psalm 122:6.

If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy -- Psalm 137 (NIV)

Israel, like the Jews throughout history, is hated not for her vices but her virtues. Israel is hated, as the United States is hated, because Israel is successful, because Israel is free, and because Israel is good. As Maxim Gorky put it: ďWhatever 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.Ē Whether driven by culture or genesóor like most behavior, an inextricable mixóthe fact of Jewish genius is demonstrable." -- George Gilder

To Leftist haters, all the basic rules of liberal society ó rejection of hate speech, commitment to academic freedom, rooting out racism, the absolute commitment to human dignity ó 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.


ABOUT

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 hasnít lived that life.

IQ and ideology: Most academics are Left-leaning. Why? Because very bright people who have balls go into business, while very bright people with no balls go into academe. I did both with considerable success, which makes me a considerable rarity. Although I am a born academic, I have always been good with money too. My share portfolio even survived the GFC in good shape. The academics hate it that bright people with balls make more money than them.

I have no hesitation in saying that the single book which has influenced me most is the New Testament. And my Scripture blog will show that I know whereof I speak. Some might conclude that I must therefore be a very confused sort of atheist but I can assure everyone that I do not feel the least bit confused. The New Testament is a lighthouse that has illumined the thinking of all sorts of men and women and I am deeply grateful that it has shone on me.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age. Conservatism is in touch with reality. Leftism is not.

I imagine that the RD are still sending mailouts to my 1950s address

Most teenagers have sporting and movie posters on their bedroom walls. At age 14 I had a map of Taiwan on my wall.

"Remind me never to get this guy mad at me" -- Instapundit

It seems to be a common view that you cannot talk informatively about a country unless you have been there. I completely reject that view but it is nonetheless likely that some Leftist dimbulb will at some stage aver that any comments I make about politics and events in the USA should not be heeded because I am an Australian who has lived almost all his life in Australia. I am reluctant to pander to such ignorance in the era of the "global village" but for the sake of the argument I might mention that I have visited the USA 3 times -- spending enough time in Los Angeles and NYC to get to know a fair bit about those places at least. I did however get outside those places enough to realize that they are NOT America.

"Intellectual" = Leftist dreamer. I have more publications in the academic journals than almost all "public intellectuals" but I am never called an intellectual and nor would I want to be. Call me a scholar or an academic, however, and I will accept either as a just and earned appellation

A small personal note: I have always been very self-confident. I inherited it from my mother, along with my skeptical nature. So I don't need to feed my self-esteem by claiming that I am wiser than others -- which is what Leftists do.

As with conservatives generally, it bothers me not a bit to admit to large gaps in my knowledge and understanding. For instance, I don't know if the slight global warming of the 20th century will resume in the 21st, though I suspect not. And I don't know what a "healthy" diet is, if there is one. Constantly-changing official advice on the matter suggests that nobody knows

Leftists are usually just anxious little people trying to pretend that they are significant. No doubt there are some Leftists who are genuinely concerned about inequities in our society but their arrogance lies in thinking that they understand it without close enquiry


My academic background

My full name is Dr. John Joseph RAY. I am a former university teacher aged 65 at the time of writing in 2009. I was born of Australian pioneer stock in 1943 at Innisfail in the State of Queensland in Australia. I trace my ancestry wholly to the British Isles. After an early education at Innisfail State Rural School and Cairns State High School, I taught myself for matriculation. I took my B.A. in Psychology from the University of Queensland in Brisbane. I then moved to Sydney (in New South Wales, Australia) and took my M.A. in psychology from the University of Sydney in 1969 and my Ph.D. from the School of Behavioural Sciences at Macquarie University in 1974. I first tutored in psychology at Macquarie University and then taught sociology at the University of NSW. My doctorate is in psychology but I taught mainly sociology in my 14 years as a university teacher. In High Schools I taught economics. I have taught in both traditional and "progressive" (low discipline) High Schools. Fuller biographical notes here

I completed the work for my Ph.D. at the end of 1970 but the degree was not awarded until 1974 -- due to some academic nastiness from Seymour Martin Lipset and Fred Emery. A conservative or libertarian who makes it through the academic maze has to be at least twice as good as the average conformist Leftist. Fortunately, I am a born academic.

Despite my great sympathy and respect for Christianity, I am the most complete atheist you could find. I don't even believe that the word "God" is meaningful. I am not at all original in that view, of course. Such views are particularly associated with the noted German philosopher Rudolf Carnap. Unlike Carnap, however, none of my wives have committed suicide

Very occasionally in my writings I make reference to the greats of analytical philosophy such as Carnap and Wittgenstein. As philosophy is a heavily Leftist discipline however, I have long awaited an attack from some philosopher accusing me of making coat-trailing references not backed by any real philosophical erudition. I suppose it is encouraging that no such attacks have eventuated but I thought that I should perhaps forestall them anyway -- by pointing out that in my younger days I did complete three full-year courses in analytical philosophy (at 3 different universities!) and that I have had papers on mainstream analytical philosophy topics published in academic journals

As well as being an academic, I am an army man and I am pleased and proud to say that I have worn my country's uniform. Although my service in the Australian army was chiefly noted for its un-notability, I DID join voluntarily in the Vietnam era, I DID reach the rank of Sergeant, and I DID volunteer for a posting in Vietnam. So I think I may be forgiven for saying something that most army men think but which most don't say because they think it is too obvious: The profession of arms is the noblest profession of all because it is the only profession where you offer to lay down your life in performing your duties. Our men fought so that people could say and think what they like but I myself always treat military men with great respect -- respect which in my view is simply their due.

A real army story here

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day and there is JUST ONE saying of Hitler's that I rather like. It may not even be original to him but it is found in chapter 2 of Mein Kampf (published in 1925): "Widerstaende sind nicht da, dass man vor ihnen kapituliert, sondern dass man sie bricht". The equivalent English saying is "Difficulties exist to be overcome" and that traces back at least to the 1920s -- with attributions to Montessori and others. Hitler's metaphor is however one of smashing barriers rather than of politely hopping over them and I am myself certainly more outspoken than polite. Hitler's colloquial Southern German is notoriously difficult to translate but I think I can manage a reasonable translation of that saying: "Resistance is there not for us to capitulate to but for us to break". I am quite sure that I don't have anything like that degree of determination in my own life but it seems to me to be a good attitude in general anyway

I have used many sites to post my writings over the years and many have gone bad on me for various reasons. So if you click on a link here to my other writings you may get a "page not found" response if the link was put up some time before the present. All is not lost, however. All my writings have been reposted elsewhere. If you do strike a failed link, just take the filename (the last part of the link) and add it to the address of any of my current home pages and -- Voila! -- you should find the article concerned.

COMMENTS: I have gradually added comments facilities to all my blogs. The comments I get are interesting. They are mostly from Leftists and most consist either of abuse or mere assertions. Reasoned arguments backed up by references to supporting evidence are almost unheard of from Leftists. Needless to say, I just delete such useless comments.

You can email me here (Hotmail address). In emailing me, you can address me as "John", "Jon", "Dr. Ray" or "JR" and that will be fine -- but my preference is for "JR" -- and that preference has NOTHING to do with an American soap opera that featured a character who was referred to in that way




DETAILS OF REGULARLY UPDATED BLOGS BY JOHN RAY:

"Tongue Tied"
"Dissecting Leftism" (Backup here)
"Australian Politics"
"Education Watch International"
"Political Correctness Watch"
"Greenie Watch"
Western Heart


BLOGS OCCASIONALLY UPDATED:

"Marx & Engels in their own words"
"A scripture blog"
"Recipes"
"Some memoirs"
To be continued ....
Coral reef compendium.
IQ Compendium
Queensland Police
Australian Police News
Paralipomena (3)
Of Interest
Dagmar Schellenberger
My alternative Wikipedia


BLOGS NO LONGER BEING UPDATED

"Food & Health Skeptic"
"Eye on Britain"
"Immigration Watch International".
"Leftists as Elitists"
Socialized Medicine
OF INTEREST (2)
QANTAS -- A dying octopus
BRIAN LEITER (Ladderman)
Obama Watch
Obama Watch (2)
Dissecting Leftism -- Large font site
Michael Darby
Paralipomena (2)
AGL -- A bumbling monster
Telstra/Bigpond follies
Optus bungling
Vodafrauds (vodafone)
Bank of Queensland blues


There are also two blogspot blogs which record what I think are my main recent articles here and here. Similar content can be more conveniently accessed via my subject-indexed list of short articles here or here (I rarely write long articles these days)




Mirror for "Dissecting Leftism"
Alt archives
Longer Academic Papers
Johnray links
Academic home page
Academic Backup Page
Dagmar Schellenberger
General Backup
My alternative Wikipedia
General Backup 2



Selected reading

MONOGRAPH ON LEFTISM

CONSERVATISM AS HERESY

Rightism defined
Leftist Churches
Leftist Racism
Fascism is Leftist
Hitler a socialist
Leftism is authoritarian
James on Leftism
Irbe on Leftism
Beltt on Leftism
Lakoff
Van Hiel
Sidanius
Kruglanski
Pyszczynski et al.




Cautionary blogs about big Australian organizations:

TELSTRA
OPTUS
AGL
Bank of Queensland
Queensland Police
Australian police news
QANTAS, a dying octopus




Main academic menu
Menu of recent writings
basic home page
Pictorial Home Page
Selected pictures from blogs (Backup here)
Another picture page (Best with broadband. Rarely updated)



Note: If the link to one of my articles is not working, the article concerned can generally be viewed by prefixing to the filename the following:
http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/42197/20151027-0014/jonjayray.comuv.com/

OR: (After 2015)
https://web.archive.org/web/20160322114550/http://jonjayray.com/