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Trump is a true radical. He has single-handedly upset most of the assumptions in Western world politics. We live in an age where it is necessary to be radical to be conservative. COVFEFE!

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  • 06/08/17--05:34: Article 0

  • WaPo's Horowitz Conspiracy Piece Ignores Democrat Ties to Radical Left

    David Horowitz is an open advocate of the Constitution, while George Soros lurks in the shadows to undermine it

    Last Sunday, the Washington Post published a lengthy exposé supposedly chronicling how a “‘shadow’ universe of charities” teamed up with right-wing political warriors to fuel the rise of Donald Trump. We knew immediately, “This should be good.”

    And just what are the nefarious aims of this dastardly assemblage of conservative villains? To “upend the Washington establishment” and its Big Government/Big Business collusion, combat the dangers of radical Islam (as opposed to the Left’s “see no evil” approach), stop illegal immigration, protect religious liberty, and generally to promote a pro-Constitution, pro-American values worldview. Oh, the horror!

    The Post’s story focuses primarily on David Horowitz, a 1960s leftist radical turned right-wing political warrior (though without any more than a single mention of the words “former ‘60s radical). Raised by Communist parents in New York City, Horowitz was a "red diaper baby” who grew up marinating in left-wing, anti-American ideology. He attended liberal Columbia University, then graduate school at lefty nirvana UC-Berkeley, and became editor of Ramparts, arguably the most influential publication of the New Left.

    Horowitz grew close to Black Panther Party leader Huey Newton, even raising funds to buy a church that was turned into a “learning center” for children of the Black Panthers. He recruited Ramparts bookkeeper Betty Van Patter to manage the finances.

    Horowitz’s journey from far-left radical to conservative warrior began when Van Patter was murdered, her badly beaten body found floating in the San Francisco Bay. Police, convinced the murder was committed by the Panthers, were unable to bring an indictment, and the feds and the mainstream press refused to look into it, so Horowitz investigated the murder on his own.

    After repeated denials followed by threats of retribution if he continued, he came to the disturbing conclusion that the murder was committed by the very left-wing radicals he considered allies. As noted in a National Review piece in 2015, “The Life and Work of David Horowitz,” “His lifelong friends and associates on the Left were now a threat to his safety, since they would instinctively defend the Panther vanguard; and no one among them really cared about the murder of an innocent woman, because the murderers were their political friends.”

    This realization led to further realizations, including the fact that the Communist regimes vigorously supported by the Left had engaged in the wholesale slaughter of their own innocent people. As Horowitz would later write, “A library of memoirs by aging new leftists and 'progressive’ academics recall the rebellions of the 1960s. But hardly a page in any of them has the basic honesty — or sheer decency — to say, ‘Yes, we supported these murderers and those spies, and the agents of that evil empire,’ or to say so without an alibi. I’d like to hear even one of these advocates of ‘social justice’ make this simple acknowledgement: ‘We greatly exaggerated the sins of America and underestimated its decencies and virtues, and we’re sorry.’”

    These realizations led Horowitz to the conservative right, becoming more tireless in his efforts to expose, undermine and destroy radical leftism than he had been in promoting it.

    And it is the unapologetic conservative activism of people like Horowitz, and his friend and Trump advisor Steve Bannon, that has the Post and progressives everywhere in a breathless tizzy.

    Yet these same hysterical leftists are either completely oblivious to, or openly dismissive of, their own hypocrisy in funding and supporting radical leftism.

    For example, billionaire socialist George Soros — a man who, as a 14-year-old boy living in Nazi-occupied Hungary, helped confiscate the property of imprisoned fellow Jews, and later described it as the “happiest time” of his life — has spent much of his life providing massive funding for radical progressive and socialist causes around the world. Yet the Leftmedia and their Democrat counterparts usually refer to him as a “philanthropist.”

    Soros seeks the elimination of national borders in favor of a unified global government, using his vast wealth and influence to achieve those aims; funding radical left-wing organizations with benign-sounding names such as the Center for American Progress, Change America Now, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Alliance for Global Justice, the last of which gave $50,000 to the “antifa” organization that violently attacked bystanders at UC-Berkeley. Soros also funded the violent Black Lives Matter movement.

    Somehow the media never seem to root out the shadowy players behind leftist violence, possibly because Soros is a powerful behind-the-scenes player, not only funding dozens of radical leftist groups, but also funding dozens of major “news” outlets.

    The mainstream media was totally uninterested in the fact that through a complex, shadowy network of progressive organizations, Soros funded the campaigns of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Nor are they concerned that Obama launched his political career in the home of left-wing domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn. They yawned at the fact Obama spent decades in the pews of “Reverend” Jeremiah Wright, who spewed anti-American, anti-white, anti-Semitic venom each week from the pulpit.

    The double-standard among the progressive Left and their media co-conspirators is as unsurprising as it is hypocritical. They slam Trump for his association with staunch conservative political activists, warning of conspiracies and dire consequences, yet actively hide the subversive, often violent actions of the Left.

    Horowitz, Bannon and others like them are anything but shadowy. Unlike the political Left, which must disguise its true aims, Horowitz et al are as open and vocal as people can possibly be in their efforts to restore the Constitution and the Rule of Law in our great nation, and in their efforts to protect and defend American values.

    SOURCE

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    Socialism in one country






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    Great Moments in Fake News 'Journalism'

    What about President Donald Trump’s complaint about “fake news”? Let’s look at some examples of “Great Moments in ‘Journalism’” over the last few years.

    Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), in an appearance on ABC’s Sunday morning political show hosted by George Stephanopoulos, called former Democratic Alabama Gov. George Wallace a “Republican.” Ellison said, “At the same time, [in Trump] we do have the worst Republican nominee since George Wallace.” Stephanopoulos either ignored or was ignorant of the fact that Wallace — who proudly proclaimed, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” — was a long-standing Democrat who served four terms as governor and twice sought the Democratic nomination for president. Tellingly, Stephanopoulos did not correct Ellison. Fortunately, another guest, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), did correct the history-challenged Ellison.

    MSNBC’s Luke Russert, covering the 2008 presidential election, said students at the University of Virginia will vote Obama because: “You have to remember, the smartest kids in the state go there, so it’s leaning a little bit towards Obama.” Get it? Smart people vote Democrat. Dumb people vote Republican. Russert later apologized.

    CNN’s Carol Costello laughed hysterically as a frantic Bristol Palin, daughter of Sarah Palin, told cops she was assaulted at a party. Listen to how a gleeful Costello introduced the audiotape of Bristol describing the attack to the police: “This is quite possibly the best minute and a half of audio we’ve ever come across — well, come across in a long time, anyway. A massive brawl in Anchorage, Alaska, reportedly involving Sarah Palin’s kids and her husband. It was sparked after someone pushed one of her daughters at a party. That’s what Bristol Palin told police in an interview after the incident. … So sit back and enjoy.” A near-hysterical Palin says: “A guy comes out of nowhere and pushes me on the ground, takes me by my feet, in my dress — in my thong, dress, in front of everybody — ‘Come on, you [expletive], come on, you [expletive], get the [expletive] out of here.’”

    At the conclusion of the segment, a smirking Costello said, “You can thank me later.”

    MSNBC’s Erin Burnett, now with CNN, called then-President George W. Bush a “monkey.” With videotape rolling of President Bush flanked by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to his left and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to his right, the reporter gushed, “Who could not have a man-crush on that man? I’m not talking about the monkey, either. I’m talking about the other one.” The host asked, “Who’s the monkey?” Burnett replied, “The monkey in the middle” — meaning President Bush. She, too, later apologized.

    The late Tim Russert, in a 2007 interview with New York Times war correspondent John Burns, repeated an often-cited anti-Iraq War talking point — that Americans expected to be greeted as “liberators” in Iraq, but weren’t. Burns, who was in Iraq at the time of the invasion, corrected him: “The American troops were greeted as liberators. We saw it.”

    Trump is clearly right to fulminate against what he calls the “fake news media.” The real question is what took Republicans so long to fight back.

    SOURCE

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    GORGEOUS REPORTER UNLOADS ON HILLARY



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    For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL 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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  • 06/10/17--05:35: Article 1

  • Comey confirms that I'm right - and all the Democratic commentators are wrong

    Alan Dershowitz

    Comey's opening testimony: Trump admin lied, defamed me

    In his testimony former FBI director James Comey echoed a view that I alone have been expressing for several weeks, and that has been attacked by nearly every Democratic pundit.

    Comey confirmed that under our Constitution, the president has the authority to direct the FBI to stop investigating any individual. I paraphrase, because the transcript is not yet available:  the president can, in theory, decide who to investigate, who to stop investigating, who to prosecute and who not to prosecute.  The president is the head of the unified executive branch of government, and the Justice Department and the FBI work under him and he may order them to do what he wishes.                    

    As a matter of law, Comey is 100 percent correct.  As I have long argued, and as Comey confirmed in his written statement, our history shows that many presidents—from Adams to Jefferson, to Lincoln, to Roosevelt, to Kennedy, to Bush 1, and to Obama – have directed the Justice Department with regard to ongoing investigations. The history is clear, the precedents are clear, the constitutional structure is clear, and common sense is clear.

    Yet virtually every Democratic pundit, in their haste to “get” President Trump, has willfully ignored these realities.  In doing so they have endangered our civil liberties and constitutional rights.

    Now that even former Director Comey has acknowledged that the Constitution would permit the president to direct the Justice Department and the FBI in this matter, let us put the issue of obstruction of justice behind us once and for all and focus on the political, moral, and other non-criminal aspects of President Trump’s conduct.

    Comey’s testimony was devastating with regard to President Trump’s credibility – at least as Comey sees it.  He was also critical of President Trump’s failure to observe the recent tradition of FBI independence from presidential influence.  These are issues worth discussing but they have been distorted by the insistence of Democratic pundits that Trump must have committed a crime because they disagree with what he did politically.

    Director Comey’s testimony was thoughtful, coherent and balanced.  He is obviously angry with President Trump, and his anger has influenced his assessment of the president and his actions.  But even putting that aside, Comey has provided useful insights into the ongoing investigations.

    I was disappointed to learn that Comey used a Columbia law professor as a go-between to provide information to the media.  He should have has the courage to do it himself.  Senators must insist that he disclose the name of his go-between so that they can subpoena his memos and perhaps subpoena the professor-friend to provide further information.

    I write this short op-ed as Comey finishes his testimony. I think it is important to put to rest the notion that there was anything criminal about the president exercising his constitutional power to fire Comey and to request – “hope” – that he let go the investigation of General Flynn. Just as the president would have had the constitutional power to pardon Flynn and thus end the criminal investigation of him, he certainly had the authority to request the director of the FBI to end his investigation of Flynn.

    So let’s move on and learn all the facts regarding the Russian efforts to intrude on American elections without that investigation being impeded by frivolous efforts to accuse President Trump of committing a crime by exercising his constitutional authority.

    SOURCE

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    House Republicans Pass Bill to Rein In Dodd-Frank

    On Thursday, while seemingly everyone in Washington was fixated on former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, House Republicans were busy. A bill entitled the Financial Choice Act was passed, along party lines, which aims to significantly roll back many of the onerous banking regulations created by the Dodd-Frank Act. Referencing the need to continue the process of government deregulation, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) tweeted, “Let me put it this way: #DoddFrank is more than a thousand pages long and has more rules and regulations than any Obama-era law.”

    While the Financial Choice Act does not repeal Dodd-Frank, it does go a long way in reining in its congressionally independent powers. The House Republicans' bill specifically targets the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an unelected and unaccountable board of bureaucrats. Clamping down on the CFPB’s ability to create new financial regulations without approval from Congress is a very welcome change given the fact that elected representatives, not unelected bureaucrats, should have the power and responsibility to create significant rules and regulations. The new bill also stops the CFPB from collecting consumers' information without their permission.

    Democrats' justification for the passage of Dodd-Frank was to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis — a crisis for which Democrats sowed the seeds with housing regulation. As is often the case with onerous government regulations, Dodd-Frank proved to do little in the way of actually helping small businesses and small banks, instead hurting them and resulting in years of sluggish economic growth. Rep. Rod Pittenger (R-NC) states, “Local bank leaders tell me they now hire more compliance officers than loan officers, as filling out forms for bureaucrats has become more important than growing the economy.” The irony in Dodd-Frank is that its regulations, which were supposed to protect the little guy, have proven to prevent and hinder economic growth and opportunity for the little guy.

    Many are predicting that the House bill is dead on arrival in the Senate, and it is certain to undergo significant changes, but there are some Democrats who have voiced support for reforming Dodd-Frank.

    SOURCE

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    President Trump’s Lower-Court Nominees Are As Good As His SCOTUS Pick

    Whatever’s happening with James Comey’s testimony, Donald Trump’s Twitter account, or congressional inaction on Obamacare repeal, tax reform, or much of anything else, from where I stand all that is fake news designed to distract your eyes from the prize: we have more judicial nominees!

    This week, in an echo of how the 21 contenders for the Supreme Court vacancy were rolled out during the presidential campaign, 11 would-be black-robers join last month’s stellar list of 10 lower-court nominees. They join the one confirmed nominee, Sixth Circuit Judge Amul Thapar, who was elevated from a Kentucky district court after having been on that list of Supreme Court potentials.

    Case Western law professor Jonathan Adler, who appeared with me on a panel at Cato’s 40th anniversary celebration right before the May 8 announcement, says they’re “‘incredibly strong nominees’ who were within the judicial mainstream and should ‘have an intellectual influence on their courts.’” As they say in Congress, I wish to associate myself with that analysis—and to extend those remarks to apply to all the nominees we’ve seen thus far.

    Let’s Take a Look:

    In that first batch are two state justices who were on the potential Supreme Court list, Michigan’s Joan Larsen (nominated to the Sixth Circuit) and Minnesota’s David Stras (nominated to the Eighth Circuit). These are engaged and scholarly jurists—both former law professors who still teach on the side—who will make terrific circuit judges.

    Eleventh Circuit nominee Kevin Newsom, a former Alabama solicitor general who hosted me when I spoke to the Birmingham Federalist Society chapter earlier this year, is a serious lawyer and public servant who will serve the nation well even if I disagree some with his interpretation of the Slaughterhouse cases.

    Pacific Legal Foundation’s Damien Schiff, with whom I’ve worked on many cases, is an inspired pick for the Court of Federal Claims, an Article I court that mainly handles government-contract disputes and property-rights claims against the government. Throughout his career, Damien has shown a commitment to protecting individual rights against government overreach.

    This week’s second batch brought us three more circuit court nominees, including Justice Allison Eid of the Colorado Supreme Court to fill Neil Gorsuch’s vacant Tenth Circuit seat and professor Stephanos Bibas of the University of Pennsylvania Law School for the Third Circuit. I know Eid by reputation. A former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, she’s a thoughtful and intellectual jurist much in the mold of her former boss. Bibas is one of the top criminal-law scholars in the country. I’ve worked with him professionally and had drinks personally; he’ll be outstanding but leaves a gaping hole as faculty adviser for Penn’s Federalist Society chapter.

    Then there’s Stephen Schwartz, an old friend who was a few years behind me at the University of Chicago Law School and has also been nominated to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Stephen has the perfect blend of nerdiness and skepticism of federal power that the job demands.

    I’ll Never Tire of This Kind of Winning
    If the other eight announced June 7 are of the same caliber as these three (and the previous 10)—and we have no reason to think otherwise given that the administration’s nominations staff is the same—then this is the sort of #winning of which I won’t ever tire.

    The only curiosity is the continued absence of Justice Don Willett of the Texas Supreme Court—and indeed no nominees to the Fifth Circuit at all. As Hugh Hewitt tweeted, of the 11 original SCOTUS short-listers, five were state judges. Three have now been nominated to the federal appellate courts. The two remaining are Tom Lee of Utah (which has no current vacancies) and Willett (and Texas has two vacancies). Moreover, Willett was apparently one of the five or six finalists for the seat that Gorsuch filled, and is close to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. So you’d think he’d be a shoo-in.

    Now, it’s certainly possible there’ll be some grand bargain whereby two other worthies get the Fifth Circuit slots but Willett goes to the high court whenever Justice Anthony Kennedy decides to retire. But that’s pie-in-the-sky because so many other stakeholders are involved at that point. Of course, if this deal—a fabulous deal, believe me!—is ratified by the president himself, that would be bigly indeed.

    In the meantime, the White House counsel’s office should just keep these black-robe orders coming. Their work, and that of the Federalist Society’s Leonard Leo, has allowed President Trump—regardless of what else he does with his time—to continue fulfilling what was probably his most important campaign promise: to appoint “the best” judges.

    SOURCE

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    Justice Department Ends Government Bankrolling of Liberal Groups in Legal Settlements

    The federal government no longer will make settlement agreements with any person or organization not directly involved in a legal dispute, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Wednesday.

    The move by Sessions abolished a practice that has funneled likely millions of dollars in banking settlements to outside organizations in such “third-party” payments.

    Left-wing groups, including La Raza and NeighborWorks America, benefited from the practice, The Daily Signal previously reported.

    In a formal statement, Sessions said: Effective immediately, [Justice] Department attorneys may not enter into any agreement on behalf of the United States in settlement of federal claims or charges, including agreements settling civil litigation, accepting plea agreements, or deferring or declining prosecution in a criminal manner, that directs or provides for a payment or loan to any non-governmental person or entity that is not a party to the dispute.

    For over a decade, the Justice Department has permitted corporations found guilty of wrongdoing to pay part of their financial penalty as a donation to certain pre-approved nonprofit organizations, as The Daily Signal reported last year.

    After the 2008 financial crisis, the Obama administration alleged that banks were responsible for inflating the mortgage bubble.

    The Justice Department and the banks settled with the settlements running into the millions of dollars, Paul J. Larkin, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an interview.

    Sometimes the Justice Department would allow donations to third parties to be counted toward the settlement value.

    The practice is unlawful, said Larkin, whose work on the issue was cited by Sessions in the attorney general’s decision.

    “Some of the settlements allowed a settling party to treat $1 given to a favored organization as counting for $2 toward the settlement,” Larkin said.

    He added:

    Federal law requires Justice Department lawyers to deposit the funds they receive from a settlement into the U.S. Treasury so that Congress, not the president or the Justice Department, can decide how those funds should be spent.

    The announcement is welcome news, Steven J. Allen, vice president and chief investigative officer at the Capitol Research Center, a conservative research institution based in Washington, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview Wednesday.

    “It’s about time that someone did something about this,” Allen said. “It is a practice that had been going on throughout the government for decades, and we need to crack down. This is a very important first step by the attorney general.”

    Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, praised Sessions’ move.

    “Today’s decision by the attorney general to end the Justice Department’s use of settlement agreements to fund politically favored organizations is a win for the victims in such disputes and for checks and balances in government,” Grassley said. “Under the Constitution, Congress holds the purse strings.”

    The decision by President Donald Trump’s attorney general to end third-party settlements also benefits taxpayers, Larkin said.

    “Sessions’ decision is the right one because it ends an unlawful and unethical Justice Department practice,” he said. “The department’s third-party payment practice was tantamount to the theft of money that belonged to the public.”

    SOURCE

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    For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL 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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  • 06/11/17--05:32: Article 0

  • Doing nothing can be good conservative policy

    To this day it is widely accepted in Australia that Bob Menzies was our greatest Prime Minister. He was the Prime Minister of Australia from 1939 to 1941 and again from 1949 to 1966. He is Australia's longest-serving prime minister, serving over 18 years in total. He ran Australia in the '50s and most of the '60s in what many now look back upon as a golden age. There was great embarrassment if unemployment exceeded 2% and life was generally tranquil, though Communist unions did their best to make trouble.



    But when people say what a great man Bob was, a common response was:  "But what did he DO?" And that is a hard question to answer.  Whenever people came to Bob and suggested something that the government should do,  Bob would reply:  "But if we do that, that will create another problem here".  So Bob would send the suggestions away, saying that the best thing to do was nothing.  

    People are always calling on the politicians to do something so it takes great political talent to do nothing.  And doing nothing means that the size of the government stays pretty small -- unlike what mostly happens today when the government never ceases to expand.

    So Bob's talent was to let the people of the nation create any change they desired, with little or no government interference.  If enough people backed the change it would happen.  If it had little backing it would not happen.  So prosperity and quality of life increased entirely through private initiatives.

    Bob was however of Scottish origins and he inherited the great Scottish reverence for education.  So he saw it as a real problem that poor families could not send their children to university.  So, for once, he DID something about that. He instituted a scheme where the Federal government would send to university all children from poor families who had scored in the top third of High School grades.  The government not only paid the tuition fees but even gave the kid a living allowance.  It was called the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme and I was one of its beneficiaries.

    But Bob was rare even among conservative politicians for his ability to do next to nothing. More on Menzies here

    So let me mention another such rarity: "Honest" Frank Nicklin.  Would you believe a politician with the nickname "Honest"?  In WWI he was a war hero and after the war he was a banana farmer.  In 1957, he became the Premier of my home state of Queensland and ran Queensland for around 10 years in the 60s.  Frank was by all accounts a very nice man:  A pre-Reagan Reagan.  He got on well with the bureaucracy and even the unions.  So life in Queensland was very tranquil in his time.



    How Frank did it can perhaps be gleaned from the words of a unionist who had just gone to see him with some request.  He was asked afterwards what had happened with his request.  He answered:  "Mr. Nicklin can say No in the nicest possible way"!

    But, like Bob Menzies Frank did do something:  He spent a lot on upgrading the infrastructure -- roads and bridges etc. More on Nicklin here.

    And then we come to an example that older Americans will know about: Ike.



    Ike didn't like to rock boats and mainly just wanted to let people get on with their own lives.  He kept the government low-key and tried to reduce government financial deficits.  But he too did SOMETHING.  Like Frank Nicklin, he spent a lot on building up infrastructure -- a big network of high quality interstate highways.  That network is in rather bad repair these days but if all the money wasted on the global warming myth had been spent the way the three men above operated, there would be no such problem today. Has there ever before been so much money spent with nil result as has been spent on global warming?  It would take a war to equal it

    But it is wrong to say that conservatives favour the status quo.  Conservative-run legislatures legislate as energetically as any  but mostly that is just to undo the damage caused by previous Leftist policies.  It is Leftist changes that they oppose, not all change.  But, as we see above, even the three champion conservative leaders did also make positive changes: carefully considered changes that generated broad consensus

    Trump looks to be going down a similar road.  He is mainly unwinding Obama-era initiatives rather than launch initiatives of his own.  But he has launched one initiative: A Paid Parental Leave Entitlement.  Hopefully that will be his version of the "one thing" that deeply conservative leaders sometimes do.  Like their initiatives it will probably have broad support. Market-oriented conservatives don't like it very much but family-oriented conservatives probably will. And any welfare proposal will have the Democrats onside -- though they may feel burned that their name won't be on it.

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    Washington Post Editor: Just Let White Working Class Die in Peace

    They have thought it but recently a member of the media elite actually said it out loud. Washington Post columnist and editorial board member Jonathan Capehart basically told white working class Americans they are better off dying than trying to fight for their life against a swelling tide of immigration and globalization.

        “Economic dislocation and demographic changes are fueling discomfort and desperation among white working-class voters,” wrote WashPo columnist and editorial board member Jonathan Capehart, continuing:

        While [university professor and author] Justin Gest says that both Republicans and Democrats have exploited these voters, he sees a way forward.

        “The only way of addressing their plight is a form of political hospice care,” [Gest] said. “These are communities that are on the paths to death. And the question is: How can we make that as comfortable as possible?”

    Professor Gest made no bones about his views of white working class citizens: they are a dying breed who are simply too dumb to understand that they need immigrants to revitalize their  communities.

        "Declining towns need immigrants to reinvigorate their markets, take on unwanted labor positions, and add youth to aging demographies. Once these communities understood the benefits immigrants bring and were consulted about the terms of their integration, they would feel more comfortable with their arrival."

    Capehart and Gest are both well aware of their rabid anti-white working class prejudice:

        “It has become okay [among Democrats] to become classist against poor white people and the [white voters] see it,” said Gest.

        The party’s coalition includes environmentalists, lawyers, Latinos, hippies, and electric-car drivers, Gest said, adding “there are many people in there who like the privileged status that the Democratic Party gives to certain ethnic groups.” For the party to welcome the white working class, he added, it would be “cheapening” the privileges given to others.

    In other words, the Left doesn’t want to demean itself by appealing to people who do not meet their standards of virtue signaling.

    So instead of appealing to them in any meaningful way, Gest suggests political suicide:

        "For many white working class people, and this is going to be controversial, for many white working class people, not all of them but many, you have a community of people who are advanced in age, whose skill set is for a different economy, who are living in communities that are losing population, losing resources, and so in many ways, the only way of addressing their plight is a form of political hospice care. These are communities that are on the paths to death, and the question is how can we make that as comfortable as possible …"

    A white working class voter offered this defense of her community:

        "Education can’t be the only answer for Americans if the U.S. labor market is also being flooded with cheap foreign workers", said a highly skilled worker contacted by Breitbart. “I know you don’t know me from a can of paint, but I had to throw in my 2 cents in your article about the WashPo editor,” said the woman, who tunes and operates computer-controlled machine tools in Cincinnati, Ohio. She continued:

        "I work in manufacturing. I have a high school diploma and a so-called associate degree from Wyotech that currently has as much worth to me as toilet paper (and it’s just as disposable). I am a [Computer Numeric Control] Machinist. I set up, tool, program, and operate CNC mills and lathes to make precision parts out of Teflon (polytetrafluoroethylene, that nonstick stuff on your frying pan) and can hold tolerances to +/- 0.0002″. So I’m wondering, since I am working in a field of a bygone economic era, how dumb do they think I really am that I need “more” education? What is more education going to do for me? So I can sit around and be a great do-nothing thinker as a white (non) working class individual? What is the threshold of intellectual satiation? How many degrees do we need to be indebted to the federal government before they deem the white working middle class smart enough to associate with people like THAT?

        I have a hard time understanding how someone like Gest or Capehart can look down their noses at someone like me because I don’t share their desire for overpriced toilet paper. Could either of them program a machine to cut an arc into a piece of material? No, but I can. Could either of them change their oil, replace their brakes, or change their front differential fluid? (I’d be surprised if they knew where the dipstick is to even check it.) No, but I can. I’m a 35-year-old, white working class woman that could outsmart them on a common sense basis and on a highly technical basis, and somehow I am the one that needs more education?

        People like that think that “working class white voters” is a descriptor of who we are as a socioeconomic group, with a dash of race and political functionality. “Working class (white) voters” are machinists, assemblers, machine operators, mechanics, nurse’s aides, waitresses, small retail store managers, bus drivers, taxi drivers, truck drivers, and all the jobs that they wouldn’t dare do themselves, being so much smarter than the rest of us (doubtful they know which end of a wrench to use).

        Being a “working class white voter” does not make us inferior or intellectually stunted so much that we need to be (re)educated in liberally biased schools of doublespeak and thoughtlessness. All we want to do is work a good job that does present a modest challenge, that does feel rewarding, keeps the lights on and our bellies full and after all of that, we just want to come home, drink some beers, pet the dog and enjoy the sunset in our small suburban slice of heaven. For us, that is what life is all about. We don’t care about revolutions, microaggressions, or how many physical and economic descriptors we can apply to a sub group of a sub group of a sub group. People like Gest and Capehart are more important to themselves, like Narcissus was to his reflection; eventually, they will drown in their obsession. And when they do, they’re still gonna be at the counter of a Mom and Pop shop asking some “white working class voter” with grease on his or her face “What’s wrong with my Prius?”

    SOURCE

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    Ted Cruz Lays Out 4 Priorities for a Blockbuster Year for Conservatives

    We have “a historic opportunity,” was the message of Sen. Ted Cruz at the Road to Majority Conference.

    “It is June 2017, and Hillary Clinton is not president and Neil Gorsuch is a Supreme Court justice,” said the Texas Republican Thursday.

    This year “demonstrates that elections matter,” Cruz said. “It demonstrates that men and women here, men and women of faith, pastors, Americans across this country love freedom, and if we rise up and stand together, we can do remarkable things.”

    “We have a majority in the House, we have a majority in the Senate, we have a Republican as president, how about we act like it?” Cruz said to the crowd.

    And with this “historic opportunity” in mind, Cruz laid out the four big priorities that Republicans need to deliver on. Otherwise, he warned, the party risks 2017 being a “heartbreaking missed opportunity” rather than a “blockbuster year” with possibly the “most productive Congress in decades.”

    These four priorities are the Supreme Court, repealing Obamacare, regulatory reform, and tax reform.

    *    Supreme Court. Cruz commended President Donald Trump on his nomination of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and “for honoring his promise to the American people of nominating a principled constitutionalist,” calling it a “home run.”

    *    Obamacare. The second priority was repealing Obamacare, which Cruz called “a train wreck collapsing right before our eyes.” It is, he said, “critical … to repeal Obamacare and it is critical that we do it well, in a way that provides real relief.”

    *    Tax Reform. Rather than focusing on the “political circus … let’s focus on delivering results,” Cruz stated, advocating a “bold and simple” approach to tax reform, saying that “there is power to bold simplicity.”

    *    Regulation reform. The Texas conservative called for a “pull back of the regulations that are strangling small businesses, strangling farmers and ranches, and job creators across this country.”

    In closing, Cruz emphasized his appreciation for those in attendance and those who have fought so hard to make a difference in the U.S., saying, “thank you, thank you, thank you.”

    “Thank you for your prayers, thank you for your passion, thank you for your time, thank you for your energy, thank you for speaking out and working to retake our nation.”

    The Road to Majority Conference is hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington, D.C.

    SOURCE

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    For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL 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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  • 06/12/17--05:26: Article 0


  • The economy of mass prosperity

    After proposing $1 trillion investment into infrastructure, the Trump administration is harnessing the brainpower of renowned experts to unlock the insoluble problem of how many jobs will be created for each billion dollars of spending. While stressing the obvious, the administration is missing the important point.

    The purpose of capitalism is not job creation. The purpose of the capitalist economy is to create wealth. Employment and the subsequent distribution of the spoils of an economy are byproducts of capitalism.

    Since its inception, capitalism has been in a perpetual state of evolution, from the Industrial Revolution that ignited an economy of mass production to the economy of mass productivity to, most recently, the economy of mass consumption. Each subsequent phase of capitalism has been associated with innovation, rise of productivity, and the immense creation of wealth.

    Our current economic period was fueled by a huge expansion of credit, which temporarily has taken the economy beyond its limits. Through excessive borrowing, consumers have spent far more than they can afford, and the expansion of social programs and futile attempts to stimulate the economy via government spending have left the country with $20 trillion of debt. At this point the consumer is broke, the country is broke, and the economy of mass consumption is on a respirator and cannot be resuscitated by further spending. If not the spending, what then, is the catalyst that will take capitalism to its next phase of evolution?

    A host of very significant developments over the past 20 years indicates that we are witnessing the dawn of a new phase in this evolution: the era of mass prosperity.

    What distinguishes this phase from the previous ones is that enormous sums of money have been accumulated by corporations and private investment funds. American corporations have amassed trillions of dollars on their balance sheets; Apple alone has more than $200 billion in its accounts. This mass of liquidity looking for markets to invest in has set up an interesting dynamic.

    Until recently, only the government could handle projects on the scale of the Hoover Dam and the interstate highway system, but now large corporations and investment funds have sufficient resources to build projects on any scale. Hence, there is no imperative for the government - federal, state or local - to finance and maintain modern infrastructure when private capital is available to do the job.

    Privatization of the infrastructure will open a new, multitrillion-dollar frontier for capitalism, and its effect could be massive. It has the potential to create a long-term economic expansion that will dwarf the scale of the Pacific Railroad and National Interstate and Defense Highways acts combined.

    The privatization should include selling the existing assets and creating an environment conducive for private enterprises to BOO (build, own and operate) new and existing roads, bridges, tunnels, treatment plants, airports and other facilities. Tolls will be collected to defray operating costs and retire debts. Revenue from the sale of existing assets can be used to reduce the national debt. Privatization would relieve, in large part, federal, state and local governments of the burden of funding, constructing, operating and administering the infrastructure, thereby resulting in smaller governments.

    Just as in any field of endeavor, bringing competition into a sector of the economy currently monopolized by the state and local governments will spur innovation and result in greater efficiency in project development and lower tolls and taxes. Government-run projects have no incentive to keep costs down and are notoriously delayed and over budget.

    Privatization of the infrastructure is a product of the spontaneous evolution of our economic system and, therefore, is a historical inevitability. Inevitability, however, sometimes requires human intervention.

    We should always remember that the government's job is to enforce the law and spend people's money in a manner consistent with the perceived national interest. It cannot produce wealth, employment and the other attributes of a free society. That is the job of capitalism. Hence, we do not need to borrow our way into prosperity; we just have to let capitalism work.

    SOURCE 

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    State-by-State Wave of 'Blue Lives Matter' Laws Concern Activists

    Activists who regularly come face-to-face with police officers are among those concerned about a new wave of so-called “Blue Lives Matter” laws that have swept through 14 state legislatures.

    Alabama could become the next state to enact tough new laws that make attacking first responders a hate crime, and an African-American Democrat could lead the way.

    Alabama Rep. John Rogers (D) has introduced legislation that identifies police officers as members of a protected group so that attacks against them become hate crimes.

    "If you kill somebody just because they are of a certain race it's a hate crime, so if you kill a police officer because he is a police officer or a fireman, it should be hate crime also," Rogers told WBRC.

    Texas was the most recent state to see lawmakers approve a Blue Lives Matter proposal. The legislature sent Gov. Greg Abbott a bill in late May that makes attacking or even threatening police officers or judges hate crimes.

    The Texas legislation was a response to the 2016 ambush attack that killed six Dallas police officers and a 2015 attack on a district judge outside her home.

    “At a time when law enforcement officers increasingly come under assault simply because of the job they hold, Texas must send a resolute message that the state will stand by the men and women who serve and protect our communities,” Gov. Abbott said.

    Along with Texas, state legislatures in Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia have already added crimes against police, firefighters and EMTs to their list of hate crimes.

    But maybe the Blue Lives Matter wave won’t have to go state-by-state. The movement could sweep across the U.S. from Congress.

    U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) filed H.R. 4760 earlier this year to make attacks on police officers the same as hate crimes nationwide.

    “I was looking for something that could send a very strong message that the federal government stands by police officers,” the Denver Post reported Buck said.

    Sonia Bill Hernandez of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund warned of a Blue Lives Matter backlash.

    She told the AP that so-called “Blue Lives Matter” laws that strengthen criminal penalties against people who attack police officers only “deepen divisions between law enforcement and communities with no tangible benefit to law enforcement.”

    Jens Ohlin, a criminal law professor at Cornell University Law School in New York, told the AP the Blue Lives Matter laws all “reek of political pressure to do something symbolic as a way of expressing solidarity with police officers.”

    But to a community activist like Zaki Baruti in St. Louis County, Mo., Blue Lives Matter laws are nothing but a way to cut the legs out from under the Black Lives Matter movement.

    “This is another form of heightened repression of activists,” Baruti told the Associated Press. “It sends a message to protesters that we better not look at police cross-eyed.”

    Other critics of Blue Lives Matter legislation contend attacking a cop is bad, killing a cop is worse, but laws making attacks on police the same as hate crimes go too far.

    “We believe that being a police officer is not an innate part of a person’s identity. You’re not born a police officer,” wrote the Denver Post editorial board.

    “Further, police are provided many protections already. We arm them and grant them great leeway in use of deadly force,” the Denver Post editorial continued. “We protect them with body armor and other gear. Rarely do juries or review panels charge officers who kill alleged offenders, but the justice system comes down extra hard when one of its own meets with harm.”

    The heated argument over the movements apparently boiled over in Alabama.

    Four men face assault charges after allegedly attacking a high school student who posted pro-police, Blue Lives Matter comments online.

    Seventeen-year-old Brian Ogle was hospitalized with serious head injuries after being found bleeding on the ground after a homecoming game. His mother, Brandi Allen, told Fox News that Brian responded with a Blue Lives Matter argument when he was confronted by four former students who were wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts.

    Police said the attack on Ogle, who is white, may have been racially motivated.

    "Instead of us planning for his 18th birthday, we're here. Why? Because he made a statement that he backs the blue?” Allen told Fox News in the hospital as her son recovered from his injuries. “I'm still trying to understand how someone, no matter the color of their skin, can do this to another human being.”

    SOURCE

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    Sorry, class warriors. Unions aren't coming back

    by Jeff Jacoby

    HERE IS A TALE of two socioeconomic trends and one seductive myth.

    Trend No. 1: There was a time when the wealthiest households in America — the top 1 percent — earned about 11 percent of the nation's income, even as the great majority of income, more than two-thirds, went to the bottom 90 percent. That was in the mid-1940s, in the wake of the Great Depression and World War II. Income inequality in the United States was relatively low, and it stayed that way for the next three decades.

    Seventy years later, the distribution of income is much less equal. According to Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez, the top 1 percent of US households today account for 22.5 percent of all pretax income, while the bottom 90 percent collect less than half.

    Trend No. 2 occurred over the same period: As incomes in America grew less equal, membership in unions grew less common.

    In the decade that followed World War II, the percentage of American workers belonging to a union rose to nearly 35 percent. That high level of union density lasted for almost three decades, but by the 1970s unions were in decline. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 10.7 percent of US wage earners today are union members — and nearly half of them work for the government. In the private economy, just 6.4 percent of employees are unionized.

    In short, income inequality rose as union membership plunged.

    So the way to reduce inequality is to reinvigorate labor unions? Not a chance.

    One can make a plausible case that falling union density paved the way for the rich to grow richer. In a 2012 paper for the liberal Economic Policy Institute, labor economist Lawrence Mishel concluded that "deunionization can explain about a third of the entire growth of wage inequality among men and around a fifth of the growth among women from 1973 to 2007." Two International Monetary Fund economists made a similar argument in a 2015 study. "The decline in unionization in recent decades has fed the rise in incomes at the top," they wrote.

    Not surprisingly, those who view income inequality as a terrible social malady seize on research like this to prescribe more union power as the remedy.

    Senator Bernie Sanders hailed the IMF study as "a call to arms"— evidence not just that unions should be "revitalized and renewed" but that doing so "needs to be one of the major undertakings of our time."

    From former Labor Secretary Robert Reich comes an even more impassioned exhortation. "We must strengthen labor unions!" he declares in a video for MoveOn. Reich wants new laws making it easier for organizers to form new unions. In particular, he wants all state right-to-work laws — which protect the right of employees not to join a union — overturned.

    But unions didn't decline because laws are stacked against them or because employers have too much power. They declined because in the eyes of most workers they grew obsolete and irrelevant. And no amount of class-warfare drum-banging is going to bring them back.

    As it happens, I belong to a private-sector union, and have been paying union dues for more than 20 years. I think private-sector workers should be perfectly free to bargain collectively — and just as free to shun unions. (Government unions, on the other hand, should be banned.)

    I don't share the left's obsession with the wealth of "the billionaire class," to use a favorite Sanders expression. Like most Americans, I have more important things to worry about than whether Warren Buffet or George Soros get richer. But even if I did lie awake at night fretting over income inequality, I wouldn't count on a union revival to do anything about it.

    Unions rose to power before globalization and automation had transformed economic reality. Before the internet utterly reshaped American commerce. Before the explosion of temps, part-timers, freelancers, and independent contractors who now constitute such a huge swath of the workforce. Before it became abnormal to stay with a single employer for a whole career. Before traditional workplaces — physical spaces with rank upon rank of workers — began to vanish.

    In the early 1950s, manufacturing and mining accounted for one-third of all the jobs in America. Today? Barely 10 percent.

    "In mining ... there are perhaps 80,000 jobs today compared to over a half million — almost all of which were unionized — in the late 1940s and early 1950s," writes Rich Yeselson for the progressive political website Talking Points Memo. "Coal provided close to 2/3rds of our energy then — making the imperious president of the United Mine Workers, John L. Lewis, one of the most powerful people in the country."

    Much the same is true of the steel industry, which now employs 70 percent fewer workers than it did in 1959. That was the year that 500,000 members of the United Steelworkers of America went on strike — the largest strike in the nation's history.

    Manufacturing is still enormously important to the US economy. It accounts for a larger share of GDP than ever. But it takes far, far fewer people to do so, making unions a far, far less important player in American life than they once were.

    Private-sector unionism isn't a sleeping giant waiting for a wakeup call. It's more like a once-mighty prizefighter shuffling into oblivion. In its heyday, it was a force to be reckoned with. No longer.

    SOURCE

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

    For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL 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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  • 06/13/17--05:36: Article 0


  • The shallow-thinking Pope is an enemy of the poor

    Pope Francis’s videotaped TED talk “Why the Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone” is full of wisdom that conflicts with the unwise economic policies he advocates.

    Released recently at the international TED conference in Vancouver, Canada, the talk begins by observing that community is central to human existence: “life flows through our relations with others. ... Each and everyone’s existence is deeply tied to that of others: life is not time merely passing by; life is about interactions.”

    Next, Francis stressed the moral responsibility of all people to put themselves in the place of others and to help those who are less fortunate. This “solidarity,” the pope explained, was exhibited by the Bible’s Good Samaritan, who personally sacrificed to help a stranger in need.

    Finally, Francis said, “The more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly.”

    These themes are very much in the tradition of classical liberalism and its commitment to economic freedom: community, open social interactions, helping others, and humble, transparent institutions. What is troubling about Pope Francis is that he spends much of his time traveling the world advocating policies that undermine these goals.

    Since becoming the Roman Catholic Church’s 266th bishop of Rome in March 2013, Pope Francis has endorsed a larger and more powerful role for governments and international organizations. As Hayeon Carol Park and I show in “Pope Francis, Capitalism, and Private Charitable Giving” (part of a special symposium in The Independent Review titled “Pope Francis and Economics,” Francis frequently lambastes capitalism and calls for more government redistribution of wealth and property.

    Rather than “humble” institutions, Francis calls for centralized governments and international bodies to act with hubris, replacing their plans and values for those of individuals. The government-coerced-redistribution model favored by Francis has left a trail of tears and destruction everywhere it has been pursued. Foreign aid, often government-to-government transfers, generally props up dictatorial and kleptocratic governments that murder and steal from their own people.

    Government and multinational spending often bails out corrupt rulers’ business cronies at the expense of what Francis calls the “discarded people.”

    William Easterly demonstrates that even as foreign aid to Africa soared during the 1980s and 1990s, African economies performed worse. He thus writes in his book “The White Man’s Burden,” “Remember, aid cannot achieve the end of poverty. Only homegrown development based on the dynamism of individuals and firms in free markets can do that.”

    The most effective path to lifting people from poverty by the millions is decentralized market-based entrepreneurship. Recent progress in China and India, where hundreds of millions of people have escaped some of the worst poverty on earth, was a result of expanding economic freedom.

    Francis does not recognize that what he advocates would undermine the core institutions needed for this process to work. His ideas would slow economic growth and shrink the surplus that people use to start new businesses, hire more employees, and engage in effective private charitable giving. Unfortunately, the approach Francis advocates would bring more human suffering, not less, undercutting his call to help the poor. Yet he does not see the contradiction.

    Francis’ talk hints at the most effective approach to lifting people out of poverty: “The future of humankind isn’t exclusively in the hands of politicians, of great leaders, of big companies. ... The future is, most of all, in the hands of those people who recognize the other as a ‘you’ and themselves as part of an ‘us.’”

    This aptly describes entrepreneurs, who dedicate their lives to solving problems faced by others, and invest and risk their own time, effort and money for the good of others. Entrepreneurs are true Good Samaritans.

    The most effective anti-poverty program is a job. The most effective development strategy is sustained private investment by market-based entrepreneurs.

    Unfortunately, Pope Francis undercuts both with his worldwide crusade against capitalism.

    SOURCE

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    Gridlock at the FTC Prolongs Washington's Regulatory Status Quo

    Missing from the media’s orgy of “100-day” analyses of the Trump administration’s performance has been any substantive discussion of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the fact that it now is operating at fractional capacity: for the first time in its 103-year history, only two of its five commissioners are on the job.

    The media’s silence is deafening, given the FTC’s extensive, but largely unheralded, role in American life. The FTC’s paralysis has helped block President Trump from moving forward with much needed regulatory reform, while leaving U.S. corporations and individuals vulnerable to intellectual property theft abroad. It also has allowed President Obama’s anti-business legacy to continue unchecked, leaving pending lawsuits and proposed business mergers in limbo.

    As a practical matter, the FTC simply can’t function with just two commissioners, especially in the hyper-partisan atmosphere in which we all live. Despite heading the executive branch, and leading a party that controls both houses of Congress, President Trump is at the mercy of an agency that can take action only following a simple majority vote, obviously hard to come by when one commissioner can veto the other.

    Remember President Trump’s oft-repeated campaign vow to eliminate costly, unnecessary regulations? Or, once in office, the executive order he issued to increase American efficiency and dramatically reduce Washington red tape with a policy that slashes two existing regulations for every new one promulgated by an executive branch agency?

    Under normal circumstances—with five appointed commissioners, a majority (three) of whom can be affiliated with the same political party at the same time—the FTC likely would be moving even farther down the path toward fulfilling the president’s regulatory reform goals. And yet, important issues, such as data security and broadband privacy, now languish under perpetual review owing to something of a turf battle between the shorthanded FTC and the Federal Communications Commission.

    Perhaps the most compelling example of the FTC’s inability to function is the lawsuit it initiated against Qualcomm during the Obama administration’s final days in office. The agency claimed that the company was abusing its dominant market position based on patents covering a type of smart-phone chip, something the FTC said amounted to an “illegal patent tax.”

    Qualcomm sued to overturn the FTC’s action, claiming that it was instigated by Apple, which had misrepresented important facts and withheld critical information from the commissioners. Those claims became more credible when Apple filed its own lawsuits against Qualcomm both in China and the United States soon after the FTC did so.

    Then-FTC Commissioner, and Acting Chairperson, Maureen Olhausen, agreed with Qualcomm, writing a rare dissent and blasting the lawsuit on a number of grounds. Most explosively, she asserted that the Commission’s decision to sue was based on “flawed legal theory,” “lacked evidentiary and legal support,” and, by “its mere issuance,” would “undermine U.S. intellectual property rights in Asia and worldwide.”

    It’s a nightmare not confined to Qualcomm, but to all U.S. businesses, as the American Conservative Union (ACU), Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), and many others quickly observed. As the ACU warned: “If Asian companies can access our best technology through nefarious government enforcement actions, both U.S. competitiveness and national security are at stake.”

    Although nothing is certain in D.C., with an FTC comprised of its usual five members, the Qualcomm case almost surely would have been scrapped by now, as were some of the unsound and unwieldy antitrust matters that had been dragging on for a decade or more when Ronald Reagan entered the White House.

    The FTC has been a lightning rod for criticism since its creation in 1914. No matter what you think about its performance, nowadays or in the past, it cannot do much of anything until its three vacant seats are filled.

    SOURCE

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    Kellyanne Conway Reveals the ‘Biggest Misconception’ About the Trump White House

    White House counselor Kellyanne Conway was ready to bust some myths about the Trump White House in remarks Friday at the

    “What is [President Donald Trump] like in private?” asked Ralph Reed, founder and chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, addressing Conway. “Does he listen to advice?” he added.

    “The biggest misconception … is that Donald Trump doesn’t have anyone around him that will tell him ‘no,’” responded Conway.

    Rather, she added, Trump listens so intently that “he remembers everything,“ even to the point that “it always comes back” to get you. She commented on how, just as many within Trump Tower have reported, Trump is a “fully aware, gracious, [and] understanding boss.”

    Conway mentioned that Trump would, during both the campaign and now in the White House, remain focused on issues relevant to “forgotten men and women.” She cited illegal immigration as one such issue, saying, “For so long the previous administration asked, ‘What is fair to the illegal immigrant?’”

    “What is fair to the American worker competing with the illegal immigrant?” asked Conway.

    Conway, who also served as Trump’s campaign manager, talked about the challenges of running against “feminist icon” Hillary Clinton, dubbing it a “double or triple challenge.”

    Conway said that Clinton’s campaign did what she believes was a “great disservice” by emphasizing women’s health by focusing only on abortion, and not the other aspects of women’s health.

    Conway said she took a different approach, focusing on what women cared about most, what they do on a day-by-day basis, instead of concentrating on one aspect. One theme she saw as important to women was fairness. “Fairness is equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome,” she said.

    She also spoke about her personal faith, saying, “I believe that all things come from God.”

    Being a mother to four children was “the blessing of my life,” she said. Conway also recalled her own childhood, where she grew up with four Catholic women and was raised “with faith as our center, as our gravity, as our anchor.”

    “I don’t recall a single political conversation in my entire childhood … but I was raised to be conservative based on principles and faith.”

    “We were taught that family comes first—God, country, family, and faith,” she added. And for Conway, the first female campaign manager to lead a winning presidential campaign, this perspective played a major role in the success of the Trump campaign.

    “We pray for you too, and it is not lost on me the sacrifice you have made,” she said to attendees.

    Conway also encouraged those in attendance to “go tell your faith journey” when opportunities arise. “Whether you are asked or not … have a seven second, 70 second, and a seven minute version” about your faith journey, of why you are a conservative, why you are involved.

    The Road to Majority Conference is hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington, D.C.

    SOURCE

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    Young Americans and Hope for the Future

    Bob Higgs, in a recent post on all the foolishness in American higher education, reminds us of what a danger we face as our colleges attempt to mold students into young Jacobins. In light of the state of American education, we need some bright spot on what is a dismal landscape. One bright spot I have found is the blog America Restored, which is operated by several high school students. In trying to rekindle a respect for liberty in modern America, these students advise “the key to accomplishing this is to stop asking the world for approval, and begin doing what you know is right. Once you do this, you will feel happiness and joy, rather than discomfort and nervousness. Read the words from the men and women who came before us, who loved and cherished liberty, and you will see that they knew these things to be true.”

    This is a good point for us all to remember. Rather than seeking approval from those in power or those enthralled with our current welfare-warfare state, we should do what we know is right whether it causes discomfort or chastisement. It encourages me to see young folks devoted to liberty in a world that prefers to focus on power and intervention. Check them out.

    SOURCE

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    For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL 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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    0 0
  • 06/14/17--05:33: Article 0


  • Sci-Fi novellist John C. Wright encounters Leftist hate
           
    It is my habit to avoid discussion of personal matters in public, but I will make an exception when the event ties in to a broader matter.

    This Sunday the scoutmaster of my sons’ Boy Scout Troop arrived unexpectedly and uninvited on the doorstep of my house, while I was at Mass.

    He announced that, due to an anonymous complaint that my youngest son had allegedly made an “anti-Muslim remark” in a private conversation, therefore he and his brother were forthwith expelled from the troop.

    To be sure, this was not the only reason given. It was merely the cherry on top. This issue is more complex than the thumbnail I give here, but those nuances are nothing to the point of the example.

    When he heard the decree, my son sat on the couch with a look on his face as if he had been shot in the guts.

    He had been in this troop for as long as his boyhood memory reaches, has reached the rank of Star and is about to reach Life, and is a patrol leader, or was.

    This troop was a big part of our lives. Weekly meetings and monthly hikes and campouts, and yearly camporees have been woven into our schedules since Cub Scouts. The grown ups in the family have spent more hours and weekends lending a hand and helping to sell popcorn than I can calculate. My wife is more active by far than I, and has even earned her Woodbadge, which is an advanced, national leadership program that gobbled up an unfortunate amount of her writing and editing time.

    The loyalty and longsuffering support of the Wright family for this troop, which has been a part of all our lives for years, suddenly counted for nothing. We dared speak a word that might offend the Prophet of Submission, peace be upon him. The Blasphemy Laws were breached!

    Apparently the decision to expel was made by the pastor of the church sponsoring the troop, even though, technically, it was not his decision to make. I say apparently, because there was no conversation, and no one asked my son for his side of the story.

    For the same reason, what precisely the comment was, or who overheard it, I do not know. I suspect my boy was repeating one of his father’s opinions, which can be called “Anti-Muslim” only in the Alice-Through-the-Looking-Glass world of the Left.

    The comment, if it was what I suspect, was something to the effect that America liberty is superior to and incompatible with Shariah Law, and that Christian duty of loving the enemy is superior to and incompatible with Jihadist duty to commit suicide during the mass-murder of innocent women and children dishonorably and indiscriminately, without warning, from ambush.

    Be that as it may: a day later we have found another scout troop, and all is once again well in the Wright household.

    The hardest part for me will be uprooting my uncouth and unchristian ire at this petty injustice, a harm from which I failed to shield my boys. Forgiveness is a duty, which I hope writing this column will encourage rather than prevent.

    I am not writing to provoke sympathy or gather supportive comments, but to make an observation backed by the poignancy of an immediate personal experience.

    When I was an atheist, no ambush by backstabbers happened to me, neither in my personal nor professional life. The moment I converted to Christianity, within minutes of my answering a question about my faith posed by a highschool newspaper reporter, I earned the enmity of relatives and strangers.

    Editors and publishers who had hitherto been willing to publish my work, and readers who had been hitherto willing to vote awards for my work, suddenly denounced me with a fury unrelated to reality. International newspapers were eager to dunk my name in calumny, and facts be damned. No accusation was too untrue or too absurd to level against a man who dared be Christian and take the faith seriously.

    But I had been warned by Christ’s own words that the world would hate me for His sake, so I express no surprise. I knew before I signed up what I was signing up for.

    Since I was the same person before and after conversion, one can conclude with the precision of a scientific experiment what provokes the hellish ire and reckless slander.

    It is not me they hate, or, at least, not me for my own sake. It is Christ. I am not their judge. I have no authority over them. I cannot shed the unwelcome light to make them see their own corruption. He is. He has. He can.

    Hence, I cannot take offense with them for my sake, since I am not the offended party. Christ is the one they slander, mock, flog, scorn, stab and crucify. He prays to the Father that they be forgiven. They know not what they do.

    Such love is beyond my comprehension. A deep mystery is here.

    My observation is that these are not bad people. They are good people deceived and controlled by bad ideas. I am tempted to say possessed by bad ideas, or, rather, by a bad spirit. Such is the spirit of the age. It devolves them into Morlocks and Eloi: but their blood is still human.

    From my youth up, I have always been phlegmatically indifferent to the opinions of those whose opinions are based on neurotic emotion, because such opinions are without merit. From my point of view, if Tor Books wishes to insult my readers, or World Con voters wish to vote my works under ‘No Award’, their reputations are harmed, not mine. I continue as before.

    In such a case, forgiveness is logical and necessary: the hatred harms only the hater, who inner darkness and unreason is exposed to the candid eye of man and angel alike.

    But my son is not prepared for betrayal by people, such as Christian pastors, such as his own scoutmaster, whom I taught him to trust, respect and obey.

    The world where chaplains will denounce you for being Christian, or Boy Scouts will expel you for being patriotic, is a new world to him.

    When a Leftist Christian has to decide between Leftism and the teachings of Christ, he goes Left. When a Leftist Scout has to decide between Leftism and the teachings of Robert Baden Powell, he goes Left. Leftist put Leftism before all other loyalties.

    Perhaps the lesson with toughen his spirit.

    The lesson may be useful for my friends and readers as well:

    The corruption is everywhere. To judge from their acts rather than their words, the corrupt wish not only to cow you into silence, dear reader, they wish to rob your children of innocent happiness.

    In the broader picture, protests against Sharia Law were organized across the country this weekend, and community organizers on the Left gathered against them, not without violence, to silence this defense of Constitutional liberties and Angloamerican Common Law.

    The countermarch by homosexuals and lesbians heckling and rioting in favor of the barbaric laws of Mohammed, which, if enacted here as they are abroad, would execute or mutilate the countermarchers, or reduce them to chattel dressed in garbage bags, is an irony only a psychopathologist can explain, or perhaps an exorcist.

    In the Looking-Glass world, no pastor stands up for Christ, nor do Boy Scouts stand up for Scouting.

    We are not dealing with a political movement. A political movement would be satisfied with political power.

    Whether the enemy’s rank and file are knowingly hypocritical or unknowingly, only mindreader could know. Such nuances of guilt or mitigation are not for us to judge.

    All an outside observer can tell is that their words are always, always, always contrary to their actions.

    In the name of liberating women, they urge mothers to commit infanticide.

    In the name of antifascism, they commit fascism.

    In the name of alleviating poverty, they enact minimum wages laws to increase unemployment.

    In the name of lowering health care costs, they enact rationing which creates shortages which raises costs.

    In the name of equality, they enact socialism, erect barbed wire walls, and make whole nations into prison camps.

    In the name of safety, they hamper the Second Amendment which makes free men safe.

    In the name of liberty, they forever expand the state.

    In the name of charity and compassion, they enact socialist death camps the size of nations, and surround who continents with barbed wire.

    And so on, and on, and on.

    Hypocrisy is the point of Leftism. Cease to wonder how many atrocities of communism or jihadism it will take for the Left to wake up and realize who is their true enemy. If they wished to wake up, they would not be Leftists to begin with. Leftism is a sleeping potion, a morphine meant to numb the senses and silence the conscience, so that the soul can die without pain.

    How deceived the practitioners of a philosophy of self-deception actually are is a matter beyond human understanding. The Bible tells me that only Christ knows the evil in the hearts of men. The radio tells me The Shadow knows. I am neither.

    And what does it matter? A successful self-deception means that a man has sincerely deceived himself, whereas an unsuccessful attempt means he is insincere. But sincerity of motive does not excuse the negligence involved in neglecting one’s duty to be true.

    Sincere dishonesty is still dishonest.

    The enemy wants control, arbitrary control, over the free expression of ideas in any forum, over the publishing industry, over such trivial matters as toy statues given out as awards at conventions for fans of rocketship stories.

    They want control over how female cartoons in computer games are dressed, and they want control over the sex lives of pure imaginary characters from superhero comics.

    They have control over the courts, the press, the schools, the entertainment industry, Wall Street. They are rapidly gaining control over the remaining uncorrupted Protestant denominations, over the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.

    They want control over the Boy Scouts, and over what opinions a child expresses in private.

    Between Christ and Leftism, the war is a religious war, a crusade. The Left is not a political group with political goals, but a Jihad. Their goals are spiritual. Only a Crusader can defeat a Jihadist.

    In the same way we Christians want Christ to be in everything we do, in every part of our life, in our work and leisure and even in our casual conversation, we want to add to the glory of our heavenly father, so too in just the same way, the corrupt want every part of your life and work, and every idle word, to add to the corruption and serve it, and to add to the glory of their father, who is the father of lies.

    In the same way we wish all souls to be saved and true and joyful, they wish all to be damned and hypocritical and miserable.

    Even a little boy is not beyond the view of the unwinking, unsleeping, lidless eyes of the adversary.

    SOURCE

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

    For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL 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)

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



    0 0
  • 06/15/17--05:32: Article 0


  • Constant Leftist hate speech bears fruit

    The one type of American you apparently can't trust with a gun is a liberal wacko

    The gunman who was killed by cops after opening fire on a Republican congressional baseball practice on Wednesday, the president's 71st birthday, was a Trump-hating Democrat and Bernie Sanders supporter with a long history of violence.

    James T. Hodgkinson, 66, from Belleville, Illinois, was killed by Capitol Police after firing up to 100 rounds from an assault rifle at a baseball park in Alexandria, Virginia, leaving five injured including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise at 7am on Wednesday.

    Scalise's condition worsened throughout the afternoon and was deemed critical by hospital staff after he he was released from emergency surgery on his hip.

    Two Capitol Police officers were shot as they bravely returned fire on Hodgkinson while the lawmakers scrambled across the field to safety. Congressional staffer Zachary Barth and lobbyist Matt Mika were also shot but both are expected to recover.

    Hodgkinson was a staunch Sanders supporter and campaigned for the left-wing senator to get the Democratic nomination for president last year.

    He ranted against President Trump on social media and had previously described The Rachel Maddow Show as his favorite thing on TV.

    The married union tradesman threatened to 'destroy' the president, whom he called a 'traitor' on social media - but was not known to Secret Service.

    His family said he was distraught over Trump's November election win and revealed that he had been living in Alexandria out of a gym bag and sleeping in his car for the last two months.

    His criminal record included a 2006 arrest for punching his female neighbor in the face as she tried to shield his underage daughter from him.

    According to a police report, Hodgkinson went to the neighbor's home looking for his daughter and found her upstairs. He dragged her out by the hair but she ran into her neighbor's car. The female neighbor sat in the vehicle in the front seat.

    Hodgkinson got access to them, slashing the seatbelt his daughter was wearing as he and his wife pulled her out. He then hit the neighbor in the face, The Washington Post reported, but was never convicted.

    His former lawyer, Lyndon Evanko of Belleville, Illinois, said Hodgkinson was 'a pushy little b*****d, an in-your-face kind of guy. He believed what he believed and he wasn't going to take any s**t from anybody.' Evanko defended Hodgkinson during the neighbor-punching incident.

    'He was a bit of a misanthrope,' the lawyer said. 'He came across as a very irascible, angry little man, but not somebody I would expect to do something like this.

    He wrote frequent letters to his local paper in Illinois in which he complained about income inequality and compared the state of the economy to the Great Depression long before President Trump ever launched his political career.

    'I have never said “life sucks,” only the policies of the Republicans,' he wrote in one from 2012 where he described his plan to increase the number of tax brackets.

    In 2011, he praised Occupy protesters in New York and Boston who he said 'are tired of our do-nothing Congress doing nothing while our country is going down the tubes.'

    Despite his hateful social media posts and criminal history, sources told CNN the man was not on the Secret Service's radar.

    Shortly after 7am on Wednesday, he opened fire from behind the third base dugout as the group of GOP figures practiced batting on the field in preparation for a charity baseball game against Democrats which is scheduled for Thursday night.

    Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis and Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina spoke with him moments before the shooting.

    They told how the shooter approached them and asked if they were Republican or Democrat. He walked away after being told they were members of the GOP, Duncan said.

    The pair escaped his bloody rampage and only identified him as the shooter after seeing his photograph in the news.

    Two Capitol Police officers who were accompanying Scalise were the only other armed people on the scene. They returned fire with their pistols but were shot themselves.

    As bullets flew across the field, the congressmen fled to a dugout and huddled on top of one another, using their belts as makeshift tourniquets to treat the wounds of those who were shot.

    Barth, a congressional staffer for Texas Rep. Roger Williams, was shot in the leg but is expected to recover. The two Capitol Police officers, Krystal Griner and David Bailey, are also expected to make a full recovery.

    Mika was also injured and is in hospital while Scalise is in critical condition at MedStar Washington Center after undergoing emergency surgery on his hip.

    Sen. Rand Paul, who was also there but as not hurt, described the scene as a 'killing field'. Rep. Mark Walker said the gunman seemed intent on murdering 'as many Republicans as possible.'

    SOURCE

    UPDATE:  Mr Trump later visited the hospital where Mr Scalise was recovering. The president then tweeted: "Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the truly great people, is in very tough shape - but he is a real fighter. Pray for Steve!"

    The president, accompanied to the hospital by his wife Melania, sat by Mr Scalise's bedside and spoke with his family.  Press Secretary Sean Spicer described the scene in the intensive care unit as "emotional."

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

    Hillary has no self-insight

    Typically for a psychopath, it is always others who are to blame for her problems
     
    I don’t want to beat up on Hillary Clinton. She thought she’d win and she lost, embarrassingly, to a man she considered deeply unworthy. At the same time she won the popular vote by 2.9 million. It would take anyone time to absorb these things emotionally and psychologically.

    But wow. Her public statements since defeat have been malignant little masterpieces of victimhood-claiming, blame-shifting and unhelpful accusation. They deserve censure.

    Last weekend she was the commencement speaker at her alma mater, Wellesley, where she insulted the man who beat her. This Wednesday she was at the 2017 Code Conference, hosted by the Recode website, where she was interviewed by friendly journalists Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. She eagerly offered a comprehensive list of the reasons she lost the 2016 presidential election.

    She lost because America is a hopelessly reactionary country in which dark forces fight a constant “rearguard action” to “turn back the clock.” She lost because Republicans are both technologically advanced and underhanded. Democrats, for instance, use data and analytics to target and rouse voters — “better messaging.” Republicans, on the other hand, use “content farms” and make “an enormous investment in falsehoods, fake news, call it what you will.” Democrats “did not engage in false content.” She lost because of the Russians: “Who were they coordinating with, or colluding with?”

    She lost because of “voter suppression” and “unaccountable money flowing in against me.” She lost because the Democratic National Committee didn’t help her. “I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party. I mean it was bankrupt. … Its data was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong. I had to inject money into it.”

    She lost because FBI Director James Comey told Congress the investigation regarding her email server had been reopened. “So for whatever reason … and I can’t look inside the guy’s mind, you know, he dumps that on me on Oct. 28, and I immediately start falling.”

    She lost because she was “swimming against a historic tide. It’s very difficult historically to succeed a two-term president of your own party.” She lost because she was “the victim of a very broad assumption that I was going to win.” She lost because the news media ignored her policy positions.

    And then there was sexism. “It sort of bleeds into misogyny. And let’s just be honest, you know, people who have … a set of expectations about who should be president and what a president looks like, you know, they’re going to be much more skeptical and critical of somebody who doesn’t look like and talk like and sound like everybody else who’s been president. Any you know, President Obama broke that racial barrier, but you know, he’s a very attractive, good-looking man.”

    Oh my goodness, how she thinks.

    Oddly, she seemed completely sincere, as if she believes her own story. It tells you something about our own power to hypnotize ourselves, to invent reasons that avoid the real reasons. It is a tribute to the power of human denial. And at first you think: I hope it was cathartic. Maybe these are just stories she tells herself to feel better.

    But none of this, in truth, is without point. It is purposeful. It is not mere narrative-spinning. It is insisting on alternative facts so that journalists and historians will have to take them into account. It is a monotonous repetition of a certain version of events, which will be amplified, picked up and repeated into the future.

    And it’s not true.

    The truth is Bernie Sanders destroyed Mrs. Clinton’s chance of winning by almost knocking her off, and in the process revealing her party’s base had changed. Her plodding, charmless, insincere style of campaigning defeated her. Bad decisions in her campaign approach to the battleground states did it; a long history of personal scandals did it; fat Wall Street speeches did it; the Clinton Foundation’s bloat and chicanery did it — and most of all the sense that she ultimately stands for nothing but Hillary did it.

    In the campaign book “Shattered,” journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes report they were surprised “when Clintonworld sources started telling us in 2015 that Hillary was still struggling to articulate her motivation for seeking the presidency.” Her campaign was “an unholy mess, fraught with tangled lines of authority … distorted priorities, and no sense of greater purpose.” “Hillary didn’t have a vision to articulate. And no one else could give one to her.” “Hillary had been running for president for almost a decade and still didn’t really have a rationale.”

    What is true is that throughout her career Mrs. Clinton has shown herself to be largely incapable of honest self-reflection, of pointing the finger, for even a moment, at herself. She is not capable of what in Middle English was called “agenbite of inwit” [again-bite of inner awarenes] — remorse of conscience, the self-indictment and implicit growth, that come of taking a serious personal inventory. People are always doing bad things to her, she never does bad things to them. They operate in bad faith, she only in good. They lie and exaggerate, she doesn’t. They are low and partisan, not her. There’s no vast left-wing conspiracy only a right-wing one.

    People can see this. It’s part of why she lost.

    It is one thing to say, “I take responsibility,” and follow that up with a list of things you believe you got wrong. It’s another thing to say, “I take responsibility,” and then immediately pivot to arguments as to why other people are to blame. “I take responsibility for everything I got wrong, but that’s not why I lost,” is literally what she said Wednesday.

    Walt Mossberg asked her about her misjudgments. What about Goldman Sachs? You were running for president, he said, why did you do those high priced speeches?

    “Why do you have Goldman Sachs [at this conference]?” Mrs. Clinton countered.

    Mr. Mossberg: “Because they pay us.”

    Mrs. Clinton: “They paid me.”

    Mr. Mossberg noted they paid her a lot. Hillary replied she speaks to many groups, she had been elected in New York, which includes Wall Street. Then: “Men got paid for the speeches they made. I got paid for the speeches I made.”

    The worst part is that she insulted her own country by both stating and implying that America is full of knuckle-dragging, deplorable oafs who are averse to powerful women and would never elect one president. Has she not learned anything? Does she never think Britain had Margaret Thatcher in 1979 and Theresa May now, that Germany has had as its leader Angela Merkel since 2005? Is America really more backward, narrow and hate-filled toward women than those countries? Or was Mrs. Clinton simply the wrong woman, and the wrong candidate?

    It would have been helpful if she’d spoken at least of those who’d voted for her and supported her and donated to her campaign precisely because she was a woman.

    You should never slander a country that rejected you. Maybe it had its reasons. Maybe her most constructive act now would be to quietly reflect on what they might be.

    SOURCE

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

    For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL 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)

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



    0 0
  • 06/17/17--05:32: Article 1


  • LOL.  Putin stirs the pot

    Vladimir Vladimirovich must be enjoying Russia getting so much attention these days

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Moscow would offer ousted FBI Director James Comey asylum if an investigation is launched against him for releasing details of conversations he had with President Trump.

    Comparing Comey to serial leaker Edward Snowden, Putin said it “sounds strange, when the head of special services records his talks with the commander-in-chief and passes this talk to the media. Then what is the difference between the FBI director and Mr. Snowden?”

    The Russian leader called Comey a “rights defender” and said the Kremlin has his back.

    ​”By the way if, in relation to this, a prosecution would be launched against him (Comey), we are ready to provide him with political asylum in Russia. He has to know this,” Putin said during a live televised call-in show in Moscow.

    SOURCE

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    LOL.  Trump Broke Predecessor’s Tradition of Proclaiming LGBT Pride Month

    President Trump signed five proclamations on May 31 regarding the month of June, but none of them declared it “Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month” – a tradition marked by former President Obama every year of his administration.

    President Bill Clinton was the first president to mark June in this way, proclaiming what he then called simply “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month” in 2000, his last full year in office.

    His example was not followed by President George W. Bush, who had been outspoken against legalizing same-sex marriage. Obama in 2009 reinstated what by the time he left office had become an annual tradition. In 2015, during the month, the White House was lit up in rainbow colors to celebrate the Supreme Court’s declaration that same-sex marriage is a “right.”

    SOURCE

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    Leftist hate gets physical in France too

    A top candidate for France’s right-wing Republicans, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, was left unconscious Thursday after a clash with a protestor while out campaigning for this weekend’s legislative elections in Paris.

    Kosciusko-Morizet, widely known by her initials NKM, was insulted by a man while visiting a market in central Paris and then lost her balance when he tried to throw her campaign leaflets in her face, an AFP journalist at the scene said.

    After falling, she blacked out for several minutes possibly after hitting her head, before being revived by emergency services.

    Her aggressor, a middle-aged man in a shirt and chinos, left the scene immediately.

    SOURCE

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    To Stop the Violence, Shrink the State

    The shooting yesterday of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, several aides and capitol police officers serves as a chilling reminder as to the state of American politics. We are no longer a nation of civil public discourse. We have finally seen someone take matters into their own hands and express how they feel justice and policy should be made.

    This is an act of domestic terrorism from one point of view. It is an act of patriotism from another. It is clear that we as a nation, do not agree on what it means to be patriotic.

    Disgusting but Not Surprising

    James Hodgkinson’s actions are only a real physical outburst of acts that have been mimed in the media and on college campuses across the country. Violent outbursts, such as the burning of debris and destruction of property at Berkeley College in California over an appearance of right-wing pundit, Milo Yiannopolous, Kathy Griffin’s gruesome photo depicting her beheading the President and, most recently, a version of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar which replaced Donald Trump for Caesar are all only the roots of the cause spurring someone like Mr. Hodgkinson to commit terrible acts.

    If the people who displayed this faux violence were completely alright with those displays, why should they be outraged now? My guess is that this shared sentiment of the removal of individuals you find to be in stark opposition to your viewpoints has not and will not fade from our public and private discourse anytime soon.

    As someone who is fairly vocal about their political views, I have received and have witnessed others that I know receive death threats through social media channels for expressing differing views than many members of the left. This is not uncommon in our society today. Many internet trolls or those who fancy themselves champions of left or right leaning policy and their causes use hateful and inflammatory rhetoric to make their points.

    When your entire political philosophy is built on the principles of command and control through force, why would your rhetoric be any different? Mr. Hodgkinson’s action in light of his beliefs is only a further escalation in a string of events that we have seen unfolding in this nation. Are we really surprised that is has come to this?

    There are two political ideologies at play in this country. Some who believe that command and control through socialistic and perhaps fascistic means is the only way to achieve a great society and others who believe in more limited government, empowering citizens and all that entails.

    The independent middle of this nation is rapidly evaporating. More and more people are galvanizing themselves to the farthest left or right of their worldviews and are continuously willing to take strong action to make their points heard. Battle lines are being drawn, and future conflicts in this country may not be hashed out in a television studio alone.

    An Assault on Freedom

    Patriotism is in the eye of the beholder. The majority of Americans both left and right will agree that Mr. Hodgkinson’s actions are heinous and despicable. Anyone who attacks another individual, no matter your motivation, has violated the principles of individual liberty and our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is clear. However, aren’t there many people in this country who most likely still do agree with the alleged politics and could potentially hold similar motivations to this man?

    In America, we only punish crime after the fact and motivations and actions are two separate things. But the motivations to incite violence or depict violence against members of an opposition party, that is a serious problem.

    If James Hodgkinson believed that he was taking the phrase uttered by Thomas Jefferson, ‘The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,’ as justification for his actions, what then is our recourse?

    Many people have already expressed they’d like to see the President and potentially his administration dead. They want to and have expressed that free speech will not be exercised on their campuses. Numerous stories can be found where people with strong political beliefs rail against those in opposition to them. This is not a one-sided partisan issue although the level of hate and anger on the left seems to have escalated to a fever pitch.

    Our founders put in place a government founded on the principles of individual liberty and freedom. Our Constitution and system of government enshrine individual representation. Mr. Hodgkinson’s assault on GOP leaders is an assault on the individuals who voted for these men. It is an assault on freedom. It is an assault on the way of life that those men seek to set in law for the rest of America.

    Mr. Hodgkinson’s actions were designed to strike fear and put an end to discussion. We are witnessing the same rhetoric of hate both on social media and in the mainstream media.

    We are a divided nation. The differences are becoming starker. When will we be ready to admit that we have two facets of the same religion at war, at least intellectually, and now in small parts, physically, in our nation? Both sides of the aisle who support increased governmental control in our lives are participating in state religion.

    The problem is that when you believe the state is the one necessary for making your life into the life you want, you can only see those who would stand in the way of the state’s ability to do so, as someone who is a direct threat to your way of life. Mr. Hodgkinson allegedly saw Steve Scalise and the rest of the Trump administration as that. He simply had the courage to put action to rhetoric. This is an extremely dangerous and frightening development.

    So What Do We Do?

    Only one solution exists to truly end the vitriolic nature of media confrontation and now physical confrontations of ideals. We need to limit the power that government has to influence our lives. Give power back to the people. We need to start championing individual rights, and our government should empower people to succeed outside of government interference. If you need to use force to impose your will on others, that will is inherently infringing on the rights of others.

    Once we understand this fact, we will be able to limit this type of violence in this country and around the world.

    I do not believe Mr. Hodgkinson is a patriot as I disagree with his views but I believe him to be honest in his beliefs. He was truly willing to act on his agenda and achieve his ends through force. If Mr. Scalise had perished, Mr. Hodgkinson would have removed someone who has the power to oppose his political viewpoints and impose his political will on him. This is a scary and dangerous environment.

    Anyone who is motivated to put cause above self is for that cause a patriot or, if you prefer, a zealot. Mr. Hodgkinson’s actions are no different than those of ISIS. With so many depictions and small acts of aggression against people of differing political views in this country are we truly surprised by his actions? If we are, we are naive.

    Numerous posts on social media today prove that there is little sympathy from certain individuals and groups for GOP lawmakers and staff who were injured today. With death threats against right-leaning individuals rampant, is everyone who shares the similar beliefs of Mr. Hodgkinson willing to condemn his action? I hope so. However, the political climate in this country would suggest otherwise.

    A man lost his life for his cause today. Several individuals were injured defending their cause. It’s time we decide whose side we are on and if we’re willing to use force or allow force to be used to achieve whatever political ends we follow. Perhaps it’s time we realized that the use of force to achieve political ends is inherently evil.

    SOURCE

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

    For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL 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)

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


    0 0
  • 06/18/17--05:34: Article 0


  • New Jersey Democrat Calls For “Hunting” Republicans, GOP

    After a shooter in Alexandria left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise in critical condition and wounded four other people, a longtime New Jersey Democratic political strategist responded by introducing the hashtags #HuntRepublicans and #HuntRepublicanCongressmen.

    “We are in a war with selfish, foolish & narcissistic rich people,” wrote James Devine on Twitter. “Why is it a shock when things turn violent? #HuntRepublicanCongressmen.”

    Devine has run for office, consulted for numerous New Jersey campaigns, and worked in the offices of state lawmakers. He’s also a blogger.

    In an interview with MyCentralNewJersey.com, Devine said, “If you want to invite a class war, then you have to expect people to fight back at some point.” The Democratic strategist also wrote on Facebook that he had “little sympathy” for Scalise because of his lack of support for gun control.

    SOURCE

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    Former Clinton Independent Prosecutor Shoots Down The Left’s Narrative

    Ken Starr, the former independent counsel charged with investigating President Bill Clinton, told CNN’s New Day Thursday that there is not enough evidence to bring an obstruction of justice case against President Donald Trump.

    “It’s too soon to tell. From what I’ve seen — and of course we don’t know a whole lot — the answer is no,” Starr said, when asked if one could bring reasonably bring a case against the embattled president.

    Starr’s comments come one day after the Washington Post reported that Robert Mueller, special counsel in the Russia inquiry, is investigating the president for obstruction.

    Obstruction issues emerged during a Feb. 14 meeting in the Oval Office, when the president told former FBI Director James Comey that he hoped his disgraced former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn would elude criminal prosecution.

    SOURCE

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    The Left’s incitement to violence leads to terrorism

    The Democratic National Committee announced that Resistance Summer would begin in June. James Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders volunteer, delivered by opening fire on Republicans playing baseball.

     Hodgkinson had spent the weeks before the shooting staring at the site of his future attack and working on his laptop. What was he doing on his laptop? Ranting about Trump and Republicans.

    The left-wing terrorist who opened fire on Republicans practicing for a charity baseball game, an event to which they had brought their children, didn’t come up with his own ideas. His Facebook pages were dumpsters rotting with reposted left-wing hate. There was Bill Moyers' Resistance plan along with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Maddow, Robert Reich and Noam Chomsky.

    They helped shape Hodgkinson’s conviction that Republicans had to be destroyed. Or as the title of a Facebook group that he belonged to put it, “Terminate the Republican Party.”

    James Hodgkinson did his best in a Virginia park. And he wasn’t a lone lunatic. Not by a long shot.

    After the attack, the office of Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) received an email reading “One down, 216 to go". Congressman Tom Garrett (R-Va.) needed security after receiving threats reading, "This is how we're going to kill your wife". Other threats described graphic atrocities against his daughters and even his dog.

    Congresswoman Martha McSally (R-AZ.) went to the FBI after phone messages warning, "Martha our sights are set on you, right between your **** eyes" and "Can't wait to **** pull the trigger."

    And it didn’t stop at words.

    David Kustoff (R-Tenn.) had his car nearly run off the road and was then threatened. Indivisible Team protests at Dana Rohrabacher's office (R-CA.) ended with a 71-year-old female staffer being injured by the actions of the leftist protesters.

    This campaign of harassment was eventually bound to escalate to assassination. James Hodgkinson just happened to be the first to pull the trigger. But it could have been any of a growing number of leftist activists who had become convinced that Trump was a fascist dictator and that violence was the answer.

    The “Resistance” began by invoking an unprecedented crisis that required setting aside democracy and the niceties of political discourse. It escalated quickly to street violence and then to murder.

    The media and the political personalities of the left who have been profitably feeding the crisis claim to disavow Hodgkinson’s tactic of actually shooting Republicans, but they led him to his bloody conclusion.

    What made James Hodgkinson believe that stopping the repeal of ObamaCare was a matter of life and death? Or, as he put it, “Republicans Want to Deny Most All Americans Health Care”?

    It was Bernie Sanders who claimed that “thousands of Americans would die” if Republicans repealed ObamaCare. “Families will go bankrupt. People will die,” Elizabeth Warren had tweeted.

    James Hodgkinson was a big Bernie supporter. And he was a fan of Elizabeth Warren.

    Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, in whose state the shootings happened, had claimed, “People are going to lose lives." Instead of trying to push gun control, he might have revisited his own rhetoric.

    Congressman John Lewis claimed that the repeal would kill. Congressman Ruben Gallego insisted that he didn't have to be civil to Republicans because their "policies that are going to kill people".

    It’s a short step from accusing Republicans of killing people to suspending civility to wishing them dead.

    And Democrat politicians were downright restrained compared to some of their media allies. Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald wanted to see every Congressional Republican who voted for ObamaCare have a family member perish. "It should be their loved ones who die," he ranted.

    “The goprs in congress didn’t just send out a tweet wishing for me to face my own death. They actually voted to do it. If people don’t give a damn about the consequences of what they do, they should face those consequences,” Eichenwald wrote in a statement.

    James Hodgkinson was a fan of the Rachel Maddow show. Eichenwald was an MSNBC contributor and his work had been touted by Rachel Maddow.

    Calls for violence against Republicans had become normalized.

    A few days before the attack, the Huffington Post ran a piece calling for executing Trump “and everyone assisting in his agenda”. It has since come down, but a similarly themed piece defending a “violent response” to President Trump is still up. Julius Caesar reimagined as Trump and leftist activists as his heroic assassins made headlines. “Killing Republicans” in neighboring Brooklyn did not.

    “They should be lined up and shot,” Professor John Griffin posted of Republicans over the ObamaCare repeal. Professor Lars Maischak at Frenso State proposed "the execution of two Republicans for each deported immigrant."

    And it didn’t end after the shooting.

    "If the shooter has a serious health condition then is taking potshots at the GOP house leadership considered self defense?" Malcolm Harris, a regular at the New Republic, whose work has appeared at the Washington Post and Salon, inquired.

    If Congressional Republicans are indeed killing people, why shouldn’t they be killed? Hodgkinson accepted the left’s premise and took it to its logically murderous conclusion.

    “Noam Chomsky calls the Republican Party the Most Dangerous Organization in Human History!” was one of the messages on his Facebook page.

    According to Chomsky, appearing on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, Republicans are committed “to the destruction of organized human life on Earth.” Forget health care. Republicans are actually trying to wipe out the species by denying Global Warming.

    James Hodgkinson participated in the People’s Climate March. Its theme, like Chomsky’s, was that Trump and Republicans were a threat to the entire planet.

    If that’s true, shouldn’t someone save the planet by doing something about those Republicans?

    Hodgkinson was taught by the left that all problems were reducible to Republican evil. He quoted Robert Reich, a Sanders Institute fellow, claiming that the poor economy was due to tax cuts for the rich.

    The Republicans had destroyed the economy, health care and the planet. Someone had to stop them.

    “Congressional Republicans Hate Americans & Should All be Voted Out of Office,” James Hodgkinson ranted on Facebook. But even he could see that was not going to happen.

    Congressman Scalise had won 74.6% of the vote in his last election. If he couldn’t be voted out, he could be killed. And on his Facebook page, Hodgkinson had displayed a marked hostility to him.

    And the rest you can see on cable news.

    The left has a long ugly history of priming killers and then playing innocent. James Hodgkinson, like Lee Harvey Oswald, imbibed enough of that sense of urgent crisis that instead of just continuing to attend Occupy Wall Street rallies and anti-Trump marches, instead of just donating a few dollars here and there to leftist causes and politicians, he decided to take their rhetoric seriously. There was nothing wrong with his logic. There was something deeply wrong with those whose ideas he was relying on.

    James Hodgkinson took the left’s claims at face value. If Trump is Hitler, if Republicans are fascists, if their policies will kill thousands of people, wipe out the economy and destroy the planet, then Jimmy was just a good member of the “Resistance” fighting to save all human life on earth.

    The left can’t quite decide whether its incitement should be taken at face value. Some on the left do. They’re the ones who can be seen calling for the murder of Republicans. Others profit from it, but then disavow the tactics. But for many leftists like James Hodgkinson, these fine distinctions are lost.

    They don’t understand that Bernie Sanders doesn’t really believe that Republicans will kill thousands of people. He’s just saving up for a fourth home. Elizabeth Warren is a millionaire and former Republican who figured out that being a fake class warrior pays even better than being a fake Cherokee. Robert Reich was getting paid $235,791 to teach a class on income inequality at Berkeley.

    Hodgkinson was a side effect of Bernie’s three homes, Liz’s presidential ambitions and Bob’s ambitions. The shooting of Congressman Scalise and others on that field was a side effect of the left’s quest for power. And worse still, there are those on the left who are true believers and who really do want a war.

    “Republicans are getting what they want,” Markos Moulitsas‏ of DailyKos posted.

    But it’s the left that is actually getting what it wanted. All that hate and rage couldn’t be satiated by marches and rallies. It spilled over into street violence, terroristic threats and now terrorism.

    Leftist leaders believe that they can contain the violence and channel it into protests, rallies and donations. At worst, there might be the occasional campus riot or street fight. But the Alexandria attack is a warning that the violence that the left is inciting and unleashing cannot be contained for long.

    “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It's Time to Destroy Trump & Co,” Hodgkinson ranted. Trump isn’t destroying our democracy. The leftists trying to bring him down are.

    The left has whipped up an angry mob and promised them that if they scream and shout enough, President Trump will be forced out of office. They manufactured a crisis and now it’s exploding on them. If they can’t deliver a coup, there will be more shootings like this one.

    The Democrats are sleepwalking into a civil war. They want power, but like leftists from Russia to Cuba, they haven’t seriously contemplated the price that will have to paid for their bloody utopia.

    In her “Resistance” video, former Attorney General Lynch spoke of blood, marching and dying. At Eugene Simpson Stadium Park, the 10-year-old son of Congressman Barton huddled under a bench. Congressman Wenstrup, an Iraq War veteran, struggled to provide aid to the wounded Scalise.

    That’s what Lynch’s bleeding and dying looks like. This is what the left’s Resistance really looks like. Democrats, liberals and even leftists ought to take a good look to see if that’s what they really want.

    SOURCE

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    A good rejoinder to a moron



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    For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL 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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  • 06/19/17--05:30: Article 0


  • Social class rides again

    The Left hate it but on all indices of social class, lower class people have poorer health.  The article below reinforces that.  I don't think much of their sampling but the result is in line with findings elsewhere.  They find that poorly educated people have much worse health, in particular, more heart disease.  They talk blithely of reducing that difference but clearly have not a clue about what underlies it. It is another indicator that there is a general syndrome of biological good functioning.  Some people do well on all indicators -- including IQ -- and some do not. Trying to alter that would be a Canute-type task


    Association of Educational Attainment With Lifetime Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study

    Yasuhiko Kubota et al.

    Abstract

    Importance:  Estimates of lifetime risk may help raise awareness of the extent to which educational inequalities are associated with risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

    Objective:  To estimate lifetime risks of CVD according to categories of educational attainment.

    Design, Setting, and Participants:  Participants were followed from 1987 through December 31, 2013. All CVD events (coronary heart disease, heart failure, and stroke) were confirmed by physician review and International Classification of Diseases codes. A total of 13 948 whites and African Americans who were 45 to 64 years old and free of CVD at baseline were included from 4 US communities (Washington County, Maryland; Forsyth County, North Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; and suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota). The data analysis was performed from June 7 to August 31, 2016.

    Exposures:  Educational attainment.

    Main Outcomes and Measures:  We used a life table approach to estimate lifetime risks of CVD from age 45 through 85 years according to educational attainment. We adjusted for competing risks of death from underlying causes other than CVD.

    Results:  The sample of 13 948 participants was 56% female and 27% African American. During 269 210 person-years of follow-up, we documented 4512 CVD events and 2401 non-CVD deaths. Educational attainment displayed an inverse dose-response relation with cumulative risk of CVD, which became evident in middle age, with the most striking gap between those not completing vs completing high school. In men, lifetime risks of CVD were 59.0% (95% CI, 54.0%-64.1%) for grade school, 52.5% (95% CI, 47.7%-56.8%) for high school education without graduation, 50.9% (95% CI, 47.3%-53.9%) for high school graduation, 47.2% (95% CI, 41.5%-52.5%) for vocational school, 46.4% (95% CI, 42.8%-49.6%) for college with or without graduation, and 42.2% (95% CI, 36.6%-47.0%) for graduate/professional school; in women, 50.8% (95% CI, 45.7%-55.8%), 49.3% (95% CI, 45.1%-53.1%), 36.3% (95% CI, 33.4%-39.1%), 32.2% (95% CI, 26.0%-37.3%), 32.8% (95% CI, 29.1%-35.9%), and 28.0% (95% CI, 21.9%-33.3%), respectively. Educational attainment was inversely associated with CVD even within categories of family income, income change, occupation, or parental educational level.

    Conclusions and Relevance:  More than 1 in 2 individuals with less than high school education had a lifetime CVD event. Educational attainment was inversely associated with the lifetime risk of CVD, regardless of other important socioeconomic characteristics. Our findings emphasize the need for further efforts to reduce CVD inequalities related to educational disparities.

    JAMA Intern Med. Published online June 12, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.1877

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    Leftist Extremism Is Mainstream Leftism

    Just in case you think the political left has become more rational or less extreme, I refer you to the following examples demonstrating otherwise.

    Some will say these are extreme cases, not representative of mainstream leftist (excuse the oxymoron) thought and practice, but we see such examples all the time — not to mention that this type of thinking is mainstreamed in the liberal media and academia. Others will dispute that these are examples of wrongheaded thinking, which will prove that I'm not overstating my case.

    Item: In her high-school graduation speech in Pennsylvania, Moriah Bridges was prohibited from praying blessings on her class; she was barred from thanking her "Heavenly Father" and her "Lord." The school's principal, at the direction of the school district, said her prepared remarks would have been unconstitutional. Folks, the courts have stretched the federal and state establishment clauses to absurd lengths to say that almost any expression of Christianity at a government-supported entity is prohibited. How can anyone reasonably argue that to allow a student to voluntarily offer a public prayer constitutes government support of Christianity? Does anyone ever consider the First Amendment's free exercise clause, which precedes the establishment clause? Both clauses are designed to promote, not suppress, religious liberty, yet this school district's Christian-hostile action in fact suppressed Bridges' religious liberty in the name of protecting that very freedom.

    Item: Along the same lines, Bremerton High School football coach Joe Kennedy was fired for refusing to comply with the Washington state school's order that he quit praying silently on the field because it was an impermissible public display of religion by a public school employee. Such prayer, according to the school, could be interpreted as the school district's endorsement of religion. See what I mean? Kennedy is challenging this in court.

    Item: Vero Beach High School student J.P. Krause was initially disqualified from winning his election as class president because he used tongue-in-cheek campaign slogans mirroring President Trump's campaign rhetoric on the proposed border wall. Krause's frivolous suggestion that they build a wall between their school and a rival school and make the other school pay for it was deemed insulting and harassment under the school district's rules, according to the school's principal. This is so self-evidently absurd as to obviate further comment. Only after public outcry did the Florida school's superintendent reverse the principal's decision.

    Item: You know how same-sex marriage advocates tell us that they just want equal rights — that they just want everyone to live and let live? Transgender activist blogger Tiffany Berruti stated that if a person isn't attracted to transgender people, he or she is "deeply transphobic." So it is transphobic to ask or demand that a transgender person identify himself, herself or themselves as being transgender? There are just no words. If you think there are, then you may be making my case for me.

    Item: Evergreen State College established a "Day of Absence" event, in which white community members were urged to leave campus for a day, as reported by Fox News' Tucker Carlson. Professor Bret Weinstein questioned the idea and was confronted by some 50 students, who demanded he resign, and some members of the Evergreen community mocked or maligned him. Weinstein held a class off campus because university police informed him it was not safe for him to be on campus. "They imagine that I am a racist and that I am teaching racism in the classroom," said Weinstein. "And that has caused them to imagine that I have no right to speak and that I am harming students by the very act of teaching them." Do people not understand that setting aside a day to discourage whites from campus promotes racism — encouraging people to see people stereotypically, as members of a race, rather than as individuals? And if some acts of racism did occur on this campus, isn't it racist to punish an entire group (white people) based on the behavior of a few? This is stunningly absurd.

    Item: A LendEDU poll of 1,659 U.S. college students shows that 36 percent of them think "safe spaces" are "absolutely necessary" on campus, while only 37 percent disagree. Safe spaces are places adults can go where no one will hurt their feelings. For example, female student government officers at Barnard College sponsored a safe space event offering hot chocolate and "feminist coloring pages" when Donald Trump was elected president. Again, I'll not insult your intelligence by assuming you need me to comment on this lunacy.

    Item: Liberals, from Congress to "The View," cried that President Trump's calling members of the Islamic State group "losers" was irresponsible and could lead to terrorist recruitment and further terrorist attacks. These people would prefer that we use gentle language to describe their heinous murders because we don't want to offend and incite other people. You know, otherwise civil people could be so outraged that they might turn into murderous losers themselves. Who thinks like this? Well, a frightening number of people on the left, that's who. And if you don't believe that, then you're simply not paying attention.

    As you very well know, I could go on and on. But deniers would still say I'm generalizing. Others need hot chocolate and coloring pages. Still others would defend the examples. And that should speak for itself.

    SOURCE

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    A deceptive journalist gets caught red handed

    They are so used to lying that they just assume they will get away with it

    Alex Jones leaked the audio of a phone conversation Thursday night revealing Megyn Kelly promising him a fair, non-“gotcha” interview as she invited him to appear on her new NBC News program.

    “I don’t double cross,” Kelly tells Jones, repeatedly assuring him that her interview would not dwell on “conspiracy theories” or familiar left-wing attacks against the independent broadcast host. Rather, Kelly says that the focus of the news profile would be to humanize Jones and explore his personal life.

    Jones himself appears in the video, revealing the private phone conversation on his website InfoWars in advance of Kelly’s Sunday broadcast. He annotates the audio clips with his own commentary, NBC’s preview snippet of the now-filmed interview, and news clips about the ensuing uproar — where a besieged Kelly has denounced Jones’ coverage of the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting as “revolting.”

    The video puts Kelly in a precarious position. As her fledgling weekend news magazine show fights for viability, left-wing agitators have attacked her for interviewing Jones. A boycott sprang up before the broadcast ever aired, pressuring sponsors and reportedly convincing major brands to pull their advertisements. In response, she gave a statement contradicting nearly everything she promised in this phone call.

    “The very question that prompted this interview,” she claimed, is: “How does Jones, who traffics in these outrageous conspiracy theories, have the respect of the president of the United States and a growing audience of millions?” However, Jones has revealed, her pitch was the exact opposite: “I promise you that’s not what this will be [a hit piece],” she says. “It really will be about, who is this guy?” Later on, she expresses her hope that some liberal viewers would come out of the segment saying, “I see the guy who loves those kids and who is more complex than I’ve been led to believe.”

    So, which statement is true? That conclusion is not as easy as one would assume. Kelly now finds herself in the unenviable position of appeasing corporate sponsors spooked by left-wing outrage while also trying to establish herself as a trustworthy interviewer.

    She has nothing to lose if Alex Jones feels betrayed and never talks to her again, but she does express fear during their conversation that if he calls her out for a “hit piece,” she will have trouble getting any more controversial, ratings-draw subjects to appear on her show. And, based on the preview clips, Kelly will have to square that broken promise with this fervent declaration about her character:

        "All I can do is give you my word and tell you — if there’s one thing about me, I do what I say I’m gonna do. And I — I don’t double cross, so I promise you when it’s over you’ll say, “Absolutely. She did what she said she was gonna do.”

    Jones states that he has only released “a few clips” of his full phone conversation with Kelly and that InfoWars taped the entire NBC interview “so that we can document post-mortem how she edited, how she manipulated.” He concludes: “It shows the arrogance of Megyn Kelly that she didn’t think we’d record her to document what she really said and did.”

    SOURCE

    The interview has now been aired

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    For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL 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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  • 06/20/17--05:30: Article 0

  • LePage's Welfare Reform: Good for Maine, a Model for the Nation

    After six years of tackling tough welfare problems, Maine's governor, Paul LePage, recently introduced a bill to further overhaul taxpayer-funded benefits programs. The Welfare Reform for Increased Security and Employment (RISE) Act would reinvent Maine's welfare system to put work first, protect benefits for the truly needy, and make welfare a temporary hand up, not a lifetime handout.

    LePage is no stranger to poverty himself. One of 18 children, LePage fled home at eleven to escape an abusive father. He spent time living on the streets and in cars, working odd jobs, and learning English as a second language. LePage's rise from the streets to the Blaine House taught him broad lessons that he has applied to Maine's welfare programs.

    Governor LePage learned firsthand that the way out of poverty is not government welfare but personal responsibility, employment, and community support.

    Applying these lessons learned, LePage has transformed Maine into a national leader tackling the welfare-dependency crisis. In 2011, one out of three Mainers was on welfare, and Maine was leading the way in many measures of dependency; it ranked in the top six for percentage of the population on food stamps, cash welfare, and Medicaid enrollment.

    Governor LePage and his health and human services commissioner, Mary Mayhew, implemented time limits, work requirements, and anti-fraud programs that have already moved tens of thousands of Mainers from welfare back into the work force, helping businesses grow.

    Nearly 250,000 Mainers (out of a total population of about 1.3 million) were dependent on food stamps when LePage assumed office in 2011. By 2016, that number had dropped to 180,000. While other states are crashing headlong into budget crises caused by Medicaid expansion, Maine has transitioned more than 80,000 people out of Medicaid, refocusing the program on the truly needy - all while the uninsured rate has declined. Maine now has $1 billion in the bank and a 40-year low in unemployment.

    Now LePage wants to make sure that this trend continues for generations to come. The RISE Act focuses on work and individual responsibility - the key to moving people out of poverty and onto a more secure path. When LePage required able-bodied adults on food stamps to work, train, or volunteer, their average income more than doubled in just one year. That higher income more than offset the food stamps they lost, leaving them better off. Employment increased, incomes rose, and poverty declined. The research is clear: Jobs do a much better job of putting food on the table than an EBT card does. The RISE Act, if passed, will make sure that this work requirement continues in Maine.

    The bill would also ensure that needy children receive financial support from their parents. Under the plan, parents with child-support obligations will be required to meet those obligationsbefore they are eligible to receive welfare. This is based on the sound principle that you should fulfill your obligation to your children before asking the taxpayers to step in and help you. Parents who refused to cooperate with child-support services would be banned or suspended from food-assistance programs.

    The RISE Act also aims to ensure - for instance, by accurately counting the incomes and resources of those applying for welfare - that benefits go to those who are truly in need. This way, residents with significant financial assets - including lottery winnings - won't be allowed to drain resources from the most vulnerable.

    For cash welfare, the RISE Act shortens the lifetime limit from 60 months to 36 months, joining 17 other states with time limits between 12 and 36 months. This will restore the temporary program's fundamental purpose: to help vault a person into employment as soon as possible, not give cash with no deadlines or time limits.

    Other major reforms in the RISE Act include increasing welfare-spending transparency, requiring that welfare funds for college tuition go toward useful degree programs with high job outlooks, closing a loophole that provides more generous welfare benefits to noncitizens than to citizens, and immediately disqualifying people who steal welfare funds.

    The RISE Act continues LePage's successful efforts to reduce dependency in Maine. Let's hope the nation takes notice and follows his lead.

    SOURCE

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    A Lesson from China on Poverty Reduction and Inequality

    I've written (many, many times) about how the best way to help the poor is to focus on economic growth rather than inequality.

    After all, in a genuine market economy (as opposed to socialism, cronyism, or some other form of statism), the poor aren't poor because some people are rich.

    Today, let's look at a real-world example of why it is a mistake to focus on inequality.

    A study by five Chinese scholars looked at income inequality over time in their country. Their research, published in 2010, focused mostly on the methodological challenges of obtaining good long-run data and understanding the impact of urban and rural populations. But one clear conclusion is that inequality has increased in China.

        This paper investigates the influences of the income overlap part on the nationwide Gini coefficient. Then we present a new approach to estimating the Chinese Gini ratio from 1978 to 2006, which avoids the shortcomings of current data sources. In line with the results, the authors further probe the trend of Chinese income disparity. .income inequality has been rising in China. .the national Gini ratio of 2006 is 1.52 times more than that of 1978.

    Here's a chart based on their data (combined with post-2006 data from Statista). It looks at historical trends for the Gini coefficient (a value of "1" is absolute inequality, with one person accumulating all the income in a society, whereas a value of "0" is absolute equality, with everyone having the same level of income.

    As you can see, there's been a significant increase in inequality.

    My leftist friends are conditioned to think this is a terrible outcome, in large part because they incorrectly think the economy is a fixed pie.

    And when you have that distorted view, higher absolute incomes for the rich necessarily imply lower absolute incomes for the poor.

    My response (beyond pointing out that the economy is not a fixed pie), is to argue that the goal should be economic growth and poverty reduction. I don't care if Bill Gates is getting richer at a faster rate than a poor person. I just want a society where everyone has the chance to climb the economic ladder.

    And I also point out that it's hard to design pro-growth policies that won't produce more income for rich people. Yes, there are some reforms (licensing liberalization, cutting agriculture subsidies, reducing protectionism, shutting the Ex-Im Bank, reforming Social Security, ending bailouts) that will probably be disproportionately beneficial for those with low incomes, but those policies also will produce growth that will help upper-income people.*

    But I'm digressing. The main goal of today's column is to look at the inequality data from above and then add the following data on poverty reduction.

    Here's a chart I shared back in March. As you can see, there's been a very impressive reduction in the number of people suffering severe deprivation in rural China (where incomes historically have been lowest).

    Consider, now, both charts together.

    The bottom line is that economic liberalization resulted in much faster growth. And because some people got richer at a faster rate than others got richer, that led to both an increase in inequality and a dramatic reduction in poverty.

    Therefore, what happened in China creates a type of Rorschach test for folks on the left.

        A well-meaning leftist will look at all this data and say, "I wish somehow everyone got richer at the same rate, but market-based reforms in China are wonderful because so many people escaped poverty."

        A spiteful leftist will look at all this data and say, "Because upper-income people benefited even more than low-income people, market-based reforms in China were a failure and should be reversed."

    Needless to say, the spiteful leftists are the ones who hate the rich more than they love the poor (here are some wise words from Margaret Thatcher on such people).

    *To the extent that some upper-income taxpayers obtain unearned income via government intervention, then they may lose out from economic liberalization. Ethical rich people, however, will earn more income if there are pro-growth reforms.

    SOURCE

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    Mark Steyn: `The Left Wants To Denormalize And Dehumanize Its Political Opposition'

    Conservative author Mark Steyn tied Wednesday's attempted assassinations of Republican congressmen to the preference of many on the left to "dehumanize" their political opponents, instead of engaging in honest debate with them.

    "The left wants to denormalize and dehumanize, to use your words, its political opposition," Steyn told Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson on Fox News Wednesday night. "They do that in a variety of ways. For example, when Charles Murray wants to give a speech at Middlebury College, they have to have a riot. They don't have a debate in which they demolish his arguments. They don't want to win the debate. They want to prevent the debate from taking place."

    "They want to label somebody a hater. If you happen to think that Obamacare is not the best public policy, it is because you want grannies and urchins to die. Once you do that, you're basically saying, there is no form of civilized political discourse possible with your opponent and the logic of that is that instead to you riot and you beat them up, as they do at Middlebury. You poison them, as happened to Robert Spencer, who is well-known to this network, when he gave a speech in Iceland recently, or you open fire on them. You make politics impossible if you do that," Steyn said.

    "There's a religious quality to the way they approach politics," Carlson agreed. "Do you notice that?"

    "Yes, I think so," said Steyn. "If you have people like the Southern Poverty Law [Center], which has become fabulously wealthy by labeling everyone they disagree with as a hate group, if you keep calling everybody a hater, and in fact, if your organization calls people haters, you are the hater. I would like to disagree with the tone of what we have heard today, including in the last hour for Martha MacCallum and Brit Hume, when they were talking about unity and will this unity last?"

    "Obviously, the unity won't last because ultimately, Rand Paul has very little that unites him with Bernie Sanders. We don't actually need unity. We need robust, civilized disunity - people honestly recognizing that they disagree with each other on health care, on immigration, on Islam, on transgender bathrooms, and a bazillion other things, but that doesn't make the other person a hater. Simply put, the left has to be willing to actually engage in debate with people that disagree with them."

    SOURCE

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    For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL 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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    0 0
  • 06/21/17--05:33: Article 0

  • Trump Is Allowing Deportation For Obama's DAPA  People

    The Trump administration has fulfilled another one of Donald Trump’s campaign promises by rescinding the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program implemented under Barack Obama that could have allowed as many as five million illegal aliens with children who are citizens or lawful permanent residents to remain in the country if they met certain criteria.

    DAPA was blocked by the courts from implementation, which the Department of Homeland Security cited as a reason for rescinding the program. A DHS press released said Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly signed a memorandum rescinding DAPA on Thursday because “there is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy.”

    The program had been challenged by 26 states after Obama issued it in November 2014. The Supreme Court deadlocked when ruling on the constitutionality of the program in June 2016, splitting the vote 4-4 due to the empty seat at the time left by late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

    SOURCE

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    AG Jeff Sessions takes on MS-13 in Long Island… and is winning

    The know-it-alls and the mainstream media in Washington (if there’s a difference anymore) may want to tear down U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions right now, but they may have to answer first to the people of Long island — at least, the law-abiding ones.

    In just the past 30 days, federal officials have arrested nearly 40 members of the much-feared MS-13 gang that has been plaguing the New York metropolitan area, particularly the Long Island suburbs. The arrests are a result of a newly formed task force,  “Operation Matador,” launched shortly after an appearance in Long Island by Sessions to address MS-13s growing presence in the area.

    “The MS-13 mantra is kill, rape and control, and so that should tell us enough about the kind of groups we confront,” Sessions said during his April visit. “Our motto is justice for victims and consequences for criminals.”

    “We are targeting you. We are coming after you,” he warned the vicious El Salvadoran gang.  Sessions’ tough message was reinforced by President Trump during a May 15 ceremony at the U.S. Capitol honoring fallen officers:  “MS-13 is going to be gone from our streets very soon, believe me.”

    Apparently, the President and his Attorney General are men of their word.

    MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha) is a transnational criminal gang that sprung up in Los Angeles in the 1980s and spread throughout North America, Mexico, and Central America. Their members, predominantly Salvadoran by nationality, self-identify with tattoos covering their bodies and faces.

    Once isolated to the streets of inner-city neighborhoods, the spread of gang violence – by killers like MS-13 — is rapidly spreading horror throughout immigrant communities in America’s suburbs, like Suffolk County, NY.

    This is not West Side Story’s Sharks and the Jets singing, dancing, and rumbling throughout the streets of New York.  In April, the bodies of four men between the ages of 16 to 20 were found inside Central Islip’s Recreation Village Town Park, just several hundred feet south of the soccer fields.  The men, who were brutally beaten and stabbed to death, are believed to be victims of MS-13.

    Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels said of the gang: “MS-13 is unlike any street gang that we have dealt with before. They are organized and behave like a paramilitary organization. And the violence is incredibly brutal.”

    No one knows that better than Robert Mickens and Elizabeth Alverado, whose 15-year old daughter Nisa was beaten by baseball bats and hacked to death with a machete after a social media disagreement with MS-13 members. Nisa’s best friend, 16-year old Kayla Cuevas, was also killed after being chased down by the gang members. Ten illegal immigrant members of the MS-13, including one person who was previously deported, were indicted as part of the wave that cost Nisa and Kayla their lives.

    “They’re evil. They’re coming over the border, then coming back after they get kicked out,” said Alverado of her daughter’s murderers.  “Things should change. It shouldn’t take my daughter’s death.” Mickens, her husband, said he “welcomed” Sessions’s April visit to Long Island and called out Assemblyman Phil Ramos for telling Sessions to “stay in Washington” unless he planned on bringing “resources for local nonprofits” during his visit.  Mickens and Alverado both met with Sessions during his visit.

    Not everyone greeted the Attorney General’s visit and his get tough on violent gangs policy with open arms. According to news reports, a crowd of more than 50 anti-Trump protestors attended Sessions’ April visit bearing signs that read “Build bridges, not walls” and “Immigrants & refugees are welcome. Sessions? NOPE.”

    Unless they were members of MS-13, those knuckleheads should be the first ones to apologize to the Attorney General and thank him for cleaning up the streets of Long Island.  Apologies should also be forthcoming from the rest of the “Hate America First” crowd and their megaphones in the mainstream media.

    Since being appointed by President Trump to head up the Justice Department, Jeff Sessions has been savagely and universally pilloried by the anti-Trump crowd.  A reasonable observer might think that somewhere amidst the barrage of attacks on Sessions, the Washington media might pay him at least one compliment for rounding up a murderous transnational gang, like the MS-13.

    Don’t hold your breath.

    Instead, suggest to the Washington media scribes that they take a Greyhound to Long Island where they can personally ask Robert Mickens, Elizabeth Alverado, and the parents of other victims of MS-13 what they think of Jeff Sessions.

    SOURCE

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    Study supports Trump: 5.7 million noncitizens may have cast illegal votes

    A research group in New Jersey has taken a fresh look at postelection polling data and concluded that the number of noncitizens voting illegally in U.S. elections is likely far greater than previous estimates.

    As many as 5.7 million noncitizens may have voted in the 2008 election, which put Barack Obama in the White House.

    The research organization Just Facts, a widely cited, independent think tank led by self-described conservatives and libertarians, revealed its number-crunching in a report on national immigration.

    Just Facts President James D. Agresti and his team looked at data from an extensive Harvard/YouGov study that every two years questions a sample size of tens of thousands of voters. Some acknowledge they are noncitizens and are thus ineligible to vote.

    Just Facts’ conclusions confront both sides in the illegal voting debate: those who say it happens a lot and those who say the problem nonexistent.

    In one camp, there are groundbreaking studies by professors at Old Dominion University in Virginia who attempted to compile scientifically derived illegal voting numbers using the Harvard data, called the Cooperative Congressional Election Study.

    On the other side are the professors who conducted the study and contended that “zero” noncitizens of about 18 million adults in the U.S. voted. The liberal mainstream media adopted this position and proclaimed the Old Dominion work was “debunked.”

    The ODU professors, who stand by their work in the face of attacks from the left, concluded that in 2008 as few as 38,000 and as many as 2.8 million noncitizens voted.

    Mr. Agresti’s analysis of the same polling data settled on much higher numbers. He estimated that as many as 7.9 million noncitizens were illegally registered that year and 594,000 to 5.7 million voted.

    These numbers are more in line with the unverified estimates given by President Trump, who said the number of ballots cast by noncitizens was the reason he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.

    Last month, the president signed an executive order setting up a commission to try to find on-the-ground truth in illegal voting. Headed by Vice President Mike Pence, the panel also will look at outdated voter lists across the nation with names of dead people and multiple registrants.

    For 2012, Just Facts said, 3.2 million to 5.6 million noncitizens were registered to vote and 1.2 million to 3.6 million of them voted.

    Mr. Agresti lays out his reasoning in a series of complicated calculations, which he compares to U.S. Census Bureau figures for noncitizen residents. Polls show noncitizens vote overwhelmingly Democratic.

    “The details are technical, but the figure I calculated is based on a more conservative margin of sampling error and a methodology that I consider to be more accurate,” Mr. Agresti told The Washington Times.

    He believes the Harvard/YouGov researchers based their “zero” claim on two flawed assumptions. First, they assumed that people who said they voted and identified a candidate did not vote unless their names showed up in a database.

    “This is illogical, because such databases are unlikely to verify voters who use fraudulent identities, and millions of noncitizens use them,” Mr. Agresti said.

    He cites government audits that show large numbers of noncitizens use false IDs and Social Security numbers in order to function in the U.S., which could include voting.

    Second, Harvard assumed that respondent citizens sometimes misidentified themselves as noncitizens but also concluded that noncitizens never misidentified themselves as citizens, Mr. Agresti said.

    “This is irrational, because illegal immigrants often claim they are citizens in order to conceal the fact that they are in the U.S. illegally,” he said.

    Some of the polled noncitizens denied they were registered to vote when publicly available databases show that they were, he said.

    This conclusion, he said, is backed by the Harvard/YouGov study’s findings of consumer and vote data matches for 90 percent of participants but only 41 percent of noncitizen respondents.

    As to why his numbers are higher than the besieged ODU professors’ study, Mr. Agresti said: “I calculated the margin of sampling error in a more cautious way to ensure greater confidence in the results, and I used a slightly different methodology that I think is more accurate.”

    There is hard evidence outside of polling that noncitizens do vote. Conservative activists have conducted limited investigations in Maryland and Virginia that found thousands of aliens were registered.

    These inquiries, such as comparing noncitizen jury pool rejections to voter rolls, captured just a snapshot. But conservatives say they show there is a much broader problem that a comprehensive probe by the Pence commission could uncover.

    The Public Interest Legal Foundation, which fights voter fraud, released one of its most comprehensive reports last month.

    Its investigation found that Virginia removed more than 5,500 noncitizens from voter lists, including 1,852 people who had cast more than 7,000 ballots. The people volunteered their status, most likely when acquiring driver’s licenses. The Public Interest Legal Foundation said there are likely many more illegal voters on Virginia’s rolls who have never admitted to being noncitizens.

    SOURCE

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    For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL 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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    0 0
  • 06/22/17--05:30: Article 0

  • Georgia:  A win for Putin?

    A good comment below from "winter soldier", John Jay -- despite his shortage of capital letters. Democrat Ossoff, who collected most of his funding from rich liberals in California and Massachusetts, outspent Republican Handel 7-1 — and still couldn't pull it off.  Something John Jay does not mention is that YouTube blocked the Republican election videos towards the end of the campaign.  So the Left really did pull out all stops.

    The GOP vote was in fact well down on the last election so the win is not a huge thing in itself. What is huge is that the Donks sold the election as a judgment on Trump


    in a special election in the 6th congressional district in georgia a republican candidate for the house of representatives has defeated a candidate hand picked by the democratic party.   and, the demos pulled out all the stops, bringing in outsiders to campaign for their man, to include political and hollywood notables.

    the republican candidate won, rather decisively in an election the talking heads said would be closer.   how about that?

    but, it is obvious to even the most casual observer that russia influenced the outcome of the election by a massive inflow of illegal money, and also helped to rig all the voting machines and bribe all of the election officials.    well, these matters are obvious to all who are democrats, and who voice their opinions shrilly and repetitively on facebook and the other social media.

    and, in a classic vignette, the cnn anchors did a reprise of their election night performance of november 2016, pulling long said somber faces again reflecting disbelief that the american voters could not realize that they had been duped yet again by the gop and their russian masters.   putin gloats, no doubt.



    SOURCE

    The Boston Globe agrees:

    "There is no other way to say it: Tuesday night was a disaster for the national Democratic Party. No one is buying any spin, writes political reporter James Pindell.

    The contest for Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s old Congressional seat in Georgia was the race to watch, and progressives dumped their wallets into funding it.

    With Republican Karen Handel winning on Tuesday night, however, it’s clear that Democrats still have major problems on their hands."

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    'Resisting' Democracy and Decency

    The disturbing reality is that a once classically liberal Democrat Party has been hijacked by the radical Left.  

    “Liberals protest; radicals rebel. Liberals become indignant; radicals become fighting mad and go into action. Liberals do not modify their personal lives and what they give to a cause is a small part of their lives; radicals give themselves to the cause. Liberals give and take oral arguments; radicals give and take the hard, dirty, bitter way of life.” —from Saul Alinsky’s “Reveille for Radicals,” published in 1946

    Perhaps nothing has contributed to the toxic nature of today’s political climate more than the disturbing reality that a once classically liberal Democrat Party has been hijacked by the radical Left. This is not the party of John F. Kennedy, Tip O'Neill or former DNC chair Henry “Scoop” Jackson, who simultaneously supported liberal causes while remaining staunchly anti-Communist. Today’s DNC chair is Thomas Perez, whose contribution to “thoughtful” debate is to assert that Republicans “don’t give a s—t about people,” and declare that Donald Trump “didn’t win the election.”

    But Donald Trump did win the election, despite the recounts, the death threats and petitions aimed at getting Electoral College voters to subvert the will of the people, and the felonious Inauguration Day riots, courtesy of leftist thugs who smashed property and threw rocks at police.

    And ever since, a Democrat Party, aided and abetted by a corrupt phalanx of leftist radicals in media, academia, Hollywood and vast swaths of the unelected federal bureaucracy, has made it clear Donald Trump must not be merely challenged or discredited.

    He must first be demonized and then impeached — by any means necessary.

    Hence, a severed presidential head is presented as comedy. A Shakespeare play featuring an orange-haired Caesar murdered by political rivals is presented as drama. A CNN host of a religious show tweets that Trump is a “piece of s—t” who is “a stain on the presidency,” and Huffington Post columnist Jason Fuller writes that everyone assisting Trump’s agenda must be convicted of treason — and executed. “Anything less than capital punishment  —  or at least life imprisonment without parole in a maximum security detention facility  —  would send yet another message to the world that America has lost its moral compass,” Fuller spews.

    America hasn’t lost its moral compass. Democrats have urged their followers to trample on it. Last Wednesday, Bernie Sanders supporter and dedicated Trump-hater James T. Hodgkinson attempted to massacre Republican Congressmen, critically wounding Steve Scalise before being shot dead by two Capitol Police officers.

    Sanders was “sickened by this despicable act” and insisted that violence “is unacceptable in our society” — now. Yet the same Bernie Sanders told Rachel Maddow in March that “seeing members of Congress, Republicans, having to sneak out the back door or claim I’m worried about my safety, I can’t even hold a town meeting” is “our goal.”

    Blaming Democrats or the greater left for the motives of Hodgkinson, regardless of his politics, or his list of Republican targets, is the stuff of fools or agitators. Yet it is hard to ignore the reality that Democrat politicians have supported groups such as Occupy Wall Street, and Black Lives Matter, whose violent tactics have been propagandized as a fight for “social justice.” They are virtually silent about, or tacitly supportive, of masked “antifa” (anti-fascist — irony alert) thugs who commit violence to oppress “hate” speech. And in May, Hillary Clinton announced her intention to fund groups supporting the “Resistance™” movement.

    The Resistance™ movement highlights the divide between classic Democrat liberalism and the Party’s current allegiance to radicalism. The Nation’s Natasha Lennard illuminates why the former no longer satisfies the radicals. “Liberals cling to institutions: They begged to no avail for faithless electors, they see ‘evisceration’ in a friendly late-night talk-show debate, they put faith in investigations and justice with regards to Russian interference and business conflicts of interest,” she writes. “They grasp at hypotheticals about who could have won, were things not as they in fact are. For political subjects so tied to the mythos of Reason, it is liberals who now seem deranged.”

    In short, faith in the Constitution and the Rule of Law is deranged. What’s not? According to Lennard, "disruption, confrontation, doxxing [publishing personal information online] and altercation remain tactics anyone taking seriously a refusal to normalize Trump-era fascism should consider.“

    No one has led the effort to de-normalize Donald Trump more than Democrats and their media allies. Absent a shred of proof, Americans have been fed a steady diet of media leaks regarding collusion between Trump and the Russians, while former FBI Director James Comey, who testified that investigation began almost a year ago, refused as late as May to confirm whether the FBI had even begun investigating the only known felonies perpetrated by that leaking.

    And media leaking about the Russian investigation has now morphed seamlessly into leaks of the investigation being conducted by Robert Mueller, and the revelation that the investigation into "Russian meddling” has now morphed into an investigation of Trump’s “obstruction of justice.”

    Loretta Lynch’s efforts to obstruct justice as outlined by Comey himself? Mueller’s conflict of interest with regard to his long friendship with Comey, in clear violation of a special counsel statute? His hiring of at least a dozen attorneys, including four who contributed several thousands of dollars to the Democrat Party, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and one who once represented the Clinton Foundation?

    The media portray Muller as a paragon of integrity, and Democrats threaten that any attempts to remove him will precipitate impeachment proceedings. The same impeachment theme Democrats have reiterated ad nauseam since the inauguration.

    The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan takes on the media and their unstinting efforts in making “the whole political scene lower, grubbier,” and “showing the young what otherwise estimable adults do under pressure, which is lose their equilibrium.”

    The result? “By indulging their and their audience’s rage, they spread the rage,” Noonan adds.

    The Democrat Party? Dedicated leftist Camille Paglia excoriates their reaction to Trump’s election as “one of the most disgraceful episodes in the history of the modern Democratic party,” and describes Party leader Chuck Schumer as someone who “asserted absolutely no moral authority as the party spun out of control in a nationwide orgy of rage and spite.”

    Not quite. Rage and spite are integral parts of the Democrat Party platform. Promoting victimization, and the tribalism it inevitably produces, is now its stock in trade, based on an adage as timely as it’s ever been:

    The right believes the left is wrong; the left believes the right is evil.

    Thus, a party once known for classic liberalism’s “give and take,” now embraces the radicals’ “hard, dirty, bitter way of life.” It is the party that champions the political correctness Paglia refers to as “repressively Stalinist, dependent on a labyrinthine, parasitic bureaucracy to enforce its empty dictates.”

    What dictates? “Well-nigh the entire ruling class — government bureaucracies, the judiciary, academia, media, associated client groups, Democratic officials, and Democrat-controlled jurisdictions — have joined in ‘Resistance’ to the 2016 elections,” writes Angelo Codevilla, who further characterizes that Resistance™ as “a cold civil war against a majority of the American people and their way of life.”

    Will Democrats and their allies turn a cold war hot?

    SOURCE

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    American Leftists can be just as callous as Joe Stalin

    After declaring that “this so funny” to watch Republicans “crying on live tv” about the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) Wednesday, a Nebraska Democratic Party (NDP) official refused NDP’s request she resign.

    Chelsey Gentry-Tipton of Omaha, NE used Facebook to express her amusement at Republican’s grief after Scalise was shot – then posted that she was “having a hard time feeling bad for them,” the Omaha World-Herald reports:

    “The Nebraska party’s leadership asked Gentry-Tipton to step down Wednesday, several hours after she wrote, in a Facebook thread about the shooting at in Alexandria, Virginia, ‘Watching the congressman crying on live tv abt the trauma they experienced. Y is this so funny tho?”
    “Later, in the same thread, she stated, ‘The very people that push pro NRA legislation in efforts to pad their pockets with complete disregard for human life. Yeah, having a hard time feeling bad for them.’”

    Nebraska Democrats’ Chairwoman Jane Kleeb called the incident an internal matter and would not comment, except to say that her official’s insensitive remarks are “wrong”:

    “Anyone who commits violence against anyone is wrong,” Kleeb said Thursday. “Anyone who makes insensitive comments about gun violence is wrong. For me that’s the end of the story.”
    "Republicans and Democrats should be able to go to a baseball practice and not be shot at," Kleeb told WENY News.

    A blog, Leavenworth St, called attention to the controversial post on Wednesday and asked Nebraska Democrats to respond to it:

    SOURCE

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

    For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL 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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    0 0
  • 06/24/17--05:32: Article 1

  • The Left Has One More Argument: Kill Them!

    Ann Coulter

    After a Bernie Sanders supporter tried to commit mass murder last week — the second homicidal Bernie supporter so far this year — the media blamed President Trump for lowering the bar on heated political rhetoric by calling his campaign opponents cruel names like “Crooked Hillary” and “Lyin’ Ted.”

    As soon as any conservative responds to Trump’s belittling names for his rivals by erupting in murderous rage, that will be a fantastically good point. But until then, it’s idiotic. Unlike liberals, conservatives aren’t easily incited to violence.

    What we’re seeing is the following: Prominent liberals repeatedly tell us, with deadly seriousness, that Trump and his supporters are: “Hitler,” “fascists,” “bigots,” “haters,” “racists,” “terrorists,” “criminals” and “white supremacists,” which is then followed by liberals physically attacking conservatives.

    To talk about “both sides” being guilty of provocative rhetoric is like talking about “both genders” being guilty of rape.

    Nearly every op-ed writer at The New York Times has compared Trump to Hitler. (The conservative on the op-ed page merely called him a “proto-fascist.”) If Trump is Hitler and his supporters Nazis, then the rational course of action for any civilized person is to kill them.

    That’s not just a theory, it’s the result.

    A few months ago, 38-year-old Justin Barkley shot and killed a UPS driver in a Walmart parking lot in Ithaca, New York, then ran over his body, because he thought he was killing Donald Trump. During his arraignment, Barkley told the judge: “I shot and killed Donald Trump purposely, intentionally and very proudly.”

    In the past year, there have been at least a hundred physical attacks on Trump supporters or presumed Trump supporters. The mainstream media have ignored them all.

    Schoolchildren across the country are being hospitalized from beatings for the crime of liking Trump. In Pasco, Oregon, a 29-year-old Trump supporter was stabbed in the throat by a Hispanic man, Alvaro Campos-Hernandez, after a political argument.

    Last month, the anti-jihad scholar Robert Spencer was poisoned in Iceland by a Social Justice Warrior pretending to be a fan, sending Spencer to the hospital.

    It’s become so normal for leftist thugs to assault anyone who likes Trump that, in Meriden, Connecticut, Wilson Echevarria and Anthony Hobdy leapt out of their car and started punching and hitting a man holding a Trump sign, rolling him into traffic right in front of a policeman.

    If any one of these bloody attacks had been committed by a Trump supporter against a Muslim, a gay, a Mexican, a woman or a Democrat, the media would have had to drop its Russia conspiracy theory to give us 24-7 coverage of the epidemic of right-wing violence.

    The liberal response to this ceaseless mayhem toward conservatives is to produce a single nut, who fired a gun in the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., last December (hurting no one) to “rescue children,” after reading on obscure right-wing blogs that the restaurant hid a Democratic pedophilia ring. (They’ve also hyped a long list of “hate crimes” that were utter hoaxes.)

    Congratulations, liberals! You got one. And some tiny number of girls raped men last year. QED: Both sexes have a rape problem.

    Liberal aggression has ratcheted up dramatically since the dawn of Trump, as has the dehumanizing rhetoric, but epic violence from the left is nothing new.

    We don’t have to go back more than century to note that every presidential assassin and attempted presidential assassin who had a political motive was a leftist, a socialist, a communist or a member of a hippie commune. (Charles J. Guiteau, Leon Czolgosz, Giuseppe Zangara, Lee Harvey Oswald, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme and Sara Jane Moore.)

    Instead, we’ll start in the 1990s. Al Sharpton’s speeches helped inspire people to murder two people in Crown Heights in 1991 and seven people at Freddie’s Fashion Mart in 1995. As scary as David Duke and Richard Spencer are, I’ve never heard of anyone committing murder after listening to one of their speeches.

    During the 2008 presidential campaign, among other acts of violence, Obama supporters Maced elderly volunteers in a McCain campaign office in Galax, Virginia. They threw Molotov cocktails at, stomped and shredded McCain signs on a half-dozen families’ front yards around Portland. Another Obama supporter broke the McCain sign of a small middle-aged woman in midtown Manhattan, then hit her in the face with the stick.

    (All this for John McCain!)

    At the Republicans’ convention that year, hundreds of liberals were arrested for smashing police cars, slashing tires and breaking store windows. Police seized Molotov cocktails, napalm bombs and assorted firearms from the protesters. Elderly convention-goers were Maced and sent to the hospital after protesters threw bricks through the windows of convention buses. On the first day alone, the cops made 284 arrests, 130 for felonies.

    That same year, California voters approved Proposition 8, banning gay marriage. In response, left-wing opponents of the measure ferociously attacked Mormon and Catholic churches, smashing glass doors, spray-painting the churches and burning holy books on their front steps. The mayor of Fresno and his pastor received death threats serious enough to require around-the-clock police protection.

    (Although the measure would not have passed without the support of black voters, liberals held black people blameless for their opposition to gay marriage. Mormons and Catholics were a much funner target.)

    In 2009, one conservative had his finger bitten off at a Tea Party rally in Thousand Oaks, California, by a man at a MoveOn.org counter-protest. At a St. Louis Tea Party rally, an African-American selling anti-Obama bumper stickers was beaten up by two Service Employees International Union thugs, resulting in charges.

    For the past few years, the media have enthusiastically promoted Black Lives Matter, hoping to galvanize the black vote. The mother of Michael Brown was even invited to appear on stage at the Democrats’ convention. But, as the British discovered with their Indian auxiliaries during the Revolutionary War, having ginned them up, they couldn’t calm them down.

    As a result of the media’s tall tales about homicidal, racist cops, Black Lives Matter enthusiasts staged sneak attacks, executing two policemen in Brooklyn, five in Dallas and three in Baton Rouge.

    Liberals know damn well that their audience includes a not-insignificant portion of foaming-at-the-mouth lunatics, prepared, at the slightest provocation, to smash windows, burn down neighborhoods, physically attack and even murder conservatives. But instead of toning down the rhetoric, the respectable left keeps throwing matches on the bone-dry tinder, and then indignantly asks, “Are you saying conservatives don’t do it, too?”

    No, actually. We don’t.

    SOURCE

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    More liberal terrorism: Two charged with attempted murder in stabbing at Trump event

    Liberalism has a domestic terrorism problem.

    This time, it’s two liberal terrorists who have been charged with attempted murder after stabbing a prominent alt-right figure’s bodyguard at a Trump event.  Antonio Foreman,  bodyguard for “alt-right” personality “Baked Alaska” was stabbed nine times by liberal terrorists outside a Trump rally in Los Angeles.

    Edgar Khodzhasaryan, 30, of Glendale, and Arsen Bekverdyan, 31, of Burbank, are now charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

    Foreman was targeted by the pair after they noticed his vehicle’s pro-Trump stickers. The two allegedly shouted “You’re getting the shank, White Boy” as they stabbed him, “Baked Alaska” announced on Twitter.

    Foreman was not on duty at the time, but was attending the event as a Trump supporter.  He nearly died in the attack, and spent 12 hours in surgery.

    The Los Angeles County District Attorney did not file so-called “hate crimes” charges.

    Terrorism is violence targeted at civilians to achieve political or social goals. Liberalism has a domestic terrorism problem.

    SOURCE

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

    Feminist Camille Paglia on Hannity: ‘There’s No Journalism Left’ – My Party Has Destroyed It

    On his nationally syndicated radio talk show program Tuesday, host Sean Hannity spoke with feminist professor Camille Paglia about the violent rhetoric that has engulfed the mainstream media, Paglia suggesting, “There’s no journalism left.”

    “It’s obscene," said Camille Paglia. "It’s outrageous. Okay? It shows that the Democrats are nothing now but words and fantasy and hallucination and Hollywood. Okay? There’s no journalism left.

    Below is a transcript of Sean Hannity and Camille Paglia’s comments from the show Tuesday

    Hannity: “What do you make of all of the violent rhetoric? I mean, for example, I—”

    Paglia: “It’s obscene. It’s outrageous. Okay? It shows that the Democrats are nothing now but words and fantasy and hallucination and Hollywood. Okay? There’s no journalism left. What’s happened – okay – to The New York Times? What’s happened to the major networks? This is an outrage.

    “I’m a professor of media studies, in addition to a professor of humanities, okay? And I think it’s absolutely grotesque the way my party has destroyed journalism. Right now, it’s going to take decades to recover from this atrocity that’s going on, where the news media have turned themselves over into the most childish fraternity, kind of buffoonish behavior.”

    Hannity: “This is why I love your writing so much. You’ve got this flair that nobody else I know has. You know, one of the things that I kind of pride myself a little bit on is being right a lot. And I’m not, this is not spoken out of egotism or arrogance.

    “Because we waited way back early in my career I waited on Richard Jewell, I ended up being right. I waited on Trayvon Martin. I was right. The media was wrong. Ferguson, Missouri, same thing. Baltimore, same thing. And Duke Lacrosse is another case, but I was also right about Obama’s policies would not be good for America. I think the facts bear that out now. And I think I’m also, was also right that Trump could win, and now we live in a world of conspiracy theory­, black helicopter conspiracy theory TV.

    “You say it’s going to take decades to recover. I don’t see how they can ever recover.”

    Paglia: “Well, journalism has really collapsed, partly because of the arrival of the web, which I adore. I love writing for the web, but as the different cities, you know, the regional newspapers have floundered and in some cases disappeared. What we’re getting now is this concentration of news reporting coming from the coasts – okay – which is really bad. Okay? We’re not getting the kind of voices of the Heartland that we used to.

    “Not only that, but education has changed so that young people are not getting an exposure to history. Okay? They know nothing about world history. They know nothing about geography. Okay? They don’t know— They’re taught to have positive, you know, attitudes and to be humane and compassionate and so on, but they are not taught the basic framework of world history.

    “This is why you get all this crap about how America is the worst place on earth, when it’s like the freest country in the history of the world. And young people today have had absolutely no exposure to the famines and the war and the disasters – okay – of history. They need to be exposed to the past, and they have no sense of the past whatsoever. Everything is the present.”

    SOURCE

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    For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL 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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  • 06/25/17--05:32: Article 0


  • A parasite



    A man



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    Beyond opposing Trump, Democrats keep searching for a message

    The loss in last week’s special congressional election in Georgia produced predictable hand-wringing and finger-pointing inside the Democratic Party. It also raised anew a question that has troubled the party through a period in it has lost ground politically. Simply put: Do Democrats have a message?

    Right now, the one discernible message is opposition to President Trump. That might be enough to get through next year’s midterm elections, though some savvy Democratic elected officials doubt it. What’s needed is a message that attracts voters beyond the blue-state base of the party.

    The defeat in Georgia came in a district that was always extremely challenging. Nonetheless, the loss touched off a hunt for scapegoats. Some Democrats, predictably, blamed the candidate, Jon Ossoff, as failing to capitalize on a flood of money and energy among party activists motivated to send a message of opposition to the president. He may have had flaws, but he and the Democrats turned out lots of voters. There just weren’t enough of them.

    Other critics went up the chain of command and leveled their criticism at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). She has held her party together in the House through many difficult fights — ask veterans of the Obama administration — but she also has become a prime target for GOP ad makers as a symbol of the Democrats’ liberal and bicoastal leanings. Pelosi, a fighter, has brushed aside the criticism.

    Perhaps Democrats thought things would be easier because of Trump’s rocky start. His presidency has produced an outpouring of anger among Democrats, but will that be enough to bring about a change in the party’s fortunes?

    History says a president with approval ratings as low as Trump’s usually sustain substantial midterm losses. That could be the case in 2018, particularly if the Republicans end up passing a health-care bill that, right now, is far more unpopular than Obamacare. But Trump has beaten the odds many times in his short political career. What beyond denunciations of the Republicans as heartless will the Democrats have to say to voters?

    SOURCE

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    Number of Refugees Entering U.S. Plunges by Almost Half Under Trump

    The first three months of President Donald Trump’s administration was not a particularly good time to be a refugee trying to enter the United States. The Department of Homeland Security has released the figures that show how the number of refugees admitted into the country plunged by nearly half under Trump. Around 13,000 refugees entered the United States in the first three months of Trump’s presidency, compared to the 25,000 who were admitted at the end of President Barack Obama’s administration.

    The comparison is particularly stark because the numbers suggest there was a sharp boost in refugee intakes during the final months of the Obama administration. The 25,000 arrivals recorded in the last three months of Obama’s presidency marked an 86 percent increase, on the year. Even disregarding this sharp increase though, the numbers were still down under Trump. Refugee arrivals declined 12 percent in the first three months of Trump’s presidency, compared to the same period last year.

    The nationalities of the refugees remained largely the same with five countries—the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and Myanmar—making up two-thirds of the total arrivals during the two periods. That suggests the numbers would have been even lower if courts had not blocked Trump’s efforts to impose a travel ban on certain countries, including Syria and Somalia.

    SOURCE

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    No more free lunch

    While the Left promotes fake scandals, President Donald Trump proposes real change. Congressional Republicans should keep their eyes on the ball and enact his reforms into law.

    President Lyndon Johnson unleashed "the Great Society" on America.  It treated welfare as a right and created a culture of dependency.  Expanded benefits encouraged illegitimacy, discouraged education, punished work and undermined families.  Entire communities suffered as families dissolved and values deteriorated.

    Seeing political advantage in making more people dependent on government, Democrats ignored the ill consequences.  But President Ronald Reagan, who pressed welfare reform as California governor, took up the challenge in Washington.  He was advised by Bob Carleson, who led the California effort.

    A Democratic House limited President Reagan's ability to make changes.  Then came the GOP Congress elected in 1994.  Carleson helped draft a new style of reform that passed in 1996.  It changed the dynamic of welfare in key ways, one of which was permitting the states to require the able-bodied to work in exchange for their monthly benefit check.  The legislation helped reduce welfare rolls-by about 50 percent in just five years-save taxpayer dollars and make recipients independent.

    Now, President Trump is following in the Gipper's footsteps.  With welfare costing $1.1 trillion last year, most paid for by the federal government, the administration has proposed tightening eligibility requirements for several programs and hopes to cut outlays by $274 billion over the coming decade.

    President Trump's initiative revives the federal workfare requirement.  Wrote the president to Congress:  "Work must be the center of our social policy." The purpose is not to punish the needy, but to ensure that they are taken care of.  Wasted welfare "takes away scarce resources from those in real need," he explained.

    The president targeted Food Stamps, now formally the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In 1996, Congress required work or its equivalent for cash benefits.  But the Obama administration wanted to expand welfare dependence and allowed states to waive a provision that Congress intended to be mandatory.  Analyst James Bovard notes that the administration even ran campaigns to recruit SNAP recipients.  In 2000, 17 million people received Food Stamps. The SNAP rolls are now at a staggering 44 million, at a cost of $71 billion annually.

    Congress needs to act.  The Trump administration would require states to toss in a buck for every four spent by Washington.  Moreover, it would be conditional upon the states requiring their able-bodied to earn their benefit.  Explained the head of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney:  "If you're on Food Stamps and you're able-bodied, then we need you to go to work."

    It turns out that work works.  In 2014, Maine added a requirement that able-bodied Food Stamp recipients find a job, get job training or volunteer at least 24 hours a month.  Within a year the number of people getting Food Stamps dropped from more than 13,000 to barely 2,700.  That's a cut of 80 percent.

    At the start of 2017, thirteen Alabama counties began mandating their able-bodied adult SNAP recipients to work, seek work, or get approved job training.  By May, the rolls had dropped by 85 percent.  Statewide, since January, the number of able-bodied adults on SNAP has declined by 55 percent.

    Those of us who understand human nature are not surprised by this outcome.  The idea that giving away "free stuff with no strings attached," in this case, food, to anyone who signs up for it results in a whole lot of people signing up is pretty basic reasoning, except perhaps at some Ivy League institutions.

    The administration expects its reforms, including workfare, will save taxpayers roughly $193 billion over the coming decade.  Equally important, noted Mulvaney, "We're no longer going to measure compassion by the number people on these programs.  We're going to measure compassion by how many people we can get off these programs."

    Which is why the administration shouldn't stop with Food Stamps.  Work requirements should be expanded to programs such as public housing. Even if Congress passes workfare for Food Stamps, work requirements will apply to only three of the more than 80 federal welfare programs.

    The administration should move to consolidate overlapping programs and block grant them to the states.  Welfare is an issue that belongs at the state level.  The Carleson Center for Welfare Reform has designed a program that would give states greater flexibility, provide a continuing incentive to innovate, and cap federal expenditures.

    Finally, the U.S. needs to get back into job creation.  More jobs need to be generated for all Americans.  That's why the president is pushing serious deregulation, proposing tax reform and challenging environmental extremism.  The result will be more opportunities for all.

    Some people need federal help.  But it always should be the last resort, delivered cost-effectively by institutions closest to those in need.

    Moreover, there should be reciprocity.  It is only fair to request that those who receive benefits work to earn them.  It's the Biblical model.  And it is supported by nine out of every 10 Americans.

    President Trump's workfare proposal demonstrates that he is busy doing what is important for Americans.  Congress should join him.

    SOURCE

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    Cut Crime By Repealing Useless Occupational Licensing Regulations

    People are more likely to commit crimes if they can’t find a job after being released from prison, according to a study released by the Manhattan Institute. Occupational licensing regulations make it harder for them to find a job. Reason magazine notes that a ten-year study released last year by the Center for the Study of Economic Liberty at Arizona State University found that “formerly incarcerated residents are more likely to commit a new crime within three years of being released from prison if they live in a state where they’re prohibited from getting a license solely for having a criminal record.”

    Once upon a time, occupational licensing regulations only restricted access to jobs that had unique privileges (such as lawyers, who can send you a subpoena demanding your diary) or that had unique public safety implications (like a surgeon, who can kill you if unqualified). Not anymore.

    Now, many occupations that pose no special risks or need for regulation are off-limits to people who have criminal convictions, or never committed a crime, but can’t afford to spend years on unnecessary training that is sometimes irrelevant or obsolete. Florida requires interior designers to undergo six years of training, including two years at a state-approved college. Other states force aspiring hair stylists to first attend exploitative beauty schools that often rip off their students. And “twenty-one states require a license for travel guides,” notes the Brookings Institution. Occupational licensing has expanded from covering 5% of the workforce in the 1950s to 30% today.

    So there is no reason an ex-con should not be able to hold many of the jobs now off-limits to them due to occupational licensing regulations. It’s not as if consumers benefit. As Ramesh Ponnuru of the American Enterprise Institute notes, researchers have not “found that licensing requirements are effective at improving the quality of service.” Indeed, according to Morris Kleiner of the University of Minnesota, occupational licensing has either no impact or even a negative impact on the quality of services provided to customers.

    So they don’t protect consumers, for the most part. But they increase prices for consumers; indeed, a White House report during the Obama administration notes that “the evidence on licensing’s effects on prices is unequivocal: many studies find that more restrictive licensing laws lead to higher prices for consumers.”

    As Ponnuru notes, occupation licensing rules raise prices for consumers, and cut the “wages for the people they exclude. More restrictive requirements to become a nurse practitioner, for example, increase the price of a child’s medical exam by as much as 16 percent.” As the White House report pointed out, there is an enormous variety and inconsistency in state licensing requirements—more than 1,100 occupations are regulated in at least one state, but fewer than 60 are regulated in every state—which hinders interstate mobility. As the Brookings Institution has noted, licensing restrictions are not keyed to public safety at all, since “across all states, interior designers, barbers, cosmetologists, and manicurists all face greater average licensing requirements than do EMTs.”

    SOURCE

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    For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL 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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  • 06/26/17--05:30: Article 0



  • Seven Months Later, Why Did Voters Choose Trump?

    Economics and faith. Between a downtrodden middle class and "deplorable" Christians, Trump found enough support

    The reasons voters supported Donald Trump in November 2016 instead of Hillary Clinton are still the reasons President Trump’s agenda remains supported. We’ll focus here on two reasons — one economic, and the other religious.

    Sure, there are myriad distractions, but Americans are seeing effective policy implemented by a guy who’s on track to keep more campaign promises in 20 weeks than many in the GOP have kept in 20 years of starch-collared incumbency.

    There remains an elevated level of incredulity among Democrats that their nominee was so terribly flawed. Clinton’s reputation preceded her as an opportunist whose wealth was the result of “public service” and the clear pay-to-play philosophy of the entire corruption Clinton cabal. The collective disdain by the Democrat Party for the average working American was only surpassed by their nominee, whose volcanic spew scorched the “deplorables” and “irredeemables” who support legal immigration, strong national defense, actual health insurance versus Medicaid-for-all and an opportunity to work instead of fearing unemployment due to job elimination following burdensome regulation.

    Yet results are funny things. After decades of promises to stop the flow of illegal immigrants, the abysmal standing in the world after the lead-from-behind approach of foreign policy, and an overregulated economy that killed jobs, pushed record numbers onto welfare and turned our health insurance plans into worthless policies with high premiums, Americans abandoned tradition and common thought related to politics. Voters rejected the policies and promises of the previous eight years. Americans want to work for their wealth and see their government serving their interests, not the bureaucracy itself.

    A recent Wall Street Journal analysis took a large bank’s annual report presented by M&T Bank CEO Robert Wilmers and validated the case. Without mentioning presidential politics or politicians, the report noted that a “declining share of households even consider themselves to be part of the middle class; 63% did so in 2001. By 2015, that number had fallen to just 51%.” Citing stagnant wages that have only increased 13% since 1973, poor returns on more traditional investment tools such as savings accounts and other bank deposits, and the fact that only half of Americans invest in the stock market versus 72% in 2008, Wilmers makes a declaratory statement: “No wage growth. No investment earnings growth. No wonder families are stretched and stressed.”

    And no wonder they dumped the establishment candidate.

    The full M&T Bank’s Message to Shareholders bemoans flawed monetary policy and excessive regulatory burdens that have been the anchors for lending institutions. These same anchors indiscriminately weigh down any forward movement toward growth. And, again, that’s where Trump’s campaign promises turned into a presidential win.

    Using the Congressional Review Act, President Trump has reversed 14 regulations that will save $3.7 billion in regulatory costs and $35 billion just in compliance costs. According to the conservative think tank American Action Forum, a total of $86 billion will be saved by Trump’s repeal and elimination of just these few regulations.

    Make no mistake: these costs are taxes. These regulatory costs kill jobs. And while leftists still erroneously believe that only dumb white people elected the 45th president, voters chose to pursue a much-needed economic turnaround — one that’s already occurring. The Hill featured a story Sunday declaring the economy as a “bright spot” for Trump with the Standard & Poor’s up more than 12%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 16%, unemployment at a 16-year low, and an expected 2.3% growth in GDP.

    A second reason Trump upset Hillary and the status quo was faith-based issues. The promise of an originalist to fill the vacancy of deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was reason enough for many voters to look past the imperfections of a massive personality named The Donald. That promise has already been fulfilled with the brilliant appointment of Neil Gorsuch.

    Leftists perpetually shame Christians for their supposedly intolerant, bigoted ways. The Rainbow Mafia is particularly ruthless in “correcting” this “wrong.” But the reality is that Christians don’t want a theocracy. Nor, however, do we want to be sued into oblivion by a tiny minority for not baking a wedding cake for a homosexual redefinition of marriage.

    Understand that while Trump was the recipient of votes as the candidate for president, it was the full rejection of the open assault on those of the Christian faith by brazen leftists that moved Bible-believing Christians to support a very imperfect man. Just this weekend, the same leftist activists demanding free health care, free birth control, debt forgiveness and any other socialist agenda item marched in the streets with Sharia Law proponents who seek a parallel judicial system that places Islam’s teachings as the basis of law, not our U.S. Constitution. Square that circle with the homosexual agenda.

    Be advised that the hectoring of evangelicals for their support of Trump by those who obsess on the “right” to kill babies in the womb, to pick-a-gender-of-the-day and marry whomever, to enable Sharia compliance that permits so-called “honor killings” is transparently pitiful.

    Conventional wisdom told us that the 2016 election was supposed to be another Bush-Clinton face-off. Conventional wisdom was rejected repeatedly because those entrusted with leadership to right the ship of state have failed to stand erect with an intact spine to fight against Democrats’ efforts to “fundamentally transform America.”

    Despite the pigpen politics, Donald Trump won and, yes, America is winning.

    SOURCE

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    Nothing great about the welfare state

    In The Welfare of Nations, the decade-later follow-up to his The Welfare State We're In, James Bartholomew - former leader writer for the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail - takes us on a tour of the world's welfare states.

    It's fair to say he isn't a fan. He argues that the welfare state undermines old values and `crowds out' both our inner resourcefulness and our sense of duty to one another - including our own families. Instead of aspiring to be self-reliant, the welfare state makes us self-absorbed. People aren't encouraged to exercise responsibility anymore; instead, they are handed a plethora of `rights'. Welfare states `have diminished our civilisation', Bartholomew concludes.

    The welfare state has always been a problematic entity, from its modern beginnings in the nineteenth century with Bismarck's cynical `state socialism'- built as much to placate the increasingly politically active masses as to attend to their welfare - to the vast systems maintaining millions of economically inactive citizens across the world today. The welfare state, as its advocates contend, always promises a better society, with higher levels of equality, but, as Bartholomew counters, it also tends to foster unemployment, `broken families' and social isolation.

    Some versions of the welfare state are better than others. Wealthy Switzerland has a low unemployment rate despite generous social insurance-based benefits. But, at the same time, the Swiss state imposes tough conditions: there's no minimum wage and workers can be fired on the spot. Sweden's benefit system is generous, too, but if you can't afford the rent on a property, you have to move out.

    In the UK, matters are equally complex. For instance, shared-ownership schemes, `affordable housing' and planning regulations contribute to distinctly unaffordable house prices. Indeed, housing costs have risen from 10 per cent of average UK household income in 1947 to over 25 per cent. For the poorest sections of society, it is worse still. This is despite the fact that the state subsidises dysfunctional, workless households on bleak public housing estates.

    And what of state education? Nearly one-in-five children in OECD countries is functionally illiterate. The best performing advanced countries have autonomous schools, `high stakes' exams, quality teachers and a culture of discipline and hard work. Compare that to the US, where you can't get rid of bad unionised teachers in the state schools.

    Bartholomew convincingly argues that state schools' `shameful' inadequacy, for all the rhetoric to the contrary, breeds inequality. He fears that the success of the free- and charter-school movement is at risk, too, from `creeping government control'. Bartholomew is upfront about his own old-fashioned conservative views. He's a kind of evidence-based Peter Hitchens, using `bundles of academic studies' to show what he suspected of the welfare state all along. The care of `strangers', he argues, is bad for children and aged parents alike, and damages the social fabric. Over half of Swedish children are born to unmarried mothers, whereas the family in Italy, he says approvingly, is `the main source of welfare', with charity-run `family houses' (no flats or benefits) for single mothers. At a time when Conservatives aren't really very conservative, it takes Bartholomew to ask important questions about social change.

    Again, southern Europe offers a useful contrast to the situation in northern Europe. Over half of single people aged 65 or over in Italy, Portugal and Spain live with their children. Just three per cent of single Danes do. Should individual autonomy trump the burden of caring for children and family members? What role should the state play? UK social workers are office-based, writes Bartholomew, and contracted care workers follow `rules rather than doing things from an impulse of loving care'.

    By 2050 over a third of the European population will be aged over 60. Even though the age at which people are eligible for pensions is increasing, state pensions can't be sustained, says Bartholomew. In Poland, Greece and Italy, pensions account for more than a quarter of public spending. The UK spends nine per cent of its national income on healthcare, the US an insurance-fuelled 18 per cent, and Singapore just five per cent (though Singapore has to put twice that into `personal' health-savings accounts). `Wealth leads to better healthcare', says Bartholomew, but the monopolistic UK system, despite the NHS's officially cherished status, is one of the worst of the advanced countries for health outcomes, including, for example, cancer-survival rates. `Obamacare' notwithstanding, millions of uninsured Americans - neither poor enough for Medicaid nor old enough for Medicare - struggle to pay for healthcare.

    Democracies, says Bartholomew, are susceptible to the fantasy that welfare states can solve our problems without consequence or cost. This is despite US public spending increasing from seven per cent of GDP in 1900 to 41 per cent of GDP in 2011. In 2012, France revealed that public spending accounted for 57 per cent of its GDP.

    But it's Bartholomew's critique of the wider welfare culture, rather than his carps at benefits systems, which provides an important corrective to what can be a narrow and mean-spirited discussion. He also offers practical solutions: let's increase housing supply but abolish public housing; let's have a system of `co-payment' for healthcare between state and individual; let's allow schools and hospitals to compete in markets; and let's give individuals the opportunity to save and insure themselves to pay for social-care needs and pensions (albeit through Singapore-style compulsory bank accounts).

    So what do we do with the welfare state? As Bartholomew puts it, the welfare state, rather than capitalism or communism, was `the ultimate victor of the turmoil of the twentieth century'. But Bartholomew makes clear that this is a hollow victory with many millions left idle and communities undermined. So yes, let's cut the welfare state down to size and stop infantilising its dependants. But we also need to get more ambitious than Bartholomew allows. He thinks it's too late to get our freedoms back and argues for a minimal `welfare' state only. But why stop there? If the architects of the welfare state have anything to teach us, it is to be bolder in our visions.

    SOURCE

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    For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL 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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  • 06/27/17--05:36: Article 0


  • The latest anti-Trump propaganda from the NYT

    The Leftist media never let up.  The latest from the NYT is amusing.  It is headed "World Offers Cautionary Tale for Trump’s Infrastructure Plan".  I am not going to reproduce it as it can be simply summarized.  It refers to Trump's wish to involve the private sector in building new infrastructure.  That is a VERY BAD thing, they say.

    They support their claims in the usual Leftist way -- by cherrypicking instances that suit them and ignoring the rest of the facts.  It is such a regular Leftist modus operandi that it does get tedious.  But they have to argue that way because the full facts are almost always against them.  One-sided writing is the Leftist specialty.

    In this instance, they point to past examples of public/private partnerships -- mostly abroad -- that have not done well.  And it is true that there have been some big failures.  In the public/private partnerships that I am aware of (road tunnels in Sydney and Brisbane, for instance), however, it is the private builder who has lost his shirt, not the government.

    A wise government sets it up that way, with a fixed or largely fixed price for the work.  I sometimes wonder why private firms enter into these risky contracts. It takes a lot of heart.  But if all goes well the private company has in the end a very nice revenue stream (tolls etc.) -- leading the Left to utter loud moans about "profiteering". That the prospect of good returns is needed for private firms to invest billions into projects that may or may not work out they ignore.

    And Mr Trump is renowned in his business dealings for making sure that the other guy takes the loss.  So having him working for the taxpayer is a rather brilliant arrangement. If anyone can protect the taxpayer he can.  It's gut instinct for him to play for a win.

    So, yes, the NYT lists some deals that have gone bad for less savvy governments overseas but there is no reason for that experience to be repeated under a Trump administration.

    And what about the other side of the coin?  What about the alternative of the government doing it all?  Would not a government-run project be more efficient?  To ask that is to laugh.  I am sure that we can all give instances of great  incompetence and inefficiency in projects that are mainly government-run.  Boston's "big dig" (which is still not right) and the problem-plagued Bay bridge in N. California spring to mind.

    But the NYT mentions no instances like that.  Their star example of government efficiency is Communist China!  But they WOULD like Communist China, wouldn't they?  And it's true that China has in recent years achieved a rather wondrous infrastructure build.  New roads and bridges have almost LEAPT into existence there.  But what about China's vast empty cities?  There are about a dozen of them that have sprung up in recent years.  But in a crowded country like China, how can you have empty cities?  Real estate prices in Beijing are catching up with Manhattan.

    It's quite simply bad planning.  China employs private firms to do most of its building so when the government thinks something should be built, the private sector says:  "You're paying" and gets to work. But like all governments the Chinese government makes poor business decisions and huge waste can result.  With a public/private partnership, by contrast, the private sector only gets moving if they see good prospects of a substantial profit. The dreams of bureaucrats will usually stay dreams.

    And, like the Bay Bridge, government supervised infrastructure in China can be poorly built.  Their civil engineering projects -- dams and bridges -- can seem wondrous but how well will they last?  Civil engineers I know say that standards in China would not be accepted in the West.  Failing dams and falling bridges are not a remote possibility. But that would be fine by the NYT.

    And are we allowed to mention the government planning that led to London's recent Grenfell Tower disaster? But having a lot of poor people burn to death would have been only a fleeting consideration to the NYT.

    So there can be no doubt that Trump's way is to be preferred to theirs.  A reader has sent me a detailed fisking of the NYT article which I will happily forward to anyone interested.

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    Victory for Trump as Supreme Court allows ‘Muslim’ travel ban

    President Trump was handed a first legal victory in his efforts to push through a controversial travel ban when the Supreme Court ruled last night that key parts of his executive order should be allowed to take effect.

    The nine justices also agreed to hear a full appeal from the Trump administration against earlier court decisions to halt the ban on citizens from Syria, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya entering the US.

    The ruling means that for a period of 90 days, probably starting on Thursday, travellers from the six Muslim-majority countries will be denied entry unless they have an established relationship with the country through a relative, job or college.

    SOURCE

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    The Source Of Leftist Intolerance

    When I am come face-to-face with injustice and falsehood, my blood rises. It just happened with a post I found on Facebook (referring to yesterday's shooting attack in the ball park):

    "Unfortunately the right is already generalizing the blame to left-wing hate and pattern of hostility. Given the level of hatred and hostility the right has routinely expressed toward the left (or anyone who disagrees with them), this is outrageous."

    This is what psychologists call a projection, defined as the unconscious transfer of one's own desires or emotions to another person. The writer is projecting irrational leftist hostility onto conservatives. Reality is full of examples that prove the above statement is a flagrant lie. In my new book, Tyranny of the Minority, I indict the "vicious intolerance by the Left of any and all conservative opinions." The evidence bears me out.

    Consider these recent expressions of hatred and hostility by the Left against the Right: The depiction of Trump's murder at the "Shakespeare in the Park" version of Julius Caesar; Kathy Griffin's display of Trump's bloody head; any utterances about Trump on any given day by Rep. Maxine Waters; Stephen Colbert's disgusting comment about Trump and Putin engaging in a sex act; Robert DeNiro's claim that Trump is a "racist, dog, mutt, bozo, and pig"; Madonna's statement that she wants to blow up the White House; and don't let me forget Sean Hannity's reminder that there have been 12,000 recent tweets calling for the assassination of Trump. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Can you remember anything remotely resembling this tirade of filth during the eight years of Obama? Of course you can't, because it didn't happen. In fact, anyone caught criticizing Obama was immediately labeled as a racist.Clearly the writer of the Facebook post was wearing blinders. The policy of the Left is to vilify anyone who disagrees with its ideology. Conservatives, by and large, don't behave like that. As Ben Shapiro says in Bullies, conservatives are "generally civil people."

    In 1996, Bill Clinton defeated Bob Dole with 49 percent of the popular vote and 379 electoral votes. If you supported Dole, Clinton backers would still talk to you. Not anymore. The simple fact that you are conservative is enough to turn your liberal friends and family against you. It all began with Obama. In 2007, when many acquaintances learned that I was not voting for their hero, they called me a racist. They didn't care about my reasons. To them, no reason was good enough to justify my decision. One of my closest friends told me that I was stupid and has never talked to me again. For the past several months, my Facebook feed has been crawling with nasty, abusive statements charging that all Trump supporters are racists.

    What accounts for this intolerant behavior by liberals? Throughout history, some human beings have used their religious beliefs to brutalize non-believers. This approach has wormed its way into the liberal playbook. Progressive liberals behave as though their ideology has been handed down from the mountaintop. Progressivism has morphed into our newest religion. With frightening similarities to Islam, the religion of the Left "is an authoritarian movement that wants total compliance with its dictates," says Daniel Greenfield, Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, "with severe punishments for those who disobey."

    No longer regarded as merely political contests, elections represent to the Left a duel between good and evil. "Conservatives think liberals are stupid," said author Charles Krauthammer. "Liberals think conservatives are evil." You can tolerate stupidity but you can't countenance evil. "You have to understand progressivism as a kind of religion-specifically a fundamentalist religion," argues The Federalist. "In this view of the world, evil takes the form of any barrier to your self-expression." Liberals believe that free speech should not apply to anything they disagree with. "People who violate the progressive code," writes Mark Levin in Liberty and Tyranny, "are socially ostracized, sued for discrimination, forced to resign, and driven out of business."

    The typical liberal doesn't give a damn about your individual rights or opinions. He only cares about his own point-of-view, which he, uncritically, deems to be superior. Today's liberal will go on at length about "social justice" and the "common good," but his bottom line is a society that conforms to his ideological aims and his alone. When a belief system is enshrined in a religion, it cannot tolerate criticism. In conformity with this new religion, a Hillary Clinton victory might have placed us closer to a political inquisition in which conservatives would be given the chance to confess and recant. In that scenario, unrepentant conservatives would be deported and replaced by Middle Eastern radicals. Is that so far-fetched? I don't think so. Not when millions of our liberal friends are adopting a holier-than-thou attitude about how to run the country.

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    Justin Trudeau celebrates both Pride and Eid - while Donald Trump opts out of traditional end of Ramadan celebration

    Justin Trudeau combined his celebrations of both Eid and Pride on Sunday, causing the internet to swoon. The Canadian prime minister looked to be having a great time as he took part in the Toronto Pride Parade - only the second time that a Canadian leader had marched at the country's largest LGBT event.

    Mr Trudeau was wearing an eye-catching pair of rainbow socks in honour of the 1969 Stonewall Riots that sparked the LGBTQ rights movement.

    Closer inspection of the socks revealed that he was also celebrating the Eid al-Fitr celebration, which also fell on Sunday and marks the end of Islam's holy month of Ramadan.

    In contract, breaking with recent White House tradition, President Donald Trump opted not to host an event marking the end of Ramadan. Past presidents have welcomed Muslim Americans for a traditional iftar, a meal that follows daily fasting from dawn to sunset.

    Mr Trump issued a statement on Saturday, saying that he and wife Melania "send our warm greetings to Muslims as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr". The White House said there were no plans for an event. Asked on Monday why Mr Trump was not hosting an event, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said he did not know.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also declined to hold an iftar, in departure from the practice of previous secretaries, although Mr Tillerson did release a written statement marking the occasion.

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    HATE WATCH: Audio of NE Dem Wishing Scalise Was Killed

    Democrats, the party so adamantly against hate, are sure filled with it.

    Here Nebraska Democrats Phil Montag is caught on tape wishing demented Bernie Sanders volunteer James Hodgkinson had finished the job and killed Rep. Steve Scalise during his rampage.

    Will Montag become a national figure as the media picks up his hate-filled rhetoric and blasts it into every corner of the country? Or is this the only place where you are likely to ever hear of this incident and nothing will ever happen to Montag?

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    For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL 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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