Saturday, March 06, 2010
Lefties too clever by half
A mocking comment from German economist Dr Oliver Marc Hartwich below. As I pointed out on Feb. 26, the research Dr Hartwich ridicules is junk science anyway
This week’s news held an unpleasant surprise for the world’s conservatives and religious. Luckily for them, they were probably too dumb to understand it.
A long-time study by the London School of Economics (LSE) just revealed that being politically conservative or religious goes hand in hand with lower intelligence. The more respondents identified as left-wing or atheist, the higher their IQ. Conversely, conservative or religious convictions correlated with lower intelligence.
The differences were too large to be random. While young adults who thought of themselves as ‘very progressive’ scored 105 points on average, their ‘very conservative’ contemporaries only managed 95 points on the IQ scale. The gap between the atheists and the faithful was smaller, but the non-believers still beat the religious by 103 to 97.
Dr Satoshi Kanazawa, a psychologist at the LSE, has a simple explanation for these patterns. He believes that more intelligent people were better able to respond to new problems and thus willing to question traditional beliefs and values. Unfortunately, he did not say whether this was, in fact, an intelligent strategy. True conservatives, at least the barely literate among them, could argue that it is not a sign of great cleverness to fiddle with time-tested institutions such as property rights or civility.
In the same way, we may well wonder about the wisdom behind another of Dr Kanazawa’s findings. In previous times, he said, we only cared for friends and families. But the more intelligent among us had left this ancient pattern behind to reach a higher evolutionary level. Lefties are now ‘caring about millions of total strangers and giving up money to make sure that those strangers will do well.’
This may well explain the left’s support of the welfare state and foreign aid. And yet, at least in historical terms, there is no example of a people becoming prosperous because strangers wanted them to be. Again, conservatives would intuitively understand this, although they may not be able to put this thought into a complete sentence.
The LSE findings may not cheer up conservatives, but they don’t need cheering up anyway. According to another study by the Aarhus School of Business in Denmark, personal happiness is far more widespread among conservatives than among lefties. And yet another study, this time by the University of Florida, revealed that conservatives also have higher incomes than the unhappy left-wing ‘intelligentsia.’
Considering all this evidence, perhaps being a leftie is not such a clever idea after all?
The above is a press release from the Centre for Independent Studies, dated March 5. Enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Snail mail: PO Box 92, St Leonards, NSW, Australia 1590.
The Undemocratic Democrats
Arrogance is an occupational hazard in politics, one that is often fatal, and the Democrats show every sign of having succumbed. You would think someone in the party would sound the alarm. But, so far, Democrats seem willing to follow their leaders off the cliff. The president, House speaker and Senate majority leader appear ready to defy the American public and ram a disastrous and unpopular overturn of health care down our throats, regardless of the consequences to the country or their own political futures. There is something deeply disturbing about this turn of events -- and undemocratic.
There was considerable evidence that Barack Obama had these tendencies even before he became president. While much of the media was fawning over his eloquence, some critics warned that Obama's repeated declaration that he wanted "to fundamentally transform America" was a disturbing sign of the man's hubris.
And while his assertion was laughable, the night he won the presidency, that his election would mark "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal," the statement also had a dark undertone. Like the promise to fundamentally transform America, it said something not just about the president's inflated view of himself, it also bespoke a flawed understanding of the role of the president and the limits of presidential power.
Now, when asked whether he's willing to accept the political consequences of passing health care legislation that the voting public opposes, the president says that he would rather be "a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president." It's an amazing statement when you think about it. It says, none too subtly, that Obama has little faith in the voting public to recognize what's good for the country. Now that is a stunning indictment of democracy on his part.
But Obama is not alone among his fellow Democrats to demonstrate his contempt for the democratic process. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have no qualms about moving forward even when the voters are opposed. Pelosi has told Democrats that they should sacrifice their own re-election if necessary: "We're here to do the work of the American people," she told ABC last week in an interview that aired Sunday.
The statements reek of elitist self-importance. Almost by definition, "really good" presidents are re-elected. And while, occasionally, a mediocre president also gets re-elected -- provided the country's at peace and the economy is humming along -- all the one-termers I can think of fall into the mediocre or worse category. And who is it that Pelosi thinks determines "the work of the American people?" Shouldn't the people have a say in what constitutes their own "work"?
The White House has now set a deadline of March 18 for Congress to pass the largest piece of social legislation in the last 50 years. What's so important about that date? Will millions of Americans suddenly lose their health care or premiums skyrocket that day? No, according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, it's just that Obama is leaving on a trip to visit his boyhood home of Indonesia that day and, apparently, wouldn't want to be inconvenienced by waiting for Congress to engage in more thorough deliberation and debate.
The president has already made more foreign trips than any of his predecessors at this point, but, of course, the "deadline" is just another way to pressure Democrats to get the bill passed before there is more public outcry that might convince elected officials to vote the way their constituents want them to.
Democrats need to ask themselves the following question: Whom do I owe loyalty to: the people who elect me or the leaders of my party? True democrats -- regardless of party -- understand that they are not in office to fulfill their own wishes. They are there as the representatives of the people. Democrats who choose to follow President Obama and Speaker Pelosi, in defiance of their constituents, aren't just jeopardizing their political futures. They're acting undemocratically.
The Obama Way: Bluster, Bully, Bribe
by Michelle Malkin
The White House took great offense this week when conservatives suggested President Obama might be trading a judicial appointment for a wavering Democrat's vote on his health care reform plan. "Absurd," a miffed administration official told Politico.com. Wherever could the American people get such an impression? Let us count the ways.
On Wednesday, the very day Obama hosted 10 swing Democrats who had opposed the expansive health care takeover bill in November, the White House issued a press release trumpeting the nomination of Scott M. Matheson Jr. to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Matheson just happens to be the brother of Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah -- one of the 10 Dems invited to sip wine and nosh on calorically correct appetizers with the arm-twister-in-chief.
The seat on the 10th Circuit has been vacant for nearly a year. When one of the judges, Michael McConnell, resigned to take a lucrative post at Stanford Law School last summer, Matheson -- Rhodes Scholar, law school professor and dean -- let the White House know right away he wanted the job. For nearly a year, there was no action. Liberal groups have been complaining for months about the glacial pace of Obama's judicial nominations -- a predicament they blame not solely on obstructionist Republicans, but on Obama's own team of incompetent, indecisive foot-draggers who put the issue at the bottom of their priority list. (It's worth noting that Utah GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch supports Matheson's candidacy.)
As the National Law Journal pointed out at the beginning of this year, "the Obama administration has been slower than the Bush administration was in sending judicial nominations to the Senate, submitting 12 circuit nominations last year compared with 28 for Bush in 2001. The White House last named a circuit nominee on Nov. 4." Now, out of nowhere, comes the announcement of Matheson's nomination -- in the heat of White House vote-grubbing to salvage the Democrats' government health care designs? To quote Dana Carvey's old Church Lady character on "Saturday Night Live": How conveeenient.
Let us consider the possibility, for a brief moment, that this is all merely coincidence. Is the White House so fantastically blind and tone-deaf that it failed to detect the blood-red flags and blaring alarm bells that Scott Matheson's judicial nomination would raise coming on the very day Obama was wooing his brother? Incorrigibly corrupt or incorrigibly stupid. Take your pick.
The perception of a judgeship-for-Obamacare-vote deal is, of course, horribly unfair to Matheson, who seems more than qualified for the position. But full blame for creating that unmistakable perception lies squarely at the feet of the rank opportunists in the White House, whose timing is worse than a broken metronome.
This debacle comes on the heels of damning disclosures about other possible White House bribery. Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania admitted to veteran Philly newsman Larry Kane that Team Obama dangled a "high-ranking" position in the administration if he dropped out of the Senate race and left incumbent Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter alone.
In Colorado, the Denver Post reported last fall that Deputy White House Chief of Staff Jim Messina "offered specific suggestions" for an Obama administration job to far-left Democrat Andrew Romanoff if he withdrew his challenge to White House-backed incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.
And earlier this month, The Washington Times noted that Mary Patrice Brown, the person assigned by the Justice Department to oversee an internal investigation into the shady dismissal of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation cases, is now "the leading candidate for a federal judgeship -- for which she is being vetted by some of the same offices she supposedly is investigating."
So, wherever did we get the impression that pay-for-play is the Obama way? Somewhere, Chicago corruptocrat Rod Blagojevich -- who wanted to play, but didn't get paid -- is laughing bitterly.
With their characteristic political stupidity, most American Jews tend to be quite scornful of Christian Zionists -- but Bibi is much more realistic and appreciative. There is a rather mocking article by a diaspora Jew in a major Left-leaning Australian newspaper here that does give some useful information about that -- amid the inevitable scorn. I think Pastor Hagee is on the right track myself. The Bible is all about Israel so how can a true Christian not be a supporter of Israel -- whether or not you believe that we are in "end times"? Moses described his people as "stiff-necked" and that description continues throughout the prophets. So the compulsive Leftism (which is a form of arrogance) that moves most American Jews is entirely to be expected. But Christians read in their Bibles that God chose them and that is all that matters. They accept with joy the wisdom of their God.
USA to resume aid to Honduras: "U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday the Obama administration will resume aid to Honduras that was suspended after a coup [sic] last year and urged Latin American nations to recognize the new Honduran government. Clinton said the Honduran government that took office in January was democratically elected, was reconciling the population split by last June’s coup and deserved normal relations with countries that cut ties after the ouster of the former president.”
Germany: Four jailed over plot to attack US bases: "Two German converts to Islam and two Turkish men were convicted Thursday over a foiled 2007 plot to attack U.S. targets in Germany and given prison sentences ranging up to 12 years. The four men, operating as a German cell of the radical Islamic Jihad Union, had plotted bombing attacks against American citizens and facilities including the U.S. Air Force’s Ramstein base in Germany, the Duesseldorf state court found.”
The most important movie of the year: "If I told you that Generation Zero is the best movie about deficit spending and national debt that you will ever see, would you think I was making a joke? As in, how much competition can there be in such a category? OK, there’s not much competition in the ‘fiscal film’ category. But Generation Zero … is going to do for the tea party movement — and the larger cause of controlling government spending — what Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth did for the global warming debate. There are some differences, however.”
Obama generates gloom: "Just 25% of U.S. voters now say the country is heading in the right direction, the lowest level of voter confidence since early January 2009. Correspondingly, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 69% believe the nation is heading down the wrong track, the highest level measured in 14 months. These findings mirror those in a separate survey this week that shows views of the country's short- and long-term economic future are gloomier than they have been at any time since President Obama took office in January of last year. Leading up to his inauguration a year ago, the number of voters who felt the country was heading in the right direction remained below 20%. The week of his inauguration, voter confidence rose to 27% and then steadily increased, peaking at 40% in early May 2009. Confidence has declined since. As is often the case, there was a brief burst of enthusiasm at the beginning of the year when 32% said the country was heading in the right direction, but that quickly faded.
Another Democrat exits the sinking ship: "Congressman Eric Massa of the 29th district of New York has announced that he is retiring. Politico reports that there are allegations that he sexually harassed a staffer and that he has health issues, so let us say it is not clear exactly what precipitated his decision. In addition, this was anything but a safe seat. Massa defeated Republican incumbent Randy Kuhl in 2008 by a 51%-49% margin while John McCain was carrying the district 50%-48%. Massa lost to Kuhl 51%-49% in 2006; George W. Bush carried the district 56%-42% in 2004. In November Massa voted against the House Democrats’ health care bill, charging that it did not go far enough; it’s a good guess that the Democratic leadership will work to get his vote for the Senate bill. This district, which covers much of Upstate New York’s Southern Tier and includes some suburbs of Rochester, has been an obvious Republican target since the 2008 results came in."
And another one: "Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.) will announce on Friday that he won’t run for re-election to an 8th term in November, becoming the 16th House Democrat to announce plans to leave at the end of this Congress. … Delahunt’s 10th district, which stretches from Cape Cod to the South Shore, could be targeted by Republicans. Earlier this week Joseph Kennedy III, the son of former Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), made clear he would not run for Delahunt’s seat.”
Leftist Britain's tax madness: "Adam Smith put forward four maxims whose ‘evident justice and utility’ should guide nations in their tax policy. He wanted equity, with people to contribute in proportion to the revenue they enjoy. Note that this implies a flat, rather than a progressive, rate. He sought certainty, with citizens knowing the amount, the manner of payment and the time it fall due. Any arbitrary discretion would open opportunities for corruption. He specified convenience, with taxes levied in ways and at times most convenient to the taxpayer. And he stressed efficiency, with no taxes that were disproportionately costly or damaging to collect. Smith did not sanction taxes simply designed to punish people for being rich. The forthcoming 50 percent tax rate fails the tests of both equity and efficiency.”
Britain's "Greenest" newspaper taken over by Russian: "Alexander Lebedev, the former KGB spy, is the new owner of The Independent, industry sources told The Times. The purchase of the loss-making title and The Independent on Sunday comes after the Russian billionaire’s surprise takeover of the London Evening Standard for £1 last January. It is likely that Mr Lebedev will pay a token £1 to the owners Independent News & Media (INM), although he will pledge to invest millions in the two papers. A deal was completed yesterday and is expected to be announced today, sources said... The Independent and The Independent on Sunday were launched in 1986 and 1990 as an alternative to the long-established Fleet Street publications. In 1989 daily circulation reached 400,000, but is now 186,000. The papers lose about £10 million a year."
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 1:06 AM