Friday, October 30, 2015

Is a grateful heart the mark of a conservative?

I think it is. Prayers of thanks are routine for Christians but I think it extends beyond Christians.

I was moved to that thought by the case of conservative Australian cartoonist  ZEG, who is a former member of the armed forces, a former policeman and a very conservative man.  Zeg (Steven Gunnell) undoubtedly has a grateful heart.  At age 48 he has discovered that he has a dangerous vascular formation in his brain that could kill him at any time.  And it is very nearly inoperable. It is probably as I write this that he is undergoing the risky surgery involved. He will probably survive but runs a big risk of being destroyed as a person.

So is Zeg bitter, angry and resentful?  Far from it.  I reproduce on AUSTRALIAN POLITICS the email he sent to people he knows before he went into hospital.  It is one long note of gratitude and thanks to his many friends.  I am proud to be among them. There are even some politicians he praises!

But what struck me particularly was this paragraph:

"Remember always that we inherited this great gift of freedom and democracy from the generations before us -- thus it is our responsibility, NAY,  our duty to ensure that the next and future generations inherit not only what we have now but an even better and more secure freedom"

Could any Leftist write that?  I can't see it.  They HATE what they have inherited.  That we feel a connection with our forefathers and an appreciation of what they worked -- often very hard -- to achieve is a large part of what makes us conservative.  We are connected to our past.  Leftists are not.  Or if they do feel a connection, they despise it.  What sad people!

And as Zeg says, in appreciating the blessings that we have been given through no work of our own, we feel an obligation at least to preserve it.  Most of us would rather just get on with our own lives rather than bothering with politics but, when there are so many twisted and relentless enemies of what is dear to us, we have to fight.

A great Christian song of gratitude and appreciation


Rand Paul on Socialism: ‘If You Don’t Listen … They Exterminate You’

 In an interview on “The Glenn Beck Program” on Monday, GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called socialism “the most anti-choice economic system,” where ultimately if you don’t listen, “they exterminate you.”

“It’s the most anti-choice economic system. If you don’t listen, they fine you. If you don’t pay the fine, they imprison you. If you will not listen, ultimately what has happened in history – and people get mad when I say this – but they exterminate you, and that’s what happened under Stalin,” said Paul.

During the first Democratic presidential primary debate in, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he would explain what democratic socialism is.

“You call yourself a democratic socialist. How can any kind of socialist win a general election in the United States?” CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Sanders during the debate.

“We're going to win, because first we're going to explain what democratic socialism is, and what democratic socialism is about is saying that it is immoral and wrong that the top one-tenth of one percent in this country own almost 90 percent--own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. That it is wrong, today--in a rigged economy--that 57 percent of all new income is going to the top 1 percent,” Sanders said at the time.

“Bernie Sanders is talking about the way capitalism is being done is immoral, and he can make a good case for it. The way the crony capitalists are in with the people in Washington, the way Washington is being run is immoral,” Beck said during his program on Monday.

“The problem though is Bernie complains about crony capitalism. He kind of gets it right, but he equates it with all of capitalism, and he actually promotes something called democratic socialism, and I’ve been trying to point out, because I’m on a lot of college campuses – we have a big following in college campuses – that there’s nothing sexy, and there’s nothing cool about socialism,” said Paul.

“What there is, is the implied force that goes along with taking away your choice. They tell you, you cannot make reindeer. You cannot make cars. You cannot sell water. Only the state tells you what you can do. It’s the most anti-choice economic system,” he said.

“If you don’t listen, they fine you. If you don’t pay the fine, they imprison you. If you will not listen, ultimately what has happened in history – and people get mad when I say this – but they exterminate you, and that’s what happened under Stalin,” Paul added.

“People say, oh, no, no, he wants democratic socialism. The problem is a majority can be just as bad as one single authoritarian, and that’s why we shouldn’t allow any of our rights to be subject to a majority,” he said.

“Our Founding Fathers understood that. They understood that your rights come from your creator, and no majority should be able to take them away from you,” Paul said.



Fear of blacks is not racist

Walter E. Williams explains that stereotypes have a "kernel of truth" -- as psychologists long ago pointed out.  See Allport, G. W. (1954). "The nature of prejudice". Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Hillary Clinton told a mixed audience, "I mean, if we're honest, for a lot of well-meaning, open-minded white people, the sight of a young black man in a hoodie still evokes a twinge of fear" (

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of that observation, I'd like to ask a question. Would well-meaning, open-minded white people have a similar fear at the sight of an elderly black man using a walker and wearing a hoodie?

Whether we like it or not, easily observed physical characteristics — such as race, sex, height and age — convey information. That's because there is often a correlation between those characteristics and other characteristics not so easily observed. Say that you're a police commander faced with the task of finding vandals responsible for slashing car tires and smashing windows. How much of the city's resources would you expend investigating 60- to 70-year-old Chinese men? You probably wouldn't spend resources on any men in that age group. So who is responsible for your decision not to investigate 60- to 70-year-old Chinese men and other men of the same age? If you said it's the behavioral reputation of that demographic as a group, you'd be absolutely right.

When I had nearly completed my doctorate at UCLA, Mrs. Williams and I purchased a home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, a high-end, exclusive suburb of Washington. Our house was on the corner, and motorists often tossed debris on our lawn adjacent to the street. A Saturday chore was to pick up the trash. One Saturday, an elderly white man offered, "When you're finished working here, can you come to work at my place?" I responded that I'd be busy putting the finishing touches on my doctoral dissertation and would not have the time. The man was embarrassed and apologized profusely.

The man took for granted, with a high degree of probability, that if one saw a black man picking up trash in Chevy Chase in 1971, he was a hired hand. The man's action may have been annoying, but it would be an error to classify it as racism.

When I was awarded a national fellowship at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in 1975, we moved to Palo Alto, California. I was determined to lose weight and shape up during my year at Hoover. I visited Stanford's basketball court. White guys argued with one another to have me on their team, but that was the last time. I could barely run up and down the court, much less do anything constructive upon arrival. They appeared angry with me. No doubt their displeasure was, "How dare you be a 6-foot-5-inch black guy and bad at basketball?!"

So who is responsible for such an expectation held by whites? If blacks didn't have a reputation for basketball excellence, I wouldn't have suffered the scorn. By the way, 10 months later and about 15 pounds lighter, I returned to the basketball court with my former excellence, dignity and racial pride.

So what are we to make of Clinton's observation? Who is responsible for "a lot of well-meaning, open-minded white people" experiencing a "twinge of fear" at "the sight of a young black man in a hoodie"? Before coming up with your answer, know that in cities such as New York, Chicago and Washington, black taxi drivers often avoid picking up young black males. A black female commissioner in Washington once warned cabdrivers against picking up "dangerous-looking" characters — for example, a "young black guy ... with (his) shirttail hanging down longer than his coat, baggy pants, (and) unlaced tennis shoes." A black and Hispanic president of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers told his drivers to "profile" their passengers. "The God's honest truth is that 99 percent of the people that are robbing, stealing, killing these drivers are blacks and Hispanics," he said.

So we have black taxi drivers who get the same "twinge of fear" as Hillary Clinton's liberal white people. Who is responsible for creating that fear? I hope you won't say black taxi drivers and well-meaning white people.



Obama Tells Falsehoods About Israel, Retracts, Then Repeats Falsehoods

The top propaganda tactics the administration is using to demonize the Jewish State

After weeks of murderous Palestinian stabbing attacks upon innocent Israelis, how has the Obama Administration responded?

Although Israel has been killing or apprehending knife-wielding terrorists, while Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) has been inciting and glorifying their acts of murder, the Administration presents both sides as morally equivalent, while insinuating or even asserting Israeli responsibility.

Obama officials have been doing this in five ways:

1. Condemning violence and incitement on both sides: Specifically condemning attacks on innocent Israelis, Secretary of State John Kerry nonetheless also called upon “all sides to take affirmative steps to restore calm” and called for “leadership that condemns the tit-for-tat.” And State Department spokesman John Kirby explicitly stated, “we recognize that incitement can go both ways here.”

2. Refusing to identify or condemn PA incitement to violence: Despite disseminating falsehoods  about Palestinian terrorists being innocents murdered in cold blood by Israel and Muslim supremacist calls by Abbas for Muslims to block imaginary Israeli take-over and “desecration” of Muslim shrines with “their filthy feet,” Administration officials don’t allude to this, much less condemn it. Quite the contrary: State Department spokesman Mark Toner implied Israel isn’t upholding the status quo on Temple Mount, while Mr. Kirby explicitly endorsed this false Palestinian claim, saying, “certainly, the status quo has not been observed, which has led to a lot of the violence.”

3. Refusing to identify which side is using terrorism: Secretary Kerry has spoken of “a revolving cycle,” while Mr. Toner has referred to the “recent wave of violence,” not Palestinian terrorism, and refused to “assign blame” for the attacks. So did Mr. Kirby (“this isn’t about affixing ... blame on either side”).

4. Accusing Israel of using excessive force in dealing with the knife-wielding terrorists: Mr. Kirby baldy stated that “we’ve certainly seen some reports of what many would consider excessive use of force.”

5. Rationalizing the Arab violence as partly the product of Jews moving into or living in the West Bank: Secretary Kerry spoke of  a “massive increase in [Jewish] settlements over the course of the last years,” which is neither a warrant for murder nor even true: construction within Jewish communities in the West Bank has dropped during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s six-year tenure to its lowest point since the Rabin government.

When the Obama Administration nullifies and voids the meaning and worth of its original condemnation of attacks on Israelis with defamatory charges and moral equivalence, it exposes its hostility and bias against Israel.

It is also inflammatory –– if Kerry can assign blame for Arab terrorism on Jews building houses in the West Bank, why can’t Arabs?

It is also untenable: one cannot credibly condemn terrorist acts and then include under the rubric of restoring calm forbearing from lawful actions of self-defense taken in response to them.

Under consequent pressure to to clarify the U.S. position, White House spokesman Josh Earnest denied that Secretary Kerry assigned any specific blame for the recent tensions –– which, of course, he had. Mr. Kirby avowed that “we have never accused Israeli security forces with excessive force with respect to these terrorist attacks” –– which, of course, he had –– and recanted his false statement, saying, “I did not intend to suggest that status quo at Temple Mount/Haram Al-Sharif has been broken” –– which, of course, he did.

These disavowals and retractions are correct and necessary –– but do not dispose of the root problem of hostility and bias.

Recall, for example, Secretary Kerry last year publicly bolstered the Palestinian delegitimization campaign by suggesting that Israel could become an apartheid state and would be understandably the target of boycotts if negotiations then on foot failed. Kerry later retracted his words –– but the damage was done.

The Administration seems to be seeking the damaging effects of these subsequently triangulated statements. The clarifications are just sufficiently retractive to mollify critics, while nonetheless preserving the original, damaging impact.

In this instance, President Obama seems to think they retracted too much.

Accordingly, on October 16, he himself doubled down on the original misrepresentations uttered by his officials on October 13 and 14, but retracted on October 14 and 15,  saying, “We must try to get all people in Israel, and the West Bank” to oppose “random violence.” President Obama also urged both Messrs. Netanyahu and Abbas to tamp down rhetoric, and again called into question Israel’s maintenance of Jerusalem’s status quo.

As for Abbas’ incitement –– still not a word from him, nor from UN Ambassador Samantha Power, who has also doubled down on some of the earlier false charges in the UN Security Council.

The Obama Administration is telling falsehoods about Israel, retracting them and then restating them. When someone persists with falsehoods, even after admitting them to be untrue, he intends them to stick.



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

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


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