Thursday, February 18, 2016
A case study in Leftist stupidity and refusal to learn -- the "stolen generation" myth in Australia
On very shallow grounds, many Australian Leftist historians have alleged that 1930s social workers took black (Aboriginal) children from their families willy-nilly and forcibly adopted them into white families in order to make them more like whites. The allegation suits the Leftist tendency to see "racism" under every bed.
Australia is a very tolerant, laid back country that has been absorbing people from many cultures for a couple of hundred years but Leftists are determined to find that Australians are racist -- and the "stolen generation" myth serves that purpose. That the social workers concerned were do-gooder predecessors of today's Leftists doesn't seem to register.
Note the word "generation". That implies thousands. But at most one or two dubious removals have been identified. Only endangered children were removed -- for their own safety -- as various official enquiries in modern times have found.
So how did Leftist historians get it so wrong? By committing a characteristic Leftist mistake: Thinking things were simpler than they were. In particular, they committed a mistake well known to psychologists: Mistaking attitudes for actions.
Psychologists themselves fall into that mistake at times. The most hilarious example of that happens when psychologists purport to study the psychology of conservatism -- aiming to disparage it, of course. They produce sets of statements -- "scales" -- which they believe typify conservative thought and then correlate agreement with them to all sorts of maladjustment. And when they find a correlation they think they have proved that conservatives are a sick lot.
One problem: The scales fail to predict vote for conservative political candidates in national elections. From Adorno, through McClosky to Altemeyer, their lists of "conservative" attitudes do not predict conservative actions. Which shows you how little Leftists know about conservatism -- or anything else much for that matter.
The best known example of an attitude-behavior gap in fact comes from the era of the allegedly "stolen" generation. In the 1930s LaPiere asked restaurateurs if they would serve a minority person. Most said No. So LaPiere sent minorities into the restaurants of the Naysayers and found that they almost all were served without demur. The restaurateurs' attitudes and actions usually did not match.
Why? Because of practical difficulties, mostly. Tossing someone out of your restaurant would create an unpleasant scene which was best avoided.
And a similar thing happened among Australian social workers of the 1930s. Like most people in that era (and indeed today) the social workers saw Aborigines as a sad lot and wished to improve their situation. And a solution that occurred to some of them was to remove all black children from their families and have them brought up by whites in white adoptive families. They failed to grasp how profound are the differences between Aborigines and whites. You are still not allowed to see that, of course.
And the reason why they did not implement that policy was that it was both difficult and mostly illegal. So it was only when the safety of a black child was threatened that they used their social-work powers to remove that child from its family. Given the high rate of dysfunction in black families, however, the only reasonably available adoptive families were often white. And thus the myth of "stolen" children arose among incautious Leftist historians. Caution is in short supply among Leftists generally.
The myth persists among Australian Leftists to this day and it is such a pernicious myth that social workers are often now afraid to remove endangered Aboriginal children from dysfunctional families. It's a myth that kills black kids: Another bad effect of Leftism.
For a systematic debunking of the myth, see historian Keith Windschuttle's magisterial tome "The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, Volume Three, The Stolen Generations 1881-2008". For more concise treatments of the topic see here and here and here (scroll down)
Trump's rejection of the Bushes will help him
He's already got a lot of support from registered Democrats. This should get him more. And who can deny that the Middle-East intervention has not gone well?
Donald Trump adopted Ronald Reagan’s slogan, “Let’s Make America Great Again,” but he continues to defy Reagan’s sacred commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.”
With good reason. Look what Trump’s latest sacrilege got him: Jeb Bush, watching, Eli Manning-like, as big brother shows him how to win the game. And with that sibling psycho-drama comes the added burden of revisiting the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001, which happened on George W. Bush’s presidential watch, and led to his decision to invade Iraq.
Those issues hobbled Jeb Bush at the start of his campaign, as he tried to prove he was his own man — and not his brother’s keeper. Now, thanks to Trump, they are back in the spotlight.
If Reagan-era conventions applied, Trump has gone so nuclear with the ill-speaking, he should be radioactive. But until voters say so, he’s not. Ever the gambler, he’s betting the passion for political revolution on the right is as real as the one on the left — and that flushing out the establishment represented by the Bush dynasty is the path to victory.
That was clear during last Saturday’s debate, when Trump declared, “Obviously, the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake. George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East.” Trump continued to attack during a Monday press conference, comparing the argument that Bush kept the country safe after 9/11 to saying that a rival team “scored 19 runs in the first inning, but after that, we played pretty well.”
Marveling at Trump’s chutzpah now sounds as trite as the sentiment behind Reagan’s famous “It’s morning again in America” ad — a theme reprised in a Marco Rubio campaign ad. But Trump’s success, so far, is based on a different kind of self-promotion. Jeb Bush derides it as Trump’s willingness to insult his way to the White House. The problem for all Trump opponents is that some of his insults ring true enough.
Jeb Bush may have a little more zip than he did when Trump first tagged him as “low-energy,” but he’s far from electric. As for his brother, it’s hard to deny that on the morning of Sept. 11, George W. Bush did not keep the country safe. Having the former president recount his version of being told when the planes struck the World Trade Center towers is a reminder of the controversy over warnings the Bush administration failed to heed.
And hearing the former president declare “The presidency is a serious job that requires sound judgment and good ideas” is not necessarily a boost to the brother who wants to be president. Does Jeb really want to answer yet again for W’s judgment and ideas?
Remember how Jeb Bush struggled to answer questions about the Iraq invasion? First, he said that he, too, would have authorized the invasion. Then he said that, knowing what we know now, mistakes were made. After that, he said we should focus on the lessons learned. And after that, he said the lesson learned was the need for good intelligence.
Pushing Bush back to that turf is win-win for Trump’s quest to make himself great. Making the country great is another matter.
SCOTUS: Now is the time to Follow Democrat Precedents
"The Constitution is not a living organism. ... It's a legal document, and it says what it says and doesn't say what it doesn't say." —Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
News of Antonin Scalia's death was like a kick to the gut for conservatives. Scalia long has been the anchor of the conservative wing of the court. He was a champion of "originalism" — the philosophy of interpreting the Constitution according to the intentions of the men who wrote it. His jurisprudential brilliance and his sharp wit were legendary, and even though he spent most of his career on the Court in the minority, he had more influence in the minority than his lesser colleagues had in the majority. Such was the high quality of his legal reasoning.
His loss is devastating and cannot be overstated.
His passing also throws a huge curve ball into the political circus that is the presidential election year. Constitutionally, Barack Obama is well within his powers to nominate another justice to replace Scalia, even if that nominee will inevitably be a far left-wing radical with barely disguised contempt for the Constitution as originally written. After all, it should not be surprising for a radical leftist president to nominate a radical leftist judge who shares his view that the Constitution "reflected the fundamental flaw of this country."
At Saturday night's GOP debate, pretty much every Republican frowned on the idea of Obama, with less than a year left in office, nominating another justice, and most said the Senate should block any Obama nominee. Predictably, Democrats are outraged at the thought of Obama not getting his choice confirmed.
What short memories they have.
First, let's stipulate that Obama does have the power, even the duty some might argue, to nominate a replacement to the Supreme Court. Article II, Section 2, Clause 2, states, "He shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint ... Judges of the supreme Court."
But maybe angry liberals, furious at expected GOP "obstruction," should recall the words of a newly elected Barack Obama on Jan. 23, 2009, when at the beginning of a meeting to discuss the "stimulus" bill he arrogantly chided GOP Minority Leader Eric Cantor, "Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won." Considering that Republicans made historic gains in the U.S. House, Senate, and state governorships and legislatures during the 2010 and 2014 midterms, it would seem that Republicans are well within their rights to demand a Supreme Court nominee that is acceptable to them.
Democrats might also do well to note that Senator Barack Obama voted against George W. Bush nominee and now Chief Justice John Roberts — the same man who saved ObamaCare not once but twice — and filibustered Samuel Alito. In doing so, Obama declared it incumbent upon the Senate to make "an examination of a judge's philosophy, ideology and record." It's worth noting that of the 16 presidents who served in the Senate, Obama is the only one who filibustered a Supreme Court nomination. What goes around comes around.
Furthermore, it was none other than soon-to-be top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who, in 2007, a full 18 months before Bush left office, gave a speech to the liberal American Constitution Society in which he said, "We should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court, except in extraordinary circumstances. ... They must prove by actions, not words, that they are in the mainstream rather than we have to prove that they are not."
And then there's the sordid history of Democrat senators like Chuck Schumer, Ted Kennedy and Obama's own vice president, Joe Biden, engaging in vicious character assassination of conservative judicial nominees like Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.
Democrats are currently pleading that they confirmed Anthony Kennedy in 1988 — also an election year. But they conveniently neglect to mention why that was necessary. Bork, Ronald Reagan's first choice for the seat, was so thoroughly pilloried and slandered that a new term — "borked" — was coined to describe the attack. Bork was defeated, leaving Reagan to choose Kennedy instead.
And Thomas referred to his confirmation process, which he narrowly passed after Democrats portrayed him as a sexual deviant, as a "high-tech lynching."
Several 4-4 decisions now loom, leaving bad results in place for Little Sisters of the Poor, Obama's immigration actions and forced union dues supporting political causes that workers oppose. And with a series of 5-4 opinions from the High Court in recent years deciding the scope of our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, our First Amendment rights as pertains to political speech, the legal definition of marriage (and in the process putting our freedoms of religion, speech and assembly at risk), it is absolutely imperative that Republicans hold out for a strict constructionist in the mold of Scalia.
Scalia was a legal giant and, though portrayed as just short of the devil by leftists, a good man who quietly lived by his principles, even when he thought no one was looking, which may be why he was able to be "best buddies" with an ideological opposite like Ruth Bader-Ginsberg. Republicans owe it to his memory, and more importantly, to the never-ending battle for the security and sanctity of the Constitution which Scalia spent nearly half a century honoring and defending, to make sure that the next Supreme Court justice shares his respect and reverence for Rule of Law.
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Posted by JR at 1:19 AM