Friday, April 01, 2016

Border Patrol Agents Endorse Trump; Defy Obama’s Bureaucrats

No matter how the race for the GOP presidential nomination concludes after the remaining primaries and caucuses and the Cleveland convention, there is no denying that immigration will be a priority issue in the general election. There also is no denying that Donald Trump has made immigration a key issue in the Republican primary season since he announced his candidacy last June.

Now the men and women who protect the nation’s borders on a daily basis have stepped forward to endorse Trump. The endorsement came from the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), the union that represents 16,500 Border Patrol agents.

Breaking with its tradition of withholding endorsements in presidential primaries, the NBPC said Trump will stand up for Border Patrol agents and resist pressure from special interests and government bureaucrats.

“Mr. Trump will take on special interests and embrace the ideas of rank-and-file Border Patrol agents rather than listening to the management yes-men who say whatever they are programmed to say. This is a refreshing change that we have not seen before – and may never see again.”

The NBPS endorsement came in a statement signed by Brandon Judd, President of the Council. Judd praised Trump for speaking for those without political power.

“You can judge a man by his opponents: all the people responsible for the problems plaguing America today are opposing Mr. Trump. It is those without political power – the workers, the law enforcement officers, the everyday families and community members – who are supporting Mr. Trump.”



When it comes to Trump-hating, it is worse than conspiracy, it is consensus

No candidate in modern times has been on the receiving end of more demonizing than Donald J. Trump.  It spews from leftist publications and blogs, publications and blogs on the right and from the so-called main stream media.  Second only to the hate directed at Mr. Trump is the demonizing directed to his supporters.

The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, National Review, Weekly Standard, The New Republic, The Nation, The Dailey Kos, The Huffington Post, and Red State all have joined in a huge spitting squad and the spit is all directed at Mr. Trump.  As some of us used to say about during the Cold War about the U.S. Government aiding the Soviet Union, “it is worse than conspiracy, it is consensus.”

If you think this is an exaggeration just Google “Trump Stalin.”  You will get 772,000 hits comparing Mr. Trump to one of worlds all time mass murders and leader of The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.  Then try, “Trump Hitler.”  That will get you 2,710,000 hits comparing Mr. Trump unfavorably with the leader of the National Socialist Workers Party.

What has Mr. Trump done to engender this raw hatred from all points of the establishment’s political spectrum?  Makes one wonder is there any real difference between alleged conservative Bill Kristol and Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders.  It is like listening to a chorus of the ruling class.  The sopranos sound different than the baritones but in reality they are all singing the same song.

Demonization is the name of the game.  When Mr. Trump suggests enforcing existing law at the border we are told he hates Mexicans.  When he suggests we have a moratorium on Muslim immigration we are told he hates a billion people.  Conclusion: He is a hater just like Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin.

When he calls for a restoration of libel laws destroyed by the New York Times v. Sullivan Supreme Court decision he is calling for the repeal of the First Amendment.  When he criticizes Obama he is a racist.  If he takes issue with Mrs. Clinton he is a sexist.  If he does not agree with Bernie Sanders he is an anti-Semite.

When provocateurs invade his venues with the goal of causing violence and they are successful it is his fault and he is roundly condemned.  When these same provocateurs illegally block a public highway to attempt to prevent Mr. Trump from speaking they are exercising their First Amendment rights and he is trying to rob them of such rights.

In the world of the Trump haters black is white, wrong is right and up is down.  George Orwell, call your office.

As Scott Adams of Dilbert fame and the Breitbart web site have observed, what the media, right, legacy and left is doing consciously or unconsciously is setting Mr. Trump up for assassination, there has already been one attempted assault on Mr. Trump in Chicago.  It will be his fault.  “He brought it on himself!”  This will be loudly and incessantly repeated.  The assassination will be a ratings bonanza for the media which will give them the opportunity to make a lot of money while pushing this message and excusing themselves.

What the threats towards Mr. Trump’s children and his sister show is that this scenario not as far-fetched as it may appear at first glance.  Can it be stopped?  One can only hope.



Some interesting apples-to-apples comparisons

Nordics, Chinese, education and guns

While there are many things I admire about Scandinavian nations, I’ve never understood why leftists such as Bernie Sanders think they are great role models.

Not only are income levels and living standards higher in the United States, but the data show that Americans of Swedish origin in America have much higher incomes than the Swedes who still live in Sweden. And the same is true for other Nordic nations.

The Nordics-to-Nordics comparisons seem especially persuasive because they’re based on apples-to-apples data. What other explanation can there be, after all, if the same people earn more and produce more when government is smaller?

The same point seems appropriate when examining how people of Chinese origin earn very high incomes in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States (all places with reasonably high levels of economic liberty), but are relatively poor in China (where there is still far too much government control over economic affairs).

Again, what possible explanation is there other than the degree of economic freedom?

Let’s now look at two other examples of how leftist arguments fall apart when using apples-to-apples comparisons.

A few years ago, there was a major political fight in Wisconsin over the power of unionized government bureaucracies. State policy makers eventually succeeded in curtailing union privileges.

Some commentators groused that this would make Wisconsin more like non-union Texas. And the Lone Star States was not a good role model for educating children, according to Paul Krugman.

This led David Burge (a.k.a., Iowahawk) to take a close look at the numbers to see which state actually did a better job of educating students. And when you compare apples to apples, it turns out that Longhorns rule and Badgers drool.

".…white students in Texas perform better than white students in Wisconsin, black students in Texas perform better than black students in Wisconsin, Hispanic students in Texas perform better than Hispanic students in Wisconsin. In 18 separate ethnicity-controlled comparisons, the only one where Wisconsin students performed better than their peers in Texas was 4th grade science for Hispanic students (statistically insignificant), and this was reversed by 8th grade. Further, Texas students exceeded the national average for their ethnic cohort in all 18 comparisons; Wisconsinites were below the national average in 8… Not only did white Texas students outperform white Wisconsin students, the gap between white students and minority students in Texas was much less than the gap between white and minority students in Wisconsin"

In other words, students are better off in Texas schools than in Wisconsin schools – especially minority students.  This is what I call a devastating debunking.

Our second example showing the value of apples-to-apples comparisons deals with gun control.

Writing for PJ Media, Clayton Cramer compares murder rates in adjoining American states and Canadian provinces. He starts by acknowledging that a generic US-v.-Canada comparison might lead people to think gun rights are somehow a factor in more deaths.

"…for Canada as a whole, murder rates are still considerably lower than for the United States as a whole. For 2011, Canada had 1.73 homicides per 100,000 people; the United States had 4.8 murders and non-negligent homicides per 100,000 people.

But he then makes comparisons that suggest guns are not a relevant factor.

"…look at murder rates for Canadian provinces and compare them to their immediate American state neighbors. When you do that, you discover some very curious differences that show gun availability must be either a very minor factor in determining murder rates, or if it is a major factor, it is overwhelmed by factors that are vastly more important.

Gun ownership is easy and widespread in Idaho, for instance, but murder rates are lower than in many otherwise similar Canadian provinces.

I live in Idaho.  In 2011, our murder rate was 2.3 per 100,000 people.  We have almost no gun-control laws here. You need a permit to carry concealed in cities, but nearly anyone who may legally own a firearm and is over 21 can get that permit.  We are subject to the federal background check on firearms, but otherwise there are no restrictions. Do you want a machine gun? And yes, I mean a real machine gun, not a semiautomatic AR-15. There is the federal paperwork required, but the state imposes no licensing of its own.  I have friends with completely legal full-automatic Thompson submachine guns.

Surely with such lax gun-control laws, our murder rate must be much higher than our Canadian counterparts’ rate. But this is not the case: I was surprised to find that not only Nunavut (21.01) and the Northwest Territories (6.87) in Canada had much higher murder rates than Idaho, but even Nova Scotia (2.33), Manitoba (4.24), Saskatchewan (3.59), and Alberta (2.88) had higher murder rates.

The same is true for other states (all with laws that favor gun ownership) that border Canada.

What about Minnesota? It had 1.4 murders per 100,000 in 2011, lower than not only all those prairie provinces, but even lower than Canada as a whole.  Montana had 2.8 murders per 100,000, still better than four Canadian provinces and one Canadian territory.  When you get to North Dakota, another one of these American states with far less gun control than Canada, the murder rate is 3.5 per 100,000, still lower than Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.  And let me emphasize that Minnesota, Montana, and North Dakota, like Idaho, are all shall-issue concealed-weapon permit states: nearly any adult without a felony conviction or a domestic violence misdemeanor conviction can obtain a concealed weapon permit with little or no effort.

The takeaway from this evidence (as well as other evidence I have shared) is that availability of guns doesn’t cause murders. Other factors dominate.

P.S. Regarding the gun control data shared above, some leftists might be tempted to somehow argue that American states with cold weather somehow are less prone to violence. That doesn’t make sense since the Canadian provinces presumably are even colder. Moreover, that argument conflicts with comparing murder rates in chilly Chicago and steamy Houston.



Donors choose

A brief review of Barber, M., “Representing the Preferences of Donors, Partisans, and Voters in the US Senate,” Public Opinion Quarterly (forthcoming).

SOME HAVE ATTRIBUTED the surprising popularity of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump to a divergence between ordinary voters and the “donor class,” who typically bankroll candidates. But are politicians actually aligned with their donors? A survey of donors from the 2012 election revealed that senators and their donors are in “nearly perfect” ideological alignment, whereas senators are less aligned with average voters of the same party or those who actually voted for the senator, not to mention voters overall. Some of this may simply be explained by donors contributing only to candidates already in close alignment, but given that donors tend to be ideologically motivated, it’s not like candidates can just as easily raise money by moderating themselves ideologically.



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 A WESTERN HEART.

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