Friday, June 30, 2017

Very strong study shows health advantages for high IQ people across the board

This sort of finding emerges so often that I should probably stop putting them up.  But when the Left keep dismissing IQ as meaningless, what am I to do?

Childhood intelligence in relation to major causes of death in 68 year follow-up: prospective population study

Ian J Deary et al.


Objectives: To examine the association between intelligence measured in childhood and leading causes of death in men and women over the life course.

Design: Prospective cohort study based on a whole population of participants born in Scotland in 1936 and linked to mortality data across 68 years of follow-up.

Setting: Scotland.

Participants: 33 536 men and 32 229 women who were participants in the Scottish Mental Survey of 1947 (SMS1947) and who could be linked to cause of death data up to December 2015.

Main outcome measures: Cause specific mortality, including from coronary heart disease, stroke, specific cancer types, respiratory disease, digestive disease, external causes, and dementia.

Results: Childhood intelligence was inversely associated with all major causes of death. The age and sex adjusted hazard ratios (and 95% confidence intervals) per 1 SD (about 15 points) advantage in intelligence test score were strongest for respiratory disease (0.72, 0.70 to 0.74), coronary heart disease (0.75, 0.73 to 0.77), and stroke (0.76, 0.73 to 0.79). Other notable associations (all P less than 0.001) were observed for deaths from injury (0.81, 0.75 to 0.86), smoking related cancers (0.82, 0.80 to 0.84), digestive disease (0.82, 0.79 to 0.86), and dementia (0.84, 0.78 to 0.90). Weak associations were apparent for suicide (0.87, 0.74 to 1.02) and deaths from cancer not related to smoking (0.96, 0.93 to 1.00), and their confidence intervals included unity. There was a suggestion that childhood intelligence was somewhat more strongly related to coronary heart disease, smoking related cancers, respiratory disease, and dementia in women than men (P value for interactions less than 0.001, 0.02, less than 0.001, and 0.02, respectively).Childhood intelligence was related to selected cancer presentations, including lung (0.75, 0.72 to 0.77), stomach (0.77, 0.69 to 0.85), bladder (0.81, 0.71 to 0.91), oesophageal (0.85, 0.78 to 0.94), liver (0.85, 0.74 to 0.97), colorectal (0.89, 0.83 to 0.95), and haematopoietic (0.91, 0.83 to 0.98). Sensitivity analyses on a representative subsample of the cohort observed only small attenuation of the estimated effect of intelligence (by 10-26%) after adjustment for potential confounders, including three indicators of childhood socioeconomic status. In a replication sample from Scotland, in a similar birth year cohort and follow-up period, smoking and adult socioeconomic status partially attenuated (by 16-58%) the association of intelligence with outcome rates.

Conclusions: In a whole national population year of birth cohort followed over the life course from age 11 to age 79, higher scores on a well validated childhood intelligence test were associated with lower risk of mortality ascribed to coronary heart disease and stroke, cancers related to smoking (particularly lung and stomach), respiratory diseases, digestive diseases, injury, and dementia.

BMJ 2017; 357 doi:


Sarah Palin Sues New York Times For Defamation

There should be more of this.  Leftism floats on a sea of lies -- so that should be made plain to all

Sarah Palin is filing a lawsuit against The New York Times for defamation, based on a June 14 op-ed the paper wrote. The lawsuit charges that the op-ed “falsely stated as a matter of fact to millions of people that Mrs. Palin incited Jared Loughner’s January 8, 2011 shooting rampage at a political event in Tucson, Arizona, during which he shot nineteen people, severely wounding United States Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and killing six, including Chief U.S. District Court Judge John Roll and a nine-year-old girl.”

As Townhall noted, “An FBI investigation, whose findings were revealed last year, found that Jared Lee Loughner was a disturbed young man who may very well have been obsessed with Giffords. His social media postings suggested he was undergoing a ‘mental breakdown,’ The Arizona Republic reported. In conclusion, he was the sole author of the carnage.”

But the Times op-ed, which was referencing the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise, ignored the evidence and wrote:

"Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably. In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, the link to political incitement was clear. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs. Conservatives and right-wing media were quick on Wednesday to demand forceful condemnation of hate speech and crimes by anti-Trump liberals. They’re right. Though there’s no sign of incitement as direct as in the Giffords attack, liberals should of course hold themselves to the same standard of decency that they ask of the right."



Rage Is All the Rage, and It's Dangerous

A generation of media figures are cratering under the historical pressure of Donald Trump. He is killing all their sacred cows

Peggy Noonan
What we are living through in America is not only a division but a great estrangement. It is between those who support Donald Trump and those who despise him, between Left and Right, between the two parties, and even to some degree between the bases of those parties and their leaders in Washington. It is between the religious and those who laugh at Your Make Believe Friend, between cultural progressives and those who wish not to have progressive ways imposed upon them. It is between the coasts and the center, between those in flyover country and those who decide what flyover will watch on television next season. It is between “I accept the court’s decision” and “Bake my cake.” We look down on each other, fear each other, increasingly hate each other.

Oh, to have a unifying figure, program or party.

But we don’t, nor is there any immediate prospect. So, as Ben Franklin said, we’ll have to hang together or we’ll surely hang separately. To hang together — to continue as a country — at the very least we have to lower the political temperature. It’s on all of us more than ever to assume good faith, put our views forward with respect, even charity, and refuse to incite.

We’ve been failing. Here is a reason the failure is so dangerous.

In the early 1990s Roger Ailes had a talk show on the America’s Talking network and invited me to talk about a concern I’d been writing about, which was old-fashioned even then: violence on TV and in the movies. Grim and graphic images, repeated depictions of murder and beatings, are bad for our kids and our culture, I argued. Depictions of violence unknowingly encourage it.

But look, Roger said, there’s comedy all over TV and I don’t see people running through the streets breaking into laughter. True, I said, but the problem is that, for a confluence of reasons, our country is increasingly populated by the not fully stable. They aren’t excited by wit, they’re excited by violence — especially unstable young men. They don’t have the built-in barriers and prohibitions that those more firmly planted in the world do. That’s what makes violent images dangerous and destructive. Art is art and censorship is an admission of defeat. Good judgment and a sense of responsibility are the answer.

That’s what we’re doing now, exciting the unstable — not only with images but with words, and on every platform. It’s all too hot and revved up. This week we had a tragedy. If we don’t cool things down, we’ll have more.

And was anyone surprised? Tuesday I talked with an old friend, a figure in journalism who’s a pretty cool character, about the political anger all around us. He spoke of “horrible polarization.” He said there’s “too much hate in DC.” He mentioned “the beheading, the play in the park” and described them as “dog whistles to any nut who wants to take action.”

“Someone is going to get killed,” he said. That was 20 hours before the shootings in Alexandria, VA.

The gunman did the crime, he is responsible, it’s fatuous to put the blame on anyone or anything else.

But we all operate within a climate and a culture. The media climate now, in both news and entertainment, is too often of a goading, insinuating resentment, a grinding, agitating antipathy. You don’t need another recitation of the events of just the past month or so. A comic posed with a gruesome bloody facsimile of President Trump’s head. New York’s rightly revered Shakespeare in the Park put on a “Julius Caesar” in which the assassinated leader is made to look like the president. A CNN host — amazingly, of a show on religion — sent out a tweet calling the president a “piece of s— ” who is “a stain on the presidency.” An MSNBC anchor wondered, on the air, whether the president wishes to “provoke” a terrorist attack for political gain. Earlier Stephen Colbert, well known as a good man, a gentleman, said of the president, in a rant: “The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c— holster.” Those are but five dots in a larger, darker pointillist painting. You can think of more.

Too many in the mainstream media — not all, but too many — don’t even bother to fake fairness and lack of bias anymore, which is bad: Even faked balance is better than none.

Yes, they have reasons. They find Mr. Trump to be a unique danger to the republic, an incipient fascist; they believe it is their patriotic duty to show opposition. They don’t like his policies. A friend suggested recently that they hate him also because he’s in their business, show business. Who is he to be president? He’s not more talented. And yet as soon as his presidency is over he’ll get another reality show.

And there’s something else. Here I want to note the words spoken by Kathy Griffin, the holder of the severed head. In a tearful news conference she said of the president, “He broke me.” She was roundly mocked for this. Oh, the big bad president’s supporters were mean to you after you held up his bloody effigy. But she was exactly right. He did break her. He robbed her of her sense of restraint and limits, of her judgment. He broke her, but not in the way she thinks, and he is breaking more than her.

We have been seeing a generation of media figures cratering under the historical pressure of Donald Trump. He really is powerful.

They’re losing their heads. Now would be a good time to regain them.

They have been making the whole political scene lower, grubbier. They are showing the young what otherwise estimable adults do under pressure, which is lose their equilibrium, their knowledge of themselves as public figures, as therefore examples — tone setters. They’re paid a lot of money and have famous faces and get the best seat, and the big thing they’re supposed to do in return is not be a slob. Not make it worse.

By indulging their and their audience’s rage, they spread the rage. They celebrate themselves as brave for this. They stood up to the man, they spoke truth to power. But what courage, really, does that take? Their audiences love it. Their base loves it, their demo loves it, their bosses love it. Their numbers go up. They get a better contract. This isn’t brave.

If these were only one-offs, they’d hardly be worth comment, but these things build on each other. Rage and sanctimony always spread like a virus, and become stronger with each iteration.

And it’s no good, no excuse, to say Trump did it first, he lowered the tone, it’s his fault. Your response to his low character is to lower your own character? He talks bad so you

do? You let him destabilize you like this? You are making a testimony to his power.

So many of our media figures need at this point to be reminded: You belong to something. It’s called: us.

Do your part, take it down some notches, cool it. We have responsibilities to each other



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)


Thursday, June 29, 2017

CNN Journalists Resign: Latest Example of Media Recklessness on the Russia Threat

It's about time Trump started prosecuting these liars

Three prominent CNN journalists resigned Monday night after the network was forced to retract and apologize for a story linking Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci to a Russian investment fund under congressional investigation. That article — like so much Russia reporting from the U.S. media — was based on a single anonymous source, and now, the network cannot vouch for the accuracy of its central claims.

In announcing the resignation of the three journalists — Thomas Frank, who wrote the story (not the same Thomas Frank who wrote “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”); Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Eric Lichtblau, recently hired away from the New York Times; and Lex Haris, head of a new investigative unit — CNN said that “standard editorial processes were not followed when the article was published.” The resignations follow CNN’s Friday night retraction of the story, in which it apologized to Scaramucci:

Several factors compound CNN’s embarrassment here. To begin with, CNN’s story was first debunked by an article in Sputnik News, which explained that the investment fund documented several “factual inaccuracies” in the report (including that the fund is not even part of the Russian bank, Vnesheconombank, that is under investigation), and by Breitbart, which cited numerous other factual inaccuracies.

And this episode follows an embarrassing correction CNN was forced to issue earlier this month when several of its highest-profile on-air personalities asserted — based on anonymous sources — that James Comey, in his congressional testimony, was going to deny Trump’s claim that the FBI director assured him he was not the target of any investigation.

When Comey confirmed Trump’s story, CNN was forced to correct its story. “An earlier version of this story said that Comey would dispute Trump’s interpretation of their conversations. But based on his prepared remarks, Comey outlines three conversations with the president in which he told Trump he was not personally under investigation,” said the network.

But CNN is hardly alone when it comes to embarrassing retractions regarding Russia. Over and over, major U.S. media outlets have published claims about the Russia Threat that turned out to be completely false — always in the direction of exaggerating the threat and/or inventing incriminating links between Moscow and the Trump circle. In virtually all cases, those stories involved evidence-free assertions from anonymous sources that these media outlets uncritically treated as fact, only for it to be revealed that they were entirely false.

Several of the most humiliating of these episodes have come from the Washington Post. On December 30, the paper published a blockbuster, frightening scoop that immediately and predictably went viral and generated massive traffic. Russian hackers, the paper claimed based on anonymous sources, had hacked into the “U.S. electricity grid” through a Vermont utility.

That, in turn, led MSNBC journalists, and various Democratic officials, to instantly sound the alarm that Putin was trying to deny Americans heat during the winter:

Literally every facet of that story turned out to be false. First, the utility company — which the Post had not bothered to contact — issued a denial, pointing out that malware was found on one laptop that was not connected either to the Vermont grid or the broader U.S. electricity grid. That forced the Post to change the story to hype the still-alarmist claim that this malware “showed the risk” posed by Russia to the U.S. electric grid, along with a correction at the top repudiating the story’s central claim:

But then it turned out that even this limited malware was not connected to Russian hackers at all and, indeed, may not have been malicious code of any kind. Those revelations forced the Post to publish a new article days later entirely repudiating the original story.

Embarrassments of this sort are literally too numerous to count when it comes to hyped, viral U.S. media stories over the last year about the Russia Threat. Less than a month before its electric grid farce, the Post published a blockbuster story — largely based on a blacklist issued by a brand new, entirely anonymous group — featuring the shocking assertion that stories planted or promoted by Russia’s “disinformation campaign” were viewed more than 213 million times.

That story fell apart almost immediately. The McCarthyite blacklist of Russia disinformation outlets on which it relied contained numerous mainstream sites. The article was widely denounced. And the Post, two weeks later, appended a lengthy editor’s note at the top:

Weeks earlier, Slate published another article that went viral on Trump and Russia, claiming that a secret server had been discovered that the Trump Organization used to communicate with a Russian bank. After that story was hyped by Hillary Clinton herself, multiple news outlets (including The Intercept) debunked it, noting that the story had been shopped around for months but found no takers. Ultimately, the Washington Post made clear how reckless the claims were:

A few weeks later, C-SPAN made big news when it announced that it had been hacked and its network had been taken over by the state-owned Russian outlet RT:

That, too, turned out to be totally baseless, and C-SPAN was forced to renounce the claim:

In the same time period — December 2016 — The Guardian published a story by reporter Ben Jacobs claiming that WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, had “long had a close relationship with the Putin regime.” That claim, along with several others in the story, was fabricated, and The Guardian was forced to append a retraction to the story:

Perhaps the most significant Russia falsehood came from CrowdStrike, the firm hired by the DNC to investigate the hack of its email servers. Again in the same time period — December 2016 — the firm issued a new report accusing Russian hackers of nefarious activities involving the Ukrainian army, which numerous outlets, including (of course) the Washington Post, uncritically hyped.

“A cybersecurity firm has uncovered strong proof of the tie between the group that hacked the Democratic National Committee and Russia’s military intelligence arm — the primary agency behind the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 election,” the Post claimed. “The firm CrowdStrike linked malware used in the DNC intrusion to malware used to hack and track an Android phone app used by the Ukrainian army in its battle against pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine from late 2014 through 2016.”

Yet that story also fell apart. In March, the firm “revised and retracted statements it used to buttress claims of Russian hacking during last year’s American presidential election campaign” after several experts questioned its claims, and “CrowdStrike walked back key parts of its Ukraine report.”

What is most notable about these episodes is that they all go in the same direction: hyping and exaggerating the threat posed by the Kremlin. All media outlets will make mistakes; that is to be expected. But when all of the “mistakes” are devoted to the same rhetorical theme, and when they all end up advancing the same narrative goal, it seems clear that they are not the byproduct of mere garden-variety journalistic mistakes.

There are great benefits to be reaped by publishing alarmist claims about the Russian Threat and Trump’s connection to it. Stories that depict the Kremlin and Putin as villains and grave menaces are the ones that go most viral, produce the most traffic, generate the most professional benefits such as TV offers, along with online praise and commercial profit for those who disseminate them. That’s why blatantly inane anti-Trump conspiracists and Russia conspiracies now command such a large audience: because there is a voracious appetite among anti-Trump internet and cable news viewers for stories, no matter how false, that they want to believe are true (and, conversely, expressing any skepticism about such stories results in widespread accusations that one is a Kremlin sympathizer or outright agent).

SOURCE  (See the original for links and graphics)


A comfortable and complacent middle class lady tweets a reply to Donald Trump, revealing the foulness that lives in her head


How Donald Trump is killing romance

LOL.  I have seen something of this myself

In the treacherous, amusing and sometimes rewarding world of online dating, Donald Trump has become the newest way to find – or reject – a romantic match.

“Did you vote for or do you support Trump? Then I’m not your man. It would never work,” one user says in the opener to his bio on Tinder, a popular mobile dating platform that boasts 26 million matches per day.

“Trump voters please swipe left, and go to your room and think about what you’ve done,” wrote another Tinder user, referring to the way to dismiss a potential date in the app.

“What I’m looking for . . . well, in this crazy day and age, first and foremost, someone who did not vote for Trump,” says a profile on Bumble, a dating app in which women make the first move.

Since his election, the president has become a new measure of compatibility – much like someone’s age, religion, wanting kids or simply finding things in common. Dating, online and off, is more supercharged with politics than it’s ever been, said online dating experts who specialize in matchmaking.

“His presidency has created this new deal-breaker,” said Laurie Davis Edwards, a relationship coach and founder of the website

“I’ve never seen it like this before, where people say ‘no’ to Trump supporters, or they only want to date other Trump supporters,” she said. “It tells me that people are valuing politics much higher as a preference than they were before



The grim tyranny of liberalism

Author and conservative pundit Mark Levin contrasts what “we believe” with what “they believe” in an interview discussing his new book on "Fox and Friends."

Appearing on Tuesday’s show, Levin explained how his new book, “Rediscovering Americanism – and the Tyranny of Progressivism,” warns of the dangerous, destructive principles behind liberalism.

It’s vitally important to understand what liberal elites believe, because they currently have such great influence on our society, Levin said:

“We ignore academics and intellectuals at our own peril, because it is they who decide what kind of politics we’re going to have – whether it’s Marxism, whether it’s Capitalism, whatever it is.”
While conservatives value freedom and individualism, so-called “progressives” promote a grim form of tyranny, Levin warns:

“On the other side, we have this force of dark, gloom, bleak tyranny – and it’s progressivism.”

Levin closes with a rapid-fire contrast of what “we believe in” with “what they believe in,” listing the principles that set conservatism apart from progressivism – and calls on Americans to defend those precepts that made America great:

“It’s crucial, and I’m doing it here, that we take on their elites, that we take on their so-called thinkers, because the principles are with us.”



Student Sentenced to Prison for Registering Dead Voters as Democrats

A Virginia student was sentenced to a maximum of four months on prison on Monday after pleading guilty to submitting 18 false Virginia Voter registration forms.

James Madison University student Andrew J. Spieles, 21, was hired to register Virginia voters for Harrisonburg Votes, a political organization affiliated with the Democratic Party, when he submitted the falsified forms.

In July 2016, Spieles’ job was to register as many voters as possible and report to Democratic Campaign headquarters in Harrisonburg, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a release.

An employee at the Register’s Office called police after noticing that the deceased father of a local county judge was registered to vote.

“The Registrar’s Office discovered multiple instances of similarly falsified forms when it reviewed additional registrations. Some were in the names of deceased individuals while others bore incorrect middle names, birth dates, and social security numbers,” the statement continues. “The Registrar’s Office learned that the individuals named in these forms had not in fact submitted the new voter registrations.”

Spieles, who says he acted alone, admitted to preparing the false voter registration forms by obtaining the name, age and address of individuals from “walk sheets” created by the Virginia Democratic Party. He also admitted to fabricating Social Security numbers and birth dates for the forms.

As part of his plea deal, Spieles agreed to serve a prison sentence of 100 to 120 days.



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)


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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.


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.



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.



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.



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?



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)


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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.



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.



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)


Monday, June 26, 2017

A parasite

A man


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?



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.



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.



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.”



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)


Sunday, June 25, 2017

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 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.



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.



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.”



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)


Friday, June 23, 2017

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.


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."


'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?



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:



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)