Friday, January 27, 2017

The stockmarket thinks Trump is on the right path

The Dow Jones smashed the landmark 20,000 barrier for the first time ever this afternoon as optimism about Trump’s pro-growth policies boosted financial markets.

Resuming a rally that began in the wake of Donald Trump’s shock US presidential election win, the index rose by as much as 0.73pc to 20,057.89.

The rally was reignited by Trump’s signing of numerous executive orders since his inauguration on Friday. Last night, he also tweeted about his intention to build a wall on the Mexican border.

It has taken the index just two short months, or 42 sessions, to climb from the first close above 19,000 to 20,000. It’s worth noting the rise between 18,000 and 19,000 took some 483 trading sessions.



Why Leftists are violent and more criminal

It follows from their personalities and beliefs.  It's basic to who they are


Trump threatens the identity of Leftists

First there was the woman at Hillary Clinton's election night "victory party" who curled up in the fetal position and began crying after learning there was to be no victory. But that's just one person, I thought.

Then, on the eve of his inauguration, New York Times columnist Charles Blow not only declared Donald Trump's presidency illegitimate, he addressed the president elect in this way: "You will wear that scarlet `I' on your tan chest for as long as you sit in the White House." Hmm, I guess that's just like Hester Prynne's scarlet "A." Okay, I thought, that's just one hyperbolic columnist and in one increasingly partisan newspaper - even if it is supposed to be "the paper of record."

But then there was a full-page advertisement in the Times (imagine how much that must have cost), in which activists, celebrities and intellectuals, including Bill Ayers, Deborah Messing, Alice Walker, Cornell West and "thousands more," signed on to this message: NO! IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY, WE REFUSE TO ACCEPT A FACIST AMERICA! The ad blared these words in 36-point type. It followed with: STOP THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME BEFORE IT STARTS.

Normally, as you go through the stages of grief, you are supposed to "get over it." But in this case grief seems to be feeding on grief, and it's spiraling out of hand. At last count, one-third of the Democrats in the House of Representatives boycotted President Trump's inauguration. Paul Krugman, writing in the Times, called the boycott "an act of patriotism."

The anti-Trump mentality has been showing up in the strangest places. The names of First Family members have long been a staple of crossword puzzles. The New York Times puzzles, for example, have routinely used clues for which Obama, Sasha and Malia were the answers. (Constructors love answers with lots of vowels.) But the other day, crossword blogger Rex Parker railed at length over the Times' use of Trump children's names in this manner. The practice "normalizes" the new president, he wrote.

So, what's going on? Is some sort of malady infecting the mental faculties of famous people and the media elite? Or, is the disease more widespread?

The latter it turns out. Facebook reports that liberals are six or seven times more likely to "de-friend" conservatives than the other way around. A doctor writing at Slate says that he and some of his colleagues are seeing quite a few cases of "Trump anxiety," including patients with suicidal thoughts. Now, if you are in the country illegally, I could understand some increased anxiety. But the affected patients included gays, blacks, Jews, women and others who are full-fledged citizens.

Now, for the record, throughout his presidential campaign Donald Trump made not one statement that could be construed as anti-black, anti-gay or anti-Semitic. How do I know that? Because if he did, the statements would have appeared on the front page of The New York Times and in just about every other newspaper in the country. Not only did he not display any of those prejudices, his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach opened to everybody - in the first major challenge to what has probably been the most discriminatory resort city in the whole country.

He did make out-of-bounds statements about women and may have engaged in behavior that was caddish, even brutish, in the past. But remember who he was running against. According to the late Christopher Hitchens (whose honesty no one questioned), there are a number of women who have made credible claims (only one that is public) that Bill Clinton raped them. There is nothing Donald Trump is accused of doing or saying that even begins to match that. Nor, in my opinion, does Trump's behavior even begin to match Hillary Clinton's role as supervisor of "bimbo control."

So how can we explain a women's march to protest the Trump inauguration? Or blacks who tell other blacks they are a "disgrace to their race" if they participate in the inauguration?

One thing seems likely. It has nothing to do with Donald Trump.

Dartmouth professor Sean Westwood and Stanford University professor Shanto Iyengar have been researching these issues and they have concluded that in the modern world, political is personal. People's identities are connected to their political affiliations. Writing in The New York Times, Amanda Taub explains: "Today, political parties are no longer just the people who are supposed to govern the way you want. They are a team to support, and a tribe to feel a part of. And the public's view of politics is becoming more and more zero-sum: It's about helping their team win, and making sure the other team loses."

If you think about the recent election, only one candidate ran on issues. And you probably won't have to think very hard to remember what some of Trump's issues were: trade, taxes, immigration, the way we treat veterans.

Can you say with any certainty what Hillary Clinton's position is on international trade? How about what she would do with the corporate income tax? How would she reform immigration policy? What would she do differently with the VA?

I bet you don't know. And even if you think you know, I bet that almost no one else you know knows - not even your spouse.

There is a reason for that. Hillary Clinton in particular and the Democratic Party in general did not run in this last election on issues. They ran on identity politics. And when they lost, people who bought into their message felt their identity threatened.



Trump Wants to Slash Regulations by 75%. Here’s How Regulatory Reform Could Boost US

During a White House meeting with business leaders on Monday, President Donald Trump pledged to slash regulations by at least 75 percent.

Activists were positively apoplectic, of course, and media ridicule was swift. But exaggerated as the comment was, the larger point is incontrovertible: The unparalleled expansion of the administrative state is crushing America’s entrepreneurial spirit, productivity, and economic growth.

Monday was not the first time Trump stressed the need to reduce “out of control” regulation. As a candidate, he repeatedly vowed to cut regulation “massively” and “remove the anchor dragging us down.”

And he’s right about that anchor; the need for regulatory reform has never been greater. There is virtually no aspect of our lives over which laws and ordinances do not reign. Congress and federal bureaucrats routinely ignore regulatory costs, exaggerate benefits, and breach legislative and constitutional boundaries.

Independent estimates peg the cost of regulation at more than $2 trillion annually—more than is collected in income taxes each year. In the past eight years alone, the Obama administration issued more than 22,700 rules, which increased annual regulatory costs by more than $120 billion. (And that’s a lowball estimate.)

Combined with the regulatory burdens imposed during the administration of George W. Bush, the annual cost of red tape has increased by at least $200 billion in the past 15 years.

But the problem is not just the number and cost of regulation. It is also the approach.

Conventional wisdom has long held that government controls of industry are the best and only way to protect the public. We now know better. Forty years of command-and-control regimes have led to massive, ineffective, and unaccountable bureaucracies.

Based on fiscal year 2017 budget figures, administering red tape will cost taxpayers nearly $70 billion, an increase of 97 percent since 2000. A big part of the increase is the wages paid to regulators—who now number an all-time high of 279,000.

The bigger the federal government has grown, the more essential political influence has become, leading to corruption in the regulatory realm. All of this has weakened property rights, inhibited innovation, and increased the prices of food, fuel, fiber, and minerals.

States and the private sector can and should play a far greater role. It isn’t necessary—or wise—to allow Washington to control everything. States are better equipped to customize policies for local conditions, and land owners have greater incentives than the government to protect private property. Both groups can act regionally when there are cross-border components to regulatory issues.

A less centralized regime would also mean more direct accountability—taxpayers would have an easier time identifying the officials responsible for environmental policies, and the people making those regulatory decisions would have to live with the consequences. Property owners would be held accountable through common law.

Trump will need all of the means available to him to countermand the injurious policies inflicted on the nation by the Obama administration (with help from Congress) during the past eight years.

For purposes of steering regulatory policy, the president’s authority to appoint the heads of executive branch agencies (under the Appointments Clause of the Constitution) is among the most effective. The president also wields budgetary influence over regulatory agencies, and proposed funding should emphasize regulatory reform over the status quo.

Executive orders represent a direct means by which the president establishes his or her policies (although the president cannot override statutory directives to agencies unless the law expressly grants that power). We hope Trump will waste no time rescinding the numerous orders issued by Obama to sidestep Congress, on labor, immigration, and environmental issues, in particular.

The Trump administration also would do well to review all pending litigation and designate cases for settlement, including challenges to former President Barack Obama’s untenable Clean Power Plan; his radical transgender bathroom directive; and the Environmental Protection Agency’s egregious waters of the U.S. rule, which affects property rights

The ultimate White House influence on rule-making may well be the regulatory review process administered by the Office of Management and Budget.

Specifically, the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is responsible for reviewing proposed and final regulations; managing agency requests for information collection; and overseeing data quality government-wide. That is real power in an era of regulatory overload.

The Trump administration should replace the existing regime by imposing stricter standards for review, expanding the scope of review, and increasing transparency of the review process.

The end of the Obama administration—perhaps the most regulatory administration in history—greatly improves the outlook for regulatory reform. It matters little whether Trump errs in his rhetoric as long as his actions reshape regulation for the 21st century



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, January 26, 2017

Moral conservatism and Nazism

I wrote the post below as an update to my big article on Hitler but I think it has a place here too

Nazis preached tradition and particularly traditional morality in a number of ways.  A well-known example was the role of women, with the traditional German conception of Kinder, Kueche, Kirche (children kitchen, church) being honoured.  And as is equally well-known, the Nazis persecuted homosexuals.

Their artistic taste was also conservative.  Rather ironically they organized the most visited art exhibition ever seen:  The exhibition of Entartete Kunst (degenerate art.)  They put up an exhibition of modern German art which they saw as disgusting, in the belief that most other Germans would also see it as disgusting.  We will never know, however, how many of the viewers actually liked what they saw. Below is one of the exhibits:

So how can we reconcile that with their being Leftist? In answering that I once again have to stress that the Nazis were Leftist BY THE STANDARDS OF THEIR DAY.  Most Leftists of the time were conservative in the ways I have mentioned.  With the exception of the role of women, even the Soviets were fairly conservative morally.  Right up to the implosion of the Soviet Union, Soviet representatives claimed that there was no such thing as homosexuality in Russia: "That was before the revolution"

But there is no doubt that the Nazis preached the "conservative" elements of their doctrine more vigorously than other Leftists of the day.  And again, context explains that. Weimar Germany of the 1920s was a time in which social, artistic, and philosophical revolutions took root and flourished.  It was extraordinarily "progressive" and contemptuous of all traditional rules.  The surreal became commonplace in German cinema. The cultural atmosphere at that time was in fact startlingly similar to modern times.  There was open homosexuality and sexual promiscuity generally and traditional mores were mocked.  So the Nazis had a lot to react against. They were just conventional Leftists, not avant garde Leftists.

What is Leftist in any era changes.  The focus can be on many things. But what abidingly defines the Left is their wish to "fundamentally transform" their society (To quote Mr. Obama). In Hitler's case, he wanted to fundamentally transform the world -- JR


The Collapse of the Left:  A Marxist view

His characterization of the Democrats is pretty spot-on

The Left is not just in disarray--it is in complete collapse because the working class has awakened to the Left's betrayal and abandonment of the working class in favor of building personal wealth and power.

The source of the angry angst rippling through the Democratic Party's progressive camp is not President Trump--it's the complete collapse of the Left globally. To understand this collapse, we turn (once again) to Marx's profound understanding of the state and capitalism.

We turn not to the cultural Marxism that is passingly familiar to Americans, but to Marx's core economic analysis, which as Sartre noted, is only taught to discredit it.

Cultural Marxism draws as much from Engels as Marx. In today's use, cultural Marxism describes the overt erosion of traditional values--the family, community, religious faith, property rights and limited central government--in favor of rootless Cosmopolitanism and an expansive, all-powerful central state that replaces community, faith and property rights with statist control mechanisms that enforce dependence on the state and a mindset that the individual is guilty of anti-state thinking until proven innocent by the state's own rules.

Marx's critique of capitalism is economic: capital and labor are in eternal conflict. In Marx's analysis, capital has the upper hand until the internal contradictions of capitalism consume capital's control from the inside.

Capital not only dominates labor, it also dominates the state. Thus the state-cartel version of capitalism that is dominant globally is not a coincidence or an outlier--it is the the only possible outcome of a system in which capital is the dominant force.

To counter this dominance of capital, social democratic political movements arose to  wrest some measure of control out of the hands of capital in favor of labor. Social democratic movements were greatly aided by the near-collapse of the first version of cartel-capitalism in The Great Depression, when writing down the bad debt would have brought down the entire banking system and crippled capitalism's core function of growing capital via expansion of debt.

The decimated owners of capital realized that they faced a bleak choice: either resist and be toppled by anarchism or Communism, or cede some of their wealth and power to the social democratic parties in exchange for social, political and economic stability.
Broadly speaking, the Left favored labor (whose rights were protected by the state) and the Right favored capital (also protected by the state).

But over the past 25 years of globalized neoliberalism, social democratic movements have abandoned labor to embrace the self-serving wealth and power offered by capital. The essence of globalization is: labor is commoditized as mobile capital is free to roam the globe for the lowest cost labor. In contrast, labor is far less mobile, and unable to shift as fluidly and frictionlessly as capital to exploit scarcities and opportunities.

Neoliberalism--the opening of markets and borders--enables capital to effortlessly crush labor. The social democrats, in embracing open borders, have institutionalized an open immigration that shreds the scarcity value of domestic labor in favor of lower cost immigrant labor that serves capital's desire for lower costs.

Globalization and neoliberal financial / immigration policies signify the collapse of the Left and the victory of capital. Now capital completely dominates the state and its cronyist structures--political parties, lobbying, campaign contributions, charitable foundations operating as pay-for-play cash vacuums, and all the other features of cartel-state capitalism.

To mask the collapse of the Left's economic defense of labor, the Left's apologists and PR machine have substituted social justice movements for economic opportunities to acquire economic security and capital. This has succeeded brilliantly, as tens of millions of self-described "progressives" completely bought the left's Great Con that "social justice" campaigns on behalf of marginalized social groups were the defining feature of Progressive Social Democratic movements.

This diversionary sleight-of-hand embrace of economically neutered "social justice" campaigns masked the fact that social democratic parties everywhere have thrown labor into the churning propellers of globalization, open immigration and neoliberal financial policies--all of which benefit mobile capital, which has engorged itself on the abandonment of labor by the Left.

Meanwhile, the fat-cats of the Left have engorged themselves on capital's largesse in exchange for their treachery. Bill and Hillary Clinton's $200 million in "earnings" come to mind, as do countless other examples of personal aggrandizement by self-proclaimed "defenders" of labor.

Please examine this chart, which depicts labor's share of GDP (economic output), and tell me the Left hasn't abandoned labor in favor of personal wealth and power.

The Left is not just in disarray--it is in complete collapse because the working class has awakened to the Left's betrayal and abandonment of the working class in favor of building personal wealth and power. Anyone who denies this is still in the fatal grip of the Left's Great Con.



Conservatives Must Stand Up to Fascist Bullies

The real haters

Inauguration Day was turned into Retribution Day as hordes of angry leftists set fires, smashed windows and clashed with police to protest President Donald Trump. Rampaging mobs caused mayhem across the fruited plain, but especially in our nation's capital. In several instances, conservatives were attacked outside Inaugural balls. Some were left bloodied and battered. Police were pelted with rocks and batteries. Many businesses were vandalized. Car windows were smashed and a limo was set ablaze.

It's all part of an effort to destabilize the nation and delegitimize President Trump's victory. The following day scores of self-described "nasty" women held profane gatherings across the country to protest the new president. Madonna told a crowd of protesters dressed in pink hats and Birkenstocks that she dreamed of blowing up the White House. "Yes, I'm angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House. But I know this won't change anything," she told a crowd of adoring feminists. She later walked back the threat.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Madonna should've been arrested. "What you have is an emerging left-wing fascism," he told Fox & Friends. "She's part of it and I think we have to be prepared to protect ourselves. Frankly, the truth is she ought to be arrested for saying she has thought about blowing up the White House." I concur with Speaker Newt.

Our public universities have been turned into training camps for intolerant thugs hell-bent on silencing any speech they disagree with. And as they demonstrated on Inauguration Day, they will use any means necessary to accomplish that task. We are facing a clear and present danger to our families and the Republic. And we must prepare now to protect ourselves and our loved ones against these violent street thugs. Conservatives are a peaceful and law-abiding people. But we will not be intimidated. We will not be bullied. And we will not be silenced.



Trump shows that economic efficiency is not everything

The interrelated complex of ideology, identity, solidarity, and collective action form the ground level in fruitful social analysis. Leaving out this complex, as both mainstream and Austrian economists usually do, means that one sacrifices the opportunity to understand what otherwise seems inexplicable or gets explained only by bizarrely twisting the standard model.

At least, so I have argued since the early 1980s, most fully in chapter 3 of Crisis and Leviathan, but with some elaboration and many applications in later works. I sometimes forget this lesson myself, lapsing into a too vulgar reliance on "following the money," but Elizabeth always calls me back to it. For just such correction, I suppose, God gives wives to husbands.

The events of U.S. politics during the past year present as glaring an example of my vision as anything I know. It's comfortable for many of us, especially those trained in mainstream economics, to suppose that economic self-interest is the bedrock of political and other collective action, but clearly-in my view, at least-it is not.

Ideology tells a person what is "in his interest"; he shapes and maintains his identity accordingly; and by acting publicly in conformity with the ideology's tenets, the person enjoys the psychological satisfaction of solidarity among the ideologically defined "good guys." As Sam Bowles once noted, people act for two distinct reasons: to get things, and to be someone. We would do well to remember the second motive, which plays a central role especially in relation to people's participation in large-group collective action.



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, January 25, 2017

The Grand Delusion of the Progressive Left

Allen West

I love two genres of music, classical and classic rock. One of my favorite classic rock bands is the group Styx and one of my favorite songs of theirs is “Grand Illusion”. However, in the case of what we have seen post the 2016 presidential election through the inauguration of President Donald Trump, it appears the progressive socialist left is operating under a grand delusion.

In 2009, the progressive left embarked upon an ideological agenda evidencing a serious delusion and disconnection with America. Instead of focusing on two simple issues, economic growth and national security, Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and their acolytes engaged a direction for America that was not rooted in sound policy, but their interpretation of “fairness”.

The first case of delusion was to try and make the American people believe that Keynesian economic policy, tax and spend, was still viable. First thing out of the gate was a massive $1 trillion stimulus package that was centered upon what was termed “shovel ready jobs”. It was a matter of huge embarrassment when Obama sat on a stage with his economic council stating, “I guess shovel ready was not exactly ready”. The fact that Obama did so with a laugh and smirk was a slap in the face of the American taxpayer.

Obama in his eight years focused more on wealth redistribution, you know, we all do better when we “spread the wealth around”. Furthermore, Obama made the seminal statement which presented a window into the mindset of the progressive left when he stated, “if you own a business, you didn’t build that”. There could be no more disrespectful, delusional, assertion directed towards the hard working American and their indomitable entrepreneurial spirit. Obama and his disciples of economic disaster failed to grasp the concept that economic growth emanates not from Washington DC, but rather from the policies that unleash American investment, ingenuity, and innovation…along with production and manufacturing.

Due to his far left intransigent ideology, Obama sought not to get Americans back to work. His design was to expand the welfare nanny state of government dependency. The result of this delusion was our national debt going from $10.67T to $20T. We have exploded our food stamp and poverty rolls, and we have suffered the lowest workforce participation rate in some 40 years.

Second, Obama and the left sought to use effective free market policy to improve the healthcare situation in America. Instead, they believed there was a mandate to do what they had always wanted, push a government-driven healthcare system. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act a.k.a “Obamacare” was nothing more than a domestic wealth redistribution scheme, with some twenty new taxes. It spanned to gamut from increases in capital gains and dividends taxes to creation of an individual and employer mandate tax along with medical device and taxes on health savings accounts.

Obama said that there would be on average $2500 of savings and that you would be able to keep your doctor and insurance. The latter was awarded by Politifact as the “Lie of the Year”, 2013, funny, the year after Obama’s reelection…and he promised Vladimir Putin more flexibility. The American people in October 2016 did not see savings, they saw massive increases in their health insurance premiums, the result of the delusion of redistribution of healthcare. Obamacare turned out to be nothing more than a huge expansion of Medicaid. It proved unaffordable and did not provide protection for patients, but a segment of people got something for free. A rational policy approach would have meant Obama and his team focused on the real issue, but they overreached. And as Nancy Pelosi said, “we have to pass the bill, in order to find out what was in it”, a true example of delusion.

Third, Obama departed the White House trying to have us buy into his delusion by stating that on his watch there had not been a terrorist organization attack. He left still embracing the line that Ft. Hood was the result of “workplace violence”, and he commuted the sentence of one who had leaked over 700,000 classified documents – where some had died as a result of HIS nefarious actions.

Obama and the left could never articulate that the non-state, non-uniform unlawful enemy combatants we face on the 21st-century battlefield are Islamic terrorists and jihadists. Obama was more interested in freeing them under the delusion that their being detained in GITMO was an impetus of their hate and a recruiting tool. Instances of Islamic terrorist attacks on our soil were attributed to the lawful ownership of guns by law-abiding Americans. And the left, aided by the complicit liberal progressive media, tried to castigate those who understood this enemy as “islamophobes” – a moniker created by an Islamic organization with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

I could go on about other critical issues, like a lack of focus on our border security leading to deaths of Americans like Kate Steinle.

The overarching issue is that we are watching the progressive left continue to wrap themselves in their own delusion. This past weekend there were marches focused on women’s rights. Where were those voices when Christian and Yazidi girls were being raped and sold as sex slaves by ISIS – that group Obama called the JV team, which was not Islamic. If this is about misogyny, where were those voices reference Bill Clinton regularly being welcomed as an “elder statesman” of the Democrat party?

More violence, threats, intimidation, rantings, protests, denigrating, disparaging, and demeaning language from the left will not win folks over to their cause. It will only further distance them from the America that has rejected and repudiated them, the electoral losses of the past eight years is evidence.

The delusion of the progressive left is that they are not conducting a self-analysis or assessment. Their way did not advance economic growth or national security. Albert Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing, and expect different results”. Einstein’s definition certainly befits the grand delusion of the progressive left.



Is the Age of Violence upon Us?

Today is a day in U.S. political history like no other. The excitement in Washington is like nothing the city has ever before seen. Barack Obama’s inauguration was historic to most Americans, but I would estimate that at least a third of the population knew the truth about the mysterious, unknown young man who seemed to appear out of nowhere. Nevertheless, the anti-Obama people stayed low key through his inauguration and well beyond.

Not so in 2017. A lot of people are concerned about outright violence at today’s presidential inauguration and subsequent presidential balls, and with good reason. As I have repeatedly stated, the Radical Left is comprised of true believers when it comes to employing violence as a justifiable way of overriding the wishes of voters and usurping power.

When I use the term Radical Left, I’m referring not only to those who are committed to an ideology that has brought enormous poverty and suffering to every country where it has been tried, but also to those who support this destructive ideology out of sheer ignorance or stupidity. (The troglodytes in Hollywood are classic examples of the latter.)

As I wrote in my December 17 article titled “My Next Unequivocal Prediction,” Radical Leftists will never let go of their hate-mongering, childish name-calling and mudslinging, and nonstop lying. Nor will they ever change their warped beliefs that racism in America is institutionalized, that manmade global warming has been proven beyond a doubt, and that the use of violence is justified by those who believe that their objectives are morally superior to those of everyone else.

So now, after a year-and-a-half of dirty tricks, criminal behavior, smear tactics, and rioting in an attempt to stop the people’s choice, Donald Trump, from becoming the 45th president of the United States, the standard bearers of malevolence and ignorance are primed and ready to try to tear America apart.

I don’t know what’s going to happen today, nor do I know how much violence there will be over the next four to eight years, but there will be violence, of that you can be certain. That being the case, the important question becomes, what will be the result of the violence?

Because of the heightened security, those who are intent on creating havoc at the inauguration or the events that follow it throughout the afternoon and evening will have a difficult time achieving their ultimate goal — inflicting death on those who dare to take part in Donald Trump’s inauguration. But that doesn’t mean they won’t try.

The issue of violence, however, goes far beyond Inauguration Day. Regardless of what happens today, my concern is how the entire Trump family can be fully protected 24/7 over the next four-to-eight years. Let’s hope the Secret Service finds a way to succeed at this seemingly impossible task.

If, however, those who embrace violence succeed in harming Trump, his wife, his children, or, God forbid, any of his grandchildren, what will that do to America? Because there are millions of people out there with sick minds who would like to see the Trump clan harmed, I’ve given this unpleasant possibility a lot of thought.

What would the result be? There are so many variables that’s it’s hard to know for certain, but here are a few possibilities that come to mind:

It could trigger a sympathetic backlash that could result in a dramatic improvement in Trump’s favorability ratings, perhaps to as high as 60 percent. If Trump delivers quantifiable results in addition to this, it could hasten the total disintegration of the Democratic Party, which I believe will happen anyway after the Republicans swamp the Dirty Dems in the 2018 mid-terms.

Funded by George Soros and other wealthy, far-left evildoers who are masters at profiting from social unrest and national upheaval, it could result in an all-out civil war. Our normalcy biases make it hard to picture such a scenario, but if the far left maims and kills enough people, it’s entirely possible that the intellectually inferior flyover folks who cling to their guns and bibles might just decide to fight back.

It goes without saying that either way, the violence would be blamed on Trump. When the Radical Left goons inflict pain and death, the Lying Left will yell and scream, just as they did at Trump’s rallies, that it is his divisive rhetoric that caused them to be violent. You know the thinking … the Devil made them do it. As the incomparable Chris Plante would say, “Ah, it’s good to be a Democrat, isn’t it?

Trump could back down, which is highly unlikely. However, there are many spineless men and women in the Republican Party — Little Marco, Mush McCain, Gomer Graham, and Paul Ryan, to name but a few — who can be counted on to try to appease the Radical Left and engage in political babble like “We have to all come together as Americans” and “We need a national dialog.”

This could create a knockdown, drag-out fight between Trump loyalists and old-guard Republicans who are intent on preserving the good life to which both Democrats and Republicans have become so accustomed. Which means business as usual and another win for the Dirty Dems.

The Radical Leftists in the Democratic Party could suddenly realize that they are committing political suicide and do an about-face. In other words, they would put aside the phony theatrics and lies and act like adults who really want to work with Republicans for the good of the country. Unfortunately, with the exception of a handful of sane but out of place Democrats (Senator Joe Manchin comes to mind), the chances of that happening are virtually zero.

So, my fellow Americans, we shall see what the lawless Radical Left has in store for us today and from this day forward, and whether or not we can survive it. Just know that violence is a virtual certainty. When and how much are the two big questions. Let’s hope that we’re all pleasantly surprised and that the quantity of violence is much less than some might now be expecting.

P.S. I still believe that splitting America into at least two countries is the best possible solution for everyone. The Radical Left could attack each other with reckless abandon in their own country, while those who believe in liberty could spend their time working to make life better for everyone within their borders.

Just think, the United States of Good Guys and the United States of Bad Guys. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?



Leftists:  This is why Trump happened

In extremis, normal people found their hero and defender

It happened because you banned super-size sodas. And smoking in parks. And offensive ideas on campus. Because you branded people who oppose gay marriage ‘homophobic’, and people unsure about immigration ‘racist’.

Because you treated owning a gun and never having eaten quinoa as signifiers of fascism. Because you thought correcting people’s attitudes was more important than finding them jobs. Because you turned ‘white man’ from a description into an insult. Because you used slurs like ‘denier’ and ‘dangerous’ against anyone who doesn’t share your eco-pieties.

Because you treated dissent as hate speech and criticism of Obama as extremism. Because you talked more about gender-neutral toilets than about home repossessions. Because you beatified Caitlyn Jenner. Because you policed people’s language, rubbished their parenting skills, took the piss out of their beliefs.

Because you cried when someone mocked the Koran but laughed when they mocked the Bible. Because you said criticising Islam is Islamophobia. Because you kept telling people, ‘You can’t think that, you can’t say that, you can’t do that.’

Because you turned politics from something done by and for people to something done to them, for their own good. Because you treated people like trash. And people don’t like being treated like trash. Trump happened because of you.



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, January 24, 2017

The Left must change course in the Trump era and do more than march for women’s rights

By Rita Panahi, an Australian conservative journalist of Iranian origin

NO amount of marching, rioting, online activism or indulgence in paranoid fantasies is going to change the fact that Donald Trump is the 45th president of the United States.

Taking to the streets with hordes of like-minded malcontents and screeching incoherently about imagined grievances might make Trump’s democracy-denying detractors feel better, but he’ll still be the leader of the free world.

It’s clearly going to be a rough four years for the political and media class, and even rougher for the millions of “progressives” from New York to Melbourne struggling to cope with reality.

In the last 48 hours we’ve seen protests around the world, from rioters who smashed windows and heads on inauguration day to the Women’s Marches, the biggest of them in DC yesterday.

It says plenty about the vacuousness of modern feminism that it was the “plight” of privileged, empowered American women that drew them out.

There have been no marches for the women of Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Afghanistan and many other parts of the world where females are victims of a systematic, brutal and unrelenting subjugation.

Only a movement that is intellectually and morally bankrupt would ignore the plight of genuinely oppressed girls and women to throw a gargantuan public tantrum because their preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton, lost an election.

Melbourne’s feminists didn’t bother marching to protest against the growing problem of female genital mutilation, despite a report this month that girls as young as five months are subjected to the barbaric procedure.

The Australian paediatric surveillance unit’s study was barely acknowledged by vocal members of the sisterhood.

In the US, a star-studded line-up of virtue-signalling celebrities led hundreds of thousands marching against Mr Trump’s politics of “division and hate”.

Madonna, in a profanity-laced speech to the huge Washington crowd, said she had “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House”. To call her speech pitiful would be a kindness.

Actor Ashley Judd likened Trump to Hitler before decrying the taxes imposed on feminine hygiene products — taxes that have been there throughout Barack Obama’s term.

The rallies have been called “democracy in action” but if the petulant demonstrators pulled their heads out of their collective backsides for a minute they might realise they’re the ones fanning the flames of division and hate.

Trump not only won the presidency but also secured the Republicans the Senate and the House of Representatives. Republicans now control a record number of state legislatures.

These are unpalatable facts for Leftists, but protests and public hissy fits won’t tip the balance of power in their favour.

If they want to counter Trump they must do better than enlist out-of-touch celebrities and activists to preach to the converted.

They need to stop allowing their movement to be taken over by the likes of Women’s March co-chair Linda Sarsour, whose main claim to fame is leading a successful campaign to close all New York City public schools on two Muslim holidays.

Sarsour is the type of feminist who defends Saudi Arabia and condemns the US. She has claimed that sharia law is “misunderstood” and has complained about “22 states” having “anti-sharia bills”.

The anti-Trump forces must also weed out their most violent and abusive members.

There were so many abusive tweets about Trump’s young son Barron after the inauguration that CNN anchor Jake Tapper implored people to stop the “odious, immoral and self-defeating” mockery of a child.

Can you imagine the reaction had Barack Obama’s daughters been subjected to such ugly invective?

The Left need to do better if they want to win back disillusioned voters.  They need to tackle the big issues that matter to ordinary people — like jobs and law and order — instead of being obsessed with gender-neutral toilets.

There’s more to America than California and New York.

Labelling your political opponents racist, sexist, Islamophobic, transphobic and bigoted might be fun, but it no longer works. The Left has overused and misused those slurs so much they have lost all impact.



The Trump Train

There he was, business and media mogul extraordinaire--not a toy Lionel train car or a Pullman coach, but a massive self-propelled locomotive--who showed up at the presidential debates of 2015 and by May of 2016 had run over and decimated 16 opponents, all seasoned and professional politicians!

All of a sudden, both the politicians themselves and members of the media were forced to take Mr. Trump seriously. But they couldn't help themselves; they were still the same supercilious, patronizing, bought-and-paid-for leftist lackeys who had been commenting all along on this runaway train. So they kept up their antagonistic drumbeat, confident that the sheer volume of their commentary and propaganda would be his undoing.

Aiding and abetting their mission were dozens of pollsters across the country whose skewed polls showed consistently that the chronically coughing, wobbling, decrepit-one-day/re-botoxed-the-next-day Hillary--the woman without a platform and lacking even a tiny dollop of charisma--was significantly ahead of the brash billionaire. Pundits on every network and cable news shows echoed these polls and predicted that the Electoral College votes, and Michigan and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and Ohio and of course California and New York, would definitely, positively, unmistakably insure a Hillary victory.

One thing none of them counted on was the tremendous sophistication of voters across the country--the same voters they're still disparaging--who had been watching the devolution of our county for eight years and praying and waiting for at least one sane person to save our country from the malignant leftism in our body politic that Mr. Obama so relentlessly stoked.

They recognized in President-elect Trump the absolute answer to their prayers and proceeded to blanket our entire country in red, except for the few bastions of blue on the East and Left Coasts. Hence Hillary's "popular vote" so-called victory, thanks to a voter-motor law cooked up by Gov. Jerry Brown and enacted into law in October 2015.

A report from Investors Business Daily says that: "According to the American Civil Liberties Union-which opposes the motor-voter law-California houses 3.3 million illegals, or a quarter of the nation's total. So the stage is set not just for extending voting to illegals but for swinging national elections, too."

Meanwhile, the Trump locomotive barreled on with the president-elect interviewing dozens of potential hirees at Trump Tower in NY City, at his resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, at his "winter White House" Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach Island, Florida, ultimately selecting those who will staff his cabinets and administration.

The indefatigable Mr. Trump also embarked on an extensive thank-you tour to Ohio, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, et al, attracting the same huge "rock star" crowds that gave him his thunderous victory.


I know it's not objectively funny, but I can't help actually laughing out loud when witnessing those thousands of badly-behaved three-year-olds soiling their diapers, banging their heads, and generally throwing non-stop temper tantrums since Election Day. They keep hurling things onto the tracks--right in front of the Trump Locomotive--because they still can't absorb the fact that everything they've based their identities on, everything they believe, everything they hoped for, everything they've learned in school and on TV, everything they thought they accomplished--was utterly and totally destroyed by one man and millions of voters.

These children have tried everything:

* Popping up at demonstrations, complete with shiny new placards, in front of Trump Tower.

* Regurgitating stale and wildly inaccurate talking points, as happens five days a week from a woman named Whoopi and a joyless creature name Joy.

*Devolving into an embarrassing freakout at a press conference, as did CNN's Jim Acosta when the grown-up in the room didn't call on him.

* Contriving an evidence-free Russian hacking scandal to rationalize Hillary's crashing loss. Why? So they could kick 35 Russian diplomats out of the U.S. and quickly invade their compounds to purge any records that might implicate Mr. Obama--not Mr. Trump--in subterfuge, not to omit the other desperate purging and shredding of records they've been doing.

* Stacking the hearings for Trump's cabinet nominees with dense Democrats like New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and still-bitter Republicans like Florida's Sen. Marco Rubio.

* Calling on a famed actress to audition for the role of a snooty, finger-wagging scold and display her "selective empathy" at Hollywood's Golden Globes Awards.

* Trotting out a puerile pol like Georgia's Rep. John Lewis to take a cheap potshot.

*Inventing a sex scandal based on made-up gossip from the now thoroughly discredited BuzzFeed.

* Preaching, as The New York Times did about what's wrong with nepotism, when its entire conglomerate is based on nepotism.

* Exposing, as writer Glenn Greenwald did, that [Obama's] CIA and a complicit media are deeply involved in the stop-Trump juggernaut.

* Threatening the most massive and disruptive demonstrations and riots during the upcoming inauguration.

This is all part of the same phenomenon, American-hating leftists gone mad. As one blogger commented: "I haven't seen the Democrats so angry since Republicans took away their slaves!"

This is aberrant behavior which the Wall St. Journal's Kimberly A. Strassel explains: "The more that progressives have failed to win political arguments, the more they have turned to underhanded tactics to shut down their political opponents...Mr. Trump can expect plenty more of this to come.

In winning the election, he blocked the left's ability to use some of its favorite intimidation tactics. It no longer controls an accommodating federal bureaucracy. It no longer runs a Justice Department willing to threaten political opponents and turn a blind eye to liberal abuse.

So the left will increasingly rely on campaigns of delegitimization...this is the best they've got."

Again, the left's vile behavior is not objectively funny. But as  Trump systematically swats away these irritants like so many pesky gnats, I have to admit that I'm loving every minute!

Finally we will have a president who loves America and will fight like a hundred tigers to overturn and fix all the malevolent policies inflicted on our country over the past eight years.
What an exhilarating counter-coup!



The Chardonnay Left speaks


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, January 23, 2017

The harsh truth about Barack Obama: He failed

Some sad words from a disappointed Leftist below. He seems to have a better grasp of reality than most Leftists and is spot-on in fingering the unwillingness of Obama and his Democrats to compromise as the cause of Obama's failure.

In any Western democracy, there has to be a degree of bipartisan consensus for any reform to become entrenched.  Otherwise it can be reversed by the next government of another stripe.  It happened in Britain when it became clear to everyone but the British Labour Party that government ownership of industry was an abject failure.  So Margaret Thatcher was elected and proceeded to uproot decades of British Leftist "work".  The same is now about to happen to reforms associated with Obama.

Leftists tend to live in an eternal present, with no awareness of the past and a blissful lack of concern for the future consequences of their actions.  The quite hilarious actions of Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats in abolishing the filibuster is a prime example of that.  They didn't foresee a future GOP administration and are now left with no weapon in the Senate to obstruct Trump.  They ripped up an important constitutional safeguard in order to get their way on some relatively minor matters and now find that they have given Trump an easy glide  through the Senate confirmation process.

And that lack of vision was strikingly in evidence when Obama came to power.  The Donks were like kids in a candy shop when they found themselves in complete control of both the Presidency and Congress.  So they rushed to construct a huge piece of legislation that would fulfil all their addled dreams about healthcare and much else besides.

Even many Democrat congressional interest groups could see problems with the legislation but Obama and the congressional Democrat leadership piled on the pressure to get the legislation through. But such were the problems with what became known as Obamacare that most of that "golden" first two years of Obama control were wasted, with little else of significance enacted.

And given the problems with their own people, there was no way any GOP amendments would be considered.  And none were.  So the legislation passed with no hint of bi-partisanship. Which has now doomed it.  There is no constituency in GOP circles in favour of it.  Obamacare might have survived in some modified form if it had been constructed with a degree of GOP consent but it now looks like being completely uprooted.  The Donks just did not look far enough ahead to envisage GOP dominance.

And as the writer below correctly notes, that obstinacy on the part of the Donks generated an equivalent obstinacy in the GOP.  They regained Congressional majorities after the first two years and thereafter blocked most initiatives from Obama and his Democrat flunkies.  Legislatively, Obama was neutered.  And he and the Donks brought it upon themselves.

The major change in social policy during the Obama reign was the valorization of sexual abnormality -- but that was a product of SCOTUS, not Obama. And so many judges on the court are elderly that it seems Trump will have the opportunity to make appointments that will swing the court far to the Right for a long time.  So a more balanced approach to sexual abnormality  could well emerge from that

ALL hope, no change.

The world still swoons over Barack Obama, but we need to face the harsh truth about his presidency: it has been a crushing let-down.

The greatest American presidents are renowned for what they did in office. Abraham Lincoln ended slavery. Franklin Roosevelt created the New Deal. Ronald Reagan stared down the Soviet Union.

Mr Obama will enjoy a broadly positive legacy, but for very different reasons. He’s a cultural icon. History will remember him for what he represented, not what he accomplished. He has been an admirable role model, but an ineffective president.

Eight years ago, when he first ran for the White House, Mr Obama spoke of “fundamentally transforming” the United States. His idealistic speeches and extravagant promises captured the imaginations of Americans suffering through George Bush’s wars and the start of the Global Financial Crisis.

Mr Obama’s achievements since then bear little resemblance to the soaring rhetoric, and many of them are about to be dismantled by Donald Trump anyway.

His administration did oversee America’s relatively slow economic recovery after the GFC, bringing the unemployment rate down below five per cent. It also reformed the regulations governing Wall Street. But all of that was quickly overshadowed by Mr Obama’s top priority — the health care law known as Obamacare.

The goal, to help millions of Americans who couldn’t afford health insurance, was noble. The law itself, and the manner in which it was implemented, set Mr Obama’s presidency on a toxic path from which it would never recover.

Early in his first term, with the Democrats in complete control of Congress, Mr Obama rushed to pass the controversial law in a down-the-line partisan vote, overruling widespread opposition from the American public. No Republican voted for it, and in the midterm elections several months later, the opposition party swept into power on a wave of anger.

For the next six years, Republicans obstructed Mr Obama’s every move, preventing him from passing any other significant reforms. The president was forced to use his executive powers to circumvent Congress wherever he could, particularly on issues such as climate change and immigration.

The problem? Mr Trump can rescind those orders the moment he takes office. Even worse, the health care law itself is extremely unlikely to survive after Mr Obama leaves the White House, as Mr Trump and the Republicans have pledged to repeal it almost immediately.

This means most of Mr Obama’s domestic agenda, including his signature achievement, will be entirely reversed within months.

Mr Obama’s record on foreign policy is just as dicey. He advocated a less interventionist approach than George Bush, withdrawing from Iraq and rehabilitating America’s image around the world. Those parts of his agenda, along with his decision to authorise the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, were popular.

He also ended the decades-long trade embargo with Cuba, and forged an agreement with Iran aimed at curtailing the rogue state’s nuclear weapons program, though Mr Trump has indicated he will rip up both deals.

Beyond those accomplishments, Mr Obama has left Mr Trump colossal messes to clean up in Libya, Ukraine and particularly Syria, which descended into a cataclysmic civil war on his watch. He was slow to react to the rise of Islamic State, famously comparing it to a “junior varsity” team, and mocked his opponent in the 2012 election for daring to call Russia a “geopolitical foe”.

“The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, because the Cold War has been over for 20 years,” Mr Obama joked. Since then, Vladimir Putin has annexed Crimea, flagrantly committed war crimes in Syria and apparently interfered in America’s presidential election.

So, on arguably the two greatest foreign policy challenges of his presidency — Syria and Russia — Mr Obama has not managed to find answers.

Mr Obama’s greatest disappointment, however, was his failure to honour the central promise of his 2008 campaign.

Millions of voters were energised by his pledge to end the chronic gridlock plaguing Washington. Sarah Palin infamously referred to this as the “hopey-changey stuff”, and perhaps she was right to make fun of it, because the bipartisan dream Mr Obama spoke of so eloquently never materialised. That wasn’t all his fault — the Republicans were determined not to play ball — but he could have done far more.

“Mr Obama is simply not the kind of politician that likes to get down and dirty with the kind of everyday politicking, and the horsetrading. He was simply not willing to engage in politics as it is usually done on Capitol Hill,” Dr Gorana Grgic, a lecturer in US politics at the United States Studies Centre, told after Mr Trump’s election victory.

“A lot of people have said that it’s a kind of product of his personality and who he was previously. An academic, someone who’s very aloof maybe. He’d rather debate things, he’d rather try to show that his argument is plausible or he has more evidence to support his course of action than make those compromises.”

There was a fundamental contradiction at the core of Mr Obama’s presidency. He sounded like a centrist, constantly talking a big game about bipartisanship, but in practise he was condescending towards his political opponents and unwilling to compromise

That greatly hindered his ability to negotiate with Congress, and coupled with the Republicans’ own uncompromising shift to the right, it created “the most polarising environment ever” in the US, Dr Grgic said.

That environment led directly to the rise of Donald Trump. It decimated the Democrats, whose numbers have plummeted at federal and state level. Mr Obama’s party has seen most of its rising stars turfed from office, and now there is no obvious leader ready to pick up the pieces when he’s gone.

Mr Obama isn’t the only one to blame for this — not even close — but it’s an undeniable fact that he failed to bring the country together. Race relations have soured. Urban elites and rural voters openly sneer at each other. And in a sickening dose of irony, America’s first black president is about to hand over the White House to the man who spent years hounding him with a racist birther conspiracy theory.

It isn’t all negative. Mr Obama has been an exemplary role model in the Oval Office, as both a leader and an admirable father. He’s suffered no personal scandals, and has consistently appealed to Americans’ better angels. We won’t be able to say the same about Mr Trump, and you suspect the world will soon look back on the Obama years with fond nostalgia.

He will be remembered — perhaps even revered — as a progressive icon for decades to come, having personified a significant leftward shift in America’s social values. But few will remember what Barack Obama actually achieved, and for a presidency that started with such remarkable promise, that can only be considered a failure.



A sandwich enthusiast-- seen at the "Women's march"

Looks like she has had way too many sandwiches


The media have finally shot themselves in the foot

Scot Faulkner

The media, especially the 95 percent within the media who are liberals, are in free fall in audience and credibility. A recent Associated Press survey reported that 96 percent of Americans no longer trust the “mainstream media.” The media elite are still in denial that their world of unaccountable privilege and bias has vanished.

How the media elite respond will determine whether anyone listens to them ever again. The latest Buzzfeed/CNN promotion of false Trump trash is further evidence that the elite are on a different planet from the real world.

The American news media was “middle of the road” and patriotic until the mid-1960s. At that time the older generation of media moguls retired or died, ushering in activist liberals. Media liberalism became radical with the Vietnam War and Watergate.

Accuracy in Media (AIM) was founded in 1969 by Reed Irvine to expose this new liberal media bias.  AIM’s documentation remained within conservative circles until Vice President Spiro Agnew used its research in boldly partisan speeches during the 1970 elections.

Americans were also held captive by three broadcast networks and Public Broadcasting until CSPAN cable television entered the scene in 1979. Conservative Members in the House of Representatives used CSPAN to conduct guerrilla theater. Using large photos, graphs and models of Soviet airplanes, House conservatives began to directly educate the public about big government and the Soviet threat. It was the first breech of the liberal media filters.

In April 1980, two senior news editors, Arnaud De Borchgrave and Robert Moss, published The Spike, a novel exposing communist influence within the American media. As importantly, they exposed how liberal media moguls pervert reality as much by what they don’t cover as what they do – “spiking” stories.

The real media revolution really began in 1987 when the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) eliminated the “Fairness Doctrine.” For the first time since 1949, radio stations could feature editorial content in their normal programming. On August 1, 1988, Rush Limbaugh launched his radio show.  Now all Americans finally had access to non-liberal perspectives.

The liberal media fought back. Talk radio hosts and news reporters were denied press credentials to cover Congress until the Republicans took over the House in January 1995. Even though credentialed, talk radio was still shunned. The liberal media elite branded it unprofessional and said it trafficked in conspiracy theories.

Starting in May 1995 with Netscape, the Internet devastated the liberal media citadels. Website news began to supplant broadcast and print media. Social media, along with internet access on mobile devices in 2004, ignited an historic information revolution.

Conservative voices were unleashed by these upheavals. Liberal media elites could no longer “spike” stories or present their bias unchallenged. Even their own audience favored getting their news from social media and shows on Comedy Central. The media establishment sped its own demise by succumbing to fake news from its reporters like Jayson Blair and Dan Rather, and trafficking in false news like “hands-up don’t shoot’ and “a video caused the Benghazi attack.”

All the elements of a liberal media cataclysm were in place.  Trump’s blunt talk and his supporters’ contempt for the media brought the status quo crashing down.

Nore than any other politician today, Trump understands that he can render the media irrelevant. Pew Research and other studies show that 62 percent of Americans now get all or part of their news from social media. Facebook posts 510,000 comments and 136,000 photos per minute. Nearly 2.5 million emails are sent every second.  Fifty percent of Millennials check out Facebook when they first wake-up.

Trump does not need to have his message filtered and interpreted by Democrat operatives posing as journalists. Chris Matthews and George Stephanopoulos were Democrat flacks long before they took on the trapping of journalists. Dozens of reporters and “on-air talent” are married to Obama Administration officials. Trump’s response is to go over and around them.

Even President-Elect Trump currently has over 50 million Facebook and Twitter followers. Millions of Trump supporters repost or retweet his quotes on countless social media pages. Some 128 million Americans posted or liked Trump content on Facebook during the campaign. No one has ever been so pervasive in communicating and mobilizing.

Mr. Trump is the master of this new media reality. He understands that 140 characters on Twitter or a pithy comment or compelling image on Facebook shapes the media cycle. This is all before he becomes President, with all its additional resources and reach.

Liberal media in the Trump era is fast becoming as credible and relevant as horoscopes.

Via email


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, January 22, 2017

Overcoming the Leftist hegemony

"President Trump".  What a magical sound those words are!  I was intermittently laughing and crying with happiness for a couple of hours after listening to his inaugural address.  It is so good to have one of ours in the White House again.  It's been a long time.  The two Bushes were OK but you have to go back to Reagan to get a really revolutionary President in the White House.

Revolutionary?  Yes.  A believer in the American revolution and a counter-revolutionary against the Leftist hegemony; someone who will smash the Leftist ratchet:  The process whereby the government and society get steadily more Leftist year by year, with no going back even being considered by the governing elite.  Note the excerpt from his speech at a  pre-inauguration concert below. Trump speaks there of drawing on the past, of reverting to proven ways as the change that he has in mind.  What a horror for the Left!

To this day Leftists characterize conservatives as people who are opposed to change. They can't accept that it is just Leftist change that conservatives find wanting.  They do that because they have to defend themselves mentally from any suspicion that conservatives may have well-founded objections to their madcap schemes. Their claim has been an obviously false charge ever since Reagan and Thatcher but it is good to see Trump reinforcing the real story.

Why is Trump so different?  Mainly because he isn't.  What he says was obviously close to the hearts of the millions that voted for him.  But he does differ in saying out loud what a lot of other Americans were only thinking.  He completely ignored political correctness when most others feared to do so. How come?  How come he is so free from the mental and verbal shackles that the Left have managed to place on most people? Even the GOP in recent years have just been Leftism-Lite.  How come Trump escaped that?

It's got to go back to his upbringing as the son of a very rich man.  His riches would have freed his father from much need to seek the approval of others so he did not inculcate young Donald with the then current middle-class notions of what is acceptable and what is not.  Donald grew up as  something of a "natural" child.  His instinctive feelings were minimally suppressed.  So he is rude to those who are rude to him and is annoyed by the rudeness.  He has not been taught not to sweat the small stuff and has not been taught that "A soft answer turneth away wrath" (Proverbs 15:1).  As a kid, he went to a Presbyterian Sunday school, as I did, and he had a Scottish mother so he obviously got a lot of wise guidance, but it was not enough to suppress who he is.

And the charge that he is a rude man is one-eyed.  He certainly is rude to those who abuse him but he seems also to have learned long ago the two most important words in the English language:  "Thank you".  He spends a lot of time thanking people.  In his inaugural address he even thanked Mr. Obama for smoothing his transition to power, which visibly moved Mr Obama.  Obama seems to be basically a nice guy but he has just never managed to break the mental shackles placed on him by his Marxist upbringing. He is probably not terribly bright.  It was just a nice guy in a black skin that people voted for.

Trump's emphasis on the centrality and importance of the ordinary people is rather reminiscent of another great conservative, Benjamin Disraeli, who led Britain at the time of Britain's greatest eminence -- in the late 19th century.  Disraeli was himself a Jew (superficially converted to the Church of England!) but he greatly extolled the wisdom of the ordinary English people, and put his money where his mouth was by greatly expanding the franchise, so that more of those he extolled could vote in national elections.  Disraeli was a great success in leading his nation and Trump will be too

Thousands of Donald Trump supporters have gathered near one of Washington's famous landmarks for a concert celebrating his upcoming inauguration. The president-elect is embarking on a day of inauguration activities

The president-elect has spoken to the crowd at the inauguration concert.

We're going to unify our country," Trump told a crowd of thousands in front of the Lincoln Memorial after a pre-inauguration concert.

"We're going to do things that haven't been done for our country for many, many decades," he added. "It's going to change. I promise you."



Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway celebrated with her own personal fashion revolution


Trump is a true force of nature

By Eric Fehrnstrom

What I like about Trump is that he is a force of nature. We used to have characters like him in American politics until that unique specialness was bleached out of every member of the political class so they all look and act the same. When John Silber ran for governor of Massachusetts in 1990, he had a word to describe modern politicians: "plastic."

Only a person of strong personality, full of energy and unstoppable, can deliver on the change Trump has promised.

So on the occasion of Trump's swearing-in as the 45th president of the United States, I come not to bury Caesar but to praise him. This is after all an inauguration, a ceremony marking the beginning of something. Assuming the worst before things have even got started seems uncharitable. Let us at least toast the opening of the play and the introduction of an unfamiliar set of actors to the stage.

Which raises an interesting question: if Trump is the main character in this new unfolding drama, who is the antagonist?

There's a video on the Internet of protesters staging a "cough-in" at the upscale Jean Georges restaurant inside Trump Tower to oppose Obamacare repeal. It started with one protester hacking away, then another, until so many people joined in the spreading of germs that a fancy dining spot was transformed into an infectious disease clinic. Is this what the anti-Trump opposition looks like? Coughing on people? Voltaire once said, "Lord, make my enemies ridiculous." In Trump's case, God granted it.



Did Trump promise too much in his inaugural address?

Leftist common potatoes are saying he did -- e.g. here. He even seemed to promise a reign of peace and civililty in Chicago.  Is that possible?  I doubt it.

But we all know Trump's style by now.  He is a positive thinker and simply expresses what he hopes to do in a very firm and confident way.  He is not writing a carefully considered academic journal article. He is telling you where his heart is and identifying himself with great efforts to make it all happen.  Ordinary people understand all that. It is just Leftist nit-pickers who are determined to take him more literally than they should.

Besides, if Mr Trump's promises are too broad, they do at least refer to particular issues.  That's a lot more specific and a lot less sweeping than Obama's statement in October 2008 that "we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America".  Obama was wildly cheered by Leftists for that terminally ambitious statement.  How odd that they are not cheering the LESS ambitious statements from Trump.


The Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C.

The media are of course all full of news and commentary about DT so I don't want to say too much that others have already said. I am therefore putting up an article below concerning what I imagine is one of the lesser known things about his enterprises.  It comes from a Leftist publication so is a bit snarky but I think it is interesting nonetheless

Step into the Trump International Hotel and you're immediately transported to the new Washington where Donald Trump is in charge.

It's complete immersion: You can sit at the Trump hotel bar, watch Trump on TV, observe Trump White House staffers, while sipping Trump wine. If you hit the right time like this reporter, you might even catch a glimpse of Trump himself in the flesh - he made a brief stop Wednesday night and wolfed down a steak.

"This is my kind of food," the incoming president said before a nice cut - which he famously likes cooked well done - was placed before him.

He stopped by again Thursday afternoon. "This is a gorgeous room. A total genius must have built this place. Under budget and ahead of schedule," Trump told assembled guests who included several of his Cabinet nominees.

This massive 263-room luxury hotel, in the rehabilitated Old Post Office Pavilion smack dab on Trump's Pennsylvania Avenue inaugural parade route, has become the new gathering place for the Republicans in Washington who won the election. It's been a White House-in-waiting of sorts and all indications suggest that it will continue to be a favorite spot for the new ruling class.

"I encourage you to go there," said incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer, using his first televised press briefing on Thursday to plug the president's showcase property, which opened in October. "It's a beautiful place, it's somewhere that he's very proud of."

The Trump foot soldiers, the formal advisers, the informal advisers, the people who wish they were advisers all gather here for breakfasts, lunches, and cocktails to pay tribute - and literally pay tribute with significant bar tabs - to the man who takes over the government Friday.

For Trump supporters visiting town, it's an unofficial monument on the list of places to visit. And, putting the cost of drinks aside, a fairly accessible one. You have to schedule a tour of the White House - but on most days you can just walk right into the hotel and snap selfies.

In many ways the hotel encapsulates much about Trump. He clearly loves the glamour of the place and touted it frequently during the campaign, when a blue sign hung in front of the centrally located hotel that read "Coming 2016 . . . Trump."

The place also embodies the many potential conflicts of interest that his sprawling business empire poses: Never before has an incoming president owned such a complicated business portfolio, including a grand hotel just blocks from the White House.

A series of news stories has already cropped up: The hotel marketed itself just after the election to foreign diplomats who want to get in with Trump and at least one embassy moved a holiday party to the hotel, ostensibly for the same reason. Trump said recently that profits from foreign government officials staying at the hotel will be donated to the Treasury.

But that hasn't stopped domestic groups from cozying up to the Trump Organization. In December the Republican National Committee held its Christmas party at Trump's hotel, in the Presidential Ballroom. That drew the former RNC chairman Reince Priebus, who will now be Trump's White House chief of staff. As party favors, guests got to keep red cups emblazoned with Trump's slogan, "Make America Great Again!"

The conservative Heritage Foundation also held an event at the hotel, featuring incoming Vice President Mike Pence as a draw.

Democrats in Congress are raising some legal questions about whether Trump's elevation to the presidency will violate the terms of the building's lease. The structure is owned by the federal government, and the lease includes a provision banning elected officials from being a party to it.

The General Services Administration, the federal bureaucracy that oversees the building (and an agency that Trump will soon be in charge of) hasn't ruled on whether the lease will be broken when Trump becomes president.

Trump's lawyers have said he's going to turn over the operations of his company to his two sons. They said the Trump hotels and otherassets would be put in a trust, but it's unclear if that will solve the problem.

The hotel, at 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., includes a cavernous lobby, which is a rarity for Washington. A soaring roof and iron braces makes the interior feel like some mash-up between the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame cathedral.

The bar seating includes tall blue chairs with deep cushions. Four flat screen TVs show ESPN, CNN, Bloomberg News, and Fox News. There's no sign of the left-leaning MSNBC.

On the menu some of the wines are so expensive that they're offered by the spoonful. Staff wheel cheese carts from table to table. Champagne carts also patrol the dining room.

Amid all the splendor, the biggest attraction for many is people watching. On any given night you might see Hope Hicks, the young spokeswoman for the Trump campaign who recently relaxed in the lobby with her parents after apartment hunting.

Or Steve Mnuchin, the Goldman Sachs banker turned Hollywood investor who is Trump's pick for Treasury secretary. A Daily Mail reporter recently spotted him at the hotel ordering a bottle of champagne to be sabered.

If you managed to get into the hotel on Wednesday night amid tight security, you would have rubbed elbows briefly with Trump, who ducked in after a dinner in Washington.

Applause broke out in the lobby when Trump arrived. He was accompanied by an entourage that marched through to the BLT Prime restaurant.

Trump seemed to enjoy mingling with guests briefly and praising the chef, David Burke. "I like this. This is the greatest chef," he said.

Then he walked up to the second level of the restaurant, and ate a pre-ordered steak. Other guests gawked, his security detail fretted, and servers tried to navigate the sea of onlookers.

One caste of Washington insiders isn't spending much time there these days: Reporters. The hotel barred a Politico journalist from entering on Wednesday and told the publication that no media were allowed in.

Heavily partisan, and tightly controlled, the new hotel - like Trump himself - is an unusual addition to Washington's traditions. Even its watering holes.

"Whether in private clubs or the Palm and the Sidecar, D.C. has always run on bipartisan mingling of pols and journalists," said Zachary Hastings Hooper, a Washington PR consultant and man-about-town. "The Trump Hotel seems to be the antithesis of that."



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