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)


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Trump Is Allowing Deportation For Obama's DAPA  People

The Trump administration has fulfilled another one of Donald Trump’s campaign promises by rescinding the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program implemented under Barack Obama that could have allowed as many as five million illegal aliens with children who are citizens or lawful permanent residents to remain in the country if they met certain criteria.

DAPA was blocked by the courts from implementation, which the Department of Homeland Security cited as a reason for rescinding the program. A DHS press released said Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly signed a memorandum rescinding DAPA on Thursday because “there is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy.”

The program had been challenged by 26 states after Obama issued it in November 2014. The Supreme Court deadlocked when ruling on the constitutionality of the program in June 2016, splitting the vote 4-4 due to the empty seat at the time left by late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.



AG Jeff Sessions takes on MS-13 in Long Island… and is winning

The know-it-alls and the mainstream media in Washington (if there’s a difference anymore) may want to tear down U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions right now, but they may have to answer first to the people of Long island — at least, the law-abiding ones.

In just the past 30 days, federal officials have arrested nearly 40 members of the much-feared MS-13 gang that has been plaguing the New York metropolitan area, particularly the Long Island suburbs. The arrests are a result of a newly formed task force,  “Operation Matador,” launched shortly after an appearance in Long Island by Sessions to address MS-13s growing presence in the area.

“The MS-13 mantra is kill, rape and control, and so that should tell us enough about the kind of groups we confront,” Sessions said during his April visit. “Our motto is justice for victims and consequences for criminals.”

“We are targeting you. We are coming after you,” he warned the vicious El Salvadoran gang.  Sessions’ tough message was reinforced by President Trump during a May 15 ceremony at the U.S. Capitol honoring fallen officers:  “MS-13 is going to be gone from our streets very soon, believe me.”

Apparently, the President and his Attorney General are men of their word.

MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha) is a transnational criminal gang that sprung up in Los Angeles in the 1980s and spread throughout North America, Mexico, and Central America. Their members, predominantly Salvadoran by nationality, self-identify with tattoos covering their bodies and faces.

Once isolated to the streets of inner-city neighborhoods, the spread of gang violence – by killers like MS-13 — is rapidly spreading horror throughout immigrant communities in America’s suburbs, like Suffolk County, NY.

This is not West Side Story’s Sharks and the Jets singing, dancing, and rumbling throughout the streets of New York.  In April, the bodies of four men between the ages of 16 to 20 were found inside Central Islip’s Recreation Village Town Park, just several hundred feet south of the soccer fields.  The men, who were brutally beaten and stabbed to death, are believed to be victims of MS-13.

Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels said of the gang: “MS-13 is unlike any street gang that we have dealt with before. They are organized and behave like a paramilitary organization. And the violence is incredibly brutal.”

No one knows that better than Robert Mickens and Elizabeth Alverado, whose 15-year old daughter Nisa was beaten by baseball bats and hacked to death with a machete after a social media disagreement with MS-13 members. Nisa’s best friend, 16-year old Kayla Cuevas, was also killed after being chased down by the gang members. Ten illegal immigrant members of the MS-13, including one person who was previously deported, were indicted as part of the wave that cost Nisa and Kayla their lives.

“They’re evil. They’re coming over the border, then coming back after they get kicked out,” said Alverado of her daughter’s murderers.  “Things should change. It shouldn’t take my daughter’s death.” Mickens, her husband, said he “welcomed” Sessions’s April visit to Long Island and called out Assemblyman Phil Ramos for telling Sessions to “stay in Washington” unless he planned on bringing “resources for local nonprofits” during his visit.  Mickens and Alverado both met with Sessions during his visit.

Not everyone greeted the Attorney General’s visit and his get tough on violent gangs policy with open arms. According to news reports, a crowd of more than 50 anti-Trump protestors attended Sessions’ April visit bearing signs that read “Build bridges, not walls” and “Immigrants & refugees are welcome. Sessions? NOPE.”

Unless they were members of MS-13, those knuckleheads should be the first ones to apologize to the Attorney General and thank him for cleaning up the streets of Long Island.  Apologies should also be forthcoming from the rest of the “Hate America First” crowd and their megaphones in the mainstream media.

Since being appointed by President Trump to head up the Justice Department, Jeff Sessions has been savagely and universally pilloried by the anti-Trump crowd.  A reasonable observer might think that somewhere amidst the barrage of attacks on Sessions, the Washington media might pay him at least one compliment for rounding up a murderous transnational gang, like the MS-13.

Don’t hold your breath.

Instead, suggest to the Washington media scribes that they take a Greyhound to Long Island where they can personally ask Robert Mickens, Elizabeth Alverado, and the parents of other victims of MS-13 what they think of Jeff Sessions.



Study supports Trump: 5.7 million noncitizens may have cast illegal votes

A research group in New Jersey has taken a fresh look at postelection polling data and concluded that the number of noncitizens voting illegally in U.S. elections is likely far greater than previous estimates.

As many as 5.7 million noncitizens may have voted in the 2008 election, which put Barack Obama in the White House.

The research organization Just Facts, a widely cited, independent think tank led by self-described conservatives and libertarians, revealed its number-crunching in a report on national immigration.

Just Facts President James D. Agresti and his team looked at data from an extensive Harvard/YouGov study that every two years questions a sample size of tens of thousands of voters. Some acknowledge they are noncitizens and are thus ineligible to vote.

Just Facts’ conclusions confront both sides in the illegal voting debate: those who say it happens a lot and those who say the problem nonexistent.

In one camp, there are groundbreaking studies by professors at Old Dominion University in Virginia who attempted to compile scientifically derived illegal voting numbers using the Harvard data, called the Cooperative Congressional Election Study.

On the other side are the professors who conducted the study and contended that “zero” noncitizens of about 18 million adults in the U.S. voted. The liberal mainstream media adopted this position and proclaimed the Old Dominion work was “debunked.”

The ODU professors, who stand by their work in the face of attacks from the left, concluded that in 2008 as few as 38,000 and as many as 2.8 million noncitizens voted.

Mr. Agresti’s analysis of the same polling data settled on much higher numbers. He estimated that as many as 7.9 million noncitizens were illegally registered that year and 594,000 to 5.7 million voted.

These numbers are more in line with the unverified estimates given by President Trump, who said the number of ballots cast by noncitizens was the reason he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.

Last month, the president signed an executive order setting up a commission to try to find on-the-ground truth in illegal voting. Headed by Vice President Mike Pence, the panel also will look at outdated voter lists across the nation with names of dead people and multiple registrants.

For 2012, Just Facts said, 3.2 million to 5.6 million noncitizens were registered to vote and 1.2 million to 3.6 million of them voted.

Mr. Agresti lays out his reasoning in a series of complicated calculations, which he compares to U.S. Census Bureau figures for noncitizen residents. Polls show noncitizens vote overwhelmingly Democratic.

“The details are technical, but the figure I calculated is based on a more conservative margin of sampling error and a methodology that I consider to be more accurate,” Mr. Agresti told The Washington Times.

He believes the Harvard/YouGov researchers based their “zero” claim on two flawed assumptions. First, they assumed that people who said they voted and identified a candidate did not vote unless their names showed up in a database.

“This is illogical, because such databases are unlikely to verify voters who use fraudulent identities, and millions of noncitizens use them,” Mr. Agresti said.

He cites government audits that show large numbers of noncitizens use false IDs and Social Security numbers in order to function in the U.S., which could include voting.

Second, Harvard assumed that respondent citizens sometimes misidentified themselves as noncitizens but also concluded that noncitizens never misidentified themselves as citizens, Mr. Agresti said.

“This is irrational, because illegal immigrants often claim they are citizens in order to conceal the fact that they are in the U.S. illegally,” he said.

Some of the polled noncitizens denied they were registered to vote when publicly available databases show that they were, he said.

This conclusion, he said, is backed by the Harvard/YouGov study’s findings of consumer and vote data matches for 90 percent of participants but only 41 percent of noncitizen respondents.

As to why his numbers are higher than the besieged ODU professors’ study, Mr. Agresti said: “I calculated the margin of sampling error in a more cautious way to ensure greater confidence in the results, and I used a slightly different methodology that I think is more accurate.”

There is hard evidence outside of polling that noncitizens do vote. Conservative activists have conducted limited investigations in Maryland and Virginia that found thousands of aliens were registered.

These inquiries, such as comparing noncitizen jury pool rejections to voter rolls, captured just a snapshot. But conservatives say they show there is a much broader problem that a comprehensive probe by the Pence commission could uncover.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation, which fights voter fraud, released one of its most comprehensive reports last month.

Its investigation found that Virginia removed more than 5,500 noncitizens from voter lists, including 1,852 people who had cast more than 7,000 ballots. The people volunteered their status, most likely when acquiring driver’s licenses. The Public Interest Legal Foundation said there are likely many more illegal voters on Virginia’s rolls who have never admitted to being noncitizens.



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 21, 2017

LePage's Welfare Reform: Good for Maine, a Model for the Nation

After six years of tackling tough welfare problems, Maine's governor, Paul LePage, recently introduced a bill to further overhaul taxpayer-funded benefits programs. The Welfare Reform for Increased Security and Employment (RISE) Act would reinvent Maine's welfare system to put work first, protect benefits for the truly needy, and make welfare a temporary hand up, not a lifetime handout.

LePage is no stranger to poverty himself. One of 18 children, LePage fled home at eleven to escape an abusive father. He spent time living on the streets and in cars, working odd jobs, and learning English as a second language. LePage's rise from the streets to the Blaine House taught him broad lessons that he has applied to Maine's welfare programs.

Governor LePage learned firsthand that the way out of poverty is not government welfare but personal responsibility, employment, and community support.

Applying these lessons learned, LePage has transformed Maine into a national leader tackling the welfare-dependency crisis. In 2011, one out of three Mainers was on welfare, and Maine was leading the way in many measures of dependency; it ranked in the top six for percentage of the population on food stamps, cash welfare, and Medicaid enrollment.

Governor LePage and his health and human services commissioner, Mary Mayhew, implemented time limits, work requirements, and anti-fraud programs that have already moved tens of thousands of Mainers from welfare back into the work force, helping businesses grow.

Nearly 250,000 Mainers (out of a total population of about 1.3 million) were dependent on food stamps when LePage assumed office in 2011. By 2016, that number had dropped to 180,000. While other states are crashing headlong into budget crises caused by Medicaid expansion, Maine has transitioned more than 80,000 people out of Medicaid, refocusing the program on the truly needy - all while the uninsured rate has declined. Maine now has $1 billion in the bank and a 40-year low in unemployment.

Now LePage wants to make sure that this trend continues for generations to come. The RISE Act focuses on work and individual responsibility - the key to moving people out of poverty and onto a more secure path. When LePage required able-bodied adults on food stamps to work, train, or volunteer, their average income more than doubled in just one year. That higher income more than offset the food stamps they lost, leaving them better off. Employment increased, incomes rose, and poverty declined. The research is clear: Jobs do a much better job of putting food on the table than an EBT card does. The RISE Act, if passed, will make sure that this work requirement continues in Maine.

The bill would also ensure that needy children receive financial support from their parents. Under the plan, parents with child-support obligations will be required to meet those obligations before they are eligible to receive welfare. This is based on the sound principle that you should fulfill your obligation to your children before asking the taxpayers to step in and help you. Parents who refused to cooperate with child-support services would be banned or suspended from food-assistance programs.

The RISE Act also aims to ensure - for instance, by accurately counting the incomes and resources of those applying for welfare - that benefits go to those who are truly in need. This way, residents with significant financial assets - including lottery winnings - won't be allowed to drain resources from the most vulnerable.

For cash welfare, the RISE Act shortens the lifetime limit from 60 months to 36 months, joining 17 other states with time limits between 12 and 36 months. This will restore the temporary program's fundamental purpose: to help vault a person into employment as soon as possible, not give cash with no deadlines or time limits.

Other major reforms in the RISE Act include increasing welfare-spending transparency, requiring that welfare funds for college tuition go toward useful degree programs with high job outlooks, closing a loophole that provides more generous welfare benefits to noncitizens than to citizens, and immediately disqualifying people who steal welfare funds.

The RISE Act continues LePage's successful efforts to reduce dependency in Maine. Let's hope the nation takes notice and follows his lead.



A Lesson from China on Poverty Reduction and Inequality

I've written (many, many times) about how the best way to help the poor is to focus on economic growth rather than inequality.

After all, in a genuine market economy (as opposed to socialism, cronyism, or some other form of statism), the poor aren't poor because some people are rich.

Today, let's look at a real-world example of why it is a mistake to focus on inequality.

A study by five Chinese scholars looked at income inequality over time in their country. Their research, published in 2010, focused mostly on the methodological challenges of obtaining good long-run data and understanding the impact of urban and rural populations. But one clear conclusion is that inequality has increased in China.

    This paper investigates the influences of the income overlap part on the nationwide Gini coefficient. Then we present a new approach to estimating the Chinese Gini ratio from 1978 to 2006, which avoids the shortcomings of current data sources. In line with the results, the authors further probe the trend of Chinese income disparity. .income inequality has been rising in China. .the national Gini ratio of 2006 is 1.52 times more than that of 1978.

Here's a chart based on their data (combined with post-2006 data from Statista). It looks at historical trends for the Gini coefficient (a value of "1" is absolute inequality, with one person accumulating all the income in a society, whereas a value of "0" is absolute equality, with everyone having the same level of income.

As you can see, there's been a significant increase in inequality.

My leftist friends are conditioned to think this is a terrible outcome, in large part because they incorrectly think the economy is a fixed pie.

And when you have that distorted view, higher absolute incomes for the rich necessarily imply lower absolute incomes for the poor.

My response (beyond pointing out that the economy is not a fixed pie), is to argue that the goal should be economic growth and poverty reduction. I don't care if Bill Gates is getting richer at a faster rate than a poor person. I just want a society where everyone has the chance to climb the economic ladder.

And I also point out that it's hard to design pro-growth policies that won't produce more income for rich people. Yes, there are some reforms (licensing liberalization, cutting agriculture subsidies, reducing protectionism, shutting the Ex-Im Bank, reforming Social Security, ending bailouts) that will probably be disproportionately beneficial for those with low incomes, but those policies also will produce growth that will help upper-income people.*

But I'm digressing. The main goal of today's column is to look at the inequality data from above and then add the following data on poverty reduction.

Here's a chart I shared back in March. As you can see, there's been a very impressive reduction in the number of people suffering severe deprivation in rural China (where incomes historically have been lowest).

Consider, now, both charts together.

The bottom line is that economic liberalization resulted in much faster growth. And because some people got richer at a faster rate than others got richer, that led to both an increase in inequality and a dramatic reduction in poverty.

Therefore, what happened in China creates a type of Rorschach test for folks on the left.

    A well-meaning leftist will look at all this data and say, "I wish somehow everyone got richer at the same rate, but market-based reforms in China are wonderful because so many people escaped poverty."

    A spiteful leftist will look at all this data and say, "Because upper-income people benefited even more than low-income people, market-based reforms in China were a failure and should be reversed."

Needless to say, the spiteful leftists are the ones who hate the rich more than they love the poor (here are some wise words from Margaret Thatcher on such people).

*To the extent that some upper-income taxpayers obtain unearned income via government intervention, then they may lose out from economic liberalization. Ethical rich people, however, will earn more income if there are pro-growth reforms.



Mark Steyn: `The Left Wants To Denormalize And Dehumanize Its Political Opposition'

Conservative author Mark Steyn tied Wednesday's attempted assassinations of Republican congressmen to the preference of many on the left to "dehumanize" their political opponents, instead of engaging in honest debate with them.

"The left wants to denormalize and dehumanize, to use your words, its political opposition," Steyn told Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson on Fox News Wednesday night. "They do that in a variety of ways. For example, when Charles Murray wants to give a speech at Middlebury College, they have to have a riot. They don't have a debate in which they demolish his arguments. They don't want to win the debate. They want to prevent the debate from taking place."

"They want to label somebody a hater. If you happen to think that Obamacare is not the best public policy, it is because you want grannies and urchins to die. Once you do that, you're basically saying, there is no form of civilized political discourse possible with your opponent and the logic of that is that instead to you riot and you beat them up, as they do at Middlebury. You poison them, as happened to Robert Spencer, who is well-known to this network, when he gave a speech in Iceland recently, or you open fire on them. You make politics impossible if you do that," Steyn said.

"There's a religious quality to the way they approach politics," Carlson agreed. "Do you notice that?"

"Yes, I think so," said Steyn. "If you have people like the Southern Poverty Law [Center], which has become fabulously wealthy by labeling everyone they disagree with as a hate group, if you keep calling everybody a hater, and in fact, if your organization calls people haters, you are the hater. I would like to disagree with the tone of what we have heard today, including in the last hour for Martha MacCallum and Brit Hume, when they were talking about unity and will this unity last?"

"Obviously, the unity won't last because ultimately, Rand Paul has very little that unites him with Bernie Sanders. We don't actually need unity. We need robust, civilized disunity - people honestly recognizing that they disagree with each other on health care, on immigration, on Islam, on transgender bathrooms, and a bazillion other things, but that doesn't make the other person a hater. Simply put, the left has to be willing to actually engage in debate with people that disagree with them."




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 20, 2017

Social class rides again

The Left hate it but on all indices of social class, lower class people have poorer health.  The article below reinforces that.  I don't think much of their sampling but the result is in line with findings elsewhere.  They find that poorly educated people have much worse health, in particular, more heart disease.  They talk blithely of reducing that difference but clearly have not a clue about what underlies it. It is another indicator that there is a general syndrome of biological good functioning.  Some people do well on all indicators -- including IQ -- and some do not. Trying to alter that would be a Canute-type task

Association of Educational Attainment With Lifetime Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study

Yasuhiko Kubota et al.


Importance:  Estimates of lifetime risk may help raise awareness of the extent to which educational inequalities are associated with risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Objective:  To estimate lifetime risks of CVD according to categories of educational attainment.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  Participants were followed from 1987 through December 31, 2013. All CVD events (coronary heart disease, heart failure, and stroke) were confirmed by physician review and International Classification of Diseases codes. A total of 13 948 whites and African Americans who were 45 to 64 years old and free of CVD at baseline were included from 4 US communities (Washington County, Maryland; Forsyth County, North Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; and suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota). The data analysis was performed from June 7 to August 31, 2016.

Exposures:  Educational attainment.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  We used a life table approach to estimate lifetime risks of CVD from age 45 through 85 years according to educational attainment. We adjusted for competing risks of death from underlying causes other than CVD.

Results:  The sample of 13 948 participants was 56% female and 27% African American. During 269 210 person-years of follow-up, we documented 4512 CVD events and 2401 non-CVD deaths. Educational attainment displayed an inverse dose-response relation with cumulative risk of CVD, which became evident in middle age, with the most striking gap between those not completing vs completing high school. In men, lifetime risks of CVD were 59.0% (95% CI, 54.0%-64.1%) for grade school, 52.5% (95% CI, 47.7%-56.8%) for high school education without graduation, 50.9% (95% CI, 47.3%-53.9%) for high school graduation, 47.2% (95% CI, 41.5%-52.5%) for vocational school, 46.4% (95% CI, 42.8%-49.6%) for college with or without graduation, and 42.2% (95% CI, 36.6%-47.0%) for graduate/professional school; in women, 50.8% (95% CI, 45.7%-55.8%), 49.3% (95% CI, 45.1%-53.1%), 36.3% (95% CI, 33.4%-39.1%), 32.2% (95% CI, 26.0%-37.3%), 32.8% (95% CI, 29.1%-35.9%), and 28.0% (95% CI, 21.9%-33.3%), respectively. Educational attainment was inversely associated with CVD even within categories of family income, income change, occupation, or parental educational level.

Conclusions and Relevance:  More than 1 in 2 individuals with less than high school education had a lifetime CVD event. Educational attainment was inversely associated with the lifetime risk of CVD, regardless of other important socioeconomic characteristics. Our findings emphasize the need for further efforts to reduce CVD inequalities related to educational disparities.

JAMA Intern Med. Published online June 12, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.1877


Leftist Extremism Is Mainstream Leftism

Just in case you think the political left has become more rational or less extreme, I refer you to the following examples demonstrating otherwise.

Some will say these are extreme cases, not representative of mainstream leftist (excuse the oxymoron) thought and practice, but we see such examples all the time — not to mention that this type of thinking is mainstreamed in the liberal media and academia. Others will dispute that these are examples of wrongheaded thinking, which will prove that I'm not overstating my case.

Item: In her high-school graduation speech in Pennsylvania, Moriah Bridges was prohibited from praying blessings on her class; she was barred from thanking her "Heavenly Father" and her "Lord." The school's principal, at the direction of the school district, said her prepared remarks would have been unconstitutional. Folks, the courts have stretched the federal and state establishment clauses to absurd lengths to say that almost any expression of Christianity at a government-supported entity is prohibited. How can anyone reasonably argue that to allow a student to voluntarily offer a public prayer constitutes government support of Christianity? Does anyone ever consider the First Amendment's free exercise clause, which precedes the establishment clause? Both clauses are designed to promote, not suppress, religious liberty, yet this school district's Christian-hostile action in fact suppressed Bridges' religious liberty in the name of protecting that very freedom.

Item: Along the same lines, Bremerton High School football coach Joe Kennedy was fired for refusing to comply with the Washington state school's order that he quit praying silently on the field because it was an impermissible public display of religion by a public school employee. Such prayer, according to the school, could be interpreted as the school district's endorsement of religion. See what I mean? Kennedy is challenging this in court.

Item: Vero Beach High School student J.P. Krause was initially disqualified from winning his election as class president because he used tongue-in-cheek campaign slogans mirroring President Trump's campaign rhetoric on the proposed border wall. Krause's frivolous suggestion that they build a wall between their school and a rival school and make the other school pay for it was deemed insulting and harassment under the school district's rules, according to the school's principal. This is so self-evidently absurd as to obviate further comment. Only after public outcry did the Florida school's superintendent reverse the principal's decision.

Item: You know how same-sex marriage advocates tell us that they just want equal rights — that they just want everyone to live and let live? Transgender activist blogger Tiffany Berruti stated that if a person isn't attracted to transgender people, he or she is "deeply transphobic." So it is transphobic to ask or demand that a transgender person identify himself, herself or themselves as being transgender? There are just no words. If you think there are, then you may be making my case for me.

Item: Evergreen State College established a "Day of Absence" event, in which white community members were urged to leave campus for a day, as reported by Fox News' Tucker Carlson. Professor Bret Weinstein questioned the idea and was confronted by some 50 students, who demanded he resign, and some members of the Evergreen community mocked or maligned him. Weinstein held a class off campus because university police informed him it was not safe for him to be on campus. "They imagine that I am a racist and that I am teaching racism in the classroom," said Weinstein. "And that has caused them to imagine that I have no right to speak and that I am harming students by the very act of teaching them." Do people not understand that setting aside a day to discourage whites from campus promotes racism — encouraging people to see people stereotypically, as members of a race, rather than as individuals? And if some acts of racism did occur on this campus, isn't it racist to punish an entire group (white people) based on the behavior of a few? This is stunningly absurd.

Item: A LendEDU poll of 1,659 U.S. college students shows that 36 percent of them think "safe spaces" are "absolutely necessary" on campus, while only 37 percent disagree. Safe spaces are places adults can go where no one will hurt their feelings. For example, female student government officers at Barnard College sponsored a safe space event offering hot chocolate and "feminist coloring pages" when Donald Trump was elected president. Again, I'll not insult your intelligence by assuming you need me to comment on this lunacy.

Item: Liberals, from Congress to "The View," cried that President Trump's calling members of the Islamic State group "losers" was irresponsible and could lead to terrorist recruitment and further terrorist attacks. These people would prefer that we use gentle language to describe their heinous murders because we don't want to offend and incite other people. You know, otherwise civil people could be so outraged that they might turn into murderous losers themselves. Who thinks like this? Well, a frightening number of people on the left, that's who. And if you don't believe that, then you're simply not paying attention.

As you very well know, I could go on and on. But deniers would still say I'm generalizing. Others need hot chocolate and coloring pages. Still others would defend the examples. And that should speak for itself.



A deceptive journalist gets caught red handed

They are so used to lying that they just assume they will get away with it

Alex Jones leaked the audio of a phone conversation Thursday night revealing Megyn Kelly promising him a fair, non-“gotcha” interview as she invited him to appear on her new NBC News program.

“I don’t double cross,” Kelly tells Jones, repeatedly assuring him that her interview would not dwell on “conspiracy theories” or familiar left-wing attacks against the independent broadcast host. Rather, Kelly says that the focus of the news profile would be to humanize Jones and explore his personal life.

Jones himself appears in the video, revealing the private phone conversation on his website InfoWars in advance of Kelly’s Sunday broadcast. He annotates the audio clips with his own commentary, NBC’s preview snippet of the now-filmed interview, and news clips about the ensuing uproar — where a besieged Kelly has denounced Jones’ coverage of the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting as “revolting.”

The video puts Kelly in a precarious position. As her fledgling weekend news magazine show fights for viability, left-wing agitators have attacked her for interviewing Jones. A boycott sprang up before the broadcast ever aired, pressuring sponsors and reportedly convincing major brands to pull their advertisements. In response, she gave a statement contradicting nearly everything she promised in this phone call.

“The very question that prompted this interview,” she claimed, is: “How does Jones, who traffics in these outrageous conspiracy theories, have the respect of the president of the United States and a growing audience of millions?” However, Jones has revealed, her pitch was the exact opposite: “I promise you that’s not what this will be [a hit piece],” she says. “It really will be about, who is this guy?” Later on, she expresses her hope that some liberal viewers would come out of the segment saying, “I see the guy who loves those kids and who is more complex than I’ve been led to believe.”

So, which statement is true? That conclusion is not as easy as one would assume. Kelly now finds herself in the unenviable position of appeasing corporate sponsors spooked by left-wing outrage while also trying to establish herself as a trustworthy interviewer.

She has nothing to lose if Alex Jones feels betrayed and never talks to her again, but she does express fear during their conversation that if he calls her out for a “hit piece,” she will have trouble getting any more controversial, ratings-draw subjects to appear on her show. And, based on the preview clips, Kelly will have to square that broken promise with this fervent declaration about her character:

    "All I can do is give you my word and tell you — if there’s one thing about me, I do what I say I’m gonna do. And I — I don’t double cross, so I promise you when it’s over you’ll say, “Absolutely. She did what she said she was gonna do.”

Jones states that he has only released “a few clips” of his full phone conversation with Kelly and that InfoWars taped the entire NBC interview “so that we can document post-mortem how she edited, how she manipulated.” He concludes: “It shows the arrogance of Megyn Kelly that she didn’t think we’d record her to document what she really said and did.”


The interview has now been aired


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 19, 2017

New Jersey Democrat Calls For “Hunting” Republicans, GOP

After a shooter in Alexandria left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise in critical condition and wounded four other people, a longtime New Jersey Democratic political strategist responded by introducing the hashtags #HuntRepublicans and #HuntRepublicanCongressmen.

“We are in a war with selfish, foolish & narcissistic rich people,” wrote James Devine on Twitter. “Why is it a shock when things turn violent? #HuntRepublicanCongressmen.”

Devine has run for office, consulted for numerous New Jersey campaigns, and worked in the offices of state lawmakers. He’s also a blogger.

In an interview with, Devine said, “If you want to invite a class war, then you have to expect people to fight back at some point.” The Democratic strategist also wrote on Facebook that he had “little sympathy” for Scalise because of his lack of support for gun control.



Former Clinton Independent Prosecutor Shoots Down The Left’s Narrative

Ken Starr, the former independent counsel charged with investigating President Bill Clinton, told CNN’s New Day Thursday that there is not enough evidence to bring an obstruction of justice case against President Donald Trump.

“It’s too soon to tell. From what I’ve seen — and of course we don’t know a whole lot — the answer is no,” Starr said, when asked if one could bring reasonably bring a case against the embattled president.

Starr’s comments come one day after the Washington Post reported that Robert Mueller, special counsel in the Russia inquiry, is investigating the president for obstruction.

Obstruction issues emerged during a Feb. 14 meeting in the Oval Office, when the president told former FBI Director James Comey that he hoped his disgraced former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn would elude criminal prosecution.



The Left’s incitement to violence leads to terrorism

The Democratic National Committee announced that Resistance Summer would begin in June. James Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders volunteer, delivered by opening fire on Republicans playing baseball.

 Hodgkinson had spent the weeks before the shooting staring at the site of his future attack and working on his laptop. What was he doing on his laptop? Ranting about Trump and Republicans.

The left-wing terrorist who opened fire on Republicans practicing for a charity baseball game, an event to which they had brought their children, didn’t come up with his own ideas. His Facebook pages were dumpsters rotting with reposted left-wing hate. There was Bill Moyers' Resistance plan along with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Maddow, Robert Reich and Noam Chomsky.

They helped shape Hodgkinson’s conviction that Republicans had to be destroyed. Or as the title of a Facebook group that he belonged to put it, “Terminate the Republican Party.”

James Hodgkinson did his best in a Virginia park. And he wasn’t a lone lunatic. Not by a long shot.

After the attack, the office of Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) received an email reading “One down, 216 to go". Congressman Tom Garrett (R-Va.) needed security after receiving threats reading, "This is how we're going to kill your wife". Other threats described graphic atrocities against his daughters and even his dog.

Congresswoman Martha McSally (R-AZ.) went to the FBI after phone messages warning, "Martha our sights are set on you, right between your **** eyes" and "Can't wait to **** pull the trigger."

And it didn’t stop at words.

David Kustoff (R-Tenn.) had his car nearly run off the road and was then threatened. Indivisible Team protests at Dana Rohrabacher's office (R-CA.) ended with a 71-year-old female staffer being injured by the actions of the leftist protesters.

This campaign of harassment was eventually bound to escalate to assassination. James Hodgkinson just happened to be the first to pull the trigger. But it could have been any of a growing number of leftist activists who had become convinced that Trump was a fascist dictator and that violence was the answer.

The “Resistance” began by invoking an unprecedented crisis that required setting aside democracy and the niceties of political discourse. It escalated quickly to street violence and then to murder.

The media and the political personalities of the left who have been profitably feeding the crisis claim to disavow Hodgkinson’s tactic of actually shooting Republicans, but they led him to his bloody conclusion.

What made James Hodgkinson believe that stopping the repeal of ObamaCare was a matter of life and death? Or, as he put it, “Republicans Want to Deny Most All Americans Health Care”?

It was Bernie Sanders who claimed that “thousands of Americans would die” if Republicans repealed ObamaCare. “Families will go bankrupt. People will die,” Elizabeth Warren had tweeted.

James Hodgkinson was a big Bernie supporter. And he was a fan of Elizabeth Warren.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, in whose state the shootings happened, had claimed, “People are going to lose lives." Instead of trying to push gun control, he might have revisited his own rhetoric.

Congressman John Lewis claimed that the repeal would kill. Congressman Ruben Gallego insisted that he didn't have to be civil to Republicans because their "policies that are going to kill people".

It’s a short step from accusing Republicans of killing people to suspending civility to wishing them dead.

And Democrat politicians were downright restrained compared to some of their media allies. Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald wanted to see every Congressional Republican who voted for ObamaCare have a family member perish. "It should be their loved ones who die," he ranted.

“The goprs in congress didn’t just send out a tweet wishing for me to face my own death. They actually voted to do it. If people don’t give a damn about the consequences of what they do, they should face those consequences,” Eichenwald wrote in a statement.

James Hodgkinson was a fan of the Rachel Maddow show. Eichenwald was an MSNBC contributor and his work had been touted by Rachel Maddow.

Calls for violence against Republicans had become normalized.

A few days before the attack, the Huffington Post ran a piece calling for executing Trump “and everyone assisting in his agenda”. It has since come down, but a similarly themed piece defending a “violent response” to President Trump is still up. Julius Caesar reimagined as Trump and leftist activists as his heroic assassins made headlines. “Killing Republicans” in neighboring Brooklyn did not.

“They should be lined up and shot,” Professor John Griffin posted of Republicans over the ObamaCare repeal. Professor Lars Maischak at Frenso State proposed "the execution of two Republicans for each deported immigrant."

And it didn’t end after the shooting.

"If the shooter has a serious health condition then is taking potshots at the GOP house leadership considered self defense?" Malcolm Harris, a regular at the New Republic, whose work has appeared at the Washington Post and Salon, inquired.

If Congressional Republicans are indeed killing people, why shouldn’t they be killed? Hodgkinson accepted the left’s premise and took it to its logically murderous conclusion.

“Noam Chomsky calls the Republican Party the Most Dangerous Organization in Human History!” was one of the messages on his Facebook page.

According to Chomsky, appearing on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, Republicans are committed “to the destruction of organized human life on Earth.” Forget health care. Republicans are actually trying to wipe out the species by denying Global Warming.

James Hodgkinson participated in the People’s Climate March. Its theme, like Chomsky’s, was that Trump and Republicans were a threat to the entire planet.

If that’s true, shouldn’t someone save the planet by doing something about those Republicans?

Hodgkinson was taught by the left that all problems were reducible to Republican evil. He quoted Robert Reich, a Sanders Institute fellow, claiming that the poor economy was due to tax cuts for the rich.

The Republicans had destroyed the economy, health care and the planet. Someone had to stop them.

“Congressional Republicans Hate Americans & Should All be Voted Out of Office,” James Hodgkinson ranted on Facebook. But even he could see that was not going to happen.

Congressman Scalise had won 74.6% of the vote in his last election. If he couldn’t be voted out, he could be killed. And on his Facebook page, Hodgkinson had displayed a marked hostility to him.

And the rest you can see on cable news.

The left has a long ugly history of priming killers and then playing innocent. James Hodgkinson, like Lee Harvey Oswald, imbibed enough of that sense of urgent crisis that instead of just continuing to attend Occupy Wall Street rallies and anti-Trump marches, instead of just donating a few dollars here and there to leftist causes and politicians, he decided to take their rhetoric seriously. There was nothing wrong with his logic. There was something deeply wrong with those whose ideas he was relying on.

James Hodgkinson took the left’s claims at face value. If Trump is Hitler, if Republicans are fascists, if their policies will kill thousands of people, wipe out the economy and destroy the planet, then Jimmy was just a good member of the “Resistance” fighting to save all human life on earth.

The left can’t quite decide whether its incitement should be taken at face value. Some on the left do. They’re the ones who can be seen calling for the murder of Republicans. Others profit from it, but then disavow the tactics. But for many leftists like James Hodgkinson, these fine distinctions are lost.

They don’t understand that Bernie Sanders doesn’t really believe that Republicans will kill thousands of people. He’s just saving up for a fourth home. Elizabeth Warren is a millionaire and former Republican who figured out that being a fake class warrior pays even better than being a fake Cherokee. Robert Reich was getting paid $235,791 to teach a class on income inequality at Berkeley.

Hodgkinson was a side effect of Bernie’s three homes, Liz’s presidential ambitions and Bob’s ambitions. The shooting of Congressman Scalise and others on that field was a side effect of the left’s quest for power. And worse still, there are those on the left who are true believers and who really do want a war.

“Republicans are getting what they want,” Markos Moulitsas‏ of DailyKos posted.

But it’s the left that is actually getting what it wanted. All that hate and rage couldn’t be satiated by marches and rallies. It spilled over into street violence, terroristic threats and now terrorism.

Leftist leaders believe that they can contain the violence and channel it into protests, rallies and donations. At worst, there might be the occasional campus riot or street fight. But the Alexandria attack is a warning that the violence that the left is inciting and unleashing cannot be contained for long.

“Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It's Time to Destroy Trump & Co,” Hodgkinson ranted. Trump isn’t destroying our democracy. The leftists trying to bring him down are.

The left has whipped up an angry mob and promised them that if they scream and shout enough, President Trump will be forced out of office. They manufactured a crisis and now it’s exploding on them. If they can’t deliver a coup, there will be more shootings like this one.

The Democrats are sleepwalking into a civil war. They want power, but like leftists from Russia to Cuba, they haven’t seriously contemplated the price that will have to paid for their bloody utopia.

In her “Resistance” video, former Attorney General Lynch spoke of blood, marching and dying. At Eugene Simpson Stadium Park, the 10-year-old son of Congressman Barton huddled under a bench. Congressman Wenstrup, an Iraq War veteran, struggled to provide aid to the wounded Scalise.

That’s what Lynch’s bleeding and dying looks like. This is what the left’s Resistance really looks like. Democrats, liberals and even leftists ought to take a good look to see if that’s what they really want.



A good rejoinder to a moron


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 18, 2017

LOL.  Putin stirs the pot

Vladimir Vladimirovich must be enjoying Russia getting so much attention these days

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Moscow would offer ousted FBI Director James Comey asylum if an investigation is launched against him for releasing details of conversations he had with President Trump.

Comparing Comey to serial leaker Edward Snowden, Putin said it “sounds strange, when the head of special services records his talks with the commander-in-chief and passes this talk to the media. Then what is the difference between the FBI director and Mr. Snowden?”

The Russian leader called Comey a “rights defender” and said the Kremlin has his back.

​”By the way if, in relation to this, a prosecution would be launched against him (Comey), we are ready to provide him with political asylum in Russia. He has to know this,” Putin said during a live televised call-in show in Moscow.



LOL.  Trump Broke Predecessor’s Tradition of Proclaiming LGBT Pride Month

President Trump signed five proclamations on May 31 regarding the month of June, but none of them declared it “Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month” – a tradition marked by former President Obama every year of his administration.

President Bill Clinton was the first president to mark June in this way, proclaiming what he then called simply “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month” in 2000, his last full year in office.

His example was not followed by President George W. Bush, who had been outspoken against legalizing same-sex marriage. Obama in 2009 reinstated what by the time he left office had become an annual tradition. In 2015, during the month, the White House was lit up in rainbow colors to celebrate the Supreme Court’s declaration that same-sex marriage is a “right.”



Leftist hate gets physical in France too

A top candidate for France’s right-wing Republicans, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, was left unconscious Thursday after a clash with a protestor while out campaigning for this weekend’s legislative elections in Paris.

Kosciusko-Morizet, widely known by her initials NKM, was insulted by a man while visiting a market in central Paris and then lost her balance when he tried to throw her campaign leaflets in her face, an AFP journalist at the scene said.

After falling, she blacked out for several minutes possibly after hitting her head, before being revived by emergency services.

Her aggressor, a middle-aged man in a shirt and chinos, left the scene immediately.



To Stop the Violence, Shrink the State

The shooting yesterday of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, several aides and capitol police officers serves as a chilling reminder as to the state of American politics. We are no longer a nation of civil public discourse. We have finally seen someone take matters into their own hands and express how they feel justice and policy should be made.

This is an act of domestic terrorism from one point of view. It is an act of patriotism from another. It is clear that we as a nation, do not agree on what it means to be patriotic.

Disgusting but Not Surprising

James Hodgkinson’s actions are only a real physical outburst of acts that have been mimed in the media and on college campuses across the country. Violent outbursts, such as the burning of debris and destruction of property at Berkeley College in California over an appearance of right-wing pundit, Milo Yiannopolous, Kathy Griffin’s gruesome photo depicting her beheading the President and, most recently, a version of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar which replaced Donald Trump for Caesar are all only the roots of the cause spurring someone like Mr. Hodgkinson to commit terrible acts.

If the people who displayed this faux violence were completely alright with those displays, why should they be outraged now? My guess is that this shared sentiment of the removal of individuals you find to be in stark opposition to your viewpoints has not and will not fade from our public and private discourse anytime soon.

As someone who is fairly vocal about their political views, I have received and have witnessed others that I know receive death threats through social media channels for expressing differing views than many members of the left. This is not uncommon in our society today. Many internet trolls or those who fancy themselves champions of left or right leaning policy and their causes use hateful and inflammatory rhetoric to make their points.

When your entire political philosophy is built on the principles of command and control through force, why would your rhetoric be any different? Mr. Hodgkinson’s action in light of his beliefs is only a further escalation in a string of events that we have seen unfolding in this nation. Are we really surprised that is has come to this?

There are two political ideologies at play in this country. Some who believe that command and control through socialistic and perhaps fascistic means is the only way to achieve a great society and others who believe in more limited government, empowering citizens and all that entails.

The independent middle of this nation is rapidly evaporating. More and more people are galvanizing themselves to the farthest left or right of their worldviews and are continuously willing to take strong action to make their points heard. Battle lines are being drawn, and future conflicts in this country may not be hashed out in a television studio alone.

An Assault on Freedom

Patriotism is in the eye of the beholder. The majority of Americans both left and right will agree that Mr. Hodgkinson’s actions are heinous and despicable. Anyone who attacks another individual, no matter your motivation, has violated the principles of individual liberty and our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is clear. However, aren’t there many people in this country who most likely still do agree with the alleged politics and could potentially hold similar motivations to this man?

In America, we only punish crime after the fact and motivations and actions are two separate things. But the motivations to incite violence or depict violence against members of an opposition party, that is a serious problem.

If James Hodgkinson believed that he was taking the phrase uttered by Thomas Jefferson, ‘The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,’ as justification for his actions, what then is our recourse?

Many people have already expressed they’d like to see the President and potentially his administration dead. They want to and have expressed that free speech will not be exercised on their campuses. Numerous stories can be found where people with strong political beliefs rail against those in opposition to them. This is not a one-sided partisan issue although the level of hate and anger on the left seems to have escalated to a fever pitch.

Our founders put in place a government founded on the principles of individual liberty and freedom. Our Constitution and system of government enshrine individual representation. Mr. Hodgkinson’s assault on GOP leaders is an assault on the individuals who voted for these men. It is an assault on freedom. It is an assault on the way of life that those men seek to set in law for the rest of America.

Mr. Hodgkinson’s actions were designed to strike fear and put an end to discussion. We are witnessing the same rhetoric of hate both on social media and in the mainstream media.

We are a divided nation. The differences are becoming starker. When will we be ready to admit that we have two facets of the same religion at war, at least intellectually, and now in small parts, physically, in our nation? Both sides of the aisle who support increased governmental control in our lives are participating in state religion.

The problem is that when you believe the state is the one necessary for making your life into the life you want, you can only see those who would stand in the way of the state’s ability to do so, as someone who is a direct threat to your way of life. Mr. Hodgkinson allegedly saw Steve Scalise and the rest of the Trump administration as that. He simply had the courage to put action to rhetoric. This is an extremely dangerous and frightening development.

So What Do We Do?

Only one solution exists to truly end the vitriolic nature of media confrontation and now physical confrontations of ideals. We need to limit the power that government has to influence our lives. Give power back to the people. We need to start championing individual rights, and our government should empower people to succeed outside of government interference. If you need to use force to impose your will on others, that will is inherently infringing on the rights of others.

Once we understand this fact, we will be able to limit this type of violence in this country and around the world.

I do not believe Mr. Hodgkinson is a patriot as I disagree with his views but I believe him to be honest in his beliefs. He was truly willing to act on his agenda and achieve his ends through force. If Mr. Scalise had perished, Mr. Hodgkinson would have removed someone who has the power to oppose his political viewpoints and impose his political will on him. This is a scary and dangerous environment.

Anyone who is motivated to put cause above self is for that cause a patriot or, if you prefer, a zealot. Mr. Hodgkinson’s actions are no different than those of ISIS. With so many depictions and small acts of aggression against people of differing political views in this country are we truly surprised by his actions? If we are, we are naive.

Numerous posts on social media today prove that there is little sympathy from certain individuals and groups for GOP lawmakers and staff who were injured today. With death threats against right-leaning individuals rampant, is everyone who shares the similar beliefs of Mr. Hodgkinson willing to condemn his action? I hope so. However, the political climate in this country would suggest otherwise.

A man lost his life for his cause today. Several individuals were injured defending their cause. It’s time we decide whose side we are on and if we’re willing to use force or allow force to be used to achieve whatever political ends we follow. Perhaps it’s time we realized that the use of force to achieve political ends is inherently evil.



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)