Thursday, April 12, 2018

More vindication for Trump

Chinese president Xi Jinping promised to open up economy and lower tariffs.  Xi vowed to slash car import tariffs and strengthen intellectual property rights, two key Trump gripes

The FTSE 100 hit a six-week high after relieved markets rallied on Chinese President Xi Jinping's keynote speech at the "Asian Davos" cooling trade tensions with Washington.

Markets rattled by the prospect of a severe disruption in trade between the world’s two largest economies were soothed by Xi’s olive branch to the White House.

Xi reinforced the Asian powerhouse’s commitment to open up its economy, setting out China’s stall to attract foreign investment in the shipbuilding, aviation and financial sectors.

Xi’s conciliatory tone pandered to Donald Trump’s criticisms on car tariffs and intellectual property rights but also warned against regressing to a “Cold War mentality” that could drive a growth-derailing wedge in international trade.

The Dow Jones — the US blue-chip index — surged as much as 2.2pc on opening in New York while London’s mining heavyweights, which are so reliant on the free flow of trade and consumption in China, climbed higher along with metal prices.



Whatever the Left Touches It Ruins (and it means to)

Dennis Prager
The only way to save Western civilization is to convince more people that leftism — not liberalism — is a nihilistic force. Quite literally, whatever the Left touches it ruins.

So, here is a partial listing of the damage done by the Left and the Democratic Party:

The most obvious — and, therefore, the one more and Americans can resonate with — is the near destruction of most American universities as places of learning. In the words of Harvard professor Steven Pinker — an atheist and a liberal — outside of the natural sciences and a few other disciplines (such as mathematics and business), “universities are becoming laughing stocks of intolerance.”

If you send your children to a university, you are endangering both their mind and their character. There is a real chance they will be more intolerant and more foolish after college than they were when they entered college.

When you attend an American university, you are taught to have contempt for America and its founders, to prefer socialism to capitalism, to divide human beings by race and ethnicity. You are taught to shut down those who differ with you, to not debate them. And you are taught to place feelings over reason — which is a guaranteed route to eventual evil.

The Left has ruined most of the arts. The following three examples are chosen because they are scatological, a favorite form of left-wing artistic expression. Before the Left poisoned the arts, art was intended to elevate the viewer (or listener). But to the Left, “elevate” is a meaningless term; it is far more at home depicting urine, fecal matter and menstrual blood.

In 2011, a lifelike German sculpture depicting a policewoman squatting and urinating — even the puddle is sculpted — received an award from a prestigious German foundation, the Leinemann Foundation for Fine Art.

In 2013, the Orange County Museum of Art in California placed a huge 28-foot sculpture of a dog outside the museum, where it periodically urinates a yellow fluid onto a museum wall.

In 2016, one of the most prestigious art museums in the world, the Guggenheim in New York, featured a pure-gold working toilet bowl, which visitors were invited to use. The name of the exhibit was “America” — so one could literally relieve oneself on America.

Thanks to the Left, The Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the greatest orchestras in the world, allowed itself to become of a voice of leftist hate last week. It featured the premiere of Philadelphia Voices, “a political rant put to musical garbage,” as some musically knowledgeable Philadelphians described it to me. In the fifth movement, titled “My House Is Full of Black People,” the black teen narrator chants the following lines: “The county is full of black people/ All wanting to be heard/ While old white men draw lines on maps/ To shut all of them up.” Later in the movement, he yells, “If you would all just f—ing listen!”

Uplifting, no?

On the Left, that’s considered art.

And, of course, such politicization of the arts is accepted as the norm. Indeed, that’s part of the Left’s poisoning of everything — its politicization of everything.

The Left is increasingly poisoning sports. In most football stadiums this past season, one could not attend an NFL game without being subjected to left-wing contempt for America and its flag.

So, too, one cannot watch late-night television if one desires to simply be entertained before drifting off to sleep. Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and other hosts have changed late-night TV into left-night TV. Why merely be funny when you can use your monologues to advance your left-wing views?

The Left has poisoned mainstream religion. Mainstream Protestantism, non-Orthodox Judaism and much of the Catholic Church — including and especially Pope Francis — are essentially left-wing advocacy groups with religious symbols.

The Left is destroying the unique American commitment to free speech. Almost half of incoming college freshmen do not believe in free speech for what they deem “hate speech” (merely taking issue with a left-wing position is, in the Left’s view, “hate speech”). They do not understand that the whole point of free speech is allowing the expression of opposing ideas, including what we consider “hate speech.”

The Left has poisoned race relations. America is the least racist multiracial society in the world. On a daily basis, Americans of every race and ethnicity get along superbly. But the black Left and the white Left constantly poison young minds with hate-filled diatribes against whites, “white privilege,” “systemic racism,” black dorms, black graduations, lies about the events in Ferguson, Missouri, and the like.

The Left has made innumerable women unhappy, even depressed, with its decades of lying about how female sexual nature and male sexual nature are identical — leading to a “hookup” culture that leaves vast numbers of young women depressed — and its indoctrinating of generations of young women into believing they will be happier through career success than marital success.

And, in some ways scariest of all, the Left is poisoning our children with its commitment to ending male and female as distinct categories. One of the great joys of life, celebrating one’s sex, is now deemed nothing more than a hateful idea in many of your children’s schools.

For these and other reasons, if you treasure American and Western civilization, fighting the Left — something all liberals and conservatives need to do — is the greatest good you can engage in at this time.



Commerce Secretary Ross Wants to See US Catch Up to Other Countries on Economic Freedom

The United States will be turning the tide on economic freedom, said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, referencing the United States being ranked 18th on The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom.

“It’s imperative that we acknowledge and address the reasons for which our country lags behind the 17 nations that are ranked above us,” Ross said Monday, speaking at The Heritage Foundation. “The good news is that thanks to President [President] Trump, we believe our downward slide in the index over the past decade not only has come to a halt, but should be reversing itself.”

Though free trade was among the factors determining which governments offered the most free economic environment, Ross gave a staunch defense of the Trump administration’s tariffs.

“We believe that trade should be fair, free, reciprocal, and free, free, free. But free trade is almost like the unicorn in the garden. People talk about it, but it’s very, very hard to find it now days,” Ross said. “Our tariffs are among the lowest of any major country in the world and we have the least in the way of nontariff trade barriers. Yet American exporters are plagued by every type of tariff and nontariff barrier thrown against them even by our most trusted allies.”

During the question and answer portion, Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James asked if the United States is in a trade war with China.

“You’ve probably heard the president recently say, a trade war has been going on for the last 50 years,” Ross said. “The only difference is that now American troops are coming to the ramparts.”

In the Index of Economic Freedom, Hong Kong maintains the No. 1 spot for the fourth consecutive year. Five other countries ranked as free: Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia, and Ireland. Rounding out the top 10 countries are Estonia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates. The U.S. is ranked in the second tier category of “mostly free.”

For its part, amid fears of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies, China ranks 110th on the index.

“In Davos recently, I was on a panel with the director of the World Trade Organization,” Ross said, referring to the World Economic Forum in January. “To start things off, I asked him the question: If the United States is not the least protectionist big country, please tell me who is. He had no answer. So, we are using all of our available tools to ensure a level playing field.”

Coming in as least economically free in the index is North Korea at 180th. Neighboring South Korea ranks 27th.

Categories for ranking are “rule of law,” “government size,” “regulation efficiency,” and “open markets.” Each has three subcategories. High rankings in these categories correspond with individual prosperity, health, higher education levels, and have better environment, according to the index.

For thousands of years, people were denied economic freedom and lived dehumanizing lives of poverty and sickness, James said during her remarks.

“A few people controlled most of the power and most of the wealth and everyone else suffered for it,” James said. “Thankfully, those days are over for more people today than at any previous time in human history. But we still see instances, such as in North Korea, that serve as a stark reminder of where we’ve come from and where we could return if we don’t remain dedicated to building a better future.”

Rolling back regulations has been “one of the most positive achievements of the Trump administration,” said Terry Miller, the director for the Center for International Trade and Economics at The Heritage Foundation, who presented the report’s findings. But it hasn’t had time to factor into the ranking.

“It is in fact too early for us to be able to take account of those changes in this year’s edition of the index,” Miller said. “We will be picking that up strongly next year in the index as well as changes from the tax reform. So there is some hope that the U.S. score will improve. I would caveat that only with the issue of trade policy, which seems to be going in the opposite direction at this time. It would be very hard to predict what would happen to the U.S. score in the year ahead.”



Real fake news

Leftists have no ethical standards

Christopher Blair was sitting quietly in the corner of Dunkin’ Donuts, not far from his home on an unpaved road in rural Maine, looking at his phone.

People around him, absorbed in their own phones, paid no attention to the large man sitting alone among them.

Fact-checking organizations like Snopes and Politifact have labeled Blair one of the Web’s most notorious creators of fake news. Hidden behind his Internet persona, “Busta Troll,” he has for several years pumped out geysers of newsy-looking posts for an audience eager to believe it.

He doesn’t deny that he intentionally fools people. But Blair says he does so for an unusual reason — because he’s a hard-core Democrat, a “liberal troll” with a mission of undercutting the far right.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL 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.

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