Sunday, August 11, 2019

Political values

At first sight, the general population survey below is very old hat.  They find that Leftists want people to be equal and conservatives want people to work for what they get.  Ho Hum!

But there was an interesting quirk.  Leftists tended to like people to work for what they get nearly as much as conservatives did.  So there is some hope for the Left.  The ratbags who are at present vying for the Democrat presidential nomination may be very unrepresentative. Democrat voters are much more reasonable

All Things Being Equal: Distinguishing Proportionality and Equity in Moral Reasoning

Chris Skurka et al.


Moral foundations theory (MFT) has been a useful framework for understanding moral judgment and its relationship to political leaning. However, some have argued that MFT omits key domains of moral reasoning. We explored the utility of two candidate foundations (Proportionality and Equity) with a national sample of U.S. adults recruited through Nielsen’s Harris Panel, randomly split into calibration (n = 1,499) and replication samples (n = 1,499). We find that Proportionality and Equity are conceptually distinct from the original foundations (as measured in the Moral Foundations Questionnaire [MFQ]) but relate to them in predictable ways. Equity consistently predicted political leaning above and beyond covariates and the original foundations, but Proportionality only distinguished conservatives from liberals in the calibration sample, which suggests Proportionality may be highly relevant to moral judgments regardless of political ideology. Our findings also indicate potential bias when using one of the MFQ’s screener items to filter out unengaged participants.



It's an invasion! ... of moronic arguments

Ann Coulter

BREAKING NEWS: MASS SHOOTING IN DAYTON, OHIO, LAST SATURDAY NIGHT. (This may not be news to you, but I watch MSNBC, so I didn’t find out about the Dayton massacre until yesterday.)

There were two horrifying mass shootings recently, but our media are fixated on only one -- the one in El Paso, Texas -- because the shooter, Patrick Crusius, issued a “manifesto” that contained some of the same arguments made by Trump about illegal immigration.

Crusius began: “This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.”

Wait a second! Didn’t Trump use the word “invasion” to describe our wide-open border? Why, that makes him a co-conspirator in the white supremacist’s slaughter!

Of course, if we believe the part of Crusius’ manifesto that talks about an “invasion,” I don’t know why we’re required to disbelieve the part where he says his ideas have nothing to do with Trump -- or the part where he denies being a “white supremacist.”

But those are the rules. A white supremacist, who committed mass murder in El Paso, made arguments that “echoed” those made by President Trump -- and pay no attention to the avowed socialist and Elizabeth Warren-supporter who committed a mass shooting in Dayton later that day.

The hunt is on to find anyone who has ever used the I-word about illegal immigration.

(How about the “British Invasion”? Do we owe the Rolling Stones reparations now, too? Evidently a perfectly good word, appropriate in a million other contexts, suddenly becomes “racist” if applied to Hispanics.)

According to the Trump hysterics, if a terrorist cites X as the reason for his attack, then: 1) that constitutes definitive proof that X is false; and 2) anyone who agrees with X is providing “material support” to terrorists.

So, I guess I’d be in trouble if I were to say, “The El Paso shooting was an awakening, a moment of reckoning with politicians’ broken immigration promises and the avenging hatreds it arouses.”

That's a paraphrase of what Michael Ignatieff wrote in 2003 in The New York Times magazine about the American Empire provoking the 9/11 terrorists.

Or how about this:

“It is not only Patrick Crusius who feels this anger and resentment. Throughout the country there is widespread bitterness against our politicians, even among the pragmatic and well-educated, who may sincerely deplore the recent atrocity ... but who still resent the way the government has refused to secure our border.”

That's a paraphrase of what author Karen Armstrong wrote in 2001 in The Guardian about the 9/11 terrorists’ resentment of American power.

They weren’t making unreasonable points, but clearly no one held back for fear of “echoing” the beliefs of terrorists who had just murdered 3,000 Americans.

To the contrary, in the words of leftist professor Todd Gitlin in 2002, his fellow liberals felt the 9/11 attack was a “damnable yet understandable payback ... rooted in America's own crimes of commission and omission ... reaping what empire had sown. After all, was not America essentially the oil-greedy, Islam-disrespecting oppressor of Iraq, Sudan, Palestine? Were not the ghosts of the Shah's Iran, of Vietnam, and of the Cold War Afghan jihad rattling their bones?”

Liberals did not feel it incumbent on them to hate America any less just because the 9/11 terrorists hated it, too. Why should immigration patriots reconsider their views one iota because Crusius agreed with them? So do a lot of voters -- not too many, just enough to put Trump in the White House.

In November 2009, Major Nidal Hasan shot up Fort Hood military base while shouting “Allah Akbar!” killing 13 people and wounding 32 others. He did so primarily because he was angry about America’s war in Iraq.

Had Obama created a “toxic” environment with his campaign pledge to pull all our troops out of Iraq? Was that policy proved wrong because Hasan agreed with it? I don’t recall anyone saying, Well, now we’ve got to stay in Iraq FOREVER because a terrorist didn’t want us to!

(And, by the way, contrary to the nonsense repeated every six minutes on TV about white killers being called “mentally ill” while poor, put-upon Muslim killers get called “terrorists,” for months and months, The New York Times and President Obama assured us that Hasan was mentally ill, not a terrorist.)

Just two years ago, a gung-ho Bernie Sanders supporter, James Hodgkinson, drove to the nation’s capital and gunned down Republicans on a Virginia baseball field, leaving House Majority Whip Stephen Scalise in critical condition, requiring multiple surgeries. Several others were also injured in the hellfire of bullets.

Hodgkinson was inspired to commit attempted mass murder by his passionate desire for universal health care and his hatred of Republicans (especially Trump). These toxic beliefs were regularly reinforced by his favorite TV programs, "The Rachel Maddow Show,” "Real Time With Bill Maher” and "Democracy Now!”

You want “material support”? All those shows are still on the air! And the hosts still hate Trump! Indeed, every single Democratic presidential candidate is promoting an agenda that could have been lifted directly from Hodgkinson's Facebook page, from government-run health care to hiking taxes on “the rich.”

Does this mean universal health care is, ipso facto, a hateful, terroristic idea because of Hodgkinson’s support of it?

A few months before shooting up a GOP baseball game, Hodgkinson wrote on his Facebook page: "Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It's Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”

Based on the new El Paso standard for branding beliefs “hateful,” “toxic" and “material support” for terrorism, every Democratic presidential candidate should be on a terrorist watch list right now.



Leftists putting their hate into action

As ever, they fail to foresee the probable consequences of their own actions. They  fail to see that their own tactics could be used against them. There has been a fair bit of doxxing from the far Left recently so it may not be too long before some Trump supporters start doxxing Leftists

House Republican leaders and President Trump’s campaign lashed out at Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), the brother of Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro, for tweeting out the names and business interests of dozens of donors to the Trump reelection campaign.

Joaquin Castro late Monday used his Twitter account to publish the names of 44 Texans who donated the maximum $2,700 to Trump, specifically calling out the owners of several prominent businesses in San Antonio, where the Castro brothers are from.

“Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders’,” the lawmaker tweeted.

Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh accused Castro of “endangering the safety of the people he is supposed to be representing.”

“Democrats want to talk about inciting violence?” Murtaugh said. “This naming of private citizens and their employers is reckless and irresponsible. He is endangering the safety of people he is supposed to be representing. No one should be targeted for exercising their First Amendment rights or for their political beliefs. He should delete the tweet, apologize, and his brother’s campaign should disavow it.”

The Trump campaign also reported Castro’s tweet to Twitter, saying it broke the company’s abuse and harassment provision.

Candidates are required to disclose the names and employers of donors who give $200 or more in Federal Election Commission filings, which are available online for anyone to see.

However, it is unusual for a lawmaker to publish the names and business interests of individual donors of another campaign.

Tensions are running hot between Trump and the Democrats, who blame the president's rhetoric for having contributed to a mass shooting over the weekend in El Paso, Texas, which left at least 22 people dead.

Administration officials, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, have called those attacks unfair.

Police say the suspected shooter had written a manifesto warning about an “invasion” of Latino immigrants, mirroring some of the language the president has used on immigration. However, the shooter also said some of his views preceded Trump's election.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), who was nearly killed in a politically motivated shooting two years ago, called Castro’s tweet “dangerous.”

“People should not be personally targeted for their political views. Period. This isn’t a game. It’s dangerous, and lives are at stake. I know this firsthand,” Scalise tweeted.

Meanwhile, McCarthy said in a tweet, "Targeting and harassing Americans because of their political beliefs is shameful and dangerous."


Warning: How the VA ‘Red Flags’ Patriots

Gun-grabbing crisis vultures just can’t let the latest mass shootings go to waste. “Red flag” laws are now all the rage in the Beltway as the magic pill to prevent homicidal maniacs from wreaking havoc on the nation.

Even President Donald Trump has endorsed the idea of preemptively confiscating people’s firearms if they are deemed a “threat.”

But if you want to know how this American version of China’s social credit system would work in practice, let me remind you of how Veterans Affairs recklessly red-flags “disruptive” citizens without due process, transparency, or accountability in the name of “safety.”

Government bureaucrats routinely deprive our nation’s heroes of medical treatment based on arbitrary definitions of who and what constitutes a mental health menace.

I first reported on the VA’s secretive database on “disgruntled” and “disruptive” vets five years ago. Under the VA policy on “patient record flags,” federal bureaucrats can classify vets as “threats” based on assessments of their “difficult,” “annoying,” and “noncompliant” behavior.

The VA manual says the flags “are used to alert Veterans Health Administration medical staff and employees of patients whose behavior and characteristics may pose a threat either to their safety, the safety of other patients, or compromise the delivery of quality health care.”

What a crock. It’s precisely because so many vets receive inferior care from the feds that they have been forced to raise their voices.

Have we all forgotten the 40 veterans who perished at the Phoenix, Arizona, VA, which relegated patients to a bureaucratic black hole through secret waiting lists?

Among examples of patients’ behavior referred to the red-flaggers in the VA’s “Disruptive Behavior Committees” (Orwell couldn’t have cooked up a better name): venting “frustration about VA services and/or wait times, threatening lawsuits or to have people fired, and frequent unwarranted visits to the emergency department or telephone calls to facility staff.”

Disabled Air Force veteran and veterans advocate/attorney Benjamin Krause has exposed the Soviet-style targeting of veterans flagged for exercising their First Amendment rights or threatening to sue the VA over neglectful care or for simply being too “expensive.” He calls it “straight out of a totalitarian regime.”

In 2013, the VA inspector general concluded that the bureaucracy “does not have a comprehensive definition of what constitutes disruptive behavior.”

In January 2018, a VA Office of Inspector General report found that large numbers of flagged veterans were being left in the dark about being placed on dangerous patient lists—with no recourse to remove phony flags or appeal in any meaningful way.

Despite rules requiring the Disruptive Behavior Committee to notify flagged patients of their status and informing them of their right to amend their reports, the Office of Inspector General found no evidence in 49% of electronic health records that the panels had provided such notice and disclosure.

In 25% of medical records reviewed, the Office of Inspector General “found no evidence that patients were informed they had the right to request to amend or appeal” special orders restricting care of flagged patients.

There are undoubtedly patients in the system who may pose real threats. But the “problem with the process is that it is secret,” Krause explains at

The review process is done in secret and the veteran will not know who sat on the committee or what the evidence presented was prior to the decision. Only after the decision is made are veterans informed of the outcome and given a chance to appeal the vague allegations. That seems like a due process violation if I have ever seen one.

Army vet David Scott Strain of Virginia told me recently that he was a flagged veteran. “My grave sin?” says Strain. “I tried to report the abuse of a deaf, infirm, World War II veteran. He was approximately 95 years of age. A male nurse stood behind his waiting room chair and shouted down at the top of his head, ‘Hello! Hello! Hello! If you can hear me, you can come in now!'”

Strain describes how the elderly vet “could not hear this, and the nurse went through three iterations, while giggling and looking at the wait room personnel as if we were a comedy club audience. It was one of the sickest displays I’ve ever seen.”

For blowing the whistle on VA elder abuse, Strain says, he was banned from all satellite clinics and only granted access to one main facility.

VA flaggers can “manufacture tone, the content of what you’re saying, and will even ascribe actions to you that you did not perform,” Strain warns.

“The potential red flag laws concern me deeply,” Strain told me. “Why any citizen would think it wise to let the government screw such handles to our backs, to threaten and wag us any which way, is beyond my understanding. However, I fully understand why politicians want it.”

Complain too much. Criticize the powers be. Ask too many questions. Boom! You’re a threat.

If such tyranny is allowed among those who volunteered to protect and serve our country in the name of safety, imagine how it will be implemented among the law-abiding, gun-owning general populace.



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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