Friday, April 01, 2016

Border Patrol Agents Endorse Trump; Defy Obama’s Bureaucrats

No matter how the race for the GOP presidential nomination concludes after the remaining primaries and caucuses and the Cleveland convention, there is no denying that immigration will be a priority issue in the general election. There also is no denying that Donald Trump has made immigration a key issue in the Republican primary season since he announced his candidacy last June.

Now the men and women who protect the nation’s borders on a daily basis have stepped forward to endorse Trump. The endorsement came from the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), the union that represents 16,500 Border Patrol agents.

Breaking with its tradition of withholding endorsements in presidential primaries, the NBPC said Trump will stand up for Border Patrol agents and resist pressure from special interests and government bureaucrats.

“Mr. Trump will take on special interests and embrace the ideas of rank-and-file Border Patrol agents rather than listening to the management yes-men who say whatever they are programmed to say. This is a refreshing change that we have not seen before – and may never see again.”

The NBPS endorsement came in a statement signed by Brandon Judd, President of the Council. Judd praised Trump for speaking for those without political power.

“You can judge a man by his opponents: all the people responsible for the problems plaguing America today are opposing Mr. Trump. It is those without political power – the workers, the law enforcement officers, the everyday families and community members – who are supporting Mr. Trump.”



When it comes to Trump-hating, it is worse than conspiracy, it is consensus

No candidate in modern times has been on the receiving end of more demonizing than Donald J. Trump.  It spews from leftist publications and blogs, publications and blogs on the right and from the so-called main stream media.  Second only to the hate directed at Mr. Trump is the demonizing directed to his supporters.

The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, National Review, Weekly Standard, The New Republic, The Nation, The Dailey Kos, The Huffington Post, and Red State all have joined in a huge spitting squad and the spit is all directed at Mr. Trump.  As some of us used to say about during the Cold War about the U.S. Government aiding the Soviet Union, “it is worse than conspiracy, it is consensus.”

If you think this is an exaggeration just Google “Trump Stalin.”  You will get 772,000 hits comparing Mr. Trump to one of worlds all time mass murders and leader of The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.  Then try, “Trump Hitler.”  That will get you 2,710,000 hits comparing Mr. Trump unfavorably with the leader of the National Socialist Workers Party.

What has Mr. Trump done to engender this raw hatred from all points of the establishment’s political spectrum?  Makes one wonder is there any real difference between alleged conservative Bill Kristol and Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders.  It is like listening to a chorus of the ruling class.  The sopranos sound different than the baritones but in reality they are all singing the same song.

Demonization is the name of the game.  When Mr. Trump suggests enforcing existing law at the border we are told he hates Mexicans.  When he suggests we have a moratorium on Muslim immigration we are told he hates a billion people.  Conclusion: He is a hater just like Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin.

When he calls for a restoration of libel laws destroyed by the New York Times v. Sullivan Supreme Court decision he is calling for the repeal of the First Amendment.  When he criticizes Obama he is a racist.  If he takes issue with Mrs. Clinton he is a sexist.  If he does not agree with Bernie Sanders he is an anti-Semite.

When provocateurs invade his venues with the goal of causing violence and they are successful it is his fault and he is roundly condemned.  When these same provocateurs illegally block a public highway to attempt to prevent Mr. Trump from speaking they are exercising their First Amendment rights and he is trying to rob them of such rights.

In the world of the Trump haters black is white, wrong is right and up is down.  George Orwell, call your office.

As Scott Adams of Dilbert fame and the Breitbart web site have observed, what the media, right, legacy and left is doing consciously or unconsciously is setting Mr. Trump up for assassination, there has already been one attempted assault on Mr. Trump in Chicago.  It will be his fault.  “He brought it on himself!”  This will be loudly and incessantly repeated.  The assassination will be a ratings bonanza for the media which will give them the opportunity to make a lot of money while pushing this message and excusing themselves.

What the threats towards Mr. Trump’s children and his sister show is that this scenario not as far-fetched as it may appear at first glance.  Can it be stopped?  One can only hope.



Some interesting apples-to-apples comparisons

Nordics, Chinese, education and guns

While there are many things I admire about Scandinavian nations, I’ve never understood why leftists such as Bernie Sanders think they are great role models.

Not only are income levels and living standards higher in the United States, but the data show that Americans of Swedish origin in America have much higher incomes than the Swedes who still live in Sweden. And the same is true for other Nordic nations.

The Nordics-to-Nordics comparisons seem especially persuasive because they’re based on apples-to-apples data. What other explanation can there be, after all, if the same people earn more and produce more when government is smaller?

The same point seems appropriate when examining how people of Chinese origin earn very high incomes in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States (all places with reasonably high levels of economic liberty), but are relatively poor in China (where there is still far too much government control over economic affairs).

Again, what possible explanation is there other than the degree of economic freedom?

Let’s now look at two other examples of how leftist arguments fall apart when using apples-to-apples comparisons.

A few years ago, there was a major political fight in Wisconsin over the power of unionized government bureaucracies. State policy makers eventually succeeded in curtailing union privileges.

Some commentators groused that this would make Wisconsin more like non-union Texas. And the Lone Star States was not a good role model for educating children, according to Paul Krugman.

This led David Burge (a.k.a., Iowahawk) to take a close look at the numbers to see which state actually did a better job of educating students. And when you compare apples to apples, it turns out that Longhorns rule and Badgers drool.

".…white students in Texas perform better than white students in Wisconsin, black students in Texas perform better than black students in Wisconsin, Hispanic students in Texas perform better than Hispanic students in Wisconsin. In 18 separate ethnicity-controlled comparisons, the only one where Wisconsin students performed better than their peers in Texas was 4th grade science for Hispanic students (statistically insignificant), and this was reversed by 8th grade. Further, Texas students exceeded the national average for their ethnic cohort in all 18 comparisons; Wisconsinites were below the national average in 8… Not only did white Texas students outperform white Wisconsin students, the gap between white students and minority students in Texas was much less than the gap between white and minority students in Wisconsin"

In other words, students are better off in Texas schools than in Wisconsin schools – especially minority students.  This is what I call a devastating debunking.

Our second example showing the value of apples-to-apples comparisons deals with gun control.

Writing for PJ Media, Clayton Cramer compares murder rates in adjoining American states and Canadian provinces. He starts by acknowledging that a generic US-v.-Canada comparison might lead people to think gun rights are somehow a factor in more deaths.

"…for Canada as a whole, murder rates are still considerably lower than for the United States as a whole. For 2011, Canada had 1.73 homicides per 100,000 people; the United States had 4.8 murders and non-negligent homicides per 100,000 people.

But he then makes comparisons that suggest guns are not a relevant factor.

"…look at murder rates for Canadian provinces and compare them to their immediate American state neighbors. When you do that, you discover some very curious differences that show gun availability must be either a very minor factor in determining murder rates, or if it is a major factor, it is overwhelmed by factors that are vastly more important.

Gun ownership is easy and widespread in Idaho, for instance, but murder rates are lower than in many otherwise similar Canadian provinces.

I live in Idaho.  In 2011, our murder rate was 2.3 per 100,000 people.  We have almost no gun-control laws here. You need a permit to carry concealed in cities, but nearly anyone who may legally own a firearm and is over 21 can get that permit.  We are subject to the federal background check on firearms, but otherwise there are no restrictions. Do you want a machine gun? And yes, I mean a real machine gun, not a semiautomatic AR-15. There is the federal paperwork required, but the state imposes no licensing of its own.  I have friends with completely legal full-automatic Thompson submachine guns.

Surely with such lax gun-control laws, our murder rate must be much higher than our Canadian counterparts’ rate. But this is not the case: I was surprised to find that not only Nunavut (21.01) and the Northwest Territories (6.87) in Canada had much higher murder rates than Idaho, but even Nova Scotia (2.33), Manitoba (4.24), Saskatchewan (3.59), and Alberta (2.88) had higher murder rates.

The same is true for other states (all with laws that favor gun ownership) that border Canada.

What about Minnesota? It had 1.4 murders per 100,000 in 2011, lower than not only all those prairie provinces, but even lower than Canada as a whole.  Montana had 2.8 murders per 100,000, still better than four Canadian provinces and one Canadian territory.  When you get to North Dakota, another one of these American states with far less gun control than Canada, the murder rate is 3.5 per 100,000, still lower than Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.  And let me emphasize that Minnesota, Montana, and North Dakota, like Idaho, are all shall-issue concealed-weapon permit states: nearly any adult without a felony conviction or a domestic violence misdemeanor conviction can obtain a concealed weapon permit with little or no effort.

The takeaway from this evidence (as well as other evidence I have shared) is that availability of guns doesn’t cause murders. Other factors dominate.

P.S. Regarding the gun control data shared above, some leftists might be tempted to somehow argue that American states with cold weather somehow are less prone to violence. That doesn’t make sense since the Canadian provinces presumably are even colder. Moreover, that argument conflicts with comparing murder rates in chilly Chicago and steamy Houston.



Donors choose

A brief review of Barber, M., “Representing the Preferences of Donors, Partisans, and Voters in the US Senate,” Public Opinion Quarterly (forthcoming).

SOME HAVE ATTRIBUTED the surprising popularity of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump to a divergence between ordinary voters and the “donor class,” who typically bankroll candidates. But are politicians actually aligned with their donors? A survey of donors from the 2012 election revealed that senators and their donors are in “nearly perfect” ideological alignment, whereas senators are less aligned with average voters of the same party or those who actually voted for the senator, not to mention voters overall. Some of this may simply be explained by donors contributing only to candidates already in close alignment, but given that donors tend to be ideologically motivated, it’s not like candidates can just as easily raise money by moderating themselves ideologically.



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 A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Why a Stanford grad joined the Trump revolt

Trump's reversal of GOP's anti-American free trade and immigration policies is drawing voters

Charlotte Allen

I went to Stanford, and I voted for Donald Trump. So did my husband. He went to Yale.

And so we spent more than three hours standing in line in Washington, D.C., to vote in the Republican presidential caucus on March 12. We suspected that this would be time spent quixotically, as Washington is the bull's-eye of the anti-Trump GOP political and intellectual establishment. Sure enough, establishment favorite Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida won the majority of the delegates, and Trump finished a poor third. Even so, we wanted to be part of the nationwide rebellion against the establishment that has resulted in Trump’s becoming the clear GOP front-runner practically everywhere else in America. And we weren’t alone. Trump is actually enjoying surprisingly strong support among highly educated people like us — and for good reason.

The common wisdom is that the majority of Trump’s supporters are barely literate knuckle-draggers. They’re “low-information,” in the words of Trump’s leading GOP rival nationwide, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. And it’s true that the largest education-level cohort among the Republicans who have consistently given Trump a double-digit lead in the primaries consists of people with high-school educations or less.

But in Massachusetts, home of Harvard and MIT and ranked as the No. 1 statefor residents possessing at least a bachelor’s degree, a CNN exit poll for the March 1 GOP primary showed Trump winning over 46% of voters with college degrees and even edging out Ohio “moderate” Gov. John Kasich (29% to 28%) among voters with postgraduate sheepskins. Exit polls in other states show similar results

For nearly 25 years — since President George H.W. Bush lost his bid for a second term in 1992 — the Republican Party has been unable to field a presidential candidate who could excite enough of its own party members to the ballot box so as to win a majority of the popular vote. (In the lone exception, George W. Bush squeaked by with 50.7% in 2004 in a patriotic surge after 9/11.) The main reason: the GOP establishment’s suicidally inexplicable but intractable commitment to “comprehensive immigration reform” (amnesty for 11 million illegal immigrants and continued mass migration) and so-called free trade.

Voters of both political parties cite the U.S. economy, faltering since 2008, as one of their top concerns. And Republican voters can see perfectly well that it makes no sense to import around 400,000 illegal immigrants annually, the vast majority of them unskilled, into a labor market where, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the real unemployment rate is close to 10% if you count people who have given up looking for work because they can’t find it, or who are working part-time because they need the money but would prefer to work full-time. Furthermore, only the most Pollyanna-ish of economists would argue that unlimited immigration in a weak economy doesn’t depress wages.

Free trade is an elegant concept in the 18th century pages of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. The Portuguese export wine to Britain, and the British export woolen goods to Portugal — a win-win situation, your Econ 101 professor would say. In the real world of the 21st century, “free trade” means 25 years’ worth of treaties and arrangements in which the U.S. hews to the Smith playbook while China, for example, puts its thumb onto the scales via rock-bottom wages, allegedly ignored labor violations, poison-level air and water pollution and a manipulated currency. And free trade hasn’t exactly delivered Smith’s promised export benefits to the U.S. We currently run an almost $366 billion trade deficit with China alone and a $484.1 billion trade deficit worldwide.



Supreme Hypocrisy

Thomas Sowell

If there is one thing that is bipartisan in Washington, it is brazen hypocrisy.

Currently there is much indignation being expressed by Democrats because the Republican-controlled Senate refuses to hold confirmation hearings on President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

The Democrats complain, and the media echo their complaint, that it is the Senate’s duty to provide “advice and consent” on the President’s appointment of various federal officials. Therefore, according to this claim, the Senate is neglecting its Constitutional duty by refusing even to hold hearings to determine whether the nominee is qualified, and then vote accordingly.

First of all, the “advice and consent” provision of the Constitution is a restriction on the President’s power, not an imposition of a duty on the Senate. It says nothing about the Senate’s having a duty to hold hearings, or vote, on any Presidential nominee, whether for the Supreme Court or for any other federal institution. The power to consent is the power to refuse to consent, and for many years no hearings were held, whether the Senate consented or did not consent.

Nor have Democrats hesitated, when they controlled the Senate, to refuse to hold hearings or to vote when a lame-duck President nominated someone for some position requiring Senate confirmation during a Presidential election year.

When the shoe was on the other foot, the Republicans made the same arguments as the Democrats are making today, and the Democrats made the same arguments as the Republicans are now making.

The obvious reason, in both cases, is that the party controlling the Senate wants to save the appointment for their own candidate for the Presidency to make after winning the upcoming election. The rest is political hypocrisy on both sides.

None of this is new. It was already well-known 40 years ago, when President Gerald Ford nominated me to become one of the commissioners of the Federal Trade Commission during the 1976 Presidential election year.

After months passed without any hearings being held, I went to see the chief legislative aide of the committee that was responsible for confirming or denying. When the two of us were alone, he said to me, quite frankly, “We’ve gone over your record with a fine tooth comb and can find nothing to object to. So we are simply not going to hold hearings at all.”

“If this were not an election year,” he said, “your nomination would have sailed right through. But we think our man is going to win the Presidential election this year, and we want him to nominate someone in tune with our thinking.”

Various Democrats who are currently denouncing the Republican Senate, including Vice President Biden, have used very similar arguments against letting lame-duck Republican Presidents appoint Supreme Court justices.

Last week, the New York Times ran a front-page “news” story about something Chief Justice John Roberts had said, more than a month ago, prior to the death of Justice Scalia, under the headline “Stern Rebuke For Senators.”

Since Justice Scalia was still alive then, and there was no Supreme Court vacancy to fill at the time, Chief Justice Roberts' remarks had nothing to do with the current controversy. Nor were these remarks news after such a long lapse of time. But this was part of a pattern of the New York Times' disguising editorials as front-page news stories.

In short, the political hypocrisy was matched by journalistic hypocrisy. Indeed, there was more than a little judicial hypocrisy in Chief Justice Roberts' complaint that Senate confirmation hearings on Supreme Court nominees do not confine themselves to the nominees' judicial qualifications, rather than their conservative or liberal orientations.

If judges confined themselves to acting like judges, instead of legislating from the bench, creating new “rights” out of thin air that are nowhere to be found in the Constitution, maybe Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees would not be such bitter and ugly ideological battles.

Chief Justice Roberts himself practically repealed the 10th Amendment’s limitation on federal power when he wrote the decision that the government could order us all to buy ObamaCare insurance policies. When judges act like whores, they can hardly expect to be treated like nuns.

Politicians, journalists and judges should all spare us pious hypocrisy.



Confirmed: Brussels Terror Suspect Was "Migrant Activist"‏

It is truly amazing how tone deaf Barack Obama is. After going to a baseball game with communists and terrorists instead of tending to an international terror attack, now Barack Obama has announced that logic be damned, he is going to bring more Middle Eastern refugees into the country than ever before.

One of the alleged Brussels terrorists was literally a prominent migrant activist. By day, Faycal Cheffou advocated for open borders and bringing in more refugees. By night, he was apparently building bombs to kill the very people who welcomed them in.

The problem is obvious: the West is bringing in “refugees” and migrants who are literally hell-bent on killing people.

It is just like what is happening at our Southern border. Everyone who crosses our border isn’t a hardened criminal. But enough of them are that we must lock it down. The same applies to Barack Obama’s refugee plans.

Here’s the problem: the votes aren’t there to stop Obama from bringing refugees here. Congress tried pushing through the American SAFE Act late last year. This bill would have cut off refugee funding until the Obama administration ran full background checks on them.

Democrats shot it down. They aren’t even willing to pause the program to keep us safe, there is no way they would shut it down entirely. But we can force them to change it.

Earlier this month, both Congress and the Obama administration declared that ISIS is committing Genocide against Syrian Christians and religious minorities. We can use this to make sure that Barack Obama can’t bring any more terrorists here!

Don’t let Obama bring ISIS terrorists here as refugees! Force Congress to pass the Religious Persecution Relief Act before it’s too late!

Australia, for example, is now going to be minimizing the number of Sunni men that it accepts as refugees and prioritize Syrian Christians for admittance.

It really is common sense. If the goal was to keep Americans safe, then whatever refugee program we have should prioritize bringing in people who don’t want to kill us.

But that is not the goal. Barack Obama’s goal is to bring as many refugees here as possible regardless of the consequences. This is fatal political correctness.

Efforts to defund Obama’s refugee program have failed. The votes weren’t there. But is we can force Congress to pass the Religious Persecution Relief Act of 2016. This would force the Obama administration to prioritize Syrian Christians and minorities for admittance into the US as refugees.

We’re already hearing that the Brussels attack was simply a test-run for much larger attacks in Europe and even in the United States.

Right now, as you read this, there are terrorists posing as refugees trying to get into the United States. They are interviewing and hiding their true intentions from US immigration officials and Obama is more than happy to let them in.

The Religious Persecution Relief Act of 2016 won’t fix all of our problems, but it will ensure that Barack Obama only brings into the country people who are truly grateful to be here.

There were migrants involved in the Paris attacks. Migrants were involved in the Brussels attacks.

How much longer are we going to pretend that Obama isn’t bringing the same violence here?



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 A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Islam needs a Reformation, unlikely though that is

What may be a surprise, especially to those who haven’t completely read the Old Testament, is that the Bible is every bit as violent as the Koran. There are thirty six (36!!) different offenses in the Bible which qualify for capital punishment. Here are a few of them; — cursing parents, working on the Sabbath, premarital Sex (girls only), disobedience (boys only), worshipping any god but Yahweh, witches, loose daughters of clergy, girls who are raped within the city limits, blasphemers, anyone who proselytizes Yahweh worshipers to a different religion, men who lie with men, adulterers, men who lie with beasts.

(References: Leviticus 20:9 — Exodus 31:15 — Deuteronomy 22:20 — Deuteronomy 21:18 — Deuteronomy 17:2-5 — Exodus 22: 18 — Leviticus 21:9 — Deuteronomy 22:23-25 — Leviticus 24:16 — Deuteronomy 12:6 — Leviticus 20:13 — Leviticus 20: 10-12 — Leviticus 20:15)

It’s in the Bible. God’s word! These are commandments, NOT suggestions. So, in the last two thousand years how many children who have cursed their parents has Christianity put to death? I believe the correct answer is …. zero. In America, Christianity has killed people for only one of the above offenses; about 20 people were executed for witchcraft in Salem, MA., and that was about 325 years ago.

The most logical question to ask is, “Why aren’t Christians faithfully obeying God’s commandments in the same manner and fervor as Muslims obey the Koran? Are we less faithful?” The answer to that can be found in The Reformation.


My intent is not to turn this into a doctrinal essay so, I’ll keep this brief … a view from 50,000 feet. None of what follows is a criticism of Catholicism. Rather, it is an indictment of human nature when fallible and weak humans are given unlimited power.

In the 1,500 years prior to the Reformation there was but one church – the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). How, what, when, and where to worship and believe was determined entirely by a small group of elite leaders, culminating with the Pope. Popes eventually became as powerful, if not more powerful, than kings. Corruption became the norm. They lived in splendor, and the people in squalor.

And then one day, along came Martin Luther – and he changed everything. Albeit, not without much violence and bloodshed — for those in power never ever give up their place in the universe without first inflicting even more pain and horror than ever before on the poor souls under their thumb. Reformation and suffering work in tandem.

At the heart of the Reformation was the desire to answer four basic questions;

—- 1) How is a person saved?

—- 2) Where does religious authority lie?

—- 3) What is the church?

—- 4) What is the essence of Christian living?

The answers to those questions — which changed everything by uprooting the monolithic power of the RCC — is summed up in the 5 “Sola” declarations;

 —-1) “Sola Scriptura” (Scripture Alone) —- Affirms that the Bible alone is the sole authority for all matters of faith and practice.

—-2) “Sola Gratia” (Salvation by Grace Alone) —- Affirms that salvation from God’s wrath is by God’s grace alone. Grace is the sole efficient cause of salvation which raises us up from spiritual death to spiritual life.

—-3) “Sola Fide” (Salvation by Faith Alone) —- Affirms justification is by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. Nothing man can do on his own will save him.

—- 4) “Solus Christus” (In Christ Alone) —- Affirms that salvation is found in Christ alone. His sinless life and substitutionary atonement alone are sufficient for our reconciliation to God the Father.

—- 5) “Soli Deo Gloria” (For the Glory of God Alone) —- Affirms that salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God for His glory alone.


Ok, great! So, what does this all mean? I’ll tell you. Hold tight and read carefully for comprehension because this is extremely important.

1)— The Reformation laid down once and for all the right and obligation of the individual conscience, and the right to follow the dictates of that individual conscience. Do you grasp what this means? In one word ….. Liberty! We in the West talk a good talk about “liberty”, but too few realize and understand that they owe their liberty to this event.

2)— Individual conscience allowed believers to reconsider how the Word of God was received, and its effectual operation in their lives. For the first time in hundreds of centuries people of faith could read for themselves how God chose to reveal himself in the written Word which, according to 2 Timothy 3:16 is as follows; — “All Scripture is INSPIRED by God ..”.   No longer did they have to believe that every single word of the Bible was dictated by God (as Islam believes about the Koran) which only an elite clergy could interpret.

3)— By understanding that Scripture was inspired, and not dictated, this allowed believers to “re-interpret” Bible verses and even entire passages without fear that they were altering God’s Word

 4)— The ability to “re-interpret” Scripture without fear of being banned as a heretic led to an avalanche of scholarly work. New ideas, previously suppressed by the brute authority of the RCC, now flourished in vast abundance. Human brains, previously dormant for 1,500 years, were once again put to use. (See “Special Note” below.)

 5)— One of the very most important of these (many) new ideas was that God works differently in different eras. God is not like a rigid stone but, rather, has a heart of flesh. So, while the death penalty for many sins may have been sufficient and necessary at one time during the Age of Law, that same death penalty was totally unnecessary in the Age of Grace.

 THAT, dear friends, is why Christians no longer kill adulterers. And, as  the lack of all of the above is why Islam still does.



1,000 words

This picture may suggest the reason why Russia is not overrun and is rarely the victim of ISIS attacks. I'm sure that the ladies  are lovely but this is a War between Freedom and Slavery, Life and Death. I guess they missed that meeting?


The neurotic generation

There is something worse than ignorance, and that is unwarranted fear.

A new study concludes that Millennials should be renamed the “anxious generation.” This is matched by my experience as a teacher of two decades. Even in this short time I’ve noticed students in the past few years have tended to be more neurotic, and emotionally delicate, than any I’ve ever encountered.

When people get heated about imaginary threats — when they constantly cry wolf — that not only gets trying, it generates stress and anxiety. When the tenth fire alarm drill blares in one day but everything is obviously fine, in fact better than ever, it becomes galling and one simply ignores the alarm.

Those who think each fire alarm might be real are in genuine emotional distress.

In 1978 Jim Jones convinced over 900 members of his socialist People’s Temple to commit mass suicide in the jungle of Guyana. Jones’s idealism was a large part of what made him so lethal. He really believed his propaganda. It was regular for Jones to play his emergency recording at the Temple compound, “White Night! White Night! Get to the pavilion! Run! Your lives are in danger!”

The People’s Temple teaches us something about the danger of being in a constant state of tension, afraid that the end of the world may come at any moment.

While many nations now enjoy prosperity unprecedented in history, for many people in those nations the early twenty-first century brings with it freezing despair and lack of confidence that this prosperity can continue much longer. Increasingly these days there have been louder cries that societal collapse is coming.

According to Gallup polls Americans are pessimistic about the future. A Pew survey of 47 nations found a general increase in the percentage of people citing pollution and environmental problems as a top global threat.

Given the overwhelming media prevalence of what Bjørn Lomborg calls ‘The Litany,’ maybe it should not be surprising that people are anxious.

“We are all familiar,” says Lomborg, “with the litany of our ever-deteriorating environment. It is the doomsday message endlessly repeated by the media, as when Time magazine tells us that ‘everyone knows the planet is in bad shape.’ We have heard the litany so often that yet another repetition is, well, almost reassuring.”

At the 2015 Paris Climate Conference President Obama offered his version of the Litany: “a glimpse of our children’s fate if the climate keeps changing faster than our efforts to address it. Submerged countries. Abandoned cities. Fields that no longer grow. Political disruptions that trigger new conflict, and even more floods of desperate peoples seeking the sanctuary of nations not their own.”

It is hard to think beyond the clanging and relentless deluge of fire alarms from important people.

As perception of danger increases people will worry more, leading to more enthusiasm for reporting the concern, and so to more fear. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, over 13 percent of the population are on antidepressants and the number is climbing.

It is difficult enough to question, let alone resist, an idea taught to the exclusion of others from kindergarten through university, printed in newspapers and magazines, and seen and heard multiple times each day on television and radio.

Young people are particularly at risk from this epidemic of fear. They are the first generation raised from cradle to grave on a constant diet of global warming fears.

And they are afraid. Very afraid.

A recent study finds millennials are more anxious and depressed than any generation since measurements began in the 1930s. They are being force fed lies. And so we find in the first quarter of the twenty-first century we live in a world where many people find it difficult to disentangle reality from fantasy. Could constant cries of environmental disaster blasted into their ears play a role?

Bear in mind that net warming anomaly the alarmists claim causes these upheavals amounts to a minuscule 0.6–0.8 °C in 100 years. Never mind that the very best climate models simulate two to three times observed warming and that none predicted that for about 20 years there’s been no warming trend apparent in NASA’s satellite records, the most reliable because the least contaminated and least “adjusted.”

“How extraordinary!” said the political scientist Aaron Wildavsky, “The richest, longest lived, best-protected, most resourceful civilization, with the highest degree of insight into its own technology, is on the way to becoming the most frightened.”

We seem to have arrived.



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 A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Why Hillary Clinton Is More Dangerous Than Donald Trump:  A Leftist view

I am putting up the excerpt below primarily as entertainment.  It is by John Pilger, the Dr. Goebbels of the extreme Left.  He routinely lies, fabricates and distorts until he has turned reality on its head.  But there is an element of truth in what he says at times so I thought his very "alternative" Leftist view was worth some airing.  He does have a point in that, as Pat Buchanan often reminds us, American conservatism is traditionally isolationist.  America's wars have mostly been initiated by Democrat presidents.   The original article is very long-winded in the usual Leftist way but I think my condensation conveys the essence of it

How many people are aware that a world war has begun? At present, it is a war of propaganda, of lies and distraction, but this can change instantaneously with the first mistaken order, the first missile.

In 2009, President Obama stood before an adoring crowd in the centre of Prague, in the heart of Europe. He pledged himself to make “the world free from nuclear weapons”. People cheered and some cried. A torrent of platitudes flowed from the media. Obama was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

It was all fake. He was lying.

The Obama administration has built more nuclear weapons, more nuclear warheads, more nuclear delivery systems, more nuclear factories. Nuclear warhead spending alone rose higher under Obama than under any American president. The cost over thirty years is more than $1 trillion.

A mini nuclear bomb is planned. It is known as the B61 Model 12. There has never been anything like it. General James Cartwright, a former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said, “Going smaller [makes using this nuclear]weapon more thinkable.”

In the last eighteen months, the greatest build-up of military forces since World War Two – led by the United States – is taking place along Russia’s western frontier. Not since Hitler invaded the Soviet Union have foreign troops presented such a demonstrable threat to Russia....

In the circus known as the American presidential campaign, Donald Trump is being presented as a lunatic, a fascist. He is certainly odious; but he is also a media hate figure. That alone should arouse our scepticism.

Trump’s views on migration are grotesque, but no more grotesque than those of David Cameron. It is not Trump who is the Great Deporter from the United States, but the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama.

According to one prodigious liberal commentator, Trump is “unleashing the dark forces of violence” in the United States. Unleashing them?

This is the country where toddlers shoot their mothers and the police wage a murderous war against black Americans. This is the country that has attacked and sought to overthrow more than 50 governments, many of them democracies, and bombed from Asia to the Middle East, causing the deaths and dispossession of millions of people.

No country can equal this systemic record of violence. Most of America’s wars (almost all of them against defenceless countries) have been launched not by Republican presidents but by liberal Democrats: Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama.

In 1947, a series of National Security Council directives described the paramount aim of American foreign policy as “a world substantially made over in [America’s] own image”. The ideology was messianic Americanism. We were all Americans. Or else. Heretics would be converted, subverted, bribed, smeared or crushed.

Donald Trump is a symptom of this, but he is also a maverick. He says the invasion of Iraq was a crime; he doesn’t want to go to war with Russia and China. The danger to the rest of us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton. She is no maverick. She embodies the resilience and violence of a system whose vaunted “exceptionalism” is totalitarian with an occasional liberal face.

As presidential election day draws near, Clinton will be hailed as the first female president, regardless of her crimes and lies – just as Barack Obama was lauded as the first black president and liberals swallowed his nonsense about “hope”. And the drool goes on.

Described by the Guardian columnist Owen Jones as “funny, charming, with a coolness that eludes practically every other politician”, Obama the other day sent drones to slaughter 150 people in Somalia. He kills people usually on Tuesdays, according to the New York Times, when he is handed a list of candidates for death by drone. So cool.

In the 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton threatened to “totally obliterate” Iran with nuclear weapons. As Secretary of State under Obama, she participated in the overthrow of the democratic government of Honduras. Her contribution to the destruction of Libya in 2011 was almost gleeful. When the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi, was publicly sodomised with a knife – a murder made possible by American logistics – Clinton gloated over his death: “We came, we saw, he died.”

One of Clinton’s closest allies is Madeleine Albright, the former Secretary of State, who has attacked young women for not supporting “Hillary”. This is the same Madeleine Albright who infamously celebrated on TV the death of half a million Iraqi children as “worth it”.

Among Clinton’s biggest backers are the Israel lobby and the arms companies that fuel the violence in the Middle East. She and her husband have received a fortune from Wall Street. And yet, she is about to be ordained the women’s candidate, to see off the evil Trump, the official demon. Her supporters include distinguished feminists: the likes of Gloria Steinem in the US and Anne Summers in Australia.

A generation ago, a post-modern cult now known as “identity politics” stopped many intelligent, liberal-minded people examining the causes and individuals they supported – such as the fakery of Obama and Clinton; such as bogus progressive movements like Syriza in Greece, which betrayed the people of that country and allied with their enemies.

In the US, Bernie Sanders has promised to support Clinton if or when she’s nominated. He, too, has voted for America’s use of violence against countries when he thinks it’s “right”. He says Obama has done “a great job”.



Is Detente between Trump and the GOP Establishment on the Horizon?


That Donald Trump and the GOP establishment have not been getting along may be the understatement of the year. George Will -- a respected writer and intellectual leader of that establishment -- is one of the many suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome who often misconstrue or seem to almost deliberately misrepresent what Trump is saying. In return, Trump has not always been very nice to them.

Regarding the current Supreme Court vacancy, Will said on this weekend's Fox News Sunday: "If Trump is president, we'll have to guess who will be the nominee."

He said substantially the same thing in a recent column ("Do Republicans really think Donald Trump will make a good Supreme Court choice?"). Will asked the question partly in support of his contention Republicans should abjure the "Biden rule" and hold hearings on the nomination of Merrick Garland and partly from his undisguised contempt for Donald Trump.

But in so doing Will has indeed "misrepresented" Trump, who not only has spoken of his ideal nominee on several occasions as the "reincarnation" of Antonin Scalia, but has even specified the names of real potential nominees, something candidates rarely do this far before nomination.

The two possible SCOTUS nominees mentioned by Trump (as someone as well-informed as Will must have known) are William H Pryor, Jr. and Diane S. Sykes, both U.S. Court of Appeals judges (different circuits), both George W. Bush appointments, and both conservatives. Pryor is known for his opposition to Roe v. Wade. Sykes -- who was already short-listed for the Supreme Court by Bush -- is a defender of the Second Amendment known for granting a preliminary injunction against Chicago's ban on firing ranges.

If Will has an objection to either of these people, I am not aware of it. To his credit, Trump mentioned their names as suggestions, cognizant, as he should have been, that actual nominations were premature at this point. He wanted to give the public an idea of his thinking, which in many cases apparently fell on deaf ears.

Will and others are suffering from such acute Trump Derangement Syndrome that they don't allow themselves to acknowledge the obvious -- most of Trump's views, his current ones anyway, fall well within the conservative mainstream. To admit this would be fatal to the #NeverTrump cause. It also would mean, let's be honest, a loss of power for them. A whole network from pundits to lobbyists, a whole Beltway lifestyle, is at risk even more with Trump than it is with Ted Cruz.

This is a very real problem, which in truth deserves some sympathy. These people have devoted their entire lives to the governing of this country in good conscience, some of them anyway. Many feel under assault -- and to a great degree they are. But we don't need a "revolution," peaceful or otherwise, as Bernie Sanders is suggesting.  We just need a thorough housecleaning and retrofitting. (Spring cleaning, not "Democracy Spring.") A lot of cobwebs and rust have set in. Far too much of our government runs by habit and, as everyone knows, it has grown way too big. Our military is in decline. But not everybody has to be thrown out. Trump is not and should not be Robespierre.Trump and George Will should be talking, not fighting. They both have much to learn from each other.



Court Slaps Down IRS for Stonewalling Investigation

It's been nearly three years since the story of the IRS targeting and harassing conservative nonprofit organizations broke, but the investigation into what actually happened is ongoing and resulted in an important court ruling this week. One reason the task of finding out who knew what has taken so long is that the IRS has been resolutely uncooperative with the investigation, from the claims that documents had been lost or destroyed, to outright refusals to provide relevant evidence.

Tuesday, a federal court called shenanigans on the agency's tactics, ordering the IRS to turn over spreadsheets indicating which groups were targeted. Judge Raymond Kethledge gave agency administrators a tongue lashing, arguing that the accusation of targeting of specific groups for political purposes are "among the most serious allegations a federal court can address."

Executive Director of FreedomWorks Foundation Curt Levey, who heads the organization’s regulatory reform project, commented, "It's refreshing to see the courts confirm what we have long known to be true: that the IRS has been actively obstructing this investigation from the beginning. The IRS is just another example of what happens when federal agencies, run by unelected bureaucrats, are given too much power. The lack of accountability inevitably leads to abuses by bureaucrats who come to believe they are above the law. The solution is to restore the constitutional separation of powers, under which agencies would be limited to faithfully executing the law.”

The lack of transparency and corrective action at the IRS is one of the main drivers behind FreedomWorks' campaign to impeach Commissioner John Koskinen, who took over the agency shortly after the targeting scandal emerged and has failed to do anything to uncover the truth or correct the problems. According to the Government Accountability Office, Koskinen failed to implement needed reforms to prevent targeting, and indeed, may still be continuing the practice of targeting conservative groups to this day. The GAO report states: “The control deficiencies increase the risk of selecting organizations for audit in an unfair manner — for example, based on an organization’s religious, educational, political, or other views.” The congressional effort to impeach Koskinen is being led by House Freedom Caucus members Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Ron DeSantis (R-FL)

The federal ruling confirming the corruption of the IRS highlights the need to reduce the power of the agency through fundamental tax reform. The scope of the IRS's power has far exceeded its basic function of revenue collection, as evidenced by the agency’s ability to persecute Americans based on their political or religious beliefs. Recently, the agency was also given extended authority over Americans' health care choices, having been put in charge of implementing various ObamaCare taxes and penalties. Deleting the federal tax code and replacing it with a simple flat tax would automatically eliminate a great deal of bureaucracy, opportunity for abuse, and by extension, corruption.

Until then, we intend to continue holding the IRS's feet to the fire to demand transparency and accountability for its misdeeds.


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- with news about black crime, Trump and Christianity


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 A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Monday, March 28, 2016

Will the Left try to sabotage Trump?

The one glimmer of hope for those who hope to stop the real estate mogul is that with Rubio out, the battle for the nomination becomes a much clearer fight with Cruz. One which the Texan has been hoping to set up since the SEC Super Tuesday primaries.

But it is Trump with the momentum, and the luxury to turn his sights to the general election while Cruz, will need to claw for every delegate. Still this is a two-man race between Trump and Cruz now.

However, there is one major wild card in the race and that is the Bernie Sanders supported efforts to disrupt the GOP nomination process by placing trained protesters into rallies and seeking to paint the Republican candidates in a negative light as the socialists attempt to provoke responses for the ready television cameras.

Trained on the streets for years, funded by George Soros amongst others, and encouraged by President Barack Obama and Sanders himself, these street activists will attempt to define the Republican candidates as intolerant while seeking to intimidate and shut down their opponent's free speech rights. The pernicious goal of this odd stew of 60s radicals, millennial hipsters, student dead enders, Black Lives Matter anti-police activists, La Raza open borders advocates and Muslims is to disrupt the political process.

Encouraged by the dangerous and false meme that anyone who opposes unfettered illegal immigration is a racist, and anyone who points out that letting tens of thousands of Muslims from Middle Eastern countries that don't like America is not wise in this time of terrorism gone wild is a religious bigot, this unstable motley crew has all the earmarks of being 21st century brown shirts. All the while justifying their intolerance with the same end justifies the means mental gymnastics that has fueled every fascist or communist regime in history.

Ultimately, no matter who is the GOP nominee, it is important that everyone from the disparate wings of the party join together around the eventual winner to push back the tide of hate coming from the professional left. In 2016, we are seeing the fruits of President Obama's seven years of using the government to attack his political opponents, and of a Justice Department that labels stopping voter fraud racism.

With the Supreme Court in the balance, and our nation's very future at stake, the gulf that separates some Republicans from their eventual nominee is like an unnamed stream when compared to the Mississippi River like divide between any of the Republicans and either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

As the primary campaign becomes a mano y mano affair between Trump and Cruz, voters need to remember that stopping Hillary from getting the presidency is job one, and no matter the flaws, any of the Republican candidates would be immeasurably better stewards of our nation's course.

So even as the GOP struggles toward finalizing their nominee, remember that no matter the emotions now, it would be the height of petulance to fail to join together to beat Clinton.



Even with their famous health insurance (Romneycare), Mass. residents often can’t afford care

Nearly all Massachusetts adults have health insurance, but being insured is no guarantee patients can afford health care or even find someone to provide it, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Despite the state’s landmark health care overhaul, the report found, cost and access remain problems for a significant share of residents.

The 2006 law, which became the model for the federal Affordable Care Act, quickly succeeded at its main goal: ensuring coverage for nearly all residents. But the survey by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation shows access remains a concern, especially for those with low incomes or health problems.

More than one-third of adults younger than 65 reported going without needed health care despite having insurance. Nearly half had trouble getting access to a health-care professional. One-fifth struggled to pay family medical bills or medical debts from previous years.

The foundation, which has conducted the survey almost every year since 2006, has repeatedly identified these problems. Their persistence echoes difficulties seen nationwide, as medical costs continue to rise and insurance policies require consumers to pay a greater share in deductibles and copays.

Those out-of-pocket costs represent "a new health care agenda," said Drew Altman, president and chief executive officer of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit focusing on national health issues. "It’s not just accessing care, but assuring that people can afford the care they now have access to.

"What we see in survey after survey we do — a significant percentage of people that have coverage also have medical bills that are a real burden for them," he said. "Those medical bills ripple through the family budget."

Audrey Shelto, Blue Cross foundation president, emphasized that people with insurance have better access to care than those who don’t.  "But," she said, "the affordability issues are clearly still haunting us both in terms of how it impacts individuals and in terms of the overall system."

The architects of the law deliberately focused on coverage rather than costs, in order to get it passed, she said. In 2012, the state adopted a sweeping law intended to control costs, but Shelto said the law hasn’t yet had much effect.

"It’s going to take more time," she said. "The issues around affordability are much more complex than access and coverage."

Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, executive director of the advocacy group Health Care for All, praised the foundation for shining a light on these shortcomings. "The report points to barriers to care that we need to pay attention to," she said.

The telephone survey, conducted Sept. 8 to Nov. 8 by the Urban Institute, questioned a random sample of 2,014 people ages 19 to 64. Nearly 96 percent said they had health insurance at that time, up from 86 percent in 2006 and better than the 2015 national rate of 87 percent.

Just over 37 percent of adults who were insured the full year reported going without needed health care — including doctor’s visits, tests, screenings, medications, and dental care. Among people with low incomes, more than 50 percent reported unmet health care needs. In a question asked for the first time, the survey found that a quarter of adults do not have dental insurance.

The proportion of people who had problems paying medical bills has declined slightly since 2006. Still, 43 percent said that in 2015, health care costs had caused problems for them and their families, including 19 percent who went without needed care as a result. The problem was more severe among low- and moderate-income adults and people with health problems.

"If you have low income, it’s harder to find providers who accept your type of coverage," Shelto said. "If you have a chronic condition, the array of services you need are much more complex and numerous." Additionally, low-income people are more likely to have difficulties finding child care and transportation.

Low-income people are often eligible for MassHealth, which in most cases does not have copays and deductibles. But many low-income people receive insurance through an employer, said Brian Rosman, research director at Health Care for All, and may not be aware they’re eligible for premium subsidies through MassHealth, the state Medicaid program. But help with premiums still doesn’t solve the problem of high deductibles and copays.

The survey also pointed to problems accessing care. Among adults who had insurance for the entire previous year, 47 percent said they’d had trouble getting in to see a health care professional, because they could not find a provider who accepted their insurance or was accepting new patients, or because they couldn’t get an appointment as soon as needed. This problem has worsened over time.

Nearly 86 percent said they had a place where they usually go for care. Even so, one-third of respondents reported visiting a hospital emergency department at least once in the previous year — half for a condition that was not an emergency.

Why are people having trouble getting medical appointments in a state teeming with physicians?

Dr. Dennis M. Dimitri, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, said many doctors don’t work full time at patient care, instead pursuing research and teaching. Additionally, the problem varies by region, with doctor shortages in Western and Southeastern Massachusetts and on Cape Cod.

Another issue is the shortage, nationally and locally, of primary care doctors, who are the entry point to health care. Doctors with huge medical school debts often prefer higher-paying specialties, and general practice is sometimes regarded as "thankless and unglamorous," said Dimitri, who is a family practice doctor.

Massachusetts also loses out because the state’s five family practice residency programs have slots for only about 50 new doctors-in-training each year.



“Trudeau has chosen sides. He sides with Islam”

Ezra Levant

Almost alone in the western world, Justin Trudeau and his Liberals are not only unconcerned about Islamic terrorism, they’re dismantling what protections Canada already has. It’s nuts.

In Europe, some people are waking up. As Daniel Pipes told us the other day, anti-Islam parties are on the rise. Meanwhile, the central issue in the U.S. Republican primaries is border control.

But Trudeau is starving our counter-terrorism agencies of funding, cutting our military and relaxing anti-terrorism laws.

(It's not just Trudeau. Liberal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan wouldn’t even make a statement after the Brussels attack, saying he was too busy getting pizza for his kids...)

And then there’s the Muslim migrants: 50,000 a year for four years, coming from the most sexist, anti-Semitic, violent places in the world, and Trudeau doesn’t care, because he’s on their side. He told us that himself.

You can’t do this for long without a taste of Brussels coming to Canada.



One photo can tell a lot

There’s a particular photo that went around the world. That of the little boy lying dead on the beach.

It is true that the photo is very sad and makes you reflect on the distress of these people fleeing their country at the risk of their lives.

Above, a photo showing some people walking to reach the final objective, to live in a European country.

Even if this photo is making it around the world, only 1% of the people will notice the truth.

On the photo,  there are 7 men and 1 woman. Up to this point – nothing special.

But in observing a bit closer, you will notice that the woman is in bare feet, accompanied by 3 children, and of the 3, she is carrying 2.

There is the problem, none of the men are helping her, because in their culture the woman represents nothing.  She is only good to be a slave to the men.

Do you really believe that these particular individuals could integrate  into our societies and countries and respect our customs, traditions and values????

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 A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Do we need a civilizational regress to deal with militant Islam?

"At mortal batailles hadde he been fiftene,
And foughten for our feith at Tramissene"

Geoffrey Chaucer wrote that about 600 years ago in the English of his day.  Even then the enemy was Muslim.  Tramissene was a Moorish kingdom in North Africa

The modern Western world, however, is in no mood to fight for its faith, mainly because it doesn't have one, or, more precisely, it has a multiplicity of faiths, including Leftism.  But we are surely keen to fight to ensure the safety of ourselves and our families.  But the recent atrocities in Brussels suggest that we are losing the fight.  Any of us could get struck down at any time by Islamic hate.

And the reason we are losing is clear.  We have only recently gained peace and civility in the Western world and we want to hang on to that.  If a group of people attack us, we no longer strike back in kind but attempt to deal with the harassment using police methods only.  We have reached the highest level of civilization the world has ever seen and we don't want to depart from the high levels of civility and tolerance that go with that.

But from the Vikings to Nazi Germany to the Bosnian Serbs our ancestors and relatives have been just as bloodthirsty as ISIS.  Take a look at the guy below.  He could be the grandfather of any of us, could he not?

He is Radovan Karadzic, former leader of the Bosnian Serbs who in the '90s committed atrocities just as bad as any done by ISIS.  And his Slavic genes are undoubtedly widespread in America.  And his wobbly Christianity is familiar enough too.  There is a lot of wobbly Christianity in America.

So there is no doubt that it would take only a small civilizational regress for us to be as merciless to the Muslims as they are to us.  And once we decided to abandon our present peaceful ways, it would take very little to squash Muslim aggression for a very long time.  A nuclear device detonated over Raqqa or Mecca or both would probably be enough to convince Muslims to pull their heads in.  And if not, there are plenty of other Muslim cities .....  The main reason we do not do that is that innocent, non-combatant people would die in such blasts.  But the Jihadis show absolute disregard for our innocent men, women and children so they certainly provoke tit for tat.

Our attachment to the high level of peace and civilization that we have only recently attained is strong -- as is shown by the huge amount of Muslim aggression that we have so far tolerated.  But I think that our tolerance is not limitless so we may have to take a temporary step down to an earlier level of civilization to deal with the Muslim menace effectively.  Winston Churchill killed tens of thousands of German non-combatant men, women and children in his fire bombings of Dresden and Hamburg -- and the deaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were mostly civilian.  So the step back would be only a small one -- and hopefully very temporary.

A SMALL CLARIFICATION: A good Serbian friend, Rich Kozlovich, was disturbed that I was disrespecting Serbs above.  My intention was quite different.  I see Karadzic as just a normal European person in a particular situation, not unlike President Truman, who burnt hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians to death with nuclear weapons.  I should have mentioned that it was Muslims whom the Serbs were savaging.  And in what they did to the Muslims they were only doing what Muslims had in the past done to them.  What the Muslims did in the past can, I think, be readily deduced from what they are doing in Syria right now.


Australian refugee intake will minimise single Sunni men, favour Christians

Is Australia the only country in the world with a sane refugee policy?

Australia will minimise its intake of single Sunni men as it vets the 12,000 Syrian refugees the government has pledged to take from Syria, prioritising instead Christian family groups who can never return home.

Mr Dutton also drew a connection between Australia’s migration program and homegrown extremists, many of whom have been second-generation Lebanese or Afghan migrants.

“We have a problem in this country with second or third-­generation new Australians and people that are radicalising online, people who believe that they owe some ­allegiance to another part of the world.’’

Mr Dutton said so far fewer than 100 of the 12,000 refugees Australia had pledged to take from war-ravaged Syria or northern Iraq had arrived in the country.

The government has said it would prioritise persecuted min­orities in choosing the 12,000, widely understood to be code for non-­Islamic migrants.

Christian groups, such as Yaz­idis, who have been massacred and enslaved by Islamic State in northern Iraq, will be given preference, partly because — unlike Sunni groups — they will never be able to return to their homes.

Authorities will largely pass over refugees from high-risk groups, such as single Sunni men.

The government has pledged to vet the 12,000 new migrants, subjecting them to biometric checks as well as checking their bona fides with Australia’s intelligence partners.



Rush Comes to Trump’s Defense With 1 Brutal Question That Leaves GOP Speechless

Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh presented his listeners with a question that should leave the GOP in Washington ashamed.

In his radio program on Monday, Limbaugh pointed out that while the GOP announced a “100-day plan” to take out GOP front-runner Donald Trump, they have yet to come up with a 100-day plan to take out Democrat rival Hillary Clinton.

Limbaugh referenced an article in The New York Times that reported that the Republican establishment “adamantly” opposed Trump and was preparing a 100-day-plan to deny him the nomination, should it come down to that.

“Where was the GOP’s 100-day plan to take out Obama? Anybody remember that plan? Where’s the GOP’s 100-day plan to take out Hillary Clinton? Anybody heard of that plan?” he asked.

Limbaugh attempted to address this conundrum by saying that Trump winning the nomination, much less the presidency, would upset the current “club” mentality among Washington politicians — a club in which, regardless of what side of the aisle they’re on, they are taken care of.

“They’ve got each other’s back,” Limbaugh said. “Behind the scenes all there is is scheming that is designed to protect what they’ve got.  That’s more important than the party winning elections.”

While stopping Trump might ensure a Clinton victory, Limbaugh said the establishment in Washington was fine with that because it “maintains the existing order” —  an order that “is not based on winning elections,” he told listeners.

Limbaugh went on to say that what the GOP was trying to do to Trump proves that the party wasn’t interested in winning the presidency. They were more concerned with securing their jobs and positions than listening to voters.

An outsider like Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz presents too much of a risk to the status quo and, according to Limbaugh, that’s a risk they simply cannot take. However, it’s that very status quo that has voters so fired up.



Washington Post: “The horror in Brussels is a rebuke to Trump’s foreign policy”

The mainstream media gets more absurd by the day. When did Donald Trump become President? The policies he is advocating are not now being implemented, so there is no conceivable way that the Brussels jihad massacre can be blamed upon them, or taken as any indication that they would not be effective (which is not necessarily to say that they would be). After all, there is actually another fellow who is President of the United States right now; if the Brussels jihad massacre is a rebuke to anyone’s foreign policy, it is his and his alone. But the Washington Post, like the rest of the mainstream media, will never have the slightest negative word to say about the current occupant of the Oval Office, no matter how much he downplays the jihad threat and enables jihadis.



Government bloat

One sentence that tells readers “everything” they need to know about the failure of big government: And it’s not even the full sentence, just the bolded portion in this excerpt from a BuzzFeed story about how Belgium is trying to deal with terrorism.

    "One Belgian counterterrorism official told BuzzFeed News last week that due to the small size of the Belgian government and the huge numbers of open investigations…virtually every police detective and military intelligence officer in the country was focused on international jihadi investigations. …the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said. “It’s literally an impossible situation.”

When I read that sentence, my jaw dropped to the floor. Belgium has one of the biggest and most bloated governments in the world.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Go to the OECD’s collection of data and click on Table 25 and you’ll see that the public sector in Belgium consumes almost 54 percent of the nation’s economy. That’s bigger even than the size of government in Sweden and Italy.

So the notion that fighting terrorism is hampered by the “small size of the Belgian government” is utterly absurd.

The real problem is that politicians and bureaucrats have become so focused on redistributing money to various interest groups that there’s not enough attention given to fulfilling the few legitimate functions of government. Not just in Belgium, but all over the world. Here’s what I wrote on this issue back in 2012.

    "…today’s bloated welfare state interferes with and undermines the government’s ability to competently fulfill its legitimate responsibilities. Imagine, for instance, if we had the kind of limited federal government envisioned by the Founding Fathers and the “best and brightest” people in government – instead of being dispersed across a vast bureaucracy – were concentrated on protecting the national security of the American people. In that hypothetical world, I’m guessing something like the 9-11 attacks would be far less likely".

What I said about America back then is even more true about Belgium today. Big governments are clumsy and ineffective, and bigger governments are even more incompetent. There’s even scholarly research confirming that larger public sectors are associated with higher levels of inefficiency.

And the same point has been made by folks such as Mark Steyn and Robert Samuelson (though David Brooks inexplicably reaches the opposite conclusion).

The good news is that the American people have an instinctive understanding of the problem. When asked to describe the federal government, you’ll notice that “effective” and “efficient” are not the words people choose.

P.S. On a related note, I argued in a column from 2014 that the federal government should be much smaller so it could more effectively focus on genuine threats such as the Ebola virus.

P.S. It’s worth pointing out that Israel, which faces far greater security challenges than Belgium, manages to do a better job with a government that is not nearly as large.


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 A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)