Friday, April 22, 2016

A Leftist view of patriotism

The Left can't help it.  They just cannot see straight.  The academic article below by Israeli academic Gal Ariely starts out by standing reality on its head.  He is perfectly right in saying that in recent years in America there has been a "more pronounced tendency towards suppressing civil liberties and critical voices".  But who is responsible for that?

America has been undergoing quite spectacular attempts by Leftists endeavouring to squash Christianity in general and rejection of homosexuality in particular so is  Dr. Ariely blaming the Left for speech suppression?  Far from it.  He says the guilty ones are patriots!  Patriots these days are usually conservatives so Dr Arielya has got the boot on precisely the wrong foot!  For a HUGE chronology of Leftist censorship activities, see here

The whole aim of his article is to discredit patriotism. But there is nothing wrong with patriotism.  It is the Leftist distortion of patriotism -- nationalism -- that is the problem. Orwell understood the distinction between the two:

"There is a habit of mind which is now so widespread that it affects our thinking on nearly every subject, but which has not yet been given a name. As the nearest existing equivalent I have chosen the word ‘nationalism’, but it will be seen in a moment that I am not using it in quite the ordinary sense, if only because the emotion I am speaking about does not always attach itself to what is called a nation — that is, a single race or a geographical area. It can attach itself to a church or a class, or it may work in a merely negative sense, against something or other and without the need for any positive object of loyalty.

By ‘nationalism’ I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad’(1). But secondly — and this is much more important — I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests.

Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism. Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved. By ‘patriotism’ I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality"

So how does Dr Ariely demonize patriotism?   He shows that in economically advanced societies, patriotism tends to be low but in impoverished and strife-ridden societies it tends to be high.  In a cautious academic way, he draws from that the entirely perverse conclusion that patriotism is in general a bad thing EVEN IN COUNTRIES WHERE IT IS LOW.  He does not consider that patriotism in affluent countries might be the unproblematic residuum of an often mixed phenomenon.

So the final sentence of his article makes no distinctions about patriotism:  "This study suggests that national pride is related to a less attractive environment than its advocates tend to assume".  He clearly thinks patriotism is all the same, wherever it is found.  No nuance there.  I suppose all men are equal as well.

The Israeli Left are certainly a poisonous lot.  Excerpt only below

Why does patriotism prevail? Contextual explanations of patriotism across countries


Addressing the normative and empirical debate regarding the nature of patriotism, this paper examines the social contexts in which patriotism – defined here as an expression of national pride – thrives. Combining diverse theoretical explanations, it investigates whether expressions of patriotism are related to globalization, state function, social fractionalization and conflict. A multilevel regression analysis of data from 93 countries led to three principal findings. First, citizens of more developed and globalized countries are less likely to be proud of their country. Second, citizens are more likely to be patriotic in countries characterized by higher levels of income inequality and religiously homogeneity. Third, citizens of countries exposed to direct conflict – that is, suffering terror and causalities from external conflict – tend to exhibit higher levels of national pride. Patriotism frequently being identified as a mandatory political commodity, these results suggest that, overall, patriotism forms part of a less attractive matrix than its advocates tend to assume.


The rise in patriotism in the United States following 9/11 has led to two trends – a stronger sense of solidarity and civic engagement, the ‘we’ becoming more important than the ‘me’ (Skocpol 2002; Sander and Putnam 2010), on the one hand, and a more pronounced tendency towards suppressing civil liberties and critical voices on the other. These different outcomes reflect the long-standing debate concerning the nature of patriotism, conventionally defined as love for and attachment to one’s nation (Bar Tal and Staub 1997; Kosterman and Feshbach 1989).


An overall pattern nonetheless emerges. By and large, higher levels of patriotism occur in countries whose citizens are worse off. In societies that form part of the globalized community, enjoy more income equality and are not subject to the threat of terror or external conflict, patriotism levels appear to be lower. Taking into account the fact that politicians, pundits and philosophers frequently describe patriotism as a mandatory political commodity, this study suggests that national pride is related to a less attractive environment than its advocates tend to assume.



Sanders Is Just Another Tax-Evading Liberal Hypocrite

Bernie Sanders has won the hearts of basement-dwelling socialists everywhere with his angry, septuagenarian rants against the evils of capitalism and the greedy One-Percent, his denunciation and vilification of America’s top earners and producers, and a market system he deems “unfair” to the poor and the middle class (he actually once argued that there are poor kids in America because consumers have too many choices of deodorant).

Sanders has also repeatedly criticized anyone who takes advantage of standard tax deductions in order to lower their taxable income, and therefore their effective tax rate. His campaign website states, “We need a progressive tax system in this country which is based on the ability to pay. It is not acceptable that corporate CEOs in this country often enjoy an effective tax rate which is lower than their secretaries.”

Sadly, socialist hero Sanders turns out to be just another garden-variety, hypocritical, tax-evading liberal/progressive. He has perfected the art of the very tax avoidance he claims is immoral. Having spent much of his adult life on unemployment, and occasionally “working” by writing “rape fantasy” for leftist birdcage liners for $50 a pop, plus a brief but failed stint as a carpenter, Sanders avoided paying income taxes for decades by not holding a steady job until he was 40. And when he finally did get a job, it was a government job — he was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont. He then went on to win election as the only openly socialist member of Congress, where he has been ever since.

Yet even as he rages against the capitalist machine, he indulges in the very acts he condemns. Last week, Sanders released his 2014 income tax return, and it was quite revealing. It shows that Sanders and his wife, with a combined income of $205,271, paid just $27,653 in federal income taxes after taking more than $60,000 in deductions for things like home mortgage interest, real estate taxes, state and local taxes and job-related expenses. This gave him an effective tax rate of just 13.5%, lower than the 15.2% he would have paid had he not taken the deductions, and far lower than the 27.4% rate paid by the “millionaires and billionaires” in this country (according to the IRS, the exorbitant tax rate for “millionaires and billionaires” kicks in for people making as little as $200,000/year).

With an annual income over $200,000, lavish congressional benefits, and two homes (one in Vermont, one in DC), Sanders is far wealthier than the average American struggling just to make ends meet. So, one might ask, with such a level of comfortable wealth, and no children depending on him, why is he trying to weasel out of paying his “fair share”?

Of course, we already know the answer: abject hypocrisy. To quote George Orwell’s socialist utopian novel Animal Farm, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” For hard-core leftists like Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and their greedy followers, being a good socialist means never having to say you’re sorry for using government force to take from your neighbor, while simultaneously hiding as much of your own wealth from taxation as possible.

That’s how Joe Biden could keep a straight face while saying we should be happy about paying higher taxes because, “It’s time to be patriotic,” even though he took every deduction available to him while giving a total of just $369 to charity over an entire decade. It’s why Rep. Charlie Rangel, who once chaired the tax-policy writing House Ways and Means Committee, can demand higher taxes and more government spending while hiding income from luxury rental property in the Dominican Republic. It’s how former Treasury Secretary Tim “Turbo Tax” Geithner can demand more taxes while being an admitted tax cheat. It’s how Secretary of State John Kerry (who lives in Massachusetts) can lecture us, the unwashed masses, on the need to sacrifice more of our money at the altar of confiscatory taxation while registering his luxury yacht in neighboring Rhode Island, helping him avoid a one-time sales tax of $437,500 on his $7 million yacht, plus the $70,000 annual excise taxes he’d have had to pay (then again, why should he care? He got his money by marrying the widow of Republican Senator H. John Heinz III of the Heinz food fortune; it wasn’t even his money).

Former Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD), former Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM), Nancy Killefer (Obama nominee for Deputy Director of OMB), Hilda Solis (former Obama Labor Secretary), Ron Kirk (Obama appointee as White House chief trade representative), and literally dozens of Obama administration appointees and aides owed massive amounts of back taxes, and many still do.

Even wealthy liberal businessmen like Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, George Lucas, Jim Sinegal, and Sergey Brin, who routinely lecture us on the virtues of higher taxation, use every trick at their disposal to lower their effective tax rates or hide taxable income, or just refuse to pay all their taxes.

Liberal Democrats absolutely love to rage against conservatives for greedily wanting to keep more of the money they earn, and making slanderous accusations of corruption, as when former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid accused 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney of not paying taxes. Of course, Romney did release his tax returns, which revealed that he had paid every single penny of taxes owed, plus an incredibly generous amount given to a number of charities. Reid still refused to apologize for his blatant lies.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill one said, “Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” Liberal Democrats daily prove that he was spot on.



Police Shooting Fatalities: Behind the Numbers

Nearly 1,000 people were fatally shot by law enforcement last year. Of them, 948 were male, 783 brandished a deadly weapon, the victims were predominately white (494) compared to black (258), and most (353) were between the ages of 30 and 44. These are just a few of the details chronicled in a highly detailed Washington Post database that was launched when several years ago “Wesley Lowery was surprised to discover that there were no official statistics about such fatalities,” the Post says. That effort paid off. Yesterday the Post was awarded a Pulitzer Prize “[f]or its revelatory initiative in creating and using a national database to illustrate how often and why the police shoot to kill and who the victims are most likely to be.”

The Post further explains that the database “soon yielded new insights into the use of deadly force by the nation’s police officers.” It continues: “The data showed, for example, that about one-quarter of those fatally shot had a history of mental illness; that most of those killed were white men (although unarmed African Americans were at vastly higher risk of being shot after routine traffic stops than any other group); and that 55 officers involved in fatal shootings in 2015 had previously been involved in a deadly incident while on duty. Another important finding: The vast majority (74 percent) of people shot and killed by police were armed, and killed after attacking police officers or civilians. This finding countered the impression left by several high-profile fatalities that police routinely use excessive force [emphasis added].”

As Reason notes, the database is already leading to reforms, which is a good thing because some police departments desperately need it. But on the flip side, crime is increasing countrywide because of the Ferguson Effect. It’s not often we get to say this, but this award seems appropriate, and the Post’s project will hopefully help strike a balance. Probably 99% of these police shootings were justified, but police aren’t above accountability either. The biggest question remains though: Even though we now have hard evidence, will the grievance industry actually weigh the facts in lieu of their prejudices?



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, April 21, 2016

Vote the Platform, Not the Man(ner)

Recently, I’ve been corresponding with a friend on the ever-contentious subject of Donald Trump, a man whom my interlocutor finds objectionable on both political and personal grounds. Political positions can be discussed and debated even if they do not produce agreement or compromise, but a personal animadversion cannot be met with argument. My correspondent considers Trump an unreconstructed vulgarian, loud, ill-mannered and abrasive, all of which apparently render him unfit for office. He simply cannot vote for a man he dislikes.

Personal liking is one of the least reliable criteria for voting. The election of Barack Obama to the presidency is surely proof positive that affection for a political figure—the love affair with Obama was a national phenomenon—can result in unmitigated disaster. The same is true of personal dislike, which may often lead to the rejection of the best, or least worst, candidates for political office.

In Canada’s recent federal election, former PM Stephen Harper was vilified in the press and held in contempt by the majority of the electorate as a dangerous and unsavory character. He was rumoured to harbor a “secret agenda,” though nobody could say what it was. He was denounced as a brooding egotist and a control freak. He was viewed as unsympathetic to the marginalized and disadvantaged, stingy with entitlements, unimpressed by the claims of the arts community for ever greater government largesse, and generally hostile to Canada’s growing and increasingly clamorous Islamic community.

The fact that he steered the country safely through the market crash of 2008, signed lucrative international trade deals, kept taxes down, reduced the GST (Goods and Services Tax) and provided the country with a balanced budget plainly counted for nothing. His emendation of citizenship protocols in an effort to check the spread of culturally barbaric practices, chiefly associated with Islam, counted against him. At the end of the day, he was simply unlikeable, he was “Harperman,” and he had to go.

Instead, Canadians fell in love with Justin Trudeau, easily the most unqualified prime ministerial candidate since Confederation (there have been many duds, eccentrics and charlatans, but Trudeau is in a category of his own). He was young, personable, wavy-haired, utterly innocuous and adroit at spouting platitudes. Women found him attractive, millennials recognized one of their own, and he embraced all the feel-good big-spending fads and sophistries of welfare socialism. In short, people found him immensely likeable, the polar opposite of the straitlaced, parsimonious Harper.

The consequences were not long in coming. Trudeau has been in office for half a year, more than enough time to engineer the rapid deterioration of a once-prosperous and relatively secure nation. He has brought in 25,000 “Syrians” and is aiming for many thousands more, all living off the public dole and no doubted salted with aspiring jihadists. He intends to build mosques (which he calls “religious centers”) on military bases and is re-accrediting Muslim terror-affiliated organizations that Harper defunded. He inherited Harper’s balanced budget and in just a few short months was busy at work racking up a $29.4 billion deficit. Not to worry, since Trudeau is on record saying that budgets balance themselves. Magic is afoot. All one need do is continue believing in the Ministry of Silly Walks and the nation will stride ever forward.

According to a March 18, 2016 Ipsos poll, 66 per cent of Canadians approve of his performance. A boilerplate article by Jake Horowitz for Policy.Mic represents the general attitude of appreciation. In his meeting with Barack Obama, Horowitz writes, “it was Trudeau's tone of optimism, and his embrace of a style of politics marked by positivity, inclusion and equality, that truly shined [sic] through. Practically everything about his values comes in stark contrast to what we've heard from Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who has dominated the 2016 election cycle with divisiveness, anger and fear-mongering.”

Often commentators will seek to buttress their personal liking or disliking on the basis of presumed intellectual substance. Despite his success in business, his knowledge of practical economics and international finance, and his instinctive recognition of what is needed in a country beset by astronomical deficits, trade imbalances and catastrophic immigration problems, Trump is frequently dismissed as an ignoramus. “Trump doesn't read,” says David Goldman. “He brags about his own ignorance. Journalist Michael d'Antonio interviewed Trump at his New York home and told a German newspaper: ‘What I noticed immediately in my first visit was that there were no books… huge palace and not a single book.’”

On the other hand, we are told that Justin Trudeau reads. According to Jonathan Kay, formerly letters editor at The National Post and currently editor of The Walrus, who assisted Trudeau in writing the Canadian Prime Minister’s memoir Common Ground, “I can report that Trudeau is very much an un-boob. Several of our interviews took place in his home study, which is lined with thousands of books…We spoke at length about the Greek classics his father had foisted upon him as a child…and the policy-oriented fare he now reads as part of his life in politics…Trudeau probably reads more than any other politician I know.”

Kay never mentions that this intellectual giant failed to complete the two university degrees for which he had enrolled, earned his chops as a substitute instructor at the high school level, and inherited a formidable financial estate from his famous father, former Canadian PM Pierre Trudeau. He has done nothing with his life except preen and posture for the public—a “shiny pony,” as journalist Ezra Levant has dubbed him. Trump on the other hand received an inheritance and turned it into one of the world’s major fortunes. As New English Review editor Rebecca Bynum points out, “the businessman from Queens understands the American working people better than the Harvard man from Texas or the mailman’s son from Ohio. He speaks in plain English to describe the incompetence, and yes, the stupidity of those currently in power, who could not have harmed our country any more if they had had outright malicious intent.”

The Harper case was anomalous. He was an evidently accomplished man, trained in economics (unlike Trudeau, he completed his university program), a stalwart Canadian who wrote a book on our national sport, A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs & the Rise of Professional Hockey, (unlike Trudeau’s memoir, there was no Kay-like ectoplasm to assist in its composition) and was deeply interested in the Franklin Expedition and the lore of the Canadian North. And he was a reader. Nevertheless, Canadian novelist Yann Martel mocked Harper in a series of letters collected into a book, 101 Letters to a Prime Minister, condescendingly lecturing Harper on what he should read, with the implication (sometimes explicit) that Harper saw nothing but the financial bottom line and was a man without imagination, heart or a vision for the country larger than trade deals and tax policy. (Martel is evidently a prehensile reader, having discovered an obscure novella by the Argentine writer Moacyr Scliar, Max and the Cats, which arguably formed the plagiarized occasion for his own Life of Pi. Not the man to instruct the PM.) In any event, under a relentless media barrage the public came to see Harper as a rigid martinet. In the 2015 election, he never had a chance.

Harper was regarded by the press and a plurality of Canadians pretty much as Trump is currently viewed by establishment Republicans, sanctimonious conservatives and a partisan media, for whom The Donald has become politically non grata, a “reptile” in Andrew Klavan’s distemperate rhetoric. Trump’s dilemma is that he has refused to be housebroken. He is certainly a flawed human being, but I have never known one who wasn’t.

So let us now compare. Trump has pledged to set the U.S. on a sound economic footing, prevent the flow of illegal migrants across the southwestern border, limit Islamic immigration into the country, and restore America’s diminished prestige and might on the international stage. But he is, we are told, a boor, a plebeian, a crass opportunist, a know-nothing who doesn’t read. “Donald Trump may not be perfect,”  Bynum agrees, “but at least he will clean house.” All the more reason, it appears, for the virulence and disparagement with which he has been met. The bien pensants dislike him with a vehemence that does them little honor.

On the other hand, Trudeau, as we’ve seen, has plunged his country into deficit, has imported thousands of Muslims who will swell the welfare rolls and generate social unrest, as is inevitable wherever Muslims begin to multiply, withdrawn Canadian forces from the campaign against ISIS, and filled his cabinet with highly questionable personnel—women simply because they are women, such as the lamentably dense Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade (who disgraced herself on the Bill Maher show), and doddering retreads like Immigration Minister John McCallum. But Trudeau is suave, telegenic, blandly inoffensive—and he reads. People like him with a passion that also does them little honor.

Would any sane person choose a Trudeau-type figure over a Harper or a Trump to lead their country into a problematic future? The larger issue is whether any reasonable person should predicate his voting preference on personal liking or disliking. Trudeau is intellectually vapid, has the wrong instincts, and is unlearnable. But he is liked. As for Trump, I am not suggesting that he would be a better choice than Cruz may be or Rubio may have been, though I suspect he might. He still has much to learn about the intricacies and priorities of governing and about looking “presidential.” What matters is that a candidate for political office is smart, has the right instincts, and is willing to learn. I believe Trump qualifies in these respects. Disliking him is beside the point.

Writing for The Federalist, Timm Amundson acknowledges that Trump can be rude, arrogant and reckless, and asks: “How can a principled, pragmatic, deliberate conservative be drawn to such a candidate?” And answers: “It is because I believe conservatism doesn’t stand a chance in this country without first delivering a very heavy dose of populism,” that is, “a platform built largely on the principle of economic nationalism...focus[ing] on three primary policy areas: trade, defense, and immigration.” This is Trump’s bailiwick.

To approve or disapprove of a candidate on the basis of his or her social and economic platform is wholly legitimate, is at least theoretically open to debate and constitutes a sensible basis for choice. If you believe, as Amundson does, that the core populist platform is the surest way “for America to begin rebuilding her neglected middle class and restoring her sovereignty,” then cast your ballot appropriately. The Overton Window is closing fast.



Trump: Rethink Outdated Alliances

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has proven himself to be the most unorthodox presidential contender at this stage of the election cycle in recent memory. The term “unorthodox” is value-neutral, of course, a designation neither good nor bad, but rather simply indicating a great divergence from the norm. On one policy issue, however, Trump’s unusual stance is a strong positive, according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow Ivan Eland: The call for rethinking U.S. participation in NATO and the American security commitment to Japan and South Korea is long overdue.

Two facts make an American military pullback especially worthy of serious consideration: The end of the Cold War removed the original rationale for NATO, and the $19 billion U.S. national debt justifies slashing all non-essential federal expenditures. If the next president instead chooses to “stay the course” by maintaining our military alliances with wealthy partners in Northern Europe and East Asia, he or she will be keeping Americans at grave risk while providing them with little if any reward.

“Thus, upon deeper analysis, even Trump’s seemingly extreme notion of allowing prosperous allies to take over more of their own defense by getting nuclear weapons doesn’t seem so irrational,” Eland writes. “The United States simply can no longer afford to provide security for countries that don’t even fully open their markets to U.S. exports.”



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, April 20, 2016

Another endorsement of Trump from the Left

James Petras is a retired NY Professor of Sociology and as far-Left as you would expect from that.  In his angry tirade below, he says The Donald is just loud and that Hillary is the real criminal.  He has a point. I don't of course remotely agree with him on illegal immigration but he is correct that Trump's foreign policy is isolationist and, as such, well within the American conservative tradition. It's mostly Democrats who have sent America's young men abroad to die.  And I agree with his diagnosis of Hillary as a psychopath, though not, perhaps, for all the same reasons

Introduction: From left to right a raucous chorus has emerged to denounce Republican Presidential primary frontrunner Donald Trump as a ‘fascist’. They cite his campaign promises to build an Israeli-style wall along the US border; his threats to expel eleven million undocumented immigrants; and to restrict foreign Muslims from entering the US, as well as the way his pugnacious face and arm resemble those of Benito Mussolini (’he juts out his chin, he raises his arm’).

They decry his extreme nationalism as ‘resembling Hitler’s policy’, by which they mean his opposition to detrimental free trade agreements and his slogan to “Make America Great.. Again.”

In this article I will critically address the current cartoonish image of fascism with fascism’s historical reality, and then proceed to analyze the so-called “lesser evil” politics behind the re-invention of an American fascist in the guise of billionaire Donald Trump.

Fascism: Fact and Fiction

Historically, fascist politics involved organized mass movements, armed militia and paramilitary groups who assaulted political opponents and violently censored critical speech and suppressed the right to assemble. Fascists scapegoated minorities, especially gypsies and Jews, and burned trade unions and leftist headquarters, assassinating their leaders and beating their members. Programmatically, they attacked pacifists and defended overseas wars and empires in the name of ‘living space’. Evoking a past imperial glory, they were not ‘isolationists’.

Candidate Trump has not organized anything resembling a mass movement, let alone an armed militia. There are no ‘Trumpeting Brown Shirts’. At most, the police and a handful of his (often elderly) white supporters have punched a few KKK-dressed provocateurs who have physically disrupted and threatened Trump’s public meetings and his exercise of free speech. In fact, the ‘fascist’ disruption of democratic freedoms seems to be mostly organized and practiced by his political rivals.

Trump, far from scapegoating the powerful Jewish minority in this country, gave a shamelessly Israel-centric speech and received a standing ovation from nearly 18,000 mostly prominent Jews at the March 2016 meeting of the major pro-Israel lobby (AIPAC).

His rhetoric, concerning the expulsion of 11 million undocumented workers from Mexico and Central America and the building of a border wall, is a far cry from the practice of imprisoning and violently expelling over two million undocumented Latinos under the Clinton-Bush-Obama/Clinton regimes. At its worst, Trump promises to continue the existing federal policy on immigration and not create a ‘fascist’ rupture with past administrations. Is a ‘rhetorical cement wall’ worse than the real wall of armed border police, helicopters and armed carriers that have operated under the Presidencies of Clinton – Bush – Obama/Clinton with its hundreds of migrant deaths in the desert? Are declarations of a repressive immigration policy more ‘fascist’ coming from Trump’s loud mouth than the actual official practice of violently seizing undocumented workers from their homes and workplaces with long-term imprisonment and expulsion? Expelling youth, raised and educated in this country, or violently splitting up productive, well-integrated families and imprisoning their main breadwinners for lack of documents…that’s the official policy of the current and past three administrations.

There is far less of the truly fascist embrace of pre-emptive war and invasion in Trump’s speeches than in the actual policies pursued by the Clinton-Bush-Obama/Clinton regimes. In fact, among Trump’s numerous critics, especially his Republican rivals and the Hillary Clinton camp, we hear the loudest denunciations of his non-interventionist foreign policy (isolationism), which is “out of line” with the interventionist, overseas wars of current and past Republican and Democratic administrations. Trump’s critics and media pundits are ‘horror-struck’ at his apparent willingness to co-operate with Russian President Putin against common enemies, such as ISIS. Is his pragmatic regard of Russia more or less fascist than his rivals’ support for the Ukrainian putsch, orchestrated by the Obama regime in alliance with bona fide armed anti-Semitic Ukrainian fascists? His calls to dump NATO as an expensive drain on US treasure and manpower have the elite howling in outrage!

The propagandists, who paint Trump as a modern American fascist, cite his crude sexist remarks as ‘examples of a misogynist totalitarian’ while pointing favorably to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as potentially the ‘first feminist President’. In regard to his alleged misogyny, ‘the Donald’ pointed to Madame First Lady, Senator and Secretary Clinton’s promotion and critical role in US wars against Libya, Iraq and Syria where well over one million women have been rendered refugees, raped, injured or killed. Which is worse, one may ask: Crude locker room jokes or millions of orphaned boys and girls denied parents, homes, education and any future in the Middle East and North Africa? That is the world Midwife Hillary Clinton had helped to deliver.

Misogyny is the in the eye of the deceiver.

Are Trump’s verbal attacks on the practice of US multi-nationals relocating abroad to avoid US taxes and Wall Street financial houses hiding billions of the US elites’ obscene wealth in offshore tax shelters, more detrimental to ‘American values’ (as charged) than Hillary Clinton’s pandering to Wall Street while pocketing over $300,000 for each 45 minute sycophantic performance (marketed as her ‘policy lectures’), or her decades of actively promoting globalization – including the US job-destroying NAFTA?

Clearly Trump currently lacks program, organization and practice that define a fascist politician. At the very worst, he parrots the general line of attack against immigrants and Muslims. So far he would just bar them from the US but not bomb them ‘to the stone-age’. This should be contrasted with the actual policies carried out by the war-criminals Clinton/Bush/Obama-Clinton. It would be hard for Donald to ‘trump’ Hillary when she threatened to ‘obliterate Iran’ and its scores of millions of citizens because of Iran’s fictitious ‘nuclear program’.

On the other hand, Trump’s own meetings and rallies have been the victim of repeated disruption by organized groups acting like fascist thugs. Role reversal in real life: Trump, the target of rabid sustained mass media attacks, is pronounced the fascist …

Bashing Trump: Backdoor Backing of Hillary the Militarist Psychopath

If the objective case for labeling Trump ‘a fascist’ is weak or non-existent, why do so many prestigious academics and journalists play this stupid game of name-calling?

The commonsense explanation of their ruffled bluster is because they are setting up ‘Trump-the- Straw-Dragon’ in order to promote the poisonous Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton as the ‘lesser evil candidate’ for President of the United States.

No serious observer minimally aware of Clinton’s carnal embrace of multiple simultaneous disastrous and destructive wars in Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Libya, could possibly support her – unless if they are convinced that a greater danger looms on the horizon and “we have to defeat fascist Trump at all cost”? No serious democrat or wage and salaried employee can ignore Madame Clinton’s role as Wall Street’s most shameless pimp unless they ‘believe’ that a loud-mouth New York ‘fascist is worse than Wall Street’.

The phony scaremongering about Trump’s “fascism” just serves to cover up Clinton’s most servile promotion of traitorous wars for the benefit of Israel. One should envision the thousands of desperate Syrian refugees clinging to decrepit boats in the Mediterranean when reading excerpts of Clinton’s private e-mails: According to WikiLeaks, Hillary declared that “the best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability (sic) is to help (sic) the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad. … The fall of the House of Assad could well ignite a sectarian war between the Shiites and the majority Sunnis of the region drawing in Iran, which, in the view of Israeli commanders would not be a bad thing for Israel and its Western allies”. Not a bad thing for Israel – but a cruel and criminal policy against a sovereign nation and multi-ethnic society. Madame Clinton followed through with these demented pronouncements, which can only be viewed as genocidal! Clinton promoted the most violent proxy war, uprooting over half of the civilian population of Syria and killing hundreds of thousands, while shredding a sovereign nation. She thus pandered to her Israeli mentors and Pluto-Zionist funders.

To justify backing a serial war monger, a US Secretary of State who has served Israel’s interests, and a politician who has carnalized her ‘feminist principles’ with Wall Street billionaires, Hillary Clinton’s smarmy supporters have had to invent an opponent who is even worse: Creating and then denouncing “Trump the Fascist” serves as a backdoor justification for supporting a proven political psychopath!



Want to win in November? Save voters from Obamazoning

Whether you are a presidential candidate or someone seeking an office at the local level, there is an issue that resonates with people across the nation, a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulatory overreach destroys local control of zoning laws.

President Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation conditions more than $3 billion of community development block grants on redrawing maps to override local zoning laws using the warped logic that lack of racial and income diversity is proof in itself of racial discrimination.

This is the great sleeper issue of 2016.

Suburban voters work very hard to maintain their standard of living, and choose to avoid the societal dysfunction that is pervasive in liberal-ran urban centers. To arbitrarily export inner city residents to newly constructed government housing built against those communities’ wills violates a sense of fair play, as residents worked hard to form communities without the crime and decay found in the city.

Once informed that these policies will devalue their property and make their community less safe, the issue becomes an existential threat to a suburban community’s way of life, and residents there will support policies and policymakers who will defend their interests.

Westchester County, where none other than Hillary Clinton resides, was the guinea pig for this federal zoning takeover and Republican County Executive Rob Astorino has been attacking it statewide in New York for more than half a decade.  Astorino has won twice in this heavily Democrat county due to his strong opposition to the HUD low-income housing zoning imposition.

Talk Radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin have publically inveighed against the HUD rule since 2014, attacking the Obama Administration’s radical restructuring of local zoning laws to move heavily Democrat urban dwellers into suburban communities. Levin has done so as recently as last month, so the issue is ripe particularly for conservative voters who have already been familiarized via media gatekeepers they trust.

What’s more the issue is now percolating strongly in Baltimore County, Maryland where the county is being forced by HUD to build 1,000 low income units under HUD’s twisted legal theory.

But this issue constitutes a real threat to suburban voters beyond just New York and Maryland. About 1,200 counties and cities accept federal community development block grants every single year, all who will suddenly be forced by the feds who tell them where and who to house those who have been failed by liberal urban policies.

This issue is great for contrast, illustrates federal overreach and literally hits voters where they live. It is a motivating issue, and is an opportunity for the candidate or campaign that acts upon it.

The short term solution would be to reject the community block grants that impose this onerous requirement. This will cost lager communities far more than it will cost smaller ones, as the grants range from the thousands of dollars to millions. In the long term, local, state and federal candidates should cultivate voters and put this issue to constituents to achieve a mandate against Washington, D.C. bureaucrats micromanaging their neighborhoods.

No issue is more powerful at the local level than zoning.  All roads, schools and shopping centers are built around planning concepts that are the subject of intense local political debate.  Obama’s HUD rule overrides all those decisions because arrogant officials in Washington are looking at a census map and decide that non-racially and income diverse areas must be racist.

Right thinking candidates across the nation would be insane not to take up this issue. Suburban residents, some of who voted for the very administration that threatens their communities, will be forced to come to terms with the reality of their vote.

In an act of contrition for some and an act of preservation by all, voters should support candidates that will stand against this vile abuse of power by HUD. Candidates on the ballot this November for federal office have never had a better opportunity to stand up for their constituents and stick it to D.C. central planners.



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, April 19, 2016

Trump’s refreshing foreign policy heresy

By Left-leaning journalist Stephen Kinzer, writing in the Boston Globe

THANK YOU, TRUMP! That does not roll trippingly off the tongue. There is ample reason to be terrified of Donald Trump’s possible ascension to the presidency. Yet because he has dared to question ossified principles of our foreign policy, he deserves our gratitude.

Trump steadfastly refuses to accept the world affairs catechism that President Obama recently called "the Washington playbook." This has spread panic through the inbred American foreign policy establishment. It is a delight to watch.

The "Washington playbook" posits a series of delusional principles that are not only outdated, but undermine America’s national security. Our leaders reflexively genuflect before these false idols: The world is in endless conflict between good and evil; people everywhere look to the United States to fight for the good; and this fight must be waged with force or the threat of force, since only force can crush evil.

Trump is the first serious presidential candidate in this century who appears not to have read the playbook, or not to care what it says. Many of his foreign policy pronouncements sound somewhere between ignorant and scary. Others, however, are astonishingly realistic. Regardless of how this campaign ends, it will be remembered at least in part for Trump’s willingness to reject stale foreign policy dogma.

Instead of denouncing President Vladimir Putin of Russia, Trump proposes to treat him as a reasonable negotiating partner. He has dared to suggest that the United States should be neutral between Israel and the Palestinians. Asked about our commitment to defend Japan and South Korea against all threats forever, he replied, "There is going to be a point at which we just can’t do this anymore." For good measure he added, "We spend billions of dollars on Saudi Arabia, and they have nothing but money. And I say, why?"

Trump also sees the foolishness of maintaining commercial sanctions on Iran while other countries lift them, which prevents American companies from competing for giant contracts like the ones Iran will soon sign to buy hundreds of new civilian airliners. "We give them the money, and we now say, ‘Go buy Airbus instead of Boeing,’ " he reasons. "So how stupid is that?"

Trump’s view of the horrific war in Syria is equally logical. He describes our policy of fighting Bashar Assad’s government as "madness and idiocy." Pointing out what should now be obvious, he adds, "Our far greater problem is not Assad. It’s ISIS." This raises the prospect that under President Trump, the United States would abandon its efforts to depose Assad and focus on the real enemy in Syria.

Nor would Trump send American troops to confront Russia over Ukraine, where the United States has no vital interest. "Ukraine is a country that affects us far less than it affects other countries," he reasons. "Why are we always the one that’s leading potentially the third world war, OK, with Russia?"

Trump has even had the temerity to describe NATO, the first peacetime military alliance the United States ever joined, as obsolete. "It was really designed for the Soviet Union, which doesn’t exist anymore," he said last month. "It wasn’t designed for terrorism. . . . A new institution, maybe, would be better for that than using NATO, which was not meant for that."

These statements send a startling message to the rest of the world. Under President Trump, the gravy train would stop, or at least slow down, and Uncle Sucker would no longer subsidize other countries’ armies and send troops to defend every corrupt regime that asks. Trump has summarized American security policy in these trenchant few words: "We defend everybody. When in doubt, come to the United States. We’ll defend you — in some cases, free of charge."

Trump’s alternative is to declare, "We can’t be the policemen to the world." Rather than list all the places in the world where he wants to intervene, he asks, "Why is it always the United States that gets right in the middle of things?"

This apostasy is direct rebellion against the Republican/Democrat, liberal/conservative consensus on foreign policy. That consensus is based on the principle that policing the world is the essence of America’s providential mission, and that chaos will ensue if we stop. Left unspoken is the fear that defense contractors would lose huge amounts of money if the United States stopped waging endless wars and arming countries that do not have our interests at heart. Trump challenges not only Washington politicians and think tanks, but also the plutocrats who bankroll them and foreign regimes that see the United States as an inexhaustible source of cash.

Trump’s heresy is wonderfully refreshing. Unfortunately, it must be taken along with the rest of his proposed foreign policy. Some of his positions, like his promise to renounce last year’s nuclear deal with Iran, are straight from the "Washington playbook." By demonizing Muslims and Hispanics, he alienates much of the world. His enthusiasm for torture is chilling. When he says he will "listen to the generals," he implicitly rejects diplomacy and suggests he will consult mainly with Pentagon lifers who are obsessed with finding and fighting supposed enemies.

On some days, Trump seems to reject the "regime change" paradigm and favor a foreign policy based on prudent restraint. Too often, however, he rails ignorantly against imagined enemies. He deserves thanks for sending chills down many spines in Washington.



Washington’s Bureaucracy Strikes Again

If you want to understand the corruption, deceit, and might-makes-right culture at the core of the federal government’s dysfunction and disgrace today, look no farther than the two big stories out of Washington last week.

On Monday, President Barack Obama’s Treasury Department released sweeping new regulations effectively rewriting the tax code to make it even more difficult for U.S. companies to escape the double taxation on overseas earnings currently extracted by the IRS. Rather than trying to lower the U.S. corporate income tax rate—which is the highest in the industrialized world—the Obama administration wants to make it even more costly to do business in America.

The Obama administration wants to make it even more costly to do business in America.

Not to be outdone by the economic folly of their colleagues at the Treasury Department, bureaucrats at the Department of Labor have published 1,000 pages of new regulations—collectively called "the fiduciary rule"—targeting the investment industry that will make it more expensive and less likely for low and middle-income Americans to save for their future. Working Americans already face a host of obstacles that prevent them from saving for retirement or unexpected financial hardships, and observers from across the political spectrum agree that these new regulations will only further discourage private savings.

But as harmful as these policies will be for American families and businesses trying to get ahead in a still stagnant economy, the real scandal of these new sets of rules are the flagrant abuses of power that created them.

In 2014, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said, "We do not believe we have the authority to address this inversion question through administrative action. […] That’s why legislation is needed." This was not a groundbreaking statement: Everyone in Washington knows that the Secretary of the Treasury does not have the power to unilaterally change the tax laws just because he doesn’t like them. And yet that’s exactly what he did this week, with the blessing of Obama—abandoning his constitutional scruples and betraying his respect for Congress’ rightful role in writing tax policy in order to score cheap political points.

Likewise, the secretary of labor has no legitimate authority to regulate the transactions between brokers and their retail clients as it does in its new fiduciary rule. The Dodd-Frank so-called financial reform law of 2010 explicitly authorized the Securities and Exchange Commission to perform this function. And yet, because the SEC had not yet fulfilled this mandate under Dodd-Frank, the Department of Labor stepped in to fill the regulatory void.

This is not how the American people expect their government to work, because it’s not how the federal government is supposed to work. The rules and regulations governing American society—especially those that have a major impact on our economy—must be debated and passed by elected members of Congress, not negotiated by industry insiders and unelected regulators behind closed doors in the shadowy federal bureaucracy.



Liberal Equivalent of: "Nice little family you got here. Would be a shame if something happened to them."

Moral/cultural engineering, to the liberal mind, is a piece of cake. It consists of one-way streets only: well-marked; patrolled by well-armed officers of the media, the entertainment industry and other closely linked institutions; stiff fines for violators. My way is the highway!

At present, liberal squad cars are pulling over and detaining state officials who have the temerity to advocate or enact public protections for citizens doubtful of the new orthodoxy in sexual matters — to wit, my sexuality is my affair and what’s it to you, bub?

The latest recruits to the cause are business leaders trying to burnish their social credentials by visiting, or threatening to visit, commercial retribution on states that bar use of women’s restrooms by anyone who conceives of himself/herself as a woman, despite birth as a male.

Gender "reassignment" is the nation’s trendiest cause, bolstered by the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision last summer, which struck down state prohibitions against same-sex marriage. So-called "bathroom laws" in various states are part of the pushback that should have been foreseen from the start. These laws ratify once-ordinary understandings of who visits which comfort facilities, never mind which sex they claim, irregularly, as their own. Similarly, the laws allow churches and private businesses to maintain long-normative understandings of who may marry. Florists and bakers, for instance, to whom the idea of a same-sex union is unwelcome, could escape legal liability for turning away the business of a same-sex couple.

The idea of "choice for everybody" lies at the heart of the "bathroom laws." However, "choice for everybody" isn’t what our liberal engineers have in mind. Their notion is choose their way: the street that goes in just one direction.

A great uproar ensued when Georgia’s legislature passed a bathroom law. See here, guys, said the National Football League, which was considering putting the 2019 Super Bowl in Atlanta. Know what we can do? We can put our bowl anywhere but Atlanta.

It was the sports equivalent of: "Nice little family you got here. Would be a shame if something happened to them."

The moral mobsters, abetted by Georgia businessmen distraught over possible loss of business, got their way. Gov. Nathan Deal slew the dreaded bill with a veto.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory received equivalent warnings concerning his state’s Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act. Why, how could he sign such a thing?

PayPal, for one, said it would pull out of a multimillion-dollar expansion in North Carolina due to the presumptive denial of "equal rights" to employees: those rights trumping North Carolinians’ right to trepidation at the overthrow of existing moral arrangements. Other companies weighed in: irate, indignant. McCrory signed the law anyway. And Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert! The horror, the horror!

A similar wrangle in Mississippi ended with similar results. The people’s will prevailed. The moral/cultural engineers of the left (again with business support) shielded their eyes from the dismaying sight. Where might it all end, this resistance to the one-way moral street, this humiliating concern for liberties enshrined in the First Amendment?

Perhaps we are overdue for some examination of those liberties? It cannot have been the Founders’ intention that mobs of the morally earnest could overwhelm and muzzle opponents with alternative views of religious liberty. The moral totalitarianism of the left, as displayed in places supposedly solicitous of free thought and expression and applauded in the media of the East Coast and the Internet, is a phenomenon hardly remarked upon in the presidential campaign.

No wonder: In politics, especially of the presidential variety, the left assumes a moral superiority not dependent on facts and context. The moral engineers see themselves as bearers of unassailable truth. They want the old norms — the leftovers from Western civilization in its triumphant time — swept out of sight. To believe in the old norms is possibly permissible for now. But to attempt their enforcement? The left is having none of it; and neither is that growing corner of the business community that views commercial success — the amassment of multimillions instead of mere millions – as trumping arguments for mutual respect. As for serious discussion of differences — what a backward idea. This is America, 2016, and don’t you forget it.


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- with news about Muslim immigration and such things


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, April 18, 2016

Are high IQ people socially inept?

Bruce Charlton has a long article (excerpted below) which says that they are.  It is of course a common stereotype but Charlton gives reasoning and references to back up his claim.  Going right back to the studies of Terman in the 1920's, however, research has tended to show that high IQ people are in fact socially more successful, so there is a conflict there.  I am not familiar with all the references Charlton uses but on the issues I am familiar with, I think every claim Charlton makes has been reasonably disputed -- his claim that religious people and conservatives are dumb, for instance, so I doubt that further reading would take me far.

So I think it might be useful for me to offer some thoughts that could explain what underlies Charlton's impressions.

I think that he is basically confusing high IQ people and academics -- or maybe also people with high academic qualifications.  But academics are only one subset of high IQ people -- and probably the least generally competent subset.  There's not much money in academe so really bright people tend to look more to the world of business -- with Bill Gates being the icon of that.  And there are some high IQ people who are not ambitious at all -- becoming butchers, mechanics etc.

One thing we can learn from academics, however, is the nature of eccentricity. Academics are of course notoriously eccentric.  So why is that?  It is mainly that their high IQ causes them to see the world differently from others.  What seems strange and inexplicable behavior to mainstream man actually seems perfectly logical and reasonable to someone whose vision encompasses far more of what is going on in the world.  The high IQ person sees many more influences bearing on a given decision so must sometimes come to decisions that perplex those who have not taken so much into account.

High IQ is however a solver of almost all human problems so the non-academic high IQ person will see why people are coming to what he sees as wrong or sub-optimal decisions and will deal with that in some way  -- taking time to explain himself, pretending to go along with the herd or some other strategy.  So the non-academic high IQ person will be much less likely to be seen as strange.

But let me reiterate that High IQ helps solve of ALL problems so it can even generate social skills or at least an approximation to social skills.  The high IQ person should in fact be socially insightful rather than socially inept.

Anecdotes prove nothing but they can be enlightening nonetheless -- so let me describe briefly a high IQ lady I know.  She is one of the most popular people I have ever met.  Faces light up all around the room when she walks in.  How come?  Because she uses her brain to take an interest in other people. Because she understands them, she talks to them in terms of what interests them.  So people find her a very sympathetic person and like her for it.  She uses her IQ to smooth social interactions and does very well at it.  Almost anyone she meets wants her for a friend. She did at one time gain considerable academic distinction but did not persevere with it.  She fell in love with an English poetry academic instead.  What a fine woman!

There are many uses for a good brain and acquiring and using social skills is one of them

Another woman I have known since she was a child has made an unending string of good decisions in her life that resulted in her being very highly paid at one stage.  But far from wanting a career, she just wanted a calm and peaceful life so retired very early to a green and pleasant place in the country and now has a big garden that feeds her and her family plus a sheep paddock that yields sheepmeat from time to time.  She lives the sort of life that greenies (and urbanites generally) tend to idealize.  But she would never show up on any list of anything much, let alone a list of high IQ people -- and that is exactly how she likes it. So there are many ways of using a good brain.

And the way academics use their brain is to focus on highly abstract things.  And academe is highly competitive.  So that focus has to be severe.  Taking an interest in people is just not a priority.  So people see them doing things that they don't understand and dismiss them as eccentric.  But the academic doesn't care.  He uses his brain in a way that pleases him and notices people only minimally.

A rather striking example of academic specialization is that it seems very rare for someone to be successful in both academe and in business.  Aside from myself, I know of only one other -- and he ended up in jail.  Because of the general usefulness of high IQ one might have expected that academics would be good in business too.  So it could well be that the high IQ people who are attracted to a life in academe are precisely those high IQ people who have inadequate personalities or who possess some other social limitation or emotional handicap.

So why do high IQ people tend to reproduce less? A glib answer would be that reproduction uses other organs than the brain but there does seem to be a rather deplorable effect there.  A lot of the problem lies with the educational system.  Because they are good at it, high IQ people mostly stay longer in education than others.  And a modern education has even managed to convince some of its victims that having children is bad for the environment etc. And there is no doubt that the emphases on feminism and homosexuality in a modern college education also militate against reproduction.  So it seems unlikely that reduced reproduction is an effect of high IQ per se.

It could also be argued that although they have fewer children, high IQ people invest more in them -- so gaining quality at the expense of quantity.  And those who know the story of Gideon (See Judges chapters 6 to 8) will know that it is not always quantity that wins the day.  Would you rather have your descendant  being the army officer directing operations from the rear or would you rather him being cannon fodder in the front lines?  Genetic survival can be more than numbers

On the whole, and all else being equal, in modern societies the higher a person’s general intelligence (as measured by the intelligence quotient or IQ), the better will be life for that person; since higher intelligence leads (among other benefits) to higher social status and salary, longer life expectancy and better health. However, at the same time, it has been recognized for more than a century that increasing IQ is biologically-maladaptive because there is an inverse relationship between IQ and fertility. Under modern conditions, therefore, high intelligence is fitness-reducing.

In the course of exploring this modern divergence between social-adaptation and biological-adaptation, Satoshi Kanazawa has made the insightful observation that a high level of general intelligence is mainly useful in dealing with life problems which are an evolutionary novelty. By contrast, performance in solving problems which were a normal part of human life in the ancestral hunter–gatherer era may not be helped (or may indeed be hindered) by higher IQ.

As examples of how IQ may help with evolutionary novelties, it has been abundantly-demonstrated that increasing measures of IQ are strongly and positively correlated with a wide range of abilities which require abstract reasoning and rapid learning of new knowledge and skills; such as educational outcomes, and abilities at most complex modern jobs. Science and mathematics are classic examples of problem-solving activities that arose only recently in human evolutionary history and in which differential ability is very strongly predicted by relative general intelligence.

However, there are also many human tasks which our human ancestors did encounter repeatedly and over manifold generations, and natural selection has often produced ‘instinctive’, spontaneous ways of dealing with these. Since humans are social primates, one major such category is social problems, which have to do with understanding, predicting and manipulating the behaviours of other human beings. Being able to behave adaptively in dealing with these basic human situations is what I will term having ‘common sense’.

Kanazawa’s idea is that there is therefore a contrast between recurring, mainly social problems which affected fitness for our ancestors and for which all normal humans have evolved behavioural responses; and problems which are an evolutionary novelty but which have a major impact on individual functioning in the context of modern societies. When a problem is an evolutionary novelty, individual differences in general intelligence make a big difference to each individual’s abilities to analyze the problem, and learn to how solve it. So, the idea is that having a high IQ would predict a better ability in understanding and dealing with new problems; but higher IQ would not increase the level of a person’s common sense ability to deal with social situations.

IQ not just an ability, but also a disposition

Although general intelligence is usually conceptualized as differences in cognitive ability, IQ is not just about ability but also has personality implications.

For example, in some populations there is a positive correlation between IQ and the personality trait of Openness to experience (‘Openness’); a positive correlation with ‘enlightened’ or progressive values of a broadly socialist and libertarian type; and a negative correlation with religiousness.

So, the greater cognitive ability of higher IQ is also accompanied by a somewhat distinctive high IQ personality type. My suggested explanation for this association is that an increasing level of IQ brings with it an increased tendency to use general intelligence in problem-solving; i.e. to over-ride those instinctive and spontaneous forms of evolved behaviour which could be termed common sense.

The over-use of abstract reasoning may be most obvious in the social domain, where normal humans are richly equipped with evolved psychological mechanisms both for here-and-now interactions (e.g. rapidly reading emotions from facial expression, gesture and posture, and speech intonation) and for ‘strategic’ modelling of social interactions to understand predict and manipulate the behaviour of others. Social strategies deploy inferred knowledge about the dispositions, motivations and intentions of others. When the most intelligent people over-ride the social intelligence systems and apply generic, abstract and systematic reasoning of the kind which is enhanced among higher IQ people, they are ignoring an ‘expert system’ in favour of a non-expert system.

In suggesting that the most intelligent people tend to use IQ to over-ride common sense I am unsure of the extent to which this is due to a deficit in the social reasoning ability, perhaps due to a trade-off between cognitive abilities – as suggested by Baron-Cohen’s conceptualization of Asperger’s syndrome, including the male- versus female-type of systematizing/empathizing brain. Or alternatively it could be more of an habitual tendency to over-use abstract analysis, that might (in principle) be overcome by effort or with training. Observing the apparent universality of ‘Silly Clevers’ in modernizing societies, I suspect that a higher IQ bias towards over-utilizing abstract reasoning would probably turn-out to be innate and relatively stable.

Indeed, I suggest that higher levels of the personality trait of Openness in higher IQ people may the flip-side of this over-use of abstraction. I regard Openness as the result of deploying abstract analysis for social problems to yield unstable and unpredictable results, when innate social intelligence would tend to yield predictable and stable results. This might plausibly underlie the tendency of the most intelligent people in modernizing societies to hold ‘left-wing’ political views.

I would argue that neophilia (or novelty-seeking) is a driving attribute of the personality trait of Openness; and a disposition common in adolescents and immature adults who display what I have termed ‘psychological neoteny’. When problems are analyzed using common sense ‘instincts’ the evaluative process would be expected to lead to the same answers in all normal humans, and these answers are likely to be stable over time. But when higher IQ people ignore or over-ride common sense, they generate a variety of uncommon ideas. Since these ideas are only feebly-, or wholly un-, supported by emotions; they are held more weakly than common sense ideas, and so are more likely to change over time.

For instance, a group of less intelligent people using instinctive social intelligence to analyze a social situation will presumably reach the same traditional conclusion as everyone else and this conclusion will not change with time; while a more intelligent group might by contrast use abstract analysis and generate a wider range of novel and less-compelling solutions. This behaviour appears as if motivated by novelty-seeking.



Bernie doesn't share food


"Virtue signalling"

James Bartholomew, a British journalist on primarily economic matters, claims (below) to have invented the useful term "Virtue signalling" and he may well be right.  It is however not a new idea.  It is a subset of status seeking and Australian conservative Michael Warby has been using a similar term since the 1990s.  Warby speaks of "moral display". An excerpt from 1999:

"Hence also the success of moral display: displaying your high moral status by ostentatiously espousing approved opinions which mark you off as a member of the ‘moral vanguard’"

See also here

Either way, Leftists are much preoccupied with moral display and virtue signalling.  Displaying righteousness is a major motive for them. They need it to justify their claim to control  others

To my astonishment and delight, the phrase ‘virtue signalling’ has become part of the English language. I coined the phrase in an article here in The Spectator (18 April) in which I described the way in which many people say or write things to indicate that they are virtuous. Sometimes it is quite subtle. By saying that they hate the Daily Mail or Ukip, they are really telling you that they are admirably non-racist, left-wing or open-minded. One of the crucial aspects of virtue signalling is that it does not require actually doing anything virtuous. It does not involve delivering lunches to elderly neighbours or staying together with a spouse for the sake of the children. It takes no effort or sacrifice at all.

Since April, I have watched with pleasure and then incredulity how the phrase has leapt from appearing in a single article into the everyday language of political discourse. One of the first journalists to pick up on the phrase was Liz Jones in the Mail on Sunday on 3 May. Not long after, Libby Purves used it in the Times (11 May). Janan Ganesh in the Financial Times (20 July) wrote about Labour party leaders for whom ‘Europeanism is just a virtue-signalling gesture like wearing a charity ribbon’. Two days later, Helen Lewis used it in the New Statesman, saying ‘a lot of what happens on Facebook, as with Twitter, is “virtue signalling” — showing off how right on you are’.



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, April 17, 2016

Some of my best friends are Trump supporters

Oleg Atbashian

TRUMP supporters are, perhaps, the only group of voters in America’s history who have been so viciously and consistently maligned, and in such a co-ordinated manner, by both political parties.

At the same time, not much is known about them, despite the recent spate of articles attempting to explain the phenomenon. The problem with that is that the authors admittedly don’t know any of the Trump supporters themselves. Well, I happen to know quite a few of them personally.

Full disclosure: first, I can’t vote because I’m not a US citizen yet, despite my best and decades-long efforts — but let’s leave the immigration system’s misplaced priorities for another day.

Second, I like to form my opinions about the candidates and their supporters independently, without taking advice from media pundits or Facebook messages from pro-Cruz acquaintances.

Third, I like both Cruz and Trump. I’m not as passionate about them as some; I’m merely pragmatic: I like anyone who can stop America’s descent into socialism or, better yet, reverse the course entirely. I also realise that America has come to a point when having big ideas is no longer enough; in order to shake up the system and get the economy moving the next president must also be a bigger-than-life mover and shaker.

Since I’m not allowed to vote, I remain simply an objective observer of American politics, judging the process from the perspective of a former Soviet citizen, who during the times of the glorious Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was forced to cast single-name ballots for candidates I didn’t know nor cared about. A total 100 per cent voter turnout in practice meant total apathy: most people dropped paper ballots into the boxes without reading them.

The occasional rare signs of passion were the ballots with crossed-out names and large capital letters saying, BLOODSUCKERS ALL; those were extracted by the KGB for handwriting analysis. Voting had become a periodic ritual of obedience and surrender before the powerful state and a reminder that we were all equal slaves in the eyes of our masters.

That memory makes American elections even more interesting. First it’s the primaries, where candidates from each political party position themselves in a circular firing squad, trying to assassinate each other’s character and reputation.

Once only a few of them remain standing, their supporters start fighting and demonising each other on social media to the point where to an objective observer every candidate looks like the most corrupt and immoral scoundrel and the worst human being who ever lived.

Finally, the two surviving candidates from each party, badly wounded and bloodied, begin to punch each other in the wounds during the general election, as their supporters continue to fight and demonise each other on social media. The one who still stands by November is then declared Leader of the Free World.

At least that’s how most foreigners see it, especially if they are unfamiliar with the differences between the two parties and get their facts from the mainstream media which always promotes one party and pretends to be fair to the other.

Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others, said Winston S. Churchill, and he had his own political wounds to prove it.

This year’s election especially fits the above caricature. The strongest fire from all media portholes and loopholes is directed at the Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, and his supporters. They are being described as uneducated, angry, vengeful, racist, xenophobic, and plain stupid. Authors of these assumptions, mostly writing from within the Boston-New York-Washington corridor, admit that they don’t even know anyone who likes Trump.

But how can they write about what they don’t know? When the electoral map is fluid, when things are happening rapidly in real time, and when no reliable historical data exists, we rely on personal experiences and anecdotal evidence.

In the absence of such, the writers simply fill the gaps in their knowledge with their own prejudices, similar to how medieval mapmakers marked unexplored areas with “here be dragons.”

There’s a big probability that Trump supporters are, in fact, all around them, even in their own families — and the reason why these writers don’t know it, is their own snobbery.

No one likes to be called stupid, his IQ questioned, or presumed to be an unthinking herd animal, and many simply don’t have the time to stop and explain their reasons whenever a #NeverTrump activist feels like trashing Trump voters. Many simply choose to remain silent.

This study explains why many polls underestimated Trump’s support: Trump has consistently polled better on anonymous online polls than on phone surveys because some of his supporters were unwilling to identify themselves publicly. In other words, public shaming didn’t unwean Trump from his supporters but caused them to go underground.

Doesn’t this also describe how the majority of Americans have felt in recent decades, being constantly shamed into silence by the “progressive” media, education, and the cultural establishment?

I know this too well, having worked in New York’s “progressive” corporate environment. My co-workers would ask me about life in the USSR and I would tell them exactly what I thought about socialism and political correctness until I realised that most of them didn’t like my answers and I was only hurting myself by speaking my mind.

Some gave me frightened looks, others stopped talking with me. I might as well have told them that life in the USSR was similar to life in New York, where people had to learn to keep their mouths shut and to look over their shoulders before saying anything remotely political. So much for emigrating into a free country. It felt like history was about to repeat itself. Until now.

Consider this story: there lived an apathetic silent majority, maligned and shamed by its leaders and the official media, and they thought it would never end.

But one day a miracle happened: they suddenly heard a voice that articulated their own forbidden thoughts — something they had been afraid to articulate in public, even though it was common sense — words not dressed in flowery rhetoric and rounded sentences, but delivered roughly, in a regional accent of the common man — plain and truthful words coming from the highest pulpit in the nation.

Millions of people recognised their own voices in his, lending him their support — silently at first, but more and more vocal as time went by — to a point that they went out into the streets to defend him in the face of violent and dangerous opposition from the far Left.

I am talking, of course, about Mikhail Gorbachev and the reaction he first received from the Soviets when he started his Perestroika and Glasnost in the USSR. I remember it clearly because I was one of them.

Gorbachev wasn’t perfect by any measure, and yet he started a process that shook up the corrupt establishment, ended the rule of the powerful Communist Party, liberalised the economy, and opened the country to an honest debate about its problems.

The parallels with Donald Trump, his message, and his appeal with America’s silent majority are unmistakeable.

That the Soviet Union’s problems turned out to be irreconcilable wasn’t Gorby’s fault; the country had already been damaged beyond repair by seven decades of ruthless socialist experimentation.

America hasn’t yet gone that far, but the wild popularity of socialist Bernie Sanders with the “screaming minority” of young voters may be an indication that this election may be America’s last exit before the road ends off a cliff.

Giving voice to the silent majority is one of the factors why Trump leads in the race. Some other factors will become clear if we look at some of his individual supporters. I know who they are because they aren’t afraid to open up to me.

They know that unlike the above established essayists, I won’t be calling them names or trying to shame the silent majority back into silence. For the same reason I’m not using their real names.


Jack is an accomplished classical musician, a fine wordsmith, a long-time conservative, and a devout Christian. When a broken shoulder made him unable to hold the instrument, he used his sharp, perceptive mind and his degree in economy to make himself a fortune in the financial markets. Now he can afford to relax and write novels.

Jack gave me his take on the demonisation of Trump and the stereotyping of his supporters as poorly educated, low-information rubes.

According to Jack, both the Republican and the Democrat establishments are corrupt and dysfunctional, but the one thing they can do well is manufacture media narratives that infect people’s minds with notions that are beneficial to the respective branch of political aristocracy, while causing aversion to anything that endangers it.

Trump is a clear and present danger to this corrupt and elitist system. He is willing and fully able to blow to smithereens all their carefully established social hierarchies and to change the entire political culture, which will make the elites unnecessary and expose the uselessness of their cherished and very expensive apparatus.

The GOP establishment’s fear and loathing of Trump is so intense that even losing the election to Hillary seems to many of them a lesser evil.

The same establishment remained ineffective throughout the Obama presidency. Obama didn’t threaten their careers and each one of his disastrous policies was to them a lucrative fundraising opportunity.

In contrast, Trump threatens their very survival — and suddenly the establishment’s speed and effectiveness is phenomenal. Their quickly constructed #NeverTrump narrative is targeting conservative “purists” and diehard Ted Cruz supporters, infecting them with hostility that reaches and surpasses the ill-famed Bush Derangement Syndrome.

The sad irony of the #NeverTrump movement is that these self-proclaimed “true conservatives” and “anti-establishment rebels” have swallowed the establishment’s narrative hook, line, and sinker.

Worse yet, they now indiscriminately share social media links from previously despised leftist sources, as long as they attack Trump. So much for their stereotyping of Trump supporters as gullible, angry jerks.

Jack isn’t a Cruz-hater. In fact, he would just as much like to see Ted Cruz become president, if he can win in the general election — which is unlikely. Like most Trump supporters I know, Jack doesn’t treat other candidates with the same hostility.

There’s no organised #NeverCruz movement to speak of, and no one except Cruz supporters are creating blacklists targeting the other side. Jack is sad to see that so many good, previously sane people have succumbed to the #NeverTrump lunacy.


My other friend, Mike, who is a conservative writer, approaches this from a different angle. He likes Ted Cruz because Cruz has all the right answers, but that’s not enough. Mike compares Cruz to a professor who can recite the chemistry textbook by heart.

Trump, on the other hand, is a wild man who wants to use the formulas in that same textbook to blow away our enemies. At this point in history we don’t need a professor, we need the wild man.


Brendan is an immigrant from Ireland, who says that when he came to the U.S., he expected to see an American leader to be more like John Wayne — a decisive and confident guy with swagger — and not like Pee Wee Herman or a European-style spineless socialist.

Brendan has spent years working on New York construction projects, including some that involved Donald Trump. He witnessed Trump getting personally involved with contractors and workers without any mediators, not afraid to get dirty and drive a hard bargain.

Trump has never lost his lower-class accent he picked up growing up in Queens, and he was never accepted by the snooty New York elites as their own. But he has always been liked and accepted by the working classes as a “people’s billionaire.”

He doesn’t see anger among Trump’s supporters, but rather optimism and love for the country. He also scoffs at those who compare Trump to Mussolini or Hitler. Trump has been in the public eye for almost 70 years, running a large business, producing a TV show, and nobody ever complained about him acting like a despot.

Don’t you think that if Trump had the slightest trace of a dictator in him, someone would have brought it up and the media would have trumpeted it all over the world?

Brendan also likes Ted Cruz and shares many of his ideas. But even if Cruz is president, says Brendan, he’ll be lucky if he’s able to implement at least 10 per cent of those ideas in practice.

Trump, with his ability to overcome obstacles, will probably get at least 70 per cent done. Brendan may not share 100 per cent of Trump’s ideas, but he would rather see 50 per cent of them implemented by Trump than 10 per cent by Cruz, or 0 per cent by Bernie or Hillary.


Ann has recently parted with feminism and quit the National Organization for Women (NOW) over what she describes as the betrayal of women’s rights by feminist leadership.

The politically correct, leftist feminist establishment has done nothing to oppose the oppression of women in Sharia-dominated societies, and continues to oppose any attempt to prevent the spreading of the patriarchal and misogynistic Sharia values through Muslim immigration in America. In Ann’s words, by supporting pro-Sharia multiculturalism, NOW effectively sided with male chauvinists over women’s rights.

Ann isn’t buying the divisive argument that Trump is anti-women, saying that giving women special allowances because of their gender is condescending.

You can’t eat cake and have it, too. If you demand equal treatment, be ready for equal treatment. One can’t beat Hillary if one is too concerned with sparing her feelings. We are all adult individuals.

While fighting patriarchy in our society, she says, the radical leftist feminists went too far and destroyed manhood itself, along with fatherhood. It’s bad for the families, for the children, and especially for women.

Ann sees Trump as a successful male role model and a father figure. If he weren’t one in real life, his own children wouldn’t have turned out so well.

The Left has emasculated our men, she says. Fathers in popular culture changed from “Father Knows Best” to Homer Simpson: the butt of all jokes and the last to get the joke.

Fatherless children who grew up watching The Simpsons are father-hungry. Trump, she says, will be like the dad who comes home to an out-of-control house party, makes the kids clean up, kicks out the troublemakers, and sues their parents for damages.

Ann sees today’s emasculated warrior class, with new recruits using time-out cards if under too much stress, and she is worried about their ability to defend us.

She sees the European “men” who do nothing to protect their women or their nations from organised, systemic rape by Sharia-fuelled “guests,” and predicts that will happen to us, too, if we don’t change course.

She sees the spineless millennials wishing for Bernie Sanders to ensure their perpetual childhood, and she blames the leftist education for crippling their minds and souls. The worst part is that these young doormats hate, not those who disabled them, but those who keep spines intact.

Ann believes we have entered the age of fear and denouncements, where anyone with a spine is automatically perceived as a fascist, racist, homophobe, Islamophobe, and so on.

Trump is giving American men permission to be men again, to say what they think, and to stand tall without guilt or fear, says Ann. She quotes Billy Graham: “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”

No wonder Graham’s son endorsed Donald Trump. With Trump as president, a new generation of Americans will have a chance to grow up having a spine, with a positive male role model to compensate for their fathers who are either missing or have been neutered. His campaign slogan may as well be, “Men! Take back thy manhood!”

After seven painful years of watching our Commander-in-Chief bunny-hopping down plane and helicopter steps, struggling to lift one-pound barbells, girl-throwing first baseballs in mom jeans, and dressing up in little cowboy outfits, the country needs a masculine reset.

The return of a strong, manly man to our culture will be great news for women, who have grown tired of being single-income mothers, leaders, fighters, and protesters, Ann says. And America will have a chance to get back its emotional and psychological health, confidence, optimism, and positive disposition that’s been missing for too long.


Colin had a successful international career as a dancer and choreographer, ranging from performing and teaching classical ballet to modern dance, from acting on Broadway to choreographing dances for some of the most famous pop stars, whose names I’m withholding for obvious reasons.

In case anyone is wondering, Colin is not gay and lives with a long-time girlfriend. He also has a sizeable collection of guns, likes hunting and fishing, and drives an SUV. Having been to every corner of the earth, he retired and became my neighbour here in Florida, where we became good friends and have spent many evenings playing music and sharing stories.

Colin never spoke about politics and whenever I or anyone else touched on that subject, he would start singing some silly tune in a loud, raspy voice, ending any possible debate.

That was until this summer, when he decided to support Donald Trump. Not only did he tell this to all his friends and neighbours, some of whom were diehard liberal leftists; he also called everyone in his phone book, encouraging them to vote for Trump as well, thus becoming an unaffiliated Trump campaign volunteer.

His reason for the sudden change of heart was that for the first time in his life he heard a presidential candidate whose words made perfect sense. All the others, according to Colin, were trained weasels giving rehearsed performances, which he could instantly spot with his professional background.

Unlike the rest, Trump spoke off the cuff, didn’t mince words, called things by their real names, and used strong language when necessary, unconcerned about what society and the media would say about that behind his back. I couldn’t help noticing that, in a way, Colin was describing himself. If he were ever to go into politics, he would’ve done it pretty much the same way, except for the hairstyle.


Christina has a PhD in literature, but her academic career ended when she evolved from a liberal into an outspoken conservative. All her previous activism in helping the inner city families, being involved in refugee resettlement programs, working with the ACLU, and other liberal credentials didn’t matter anymore.

She became an untouchable and soon lost her job. Since then she has been active in local Republican politics and Tea Party circles, exposing the rot in America’s education system, fighting Common Core, and organising book tours for conservative authors.

She sees Trump as the only candidate who is not buying into the neurotic identity politics that’s currently driving both political parties.

In her experience, identity politics and political correctness are the drivers of fascism in America today. In that sense, Trump is the most anti-fascist candidate in the race — and the most optimistic one, too.

The first Trump rally she attended was different from all other political events she has seen, which usually attract party regulars and the party elite. The people in this crowd weren’t very political; many of them first-timers — those who don’t live and die over the latest little fluff-up in DNC or the GOP or even the Tea Party. Christina thought that was very significant.

There were old people, young families, teenagers, blacks, whites, and a good number of Southeast Asians. This was in Norcross, Georgia, which has one of the most ethnically varied populations in the South and maybe even the U.S.

It’s a major refugee placement site and also attracts immigrants from India, Asia, and Africa. So there are a lot of immigrant entrepreneurs and small business owners in Norcross, and she saw a lot of that actual diversity — including economic diversity — in the crowd, says Christina.

She doesn’t understand how anyone in the GOP could be so recalcitrant as to not see this as an extraordinary opportunity to grow the GOP brand. Trump alone has the ability to move people towards conservatism: doesn’t the GOP get that? Christina sees Trump as an object lesson in moving towards conservative values in his own life, and he can move other people in the same direction.

She objects to the description of Trump supporters as angry. There was no love lost for either political party or for the media in that crowd, she says, but the people weren’t angry at all: they were optimistic. It was the sort of optimism people felt when Reagan was elected.

Trump’s message was patriotic and positive, praising America’s virtues and the value of hard work and self-sufficiency. It’s sad that the Republican Party couldn’t see the extraordinarily positive message Trump was delivering, and the positive spirit with which it was received.

At that moment, the election could have been in the GOP’s hands, had they not launched a co-ordinated assault on Trump and his followers.

The editors at National Review and others of their ilk ought to be on their knees celebrating their good luck that someone like Trump has come along at this particular moment in American history. But instead, they’re so angry they’re overturning their sandboxes and pitching tantrums, she says.

Imagine how different this race would be if the GOP hadn’t tried to salt the earth around Trump and his supporters, says Christina. She believes that if they had only remained neutral, the party would currently be growing by leaps and bounds.

The very landscape of the electorate would be shifting towards conservatism and away from liberalism. But it was more important for the party elites to control people than to listen to them.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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