Friday, May 13, 2016

Liberal in name only

Leftists have become the authoritarians they used to condemn

Do you support free speech, individual liberties and protections for private property? You must be a liberal.

Did that last sentence cause you to do a double take? I’m not surprised.

I’ve been reading a new book, “The Closing of the Liberal Mind,” and it shows that much of what passes for liberalism today is, historically speaking, anything but. Moreover, many who call themselves conservative today would have been considered “liberal” if they lived in the time of the Founding Fathers.

This distinction isn’t mere semantics, however. The shift I’m describing goes right to the heart of the political and culture wars that rage around us today. Author Kim Holmes demonstrates why the authoritarian stance adopted by many liberals today — as exemplified by speech codes, trigger warnings, boycotts and shaming rituals — is in fact more accurately described as illiberalism.

You don’t have to go back to the days of the Enlightenment, John Locke and the French Revolution (as Mr. Holmes, a former U.S. assistant secretary of state, does in his commendably thorough book) to see this trend at work. Consider the following quote from a famous politician. See if you can guess who said it and when:

“I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We should stand up and say, ‘We are Americans, and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration’.”

John McCain talking about President Obama? Nope. That’s Hillary Clinton. She said it in 2003, in reference to the George W. Bush administration.

But as they say, that was then, and this is now. Apparently it’s patriotic to express your opposition to President Bush, but if you utter a word against President Obama, you’re a lying, racist bigot. And if you deny it? Well, that’s just what we would expect a bigot like you to say.

And so most of today’s liberals (or “postmodern leftists,” to use Mr. Holmes’ preferred term) are not championing the right to offer opposing views, as their intellectual forebears would have done. They’re suppressing them.

This campaign to stamp out dissent takes many forms. We see it in Internal Revenue Service witch hunts against conservative groups. On college campuses with administrators meekly bowing to angry demands that politically incorrect speakers be banned. In the push from state attorneys general to investigate groups that question climate change.

Ask Lennart Bengtsson. In 2014, this well-respected Swedish meteorologist working in the United Kingdom joined a group called the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which questions some of the climate change community’s findings. Mr. Bengtsson did so simply because he was concerned that some of the computer-model predictions didn’t match up with actual scientific observations over time.

Big mistake. “Within a matter of days, he found himself in deep trouble,” Mr. Holmes writes. “As happened to other scientists who question any aspect of the global-warming ‘consensus,’ Bengtsson was hounded by colleagues to the point that he felt forced to resign from the think tank.”

Mr. Bengtsson cited concerns for his “health and safety,” saying the pressure made “normal work” virtually impossible, and warned: “It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy.”

That’s how far today’s “liberals” have fallen. They’ve become the very thing they once denounced.

And so we wind up in a culture that punishes young children severely for first-time, minor infractions under “zero tolerance” policies. One with so many thousands of federal laws that we prosecute adults for committing crimes that they didn’t even know were crimes.

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Unless we all, liberal and conservative, find some way to recover this classically American outlook, the climate of intolerance will only grow more stifling. How far do we dare push it?



What They Still Don't Realize About Trump Voters

As the smoke clears from the wreckage of Indiana, which brought down both Ted Cruz as well as John Kasich, we now know that the pundits and analysts who predicted Trump’s demise on so many occasions were wrong. We also know that Trump, who once remarked that some thought he could shoot someone in Times Square in broad daylight without losing supporters, appears to have been right about himself.

Some 40% of those voting in Republican caucuses and primaries this year have voted for Trump. In what he has constantly derided as the Republicans’ “rigged system,” that sufficed to garner enough delegates to clear out the competition.

Who are these Trump voters? Why was the accumulated conventional wisdom so wrong about Trump and his political chances at every turn?

Victor Davis Hanson, writing in National Review, posts a lyrical description of the Trump constituency in the attempt to explain why so many of us have been baffled:

"[Trump] is a postmodern creation, for whom traditional and time-tested rules do not apply. He is neither brilliant nor unhinged, neither ecumenical nor just a polarizer, not a wrecker and not a savior of the Republican party, but something else altogether. He does not defy conventional wisdom. There simply is no convention and no wisdom applicable to Donald J. Trump. For years postmodernists have lectured us that there is no truth, no absolutes, no timeless protocols worthy of reverence; Trump is their Nemesis, who reifies their theories that truth is simply a narrative whose veracity is established by the degree of power and persuasion behind it.

His supporters want a reckoning with a system that has not so much failed as infuriated them. What drives their loyalty to Trump -- if not the person, at least the idea of Trump -- is a sort of nihilism. As a close friend put it to me this week, “I don’t care whether Trump wins or not, I just want him to f*** things up as long as he can.”

This rage has been a long time building.

It first began to manifest with the rise of the Tea Party movement in the wake of the underhanded process used to pass Obamacare before Scott Brown, explicitly elected in Massachusetts to frustrate its passage, could take his Senate seat. Obamacare’s passage fueled the massive Republican legislative landslide of 2010, when the party regained control of the House of Representatives.

The frustration of Romney’s failure in 2012 added to it, fueling a second landslide of 2014 that strengthened the Republican hold on the House and gave them control of the Senate.

That campaign was characterized by a tremendous amount of over-promising by the candidates regarding what could happen once the Senate was taken back. This created expectations which anyone who had ever taken a high school civics course and paid attention could have known were unrealistic. Obama was still in the White House, and the GOP lacked a veto-proof majority in either chamber.

Those frustrated expectations poured gasoline on the rage already existing. National talk radio and prominent writers castigated the slightest disagreements over political tactics, calling the dissenters “RINOs” and “sell-outs,” casting them into the darkness.

Trump supporters looked for someone who would express their rage and frustration, which generated attitudes Hanson described as follows:

On race, Trump supporters are tired of hearing that black lives matter, while no one mentions that all lives matter. They are sick of seeing protestors wave the flag of the country they do not wish illegal aliens to be sent back to and trash the country they under no circumstances want them to leave. They don’t like getting a letter from an IRS that employs Lois Lerner -- a letter that would be ignored with impunity by those who are here illegally or who run the Clinton Foundation.

They are tired of wealthy minorities claiming they are perpetual victims of ill-treatment at the hands of people who are less well off than they. They don’t like hearing from elites that huge trade deficits have little to do with loss of jobs or that cheating by our trade partners is just a passing glitch in free trade. They cannot stand lectures from those who make more money in an hour than they do in a year about their own bad habits or slothfulness.

They don’t know what the on-screen savants mean by a leg-tingle or a perfectly pressed pant leg or a first-class temperament or a president as god -- and they don’t care to find out. They do not hate political correctness so much as one-sided political correctness, which gives a pass to some to say things that would get others fired or ruined. They don’t want to be lectured that their own plight is part of a larger, healthy creative destruction or a leaner, meaner competitiveness or an overdue restructuring -- by those who are never destroyed, rendered noncompetitive, or restructured.

And they don’t like to be talked down to by the experts who ran up $10 trillion in debt, ruined the health-care system, dismantled the military, and screwed up the Secret Service, the IRS, NASA, and the VA.

Trump is their megaphone, not their solution. The Trump supporters have seen plenty of politicians with important agendas, but few with the zeal to push them through; at this late date, they would apparently prefer zeal without agendas to agendas without zeal.

Hanson is correct in his analysis, but there is something missing, because the very same frustrations mentioned above are also shared by Rubio or Cruz supporters, who together represent at least as large a percentage of the Republican electorate this year as the Trump voters do. What, then, is the difference between Trump’s 40% and the “anyone but Trump” 40%?

The answer lies in two places.

The cumulative train wreck of eight years of Obama has left Republican voters in general in what may be called a “---structive” mood, but prefixes are decisive: While the typical supporter of the more qualified candidates were in a constructive mood -- seeking to build momentum and the legislative muscle to change things for the better (as had happened in Wisconsin following the “red tide” of 2010) -- the typical Trump supporter has a nihilistically destructive attitude, what Hanson’s friend described as the desire “to f**k things up as long as he can.” Tear everything down; burn, baby, burn.

The second attitude is something that most of the pundits have yet to come to terms with. Contrary to the views of Eric Cantor, we didn’t underestimate Trump. We overestimated many of our fellow voters, who never attended that civics class (or failed to pay attention), who don’t understand how the system works, and who increasingly inhabit a world of 30-second soundbites (at most) and 140-character Twitter slogans. Who can rattle off statistics for their sports teams, but can’t be bothered to know who represents them in Congress, let alone their state legislature or any of their voting records or positions.

We have as many “low information voters,” as Limbaugh famously calls them, as the Democrats do, and they have voted: To hell with the Constitution! Tear the whole thing down! Burn, baby, burn!



Will Reagan's Top Advisor Push Trump Over the Top?

As Trump celebrated his win in Tuesday's Indiana primary, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said their team is putting together a fundraising plan for a general election campaign against probable Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton, as well as downballot races for Congress. "Donald Trump is going to raise money for the Republican National Committee," Lewandowski said.

His allies also are gearing up to raise unlimited sums on his behalf.

For instance, Ed Rollins, a veteran Republican operative who oversaw Ronald Reagan’s 1984 reelection campaign, recently signed on as lead strategist for Great America PAC, a pro-Trump super PAC. Eric Beach, the super PAC’s co-chairman and a veteran of Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaigns, said the committee plans “to be the weapon of choice for the nominee in the general election” and soon will announce a “finance advisory team that will be second to none.”

Trump, who disavowed super PACs during the primary, appears to be softening his stance. “I know that people maybe like me and they form a super PAC, but I have nothing to do with it,” Trump said Wednesday night on NBC Nightly News. “As you know, I'm not allowed to have anything to do with it. So we'll see what happens.”



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, May 12, 2016

Does RACISM explain the rise of Donald Trump?

An amusing lack of thought below.   The study concerned is methodologically weak (many more females than males;  no representative sampling etc.) but I believe its conclusions are mostly right.  Support for Trump IS mediated by racism:  Leftist racism.

Mainstream  whites are discriminated against all the time by America's elites.  "Affirmative action" is nothing if not racist.  Leftist are the racists, not conservatives. And American whites don't like being discriminated against any more than blacks do.  It's only the brain-dead Left who think that the cure for discrimination is more discrimination.

And whites know that all sorts of minorities are privileged over them:  Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, homosexuals, the sexually confused, Greenies, welfare parasites etc.  So when reminded about the discrimination that they suffer, they become more favourable to those who are against favoritism:  The Donald and the Tea Party.  And that is exactly what the researchers found.

Being Leftists, the researchers seem to think that they have discredited Tea Party and Trump supporters in some way. They fail to see that mainstream whites have real grievances and that the Left is to blame for those grievances. White males in particular are both badly treated by government and often mocked, condemned and even demonized. The researchers seem to think that they should not be aware of all that. Trumpism is protest -- protest by ordinary decent people, nothing more. It is the Left who are responsible for the rise of Trump

Many white Americans now believe that their hierarchical standing is being threatened by minority groups, leading them to support political forces that would help ‘restore the status of whiteness,’ a new study claims.

Through a series of online experiments, a Stanford University sociologist found that heightened levels of racial resentment were tied to greater support for the Tea Party in white participants.

The study suggests that the perceived ‘decline of whiteness’ prompts some to align with platforms that condemn minority groups – and they say this mindset may be at play in the rise of Donald Trump.

According to Stanford professor of sociology Robb Willer, this trend began with the election of President Obama in 2008 and grew through the Great Recession, along with the rising political influence of minorities in America.

The team, which also included Matthew Feinberg of the University of Toronto and Rachel Wetts of the University of California, Berkeley, conducted five survey-based online experiments involving 1,329 participants.

In the first, white participants were shown altered photos of President Obama.

Those who viewed an artificially darkened picture of Obama were more likely to express their support for the Tea Party, at 22 percent, compared with those who were shown a lightened photo, at just 12 percent.

In another set of studies, white participants were either told that white share of the total U.S. population was decreasing, or that whites’ average income was declining in comparison to other ethnic groups.

Both groups showed greater support for the Tea Party, which the researchers say is partly explained by increased racial resentment.

This was also seen when the researchers emphasized the declining portion of whites in America.

In the last experiment, the researchers found that the participants reported stronger support for the Tea Party when they emphasized aspects of the platform that could have racial implications, including opposition to immigration and welfare, over libertarian ones, like government spending.

The researchers say this is the first study to demonstrate the link between Tea Party support and racial resentment.


Since the election of President Obama in 2008, followed by the Great Recession and the rising political influence of minorities in America, some white Americans feel their ‘racial standing’ is threatened, the researchers say.

‘Together these factors could be viewed as a collective threat to the status of whiteness in the U.S., which provided fertile ground for the rise of a social movement that promoted a return to the way things used to be in America, including a set of policies that could restore whites’ position on top in the racial status hierarchy,’ Willer said.

The study suggests that this perceived ‘decline of whiteness’ prompts some to align with platforms that condemn minority groups, including the Tea Party and likely even Donald Trump.

These groups advocate restrictions on immigration, opposition to Obama, militant positions toward Muslim nations, and other policies which the researchers say would help to 'restore the standing of whites in America.'

‘Past work finds that economic downturns can exacerbate racial resentment by giving whites the sense that they have a shrinking piece of a shrinking pie,’ Willer said.

This, combined with the election of a non-white president and other factors in recent years, are leading some white Americans to feel more ‘threatened,’ the researcher explains.

‘Together these factors could be viewed as a collective threat to the status of whiteness in the U.S., which provided fertile ground for the rise of a social movement that promoted a return to the way things used to be in America, including a set of policies that could restore whites’ position on top in the racial status hierarchy,’ Willer said.

And, the findings don’t just apply to the Tea Party; the researcher explains that the growing trend is likely playing a role in the growing support for Donald Trump as a presidential candidate.

‘Donald Trump’s candidacy pulls support from much of the same base that the Tea Party did and has,' Willer said.

'And there is good reason to think that many of the same psychological forces propelling Tea Party support also propel support for Trump’s candidacy. Indeed, Trump’s statements probably go further in criticizing minority groups than the Tea Party did.'

‘What was largely implicit in the case of the Tea Party has become more explicit in the case of Trump’s candidacy’ Willer said.

According to Willer, the findings suggest the ‘threats’ to racial status have caused some to turn to support for the Tea Party, and likely Trump, based on their advocacy of certain policies, including restrictions on immigration, opposition to Obama, militant positions toward Muslim nations.

The researcher says these policies would help to 'restore the standing of whites in America.'



GOP Establishment wails that Trump isn’t a conservative. Have they looked in the mirror recently?


Donald Trump is going to troll his way to victory

IN INTERNET parlance, a troll is a malevolent mischief-maker, a commenter who says something politically incorrect, then sits back and enjoys the resulting furore — sometimes even fanning the flames under multiple contradictory identities.

In politics, the master troll is Donald Trump.

During the recent GOP nominating process, he gave the media the vapours by criticising John McCain’s war record, and promising to ban all Muslims from the US and build a giant fence across the Mexican border. Each time, bien-pensant society (largely consisting of leftist politicians and fellow-travelling journalists) assured their increasingly nervous followers that this time the troll had gone too far, that Trump was finished.

Instead, he only got stronger. Why? The public was tired of politics as usual, sick of polite society. In the internet age, they loved the troll.

Last week, The Donald set off another tempest in a piƱata when he posted a Cinco de Mayo tweet of himself sitting at his desk about to dine on a taco bowl from the Trump Grill. What really frosted his critics was his line: “I love Hispanics!”

It was classic Trump, being simultaneously innocuous (what was he going to say — “I hate Hispanics”?); funny (is he serious?); and sure to get plenty of attention. Once again, there was the master troll, on every news show and political web site in the country. “Dumb and condescending and racist,” groused Gawker.

Meanwhile, his fans just laugh and sit back to await the next outrage. Trump has disrupted the conventional wisdom of politics, where every speech is focus-grouped into blandness. Some think he says whatever pops into his head, but it’s more likely that he often makes statements just to be mischievous, in order to discomfit and disrupt his enemies.

Whatever he says doesn’t have to be particularly consistent, it just has to get the goats of the right people, to keep everyone focused on him, not on Hillary Clinton. Heck, even Hillary isn’t focused on Hillary.

What does this mean for his chances of being elected?

Well, the people who hate Trump aren’t going to stop if he no longer says outrageous things. The people who love Trump aren’t going to stop backing him. Those who haven’t made up their minds will, I suspect, not take everything Trump says seriously. But they may be amused, especially when compared to Hillary Clinton’s scandals. Setting up your email server to hide your correspondence from the public while the Romanians hack into it sounds a bit worse than tucking into a taco bowl.

The only worry Trump should have is if he fails to follow through on his promises. If his fans find out he’s trolling them, it really will end him.

Politics today, as Trump understands, is largely a narrative-driven reality show with good guys and bad guys.

His campaign is a gamble that the good guys — the scorned white working class, economically struggling inner-city blacks to whom Obama and the Democrats have consistently given the back of their hand, patriotic Americans in general — vastly outnumber the bad guys moving jobs overseas, racking up debt, allowing immigrants to flood in unchecked.

And if you don’t believe that, just ask Barack Obama, whose juvenile foreign-policy guru, Ben Rhodes, recently confessed that the White House shamelessly manipulated its own useful idiots of the press and others (“the Blob,” he called it) in order to foist its disgraceful Iran deal upon a trusting but duped public.

But I suspect the liberal politician attitude toward “shaping narratives” will be a typical one — it’s only right when we do it.



More Welfare Going to Illegals Than U.S. Citizens

The average American household receives $4,431 a year in federal welfare, including food stamps and cash. That’s plenty of evidence for Barack Obama’s poor economic record, but it gets worse. Illegal immigrants take in an average $5,692 from the federal government a year. Who are the people paying taxes? The numbers were crunched by the Center for Immigration Studies, which last year also discovered that 51% of immigrant households take in some sort of federal aid compared to 30% of native households.

“It is difficult to imagine sitting down to craft an immigration policy that will benefit the American people and coming up with one in which immigrants consume more welfare than natives,” wrote Jason Richwine, the analyst who crunched the numbers. “It’s a strong indication that current policy is not working.” Immigrants — both legal and otherwise — take in more welfare because they often have more children and attained less education than people born here in the United States. America may be the land of opportunity, but it should present its opportunity through work and enterprise, not creating a whole class of people dependent on the government.


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- mainly about The Donald


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, May 11, 2016

Socialized medicine at work in Britain

More than 33,000 people died needlessly over ten years because of poor care after a heart attack, a major study has found.

Nine out of ten patients do not receive the correct treatment after an attack, it revealed. Shockingly, the researchers warned that the true number of needless deaths could be twice as high as their estimate.

Doctors last night said the findings were ‘unacceptable’ and needed urgent attention across the NHS.

The failure to stick to international treatment guidelines contributes to a quarter of heart attack deaths in England and Wales, which experts say could be easily avoided.

The researchers estimate that one patient dies needlessly every month in every hospital in England and Wales because of poor care – including failing to give patients certain drugs and not ordering crucial scans.

Someone suffers a heart attack every three minutes in the UK, with nearly 200 people of working age dying every week. Treatment has improved rapidly in recent years, with the development of 24/7 acute cardiac units meaning patients are fast-tracked to expert teams.

But the new study reveals the treatment of patients after an attack is falling woefully short.

The researchers analysed 390,000 cases of the most common type of heart attack – called a non-ST elevation heart attack or NSTEMI – in 247 hospitals in England and Wales between 2003 and 2013.

For each case they checked whether the patient had been given 13 treatments – including scans, drugs and medical advice – recommended in international guidelines. They found that in 87 per cent of cases, patients did not receive at least one of the interventions.

Doctors often failed to give patients anti-cholesterol statin drugs or anti-clotting drugs, which are proven to drastically reduce the risk of a repeat attack.

They missed out crucial scans, which can pick up further hidden problems, and they neglected to advise patients about the best way to change their lifestyle, including how to improve their diet and stop smoking.

The researchers from the University of Leeds and University College London wrote in the European Heart Journal: ‘We found that if all patients during the study period had received the investigations and treatments for which they were eligible... around 33,000 deaths may have been prevented.

‘This equates to over a quarter of all NSTEMI deaths, or about one avoidable death per month per hospital over the last decade.’

The team used data from the Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project (MINAP) and said: ‘We speculate that MINAP captures less than half of all NSTEMI in England and Wales. Consequently, the number of preventable deaths that we report will be underestimated.’

They concluded: ‘We clearly show that, across a modern healthcare system such as in the UK, there are substantial opportunities to improve outcomes through relatively simple measures.’

Study leader Dr Chris Gale, of the Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine, said: ‘What we’ve highlighted here is the unacceptable deficit in the care being given to people after they’ve had an NSTEMI heart attack.

‘The good news is that now we’ve identified the problem, we can certainly fix it. Simple interventions, such as prescribing statins, are being missed and this is resulting in loss of life.’

Professor Peter Weissberg, of the British Heart Foundation, which funded the research, said: ‘This study shows that many people in the UK are receiving sub-optimal care after a heart attack and that lives are being lost as a consequence. Hospitals need to apply the lessons learnt from this research.’

Professor Huon Gray, NHS England’s national clinical director for heart disease, said: ‘Immediate and long-term survival rates after a heart attack are improving thanks to advances in treatment and aftercare, but this study shows there are opportunities to improve outcomes further.’

He added: ‘National and international guidelines are clear, and these findings should act as a reminder to providers and commissioners of care that best practice should always be followed.’



Why Trump Resonates

While there is considerable and expected animus directed at presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump from the Left, there might be as much, if not more, invective coming from the Right. Columnist George Will is infuriated by the extensive damage Trump has inflicted on the GOP, warning that the collaborationists who support him “will render themselves ineligible to participate in the party’s reconstruction.” Charles Krauthammer also speaks to the “ideological realignment” of the party. They are two members of a conservative army appalled by Trump’s rise among a voter base they believe has allowed anger to overcome ideology. Yet their angst is largely based on the conventional wisdom regarding the ostensible differences between conservative vs. liberal, or Democrat vs. Republican. What if the conventional wisdom no longer applies?

“Any true understanding of this election requires an appreciation of the one huge political fault line that is driving America into a period of serious political tremors, certain to jolt the political Richter scale,” writes a very insightful Robert W. Merry. “It is nationalists vs. globalists.”

Merry goes on to explain how the globalists “captured” American society by taking over elitist institutions that included the media, academia, big corporations, big finance, Hollywood, think tanks, NGOs, and charitable foundations. In the process of doing so, the elites who ran these institutions began to believe they were the ultimate arbiters of proper thinking. In turn, Merry explains that worldview led to a “quantum expansion of social and political arrogance on the part of these high-flyers.”

Enter Trump, who galvanized an American public furious with the elitist idea that national sovereignty has outlived its usefulness in a rapidly “shrinking” world.

Nowhere have the elites made this plainer than their failure to enforce immigration law. America is on the verge of yet another surge at our southern border. Through the first six months of FY2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported a 78% increase from the 15,616 illegals apprehended last year, and only slightly less than the record-setting surge of illegals apprehended in 2014. Illegals the Obama administration purposely dispersed throughout the nation to await immigration hearings, even as the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review remains fully aware that between between July 2014 and January 2016, a whopping 88% of removal orders were issued “in absentia,” because illegals failed to show up for those hearings.

No matter how loud the public clamors for border control and a crackdown on visa overstays (less than 1% of visa overstayers were deported in 2015), Rule of Law is routinely ignored. Moreover, globalists are not content to allow America to wither from de facto invasion. They also insist legal immigration must be ramped up to accommodate their employment needs, even though many of those who demand such accommodation have been laying off American workers and replacing them with foreign counterparts willing to work for lower wages. This, despite the reality that wages have already been stagnant for decades.

On foreign policy, Merry explains that globalists are animated by humanitarian impulses where the “rights and well-being of the world’s people supersede the rights and well-being of the American populace.” Trump-supporting nationalists want America to remain strong, and any military intervention to be based national security interests only.

Yet discontent with foreign policy pales in comparison to the animus driven by free trade. Rightly or wrongly (a lot wrongly) many Americans who flock to Trump are convinced free trade has hollowed out the nation’s industrial base. And while the protectionist impulses of these Americans are economically problematic, they are driven by two factors. First, there are towns and cities in America that have been decimated by globalization, and no amount of talk about the overall benefits to the nation will resonate with those directly harmed.

Yet the most important element of Trump’s appeal has nothing to do with political ideology at all. The Donald has taken a wrecking ball to the elite-driven political correctness that routinely ridicules and marginalizes ordinary Americans. And despite his multitudinous faults and foibles, Trump embodies the one thing most Republican politicians avoid like Ebola: a take-no-prisoners willingness to employ the very same street-fighter tactics Democrats and their media allies have successfully used for decades.

Krauthammer, et al, rightly rue the loss of dignity Trump represents. But a conservative electorate tired of milquetoast, GOP politicians willing to lose — as long as they do it nobly? Not so much. Thus they gravitate to a so-called Alpha Male they perceive as willing to defend American interests above all.

By contrast, Merry writes that Hillary Clinton “is the personification of the globalist elite … totally in sync with the underlying sensibilities of political correctness, a practitioner of identity politics, which lies at the heart of the assault on the national heritage.” He notes that nothing reflects this better than “the Clinton Foundation, a brilliant program to chase masses of money from across borders to fund the underpinnings of an ongoing political machine.”

Thus, be it by accident or design, Trump may signify the emergence of a new paradigm. “Make America Great Again” is hardly a cutting edge slogan (he “borrowed” it from Ronald Reagan), but it certainly resonates among millions of Americans who see Trump as their last chance to preserve national sovereignty, even if that preservation requires a level of ideological compromise that gives GOP/conservative gatekeepers fits. The very same gatekeepers who whine about the demise of conservatism and the GOP, while they apparently fail to see the steady march towards globalism will lead to the virtual extinction of both.

For those who still believe in the nation-state, Trump may prove ultimately disappointing. Clinton already has. But she and her globalist allies — as well as many disappointed conservative scolds — may be surprised when they discover that in 2016, millions of Americans' political ideology can be reduced to five words: I want my country back.



Trump Celebrity Endorsement Nobody Was Expecting

Rapper Azaelia Banks, who recently engaged with a vicious war of words on social media with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, has announced she's supporting Donald Trump:

The outspoken rapper says Hillary “talks to black people as if we’re children or pets.”

The singer defended her support for the “asshole” GOP candidate and said of Hillary Clinton: She “talks to black people as if we’re children or pets.”

Donald Trump can add another member of Hollywood to his list of supporters.

On Saturday afternoon, singer Azealia Banks expressed her support for the GOP candidate in a spree of tweets, kicking off the conversation with, “I REALLY want Donald Trump to win the election.”

She told her Twitter followers that her predictions about the presidential race were true: “I told you guys Bernie Sanders didn’t have the clout. i told you all he wasn’t going to be the nominee.”

In her series of tweets, Banks defended Trump and his outspoken opinions. “Trump is an asshole but he’s not been groomed and programmed on some mkultra tip to DO & SAY what the establishment wants him to,” she began and added, “Trump just wants the U.S to be lavish … for all of us. I can f— with that.”
Key for Hillary is maintaining the illusion that she cares about black people. If Trump can peel away African American support from the presumptive Democratic nominee, she's toast.



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)


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, May 10, 2016

The most dangerous hobby

The rise of the Donald has got the Left scratching their heads. They need some explanation that will save them from admitting that a lot of what he says is right.  Out of that has come the essay below by academic Eitan D. Hersh.  He provides the explanation that Trump supporters are "hobbyists".

I think Hersh does have a point in general and I think that "hobbyism" may well be part of the explanation for Trump support -- but I see the enthusiasm for Trump as too great to be explained fully that way.  I think a lot of Americans really are fed up with a GOP that repeatedly kow-tows to Leftist thinking, with all its double standards and lack of reality contact.

The way both sides of politics describe Islam as a "religion of peace" is truly astonishing.  What do Muslims have to do in the name of their religion for it to be described as a religion of hate? And The Donald is the only one who has said anything negative about Muslims.

But I do think that the Obamamania of 2008 was a prize example of the "hobbyism" that Hersh describes

Something troubling has emerged on the American scene: Political activity has become a hobby. Voting, petitioning, partisan cheering, donating, watching infotainment news: The chief purpose for participating in politics seems to be self-gratification.

We are accustomed to thinking about participation in politics as motivated by civic duty or self-interest, not gratification. That has changed due to a combination of factors related to the nature of free time, the openness of the political process to mass participation, and a recent period of relative peace.

For Americans who are far enough removed from military service, economic hardship, and discrimination, political stakes can seem pretty low, especially in the quarter-century since the end of the Cold War when foreign threats seem less immediate. And so politics has become an erudite way to spend leisure time. But unlike softball or beekeeping, the stakes are actually high.

Donald Trump’s surprising rise sheds light on the perils of political hobbyism. It is clear that far too many people have been treating a high-stakes affair like a low-stakes one. That’s why they never saw Trump coming. When politics is treated like an unserious game, unserious candidates emerge.

TO UNDERSTAND POLITICAL hobbyism, consider three important forms of political participation: campaign contributing, activism, and voting. Today, all three activities are dominated by hobbyists.

Wealthy donors are pouring money into politics. Why? Our reflexive answer is so they can get something in return, like tax breaks or government contracts. But when political scientists study campaign finance, they mostly do not see self-interested donors. Most donations come from individuals, not corporate PACs. Most of these individuals (97 percent) give to only one party, which is not a savvy investment model for self-serving contributors. And donation patterns suggest that donors are less motivated by ideology than by pure partisanship.

So what are donors buying? Not policy, but time with their celebrity crushes. Donors want to attend cocktail parties, pose in photographs, and golf with candidates. They want to socialize with other donors. They want the candidates to solicit their advice. They want to be friends with their favored politicians.

Would a wealthy person really contribute thousands of dollars just for self-gratification? Yes, actually, the rich spend money to gratify themselves in ways that seem unfathomable to the rest of us. Politics is just one of those ways.

Here’s an example: Journalist Matea Gold recently noticed that wealthy donors have been traveling around the country to attend the presidential debates in person. The political parties were saving them seats. Why are donors traveling to watch the debates live? Because they are groupies. Republican donor Foster Friess told Gold, “It’s the same thing as going to a football game. If you’re in the crowd, you can hear the cheers, unfiltered by microphones. The chemistry is so much more exciting.’’ For the avid and wealthy hobbyist, a few thousand dollars is a small price to pay for a good show.

NEXT, CONSIDER ACTIVISM, a form of participation open to nonwealthy hobbyists. When a presidential campaign season is in high gear, millions of people engage. During the 2008 presidential contest, for instance, more than 13 million Obama supporters provided the campaign with their e-mail addresses, more than 3 million donated, and more than 2 million volunteered.

Obama’s campaign organization hoped it could channel this grass-roots energy into policy advocacy. Thus, the campaign morphed into Organizing for America, a group positioned to push the administration’s policy agenda through grass-roots mobilization.

It didn’t work.

The problem is that policy advocacy is much less fun than campaigning. Campaigning involves competition. Policy involves compromise.

In 2009, when Organizing for America began mobilizing support for its first big issue, the Affordable Care Act, only a fraction of campaign supporters took action. The organization tried to get supporters to town hall meetings where conservatives were a dominant presence. But the millions of campaign enthusiasts largely disengaged, even in the first year of Obama’s administration and even on his signature issue.

The demise of Organizing for America (and its reboot after the 2012 election, Organizing for Action) is hardly surprising. For most hobbyists, governing is simply less gratifying than campaigning. Measured by Google searches, almost nobody is interested in “Organizing for America’’ or “Organizing for Action” anymore, and they haven’t been for a while. Organizing for Obama? Fun. Organizing for Action? Meh.

Consider another example of hobbyist activism: online petitions, like those sent to the White House. Over 1,800 petitions (signed by 13 million individuals) were submitted in the first 20 months of the White House’s online petition program, which launched in 2011. Only 5 percent of these petitions addressed issues like health care, public education, taxation, paid parental leave — big issues that social scientists call redistributive. Most petitions either focused on minor issues (Recognize diaphragmatic hernia awareness day!) or addressed broad issues that were not directly related to economic well-being. Even when liberal groups like and CREDO solicit petitions from their progressive base, economic issues are not particularly popular among petitioners. The most popular political petition that CREDO has ever circulated demanded funding for NPR.

Despite their enormous potential, online petitions are primarily tools for hobbyists. To hobbyists, large-scale economic issues are complicated and tiresome. And, frankly, these issues may not be a priority for hobbyists, whose lives are reasonably comfortable. They’d rather focus on issues that are gratifying and simple, or else just wait for the next exhilarating campaign season to begin.....

For citizens who are socially and financially comfortable, the risks seem low. They have a safety net. They do not fear military conscription. Their lives are stable. And so they do not approach politics with the solemnity appropriate for a high-stakes undertaking. Acting as if the stakes are low when they are high can be exceedingly dangerous.



The Nihilism of Sanctuary Cities


There are an estimated 300 or so jurisdictions -- entire states, counties, cities, and municipalities -- that since the early 1980s have enacted “sanctuary city” laws, forbidding full enforcement of federal immigration law within their jurisdictions.

Most of these entities are controlled by Democrats in general and liberals in particular. Sanctuary officials feel that federal enforcement of the southern border is either unnecessary or immoral, and thus they have decided that there is no real crime in entering and residing in the United States unlawfully. While the majority of illegal aliens are no doubt law-abiding and have avoided public dependence, the pool of unlawful immigrants is so large at over 11 million that even small percentages of lawbreakers can translate into hundreds of thousands of criminal aliens.

The liberal Migration Policy Institute conceded that there are over 800,000 illegal aliens with criminal records, nearly 700,000 of them with felony arrest records.

Those numbers, of course, reflect only those who have been arrested and faced trial, not the unknown number who have committed crimes without being apprehended or charged. In some sanctuary cities, lawlessness among undocumented immigrants has reached epidemic proportions.

Sanctuary cities are on record as having released over 10,000 known criminal aliens into the general population whom Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were attempting to deport. In addition, hundreds of thousands of criminals are currently protected from deportation as they await trials and sentences. Among them, most infamously, is Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a seven-time convicted felon and five-time deported illegal alien who was not turned over to ICE by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department that held him in custody on a drug charge. He was instead released just weeks before he murdered Kate Steinle.

The apparent principle of sanctuary cities is akin to roulette. The odds suggest that most illegal aliens detained by officials are not career felons and thus supposedly need not be turned over to ICE for deportation. On the chance that some of their 10,000 released criminals will go on to commit further crimes in the manner of Juan Lopez-Sanchez, officials then shrug that the public outcry will be episodic and quickly die down, or will at least not pose political problems as great as would come from deporting aliens.

Yet the idea of a sanctuary city is Confederate to the core, reminiscent of antebellum Southern states picking and choosing which federal statutes they would abide by or reject. Even before the Civil War, the Nullification Crisis of 1832-33 pitted South Carolina against a fellow southerner, President Andrew Jackson, as the state declared that federal tariff laws were not applicable within its confines. Jackson understood the threat to the union, and promised to send in federal troops before South Carolina backed down.

Sanctuary cities are careful to employ euphemisms rather than explicit references to illegal immigration. But not labeling San Francisco as an “illegal alien sanctuary” or even an “immigration sanctuary” only institutionalizes the idea of any city becoming a “sanctuary” from any federal law it finds convent. If sanctuary cities continue to flaunt federal immigration laws and if the federal government does not cut off federally earmarked funds to such offenders -- or if ICE does not, in Jacksonian style, threaten to use force to arrest and deport illegal aliens -- then the concept will spread, and spread well beyond matters of immigration law.

Much of the rural West opposes the Endangered Species Act. Can Wyoming declare that federally protected rats and bugs are not protected inside its state borders, when such pests obstruct construction of dams or highways? Many conservatives oppose federal restrictions on gun sales. Could Oklahoma City declare hand-gun purchases within its city-limits free of federal firearms statutes? Perhaps Little Rock could ignore a Supreme Court ruling and announce that gay marriage is not legal within its jurisdiction. On what rationale would liberals in California object to such nullifications -- that neither state nor city had the right to ignore a federal law or to obstruct the law enforcement duties of federal officials?

As a remedy to such reactionary nullification of liberal federal laws, would San Francisco or Los Angeles advocate cutting off federal funds, sending in federal agents, or nationalizing the local or state police? All of these are proven remedies from when recalcitrant southern states refused to abide by federal integration and civil rights laws in the 1960s.

What if the border between California and Nevada was nullified?

The theory of sanctuary cities is entirely hypocritical and self-serving. The idea of sanctuary from immigration law is predicated ultimately on the belief that there are or should be no national borders and thus no legal right to prosecute those who ignore them. But if California is a sanctuary state and Nevada is not, how is that distinction articulated and maintained?

Obviously California believes it has a clearly demarcated border with Nevada and that such a line is a good thing, allowing the Golden State a quite different approach to politics, economics, culture, and society within its own confines. Furthermore, if an illegal alien were speeding over Interstate 80 and crossed the state border into California, the state would object if any non-state law enforcement agent likewise crossed that line to turn him over to ICE for deportation. In other words, a sanctuary city or state is predicated on its ability to create borders not only to establish enforceable jurisdiction, but also as a reification of difference. Sanctuary cities, then, would insist that they have a right to create and enforce borders, and to create unique places within them that differ from other cities.

Nullification now thrives because our “pen and phone” president has decided to suspend federal immigration law enforcement in the manner that -- on over 20 occasions before his reelection -- he had warned was unconstitutional. But Obama has also ensured the next Republican president that he will have ample liberal precedent to create or neglect laws as his ideological whims dictate. Donald Trump, were he to be elected, might have a very different idea of what qualifies as a sanctuary city or what executive orders are needed to see through agenda with dispatch.

Forget about principles, because there are no consistent principles: sanctuary cities would never allow their precedents to apply to other jurisdictions that did not share their own liberal pieties. They believe federal law is omnipotent for everyone other than their own exalted classes, and they believe that borders, jurisdiction, and the sovereignty of laws are a good thing -- but only to the degree that they enhance their own utopian worldview.

The intellectual pedigree of sanctuary cities is not 1960s one-world ecumenicalism, but 1850s Confederate nullification. Their logical consequence is not a wide-open transnational continent, but utter disunion among the states and a second confederate attempt at destroying the primacy of the federal government.

Their politics are not exalted, but parochial, tribal, and demographic: sanctuary cities are predicated on the emergence of a large and politically potent Latino liberal demographic. Otherwise San Francisco or Los Angeles would be willing to turn over to ICE, for example, a lone Serbian illegal alien who had disrupted an environmental rally, or an Australian who overstayed his visa and began participating in "Trump for President" rallies. If thousands of Hungarian atheists were apprehended for committing crimes in Los Angeles, the Catholic archdiocese would stay mum about their deportation.

Nullification, neo-Confederate, tribal, and cynical are the proper epithets for such cities, which are best summed up as “cities of nihilism.”



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, May 09, 2016

The Boston Globe calls Trump a Nazi

But, being The Boston Globe, they did it subtly. No tabloid journalism for their writer.  He called Trump an exponent of the "Fuehrerprinzip" (leadership principle). He even spelled it out in German.  The "Fuehrerprinzip"  was of course promoted by Hitler.  That Hitler's rallies and Trump's rallies could hardly be more different doesn't count, of course

Although various grandees of the Republican Party have greeted Donald Trump’s clinching of their party’s presidential nomination by declaring they will not vote for him, Trump is still able to boast that Russian President Vladimir Putin called the casino magnate "a really brilliant and talented person." Purring like a petted kitten, Trump welcomed Putin’s praise as "a great honor" and remarked that the boss of all Russian bosses is "running his country, and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country."

Until some new whistle blower from the NSA posts a Putin-Trump dialogue online, we can only imagine what a chat between these two exponents of the leadership principle (in German, der Fuehrerprinzip) might be like. It could go something like this:



Trump Gets An Establishment Endorsement

Former Vice President Dick Cheney will support Donald Trump, he told CNN Friday, an important move as the presumptive Republican nominee is encountering intense resistance from senior members of his own party.Cheney told CNN Special Correspondent Jamie Gangel that he has always supported the GOP nominee and will do so this year as well.  The announcement makes Cheney one of the few Republican Party elders to announce their support of Trump and comes a day after House Speaker Paul Ryan told CNN he is "just not ready" to back Trump.

To date, Cheney is the senior most American official to endorse Trump.



Australia has a "Trump" too

Australia has a Federal Election in July and the leader of the conservative side (Malcolm Turnbull) is like Trump in not being a traditional conservative.  He favors homosexual marriage, for instance.  But let Australian columnist Miranda Devine tell the tale:

Never-Trumpers are the emotional doppelgangers of our own Never-Turnbull crowd

NOW that Donald Trump looks set to take the Republican presidential nomination, a hardcore group of angry conservatives have decided they’d rather blow up the party and vote for Hillary Clinton than adjust to the reality of the candidate they have.

Watching the tantrum of America’s Never-Trump zealots since he scooped the primary pool in Indiana last week, you can’t help but notice parallels to our own conservative ragers.

They would rather vote for the devil incarnate than accept the only conservative choice available. It’s the spoiled brat tantrum of the smugly entitled. That’s MY party, they say, whether Republican or Liberal. You can’t change it without my permission. Whaaaaaa! Foot stamp.

They seem not to understand that sometimes in life you have to choose the lesser of two evils, that things don’t always go your way.

Like those who rail against Trump as a phony conservative, those who attack Turnbull as a closet leftie who has hijacked their party are "making the perfect the enemy of the good”.

It is true that the candidates couldn’t be more different in style and temperament: one is decisive and a populist showman, while the other is a ditherer and uninspiring elitist. But both Trump and Turnbull are political outsiders, shrewd and ruthless enough to have amassed personal fortunes and plenty of enemies.

They feel no need to do politics the usual way and don’t care that they are reviled by their party ­establishments.

The psychological similarities of their spitting-chips detractors go further.

These conservative intransigents are behaving in a most ­unconservative manner, casting aside prudence and caution to ­indulge their self-righteous anger and signal their virtue.

They say they are placing conservative principles ahead of the party. But their rage is all about them, and their fear of irrelevance. The problem is that the "Nevers” don’t have a plan, other than urging people not to vote.

They think that if Clinton/­Shorten win office that an ideologically pure conservative party will magically arise like a phoenix from the ashes.

Typical of the "Nevers” is the Washington Post’s conservative columnist George Will: "If Trump is nominated, Republicans working to purge him and his manner from public life will reap the considerable satisfaction of preserving the identity of their 162-year-old party while working to see that they forgo only four years of the enjoyment of executive power.”

They imagine that wrecking their party’s chance to win the next election will lead to a brief ­period in the wilderness from which a party of conservative ­purity will emerge.

But there is no guarantee that handing power to the Democrats/Labor will result in anything good or even brief, and they risk their conservative principles being excluded from any process of party ­renewal, were it to occur.

It’s ­obvious that Trump and Turnbull are not the most desirable candidates for conservatives (although Trump’s skewering of political correctness is worthwhile).

But they are both streets ahead of the alternative.

In the Trump-Clinton contest, you can boil down the choice for conservatives to one issue: who would you prefer to choose the next Supreme Court justice?

In the Turnbull-Shorten contest, the starkest choice is border security. Who do you trust to keep control of our borders: the party that delivered 50,000 illegal boat arrivals and 1100 drowned asylum-seekers, or the one which stopped the boats?

But the Nevers refuse to rally around the least worst option, ­preferring to live in denial.

If Turnbull/Trump lose, the Nevers will own every decision of Clinton/Shorten and conservatives will not let them ­forget it.

Even after Trump swept last week’s Indiana primary, giving him a total of more than 10 million votes, on track to the highest popular vote of any presidential candidate in Republican history, the Never Trumpers wouldn’t give up.

Like the Never Turnbulls, they try to make a virtue out of delusion.

"WHY WOULD AMERICANS EVER SETTLE FOR A CHOICE LIKE THIS?” tweeted neo-conservative Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard.

"For too many Americans, the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump feels like a choice between being shot in the head, and being shot in the head”, said political blogger Liz Mair, founder of Never Trump group Make America Awesome.

But for all their noise, their petition asking conservatives to vow never to vote for Trump has barely managed 30,000 signatures.

Mitt Romney, the failed 2012 Republican presidential nominee and one of the most vocal Trump haters, summed up the situation by saying: "I wish we had better ­choices, and I keep hoping that somehow things will get better, and I just don’t see an easy ­answer from where we are.”

That’s all the Nevers have. Wishing, hoping, praying for a miracle, while reality keeps slapping them in the face.



20 Quotes From Ancient Greek Philosophers That Liberals Still Don’t Understand

Two thousand years ago, there may not have been liberals as we think of them today, but some of the dumb ideas that underpin the whole ideology were floating around. Fortunately, in Greece some of the greatest minds in human history were there to set people straight. There are an awful lot of liberals who could benefit from reading these more than 2,000 year-old words of wisdom.

1) "The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits." -- Plutarch

2) "When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger." -- Epictetus

3) "The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

4) "Justice means minding one's own business and not meddling with other men's concerns." -- Plato

5) "Toil is no source of shame; idleness is shame." -- Hesiod

6) "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." -- Plato

7) "We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office." -- Aesop

8) "The most virtuous are those who content themselves with being virtuous without seeking to appear so." -- Plato

9) "When there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income." -- Plato
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10) "Our object in the construction of the state is the greatest happiness of the whole, and not that of any one class." -- Plato

11) "Knowledge becomes evil if the aim be not virtuous." -- Plato

12) "This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector." -- Plato

13) "Those who have virtue always in their mouths, and neglect it in practice, are like a harp, which emits a sound pleasing to others, while itself is insensible of the music." -- Diogenes

14) "We praise a man who feels angry on the right grounds and against the right persons and also in the right manner at the right moment and for the right length of time." -- Aristotle

15) "We regard wealth as something to be properly used, rather than as something to boast about. As for poverty, no one need be ashamed to admit it: the real shame is in not taking practical measures to escape from it." -- Pericles

16) "Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms." -- Aristotle

17) "Only the dead have seen the end of war." -- Plato

18) "The curse of me and my nation is that we always think things can be bettered by immediate action of some sort, any sort rather than no sort." -- Plato

19) "Society is well governed when its people obey the magistrates, and the magistrates obey the law." -- Solon

20) "A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true." -- Socrates



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, May 08, 2016

Will Hitler be forever with us?

He will, as long as it suits the Left.  They use the evils he did in the name of racial differences to discredit all mention of race.  They think, rightly, that if they accuse someone of racism, people will think of Hitler's monstrous deeds and become very wary of the accused person.  So they need to keep memory of Hitler alive.  And they use the schools to do just that, leaving out all the inconvenient bits, of course.

So for better or worse we are stuck with old Adolf.  That being so, it pays us to know as much as we can about him and to tell everyone in politics as much as we can about him.  If it becomes widely known that he was in fact a fairly conventional Leftist of his day, all memory of him will suddenly be forgotten.  Which is a reason why WE should not let his memory die.

So about ten years ago, Michael Miller of North Carolina put together a library of information about Hitler, focusing on  things that Leftists "forget" about.  And he used my essay on Hitler to show that Hitler was a Leftist.  But he asks other questions too:  What was Hitler's attitude to abortion, to animal rights, and smoking etc.

Michael used a free hosting service offered by Lycos to put his material up.  And, after a while, when he bowed out, I took on the job of maintaining the site. Recently however the site has disappeared. Someone at Lycos obviously decided that they would -- in typical Leftist fashion -- do a bit of censorship and delete it.

But I am a cautious old conservative type so I had all the files backed up onto not one but two hard disks.  So I have been able to re-post everything.  Reposting did require a lot of alterations to links so it was a bit of work but I think everything now works again.  If there is anything missing I would be obliged to hear about it.  The new home is here


Immigration: The Central Issue Of The Presidential Campaign

“The Chance Of A Political Lifetime For Real Reform”

Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, immigration will take its place as the central issue of the coming presidential campaign.

Immigration has been the backbone of Trump’s campaign since the day he announced his candidacy last June. Emphasis on the issue brought Trump face-to-face with grassroots outrage over unrestrained immigration that has touched nearly every state and community in America. Immigration is not only an economic issue; it is a national security issue as well.

What is more, immigration was the foundation of Trump’s attack on the failings of establishment Washington. He deftly mined the issue in every campaign rally and media interview. He would tolerate nothing less than legal immigration. He would build a wall to stem the flow of illegal entry into the United States. He would enforce a moratorium on the entry and settlement of Middle Eastern refugees.

Now Trump will take the issue into the general election in a relentless assault on Hillary Clinton and the policies of the Obama administration. His effort could be decisive in November.

In a comprehensive examination of the issue and what it means in the coming presidential campaign, Stanley Renshon of the Center For Immigration Studies writes that 2016 provides what he says is “the chance of a political lifetime for real reform.” He begins by writing that legal and illegal immigration now averages over one million people every year and has been the accepted norm in recent decades.

“That norm was enforced by a consensus of establishment political and civic leaders from both parties and their allies” Renshon writes. “Alternative views were suppressed or shamed. And the preferences of ordinary Americans, about immigration policies, and much else, were generally ignored. As a result, a growing level of public resentment and anger has developed, with Americans seething at what they feel is the incompetence, arrogance, and clubby insularity of Washington ‘elites’. And they have acted on those feelings in the last several midterm elections, transforming the makeup of their state governments and the U.S. House of Representatives.”

Renshon points out that President Obama has made it worse. He abandoned his promise of hope and change and “governed instead in accord with his leftist vision of transformation,” assuring that he will leave office as what Renshon calls modern history’s most divisive president.

“His legacy will be of having governed by executive fiat, including in the critical area of immigration. There, he issued a massive executive amnesty and changed immigration enforcement rules so that millions of illegal aliens are essentially free from any expectation that they will suffer consequences for having broken American immigration laws.”

Now the public wants something different and will be looking to the next president. Renshon asks the key question: “Will They Get It?”

Following are excerpts from the first installment of Renshon’s study titled Immigration in the Presidential Campaign-Part 1:

*The 2016 presidential election represents a once-in-a-political-lifetime opportunity to rethink America’s deeply flawed immigration system and help rescue it from the erroneous “conventional wisdom” that has dominated the immigration debate for decades. And in so doing, it may begin to help resolve America’s real immigration crisis — a system that does not serve national interests, but one that poisons public trust.

*Immigration policy is rarely at the top of public concerns, especially with a major economic downturn and molasses paced-recovery now in its eighth year and counting. Add to that the renewed concern about terrorist attacks, and it is surprising that immigration has moved to be a top-tier issue in the 2016 public campaign debate. Yet it has.

*A Pew poll on the public’s priorities found that immigration was mentioned by 51 percent as a “top priority”, up 11 points since 2013, especially among Republicans. An AP/NORC poll also found that immigration was a top-tier concern for those polled, and 83 percent of those polled said that a “great deal” or “a lot” of effort should be expended in trying to solve the issue, although they were skeptical it would be done.

*Immigration has become a top-tier issue for a variety of reasons. Its prominence owes much to Donald Trump’s loud, blunt, and continuous assault on political correctness. His challenges to the two-decade-long pseudo-consensus favoring “comprehensive immigration reform” opened a long-suppressed flood of public doubt and dissatisfaction about what Americans have been consistently told they must think about immigration, among other important policy issues.

*Unprecedented numbers of legal immigrants, unprecedented numbers of illegal aliens, immigrant population increases of 715 percent that have been projected from 1970 to 2060, and sharp political challenges to the very idea of a primary American national identity have increasingly worried many Americans. So has decreased public commitment to the very basic idea that assimilation to that primary American identity is a central and absolutely necessary underpinning of the country’s openness to substantial immigration.



Trump Says He'll Choose 'Wonderful, Conservative, Good, Solid, Brilliant Judges'

Never-Trumps should think about the U.S. Supreme Court, Republican Donald Trump told Fox News Thursday night. He said he will appoint "wonderful, conservative, good, solid, brilliant judges," whose names he hopes to "lay out" before the Republican National Convention.

But if his critics decide to split the Republican vote by running an independent candidate, "now you have four to five Supreme Court justices that will be picked by Hillary Clinton," Trump said.

"The worst thing that can happen -- because I'm going to win. I'm going to win. And I'm going to put wonderful, conservative, good, solid brilliant judges in the form of (the late Justice Antonin) Scalia -- I'm  going to actually lay them out.

"I'm going to discuss people. I'm going to--actually I've met with Heritage and a couple of groups.

"I'm going to actually lay them out...I think before the convention, yeah, I want to, put up 10, 12, 15 names that's the type of people that we'd like. I would like to do that." Trump said he would choose the finalists from that list. "These are conservative judges, would be great judges."



Oklahoma and Georgia Governors Sign Conservative Justice Reform Bills into Law

This past Wednesday, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a package of justice reform bills into law, making the Sooner State the latest conservative state to adopt these “smart-on-crime” policies. That same day, Gov. Nathan Deal, on the other side of the country in Georgia, signed a smaller justice reform package into law, expanding on the state’s already impressive portfolio of justice reform initiatives. With the simultaneous adoption of these justice reform measures into law, conservative states like Oklahoma and Georgia are the pioneers in effective justice reform.

The Oklahoma justice reform package is a group of four bills that primarily deals with limiting the harsh punitive measures taken against non-violent offenders. These new laws would give district attorneys and courts more leeway when dealing with people charged with drug possession, allowing them to classify the charges as misdemeanors and opening up the possibilities for alternate forms of treatment rather than jail time. One such law, HB 2479, reforms the state’s three-strike felony policy for drug-related felonies, lowering the mandatory minimum sentences for people charged with felonies for the first, second, and third time. Gov. Fallin had been extremely supportive of these measures since the beginning of the legislative session, mentioning such justice reform efforts in her State of the State speech.

Across the country, Georgia had first begun implementing justice reform in 2011. Oklahoma actually passed a number of their new initiatives off of Georgia’s example, such as the creation of drug courts. Therefore, the bill that Gov. Deal signed into law on Wednesday, SB 367, is continuing along the trend of expanding the justice reform agenda.

The bill protects the rights of non-violent first time offenders by giving them the opportunity to shield their criminal record from their offense. State licensing boards will also be limited in requiring people with criminal histories to disclose that information on job forms, giving these former inmates a chance to rejoin society and be productive. The bill makes a number of other structural changes, such as creating more charter schools within prisons, allowing former prisoners to keep their driver’s license, and giving non-violent offenders, who have served extremely long sentences, a chance at eligibility for parole.

Both Govs. Mary Fallin and Nathan Deal have been stalwart advocates of criminal justice reform, and these reforms are yielding success. At the signing of the bill, Gov. Deal mentioned how, in 2011, Georgia’s prison population could have expanded to 60,000 inmates if reform weren’t enacted. Now, five years later, the Georgia prison population is 53,800, more than a 10 percent decrease from earlier projections. While much work remains necessary across the country, Oklahoma and Georgia have both made excellent progress in reforming and enacting a successful and effective criminal justice system



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