Friday, October 07, 2016

Philadelphia keeps felons, illegal immigrants and other ineligibles on voter rolls

We don’t need to wait until November to wonder if illegal voters will be casting ballots, thanks to a 2016 Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) report on the city of Philadelphia we already know that this will be happening and has been happening. The report shows that not only are illegal immigrants casting ballots but thousands of felons remain on voter rolls as well, even though they are ineligible to vote.

Usually getting into the voter system via motor voter, in many cases legal and illegal immigrants would check the box indicating that they were not citizens, yet continued to fill out the registration form and their registration was processed. In other cases, illegal immigrants would simply check “yes” to their citizenship status and with no other question of citizenship their form would be processed.

Registered illegal voters are also not removed from voter rolls unless they request their removal.  The immigrant is expected to contact local government offices of their illicit status and request a removal, often after years of illegal voting.

In 2015, only 23 registered voters canceled their registration due to lack of citizenship, 30 percent had voted in past elections and 13 percent had been on the rolls for over 10 years. With data since 2013, each year illegal immigrants have been proven to have voted illegally.

The problem, according to the report, “The report only details aliens who requested to be removed from the rolls. No procedure exists to systematically scan voter rolls to detect aliens and election officials do not use data from the federal SAVE (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements) database to scan for illegal registrations by non-citizens.”

With no executive oversight, nearly anyone can vote in this state, and any other state which does not have voter registration laws in place.

Similarly, felons, who have legally lost their right to vote, are not removed from voter registration rolls unless they request that the state cancel their registration. Leaving the responsibility for law and order to the felon.

Nationally the federal government has attempted to curb this power, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 clarifies the constitutional requirement of citizenship and demands acknowledgment of this provision by the voter. The act states that, “The voter registration application must state each voter eligibility requirement (including citizenship), contain an attestation that the applicant meets each requirement, state the penalties provided by law for submission of a false voter registration application and require the signature of the applicant under penalty of perjury.”

While this forces individuals to be aware of the possible prosecution, cities like Philadelphia who simply do not enforce the law provide no deterrent against illegal voting.

The PILF report notes, “The City does nothing to actively prevent or discover noncitizen registration. Worse, the system is failing to respond to aliens participating illegally in our elections as law enforcement officials have not vigorously prosecuted this voter fraud. Make no mistake, when an alien registers to vote, it is voter fraud. It’s also a federal felony.”

While legislation such as the Help America to Vote Act of 2002 requires states maintain computerized states voter registration lists and make a reasonable effort to purge those lists of illegible voters, states only need to purge of voters who are deceased or move out of state. Allowing them to neglect felons and illegal immigrants.

When states such as Kansas and Texas then make statewide attempts to abide by this law to the fullest extent and impose voter identification laws, these laws are now routinely being shot down in courts. Continually allowing states to disregard federal law.

The Constitution outlines that only citizens can vote in national elections. And many states further bar felons from voting. The federal government has attempted to reinforce this with the Help America to Vote Act, however, without a binding agreement which holds states accountable for the election fraud within their municipalities the law goes unenforced.

When the state leaders do not care about maintaining fair and honest elections, voters cannot be expected to have the same moral authority for their country. A potential solution could be with state legislatures requiring that ineligible non-citizens and felons be periodically purged from voter rolls, because right now there appears to be nothing in place at the state-level to protect the voter franchise.



How Trump could purge illegal immigrants and other non-citizens from voter rolls

More than 1,000 illegal immigrants are registered to vote in Virginia, a new report released by the Virginia Voters Alliance based on data compiled by the Public Interest Legal Foundation finds.

The report took a sample from just eight different municipalities, emphasizing that there were likely more elsewhere in the state: “The problem is most certainly exponentially worse because we have no data regarding aliens on the registration rolls for the other 125 Virginia localities. Even in this small sample, when the voting history of this small sample of alien registrants is examined, nearly 200 verified ballots were cast before they were removed from the rolls.”

That’s a problem because under 18 U.S. Code § 611, it is illegal for any alien, legal or illegal, to vote in elections. That could carry a maximum of one year in prison.

It is also illegal under 18 U.S. Code § 1015 to for any alien, legal or illegal, to register to vote: “Whoever knowingly makes any false statement or claim that he is a citizen of the United States in order to register to vote or to vote in any Federal, State, or local election (including an initiative, recall, or referendum) — shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”

So, why don’t states simply purge immigrant and illegal immigrants from the voter rolls?

Probably the biggest reason is nothing compels them to do so, nor is the data readily accessible to assist them.

Take the Help America to Vote Act of 2002, which although it requires every state to maintain a computerized statewide voter registration list and make reasonable efforts to purge those lists of ineligible voters, the only two criteria it lists for removal are if the person dies, or he or she moves out of the state.

States have attempted to implement voter identification laws with proof of citizenship requirements of their own but with uneven results. When Indiana implemented its voter identification law, the Supreme Court upheld it in 2008.

But when Texas put in place a very similar law it was overturned by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals as a violation of the 14th Amendment. And when Kansas attempted to put in place a proof of citizenship requirement in order to register to vote on the state application — the federal version of the form has no such requirement — a federal district judge shot that down, too.

In the meantime, while much attention is focused on proof of citizenship identification requirements, very few efforts are being put towards the task of actually purging voter rolls of non-citizens.

Donald Trump has promised to tackle the issue of illegal immigration as a central plank of his platform. Should he win the election in November, he might also wish to address the critical issue of non-citizen voting. But how?

For starters, since as noted above it is already illegal for non-citizens to either vote or register to vote, and under 18 U.S. Code § 371 it is illegal for two or more persons to conspire to break any federal law, a new administration could force states to purge their rolls by providing them a verifiable list of eligible and ineligible voters in every state using existing birth, immigration, naturalization, marriage and state motor vehicle records.

The federal government could then issue a regulation based on those laws and utilizing that data to compel states to purge voter rolls of ineligible non-citizens. And then if the states refuse, they would then be participating in a criminal conspiracy to commit election fraud and state officials could be prosecuted and imprisoned for each count — one for every non-citizen voter they refused to purge from the records.

I venture to guess those state voter rolls would be cleaned up in a jiffy.

The issue boils down to maintaining integrity in our electoral processes, and to ensure our democracy cannot be overtaken by foreigners outside the franchise. And by creating a very real penalty when laws against non-citizen voting are violated.

Only citizens should vote, and perhaps, for the first time, a Trump administration could make sure that’s the case. All Mr. Trump would have to do is enforce existing laws.



When Bureaucrats Edit the Facts of Islamist Terrorism to Fit Obama’s Narrative

In the early morning hours of June 12, an armed terrorist named Omar Mateen opened fire in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The next morning, Americans awoke to the news that 49 people had been murdered—the largest such massacre in American history.

This heinous act left Americans, as well as the Orlando community, grieving and searching for answers. But for several days after the shooting, the Justice Department knowingly curtailed the release of information about the shooter’s motives.

Even when it relates to terrorism, the government must be careful not to hide the truth from the American public. This is especially so when the government’s intent is not to protect citizens’ national security interests, but rather to further the political preferences of those in power.

That is why my organization, Cause of Action Institute, has begun an investigation into the Obama administration’s decision to censor the facts of the Orlando shooting.

It was more than a week later, on June 20, that the FBI released a partial transcript of a 911 call made by gunman Mateen during his rampage. The problem: The transcript was heavily redacted and omitted crucial phrases linking Mateen to ISIS.

For example, when the 911 dispatcher asked Mateen for his name, the FBI originally reported that Mateen stated: “My name is I pledge of allegiance to [omitted]” and “I pledge allegiance to [omitted] may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf of [omitted].”

In reality, Mateen explicitly declared his allegiance to ISIS. He stated:

My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State” and “I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf of the Islamic State.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch attempted to justify this censorship, saying it was done “to avoid revictimizing those people that went through this horror.” But that explanation seems highly unlikely in light of other, similar actions by the Obama administration.

For example, since 2011, the administration has led a controversial effort to remove any and all mentions of Islamic ideology from training manuals for law enforcement.

Just days before the Orlando attack, on June 6, the Department of Homeland Security released a report advising law enforcement to use “the right lexicon” when dealing with “issues of violent extremism.” The report recommended eliminating “religiously charged terminology” and cautioned against the use of words such as “jihad” and “sharia.”

Taken together, the evidence indicates that the Obama administration is not giving the American public an accurate picture of terrorist-related activities because those events may contradict the administration’s political preferences and worldview.

But the government’s stated goal of word-policing does not outweigh the public’s right to know what is happening in their communities.

In the case of Orlando, the government doesn’t have the right to hide the attacker’s self-proclaimed affiliation. The statements made by Mateen on June 12 are facts. He spoke those words the morning of his attack on the Pulse nightclub.

The American public is entitled to know the facts as they occurred—not as retold, manipulated, or erased by Washington bureaucrats.

That is why Cause of Action Institute has filed requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain details from the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Justice Department regarding the decision to redact the transcript as well as the administration’s policies on censoring law enforcement.

The FBI responded to our request, asserting broad law enforcement privileges, ostensibly to protect an ongoing criminal investigation. Our requests, however, relate only to the FBI’s censorship policies, not the investigation.

Even after the Justice Department endured intense criticism from many corners, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and First Amendment advocates, the FBI to date has released only the transcript of one of several calls Mateen placed the morning of the attack. There remain more than 28 minutes of recorded calls that have not been heard by the public.

As Thomas Jefferson commented: “A properly functioning democracy depends on an informed electorate.”

Unelected officials in Washington should not be in the business of censoring the facts of a terrorist attack. The American public can handle the truth, even when it doesn’t fit the Obama administration’s interpretation of what is politically correct.



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.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Thursday, October 06, 2016

Why Are Private Health Insurers Losing Money on Obamacare?

Health economist Dr. Uwe Reinhardt writes in a major medical journal that Obamacare seems to have unsolvable contradictions

The report last week ( that Aetna, one of the major US health insurance companies, would leave most of the health insurance exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 follows similar accounts the media that Anthem (, Aetna (, and other large private health insurers are contemplating withdrawing from the so-called ACA marketplace. The companies say the reason behind these actions is they are losing hundreds of millions of dollars on the business coming to them from these exchanges. To make up for the losses, some insurers, though by no means all, have quoted premium increases in excess of 25% for 2017 (

This development seems puzzling, as it comes in an era of historically low growth in total national health spending. The latest estimates published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which provides estimates of current and projected national health spending, indicate that spending growth at only 4.8% in 2016 and project health care spending growth to be only 5.8% per year for the decade 2015-2025 (

Furthermore, as a report published by the Urban Institute notes (, even in 2010, the year the ACA became law, its impact on total national health spending was estimated to be an increase in annual spending of only 2.5% above what would have been spent anyway. In addition, the report also notes that the CMS now projects that total US national health spending during 2014-2019 will be $2.5 trillion lower than projections made in 2010.

Why, then, in the face of these historically low growth rates, have premiums on the ACA health-insurance exchanges for 2017 increased at such high rates?

The core of the answer to this question can be read in the chart below, showing the highly skewed distribution of per capita health spending across the US population. The phenomenon is known as the “80-20 rule,” indicating that 20% of any large insured populations tends to account for 80% of all health care spending on that population.

Individuals in the high spending categories typically have multiple health problems requiring expensive treatments. A question that has troubled US health policy for decades has been what kind of health care these individuals with multiple conditions should receive and who should pay for it, assuming that only few very well-to-do US residents could afford to purchase their health care with their own resources. Here, it is helpful to remember that the US median disposable family income is only about $54 000, ( not even enough to cover the annual cost of some effective specialty drugs.

The contributions individuals make out of their paychecks toward employer-sponsored health insurance are community rated, which means that they are the same for all employees of the firm, regardless of their health status and even age. With the ACA, the Obama administration sought to provide the same deal for US individuals purchasing health insurance in the individual market.

For health insurers, however, this approach can be called an unnatural act, because it forces them knowingly to issue policies to very ill people at premiums evidently far below these individuals’ likely claims on the insurer’s overall risk pool. Actuaries and health policy analysts understand that this approach can work only if all individuals, healthy and ill, are mandated to purchase coverage for a defined, basic package of benefits, at the community-rated premium—thereby forcing young and healthy individuals to subsidize with their premiums the health care of individuals with medical conditions in the insurer’s risk pool.

However, for purely political reasons, the ACA mandate for all person in the United States to be insured was rather weak, leading many younger or healthier individuals simply to forgo purchasing health insurance and paying the relatively low fines for doing so. Over time, this practice naturally will drive up the community-rated premiums, inducing even greater numbers of young and healthy individuals to forgo insurance coverage, leaving private insurers with ever-more expensive risk pools.

The result of this adverse risk selection (the scenario in which sicker-than-average people purchase insurance while young and healthy people do not) has been that some private health insurers underpriced their policies on the ACA exchanges, perhaps to gain market share early on or because they simply did not anticipate quite the adverse risk selection that occurred.

It is hard to see a way out of this dilemma, given the current political climate. The task is doubly difficult in the United States, because the health care system is structured to yield prices for health care products and services that are twice as high or higher than the prices of identical items in other countries, driving US per capita health spending also to be twice as high as in many other developed countries ( Thus, it is much more expensive in the United States than in other countries to provide health care to all residents, especially those who are ill and poor.

If health care costs in the United States were lower, most people would probably agree that ill, low-income citizens should receive the needed health care that is available to better-off individuals. The problem is that our health system is in danger of pricing kindness out of our souls.



How Hillary plays the class warfare card

By Stephen Moore

Hillary Clinton keeps bashing the Trump tax plan as “Trumped up trickle down economics.” This class warfare card has become the standard and tired response to every Republican tax plan reform for 30 years. No wonder we haven’t cleaned out the stables of the tax code since the Reagan era. Democrats have no interest.

Hillary’s claim is that the plan will blow a hole in the debt (which is rich coming from someone who worked for an administration that nearly doubled the debt in eight years) and that the benefits all go to the rich. She also says it will cost jobs and could even “cause a recession.”

I worked on devising the Trump tax plan with economists Larry Kudlow, Sam Clovis and others, so I know a little bit about the costs and the benefits. It’s an amazing ideology which says that letting businesses keep more of their own money will cause the economy to capsize and other horrors, but a $1.5 trillion tax hike on businesses and investors will, as Hillary promises, create jobs. Yes, and injecting Elmer’s glue into your veins is a good way to prevent a heart attack.

Let’s start with her claim that the plan will cost $5 trillion. That’s wrong. When taking into account the higher economic growth from the lower tax rates on businesses and workers, the plan’s “cost” is about half that size. The Tax Foundation finds the plan will raise the GDP growth rate by almost one percentage point over a decade, and that means lots of jobs and additional tax revenue for the government. The best way to balance the budget is to put Americans back to work.

The $2.5 trillion “cost” of the tax cut can and will easily be made up by cutting government spending. Over the next decade the government is expected to spend almost $50 trillion. Surely with sound business-like leadership, we can save 5 cents on the dollar.

Next, she says that tax cuts have never worked to revive the economy. We believe that cutting taxes for 26 million small businesses will be a huge incentive for more hiring and expansion by businesses that are now taxed at as high as 40 percent. The American Enterprise Institute finds that the biggest beneficiary of a business tax cut is the American worker, whose wages will go up from more capital spending. If a trucking company goes from 50 trucks to 75, that’s 25 more truckers it will need to hire.

Hillary needs a tax cut history lesson. “Supply side” tax rates were at the heart of the Reagan economic plan in the 1980s. The Reagan expansion with lower taxes was twice as powerful as the anemic Obama recovery with higher taxes and more government spending. The difference in the two recoveries is near $3 trillion in lost output. Similarly, the John F. Kennedy tax cuts got us five and six percent growth. JFK was right: the best way to raise revenues is to “cut tax rates now.” Even Hillary’s husband Bill Clinton agreed to a capital gains tax cut which led to a gusher of new federal revenues.

Next, Hillary claims that only the rich like Donald Trump will benefit from this “Trumped up” tax plan. She obviously hasn’t read the tax plan. By design, the tax rate reductions for the rich are offset almost dollar for dollar by the loss of $250 billion a year in tax deductions for rich people. So the overall tax burden of most millionaires and billionaires is not changed. Almost all of the benefit in dollar terms from the tax plan goes to the middle class (and owners of small businesses). We think they deserve a break a decade that has wiped out financial savings of the middle class. With Obamacare premiums rising by 10 to 30 percent in many states this year, families need the tax cut desperately.

The table shows that the Trump tax plan causes a rise of after-tax income by about $4,000 for the average middle class household, while the Hillary plan shrinks incomes.

What Hillary isn’t telling you is that she and her liberal friends are against tax cuts, because they want to spend the money on free everything. This includes the silliest idea of all time: hundreds of billions for 500 million solar panels. Get ready for a cascade of dozens of new Solyndras. How much money is going to go to Elon Musk from this corporate welfare giveaway. It could be in the tens of billions of dollars.

So just who’s policies benefit the rich and the political class?

Hillary is offering the American people trickle-down government.

When has that ever worked?



Judicial Watch Targeted for Exposing Corruption

Just how effective is Judicial Watch in extracting information buried by the Obama administration? We need only look at how the White House has tried to quash its efforts for a clue. On Thursday the General Services Administration’s Office of Inspector General published a November 2015 audit on its website, “Letter to Senator Johnson About GSA’s FOIA Process,” that criticizes the agency for, among other things, violating Freedom of Information Act protocols regarding a GSA video enquiry in June 2012.

The report says “GSA had granted Judicial Watch press status in the past,” which should have made it exempt from fees. In this case, however, JW was “denied the fee waiver request.” Moreover, the clearly orchestrated obfuscation is linked directly to the White House. The report says the Office of General Counsel “received an email containing guidance for determining Judicial Watch was not a media requestor. In the email, captioned ‘Judicial Watch Found Not A Media Requester,’ the sender, Elliot Mincberg, advised he had gathered this information at the request of GSA’s White House Liaison, Gregory Mercher.”

Judicial Watch eventually prevailed, though it took nearly a year for the videos to be released and the parties were forced into a settlement. JW president Tom Fitton says, “It’s outrageous but not surprising. Welcome to our world. This is what we put up with all the time from the agencies.”

The Washington Times importantly notes: “President Obama promised an era of transparency when it came to open records requests under the Freedom of Information Act, which is the chief way for Americans to pry loose data from the federal government. Despite the president’s exhortations, the government is increasingly fighting requests, forcing the public to file lawsuits to look at information.” Just image how much worse this administration’s cover-ups would be without JW’s unparalleled work in exposing them. It’s not just the IRS targeting conservative groups.



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.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The Politics of 'The Shallows'

What ails American democracy? Too much information and too little thought

What impact has the modern media environment had on the 2016 campaign? I know that’s a boring sentence, but journalists and politicians talk about it a lot, journalists uneasily and politicians with frustration. The 24/7 news cycle and the million multiplying platforms with their escalating demands — for pictures, video, sound, the immediate hot take — exhaust politicians and staff, and media people too. Everyone is tired, and chronically tired people live, perilously, on the Edge of Stupid. More important, modern media realities make everything intellectually thinner, shallower. Everything moves fast; we talk not of the scandal of the day but the scandal of the hour, reducing a great event, a presidential campaign, into an endless river of gaffes.

The need to say something becomes the tendency to say anything. It makes everything dumber, grosser, less important.

This year I am seeing something, especially among the young of politics and journalism. They have received most of what they know about political history through screens. They are college graduates, they’re in their 20s or 30s, they’re bright and ambitious, but they have seen the movie and not read the book. They’ve heard the sound bite but not read the speech. Their understanding of history, even recent history, is superficial. They grew up in the internet age and have filled their brainspace with information that came in the form of pictures and sounds. They learned through sensation, not through books, which demand something deeper from your brain. Reading forces you to imagine, question, ponder, reflect. It provides a deeper understanding of political figures and events.

Watching a movie about the Cuban Missile Crisis shows you a drama. Reading about it shows you a dilemma. The book makes you imagine the color, sound, tone and tension, the logic of events: It makes your brain do work. A movie is received passively: You sit back, see, hear. Books demand and reward. When you read them your knowledge base deepens and expands. In time that depth comes to inform your work, sometimes in ways of which you’re not fully conscious.

In the past 18 months I talked to three young presidential candidates — people running for president, real grown-ups — who, it was clear to me by the end of our conversations, had, in their understanding of modern American political history, seen the movie and not read the book. Two of them, I’ve come to know, can recite whole pages of dialogue from movies. (It is interesting to me that the movies our politicians have most memorized are “The Godfather” Parts I and II.)

Everyone in politics is getting much of what they know through the internet, through Google searches and Wikipedia. They can give you a certain sense of things but are by nature quick and shallow reads that link to other quick and shallow reads. Sometimes subjects are treated in a tendentious manner, reflecting the biases or limited knowledge of the writer.

If you get your information mostly through the Web, you’ll get stuck in “The Shallows,” which is the name of a book by Nicholas Carr about what the internet is doing to our brains. Media, he reminds us, are not just channels of information: “They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought.” The internet is chipping away at our “capacity for concentration and contemplation.” “Once I was a scuba driver in the sea of words,” writes Mr. Carr. “Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.”

If you can’t read deeply you will not be able to think deeply. If you can’t think deeply you will not be able to lead well, or report well.

There is another aspect of this year’s media environment, and it would be wrong not to speak it. It is that the mainstream media appear to have decided Donald Trump is so uniquely a threat to democracy, so appalling as a political figure, such a break with wholesome political tradition, that they are justified in showing, day by day, not only opposition but utter antagonism toward him. That surely has some impact on what Kellyanne Conway calls “undercover Trump voters.” They know what polite people think of them; they know their support carries a social stigma. Last week I saw a CNN daytime anchor fairly levitate with anger as she reported on Mr. Trump; I thought she was going to have an out-of-body experience and start floating over the shiny glass desk. She surely knew she’d pay no price for her shown disdain, and might gain Twitter followers.

Guys, this isn’t helping. Tell the story, ask the questions, trust the people, give it to them straight, report both sides. It’s the most constructive thing you could do right now, when any constructive act comes as a real relief.

In a country whose institutions are in such fragile shape, mainstream media very much among them, it does no good for its members to damage further their own reputations for fairness, probity, judgment. Books will be written about this, though I’m not sure they’ll read them.

As to Monday’s debate, Hillary Clinton won. The story leading up to it was that she was frail, her health bad. Instead she was vibrant, confident, smiling and present. Sometimes when Mrs. Clinton speaks you sense she’s operating at a level of distraction, reviewing her performance in real time or thinking about dinner. Here her mind was on the mission. She did not fall into the hectoring cadence that is a harassment to the ear. She said nothing remotely interesting.

Mr. Trump’s job was to leave you able to imagine him as president. You could have, but it would be a grumpy, grouchy president with thin skin.

Neither quite got across the idea that they were in it for America and not themselves.

When you are a politician leaving the debate stage you always know if you won. You can feel it. You know when it worked and when it didn’t. You ask everyone, “How’d I do?” but you know the answer. And you’re happy. What you get after such a victory is the whoosh. The whoosh is the wind at your back that gives the spring to your step. You get the jolly look and your laugh is a real laugh and not an enactment, and all this makes you better at the next stop, which makes the crowd cheer louder, and then you really know you’ve got the whoosh.

The whoosh can carry you for days or weeks, until there’s a reversal of some kind. Then you lose the sense of magical good fortune and peerless personal performance and the audience senses it, gets quieter, and suddenly the whoosh is gone.

But right now Mrs. Clinton has it.

She’ll probably overplay her hand. That’s what she does. Her sense of her own destiny blinds her to her tendency toward misjudgment. She’ll call Trump supporters a bucket of baneful baddies.

Since the debate Mr. Trump is angry and is going straight into junkyard dog mode, which won’t work well.

This tells me the next week or so she’s on the upalator and he’s on the downalator. After that, we’ll see.



Entertainment as Indoctrination

In October 2008, when presidential candidate Barack Obama declared, "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America," few had the imagination of how radically dramatic and devastating that would prove to be. Just a few days ago, Bernie Sanders joined Hillary Clinton at her rally to woo the impressionable youth with the right to vote with the familiar rhetorical posit, "Is everybody here ready to transform America? You've come to the right place."

Clearly, "progressive" means the ever-progressing destruction of traditional American values. This includes fundamentally transforming family, church and synagogue, neighborhood, schools, marriage, authentic Liberty and, sadly, even the truth. And the Left regularly chastises the Right for not going along with this "tolerance." Such chastisement comes from Saul Alinsky's Rule # 5: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon."

For example, we'll look at two TV shows that show how our entertainment industry seeks to affect the outcome of redefining marriage and a sense of self.

Brent Bozell and Tim Graham offered the case in point in their analysis of the ABC TV show, "Modern Family." The gents framed up what we've long called entertainment as indoctrination quite nicely by walking readers through the liberal success of portraying same-sex marriage as commonplace. Despite about 500,000 same-sex marriages as reported by USA Today in June this year, compared to the more than 60 million traditional marriages reported in 2015, a 1% occurrence has been defined as commonplace on TV.

Until the 1970s, entertainment mirrored our society. Today, entertainment works to chisel away at the bedrock of morality, decency and even commonsense, to have society model its sad display of everything from excessive sexuality and objectifying women to the outright disdain for manhood.

The writers of "Modern Family" weren't satisfied with portraying same-sex marriage as common, so they're now introducing a transgender character — and a child, no less.

In their scrutiny, Bozell and Graham noted the Disney-owned ABC, along with many other hard Left activists who dominate the entertainment industry, is exposed as a cultural deconstructionist with an agenda not to entertain but to indoctrinate. An eight-year-old Atlanta actor selected to "play" the transgender boy will allegedly press the homosexual characters of the show to examine if their tolerance is elastic enough. Translation: The new normal is not only same-sex marriage but the further reaches of gender disorientation pathology.

"Modern Family" doesn't stand alone. Arguably more insidious is ABC's "Once Upon a Time," because it's a show marketed to families. The show features fairy tale characters transported into our world, and it's a clever jumble of Snow White, Prince Charming and the Evil Queen, along with Rumpelstiltskin, Hook, Robin Hood and the Wicked Witch of the West, to name a few. Most of the fun is harmless. Except when it's not.

In an episode that originally aired this April, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz shared a romantic storyline with Little Red Riding Hood, ending with "true love's kiss" breaking a sleeping spell. In an interview with "Entertainment Weekly," the co-creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz lay out the lesbian-themed story plainly and clearly: It was "just another example of how in a fairy tale, as in life, love is love. Our goal is to make it as we see it in the real world, just as normal and as a part of everyday life as it should be."

It's the embodiment of the Left's "love wins" slogan. They weren't winning by claiming rights, so they had to change strategies. Once it became about love, they had a winning formula. Unsuspecting families watching "Once Upon a Time" find themselves identifying and sympathizing with two lesbian characters who are simply following their hearts. What could be so wrong with that?

Every single day this battle for the minds of our children and culture at large is being waged. And, sadly, the militant Left is winning. They're winning by portraying falsehoods as reality, even if it is fairy tale based. They're winning by creating emotional narratives around a weakness in our society — the confidence in one's own identity.

The last few generations of our children have been exposed and trained up with the philosophy that self-esteem is the most critical element in the success of child-rearing and development. We now have millions of youth and young adults who believe they are, indeed, very important. So important that they should have free college tuition. They are entitled to a safe space where their "gender identity" is fluid and must be validated by everyone around them. And "love" — however they define it today — is an end in itself.

In using the term "culture," we connote it to be the anthropological composition of accepted values, habits, knowledge, beliefs and behaviors that are manifested in arts and entertainment, families, religions, government, business, the media and "journalism" and educational systems. Our culture has been inarguably changed over the years with these seven entities being weaponized to create a culture, instead of reflecting a society.

Let's for a moment view "culture" in the sense of an artificial medium rich with nutrients and resources in a controlled environment that feed organisms devoted to replication. Once this culture of like-minded creatures has colonized sufficiently and are introduced into a host environment — the aforementioned venues — the insult begins and the host can and will be overwhelmed.

What's the cure? Not more of the same!



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.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Why I am not a Communist

The excerpt below is taken from a 1956 book by Bertrand Russell.  Russell was an English aristocrat, a brilliant analytical philosopher and a failed educationist but is best known as a peacenik: He went to prison for his pacifism during World War I and was an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament after WWII. It is his philosophical acuity that we see below

In relation to any political doctrine there are two questions to be asked: (1) Are its theoretical tenets true? (2) Is its practical policy likely to increase human happiness? For my part, I think the theoretical tenets of Communism are false, and I think its practical maxims are such as to produce an immeasurable increase of human misery.

The theoretical doctrines of Communism are for the most part derived from Marx. My objections to Marx are of two sorts: one, that he was muddle-headed; and the other, that his thinking was almost entirely inspired by hatred. The doctrine of surplus value, which is supposed to demonstrate the exploitation of wage-earners under capitalism, is arrived at: (a) by surreptitiously accepting Malthus’s doctrine of population, which Marx and all his disciples explicitly repudiate; (b) by applying Ricardo’s theory of value to wages, but not to the prices of manufactured articles. He is entirely satisfied with the result, not because it is in accordance with the facts or because it is logically coherent, but because it is calculated to rouse fury in wage-earners. Marx’s doctrine that all historical events have been motivated by class conflicts is a rash and untrue extension to world history of certain features prominent in England and France a hundred years ago. His belief that there is a cosmic force called Dialectical Materialism which governs human history independently of human volitions, is mere mythology. His theoretical errors, however, would not have mattered so much but for the fact that, like Tertullian and Carlyle, his chief desire was to see his enemies punished, and he cared little what happened to his friends in the process.

Marx’s doctrine was bad enough, but the developments which it underwent under Lenin and Stalin made it much worse. Marx had taught that there would be a revolutionary transitional period following the victory of the proletariat in a civil war and that during this period the proletariat, in accordance with the usual practice after a civil war, would deprive its vanquished enemies of political power. This period was to be that of the dictatorship of the proletariat. It should not be forgotten that in Marx’s prophetic vision the victory of the proletariat was to come after it had grown to be the vast majority of the population. The dictatorship of the proletariat therefore as conceived by Marx was not essentially anti-democratic. In the Russia of 1917, however, the proletariat was a small percentage of the population, the great majority being peasants. it was decreed that the Bolshevik party was the class-conscious part of the proletariat, and that a small committee of its leaders was the class-conscious part of the Bolshevik party. The dictatorship of the proletariat thus came to be the dictatorship of a small committee, and ultimately of one man – Stalin. As the sole class-conscious proletarian, Stalin condemned millions of peasants to death by starvation and millions of others to forced labour in concentration camps. He even went so far as to decree that the laws of heredity are henceforth to be different from what they used to be, and that the germ-plasm is to obey Soviet decrees but that that reactionary priest Mendel. I am completely at a loss to understand how it came about that some people who are both humane and intelligent could find something to admire in the vast slave camp produced by Stalin.

I have always disagreed with Marx. My first hostile criticism of him was published in 1896. But my objections to modern Communism go deeper than my objections to Marx. It is the abandonment of democracy that I find particularly disastrous. A minority resting its powers upon the activities of secret police is bound to be cruel, oppressive and obscuarantist. The dangers of the irresponsible power cane to be generally recognized during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but those who have forgotten all that was painfully learnt during the days of absolute monarchy, and have gone back to what was worst in the middle ages under the curious delusion that they were in the vanguard of progress.




Hillary Clinton says she believes in community policing. At the first Presidential debate she defended the practice in major cities by claiming “crime has continued to drop, including murders.”

First, violent crime in major cities is not on the decline and second, she immediately discusses limiting community control over policing.  Here is the real Clinton fact check:

The FBI 2015 violent crime analysis actually says that “In 2015, the estimated number of murders in the nation was 15,696. This was a 10.8 percent increase from the 2014 estimate, a 7.1 percent increase from the 2011 figure.” While Clinton lead the audience to believe violent crime was decreasing, in reality the worst kinds are still on the rise.

Clintons misguidance on violent crime is much worse than just that though, in 2016 the problem will only grow with major cities still being neglected.

The Brennan Center for Justice analyzed current violent crime trends predict a 13.1 percent rise this year in murders, leading to a projected 31.5 percent increase from 2014 to 2016. The center writes that half of the additional murders taking place can be attributed to Baltimore, Chicago, and Houston.

Half of the total violent crime increases is driven by just two cities, Los Angeles and Chicago, writing “Based on this data, the authors conclude there is no evidence of a national murder wave, yet increases in these select cities are indeed a serious problem.”

Clinton is correct, community policing is a necessity. Yet her and the Obama administration have removed all power from local police to the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department and transformed a problem for individual cities into a national epidemic which a national solution cannot cure.

After describing the misleading statistics on crime reduction Clinton attacks police for perpetuating racially based policing and makes claims of systematic racism in the criminal justice system. Her answer? Remove power from the communities she claimed would be so effective at reducing crime.

President Obama has already begun this process through sue and settle lawsuits and consent decrees President Obama has allowed federal authority to take over major police departments across the country is places like Miami, Fla., Los Angeles, Calif., Ferguson, Mo., and Chicago, Ill. These are all cities with alarmingly high and increasing murder rates. Is more federal regulation helping?

Los Angeles has been under federal review for over a year, equal to the amount of time their murder rate has been climbing steadily.

Violent crime is not only getting worse, but its worst form, murder, is becoming a normalcy in major cities throughout the country. While Clinton hails the success of local police, she also seems to be choking them of their ability to serve their own people. Once again Clinton thinks Washington bureaucrats can lead the American people better than the individuals in their own community, this time better than the individuals who took an oath to protect their own neighbors.



The 'New Elite' vs. Donald Trump's Nationalism

Nick Cohen warns in the Guardian that the "new elite" for so long unchallenged is now facing its self-generated Nemesis: "the often demagogic and always deceitful nationalism ... of Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen and Vladimir Putin."  He explains that while part of the blame must lie with orthodox leftists  "who respond to the challenge of argument by screaming for the police to arrest the politically incorrect or for universities to ban speakers," things have gone altogether too far in the other direction to ignore. "Only true liberalism can thwart the demagogues" now he writes.  Otherwise the upstarts might gain power and treat the globalist elites exactly the way they treated others.

The strategy of "by any means necessary" appeals to the militants confident they possess the truth and are on the "right side of history."  For them the rules are made to be broken. They could cheat because history gave them license to.  "By any means necessary is a translation of a phrase used by the French intellectual Jean-Paul Sartre in his play Dirty Hands. It entered the popular civil rights culture through a speech given by Malcolm X at the Organization of Afro-American Unity Founding Rally on June 28, 1964. It is generally considered to leave open all available tactics for the desired ends, including violence."

The problem is that the strategy works when only one side employs it.  When both sides employ it equally, they become locked in a race to the bottom. Thomas More in Robert Bolt's play "A Man for All Seasons" observed that the advantages of cheating were transitory if they ruined the whole mutually beneficial system.  In one scene, More's associates advise him to move illegally against his enemies and he refuses, arguing that by shredding the law he would in fact be depriving himself of its protection.

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

The game theory equivalent of Thomas More's dictum is the familiar incentive to cheat in a duopoly.  Two firms -- or political parties -- that find themselves in a situation where their combined total take is at the maximum can still be tempted to cheat even though that results in the total shrinkage of the pie because they are temporarily better off cheating.  One cheats and then the other responds.  They give up a good thing for chimerical "gains." They kill the goose for the sake of one more golden egg.

A short-sighted leadership will continue to cheat until both sides reach the bottom, which ironically is a stable condition because neither side has the incentive to cheat any further. Like a rock that falls to the bottom of the hill, it quits rolling and finally stops. This is arguably what is happening to American politics right now.  The Obama administration's attempts to gain a permanent majority and enlarge their constituencies at the expense of their political rivals have brought forth a symmetrical response. You lie, they lie.  You insult, they insult.  You take donations from foreigners, they take compliments of foreigners.  Suddenly they are faced with rivals just as contemptuous of the rules as themselves.

Anne Applebaum asks which deplorable historical figure Donald Trump most resembles: suppose the answer is Hillary Clinton? This is really the problem with the email scandal, the Iran cash payments, the use of the IRS for political purposes, the declaration of sanctuary cities, and the legitimization of a private email server/foundation open to foreign donors.  That was all cute until, as Nick Cohen pointed out, liberalism's opponents threatened to do similarly outrageous things.

That worries him and he wants it to stop. What Cohen fails to grasp is that the dynamic cannot automatically be reversed by "true liberalism" simply calling for a time out on authoritarianism and everyone going back to square one.  Square one's been trampled underfoot.  The whole chessboard has been altered with a new and irregular pattern. A deadly race to the bottom has been initiated and driven by an unleashed incentive to cheat which will require a real effort to undo.

This explains the curious absence of real policy debate in the 2016 elections.  Neither side seems to care if America's global standing falls or if they elect a crook or a clown because the game has changed.  It's no longer about enlarging the pie.  It's about maximizing the crumbs.

The damage done by weakening the Constitution, which Ezra Klein once described as "not a clear document ... written 100 years ago," is immense.   The real tragedy is they didn't even realize how potentially damaging it was.  Like Thomas More's tree, it kept the fierce winds from blowing unhindered. "And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?"


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- mainly about Muslims, blacks and immigration


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.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Monday, October 03, 2016


We are nigh all familiar with the maxim: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

I also like it in its original form – in the original French: “The saying is thought to have originated with Saint Bernard of Clairvaux who wrote (c. 1150), ‘L’enfer est plein de bonnes volontés ou désirs.’ ‘Hell is full of good wishes or desires.’”

Because it shows that not only do good intentions lay your road to Hell – they ensure you get there. Where you and your intentions can plot and plan for all eternity.

And nigh everyone gets this – save for Leftists. And unfortunately for the rest of us, their attempts at good intentions – via government – drag all of us down to Hell right along with them.

Which is ironic. Because what Utopian Leftists are attempting – is to create a Heaven on Earth. Oops.

Good intentions lead to Hell – because this ain’t Heaven. And here on Earth, Reality always, inexorably inserts itself – and disrupts and destroys even the best of intentions.

Exhibit A: New York state.

“‘The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) earlier Monday passed a new set of standards that by 2030 is supposed to ensure that half of New York’s energy needs are met by renewable methods, ranging from solar and wind, as well as hydro and nuclear power.’”

An intended environmentalist heaven. Except:

“As of 2015, New York only generated 11% of its energy via renewables. A tally it has taken them decades – and tens of billions of subsidy dollars – to attain. And now they have mandated a nearly 500% increase – in only fifteen years. Predicated, again, upon energy sources that require massive, ongoing government cash infusions – and in most instances take more energy to produce than they provide.”

Heaven ain’t a place on Earth. And denial ain’t just a river in Egypt:

“Since the energy mandate was approved, (New York Governor Andrew) Cuomo’s energy regulators have been dismissive of any cost concerns.”

New York’s government continues to lay the pavers. And Reality once again rears its head.

Behold “Green Overload” – a study of the government’s environmental mandate. Conducted and written by New York’s Empire Center – a Reality-based free market think tank.

As is always the case, the good intentions look good – but the resulting Hell ain’t pretty:

“1. High Cost—While the governor and the PSC have portrayed the financial impact on ratepayers as minimal, the Clean Energy Standard is likely to add nearly $3.4 billion to New York utility bills in just the next five years.

“2. Questionable Feasibility—The 50 by 30 mandate will require the expansion of solar- and wind-generated power production on a massive and unprecedented scale—without providing needed improvements to an already strained electric transmission system. The PSC also failed to consider the added conventional generating capacity needed to back up renewables when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

“3. Low Impact—The overarching goal of the Clean Energy Standard is to fight projected global warming, but the standard will have a barely discernible impact on global greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), reductions in carbon emissions from New York power generators could be offset by an increase in emissions in eight other RGGI states.

“Given the questions that continue to surround the new renewable mandate, the adoption of the Clean Energy Standard should spark a real debate on the means and ends of energy policy in New York. If the standard is not repealed or at least significantly revised within the next few years, it could wreak havoc on electricity markets in New York while making the state’s energy costs even higher and less competitive in comparison with national norms.”

Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

New York’s government is – with its good intentions – building an eight-lane superhighway to Hell. And flying down it – with the top down.

The Empire Center is providing them with a well-researched, comprehensive “Dead End Dead Ahead” sign. The latest in a long line of such warnings.  Will New York take heed – and turn around? Or continue down their self-laid road to ruin?



Hundreds of Noncitizens on Voting Rolls in Swing State of Virginia

The 2012 presidential race in Virginia was decided by just 3 percentage points, as was the next year’s race for governor. In both 2005 and 2013, fewer than 1,000 votes decided contests for Virginia attorney general.

Against this backdrop, watchdog groups have pushed local election officials in seven Virginia jurisdictions to reveal hundreds of noncitizens who are registered to vote. So far, they have found more than 550.

Every ineligible voter on the rolls could end up being an eligible vote that cancels out the vote of other, eligible voters,” @PILFoundation says.

Potentially more could be found on the voters rolls, as the Public Interest Legal Foundation pursues a total of 20 counties and cities in the Old Dominion—a sampling of its 95 counties and 38 independent cities.

However, leaders of the group say the Virginia State Board of Elections has resisted release of information on ineligible voters.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation represents the Virginia Voters Alliance in a lawsuit filed earlier this year against the city of Alexandria. The city prompted its suspicion after the alliance  determined that more people were registered to vote in the city than eligible voters who lived there, said Noel Johnson, litigation counsel for the legal foundation.

“These records that we are trying to get should all be available through the National Voter Registration Act,” Johnson told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “Every ineligible voter on the rolls could end up being an eligible vote that cancels out the vote of other, eligible voters. So these are high stakes.”

In most cases, Johnson said, counties respond by saying the Virginia State Board of Elections informed them not to provide information about noncitizens who are registered to vote.

Alexandria General Registrar Anna Leider, who is in charge of elections and voter registration there, said the city’s reading of Census Bureau information showed the number of voting-age adults surpassed the number of registered voters. So, city officials disagreed with the Virginia Voters Alliance on that point, she said.

“We provided them with all of the information they have requested,” Leider told The Daily Signal in a phone interview, referring to the alliance.

In Alexandria, election officials have removed 70 noncitizens from the voter rolls since January 2012, Leider said.

Separate from the Alexandria lawsuit, the legal foundation obtained voter information from seven of the 20 counties it is investigating.

Of the data available, the largest number of noncitizens registered to vote was in Prince William County, about 400 since 2011, before officials removed them from the rolls, Johnson said.

Other jurisdictions providing information to the Public Interest Legal Foundation were the city of Fairfax and the counties of Bedford, Hanover, Roanoke, and Stafford, which combined had about 150 noncitizens registered to vote.

Virginia has moved from being a reliably Republican state in presidential elections to twice voting for President Barack Obama. This shift has prompted Democrats and Republicans to contest it as a swing state.

In June, U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of the Eastern District of Virginia, who was appointed by resident Bill Clinton, dismissed the Virginia Voters Alliance lawsuit against Alexandria.

The lawsuit argued that Leider, the registrar, violated the National Voter Registration Act by not releasing records about city procedures for maintaining voter rolls, which the group said should be available for public inspection under the federal voter registration law. The alliance also asked that the rolls be cleaned up, in compliance with that law.

Martin Mash, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Elections, the agency supervised by the Board of Elections, at first told The Daily Signal that the department wouldn’t comment on pending litigation.

When The Daily Signal noted that the lawsuit had been dismissed, Mash again declined to comment. He referred questions on the matter to the office of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, which did not respond to phone and email inquiries. Herring is a Democrat.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation also has sought to know if these noncitizens voted in past elections, but said local governments haven’t provided the information.

“That is not done for any canceled voter registration, not for deceased [voters], not for people who have moved out of the state,” Leider said. “Past activity is not something we routinely check.”

It is a federal crime and a violation of Virginia law for noncitizens to vote.

The federal penalty for an ineligible voter found to have cast a vote could be a fine or imprisonment for no more than one year. Under Virginia law, it is a Class 6 felony for an ineligible voter to vote, punishable by not less than one year of imprisonment and not more than five years

“We have had conversations with the [Alexandria] commonwealth’s attorney, but those conversations are between us and the commonwealth’s attorney,” Leider said.

In Virginia, a commonwealth’s attorney is equivalent to a district attorney or local prosecutor.

The federal voter registration law requires state and local election officials to “make available for public inspection and, where available, photocopying at a reasonable cost, all records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters.”

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow with The Heritage Foundation, is a former member of both the election board in Fairfax County, Virginia, and the Federal Election Commission.

“Not a single one of those noncitizens, who committed a felony under federal law, has been prosecuted,” von Spakovsky said at a forum on voter fraud at The Heritage Foundation, referring to the findings of the legal foundation. “In fact, there is no indication that any of this information was ever turned over to law enforcement officials for investigation or prosecution.”

Von Spakovsky recently wrote that the Virginia State Board of Elections was engaged in a “cover-up”:

Numerous other Virginia counties have refused to provide this information to the Public Interest Legal Foundation, apparently based on instructions from the State Board of Elections and individuals working for the state Department of Elections, which the board supervises. This is what a cover-up directed by state election officials looks like. They are trying to hide hundreds, if not thousands, of instances of voter fraud that occurred on their watch.

If thousands of aliens are registered or actually voting, it would obviously undermine the national narrative that voter fraud is a myth. This would be particularly disturbing in a state like Virginia, in which statewide elections for attorney general have been decided by fewer than 1,000 votes in the last decade.



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.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Sunday, October 02, 2016

A "caring" society

I was talking to a Leftist lady recently.  I guess I was lucky to be able to do that.  Leftists won't normally talk to conservatives.  We have a habit of mentioning inconvenient facts that challenge their beliefs and they are very attached to their beliefs.

And one thing she said gave me a quiet chuckle.  She said what she wanted was a "caring society".  That would mark her out as a good and wise person among her fellow Leftists but she obviously had no idea how that sounds to conservatives.  There IS no caring society, there never has been and never will be.  There are some caring individuals but that is all.

So what conservatives hear is that the Leftist wants to FORCE people to be caring.  Conservatives have no difficulty at all in expanding the phrase into what is really meant by it. It is an advocacy of tyranny and authoritarianism. To conservatives it has a whiff of Robespierre, Stalin and Hitler:  Not desirable company.  So the lady I spoke to presented herself very badly to my conservative ears -- quite contrary to her intentions. But it's very rare for Leftists to have much self-insight.

I did however put it to her that what she wanted was to take money off people who have earned it and give it to people who have not earned it.  I asked her was that fair?  She conceded that it was not fair but rapidly recovered. No self-insight into her authoritarian inclinations emerged.  That she is a perfumed would-be dictator did not seem to be obvious to her.  Or maybe  tyrants are fine by her. If so, she's got no morality at all -- just Leftist fake righteousness


Trump Right on Trade Predators

Is America still a serious nation? Consider. While U.S. elites were denouncing Donald Trump as unfit to serve for having compared Miss Universe 1996 to "Miss Piggy" of "The Muppets," the World Trade Organization was validating the principal plank of his platform.

America's allies are cheating and robbing her blind on trade.

According to the WTO, Britain, France, Spain, Germany and the EU pumped $22 billion in illegal subsidies into Airbus to swindle Boeing out of the sale of 375 commercial jets.

Subsidies to the A320 caused lost sales of 271 Boeing 737s, writes journalist Alan Boyle. Subsidies for planes in the twin-aisle market cost the sale of 50 Boeing 767s, 777s and 787s. And subsidies to the A380 cost Boeing the sale of 54 747s. These represent crippling losses for Boeing, a crown jewel of U.S. manufacturing and a critical component of our national defense.

Earlier, writes Boyle, the WTO ruled that, "without the subsidies, Airbus would not have existed ... and there would be no Airbus aircraft on the market."

In "The Great Betrayal" in 1998, I noted that in its first 25 years the socialist cartel called Airbus Industrie "sold 770 planes to 102 airlines but did not make a penny of profit."

Richard Evans of British Aerospace explained: "Airbus is going to attack the Americans, including Boeing, until they bleed and scream." And another executive said, "If Airbus has to give away planes, we will do it."

When Europe's taxpayers objected to the $26 billion in subsidies Airbus had gotten by 1990, German aerospace coordinator Erich Riedl was dismissive, "We don't care about criticism from small-minded pencil-pushers."

This is the voice of economic nationalism. Where is ours?

After this latest WTO ruling validating Boeing's claims against Airbus, the Financial Times is babbling of the need for "free and fair" trade, warning against a trade war.

But is "trade war" not a fair description of what our NATO allies have been doing to us by subsidizing the cartel that helped bring down Lockheed and McDonnell-Douglas and now seeks to bring down Boeing?

Our companies built the planes that saved Europe in World War II and sheltered her in the Cold War. And Europe has been trying to kill those American companies.

Yet even as Europeans collude and cheat to capture America's markets in passenger jets, Boeing itself, wrote Eamonn Fingleton in 2014, has been "consciously cooperating in its own demise."

By Boeing's own figures, writes Fingleton, in the building of its 787 Dreamliner, the world's most advanced commercial jet, the "Japanese account for a stunning 35 percent of the 787's overall manufacture, and that may be an underestimate."

"Much of the rest of the plane is also made abroad ... in Italy, Germany, South Korea, France, and the United Kingdom."

The Dreamliner "flies on Mitsubishi wings. These are no ordinary wings: they constitute the first extensive use of carbon fiber in the wings of a full-size passenger plane. In the view of many experts, by outsourcing the wings Boeing has crossed a red line."

Mitsubishi, recall, built the Zero, the premier fighter plane in the Pacific in the early years of World War II.

In a related matter, the U.S. merchandise trade deficit in July and August approached $60 billion each month, heading for a trade deficit in goods in 2016 of another $700 billion.

For an advanced economy like the United States, such deficits are milestones of national decline. We have been running them now for 40 years. But in the era of U.S. economic supremacy from 1870 to 1970, we always ran an annual trade surplus, selling far more abroad than Americans bought from abroad.

In the U.S. trade picture, even in the darkest of times, the brightest of categories has been commercial aircraft.

But to watch how we allow NATO allies we defend and protect getting away with decades of colluding and cheating, and then to watch Boeing transfer technology and outsource critical manufacturing to rivals like Japan, one must conclude that not only is the industrial decline of the United States inevitable, but America's elites do not care.

As for our corporate chieftains, they seem accepting of what is coming when they are gone, so long as the salary increases, stock prices and options, severance packages, and profits remain high.

By increasingly relying upon foreign nations for our national needs, and by outsourcing production, we are outsourcing America's future.

After Munich in 1938, Neville Chamberlain and Lord Halifax visited Italy to wean Mussolini away from Hitler. The Italian dictator observed his guests closely and remarked to his foreign minister:

"These men are not made of the same stuff as the Francis Drakes and the other magnificent adventurers who created the empire. These, after all, are the tired sons of a long line of rich men, and they will lose their empire."

If the present regime is not replaced, something like that will be said of this generation of Americans.



Report: 4X As Many Native, Low-Skilled Men Not Participating in Workforce Than Immigrant Counterparts

A report by public policy analyst Jason Richwine about the effects of low-skilled immigrants on the U.S. native worker with the same skill set revealed that four times as many of those natives have dropped out of the workforce.

“Among natives without a high school degree, the fraction who were neither working nor looking for work rose from 26 percent in 1992 to 35 percent in 2015,” the report states. “Over the same period, the fraction of their immigrant counterparts who were out of the labor force actually declined from 12 percent to 8 percent.”

The report, Immigrants Replace Low-Skill U.S.-Born in the Workforce, focuses on men ages 25 to 54 and concluded: “The United States has been a magnet for low-skill immigration even as low-skill natives have worked less and less. This does not necessarily imply that immigrants push out natives from the workforce, but it does mean that immigrants replace natives, causing economic and social distress in the communities most affected.

“As natives leave the workforce – whether because of competition from immigrants, insufficient wages, overreliance on welfare, distaste for manual labor, or some other reason – employers turn increasingly to immigrants.”

At a panel discussion about Richwine’s report, hosted earlier this week by the Center for Immigration Studies at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., experts called for a temporary halt to the flow of low-skilled immigrants into the United States.

Charles Murray, a political scientist and the W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said that while he has always seen the advantages of a global economy, he has come to the recent conclusion that the United States must make its citizens a priority when it comes to immigration policy, specifically the influx of low-skilled immigrants.

“I want to shut down low-skill immigration for a while,” Murray said, calling it a “grand experiment.”

“And I want to shut it down – and I say for a while because it may not work,” Murray said. “It may not work. The notion is this: We will have no good way of knowing how employers will respond until the spigot is cut off.”

“We will have no really good way of knowing the extent to which you will get feedback loops that will un-demoralize a lot of the people who are out of the labor force,” Murray said, adding that if these men were no longer competing with immigrants they may be more likely to seek employment.

“There will always be low-skilled people,” said Amy Wax, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School whose work addresses issues in social welfare law and policy, as well as the relationship of the family, the workplace, and labor markets.

“They will always be there, just like the poor will always be there,” Wax said. “And by bringing in sort of fresh replacement troops – I am completely in favor of shutting down low-skilled immigration – the elites really are operating in bad faith.”

“They are essentially saying: ‘We don’t care about these people and we are not willing to give them a fair chance, perhaps at the cost of paying higher prices,’” said Wax.

“There are going to be some changes that will have to be made in society,” she said. “But, you know, we love the cheap labor.”

“It’s great for us,” she said. “But it is not great for our society in the long term.”

Other findings of the report include:

 *   Native-born high school dropouts worked an average of 1,391 hours (the equivalent of about 35 full-time weeks) per year between 2003 and 2015, while immigrant dropouts worked 1,955 hours (or 49 full-time weeks) per year.

 *   Native-born dropouts have seen their work time decline from 41 equivalent full-time weeks in the 2003-2005 period to 32 weeks in 2012-2015, while immigrant dropouts declined only from 52 weeks to 50 weeks.

 *   While natives fell from 56 percent of the nation's high school dropouts to 52 percent, their share of the labor performed by all dropouts declined much faster — from 50 percent in the 2003-2005 period to 40 percent in 2012-2015.

 *   Among men with more than a high school degree, there are no significant differences in work time between immigrants and natives.



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