Friday, August 11, 2017

How America Lost Its Mind

There is a looong article in "The Atlantic". Under the above title.  It can however be summarized briefly.  KURT ANDERSEN argues that as many as a majority of Americans have always believed silly things.  From my knowledge of history, I am inclined to agree.  And if you don't know much history, Andersen gives you a grand tour of it.

He attributes this flexibility of belief to the general freedoms that Americans have.  The land of the free is, by extension, the land of freedom to believe anything that you want to.  Again, I think there is something in that.

But towards the end of his article Andersen comes of course to TRUMP.  And you can guess what he thinks of Trump.  Trump has no reality contact at all, according to Andersen. He is mad. Leftist thinking and assumptions and customs and procedures have become so entrenched in public discourse that to blast through it all sounds mad to Andersen -- or at least morally defective.

And from Trump's success he concludes that Americans generally have reached new heights of derangement.  But how to explain that fall? The obvious culprit is the internet, which allows all sorts of craziness to spread without check or hindrance.  And, as a secondary cause, Andersen cherry-picks a few things that some Republicans have said that seem particularly corrupting to the search for truth.  Christianity in particular seems to him a major form of brain-rot.

What he is completely blind to, however, is the total disregard for the truth on the political Left.  And that is not controversial.  The Left themselves tell us that.  They say:  "there is no such thing as right and wrong".  And they live that belief.  Almost any Leftist argument is one big exerise in cherry-picking.  What a Leftist polemicist writes normally sounds right and reasonable  -- until you hear the stuff that the Leftist has omitted from his argument.  Telling only one side of the story is the Leftist specialty.  It is so very common that I get the impression that they can do no other.

Conservative polemic, by contrast, usually START OUT with the Leftist argument and then puts forward contrary information. Conservatives keep trying to refute Leftists with facts -- a quite futile operation.  The fine-honed psychological defence mechanisms of the Left -- denial, projection, compartmentalization etc. -- are only one way that they protect themselves from acknowledging inconvenient facts.

Mostly, they do their best to ensure that they never even hear a conservative presentation in the first place.  I have seen them literally get up and run away from a conservative presentation of facts that Leftists normally omit from their consideration.  And, of course, they make huge efforts to censor or disrupt conservative speech so that they don't have to hear it in the first place.  And if a speaker of conservative arguments can be got at and punished for his speech, they will do that too -- ask James Damore of Google about that.

So the Left do their level best to ensure that the whole truth will never come out.  But that inevitably fails.  There are some channels of communication that let people know how much falsehood there is in Leftist writing. People listen to the mainstream TV channels and mainstram newpapers only to find eventually that none of it could he trusted.  Just one man -- Rupert Murdoch -- has cracked the TV and newspaper bubble.  With Fox news, The New York post and the Wall St Journal, Murdoch has made widely available information that would once not have come to the attention of the general public.  And enough people take in Murdoch's information to use it in everyday discussions.  So even people who themselves absorb no Murdoch input will often hear of it by word of mouth. And there are of course radio talkers and blogs that also evade the Leftist straitjacket on information.

So now that people have a growing awareness that they have been systematically deceived, one must expect a certain cynicism to set in.  People begin to ask the age-old question:  "What is truth?" And the answers to that will often be not very sophisticated.  People will seize on any belief that seems plausible to them. So I agree that we now live in an age of heightened irrationality.  The lying Left have propelled us into it.

And the rise of Trump is explainable in the same way.  His distancing himself from the conventional authorities and calling them a "swamp" coincides very well with how many people have been perceiving all the deception that flow from such authorities.  He offers a way out of the intellectual morass that the Left have created.

And even his manner of speech offers hope.  He speaks  in extremely simple English:  Short sentences using very common words.  He comes across even in his manner of speaking as a plain and simple man -- most unlike the smooth pieties of most media figures.  He really does seem different -- mainly because he is.  And even his famous inattention to detail corresponds with how most Americans operate:  They go for the broad outline with no time for details.

So. Yes.  We do live in times where finding the truth can be a big challenge.  But there is after all a fairly easy way to do it if you have time.  You just have to read both sides of every question.  Do that and you will soon see which side is offering a balanced account of reality.

Also: Reality is the ultimate test of whether your theories are right or wrong.  If they are wrong you will not get the results you expect.  If they are right you may make a big breakthrough, as Trump has done with a couple of hundred thousand new jobs being created every month and a big rise on the stockmarket.  The economy could do with a bit more more "madness" like that.


Indonesia to bust sanctions on Russia

Indonesia said Tuesday it would trade palm oil, coffee and tea for Russian fighter jets, saying it wanted to capitalise on international sanctions on Moscow as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was due to arrive for a visit.

Indonesia and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding to exchange 11 Russian-made Sukhoi fighters for key commodities in Moscow last week, a spokesman for Indonesia's trade ministry said.

"The idea was proposed last year and some people suggested Indonesia should trade the jets with our main commodities," spokesman Marolop Nainggolan told AFP.

The EU and US have targeted Russia with sanctions for alleged meddling in the US presidential election and its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.

However, Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita has said the sanctions, which have forced Russia to seek new markets to import from, could be good news for Jakarta.

"It's an opportunity which should not be lost from our grasp," he said in Moscow last week.

The deal, to be carried out between Russia's Rostec and PT Perusahaan Perdagangan Indonesia, could be an opening for a further bilateral trade deal that extended to energy and aviation, Lukita said.

The exact timeframe and value of the exchange were not clear.

Details of the barter came as Lavrov was to begin his two-day visit to Southeast Asia's biggest economy later Tuesday.



Tillerson Says Not to Worry, Pacific Air Forces Ready to 'Fight Tonight'

I think Tillerson is right.  Kim just wants attention but he will not do anything that will draw a major assault on him

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addressed reporters on his flight to Guam Wednesday, telling them not to worry about Kim Jong Un's latest threat.

Soon after the United Nations issued new sanctions as punishment for North Korea's newest ballistic missile test, a Washington Post report surfaced revealing that the regime now has the ability to miniaturize nuclear weapons to fit on to ICBMs. President Trump issued a warning to North Korea, telling the nation they would face "fire and fury" should they continue to threaten the U.S. Just a few hours after those remarks, North Korea reportedly issued a threat against Guam.

It is all plenty to concern Americans. Yet, Tillerson said North Korea is only making a knee jerk reaction to the new sanctions and suggested Kim Jong Un is all bark, no bite.

"I think Americans should sleep well at night, have no concerns about this particular rhetoric of the last few days," he said.

In fact, Tillerson concluded the president used the exact right tone in his message for North Korea and succeeded in getting his message across.

"In response to that, North Korea's rhetoric is just ratcheted up, louder and louder and more threatening," Tillerson noted. "So I think the president, what the president is doing is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong Un would understand, because he doesn't seem to understand diplomatic language."

However, should North Korea's threats be more than rhetoric, the Pacific Air Forces said they are "ready to fight tonight."

The secretary of state said he has no plans to take Guam off of his schedule.



ABC settled 'pink slime' lawsuit for $177 million, leaving the beef company feeling 'vindicated'

Disney paid Beef Products Inc. (BPI) $US177 million to settle the 'pink slime' lawsuit that claimed a story ABC ran in 2012 misled viewers and caused hundreds of layoffs.

On Wednesday, Walt Disney Co's quarterly earnings report revealed that the company spent $US177 million "in connection with the settlement of litigation" last quarter.

The case could have resulted in a verdict of as much as $US5.7 billion if BPI had won. In late June, ABC announced it had reached an "amicable resolution" with BPI.

BPI's attorney, Dan Webb, said the settlement "vindicated" the company and its "lean finely textured beef," the product that ABC dubbed "pink slime" in its 2012 reports, according to Hytrek.

"Although we have concluded that continued litigation of this case is not in the company's interests, we remain committed to the vigorous pursuit of truth and the consumer's right to know about the products they purchase," ABC said in a statement.

Lawyers made their opening arguments less than a month ago in a trial that could have resulted in a verdict of as much as $US5.7 billion if BPI had won.

In the suit, BPI alleged that ABC misled viewers by calling its lean finely textured beef "pink slime." LFTB is a common ingredient in beef products and is safe to eat, which ABC noted in its reports. However, even with assurances that the ingredient, made from the trimmings of a cow and treated with ammonia to kill bacteria, wasn't dangerous, the phrase "pink slime" turned off customers, the lawsuit claimed.

"They ignored the proper name," Webb said in his opening argument, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "When you have a major news organisation that is calling the product 'slime,' witnesses will say they can't imagine anything worse. It connotes something disgusting, inedible."

BPI said it had to close three plants and lay off 700 workers because of the "pink slime" backlash.

ABC's attorney argued that the "pink slime" reports brought to light that BPI and other ground-beef producers were using a beef product that most customers were unaware they were eating.




I noted recently that I have reposted the comprehensive survey of Nazi docrine that I originally wrote in conjunction with Michael Miller.  At that time, I had not completely reinstated the graphics in the chapter dealing with Nazi gun control.  I have however now done that and you can go directly to that chapter by clicking here


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

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


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Socialist paint?

A few excerpts below.  One wonders if the Democratic Socialists of America are as democratic as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.  But we learn that they have plenty of money and they still think Israel controls Gaza

Things are looking up for the Democratic Socialists of America. With a membership of 25,000, it is now the largest socialist group in America since the Second World War. And last weekend in Chicago, it held its largest convention, by a considerable margin, in its history.

Membership has more than tripled in a year, gaining a large boost from the candidacy of Bernie Sanders and an even bigger one from the election of Donald Trump. Something like 1,500 people joined on Nov. 9, 2016, alone — about average for an entire year before now, Joseph Schwartz, a longtime member of DSA's National Political Committee, told The Week. That sharp surge in new recruits — most of whom are fairly young — has created a fairly stark age bifurcation among members. Somewhat akin to Sanders campaign, there is an old guard of people who have been carrying the left-wing torch for years, and a recent surge of new members radicalized by the recession and the haplessness of the Democratic Party.

There were moments of acrimonious debate over a few topics, but ultimately most of the major proposals were adopted with large majorities. Among other things, delegates voted to create a formal harassment and grievance policy, to endorse the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (directed at ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza), to leave the Socialist International, to create a labor organizing committee, and to endorse Medicare for all as a major priority.

The DSA also took paints to make up for its shortcomings, particularly its demographics. The group is quite a bit more white, male, and educated than America writ large. Convention delegates were about 40 percent female and 20 percent minority, according to DSA statistics — not exactly the "Bernie bros" of the liberal imagination, but neither as diverse as they would like.

Perhaps surprisingly for a socialist organization, there was also an emphasis on money. A presentation on DSA's finances emphasized that while the organization is flush, it will take hard work to keep it that way.



The entire National Security Council staff should be fired

So, apparently, the President’s conversations with foreign leaders, including the President of Mexico and Prime Minister of Australia, were recorded and/or transcribed by National Security Council staff, subsequently classified and then illegally leaked to the Washington Post.

This might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. And not for President Donald Trump, who ultimately makes personnel decisions at the White House, but for those who may have finally, simply gone too far.

For goodness’ sake, the President cannot even have a conversation with leaders in Mexico about the wall or Australia about dumping their refugees into the U.S. without it being leaked by his own staff to sabotage the administration’s policies on immigration and refugees.

There is a clear pattern. The leaks are all in the direction of opposing Trump’s agenda.

Under the Constitution, we have one executive for a reason. That includes the conduct of foreign relations. To the extent that the leaks make it more difficult for the President to discharge his constitutional responsibilities dealing with foreign leaders, they undermine national security.

Other examples include attempts to carry on relations and to ratchet down tensions with Russia. Then-incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s conversation with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was intercepted in December and then leaked to the Washington Post in January.

Some of the content of Trump’s meeting with Kislyak and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov — including discussion of active global terrorist threats affecting both countries — in the Oval Office was leaked to the Washington Post in May.

Some of the substance of the conversation of Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner with Kislyak during the transition period on Nov. 16, 2016 was leaked to the Washington Post from intercepted communications by U.S. intelligence agencies.

These are all clearly designed to sabotage the President’s attempts at détente with Russia, something he campaigned on in 2016. As if Trump was the first president to ever attempt that. You have to basically ignore Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Carter and Reagan — most of the Cold War — who at various intervals, set the stage for first dialogue, establishing direct lines of communication to deescalate the possibility of nuclear exchange, then limiting strategic arms and finally, reducing them. These used to be heralded as diplomatic accomplishments. Now every well-intentioned overture is treated as collusion and treason.

Incidentally, these three issues, Trump’s positions on the wall with Mexico, refugees and Russia were part of what set him apart on foreign policy from the other candidates who ran in 2016. Here’s the key. Taking those positions, Trump won the majority of the Electoral College in November. Trump deserves the chance to pursue those policies under the Constitution. Instead, he is being undermined by his own staff at the White House. This is unacceptable and inexcusable.

That is why Trump must simply fire the National Security Council staff in its entirety and start from scratch. Nobody can be trusted. There’s just no other way to be certain that the leaks will stop.

In addition, it is long overdue that Trump cut all former presidents and their designees out of the loop of classified information under federal rules and by revising Executive Order 13526, something Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning called for in early March, saying “They have no need to know.”

The case for doing so now appears all but irrefutable, particularly after it was revealed by’s Sara Carter on August 3 that in late April that National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster had granted a continued security clearance to former National Security Advisor Susan Rice — weeks after it was reported by Bloomberg View’s Eli Lake that she was at the heart of the unmasking scandal by the former Obama administration targeting the opposition party during the 2016 election campaign.

Despite the fact that Rice had been fingered in the unmasking scandal weeks earlier, according to Carter, “Trump was not aware of the letter or McMaster’s decision, according to two Senior West Wing officials and an intelligence official, who spoke to Circa on condition that they not be named.”

McMaster cannot keep control of the National Security Council, and Americans for Limited Government’s Manning said that means it’s time for him to go: “The only option President Trump has is to clean house at the National Security Council, starting at the top with General McMaster. The threat posed to the country by the National Security Council leaking requires immediate and swift action.”

This is the part where the American people can hope that perhaps Trump has simply been playing dumb with McMaster, carrying on like he has no clue what’s happening with the leaks or why, and in the meantime has developed a strategy to survive these machinations. Hopefully the gloves are about to come off.



China bows to Trump pressure, votes against North Korea in U.N.

Under pressure from the Trump administration to rein in its nuclear neighbor, Communist China voted Saturday in favor of a United Nations resolution banning exports from North Korea until Pyongyang ceases its nuclear weapons program.

While Communist China has voted in favor of sanctions on North Korea in the past, China often sides with North Korea in international talks, fearful sanctions will destabilize the regime and create a crisis on its border.

The BBC reports:

China’s foreign minister has told his North Korean counterpart that Pyongyang should stop carrying out nuclear and missile tests, hours after fresh sanctions were agreed by the United Nations Security Council.

Wang Yi said he urged Ri Yong-ho to abide by UN resolutions in a meeting on Sunday in the Philippines.

He did not say how Mr Ri replied.

Saturday’s resolution banning North Korean exports and limiting investments in the country was passed unanimously.

Mr Wang said sanctions were needed, but “are not the final goal”, and he urged dialogue. He said he told North Korea to remain calm, and not provoke the international community with more tests…

…Beijing has often protected Pyongyang from harmful resolutions in the past.

Russia, which the US has also criticised for its economic links with North Korea, also voted for the sanctions.

This new resolution is far more stringent, in the wake of Pyongyang testing new intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the interior of the United States.  While North Korea is impoverished due to its Marxist government, it is rich in minerals.  Exports of iron, coal and other mined goods to China — banned under the resolution — are largely its only source of income,

Communist China’s support comes after the Trump administration has stepped up U.S. rhetoric critical of Beijing’s international aggression.



Google should have Googled labor law

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in reaction to Google’s firing of engineer James Damore after he communicated his views on how the company’s politically correct culture was harming its work environment and products offering:

“Google should have Googled labor law. Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act gives employees the right to engage in ‘concerted activities for the purpose of … mutual aid or protection’ of fellow employees and under Section 8 it is illegal for an employer to ‘interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed.’ James Damore was attempting to improve working conditions at the company he worked at and communicated his views to fellow employees, taking direct aim at what he viewed as Google’s PC culture. By firing James Damore, who apparently had filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, Google may have created significant legal jeopardy for itself.

“An adverse ruling by the NLRB that Google engaged in an unfair labor practice could result in its entire diversity-driven, politically correct inquisition to now be subjected to federal oversight, potentially being ordered to end the unfair practice and to revise company policies as a remedy. There is a lot we do not know. There could be hundreds of witnesses who if they had similar findings as Damore could tear the underbelly of Silicon Valley’s left-wing bias wide open for the nation to see. This would provide the impetus for opening up Google’s personnel policies and how they are creating a hostile working environment for those who don’t toe the left-wing company line.”



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 THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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


Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Women beware: President Trump and the promise of violence (?)

Angela McRobbie, a Professor of Communications writes below.  She has a vivid imagination and no balance at all.  She intuits a promise of violence from Trump while ignoring the actual violence that Leftists repeatedly dish out to Trump supporters.

And her claim that Trump is authoritarian shows scant awareness of the meaning of words.  Which is authoritarian, to impose lot of regulations on what people can do or to abolish a lot of such regulations?  To anybody except a professor of communications and other people similarly handicapped, it would be obvious that the Left are the authoritarians and Trump is the liberator.  Or is she simply so poorly informed that she is unaware of how many regulations Trump has abolished?  However you look at it she is not much of a professor of anything

When Emily Maitlis of BBC Newsnight landed her first (and possibly as it transpired, her last) interview with the then-incoming Head of Communications for the White House, Anthony “the Mooch” Scaramucci, she could have had little idea beyond her briefing notes what to expect. What viewers actually saw and heard wasn’t just a bad omen of things to come, but an exercise in that peculiar blend of undisguised contempt and ferocious masculine-driven competition that has become a decisive marker of the violent underpinnings of Donald Trump and his administration. Women beware.

Scaramucci rose to the occasion of having a well-trained and well-mannered BBC female journalist in front of him by attempting to cut her down to size. He repeatedly pointed and stabbed his finger at Maitlis. He seemed to want to pat her on the arm, perhaps intending to infantilise her as ‘just a girl.’ Eventually he did touch her on the hand, thereby breaking all the normal etiquette and disarming her for a moment. Successful working women like Maitlis might have gotten to the top, but she still needed to be reminded of the ‘natural’ pecking order.......

Trump’s particular brand of authoritarianism relies on the popularity of various media genres to give it legitimacy, even in adversity, and even when the White House is struggling to meet any of its policy objectives.



A Convention of States to Restore the American Tradition

Hundreds of articles and blog posts since the COS movement emerged a few years ago deal with the impossibility of reform from those who profit so well from DC corruption. Other posts, like those scattered about this ArticleVBlog, examined the historic foundations of free government from the 17th century English philosophers down to our Revolution and Constitution.

When taken together, all the events and ideas which shaped the American psyche since publication of the King James Bible in 1611 may be grouped together by the term, ‘Tradition’. Today, I appeal to that which gets little attention, but is so necessary to our survival – the American Tradition. The spark for this squib is F.A. Hayek’s The Fatal Conceit (1988). Tradition, as related by Hayek, resides between instinct and reason. Instinct and reason are distinct from tradition. No amount of reason can produce tradition.

Why is tradition so important? Tradition, customs, and norms of behavior called morals enable and are necessary to the continued existence of the civil society. Unlike totalitarian regimes, republics rest on the common, shared attitudes of the people toward that personal sphere of movement unhindered by anyone else, which we call liberty.

Tradition isn’t genetically passed on to us. We weren’t born with it. Neither can reason alone create tradition. Traditions are the societal, shared notions of right and wrong, of acceptable and unacceptable behavior. These unwritten laws are mostly the ‘thou shalt nots’ which tame the primitive instincts in everyone. If citizens, families, and their organic associations outside of government comprise society, civil society is one in which tradition guides and directs their peaceful and productive lives. An American Tradition left unmolested by the Left, particularly the Supreme Court, limits violence and assaults on our persons and freedom far more effectively than statutory laws.

Civil society is orderly because the rules of human conduct, such as those dealing with property, honesty, contract, exchange, trade, competition, gain and privacy are observed, not in fear of police arrest for violation, but because tradition commands obedience. The source for these evolved norms are time-out-of-mind. They are neither instinctive nor derived from reason. 1
Even though the individual depends on these constraints for his life, he usually doesn’t understand how they function or how they benefit him. He desires so much of what he sees, but is not permitted to grasp. Disliking these constraints so much, we can hardly be said to have selected them; rather, these constraints selected us; they enabled us to survive. 2

The American Tradition and its resulting extended order did not arise all at once; these rules of civil and personal conduct did not spread because men understood them, but simply because they enabled us to prosper more successfully than other cultures.3 Learning how to behave is more the source than the result of insight, reason, and understanding. Man must be taught to be wise, rational and good. He wasn’t born that way. Intellect did not create our morals, but rather human interactions governed by our morals make possible the growth of reason and those capabilities associated with it.4 Is it any wonder the majority of prison inmates grew up in fatherless homes?

In the final chapter, an agnostic Hayek relates why religion is the guardian of tradition. Custom and tradition are more likely to guide society when supported by religious beliefs, the main function of which is to restrain our animal impulses. Acceptance of supernatural beings that could punish transgressions led to observance of the restraints. The belief in some religions that ancestors watched over and would judge the actions of the living is a powerful inducement to follow traditional and religious norms. 5

We owe it partly to mystical and religious beliefs, (particularly to Christianity) that beneficial traditions have been preserved and transmitted at least long enough to enable those groups following them to grow, and to have the opportunity to spread by natural selection. This means that, like it or not we owe the persistence of certain practices and the civilization that resulted from them, in part to support from beliefs which are not verifiable, testable, or the result of rational argumentation.

Regardless of one’s views, even agnostics and atheists should recognize the harm done by the loss of nonfactual beliefs. This loss has deprived mankind of a powerful support in the long development of the extended order. The religious view that morals were determined by processes incomprehensible to many of us is truer than the rationalist delusion that man, by exercising his intelligence, invented morals that gave him the power to achieve more than he could ever foresee. 6

Learning societal norms begins with the family. In their demented way, Islamic families do just that. While despotic rulers in Islamic societies crush liberty, they leave families to patriarchal absolutism. From their religion and customs, fathers are tyrants and may kill their children without fear of civil penalty. It is why muslims are typically far more attached to their traditions than we Americans are to ours. The American Tradition recognizes the distinction between religion and state; Islam doesn’t. The Islamic culture renders its adherents incapable of absorbing the American Tradition. Islam and the American Tradition are mutually exclusive.

While the goals of a COS are to reduce the size and scope of government, the essence of the state-driven amendment process is restoration of the American tradition, in which self-evident truths are made real once again through re-federalization of our national government. Restoration of the American Tradition, the real exercise of unalienable rights, supported along the way by Christianity, are only possible when the states return to the senate, AND have appellate review of supreme court decisions. (See Mark Levin’s Liberty Amendments.)

Conversely, without a COS, what remains of the American Tradition, and with it, the republic, are doomed to destruction by two enemies. First is the spread of the Islamic Tradition, Sharia. Sharia has no place in the West, not just because it is brutal, degenerate, and disgusting; if allowed to expand, it will displace and overwhelm free government Traditions everywhere.

Second, home-grown enemies also threaten the American Tradition. Last week I called out Obama’s Army, Organizing for America (OFA). They exist to reverse the American Revolution, to overturn the American Tradition. OFA believes they can supplant the American Tradition with the conclusions of Leftist ‘reason’: social justice.

Listen to the shudder you feel when singing the Star Spangled Banner or standing at attention when Boy Scouts parade the colors. It is the American Tradition calling out for salvation. We are the many; our oppressors are the few. Government is the playground of politicians, but the Constitution is ours. Be proactive. Restore the American Tradition. Join Convention of States.



Another prophet who is so blinded by his theories that he fails to see reality

David Stockman headed the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan but he shows below that he has no understanding of Trump.  By conventional theories, the Trump economy should be tanking.  But it is not.  Employment and all sorts of positive indices are up under Trump,  He is already a big success and that should feed on itself and grow.  Doom is not yet

What will be the trigger that finally sends the establishment after Trump?

Ultimately, the hammer of fiscal crisis and a crashing stock market will break any remaining loyalty of the GOP elders as they smell the 2018 elections turning into a replay of the rout of 1974.

And then the Donald will be gone, and well before August 2018, too. I told an audience in Vancouver last Friday that it could happen by February.

The bottom line is that the Swamp is so undrainable that it will end up making mincemeat of Donald Trump.

Needless to say, the ultimate causes of his demise are anchored deep in the failing status quo.

America is so addicted to war, debt and central bank driven false prosperity that even the most resourceful and focused challenger would be taken down by its sheer inertia.

But the Donald is so undisciplined, naïve, out-of-touch, thin-skinned, unfocused and megalomaniacal that he is making it far easier for the Swamp critters than they deserve. To a very considerable extent, in fact, he is filling out his own bill of indictment.

Moreover, he is totally clueless about how to manage his presidency or cope with the circling long knives of the Deep State which are hell bent on removing him from office.

Accordingly, the single most important thing to know about the present risk environment is that it is extreme and unprecedented.

In essence, the Donald is the ultimate bull in an exceedingly fragile China shop — and an already badly wounded one at that.



Another book showing that the Nazis were Leftist

The Left loves accusing the right of being fascists — but the Nazis, the National Socialists, were left-wing, not right-wing! Dinesh D’Souza is back to destroy the Democrat Party in his latest book, The Big Lie: Exposing The Nazi Roots of the American Left.

The Conservative Book Club’s Editor in Chief, Christopher Malagisi, interviewed D’Souza about the American Left and how much of their tactics can be traced to the Nazis, based on D’Souza’s research.



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 THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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


Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Principles over Personalities

Terry Paulson puts an argument below that I mostly agree with but his comments on free trade are naive.  There are three reasons why Trump's restrictive attitudes to trade are right

1). He's got the voters behind him.  So opposing him on that would be an electoral disaster.  He largely won office on his skepticism about the "exporting" of jobs.  He has a degree in economics and he has held his view on trade from long before he ran for political office.  So his views are well-considered and of long standing.  One must consider that he is on to something.

2).  The major argument in favour of free trade is its economic efficiency:  It delivers lowest prices.  But there are also non-economic arguments to be considered. Economics is not everything.   Economists have long recognized a variety of those arguments: The infant industry argument, the national security argument and the "Australian" case.  None of those arguments are at issue in the present case but the lesson should be learned that economics-only arguments have long been recognized as too simplistic even by economists. In Trump's case, he is arguing that social stability is being risked by too-rapid industrial change and that change should therefore be reined in and partially reversed.  And if a conservative cannot oppose change and argue for stability, who can?

3). Even the economic argument is shaky and may only apply when all other things are equal.  The strongest argument there is the 19th century experience.  During the 19th century, America prospered mightily behind HIGH trade walls.  There was nothing approaching free trade then. Might not a similar prospering happen again under Trump?  Given the surge in employment that has already taken place since his election, it looks like that is in fact already happening.  How embarrassing to many it will be if Trump's "dumb" policies deliver a win-win:  Prosperity plus stability!

With Republicans in control of the executive and legislative branch, critical things can and should get done. Should Republican principles be more important than presidents in guiding our policy priorities in Washington? Certainly.

US Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona has just published a controversial new book, Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principles. Although some question Flake’s own priorities and voting record, he calls for putting principles ahead of personalities. Losers don’t legislate, but legislation must serve a purpose. He writes, “If this was our Faustian bargain, then it was not worth it. If ultimately our principles were so malleable as to no longer be principles, then what was the point of political victories in the first place?”

Like many conservatives, Flake believes that Trump appointed an exceptional Supreme Court justice. His positions on cutting regulations and initiating a tax policy that lowers rates and broadens the base are easy to embrace and support. But Flake feels that Trump strays from conservative principles on curtailing free trade. Free trade serves our citizens, our businesses, and keeps important allies in our trade orbit in an expanding global economy.

Republicans have lost in elections when they stray from the principles that guide them. In 2001, President George W. Bush came into the Presidency and pushed for “No child left behind” and a prescription drug entitlement plan. He promoted his “caring conservative” version of bigger, better government, and the principle of smaller government was pushed aside. In the mid-term elections, the GOP lost the Senate.

Our Founding Fathers wisely built checks and balances into our Constitutional structure. It’s time for Republicans in Congress to assert their role and let Republican principles be their primary guide. They should support and work with Trump whenever they can. They should work with Democrats willing to build on common ground, but they should not follow Trump where he departs from what we stand for. Winners legislate; it’s time they assert their priorities.

In the coming months, I will focus on the six primary principles that California Republicans have said unites them: smaller government and less government regulations; lower taxes on small businesses and individuals; a strong military and homeland security; sustain the American Dream through personal freedom and responsibility; promote educational excellence through school choice; and support a free-enterprise, free-trade economy. It’s time Congress and President Trump get busy delivering on what matters most.



Network denies axing Tim Allen’s popular sitcom over Trump support

US television network ABC has denied that it cancelled comedian Tim Allen’s popular sitcom Last Man Standing due to its conservative politics.

Fans of the show — and Allen himself — were angered when ABC announced in May that one of its most-watched scripted series, a solid ratings draw, was being brought to an end.

Allen’s character, an outspoken conservative, echoed the political positions of the 64-year-old actor, a Republican who attended President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The announcement sparked a firestorm of criticism on social media, with Allen tweeting that he had been “stunned and blindsided” by Disney-owned ABC’s decision.

Meanwhile a petition on that attracted more than 300,000 signatures claimed the comedy was cancelled because it was the only entertainment program that was not constantly shoving “liberal ideals down the throats of the viewers.”

“Politics had absolutely nothing to do with it,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey told the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles.
Tim Allen and Nancy Travis in a scene from Last Man Standing.

Tim Allen and Nancy Travis in a scene from Last Man Standing.Source:Supplied

“We have actors on our shows who have all sorts of political views. Tim Allen is a valuable part of the Disney family and has been for a very long time.” She described Last Man Standing as a “high quality show” but added that the network had not been able to find room in the schedules for a seventh season.

A month before the cancellation Allen had spoken about Trump’s inauguration on late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live, saying that he was “almost afraid” to say he had been at the event.

“You gotta be real careful around here,” Allen said. “You get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody else believes. This is like ’30s Germany.”



Hostility toward religion is on the rise in the United States, according to a new report

The report, recently released by the Family Research Council, shows an increase in the number of incidents involving “religious freedom violations” since the first report was released in July 2014. The original report spanned over a decade and contained 90 incidents. In the past three years, 69 new incidents have been added.

“The recent spike in government-driven religious hostility is sadly not surprising, especially considering the Obama administration’s antagonism toward biblical Christianity,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, in a statement. “The report underscores the legitimacy of the actions taken by the Trump administration to end the policies and practices in federal agencies that fan the flames of this religious intolerance.”

Perkins added the report’s findings also show “the growing courage of Christians, especially young Christians, to defend both their faith and their freedoms.”

The report found that antagonism toward religious beliefs on sexuality was fueling much of the increase:

Hostility to religious beliefs on natural marriage and human sexuality … [included] 42 incidents in the report’s first edition. In the time since then, 48 new incidents have been added to these sections. Thus, the number of these religious freedom violations more than doubled …

In the introduction to the report, the Family Research Council writes that the attacks on religious teaching on marriage and sexuality “is the product of more insidious forces which ultimately will erode civil liberties for all Americans, even if they hold a different viewpoint than our own.”

Included in the religious liberty violations listed in the report was one about a survey distributed by a major financial firm.

In 2014, JPMorgan Chase, a vocal advocate of LGBT rights, sent out a survey to its employees asking a number of questions. The survey asked if the employee was “disabled, had family members that were disabled, if they were LGBT, or if they were allies of the LGBT movement.” Employees that answered negatively the final question could be interpreted as being at odds with the beliefs of the firm.

In February 2016, Edie and David Delorme received death threats after declining to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. The Delormes, who are devout Baptists, have previously refused to create cakes that go against their religious convictions, including those “that support alcohol, tobacco, gambling, or convey sexually inappropriate images,” according to the report.

Rather than accepting a list of nearby bakeries that would create the same-sex wedding cake instead, the couple complained to the media, bringing on harsh attacks against the Delormes.

“The bakery received threats of violence on social media and Yelp,” the Family Research Council wrote. “Though the bakery was never threatened with a lawsuit, they remain a target of criticism by LGBT activists.”

Another area of extreme hostility concerns Catholic churches, schools, and hospitals who have been operating in accordance with the Catholic Church’s teaching.

One example occurred in September 2016 when Kate Drumgoole, a guidance counselor and coach at a Catholic high school in New Jersey, was fired when the administration learned that she was in a same-sex relationship.

Drumgoole, citing discrimination, sued the archdiocese and Paramus Catholic High School despite having previously signed the archdiocese’s “Policies on Professional and Ministerial Conduct.” By signing it, teachers acknowledge the requirement that they “act in accordance with the ‘discipline, norms and teachings of the Catholic Church.’”

“Religious liberty is the exercise of our inherent, natural rights. It is not limited to freedom to worship, rather, it means that we are free to live consistently with our beliefs in the public square,” says Melanie Israel, a research associate in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.

“Individuals and organizations should be able to maintain their ability to abide by their religious convictions when they carry out their work, including serving the poor, educating the next generation, or running a business.”



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 THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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


Monday, August 07, 2017

Leftist hate out in the open

Nearly a half-million people turned out at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, 2017 to “send a bold message” to the incoming presidential administration. It probably never occurred to them that they might be marching for something worse than that which they were marching against.

New York Times editor Bari Weiss, in a column Tuesday bearing the headline “When Progressives Embrace Hate,” took a close look at the women who organized the effort. And what’s behind the curtain is not pretty.

If anyone doubts that “hate” is an accurate term, take a look at what Weiss writes about the four women— Tamika Mallory, Bob Bland, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour—behind the march.

Actually, check that. Let the women tell you themselves, which is precisely what Weiss does. She starts with Sarsour:

“Nothing is creepier than Zionism,” she wrote in 2012. And, oddly, given her status as a major feminist organizer, there are more than a few that seem to make common cause with anti-feminists, like this from 2015: “You’ll know when you’re living under Shariah law if suddenly all your loans and credit cards become interest-free. Sound nice, doesn’t it?” She has dismissed the anti-Islamist feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the most crude and cruel terms, insisting she is “not a real woman” and confessing that she wishes she could take away Ms. Ali’s vagina — this about a woman who suffered genital mutilation as a girl in Somalia.
This seems insensitive and, well, stupid. But is it “hateful”? Hold on; we’re just getting started.

More recently, Weiss points out, the official Twitter account of the Women’s March tweeted out support for Assata Shakur. When Jake Tapper pointed out on Twitter that Shakur is a fugitive cop killer, Sarsour accused the CNN correspondent of joining “the ranks of the alt-right to target me online.”

“Since when did criticizing a domestic terrorist become a signal issue of the far right?” Weiss asks. “Last I checked, that position was a matter of basic decency and patriotism.”

Sadly, it only gets weirder from here. Weiss turns her attention to Perez and Mallory.

“Ms. Mallory, in addition to applauding Assata Shakur as a feminist emblem, also admires Fidel Castro, who sheltered Ms. Shakur in Cuba. She put up a flurry of posts when Mr. Castro died last year. ‘R.I.P. Comandante! Your legacy lives on!’ she wrote in one. She does not have similar respect for American police officers. ‘When you throw a brick in a pile of hogs, the one that hollers is the one you hit,’ she posted on Nov. 20.
Ms. Perez also expressed her admiration for a Black Panther convicted of trying to kill six police officers: ‘Love learning from and sharing space with Baba Sekou Odinga.’”
If praising cop killers and dictators is not enough for you, alas, we’re still not done.

Weiss shows that Mallory and Perez also gush over Louis Farrakhan, the man who praised Hitler on national television as “a very great man” and called Judaism a “gutter religion.” Oh, he is also an unapologetic racist who said that “white people deserve to die.”

Regardless of your political or ideological persuasion, I recommend reading Weiss’ article in its entirety.

What’s striking is that the vitriol is so transparent. These women were not surreptitiously recorded or accused of saying vile things; they were publicly praising cop killers, mass murders, and unapologetic racists.

This is not to suggest that hate is confined to the left; we know it’s not. Nor is the goal to impugn the many fine people who marched in the Women’s March earlier this year. I, like most people, know people who were there. They were without exception good people who believed they were marching for unity.

But the true character—and the true motivations—of those who organized the Women’s March needs to be exposed. The New York Times did just that, and they deserve credit.

Read the article. Read what Mallory, Perez, and Sarsour stated publicly. Then ask yourself if you believe it’s truly unity and peace they seek.



Trump vs. MS-13

Leave the poor misunderstood gangsters alone, cries the Left

President Trump’s intensifying crackdown on transnational crime gang MS-13 is being met with fierce resistance by the Left.

Understanding the leftist mind is an inexact science but the complaints seem to center around the idea that in the Trump era trying to eliminate an ethno-culturally non-diverse criminal organization is somehow racist, no matter how horrifying and brutal the group’s crimes against innocent Americans may be. The Left habitually sides with antisocial causes, putting partisanship over the interests of the American people. Left-wingers promote so-called sanctuary cities which are magnets for illegal aliens and the crime that accompanies them. They don’t care about the damage such policies do to American society.

Although it may sound like hyperbole to some, leftists hate Donald Trump and everything he stands for, so if Trump comes out against rapists and serial killers, for example, the Left will defiantly take a stand in favor of rapists and serial killers.

Racist left-wing journalist Jamelle Bouie of Slate argues that MS-13 is nothing to be afraid of. It’s all hype. He writes that the president’s speeches on MS-13 and illegal aliens employ words to "make white people afraid."

"Trump wasn’t just connecting immigrants with violent crime,” according to the in-your-face Black Lives Matter supporter. “He was using an outright racist trope: that of the violent, sadistic black or brown criminal, preying on innocent (usually white) women."

The massive pile of corpses generated by MS-13 suggests otherwise.

Trump’s clampdown on MS-13 is "emboldening them, because this gives them the opportunity to tell immigrants, 'What are you gonna do? Are you going to report us? They're deporting other innocent people ... [so] they're going to associate you with us by you coming forward,'" says Walter Barrientos, Long Island coordinator for the far-left Make the Road, which CNN describes as an immigrant advocacy group.

"'So what are you going to do? Who's going to protect you?' And that's what really strikes many of us."

Make the Road is heavily funded by George Soros's philanthropies, National Council of La Raza, as well as by other left-wing funders, including the Tides Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund Inc., Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Surdna Foundation, and the Robin Hood Foundation.

What on earth could generate such apoplexy among left-wingers?

President Trump told law enforcement officials on Friday at the Van Nostrand Theatre in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., that his administration will bring MS-13 to heel.

    "Together, we're going to restore safety to our streets and peace to our communities, and we're going to destroy the vile criminal cartel, MS-13, and many other gangs. But MS-13 is particularly violent. They don’t like shooting people because it's too quick, it's too fast … they like to knife them and cut them, and let them die slowly because that way it's more painful, and they enjoy watching that much more. These are animals."

Since January 2016, “MS-13 gang members have brutally murdered 17 beautiful, young lives in this area on Long Island alone.” Gang members “kidnap, they extort, they rape and they rob,” the president said.

    "They prey on children. They shouldn’t be here. They stomp on their victims. They beat them with clubs. They slash them with machetes, and they stab them with knives. They have transformed peaceful parks and beautiful, quiet neighborhoods into bloodstained killing fields. They're animals."

Trump declared that it is “the policy of this administration to dismantle, decimate and eradicate MS-13,” and praised law enforcement for “liberating our American towns.”

To finish the job, Trump called for more than doubling U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) staff focused on enforcement and deportations.

    "Right now, we have less than 6,000 Enforcement and Removal Officers in ICE. This is not enough to protect a nation of more than 320 million people. It's essential that Congress fund another 10,000 ICE officers -- and we're asking for that -- so that we can eliminate MS-13 and root out the criminal cartels from our country."

And Trump laid the blame for the rise of MS-13 where much of it belongs: on former President Obama. The Obama administration “enacted an open-door policy to illegal migrants from Central America. ‘Welcome in. Come in, please, please.’"

Under Obama’s policies, “MS-13 surged into the country,” Trump said. “In the three years before I took office,” the president added, “more than 150,000 unaccompanied alien minors arrived at the border and were released all throughout our country into United States’ communities -- at a tremendous monetary cost to local taxpayers and also a great cost to life and safety.”

Mara Salvatrucha, commonly called MS-13, reportedly operates in 42 states and in the District of Columbia, as well as Canada, Mexico, and Central America. Its motto is “kill, rape, control.”

Although often described as a Salvadoran criminal organization, that doesn’t tell the whole story. MS-13 was founded by Salvadoran immigrants in Los Angeles in the 1980s who came to the U.S. after the various Central American civil wars of the period.

According to investigative reporter Ines Rivera, MS-13 grew out of the Salvadoran Civil War (1979 – 1992) in which tens of thousands perished. During that conflict,

    Many died or saw their loved ones killed in death squads, civilian massacres, beheadings, and in the crossfire. A reality often not talked about is the fact that many of the soldiers in the war were children. Using firearms, blunt objects or machetes, Ms-13 members have been known to leave their victims with their limbs severed, at times decapitating them as well; this kind of violence is a characteristic that distinguishes them from other gangs.

No matter how despicable and loathsome MS-13 may be, there are plenty of activists on the Left who side with the group over America’s 45th president.

Vox’s Dara Lind idiotically proclaimed Trump’s address to police as “the most chilling speech of his presidency,” and accused him of “explicitly encouraging police violence.”

Lind sided with MS-13, implying Trump was spewing racism by “[r]eturning to the theme of scary immigrant criminals” so he could provide “tough talk before an adoring crowd.” She gave MS-13 a pass, mocking Trump for addressing in “gory” detail “the methods by which MS-13 members supposedly torture and kill Americans.”

Then there was the disgraceful recent performance by so-called Republican pundit Margaret Hoover on CNN.

The crackdown on MS-13 was part of a racially coded law enforcement sweep, she maintains.

“Trump was there to highlight the existence of criminal gangs,” and what Trump “was actually doing is he was highlighting the existence of a criminal gang that is South American, El Salvadorian,” said Hoover, whom Breitbart News describes as “one of many Republican useful idiots CNN trots out to bash Trump and his supporters in exchange for pats on the head and cheers of affirmation from Democrats and liberal media elites.”

Ignoring the specific threat posed by MS-13, Hoover said that Trump was focusing attention on the group because there “are individuals from other countries, sometimes there are citizens of the country, sometimes they’re not, of course Americans citizens get caught up and every violent criminal who is here should be deported, and they are on borrowed time.”

Trump’s attacks on the gang are a sop to "white supremacists," Hoover said.

In other words, Trump is a bigot so of course he is trying to hurt minorities, in this case, members of MS-13.

Sane Americans sympathize with the president’s goal of taking a strong stand against the vile butchers of MS-13, regardless of whether they approved of President Trump.

That’s what patriots do. But on the Left there aren’t many of those remaining.



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 THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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


Sunday, August 06, 2017

The Marxist model

I have received the following comments from an American  reader.  I think they nail Leftism well

Marx himself did not believe in Marxism. He laughed at people who believed in it.

If we want to understand how the great totalitarian machine is able to morph and shift and change with the times, we must go to its soul. At bottom Marxism is a strategy behind which stands a pathological desire for absolute power and global destruction.

The outward phenomenon of Marxism is merely the intellectual camouflage of the politically self-actualized psychopath. Here is the outward expression of his rationalization for murder, for seizing power.

This outward expression has changed time and time again, but its spiritual essence is always the same.

And we always seem to miss the point of it. We always seem to address the inner thoughts and intentions of people who are assumed to believe or not believe in a set of “principles.”

But this is an error. We do not understand these people at all! The communist does not take ideas seriously. He is serious only about power and strategy.

A mask is not an idea. A strategy is not a principle. These are tools, weapons, methods.

Marx did not believe in his tools. He used them, and his followers used them, until the tools of the hour no longer served their purpose.

Then the old tools, the old weapons, were discarded for a new set of weapons – “new lies for old.”

Those who talk about belief or disbelief are only talking about the superficial shell of the thing, which can be replaced with a new shell – a new outward appearance.

If Marx did not believe in Marxism, then the true Marxist should not believe in it either. It is a sorry swindler who believes in his own swindle.

Behind the shell of the communist's outward pretenses we find the same core phenomenon: the malevolent soul of the destroyer, the envious lusting for power and revenge, the hatred of the good for being the good.

And in this soul’s self-affirmation we find, curiously, a reformulation of the same old totalitarian themes; the same old bag of tricks for debasing and leveling humanity.

All that being said, the outward shell of the supposedly debunked Marxism is by no means out of the game. Out-and-out communism could return to power at any time.

The various outer shells – the rationales and swindles – may change and shift as circumstances require; yet the driving force from within remains ever constant, ever alert to new opportunities. Marxism is strategy, not belief.

That is why Mao Zedong said, “Marxism is better than a machine gun.”

One does not believe in a machine gun. One uses it, merely, to neutralize an enemy.

One must keep in mind the usefulness, in this regard, of ideological mortars and howitzers and atomic bombs – the whole arsenal of political correctness.

Via email


Trump endorses GOP bill to slash legal immigration by more than half

"They're not going to come in and immediately go and collect welfare"

At the White House on Wednesday President Donald Trump unveiled a major overhaul of the U.S. immigration system. Trump endorsed GOP legislation that aims to slash legal immigration levels by more than half and introduce a “merit-based” system that prioritizes high-skilled immigrants for entry.

Standing next to Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga., the president said the RAISE Act (Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act) would be the “biggest change in 50 years” to the U.S immigration system.

“The RAISE Act will reduce poverty, increase wages and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars,” Trump said. The current immigration system, according to Trump, “has not been fair to our people, to our citizens, to our workers.”

“This legislation demonstrates our passion for struggling American families,” he added.

The two Republican senators “have been working closely” with White House adviser Stephen Miller, who is “known for his hawkish stance on immigration,” according to Politico. Miller is also one of the key architects of the president’s travel ban of citizens from six Muslim-majority countries.

The merit-based system the legislation proposes would “increase the number of green cards — which allow for permanent residency in the U.S. — that are granted on the basis of merit to foreigners in a series of categories including outstanding professors and researchers, those holding advanced degrees, and those with extraordinary ability in a particular field,” according to Politico.

While many economists and business leaders have supported a merit-based approach to immigration, similar to the processes in Canada and Australia, the plan to “slash the number of green cards from 1 million a year to 500,000 over the next decade” poses a major risk to the economy, economists said. The Post elaborated:

The RAISE Act will face plenty of opposition from congressional Democrats, and even some Republicans, as well as immigrants rights groups and business leaders. “[T]he bill’s prospects are dim in the Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow majority and would have difficulty getting 60 votes to prevent a filibuster,” the Post reported.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has already expressed concern over the bill’s drastic cuts to immigration, arguing the cuts would be “devastating” to his state’s economy. “I’ve always supported merit-based immigration. I think we should always want to attract the best and brightest to the United States,” Graham tweeted. “Unfortunately other part of proposal reduces legal immigration by half including many immigrants who work legally in Ag, tourism, & service.”

Todd Schulte, the president of Mark Zuckerberg’s immigration reform advocacy group, has said that the immigration slashes “would severely harm the economy and actually depress wages for Americans,” which is the exact opposite of the rhetoric touted by the Trump administration about economic growth.

“President Trump has always been correct when he repeatedly said he does NOT want to cut legal immigration. Not only do immigrants help grow the economy overall, but immigrants drive up wages for the overwhelming majority of Americans, and significantly so in areas and industries with more immigrants, where wage growth has outpaced the country overall,” Schulte said, according to a press release.



Republicans as Democrats lite

Veronique de Rugy
Despite a mountain of historical evidence that the Republican Party doesn’t seriously stand for smaller government and individual liberty, I maintained some hope that this time would be different. With the GOP’s retaking control of Congress and the White House, I actually thought Obamacare could be repealed and maybe even replaced with free market health care reforms. But though the night is still young in terms of the GOP’s latest return to power, Republicans have quickly demonstrated that I should have trusted my usual pessimism, because it’s clear that they’re not guided by any principled support for limited government.

Though a few congressional Republicans sincerely believe in markets and freedom, the party is largely dominated by pretenders and outright statists. One need only look back to when Republicans last controlled Washington. Republicans and the George W. Bush administration massively increased spending and the federal debt.

Military spending skyrocketed to pay for dubious wars. Corporate welfare, including farm subsidies, thrived. The federal government became more involved in what should be local matters, such as education. And civil liberties were trampled on under the guise of “homeland security.” The GOP not only failed to tackle unsustainable growth in federal entitlement programs but also expanded them by creating Medicare Part D.

An amazing thing happened, though, when Barack Obama was elected and the Democrats regained control of Congress. Republicans suddenly remembered the horrors of federal overspending, mounting debt and the endless intrusion by the federal government into every aspect of our lives. Republicans lambasted the notion that Keynesian-style big-government spending would boost the economy. They decried Obamacare and the Democrats’ love for “socialized medicine.” They bemoaned continuous growth in federal debt and conveniently laid the problem at Obama’s feet.

Then another amazing thing happened: Donald Trump was elected, and the GOP was once again in charge. Almost immediately, Republicans began touting increased military and infrastructure spending to create jobs and spur the economy — the very Keynesian-inspired policies they attacked when advocated by Democrats. Even the small number of federal program terminations proposed by the Trump administration were too much for congressional Republicans. Nope — when it comes to the federal budget and yet another looming brush-up against the federal debt ceiling, Republicans reveal that they’re content to maintain an untenable status quo, despite all the lip service paid to the dangers of big government over the years.

Yes, as part of the failed attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, the GOP did include Medicaid reforms intended to slow the spending growth for the federal/state entitlement program that provides health care for those with lower incomes. There are many problems with the program, which is in dire need of reform. But the same can be said about Medicare and Social Security, which congressional Republicans — and Trump, for that matter — have made clear they won’t touch. (Remember then-vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s emotional attack on President Obama for allegedly cutting Medicare during the 2012 campaign?)

What about the GOP’s supposedly bread-and-butter issue of tax reform? Regardless of how big or small the positive economic feedback to any tax cuts would be, the bottom line is that serious, permanent spending cuts must be part of the equation. But as we have repeatedly seen, Republicans are so unwilling to shrink the size of government that they already waved the white flag and are actively advocating a new source of revenue to “pay for” tax reform. Indeed, I fear that the recent fight over the inclusion of a border adjustment tax to generate revenues is only the beginning. At the rate we’re going, it may not be long until the GOP gets on board with a value-added tax or carbon tax!

For all of the GOP’s deriding of Democrats over the years for being “tax-and-spenders,” the sad reality is Republicans are on their way to earning the same label. We might only be six months into the return of Republican rule, but it’s already looking as if this second go-round of Republican control in Washington this century could end up being as disastrous — if not more — than the first one. But as the saying goes, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. I don’t intend to be fooled twice, and I hope I’m not alone.



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 THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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