Friday, September 15, 2017

Bannon has good answers

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon does not need lectures on race relations from “limousine liberals” and the media elites who hang out in largely homogenous crowds and whose oh-so-progressive-and-forward-looking organizations and outlets do not have the effortless diversity of Breitbart News’ masthead.
In a 60 Minutes interview, Bannon told CBS anchor Charlie Rose that he was raised in a desegregated neighborhood on the North Side of Richmond, Virginia, that is “predominantly black.”

“I went to an integrated school, a Catholic school. I served in the military,” he continued. “I don’t need to be lectured … by a bunch of limousine liberals, okay, from the Upper East Side of New York and from the Hamptons … about any of this. My lived experience is that.”

Bannon also suggested that left-wing activists and the legacy media may be trying to play the race card because they know how successful and unifying the economic nationalist agenda, which Bannon said will unify Americans of all races, nationalities, religious, and sexual orientations—can be. Bannon has consistently denounced ethno-nationalists and white supremacists. He did so again to Rose.

“[T]he Neo-Nazis and Neo-Confederates and the Klan, who, by the way, are absolutely awful – there’s no room in American politics for that,” Bannon said. “There’s no room in American society for that.”

And he told Rose that the legacy media give a platform to irrelevant white supremacists who stage rallies because the media want to “make them up as some huge part of Donald Trump’s coalition” when they are not.

In the end, Bannon said he is singularly focused on the economic nationalist message that will help and unite Americans–U.S.-born Americans and legal immigrants–of all backgrounds.

“I don’t need the affirmation of the mainstream media,” Bannon said. “I don’t care what they say. They can call me an anti-Semite. They can call me racist. They call me nativist. You can call me anything you want. Okay? As long as we’re driving this agenda for the working men and women of this country, I’m happy.”



Poll warns GOP: Back the Trump Agenda or Face Defeat in 2018

“You dance with the one who brung you to the dance.” The wisdom of that old political adage might seem outdated in this age of expensive consultants, focus groups with instantaneous tracking of reactions, and micro-targeting of voters.  But the McLaughlin & Associates poll released this week reinforces the wisdom of that adage for any Republican who wants to avoid defeat in the 2018 primary season and in the general election that follows.

The message of that McLaughlin poll could not be clearer or simpler for Republicans as they choose in the coming weeks between the agenda of President Trump and the agenda of the Beltway insiders:  The base that brought you to the dance supports the Trump agenda.Dance with your base and win.Dance with the Beltway and lose.

To be fair, elected Republicans face many practical pressures inside the Washington Beltway.  There are always K Street lobbyists for various special interests and for large corporations wanting special favors, all offering generous campaign contributions.

And there are the Alinskyite Democrats and their leftist media threatening personal attacks, smears, and ruin for anyone who crosses their socialist agenda.

And then there are some old hands who have learned to thrive in that environment, whose advice is to tell the folks back home anything they want to hear but do the bidding of the Beltway insiders in order to survive.

Candidate Trump called all of that a swamp, promised to drain it, and stunned most of the political experts with a victory those experts said was impossible.  And now Republican officials are doubtless hearing from those same experts that the Trump phenomenon is a fluke, an aberration, and that the smart move is to wait it out.Maintain your distance from the Trump agenda and it will all go away

But the McLaughlin poll of likely voters tells a different story.  Here are just a few highlights:

Voting to increase the debt ceiling without new constraints on spending will make 62% of voters less likely to vote to re-elect a Member of Congress.

“Bailing out health insurance companies without repealing Obamacare” leaves 53% overall less likely to re-elect a representative, and only 29% more likely. That 53% figure jumps to 67% among Trump voters.

Conservatives (70%) and Trump voters (67%) are less likely to support a Member of Congress who has failed to support President Trump’s efforts to vet immigrants more carefully, especially those from countries with a strong terrorist presence.

Refusing to repeal the burdensome Obamacare mandates and taxes leaves 75% of conservatives, 68% of Trump voters, and 66% of Republicans overall less likely to vote to re-elect a Member of Congress.

Eighty-five percent of likely voters still believe that freedom of speech is a fundamental right, even if it offends some people.  Only 9% support restrictions on speech.  That is not good news for the proponents of political correctness, or for those who bow to its dictates.

In stark contrast to the impression one gets from the leftist news media, when voters are reminded of the violence of the ANTIFA protesters, 81% of conservatives and 63% of voters overall oppose ANTIFA.  Only 21% overall support them.

And, as things stand now, 49% of likely voters see the Republican Leadership as “supporting the swamp that President Trump promised to drain,” with only 22% seeing them as helping to drain that swamp.

And those are just the highlights.

Now here is the point that Republican officials cannot afford to miss. The issues of concern to the GOP base – conservatives, self-identified Republicans, and Trump voters – are the same kinds of issues that gave rise to the Tea Party movement in 2009 and led to GOP victories in 2010 and 2014.  The Trump phenomenon is not just a fluke, but is instead a sign that the sleeping giant of mainstream America is waking up and demanding that Washington get control of our spending, secure our borders, repeal and replace Obamacare, and stop giving in to the stifling demands of political correctness.  Trump’s agenda is their agenda.

Elected officials who have not helped to carry out the Trump agenda will not only be going against President Trump; they will also be pitting themselves against the movement that elected him.

The Democrats have become increasingly radicalized and unified since the 1960s.  And when Democrats are in power, they enact their socialist agenda.  Their voters get what they vote for, with no waffling and no excuses.

And, even with all its internal debates, the Republican party is still the political vehicle for the center-right mainstream.  But mainstream America is beginning to wonder why the results they are seeing do not match the rhetoric they heard during the campaign.Why is it that the Democrats can enact the socialist agenda but the Republicans cannot carry out the agenda of mainstream America?

Looking at the McLaughlin poll, “the Democrats won’t let us” will not play well during the primaries, let alone in the general election. The music is starting for the 2018 election. Base or Beltway.  Choose your partner.



The Destruction of the Individual

The American Left makes a show of disapproving any but the most denatured, toothless and universalist religious beliefs. They are suffused with a sexual ethos that is amoral and libertine by the standards of the recent past. Their intellectual post-modernism specifically prevents any moral judgement or ethical framework. In fact they pride themselves on the ability to“deconstruct” the traditions and values that under-pin our civilization. Yet, they seem able to put aside their fractious identity politics in order to be unaccountably tolerant- even supportive of Radical Islam That political religion commits terror against the rest of the world and has spawned despotisms of religious elites of some degree in the entire Muslim world. They also demand the killing of apostates, the torture and murder of homosexuals, the subjugation, rape and “honor” murder of women and children: This begs for explanation.

I have a simple answer, and I want to hold it up for my liberal friends so that they will see themselves in it and think again about their current leftist doctrine.

Some have said that the affinity between the Left and Islam has to do with the historic crimes of the West and the Judeo-Christian culture. In doing so, they willingly ignore the murder and terror that accompanied the Islamic conquest of Arabia, The Levant, North Africa, large swaths of Western Asia and even parts of Europe in the heyday of the Caliphate. Although there may be some element of truth to the accusations of Western crimes, it does not compare in scale, ferocity or longevity to the crimes of Islam. In any case, the affinity is deeper and more central to the Left and Islam than that.

It is about human nature, and the urge to change and control it. Islam, you see, is about surrendering the individual will to Allah, and although Progressivism purports to be about compassion and “humanity”,it shares with Islam a kind of surrender of the individual. The Left and Islam are united in their animus toward individualism, family loyalty, nationhood, liberty and and an open and questioning religious faith. At the very bottom of the issue, Islamic Jihad and the progressive Left have this in common: as Dostoevsky put it in The Brothers Karamazov, “…the more I hate men individually the more I love humanity.”

That’s a harsh thing to say, so for clarity’s sake let me stipulate that I do not mean they are incapable of loving individual people. There is a difference between what we call “the individual” and a particular person. You may love one or many people but if you cannot love, or at least accept as human, someone who does not behave as you think fit or subscribe to the same political doctrine that you do, then you are denying and hating “the individual”.

The name “Progressivism” itself implies that there is a ‘humanistic’ ideal that can be reached in an orderly, planned and (if necessary, enforced) progression. This is nothing more than the same intellectual fantasy that has given birth to all of the utopian movements in history. Utopias always seem so promising at their invention, but they lead only to dystopia and suffering. The annals of socialism, communalism and communism are replete with failure and horror.

At their worst, they have led to mass killings in Ukraine, Russia, Nazi Germany, China, Cambodia, and Venezuela (to mention just a few) and at their best they offer a kind of tepid, quasi-democratic environment where individual advancement is all but impossible for any but the members of the elite. Even the best, Post War Germany, Sweden and Denmark, for example, are fast succumbing to the fecklessness of their fuzzy progressive ideals and the incompetence or their effete leadership. In the face of (irony of ironies!) Muslim immigrant hordes that serve as a Trojan Horse for Jihadists and the terror they bring the socialist democracies of Europe are dying before our eyes.

All they offer us as a rational for their failure is hatred dressed up as love and tolerance. Only consider what passes for political polemic from the Left. The “Nazi” meme, thinly veiled character assassination and other unproven ad hominem attacks prevail. In the liberal media Donald Trump is constantly characterized as a heartless, vicious, greedy fascist, and even insane. Anyone who supports him (or even refuses to denounce him!) can count on being vilified and dismissed.

Disagree with his policies and personal conduct if you want, but this is all out of proportion and a shameful proof that the Left is without any means of logical or reasonable argument for what they believe. Its not just Trump either. There is not a single conservative that is immune. They have even condescended to despise Ronald Reagan- arguably the last successful U. S president. The best they could do against Reagan, though, was to call him an “amiable dunce” or a tool of the corporations, even though his policies lifted the nation out of the self described “malaise” of the Carter administration into the headiest era of prosperity and universal well-being we have known since. But that is really just further proof that they hated him- not just for being different from them but also for proving that Jimmy Carter, one of their own, was hateful and incompetent. Whatever small respect they had for Reagan and the office, if they could only muster something like it for Trump, we might again experience a new “Morning in America” era.

Unfortunately, that does not appear to be what they want. They sooth their discontent by assassinating the character of individuals who stand for The Individual.  Their so-called humanism seems to be more of a means toward other ends…which begs the question… What is this “progress” the Progressives have in mind for us?



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, September 14, 2017

Wow!  This is the end of the scares about hormone replacement therapy

Because it is so helpful to many women, HRT had to come under attack from the superior souls in the medical community.  If you like it, it is bad for you seems, in fact, to be a majority view among health commentators.

But the evidence that HRT is bad for you was always flimsy and the latest finding could not be clearer.  HRT does you no harm at all.  Women who find it helpful should not hesitate to use it.  It doesn't give you cancer, it doesn't give you heart attacks and it doesn't make you die sooner.  How's that?

Study abstract below:

Menopausal Hormone Therapy and Long-term All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality: The Women’s Health Initiative Randomized Trials

JoAnn E. Manson et al.


Importance:  Health outcomes from the Women’s Health Initiative Estrogen Plus Progestin and Estrogen-Alone Trials have been reported, but previous publications have generally not focused on all-cause and cause-specific mortality.

Objective:  To examine total and cause-specific cumulative mortality, including during the intervention and extended postintervention follow-up, of the 2 Women’s Health Initiative hormone therapy trials.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  Observational follow-up of US multiethnic postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years enrolled in 2 randomized clinical trials between 1993 and 1998 and followed up through December 31, 2014.

Interventions:  Conjugated equine estrogens (CEE, 0.625 mg/d) plus medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA, 2.5 mg/d) (n = 8506) vs placebo (n = 8102) for 5.6 years (median) or CEE alone (n = 5310) vs placebo (n = 5429) for 7.2 years (median).

Main Outcomes and Measures:  All-cause mortality (primary outcome) and cause-specific mortality (cardiovascular disease mortality, cancer mortality, and other major causes of mortality) in the 2 trials pooled and in each trial individually, with prespecified analyses by 10-year age group based on age at time of randomization.

Results:  Among 27 347 women who were randomized (baseline mean [SD] age, 63.4 [7.2] years; 80.6% white), mortality follow-up was available for more than 98%. During the cumulative 18-year follow-up, 7489 deaths occurred (1088 deaths during the intervention phase and 6401 deaths during postintervention follow-up). All-cause mortality was 27.1% in the hormone therapy group vs 27.6% in the placebo group (hazard ratio [HR], 0.99 [95% CI, 0.94-1.03]) in the overall pooled cohort; with CEE plus MPA, the HR was 1.02 (95% CI, 0.96-1.08); and with CEE alone, the HR was 0.94 (95% CI, 0.88-1.01). In the pooled cohort for cardiovascular mortality, the HR was 1.00 (95% CI, 0.92-1.08 [8.9 % with hormone therapy vs 9.0% with placebo]); for total cancer mortality, the HR was 1.03 (95% CI, 0.95-1.12 [8.2 % with hormone therapy vs 8.0% with placebo]); and for other causes, the HR was 0.95 (95% CI, 0.88-1.02 [10.0% with hormone therapy vs 10.7% with placebo]), and results did not differ significantly between trials. When examined by 10-year age groups comparing younger women (aged 50-59 years) to older women (aged 70-79 years) in the pooled cohort, the ratio of nominal HRs for all-cause mortality was 0.61 (95% CI, 0.43-0.87) during the intervention phase and the ratio was 0.87 (95% CI, 0.76-1.00) during cumulative 18-year follow-up, without significant heterogeneity between trials.

Conclusions and Relevance:  Among postmenopausal women, hormone therapy with CEE plus MPA for a median of 5.6 years or with CEE alone for a median of 7.2 years was not associated with risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, or cancer mortality during a cumulative follow-up of 18 years.

JAMA. 2017;318(10):927-938. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.11217


Trump as a lone hero battling hostile forces on all sides

Dramatic events that signify the turning points of history usually come when they are least expected. The election of Donald Trump was one of those events, the depth and historical importance of which are not being fully understood. History was made twice in a single day. The defeat of the well-organized and well-funded Democratic machine by a political upstart epitomized the most stunning election upset in American history. But even more important history was made by the defeat of socialism in the United States. This watershed moment may serve as a catalyzing event of American renewal: Never before has the incumbent socialist government been repudiated at the ballot box.

Ironically, winning the elections and defeating socialists may not be Donald Trump's greatest accomplishment. Standing against a congressional bipartisanship determined to bring him down may prove the President's ultimate triumph.

The spiteful Democrats hate him for their defeat in 2016; the vindictive Republicans cannot forgive him for their victory.

Inebriated by the defeat and lacking any plausible explanation for their loss, since it could not possibly be the Democratic Party's socialist policies, the only politically acceptable alibi was an outside influence. A perilous blend of hostility, anger and disbelief drove the Democratic Party to embrace a strategy of fanatical resistance and ferocious investigations. Democrats are no longer acting as a political party-they are an egalitarian cause.

In contrast, Republicans had gotten comfortable being in opposition. For the previous eight years they had been making grand pronouncements on the academic theories of conservatism, secure in the knowledge that they were not in power to implement them. Many of Republicans hoped that day would never come.

Stunned by unexpected victory, Republicans were not in a position to offer superior rationality. They found themselves woefully unprepared to face the scope of challenges arrayed against them and live up to their election promises. Furthermore, their duplicity was going to be exposed by a new president who cared less about the theoretical aspects of conservative ideology and more about the practical implementation of his agenda.

This unforeseen political reality forced the leadership of the Republican Party to take extraordinary measures to alleviate the impending disaster.

Acting on the political instinct of self-preservation, Republicans have joined with Democrats to undermine the President. In a concerted effort to paralyze executive authority, they blatantly subvert almost every program on the President's agenda and actively support a collective mania for ever more sweeping investigations of dubious claims, rumors, unsubstantiated allegations and innuendos that has descended over the President, his family and his associates. No president has ever been vilified and attacked in such a systematic and vicious manner by his own party.

While the President continues to advance his agenda, a troubling coalescence is emerging across a political Grand Divide. As stated earlier, the Democratic Party has become a cause, and cause leads to intolerance and intolerance to violence.

To be sure, in order to preserve socialist gains the Democrats prior to the 2018 elections will mobilize hordes of disturbed souls looking for a motive to unleash their anger, creating riots accompanied by vandalism and confrontations with police on a scale not seen since the 1960s. The upheaval will be led by professional provocateurs such as AntiFa, left-wing domestic terrorists, and aimed to create a virtuous dynamic leading to the President's impeachment. Whether the ongoing revolts are in the name of anti-racism, anti-capitalism, anti-police, anti-Confederate statues or anti-anything else doesn't really matter. As mass staged protests grow in number and calls for impeachment become louder, congressional Republicans indifferent to the common principles of constitutional legitimacy, will be tempted to go along with any shady enterprise designed by the socialists to remove Trump from office.

In this environment Paul Ryan may not be able to resist the temptation to become vice president, and the Republican Party establishment, which never supported Trump in the first place and had prepared itself for a comfortable co-existence with President Hillary Clinton, would not be terribly disappointed with a President Pence.

But nothing is going to degrade the President's fortitude as he stands alone against a legion of enemies united by common danger. This is the characteristic that makes him dear to millions of Americans. Trump understands the mood of the people better than almost any other politician of our time and is poised to have the candidates supporting his agenda to win in the 2018 elections, transforming the conservative-in-the-name-only Republican Party and writing "Donald J. Trump" on the ruins of Obama's Social-Democratic Party.



Supreme Court restores Trump's travel ban: Justices say administration CAN bar thousands of refugees from entering the country

The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to maintain its restrictive policy on refugees.

The justices on Tuesday agreed to an administration request to block a lower court ruling that would have eased the refugee ban and allowed up to 24,000 refugees to enter the country before the end of October.

The order was not the court's last word on the travel policy that President Donald Trump first rolled out in January.

In a statement, the justices said: 'The application for stay of mandate presented to Justice Kennedy and by him referred to the Court is granted, and the issuance of the mandate of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in case No. 17-16426 is stayed with respect to refugees covered by a formal assurance, pending further order of this Court.'

The justices are scheduled to hear arguments on October 10 on the legality of the bans on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries and refugees anywhere in the world.

It's unclear, though, what will be left for the court to decide. The 90-day travel ban lapses in late September and the 120-day refugee ban will expire a month later.

The administration has yet to say whether it will seek to renew the bans, make them permanent or expand the travel ban to other countries.

Lower courts have ruled that the bans violate the Constitution and federal immigration law. The high court has agreed to review those rulings. Its intervention so far has been to evaluate what parts of the policy can take effect in the meantime.

The justices said in June that the administration could not enforce the bans against people who have a 'bona fide' relationship with people or entities in the United States. The justices declined to define the required relationships more precisely.

 The appeals court also upheld another part of the judge's ruling that applies to the ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen

A panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district judge's order that would have allowed refugees to enter the United States if a resettlement agency in the U.S. had agreed to take them in.

The administration objected, saying the relationship between refugees and resettlement agencies shouldn't count. The high court's unsigned, one-sentence order agreed with the administration, at least for now.

The appeals court also upheld another part of the judge's ruling that applies to the ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Grandparents and cousins of people already in the U.S. can't be excluded from the country under the travel ban, as the Trump administration had wanted. The administration did not ask the Supreme Court to block that part of the ruling.



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, September 13, 2017

Progressive Democracy Works for the 1%

Leftism enables the "Swamp"

The Occupy Wall Street movement that began in 2011 protested government policies that favored the 1%, the elite, over the 99%, the masses. Their protests were justified. The Wall Street fat cats who owned mortgage-backed securities were bailed out, but homeowners who had lost their jobs and couldn’t pay their mortgages were foreclosed. But that’s the way Progressive Democracy works.

We can look at those two ideas of Progressivism and Democracy to see why.

Democracy can be thought of in several ways. One is that it is a method of peacefully choosing and replacing those who hold government power. But that view of democracy has been replaced by a broader one. People view democracy as a type of government that carries out the will of the people, as determined by the outcomes of democratic elections.

This view of democracy, widely accepted today, legitimizes anything the government does, because a democratic government is just implementing the policies chosen by the voters.

Progressivism is an ideology that views the role of government as not only protecting individual rights but also looking out for people’s economic well-being. Often, this means imposing costs on some for the benefit of others.

Progressivism originated in the late 1800s as a reaction to concentrated economic power. The Progressive view was that “Robber Barons” were using their economic power to take advantage of those with less economic power. Progressivism was explicitly redistributional from its beginnings. It was designed to impose costs on the economic elite to protect the economic well-being of the masses.

In the twenty-first century, Progressivism is even more explicitly redistributional. Welfare payments, Medicaid, food stamps, and other Progressive transfer programs explicitly take from some for the benefit of others.

Now, look at the combined ideologies of Progressivism and Democracy.

Progressivism says one role of government is to take from some for the economic benefit of others, and Democracy says that when government does this, it is carrying out the will of the people.

Because Progressivism is deliberately redistributional, under the idea that Progressive governments look out for the economic well-being of their citizens, the ideology of Democracy, which says democratic governments carry out the will of the people, legitimizes everything Progressive Democracies do.

After the bursting of the housing bubble which led to the Great Recession, the Wall Street fat cats were bailed out to prevent a financial meltdown that would have been bad for everyone, or so we were told. The 99% paid the cost to bail out the 1%.

Who makes public policy? It is the elite, the 1%. The ideology of Progressive Democracy gives the 1% license to benefit whomever they see fit, based on the idea that whatever they do, they are carrying out the will of the people. If the 1% has the ability to decide who benefits from public policy, we should not be surprised to see that the benefits of public policy go to the 1%.

The idea that the 1%, the elite, benefit at the expense of the 99%, the masses, is well-recognized, and the twenty-first century has seen substantial criticism of cronyism, corporatism, and government favoritism by various other names (including corruption).

This has happened because citizens accept the ideology of Progressive Democracy. They accept the idea that it is legitimate for government to benefit some at the expense of others, and that when democratic governments do this, they are carrying out the will of the people.

Not surprisingly, when the 1% can, with the appearance of legitimacy, decide who should benefit from public policy, public policy favors the 1%. The surprising thing is that when the masses see that the elite are designing public policy to favor themselves, their recommendation is to give the elite even more power.



Tax Reform Is a Trump Family Affair

As President Donald Trump tweets his chiding remarks to a U.S. Congress that has moved its 200-day checklist of accomplishments into a “wish list” of items that may or may not ever happen, it’s pretty obvious: tax reform is a Trump priority and even a family affair.

While the president is consistently on message about both lowering America’s corporate tax rate (the highest among developed nations) and reducing the burden for middle class workers, Ivanka Trump is focused on the role of tax policy to bring relief to working families. She advocates a higher child tax credit to help families dealing with child care — often to the tune of five-figures per year in order to remain employed.

Back in September 2016, candidate Donald Trump began to speak of the policy inspired and driven by his daughter, a working mother of three children. The simplest explanation of the proposal is either a doubling of the child tax credit or to allow dependent care — for up to four children and elderly dependents for individuals earning less than $250,000 — to be deducted from income taxes or a partially refundable tax credit for low-income families.

Ivanka noted last year, “As a society we need to create policies that champion all parents, enabling the American family to thrive.” This statement is so true to recognize the value of families and to understand that removing an obstacle for productive adults to support their families is critical, especially in a world where welfare entitlements are never reformed and easily accessed.

Last week, Ivanka joined Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist in a panel discussion regarding the plan to pass legislation providing tax credits that offset the cost of dependent care. In the audience of this forum were representatives of several conservative and Christian organizations interested in policies that impact families, including the Faith & Freedom Coalition, Live Action, the Family Research Council, Americans for Prosperity, the National Taxpayers Union, American Enterprise Institute, Focus on the Family, March for Life and the Southern Baptist Convention.

A passionate Ivanka Trump began with opening remarks citing specific statistics that point to the reality of the burden for those who want to raise a family and yet strive to achieve an adequate income to raise that family. Ivanka declared that the current child tax credit of $1,000 should “at least double” with “this administration pushing for the largest child tax credit possible.”

The legislators, Lee and Schweikert, spoke of details of a proposed Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit that would be increased to $2,500 and that would be partially refundable — though at a cost of at least $500 billion in taxpayer funds over 10 years, according to the Tax Policy Center.

Research shows that corporate paid parental leave policies do increase work opportunities and wages while reducing dependence on government benefits like food stamps. However, when government mandates policies within businesses, those mandates cost jobs, just as America witnessed in the change of many jobs from full-time to part-time in response to the mandates of ObamaCare. Instead, the use of tax credits can boost overall wages kept by workers who struggle to remain in the workforce while juggling child and dependent care. These credits would also require that at least one parent be actively employed to qualify, making this a support to workers, not an entitlement.

Norquist noted the unique approach to this tax proposal within the comprehensive reforms for business: “We’ve never had a successful tax reform that was not both pro-growth and pro-family. That’s how we put together a winning coalition to understand why we need to do it. It’s also important to do both of those things as we move forward.”

Politically, this approach balances the impersonal, big-business nature of corporate tax reform to address a day-to-day issue within middle class families. While business analysts clamor for the dramatic impact to our nation’s economy that will result from a corporate tax rollback to President Trump’s proposed rate of 15%, middle class families will certainly see a greater earnings potential for those choosing and able to work.

In light of President Trump’s recent pivot to include Democrat minority leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in his legislative efforts after the impotence of the Republican House and Senate majorities to lead, a child tax credit would provide cover for Democrat support of an overall tax proposal that was broad, not “just for the rich, greedy corporations.”

The White House has not yet released a detailed proposal of its desired tax reforms, however, President Trump has remained steadfast in his call for both corporate and individual tax cuts that expand the benefit to businesses and workers. Knowing that his base of working class Americans are looking to see tax reforms that benefit them, not some unseen market that always serves corporate interests, Trump and his oldest daughter seem willing to fight the big money protecting corporate lobbying to see this through.



Foiled Virginia Attack Brings Total US Terror Plots to 97 Since 9/11

Last year, FBI agents and undercover operatives watched as Lionel Williams, 27, of Suffolk, Virginia, revealed plans to help Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, as well as plans for an attack against the U.S. homeland.

Last month, Williams pleaded guilty in federal court to attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, a designated foreign terrorist group, and will be sentenced in December.

Williams’ plot brought the total number of Islamist terrorism plots and attacks against the U.S. homeland since 9/11 to 97. Chronologically, Williams’ was the 94th plot since 9/11, but since his plot was foiled three additional plots have been uncovered or carried out, making the total 97.

In March 2016, a former associate of Williams tipped off the FBI that Williams was posting ISIS materials on his Facebook page and that he had purchased an AK-47-style rifle the day after the deadly December 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California.

Local police reported that Williams had been practicing with the rifle near his home.

An FBI agent then contacted Williams through Facebook, pretending to be a radical Islamist. Williams then met with an undercover agent, stating that he supported attacks on “hard targets,” likely referring to police or military targets.

Williams stated that the only reason he hadn’t already carried out an attack was because he was caring for his grandmother.

Williams said he wanted to provide funding to ISIS in the meantime. Through multiple undercover agents, he sent $250 to an individual he was led to believe was working for the Islamic State. He thought the money purchased a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and ammunition.

While he was funding ISIS, Williams continued to discuss a “martyrdom operation,” or attacks at home that would result in his death. He believed that unless he had something to live for, his attack might not be pure, and his death would be considered a suicide rather than martyrdom.

To solve that problem, he arranged a marriage to a woman outside the U.S., which led him to conclude that after he married her, “the next time I see her will be in [heaven].” He went on to say he was planning to send the rest of his money to ISIS so that he would die without a dollar to his name.

With Williams clearly moving toward an attack and already in possession of firearms, the FBI arrested him in December 2016.

On Aug. 16, he pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to provide material support to ISIS and will be sentenced on Dec. 20. He faces up to 20 years in prison.



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, September 12, 2017

Trump’s respect for voters confounds the Left

The Leftist commentor below gets an important point.  She says that, unlike the patronising Democrats, the president gives pride back to blue-collar Americans

I’ve begun to worry about the effectiveness of the barrage of indignation that people like me are directing at this president. The daily denunciations of him are cogent and passionate. I fear they are also, in their righteous fury, misunderstanding what it will take to oust or defeat him.

If liberal outrage was all that was needed, Trump would never have won. His opponents seem to think they only have to prove him a monster and a charlatan for his shamefaced supporters to admit they were wrong, and creep back into the Democrat fold. That ignores the basis for his success and why the vast majority of his base still back him.

Trump’s appeal to his voters isn’t just his promises of a better life; it’s something intangible and even more critical: respect. He promised more than great jobs, great health and a great America; he told his voters that they themselves were great. That resonated because he was mostly addressing people who feel neglected and overlooked by economic and social changes, and who fear they are losing jobs and status to immigrants and non-white Americans.

Trump’s message was so powerful because, as the Nobel prizewinning economist John Harsanyi said, “apart from economic payoffs, social status seems to be the most important incentive and motivating force of social behaviour”. Apes and chimps crave it and so do we. We are acutely aware of and affected by our individual standing and the standing of our group.

The lower we perceive our status to be, the more stressed and depressed we are, the less likely we are to perform well in tests, the likelier we are to get sick and to die early. As research by the American academic psychologist PJ Henry shows, low status also makes us angrier and more defensive because our position is so precarious that we are constantly watching out for social insults. Any decline in status is likely to affect us even more deeply since we will be agonisingly aware of the contrast between our past and our present.

Denunciations of the president miss the secret of his success
Trump offers his voters relief from this, which is why they are so loyal. His praise gives them something precious: pride and identity. It’s also genuine. I listened to Trump defending himself at his much-criticised Arizona rally and was struck by something besides dismay; the near-reverence with which he speaks of his voters. He told his audience that he only minded media attacks when they were aimed at his honest, hardworking supporters, “who love our nation, obey our laws and care for our people”. He did the same in Texas this week, telling his crowd: “We love you, you’re special, we’re here to take care”.

The observers who denounce his self-obsession are missing this critical connection. It stems from his own profound insecurity, and his identification as a resentful social outsider who has never had the respect he craves from America’s elite.

It electrifies his base because they are being respected by someone who embodies what they aspire to. The Californian academic Joan Williams, in her book White Working Class, makes clear just how much this group dislike salaried professionals and how they feel patronised and despised by lawyers, doctors and government employees. They are contemptuous of the anxious conformity of the professionally employed, infinitely preferring the rugged independence of people who are their own bosses and are free to speak their own minds.

They don’t want to change their culture. Their aspiration is to keep their own network of friends, family and way of life, but with added wealth. Trump, with his crudity, defence of civil war statues, fondness for gilt furniture, burgers and rewarding his family with high-powered jobs, represents their dream.

Everything that incenses liberals about that behaviour is further proof to this group that Trump is their man and that they are his team. Liberals’ denunciations of him are implicit criticisms of them, their values and their choices, and threaten their self-respect. They double down behind the president and blame the media or “the swamp” for any setbacks. Gallup reports that even after the chaos and scandals of this year, Trump’s support among Republicans has only fallen by 12 percentage points. Almost half his base would back him even if he shot someone.

Only a fool would assume that the accusations of Russia or racism will reverse the Trump tide. Michael Moore, the leftwing filmmaker and one of the few to predict Trump’s victory, is warning that he’s on track to win again in 2020. But so far the Democrats, who lost because they patronised or ignored the electorate in key states, delude themselves that moral superiority alone will win back the White House. They are offering nothing to those voters except condescension and denigration. If they cannot learn how to bind Americans together rather than divide them, I fear it is they who will be humiliated again.



A chance for Congress to get its mojo back

by Jeff Jacoby

WHEN PRESIDENT TRUMP last week started a six-month countdown clock to end his predecessor's executive order protecting immigrants who were brought illegally to America when they were children, the denunciations came fast, furious, and fevered. Angry outrage has become the standard reaction to almost everything Trump says and does, often with reason. But on the issue of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, that fury is misplaced. Trump has created an opening that should gladden conservatives and liberals alike — one that members of Congress on both sides of the aisle should exploit.

For years, legislators have allowed presidents to push the limits of executive power, bypassing Congress on issues ranging from warrantless wiretaps to health care subsidies. Lawmakers, constantly battling each other, have failed to defend what should be their exclusive power to make the nation's laws. Unexpectedly, Trump has just handed them a chance to reclaim lost ground.

Barack Obama's DACA policy was a classic example of achieving an excellent end through terrible means. It offered to protect 1 million or so young people from deportation and allow them to work legally, so long as they stayed out of trouble, finished school, and registered with the government. More than three-fourths of eligible immigrants signed up for DACA status, and by all accounts they have been a productive and law-abiding cohort. Some have been downright heroic.

The problem with DACA is that it was imposed unilaterally by Obama in 2012. He claimed he had to take "action to change the law" by executive order because Congress had failed to pass a bill (the proposed DREAM Act) that would do so legislatively. At first he insisted that DACA was only a "temporary stopgap measure." But as hundreds of thousands of so-called "Dreamers" signed up, DACA became institutionalized. Two years later, Obama tried to expand it, sheltering not only Dreamers from deportation, but their parents — a population numbering more than 4 million. When a group of states sued to block the expansion, federal courts backed them up. Obama's action was "manifestly contrary" to existing immigration law, ruled the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and presidents cannot make immigration law by fiat.

But DACA itself remained in force, and there is no question that the policy is popular. An overwhelming 76 percent of voters, say DACA enrollees should be allowed to stay legally in the United States; only 15 percent want them deported. Majorities of Democrats (84 percent), independents (74 percent), and Republicans (69 percent) believe Dreamers should able to remain in America as permanent legal residents. Even among self-identified Trump voters, two-thirds think Dreamers should stay.

Trump himself has repeatedly expressed unwillingness to hurt Dreamers. "I have a love for these people," he said on Tuesday. "Hopefully, now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly."

That's exactly what Congress should do.

Even granting Trump's habit of saying "X" on Monday and "not-X" on Thursday, it seems plain that a clean bill giving Dreamers legal status is one he would relish signing — if only to tout it as an achievement only he could have engineered. "Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do)," Trump tweeted on Tuesday. "If they can't, I will revisit this issue!"

No one should miss the significance of Trump's surprising deference to Congress. Trump used to say he would end DACA the way Obama created it: unilaterally. In his campaign kickoff speech in the Trump Tower lobby two years ago, he vowed that if elected he would "immediately terminate President Obama's illegal executive order on immigration."

But he didn't. He hesitated for months on DACA — and when he finally moved it was because of a looming legal threat: A group of state attorneys general were about to challenge DACA in court. If Trump wanted DACA killed without having to pull the trigger himself, he could have invited that lawsuit and ordered the Justice Department not to oppose it.

Instead he is urging Congress to take the lead and "legalize DACA." To put it differently, Trump is urging the legislative branch to reclaim its proper constitutional authority — to take back a measure of power that Obama usurped.

In modern times, presidents of both parties have routinely overstepped their bounds. Obama arguably went further down that path than any previous president. "Once a presidential candidate with deep misgivings about executive power," The New York Times observed last year, "Obama will leave the White House as one of the most prolific authors of major regulations in presidential history." It took a while for Obama to get over those "misgivings" — after all, he had sharply criticized George W. Bush's reliance on unilateral orders. But once he did, he pursued executive power without apology.

Improbably, Trump has now handed Congress a perfect vehicle to undo an act of presidential overreach and enhance its own authority. For Republicans, this is an opportunity to roll back one of Obama's most blatant acts of "pen-and-phone" aggrandizement. For Democrats, it is a way to deter Trump from engaging in overreach of his own — from, say, ordering a wall to be built along the Mexican border on the grounds that Congress hasn't acted. For both, it is a chance to pass a bill that Americans by a wide margin would welcome.

Trump should be cheered, not cursed, for handing off DACA to Congress. For years, lawmakers of both parties have fumed as presidents have gotten away with wielding power unilaterally. Now Capitol Hill has a chance to do something about it, and with White House encouragement. Blow this opportunity, and they may never get another.



2 Democrat Senators Show Hostility to Religion in Questions for Judicial Nominee

“Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?” is an unusual and inappropriate question for a senator to ask a judicial nominee. In fact, the Constitution forbids it.

But that didn’t stop Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., from probing Notre Dame Law professor Amy Coney Barrett about her faith. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. D-Calif., also chided Barrett for being a practicing Catholic, proclaiming, “The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern.”

Both senators appear to have forgotten Article VI’s admonition that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Officer or public Trust under the United States.”

The senators’ hostility to religion was loudly on display as Barrett and Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, having been nominated by the president to fill two federal appellate vacancies.

President Donald Trump nominated Larsen for the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Michigan and Barrett for the 7th Circuit in Indiana. Both women have faced bitter scrutiny from the left. This makes sense, as both are brilliant, young, conservative, and female, making them serious contenders for a future Supreme Court vacancy.

After a delay, Democratic senators from both Michigan and Indiana have returned the nominees’ blue slips, allowing their nominations to move forward.



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, September 11, 2017

Fascism's forgotten philosopher

The myth that fascism and Nazism are phenomena of the right relies heavily on Americans not knowing what fascism and Nazism really mean, what those ideologies stand for. Leftists in academia and the media have worked hard to portray fascism and Nazism in terms of sheer demagoguery and generic authoritarianism, carefully concealing the ideological roots that would reveal fascism and Nazism’s true political colors.

Think about this: We know the name of the philosopher of capitalism, Adam Smith. We also know the name of the philosopher of Marxism, Karl Marx. So, quick: What is the name of the philosopher of fascism? Yes, exactly. You don’t know. Virtually no one knows. This is not because he doesn’t exist, but because the political left – which dominates academia, the media and Hollywood – had to get rid of him to avoid confronting fascism and Nazism’s unavoidable leftist orientation.

So let’s meet the man himself, Giovanni Gentile, who may be termed fascism’s Karl Marx.  Gentile was, in his day, which is the first half of the 20th century, considered one of Europe’s leading philosophers. A student of Hegel and Bergson and director of the Encyclopedia Italiana, Gentile was not merely a widely published and widely influential thinker; he was also a political statesman who served in a variety of important government posts. How, then, has such a prominent and influential figure vanished into the mist of history?

Let’s consider some key aspects of Gentile’s philosophy. Following Aristotle and Marx, Gentile argues that man is a social animal. This means that we are not simply individuals in the world. Rather, our individuality is expressed through our relationships: we are students or workers, husbands or wives, parents and grandparents, members in this or that association or group and also citizens of a community or nation. To speak of man alone in the state of nature is a complete fiction; man is naturally at home in community, in society.

Right away, we see that Gentile is a communitarian as opposed to a radical individualist. This distinguishes him from some libertarians and classical liberals, who emphasize individuality in contradistinction to society. But Gentile so far has said nothing with which conservatives – let’s say Reaganite conservatives – would disagree. Reagan in 1980 emphasized the importance of five themes: the individual, the family, the church, the community and the country. He accused the centralized state – big government – of undermining not merely our individuality but also these other associations.

Gentile now contrasts two types of democracy that he says are “diametrically opposed.” The first is liberal democracy, which envisions society made up of individuals who form communities to protect and advance their rights and interests, specifically their economic interests in property and trade. Gentile regards this as selfish or bourgeois democracy, by which he means capitalist democracy, the democracy of the American founding. In its place, Gentile recommends a different type of democracy, “true democracy,” in which individuals willingly subordinate themselves to society and to the state.

Gentile recognizes that his critique of bourgeois democracy echoes that of Marx, and Marx is his takeoff point. Like Marx, Gentile wants the unified community, a community that resembles the family, a community where we’re all in this together. I’m reminded here of New York Gov. Mario Cuomo’s keynote address at the 1984 Democratic Convention. Cuomo likened America to an extended family where, through the agency of government, we take care of each other in much the same manner that families look out for all their members.

While Marx and Cuomo seem to view political communities as natural, inevitable associations, Gentile emphasized that such communities must be created voluntarily, through human action, operating as a consequence of human will. They are, in Gentile’s words, an idealistic or “spiritual creation.” For Gentile, people by themselves are too slothful and inert to form genuine communities by themselves; they have to be mobilized. Here, too, many modern progressives would agree. Speaking in terms with which both Obama and Hillary would sympathize, Gentile emphasized that leaders and organizers are needed to direct and channel the will of the people.

Despite Gentile’s disagreement with Marx about historical inevitability, he has at this point clearly broken with modern conservatism and classical liberalism and revealed himself to be a man of the left. Gentile was, in fact, a lifelong socialist. Like Marx, he viewed socialism as the sine qua non of social justice, the ultimate formula for everyone paying their “fair share.” For Gentile, fascism is nothing more than a modified form of socialism, a socialism arising not merely from material deprivation but also from an aroused national consciousness, a socialism that unites rather than divides communities.

Gentile also perceived socialism emerging out of revolutionary struggle, what the media today terms “protest” or “activism.” Revolutionaries, Gentile says, must be ready to disregard conventional rules and they must be willing to use violence. Gentile seems to be the unacknowledged ancestor of the street activism of Antifa and other leftist groups. “One of the major virtues of fascism,” he writes, “is that it obliged those who watched from the windows to come down into the street.”

For Gentile, private action should be mobilized to serve the public interest, and there is no distinction between the private interest and the public interest. Correctly understood, the two are identical. Gentile argued that society represents “the very personality of the individual divested of accidental differences … where the individual feels the general interest as his own and wills therefore as might the general will.” In the same vein, Gentile argued that corporations too should serve the public welfare and not just the welfare of their owners and shareholders.

Society and the state – for Gentile, the two were one and the same. Gentile saw the centralized state as the necessary administrative arm of society. Consequently, to submit to society is to submit to the state, not just in economic matters, but in all matters. Since everything is political, the state gets to tell everyone how to think and also what to do – there is no private sphere unregulated by the state. And to forestall resistance to the state, Gentile argued that the government should act not merely as a lawmaker but also a teacher, using the schools to promulgate its values and priorities.

“All is in the state and nothing human exists or has value outside the state.” Mussolini said that, in the Dottrina del fascismo, one of the doctrinal statements of early fascism, but Gentile wrote it or, as we may say today, ghost wrote it. Gentile was, as you have probably figured by now, the leading philosopher of fascism. “It was Gentile,” Mussolini confessed, “who prepared the road for those like me who wished to take it.”

Gentile served as a member of the Fascist Grand Council, a senator in the Upper House of Parliament, and also as Mussolini’s minister of education. Later, after Mussolini was deposed and established himself in the northern Italian province of Salo, Gentile became, at il Duce‘s request, the president of the Italian Academy. In 1944, Gentile was accosted in his apartment by members of a rival leftist faction who shot him at point-blank range.

Gentile’s philosophy closely parallels that of the modern American left. Consider the slogan unveiled by Obama at the 2012 Democratic Convention: “We belong to the government.” That apotheosis of the centralized state is utterly congruent with Gentile’s thinking. Only Gentile would have provided a comprehensive philosophical defense that the Democrats didn’t even attempt. In many respects, Gentile provides a deeper and firmer grounding for modern American progressivism than anyone writing today.

John Rawls, widely considered a philosophical guru of modern progressivism, seems like thin gruel compared to Gentile in offering an intellectual rationale for ever-expanding government control over the economy and our lives. While Rawls feels abstract and dated now, Gentile seems to speak directly to leftist activists in the Democratic Party, in the media, and on campus.

One might naively expect the left, then, to embrace and celebrate Gentile. This, of course, will never happen. The left has the desperate need to conceal fascism’s deep association with contemporary leftism. Even when the left uses Gentile’s rhetoric, its source can never be publicly acknowledged. That’s why the progressives intend to keep Gentile where they’ve got him, dead, buried and forgotten.

“The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of American Left,” Dinesh D’Souza’s stunning new explanation of what makes the the leftists in America tick, is now available at the WND Superstore.



Appeals court reinstates Texas voter-ID law

The courts have watered down the law to the point where it is zero deterrent to illegal voting.  This is no triumph. Now all anybody needs to do to vote illegally is to SAY they are entitled to vote.  What a joke!

A federal appeals court revived Texas’s voter ID law Tuesday, saying the state’s updated version does enough to protect the right to vote for everyone in the state.

In backing Texas, the court said the state accommodated voters by allowing those without an ID to cast a ballot as long as they swear under penalty of perjury that they are legal voters.
That, the court said, would solve the problems for each of 27 different voters who had said they lacked ID.

The judges said that with elections looming, it made sense to stick with the existing law rather than change things up. “A temporary stay here, while the court can consider the argument on the merits, will minimize confusion among both voters and trained election officials,” the judges said.

Texas had enacted one of the stiffest voter-ID laws in the country but Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, an Obama appointee to the district court, blocked it in 2014, finding Texas intended to discriminate.

Texas added its new attestation provision to try to solve her complaints, but late last month she ruled the law was still too harsh.

The appeals court Tuesday delivered a bit of a spanking to Judge Ramos, saying she “went beyond” the limited scope of what she was supposed to be decided by looking at Texas’s updated changes.

The U.S. Justice Department, which under President Obama had opposed Texas, sided with the state now that President Trump is in office.

A Justice Department spokeswoman cheered Tuesday’s decision.
“Preserving the integrity of the ballot is vital to our democracy, and the Fifth Circuit’s order allows Texas to continue to fulfill that duty as this case moves forward,” the spokeswoman said.



REPORT: Out-Of-State Voters Changed The Outcome Of U.S. Senate Race

For years, the mainstream media has ignored the problem of voter fraud and belittled those of us who are trying to do something about it. And when secretaries of state like me identify cases of fraud, we are told that the number of incidents of voter fraud is too insignificant to matter.

Now, however, facts have come to light that indicate that a pivotal, close election was likely changed through voter fraud on November 8, 2016: New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate Seat, and perhaps also New Hampshire’s four electoral college votes in the presidential election.

New Hampshire is one of fifteen states that allow same-day voter registration. The benefit of same-day registration is that it allows a person who has procrastinated or has forgotten to register to nonetheless cast a ballot on election day. The downside of same-day registration is that it does not allow the state time to assess the eligibility of the voter. A volunteer poll worker simply accepts a modicum of identification and takes the voter at his word that he’s a U.S. citizen resident of the state who is eligible to vote.

New Hampshire is also a battleground state. Unlike neighboring Massachusetts and Vermont, which reliably vote for the Democrat in presidential elections, New Hampshire can swing either way. It has long been reported, anecdotally, that out-of-staters take advantage of New Hampshire’s same-day registration and head to the Granite State to cast fraudulent votes.



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, September 10, 2017

Hooray!  I have been censored

I was beginning to feel neglected.  I frequently write relentlessly factual things about race, IQ and social class -- and they must be the big trifecta of political incorrectness.  If those topics don't get me censored what would?  Actually there IS one thing more likely to get me censored:  Praise for Donald Trump.  And I do a lot of that.  I am as Trumpian as you can get.

And I think that is what lies behind the ban that has been placed on me.  I spend more time than I should reading the questions and answers on  Most of the questions there are puerile but some of the answers are interesting.

The answers I have myself been putting up there have all however been very brief, usually only a few words.  For instance, in answer to the question "What would you do if someone threw a basketball to you?" my answer was "Dodge". And in answer to "Who is the most influential person in history? Why?", I wrote "Hitler. People will never get over him".  And in answer to "If first contact was established with aliens, what one person, dead or alive, would you use to represent the human race?", I answered "Trump. He speaks in simple sentences"

And in my answer to "Why does Ernest Adams hate social conservatives so much?" I wrote "He was born that way".  And that seems to have torn it.  That answer was apparently so incorrect that I was banned from putting up any more answers or asking any questions.

For background Adams is a Quora heavyweight and a very supercilious Leftist.  He is absolutely full of himself and conservative Quorans do criticize him for that at times.

So why was my answer so bad?  It is a common research finding  that political dispositions are highly hereditary so my answer was highly factual.  It's not the political opinions by themselves that are inherited so much as the underlying psychology that determines those positions. Basically, conservatives are the contented people and Leftists are the angry people.  And that has a big impact on your policy preferences.  Leftists want to attack whatever they are angry about and conservatives want stability.

And where you stand on the happiness/contentment scale has repeatedly been found to be very much inborn.  Some people will be happy no matter what and some will be miserable no matter what.  So both the actual opinions and the underlying psychology have been found to be hereditary.

So Quora penalized me from giving a scholarly and well informed comment.  To them it was so wrong that it couldn't be right.  I have no idea of the details of their angry thinking but I suspect that their objection was really a pretext.  My constant praise of Trump would undoubtedly have jarred them.  It was that which really lay behind my banning, I suspect.  It is a very Leftist site.

I won't protest my banning. Matthew 7:6 tells you why.

Footnote:  If you doubt that Leftists are the angry people and conservatives are the contented people, just ask any Leftist what he thinks of Mr Trump!  And if you doubt that conservatives are the contented people ask yourself why the Congressional GOP has done so little to give Mr Trump the changes he wants.


House Republicans Unhappy That Trump Siding With Democrats on Debt Ceiling

It was only a minor concession that Trump made to the Donks but it is a big shot across the bows of the shilly-shallying GOP. There is a big tradition in American politics of "log-rolling" -- an exchange of favors. So Trump could leave the GOP to stew while he did deals with the Donks.  He could, for instance make concessions to the "dreamers" in exchange for border wall funding. With solid Donk support plus a few RINOs he could get a lot done. And the Obamacare vote told us who the RINOs are, The "Tuesday Group".  If they can vote once with the Donks they can do it again

President Donald Trump’s decision to side with Democrats in their push to attach a three-month debt ceiling increase to must-pass hurricane relief funding is not sitting well with House Republicans.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., all advocated a longer debt limit extension. But the president opted to concede to Democrats’ request, a source briefed on leadership’s meeting with the White House told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Wednesday.

McConnell, Ryan, McCarthy, and Mnuchin were all in favor of raising the debt ceiling longer than Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wanted, the source said. Republican leadership in Congress pitched the president on an 18-month, and later a six-month, raising of the debt ceiling, which Schumer and Pelosi refused to accept.

Both Republican and Democratic leadership at the meeting were going to agree to disagree when the president unexpectedly sided with the Democrats, the source said.

Instead of aligning with members of his own party and his administration, Trump agreed Wednesday afternoon to raise the debt limit and fund the federal government through mid-December, allowing members of Congress to deal with the federal budget in the coming months.

Trump’s decision directly conflicts with Ryan’s call for a long-term debt ceiling increase. He referred to Pelosi and Schumer’s proposal as “ridiculous and disgraceful” during his press conference ahead of the White House meeting.

The Wisconsin Republican alleged that Democrats were playing politics, arguing the three-month increase put the areas affected by the hurricanes at risk of not receiving the Federal Emergency Management Agency funding needed to begin recovering from the storms.

While GOP leadership supported combining long-term debt ceiling language with Harvey funding, conservative members—who have long pushed for spending cuts to a debt ceiling bill—blasted the idea, arguing that linking the two politicizes disaster funding, which would easily pass on its own. The Senate is slated to add language on the debt ceiling to the House-passed, stand-alone aid package before sending it back to the lower chamber.

Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker, R-N.C., said he currently doesn’t think he can vote in favor of the deal.

“I’m hearing about it, my initial impulse is I’m not very pleased with it,” Walker said. “We will need to know a little more information, but just on the surface, obviously coming out of a classified hearing, but my first glimpse is I don’t know that I can support it.”

Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., said that, while a longer timeframe would be more beneficial to the country, he believes the legislation will pass the lower chamber.

“In the broader interests of raising the debt ceiling, a longer time period gives the markets more certainty,” he told reporters. “But look, the White House and the president made a decision and I think we can be able to get this, we can get this done very quickly with very little drama.”



More Leftist hate

Hurricane Irma is massive, killing dozens and destroying homes as it barreled through the Caribbean on its way to Florida.

And that's just how one leftist website would have it. In fact,, which says it's "for lovers of news, culture, and politics" and "produces some of the best-loved social content on the web," hopes the deadly hurricane does more destruction.

"If it’s any consolation, Hurricane Irma might fuck up Trump’s Caribbean mansion," the website wrote on Tuesday, before the storm ripped through St. Martin.

The only silver lining is that while Irma ravages the Caribbean, one building at risk is the president’s $16.9 million, 11-bedroom compound on Plum Bay in the French territory St. Martin.

According to the Washington Post, the estate is named Le Ch√Ęteau des Palmiers (“Castle of the Palms”) and sports two villas, a tennis court, marble floors, gold curtains, gold-hued wallpaper, and a two-story master suite. Despite ethics concerns, Trump’s been trying to sell the thing for months and recently cut the price by 40% because nobody is biting. It’s located directly in Irma’s path and will likely get destroyed.

Yesterday, the Post confirmed the estate had suffered damage, saying "one of the causalities has been President Donald Trump’s vacation home, Le Chateau des Palmiers on the island of St. Martin."

While the extent of the damage is not known, officials that control the side of the island where Trump’s beachfront property is located, told the Washington Post that the territory suffered widespread destruction.

“We know that the four most solid buildings on the island have been destroyed, which means that more rustic structures have probably been completely or partially destroyed,” French Interior Minister Gerard Collomba told AFP.

The Post also ran its own destruction watch on Trump properties.

After barreling across the Caribbean, Hurricane Irma is headed for South Florida, potentially threatening Trump’s signature Mar-A-Lago club and three golf courses he owns in Doral, West Palm Beach and Jupiter. Forecasters said it is too soon to know whether they will be in the direct path of the hurricane, but all are likely to face tropical storm conditions, at minimum.



President Donald Trump took his crusade for tax reform to North Dakota Wednesday

Though he said the tax reform plan will boost prosperity and make America more competitive during the remarks at the Andeavor Refinery in Mandan, North Dakota, Trump jokingly singled one industry that wouldn’t grow under a reformed and simpler tax code.

“A staggering 94 percent of families need professional help to do their taxes, they have to get it, which is why the tax preparation industry generated $10 billion in revenues last year. That’s one business I want to drive down,” Trump said. “H&R Block will not be supporting Donald Trump.”

He said tax forms can run for 241 pages. But, under his plan, Trump claimed, 95 percent of taxpayers could file on a single page.

“We’re giving hardworking Americans their time back and we’re giving them their money back,” Trump said.

This is the second time in two weeks Trump has taken his push for tax reform on the road. He hit Springfield, Missouri, last week.

“All told, it will be the greatest tax reduction in the history of our country, greater than ever before, so that’s going to be something. You’ll see a rocket ship. You will see something happen like you’ve never seen.”

Trump said the current system punishes companies for investing in the United States and rewards investment abroad.

“Our painful tax system has become a massive barrier to America’s economic comeback. It costs us millions of American jobs, trillions of dollars, and billions wasted on paperwork and compliance. Our tax code is a giant economic self-inflicted wound,” Trump said.

Capitalizing on his anti-establishment theme, Trump framed the reform as tackling special interests.

“We no longer have to accept a tax code that lets special [interests] win at the expense of the middle class. We no longer have to accept a rigged system,” Trump said. “We talked about that a lot in the campaign.”

Trump earlier called several North Dakota officials to the stage, including Democratic U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, saying, “Everybody’s saying: What’s she doing up here?” Trump added, “I hope we’ll have your support”

He also called Heitkamp, who flew to her state with Trump aboard Air Force One, “a good woman.”

Then later, as if to add a little more pressure, Trump noted Democrats have backed tax reform before.

“Both of the Reagan tax cuts were passed by a Democratic majority in the House, a Democratic speaker, and a vast majority of Democrats in the Senate, including a Democratic senator from the great state of North Dakota,” Trump said. “So it can happen. Are you listening, Heidi?”



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