Friday, November 03, 2017

Hillary Clinton, Julian Assange And The ABC’s War On Truth

John Pilger is a master of distortion when it suits him but sometimes he gets it pretty right -- as in his reports on Cambodia. I see no distortion in his comments below.  Reality is enough in this case. It's good that he reminds us which administration destabilized the Middle East

On 16 October, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation aired an interview with Hillary Clinton: one of many to promote her score-settling book about why she was not elected President of the United States.

Wading through the Clinton book, What Happened, is an unpleasant experience, like a stomach upset. Smears and tears. Threats and enemies. “They” (voters) were brainwashed and herded against her by the odious Donald Trump in cahoots with sinister Slavs sent from the great darkness known as Russia, assisted by an Australian “nihilist”, Julian Assange.

In The New York Times, there was a striking photograph of a female reporter consoling Clinton, having just interviewed her. The lost leader was, above all, “absolutely a feminist”. The thousands of women’s lives this “feminist” destroyed while in government – Libya, Syria, Honduras – were of no interest.

In New York magazine, Rebecca Trainster wrote that Clinton was finally “expressing some righteous anger”. It was even hard for her to smile: “so hard that the muscles in her face ache”. Surely, she concluded, “if we allowed women’s resentments the same bearing we allow men’s grudges, America would be forced to reckon with the fact that all these angry women might just have a point”.

Drivel such as this, trivialising women’s struggles, marks the media hagiographies of Hillary Clinton. Her political extremism and warmongering are of no consequence. Her problem, wrote Trainster, was a “damaging infatuation with the email story”. The truth, in other words.

The leaked emails of Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, revealed a direct connection between Clinton and the foundation and funding of organised jihadism in the Middle East and Islamic State (IS). The ultimate source of most Islamic terrorism, Saudi Arabia, was central to her career.

One email, in 2014, sent by Clinton to Podesta soon after she stepped down as US Secretary of State, discloses that Islamic State is funded by the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Clinton accepted huge donations from both governments for the Clinton Foundation.

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton approved the world’s biggest ever arms sale to her benefactors in Saudi Arabia, worth more than $80 billion. Thanks to her, US arms sales to the world – for use in stricken countries like Yemen – doubled.

This was revealed by WikiLeaks and published by The New York Times. No one doubts the emails are authentic. The subsequent campaign to smear WikiLeaks and its editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, as “agents of Russia”, has grown into a spectacular fantasy known as “Russiagate”. The “plot” is said to have been signed off by Vladimir Putin himself. There is not a shred of evidence.

The ABC Australia interview with Clinton is an outstanding example of smear and censorship by omission. I would say it is a model.

“No-one,” the interviewer, Sarah Ferguson, says to Clinton, “could fail to be moved by the pain on your face at that moment [of the inauguration of Trump]… Do you remember how visceral it was for you?”

Having established Clinton’s visceral suffering, Ferguson asks about “Russia’s role”.

CLINTON: I think Russia affected the perceptions and views of millions of voters, we now know. I think that their intention coming from the very top with Putin was to hurt me and to help Trump.

FERGUSON: How much of that was a personal vendetta by Vladimir Putin against you?

CLINTON: … I mean he wants to destabilise democracy. He wants to undermine America, he wants to go after the Atlantic Alliance and we consider Australia kind of a … an extension of that …

The opposite is true. It is Western armies that are massing on Russia’s border for the first time since the Russian Revolution 100 years ago.

FERGUSON: How much damage did [Julian Assange] do personally to you?

CLINTON: Well, I had a lot of history with him because I was Secretary of State when ah WikiLeaks published a lot of very sensitive ah information from our State Department and our Defence Department.

What Clinton fails to say – and her interviewer fails to remind her – is that in 2010, WikiLeaks revealed that Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton had ordered a secret intelligence campaign targeted at the United Nations leadership, including the Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and the permanent Security Council representatives from China, Russia, France and the UK.

A classified directive, signed by Clinton, was issued to US diplomats in July 2009, demanding forensic technical details about the communications systems used by top UN officials, including passwords and personal encryption keys used in private and commercial networks.

This was known as Cablegate. It was lawless spying.

CLINTON: He [Assange] is very clearly a tool of Russian intelligence. And ah, he has done their bidding.

Clinton offered no evidence to back up this serious accusation, nor did Ferguson challenge her.

CLINTON: You don’t see damaging negative information coming out about the Kremlin on WikiLeaks. You didn’t see any of that published.

This was false. WikiLeaks has published a massive number of documents on Russia – more than 800,000, most of them critical, many of them used in books and as evidence in court cases.

CLINTON: So I think Assange has become a kind of nihilistic opportunist who does the bidding of a dictator.

FERGUSON: Lots of people, including in Australia, think that Assange is a martyr for free speech and freedom of information. How would you describe him? Well, you’ve just described him as a nihilist.

CLINTON: Yeah, well, and a tool. I mean he’s a tool of Russian intelligence. And if he’s such a, you know, martyr of free speech, why doesn’t WikiLeaks ever publish anything coming out of Russia?

Again, Ferguson said nothing to challenge this or correct her.

CLINTON: There was a concerted operation between WikiLeaks and Russia and most likely people in the United States to weaponise that information, to make up stories … to help Trump.

FERGUSON: Now, along with some of those outlandish stories, there was information that was revealed about the Clinton Foundation that at least in some of the voters’ minds seemed to associate you ….

CLINTON: Yeah, but it was false!

FERGUSON: … with the peddling of information …

CLINTON: It was false! It was totally false! …..

FERGUSON: Do you understand how difficult it was for some voters to understand the amounts of money that the [Clinton] Foundation is raising, the confusion with the consultancy that was also raising money, getting gifts and travel and so on for Bill Clinton that even Chelsea had some issues with? …

CLINTON: Well you know, I’m sorry, Sarah, I mean I, I know the facts ….

The ABC interviewer lauded Clinton as “the icon of your generation”. She asked her nothing about the enormous sums she creamed off from Wall Street, such as the $675,000 she received for speaking at Goldman Sachs, one of the banks at the centre of the 2008 crash. Clinton’s greed deeply upset the kind of voters she abused as “deplorables”.

Clearly looking for a cheap headline in the Australian press, Ferguson asked Clinton if Trump was “a clear and present danger to Australia” and got her predictable response.\

This high-profile journalist made no mention of Clinton’s own “clear and present danger” to the people of Iran whom she once threatened to “obliterate totally”, and the 40,000 Libyans who died in the attack on Libya in 2011 that Clinton orchestrated. Flushed with excitement, the Secretary of State rejoiced at the gruesome murder of the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi.

“Libya was Hillary Clinton’s war”, Julian Assange said in a filmed interview with me last year. “Barack Obama initially opposed it. Who was the person championing it? Hillary Clinton. That’s documented throughout her emails … there’s more than 1,700 emails out of the 33,000 Hillary Clinton emails that we’ve published, just about Libya. It’s not that Libya has cheap oil. She perceived the removal of Gaddafi and the overthrow of the Libyan state – something that she would use in her run-up to the general election for President.

“So in late 2011 there is an internal document called the Libya Tick Tock that was produced for Hillary Clinton, and it’s the chronological description of how she was the central figure in the destruction of the Libyan state, which resulted in around 40,000 deaths within Libya; jihadists moved in, ISIS moved in, leading to the European refugee and migrant crisis.

“Not only did you have people fleeing Libya, people fleeing Syria, the destabilisation of other African countries as a result of arms flows, but the Libyan state itself was no longer able to control the movement of people through it.”

This – not Clinton’s “visceral” pain in losing to Trump nor the rest of the self-serving scuttlebutt in her ABC interview – was the story. Clinton shared responsibility for massively de-stabilising the Middle East, which led to the death, suffering and flight of thousands of women, men and children.

Ferguson raised not a word of it. Clinton repeatedly defamed Assange, who was neither defended nor offered a right of reply on his own country’s state broadcaster.

In a tweet from London, Assange cited the ABC’s own Code of Practice, which states: “Where allegations are made about a person or organisation, make reasonable efforts in the circumstances to provide a fair opportunity to respond.”

Following the ABC broadcast, Ferguson’s executive producer, Sally Neighbour, re-tweeted the following: “Assange is Putin’s bitch. We all know it!”

The slander, since deleted, was even used as a link to the ABC interview captioned ‘Assange is Putins (sic) b****. We all know it!’

In the years I have known Julian Assange, I have watched a vituperative personal campaign try to stop him and WikiLeaks. It has been a frontal assault on whistleblowing, on free speech and free journalism, all of which are now under sustained attack from governments and corporate internet controllers.

The first serious attacks on Assange came from the Guardian which, like a spurned lover, turned on its besieged former source, having hugely profited from WikiLeaks’ disclosures. With not a penny going to Assange or WikiLeaks, a Guardian book led to a lucrative Hollywood movie deal. Assange was portrayed as “callous” and a “damaged personality”.

It was as if a rampant jealousy could not accept that his remarkable achievements stood in marked contrast to that of his detractors in the “mainstream” media. It is like watching the guardians of the status quo, regardless of age, struggling to silence real dissent and prevent the emergence of the new and hopeful.

Today, Assange remains a political refugee from the war-making dark state of which Donald Trump is a caricature and Hillary Clinton the embodiment. His resilience and courage are astonishing. Unlike him, his tormentors are cowards.



A Muslim idiot


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL 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, November 02, 2017

DOJ ends political targeting of conservative, religious groups

For eight years the Department of Justice under former President Barack Obama was weaponized. Religious liberty and free speech were constantly under assault. Spiritual institutions were forced to violate their religious beliefs. Citizen organizations were targeted because they had a different interpretation of the Constitution than President Obama. Attorneys General Holder and Lynch launched an all-out assault on freedoms of Americans.

Attorney General Sessions is leading the fight to depoliticize the DOJ and put the blindfold back on Lady Justice.

Early in President Obama’s first term in the wake of the Citizens United ruling, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began scrutinizing organizations with specific words in the names. Words like “tea party” and “patriots” would cause the determinations unit to provide extra scrutiny when reviewing the application for tax-exempt status.

The targeting would also include groups with specifically outlined goals. Groups that wanted to challenge the Affordable Care Act, complained about government spending, or raised questions about illegal immigrants voting spent well over a year on the list to become tax exempt.

In 2012, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa expressed concerns to the IRS about allegations he was hearing. The Inspector General for the IRS would launch an investigation looking at the claims.

One year later in 2013, the IRS, through Lois Lerner, would issue an apology for targeting conservatives, days before the results of the IG would be released. Congressional investigations would soon follow. The actions of the IRS during the congressional investigations would also draw attention. Computers, emails, and back up tapes would all be destroyed while under a subpoena be retained. Americans and Congress smelled a rat, but could not quite get a handle on the scandal.

Following years of legal battles, the IRS finally reached settlements with over 400 groups targeted by the Obama IRS last week. The settlements include an official apology with AG Sessions stating, “Hundreds of organizations were affected by these actions, and they deserve an apology from the IRS.  We hope that today’s settlement makes clear that this abuse of power will not be tolerated.”

This Department of Justice has also signaled it will defend the First Amendment’s freedom of religion. One of the main components of Obamacare was the contraceptive mandate. The law mandated female contraceptive coverage for all employers and educational institutions, except churches and other houses of worship. This created a problem for the thousands of religious hospitals, religious charities, Christian universities and organizations owned or controlled by religious establishments. Many of the institutions took legal action and sued the Obama administration for violating their First Amendment rights.

After years of expensive legal battles, the DOJ settled with more than 70 plaintiffs that challenged the mandate. The settlement was allowed after the Trump administration issued new guidelines to all federal agencies that allow for religious exemptions. Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior stated, “This brings to a close protracted litigation that never should have happened in the first place. As this president and this attorney general have made clear, they will always seek to protect and defend religious liberty.”

Free speech has been under assault for years on college campuses, and the Obama DOJ ignored the mugging of the Constitution by institutions receiving billions in taxpayer funds. In September, the DOJ announced it would take the fight to the bastions of anti-constitutionalism by filing a Statement of Interest in two campus free speech cases, with more to be filed.

In a statement about the move, Attorney General Sessions stated, “A national recommitment to free speech on campus and to ensuring First Amendment rights is long overdue. Which is why, starting today, the Department of Justice will do its part in this struggle. We will enforce federal law, defend free speech, and protect students’ free expression.”



The Left and Right are not equally bad: Here's the crucial difference

Harry Binswanger, below, seems to deplore the Christian Right but otherwise he has a good point

It's becoming increasingly clear to me that we are seeing a wholesale, frontal assault on America, in the hopes of establishing a dictatorship--since respect for America's past and the American "sense of life" are the only things holding us back from dictatorship.

The "God Damn America" viewpoint is not a pose or a tactic: these people have really talked themselves into the belief that America is and always was essentially evil. It began as a hatred for American individualism and capitalism. It now seems to be more of a free-floating hatred.

Accordingly, this is not the time to say, "Well, yes, there are some bad things in America's past, and yes some police do horrid things, but . . ."

The Weimar Republic, as the Nazis were gaining strength, was not the place and time to say, "Well, yes, some Jews are money-grubbers but . . ."

I've seen this movie before. In the 60s, the Left was also anti-police, which means pro-anarchy. In the 60s, as today, the Left charged that America is a fascist nation. In the 60s, as today, black athletes were making symbolic gestures of defiance against America during the national anthem.

But today, we are a lot further down the road to dictatorship than we were in the 60s. And a lot deeper into the lobotomizing effects of Comprachico-style "education." Further, today, equally reprehensible things are growing on the Right. And religion has become tremendously stronger in the culture and on the Right than it was in the 60s (it was hard then to find a student at my college (MIT) who had any respect for any religion).

However, there's not a symmetry of Left and Right here. The relation of the far Left to the rest of the Left is different from the relation of the "alt-Right" to the rest of the Right. And by Left and Right here, I mean as the terms are conventionally taken. You can almost substitute Democrats and Republicans.

Take Antifa on the Left and neo-Nazis on the Right. The entire Left is sympathetic to Antifa. They may, with varying degrees of sincerity, condemn Antifa's violent means, but, to a man, they share Antifa's ethical-political viewpoint.

Does anyone in the Democratic Party think, for instance, that egalitarianism is wrong, that the rich are benefactors, not fat cats, that banks are not vampire squids sucking the blood of society, that America is not a racist society? Maybe someone somewhere, but you get the point: the extreme Left is just an undiluted version of the moderate Left.

But the alt-right is not just an undiluted version of what most all Republicans hold. Steve Bannon is not a purer version of Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, or even Sarah Palin. Neo-Nazis are not a group that Tea Partiers, Establishment Republicans, or Libertarians would say have the right idea but the wrong means. You can say that about a disturbing number of Trump supporters, but that Trump-fringe, though quite alarming, is only a small minority on the Republican side (if they are even on that side).

But Michael Moore, Sean Penn, the kneeling footballers, Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, et al. are not a small minority on the Democrat side. They are the beating heart of the Party.

So, yes, there is a very ugly and growing cancer on the Republican side, the side conventionally called the Right. But the Democrats and the Left are a sea of malignancy with islands of healthier tissue.

To concretize, you can look for, and occasionally find, good Republicans politicians for whom you are happy to vote. Can you do that with Democratic politicians?

Or, you can often find some halfway decent editorials in the Wall St. Journal (never fully good, however), but how often can you find them in the NY Times? Sometimes, but not a twentieth as frequently as in the WSJ.

Yes, I know, at the deeper level, even the people on the right who look good hold some very bad premises--especially regarding religion. And the Wall St. Journal is largely neo-conservative, which is death on wheels.

So, I'm not here to praise the people or the essays of the Republicans. I'm just here to point out that as bad as the Republicans are, they are not nearly as far gone as the Democrats.

I also hasten to observe that if you take the fundamental ideas--communism and theocracy--there's no choosing between them. It's death by drowning or death by burning.

But my point is that the Left is more communist than the Right is theocratic.



The Catholic Church Actually Has Pretty Good Standards For Immigration

From the Catechism

In Church teaching 2241, the Church offers a very reasonable and fairly balanced approach to immigration. The nation is called to accept immigrants to “the extent they are able” and protect their inalienable rights. The immigrant, however, is "expected to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens."

2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

Compare that principle to President Donald J. Trump’s stance on immigration and you will find the two are not at odds. In a statement on September 5th, 2017, the executive branch called for immigration reform that rids the nation of immigrants who have committed crimes, promotes economic prosperity for all Americans, and reforms the current immigration system so that immigrants can come here legally.

In that statement, Trump said,

 “Our enforcement priorities remain unchanged. We are focused on criminals, security threats, recent border-crossers, visa overstays, and repeat violators.  I have advised the Department of Homeland Security that DACA recipients are not enforcement priorities unless they are criminals, are involved in criminal activity, or are members of a gang.” 

Getting rid of drug dealers and gang members is not the same as deporting law-abiding illegal aliens. In fact, Trump makes it very clear that those illegal aliens who are here respecting the laws of the land, contributing, and working to earn a living that they otherwise could not in their native country is not law enforcements concern.

His statement continues,

“The decades-long failure of Washington, D.C. to enforce federal immigration law has had both predictable and tragic consequences: lower wages and higher unemployment for American workers, substantial burdens on local schools and hospitals, the illicit entry of dangerous drugs and criminal cartels, and many billions of dollars a year in costs paid for by U.S. taxpayers.  Yet few in Washington expressed any compassion for the millions of Americans victimized by this unfair system. Before we ask what is fair to illegal immigrants, we must also ask what is fair to American families, students, taxpayers, and jobseekers.”

President Trump is essentially saying that our failure to enforce the laws of the land for so long is now limiting the extent to which we are capable of accepting foreigners. Because of that, reform is needed as well as immediate enforcement of current laws.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL 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, November 01, 2017

Bible history vindicated once again

Once you translate the ancient Hebrew  correctly

The Old Testament Book of Joshua may contain the oldest known reference to a solar eclipse recorded by humanity. And it occurred 3224 years ago

The text in question is in the 12th and 13th verses of the 10th chapter of the Book of Joshua. According to the King James version of the Bible, these verses read,

"Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. … So, the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day."

The passage is part of the story of Joshua leading the Israelites into Canaan (today's Israel and Palestine) and beating back their enemies (the Amorites) after the Amorite armies laid siege to the Israelite camp. Astronomically speaking, the text may refer to a solar eclipse (when the moon blocks the sun's light from reaching portions of the Earth), said Sir Colin Humphreys, a materials science professor at the University of Cambridge in England.

The King James translation of the Bible refers to the sun and moon standing still, Humphreys said, but the original Hebrew uses a root word that, in Babylonian, a related tongue, can also describe eclipses. What Joshua may have prayed, in other words, was not that the moon and sun would freeze in the sky, but that they would stop their usual shining.

Previous researchers have attempted to validate this eclipse hypothesis by linking the Book of Joshua to an independent indicator of when the Israelites were in Canaan: a stele from the reign of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah, son of Ramesses the Great. The Merneptah stele, carved in the fifth year of Merneptah's reign, mentions that the pharaoh ordered a (successful) campaign against the people of Israel in Canaan. Dating the stele puts the Israelites in Canaan between 1500 B.C. and 1050 B.C.

But until now, scientists haven't had much luck cross-referencing the two dates. Astronomical calculations turned up no total solar eclipses that matched. Humphreys and his colleagues expanded the search to include not only total eclipses, but also annular eclipses. In these celestial events, the moon slips between the Earth and the sun but not at a distance at which it appears to cover the sun's face entirely. The result is an impressive display that looks like a ring of fire in the sky, but without the sudden twilight darkness of a total solar eclipse.

Humphreys and his colleagues use astronomical calculations to determine that the only annular eclipse visible from Canaan between 1500 B.C. and 1050 B.C. was on the afternoon of Oct. 30, 1207 B.C.



Optimism Must Be Balanced With Reality

Rich Kozlovich below has a rather dire view of the future but it is a future to be wary of

“I begin with the young. We older ones are used up. We are rotten to the marrow. But my magnificent youngsters! Are there any finer ones in the world? Look at these young men and boys! What material.  With them I can make a new world. My teaching will be hard. Weakness will be knocked out of them. A violently active, dominating, brutal youth – that is what I am after. Youth must be indifferent to pain. There must be no weakness and tenderness in it. I want to see once more in its eyes the gleam of pride and independence of the beast of prey.  I will have no intellectual training. Knowledge is ruin to my young men. I would have them learn only what takes their fancy. But one thing they must learn – self-command. They shall learn to overcome their fear of death under the severest tests. This is the heroic stage of youth. Out of it will come the creative man, the god-man.”
“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation."

 “When an opponent declares, "I will not come over to your side," I calmly say, "Your child belongs to us already... What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.” 

Various quotes by Adolf Hitler above

The Main Stream Media is now under attack and being exposed for the corrupt propaganda tool of the left that it's been for decades.  Politicians, environmental and social activists, left leaning businessmen, entertainment people, academics, bureaucrats and unions - all bulwarks of the left - are being exposed for who and what they really are. 

But in spite of all of that - I've not been entirely optimistic about the future.  Although I see glimmers of hope with the change in the White House.  RINO's are abandoning their leftist ship before they're humiliated in the primaries, and I especially enjoy watching the media squirm and practically burst into tears over a President of the United States that doesn't just take it - he dishes it out - hard, fast and regularly, and clearly doesn't care what his opponents or his supporters think.  Worse yet for them - especially after all the arrogant snickering and eye rolling - he keeps ending up being right most of the time. And America is loving it. But for America to take this small start and turn it into a great age of optimism would take rolling back liberal initiatives that have been evolving in America for over 125 years. 

We may be living in an information age explosion showing how these leftist schemes have brought us to where we are today but that's not the real issue.  The real issue is  - will America accept that information and act on it?

These efforts by the left started in the late 19th century with public education. And the goal wasn't reading, writing and arithmetic. The goal of public education was to make sure "the apple fell as far away from the tree as possible." What was that apple and what was that tree? The children of America were the apple, and the parents and churches that molded their values and morality was the tree!  America's institutions were also part of that apple.   The goal of progressivism (American socialism) was to make sure government was to be the great and last arbitrator of morality. Not the church and not the family - at least until they were infiltrated, subverted and converted. As Mussolini stated: "All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state."

In America, that didn't come about by accident.  Both Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson believed the Constitution was an impediment to human progress, and both imposed policies to promote progressive ideas, and they both were believers in the axiom uttered by Louis XIV of France: L'├ętat, C'est Moi - I am the state! 

In all the 20th century there were only three conservative Presidents.  Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan, and in total they were only in control for 16 years.  For the other 84 years the nation was controlled by the liberals or leftists of both parties.  We've also had 16 years of liberal control from both parties in this century.  Bush wasn't a conservative and neither were John McCain or Mitt Romney.  That's 100 out of the last 117 years of liberal corruption in power in America. 

Without support of the nation's leaders none of this could have come about.  Both Republicans and Democrats have been stunningly dishonest and gotten away with it because the nation's public education system was designed to subvert our children - not educate them.

As a result:

Too many Americans graduate from school semi-illiterate, unable to do basic math, read, write or spell properly.

Too many Americans graduate from college filled with false information on how the world works, or should work, and are arrogant in their ignorance

Too many Americans are remarkably ignorant of American history.

Too many Americans fail to realize how unique American style republican democracy is in all of world history.

Entirely too many "Americans" don't think they're Americans.
Too many Americans hate America.

Too many Americans think sports and entertainment are more important than politics or religion.

Too many people believe celebrities' views are valid and more important than the views of those who actually know what they're talking about.
Too many Americans no longer are people of faith, and as a result have no moral foundation other than the latest philosophical flavor of the day.

Too many Americans are stunningly uninformed, ill informed and confidently stupid, and that's the result of our public education system.

Too many Americans think socialism is a plan for successful government.

Is it any wonder foolish young people in our universities wear T-shirts with the faces of mass murderers Fidel Castro and Che Guevara on them, and go around telling the world to "Feel the Bern", supporting a Marxist lunatic?   Is it any wonder society is being washed back and forth like waves crashing against the rocks to its destruction?

I don’t believe Social Security will there for my children and it may not be there for me for much longer since the now for the first time the outlay is going to be over 1 trillion dollars, and by 2020 Social Security will be paying out more than it's taking in. 

I don't believe my children and grandchild will have a better life than I did.

 I don’t believe Medicare and Medicaid can survive much past this decade.

I don’t believe crony capitalism will be less but more – especially since this pattern goes back to the Whiskey Act of 1791.

I don’t believe those who left California because they made a mess of it won’t attempt to make a mess of the states they moved to.

I don't believe you can convince liberals their leftist philosophy has been the most misanthropic belief system in all of world history.

I don’t believe the national debt can be paid unless the government sells its assets - which amounts to 150 trillion dollars.

I don’t believe academia can be purged of its Frankfurt School aficionados unless we stop funding them and make them all "for profit" institutions.

I don’t believe anything can be fixed until the 16th and 17th amendments are repealed.

So, what do I believe?

I believe the world is headed for a massive economic downturn, with the fake economies of China and Russia collapsing into a chaotic swirl of revolution and national devolution creating new and smaller, desperately broke starving nations based on geography, ethnicity or religion.

I believe the only modern advanced country in the world that will still survive - albeit with a few dents but safe and intact - is the United States.  The U.S. can feed itself, fuel itself, arm itself and defend itself without the help or need of anyone else in the world.

I believe there will be European countries that will cease to exist as intact independent nations by 2030. Europe will soon cease to exist as we know it and whatever survives will be third rate, broke, desperate and devolving into more and smaller countries, as is already developing is parts of Europe with a lot civil violence.

As a result of all of this I believe the world's leftists will make one last big push to impose world governance under the auspices of the United Nations.

Finally, While I believe the U.S. will be the only nation to successfully survive the upcoming worldwide economic downturn, I also believe that once again the sheeple will return leftist politicians to power and they will fund this effort by allowing the U.N. to tax Americans and create their own military force, and then turning the most effective military force in the world - the United States Navy - over to U.N. control.

In spite of my last post - A New Renaissance Awakening! - I'm not optimistic because the left is constantly changing itself into an angel of light in order to fool the sheeple with promises and visions of utopia in order to gain the one thing they desire beyond rational comprehension - power! 

Why?  Because the left is still in complete control of the nation's young minds, and they hear the promises, and believe them.  And it's been a long time since anyone publically stood up to them.   But the left has no answers and the result is always dystopia because they live in a world that's an intellectual bubble of hate, envy, corruption, greed and self-interest. 

That's history, and that history is incontestable.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL 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, October 31, 2017

Is it racist to own a gun?

The academic article below says it is.  To understand what is going on, you need to know what is meant by "symbolic racism".  Basically it means reasoned racism.  Below are the items of the most popular such scale.  Some items are pro-black and some are anti-black:

The Symbolic Racism 2000 Scale

1.   It’s really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites.     

2.  Irish, Italian, Jewish and many other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up.  Blacks should do the same.

3.  Some say that black leaders have been trying to push too fast.  Others feel that they haven’t pushed fast enough.  What do you think? 

4.  How much of the racial tension that exists in the United States today do you think blacks are responsible for creating?                     

5.  How much discrimination against blacks do you feel there is in the United States today, limiting their chances to get ahead?

6.  Generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class.

7.  Over the past few years, blacks have gotten less than they deserve.

8.  Over the past few years, blacks have gotten more economically than they deserve.


So a symbolic racist disapproves of perceived black characteristics.  But a  very prominent characteristic of blacks is their high rate of violent crime -- muggings, home invasions etc.  So a symbolic racist will also be sure to disapprove of black crime.  And if black crime is salient to you, it follows rather easily that you will be more likely to want to defend yourself from it.  And that is the whole of what the article below shows:  People who accept the reality of black crime are more likely to want to defend themselves from it.

But what are we to make of people who are critical of blacks?  Are they being unreasonable?  Leftists would say that they are.  But conservatives would say that Leftists are deliberately blind to black reality.

The way in which many newspapers refuse to mention the race of a black perpetrator in a crime report certainly does display a policy of deliberate blindness. So a broader interpretation of the finding would be that realists own guns.

Racism, Gun Ownership and Gun Control: Biased Attitudes in US Whites May Influence Policy Decisions

Kerry O’Brien et al.



Racism is related to policies preferences and behaviors that adversely affect blacks and appear related to a fear of blacks (e.g., increased policing, death penalty). This study examined whether racism is also related to gun ownership and opposition to gun controls in US whites.


The most recent data from the American National Election Study, a large representative US sample, was used to test relationships between racism, gun ownership, and opposition to gun control in US whites. Explanatory variables known to be related to gun ownership and gun control opposition (i.e., age, gender, education, income, conservatism, anti-government sentiment, southern vs. other states, political identification) were entered in logistic regression models, along with measures of racism, and the stereotype of blacks as violent. Outcome variables included; having a gun in the home, opposition to bans on handguns in the home, support for permits to carry concealed handguns.


After accounting for all explanatory variables, logistic regressions found that for each 1 point increase in symbolic racism there was a 50% increase in the odds of having a gun at home. After also accounting for having a gun in the home, there was still a 28% increase in support for permits to carry concealed handguns, for each one point increase in symbolic racism. The relationship between symbolic racism and opposition to banning handguns in the home (OR1.27 CI 1.03,1.58) was reduced to non-significant after accounting for having a gun in the home (OR1.17 CI.94,1.46), which likely represents self-interest in retaining property (guns).


Symbolic racism was related to having a gun in the home and opposition to gun control policies in US whites. The findings help explain US whites’ paradoxical attitudes towards gun ownership and gun control. Such attitudes may adversely influence US gun control policy debates and decisions.



Illegal immigrant who paved way for Massachusetts’ ‘sanctuary’ policy arrested in stunning robbery

The illegal immigrant whose case turned Massachusetts into a “sanctuary” state is behind bars yet again.

Police say he committed a stunning daylight robbery by taking a wheelchair-bound woman, slapping her and stealing the $2,000 she had just carried out of the bank.

Sreynuon Lunn had been free on the streets of Boston because his home country won’t take him back, leaving immigration officers no choice but to release him under a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

His case gained headlines over the summer when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that state and local authorities could no longer legally hold immigrants for pickup by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Now ICE is trying to decide whether to try again to pick up and deport Lunn, even as he faces local charges from the latest robbery.

“The first, obvious problem is that Lunn is here at all. He should be removed to either Cambodia or Thailand, but apparently neither country will take him,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, which wants stricter immigration controls.

A 65-year-old wheelchair-bound woman told police that Lunn and a female companion wheeled her away from a bank where she had just withdrawn $2,000, then robbed her. After the woman told Lunn to stop, he responded with an expletive, slapped her in the face and fled, according to the police report. The woman’s son and others witnessed the assault.

Lunn told police that he robbed the woman because he was detoxing and needed money for drugs. He blamed his companion, identified as Tiffany Bovio, for the idea of the robbery.

Immigrant rights advocates said Lunn’s latest arrest amounts to a local crime report that doesn’t merit much attention.

“I’m not going to comment on the charges against Mr. Lunn except to say that under U.S. law, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. If he did actually commit a robbery, the criminal justice system will put him in prison after giving him his due process,” said Eva A. Millona, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. “However, one thing that is crystal-clear is that the arrest of Mr. Lunn has nothing to do with the Supreme Judicial Court case about his unlawful detention.”

The court ruled in July that Massachusetts law enforcement officers could not hold illegal immigrants just to give ICE agents a chance to pick them up for deportation.

“Massachusetts law provides no authority for Massachusetts court officers to arrest and hold an individual solely on the basis of a federal civil immigration detainer, beyond the time that the individual would otherwise be entitled to be released from state custody,” the state high court ruled.

The justices said deportation is a civil proceeding, not a criminal matter, and while there are some cases in which police can detain someone without a criminal charge — drunks, deadbeat parents and “sexually dangerous persons” — that doesn’t apply to illegal immigrants or others eligible for deportation.

Lunn has been under a final order of deportation since 2008, but ICE has been unable to oust him. He was born to Cambodian parents in a refugee camp in Thailand, and Cambodia refuses to recognize him as a citizen.

ICE agents tried to deport Lunn again this year, taking custody after a previous robbery charge, but were again rebuffed by Cambodia and had to release him after more than three months.

Under the 2001 Zadvydas v. Davis ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, the government cannot detain migrants for immigration violations beyond six months, except in cases involving national security or severe mental health problems.

Thousands of people — many with serious convictions on their records — are released from ICE custody each year thanks to the Zadvydas ruling. In one notorious case, a man who served time for attempted murder was released onto the streets after Haiti refused to take him back, and months later he killed a young woman in Connecticut after a drug dispute with her boyfriend.

President Trump this month called for Congress to amend the law to change the Zadvydas ruling and said he wants to crack down on sanctuary cities.

Ms. Vaughan said both are needed.

“This case illustrates exactly why Congress needs to pass legislation that clarifies that state and local law enforcement agencies may and should honor ICE detainers and warrants,” she said. “We’ve seen enough examples of released criminal aliens who go on to harm more people. Enough already.”



Democrats Have Done a 180 on Corporate Taxes. Here’s What They Said Last Year

The president proposed cutting the corporate tax rate in his budget. He wrote that cutting the rate to 28 percent was necessary for “putting the United States in line with major competitor countries and encouraging greater investment here at home.”

Which president am I referring to? You’re probably assuming Donald Trump. Nope. Barack Obama.

As a lame duck sending his final budget to Congress for fiscal year 2016, Obama finally told the truth about how our economy suffers because the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world.

But now that Trump and the Republican Congress are about to actually act to cut the top federal corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent, Democrats are suddenly railing against it.

The highest-ranking Democrat, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the floor Tuesday that “[the] cut in the corporate rate would hardly help the everyday American worker. This is trickle-down. Our Republican colleagues don’t really talk about trickle-down, because they know most of America doesn’t believe in it.”

That was a whopper of a flip-flop. Just last year, Schumer said in a committee hearing on cutting corporate taxes: “I’m game to do it because I think it’s really important for American competitiveness.”

He also told CNBC that “it would be a permanent lower rate, not a holiday rate,” meaning not a one-time cut for the so-called repatriation of trillions in U.S. companies’ profits, which are sitting offshore to avoid getting whacked by U.S. taxes.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the House minority leader, said at a press conference earlier this month that Republicans are “deceptively, misleadingly say[ing] to the American people” that “cutting the taxes of corporate America is going to produce such growth that it will eliminate that increase in the debt.”

Hold on a second. Pelosi put out a press release in 2016 that called for congressional action, saying, “It is long past time for tax reform that would lower the corporate rate.”

Nothing has changed in the last year, except that Pelosi realized this good policy would now be credited to Trump instead of Hillary Clinton.

The U.S. has a top federal tax rate of 35 percent, plus state and local taxes, which brings the total to about 39 percent. To put that in context, the global average among developed nations is just 22.5 percent.

Trump, a businessman, understands that when you tell businesses that they will get taxed a minimum 35 percent in America, those companies will just move overseas or keep their profits offshore, out of Uncle Sam’s reach.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL 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, October 30, 2017

With all the evidence of rationing and cruelty, why is socialized medicine still being pushed by Democrats?

The newest reports coming out of the National Health Service (NHS) in the U.K. are genuinely frightening. The latest plans from the NHS in Hertfordshire are considered to be the some of the more extreme measures introduced yet. The new rules will ration care to smokers and the obese. The NHS will mandate smokers quit smoking and take a breathalyzer test before getting treatment, and those considered obese will have to lose weight.

Many pushers of socialized medicine have said rationing doesn’t happen in civilized countries. Many love to say everyone gets great healthcare in countries with socialized medicine unless you’re overweight or happen to smoke.

But the fun doesn’t stop in the U.K. There are examples of failed socialized medicine across the globe the politicians would only open their eyes.

A recent survey of Canadian wait times was shocking. The survey found an average wait time of 20 weeks for medically necessary treatment. 20 weeks may seem like a lot, but if you live in New Brunswick province, you’re waiting for 38.8 weeks. 20 weeks is double the wait time it was in 1993.

Sweden was once a health care model for the world. But that is hardly the case anymore. The 2016 Euro Health Consumer Index painted a grim picture of the Bernie loving Swedish healthcare stating, “the notoriously poor Swedish accessibility situation seems very difficult to rectify, in spite of state government efforts to stimulate the decentralized county-operated healthcare system to shorten waiting lists by throwing money at the problem (“Queue-billions”). Sweden now has the highest healthcare spend per capita, (after the three super-wealthy countries, see Section 4.1) together with The Netherlands and Austria. “Throwing money at a problem” is obviously not an effective way of problem-solving…. Particularly cancer care waits, not least in the capital Stockholm, seem inhumane!”

Bernie Sanders is constantly praising Sweden’s model as a goal for the U.S. Perhaps the Democrat Senator from Vermont should take a trip there and do a little research.

Socialism has not only collapsed the healthcare system in Venezuela, it has also collapsed the economy and is well on its way to collapsing the country. The system is working so poorly in Venezuela that the leadership fires people that give bad news.

Health Minister Antonieta Caporale was fired after releasing data that showed a 76 percent increase in malaria, a 66 percent increase in pregnancy-related deaths, and a 30 percent increase in infant mortality. Those don’t sound like the numbers of a successful healthcare system.

Cuba is another socialized nation that has earned praise from the left. If only they took a closer look. Cuban doctors are exported like products to foreign countries to serve as revenue raisers for the central government. Many Cuban doctors are now suing the Cuban government and host governments on the grounds of slavery. The doctors are treated like indentured servants and must do what the government tells them to do. What do you think will happen to medical school enrollment in the U.S. if this was how doctors were treated?

While patients are being denied care in national healthcare systems around the world, Sanders is driving the bus to lead the U.S. into oblivion. Sanders has introduced S. 1804, Medicare for All Act of 2017, a bill that would absolutely put the government in charge of your healthcare. It is further disturbing 16 Members of the Senate have cosponsored the bill. It is scary to think 35 percent of Democrats in the Senate are pushing for a failed system.

Why do socialized healthcare advocates continue to want systems that have clearly failed? This is not theory. Multiple month wait times in Europe, slavery in Cuba, and a total collapse in Venezuela are petri dishes to study. When you study them, socialized medicine doesn’t work.

With all the access Members of Congress have to news sources, healthcare data, and foreign government information you figure they would be able to see a pattern. Will you please quit trying to force the U.S. into a failed system and allow us to have a healthcare system based on the free market? You know, the same principles that lowered the prices and raised the quality of TVs, cars, and computers.

President Trump campaigned to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Speaker Paul Ryan promised to repeal and replace Obamacare. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare. Now news reports out of the U.K. are giving Congress a real reason to worry about the rationing and cruelty of socialized medicine. Will somebody please repeal and replace Obamacare before it’s too late?



Most would call it extortion, but the Obama DOJ called them “donations”

By Printus LeBlanc

Another day, another Obama era scandal is revealed. Following the subprime mortgage crisis in 2007-2010, the calamity that almost brought down the economy, lawsuits were abound, including suits brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ). The Obama administration lived by the motto “never let a crisis go to waste,” and used the mortgage crisis to benefit political allies at the expense of fraud victims.

Under the authority granted in the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA), the DOJ launched into dozens of lawsuits against banks and mortgage companies. The act was passed in response to the Savings and Loan scandal, and among other powers, granted the federal government the authority to bring civil claims with less rigorous requirements to establish liability in fraud claims.

It seems like a good idea at the time. If banks and mortgage companies misled their investors and customers, they should pay the price. That is until the Obama administration chose to corrupt the process.

The Obama administration began suing over 30 banks involved in the mortgage-backed security crisis. Many of the banks scrambled to reach settlements with the DOJ. One of the first to settle was JP Morgan in late 2013. JP Morgan settled for a then-record amount of $13 billion. Citigroup followed less than a year later, reaching a settlement totaling $7 billion. However, Bank of America gets the grand prize. Bank of America settled for a whopping $16.65 billion. In total, there would be over $110 billion paid out by banks.

If the money went to the victims, there would be no problem, but the money would find its way to political activist organizations that aligned themselves with the Democrat party.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) began investigating the disbarments of the payments by sending a letter in November of 2014 after noticing something strange in the settlement agreements of the banks.

Many of the settlements have a section that describes a minimum donation to HUD-approved housing counseling agencies. Other segments included minimum donations to housing-related organizations. The minimum payments were often over $10 million per section. In total, many settlements required over $40 million in “donations” to various groups. It gets worse.

The settlements also gave double credit for each dollar “donated,” while money to victims was a one for one exchange. That means after a bank paid the minimum, a $50 million donation would be treated as a $100 million towards the settlement amount. If you’re a bank which would you rather pay?

Earlier this week Rep. Goodlatte released documents from his investigation into the DOJ settlements. The documents are internal DOJ emails that show personnel within the DOJ discussing where to direct the “donations.” One email states, “Concerns include: a) not allowing Citi to pick a statewide intermediary like Pacific Legal Foundation (does conservative property-rights free legal services)”

How many legitimate victims were not helped because the Obama administration gave double credit for donations to third-party political activist organizations?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions ended the practice of compensating third party groups in future DOJ settlements this past June. He wrote a memo stating, “Unfortunately, in recent years the Department of Justice has sometimes required or encouraged defendants to make these payments to third parties as a condition of settlement.” Sessions is to be celebrated for taking this step.

However, Congress must go further, and Rep. Goodlatte continues to lead the fight.

Goodlatte introduced H.R.732, the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017, earlier this year. It passed the House with bipartisan support earlier this week on Tuesday, 24 October. It now waits where good legislation goes to die, the Senate.

Sessions and Goodlatte are to be commended for fighting this dubious practice. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must now pass the legislation. Bring the bill up for a vote and force Senators to vote for political activist organizations over victims of fraud. If it is blocked, put it into must-pass legislation such as the budget or debt ceiling. The Senate needs a win, and this piece of legislation is an excellent place to start.



Spain clamors for a 'two-state solution' — in Israel but not in Catalonia

by Jeff Jacoby

IN AN Oct. 1 referendum, the people of Catalonia voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Spain, the nation that has occupied their homeland for generations. Madrid did everything it could to prevent Catalonia from legitimizing its quest for independence by ballot, including sending thousands of troops to block polling places. In the ensuing violence, voters were beaten with clubs, dragged by their hair, and shot with rubber bullets. Nearly 900 civilians were treated for injuries.

Since the election-day assault, the Spanish government has doubled down on its opposition to Catalan self-determination. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, invoking Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, is claiming the right to remove Catalonia's elected officials from office and assume direct control from Madrid. A senior cabinet minister warned Monday that Spain will use force, if necessary, to compel Catalonia to submit.

Why such hostility to the Catalan yearning for self-determination? The people of Catalonia are a distinctive population, with their own culture, language, and customs. Shouldn't their sovereignty be peacefully conferred, rather than brutally resisted?

In other words, shouldn't Spain accept a two-state solution?

After all, the Spanish government unhesitatingly proclaims support for Palestinian sovereignty. Spain's leaders, such as former foreign minister Trinidad Jimenez, insist that the key to Middle East peace "depends on the coexistence of two states." In 2014 Spanish lawmakers adopted a resolution recognizing Palestine as a state and urging the European Union to do the same.

How can Spain, so ready to endorse a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians, aggressively oppose one for its conflict with Catalonia?

More HERE 


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL 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, October 29, 2017

US growth storms ahead as hurricanes blow over

Boost for Trump after GDP beats expectations to hit 3%

President Trump’s ambition to expand the American economy at a rate not seen since the 1990s was boosted yesterday when third-quarter growth came in higher than expected.

Gross domestic product rose at an annual rate of 3 per cent between July and September, the commerce department said, suggesting that hurricanes Harvey and Irma had had little impact on the economy. Analysts had expected growth of 2.5 per cent.

The strong showing by the world’s largest economy makes a December rise in interest rates even more likely. It could also help the Republicans to push through ambitious tax plans, with the White House claiming that strong growth will pay for $1.5 trillion of planned cuts to corporate and personal taxes.



Why the Left and Right Clash Over National Identity

In 2011, after 899 issues and 73 years of publication, Superman, the most famous American comic book character, announced that he was renouncing his American citizenship.

“I intend to speak before the United Nations tomorrow and inform them that I am renouncing my U.S. citizenship,” Superman announces. He then adds, in reference to his famous motto: “Truth, justice, and the American way—it’s not enough anymore.”

After a national uproar, the comic publisher announced that this theme would not be revisited in any future edition of the comic. But an important point was made. To the liberal publishers of Superman, the hero’s American identity just didn’t feel right.

Maybe that was what people wanted from 1938 to the late 20th century. But this national identity stuff has got to go. We should all be world citizens.

This example illustrates a primary difference between left and right: their respective views of nationalism and national identity.

The rejection of national identities began with the founder of leftism, Karl Marx. He ends his major work, “Das Kapital,” with the famous left-wing motto, “Proletariat of the world, unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains.”

Marx regarded national identities as backward and useless. In his view, the only identities that mattered were class identities—the working class and the ruling class. If a worker thought of himself first as a German or Englishman, rather than as a worker, communism would never be achieved.

The rejection of nationalism in Europe became mainstream after World War I. Many Europeans, especially among the intellectuals, concluded that the unprecedented loss of life caused by the Great War was a result, first and foremost, of nationalism.

They concluded that Europeans slaughtered each other for nothing more than a flag and a national identity. Therefore, the argument went, by abolishing nationalism, war could be abolished.

That is the belief that led to the creation of the European Union: The more Europeans identified with Europe rather than with a particular country, the less likely were the chances of war between European countries.

In the United States, however, a national American identity has always been a major part of what it means to be an American.

The three pillars of Americanism, constituting what I have called the “American Trinity,” are found on every American coin and banknote: “Liberty,” “In God We Trust,” and “e pluribus unum.” The latter is Latin for “out of many, one.”

Because America has always been a nation of immigrants, it has no ethnic identity. Therefore, unlike almost all other nations, America could not depend on an ethnic identity to keep its people together.

In fact, if all Americans retained their ethnic identities, America would simply splinter. So a nonethnic American national identity had to be forged and preserved.

To this day, foreigners in the United States are struck by how patriotic Americans are in comparison to whatever country they come from.

They marvel, for example, at the fact that before almost every sporting event—from professional down to high school—the American national anthem is played and/or sung.

Conservatives wish to conserve all these manifestations of American patriotism and nationalism because they believe a sense of national unity is essential to the political and social health of the country.

On the other hand, the American left, like the left in Europe, is opposed to nationalism, and it generally finds patriotic expressions corny at best and dangerous at worst.

This is easily seen. Just visit conservative and liberal areas on July Fourth, America’s Independence Day. You will see American flags displayed throughout conservative areas and virtually none displayed in liberal areas such as Manhattan, or Santa Monica or Berkeley, California.

Left-wing opposition to American nationalism is exemplified by the left’s embrace of “multiculturalism”—the cultivation of all ethnic and racial identities except American. It has even reached the point wherein some American colleges no longer display the American flag.

In lieu of an American national identity, the left prefers an international identity. Thus, ideally, United Nations authority would supersede American authority, and the World Court would supersede American courts.

To conservatives, such ideas are anathema because, in addition to subverting American sovereignty, the United Nations has not done nearly the amount of good in the world that the United States has.

That’s why the liberals at DC Comics had Superman renounce his American citizenship (at the United Nations, no less). In their view, Superman is now even more super. In conservatives’ view, the renunciation is kryptonite.



Obama's DOJ Discriminated Against Conservative Groups

Obama directed billions of financial settlement funds to leftist organizations while blocking conservatives.

Following the 2008 financial crisis, several of the nation’s largest financial institutions made legal settlements with the Obama administration. Public records show that these settlement payouts totaled over $3 billion. The House Judiciary Committee, along with the House Financial Services Committee, as part of an investigation has obtained internal documents from the Justice Department showing that not only did the Obama administration steer settlement payments toward leftist groups, Obama hacks also sought to prevent any conservative groups from receiving any of the settlement funds.

This is eerily reminiscent of the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups that came to light in 2013. In an email from July 2014, a senior Justice Department official explained how to draft a mandatory donation provision to prevent Citigroup Inc. from picking “a statewide intermediary like the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF),” noting that the PLF “does conservative property-rights free legal services.” In the same email the Justice official then noted that the National Association of IOLTA Programs would be eligible for the funds because it provided “funds to legal aid organizations, to be used for foreclosure prevention assistance and community redevelopment assistance.”

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) called the documents a “smoking gun.” Goodlatte noted an email specifically identifying former Assistant Attorney General Tony West as the person responsible for directing the money to leftist organizations. “Can you explain to Tony the best way to allocate some money to an organization of our choosing?” asked a deputy of West’s in an email from 2013. Smoking gun indeed.

Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, stated, “The Justice Department emails released by Goodlatte show that only approved left-wing groups were eligible for the banks to make payouts to as part of their settlements, overtly excluding those deemed to be too conservative. What’s worse, is that the settlements often gave the banks double credit if they gave money to the left-wing groups rather than paying the government. Meaning, every $10 million to left-wing groups was counted the same as $20 million to the government.”

On Tuesday, the House voted on and passed the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017.



The Jobs and Wage Effects of a Corporate Rate Cut

Congressional tax writers will soon reveal their plans to reform the federal tax code. The most important thing that Congress and the Trump administration can do to boost economic growth, lift workers’ wages, create jobs, and make the U.S. economy more competitive globally, is reform the business-half of our tax system. And one of the most critical elements of that reform is cutting the corporate tax rate.

There has been a great deal of debate recently over how much a corporate rate cut can create jobs and boost wages and living standards. The Tax Foundation’s extensive economic research and tax modeling experience suggests that cutting the corporate tax rate to a globally competitive 20 percent would substantially lower the cost of capital which, in turn, would boost capital investment, leading to higher wages and more jobs.

Our research also shows that these economic benefits would be enhanced if lawmakers coupled a corporate rate cut with an allowance for full expensing of capital investments.

The GDP, Investment, and Jobs Effect of the Rate Cut

We used our Taxes and Growth (TAG) Macroeconomic Tax Model[1] to simulate the long-term economic effects of these policies separately and combined to give tax writers an idea of how the policies work together. The table below summarizes the long-term results of this exercise.

Here we can see that cutting the corporate tax rate to 20 percent would boost the long-term level of GDP by 3 percent and increase the capital stock by more than 8 percent. This has the effect of lifting wages by more than 2.5 percent and creating more than 587,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

The results are very similar for allowing corporations full expensing for their capital investments. In this example, long term is generally about ten years, once the policies have worked their way through the economy.[2]

Combining the two policies does not double the results because of their interactive effects. However, we can see that the two policies together would increase the level of GDP by 4.5 percent and the capital stock by nearly 13 percent. These economic forces act to lift wages by an average of 3.8 percent and create 861,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

Some might question how a corporate rate cut could create that many jobs while the economy is inching toward full employment. The TAG model is actually estimating the increase in the total amount of hours worked in the economy as a result of the policy change. Thus, some of those full-time equivalent hours could be filled by new workers, while others would be filled by part-time workers moving to full-time, or some idle people coming back into the workforce.

It should also be noted that in performing these estimates, we have not factored in any increase in profit-shifting into the United States, either by U.S. firms repatriating foreign earnings or foreign-based firms increasing their investments into the U.S. We believe that a lower corporate tax rate would encourage such activity, but estimating those effects were outside the scope of this exercise.

More HERE 


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL 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)