Friday, November 10, 2017

Russian meddling in American politics is long-standing

But is is the Left who are their tools

Paul Kengor

Newly declassified documents confirm Moscow always knew to play the American left like a fiddle.

President Trump recently authorized a mass declassification of documents relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963. Among the material subsequently released, one document that instantly grabbed headlines was a December 1966 FBI memo reporting the reaction of Soviet and Communist Party USA officials to the Kennedy shooting. The document was headlined in (among other publications) the New York Post, which, in turn, was flagged at the top of the Drudge Report, which attracted a lot of readers. Old JFK conspiracy theorists picked up the torch and were off and running.

“The Soviet Union theorized that President Lyndon B. Johnson could have been behind JFK’s assassination,” began the New York Post, “and also learned Moscow could be blamed and attacked, according to documents in a major release of files related to Kennedy’s slaying.”

This sounds very intriguing, and very new. It isn’t new. And it also requires crucial historical context, especially as certain conspiracy theorists thump their chest in quasi-vindication. Here I’d like to offer that context before delving into the contents of the newly declassified FBI memo.

I provide the context in a book that was published in May. That book, A Pope and a President, focused on Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan, and deals at length with the Soviet role in the shooting of John Paul II, but also deals with the Soviet disinformation campaign launched in response to the Kennedy assassination.

The Soviets were extremely cynical and extremely shrewd. In late November 1963, they immediately saw how the American left reacted to the Kennedy shooting. American liberals, hysterical then as they still are today, didn’t waste a minute blaming everything and everyone but Lee Harvey Oswald and his love of communism, the USSR, and Castro’s Cuba. Of course, those were the obvious motivations behind the bullet fired into the brain of America’s young president.

And yet, true to everlasting form, liberals back then, in November 1963, attempted to blame the shooting on “right-wing hysteria,” on “conservatism,” on right-wing “hate.” They smeared the entire city of Dallas as a “City of Hate.” They fingered right-wing “extremism,” “paranoia,” “kooks,” gun violence, and an assorted list of bogeymen on the right. They even oddly hurled stones at the rightist, intensely anti-communist John Birch Society. This was an especially brazen charge given that Oswald in April 1963 had tried to assassinate Edwin Walker, a retired U.S. Army general who headed the Dallas chapter of the Birch Society; in fact, Oswald used the same rifle to shoot Kennedy.

Nonetheless, American liberals had their narrative, and it did not take long for them to run with it to besmirch their domestic political opponents.

No sooner than the very afternoon of the assassination, Chief Justice Earl Warren blamed Kennedy’s shooting on “the hatred and bitterness that has been injected into the life of our nation by bigots.” In his eulogy at Kennedy’s funeral, Democratic Senator Mike Mansfield attributed the shooting to “bigotry, hatred, and prejudice.” Popular columnist Drew Pearson blamed the shooting on a “hate drive.” In his first column after the assassination, James “Scotty” Reston, longtime liberal columnist for the New York Times, lamented the “violent streak” and “strain of madness” plaguing America, which he placed at the feet of “extremists on the right.” Since the beginning of his administration, Kennedy had been “trying to damp down the violence of the extremists on the Right.” “America wept,” said Reston, not only for its dead young president, “but for itself.”

Nowhere in Reston’s article ascribing blame at America and her alleged deadly conservatives were these three words: Lee Harvey Oswald. And certainly nowhere were the words communism, Cuba, or the Soviet Union as driving inspirations of Oswald.

James Burnham, the conservative intellectual and convert from atheistic communism, once famously stated that “for the Left, the preferred enemy is always to the Right.” Reston’s reaction was spot-on confirmation of the Burnham maxim. The New York Times rewarded it with a prominent page-one display.

And thus, no doubt sensing how easy this could be, with a more-than-receptive audience on the American left, the Soviets wasted no time doing what they did best: concocting malicious disinformation. If the American left was looking for phony demons as culprits for the Kennedy killing, Kremlin sorcerers were more than willing to conjure them up.

Detailing all of that here is too much, but two later sources were especially revealing in regard to these Soviet efforts: 1) the 1994 book, The First Directorate, by Oleg Kalugin, who spent 32 years in the Soviet KGB, rising to the rank of major general and chief of foreign counterintelligence, and 2) Ion Mihai Pacepa, in his 2013 book (co-authored with Ron Rychlak) Disinformation and his 2007 book on the Soviets and the Kennedy assassination.

As for Kalugin, he was the highest-ranking KGB officer to record his story. In November 1963, Kalugin was deputy station chief in Washington for the KGB. Kalugin notes that immediately after the disclosure that Oswald had Soviet connections (more on that in a moment), he and his fellow agents in Washington began receiving “frantic cables from KGB headquarters in Moscow, ordering us to do everything possible to dispel the notion that the Soviet Union was somehow behind the assassination” (which, to Kalugin’s knowledge, it was not). The Kremlin, he noted, was “clearly rattled by Oswald’s Soviet connection.” So, how to dispel that notion? Kalugin explained their orders: “We were told to put forward the line that Oswald could have been involved in a conspiracy with American reactionaries displeased with the president’s recent efforts to improve relations with Russia.” And so, said Kalugin, “I spoke with all my intelligence assets, including Russian correspondents and various U.N. employees, and told them to spread the official Soviet line. In the end, our campaign succeeded.”

It sure did. American liberals swallowed the Soviet line. They not only reflexively accepted Soviet innocence, but they heartily and happily pointed the finger at American conservatives — their preferred enemy.

As for Ion Mihai Pacepa, he argues two primary points: 1) The KGB had a thorough, ongoing, and very successful disinformation campaign to blame the Kennedy assassination on domestic elements in the United States, from “right-wingers” and anti-communists to the CIA (as Kalugin affirmed); and 2) Picking up from his 2007 book, Programmed to Kill: Lee Harvey Oswald, the Soviet KGB, and the Kennedy Assassination, Pacepa believes (and I cannot confirm) that the Soviets were involved in the actual assassination, or at least in earlier steps leading toward or helping to precipitate the event.

As to the first point, Pacepa recalls the date November 26, 1963, four days after Kennedy’s death. On that day, Soviet General Aleksandr Sakharovsky landed unannounced in Bucharest, where he met with Pacepa and other high-level members of Romanian intelligence and leadership. This was to be his first stop in a “blitz” tour of top KGB “sister” services in the Communist Bloc. “From him,” recalls Pacepa, “we in the DIE [Romanian intelligence] learned that the KGB had already launched a worldwide disinformation operation aimed at diverting public attention away from Moscow in respect to the Kennedy assassination, and at framing the CIA as the culprit.” Nikita Khrushchev himself, said Sakharovsky, wanted it made clear to the sister services that “this was by far our first and most important task.” It was crucial “to spread our version about the assassination before Washington could spread its own, so that our disinformation machinery could plant the idea on virgin soil that the CIA was responsible for the crime.” They also circulated rumors that Lyndon Johnson specifically and the “military-industrial complex” generally had been involved.

To repeat: The Kremlin peddled deliberate disinformation about the alleged role of LBJ in killing Kennedy.

The effort would be called Operation Dragon. It became, said Pacepa, one of the most successful disinformation operations in contemporary history. Pacepa points to Hollywood film director Oliver Stone’s 1991 movie, JFK, which blamed the Kennedy assassination on a cabal that included the CIA, Lyndon Johnson, and the military-industrial complex. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards, and won two.

The material from Pacepa is just one source for this information. There are other excellent sources, but I need not lay them out here. Generally, they show how Moscow did its damnedest to direct eyes of suspicion elsewhere, especially toward “ultra-right” elements in the United States. Pravda would claim that American “reactionaries” were exploiting Kennedy’s death to try to “fan anti-Soviet and anti-Cuban hysteria.”

That’s the context we already knew — or should have known — prior to the new Trump declassification of a December 1, 1966 FBI memo titled, “Reaction of Soviet and Communist Party Officials to the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.”

That document (click here) begins by noting that “officials of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union believed there was some well-organized conspiracy on the part of the ‘ultraright’ in the United States to effect a ‘coup.’ They seemed convinced that that assassination was not the deed of one man, but that it arose out of a carefully planned campaign in which several people played a part. They felt that those elements interested in utilizing the assassination and playing on anticommunist sentiments in the United States would then utilize this act to stop negotiations with the Soviet Union, attack Cuba and thereafter spread the war.”

As I’ve shown in the historical context above, this was precisely the Soviet Party line. Thus, this longtime secret FBI memo — only now released — merely reflected the Communist Party’s propaganda line at the time.

Speaking of which, in the next paragraph in the memo, the FBI repeated the Soviet line that sought to deflect any blame for the shooting on the far left, which is where it belonged: “It was the further opinion of the Soviet officials that only maniacs would think that the ‘left’ forces in the United States, as represented by the Communist Party, USA, would assassinate President Kennedy.”

Yeah, right. Only maniacs. This was classic communist mendacity.

The memo also added that “Soviet officials claimed that Lee Harvey Oswald had no connection whatsoever with the Soviet Union. They described him as a neurotic maniac who was disloyal to his own country and everything else.”

That was half-true. Yes, Oswald was disloyal to the United States of America, but he was fully loyal to the deadly ideology of communism.

The memo also reported — here going by a second unnamed source — that all the diplomatic personnel at the Soviet Mission in the United States were just broken up by the news of Kennedy’s death. It was a “considerable shock,” which they “very much regretted” to hear.

Sure, comrade. I bet the boys in the Kremlin were all torn up. Crocodile tears in Moscow for their beloved JFK.

Never stopping with just one lie, or a series of prevarications, the KGB whoppers smothered the FBI memo. Yet another unnamed Communist Party source alleged that “now” the KGB was suddenly “in possession of data purporting to indicate President Johnson was responsible for the assassination of the late President John F. Kennedy.”

Yes, LBJ. And on this blockbuster… well, that data was never supplied in the memo.

The remainder of the memo repeated the Kremlin’s pleas of innocence that it had no connection between Oswald and the Kennedy shooting, even as both the memo and Kremlin itself unavoidably acknowledged that Oswald had indeed visited the USSR in 1959, had expressed his desire to defect to the Soviet Union, had shared his willingness to offer his services to the communist cause, and had even met his wife back in the USSR. The noble apparatchiks (allegedly) rejected Oswald as “mentally unstable” and sent him home.

As usual, you see, the Kremlin’s hands were squeaky clean — no dirt, no blood. This ghastly regime that murdered tens of millions graciously “had no interest” in a U.S. Marine looking to enlist his sniper rifle in their righteous cause.

As if all of that hogwash isn’t enough to make one sick to the stomach at the steaming, putrid pile of bilious lies, the memo then claimed that “President Kennedy was held in high esteem by the Soviet government.”

That, my friends, is pure bilge. No one, not even the most naïve Camelot liberal usually easily duped by the Kremlin, buys that bunch of bunkum.

And still worse, the final two pages of the six-page memo concluded with (at last) a named source. Who was this source? It was one Gus Hall, longtime head of Communist Party, USA, and a contemptible Party hack that even Moscow didn’t trust. Good old comrade Gus chimed in on December 4, 1963, not even two full weeks after the Kennedy shooting, assuring an unnamed FBI source that the assassination “could have been done by no one other than the ‘ultraright.’”

Thanks, Gus.

After that, Gus literally headed back to his regular duty of pilfering Kremlin cash sent to subsidize his Party’s activities and cronies at CPUSA.

And finally, the FBI memo did, at last, mercifully, note that this angle on the Kennedy shooting by Communist Party USA had been set forth clearly in the Daily Worker. Yep, it sure had. The memo observed this common Party line in Moscow as well — namely, in Pravda, Izvestia, and other “news” organs.

So, in short, what we have here with this widely publicized declassified document from December 1966, released two weeks ago to great and growing fanfare in some circles — including conservative ones — is merely a rehash of once-moribund Soviet and Communist Party USA malicious misinformation.

The stirred up stench of old Kremlin lies still stinks so bad — with the denials and propaganda and disinformation so shameless — that it makes one wonder what Moscow was really seeking to cover up in November 1963.



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 09, 2017

The Politics of Hatred

Sen. Rand Paul is recovering from a blindside attack by his neighbor. Was it politically motivated? 

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was attacked from behind by his neighbor as he was mowing his own lawn (think about that for a minute) in Bowling Green, Kentucky, last Friday. “Senator Paul was blindsided and the victim of an assault. The assailant was arrested and it is now a matter for the police,” said Kelsey Cooper, Sen. Paul’s communications director. Paul suffered five broken ribs, including three displaced fractures. Clearly, that wasn’t very neighborly. And as details slowly emerge, it was worse than that.

The lawyer for Rene Boucher, the neighbor who attacked Paul, claims the dispute that precipitated the attack had nothing to do with politics but was over some “trivial” matter. He insisted, “Senator Paul and Dr. Boucher have been next-door neighbors for 17 years. They are also prominent members of the local medical community and worked together when they were both practicing physicians. The unfortunate occurrence of November 3rd has absolutely nothing to do with either’s politics or political agendas.” Perhaps, but it’s no secret that Paul and his neighbor are on opposite sides of the political spectrum and evidently have not spoken to each other in years.

There is an obvious reason why Boucher’s lawyer would seek to distance his client’s motivation from anything political. If it was political, then Boucher is looking at a federal rather than a state offense, and attacking a U.S. senator “on account of the performance of official duties” carries an 8 to 20 year prison term. At the very least, Boucher faces felony rather than misdemeanor charges due to the severity of the attack.

Irrespective of how this particular incident plays out, the fact that we are questioning if politics was a motive says much about the current state of our national political climate — a political climate in which congressional Republicans are targeted for assassination by a socialist. When Democrats, the mainstream media and popular culture feel entirely justified to regularly and falsely paint Republicans and conservatives as the party of racists and bigots, when Hillary Clinton labels Donald Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables,” and when the Left sees no problem resisting and calling for the impeachment of a justly elected president simply because they don’t like him, we have a real problem. This is type of hatred is the result of one side choosing to exploit identity politics. It remains to be seen if Paul’s neighbor was indeed driven by politically fueled hatred, but there is little question that on a national level America has a dangerously growing problem with “progressive” hate.



Network News Ignores Clinton-DNC Bombshell

The broadcast evening newscasts on three major networks on Thursday didn’t mention bombshell revelations by former Democratic National Committee interim Chairwoman Donna Brazile.

Brazile has written in a new book that she discovered evidence that she said showed Hillary Clinton’s campaign “rigged” the Democratic presidential primary.

“ABC’s World News Tonight,” “NBC Nightly News” and “CBS Evening News” all didn’t report the allegations by Brazile on Thursday evening despite it receiving considerable coverage on cable news and in print and online media. Brazile was also trending as one of Twitter’s top topics on Thursday.

In excerpts released to Politico Thursday, Brazile writes in her new book, “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House,” that it “broke [her] heart” upon discovering evidence that she said showed the Clinton campaign “rigged” the Democratic nomination system.



Russia:  More fake news from the Left

OMG! Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross held stake in a company that ships natural gas, and actually found natural gas producers who wanted to ship it. One of them was Russia.

Stop the presses!  Actually, in this case, they probably should have stopped the presses.

The breathless reporting by NBC News and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross failed to disclose to Congress his financial stake in Navigator Holdings Ltd., a British company that ships natural gas and liquid petrochemicals, which did business with Russia — is utterly false and completely indefensible. Nothing was hidden from Congress.

So says Ross, in an exclusive interview with CNBC, saying, “That’s totally wrong. It was disclosed on the form 278 which is the financial disclosure form, in my case, three times,” Ross said.

The form with his interest in Navigator, listed openly on the Office of Government Ethics website, was filed by Ross on Dec. 19, 2016, before Ross was ever confirmed by the U.S. Senate in Feb. 2017.

That’s bad enough. But the allegation that a company that ships natural gas around the world, including from Russia — the number two producer of natural gas in the entire world second only to the U.S. — is somehow suspicious is laughable.

Just read the headlines.  “Offshore Trove Exposes Trump-Russia links and Piggy Banks of the Wealthiest 1 Percent.” “Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross benefits from business ties to Putin’s inner circle.”

This new red scare has reached a new low. This would make Sen. Joe McCarthy blush.

Navigator’s fleet includes 38 seafaring vessels that ship natural gas everywhere.

As for Russia, according to Navigator’s website, “Russia’s largest gas processing and petrochemicals company saw an opportunity to meet European demand for LPG from increased local production. A new terminal was constructed near St Petersburg, but Sibur still faced the challenge of sustaining exports during freezing winters. At the time, no adequately-sized ice class gas carriers existed. In partnership with Sibur, we explored the various vessel capabilities that would suit its intended trade routes. We then constructed four handysize vessels with ice class capability sufficient for operating in the harsh climate of the Baltic Sea.”

Does that sound incredibly suspicious? Like some espionage plot? No, it’s a business strategy to work with natural gas exporters by a company that specializes in shipping natural gas. Nothing more. It’s about as unusual as a paper boy delivering newspapers.

This company is five-by-five. A true innovator.

But the purveyors of this bit of fake news have no problems with simply playing on unfounded Russia hysteria and fears that have engulfed the U.S. press corps. This story is utterly irresponsible that fails in the most basic of fact checks or even of putting the facts it did have into any meaningful context.

To repeat, Ross did disclose his stake in Navigator prior to Senate consideration. And a natural gas shipping company doing business with a natural gas producer is not suspicious.

Are oil tankers suspicious, too? Russia exports a lot of oil, you know. Perhaps some Trump officials had ties to major oil companies.

Next thing you know, NBC News will publish secret documents that prove that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson once ran Exxon — a company that did business with Russia! Oh wait…

If this is what the state of the Russia debate in the U.S. has degenerated to, where now any business dealings are considered espionage, our discourse has become utterly poisoned by this Russia witch hunt.

What’s worse, to the extent that such innuendo apparently now leads to federal investigations and who knows what else, as in the case of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, we are in a truly dark place as nation.

To NBC and the Consortium, somehow, this rather benign business dealing proves the Trump-Russia nexus that everyone’s been looking for. It’s a despicable smear. Insanity, pure and utter bat guano. Just stop.



How wrong they were
Time magazine’s cover story for the week of Nov. 6 is a classic. It blares: “The Wrecking Crew: How Trump’s Cabinet Is Dismantling Government As We Know It.” The New York Times ran a lead editorial complaining that team Trump is shrinking the regulatory state at an “unprecedented” pace.

Meanwhile, last week the stock market raced to new all-time highs; we had another blockbuster jobs report with another fall in the unemployment rate; and housing sales soared to their highest level in a decade.

Are the editors at Time and the Times so ideologically blinded that they are incapable of connecting the dots?

The U.S. economic revival of 3 percent growth has already defied the predictions of almost every Donald Trump critic. I vividly remember debating Hillary Clinton’s economic gurus during the campaign: They accused Trump and advisers such as myself of “lying” when we said that pro-growth policies would speed up economic growth to 3 to 4 percent.

Jason Furman, who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama, told reporters earlier this year that the chances of reaching 3 percent growth over a decade were about 1 in 25 — which is what many political experts said was Trump’s chance of winning the election. Another Obama economist, Alan Krueger, called the 3 percent growth forecast “extremely rosy.”

Larry Summers, a top economic adviser to Obama, questioned the “standards of integrity” of the Trump economic team’s forecast for 3 percent (or more) growth. “I do not see how any examination of U.S. history could possibly support the Trump forecast as a reasonable expectation,” he wrote in The Washington Post.

Congress weighed in, too. “This budget relies on absurd economic projections and pretend revenues that no credible economist would validate,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) announced at a House budget hearing.

The sharp-penned Paul Krugman of The New York Times declared Trump’s growth forecast an act of “economic arrogance.” He said that the productivity improvement necessary for faster growth was as likely as “driverless flying cars” arriving “en masse.”

Admittedly, we shouldn’t read too much into six months of very good economic data (with 3 percent growth) or the booming stock market. These trends can always reverse course quickly. Trump’s more restrictive policies on trade and immigration could harm growth potential.

But so far the Trump haters have missed the call on the economy’s trajectory. Doubly ironic is that the same Obama-era economists who are trashing Trump’s increasingly realistic forecast of 3 percent growth are the ones who predicted 4 percent growth from the Obama budgets. Obama never came anywhere near 4 percent growth, and at the end of his second term, the economy grew at a pitiful 1.6 percent.

Under Obama, free enterprise and pro-business policies were thrown out the window. What was delivered was the weakest recovery from a recession since World War II, with a meager 2.2 percent average growth rate. Middle America felt it, which is why Trump won these forgotten Americans.

One reason that economist Larry Kudlow and I and others assured Donald Trump that 3 to 4 percent growth was achievable was that Trump could capitalize on the underperformance of the Obama years. Under Obama, business investment fell almost two-thirds below the long-term trend line — thanks to higher taxes on investment. Now, partly in anticipation of the tax cut, business spending keeps climbing.

Maybe the liberal economists and their shills in the media should show some humility. They should acknowledge they were dead wrong about how much Obamanomics was going to grow the economy and about how Trumponomics would crash the economy and the stock market. Or better yet, maybe the rest of us should all just stop listening to them.



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 08, 2017

Communism’s Bloody Century

In the 100 years since Lenin’s coup in Russia, the ideology devoted to abolishing markets and private property has left a long, murderous trail of destruction

A century ago this week, communism took over the Russian empire, the world’s largest state at the time. Leftist movements of various sorts had been common in European politics long before the revolution of Oct. 25, 1917 (which became Nov. 7 in the reformed Russian calendar), but Vladimir Lenin and his Bolsheviks were different. They were not merely fanatical in their convictions but flexible in their tactics—and fortunate in their opponents.

Communism entered history as a ferocious yet idealistic condemnation of capitalism, promising a better world. Its adherents, like others on the left, blamed capitalism for the miserable conditions that afflicted peasants and workers alike and for the prevalence of indentured and child labor. Communists saw the slaughter of World War I as a direct result of the rapacious competition among the great powers for overseas markets.

But a century of communism in power—with holdouts even now in Cuba, North Korea and China—has made clear the human cost of a political program bent on overthrowing capitalism. Again and again, the effort to eliminate markets and private property has brought about the deaths of an astounding number of people. Since 1917—in the Soviet Union, China, Mongolia, Eastern Europe, Indochina, Africa, Afghanistan and parts of Latin America—communism has claimed at least 65 million lives, according to the painstaking research of demographers.

Communism’s tools of destruction have included mass deportations, forced labor camps and police-state terror—a model established by Lenin and especially by his successor Joseph Stalin. It has been widely imitated. Though communism has killed huge numbers of people intentionally, even more of its victims have died from starvation as a result of its cruel projects of social engineering.

For these epic crimes, Lenin and Stalin bear personal responsibility, as do Mao Zedong in China, Pol Pot in Cambodia, the Kim dynasty in North Korea and any number of lesser communist tyrants. But we must not lose sight of the ideas that prompted these vicious men to kill on such a vast scale, or of the nationalist context in which they embraced these ideas. Anticapitalism was attractive to them in its own right, but it also served as an instrument, in their minds, for backward countries to leapfrog into the ranks of great powers.

The communist revolution may now be spent, but its centenary, as the great anticapitalist cause, still demands a proper reckoning.

In February 1917, Tsar Nicholas II abdicated under pressure from his generals, who worried that bread marches and strikes in the capital of St. Petersburg were undermining the war effort against Germany and its allies. The February Revolution, as these events became known, produced an unelected provisional government, which chose to rule without the elected parliament. Peasants began to seize the land, and soviets (or political councils) started to form among soldiers at the front, as had already happened among political groups in the cities.

That fall, as the war raged on, Lenin’s Bolsheviks undertook an armed insurrection involving probably no more than 10,000 people. They directed their coup not against the provisional government, which had long since become moribund, but against the main soviet in the capital, which was dominated by other, more moderate socialists. The October Revolution began as a putsch by the radical left against the rest of the left, whose members denounced the Bolsheviks for violating all norms and then walked out of the soviet.

The Bolsheviks, like many of their rivals, were devotees of Karl Marx, who saw class struggle as the great engine of history. What he called feudalism would give way to capitalism, which would be replaced in turn by socialism and, finally, the distant utopia of communism. Marx envisioned a new era of freedom and plenty, and its precondition was destroying the “wage slavery” and exploitation of capitalism. As he and his collaborator Friedrich Engels declared in the Communist Manifesto of 1848, our theory “may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.”

Once in power in early 1918, the Bolsheviks renamed themselves the Communist Party as they sought to force-march Russia to socialism and, eventually, to history’s final stage. Millions set about trying to live in new ways. No one, however, knew precisely what the new society was supposed to look like. “We cannot give a characterization of socialism,” Lenin conceded in March 1918. “What socialism will be like when it reaches its completed form we do not know, we cannot say.”

But one thing was clear to them: Socialism could not resemble capitalism. The regime would replace private property with collective property, markets with planning, and “bourgeois” parliaments with “people’s power.” In practice, however, scientific planning was unattainable, as even some communists conceded at the time. As for collectivizing property, it empowered not the people but the state.

The process set in motion by the communists entailed the vast expansion of a secret-police apparatus to handle the arrest, internal deportation and execution of “class enemies.” The dispossession of capitalists also enriched a new class of state functionaries, who gained control over the country’s wealth. All parties and points of view outside the official doctrine were repressed, eliminating politics as a corrective mechanism.

The declared goals of the revolution of 1917 were abundance and social justice, but the commitment to destroy capitalism gave rise to structures that made it impossible to attain those goals.

In urban areas, the Soviet regime was able to draw upon armed factory workers, eager recruits to the party and secret police, and on young people impatient to build a new world. In the countryside, however, the peasantry—some 120 million souls—had carried out their own revolution, deposing the gentry and establishing de facto peasant land ownership.

With the devastated country on the verge of famine, Lenin forced reluctant party cadres to accept the separate peasant revolution for the time being. In the countryside, over the objections of communist purists, a quasi-market economy was allowed to operate.

With Lenin’s death in 1924, this concession became Stalin’s problem. No more than 1% of the country’s arable land had been collectivized voluntarily by 1928. By then, key factories were largely owned by the state, and the regime had committed to a five-year plan for industrialization. Revolutionaries fretted that the Soviet Union now had two incompatible systems—socialism in the city and capitalism in the village.

Stalin didn’t temporize. He imposed coercive collectivization from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean, even in the face of mass peasant rebellion. He threatened party officials, telling them that if they were not serious about eradicating capitalism, they should be prepared to cede power to the rising rural bourgeoisie. He incited class warfare against “kulaks” (better-off peasants) and anyone who defended them, imposing quotas for mass arrests and internal deportations.

Stalin was clear about his ideological rationale. “Could we develop agriculture in kulak fashion, as individual farms, along the path of large-scale farms” as in “America and so on?” he asked. “No, we could not. We’re a Soviet country. We want to implant a collective economy, not solely in industry, but in agriculture.”

And he never backtracked, even when, as a result of his policies, the country descended into yet another famine from 1931 to 1933. Forced collectivization during those few years would claim 5 to 7 million lives.

The Soviet Union’s awful precedent did nothing to deter other communist revolutionaries. Mao Zedong, a hard man like Stalin, had risen to the top of the Chinese movement and, in 1949, he and his comrades emerged as the victors in the Chinese civil war. Mao saw the colossal loss of life in the Soviet experiment as intrinsic to its success.

His Great Leap Forward, a violent campaign from 1958 to 1962, was an attempt to collectivize some 700 million Chinese peasants and to spread industry throughout the countryside. “Three years of hard work and suffering, and a thousand years of prosperity,” went one prominent slogan of the time.

Falsified reports of triumphal harvests and joyful peasants inundated the communist ruling elite’s well-provisioned compound in Beijing. In reality, Mao’s program resulted in one of history’s deadliest famines, claiming between 16 and 32 million victims. After the catastrophe, referred to by survivors as the “communist wind,” Mao blocked calls for a retreat from collectivization. As he declared, “the peasants want ‘freedom,’ but we want socialism.”

Nor did this exhaust the repertoire of communist brutality in the name of overthrowing capitalism. With their conquest of Cambodia in 1975, Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge drove millions from the country’s cities into the countryside to work on collectives and forced-labor projects. They sought to remake Cambodia as a classless, solely agrarian society.

The Khmer Rouge abolished money, banned commercial fishing and persecuted Buddhists, Muslims and the country’s ethnic Vietnamese and Chinese minorities as “infiltrators.” Pol Pot’s regime also seized children to pre-empt ideological infection from “capitalist” parents.

All told, perhaps as many as 2 million Cambodians, a quarter of the population, perished as a result of starvation, disease and mass executions during the four nightmarish years of Pol Pot’s rule. In some regions, skulls could be found in every pond.

Marx’s class analysis denied legitimacy to any political opposition, not just from “bourgeois” elements but from within communist movements themselves—because dissenters “objectively” served the interests of the international capitalist order. The relentless logic of anticapitalist revolution pointed to a single leader atop a single-party system.

From Russia and China to Cambodia, North Korea and Cuba, communist dictators have shared key traits. All have conformed, more or less, to the Leninist type: a fusion of militant ideologue and unprincipled intriguer. And all have possessed an extreme willpower—the prerequisite for attaining what only unspeakable bloodshed could bring.

Communism was hardly alone over the past century in committing grand carnage. Nazism’s repression and wars of racial extermination killed at least 40 million people, and during the Cold War, anticommunism spurred paroxysms of grotesque violence in Indonesia, Latin America and elsewhere.

But as evidence of communism’s horrors emerged over the decades, it rightly shocked liberals and leftists in the West, who shared many of the egalitarian aims of the revolutionaries. Some repudiated the Soviet Union as a deformation of socialism, attributing the regime’s crimes to the backwardness of Russia or the peculiarities of Lenin and Stalin. After all, Marx had never advocated mass murder or Gulag labor camps. Nowhere did he argue that the secret police, deportation by cattle car and mass death from starvation should be used to establish collective farms.

But if we’ve learned one lesson from the communist century, it is this: That to implement Marxist ideals is to betray them. Marx’s demand to “abolish private property” was a clarion call to action—and an inexorable path to the creation of an oppressive, unchecked state.

A few socialists began to recognize that there could be no freedom without markets and private property. When they made their peace with the existence of capitalism, hoping to regulate rather than to abolish it, they initially elicited denunciations as apostates. Over time, more socialists embraced the welfare state, or the market economy with redistribution. But the siren call to transcend capitalism persists among some on the left.

It also remains alive, though hardly in orthodox Marxist fashion, in Russia and China, the great redoubts of the communist century. Both countries continue to distrust what is perhaps most important about free markets and private property: Their capacity to give independence of action and thought to ordinary people, pursuing their own interests as they see fit, in private life, civil society and the political sphere.

But anticapitalism also served as a program for an alternative world order, one in which long-suppressed nationalist aims might be realized. For Stalin and Mao, heirs to proud ancient civilizations, Europe and the U.S. represented the allure and threat of a superior West. The communists set themselves the task of matching and overtaking their capitalist rivals and winning a central place for their own countries on the international stage. This revolutionary struggle allowed Russia to satisfy its centuries-old sense of a special mission in the world, while it gave China a claim to be, once again, the Middle Kingdom.

Vladimir Putin’s resistance to the West, with his peculiar mix of Soviet nostalgia and Russian Orthodox revival, builds on Stalin’s precedent. For its part, of course, China remains the last communist giant, even as Beijing promotes and tries to control a mostly market economy. Under Xi Jinping, the country now embraces both communist ideology and traditional Chinese culture in a drive to raise its standing as an alternative to the West.

Communism’s bloody century has come to an end, and we can only celebrate its passing. But troubling aspects of its legacy endure.



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, November 07, 2017

Make no mistake, Donald Trump is at his zenith

Leftist writer Bruce Wolpe below notes how much Trump has accomplished despite very little help from Congress

Donald Trump is the most unpopular president at this stage of his tenure than any president in modern American history. But that's not the end of the story.

Mr Trump has lost his chief of staff, chief strategist, press secretary, national security adviser, head of the FBI, and a cabinet officer within the first eight months in office, and has publicly and repeatedly humiliated two other members of cabinet.

He regularly insults the Republican leaders in Congress. He has brought the United States to the edge of war with North Korea.

But make no mistake: as we near the anniversary of Mr Trump's election last November 8, and notwithstanding the legal clouds looming over the White House, Mr Trump is at his zenith astride Washington and his party.

We asked if you thought Mr Trump was maximising the strength of the presidency and its power.

Trump's strength

Mr Trump's great strength is his fidelity to what he said he would do in the campaign. While he has failed at governing in partnership with Congress — even though the Republicans control the White House and both houses of Congress — he has ruthlessly pursued the policy and political agenda he outlined last year.

At home, he is enforcing his agenda through executive power and the bully pulpit, pushing his cabinet to go full throttle on erasing the Obama legacy: defunding Obamacare and the financing essential to maintaining insurance coverage for millions; slashing immigration intake and slowing access to America at the borders; repealing anti-carbon pollution rules and efforts to fight global warming; opening up national parks to energy development; undercutting support for public schools.

Every judicial appointment, from the Supreme Court down, has been a bedrock conservative, starting with where they stand on the constitutional right (under present rulings) to abortion. His man will run the Federal Reserve.

Abroad, Mr Trump has walked away from the Paris climate agreement; has initiated talks that will likely terminate the free trade agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico; brought the US to the brink of withdrawing from the nuclear agreement with Iran; and reduced US support for NATO — all core elements of his campaign message.

In terms of America's political culture, Mr Trump has relentlessly pushed the populist and nativist buttons that drew millions to his rallies: viciously attacking the media, labelling journalists "enemies" of the American people, and threatening to silence a major television network; railing against immigrants and continuing to push for construction of the wall with Mexico; using the players of the National Football League as foils in the debate over the state of race and justice in the country; and unmistakably aligning himself with white nationalists, the National Rifle Association, and anti-abortion forces.

All of them know they have a friend in the White House.

Taken together, Mr Trump is maximising the underlying strength of the presidency and its executive power — and channelling it to maintain the support of those who put him in office.

In 2016, Mr Trump engineered a hostile takeover of the Republican Party by prevailing over a dozen competitors who divided the field and ultimately could not counter the solid core of Mr Trump's grassroot support.

In 2017, Mr Trump has consolidated his control over the party, and those who oppose him have capitulated.

It is telling that Mr Trump's most vocal Republican critics are retiring and leaving the field. Trump's hardline strategist, Steve Bannon, is waging a political cleansing war on conservatives who are not Trump partisans.

Trump agenda stands strong

At the same time, no Republican leader in Congress has broken with the Trump agenda. There is no movement among Republicans to "take back" their party from Mr Trump and his America First vision — to reclaim the traditional Republican mantle of fiscal responsibility, free trade, open markets, internationalism, and multiculturalism and tolerance.

At the ballot box, Democrats have not won one special election since last November — there have been no gains in their seats in Congress.

There is no Senate Estimates-style oversight by Republicans in Congress over what Mr Trump is doing, and whether he is, pursuant to his oath of office, taking care that the laws are faithfully executed.

The House and Senate investigations of Russia and its interference in the 2016 election, and whether officials in the Mr Trump campaign committed treason in colluding with the Russians, have ground to a halt.

The mood in Washington right now is that even if Special Counsel Robert Mueller finds criminal activity at the highest levels of the Trump campaign, including possible obstruction of justice by trying to shut down the probe, the Republicans in the House will not vote to impeach Mr Trump.

Mr Trump is not going anywhere. He is prosecuting his agenda with abandon. He has overpowered those in his party in Congress who resist his leadership.

Democrats have not translated Mr Trump's unpopularity into a potent political counterforce.

For those who voted for Mr Trump, their man is on the hustings keeping full faith with his campaign policies and blaming all those standing in his way — Republicans and Democrats — for not getting with the program. The economy is growing at 3 per cent. The stock market is near all-time highs.

One year on from his shock election over Hillary Clinton, this is Mr Trump at his zenith.



A Century Since the Balfour Declaration

Much to celebrate, despite all the distortions and lies and misrepresentations about its meaning and significance ever since


A mere sixty-seven words helped alter the course of history. A century years ago this past week, November 2, 1917, the Balfour Declaration was issued, declaring British support for the establishment within the then-Ottoman Empire territory of Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.

The British Foreign Secretary, Arthur James, Lord Balfour, sent the following communication to Walter, Lord Rothschild, one of the most prominent Jews in England, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland:

His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
The Balfour Declaration was the first step on the political road to reversing two millennia of Jewish statelessness and exile which had resulted in the Jews being the most dispersed and persecuted minority in history.

The British commitment did not envisage Jewish statehood in all or indeed any part of Palestine, a sparsely populated, backwater district of the soon-to-be dismembered Ottoman Empire, even though some such prospect was in the fullness of time anticipated by its proponents, especially Balfour and also the Prime Minister, David Lloyd-George. Supporters of Zionism, like South Africa’s Jan Smuts, believed as early as 1918 that a heterogeneous population like Palestine (512,000 Muslims, 66,000 Jews and 61,000 Christians at the time of the Balfour Declaration — the Jewish population had dropped by about a third due to Ottoman depredations during the War) required something other than outright autonomy, with its minorities thrown on the mercy of the majority. (Similar thinking with regard to Lebanon, with its large, multi-confessional Christian population, was also prevalent at the time.)

The Declaration resulted in the subsequent, post-war British Mandate over the territory being dedicated to the upbuilding of the Jewish national home. Even though the British later reneged on this commitment in a bid to appease the Arabs on the eve of the Second World War by drastically curtailing Jewish immigration and land purchases, the state of Israel did eventually arise when the Mandate was terminated in May 1948.

Accordingly, Israel was not anyone’s gift to the Jews. The Jews of Palestine sacrificed scarce blood and treasure to obtain and preserve their independence from five invading Arab armies and internal Palestinian Arab militias led by the war-time Nazi collaborator, Haj Amin el Husseini. One percent of Israel’s population was killed defending Israel from the invasion which all Arabs belligerents declared would result in the destruction of Israel and the massacre of all its Jews.

However, precisely because the Arabs lost and because that loss has been recast to depict the Palestinian Arabs as innocent victims assaulted and dispersed by aggressive Zionism, the Balfour Declaration, as the first installment in the political drama leading to Jewish statehood, has been vilified as an injustice inflicted on Palestinian Arabs.

Thus, the PLO has claimed Britain has primary responsibility for the “historical injustice in Palestine,” while Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly last year that “Britain gave, without any right, authority or consent from anyone, the land of Palestine to another people.” Or, in the famous formulation of Arthur Koestler, “one nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third.”

It has also been ceaselessly argued that the Balfour Declaration defrauded the Arabs who, it is alleged, had been promised an independent Arab state in territories that included Palestine by Sir Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner in Egypt, in correspondence with Sherif Hussein ibn Ali of Mecca and King of the Hijaz, during 1915-16 (the Hussein–McMahon Correspondence).

All of this turns out to be untrue.

First, the Balfour Declaration was not a lone, imperial act: it was an allied commitment, agreed upon by the allied powers in the First World War. It was incorporated in the Treaty of Sèvres, signed by the 13 allied powers, including the Kingdom of the Hijaz, the chief Arab interlocutor at the post-War Paris Peace Conference, as well as Turkey. In 1922, the Declaration was incorporated into the terms of the Mandate for Palestine awarded Britain by all 51 members of the League of Nations. Whatever force of argument commended the Declaration to the British who first issued it also communicated itself to the international community that endorsed it.

For these reasons, Ashley Perry has rightly observed, “the Balfour Declaration was unique, not only in Jewish history, but possibly in the history of national movements. For a short period, all the major powers, the leader of the Arab world and most interested parties created a mechanism to fulfill the Zionist dream.”

The moment in time proved short-lived. As Europe in the next two decades was to prove, there was no way to confer self-determination on some peoples without creating new minorities, because populations were intricately intertwined. The best that might be achievable — and this is the course that was followed — was to seek statehood for both Arabs and Jews across the region. Mounting Arab opposition to Jewish self-determination foredoomed a peaceful post-war settlement in the Middle East along these lines and led eventually to Zionism being put to the test of the sword.

Second, Britain had no control at all at the time over the territory in question, which was still lodged firmly in Ottoman hands. It was thus in no position to give the territory to the Jews, merely to state its preferred policy.

Third, nor was a country or people being usurped; no Palestinian country or nationality had pre-existed its Ottoman landlords, nor did the local population conceive of itself as anything other than the inhabitants of the southern part of Syria. Their political allegiance was centered on the Ottoman Empire, not on any national aspirations which were then virtually non-existent.

Fourth, no British commitment to create an Arab state in Palestine was at any time given to Sherif Hussein or any other Arab interlocutor. As Isaiah Friedman demonstrated in exquisite detail in his 2000 book, Palestine: A Twice Promised Land?, the original Arabic letter of October 24, 1915 from McMahon to Hussein (which Friedman uncovered), as well as its retranslation into English by the British in Cairo in November 1919, makes it clear beyond peradventure that the territory of what became the British Mandate of Palestine west of the Jordan River was not among the territories earmarked for Arab statehood. Moreover, there was no unilateral British commitment of any sort, but rather a conditional promise in the event of an Arab revolt against the Ottoman Turks which never materialized; to the contrary, the Arabs of Palestine and Syria in their overwhelming majority fought on the Ottoman side.

While T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) raised an army of Arab irregulars in the Hejaz, no indigenous revolt occurred in Syria or Iraq and indeed only the landing of a British army led to the driving out of Ottoman forces from Palestine after the victories of Gaza, Beersheba, and Megiddo. There was thus no “twice-promised land” — and consequently no fraudulent British dealings — which both friends and foes of Israel have frequently alleged to lie at the root of the conflict.

It is one thing to see the Balfour Declaration as a vital link in a chain leading to Israel’s creation over thirty years later, which it was. It is quite another to invest the Declaration with responsibility for the tragic consequences of the war Arabs insisted upon launching to abort Israel’s creation.

The Palestinian tragedy is not the Balfour Declaration. It is the Arab and Muslim supremacism that has determined Palestinian Arab political decisions at virtually every turn in the past century, ensuring that the Palestinian leadership opposed and denied — and continue to deny — any Jewish claim or connection with the land and refuse to countenance the idea that Jews are entitled to the self-determination they insist upon for themselves. The Palestinian Arab leadership’s demand of a British apology for the Declaration leading up to its anniversary merely underscores this fact.

This ongoing tragedy is unlikely to end until Palestinian Arabs relinquish the dream of Israel’s dismemberment, recognize the right of the Jews to their sovereign existence, and undertake to work with it to bring about peace, not war.

Blame for all manner of decisions and acts across intervening decades can be leveled at all parties involved. But that is no reason for Israel, or Britain, not to celebrate Lord Balfour’s high-minded act of statesmanship one hundred years ago which helped the Jewish people to rejoin the family of sovereign nations after two millennia of statelessness, persecution, and massacre.



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, November 06, 2017

Why do American Jews vote Democrat?

Jews vote overwhelmingly for Democrat candidates.  It is weird that they do.  They are generally very smart people so many must know that it was a socialist who burnt 6 million of them during WWII.  The media and the education establishment constantly regurgitate the old Soviet propaganda that Hitler was "Right-wing" but the truth is not far away for anybody who cares to enquire.  And for Jews, Hitler's national socialism is of life and death interest.  So most Jews must know the truth.  I have known it since I was a kid and I am not a Jew.

So why do they do it?  It's actually pretty simple.  Jews have taken incredible knocks from the world around them.  So they have to be deeply dissatisfied with that world.  They would love a just and brighter world.  But that is exactly what the Left claim to offer.  For their own various reasons, Leftists are dissatisfied with the world around them too.  So Jews buy into that. And that "buy" is sometimes literally true.  Jews are major donors to Leftist candidates and causes.

So what they do shows the power of propaganda.  People instinctively believe what other people say.  It would be a dismal world if we had to disbelieve it all. So Jews must hope that the Left really mean their "compassionate" pretences this time around.  Jews really NEED that hope and people are good at believing what they want to believe.

And the amazing thing is that antisemitism is only just beneath the surface of Democrat politics.  It rumbles to the surface at times, usually under the thin disguise of anti-Zionism. A Jew, Jonah Goldberg, has even written a book showing that Fascism/Nazism is/was Leftist but that seems to have had little penetration into Jewish minds.  The wish remains father to the thought.

Jews might ponder the ethics of their political decisions.  Conservatives are their friends.  It was a great Conservative, Winston Churchill, who was the most unrelenting foe of Hitler while Stalin allied himself with Hitler until Hitler attacked him.  So why do Jews support and fund the enemies of their friends?  Is that a principled stance? 

Even worse is Jewish enmity towards Christians.  American evangelical Christian voters are the rock on which American support for Israel rests yet the ADL has long been an unremitting opponent and critic of Christian observance.  Christians were once enemies of Jews but that reality has reversed.  It seems strange that Jews cannot see that.  Old habits of thinking die hard I guess -- JR.


The Left Always Needs a Human Sacrifice

Rich Kozlovich is very cynical about the Brazile revelations:

I'm really getting a chuckle over all this hoopla regarding Donna Brazile and her condemnation of Hillary. It turns out, just like Captain Louis Renault... she's was SHOCKED... SHOCKED I tell you.


I met Donna Brazile and Pat Buchannan a couple of years ago and she claimed she never saw corruption in Washington.  It turns out she and Pat are friends.  And according to her she talks to his sister Bay every week.  Amazing isn't it.  She's a far left as you can go and Pat and his sister are as far right as you can go.  What can they possibly have in common to talk about?  Covering all the bases maybe?

But the thing I came away with was how dangerous she is, and in some ways, more dangerous than Hillary Clinton.  Why?  Because she's so stunningly likable!  The total opposite of Hillary who is as likable as a poisonous pet scorpion.  But that likability component disguises a whole other person.

Let's get this clear once and for all - she was part of Hillary's corrupt cabal. 

It's been established she sent an e-mail to John Podesta to let the Hillary campaign people know about questions that would be asked in order for her to be prepared.    It's also known she sent Jennifer Palmieri an e-mail letting her know she gets the questions ahead of time and was clearly conspiring to let the corrupt Hillary cabal know what they were, and did so on more than one occasion.

She vehemently denied all these charges claiming Wikileaks was trying to "destroy [her] groove". Later she accused TYT Politics reporter Jordan Chariton of "badgering a woman." She told Megan Kelly,  "As a Christian woman, I understand persecution. I will not sit here and be persecuted because your information is totally false." 

She later said these Wikileaks which exposed her corruption were meant to "manipulate an election, disrupt or discredit or destroy our democracy" and blame the Russians who were trying to "produce an outcome more favorable to them and their interests."  When the truth of her deception could no longer be denied she stated:  "If I had to do it all over again, I would know a hell of a lot more about cybersecurity."

Her whole defense was she's a black Christian woman wrapping herself in the American flag, who the right is out to destroy.  But the statement that counts is "If I had to do it all over again, I would know a hell of a lot more about cybersecurity"  because she's acknowledging she did exactly what Wikileaks exposed - she knew it was wrong - and would be more than willing to do it all over again if she could be assured she wouldn't be caught.

So now she's coming to Jesus and exposing for the world to see just how corrupt was the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton.   And she was shocked to find Hillary had rigged the Democratic primary process by buying the DNC with an agreement that would give her control of the DNC, their money and strategy.  She became Queen Hillary of the DNC. 

And whose fault was that?  It was Obama's fault, because he left the party in debt to the tune of 24 million dollars.  She wasn't at fault for anything, except lying and conspiring to destroy the integrity of the process.  Amazing for someone who never saw corruption in Washington. 

Brazile claims she called Bernie when she found out the truth and that truth "broke her heart".  I guess she was shocked, shocked I tell you!  Or is it possible she could see this thing way down the road and was covering her bets? 

Now she's being hailed as a hero of the left for her exposure of the Clintons, Obama, Debbie Wasserman Shultz and the DNC.  Amazing!  Are we to believe this was a surprise to many in the party leadership?  I don't think so. 

Hillary just wouldn't go away.  She ran around the country whining and crying how she'd been treated badly by her supporters, the DNC, the media...well any unnamed others.  Her constant whining was doing more to destroy any future short term hopes of the Democrats than anything the Republicans could possibly do.  She made them look like fools and idiots.  So Donna Brazile has stepped up to solve the Democrats Clinton issue. 

As one writer noted:

She's a survivor, full of pluck, and she has a lot of friends because she is as likable as Hillary Clinton is not.  She was implicated in fixing the nomination for Hillary, and she doesn't want to go down with the Clintons.

The writer went on to say:

The serious people with a vested interest in the continued existence of the Democratic Party – the pols, interests, and apparatchiks of the Dem Deep State – realize that they have a "Clinton problem."  An unlikable candidate bound to lose will not go away, and she embarrasses herself and the party on a continuing basis.  Worse still, Uranium One is a ticking time bomb – one that implicates not only the Clintons, but the entire Obama administration.

It was clear there needed to be a Hillary purge within the party and the real power brokers in the Democrat Party, and these crying snowflakes she draws at her events aren't among them. Brazile was chosen to violate Omerta, the criminal code of silence, and she willing has done so in order "to align herself with the left wing of the party, to become the truth-teller whose heart was broken when she found out the truth of their betrayal."

"Cause she was really on their side, even while she held her tongue in public."  Yeah, right!

And now they're calling for Hillary's head.  She's to be the human sacrifice that will save their party. So, does that mean Bernie will run in 2020?  Will his wife be in prison?  Will John Kasich switch parties and run as a Democrat?

This, I think I can safely predict.  This 2018 midterm election may be the biggest mid term blood bath in American history.  For the Republicans it will be in the primaries, some of which has already been fixed by those retiring so they won't have to face their constituents - but for the Democrats - it will be in the general election, except for the far left districts, like those with Representatives like Maxine Waters and Senators like Chuckie Shumer.  All gifts that will keep on giving. 

Who knows.  After Hillary and Debbie Wasserman Shultz have been sacrificed - maybe they'll need another sacrifice after next November.  Maybe it will be Brazile? 

Nah....that won't happen.  They're more than happy to eviscerate Hillary and Debbie.  Both are white.  One is from a southern state and the other is Jewish.  No problem there!  But can you imagine the Democrats going after a politically prominent black woman who is now wrapping herself in the flag?

Maybe they can go after  Bernie, but he's only a Democrat when he's running for President.  Then there's Warren. She's white, rich and an indian.  Oh, wait.... I forgot... Warren lied, she's not an indian, but she is white and rich.  Good enough - Go get her Dems!



Jobs Report: US Economy Adds 261,000 Jobs in October, Unemployment Drops to 4.1 Percent

Trump gets results just by being himself

The US economy added 261,000 jobs in October, rebounding from a hurricane-drenched September.  Other indicators were mixed, although the primary 'U3' unemployment rate has tumbled to 4.1 percent -- the lowest level in 17 years, as various Trump administration officials are eagerly pointing out today.  Despite some lingering concerns about the strength of employment and economic growth, the overall picture continues to improve.  Here is the Associated Press write-up:

U.S. employers added a solid 261,000 jobs in October in a bounce-back from the hurricanes that slammed the Southeast in September. The unemployment rate declined to 4.1 percent, the lowest in nearly 17 years, from 4.2 percent in September, the Labor Department said Friday. But the drop in the rate occurred mostly because many people stopped looking for work and so were no longer counted as unemployed....October’s burst of hiring largely reflects a rebound from the hurricanes that temporarily depressed job gains in September.

But it also shows that for all their fury, the storms didn’t knock the economy or the job market off course. Over the past three months, job growth has averaged 162,000, similar to the pace of hiring before the hurricanes.
Estimates from previous months were also revised upward, erasing September's apparent losses:

The government also revised up its estimate of the job total for the previous two months. In August, employers added 208,000, up from 169,000. They added just 18,000 in September as thousands of businesses were forced to close. But that figure was revised higher from a previous estimate that showed a loss of 33,000. With September’s jobs figure back in the positive column, the economy has now added jobs for 85 straight months, a record streak...

Restaurants and bars regained 89,000 jobs last month. Manufacturers added 24,000 jobs. A category that includes mostly higher-paying professional jobs, such as accountants and engineers, added 50,000. Retailers shed 8,300...Americans are also sounding more optimistic about the economic outlook, which could prompt more people to open their wallets in the coming months. Consumer confidence reached its highest level in nearly 17 years in October, according to the Conference Board.
The AP story notes that the broader 'U6' number slid slightly in October, reflecting a rise among those who've stopped actively seeking work

Nonetheless, wages failed to break out in October, rising 2.4% from a year earlier, a slowdown from the prior month. “With the swings from the hurricanes now largely behind us, the longer-term challenge of wage growth returns to the foreground,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist at job site Indeed

The economy isn't exactly roaring, but it's in a pretty good place -- hence the low unemployment rate and robust consumer confidence, each of which are at their strongest levels in nearly two decades.



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, November 05, 2017

Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC

Confirmation in the excerpts below that Hillary "bought" the Democratic nomination in 2016.  The famous Clinton fundraising came into its own.  But it's all rather ho hum to aware conservatives.  We expect Leftists to have no principles

The interesting thing in it all is that it may be Hillary's machinations that gave us Donald Trump. Hillary was an uninspiring candidate whose only real message was that she was a woman.  She  appears to have been blind to the fact that most women are attracted to an Alpha male (even though she married one herself)  -- and Trump is an Alpha male.  So 53% of white women voted for The Donald -- leaving the "sisterhood" aghast.

But Sanders was the opposite to Hillary.  He sounded like he had a good message and he aroused real enthusiasm among Democrat voters -- particularly America's education-deprived youth. So combine those followers with the usual "rusted on" Democrat voters -- particularly Blacks, Hispanics and Jews -- and a candidate Sanders might have been a President Sanders by now.


I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested.

The Saturday morning after the convention in July, I called Gary Gensler, the chief financial officer of Hillary’s campaign. He wasted no words. He told me the Democratic Party was broke and $2 million in debt.

“What?” I screamed. “I am an officer of the party and they’ve been telling us everything is fine and they were raising money with no problems.”

That wasn’t true, he said. Officials from Hillary’s campaign had taken a look at the DNC’s books. Obama left the party $24 million in debt—$15 million in bank debt and more than $8 million owed to vendors after the 2012 campaign—and had been paying that off very slowly. Obama’s campaign was not scheduled to pay it off until 2016. Hillary for America (the campaign) and the Hillary Victory Fund (its joint fundraising vehicle with the DNC) had taken care of 80 percent of the remaining debt in 2016, about $10 million, and had placed the party on an allowance.

On the phone Gary told me the DNC had needed a $2 million loan, which the campaign had arranged.

“No! That can’t be true!” I said. “The party cannot take out a loan without the unanimous agreement of all of the officers.”

The campaign had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearinghouse.

“Wait,” I said. “That victory fund was supposed to be for whoever was the nominee, and the state party races. You’re telling me that Hillary has been controlling it since before she got the nomination?”

Gary said the campaign had to do it or the party would collapse.

“That was the deal that Robby struck with Debbie,” he explained, referring to campaign manager Robby Mook. “It was to sustain the DNC. We sent the party nearly $20 million from September until the convention, and more to prepare for the election.”



Why Democrats Are Obsessed With Wealth Inequality

I think Dennis Prager is too kind below. Equality could only be achieved by tearing down the whole of existing society and its arrangements.  THAT is why the Left advocate it. They WANT to tear down the whole of existing society and its arrangements

If you want to understand today’s Democratic Party, a word search of a Democratic debate in 2015 provides a pretty clear picture.  Here is how many times keywords were spoken:

Wall Street: 23
Tax: 20
Inequality: 9
Wealthy: 7

Now, compare the number of times other national concerns were mentioned:

Terror/ists/ism: 2
Defense: 2
Military (excluding Jim Webb): 1
Freedom: 1
Debt (national): 0
Liberty: 0
Strength: 0
Armed forces: 0
Islamist/Islamic: 0

Material inequality is the predominant concern of the Democratic Party. Indeed, material inequality has been the predominant concern of the left since Karl Marx.

This raises two questions: How important is material inequality? And if it is not that important, why does it preoccupy the left-wing mind?

The answer to the first question is: It depends. It depends, first of all, on the economic status of the poorer members of the society.

If the bottom percentile society has its basic material needs met, then the existence of a big gap between its members and the wealthiest members of the society is not a moral problem.

But if the members of the bottom rung of society are in such an impoverished state that their basic material needs are not met, and yet there is a supremely wealthy class in the same society, then the suffering of its poorest class renders that society’s inequality a moral problem.

And what most matters in both cases is whether the wealthiest class has attained its wealth honestly or corruptly. If the wealthy have attained their wealth morally and legally, then the income gap is not a moral problem.

In a free society, wealth is not a pie —meaning that when a slice of pie is removed, there is less of the pie remaining. And the poorer members of society have the ability to improve their economic lot.

Through hard work, self-discipline, marriage, and education—and with some degree of good luck—the poor can join the middle class and even the wealthy class.

The latter is generally the case in America. Unlike in most societies, for most Americans being poor is not a fate. The only time being poor becomes permanent is when noneconomic factors render it so.

These factors include not having a father in one’s life, growing up with no family or social emphasis on education, women having children without a man, and men having children without committing to the mother of those children.

The left, with its materialist view of life, refuses to concede these nonmaterial producers of poverty and that changing behavior is therefore the only way to raise the majority of the poor out of their poverty.

Of course, when bad luck —such as chronic illness or being the victim of a violent crime— is the reason for one’s impoverished condition, societal help is a moral imperative.

Instead, the left believes that the focus of attention must be on reducing the wealth of the wealthy —again, as if the wealth is a pie.

Thus, the left demands a redistribution of wealth in society—taking money (that was honestly earned) from those who are wealthier and giving that money to the poor.

But all that does most of the time is prolong the poverty of the poor, as they are not only not forced to engage in productive behavior, they are actually paid to continue whatever unproductive behaviors they are engaged in.

All this should be obvious to anyone with common sense. But incorrect ideology always distorts common sense.

So, why is the left preoccupied with inequality in a society in which most poor people have the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty?

Because of its class-based materialist ideology. Because seeing some people own luxury vehicles, multiple homes, and even private jets while others live in small apartments feels wrong to the left —and leftism is based on feelings.

Because it prefers that the state, not the individual citizen, has as much wealth as possible.

And because when you don’t fight real evils (communism during the Cold War, and now Islamism, Russian expansion, Syria’s use of chemical weapons), you fight non-evils. And material inequality is non-evil.



Millennials: Communism sounds pretty chill

‘This report clearly reveals a need for educating our youth on the dangerous implications of socialist ideals’

According to the latest survey from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a D.C.-based nonprofit, one in two U.S. millennials say they would rather live in a socialist or communist country than a capitalist democracy.

What’s more, 22% of them have a favorable view of Karl Marx and a surprising number see Joseph Stalin and Kim Jong Un as “heroes.”

Really, that’s what the numbers show.

“Millennials now make up the largest generation in America, and we’re seeing some deeply worrisome trends,” said Marion Smith, executive director of the organization. “Millennials are increasingly turning away from capitalism and toward socialism and even communism as a viable alternative.”

But do they even know what it is?

The survey, which was conducted by research and data firm YouGov, found that millennials are the least knowledgable generation on the subject, with 71% failing to identify the proper definition of communism.

Smith explained that this “troubling turn” highlights pervasive historical illiteracy across the country and “the systemic failure of our education system to teach students about the genocide, destruction, and misery caused by communism since the Bolshevik Revolution one hundred years ago.”

Other findings include the belief held by 53% of millennials that America’s economic system works against them, which is the same percentage in the prior study. Meanwhile, 66% of Gen Z, ages 16-20, say the system works for them.

When it comes to the wealth divide, Americans seem to be on the same page, with 80% saying it’s a serious issue, up from 78% a year ago. They also mostly agree (68%) that the highest earners don’t pay their fair share in taxes.

“This report clearly reveals a need for educating our youth on the dangerous implications of socialist ideals.” Smith said. “We will continue to work with educators to build curriculum to address this important need.”



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