Friday, December 08, 2017

Bannon tells Roy Moore's supporters: 'They want to take your voice away' -- and derides Mitt Romney

FAIRHOPE, Alabama. — It already felt a little like a victory party in Alabama Tuesday, where Senate candidate Roy Moore is suddenly feeling love from the Republican Party despite weeks of disclosures that he sexually pursued and assaulted underaged girls.

There was a barn packed, standing room only, with supporters. American flags and twinkling white lights decorated the interior, while rain occasionally pounded on a tin roof. And Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House strategist turned king-maker, was here to help push Moore over the finish line with his trademark defiance.

“They want to destroy Judge Moore. And you know why? They want to take your voice away,” Bannon declared.

“There is no better way to spend a rainy evening in Alabama than with the deplorables,” he said, playing to the antiestablishment crowd gathered to hear him Tuesday night.

Bannon also tore into former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, a Republican who is a sharp Moore critic and a possible candidate for Senate in Utah if incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch opts to retire.

“You hid behind your religion,” Bannon said of Romney, referring to his Mormon missionary work in the 1960s in France, which allowed him to win a draft deferment. “Judge Moore has more honor and integrity in his pinky finger than your entire family does.”

Bannon’s support in the contest against Democrat Doug Jones has been crucial for Moore, the former renegade state judge and Christian favorite who has been accused of sexually assaulting teenaged girls when he was a single man in his 30s. The contest, a special election set for Tuesday, is to replace Jeff Sessions who was tapped to be Trump’s attorney general.

Moore drew parallels between his race here and Trump’s 2016 contest. “He fought both the Democrats and the Republicans and became president of the United States,” Moore said.

“When he was elected I felt like a big weight had been taken off my shoulders. It felt like we had another chance. And do have another chance,” Moore said.

This week marked the beginning of an improbable turnaround, after the renegade Moore, and by proxy, Bannon, appeared headed for a repudiation just a month ago.

“Alabama isn’t sending no Democrat to the Congress,” said Les McMinn, 56, who held up a handwritten sign at Tuesday’s rally that read, “Thank you Lord Jesus for Roy Moore.”

Moore appeared to be in serious trouble after The Washington Post reported early last month that he had sexually molested a 14-year-old girl in the late 1970s and sexually pursued other teenagers. Another woman came forward at a press conference and said Moore sexually assaulted her in a car when she, too, was in high school. Many Republicans distanced themselves from Moore and called on him to drop out of the race.

But in a sign of how much the party has changed since Donald Trump’s 2016 election, the president turned the tide back in Moore’s favor two weeks ago, when he said Alabama voters should reject Jones, whom he described as too liberal. This week, Trump explicitly endorsed Moore, the Republican National Committee restored the spigot of campaign cash, and Mitch McConnell moderated his earlier rejection of Moore after the Post’s revelations.

Now Moore has reestablished a lead in the polls. If he wins, it will be seen as a bigger triumph for Bannon and his far-right movement that has inspired cadres of white nationalists than for Republicans in the Senate. One reason Bannon backs Moore is the sheer discomfort he will bring to Washington.

“He’s going to make McConnell’s life a living hell,” said Andrew Surabian, a former Trump White House aide and Bannon confidant.

Particularly in this moment of reckoning about sexual misconduct by powerful men, adding Moore to the Senate — with the president’s blessing — will further radicalize the Republican Party and redefine the boundaries of acceptable behavior for membership in the country’s most esteemed body, according to critics from both parties.

Moore moves the party so far away from the establishment that the previous rebels are suddenly seen as reasonable, Surabian said. “Roy Moore will normalize Ted Cruz,” he said, referring to the Texas senator whose antics contributed to a temporary government shutdown in 2013.

Trump, after initially waffling, gave Moore a full-throated endorsement on Monday, calling him from Air Force One to say: “Go get ‘em Roy.”

Last month, after the revelations of Moore’s alleged sexual misconduct, McConnell said that Moore should step aside. But on Sunday, on ABC’s “This week,” he declared, “Let the people of Alabama make the call.”

But the party is still not united behind Moore, whom many see as an incoming albatross for Republican senators. And Bannon gets the blame. Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona and Romney are among party leaders who have condemned Moore, and Bannon.

“What (Bannon’s) doing is trying to elect people to the US Senate who have one issue, that is to destabilize the leadership of Mitch McConnell,” said Scott Jennings, a Republican strategist and McConnell ally. “I happen to think it is a misguided goal.”

He noted that McConnell has delivered Trump some legislative victories, including Senate passage last week of a tax cut bill that would also repeal the federal mandate that Americans purchase health insurance, a key tenet of the Affordable Care Act. The GOP-controlled Senate has also confirmed a Supreme Court justice and a raft of judges to the federal bench.

Moore is still in a close fight with Jones. Polls are showing the Alabama race within the margin of error, which is in some ways stunning given that Trump won Alabama by nearly 28 percentage points.

Bannon, 64, took over Trump’s struggling campaign in August 2016 when polls suggested little room for a Republican victory. He went on to become Trump’s chief strategist in the White House.

But it’s been since leaving the West Wing in August that Bannon has emerged as a national figure in his own right. On Tuesday, Bannon announced he would return to hosting a morning radio show SiriusXM radio. That’s in addition to his perch atop Breitbart News Network.



Trump Is Rolling Back Obama’s Last-Minute Land Grab. Here’s What Must Come Next

Today marked an important moment as President Donald Trump made much-needed changes to sweeping land use designations made under previous administrations.

The Trump administration listened to the combined voices of individual citizens, tribal members, small communities, and elected officials from the county, state, and federal levels. In doing so, Trump has responded to Utahns’ calls by dramatically reducing the size of both the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, which had a combined land mass larger than the state of Connecticut.

This is a good step forward in reforming a law that has too easily been abused to drown out the voices of the people who care most about these lands. Today marks a victory for the people of southern Utah who know and love their public lands the most.

Trump’s bold move to reduce the size of the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears monuments is the result of a true grass-roots effort. Locals held rallies, lobbied their representatives, passed resolutions, fundraised, and so much more, traveling hundreds of miles to do so.

While Kane, Garfield, and San Juan counties celebrate, they understand that these two national monuments were just a symptom of a much larger problem.

Unlike previous designations, recent national monuments were not about protecting specific historic and cultural sites as outlined in the Antiquities Act. Instead, political gamesmanship, outdoor recreation, presidential legacies, climate change, and a host of other motivations drove the designation process.

The result is expansive national monuments that restrict access, weaken local economies, corrode rural communities, and put the very archeological resources they are supposed to protect at a greater risk of destruction.

Presidents of both parties have abused the Antiquities Act for decades and will continue to do so as long as they are allowed to designate national monuments unchecked with just the stroke of a pen.

It’s time that Congress act to transform the Antiquities Act into a law of the people, by the people, and for the people, where constitutional principles safeguard the environment, protect archeological sites, create abundant recreational opportunities, and secure the American dream for rural communities.

If there is no change in the Antiquities Act, Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and southern Utahns will be in danger of future unilateral action with every change of presidential administration. Hardworking Americans and our public lands deserve better.

Here’s what we propose. National monument designations and reductions should be approved by Congress and state elected officials. By integrating state leaders and Congress into the process, we’ll protect the will of the people from presidential overreach and the whims of centralized government.

No longer would Utahns sit on pins and needles waiting to see how a president changes the management of millions of acres. Instead, we can assure that local voices are prioritized over political and ideological interests with the democratic process as a central fixture in the future of our public lands.

We want to thank the Trump administration for finally listening to the voices of San Juan, Kane, and Garfield county residents and giving power back to the people. This is truly a step in the right direction.



Illegal Alien Now Faces Federal Charges in Kate Steinle's Death

A federal grand jury in San Francisco on Tuesday indicted Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition; and for being an illegal alien in possessions of a firearm and ammunition.

On July 1, 2015, Garcia-Zarate fired the bullet that ricocheted and killed Kate Steinle, a woman walking on a San Francisco pier with her father.

Last week, a San Francisco jury acquitted Garcia-Zarate on murder and manslaughter charges, but it did convict him on state charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He is still in state custody.

Garcia-Zarate had been deported five times from the United States at the time of Kate's death. He was homeless, and the only reason he was wandering the streets is because of San Francisco's sanctuary city status, meaning it does not cooperate with immigration detainers.

The verdict by a San Francisco jury outraged many Americans, including President Trump, who called the verdict "disgraceful."

If Garcia-Zarate is convicted on either of the federal charges, he faces a maximum of ten years in prison, the Justice Department said.



Israel PM Netanyahu's Remarks on US President Trump's Statement on Jerusalem


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.

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Thursday, December 07, 2017

The poor get sick sooner and die younger in both the USA and the UK

In the later age cohorts, poor people are 3 to 4 times likelier to get ill and die than are wealthy people.  And, sadly for the authors below, the wonderful universal health care in the UK made no difference.

Their findings are in fact what always emerges when social class variables -- in this case wealth -- are studied.  Poverty is a major influence on death and all sorts of disease.  But medical researchers fear political incorrectness if they mention social class as an influence on their findings so ignore it for around 98% of the time in their research reports.  So it is worthwhile noting here one of the occasions when they have bitten the bullet.

They have several possible explanations for their findings and all their suggestions probably have some merit.  But they overlook the elephant in the room: genetic differences.  If genetics is not an influence on your lifespan, what would be?

So what genetic influence could explain the findings?  What widely-influential genetically determined human characteristic do we know of?  At the risk of sounding like a cracked-record, let me mention our old friend IQ again. I am repetitious about IQ because nature is. No matter what you study, IQ very frequently seems to pop up as an influence.  And I just report the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth -- vastly incorrect  though that sadly is these days.

Some people are born more functional in general. All their bits work well, including their brain. So they have high IQs. And it is very well established that high IQ people both live longer and are  more likely to get rich.  The old challenge: "If you are so smart, how come you aren't rich?" is well founded.  So the findings below can be explained as showing that long lifespans are largely inborn and that those so born are also likely to be rich because they will also have high IQs.  We already knew that from IQ research but it is nice to see the same effects emerging in medical research

Wealth-Associated Disparities in Death and Disability in the United States and England

Lena K. Makaroun et al.


Importance:  Low income has been associated with poor health outcomes. Owing to retirement, wealth may be a better marker of financial resources among older adults.

Objective:  To determine the association of wealth with mortality and disability among older adults in the United States and England.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  The US Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA) are nationally representative cohorts of community-dwelling older adults. We examined 12 173 participants enrolled in HRS and 7599 enrolled in ELSA in 2002. Analyses were stratified by age (54-64 years vs 66-76 years) because many safety-net programs commence around age 65 years. Participants were followed until 2012 for mortality and disability.

Exposures:  Wealth quintile, based on total net worth in 2002.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  Mortality and disability, defined as difficulty performing an activity of daily living.

Results:  A total of 6233 US respondents and 4325 English respondents aged 54 to 64 years (younger cohort) and 5940 US respondents and 3274 English respondents aged 66 to 76 years (older cohort) were analyzed for the mortality outcome. Slightly over half of respondents were women (HRS: 6570, 54%; ELSA: 3974, 52%). A higher proportion of respondents from HRS were nonwhite compared with ELSA in both the younger (14% vs 3%) and the older (13% vs 3%) age cohorts. We found increased risk of death and disability as wealth decreased. In the United States, participants aged 54 to 64 years in the lowest wealth quintile (Q1) (≤$39 000) had a 17% mortality risk and 48% disability risk over 10 years, whereas in the highest wealth quintile (Q5) (>$560 000) participants had a 5% mortality risk and 15% disability risk (mortality hazard ratio [HR], 3.3; 95% CI, 2.0-5.6; P < .001; disability subhazard ratio [sHR], 4.0; 95% CI, 2.9-5.6; P < .001). In England, participants aged 54 to 64 years in Q1 (≤£34,000) had a 16% mortality risk and 42% disability risk over 10 years, whereas Q5 participants (>£310,550) had a 4% mortality risk and 17% disability risk (mortality HR, 4.4; 95% CI, 2.7-7.0; P < .001; disability sHR, 3.0; 95% CI, 2.1-4.2; P < .001). In 66- to 76-year-old participants, the absolute risks of mortality and disability were higher, but risk gradients across wealth quintiles were similar. When adjusted for sex, age, race, income, and education, HR for mortality and sHR for disability were attenuated but remained statistically significant.

Conclusions and Relevance:  Low wealth was associated with death and disability in both the United States and England. This relationship was apparent from age 54 years and continued into later life. Access to health care may not attenuate wealth-associated disparities in older adults.



DACA Isn’t What Liberals Claim and Will Only Attract Even More Illegal Immigration

Some members of Congress are threatening to block government funding unless Congress provides amnesty to so-called Dreamers—the illegal aliens included in President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which President Donald Trump is ending.

Responsible members of Congress should not give in. Such an effort would be fundamentally flawed and would only encourage even more illegal immigration—just as the 1986 amnesty in the Immigration Reform and Control Act did.

Democrats portray the DACA program as only benefitting those who were a few years old when they came to the U.S. illegally, leaving them unable to speak their native language and ignorant of their countries’ cultural norms. Therefore, the reasoning goes, it would be a hardship to return them to the countries where they were born.

Obama himself gave this rationale when he said DACA beneficiaries were “brought to this country by their parents” as infants and face “deportation to a country that [they] know nothing about, with a language” they don’t even speak.

While this may be true of a small portion of the DACA population, it certainly is not true of all of the aliens who received administrative amnesty. In fact, illegal aliens were eligible as long as they came to the U.S. before their 16th birthday and were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.

DACA also required that beneficiaries enroll in school, graduate from high school, obtain a GED certificate, or receive an honorable discharge from the military; have no conviction for a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors; and not pose a threat to national security or public safety.

However, the Obama administration appeared to routinely waive the education (or its equivalent) requirement as long as the illegal alien was enrolled in some kind of program. Only 49 percent of DACA beneficiaries have a high school education—despite the fact that a majority of them are adults.

How thorough was Homeland Security vetting? In February 2017, after the arrest of a DACA beneficiary for gang membership, the Department of Homeland Security admitted that at least 1,500 DACA beneficiaries had their eligibility terminated “due to a criminal conviction, gang affiliation, or a criminal conviction related to gang affiliation.” By August 2017, that number had surged to 2,139.

In fact, based on documents obtained by Judicial Watch, it is apparent that the Obama administration used a “lean and light” system of background checks in which only a few, randomly selected DACA applicants were ever actually vetted.

Additionally, DACA only excluded individuals for convictions. Thus, even if a Homeland Security background investigation—which apparently was almost never done—produced substantial evidence that an illegal alien might have committed multiple crimes, the alien would still be eligible for DACA unless Homeland Security referred the violation to state or federal prosecutors and the alien was convicted.

DACA had no requirement of English fluency either. In fact, the original application requested applicants to answer whether the form had been “read” to the alien by a translator “in a language in which [the applicant is] fluent.” The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that “perhaps 24 percent of the DACA-eligible population fall into the functionally illiterate category and another 46 percent have only ‘basic’ English ability.”

This is a far cry from the image of DACA beneficiaries as all children who don’t speak the language of—and know nothing about the culture of—their native countries.

In fact, it seems rather that a significant percentage of DACA beneficiaries may have serious limitations in their education, experience, and English fluency that negatively affected their ability to function in American society.

Providing amnesty to low-skilled, low-educated aliens with marginal English language ability would impose large fiscal costs on American taxpayers resulting from increased government payouts and benefits, and would be unfair to legal immigrants who obeyed the law to come here.

Any congressional amnesty bill providing citizenship for DACA beneficiaries could significantly increase the number of illegal aliens who will benefit unless Congress amends the sponsorship rules under federal immigration law. Providing lawful status to millions of so-called “Dreamers” will allow the extended families of those aliens to profit from illegal conduct.

The U.S. accepts about a million legal immigrants every year. According to a recent study, of the 33 million legal immigrants admitted over the last 35 years, about 61 percent were chain migration immigrants.

The average immigrant has sponsored 3.45 additional immigrants, but for DACA beneficiaries, that number is likely to be much higher. This is because, according to an analysis by the Department of Homeland Security, 76 percent of the DACA beneficiaries were from Mexico. Mexican immigrants sponsor an average of 6.38 additional legal immigrants—the highest rate of any nationality for chain migration.

Providing amnesty would simply attract even more illegal immigration and would not solve the myriad of enforcement problems we have along our borders and in the interior of the country. Congress should concentrate on giving the federal government (with the assistance and help of state and local governments) the resources to enforce existing immigration laws to reduce the illegal alien population in the U.S. and stem entry into the country.

Until those goals are accomplished, it is premature to even consider any DACA-type bill.



Trump to recognise Jerusalem as capital of Israel, sparking Palestinian ‘rage’

Trump shows what it's like to have a President with balls

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump will officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a potentially dangerous change that will spark “three days of rage” in Palestine.

White House officials have confirmed the President’s decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, ahead of the President’s speech on the subject.

Senior white house staffers said the move was designed to acknowledge the “reality” that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel and fulfil a “major campaign promise”.

The change in policy is controversial because it is likely to be viewed in the region as the US siding with Israel. King Abdullah of Jordan said the decision “would constitute a flagrant provocation to all Muslims, all over the world”.



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, December 06, 2017

Triumph of the bureaucrats


The typical form of human government moved from absolute monarchy, to oligarchy, to democracy, but it did not stop there. As government grew, popular control over it declined, while its own bureaucracy became the principal factor determining its direction. We have now reached the stage where to term the result a “democracy” is laughably in error. We have entered the era of the Bureaucrat State, and the mechanisms for restoring popular control are very limited indeed.

Two centuries ago, governments had almost no bureaucracy. Under Lord Palmerston in the 1830s, the foreign policy of the world’s greatest power was managed by a total of about 30 clerks, with Palmerston himself reading and signing, and in many cases writing by hand, every dispatch that went out. Such a system required an energetic Minister at the top – under some lazy early 19th Century occupants of Ministerial offices, official business clogged up completely and the department descended into complete stasis.

The problem arose with the rise of the Progressives in the United States and the Keynesians in Britain. Neither Progressives nor Keynesians were remotely democratic in outlook; they believed in rule by experts, which by definition did not include the general public. Even Progressive inventions like the Presidential primary were designed to take politics away from “smoke filled room” politicians who did deals, rather than deciding matters “objectively” as Progressives preferred to do.

In continental Europe, the Progressive urge for control was expressed as socialism or Communism, which were mostly intellectual movements put in place through worker votes, industrial activity, or revolutionary agitation. It is interesting that this tactic, of using workers’ strong-arm tactics to force the adoption of middle class intellectuals’ schemes, dates back to the Reform Bill agitation of 1831-32. The 1832 Reform Act was notable for enfranchising no additional workers at all, because of the high property qualification for voting, while disfranchising numerous workers who had voting rights under the old haphazard system. But the workers fell for it, and rioted when told to do so – poor saps; their only reward was the institution of Workhouses two years later by the 1834 Poor Law.

In the United States, the Progressives were never allowed a long run at power until the failure had become clear even to them of Soviet Communism, the ultimate rule-by-experts, where all resources are allocated by an expert-operated Gosplan. In Britain, a Gosplan approach complete with rationing that lasted until 1954, was tried during the 1940s, but the electorate had the sense to vote it out and return to something a little more sensible.

Rather than direct price controls, the Progressives of today attempt to achieve their ends through a morass of regulations. This tendency first became obvious in the Great Society years, as those in power attempted to build a better society through government programs and regulations. The regulatory zeal then intensified under President Nixon, when the Progressives, out of Presidential power but utterly in control of Congress, took the opportunity to create agency after agency while they could not be blamed for the resulting economic malaise.

Monetary policy is now another area of bureaucrat control. Under the Gold Standard, money was controlled by the markets; if banks overextended themselves or the government ran too large a budget deficit, gold flowed out of the country, forcing the central bank to raise interest rates and draw it back in. Today, the fetish is for central banks that are independent of political control, which means they are run by the bureaucrat class. We have seen the folly of this in the last decade; various cuckoo monetary experiments have been tried, entirely at the whim of the bureaucrats and entirely without the participation of markets or electorates.

Bureaucrats fight back when their power is threatened, and do not allow it to slip out of their hands easily. One recent example of this is the shenanigans at the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was deliberately set up to protect bureaucrats, and where they have attempted to prevent the current non-bureaucrat administration from taking over. Mess things up badly enough for four years, make sure a bureaucrat-friendly President (either a Democrat or a Bushite, Never-Trump Republican) is elected in 2020 and their tenure will be secure, probably forever.

The Brexit vote last year was a magnificent fight-back against the EU’s Bureaucrat State, but the bureaucrats are now doing their damnedest to negate it. They have allowed the EU to escalate its demands for British money on exit to a ridiculous 100 billion euros, and they are spreading scare stories about how a “no-deal” exit from the EU in March 2019 would be an unmitigated disaster. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is doing their work for them also, not only by propagandizing but also by holding real interest rates at a ludicrous minus 3%, wrecking British productivity by distorting capital allocation, in the hope that Britain’s budget will be so hopelessly out of kilter by March 2019 that Brexit seems impossible. Make no mistake about it, the EU and British bureaucracies are desperate to negate Britain’s last remaining hope for freedom, and will stop at nothing to do so.

The EU itself is the world’s first fully bureaucrat-controlled government with constitutional quasi-democratic forms. It may thus represent the future to which we are trending, as the free oligarchy of 18th Century Britain and Federalist America is replaced by the near-true democracy of 19th Century America and early 20th Century Britain, to be replaced again by the 21st century norm of the Bureaucrat State.

In the EU Bureaucrat State, everything is regulated, while the rubber-stamp Parliament is organized so that a majority political coalition can never be formed. Thereby government is completely run by pro-bureaucrat forces, and any anti-bureaucrat legislators elected are relegated to the fringes of left or right.

Bureaucrats, ratified by a compliant Parliament and bureaucrat-friendly courts, lay down complex and draconian rules of speech and action, so dissent is suppressed. Economic activity at any but the smallest level is not only regulated but completely subject to arbitrary decrees by the bureaucrat elite – thus ensuring that companies toe the bureaucrat line and spend money on further pro-bureaucrat propaganda, to ensure their survival against a state that can turn vengeful. It is the vision of George Orwell’s “1984” – initially richer, but soon descending into abject poverty as the economy is wrecked by bureaucrat economic policies – Keynesianism, without Keynes’ residual if limited feel for the market.

As for China, that rapidly rising economic power; it has transformed itself from Communism, but only by rotating about 30 degrees to a bureaucrat run state “capitalism.” Unlike the EU, it lacks the democratic fig-leaf of the European Parliament, and it has a few more political prisoners, but the two governments are sisters in spirit. Eastern Europeans who think they may escape the control of Brussels by cosying up to Beijing are in for a very nasty shock.

Finally, there are the international institutions, all of them populated by bureaucrats, entirely beyond any democratic control and all dedicated to the rise of that ultimate nightmare, the global Bureaucrat State, from which there is no escape. They were set up at Bretton Woods in 1944 by the proto-bureaucrat Maynard Keynes and the Communist Harry Dexter White, and they have remained true to the vision of both men. As far as possible, they should be starved of resources; that blessed moment in 2005-06 when the IMF appeared to have nothing to do, and could have been shuttered entirely, was yet another massive opportunity missed by the feeble governments of those years.

Apart from a Brexit Britain if against the odds it can be obtained, the only forces standing up against the Bureaucrat state are Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Both have an instinctive hatred of bureaucrats, Putin’s from having grown up in a Communist country and Trump’s from having grown up in a free one. That is why, at global gatherings of the great and the good, they instinctively gravitate towards each other. Putin has not interest in freedom of course; his preference is a tightly-run kleptocracy. But in the struggle against the Bureaucrat State, my enemy’s enemy is my friend. We shall be much worse off when Putin goes, and his successor cosies up to the EU.

Mock this column’s pessimism all you like it. But don’t expect to read another like it in 20 years’ time. The Bureaucrat State, by then in full control, will not allow the publication of such sedition.



Supreme Court gives the go-ahead for Trump's travel ban to be put in place IMMEDIATELY

Lawless Leftist lower court judges rebuffed

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to President Donald Trump by allowing his latest travel ban targeting people from six Muslim-majority countries to go into full effect even as legal challenges continue in lower courts.

The ruling is an indication that the Trump administration's third travel ban could be able to stand.

The court, with two of the nine justices dissenting, granted his administration's request to lift two injunctions imposed by lower courts that had partially blocked the ban, which is the third version of a contentious policy that Trump first sought to implement a week after taking office in January.

The justices, with two dissenting votes, said Monday that the policy can take full effect even as legal challenges against it make their way through the courts.

The action suggests the high court could uphold the latest version of the ban that Trump announced in September.

The ban  blocks visitors and migrants from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and North Korea.

The administration cited the president's broad authority to control immigration and national security.

Federal court judges in Maryland and Hawaii had blocked portions of a ban in October pending legal challenges.



Refugee Admissions to U.S. Down 83% So Far in FY18

Refugee admissions to the United States were down 83 percent in the first two months of fiscal 2018 (October and November) compared to the first two months of fiscal 2017.

A total of only 3,108 refugees were admitted in October and November down from the 18,300 refugees who were admitted in October and November of last year.

Meanwhile, fourteen months after the Obama administration backed a push at the U.N. for global responsibility-sharing for refugees and migrants, the Trump Administration has pulled out of the intitiative. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said it “is simply not compatible with U.S. sovereignty.”

The weekend announcement comes amid a sharp drop in the number of refugees admitted to the United States during the first two months of fiscal year 2018.

The most striking change between the refugee admissions in the initial two-month period of this fiscal year and last fiscal year was the relative differences in size of the contingents from Syria, Somalia and Iraq.

In Oct.-Nov. 2016, 2,259 Syrians (97.6 percent Muslim, 1.7 percent Christian), 2,463 Somalis (99.9 percent Muslim) and 2,262 Iraqis (75 percent Muslim, 17.3 percent Christian, 7.4 percent Yazidi) were resettled.

In Oct.-Nov. 2017 the numbers had dropped to 33 Syrians (66.6 percent Muslim, 33.3 percent Christian), 126 Somalis (100 percent Muslim) and 76 Iraqis (84.2 percent Muslim, 10.5 percent Christian, 3.9 percent Yazidi).

Among the 3,108 refugees admitted since FY 2018 began, the five largest contingents came from Bhutan (805), the Democratic Republic of Congo (627), Burma (347), Ukraine (290) and Eritrea (281).

The religious breakdown of those 3,108 refugees was: 59.6 percent Christian, 15.4 percent Muslim, 9.6 percent Buddhist, 7.6 percent Hindu, 4.7 percent Kirat and 0.9 percent Jewish.

By contrast, the five countries represented most strongly among the 18,300 refugees resettled by the Obama administration in the U.S. during the first two months of FY 2017 were the DRC (4,236), Somalia (2,463), Iraq (2,262), Syria (2,259) and Burma (1,509).

Now the administration is also withdrawing from a U.N. initiative called the Global Compact on Migration.

In a statement Sunday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. would continue to engage at the U.N. but in this case it “simply cannot in good faith support a process that could undermine the sovereign right of the United States to enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders.”



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, December 05, 2017

Disgraced Spook Michael Hayden Only Cares About One Tenth Of The Bill Of Rights

He spied on Americans when he was supposed to be spying on foreigners

Time and again, President Donald Trump has triggered people across America with his habitual tweeting. Twitter has continued to offer a direct gateway to the thought process of a President, something Americans have never known before. His tweets are not watered down by his staff, they’re directly from him. Where President Trump encounters trouble is when he fires shots against his political enemies.

The hyperbole in response is incredible. Critics label his tweeting habits as dangerous to liberty and the free press. Using his own right to free speech to criticize those who criticize him is apparently contrary to the First Amendment.

Count disgraced spook Michael Hayden as one of those people jumping on the hyperbole bandwagon.

Over the weekend, President Trump incited a whole new uproar by stating Fox News is more important to America than CNN. He then went on to tweet that CNN represents the United States poorly worldwide. Fox News has long held a Republican bias, whereas CNN is frequently criticized for leaning too far to the left. CNN and the President have exchanged insults and criticism for several years now.

Is this an attack on the First Amendment right to free press? Former Central Intelligence Agency Director Michael Hayden believes so. In a tweet, Hayden slammed the President for his “outrageous assault” on the truth, free press and the First Amendment.

The problem here is that Hayden, who also once ran the National Security Agency, is no constitutional scholar. This is evidenced by the intelligence community routinely violating the founding documents under his watch. But here he is attacking other people for apparently violating the Constitution, as if he cares about it one bit.

The problem with the oft-stated claim that the President is attacking the free press is that it’s just wrong. When he criticizes CNN, he isn’t declaring that we should close down the press or shut down free speech. He’s calling a specific entity into question and using his own right to free speech.

Isn’t the right to speak freely and disagree one of the many great things about America?

Hayden also claims that if this is what the country is turning into, then his forty year career is a lie. Given that he directed two intelligence agencies to routinely violate the Bill of Rights against American citizens, it’s difficult to say that his career consisted of serving the cause of good.

In the last year, the President has given America some legitimate issues to complain about. He, like anyone else, is not perfect and, being a human being, will certainly make mistakes. But is free speech something people should be complaining about? This is the ultimate irony here.

Michael Hayden isn’t a constitutional scholar. In fact, he’s shown clear disdain for the Constitution. But he clearly doesn’t have a clue, as evidenced by his most recent bandwagon tweet joining the left-wing echo chamber.



Disloyal State Dept. officials being given marching orders

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is finally taking control of his State Department. Besieged with leaks as Obama-era holdovers have been retained, 100 senior Foreign Service Officers have already been forced out, with more anticipated to come. Disposed bureaucrats have taken their sob stories to the mainstream media about how Tillerson’s swamp draining has wronged them.

The New York Times released an article last week regarding the plight of career bureaucrats who are on their way out of the Trump administration. The bureaucrats do have their supporters – long-time Washington D.C. lawmakers who desperately want to maintain the status quo.

“The amount of talent leaving the State Department endangers the institution and undermines American leadership, security and interests around the world,” the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs said in a letter addressed to Sec. Tillerson.

“Even more troubling, the Department is reportedly planning to offer buyouts to reduce State’s numbers even further, seemingly for no other goal than to decrease the size of the Department’s personnel,” the committee said. “With the range of crises, war, and humanitarian disaster around the world, slashing our diplomatic corps is downright dangerous.”

U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) released a bipartisan letter addressed to Sec. Tillerson deriding the decision to purge the State Department as well.

“The State Department’s non-partisan Foreign Service and Civil Service career professionals represent a unique national asset that belongs to all Americans. They are America’s front line, promoting our safety, security and prosperity, often in difficult and dangerous places. While we support reasonable steps to improve the efficiency of the State Department, such efforts must be fully transparent, with the objective of enhancing, not diminishing, American diplomacy,” the Senators said.

The bureaucrats are sounding the alarm about the changes as well, as many of them complained to the Times themselves.

“The United States is at the center of every crisis around the world, and you simply cannot be effective if you don’t have assistant secretaries and ambassadors in place,” R. Nicholas Burns, former under secretary of state for President George W. Bush, said. “It shows a disdain for diplomacy.”

“These people either do not believe the U.S. should be a world leader, or they’re utterly incompetent,” former Qatar ambassador Dana Shell Smith told the Times. “Either way, having so many vacancies in essential places is a disaster waiting to happen.”

While the bureaucrats and their enablers believe that the sky is going to fall without a massive concentration of unaccountable officials in the State Department, Tillerson has remembered his administration’s mandate: Drain the Swamp. The only recourse of the swamp rats will be to cry to a dwindling audience.



The Irrational, Unshakable Faith of the Collusion Conspiracists

It is amazing the degree to which seemingly intelligent people hold an unshakable belief the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win the election. Blind to the trumped up narrative unraveling all around them, oblivious to the absence of any evidence or even a substantive allegation of a deal between Trump and Russians, unmoved by every error and scandal the media stumbles into trying to push the story, they simply know it’s true. They smugly sneer and disdain anyone who points out the holes in collusion conspiracy.

Last week’s guilty plea by Trump’s short lived national security advisor Michael Flynn is a prime exhibit of the critics’ unshakable faith in The Narrative. Michael Flynn pled guilty to a single count of lying to the FBI. Instantly the Trump impeachment mob was high fiving and laying bets how soon the trail would lead to Trump and force his exit.

 ABC’s Brian Ross added to the frenzy when he breathlessly blurted that Flynn was cooperating with Muller, and would testify that, during the campaign, Candidate Trump had directed him to contact the Russians. The mob went wild. Smoking gun! Collusion! Treason!

 By the next day, Ross and ABC had to backpedal in disgrace: The direction to Flynn came after the election, not before. That is, it was about transitional diplomacy on behalf of an incoming administration, not about hacking emails or rigging the vote for a candidate in an upcoming election. The supposed bombshell turns out to be little more than a distracting sparkler. ABC suspended Ross without pay for four weeks.

 The information released by Muller the next day was clear: Flynn was directed to engage the Russians about improved relations, about considering opposing a UN resolution against Israel, and about cooperating to fight ISIS in the Middle East. There was simply nothing untoward about those contacts. Why Flynn would have lied to FBI investigators about having them is something of a mystery. But he pled to lying about things that were right and proper, not wrong and collusive. They were completely unrelated to the campaign and voting.

In a sane world, the details of the Flynn plea would have been seen as strong indication there is nothing to the collusion conspiracy. We don’t live in that world.



Psychotherapist: "No, Trump is not Crazy..."

Psychotherapist Andrew Snyder emailed to share an op-ed he wrote for Fox News that discusses the political bias of those in the mental health field toward President Trump:

    "Some psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have effectively joined “the resistance” to President Trump, publicly stating that he is seriously mentally ill. I’m a psychotherapist and I disagree.

    One of the books these anti-Trumpers have churned out, which made it to the New York Times Bestseller List, is “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.” The authors “offer their consensus view that Trump’s mental state presents a clear and present danger to our nation and individual well-being,” according to the Amazon page promoting the book.

    This is not a professional diagnosis. It is a political statement, being used by Trump’s opponents in the mental health field to attack him because they oppose what he is trying to accomplish in Washington.

    And predictably, politicians, media commentators and celebrities have used the “Trump is crazy” claim to call for his impeachment, arguing that he is unfit for office. This is absurd."

As Mr. Snyder so aptly states, "It’s official. The shrinks have taken a dive into the swamp."  Too bad we can't drain the swamp of mental health  "experts" who purposely conflate political bias with concern about the president's fitness.

Psychologists are one of the most biased professions, with the majority of them being liberal. Because of their political bias,   many mental health types are untrustworthy and a clear and present danger to half the population in this country and maybe more,  they should focus on this failure instead of falsely accusing their political enemies of being crazy.



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, December 04, 2017

Democrats Thrive by Keeping Americans Divided, Dependent, and Angry

Dennis Prager

In almost every area of American life, the better things are, the worse it is for the Democratic Party. And vice versa.


Even today, after decades of feminism, most Americans agree that it is better for women (and for men)—and better for society—when women (and men) marry.

Yet, when women marry, it is bad for the Democratic Party; and when women do not marry, even after—or shall we say, especially after—having children, it is quite wonderful for the Democratic Party.

Married women vote Republican. Unmarried women lopsidedly vote Democrat.

It is both silly and dishonest to deny that it is in the Democrats’ interest that women not marry.


Blacks who are not angry at America, especially white America, are more likely than those who harbor such anger to vote Republican. On the other hand, the more a black American considers America a racist society, the more he or she is a guaranteed Democratic voter.

Therefore, it is in the Democratic Party’s interest to ensure that as many blacks as possible regard America negatively. If Democrats feel it will benefit their party, they will play with fire—the fire of violence.

Take Ferguson, Missouri. No Democrat or Republican knows what happened in Ferguson just before a black teenager was shot by a white policeman. The only thing almost any American has known about Ferguson is that a white police officer shot and killed a black teenager.

Yet, while blacks in Ferguson demonstrated, some violently, the reaction of Democrats—both politicians and the mainstream left-wing media—has been to side with the demonstrators.

There does not appear to be any level of black anger at white America that is too much for Democrats, who would rather see riots—no matter how unwarranted—than potentially lose black votes.


The more a Latino assimilates into American society, the more likely he or she is to vote Republican. On the other hand, the more Latinos continue to identify with the country they or their parents fled, the more likely they are to vote Democrat.

Thus, Democrats and the rest of the left have engaged in two massive undertakings for decades: One has been to label Republicans “nativist,” “anti-Hispanic,” “xenophobic,” and “anti-immigrant.” The other has been to promote “multiculturalism,” the anti-assimilation doctrine that cultivates ethnic identity over American identity.

Democrats repeatedly assert that America is “a nation of immigrants.” This is undeniable. But there is a big difference today.

In the past, nearly all immigrants sought to become American and to shed their previous national or ethnic identity. Today, many, perhaps a majority of, immigrants from Latin America do not have that goal. They come primarily or exclusively for economic benefits (and no one should blame them for doing so).

Meanwhile, under cover of “multiculturalism,” Democrats and the rest of the left cultivate these immigrants’ Latin American identities, knowing that the more American an immigrant feels, the less likely he or she is to vote Democrat.

Victim Identity

Americans who do not see themselves as victims—of an “unfair” or “racist” or “misogynist” society—are more likely to vote Republican. On the other hand, Americans who see themselves as victims of American society are likely to vote Democrat.

Therefore, the Democratic Party and its supportive media cultivate victimhood among almost all Americans who are not white and male.


The more Americans depend on themselves or on their family or community, the more likely they are to vote Republican. On the other hand, the more Americans depend on the government—whether for a job or for economic assistance—the more likely they are to vote Democrat.

Therefore, it is in the Democrats’ interest to have more and more Americans depend on the state.

In other words, in almost every area of life, the better things are, the worse it is for the Democratic Party. Democrats have placed themselves in the role of benefiting from social and moral dysfunction.

And they have embraced this role. The Democratic Party cultivates singlehood, black anger at America, Latino separatism, victimhood, group grievance, and dependency on government.

Nor is this the only way in which Democrats do terrible damage to America. They are also tearing America apart, setting women against men (with such falsehoods as “the war on women,” “the rape culture” at American colleges, and the nonsense that “women are paid less for the same work”), blacks against whites, and Latinos against other Americans.

They do this because the less women see men as an enemy, the less blacks regard whites as an enemy, and the more Latinos see themselves as Americans, the worse it is for Democrats.

The Democratic Party has become a wholly destructive force in this country. Even though you may not intend to, if you vote for any Democrat, you contribute to that damage.



US threatens to close Palestinian office in Washington

The Trump administration put the Palestine Liberation Organization on notice Friday that it will close the group's office in Washington if the Palestinians don't get serious about peace talks with Israel, State Department officials said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has determined the Palestinians have violated a rarely invoked provision in US law that calls for the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization's mission if they act against Israel in the International Criminal Court, the officials said.

The department asserts that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ran afoul of the law in September when he called on the ICC to investigate and prosecute Israel for war crimes against the Palestinians.

"The secretary concluded that the factual record, certain statements made by Palestinian leaders about the ICC, did not permit (Tillerson) to make the factual certification required by the statute" to keep the PLO mission open, a State Department official said.

In a speech to the UN General Assembly, Abbas said the Palestinians have asked the the ICC "to open an investigation and to prosecute Israeli officials for their involvement in settlement activities and aggressions against our people."

Saeb Erekat, a top PLO official and lead Palestinian negotiator, said the Palestinians have responded to Tillerson's determination by warning they will end all contact with the Trump administration if it closes the US office.

"This is the pressure being exerted on this administration from the Netanyahu government; at a time when we are trying to cooperate to achieve the ultimate deal, they take such steps which will undermine the whole peace process," Erekat said in a statement to CNN.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office issued a short statement calling the US decision "a matter of US law."

"We respect the decision and look forward to continuing to work with the US to advance peace and security in the region," it said.

The Associated Press first reported the news of Tillerson's decision and the notification to the Palestinians.

The threat to the Palestinians of losing their office in Washington could be a point of leverage for President Donald Trump as he seeks to coax the Palestinians to the table. The Israelis and Palestinians are not engaged direct negotiations, but Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and a top White House adviser, and Jason Greenblatt, a senior aide charged with negotiations on Middle East peace, have been working to broker a peace deal to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This month, the White House said officials are preparing a peace proposal which they intend to put forward at a unspecified time. They have provided no details about the proposal, but Kushner and Greenblatt have been shuttling to the Middle East region to meet with Palestinians, Israelis and Arab nations in hopes of securing a deal.

Although the United States does not recognize statehood for the Palestinians, President Bill Clinton waived a 1980s-era law that barred them from having an office and allowed the PLO, which formally represents all Palestinians, to open a mission in Washington in 1994. President Obama allowed the Palestinians to fly the flag over their office, upgrading the status of their mission, in 2011.

Congress added a provision to the law in 2015 requiring the shuttering of the mission if the Palestinians seek to "influence a determination by the ICC to initiate a judicially authorized investigation, or to actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians."

Before the change to the law, the president could keep the PLO mission open merely by certifying that waiving the ban on Palestinian representation in the United States was in the US national interest. The most recent certification period ended in November.

Trump, meanwhile, could also waive Tillerson's determination; the President now has 90 days to consider whether the Palestinians are engaged in "direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel" before making such a decision.

However, the law does not specifically define what constitutes direct or meaningful negations.

Even if Trump decides to close the office, a State Department official said the United States would not completely cut off relations with the Palestinians and is focused on bringing about a comprehensive peace deal.

"We remain focused on a comprehensive peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians that will resolve core issues between the parties," the official said in an email. "This measure should in no way be a signal that the US is backing off those efforts. Nor should it be exploited by those who seek to act as spoilers to distract from the imperative of reaching a peace agreement."



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, December 03, 2017

Elizabeth Warren Plagiarized 'Cherokee' Crabmeat Recipe from French Chef

This might seem a trivial matter but it is more evidence that Pocahontas is psychopathic.  What regularly gets psychopaths unglued is that they never foresee that their lies will be found out. Claiming to be Cherokee when she wasn't was a big example of that but her recipe claim is another.

It is also psychopathic that psychopaths gild the lily. So not only did she submit the recipe as hers but she boldly said it "had been passed down for generations in her Cherokee family".

Her attraction to the Left is that she does rage well but again that is the only real emotion that psychopaths have.  All the rest is fake.  She will wriggle out of this one with more lies.  And the Left will believe her because they want to.

Boston radio host Howie Carr said his state's senior senator lifted a French chef's recipe and submitted it as an authentic Cherokee recipe for a Native American-themed cookbook.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump again dubbed Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) "Pocahontas" - a riff on her claim to be of Cherokee ancestry.

Tucker Carlson asked Carr about the 1984 book, Pow Wow Chow, to which Warren submitted two recipes featuring shellfish. "When she isn't stealing a Cherokee identity, Warren is also stealing recipes," Tucker Carlson said.

Carr said Warren claimed that the recipes had been passed down for generations in her Cherokee family.

But, he said that the recipes actually came from a former ritzy New York City restaurant owned by late French chef Pierre Franey.  Franey said the dishes were a favorite of the late King Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor, as well as American composer Cole Porter.



Trump Isn’t Destroying the 1st Amendment – ‘The Press Is Destroying Itself’

Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin ripped the United States press Wednesday, suggesting on his show that President Trump is not destroying the 1st Amendment but that “[t]he press is destroying itself.”

“We’ve heard now since Donald Trump decided to run for president and up to modern day that he is destroying the 1st Amendment and freedom of the press,” stated Mark Levin. “The press is destroying itself.”

Levin’s comments came as yet another journalist, Matt Lauer, has been accused of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,” leading to the NBC “Today” show co-anchor’s firing.

Below is transcript of Levin’s remarks from his show Wednesday:

“That Access Hollywood tape which came out, that video – and what Billy Bush had said and what Trump had said and so forth – it almost looks quaint compared to what we’re learning with respect to these journalists. Not just bravado, not just opinions and so forth, not just nasty stuff, we’re talking about acting out nasty stuff – acting it out.

“Now, we’ve talked about this a long time: when a country loses its virtue, the country is lost. I don’t believe our country has lost its virtue. I believe our government has. I believe politicians as a class have, journalists as a class have, cultural entities – like Hollywood – as a class has. I believe they have. I really do.

“We’ve heard now since Donald Trump decided to run for president and up to modern day that he is destroying the 1st Amendment and freedom of the press. The press is destroying itself.
“The American people, when they talk about the press, despise the press. When the American people think about the press, they ridicule the press. They don’t believe the press.

“And when you have people like Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose – and there’s more, I can’t think of them all, and there will be more – conducting themselves as they do, you can’t trust them to report a straight story. You can’t trust them to report a straight story.

“No wonder poor Juanita Broaddrick, when she came forward, or poor Paula Jones or Kathleen Willy and a host of others, no wonder they weren’t believed.

“More to the point, even if they were believed, the media – many aspects, many parts of the media – were conducting themselves the same way. They were not about to go after Bill Clinton.”



Trump WH Separates Itself from Obama, Highlights Nativity Scene

There've been a lot of wise men in the White House. But this Christmas, there are three more in the East Room, where the Trumps are highlighting a larger-than-life nativity scene. That's just one of the ways the First Family is separating itself from the Obamas, who came dangerously close to ditching the 50-year-old display in 2009. There wasn't room for Jesus at the inn – and for eight years, there wasn't much room for him at 1600 Pennsylvania either.

The Obamas famously wanted a "non-religious Christmas" (which makes about as much sense as a vegetarian barbeque). But they were outed by their social secretary, Desiree Rogers in an eye-opening profile piece for the New York Times. "The lunch conversation inevitably turned to whether the White House would display its crèche, customarily placed in a prominent spot in the East Room. Ms. Rogers, this participant said, replied that the Obamas did not intend to put the manger scene on display – a remark that drew an audible gasp from the tight-knit social secretary sisterhood. (A White House official confirmed that there had been internal discussions about making Christmas more inclusive and whether to display the crèche.)

Ultimately, the Obamas caved to pressure and included the nativity in its décor. For two terms, that was the extent of Christmas in the White House. There were no mentions of Christmas on official cards – and only a smattering of references in eight years of greetings and special events. After eight years of making political correctness a state religion, it's really no wonder Americans flocked to a man who isn't afraid to call the season what it is.

"You go to stores, you don't see the word Christmas," Donald Trump argued on the campaign trail. "It says 'happy holidays' all over. I say, 'Where's Christmas? I tell my wife, 'Don't go to those stores' ... I want to see Christmas." Thanks to the president and First Lady, Americans are seeing Christmas. The White House is alive with tradition, from the "Merry Christmas" on the White House card to its official hashtag #WHChristmas. To the Trumps, it's just another way of keeping their promise.

"Something I said so much during the last two years, but I'll say it again, as we approach the end of the year, you know we're getting near that beautiful Christmas season that people don't talk about anymore," the president said at last month's Values Voter Summit. "They don't use the word Christmas because it's not politically correct. You go to department stores, and they'll say 'Happy New Year,' and they'll say other things. It'll be red. They'll have it painted. Well, guess what? We're saying Merry Christmas again."

The crowd erupted in cheers – completely baffling the media. Like most liberals, they couldn't understand why the issue resonated so much with conservatives. Other reporters almost mocked the line, latching on to it as another silly soundbite on an issue they consider so trivial. But to every Christian in that room, the president was talking about a lot more than the war on Christmas. He was speaking directly into the fight for religious liberty in America.

Maybe the mainstream media didn't notice how stifled Christians were under Barack Obama's government – how everything they said or wore or posted was scrutinized (or worse, punished). After two terms of the most hostile administration to faith the country has ever seen, I guarantee no one takes the simplest expression – "Merry Christmas" – for granted. To the people who elected Donald Trump, this isn't just about putting Christ in a day. It's about putting faith back in American life.



Communism Made Him a Conservative

If you consider yourself a conservative, have you ever thought about why? How would you answer someone who asked you to explain the reason?

Maybe you’ve never thought about it before. It might be because your parents were conservative, and you absorbed your political outlook from them. Or perhaps you read and thought your way into the movement, the way Ronald Reagan did years before he became president.

Or perhaps there was a moment that shook you and made you look at the world differently.

That’s what happened to Lee Edwards. The author of more than two dozen books, Lee is a good friend of mine, hailed by many as the unofficial historian of the conservative movement.

At a recent event marking the release of his latest book, “Just Right,” I asked him why he’s a conservative. Was it because of his father, himself a famous writer?

“No,” Lee promptly replied. “I’m a conservative because of communism.”

It may be hard for many young people today, years after the Cold War has faded from memory and headlines, to understand what it was like to watch communism advancing after World War II.

Years of bloody combat had been spent defeating Hitler’s Germany and Imperial Japan—and yet freedom was once again under attack.

Lee pointed to a catalyst moment. It was October 1956. He was in Paris and fresh out of the Army:

“All of a sudden, we began hearing these bulletins from Budapest, and it was the Hungarian Revolution. And here were young men and women of my age standing up to the Soviets. Standing up to Soviet tanks and Soviet guns.

“And I was so excited about this—caught up in the courage and the bravery and the desire for freedom of these young Hungarians. And then, two weeks later, the Soviet tanks came back—firing, shooting, killing maybe 20,000 young Hungarians, and then a couple hundred thousand more Hungarians fleeing into exile, because the Soviets were not going to let go of that country.

“And I waited for my country to do something. I waited for more than just a press release. More than just a U.N. resolution.”

But his wait was in vain. “And I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I was angry. And I resolved at that point that I would do whatever I could for the rest of my life to oppose communism and to help those who were resisting it as well.”

The results of that lifelong fight for freedom are beautifully chronicled in Lee’s new memoir. For years, he’s been using his consummate writing skills to profile leading figures in the conservative movement.

If you want to understand Barry Goldwater, Reagan, and William F. Buckley from an “insider” perspective, check out his remarkable biographies of these men—and see why The New York Times dubbed Lee “the Voice of the Silent Majority.”

But Lee has done more than write. At a time of great national unrest, he organized the largest public demonstration in support of our troops in Vietnam.

He also created the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington, D.C., which was dedicated by President George W. Bush on June 12, 2007, the 20th anniversary of Reagan’s “Tear Down This Wall” speech.

It wasn’t easy. The federal bureaucracy grinds slowly even on a good day, and more than a decade had passed since Congress had authorized the memorial. But Lee, no doubt remembering the victims of the Hungarian Revolution, saw it through with his usual patient professionalism.

Now, at a time when the question of what it means to be conservative is in even greater flux, Lee’s optimistic and trenchant analysis is more important than ever. He’s spent “a life in pursuit of liberty,” he writes.

Armed with his keen insights, let’s hope the same can be said of the rest of us.



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)