Friday, June 01, 2018

Genetic Intelligence Tests Are Next to Worthless (?)

I take the title above from the title of a long and very readable article by Carl Zimmer, a NYT journalist.  You could almost predict the title from the fact that he is a NYT journalist.

But the article is extremely well done.  It is something of a triumph of the journalist's art. He explains the facts and issues of his subject beautifully.  I wish I could write as well.  We both try for lucidity and simplicity but he does by far the better job. That he is a journalist and that I am an academic shows. I never could get teddy bears into my writing.

The article is a long one so I am not even going to excerpt it.  Instead I am going  to offer what I hope is a fuller perspective on the matters he raises.  Put simply, he mistakes the major issue involved.

When we look at his title, we have to ask: "Worthless for What? His answer is that currently available genetic information is useless as a substitute for a normal IQ test.  He is absolutely right about that and his warning is well-taken.  People who claim to assess your IQ from your genetic profile are little better than quacks and their results are of no everyday use.

And the reason for that is that IQ appears to be just one aspect of your body's general good functioning.  The brain is just one organ of the body and if the body overall is functioning well the brain should be working pretty well too. And from the research with IQ tests we find an amazing range of good things that high IQ correlates with -- better health, longer life more harmonious marriages etc.  You name it, more or less. 

So that lies behind the fact that there are a LOT of influences on your IQ. They may be scattered anywhere in your body.  What IQ researchers have said for a long time is that IQ is "polygenetic".  It is the sum of a whole lot of little genetic influences.  Almost anything that influences your overall health could also influences your IQ.

At this stage I have to stress that I am talking about the "in general" case.  As elsewhere in life, there are exceptions to the general rule. There are healthy specimens who are as dumb as a brick (some Hollywood actors?) and there are other unfortunates such as Stephen Hawking and Carl Steinmetz where a brilliant brain inhabits a broken body.  Sometimes you need just one faulty gene to have a big influence on your bodily health.

And it is the general case that interests scientists.  They are not actually much interested in YOU.  They are only interested in what emerges from a study of people in general. So when they find some of the many influences on IQ in people's genes they see themselves as being on the right track in seeing IQ as mainly genetic.  And the advances are already exciting.  As each new study comes out, more and more of the genetic influences on IQ are being found.  Genetics generally is in its infancy and the genetics of IQ are no exception. 

And so far there has not been a single study looking at epigenetic influences on IQ.  Epigenetics are bits of your genetic profile which influence how other genes work.  They can even turn a gene "on" or "off".  So to expect that current studies could give us the whole genetics of IQ is very naive.  The fact that we have at this early stage already been able to detect some of the genetics involved is the interesting and exciting part. 

In other words the issue is not whether or not we can measure your IQ from your genes right now but rather whether we are on the right track towards that.  And from a scientific point of view we are doing amazingly well considering the huge difficulty of such research -- JR.


Your father's Republican Party has vanished. His Democratic Party has, too

by Jeff Jacoby

ADDRESSING THE New York State Democratic convention last week, Joe Biden endorsed Governor Andrew Cuomo for reelection and delivered some blistering criticism of the party that controls Congress and the White House.

"This is not your father's Republican Party," declared the former vice president. With its "phony populism" and "fake nationalism," he said, the GOP is "sending a vision of America around the world that is distorted, that's damaging."

Biden is reportedly considering another run for president in 2020, so attacks on Republicans and their leader are to be expected. But he's not wrong: The GOP under Donald Trump manifestly isn't the Republican Party of a generation ago. The turn against free trade, the harshness on immigration, the rising admiration for Russia's ruler, the tolerance of debauchery and bad character in political leaders — today's Republicanism is indeed a far cry from that of Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.

But it isn't only the GOP that has changed so profoundly. So has the Democratic Party.

"We have to take a long look in the mirror and face the hard truth," Cuomo told the Democratic delegates in his convention speech. That truth, he said, is that Democrats lost the last presidential election "because we lost the connection with who we are and why the middle class and working families made the Democratic Party their home in the first place."

Cuomo's concern for middle- and working-class values may be genuine, or it may reflect the fact that he's facing a primary challenge from actress Cynthia Nixon, whose politics are skewed even more to the left than his. Either way, there's no denying that the Democratic Party today has far less sympathy for Main Street attitudes it used to embrace.

There was a time, for example, when self-described "pro-life liberals" were welcome in the Democrats' big tent. Democratic governors like Ella Grasso of Connecticut and Robert Casey of Pennsylvania firmly opposed abortion; as recently as 2009, dozens of House Democrats initially opposed the Affordable Care Act because it lacked restrictions on abortion funding. But no longer is there room in party councils for more than one position on the issue. Democratic Party chairman Tom Perez decreed last year that Democratic candidates must support a woman's right to choose. "That," he said, "is not negotiable."

Dissent is not permitted on other topics as well.

Moderate liberal Joe Lieberman of Connecticut was a rising star in Democratic circles in the 1980s; by 2000 he was the party's candidate for vice president. But Lieberman strongly supported the Iraq war, a position that by 2006 made him persona non grata in Democrats' eyes. Lieberman's ostracism confirmed that the once-robust national-security wing of the Democratic Party — the home of Cold War hawks like Harry Truman, Jack Kennedy, and Scoop Jackson — was defunct. Democrats, the original party of peace through strength, became the party of disengagement and retreat.

Liberal Democrats in the 1960s believed in color-blindness — they agreed with Thurgood Marshall that "racial criteria are irrational, irrelevant, odious to our way of life." Liberal Democrats today insist on racial criteria, demanding rigid "diversity" in everything from workplace hiring to college admissions to the Academy Awards.

Your father's Democratic Party was an ardent defender of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. No more: Liberal Democrats today, reports the Pew Research Center, are much less likely to support Israel than to support its Palestinian enemies.

Two decades ago, a popular president fought hard for a North American Free Trade Agreement, signed the Iraq Liberation Act, and kept his promise to "end welfare as we know it." He not only enacted a Balanced Budget Act, but produced four consecutive federal budget surpluses. He cut the top capital-gains tax rate from 28 percent to 20 percent. He led NATO in liberating Kosovo. He resisted same-sex marriage. He codified economic sanctions against Cuba.

Bill Clinton is still popular with Democrats. But in a party that has shifted sharply leftward, there's little room for the centrist positions he upheld as president.

Biden is right about the Trump GOP: It is decidedly not your father's Republican Party. And your father's Democratic Party? It too, alas, is a thing of the past.



Don the Lemon is so unbalanced it is a wonder he can walk without falling over

Leftists can be as abusive and foul mouthed as they like but other must not step a foot out of line

During a segment on Tuesday night, Lemon began discussing news that ABC cancelled the hit show “Roseanne” after its star, Roseanne Barr, sent out a controversial tweet about Valerie Jarrett, a former top aide under President Barack Obama.

“Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” Barr wrote in a now deleted tweet about Jarrett. Barr has since apologized for her tweet.

As noted by Mediaite, Lemon tied Barr’s comments to Trump and his supporters, strongly implying that the president is responsible for fostering a culture in America that promotes bigotry and racism.

“We know what Donald Trump thinks. We know what Roseanne Barr thinks. It’s time for us to stop playing around with soft words by saying, ‘Oh, well they’re saying insensitive things.’ No, it’s racist! They’re exhibiting racist behavior. And far too many of our fellow American citizens agree with them. And feel emboldened to say out loud the things they wouldn’t have dared to say in public just a few years ago. In an America where racism happens every day, in our neighborhoods, in our workplaces, in our schools, in a Starbucks, in a park, at an Airbnb, what is America going to do about it?”

“We have to stop pretending that this president has nothing to do with it, that he’s not emboldening racists and racism and giving them a platform and making it okay.”

Lemon calling Trump and his supporters racist further confirms what many believe about CNN, but he also proved how biased and tone-deaf he is regarding media figures who have made disturbing comments on television.

Lemon and the media were no where to be found when ABC late night host Jimmy Kimmel mocked First Lady Melania Trump’s accent.

What about when Fox News host Sean Hannity exposed Kimmel for being a pervert? Hannity tweeted out numerous videos of Kimmel from years ago, where he is asking women to feel his crotch, and even “joked” that one girl was underage.

Remember when ABC’s “The View” co-host Joy Behar said Christians have a mental illness?

How about MSNBC’s Joy Reid getting busted a second time in recent months for having dozens of bigoted, homophobic posts on her personal blog, The Reid Report, that slandered the LGBT community?

What about MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski saying President Trump has a sexually transmitted disease?

None of those liberals were ever suspended or reprimanded and still have their jobs.

Lemon never condemned them for making those sick comments, yet he used an entire segment on Tuesday to label Trump and his supporters as racist over something Barr said.

This is just the latest example of CNN blaming Trump and smearing his supporters.



Horror!  CNN Brings in Deportee’s Wife, She Defends President Trump

Months after federal immigration agents deported a husband and father who had been in the U.S. since he was brought to the country illegally at the age of 10, his family is still desperate to be reunited.

Jorge Garcia’s case made national headlines in January after video surfaced of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers escorting him away from his sobbing wife and children.

Despite her grief, however, Garcia’s wife of 15 years does not blame the Trump administration. Cindy Garcia told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin this week that this situation was caused by a broken immigration system, not those tasked with upholding the laws as they are currently written.

“I am not upset at our government due to the fact that I am a U.S. citizen and that our laws come first,” she said. “Our laws are just broken and I can’t be mad at Trump for doing his job because that is his job to protect us, as U.S. citizens, from criminals.”

Garcia cited her family’s experience as a prime reason America should reform its immigration policy.

“The only thing is my husband was not a criminal and those are the laws that need to be fixed because they are broken,” she said. “For the people that are here, brought as children, doing the right thing and have never committed a crime, we need to fix a pathway to citizenship for them.”

On the other hand, she took a firm stance that “criminals that have come here illegally … need to go back.”



U.S. Back At No. 1 Competitiveness Ranking — Will Trump's Critics Ever Admit To Being Wrong?

Have Donald Trump's policies had a big impact on the U.S. economy and its competitiveness? The answer, we think, is an obvious yes. Now comes a new report, based mainly on "hard" data, that confirms that.

The report comes from the IMD Competitiveness Center in Switzerland. Each year it ranks countries by 256 different variables to come up with its global competitiveness rankings.

For 2018, there was a surprise: The U.S. leapt three places to take over the top spot in global competitiveness — just ahead of Hong Kong, Singapore, the Netherlands and Switzerland. That jump was based on its "strength in economic performance and infrastructure," ranking first in both areas.

That this is so shouldn't shock anyone with any knowledge of what's going on in the economy.

Since Trump took office, GDP growth has averaged 2.9%, up from 2% under President Obama. Unemployment now stands at 3.9%, and jobless rates for African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics are at or near all-time lows.

Inflation, at about 2%, remains under control. Business investment is surging, and a big reason for that is that corporate taxes are low, thanks to Trump's tax cuts.

Meanwhile, Trump continues to slash away at the thicket of regulations that strangles the U.S. economy, costing us collectively nearly $2 trillion a year. All of this has helped to fuel an economic renaissance of sorts. U.S. households are $7.1 trillion richer since Trump entered office, thanks to rising share prices and strong real estate markets.

Just to be clear, we're not citing this one report as a be-all and end-all for competitiveness or even for the fate of the economy. Nor are we in the forecasting business.

But others are, and among them have been some of Trump's fiercest critics. To read what they wrote and said, the U.S. returning to No. 1 in competitiveness wouldn't just be unlikely — it would be impossible.

Just last November, for instance, a blog post on the Economic Policy Institute's website informed us that "Republican tax plan will reduce American competitiveness." That was, to be kind, wide of the mark.

Similarly, the liberal Brookings Institution opined in March of last year that "Trump's 'America First' budget will leave the economy running behind." Didn't happen.

Going back even further, many economists and pundits were wrong — dead wrong — about Trumponomics. But to this day they can't bring themselves to admit it. Imprisoned by the illogic of their own liberal ideology, they all saw not just failure, but instant disaster. They still do.

3% Growth Is Possible

Trump might be on the verge of another big win over his critics in the media and economics profession.

Recall that when Trump promised 3% growth, he was roundly criticized and even ridiculed for what many claimed was pie-in-the-sky political hyperbole. Some even said such growth would be impossible.

But, as we noted, GDP growth has averaged 2.9% since Trump moved into the White House, just a hair under 3%. If the Atlanta Fed's GDP "Nowcast" — which uses current data to make up-to-date forecasts — is correct, 2018's second quarter could see growth of as much as 4%.

That would push average growth above 3% for Trump's term. If so, that would be yet another "crazy" idea that Trump had that turned out to be true.

While all those dire prognostications we mentioned proved false, the media continue to quote those who made them uncritically.

It seems that among the media and the Beltway and coastal elites, no distortion of Trump's many successes ever gets corrected — only repeated. And facts are never acknowledged — only ignored or distorted.



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, May 31, 2018

Proof of creation?

EXTENSIVE analysis of DNA barcodes across 100,000 species revealed a telltale sign showing that almost all animals on Earth emerged about the same time as humans.

WHO would have suspected that a handheld genetic test used to unmask sushi bars pawning off tilapia for tuna could deliver deep insights into evolution, including how new species emerge?

And who would have thought to trawl through five million of these gene snapshots — called “DNA barcodes” — collected from 100,000 animal species by hundreds of researchers around the world and deposited in the US government-run GenBank database?

That would be Mark Stoeckle from The Rockefeller University in New York and David Thaler at the University of Basel in Switzerland, who together published findings last week sure to jostle, if not overturn, more than one settled idea about how evolution unfolds.

It is textbook biology, for example, that species with large, far-flung populations — think ants, rats, humans — will become more genetically diverse over time.

But is that true?

“The answer is no,” said Stoeckle, lead author of the study, published in the journal Human Evolution.

For the planet’s 7.6 billion people, 500 million house sparrows, or 100,000 sandpipers, genetic diversity “is about the same,” he told AFP.

The study’s most startling result, perhaps, is that nine out of 10 species on Earth today, including humans, came into being 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

“This conclusion is very surprising, and I fought against it as hard as I could,” Thaler said.

That reaction is understandable: How does one explain the fact that 90 per cent of animal life, genetically speaking, is roughly the same age?

Was there some catastrophic event 200,000 years ago that nearly wiped the slate clean?

To understand the answer, one has to understand DNA barcoding. Animals have two kinds of DNA.

The one we are most familiar with, nuclear DNA, is passed down in most animals by male and female parents and contains the genetic blueprint for each individual.

The genome — made up of DNA — is constructed with four types of molecules arranged in pairs. In humans, there are three billion of these pairs, grouped into about 20,000 genes.

But all animals also have DNA in their mitochondria, which are the tiny structures inside each cell that convert energy from food into a form that cells can use.

Mitochondria contain 37 genes, and one of them, known as COI, is used to do DNA barcoding.

Unlike the genes in nuclear DNA, which can differ greatly from species to species, all animals have the same set of mitochondrial DNA, providing a common basis for comparison.

Mitochondrial DNA is also a lot simpler, and cheaper, to isolate. Around 2002, Canadian molecular biologist Paul Hebert — who coined the term “DNA barcode” — figured out a way to identify species by analysing the COI gene.

“The mitochondrial sequence has proved perfect for this all-animal approach because it has just the right balance of two conflicting properties,” said Thaler.

On the one hand, the COI gene sequence is similar across all animals, making it easy to pick out and compare.

On the other hand, these mitochondrial snippets are different enough to be able to distinguish between each species.

“It coincides almost perfectly with species designations made by specialist experts in each animal domain,” Thaler said.

In analysing the barcodes across 100,000 species, the researchers found a telltale sign showing that almost all the animals emerged about the same time as humans.

What they saw was a lack of variation in so-called “neutral” mutations, which are the slight changes in DNA across generations that neither help nor hurt an individual’s chances of survival.

In other words, they were irrelevant in terms of the natural and sexual drivers of evolution.

How similar or not these “neutral” mutations are to each other is like tree rings — they reveal the approximate age of a species.

Which brings us back to our question: why did the overwhelming majority of species in existence today emerge at about the same time?

Environmental trauma is one possibility, explained Jesse Ausubel, director of the Program for the Human Environment at The Rockefeller University.

“Viruses, ice ages, successful new competitors, loss of prey — all these may cause periods when the population of an animal drops sharply,” he told AFP, commenting on the study.

“In these periods, it is easier for a genetic innovation to sweep the population and contribute to the emergence of a new species.” But the last true mass extinction event was 65.5 million years ago when a likely asteroid strike wiped out land-bound dinosaurs and half of all species on Earth. This means a population “bottleneck” is only a partial explanation at best.

“The simplest interpretation is that life is always evolving,” said Stoeckle. “It is more likely that — at all times in evolution — the animals alive at that point arose relatively recently.” In this view, a species only lasts a certain amount of time before it either evolves into something new or goes extinct.

And yet — another unexpected finding from the study — species have very clear genetic boundaries, and there’s nothing much in between.

“If individuals are stars, then species are galaxies,” said Thaler. “They are compact clusters in the vastness of empty sequence space.” The absence of “in-between” species is something that also perplexed Darwin, he said.



How Trump Can Dismantle Obamacare Without Congress

After more than eight years of promising to end Obamacare, Republicans in Congress—despite having control of both the House and Senate—have failed to stop this disastrous health care law. But thanks to an important provision Republicans included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act when they passed the law in December 2017, the Trump administration may soon have an opportunity to end Obamacare without Congress, which might force Republican congressmen to finally get their act together and pass health care legislation that would empower states and local governments and free health care markets from costly federal government mandates.

 As I have previously noted in several articles on the subject, including in a May 14 article for Townhall, a very strong argument can be made that Obamacare will soon no longer be constitutional. The short explanation is that in the 2012 decision upholding the legality of the Obamacare individual mandate, Chief Justice John Roberts cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate on the basis that the penalty imposed for not having “qualifying” health insurance is not a fine, penalty, or fee, but rather a tax. Since Congress has the power to tax, Roberts reasoned, it has the power to impose the individual mandate.

 When Congress and the Trump administration passed their tax reform legislation in December, they lowered the Obamacare penalty to $0 (effective January 1, 2019), eliminating any possibility of the fine being considered a “tax.” They did not, however, eliminate the mandate to purchase health insurance (because they couldn’t under the congressional rules used to pass the tax reform law). Without the so-called “tax” tied to the mandate, the foundation of Roberts’ argument will completely disappear when the penalty is removed.

This argument, which was also made recently in a lawsuit filed in federal court by 20 states and several other plaintiffs, creates the opportunity for the Trump administration to end Obamacare without Congress having to pass a law. But how?

In other articles, I noted the Trump administration would need to officially declare that the law will no longer be constitutional when the tax is eliminated in January 2019, but as I’ve been instructed recently by former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, that’s only partially correct.

In addition to declaring that the Trump administration will not recognize the constitutionality of the law, it would need to settle the lawsuit with those plaintiffs alleging the individual mandate is no longer constitutional. By settling the lawsuit and effectively acknowledging the plaintiffs’ argument is correct, Obamacare could be dismantled without Congress’s approval. With a settlement, it would be legally difficult, if not impossible, for Obamacare to be eliminated because the Trump administration has a duty to enforce existing federal law.

Some of you might be wondering why the entire Obamacare law might be tossed out if only the individual mandate is determined to be unconstitutional. The answer is that in previous Supreme Court cases, the Court has determined that when a particularly important provision of a law is deemed unconstitutional, the entire law should be struck down. The primary reason for this is that the Court’s job is not to create or alter legislation; that power, at the federal level, belongs to Congress alone.

Former Justice Antonin Scalia explained in the dissent he authored in the 2012 case that there is a two-part guide for determining whether one or more provisions ruled to be unconstitutional ought to compel the Supreme Court to strike down an entire law. As Scalia noted in the second part of the guide, the one most relevant for the current situation, “even if the remaining provisions can operate as Congress designed them to operate, the Court must determine if Congress would have enacted them standing alone and without the unconstitutional portion. If Congress would not, those provisions, too, must be invalidated.”

It’s extremely unlikely Congress would have passed Obamacare in 2010 had the individual mandate been removed from the law, because, as Congress noted in the ACA itself, the individual mandate is an “essential” part of the Obamacare scheme and “the absence of the requirement would undercut Federal regulation of the health insurance market.”

Obamacare is not constitutional, and the Trump administration has the power to end Obamacare on its own. For the sake of the country’s failing health insurance market, let’s hope it acts by settling the lawsuit challenging Obamacare and declaring the law to be what it always was: an illegal act by the federal government to force people to buy a product millions of families can’t even afford to use.



What the Left Gets Wrong About Stock Buybacks

If you look around, the economy is growing faster than most economists predicted just last year.

Layoffs are rare and employers are hiring. New claims for unemployment benefits are close to a 48-year low, and unemployment is at an 18-year low. If you haven’t noticed, “help wanted” signs seem to be going up all over the place.

Tax reform, which passed last year, has only contributed positively to these economic trends. Those who want to detract from the successes of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act look for stories like a recent Harley-Davidson plant closing and large stock buybacks.

Even a historically strong economy hasn’t been able to rescue the motorcycle company from four years of declining sales.

Despite all the good news, some keep hammering corporate stock buybacks as evidence that the tax cuts aren’t working. So, let’s look at the reality of stock buybacks.

When businesses don’t have suitable investment options for all their profits, they give part of them back to their investors so that those individuals can instead reinvest in other, more profitable endeavors.

Harley-Davidson is a prescient example of stock buybacks. By transferring just shy of $700 million back to shareholders, those investors are now able to redirect that money to other investments that have a more promising future.

Those new investments will also need workers to build, design, and manufacture whatever the future demands.

If instead, Harley-Davidson poured more money into a U.S. market that did not want to buy its bikes, the investment would still not sustain long-term jobs. Instead, it would just prolong the company’s decline and ultimately everyone—including the employees—would be worse off.

The former director of the Congressional Budget Office, Doug Holtz-Eakin, summed up the economics of stock buybacks. “Stock buybacks do not make shareholders richer,” he said. “A stock buyback is simply the exchange of valuable stock for the same value in cash.”

Business Investment Raises Wages

The 2017 tax reform lowered the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The lower tax rate makes investing in the U.S. more attractive. The tax law also further lowers the cost of business investments through expensing.

In the first quarter of 2018, investment increased by more than 21 percent among companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index, compared with the same quarter in 2017.

Investment is often slow in the first quarter of the year, so most observers predict strong business investment will continue.

More business investment in new buildings and equipment means that Americans will be more productive, revenues will increase, and businesses will want to hire more workers and will pay higher wages to find good talent.

“In a dynamic, competitive economy, the relationship between companies and their employees is symbiotic, not antagonistic,” explains Kevin Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. That is exactly what we are seeing.

A Healthy Stock Market Benefits the Middle Class 

The popular narrative that only the rich benefit when the stock market and businesses are doing well is based on a mistaken view of stock ownership that may have been true in the 19th century, but certainly isn’t true today.

When businesses increase in value or pay dividends, shareholders—the owners of those businesses—share in the benefits.

In the U.S., shareholders are ordinary people, with more than half of all families owning stock, directly or indirectly. You likely own pieces of businesses in your private retirement savings account, through your company’s pension fund, and your kids’ college savings accounts.

The rate of stock ownership is increasing, with some of the biggest gains coming from lower-income households. The value of asset holdings in investment accounts has also for low-income Americans, compared with those with higher incomes.

The notion that only the wealthy benefit when businesses return profits to their investors is simply wrong.

All in all, stock buybacks are a common market function and a signal of a healthy economy. They may be an easy target to vilify, but we should base our attitude toward them on sound economic thinking and appreciate the broader context of a healthy economy.



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, May 30, 2018

Will America have a debt Jubilee?

So far it is mostly Left-leaning economists who have been calling for it but conservative financial prophet Porter Stansberry thinks it is going to happen soon. I will let him outline the matter and then I will follow up with an even more radical but fairer proposal

Stansberry is something of a panic merchant and tends to put dates on things where he would be better to avoid that.  It has been clear to me for some years that America is effectively bankrupt but I have no idea when that will come to a head. As Keynes is alleged to have said: "The market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent". And with Mr Trump in the equation, anything or nothing is possible. So Stansberry and I agree on all but the timing of the crisis.

We owe a trillion dollars on our credit cards—which often have interest rates as high as 28%! We've borrowed a trillion dollars to buy new cars—which plummet in value the minute you drive off the lot. And we've racked up about $1.5 trillion for college education with dubious worth.

The debt load for the working poor has nearly quadrupled in the past 20 years as a percentage of their income. And this debt can never, ever be repaid.

It's this system that dooms every average worker to poverty. And almost guarantees that the rich and the powerful will stay that way.

Simply working harder—or working smarter—isn't benefiting employees anymore. On the other hand, Americans who own assets and businesses have seen their wealth soar over the last 40 years.

And so we are left with the biggest income and wealth disparity in America in nearly 100 years.

For those who have taken on these incredible new debt loads, it's a very stressful way to live. So many Americans today are in a hole. They are extremely stressed out, and there is no way out.

And herein lies the problem. This group is growing, and this stress and anger is building... ultimately fueling many of today's biggest issues...

It's why you see people rioting in Charlottesville, Virginia...

It's why you see massive increases in violence and desperation in cities like Baltimore and Chicago...

It's why you see more and more radicalized politics—like resurgent neo-Nazi groups and the rise of Black Lives Matter...

It's why you see the tearing down of historic statues, and why according to a recent Harvard study, more than 50% of young people no longer believe in capitalism!

It's why we now have the highest-ever percentage of people on food stamps—double the historical rate.

It's why in some states, nearly 10% of working age adults receive disability payments!

Remember: These uprisings and protests may be nominally about race, or Donald Trump, police brutality, or immigration.

But what they're really all about is money, debt, and economics.

And that's why we will soon see a dramatic political and economic event, the likes of which we haven't seen in nearly 50 years...

Very soon, millions of Americans will be calling for the government to "do something."

Specifically, they'll be calling for a clean slate... to wipe out their debts and "reset" the financial system.

The crowds will cheer and march like never before. The violence will escalate. Our politicians will promise this reset of the financial system as a way to a "new and better prosperity."

And while it might sound like good news to those who have gotten in over their head—what will really happen is a national nightmare.

You see, this idea of erasing debts to reset the financial system is not new. In fact, in the Bible, it's referred to as a "Jubilee."  If you're unfamiliar with the term, it comes from The Old Testament, the Book of Leviticus, Chapter 25.

A Jubilee in the Jewish tradition was said to occur roughly every 50 years.  It was a time for total forgiveness of debt, the freeing of slaves, and the returning of lands. Pope Boniface VIII proclaimed the first Christian Jubilee in 1300.

Since then, it's been used dozens of times, when anger among a population hits extreme levels, typically because of an explosive divide between the wealthy and the working class.

And very soon, millions will be calling for a new Debt Jubilee here in America. Believe it or not, many are already doing so...

Folks like Carmen Reinhart of Harvard University and Stephen Roach of Yale have advocated for a Debt Jubilee in one form or another. So have financial pundits Barry Ritholtz and Chris Whalen.

In Congress, more than a half-dozen Jubilee-style laws have been proposed, by folks such as Rep. Kathy Castor and Senator Bill Nelson from Florida.

And many of the most powerful left-wing economic "experts" are calling for a Debt Jubilee by name...

London School of Economics Professor David Graeber says: "we are long overdue for some kind of Biblical-style Jubilee... it would relieve so much genuine human suffering."

The national affairs correspondent for The Nation says we should: "Think Jubilee, American Style... because it combines a sense of social justice with old-fashioned common sense."

Paul Kedrosky, a senior fellow at the Kaufman Foundation (a liberal think tank), says: "we need a fresh start, and we need it now... we need... a Jubilee."

A Jubilee—which wipes the slate clean for millions of the most indebted Americans and "resets" the financial system—is inevitable.

And mark my words: This trend will accelerate. The idea of a Debt Jubilee will become THE leading political issue in the months to come.

Today, for millions of Americans, there's no more powerful political promise than a Debt Jubilee. Politicians will soon be promising it all...

I will wipe out your debts.
I will allow you to start fresh.
I will reward all of your bad decisions.
I will solve America's massive income inequality.

Who will pay for it?  You guessed it...  You, me, and millions of Americans with pensions, retirement accounts, and other types of savings.

Just as in the past, the folks in Washington will disguise this Jubilee under a different name. They might call it a "National Restoration" or "Patriotic Solvency." They'll pass an "Act" like they did in 1841... or invoke an Executive Order as was done in 1933 (Executive Order #6102)... or simply issue a mandate to the Secretary of the Treasury (which they did in 1971).

But it all means the same thing. The Jubilee will redistribute trillions of dollars from those who have invested and saved... to those who can no longer pay their debts.

Excerpt from an article received via email.  Stansberry has more in his recent book "The American Jubilee, A National Nightmare is Closer Than You Think"

What Stansberry predicts is obviously unjust but does seem inevitable.  Debt "forgiveness" happens all the time in international affairs.  Argentina and Greece live on it.  But how would you feel if a bank's debts to you (your deposits) were suddenly "forgiven"?  Your savings would vanish.

There is a better way:  America can't pay its debts so it is effectively bankrupt. So America should declare bankruptcy.  But how do you do that?  To whom do you make your declaration?  It can't be done in anything like the normal way.  The only way it can be done is to void the currency.  America needs to declare that the Greenback is no longer its currency and all debts denominated in it lose any authority.

America then needs to issue a new currency (Maybe called "Feds") and declare that only debts denominated in Feds will be honoured. All dollar debts would be wiped.  The streets would be filled with cheering students celebrating the end of their student debt and householders suddenly finding that they own their house outright after their mortgage debt has disappeared. And that pesky credit card debt is gone too. And without debt a lot of businesses would become more viable too. A weight will have lifted off the backs of the whole nation, resulting almost certainly in a huge economic boom.  And a free government grant of 1,000 Feds to every citizen would get things rolling.

But what about your savings?  The bank now owes you nothing.  Nobody owes anybody anything.  That's where the government can use its money issuing power.  Certain losing groups can be compensated by GIVING them Feds.  All savings accounts with a balance up to 5 million could be reinstated showing the same amount in Feds that they once showed in dollars.  And social security payments would be re-denominated in Feds and would continue as before

China and Wall St would not be compensated or else the whole thing would be a farce.  And labor unions that have extorted huge retirement benefits for their members would also find that their extortions had been in vain. Benefits their members had been receiving would come to a grinding halt.  Their retired and retiring members would have to go on to the same social security payments (in Feds) as everyone else

So average Americans, whether previously savers or debtors, would all be better off and only the parasites would lose. Abandoning the greenback would root out a whole world of corruption.

That is just a very brief outline of how a national bankruptcy could be managed and I am not hopeful that the idea will be adopted.  But it shows that the coming Jubilee would not necessarily hurt the little guy.  He could be compensated.


Conservatives Need to Argue About Ideas, Not About Trump

“Let’s grow up, conservatives.”

That call to arms was delivered by Barry Goldwater at the 1960 Republican convention to implore members of the then-youthful conservative movement to hold their noses and rally around Richard Nixon’s candidacy.

Neal Freeman, a battle-scarred veteran of the conservative movement — he was a correspondent for National Review and the producer of William F. Buckley’s TV show, “Firing Line,” among other tours of duty — recently echoed Goldwater’s clarion call for a different cause. It is time for conservatives to get to work on updating or even reinventing what it means to be a conservative. The conservatism of the last 50 years, programmatically, politically and psychologically, is in dire need of rejuvenation.

One sign of the exhaustion, Freeman writes, “is that the largest and most urgent issues are left unaddressed by any of the entrenched interests. Incumbent politicians deal with old issues. Movements ride new issues.”

The most obvious such issue is the exploding debt, which both parties have decided is something they should only care about when trying to unseat their rivals, if at all.

But the challenge of the debt is a bipartisan or, more aptly, a nonpartisan one, simply because the math doesn’t care about your politics. The pressing question for conservatives is, simply, “What is a conservative?”

“Are we free traders or fair traders?” Freeman asks. “Do we want open borders or high barriers? Can we save public education or should we euthanize it?”

Part of the dilemma is that in the modern era, Republican presidents define for many Americans (particularly in the media) what conservatism is, just as Democratic presidents tend to define what liberalism is. That may not be true in the eggheadier or more ideologically pure corners of the Left and Right, but for lots of normal Americans, that’s just how it works. Conservatism, in journalistic shorthand, is largely whatever constitutes the “Trump agenda” at any given moment, just as liberalism was whatever Barack Obama wanted to do when he was president.

But this is a remarkably recent development, and the fact that we assume it should work this way is a symptom of the polarization of the moment, which recasts partisan loyalty as philosophical principle.

Lyndon Johnson did not define liberalism for legions of left-leaning activists and voters, nor did Richard Nixon define conservatism among the ranks of right-leaning ones (which is why Goldwater felt it necessary to plead with conservatives to support Nixon).

Indeed, despite the fact that modern American conservatism allies itself with an old, even ancient, political tradition, it’s largely forgotten that it is arguably the youngest of political movements in America — certainly younger than progressivism, socialism or libertarianism (in all of its strains from anarchism to classical liberalism).

I understand very well that conservatives often bristle at the idea they need to change with the times. As the famous line from (the far from famous) Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland, goes, “Where it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.”

But we forget that the conservative movement’s strength came from the fact that it was armed with new arguments from diverse intellectual sources. More importantly, its vigor stemmed from the fact that these various strains of conservatives were eager to argue amongst themselves. There are arguments aplenty on the Right these days, but the vast majority of them are arguments over a specific personality — Donald Trump — not a body of ideas. And to the extent that there are arguments about ideas, they tend to be subsumed into the larger imperative to attack or defend Trump.

As I’ve argued before, the best thing Trump did was to shatter the calcified and sclerotic policy agenda of Reaganism. To paraphrase “Ghostbusters,” he was not the form of destroyer I would have picked, but the destruction was necessary nonetheless.

Don’t misunderstand me: Reagan was the indispensable man for his time. But the challenge for conservatives — at least my brand of conservatives — is to find ways to apply Reaganite principles to our times.

It is possible, all too possible, that the Reaganites will fail to win the necessary arguments ahead. But that is not an argument against having those fights, for the Reaganites will surely lose them by default if they don’t engage. We need more arguments — but the right arguments.



Rent Control Pits Current Tenants against Potential Renters

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti would like to expand rent control in California. Doubtless he has many supporters among current renters. Nevertheless, rent control is actually detrimental to the interests of most renters, as Independent Institute Research Fellow Gary M. Galles explains in an op-ed published in the Orange County Register, and Los Angeles Daily News, and other SoCal news outlets.

Most “renters,” it should be noted, are not current renters but potential renters. “As a result, it is truer to say rent control harms renters than to say it helps them,” Galles writes. Rent control cuts incentives for new construction, it undermines maintenance of the existing rental housing stock, and promotes evasive efforts such as the conversion of rental housing to non-housing uses. Rent control is famous for creating housing shortages. It also robs value from property owners.

“A decade ago, such loses were estimated at $120 million annually under Santa Monica’s strict rent control laws,” Galles writes. “Those tripped property values are given to current tenants, whose bonanzas are shown by the fact that those under such controls almost never leave.”



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, May 29, 2018

Is Jordan Peterson a conservative?

Jordan Peterson and I both spent decades fascinated with authoritarianism and doing research into it.  I am 20 years older than him, however, so our research activities did not overlap. I think, however, that our common research interests may enable me to judge his views more insightfully.

The first thing I have to say is that both Peterson and I have studied, Nazism, Fascism, amtisemitism etc as something which horrifies us, not something we admire.  Many people seem unable to allow that, however.  You must secretly admire it in order to study it seems to be the claim.  And some justification of that will always be devised by misquoting or misunderstanding some isolated fact or bit of text that in fact provides no such justification at all.

And in my case, my frequent promotion of libertarian ideas should show where I belong on the political spectrum.  The fact that libertarianism is the exact opposite of Fascism should be convincing about what I believe but it is not, of course.  In the twisted minds of the left, liberarianism and Fascism are often equated.  Black can be white for them. Even my cast-iron support for the State of Israel can be ignored.

An interesting example of Peterson being accused of what he is not is the case of the now famous article in the historically Leftist NY "Jewish Forward" which implicitly accused Peterson of being antisemitic.  The article was such a total denial of everything Peterson has said that it got angry rebuttals from several sources and the "Forward" itself quickly published a retraction.  Peterson gives all the detail of that here

So: Don't believe anything about Peterson in the Left-leaning media. Just read what he himself writes.  Media comments will be reliably distorted. A rather amusing example of such a distortion is the NYT claim that Peterson advocates "enforced monogamy".  Does that mean he wants to abolish all divorce laws?  No.  As one of Peterson's defenders summarized the matter:  "Peterson is using well-established anthropological language here: “enforced monogamy” does not mean government-enforced monogamy. “Enforced monogamy” means socially-promoted, culturally-inculcated monogamy", not legally required monogamy.  In other words, faithful marriage should be encouraged by the society at large.  See here

Peterson himself says he is a classical liberal, meaning that he believes in a broad spectrum of individual liberties.  Conservatives do too but they tend to add in other beliefs about patriotism and such social issues as abortion and homosexuality.  And yet Peterson has such conservative positions too so I think he is simply resisting "conservative" as an overinclusive label.  He offers no guarantee that he will agree with all conservative positions.

He is right to be cautious. "Racist" is a label that is ceaselessly thrown around by the Left and all conservatives are racist in their view.  I did rather a lot of survey research showing that not to be so but Leftists don't need evidence for their accusations.  So any mention of race brings howls from the Left and conservatives do in fact mention race in some ways at times.

And that is where Peterson and I part company.  I try to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth at all times.  And as a psychometrician I am well aware of important black/white differences.  And I talk about them, sometimes at length.  Peterson wisely avoids the topic.  Because I do talk about scientifically well-established black white differences I am someone who has to be avoided.  The fact that the official position of the American Psychological Association is that blacks are on averge about 15 points lower on IQ does not excuse me. I am simply putting the majority conclusion of academics in my field but I am outside polite society to say so publicly. I see blacks as requiring assistance rather than persecution but that doesn't count either. And I am vociferous in mocking the false assistance of "affirmative action".

So Peterson is something more than a classical liberal but he is not wholly a conservative.  So what is he?  I think it is reasonable to say that he is a traditionalist.  His self-help writings lie well within that description.  They do not rely heavily on laboratory research or surveys but also use clinical insights and traditional wisdom:  Christian wisdom in particular.

He is certainly using pre-Spock childrearing advice. That Spock himself eventually recanted much of his permissive views and saw much wisdom in earler teachings would support Peterson in that. Anybody who has absorbed Bible teachings in his youth -- as I did -- would find Peterson's personal development teachings familiar.  And Peterson makes no secret of that.  He appears to be an atheist -- as I am -- but sees Christianity as a great source of wisdom -- as I do.

So his views are not entirely scientific.  They are sourced widely rather than in surveys and experiments.  But where available the academic literature does offer some cautious support for what he says. And it should be noted that use of insights from clinical work has always been a major source of psychological thinking -- starting from Sigmund Freud -- JR


All public forums should be open and uncensored

A huge silver lining from a recent court ruling

Trump should embrace (and expand) court ruling that his Twitter account is free speech forum

President Trump may not block even rude or obnoxious criticism from his Twitter account, because it is a public forum that is protected by the First Amendment, US District Court Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald has ruled. The President’s use of his Twitter account to comment on important policy, personnel and personal announcements made it a public forum, akin to a park or town square, she concluded.

Blocking unwanted tweets is thus viewpoint discrimination, which public officials are not permitted to engage in. Indeed, his Twitter account is not just a public forum. It is also “government space,” and thus may not be closed off, Judge Buchwald continued – rejecting a Justice Department argument that, since Twitter is a public company, it is beyond the reach of First Amendment public forum rules.

Free speech proponents hailed the ruling as a groundbreaking decision, saying it expands constitutional protections deep within the realms of social media. The executive director of Georgetown Law School’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection called it “a critical victory in preserving free speech in the digital age.” Blocking people from responding critically to presidential tweets is unconstitutional, because it prevents them from participating personally and directly in that forum, others said.

The Justice Department said it disagreed with the decision and was considering its next steps. Here’s another option: Embrace and expand on the decision. Assess how these District Court principles and free speech guidelines can be applied in other vital free speech arenas. Take it as far as you can.

Some will then predictably want to construe the decision narrowly, saying it applies only to government officials, perhaps especially conservatives who support this president. Conservatives, the White House and the Trump Administration should not feel bound by such partisan, self-serving assertions.

As Supreme Court and numerous lower court decisions have interpreted the Civil Rights Act and other laws, no person may employ race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status or other categories, to discriminate in admissions, hiring or anything else under any program or activity receiving any form of federal financial assistance, including loans or scholarships. Those that do discriminate will lose their Internal Revenue Service non-profit status and their government funding.

Should that list of categories not include one of the most vital and fundamental civil rights of all – the one addressed and protected by the very first amendment to the United States Constitution? The right of free speech and free assembly, especially regarding one’s beliefs, interests and political viewpoints, and one’s ability to participate in discourse and debate over important political and public policy matters?

Our colleges and universities were once society’s crucible for developing and thrashing out ideas. Sadly, as anyone with a milligram of brain matter realizes, they have become bastions of one-sided ideological propaganda and intolerance. Every conceivable element of “diversity” is permitted and encouraged – nay, demanded – except for our most fundamental civil right of personal views, free speech and robust debate.

That right now applies only to liberal-progressive-leftist views and ideologies. Anything that challenges or questions those teachings is vilified, denounced and silenced, often violently – as being hurtful, hateful, objectionable or intolerable to liberals. Faculty members are hired, protected, promoted or fired based on their social, scientific or political beliefs. Viewpoint discrimination, bullying and mobbing are rampant.

It’s time for pushback. Judicial and Executive Branch decisions and guidelines hold that even private universities that receive federal money for faculty research, student loans and scholarships, or campus facilities, are subject to Civil Rights Act rules. Presidents, administrators and faculty members of public universities are arguably public officials. Campuses and classrooms are clearly public forums.

If they tolerate or encourage viewpoint bullying, mobbing or violence, they are violating the civil rights of students, professors and speakers whose views have been deemed inappropriate, discomforting, hurtful or intolerable to the fragile sensitivities of climate alarmist, pro-abortion, atheist and other liberal factions.

Judge Buchwald’s ruling and the reactions of free speech advocates provide useful guidelines to buttress this approach. The Trump Administration, state attorneys general and free-speech/individual rights advocates should apply them to help restore intellectual rigor and open discourse to our campuses.

The ruling and reactions could also help expand constitutional protections even more deeply in the realms of digital age social media. As they suggest, today’s most popular social media sites have become our most vibrant and essential public forums: today’s parks, town squares and town halls. People, especially millennials, rely on them for news, information and opinions, often as substitutes for print, radio and television (and classrooms). But they now seem far better at censorship than at education or discussion.

Google algorithms increasingly and systematically send climate realism articles to intellectual Siberia. Unless you enter very specific search terms (author’s name, article title and unique wording), those sly algorithms make it difficult or impossible to find articles expressing non-alarmist viewpoints.

Google thus allies with the manmade climate cataclysm establishment – which has received billions of taxpayer dollars from multiple government agencies, but has blocked Climate Armageddon skeptics from getting articles published in scientific journals that often publish papers that involve hidden data, computer codes and other work. Even worse, it facilitates repeated threats that skeptics should be jailed (Bill Nye the Science Guy and RFK Jr.), prosecuted under RICO racketeering laws (Senators Warren and Whitehouse), or even executed (University of Graz, Austria Professor Richard Parncutt).

Google is a private entity, there are other search engines, and those seeking complete, honest research results should see if those alternatives are any better. But there is something repugnant about mankind’s vast storehouses of information being controlled by hyper-partisan techies, in league with equally partisan university, deep state, deep media, hard green and other ├╝ber-liberal, intolerant elements of our society.

Meanwhile, Google YouTube continues to use its power and position to block posting of and access to equally important information, including over 40 well-crafted, informative, carefully researched Prager University videos – because they contain what YouTube reviewers (censors) decreed is “objectionable content” on current events, history, constitutional principles, environmental topics and public policies.

Scholar-educator Dennis Prager sued YouTube for closing down yet another vital public forum to views that question, contest or simply fail to pay homage to liberal ideologies and agendas.

District Court Judge Lucy Koh concluded that YouTube did indeed apply vague standards and the arbitrary judgments of a few employees, and did indeed discriminate against Prager U by denying it access to this popular social media platform and digital public forum. However, she ruled that Google YouTube is a private company, and thus is under no obligation to be fair, to apply its services equally, or to refrain from imposing penalties on viewpoints with which its partisan officers and employees disagree.

In other words, YouTube may operate as a public forum but it is a private business and thus may discriminate as it wishes – since it does not bake cakes or provide food or overnight accommodations … or deal with any civil rights that Judge Koh would include among protected constitutional rights.

These actions are the hallmarks of communist, fascist and other totalitarian regimes that seek to control all thought, speech, economic activity and other aspects of our lives. They drive policies that further limit our freedoms, kill countless jobs, and cost us billions or trillions of dollars in lost productivity.

The Left is clearly afraid of conservative ideas and principles. It refuses to participate in discussions or debates that it might lose, and instead resorts to mobbing, bullying and violence to silence our voices.

Up to now, lower courts have not always been supportive of the analysis and prescriptions presented in this article. But appellate courts and the Supreme Court have yet to weigh in on the Trump Twitter, Prager YouTube, Google search bias and similar cases. So we are still in uncharted territory.

Conservatives, climate chaos skeptics and true free speech advocates should build their own social media forums – while helping to create the legal precedents that will protect our hard-won rights and freedoms, and exposing, ridiculing, embarrassing and challenging the dominance of the Intolerant Left.

Via email from Paul Driessen, JD


Ted Cruz Says Media Is Avoiding Santa Fe School Shooting Because Texas Students Don’t Want Gun Control

In an interview in his Senate office Tuesday with The Daily Signal, Cruz said support for the Second Amendment in Texas is why CNN and other media outlets aren’t giving these students the kind of wall-to-wall coverage that followed the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Cruz also talked about why the Senate should work full workweeks and potentially skip the August recess to get more done. From making tax reform for individuals and small businesses permanent to repealing Obamacare’s employer mandate, the Texas senator said plenty of legislative priorities could be passed with a simple majority and Republicans should take advantage of the relatively rare opportunity of being in charge in Washington.

Cruz also applauded President Donald Trump both for listening to many views and for standing up to much of official Washington and fulfilling his promises to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and get America out of the Iran nuclear deal.



France signs contracts for €1bn direct investment to Russia

Aha! So it must have been Russia that gave Mr Macron his win in the recent French elections!

Russia and France have signed six contracts for direct investment into Russia worth about €1 billion as part of the ongoing business forum in St Petersburg and the coinciding visit of the French president.
The billion-euro ($1.17 billion) sum of the deal was reported on Tuesday by Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund. The six contracts were signed at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), which is being held in the former Russian capital on Tuesday and Friday.

For comparison, the entire foreign direct investment into Russia in 2017 amounted to $27.9 billion.



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, May 28, 2018

Trump Delivers What May Be the Best Line of His Presidency at Naval Graduation

There were plenty of epic moments Friday as President Donald Trump gave the commencement speech at the graduation ceremony for the United States Naval Academy.

For instance, he shook the hands of every one of the over 1,100 graduates. That was pretty epic.

Or there was Trump confirming “that we are committing even more to our defenses, and we are committing even more to our veterans. Because we know that the best way to prevent war is to be fully prepared for war. And hopefully, we never have to use all of this beautiful, new, powerful equipment. But you know, you are less likely to have to use it if you have it and know how to work it.”

But it wasn’t the most epic line of the commencement speech. Oh, no. In fact, there was a line that got plenty of us here at office thinking it may just be the best line of his presidency.

It came as the president was giving a paean to the class of 2018, telling them that they “are still not tired of winning.”

“You chase discovery, and you never flinch in the eye of a raging storm. America is in your heart. The ocean is in your soul,” Trump said. “The saltwater runs through your veins. You live your life according to the final law of the Navy. The word impossible does not exist, because Navy never quits.

“You don’t give up. You don’t give in. You don’t back down. And you never surrender. Wherever you go, wherever you serve, wherever your mission takes you, you only have one word in mind, and that’s victory.

“That is why you are here. Victory. A very important word. You are now leaders in the most powerful and righteous force on the face of the planet. The United States military. And we are respected again, I can tell you that. We are respected again.”

During his eight years in office, Obama almost seemed to apologize for our military power.

He did it through hasty withdrawals in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the Islamic State group and Taliban were allowed to grow and metastasize. When he did fight them, it was using limited engagement tactics that handcuffed our pilots.



Comey Brings Up Trump’s Grandkids, So Trump Returns the Favor… and Scorches Him

As the Trump-Russia collusion narrative continues to unravel, allegations that the Obama administration’s FBI utilized “informants” or “spies” as part of their counterintelligence investigation into then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign have entered the national discussion.

President Trump and his supporters have keyed in on those allegations as proof of what has now been scandalously dubbed “Spygate,” even as many elected Democrats and liberal media figures — who once scoffed at the notion of Trump’s campaign being spied upon — now say it was for the campaign’s own good.

One who has made such a ludicrous claim that spying on Trump’s campaign was a good and acceptable thing is fired FBI Director James Comey, who took to Twitter on Wednesday in an apparent attempt to defend the likely illegal and unethical actions.

Comey tweeted, “Facts matter. The FBI’s use of Confidential Human Sources (the actual term) is tightly regulated and essential to protecting the country. Attacks on the FBI and lying about its work will do lasting damage to our country. How will Republicans explain this to their grandchildren?”

President Trump was asked for his reaction to that particular tweet during an interview with “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade, and his response absolutely scorched the fired former director.

“How is he going to explain to his grandchildren all of the lies, the deceit, all of the problems he’s caused for this country?” replied Trump.

“I think a thing that I’ve done for the country — the firing of James Comey — is going to go down as a very good thing,” he continued. “The FBI is great, I know so many people in the FBI, the FBI is a fantastic institution.”

“But some of the people at the top were rotten apples — James Comey was one of them — I’ve done a great service for this country by getting rid of him, by firing him,” Trump added.

Kilmeade followed up and asked if the president would have any problems explaining all of this to his grandchild, to which Trump replied with a chuckle, “None.”

“No, we’re doing a great job, our country is coming back, our country is respected again, and what we’re doing over there is just another side of it, just one of many things,” stated Trump.

Trump then shifted gears and spoke about the economic renewal the country was experiencing, especially in terms of historic and record low unemployment numbers among various segments of the population.

The “Fox & Friends” crew noted afterward how interesting it was that despite all of the other major issues facing his presidency — most especially the Russian collusion allegations — the president still managed to shift the focus toward the steadily improving economy.

It was further pointed out that doing so was an incredibly smart move on Trump’s part, as the economy, jobs and more money in people’s pockets is always the biggest issue for a vast majority of voters, far more so than anything else the president’s many detractors and haters would prefer to focus the public’s attention on.

As to his scorching rebuttal of Comey’s sanctimonious remark about what people will tell their grandchildren, well, that is just the latest example of Trump’s classically devastating counter-punching ability against those who take a shot at him, one that will likely sting for quite some time.



Joe diGenova on 'Spygate': Obama Knew About All Of This

diGenova calls the conspirators "psychotic".  He is right to detect serious mental problems but the correct word for what he is talking about is "psychopathic".  Psychopaths have no conscience.  Psychotics hear and see things that are not there

Former federal prosecutor Joe diGenova and FNC's Tucker Carlson discuss "SPYGATE," the president's allegation that the Obama administration infiltrated and spied on his 2016 campaign.

"So, how could the president of the United States, who oversaw the FBI at the time, Barack Obama, not have known about it?" host Tucker Carlson asked.

"He did know about it because you remember that memorandum that Susan Rice wrote on inauguration day, memorializing the meeting on January 5th," DiGenova responded.

"On January 5th, the president, Biden, Yates, Rice, they were discussing exactly what we're finding out now and they were trying to figure out a way to explain it because they knew since Hillary didn't win, now it was going to come out and they needed a story," he added.

DiGenova also called Comey, James Clapper, and John Brennan psychotics who "can't stop lying."

"What you are hearing from Clapper and Comey is gaslighting," he said. "This is Charles Boyer talking to Ingrid Bergman trying to make her think all the things that she sees in front of her are not real. They are lying in the most unbelievably brazen and insidious way."

"Comey and Clapper and Brennan are a group of psychotics who now - they can't stop lying," DiGenova said.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Joe diGenova is a former US attorney for the District of Columbia. He joins us now.

So, the ironies in this, Jim Comey beginning a tweet with facts matter are self-evident. But to the specifics, this spying, this use of confidential human sources is tightly regulated. Did a judge sign off on this?

JOE DIGENOVA: No, a judge did not sign off on this, and a judge usually doesn't sign off on it. This was not the traditional use fo a source, this was a spy on the campaign of the opposing party of the incumbent president, who at the time was Barack Obama.

What you are hearing from Clapper and Comey is gaslighting. This is Charles Boyer talking to Ingrid Bergman trying to make her think all the things that she sees in front of her are not real.

This is, they are lying in a most unbelievable brazen and insidious way. If they were not spying on the Trump campaign, why didn't they just tell the Trump people the Russians are coming after you, be careful. Because that's not what they were doing. They were spying on the Trump campaign, trying to frame people, set them up. That is what the use of Mr. Stefan Halper was to plant evidence os it would blow back so they could use it in FISA warrants.

Comey and Clapper and Brennan are a group of psychotics who now can't stop lying.

CARLSON: What I'm interested, among many things, is in the response from the left, the self-appointed civil libertarians who have been telling us for generations about protecting the rights of the individual against the state.

I asked a member of this House Intel Committee Eric Swalwell of California the other night who signed off on this? And he suggested that a judge knew about and approved this spying on the campaign. You are saying that's not true?

DIGENOVA: No, the FISA surveillance was signed off by a judge, but not this intrusion into the campaign. This was done without judicial approval.

CARLSON: So why wouldn't we want to know more about how and why this happened? There's no precedent for this that we know of, why is this not a big deal in the eyes of liberals?

DIGENOVA: Because liberals are no longer liberals, they are progressive. They have given up on liberal ideas... where everybody is an enemy who isn't on your side. They hate Trump so much that they were willing to besmirch the Constitution to achieve a goal, which was his ultimate defeat at the ballot box, and if that didn't work to have him removed from office.

CARLSON: I feel like I'm going crazy here because I'm reading these stories day after day that are denying what they are reporting.


CARLSON: Here is one just pulled out of a hat. Some guy called Justin Miller at "Daily Beast" just put this piece up. He refers to it, and I'm quoting, "The false claim that the FBI spied on the Trump campaign."

DIGENOVA: An informant is a spy. A confidential informant who weasels into any organization for good or ill is a spy. That is the classic definition of a spy. Indeed, James Clapper, while fumbling through his television appearances has actually conceded that it was spying, but in his words, it was good spying.

TUCKER CARLSON: So how could Barack Obama, who was president of the U.S. at the time, not have known about it?

DIGENOVA: He did know about it, because you remember that memorandum that Susan Rice wrote on inauguration day immortalizing the meeting on January 5? On January 5 [2017], the president [Obama], [V.P.] Biden, [acting A.G. Sally] Yates, [national security advisor Susan] Rice, they were discussing exactly what we're finding out now and they were trying to figure out a way to explain it because they knew since Hillary didn't win, now it was going to come out and they needed a story.

Obama knew all about this and the notion that he didn't is ludicrous.

CARLSON: It's shocking to me that nobody sees this as a terrifying precedent going forward that one administration suspicious of its political opponents would use our most powerful law enforcement agency to gather information on them.

Do we really want that to be the precedent?

DIGENOVA: We do not. And what's tragic about it is, in the course of doing that, they have destroyed the FBI. It will take a generation for the FBI to return to the respect of the American people that it deserves.

James Comey, who says he loves the FBI, has actually slit its throat.



Can the FBI be trusted?

The FBI is in serious trouble, not just the people in the bureau that lied to the Office of Inspector General, fixed the Clinton investigation, and spied on a political campaign. The American people are losing confidence in the bureau. FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich stated in January, “When I look through the prism of risk for our organization, I find the No. 1 risk for our organization is losing the faith and confidence of the American people.”

The FBI has reason to be fearful because public trust in the institution is headed in the wrong direction. A recent poll by Axios showed that less than half of America had confidence in the FBI, with only 38 percent of Republicans having faith in the bureau. This should be extremely worrying to any prosecutor using the FBI’s evidence or agents as a witness at a trial — and a dream for any defense attorney. Half the jury pool has an unfavorable opinion of the feds, and recent revelations about the once revered law enforcement agency are sure to increase the unfavourability.

The FBI’s treatment of Carter Page was reprehensible. The propaganda outlets never mention it, but Carter Page was a witness for the FBI. Page is an energy expert concentrating on Russia and central Asia, a region rich with oil and natural gas. Page has also never hid his work with or for Russian companies. In 2013, while Page was running a consulting business and lecturing at NYU Russian diplomats and scholars attempted to recruit him. The FBI informed him the people that approached him were, in fact, Russian intelligence, and Page agreed to work with the FBI.

Page passed binders of his work with listening devices to the Russians, which allowed the government to convict one of the three of espionage, the other two were diplomats and could not be charged. One would plead guilty to conspiring to act as an unregistered foreign agent and sentenced to 30 months in prison. Carter Page helped the FBI secure the conviction of a Russian spy, and all he got for it was huge lawyer fees and his privacy invaded by the very people he helped.

Who would want to work with the nation’s preeminent law enforcement agency if doing so would get you investigated yourself?

What happened to former National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn gives everyone a reason to not talk to the FBI. The conversation the FBI had with Flynn was under dubious pretenses, to say the least. Sara Carter reported, “McCabe had contacted Flynn by phone directly at the White House. White House officials had spent the “earlier part of the week with the FBI overseeing training and security measures associated with their new roles so it was no surprise to Flynn that McCabe had called…. some agents were heading over (to the White House) but Flynn thought it was part of the routine work the FBI had been doing and said they would be cleared at the gate.”

It was only after the agents were in his office talking to him, without his lawyer, did Flynn realize he was being questioned like a suspect. Despite the sneaky tactics by the FBI, the agents did not believe Flynn was lying to them, according to their boss, then Director of the FBI James Comey.

The House Intelligence Committee report details testimony from Comey stating, “They didn’t see any change in posture, in tone, in inflection, in eye contact. They saw nothing that indicated to them that he knew he was lying to them,” when speaking about the interviewing agents. Then FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe echoed Comey’s testimony referring to a “conundrum that we faced on their return from the interview is that although [the agents] didn’t detect deception in the statements that made in the interview.” This begs the question, if he didn’t lie, then why was he charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller? What changed?

And the most recent example of a reason to not trust the FBI is Stefan Halper. Halper is now at the center of the storm swirling around the 2016 election. Halper is believed to have been a mole, spy, informant, or whatever Clapper wants to call him, against the Trump campaign for the Obama administration.

This hurts the FBI because when the going got tough on the issue of an informant in the Trump campaign, it was likely the FBI and/or DOJ that leaked the information about Halper. Halper believed he was helping the FBI and was expecting his identity to be kept confidential. Regardless if you agree with what he did, the FBI threw him to the curb when it suited them.

Why would anyone want to help the FBI if they know the feds will abandon them and even out them to save their skin?

And all this has happened before the expected release of the Inspector General’s report, which according to reports, paints the FBI is an extremely bad light.

In this disastrous chapter of FBI history, the bureau has given citizens a reason to never talk to them, never help them, and never work for them. If Wray cared about the FBI, as he says he does, he should immediately move to cooperate with House and Senate investigators fully. The bureau’s reputation is beyond tarnished at this point, and only full disclosure of all misconduct can begin the process of rebuilding the FBI brand. Christopher Wray must rip the band aid off, fighting the Congress, which is trying to help you, will only prolong the pain.



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, May 27, 2018

'We are living through a crisis in our democracy': Hillary Clinton receives Harvard medal for 'impact on society' as she blasts 'authoritarian' trends

The truth is the reverse.  America has just escaped from authoritarian trends.  What could be more authoritarian than Obama wanting to "fundamentally transform" American society?

And the only "threat to the rule of law" came from Obama, who tried to do and end-run around Congress with his "pen and phone".

Obama signed little of the legislation sent to him by Congress. By contrast Trump has signed legislation put before him by Congress even when he disliked a lot in it.  So who is disrespecting the rule of law, again?

And who is threatening the free press?  All the censorship is coming from the Left, not conservatives

And who is trashing free elections?  It wouldn't be the Leftist attempts to unseat the democratically-elected Trump would it?  And the critics of the electoral college are conservatives, are they?

It the usual Leftist style Hildabeest is upending reality and projecting Leftist faults onto others

Hillary Clinton, again wearing a long coat and bulky scarf in hot weather, has lectured a crowd that there is 'a crisis in our democracy' as Harvard University awarded her a medal.

Clinton spoke on Friday in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she accepted Harvard's Radcliffe Medal for her leadership, human rights work and 'transformative impact on society'.

The former Democratic presidential candidate, secretary of state, US senator and first lady said that American democracy is in crisis because of threats to the rule of law, the free press and free elections that are 'undermining national unity.'

She did not mention President Donald Trump by name as she called on audience members to do their part by voting and calling out fake news when they see it.



Kim backs down

Less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump announced that the United States will out of the upcoming summit with North Korea, the regime issued a major statement.

According to Axios, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan released a statement saying the regime is ready to meet “at any time, in any format.”

“Leader Kim Jong Un had focused every effort on his meeting with President Trump,” Gwan said, adding that North Korea is “willing to give the U.S. time and opportunities” to reconsider talks.

The summit was set to take place on June 12 in Singapore, but White House officials say North Korea refused to accept communications with the U.S. numerous times in recent weeks, leading the administration to believe the talks were off.

On Friday morning, the White House said they are “talking to” the regime and that they will see what happens next based on the regime’s behavior.

While the regime is apologizing and begging for the historic summit to take place, Trump made it clear in his statement on Thursday that dictator Kim Jong Un has displayed aggressive behavior in recent weeks, which resulted in the cancellation.

The president said Kim appeared very willing and open to achieving peace on the Korean Peninsula a few weeks ago, but said the dictator is now refusing to honor those initial commitments, saying the U.S. is not going to accept a bad deal.

After a speaking very diplomatically and saying he’s saddened that North Korea won’t respect the idea of peace for the Peninsula and the world, the president reminded Kim that he didn’t appreciate his recent threats about nuclear war.

Earlier this week, Kim boasted about the regime’s nuclear capabilities and said he could match the United States weaponry in a war.

Trump made it very clear in the letter that America has the strongest and most powerful nuclear arsenal in the world, and that threatening the U.S. would have major consequences.


LATEST: Trump says 'very productive' dialogue with North Korea is underway, hints Singapore meeting may still happen


Trump Walks Away With a Win Over North Korea

Donald Trump's cancellation of the Singapore summit with Kim Jong-un is not a loss for the United States — far from it. Trump understands dealmaking. And, as it turns out, he may also know a bit about history.

Let's go back 32 years to the Reykjavik summit, during which Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev offered sweeping nuclear arms cuts to President Ronald Reagan — provided Reagan stop development of the United States' then-fledgling anti-ballistic-missile defense system known as Star Wars. Reagan refused and walked away. It was arguably the moment that our nation won the Cold War. And it happened because Reagan walked away from an opponent who, as we now know from Peter Schweizer's book Victory, was on the ropes.

North Korea has similarly been on the ropes. The collapse of its nuclear test site set back that rogue country's nuclear weapons program. Sure, Kim has his missiles, but intercontinental ballistic missiles aren't as effective without nuclear warheads. Since that collapse, the North Koreans released three hostages, and then decided to finish by demolition what the collapse had started in the run-up to the summit.

So far, that means the North Koreans have made the bulk of the concessions (the U.S. did cancel one exercise with South Korea, but that can always be rescheduled). As Ari Fleisher, George W. Bush's former press secretary, noted, "It's about maneuvering, lack of predictability and leverage. Considering how often NK has played us in the past, I welcome this development."

Let's be blunt: Our nation's previous efforts have been failures. All along, North Korea still pursued nuclear weapons and missiles (the latter having been fired over Japan, incidentally). Furthermore, there has never been a serious consequence for North Korea's threats until now. It wasn't just about what Trump called North Korea's "tremendous anger and open hostility" exhibited in part when a North Korean official called Mike Pence a "political dummy." North Korea also went so far as to threaten to nuke the United States.

Losing the Singapore summit places Kim in an even tighter spot. North Korea's a basket case of a country, an unequivocal humanitarian nightmare.

The bigger message, though, goes to three countries: China, Russia and Mexico. China has been in talks with the U.S. to prevent a trade war and now has to realize that Trump is willing to walk away from a bad deal. Mexico has to be thinking the same thing with NAFTA renegotiations. Russia also has to rethink whether Donald Trump can be bullied.

Right now, President Trump is in a no-lose situation. If the summit cancellation sticks, we've still secured the safe return of three American hostages from that country, and its primary nuclear testing site is out of commission for a long time. Indeed, his cancellation letter to Kim is masterful in applying a geopolitical carrot and stick for that eventuality.

If the summit is back on, though, even at a later date, the North Koreans will likely have to make more concessions to President Trump. Furthermore, they'll be facing the reality that if they want the summit to happen, their behavior will have to change. That counts as a win, too.

As of this morning, Trump says, "We'll see what happens. We are talking to them now. They very much want to do it. We'd like to do it. It could even be the 12th."



Trump Notices Something To His Right, Then IMMEDIATELY Runs Over And Does Something Amazing

President Donald Trump attended a round table event on Wednesday in New York to discuss MS-13 and combating illegal immigration.

He spoke with and met families who have lost loved ones at the hands of the brutal gang, and spoke about the importance of law enforcement arresting and deporting the “animals” from the country.

When the event was over and Trump was walking back to board Marine One, he noticed a group of law enforcement officers to his right who wanted to meet him.

In a video clip posted on Twitter by Dan Scavino Jr., the Director of Social Media for the Trump administration, Trump can be seen breaking away from the group and literally running to greet the law enforcement officers.

Just let that soak in. The president of the United States stopped what he was doing and ran about 20 feet to shake the hands of every single police officer before he left.

When was the last time a president gave a spontaneous, genuine, and personal appreciation for the police? It has been many years.

I wish there was a button stronger than love on this thing. Classy move Mr. President. Obama wound have NEVER done this

It’s unclear what Trump said to the officers, but he was likely thanking them for their heroism, bravery, and everything they do to protect their communities.

The media will never report on or show the American people this amazing video, which shows how much our president loves our law enforcement officers.



Trump Agrees To Stay for ‘Hours’ To Shake the Hands of Over 1,000 Naval Midshipmen

Trump clearly has a genuine appreciation of the armed forces

After delivering the commencement address at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland on Friday, President Donald Trump chose to stay and shake the hands of all the over 1,000 graduates of the prestigious school.

“I was given an option. I could make this commencement address, which is a great honor for me, and immediately leave and wave goodbye,” the commander-in-chief recounted. “Or I could stay and shake hands with just the top 100. Or I could stay for hours and shake hands with 1,100 and something. What should I do? What should I do?” he asked.

The midshipmen responded with shouts of “Stay.”



GOOD GUY WITH A GUN: Armed Oklahoma Man TAKES OUT Mass Shooter Before Any Casualties Occur

According to the Daily Wire, A good guy with a gun took down a shooter at an Oklahoma City restaurant on Thursday.

Police reported that “A man walked into the Louie’s restaurant and opened fire with a gun. Two people were shot. A bystander with a pistol confronted the shooter outside the restaurant and fatally shot him.”

The shooter’s motivation for the attack is not yet known and his identity has been kept concealed at the time of this report.

Police Capt. Bo Mathews reported that an adult woman and a child were shot when the man walked into the restaurant and opened fire. Also, a man broke a bone on his way running out of the restaurant. A fourth victim reportedly suffered a minor injury.

Police officials say at two people were rushed to the hospital, and are expected to survive. All of the injured victims are expected to fully recover.

Oklahoma City Police tweeted the good news: “ALERT: The only confirmed fatality is the suspect. He was apparently shot-to-death by an armed citizen. Three citizens were injured, two of whom were shot. A large number of witnesses are detained. There is no indication of terrorism at this point.”



Typical Democrat fraud


Trump Slashes $6B in Red Tape

The president is cutting government regulations at double the rate he campaigned on

One of President Donald Trump’s campaign promises that he has been most successful in accomplishing is slashing onerous and unnecessary federal regulations. He promised to cut two regulations for every new one added. Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute recently calculated the ratio of regulations cut to those added and found that, from the fall of 2017 to spring of 2018, Trump’s rate of deregulation had not only met his 2-to-1 pledge but surpassed it by the rate of 4-to-1. He currently sits at an impressive 5-to-1.

This aggressive deregulation amounted to a regulatory cost cut of $6 billion in 2017, and this year it’s estimated that Trump’s effort will ease Americans’ regulatory burden by another $10 billion. While $10 billion is small savings compared to the recent $300 billion omnibus bill, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. As James Freeman of The Wall Street Journal notes, “How beautiful is Mr. Trump’s $6 billion cut in year one in the regulatory costs imposed by Washington on the U.S. economy? It depends on how you look at it. It is certainly a remarkable and welcome change from his predecessor, who in eight years increased the regulatory burden by some $600 billion.”

In spite of stiff resistance from the Washington swamp and the Leftmedia, Trump has been able to succeed where many previous politicians have failed. And he’s carrying out the agenda he campaigned on. Americans benefiting from a growing economy are thanking him for it.



That's a big "crumb": United Tech to invest $15 billion, hire 35,000 in U.S. over next five years thanks to GOP tax cuts

United Technologies Corp said on Wednesday it would invest more than $15 billion for research and development and capacity expansion in the United States over the next five years, spurred by the recent tax cuts.

The company also plans to hire 35,000 people in this period and spend about $75 billion with U.S. suppliers to strengthen local economies.

The maker of Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines said about $9 billion of the investment is expected to go towards research and development, including on artificial intelligence and autonomy.

The remaining $6 billion will be used to increase capacity in existing manufacturing facilities and improve efficiency.



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)