Friday, July 06, 2018

Was it all due to Disraeli?

It was mostly in the 18th century that Britain invented the industrial society but in the course of the 19th century most of Europe had caught up and reached a degree of industrialization that was comparable with Britain. Railways were even snaking out across the vast plains of Russia.

And the social problems that industrialization brought were similar too. Economies that had mostly been populated by peasant farmers had rapidly transformed into economies inhabited by factory workers. And compared to their hardscrabble and often hungry life back on the farm, the industrial worker had a greatly improved life. He rarely went hungry and he could even keep a dog. Whippets were very popular.

No matter how good the worker had it, however, he could see that the bosses had it a lot better. And that generated anger. And anger generated unrest, including violent unrest.

So where was society going, many people asked? They were in a totally new situation so the past was no guide. The one thing that was clear however was that the old stability was gone and real violence threatened. The unrest had to be suppressed in some way if an orderly society was to continue.

But that was easier said than done. There was a lot of energy behind the unrest and a new middle class had emerged which produced a new breed of intellectuals. And Karl Marx was only one of those intellectuals. There was an intellectual ferment all over Europe. Even the Pope got involved with his encyclical "De rerum novarum".

And there was certainly all sorts of agitation in Germany. Bismarck, however, kept the peace with his tough stance and ever changing alliances and policies that kept everyone off balance. But there was nobody similar in France so all sorts of revolutionary movements rose and fell.

So if you looked just at Europe in the late 19th century, you saw what looked like an ever bubbling cauldron of unrest that had to be contained in some way lest it degenerate into total anarchy. It was not a pretty sight and it bode ill for the future. Would peace and quiet ever resume? If it were to resume, how could it be done? It looked very much like Bismarck's iron fist was the only viable model. Europe was in danger of reverting to an oriental despotism where a King of some sort kept order through widespread brutality. The energy behind the unrest was great so even greater energies had to be deployed to suppress it.

But what about Britain? The British empire was at its height in the late 19th century. For much of that time the Prime Minister was Benjamin Disraeli, a Jew by ancestry but a nominal convert to the Church of England. Nobody asked him if he believed in the CofE's "39 articles of religion" for the excellent reason that many of the clergy did not believe in them either.

Disraeli showed that democracy was viable in the industrial era. The survival of democracy was not a foregone conclusion. The world has always been ruled by kings before great flowering of democracy in ancient Greece and Rome. But vigorous and transformative though those flowerings were, they eventually succumbed to the Macdeonian monarchy and Caesar respectively. They resumed the normal human form of government: Monarchy. Would the flickering light of democracy in 19th century Europe go the same way?

With Solomonic wisdom, Disraeli saw another way. He was greatly assisted by the fact that democratic trditions were particularly strong in Northern Europe, of which Britain was a part. Disraeli built on that. The fundamental feature of democracy is consultation -- consultation with many if not all of the people governed. In Britain, that process had become pretty corrupt. Those consulted were only a small part of the population. Disraeli decided to widen that. In so doing he worried a lot of people. If you gave the vote to ordinary working people what would they do? Would they seize all the wealth for themselves?

Disraeli solved that problem by making friends with the workers. He praised Britain's great history of liberty and civility and implied that the workers were part of that. And his giving them the vote unasked was certainly a persuasive proof of his high regard for the workers. It would not be stretching it much to say that Disraeli asked all Britons to help him make Britain great again. And it worked. Disraeli made the Conservative party the party that stood for the welfare of the whole nation.

So there was unrest in Britain but it was minimal. Most workers felt proud to be part of Britain and supported the orderly functioning of British society. And to this day, Communist movements have never at anytime gained significant traction in British society. Jeremy Corbyn is doing his best but there just are not the votes in Britain for anything really destructive or extreme.

But amid all this, Britain was arguably the most powerful nation in the world They even marchied into Washington and burnt the White House down in 1848. And the British navy ruled the waves. So the picture of dynamism and power that radiated from democratic Britain was a powerful argument for all things British, including its method of government. Disraeli made democracy the ideal -- though it was often an ideal that was respected rather than implemented. So even ghastly tyrannies such as North Korea feel obliged to call themselves democratic in order to claim some shred of legitimacy.

Because we don't have access to alternative history it is difficult to know how the world would have gone without Disraeli but that he saved democracy for the world seems probable to me.


Is Abolishing ICE the New Liberal Litmus Test?

By Patrick J. Buchanan 

"No Borders! No Nations! No Deportations!" "Abolish ICE!"

Before last week, these were the mindless slogans of an infantile Left, seen on signs at rallies to abolish ICE, the agency that arrests and deports criminal aliens who have no right to be in our country.

By last week, however, "Abolish ICE!" was no longer the exclusive slogan of the unhinged Left. National Democrats were signing on.

Before his defeat in New York's 14th Congressional District, Joe Crowley, fourth-ranked Democrat in the House, called ICE a "fascist" organization.

After Crowley's rout by a 28-year-old socialist who called for killing the agency, Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York declared ICE to be "a cruel deportation force (that) we need to abolish."

Cynthia Nixon, a candidate for governor of New York, described ICE as a "terrorist organization.terrorizing people who are coming to this country.. We need to abolish ICE."

A star of "Sex and the City" castigated the men and women of ICE as terrorists at St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Manhattan. One wonders what the pastor thought of this Christian message.

Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined the clamor: "We should abolish ICE." Over the weekend, Senator Elizabeth Warren signed on: "President Trump seems to think that the only way to have immigration rule is to rip parents from their family (and) treat rape victims and refugees like terrorists and to put children in cages."

What ICE does is "ugly" and "wrong," said Warren.

"We need to rebuild our immigration system from top to bottom starting by replacing ICE with something that reflects our morality."

Wisconsin Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan plans to introduce legislation to do exactly that-abolish ICE.

President Donald Trump describes this latest liberal campaign as social and political insanity: "You get rid of ICE, you're going to have a country that you're going to be afraid to walk out of your house."

What is going on here?

Democrats, having just gone through the worst week in memory for progressives, are in imminent danger of losing it altogether.

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that not only is the Trump travel ban constitutional, government unions have no right to extract "agency fees" from workers who do not wish to support the union.

Such fees violate the First Amendment rights of government workers not to promote policies or ideas in which they disbelieve.

Then came word that Justice Anthony Kennedy, the "swing vote" on the Supreme Court who was crucial to decisions that established abortion, homosexuality and same-sex marriage as constitutional rights, will be stepping down.

And Trump informed the press that he would announce Kennedy's successor on July 9, to be drawn from a list of 20 jurists and legal scholars, all of whom have been vetted by the Federalist Society.

Panic ensued.

"I'm scared. You're scared. We're all scared," says Warren in a video her campaign has released.

On Bill Maher's show, leftist film director Michael Moore called for a million citizens to surround the Capitol to prevent a vote on Kennedy's successor. How Moore's million-man march proposes to get into Mitch McConnell's Senate chamber was left unexplained.

At a fundraiser in Berkeley, California, Barack Obama tried to calm his terrified minions: "All these people that are out here kvetching and wringing their hands and stressed and anxious and constantly watching cable TV and howling at the moon, `What are we going to do?' Their hair is falling out."

But liberal elites making fools of themselves is a less serious matter than the savage slanders Democrats are hurling at the 20,000 men and women of ICE who are daily protecting us and our country.

ICE, after all, was established to prevent another 9/11, when real terrorists, some of whom had overstayed their visas, massacred 3,000 innocent people, most of them Americans.

This vilification of ICE, writes Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan, represents both an injustice and an act of ingratitude:

"Since September 2016, ICE has arrested nearly 5,000 criminal aliens in New York-individuals with a criminal conviction in addition to their violation of immigration laws. Many of these arrests were conducted at large in the community which ICE is increasingly forced to do due to sanctuary policies in the state that prevent us from taking custody of criminal aliens in the secure confines of a jail.

"Governor [Andrew Cuomo] supports these policies at the expense of the safety of the very same communities he took an oath to protect."

Whatever one may think of Trump's policy of "zero tolerance" of immigrants who break into our country, for elites to smear the 20,000 men and women who risk their lives to keep us safe as "terrorists" and "fascists" is an especially egregious form of liberal ingratitude.

What is it in the DNA of the Left that it is always ready to enlist in any new war on cops?

The issue of 2018: should we, or should we not, abolish ICE and embrace the progressive alternative of open borders?



The Democratic Party Has a Death Wish

By Roger L Simon

Last week I wrote that the Democrats were having a nervous breakdown. I was wrong.  It's worse.  They actually have a death wish or what Freud called a "death drive" (Todestrieb). They literally want to extinguish themselves and/or their party, or many of them do. At least they're acting that way.

That was the first thing that crossed my mind watching the explosion of demonstrations by liberals and progressives (I'll spare you the scare quotes) across the country evidently mortified that families were being separated at the border -- something that had been happening for decades without their protesting or, in ninety-nine percent of the cases, their even knowing about it. Now it was the greatest cause c‚lŠbre since, well, whatever was the greatest cause c‚lŠbre three days before.

The polls show the vast majority of Americans think they're cracked and want, as do citizens of almost all countries, secure borders and legal immigration.

So why are they doing this?  Do they secretly want open borders?  Are they actually wannabe socialist revolutionaries out to change American society at its core?  Maybe some are, but if you truly wanted those things, you would behave differently and not so counter to your own interests, alienating with your behavior the very people you claim you want to convince.

As I mentioned, I think the reality is worse -- and infinitely sadder.  You don't have to be a Freudian (and I'm not) to see the Austrian doctor had a point about our unconscious desires. He was far from the first. Ages before, the ancient Greeks personified this death wish in Thanatos, a minor god in their pantheon but not so minor in our lives.

All of us have moments of self-sabotage, but what we are witnessing with the Democratic Party now is a massive expression of this, approaching self-destruction.  Trump hatred has released something far deeper than anger at one person. The rage is projected outward at a supposedly unjust country, but also equally at themselves, mocking or inverting everything they previously stood for.  The party, as Eddie Scarry writes in the Washington Examiner, is in deep crisis.  Who knows what will come out the other end or if it will?

At this point, they don't know what they want, only what they want to destroy.  This is a symptom of depression, as explained by William Berry in a Psychology Today article entitled "How Recognizing Your Death Drive May Save You."

    Freud believed that most people channel their death instinct outward. Some people, however, direct it at themselves. Depression has often been described as " anger turned inward." Many with suicidal ideation make disparaging and aggressive self-statements. This also relates to Freud's theory; some people are driven to destroy themselves.

    In her excellent post, "The Inner Voice That Drives Suicide," Lisa Firestone, Ph.D discusses how a critical inner voice convinces people "it is better to end their lives than to find an alternative solution to their suffering." This inner voice may originate in the death drive.

Can this also be true of political parties?  Well, they're also composed of people, n'est-ce pas?  If I had advice to give the Democrats at this point, it might be the subtitle of Berry's article: "Your Death Drive Is Out to Destroy you.  Tame it."

But on second thought, why bother?  Was it Sun Tzu, Machiavelli or Napoleon who said "Never interfere with an enemy when he is in the process of destroying himself"?



Terror Plot 104 Targets the Fourth of July

On July 1, the FBI arrested Demetrius Pitts for planning a terrorist attack in Cleveland on the Fourth of July. This plot was the 104th Islamist terror plot or attack against the U.S. homeland since 9/11 and the 91st plot or attack that was homegrown.

The FBI first became aware of Pitts at the end of 2015 when he sent pro-terrorism Facebook messages to a political commentary show.

Over the course of the next few years, he continued to post on social media, increasingly threatening violence against the U.S. The FBI began a deeper investigation that revealed his desire to conduct an attack in the U.S. or travel abroad to join a terrorist organization.

In June 2018, an undercover FBI agent posing as an al-Qaeda “brother” met with Pitts. Pitts expressed a desire to attack government and military targets, with a variety of violent methods.

When told by the undercover agent that there were other “brothers” willing to carry out an attack, Pitts began planning an attack. He planned an attack on July Fourth.

The attack would involve weapons ranging from remote control cars with bombs that they would give to the children of military members, to a van filled with explosives. He decided the attack should be near the fireworks at Voinovich Park and that the nearby U.S. Coast Guard station would be a great target. Pitts thought of himself as the mastermind, while others would actually carry out the attack.

Pitts used his phone to do surveillance of various sites around Cleveland, including the Coast Guard station. He also made videos pledging himself to do violence against the U.S. and calling on others to rise up as well. He helped with logistics in finding a vehicle for the car bomb against the Coast Guard station and believed the bombing was ready to go for July Fourth.

Pitts also began to think beyond this attack and that he could plan or commit additional attacks. He said that he had nothing to live for and that he knew Philadelphia well and would plan or commit an attack there on Labor Day. He was interested in federal buildings and landmarks in the city. He was arrested on July 1.

Targeting the military and mass gatherings like the Independence Day fireworks are the two most common targets of Islamist terrorists.

Also common is that the FBI foiled this plot with a successful sting operation. Stings and the use of undercover officers or informants are some of the FBI’s most successful tactics to deeply investigate terrorists while keeping the public from any imminent harm.

This case also shows the disturbing reality that the FBI must keep an eye on certain radical individuals for years before they move to action.

Such long-term investigations consume limited resources and cannot always be sustained. Indeed, this has sometimes led to terrorists slipping through the cracks, as was the case with Omar Mateen, the shooter at the Pulse nightclub in 2016.

Mateen had been investigated by the FBI for about a year beginning in 2013 but not enough evidence was found to justify continuing the investigation.

Thankfully, this was not the case this time. The FBI kept track of Pitts and stopped him before he could engage in violence.

This Fourth of July, let’s thank the hardworking men and women of the U.S. law enforcement and intelligence communities for all they do to keep us safe at home.



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, July 05, 2018

Joy Reid Helps Ruin Innocent Woman’s Life With Fake News About ‘Dirty Mexican’

Members of the hypocritical left — who claim to be tolerant of others but increasingly display great intolerance toward those on the right — have upped the ante in the ideological war and begun to wage a scorched earth campaign against those with whom they disagree, purposefully seeking to ruin the lives and careers of conservative individuals.

One way this is accomplished is via “doxxing” — sharing personal and private information about an individual online with the express purpose of inciting an angry mob to go after them while associates and friends shun them. And that was just done to a woman in Southern California named Rosalyn La Liberte.

The Gateway Pundit reported how La Liberte’s life and personal business were in danger of being completely ruined after she was falsely smeared on social media as having called a young teenager a “dirty Mexican” and declared he’d be “the first deported” if she had her way at a Simi Valley City Council meeting about the issue of California’s sanctuary city policies.

A 17-year-old anti-gun (really anti-conservative) activist from California named Alan Vargas was the first to start the process when he posted a picture that appeared to show the woman yelling at the boy — 14-year-old Joseph Luevanos, who was speaking in defense of sanctuary policies — and falsely attributed the remarks to her while demanding she be “put on blast” and hounded by the liberal public.

" You are going to be the first deported" " dirty Mexican"  Were some of the things they yelled at this 14 year old boy. He was defending immigrants at a rally and was shouted down.  Spread this far and wide this woman needs to be put on blast.

That post received tens of thousands of likes and retweets, including a retweet by MSNBC host Joy Reid, and it didn’t take long at all after that before the liberal Twitter mob descended upon La Liberte and began to publicly post personal information about her and the construction company she runs alongside calls to boycott and ruin her.

Except, La Liberte never said the things she was alleged to have said to the boy, and both she and Luevanos have stated for the record that their conversation at the council meeting was “civil.”

According to the Gateway Pundit, the picture itself had been grabbed and shared by Vargas, without attribution, from an article published by the Ventura County Star that covered the June 25 council meeting and described the encounter between La Liberte and Luevanos as a “spirited discussion.”

Furthermore, KTTV in Los Angeles took the time to speak with both participants in that “spirited discussion” once the social media frenzy had commenced, and concluded via comments from both that the discussion had been civil and La Liberte hadn’t said the things that had been attributed to her.

“I’m not an evil person. I’m a mother of five … a grandma of four,” La Liberte told the station. “I never said anything disparaging. I never did.”

Indeed, Luevanos — an American citizen born and raised in Southern California — recalled hearing some ugly things from some of those who attended the council meeting, including remarks about being deported, but not from La Liberte during their conversation.

“I felt like she was still trying to keep it civil which I appreciate,” he told KTTV.

“I heard some people were boycotting this woman’s business. I don’t really want that … because she was being civil,” he added. “I don’t really want this upon her. She doesn’t deserve it because she was giving her opinion at a place where everyone should be able to say their piece.”

As for La Liberte, she and her husband reported that they had been deluged with harassing and threatening phone calls and had already lost one client from their business because of the smear.

“I look like a monster. If I saw that I would be upset,” she told the station, referring to the photo and false context with which it was spread. “I wasn’t really doing anything to him and everyone thought I was and that makes me really sad. It makes me really sad that I’m so vilified.”

So there you have it, a liberal activist swiped a photo and added false context and words to it to create “fake news,” which then spread like wildfire on social media among an enraged liberal base that has grown intent on destroying those who hold a different set of beliefs than their own.

Unfortunately, this woman probably won’t be the last individual on the right to be doxxed and potentially ruined by hateful leftists, and the liberal media appear to have no qualms about aiding and abetting the spread of false smears, or at least looking the other way when they occur, as they serve a useful purpose with regard to their progressive agenda and narratives.



Scott Pruitt Becomes Latest Trump Official To Be Harassed At A Restaurant

Scott Pruitt became the most recent Trump administration figure to get an earful while trying to get a mouthful at a DC restaurant, according to a Facebook posting Monday.

Teacher Kristin Mink was shown approaching Pruitt as he chowed down with a pal at the Teaism restaurant Monday, four blocks from his office at the EPA’s headquarters.

“I just wanted to urge you to resign, because of what you’re doing to the environment in our country,” Mink said, holding her two-year-old son and a notepad, as her husband recorded the encounter.

Speaking to The Post, the 33-year-old mom from Silver Spring, Maryland explained that her husband pointed out Pruitt and her first reaction was, “He’s the worst.”

“I had to decide what to say, he’s so scandal-ridden,” Mink said. “I jotted down just a couple points that I wanted to make to him that were a little on the specific side.”

When she approached him, she said she was nervous. “This is not my wheelhouse, confronting people in a restaurant,” Mink explained.

Mink mentioned Pruitt’s $50 a night sweetheart apartment deal and his plan to roll back vehicle emissions standards.

“This is my son, he loves animals, he loves clean air, he loves clean water,” she said to Pruitt. “So I would urge you to resign before your scandals push you out,” she told the EPA head.

Pruitt gawked at her throughout the encounter. “He literally said nothing,” she told The Post. “He had no response, he had no defense, he had no apology, he did no explaining, he did no denying.”

Mink later posted the video on Facebook and Twitter explaining that Pruitt had been sitting three tables away from her as she ate lunch with her family.  “I had to say something,” she said.

Mink said Pruitt and his lunch partner left after the confrontation.

Pruitt’s spokesman claimed he didn’t leave because of Mink, and he also thanked her after she was done.

“Administrator Pruitt always welcomes input from Americans, whether they agree or disagree with the decisions being made at EPA. This is evident by him listening to her comments and going on to thank her, which is not shown in the video,” EPA spokesman Lincoln Ferguson told The Post.

“His leaving had nothing to do with the confrontation, he had simply finished his meal and needed to get back to the EPA for a briefing.”

Pruitt’s plate was covered in napkins – a sign that he had finished his meal – during the encounter.



Allen West: What Is It That the Progressive, Socialist Left Really Wants?

I remember in 2000 when actor Mel Gibson decided to step out of the genre of strong man roles, such as William Wallace of “Braveheart.” He did a movie called “What Women Want.” I must admit, it was a rather fun, comical, and different side of Mel Gibson. He played an advertisement/marketing agent who by way of a strange accident, was able to read the minds of women. Now, what man would not want that blessing, or it could be a curse, as Gibson found out? That film came to mind as I watched last week’s incessant on-camera apoplectic meltdown of the progressive, socialist left.

Of course, many of you, myself included, looked upon these different irrational outbursts singularly. Then I asked myself: What is it that the left really wants?

Let’s begin with this over the top hyperbolic reaction to the knowledge about illegal immigrant separations. I seem to not recall such mania when during the Obama administration cages and foil blankets were being used. This situation has been noted and is being rectified by the Trump administration, which issued an Executive Order.

However, as one Rahm Emanuel stated, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” The left has become like an overly exuberant doggie that cannot let go of the bone. So now we have what was once considered a “fringe” position being touted by many leftist political leaders – “Abolish ICE” (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). As well, this past weekend, the left did what they do best: emotional ranting and protests for no real or apparent reason. Someone on the leftist side blew the metaphysical doggie whistle, and they all started barking and howling at the moon.

But what is it that the left really wants? Are we to believe now the left wants no enforcement of our immigration laws? Can it be that they truly do not embrace the ideal of America as a sovereign nation with borders to protect? Does the progressive, socialist left in America now “feel” that America is just an open store, and anyone can enter and shop, while others pay the bill?

I found it rather perplexing to listen to interviews on various news stations where it seems that these protesters just think that if you do not like your own country, just come here. This is a dangerous concept. The left is saying they are not for open borders, but the abolishment of said borders. If they indeed want to abolish ICE, they seek to abolish our borders. By suggesting that they don’t want enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws, the left is signaling what they really want – the end of America as a nation.

Speaking of laws, our Constitution states that a Supreme Court Justice is appointed for life. I have some different perspectives on that. The one thing, however, that tends to disrupt that constitutional directive is that we as humans are finite, and so are our cognitive abilities. Our minds and bodies fail, and therefore, the ability to make proper judgements, or in the case of one Supreme Court justice, to stay awake during a State of the Union address wane. And so it was that last week Justice Anthony Kennedy decided to step down from the Supreme Court in order to enjoy his life.

But no, that cannot be the case, nor is it in any way acceptable to the progressive, socialist left. As a matter of fact, last week, the left went manic over several SCOTUS rulings to include upholding the temporary travel injunction against countries on the terror watch list and the end of mandated union dues for government employees. Then this trifecta of disaster decision hit them, and they did not take it well at all. It has become so absurd that we even have Democrat Senators demanding a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Justice Kennedy’s retirement. Yes, the Senate Democrats want a hearing because a Supreme Court Justice wants to retire. Anyone ever heard of such a thing? During Barack Obama’s tenure as President, he appointed two Justices to the bench, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Yes, these are two very far left, liberal, progressive justices, but hey, that was his prerogative. Now, for some odd reason, President Donald Trump does not have that same constitutional prerogative?

I mean, you have the left ranting about blocking Supreme Court nominations, and yes, that also includes a progressive Republican Senator, Susan Collins. What does the left really want in this case? They want judicial control. If the left cannot mandate via legislative or executive means, they will advance their ideological agenda by way of judicial activism. It is abhorrent to the left to believe that they may not be controlling the Supreme Court.

And what is the doggie whistle they are using in this matter? You guessed it: Roe v. Wade. I guess it is perfectly fine with the left in America that since that decision, some 17-18M black babies have been murdered in the womb – talk about family separation. I do believe Roe v. Wade should be reexamined because I do not agree with killing unborn babies as a means of birth control, nor can I reconcile myself to accepting it as a right to take the life of our most innocent and vulnerable.

But understand, this mania from the left has nothing to do with our Constitution and its processes. It has everything to do with one of the critical pillars of support for leftist, socialist advancement in America: the court – the others being schools and the media. What does the left really want? They want control of the American court system.

Last week we saw what the Democratic party – now the leftist, socialist party of America – really wants, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a young, charismatic 28-year old professed Democratic Socialist who touts every single failed progressive, socialist idea known to man as her platform. The left in America wants more protests, more resistance, more intimidation/violence (as we saw Antifa clash with conservatives in Oregon). What the left wants is ideological domination.

Sadly, this cannot be attained by way of intellectual discourse, civility, and open debate because, as in Venezuela, all they embrace is and has been unsuccessful. Therefore, the progressive, socialist left in America, aided by a very unobjective liberal media fourth estate, pushes the emotional, irrational, and unreasonable approach as a means to their end.

What does the progressive, socialist left in America want? They want zero opposition.



Poll: Only 23% of Liberals Are 'Extremely Proud to Be Americans'

Perhaps the rest should emigrate to Venezuela

A new Gallup survey shows that only 23% of liberals are “extremely proud” to be Americans, in contrast with conservatives, 65% of whom are extremely proud of their nationality.

In the survey, Gallup asked, “How proud are you to be an American – extremely proud, very proud, moderately proud, only a little proud or not at all proud?”

For the 1,520 adults surveyed June 1-13, a record low of Americans, 47%, said they were extremely proud to be American.

However, when broken down philosophically, 65% of conservatives said “extremely proud”; 46% of moderates said “extremely proud”; and 23% of liberals said “extremely proud.”

Broken down by political party, only 32% of Democrats said they were extremely proud to be American – independents, 42%; Republicans, 74%.

The difference between men and women on the topic has increased since last year, with men who are extremely proud to be an American staying at 51%, and women dropping to 44%.  Those who are “extremely proud” increase with age, as just 33% of those 18 to 29 say they are, whereas 58% of those 65 and older are.

There is also a significant difference between those who have graduated college and those who have not: 39% of college graduates are extremely proud to be an American, whereas 52% of those who have not graduated college are.

“Fewer than half of U.S. adults are extremely proud to be Americans, something that had not been seen in the prior 17 years Gallup has asked the public about its national pride,” said the survey firm.

“Politics appears to be a factor, with sharp declines evident among Democrats and political liberals and no decrease among Republicans and conservatives,” reported Gallup. 

“Left-leaning groups' antipathy toward Donald Trump and their belief that other countries look unfavorably on the president are likely factors in their decline in patriotism, particularly the sharp drops in the past year,” said Gallup.  “But the declines began before Trump was elected.”



Trump swimsuits now out

Stylish but restrained


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, July 04, 2018

Government-enforced helicopter parenting at home, blind eyes to children at the border

The American Left has some curious ideas about what constitutes proper parenting.

Only four years ago the media disseminated a number of stories about government intervention against “irresponsible” parents. In August 2104, a Florida mother who let her seven-year-old son walk less than half a mile from their home to a park to play was charged with child neglect. A 46-year-old single mother working as a McDonald’s shift manager spent 17 days in jail for allowing her nine-year-old daughter to play unsupervised at a nearby park. And a year later in Maryland, a couple who let their two children, ages 10 and six, walk home alone from a neighborhood park were “found responsible for unsubstantiated child neglect” according to the state’s Child Protective Services.

This coverage precipitated a discussion about what was dubbed “free range” parenting in general and, more specifically, about the struggles low-income and/or single parents face regarding what to do with their children during the summer months when they still have to work and school is not in session.

Boston College psychology professor emeritus Peter Gray, author of “Free to Learn,” has little use for a mindset revealed by a Reason/Rupe poll. It showed that 68% of parents believe it should be illegal for kids nine years old and under to play at a park unsupervised, and 43% of parents believe the same prohibition should apply to 12-year-olds. Gray asserts, “I doubt there has ever been a human culture, anywhere, anytime, that underestimates children’s abilities more than we North Americans do today.”

Columnist Steve Berman emphasized the hypocrisy of what amounted to government-enforced helicopter parenting. He asks, “Are we really raising our kids in a safe space bubble, while we remember riding our bikes all hours until sunset, or until we got hungry and came home?”

Undoubtedly. Why? The most persuasive answer is technology. Despite the fact that parents who want to are now capable of tracking their children 24/7, they are also besieged by “a global, always-on news cycle, as well as increased connectivity on social media platforms, which recycles ‘over and over again’ kidnappings, rape and other threatening incidents,” Dr. Gail Saltz, professor of psychology at New York Presbyterian Hospital, explains.

Thus it doesn’t matter that crime rates have fallen significantly.

What does matter? Over-protected and over-indulged children “become adults who see no problem censoring people with whom they don’t agree, seeking segregation from others who are too different from themselves to bother relating to, and asserting that they are the best of the best in all things,” Berman asserts. “In other words, we could be raising a generation of Big Brother-loving powder puff despots.”

Given this context, it remains rather remarkable how sanguine many of those same parents — abetted by the Leftmedia, the Democrat Party and immigration activist groups — remain with regard to the flood of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) dispersed throughout the United States in recent years. In 2014, when that flood was dubbed the “border surge” by the same Leftmedia, columnist Victor Davis Hanson posed a telling question. “What sort of callous parents simply send their children as pawns northward without escort, in selfish hopes of soon winning for themselves either remittances or eventual passage to the U.S?” he wondered.

Maybe the kind of parent who has gotten the subtle-as-a-sledgehammer message that what amounted to human trafficking was enabled by the Obama administration. That reality was revealed at a 2014 Senate hearing when Mark Greenberg, Health and Human Services Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families, admitted that even if the Obama administration knew it was releasing UACs to other illegal aliens, they would do so based on the “totality of the circumstances.” When pressed by then-Sen. Tom Coburn, Greenburg further admitted that the “totality” of refusing to inquire about the status of those taking custody of the UACs was HHS policy.

How did those UACs get here? Many of them rode “La Bestia,” a.k.a. “the beast” — the Mexican freight trains these children rode on top of to get though that nation into ours. Thousands of them were killed or gravely injured, and those that made it were inevitably besieged by traffickers, thieves and corrupt Mexican policemen and soldiers. Moreover, most of the female children are raped during the journey, which is the “price” often demanded for transport by traffickers. In fact, a 2010 report from the leftist group Amnesty International states, “According to some experts, the prevalence of rape is such that people smugglers may require women to have a contraceptive injection prior to the journey as a precaution.”

Regardless, the media-orchestrated outrage generated by the Trump administration’s decision to separate children from their alleged parents (one of the reasons the policy was implemented was to determine exactly that), led the president to usurp existing law and reunite them. And despite that orchestrated hype, a Rasmussen poll released on June 21 revealed that when families were arrested and separated for attempting to enter America illegally, 54% of the public held the illegal alien parents more accountable than the American government, compared to only 35% who held the government more accountable.

Even worse for those who promote an open borders agenda masquerading as “compassion,” 54% of those surveyed also agreed with Trump’s assertion that America “will not be a migrant camp” or a “refugee-holding facility.”

Yet unless Congress acts, those are empty assertions. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), asylum requires one to be physically present in the United States in order to obtain it. Yet there’s a giant loophole in the requirement. “You may apply for asylum status regardless of how you arrived in the United States or your current immigration status,” the website states.

If the Ruling Class were genuinely interested in eliminating the incentive behind the flood of border-busters and visa over-stayers that have precipitated a staggering 1,700% increase in asylum claims over the last decade, the simplest of laws would suffice going forward:

Anyone in America illegally will automatically be disqualified from receiving asylum.

Just putting a bill like that up for a vote would provide the American public with laser-like insight regarding which members of Congress are interested in dis-incentivizing rampant law-breaking and which members are not.

The alternative? The continued congressional collaboration with the encouragement of despicable parenting choices, along with the rank hypocrisy of taking the Trump administration to task for attempting to mitigate the flood of UACs that amount to a whopping 83% of the children held by the Department of Homeland Security, enabled (read: encouraged) by previous administrations.

And while the current progressive-incited hand-wringing continues, it’s worth remembering a very inconvenient reality: For at least five months in 2009, Democrats had complete control of Congress and the White House, including a filibuster- proof, 60 seat Senate majority. What did they do about fixing the nation’s immigration problem?

Absolutely nothing.



Immigration: You ain't seen nothin yet

Its new far-Left adminstration will see a big upsurge of poverty in Mexico -- sending a huge wave of illegals towards the USA

In a landslide victory over the weekend, unabashed socialist and former mayor of Mexico City Andrés Manuel López Obrador won the Mexican presidency, just as we noted he would Friday, becoming the first far leftist in decades to take the office. Campaigning on a leftist-populist platform that included a call for an end to the war on drugs, raising the minimum wage and free college, Obrador made the biggest international headlines with his comments on illegal immigration. He declared that poor Mexicans should "leave their towns and find a life in the United States" — that it was their "human right." Yes, our neighbor's president-elect called for mass migration to our country.

A brief look at the numbers should give any American pause when seeing a socialist take over a nation that is already exploiting its relationship with the U.S. on several fronts. Take NAFTA for instance. Currently, our second-largest trade deficit, standing at $70 billion annually, is with Mexico. NAFTA was billed as a means to bring about greater parity between the American and Mexican economies, which in turn was supposed to help neutralize the problem of illegal immigration. Three and a half decades later, however, and the problem of illegal immigration has only become more acute. The profits from NAFTA have done little more than increase the power of Mexican drug cartels and nearly 44% of Mexicans still live below the national poverty line.

Moreover, an estimated 12% of the Mexican population now lives within the U.S. — and a huge number are here illegally. Not only are they benefiting from the American economy and welfare, but they are sending a whopping $30 billion annually back to Mexico. Is it any wonder Obrador is encouraging illegal immigration? By cracking down, he would not only stem a significant source of revenue but would also invite the wrath of the drug cartels whose illicit trade depends upon illegal immigration and human trafficking.

What makes Obrador's election so concerning to the U.S. is the fact that his proposed leftist policies would only exacerbate America's border and trade problems. Look no further than the devastating effects socialist policies have had in Venezuela. Now imagine that type of economic collapse happening — accelerating — in Mexico. It will make America's current immigration crisis look tame. Has there ever been a more important motivation than now to build the wall?



NBC’s Chuck Todd Admits Trump Is ‘Winning’ While Democrats Are ‘Reeling’

Host of NBC’s “Meet The Press” Chuck Todd said President Donald Trump is “winning” the policy war against Democrats Sunday, as the left continues to falter.

“The announced retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy this week helped make one political reality clear — despite his overall unpopularity, President Trump is winning, and the Democrats right now are reeling,” Todd said.

“The Supreme Court, Mr. Trump is about to shape the court for a generation by choosing a possible tie-breaking conservative justice, and he’s already filled the lower courts with like-minded conservatives.”

Todd also said Trump is enjoying solid support throughout the GOP and highlighted his success in turning the term “fake news” against the mainstream press.

“How about the Republican party? The president’s approval rating among Republicans is around 90 percent. Elected Republicans fear criticizing him,” Todd continued. “How about fake news? Mr. Trump has turned that phrase, which initially referred to the phony Russian generated stories designed to support his campaign in 2016, into an applause line now to discredit responsible reporting showcasing his misdeeds.”

“If reporters faithfully fact check the president’s serial misstatements they risk being considered biased. If they don’t, misstatements gain traction. Either way, Mr. Trump wins.”

Todd believes Trump has found success in discrediting special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation while garnering praise for the country’s recent economic boom.

“The Mueller investigation — the president has succeeded in convincing millions that the investigation is biased, despite trafficking only in innuendo and not providing evidence,” he concluded. “Then there’s the economy. It is doing well, but it was doing well before he took office. Yet with unemployment down and jobs being created, President Trump is getting this credit.”



Australia ends direct aid to Palestinian Authority

Australia has ceased providing direct aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA), with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop saying the donations could increase the self-governing body's capacity to pay Palestinians convicted of politically motivated violence.

Ms Bishop said funding was cut to the World Bank's Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the Palestinian Recovery and Development Program after writing to the Palestinian Authority in late May seeking assurance that Australian funding was not going to Palestinian criminals.

Australia sends about $10 million in aid to Palestine territories. It will now direct its funds through the United Nations.

Concerns have been raised by some Coalition politicians, including backbencher Eric Abetz, that the money sent through the World Bank had gone towards funding violence in the region.

Ms Bishop said she was confident no Australian funds had been used inappropriately. "I am confident that previous Australian funding to the PA through the World Bank has been used as intended," she said in a statement.

    "However, I am concerned that in providing funds for this aspect of the PA's operations, there is an opportunity for it to use its own budget to [fund] activities that Australia would never support."

"Any assistance provided by the Palestine Liberation Organisation to those convicted of politically motivated violence is an affront to Australian values and undermines the prospect of meaningful peace between Israel and the Palestinians," she added.

Australia allocated $43 million for humanitarian assistance in the region for the current fiscal year, which began on July 1.
Australia following US lead

In March, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the US Government for passing a law that suspended some financial aid to the Palestinians over the stipends paid to families of Palestinians killed or jailed in fighting with Israel.

Mr Netanyahu said the Taylor Force Act, named after an American killed in Israel by a Palestinian in 2016, a "powerful signal by the US that changes the rules" by cutting "hundreds of millions of dollars for the Palestinian Authority that they invest in encouraging terrorism".

Palestinian official Nabil Abu Rdeneh condemned the law, saying it did not "allow for the creation of an atmosphere conducive to peace".

Mr Abetz welcomed Ms Bishop's decision.

    "Minister Bishop's strong and decisive decision today to ensure that the Palestinian Authority can no longer use our aid to free up money in its budget for state-promoted terrorism is very positive," Mr Abetz said.

Ms Bishop said the United Nations' Humanitarian Fund helps 1.9 million people, predominately in the Gaza Strip where the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate.



Iranian & Democrat Officials Agree - Jews DO Control the Weather!

Not The Onion, I promise.

The Islamic Republic of Iran accused the Jewish State of Israel of cloud and snow theft. Jews were blamed for moving the clouds away from Iran, in an intentional effort to exacerbate Iran's prolonged drought.

"We are facing the issue of cloud and snow theft,” Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali, head of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization, said at a press conference, while blaming Israel and another country for the weather larceny. He cited a survey showing that, above 2,200 meters (7,218 feet), all mountainous areas between Afghanistan and the Mediterranean are covered in snow, except Iran.

Earlier this year, a Democrat lawmaker in D.C. similarly accused Jews of controlling the weather when he experienced snow in March, regurgitating a California conspiracy theorist's anti-Semitic propaganda about Jews controlling climate change.

But alas, I have solved the mystery of the stolen snow clouds. The unwanted snow clouds that came into D.C. in March were, in fact, the snow clouds intended for Iran in July, but stolen, and then sent back in time to attack D.C.!

Both the Democrat and the Iranian officials appear to have kept their jobs.

To be fair, the Democrat did apologize to the Jews, because, he explained, they funded his campaign, sooo ...

And the Iranian official was contradicted by an Iranian meteorologist, but now that the scientist has contradicted the Iranian government, we may never hear from him again, sooo ...



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, July 03, 2018

Trump welcomes Democrats' calls to abolish ICE: 'They're going to get beaten so badly'

President Trump said Sunday that Democrats “will never win another election” if they keep pushing to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“I hope they keep thinking about it. Because they’re going to get beaten so badly,” he told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo. “You get rid of ICE, you’re going to have a country that you’re going to be afraid to walk out of your house. I love that issue if they’re going to actually do that.”

He predicted that Democratic leaders will alienate voters this year with an agenda of lax immigration enforcement.

“If the Democrats go left… between [Rep.] Maxine Waters, and [House minority leader] Nancy Pelosi and getting rid of ICE, and having open borders … all it’s going to do is leads to massive, massive crime,” Mr. Trump said. “That’s going to be their platform, open borders, which equals crime. I think they’ll never win another election, so I’m actually quite happy about it.”

His comments came amid weekend protests across the country against the administration’s immigration policies, with calls to abolish ICE endorsed by leading Democrats such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.



Leave Google alone

I hesitated in putting up the article below by Jeff Jacoby. Like most conservatives I am irate at the Leftist bias in almost all social media.  But Jeff does make an interesting case

SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT break up Google, as it broke up Standard Oil and AT&T, for being a monopoly too big to tolerate? Let's consider that question as we take a stroll down memory lane.

 * In March 1998, Fortune Magazine chronicled the rise of a mighty tech giant, an online powerhouse it described as "the biggest star in the Internet cosmos." The headline on the piece: "How Yahoo! Won The Search Wars." So popular and wealthy had Yahoo! become, Fortune noted, that "some people say it's the next American Online."

 * Nine years later, The Guardian reported on the Internet's number one social-media platform, the most-visited website in America. "Will MySpace ever lose its monopoly?" it asked, strongly suggesting the answer was no. MySpace's user base, massive and fast-growing, was "becoming what economists call a 'natural monopoly,'" said The Guardian. "It may already be too late for competitors to dislodge MySpace."

 * The following December, Forbes celebrated the undisputed Goliath in mobile communications. On the magazine's cover was a picture of a confident CEO holding one of his company's telephones to his ear. The headline was just as cocky: "Nokia. One Billion Customers — Can Anyone Catch The Cell Phone King?"

A chorus of critics has been sounding alarums lately about the monopoly power of Big Tech corporations like Google, demanding that the federal government bring antitrust prosecutions to clip their wings or split them into smaller firms. These latter-day trustbusters claim that Google uses its outsize market power to stifle competitors and suppress innovation, that it jiggers its search algorithms to boost its own products over its rivals', and that its staggering dominance has rendered it too big to be tamed through the normal resiliency of the market.

But the notion that government intervention is needed to cut Google down to size is utterly misguided.

If there is an immutable lesson to be learned from the history of market economics and corporate power, it is that kings of the hill don't reign forever. Supposedly invulnerable businesses are challenged by nimble upstarts with disruptive ideas. They lose market share as customers' tastes change. They fail to adapt because success makes them overcautious.

Just ask the titans from our stroll down memory lane. Yahoo! is now far from "the biggest star in the Internet cosmos." MySpace long ago lost its social-media monopoly. Nokia's billion customers migrated to Apple and Android.

Similar fates befell AOL and Blackberry and Palm. Web browser Netscape gave way to Internet Explorer, which gave way in turn to Firefox and Chrome. Hotmail was deposed by Gmail. Now iTunes is being pushed back by Spotify and Amazon Prime.

There are no perpetual market leaders in business. Sooner or later, every Goliath is displaced by a David. Unless history has ended, that goes for Google, too. And it won't require government intercession to make it happen.

Much is made by the antitrust enthusiasts of Google's overwhelming supremacy in Internet search. "Google has succeeded where Genghis Khan, communism, and Esperanto all failed: It dominates the globe," wrote Charles Duhigg in a recent New York Times Magazine essay. In the United States, Google accounts for about 87 percent of search engine activity. Since it has competitors (quite a few, in fact), it isn't literally a monopoly — it dominates the search market, but doesn't control it absolutely.

Even using the term colloquially, though, Google is a "monopoly" only in its corner of the Internet playing field: search engine advertising. That is certainly an important corner, but it isn't the whole digital universe. It isn't even the whole search universe.

Nine out of 10 people may "Google" when they want to know where Timbuktu is or see pictures of Meghan Markle's wedding dress. But for the soaring population of online shoppers, Google is no longer the leading search destination. Amazon is. As of December 2016, Amazon was the starting point for 52 percent of product searches, up from 38 percent just two years earlier. A charge frequently levied by the break-up-Google crowd is that the company unfairly boosts its own Google Shopping search results over those of other price-comparison sites. Yet even if that represents an abuse of Google's economic clout — a highly debatable "if" — it's an abuse that matters less and less as Google gets squeezed out of shopping-related searches.

Already there are those who speculate that Google's power has peaked. If it hasn't, it will. As marketing industry journal Ad Age reported in January, "Google's share of search ad revenue is declining and will continue to erode each year."

Google is no Standard Oil or AT&T. Unlike those 20th-century hegemons, it is in a nonstop fight against formidable rivals for customers, revenue, and market share.

Search is only one area in which Google faces pressure from the other tech giants. Google Docs is challenged by Microsoft Word and Apple Pages; Google's Android battles the iPhone; Google Assistant competes with Amazon's Alexa. And in the burgeoning market for cloud computing, Google is hardly more than a bit player .

None of this adds up to a case for prosecution. Google is big, but the purpose of antitrust law isn't to curb bigness. It is to protect consumers from harm. And Google, far from hurting consumers, has showered them with gains.

Google gives away its foremost product, Internet search, for free. Ditto most of its hundreds of other products, from Gmail to Translate to Google Earth to Waze. It plowed $14 billion into R&D last year, more than any company in America except Amazon. Of the brands Americans love most, according to Morning Consult's authoritative polling, Google is number one.

Yes, Google's left-wing bias can be obnoxious; it seems clear that its search results often skew against conservatives. But to target a private corporation because of its politics is something no conservative should favor. This conservative certainly doesn't.

If the consumer's best interest is the standard, the case for breaking up Google is nonexistent. There will be time enough to cry "Monopoly!" and let slip the dogs of antitrust when there is evidence that Google injures its users or is immune to market discipline. Long before that day arrives, however, Google will have taken its place as just another attraction along memory lane, a once-mighty corporation that was king of the hill — until it wasn't.



Big black on black shootout at Georgia "nightclub"

Another gun incident that will not get media coverage coast to coast

The "nightclub"

Eight people were shot overnight at a nightclub in Ashburn, Georgia, police say.

Nobody was killed in the shooting, which broke out at Studio 2.0 - a recently opened nightclub, about 2.30am, but all victims have been taken to hospital. One victim was airlifted to a hospital in Macon.

GBI Special Agent J.T. Ricketson told 11 Alive when police arrived to calls of shots fired, there were people wounded on the ground and bullet casings littered around the carpark.

Three cars had blown out windows, believed to be from gunfire, and police found evidence people under 21 had been drinking and smoking marijuana. The club does not yet have a liquor license.

Distressed locals have taken to social media to discuss what they believe to be the case, with many blaming a 'county vs county' party held last night.

Police confirmed the party, which had an attendance of up to 200, had attracted the wrong sorts of people.

A spokesman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said members of two local gangs - 'The Shine Boys' from Cordele and 'The Glow Boys' from Ashburn, also attended.

Investigators believe a dispute between the two gangs is what led to the horrific shooting.



Small business is immensely important for jobs -- and they have been energized by Trump

Most Americans are focused on what matters to their families and their communities, not on the latest overblown scandals reported by the mainstream media. Unsurprisingly, that focus is producing unprecedented economic optimism. President Trump is delivering on his promise.

America is open for business. Most significantly, America is open for small business. Trump is the most supportive small business leader the nation has seen in recent memory. Just this month, Trump signed off on a new rule that allows small businesses and self-employed workers to buy coalition health insurance plans, a move that will lower the price of policies, expand coverage, and free these businesses from some of the worst regulations imposed by the Affordable Care Act.

The Small Business Optimism Index increased in May to the second highest level in 45 years. “Main Street optimism is on a stratospheric trajectory thanks to recent tax cuts and regulatory changes. For years, owners have continuously signaled that when taxes and regulations ease, earning and employee compensation increase,” said Juanita Duggan, president of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Speaking at a conference last week, Trump called the audience of small business owners the “engine of American prosperity.”

The MetLife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index also recorded record optimism. Of those surveyed, 48 percent felt good about their local economies, the highest level in the history of the index. Confidence in the Midwest is at 50 percent, and in the West, confidence is at 55 percent. Moreover, 40 percent of millennials said they plan to quit traditional jobs in order to start their own small businesses.

The historic tax cut spearheaded by Trump and advised by my friend Larry Kudlow has not only stimulated remarkable growth, investment and record low unemployment, but has also garnered widespread support, with more than 60 percent of respondents to a recent poll by Frank Luntz anticipating an overall positive effect on the economy. It is time to call this economy and the attendant optimism what it is: the Trump boom.

So who benefits? That is where it gets really interesting. A 2017 survey by the Kauffman Foundation found that 24 percent of new entrepreneurs were Hispanic, 9 percent were African American, and 7.5 percent were Asian. Just over 40 percent of new businesses were formed by minorities. This past quarter, 18 percent of small business owners said they were adding staff. Finally, 65 percent of women small business owners expect higher revenues in the next year, compared to 61 percent of men.

Trump has made opportunity, entrepreneurship and wealth creation both possible and appealing again. Consumers are buying and wages are rising. America is getting back to work. Trump promised to roll back 22 regulations for every new regulation, and he is making good on that.

Granger MacDonald, a homebuilder in Texas, told the New York Times, “It’s an overall sense that you’re not going to face any new regulatory fights. We’re not spending more, which is the main thing.” He added that homebuilders have benefitted from rolling back regulations under the Obama administration, including a rule that broadened the definition of wetlands, which would have restricted homebuilding in many areas.

Finally, millions of Americans on Main Street, not just Wall Street, are reaping the benefits of the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda, which promotes innovation and economic growth. The media continues to moan, but the rest of us hear a different tune, that of ringing cash registers, which are the sounds of prosperity and hope.



Do you know Stephen Miller?

David Horowitz

I've warned for years about the Left's evil, violent we're watching it happen. Within the last few weeks, the Secretary of Homeland Security was chased out of a restaurant and an animal carcass was left at another DHS official's front door.

It's not just DHS staffers at risk because of President Trump's strong immigration policies... the Left-Wing mobs are also after Stephen Miller, top policy aide to President Trump.

They showed up at his apartment screaming epithets and handing out wanted posters accusing him of "crimes against humanity" because he's the administration's strongest voice against the illegal immigrant invasion.

Miller's crime? Saying—and believing—the following: "The U.S. government has a sacred, solemn, inviolable obligation to enforce the laws of the United States and to stop illegal immigration and to secure and protect the border."

For this, Miller is stalked by mobs and denounced as a "racist and fascist." He's also attacked because he's my dear friend, and a living testament to what the Freedom Center does.

You see, I met Steve right after 9/11 when he was 17 years old senior at Santa Monica High School. At schools elsewhere in the country there had been a patriotic upsurge after the attack on our country.

But not at Santa Monica High. There the anti Americanism was so bad that one teacher placed a flag on the doorway to his classroom, forcing students to walk on it when they entered.

Steve Miller not only objected but went public, making the situation at SMHS a matter of community concern. He invited me to speak to the school. The principal tried to block me but Steve wouldn't cave.

I stayed in touch with Steve when he went off to Duke University and when he graduated I helped get him a job first with Congresswoman Michele Bachman and later with then Senator Jeff Sessions.

Sessions was so pleased with Miller's political courage and shrewd intelligence that he wrote me this note:

"David, your advice on the talents of Stephen Miller have been proven correct many times over! He is a true warrior for truth and justice! Thanks for your recommendation and for training him."

Now Steve Miller has taken his fight for the American future to the highest levels of our government and we're very lucky to have such a fearless opponent the left's open borders movement.

Via email.


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, July 02, 2018

What Lincoln Foresaw Would Occur If Maxine Waters, Others Got Their Way With Mob Justice

Lincoln has already been proved right.  With typical Leftist lack of foresight, Waters did not foresee pushback against her foul comments.  Now it has come. She has received a couple of threats of violence against her -- reducing her to a blubbering heap.  Leftism really is a mental defect

In 1836, at the Young Men’s Lyceum in Springfield, Illinois, a 28-year-old lawyer named Abraham Lincoln delivered one of his finest addresses.

Lincoln condemned the sharp increase of mobs in America, which had exploded in number as the debate over slavery and regional animosity intensified.

“Accounts of outrages committed by mobs, form the every-day news of the times,” Lincoln said.

Many of these mobs had turned violent and subverted the law. They were undermining free government.

Calls for civility are sometimes vapid excuses to shut down political dissent. But what’s occurring now in America is not just heated debate at political rallies, it’s a surge in mob activity directed at political opponents in everyday life.

In just the past few weeks we’ve seen the harassment of a Trump Cabinet member, Kirstjen Nielsen, at a District of Columbia restaurant.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a Republican, was, somewhat ironically, accosted as she left a movie about Fred Rogers, or “Mr. Rogers,” the nationally beloved children’s show host famous for welcoming people to his fictional neighborhood.

These incidents were bad enough, but some are calling for much more.

Over the weekend, the owners of a Virginia restaurant booted White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders because of her association with the Trump administration.

This incident provoked the debate over freedom of association, but then Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., stepped into the fray and made the situation worse.

At a rally Saturday, the Los Angeles congresswoman called for mobs to go after political opponents wherever they may be.

“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd,” Waters yelled.

Waters also said in an interview with MSNBC: “I want to tell you, these members of [Trump’s] Cabinet who remain and try to defend him, they won’t be able to go to a restaurant, they won’t be able to stop at a gas station, they’re not going to be able to shop at a department store.”

Some activists have grabbed hold of these recent incidents to call for more radical action. One writer on a left-wing blog, Splinter, went even further than Waters. In an article titled “This Is Just the Beginning,” he took the next big leap to essentially condoning outright violence:

"Read a recent history book. The U.S. had thousands of domestic bombings per year in the early 1970s. This is what happens when citizens decide en masse that their political system is corrupt, racist, and unresponsive. The people out of power have only just begun to flex their dissatisfaction. The day will come, sooner that you all think, when Trump administration officials will look back fondly on the time when all they had to worry about was getting hollered at at a Mexican restaurant."

Of course, Lincoln in his Lyceum address begged to differ.

“There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law,” Lincoln said. “In any case that arises, as for instance, the promulgation of abolitionism, one of two positions is necessarily true; that is, the thing is right within itself, and therefore deserves the protection of all law and all good citizens; or, it is wrong, and therefore proper to be prohibited by legal enactments; and in neither case, is the interposition of mob law either necessary, justifiable, or excusable.”

Some, even on the left, have been a little unnerved by calls for mobs, whether violent or nonviolent, to attack political foes in everyday life.

“Those who are insisting that we are in a special moment justifying incivility should think for a moment how many Americans might find their own special moment,” The Washington Post said in an editorial. “How hard is it to imagine, for example, people who strongly believe that abortion is murder deciding that judges or other officials who protect abortion rights should not be able to live peaceably with their families?”

Her fellow Democrats have voiced some condemnation of Waters’ demand for mobs to harass political opponents. Much of this criticism has been muted, though.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., did take to Twitter, calling such language “unacceptable,” but ultimately blamed President Donald Trump for the “provoked responses.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., offered the strongest condemnation of Waters, saying that calling for harassment of political opponents is “not American.”

One would hope that mob law and mob justice don’t become the norm, but we’ve already seen a steady uptick in the mentality that leads to that point.

We’ve seen it with the mobs that descended on historic statues to illegally pulverize them in the name of social justice. Now the mobs are coming for living people.

This kind of ugliness is a bad sign for our future.

Lincoln explained to his Springfield audience what could ultimately destroy the United States.

“Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow?” Lincoln asked.

No, never.

“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected?” Lincoln asked again. “I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”

Passionate debates are good and healthy in a republic.

There was never a “golden age of civility” when all Americans got along, nor should we necessarily desire one.

Nevertheless, the ability to live together as free citizens in large part necessitates a respect for civil relations among us, where we look to persuasion and ballots to put our ideas in action, not brute intimidation of opponents.

The constitutional system the Founding Fathers built is strong, but it can’t survive when citizens en masse are ready to come to blows with one another on a semipermanent basis, are ready and willing to gin up mobs to go after one another for political disagreements.

That system shattered in 1860, and ended with the bloodiest period in our nation’s history.

This sort of crackup may, in fact, be what some want, but it’s unlikely to end well for those who believe in free institutions in the United States.



Holocaust Survivor Has Message for Americans Calling Detention Centers ‘Concentration Camps’

It used to be that anyone who compared a president to the infamous Austrian dictator was ignored or laughed out of town. Today, that appalling comparison is being thrown around with reckless abandon … but a Polish-American Holocaust survivor has had enough of the dangerous discourse.

“Listen to me. I went through it. Please,” Polish-born David Tuck looked into the camera during a sobering interview with The Daily Caller.

“This is not a concentration camp,” he stated bluntly about the HHS and ICE refugee centers that have drawn so much uninformed ire from the left-leaning media.

Tuck knows a few things about actual concentration camps in tragic, first-hand detail. He witnessed true horrors as a Jew who was thrown into camps by Nazis, and barely survived hellish conditions in places such as Posen and Auschwitz.

The Holocaust survivor is adamant about one thing: There is absolutely nothing in common between U.S. border refugee centers and real concentration camps.

“I looked up there (at the border centers) and I said to myself, all the mattresses, everything … food. I said, at that time I’d think it was a country club,” Tuck explained to Daily Caller.

That matches the true image of border centers that have come out since the immigration issue reached a fever pitch over the last few weeks. Contrary to the staged and deceptive images of “kids in cages,” the actual centers are safe and comfortable shelters where social workers work to help children and everyone is well fed.

The conditions that the elderly survivor remembers have much more in common with socialist regimes like North Korea or Venezuela than America.

When asked by the Daily Caller journalist if he had a message for media talking heads and radical leftists who think America runs concentration camps on the border, Tuck said two blunt words: “Grow up.”



ICE Director Tells Protesting Democrats to ‘Get Their Facts Straight and Inform Themselves’

As demonstrators across the nation prepared to protest the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy this week, the director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had some advice for those seeking to blame his agency for the results.

More than 700 protests were planned for Saturday after weeks of mounting backlash over a policy that resulted in family separations and reports of children being temporarily housed in what critics have described as cages.

In recent days, ICE has been the target of increasing opposition by demonstrators and even some elected officials.

As a protest movement to “Abolish ICE” has gained some traction in recent days, two prominent New York politicians, both Democrats, have endorsed the effort.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said in an interview on Thursday that she believed the agency “has become a deportation force,” adding that “you should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it and build something that actually works.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio offered a pithier take in a radio interview the following morning.

“We should abolish ICE,” he said.

Tom Homan, the agency’s acting director, defended the agency against such protests and suggested those calling for its dissolution are misplacing their anger.

“They need to educate themselves,” he said in a Fox News interview on Friday. “I mean this protest yesterday to protest about family separations on the border, ICE doesn’t separate families on the border. That’s the Border Patrol. We’re a different agency.”

Though he said critics of ICE “need to get their facts straight” about the two federal agencies, he noted that the U.S. Border Patrol is not to blame for the controversial practice either.

“If the American public wants to know who to blame for family separations, the first people they need to blame is Congress,” Homan said. “We went up the Hill several months ago and told them what the loopholes were.”

He took specific aim at Gillibrand for her statements about the agency. “She needs to study the issue too because she went to a protest on family separation on the border and she tries to blame ICE for it — ICE separated families,” he said. “First of all, she’s got to get her facts straight.”

Homan also saved some indignation for other elected officials who have been similarly critical of ICE and other agencies working to secure the border.

“I’m insulted at a lot of the Democratic senators and congressmen that want to vilify the men and women that put their lives on the line every day for this country,” he said.

Though Homan is in the process of retirement, he pledged to continue working on behalf of those enforcing America’s border laws amid ongoing attacks by protesters.



2 Reasons Why the Media Will Drop Coverage of the Capital Gazette Shooting

The shooting was not politically motivated but those who knew the shooter say he was a very angry man.  Maybe as angry as the Leftist critics of Donald Trump. One can only guess how he voted but birds of a feather flock together

On Thursday, four journalists and one staff member of the Capital Gazette were murdered in the newspaper’s Annapolis, Maryland, office.

While the event was initially widely covered by all major news outlets, the media is likely to quickly move on from the story, just like it did with the Santa Fe High School shooting, because it doesn’t fit the right narrative. (Unlike many of the Parkland students, the Santa Fe students didn’t respond to the tragedy by calling for gun control measures.)

That in itself is a shame, not just because there is much to learn from this tragedy, but also because the inspiring courage of the surviving journalists deserves more than a single news cycle.

Why It Will Go Away Quickly

Reason No. 1: It doesn’t fit the gun control narrative.

This shooting can’t be blamed on lax gun laws. Maryland has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, earning it an A- rating from the Giffords Law Center—one of only six states to earn above a B+ score. It has enacted almost all of the gun control measures commonly proposed by gun control advocates.

And yet, despite this, not only did this incident occur, but Baltimore is one of the worst cities in the U.S. for gun-related violence, and was recently named by USA Today as “the nation’s most dangerous city.” In the last sixth months, 120 Baltimore residents have been murdered with firearms—21 in the last 30 days. Maryland itself does not fit the gun control narrative.

But this tragedy does fit the actual common fact pattern of mass public shootings: An individual with a long history of concerning behaviors managed to avoid a disqualifying criminal or mental health record, took a legally owned “non-assault” firearm to a gun-free zone, and picked off defenseless people in the time it took law enforcement to respond.

This reality, however, is inconvenient for pushing common gun control measures like raising the minimum purchase age to 21, imposing universal background checks, and banning “assault weapons.”

That makes it much more likely this story will quietly fade and be replaced by other stories that can be better weaponized against conservatives, like Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement.

Reason No. 2: Pundits immediately—and incorrectly—blamed President Donald Trump.

Within an hour of the first reports of shots fired in the Capital Gazette building, numerous media pundits took it upon themselves to blame the shooting on Trump’s rhetoric about “fake news.” A Reuters reporter accused the president of having blood on his hands, followed by similar accusations from a New York Times journalist, a White House correspondent, an investigative reporter from Politico, and other high-profile media personalities.

They were completely, unequivocally wrong.

The suspect wasn’t motivated by political ideology, but by a longstanding feud with the newspaper that predates Trump’s election by roughly four years. Had these journalists waited for the facts of the situation to come out, they could have avoided looking exactly like the “fake news” media the president has accused them of being.

Instead, they’re having to backtrack and justify irrational statements. That’s not an easy job, and often requires a bit of humility.

On the other hand, simply dropping the story as fast as possible is much more convenient.



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, July 01, 2018

Justice Dept. announces new family detention policy for illegal immigrants

The administration announced a new policy Friday to detain nearly all illegal immigrant families nabbed at the border, offering the latest bold ante in an ongoing battle over President Trump’s attempt to stop a new surge of migration.

The policy will be controversial not only with congressional Democrats and immigrant-rights activists, but also with a federal judge who had ordered that children could be held no longer than 20 days in immigration detention.

Government lawyers, though, said yet another judge’s ruling earlier this week making most family separations illegal supersedes the 20-day rule and other restrictions, and gives the government the ability to hold families together until their immigration cases are completed.

“The government will not separate families but detain families together during the pendency of immigration proceedings when they are apprehended at or between ports of entry,” the Justice Department said in a filing with Judge Dolly M. Gee.

The arguments come as lower courts are increasingly asserting control of the immigration system — leaving the executive branch struggling to carry out its own policies amid potentially competing rulings and judges working at cross purposes.



If the (Brown) Shirt Fits...

The hateful vitriol of the American Left is reminiscent of a hateful vitriolic 20th century leader.

“The art of leadership consists in consolidating the attention of the people against a single adversary and taking care that nothing will split up that attention.”

“F—k Trump!” —Robert De Niro

“Mr. President, f—k you!” —Caitlin Marriott, an intern for Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH). Marriott was suspended, but will continue working through August.

“You’re the presi-dunce but you’re turning into a real prick-tator. … In fact, the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c—k holster.” —Stephen Colbert

“Demoralize the enemy from within by surprise, terror, sabotage, assassination. This is the war of the future.”

“It’s time to ask whether the attack on the United States Congress Wednesday was foreseeable, predictable and, to some degree, self-inflicted.” —former CBS news anchor Scott Pelley, following the attempted assassination of Rep. Steve Scalise and other Republicans by Bernie Sanders volunteer James Hodgkinson during practice for the annual congressional baseball game

“If you see anybody from [Trump’s] Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd! And you push back on them! And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!” —Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)

“We should rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles. … We should hack the system get the address of the ICE agents the CPB agents and surround their homes in protest. We should find out what schools their children go to and surround their schools in protest.” —Peter Fonda

“Around two dozen threat reports were issued in the past few days, primarily against Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. … Each of these reports is generally related to a specific online threat. All employees are personally contacted by DHS security if they are the target of a violent threat. … In one example, a senior DHS official living in the Washington, DC, area found a burnt and decapitated animal on his front porch” —ABC Radio

“If you see these people in public, you should remind them that they shouldn’t have peace.” —DOJ paralegal Allison Hrabar, who joined the mob of fellow Democratic Socialists of America that surrounded Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen while she dined at a Mexican restaurant

“I would have done the same thing again,” stated Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of the Red Hen restaurant who asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave. Wilkinson reportedly organized a mob to follow Sanders and her family to another restaurant and continue berating them. CNN’s Symone Sanders endorsed the actions, insisting people “calling for civility need to check their privilege.”

“The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to one category.”

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up."—Hillary Clinton

"I always said about the Trump people, there’s two things they hate: being called a racist, and black people.” —Bill Maher

“We can no longer say Trump’s the bad guy. If you vote for Trump, you’re the bad guy. If you vote for Trump, you are ripping children from parents’ arms. … If you vote for Trump, then you, the voter — you, not Donald Trump — are standing at the border, like Nazis, going ‘you here, you here.’” —former CNBC talk show host Donny Deutsch

“[Trump supporters] cannot say, ‘Oh, I’m just supporting him because he’s giving them hell in Washington, DC. No, he’s been openly racist just like we said back in December of 2015 — openly racist. If you support him, then you’re supporting that, and you are that. It’s that simple.” —MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough

“Anybody who enables, anybody who votes for and supports a racist is a racist. You are culpable, white America, I’m sorry.” —Michael Moore

“Trump’s supporters are all poor to middle class, uneducated, lazy POS [pieces of s—t] that think he will magically grant them jobs for doing nothing.” —an unidentified FBI employee, according to the inspector general’s report

“Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support.” —FBI agent Peter Strzok

“It is not truth that matters, but victory.”

“In late May, before the uproar over the Trump administration’s family separations policy had reached fever pitch, several prominent journalists and activists tweeted disturbing photos published in the Arizona Republic from a facility that allegedly housed minors who had been wrenched from their parents. The pictures showed children, covered only in a thin layer of aluminum foil, sleeping in cages. … But there was one problem. The photos, it turned out, were from 2014, during the Obama administration’s second term.” —NY Magazine

“The original version of this story misstated what happened to the girl in the photo after she [was] taken from the scene. The girl was not carried away screaming by U.S. Border Patrol agents; her mother picked her up and the two were taken away together.” —correction issued by Time magazine following its cover photo of Trump and a crying child. Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal nonetheless insisted the misrepresentation “capture the stakes of this moment.” Later it was learned the mother had been previously deported in 2013.

“Now look, I know we’re not Nazi Germany. But there is a commonality there and a fear on my part that we have standards we have to live up to.” —former CIA Director Michael Hayden, defending his tweet containing a picture of Auschwitz with the caption “other governments have separated mothers and children”

“I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the almighty creator

"God is on OUR side!” —Maxine Waters

“If you win you need not have to explain. … If you lose, you should not be there to explain.”

“Do you think that being asked to leave a restaurant, or having your meal interrupted, or being called by the public is bad? My fascism-enabling friends, this is only the beginning.” —Splinter columnist Hamilton Nolan, who further insists that “when you aggressively f—k with people’s lives, you should not be surprised when they decide to f—k with yours.”

“I’m not a Republican and I don’t vote. But because I’ve been labeled as a Trump supporter … I’ve stopped appearing in public … because of the physical danger. … And I’m feeling like the best reason for Republicans to vote is they’re coming for you next. And they’re not hiding it. They’re coming for Trump right now, but they’re making it pretty clear they’re coming for Trump supporters next.” —Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.” —Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller

Final note: All of the italicized quotes in this column come from the same source: Adolf Hitler.



Neoliberalism: No regrets,/b>

Dr. Madsen Pirie writes from Britain:

Two years ago, in 2016, Prof Colin Talbot, Professor of Government at the University of Manchester, claimed that the term “Neoliberalism” was devoid of meaning. He was attacked by a ‘progressive’ student who demanded that he be disciplined by the university authorities. Talbot claimed that no-one admitted to being a neoliberal, and that it was now simply an all-purpose insult.

Cambridge took a lead with its debate in mid-June of 2018 on the motion, “This House Regrets Neoliberalism.” The Cambridge Union took the line that the term does in fact have meaning, and that it is something one can be for or against. The Adam Smith Institute is for it. Asked to speak at the end of a 2015 term-long seminar at Brighton University, I chose the title, “Looking at the World Through Neoliberal Eyes,” and subsequently had a T-shirt custom-made reading “Neoliberal and proud of It.”

The ASI’s executive director at the time, Sam Bowman, then published in 2016 an essay about what it meant to be a neoliberal. The ASI rebranded itself as “a neoliberal, free market think tank.” Far from regretting neoliberalism, the institute took pride in it, indulging in it, and trumpeting its virtues and achievements, and explained why it did so at every possible opportunity.

I am often asked at schools about the causes of poverty, and I reply that there are none. Unfortunately, poverty has been the condition of humankind for most of its 3 million-year existence. To ask its causes is like asking the causes of cold in the universe. It is the absence of heat or energy. Similarly, poverty is the absence of wealth. Wealth is the unusual condition that requires explanation. Poverty is what happens when there is no wealth, none of that unusual condition. It is wealth that requires explanation. I do not, of course, mean that poor people are poor because they do nothing. I mean they are poor because of the absence of that unusual condition, the one we should study, understand, and try to replicate as widely as possible.

A fundamental cause of wealth is the use of resources for investment instead of consumption. It is the deferment of present consumption in order to achieve future gain, the use of resources as capital. This is what financed the Industrial Revolution – the best thing that has ever happened to humanity. The addition of free markets and free trade ensured that the wealth created by the Industrial Revolution increased the living standards and the life chances of ordinary people. It led to cheaper food, medical advances, and it paid for such things as sanitation and education. It lifted humankind above subsistence and starvation, and onto that upward road that we have been climbing ever since.

This year marks an anniversary. In 1978 there came Star Wars, three popes, democracy in Spain, and the Sex pistols. But the most significant event of 40 years ago passed without notice at the time. In the village of Xiaogang in China, 18 farmers met at night in secret to sign a pact that divided the village’s collective land between them, allowing each family to keep a share of the proceeds they generated. They knew how risky this was, going against the ruling socialist ideology, and added a clause pledging to raise and educate the children of any exposed and executed. Their first harvest yielded more than the previous 5 years added together, and they were exposed by neighbouring villages.

Under Mao Zedong they would undoubtedly have been executed, but the paramount leader Deng Xiaoping was consolidating his power. He ordered that the experiment of the villagers be studied, and then replicated across China. So began the modernization of China. The approach was copied in India and other countries, and marked the beginning of the neoliberal hegemony.

Those who praise China’s “economic progress since 1949” are glibly glossing over the great socialist famines that killed 60 million people from starvation. The progress dates from 1978, not 1949, and it was the brave farmers of Xiaogang who led the way. It was not socialism but its abandonment, and the spread of neoliberal policies that paved the way to success.

Is this something we should regret? Not at all.

2 billion people were lifted out of subsistence and starvation

The average incomes of the world’s poor doubled in real terms
Life expectancy doubled

Deaths in childbirth and infancy became a fraction of what they had been

Access to sufficient food, healthcare and education reached unprecedented levels

Did it increase inequality? Yes, it did within countries. This always happens when countries embark on that upward road to growth and prosperity. Inequality increases at first, then levels off and subsequently declines. But inequality decreased between countries as poor countries vied to join the ranks of richer ones.

However, neoliberals think that absolute command of resources matters more. Access to enough food, healthcare and education is more important than the gap between rich and poor. Will there be food on the table on Friday? Do the children have a safe place to sleep? Can our parents get though winter? These things matter more than how far ahead rich people might be. Neoliberalism brings the greatest help to those who need it most – those on the bottom rung of society.

Should we regret what it has achieved? Absolutely not. We can be justly proud that we have discovered a formula that uplifts the common lot of humanity. Its achievements cannot be ignored, because they are real-world facts, not some fancy theory of what might happen. They did happen. Is neoliberalism the last word in economic progress? Probably not. It is essentially empirical. If something better comes along, it might well replace it.

But that is no reason to regret what it has achieved. It is the best system we have yet found to bring decent lives to ordinary people around the world. We should no more regret it than we should regret the Reformation, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, or the Industrial Revolution.

We carried the torch for a time and we let its blaze light up the world. We should honour it and exult in its achievements, and reject emphatically any idea that we should regret it.



Leftmedia: Trump Caused Newspaper Attack,/b>

The murderer was motived by his own personal animosity. It had nothing to do with Trump

Five journalists who worked at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, were murdered Thursday when an individual with a longstanding grudge against the newspaper blasted his way into the building seeking revenge for a lost 2015 defamation lawsuit he had leveled against the paper. It was personal animus against that specific newspaper, not some generalized anti-media sentiments. Nevertheless, as news of the attack quickly spread across the country, once again leftists politicized the atrocity by blaming President Donald Trump.

The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman wrote, “What happened today is sickening. This alleged gunman appears to have had a longstanding grudge against the paper and little else is known so far. But Trump is the only president in memory to call the press ‘the enemy of the people.’”

Reuters’ Rob Cox went further, angrily pontificating, “This is what happens when [Donald Trump] calls journalists the enemy of the people. Blood is on your hands, Mr. President. Save your thoughts and prayers for your empty soul.” Others joined in with similar memes.“

The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway observed, "We also didn’t see [the MSM] wonder if the media’s harsh treatment of Republicans led to the mass assassination attempt on a baseball field filled with Republican senators and members of Congress last June. They also didn’t wonder if anti-police rhetoric led to the targeted murders of various policemen in recent years. The blame game seems to work one way with traditional media sources.”

Is it any wonder that 72% of Americans think the MSM intentionally reports misleading news?



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)