Friday, August 17, 2018

Christian Baker Under Attack Again; This Time Over TRANSGENDER TRANSITION Cake

According to the Daily Caller, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission began new proceedings against Jack Phillips of ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop’ on behalf of a transgender complainant just weeks after he prevailed at the U.S. Supreme Court.

This is another coordinated attack by the left-wing extremists who want to bully Christians into baking anything they ask for – even if it goes against what the baker holds as a religious belief.

Earlier this year, Phillips reigned victorious at the U.S. Supreme Court after declining to create a custom wedding cake for a gay couple. Now, according to this new report, he and his legal team have filed a lawsuit in federal court late Tuesday against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Here’s what his lawyers had to say:

“The state of Colorado is ignoring the message of the U.S. Supreme Court by continuing to single out Jack for punishment and to exhibit hostility toward his religious beliefs. Even though Jack serves all customers and simply declines to create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in violation of his deeply held beliefs, the government is intent on destroying him — something the Supreme Court has already told it not to do.”

Here’s how this whole fiasco started (via the Daily Caller):

The story behind the transgender

On the same day the high court agreed to review the Masterpiece case, an attorney named Autumn Scardina called Phillips’ shop and asked him to create a cake celebrating a sex transition. The caller asked that the cake include a blue exterior and a pink interior, a reflection of Scardina’s transgender identity. Phillips declined to create the cake, given his religious conviction that sex is immutable, while offering to sell the caller other pre-made baked goods.

“Colorado has renewed its war against him by embarking on another attempt to prosecute him, in direct conflict with the Supreme Court’s ruling in his favor,” Phillips’ lawsuit against Colorado says. “This lawsuit is necessary to stop Colorado’s continuing persecution of Phillips.”

In response to this story, conservative pundit Ben Shapiro had this to say, emphasizing the importance of keeping a Conservative Supreme Court:

If the political Left should ever gain a fifth vote on the Supreme Court, it will not be long before states across the country — and perhaps a Democratic Congress — would crack down on individual religious businessowners in blatant violation of the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of association, speech, and religion. Jack Phillips isn’t out of danger yet.

“Unreal. Colorado is STILL harassing Jack Phillips for not agreeing to use his baking skills to celebrate he disapproves of,” said one Twitter user:



How Maine’s Governor May Be Saving Lives By Refusing To Expand Medicaid

The New York Times published an article describing Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s refusal to expand Medicaid in that state through Obamacare. LePage’s refusal defies a binding vote on a 2017 ballot initiative, when the state’s voters approved expanding the program.

The New York Times frames the refusal as both unwarranted legal malfeasance and as an assault on Maine residents’ health just to save money for taxpayers. This framing is not completely inaccurate. Directly defying the state’s voters is certainly unusual. On the budgetary front, the governor has repeatedly stated that the state needs to find the necessary funds (approximately $60 million annually) from sources other than new taxes or dipping into the state’s reserves.

But neither is the article framing complete. It leaves out relevant details about the expected health benefits, which distort readers’ understanding.

Here’s the Rest of the Story

The impression The New York Times leaves is of a leader indifferent to his citizens’ health. The implicit assumption is that expanding Medicaid is an unalloyed good for Maine, and only base or corrupt motives could explain not doing it. The Times expends no effort in examining the basis for that assumption. This is unfortunate, as there is a clear empirical correlation between expanding Medicaid and increased mortality.

To date, there is no generally accepted causation mechanism between expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare and the increase in the death rate, but the correlation is clear and unambiguous. Some have proposed a link between the increased mortality and an increase in opioid deaths due to Medicaid expansion. The U.S. Senate held a hearing on the subject and issued a report. The Medicaid-opioid link has not been accepted by public health academics so far, but neither have they proposed a convincing alternate explanation for the empirical connection between Medicaid and increased mortality rates.

Even without knowing the cause of the link between Medicaid and increased death rates, it is clear that the relationship exists. Therefore, it is possible that LePage, intentionally or unintentionally, is actually preserving the lives of his fellow citizens in the Pine Tree State. But one would never know this from reading The New York Times.

Let’s Compare Maine to New Hampshire

How much is LePage helping the residents of Maine? We can estimate the magnitude of the correlation between Medicaid and increased death by comparing Maine to its next-door neighbor.

New Hampshire expanded Medicaid in accordance with Obamacare immediately after the law was implemented in 2014. The two states are similar in many respects, with nearly identical populations, and relatively large rural populations.

New Hampshire is somewhat more urbanized than Maine, and wealthier, as one would expect from its proximity to Boston, which leads to better general health outcomes. However, the two states’ demographics are very alike, and their health trends have correlated well over the past several decades.

Mortality statistics for the two states can be generated from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) WONDER database, which uses the ICD-10 codes from 1999 through the latest data collected in 2016

Both states experienced a large increase in the mortality rate after implementing Obamacare. This was a nationwide trend, so the data from Maine and New Hampshire are not surprising. However, the difference in the rate of increase between Maine and New Hampshire is significant.

Prior to Obamacare, the 18- to 64-year-old all-cause death rate in Maine averaged 319 deaths per 100,000 in population (1999 – 2013 mean = 319.4; σ = 15.8). The mortality rate was trending upward at a rate of about 3.2 deaths per 100,000 per year. Subsequent to Obamacare implementation, the Maine death rate between 2014 and 2016 mean increased to 365.6 deaths per 100,000, a 2.9 σ increase.

While the Maine trends are a terrible window into the worsening health situation in that state, they look positively benign compared to the grim data from New Hampshire. Prior to Obamacare, the 18- to 64-year-old all-cause death rate in New Hampshire averaged 270 deaths per 100,000 in population (1999 – 2013 mean = 269.8; σ = 12.0).

The mortality rate was trending upward at a lower rate than Maine, about 2.4 deaths per 100,000 per year. But after implementing Obamacare, the New Hampshire death rate 2014 to 2016 mean increased to 329.3 deaths per 100,000, a 5.0 σ increase. The 2013 to 2016 death rate trend in New Hampshire is skyrocketing upward by 18.8 deaths per 100,000 per year.

In Maine, the mean death rate increased an awful 14 percent after Obamacare went into place, but the New Hampshire mean rate increased a truly catastrophic 22 percent. While New Hampshire had approximately 84 percent of the death rate of Maine from 1999 to 2013, this increased to more than 90 percent of the Maine death rate after ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion was implemented in New Hampshire.

It is easy to approximate the differential deaths New Hampshire suffered. If the mean death rate increase in New Hampshire had been limited to 14 percent in that state after ObamaCare, as was the case in Maine, the mean rate would have been 309 per 100,000 from 2014 to 2016. More than 500 Granite Staters died in those three years, who, statistically speaking, would still be alive today if New Hampshire’s mortality trend matched that of Maine.

In short, after fully implementing Obamacare, including the Medicaid expansion, New Hampshire residents have died in desperately large numbers, far in excess of the neighboring state, whose governor refused to expand Medicaid.



Unemployment in Britain hits new 43-year low

8 years of Tory rule finally pay off

Unemployment dropped to its lowest level in more than 40 years in June as the rebounding economy created tens of thousands of new jobs.

The jobless rate fell to 4pc in the three months to June, the Office for National Statistics said, down from 4.2pc in the previous three-month period.

The number of unemployed Britons fell by 65,000 to 1.36m while the number in work increased by 42,000 to 32.4m.

This was driven by a rise in full-time work, rather than part-time. The proportion of part-time workers who want a full-time job fell to a nine-year low of 11.7pc.

Zero-hours contracts are also down, falling by more than 100,000 from 901,000 in December to 780,000 now.



How Can I Cure My White Guilt?

This woman has been brainwashed to a degree which would make North Korea proud.  She badly needs some conservative friends

I’m riddled with shame. White shame. This isn’t helpful to me or to anyone, especially people of color. I feel like there is no “me” outside of my white/upper middle class/cisgender identity. I feel like my literal existence hurts people, like I’m always taking up space that should belong to someone else.

I consider myself an ally. I research proper etiquette, read writers of color, vote in a way that will not harm P.O.C. (and other vulnerable people). I engage in conversations about privilege with other white people. I take courses that will further educate me. I donated to Black Lives Matter. Yet I fear that nothing is enough. Part of my fear comes from the fact that privilege is invisible to itself. What if I’m doing or saying insensitive things without realizing it?

Another part of it is that I’m currently immersed in the whitest environment I’ve ever been in. My family has lived in the same apartment in East Harlem for four generations. Every school I attended, elementary through high school, was minority white, but I’m now attending an elite private college that is 75 percent white. I know who I am, but I realize how people perceive me and this perception feels unfair.

I don’t talk about my feelings because it’s hard to justify doing so while people of color are dying due to systemic racism and making this conversation about me would be again centering whiteness. Yet bottling it up makes me feel an existential anger that I have a hard time channeling since I don’t know my place. Instead of harnessing my privilege for greater good, I’m curled up in a ball of shame. How can I be more than my heritage?




TV poll: Majority says Constitution should protect hate speech

A majority of Americans said they believe the Constitution should protect hate speech even if it offends them, according to a new American Barometer poll.

The survey, conducted by Hill.TV and the HarrisX polling company, found that 63 percent of Americans polled said hate speech should be protected even when it is offensive.

Thirty-seven percent said the Constitution should not protect hate speech.

The poll did not find a major partisan rift on the issue. Sixty-eight percent of Republicans said they believed the Constitution should protect hate speech, and 60 percent of Democrats agreed.

Sixty-three percent of independents also said that hate speech should be protected.

"The American people support free speech. It's protected in our Constitution, but hate speech is destructive," Democratic pollster Carly Cooperman, a partner at Schoen Consulting, told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking."

"I think a lot of polarization we see comes from hate speech," she added. "I think there's a degree of fatigue when you think about the hatred that comes from that kind of language and it's divisive."



Terrence Williams: Trump Owes Dogs Apology for Comparing Them to Omarosa

It isn’t unusual for someone to take offense at something President Donald Trump says in a tweet. But this time, the call for the president to apologize is for a different — and what some would call humorous — reason.

Trump is well-known for speaking off the cuff and hurling insults at those who lob their own insults at him and his administration.

Now, a new target is in Trump’s sights and it is someone he presumably held in high enough regard to place in a job in the White House. It is former reality television star Omarosa Manigault Newman.

After being fired from her White House posting, Manigault Newman went on to bash the man who gave her so much via “Apprentice” franchise appearances and the job in his administration.

Manigault Newman also wrote a book, “Unhinged” reportedly spilling the dirt on Trump and his White House. As could be expected, Trump took to Twitter to hit back at the nasty and highly refuted claims:

"When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!"

While many took issue with the president referring to her as a “dog,” the reason one man did was very different from most. Comedian and commentator Terrence K. Williams chimed in on Twitter with his own take on it:

"On behalf of the black delegation I want everyone to know that all black women don’t act like Omarosa. Donald Trump was wrong for calling her a Dog! Dogs are loyal! Trump should apologize to doggy community"

We certainly don’t condone calling human beings “dogs,” but it is part of the human experience for many to name-call and be called names. Anyone in the public eye, particularly one who is herself hurling insults, should be able to “take it.”



Piers Morgan Reveals ‘Appalling’ ‘#MeToo Moment’ With Omarosa: ‘One of the Worst Human Beings I’ve Ever Encountered’

As former White House aide Omarosa Maingault-Newman continues making the media rounds to promote her new memoir, she is encountering some resistance in her effort to disparage President Donald Trump.

Many of the president’s supporters and detractors alike have questioned the former reality television star’s credibility given her history of over-the-top antics.

Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson recently interviewed Daily Mail editor Piers Morgan, who appeared on “Celebrity Apprentice” with both Manigault-Newman and Trump.

He described behavior that he said should make any serious discussion of the ousted Trump adviser’s book irrelevant.

In a behind-the-scenes encounter Carlson described as Morgan’s “me too moment,” the former CNN host said Manigault-Newman attempted to spark a sexual affair between the two in hopes of cashing in on the ensuing media attention.

“Her first gambit to me, day one, first challenge, she sidles up to me,” he said. “I’ve never even met this woman and she says to me, ‘We should have a showmance.'”

Morgan said he was not familiar with the term and was appalled when she described it to him.

“You know, on ‘The Apprentice’ everyone has sex together,” he said she told him. “So you and I could do that and then we could sell it and make lots of money.”

At that point, he said he immediately shut down the conversation, which led to verbal abuse and bullying throughout the remainder of her time on the show.

“She said, ‘What’s the matter with you? Are you gay?'” Morgan said. “I went, ‘No, just because I don’t want to have sex with you on the show that doesn’t make me gay.”

After that encounter, Morgan said he was in for “four or five weeks” of “unrelenting, five barrels of abuse, tirades, homophobic stuff.”

Looking back on her tenure, Morgan said it appears she “accomplished nothing in her time in the White House other than disrupting everybody.”

Morgan said he believes she spent her time in the administration planning new ways to publicize and monetize her experience.



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, August 16, 2018

The Church of Trump?

I am not entirely sure whether it is a vice or a virtue but I often enjoy reading Leftist writing.  They are so blind that they regularly give me a laugh.  I suppose it is the psychologist in me.  I want to see how their strange minds work.

And the most amusing thing about their response to Donald Trump is their total inability even to consider that he might have got some things right. That's just not an available explanation for them.  So what do they do?  They find something psychologically wrong with either Trump or his supporters.  Leftists have been making such claims about conservatives at least since 1950 and have succeeded in convincing only themselves -- so they are like a dog returning to its vomit in trying the same strategy with Trump.

The first label they tried to stick on Trump and his supporters was the old 1950's claim that he is "authoritarian". But, since it is in fact they who constantly try to confine Americans within a straitjacket of endless regulations, that label had no adhesive power at all and seems now to have been abandoned. See here and here

So it is interesting that the latest explanation for Trump's success below has finally made some attempts to address reality.

She starts out with a litany of Trump's failures and scandals as she sees them and wonders why none of those failures seem to dent his popularity. That most of the failures are simply Trump's impatience with detail she does not consider.  She certainly does not consider that not being a policy wonk might actually be an element in his popularity.  Do policy wonks make attractive political candidates? Few of his voters are likely to be policy wonks so are probably happy with getting it broadly right in their own lives.

In fact, the little lady asserts below that Trump supporters like Trump's simple slogans.

And then of course we see the typically Leftist malicious misattributions.  No matter what Trump does, it is a product of racism, not some practical reason. And anything Trump does is wrong anyhow, even if Obama also did it.

Then she gets on to her big discovery:  Trump makes his voters happy!  Could it be that they enjoy his puncturing of the great Obama/Clinton balloon of Leftist pomposity and self-righteousnesss? Could it be relief at Trump's attacks on the Leftist straitjacket of regulations and are relieved to hear common sense coming from the White House instead of hectoring? 

No way! It's because of "tribalism" and because they don't go to church any more.  Pesky that Trump supporters come from all races and all walks of life!  Pesky that Trump has very broad church support and is himself openly Christian.  Herman Cain tells us that 29% of blacks now support Trump.  I wonder what tribe they belong to?

What the lady is doing is a familiar sleight of hand that any analytical philosopher can tell you about. "Tribalism" sounds like an explanation but is in fact a definition:  To like Trump MAKES you part of a tribe, the Trump tribe. It is at best an observation. It explains nothing.

And the idea that lots of people are alienated from moralistic churches is surely true.  But it is true mainly of the old mainstream churches.  More evangelical churches are forgiving and make a big effort at outreach.  Americans who are religious at all can usually find a church to suit them.  The claim that Trump supporters are worshiping at some sort of new Trumpian religion -- when the religion at his rallies is plainly evangelical Christian -- is just a desperate attempt to look at what his real appeal is -- relief from Leftist tyranny and joy at having a President who makes sense to ordinary people

By Alex (Alexandra?) Wagner

Two weeks before the Iowa caucuses, in late January 2016, the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced to an audience in Sioux City: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s, like, incredible.”

Trump, who has always been prone to fantastical overstatement, was derided at the time, but here and now—more than two and a half years later—the statement seems prescient.

You could list the scandals—from Robert Mueller’s probe to Michael Cohen to Stormy Daniels, from Tom Price to Scott Pruitt to Ben Carson, from Bill Shine to Ronny Jackson to Jared Kushner, from the Trump Hotel to the Trump label, from Charlottesville to Ukraine—and while it would be very long, it would not (at least in the eyes of Trump’s supporters) be disqualifying. Politically speaking, the president is standing with his guns blazing in the middle of Fifth Avenue, and he’s not losing anyone. Miraculously, Trump remains on top; so far this year, Gallup has registered an approval rating among the members of his own party ranging from 81 to 90 percent. Despite it all, those numbers have barely budged.

How is such a thing possible? In part, it’s a symptom of contemporary politics—Barack Obama enjoyed similarly high approval ratings from Democratic partisans during his terms in office. And there’s some evidence that Republicans disaffected with Trump are ceasing to identify with their party, leaving only the president’s supporters behind. But Obama never endured a comparable string of scandals; the erosion of the GOP’s ranks doesn’t explain the fervency of those who remain.

Is it Trump—or something larger than Trump? Possibly, it’s both. Last spring, my colleague Peter Beinart looked at the increasing secularization of American society and how it had contributed to the rise of political tribalism:

As Americans have left organized religion, they haven’t stopped viewing politics as a struggle between “us” and “them.” Many have come to define us and them in even more primal and irreconcilable ways.

This tribalism has infected both the right and the left—but in particular, Beinart cited the work of W. Bradford Wilcox, a sociologist at the University of Virginia who has concluded that “rates of religious attendance have fallen more than twice as much among whites without a college degree as among those who graduated college.”

Non-college-educated whites are the Trump base, now set adrift:

Establishing causation is difficult, but we know that culturally conservative white Americans who are disengaged from church experience less economic success and more family breakdown than those who remain connected, and they grow more pessimistic and resentful.

You could draw a straight line from a disenfranchised, pessimistic, resentful audience to Trump’s brand of fear-driven, divisive politics, but this would leave out an equally important part of the Trump phenomenon, and something critical to its success: the elation. Go to a Trump rally, speak to Trump supporters, and the devotion is nearly evangelical. Their party line is less a talking point than a sermon: His voters have talked to me about the “bad deal” with Iran, the “drug mules” crossing the border, the Mueller “witch hunt.” The language is uniform, as they quote chapter and verse. Here are the true believers: It is no surprise that Trump’s numbers won’t move.

In his research, Wilcox noted the particular isolation of the white working class in the institutional church:

Moderately educated Americans may feel less attracted to churches that uphold the bourgeois virtues—delayed gratification, a focus on education, self-control, etc.—that undergird this lifestyle. As importantly, working class whites may also feel uncomfortable socializing with the middle and upper class whites who have increasingly come to dominate the life of religious congregations in the U.S. since the 1970s, especially as they see their own economic fortunes fall.

The declining economic position of white working class Americans may have made the bourgeois moral logic embodied in many churches both less attractive and attainable.

Trumpism proposes a system of worship formed in direct opposition to bourgeois moral logic, with values that are anti-intellectual and anti–politically correct. If mainline Protestantism is a bastion of the educated, upper-middle class, the Church of Trump is a gathering place for its castoffs. Trump’s rhetoric about the “silent majority” is indeed a racial dog whistle, but it is also a call to his supporters to unmask themselves. He offers a public embrace of a worldview that has been, at least until this point, a mark of shame. There is belonging in this—but there is also relief.

That part of the Trump phenomenon remains mostly unnoticed, except by those who have witnessed it firsthand. Reporting from a rally in South Carolina in 2015, Molly Ball observed:

Despite all the negativity and fear, the energy in this room does not feel dark and aggressive and threatening. It doesn’t feel like a powder keg about to blow, a lynch mob about to rampage. It feels joyous.

“There is so much love in every room I go to,” Trump says, near the end of nearly an hour and a half of free-associative bombast, silly and sometimes offensive impressions, and insane pronouncements. “We want our country to be great again, and we know it can be done!”

At a rally in South Bend, Indiana, that I attended earlier this year, there were offensive T-shirts (hillary sucks … but not like monica) and angry chants, but there were also goofy costumes and free sandwiches. There was name calling, but there were also group selfies.

I spoke to Wilcox about this aspect of Trumpism—the strange joy inherent in the shouts of self-designated “deplorable” status—and whether that might signal a substitute for the rapture of the church. “The Trump rallies have collective effervescence,” Wilcox said. “Émile Durkheim wrote about the power of collective effervescence—of engaging in common rituals that give them meaning and power and strength. And those things can be wonderful, or they can be dangerous.”

Durkheim’s theory—that a gathering of the tribe can create a certain energy that renders particular people or objects sacred—goes a long way toward explaining Trump’s infallibility among his supporters. But it also brings to the fore something that Trump critics have missed so far when focusing on his (not insignificant) negatives: Trumpism, like many forms of non-secular worship, makes its believers feel good.

“Among the poor and the working class,” Wilcox told me,“when it comes to both marriage and religion, there has been a real erosion. And that has hit them harder than the upper classes.”

He continued: “These two important sources of solidarity and meaning are now much less a part of working-class American’s lives—and leaves them that much more disenchanted and disenfranchised.”

If Trumpism is endowing certain Americans with a sense of solidarity and support that were once found in institutions like the church (or marriage), the implications for the Republican Party—to say nothing of American society writ large—are consequential.

At its core, the Church of Trump is irreconcilable with a society that values equal protection, free speech, and the separation of powers. And yet strident efforts to convince the faithful of a prophet’s fallacy may backfire, producing redoubled faith. To deconstruct the complicated and visceral relationship between Trump and his supporters, those on the outside must begin to grapple with the oddness of the proposition itself: Trump, in all his baseness, offers his believers something that is, strangely, spiritually elevated.



Omarosa claims falling apart

In part of a tell-all book, former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman said, among other charges, that Trump used the “n-word” during the days when Trump was the star of the reality show “The Apprentice.”

On Monday, Manigault Newman claimed she had tapes of aides discussing how to handle the issue of Trump using the word, ABC reported.

Trump said Manigault Newman’s claims are phony, based on what he was told by the show’s producer.

“.@MarkBurnettTV called to say that there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa. I don’t have that word in my vocabulary, and never have. She made it up.

Look at her MANY recent quotes saying … such wonderful and powerful things about me – a true Champion of Civil Rights – until she got fired.

Omarosa had Zero credibility with the Media (they didn’t want interviews) when she worked in the White House. Now that she says bad about me, they will talk to her. Fake News!” Trump said in a pair of tweets.

As reported by The New York Times, Manigault Newman admitted that she never directly heard Trump use the word, but in her book, she claims he did.

“By that point, three sources in three separate conversations had described the contents of this tape,” she wrote. “They all told me that President Trump hadn’t just dropped a single N-word bomb. He’d said it multiple times throughout the show’s taping during off-camera outtakes, particularly during the first season of ‘The Apprentice.’”

“I would look like the biggest imbecile alive for supporting a man who used that word,” she added.

Pollster Frank Luntz, who in the book is identified as the original source of the claim about Trump’s language, tweeted a denial.

“I’m in @Omarosa’s book on page 149. She claims to have heard from someone who heard from me that I heard Trump use the N-word. Not only is this flat-out false (I’ve never heard such a thing), but Omarosa didn’t even make an effort to call or email me to verify. Very shoddy work,” he tweeted.



Pelosi Sinks to New Low, Tells Dems: If You Have to Lie to Voters to Win, Do It

That Leftists lie is no news.  Unusual for them to admit it, though

Two things that President Donald Trump’s critics routinely pounce on him over are his supposed attacks against a “free press” and his alleged lies, as well as alleged lies told on his behalf from administration members, associates and supporters.

Yet, both of those acts were just committed or condoned by prominent Democrat and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and the media has largely remained silent. Go figure.

Pelosi appeared on MSNBC’s “AM Joy” on Sunday with guest host Jonathan Capehart, a Washington Post columnist, for a wide-ranging discussion during which she lashed out at a supposed media conspiracy to undermine her leadership and encouraged Democrat members of the House to lie to their constituents in order to get elected.

“First of all, let me just say this, and I know NBC’s been on a jag of this, this is one of their priorities, to undermine my prospects as speaker, but putting that aside, I have not asked one person for a vote,” Pelosi said of the media reports of growing discontent among rank-and-file Democrats in the House.

“I haven’t asked a candidate or incumbent for a vote. What’s important, and I know better than anybody how important it is, is for us to win this election because I see up close and personal what Republicans and this president are doing,” she continued.

Pelosi decried how the GOP was spending “tens of millions” of dollars on ads in competitive districts that specifically target her, and claimed that she wouldn’t allow Republicans to have a say in who should be the leader of the Democrat Party.

“They’re afraid of me,” she said of her Republican counterparts. “Because I outraise them in the political arena, because I outsmart them at the negotiating table and because I’m a woman who’s gonna be in a seat at that table.”

Pelosi proceeded to suggest that things would be different if failed Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton had become president — an understatement of epicly epic proportions — but made clear that she would not be “yielding” any of the power she wields.

Pelosi then shifted her attention to the upcoming midterm elections and essentially told the members of her party to “do whatever you have to do” to get elected, even if that means lying to their constituents to tell them what they want to hear.

“Now, I do believe that none of us is indispensable, but I think I’m the best person for the job and I won’t let the Republican ads, which are just … flooding these districts, and I say to the candidates ‘do whatever you have to do, just win baby,'” she stated.

“We must win this. When the caucus decides, it will decide whose name they will send to the floor, and then, and only then, after the election will I ask people for their support,” she added.

President Trump has been harshly maligned and smeared by the media for his suggestion — which is not without some merit — that the mainstream media are conspiratorially aligned against him and his administration with an intent to undermine his leadership and presidency. Pelosi just accused the media of the exact same thing, yet where are the sanctimonious pearl-clutchers lamenting her vicious assault on the “free press”?

As to Pelosi imploring Democrat candidates to “do whatever you have to do” to win their elections, that certainly opens the door for Democrat candidates to lie and tell voters what they think voters want to hear in order to earn their support, only to then go and do something different once they’ve been sworn into Congress.

Case in point would be the movement of young Democrats distancing themselves from Pelosi — who is veritably toxic in many competitive districts in the heartland — who have now been given cover by Pelosi to create even more distance from her during the election, only to later come back into the fold and support her continued leadership after all the votes have been cast and counted.

Many Democrats know — including Nancy Pelosi, it would appear — that speaking truthfully to voters about the progressive Democrat platform and the prospect of Pelosi regaining power as speaker of the House will not win them any support, so they have to lie about what they’ll do and who they’ll support to gain votes.

And that is a real betrayal of this country’s vaunted “democracy” if ever there was one.

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism



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, August 15, 2018

Yes, Donald Trump Is the Most Pro-Black President

By Herman Cain [who is black]

Mark my words: Donald J. Trump will be the most pro-black president in our lifetime.

Democrats have spent decades paying lip service to the black community while doing absolutely nothing to lift us up. It’s been all pandering with no progress.

Meanwhile, President Trump’s policies are bringing real, positive change to the lives of black Americans across the country — and we are taking note.

A Rasmussen report released last week revealed that Trump’s support among black Americans has doubled in the last year to 29 percent. This is just the latest sign that our community is giving the president a second look as he continues to make good on his economic promises and works to implement long-overdue reforms.

Interestingly, it was just a week after Trump’s election that BET founder Robert L. Johnson raised a very simple yet profound idea. “Why shouldn’t we, as black voters, reject the notion that we are locked into one party which undoubtedly limits and dilutes our voting power? We should, instead, use the power of our vote to support and elect whichever party that best serves our interests,” Johnson wrote.

Right now, that party is the GOP under Trump’s leadership.

The proof is evident wherever you look.

In April, the black unemployment rate dropped to a historic low of 6.6 percent, followed by another record low of 5.9 percent in June, the first time in history it fell below 6 percent.

Meanwhile, the worker pay rate just hit its highest level since 2008, and the Trump administration is making every effort to ensure our community has the skills necessary to compete in the 21st century economy.

The Democrats want to shield these facts from the black community. Their bitter refusal to clap when Trump touted historically low black unemployment during his State of the Union address should tell you everything you need to know about their motives. They would rather see Trump fail than see blacks succeed.

But the reality is that millions of black Americans are now experiencing unprecedented prosperity and opportunity under Trump. This new economic climate also means less government dependence, less crime, more social cohesion and an overall improved quality of life.

Thankfully, the president’s vision for black America reaches far beyond our economic revival. It includes his bipartisan criminal justice reform initiatives, which aim to right the wrongs of mass incarceration. For far too long our young men have had their futures stolen from them for low-level drug offenses.

Last week, Trump endorsed a prison reform compromise plan that Republicans hope will attract enough Democrats to pass in the Senate. The legislation would combine the First Step Act — a prison reform bill supported by Trump and passed by the House in May — with four more bipartisan sentencing reform plans.

“We passed the First Step Act through the House, and we’re working with the Senate to pass that into law. And I think we’ll be able to do it,” Trump said at the meeting.

The compromise bill would add to the First Step Act — which creates a way for prisoners to earn early release for good behavior and provides funds for expanded re-entry programs — new provisions that seek to put an end to mass incarceration and reduce mandatory minimum sentences.

Just as important, Trump isn’t just giving new hope to black Americans through overdue economic and justice reforms, he’s correcting errors of the past and providing new opportunities that will benefit generations to come.

For far too long, we have been used as political pawns and taken for granted by the Democrats. Election after election, they have preyed on our hope and promised us change — but they never delivered.

For the first time in decades, we are seeing real, positive changes take hold throughout black America, and we refuse to let bitter, Trump-hating politicians tell us otherwise. It’s the Democrats’ worst nightmare: an empowered black community that will never again fall victim to their empty promises and false hope.

When Donald Trump said he would be the president for all Americans, he meant it. The black community today is a testament to that promise.

Herman Cain is former CEO of the National Restaurant Association and a former presidential candidate.



MSM Makes Mountain Out of White Nationalist Molehill


Leading up to the nothingburger of a white supremacist rally that saw less than two dozen white nationalists show up in Washington, DC, on Sunday, the mainstream media sought to inflate the significance of the event in an attempt to further its long-running "Donald Trump is a racist" narrative. Prior to the event, which was intentionally scheduled to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville riot, Trump issued a statement condemning all racism: "The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!" That wasn't good enough for the Leftmedia, which stoked division anyway.

Also showing up for the poorly named "Unite the Right II" rally — poorly named because it serves the MSM's conflation of white racism with conservatism — were thousands of counterprotesters who stood shouting down both the white supremacists and Trump. The leftist, violence-seeking agitators known as antifa also showed up clearly prepared for a fight. They screamed chants such as, "Any time, any place, punch a Nazi in the face." Fortunately, the strong police presence combined with the minuscule size of the white-nationalist contingent proved to thwart their efforts.

Meanwhile in Charlottesville, hundreds of leftist activists took to the streets to ostensibly protest white nationalism and racism — a protest in which no white supremacists were given permission to rally and none showed up. It became increasingly apparent that protesting the police was also on the menu, as numerous protesters chanted, "Cops and Klan go hand in hand," while others toted a banner that read, "Behind Every Cop, A Klansman." The irony was that unlike last year, when police presence was severely limited and much fighting was allowed to occur unchecked, the police presence this year was heavy and clearly aimed at preventing any violence.

If anything, this past weekend demonstrates just how vacuous is the MSM's assertion of Trump's presidency being responsible for stoking latent masses of white racists. The identity politics of promoting and provoking racial grievances is embraced by Democrats and the Left. It is clearly not popular with conservatives and the vast majority of Trump supporters, no matter how much the Leftmedia claims otherwise.



Steel and aluminum prices are up, but it’s not showing up in consumer and producer prices, and the Trump economy is still booming

By Robert Romano

One of the conventional wisdoms to do with the tariffs and duties levied by the Trump administration on steel, aluminum and lumber is that they will lead to higher prices and inflation, hurting producers and consumers, thus stunting economic growth.

For example, billionaire Charles Koch warned on July 30 that the tariffs would lead to a recession.

So far, however, that does not appear to be the case. In the second quarter of 2018, the U.S. economy boomed at an inflation-adjusted 4.1 percent annualized. And the latest consumer and producer prices, taking into account the period when many of the tariffs were levied, do not show the predicted price hikes.

Consumer inflation is up 0.8 percent the past six months, below the Fed’s 2 percent 12-month target.

As for producer prices, if you look at finished goods for final demand by commodity less energy and food, you see a 1.44 percent increase the last six months, averaging 0.24 percent a month. That is slightly below the historical average of 0.27 percent a month dating back to 1974.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning commented on the numbers, saying, “the six-month tracking demonstrates that the economic growth spurt generated through President Trump’s economic policies have not spurred higher costs to consumers. Just one more piece of welcome news that defies so-called expert predictions.”

To be fair, since the steel and aluminum tariffs were recommended in February by the Commerce Department, announced in March and taken effect in May, steel and aluminum prices have increased on commodities markets.

For example, Aug. 2018 contracts on hot rolled coil steel on NYMEX increased from about $690 to $901 as of this writing, a 30.5 percent increase. And Sept. 2018 contracts on aluminum MW U.S. premium platts on NYMEX have increased from $0.13 to $0.195, a 50 percent increase.

But what has not happened is it impacting overall consumer and producer prices and hindering growth overall, as seen by the latest numbers. That is because steel and aluminum only make up a small part of overall consumer and producer prices, such that an increase in demand for U.S.-produced steel and aluminum could lead a price increase, but not at all slow economic growth or trigger inflation.

As for lumber, it is true that after the President Donald Trump announced the tariff on Canadian lumber in April 2017, Sept. 2018 contracts on lumber futures on NYMEX did increase from about $350 to $624 on May 27, but guess what? The prices since then have crashed dramatically by 33.7 percent back down to $414.

It was a speculative bubble. Perhaps driven by the announcement of the tariffs, but a bubble nonetheless that turned out to not be sustainable when real market factors were taken into consideration by investors. The futures prices after all on commodities markets do not take into account taxes. They are a pre-tax price, and in any event, the U.S.-produced commodities in question are not being taxed at all.

All of which serves as a cautionary tale for those investors that drove the futures prices up on steel and aluminum, as that increase may not be long-lived. Market factors explain it too. As U.S.-based steel and aluminum producers take advantage of the current trade advantages and increase market share, they will also ramp up production. This will in turn of eventually bringing prices down to what the market can bear.

Meaning, although there are obvious market impacts brought on by the tariffs, at the end of the day, they are taxes on foreign-produced goods and commodities. The incentive is to purchase the U.S.-made products instead, which is what is happening. It’s the whole point of the policy.

What it won’t lead to, however, is 1970s-style overall inflation or impede economic growth, no matter how many times the alarmists make such predictions.



Big Legislatures are bad too

Government by egotists

Jeff Jacoby

WHEN ROGER WOLCOTT, the 39th governor of Massachusetts, delivered his inaugural address in 1897, he urged state legislators to stop spending so much time on Beacon Hill, trying to justify longer and longer sessions by introducing more and more bills.

"The volume of legislation is a poor criterion of its necessity and wisdom," he told the senators and representatives assembled before him. "It is difficult to believe that five months of legislative session and 700 printed pages of acts and resolves are annually necessary. A shorter session and [fewer bills] would not be unwelcome to our people."

The governor's words had no effect. The Massachusetts Legislature stayed in session that year for 158 days; lawmakers, who had convened on January 6, didn't adjourn until June 12. In 1900, Wolcott's last year in office, the Legislature hung around until July 17. The new century brought more session creep. By the 1950s, it was routine for the Senate and House to stay in session until September or October. Eventually Massachusetts ended up with the General Court it has today — the one that, like a horror-movie mummy, refuses to die. The Legislature is in formal session for 18 months out of every 24, but remains in "informal" session even after it has supposedly called it quits.

You thought a five-month Legislature was an "unwelcome" nuisance in 1897, Governor Wolcott? You should see what Massachusetts is cursed with now.

Massachusetts is one of only a handful of states in which the Legislature effectively never adjourns. That handful just happens to include some of the worst-governed, highest-taxed, biggest-spending, and/or most heavily-regulated states in the nation — among them, California, New Jersey, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. The Legislature's year-round sessions also come with extravagant salaries. Massachusetts lawmakers are paid more than their counterparts in 44 states — their base salary is $62,548, but they also receive tens of thousands of additional dollars in the form of expense allotments and "leadership" bonuses. For a bunch of characters who don't actually construct, produce, improve, grow, or manage anything, it's an awfully sweet deal.

In most of America, this would never be tolerated. Legislators in normal states convene for just a few weeks or months each year, hammer out a budget, pass whatever legislation is needful, and go home. In some truly enlightened states, the legislature is in session for only a few weeks every other year. I remember a note I received in November 1995 from the late Barbara Anderson, who for years was the Bay State's most tenacious taxpayer advocate. She wrote from Nevada, marveling at something she had seen during a visit to the state Capitol in Carson City. In the empty House chamber, a notice was posted at the Speaker's rostrum: "Next session, January 1997."

Yet Massachusetts persists in the delusion that legislating is a full-time job, requiring "professional" lawmakers with staffs, offices, and full-time salaries. That superstition is continually being contradicted by the Legislature's subpar performance.

Last month, for example, the Senate and House approved a $42 billion budget for fiscal year 2019. The most expensive spending plan in the state's history was rubber-stamped by lawmakers less than seven hours after it was released from committee, which says a lot about the (lack of) diligence with which the Bay State's well-paid professional legislators perform their job. It says even more that the budget was almost three weeks overdue — fiscal year 2018 ended on June 30. Every other state had its 2019 budget finalized before Massachusetts did; many finished the job months ago.

In the real world, people who blow off crucial deadlines pay a price. (If you doubt it, try sending in your taxes or making your mortgage payment three weeks late.) But in the Massachusetts General Court, the legislative show that never closes, what's another missed deadline? Senators and representatives don't have to worry about their pay being docked if they do a lousy job. Most of them don't even have to worry about being challenged for reelection.

There are better options.

New Hampshire has always rejected the idea that legislating must be left to professionals. It pays its lawmakers just $100 per year — that's not a typo — and its 400-member House of Representatives — that's not a typo either — encourages participation in government by a remarkably diverse array of citizens, few of whom regard politics as a career. Unlike Massachusetts, where many legislative candidates are attracted by the prospect of status, influence, money, and a steppingstone to higher office, New Hampshire's statehouse tends to attracts true citizen-lawmakers — independent, civic-minded volunteers who choose to serve with no ulterior motive but good governance.

New Hampshire is a tiny state, but Massachusetts can learn from big states, too.

"Texas's part-time legislature . . . has been a key factor in its economic success," concluded reporter Jon Cassidy in a 2016 essay for the Manhattan Institute's City Journal. Research shows that states without year-round legislatures are more resistant to government spending, and the Texas experience bears that out. With a political culture notorious for cronyism, Texas has never been a model of saintliness. Yet the government's ability to do damage is checked by a system that deliberately keeps lawmakers from having too much power in the first place, and thereby leaves more room for civil society to flourish. The Texas constitution limits legislators' pay to just $7,200 a year (plus expenses) and limits their sessions to just 140 days per biennium. Can a state succeed with so trammeled a legislature? If the booming Texas economy and the steady surge of newcomers are any indication, the answer is an unqualified yes.

Massachusetts has many blessings, but its full-time Senate and House of Representatives are decidedly not among them. A year-round Legislature filled with underperforming careerists has done Massachusetts no good. Beacon Hill would be far healthier if it took less inspiration from New Jersey and more from New Hampshire. It might even get its budget done on time.



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, August 14, 2018

Is Liberal Racism a Horse of a Different Color?

Bigotry is bigotry, whether systemic, as at Harvard, or idiosyncratic, like Sarah Jeong’s Twitter feed.

Be honest. Are you really surprised that the New York Times has stood by its decision to hire Sarah Jeong as an editorial board member even after it was revealed she spent years on social media making openly racist and sexist remarks about white men? You may be outraged, sure. But surprised?

To paraphrase a well-known political figure, Ms. Jeong could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot a white person without losing the support of liberals. It’s a safe bet she was tapped by the Times because of these racial prejudices, not despite them. Editorial board members are hired to help formulate and express the official position of a newspaper. Ms. Jeong is being hired to speak for the Times, and they like where she’s coming from.

The Grey Lady attacks President Trump as a racist and sexist on a near-daily basis, and columnists like Charles Blow write about little else. So is it hypocritical for the paper to hire and defend a new editorial board member who has made no secret of her own biases? Of course it is, but that’s considered beside the point by people who share Ms. Jeong’s worldview.

The liberals who control most major media outlets specialize in applying different standards to different groups. Like the Times, Twitter had no problem with Ms. Jeong’s repugnant observations. Scores of tweets that included offensive phrases—“#cancelwhitepeople”; “are White people genetically disposed to burn faster in the sun?”; “White people have stopped breeding. you’ll all go extinct soon. that was my plan all along”—didn’t faze Jack Dorsey’s content monitors. But when conservative activist Candace Owens decided last weekend to reproduce Ms. Jeong’s posts and replace “white” with “black” or “Jewish,” Twitter temporarily suspended her account. Following a backlash, Twitter restored the account and claimed that “we made an error.”

Of course, the Times can hire whomever it pleases. But if it’s going to give the likes of Ms. Jeong a pass while lecturing us about growing intolerance on the political right, how seriously should readers take the paper’s nonstop Trump-is-a-bigot coverage? The president’s attacks on the media are often misguided and overstated—his daughter Ivanka is right; we’re not the enemy of the people—but major news outlets are doing plenty to erode public confidence in the news without any help from Mr. Trump.

Welcome to another example of the left’s inconsistency on race. If the goal is a postracial America, why does racial identity continue to be liberalism’s overriding obsession? Why is racism viewed as something to redirect rather than end outright? If you’re situated on the progressive left, racist views are OK to harbor so long as they’re targeted at the right groups for the proper reasons?

At Harvard, Asian students are currently out of favor among administrators for the sin of taking up too many slots in the freshman class. America’s most prestigious university, a bastion of liberal thinking, is being sued by Asian students for discrimination. Harvard wants a certain racial balance on campus, and Asians are getting in the way by academically outperforming applicants from other groups. The nerve.

Harvard can no longer credibly deny that it’s engaging in systematic racial discrimination. Internal documents that the school has been forced to disclose to fight the litigation suggest that Harvard is doing what has long been rumored. Nonetheless, school officials justify these racially biased practices. They insist, like Ms. Jeong and her defenders, that such bigotry is in the service of a noble cause. Unlike you or me, Harvard knows how to discriminate the “right” way.

Prior to World War II, and long before Harvard and other Ivy League schools had an “Asian problem,” the concern was too many Jews on the quad. The parallels are instructive. “Jewish students outperformed their Gentile classmates by a considerable margin,” writes Jerome Karabel in his 2005 book, “The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale and Princeton.”

Then as now, the schools came up with ways to overcome that reality by de-emphasizing objective admissions criteria. Jews were less likely to participate in athletics or belong to social clubs other than Jewish fraternities, both of which were deemed “character” flaws for the purpose of bringing the “Jewish invasion” under control. These days, Asian applicants to Harvard receive consistently low “personal” ratings, which are then used to undercut their academic achievements under Harvard’s “holistic” assessment of their worthiness.

So long as the goal is not to level the playing field but to tilt it in a different direction, expect history to continue repeating itself.



Economic Boom: Media Rewrite History To Credit Obama Instead Of Trump

Growth: The stronger the economy gets under President Trump, the more desperate his critics are to hand credit over to Obama. Even if that entails changing the past.

A recent New York Times story says it all: "An Economic Upturn Begun Under Obama Is Now Trump's To Tout."

The article begins by admitting that "by nearly every standard measure, the American economy is doing well," then spends the next 1,400 words arguing that the current good times have nothing to do with Trump's economic agenda.

The economy, reporter Patricia Cohen declares, "is following the upward trajectory begun under President Barack Obama."

Upward trajectory?

We seem to recall that the economy was stagnating in 2016 after the weakest recovery from a recession since the Great Depression.

In fact, The New York Times itself described Obama's economy this way in August 2016: "For three quarters in a row, the growth rate of the economy has hovered around a mere 1%. In the last quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016, the economy expanded at feeble annual rates of 0.9% and 0.8%, respectively. The initial reading for the second quarter of this year, released on Friday, was a disappointing 1.2%."

GDP growth decelerated in each of the last three quarters of 2016.

And on January 27, 2017, after the government reported that GDP growth for all 2016 was a mere 1.6% — the weakest in five years — the Times announced that "President Trump's target for economic growth just got a little more distant."

That same month, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office forecast growth this year would be just 1.9%.

There were other signs of stagnation as well. Stocks had flatlined in 2016, with major indexes down slightly. Real median household income dropped that year, according to Sentier Research.

Growth had been so worrisomely slow throughout Obama's two terms in office that journalists started warning about "secular stagnation." They said the country was in a period of long, sustained, slow growth resulting from slow population and productivity growth.

In August 2016, the Times declared that "the underlying reality of low growth will haunt whoever wins the White House."

Predictions of Slow Growth

The next month, CBS News reported that "with U.S. economic growth stuck in low gear for several years, it's leading many economists to worry that the country has entered a prolonged period where any expansion will be weaker than it has been in the past."

In short, there was no upward trajectory to the economy on anyone's radar when Trump took office.

Now that the economy is outperforming everyone's expectations, Trump's critics want to pretend that the current boom was already baked in the cake.

We are the first to admit that the impact of federal policies take time to show up in the economy. But the fact is that optimism surged across the board as soon as pro-growth Trump won the election over stay-the-stagnant-course Hillary Clinton.

Now, after Trump's deregulation and tax cuts are starting to take effect, we're seeing still more signs of stronger growth.

Polls show that the public gives Trump credit for what's going on today. They, not the mainstream press, have it right.



Pocahontas goofs again

It isn’t particularly difficult to see the logic behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s decision to call America’s justice system “racist” from “front to back” last week

That sort of stuff plays well among the kind of person who would come out and vote in the 2020 Democrat primaries — and, given that most Americans outside of Taxachusetts know Warren best for her Pocahontas shenanigans and that the liberal wing of her party is already lining up again behind Bernie “It’s Naptime in America Again” Sanders, she needs to shake the tree somehow.

Oh, and two of her top rivals for the nomination — California Sen. Kamala Harris and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick — both happen to a) have been involved in the criminal justice system and b) be African-American. Quelle surprise!

While one understands her motivation, one is also somewhat confused about which tree she decided to shake. Harris and Patrick — not to mention every other person involved in the law enforcement system — could point to the comment as a sign that this is someone who’s dangerously irresponsible. And, in fact, that pointing has already begun.

Two police chiefs in the state of Massachusetts have publicly come out against Warren in tersely worded statements released since the senator made the remarks, with one saying that it “spreads false and damaging information about our members” and the other saying Warren “slapped” every officer “in the face.”

“I now cannot trust her words are real,” Yarmouth police Chief Frank G. Frederickson told the Boston Herald. “It appears she is telling the audience in front of her what she thinks they want to hear.”

While that last part isn’t necessarily a revelation about any politician, particularly not Warren, consider the fact that Frederickson’s department recently experienced the loss of Sgt. Sean Gannon, an officer killed while serving a warrant on a career criminal, according to MassLive.

Frederickson said Warren had “diminished the sincerity of her condolence efforts” and that she had “slapped in the face” law enforcement officers by her remarks.

Losing Dudley police Chief Steven J. Wojnar — who’s also president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association — was probably a bigger problem for Warren.

“As a police chief in your home state of Massachusetts, as well as the statewide association representative, I am extremely troubled by this statement,” Wojnar wrote in an open letter to Warren, according to MassLive.

“Labeling the entire criminal justice profession as ‘racist’ spreads false and damaging information about our members. We feel we do a very good job in Massachusetts of producing professional and community-oriented police officers.

“These men and women, from a variety of backgrounds, provide dedicated service to their respective communities under difficult and highly scrutinized circumstances each day,” the statement continued. “When our elected officials make generalized and inflammatory statements about our entire profession, without any information to back their position, it creates further hostility toward our officers and can damage the positive relationships with our residents that we have worked long and hard to establish.”

In a response to Frederickson, Warren tried to do what’s so often euphemistically referred to as “clarifying” her remarks.

“I appreciate Chief Frederickson’s thoughtful comments. The men and women in law enforcement work in incredibly dangerous situations,” Warren said.

“We honor those in uniform who put their lives on the line every day and those who have been killed in the line of duty to keep the rest of us safe. I spoke about an entire system — not individuals — and will continue to work on reforms to make the criminal justice system fairer.”

Leaving aside the fact that a system that was so racist would necessarily require individuals who were themselves racists, she clearly wasn’t speaking about just a “system.” She was condemning a very basic part of the American government — and by extension, the individuals it’s made up of.  In what universe would any right-thinking person interpret it this way?

If this helps Warren win the nomination, it would gladden my heart if only because it’s going to make all that effort worthless. After she clears a field of intractably liberal candidates by appealing to intractably liberal voters, she would suddenly have to confront the rest of America — an America that’s insulted by the notion that every facet of our criminal justice system is a tool of white supremacy.

There’s no way Warren is going to be able to back away from this one, and she’s going to have to find some way to own it that doesn’t derail her candidacy before it begins. Alea iacta est, as Caesar might have put it. The whole “Pocahontas” bit may have been worth a chuckle, but this morsel of uniquely Warrenian self-sabotage is going to stick with her a lot longer than her supporters probably think.



Van Jones Claims There’s No Difference Between Hateful Nazi Rhetoric And Conservative Media

Van Jones has got a very impressive deep voice.  Sadly, it is driven by a pea-sized brain

CNN host Van Jones compared Fox News host Laura Ingraham to a neo-Nazi on his show Saturday and said they were preaching the same message of hate.

Jones played a clip of one of his CNN colleagues interviewing a white nationalist in Pennsylvania and then played a clip of Ingraham discussing demographic changes in America. (RELATED: CNN’s Van Jones Supports Holding Attorney General Jeff Sessions In Contempt)

“This guy actually openly wears swastikas on his shirt and he says America is his country because he’s white,” Jones said before running the clip. “To be fair, 12 of the guy’s neighbors came out immediately and told [the CNN correspondent] they don’t agree with this guy. He doesn’t represent them and their community and they deserve a round of applause for sticking up for what’s right in this country.”

Right after praising the man’s neighbors for doing the right thing, Jones attacked Ingraham and fed the fire of division by comparing her message to that of hateful Nazis.

“I appreciate them for doing that. But here’s the thing that bothers me the most. Those same themes that were once considered so extreme are now becoming mainstream, at least in conservative media,” he continued. “Listen to Laura Ingraham on Fox News addressing millions of your fellow citizens and neighbors on our air.”

“Now, I see zero difference between what Laura Ingraham is saying on mainstream cable and what the Nazi was just saying in front of his house,” Jones concluded. “Literally, it’s the same message and it is wrong. But there is some good news in America. There are millions of people who refuse to accept this notion that America should be whites only or dominated by one race forever.”



Justice for Americans at the UN

The Trump administration is trying to secure more jobs for American citizens in the United Nations bureaucracy, as a recent State Department report finds woeful underrepresentation even though the United States contributes more to the world body than any other government.

The U.S. funds almost one-quarter of key U.N. agencies, and their staffs play a key role in implementing international policy on health, aviation, labor, and security. However, the U.N. hasn’t made a good faith effort to hire Americans under existing rules, according to a State Department report obtained by The Daily Signal.

The report, sent July 3 to members of Congress, asserts that five U.N. agencies aren’t abiding by their own rules on providing geographic representation among employees, which would require more Americans. As of last year, 739 American citizens worked in these five agencies among a total of 7,126 employees, according to the State Department.

With the advent of the Trump administration, the State Department began moving to reverse the long-running trend, which Congress first tried to deal with through legislation in 1991.

That legislation required the State Department to report to Congress on whether international organizations are making “good faith steps to increase the staffing of United States citizens and has met its geographic distribution formula.”

While the problem isn’t new, the Trump administration is taking a bigger interest in it than previous administrations, said Brett Schaefer, a senior research fellow for international regulatory affairs at The Heritage Foundation who writes often about the U.N.



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, August 13, 2018

Angry People Think They’re Smarter Than They Are

The study below is a rather good picture of Leftists.  If you doubt that they are chronically angry, listen to any one of them for just 5 minutes when talking about President Trump:  You will hear an explosion of anger to the point of mindlessness and irrationality.

And they CERTAINLY have an unrealistically high opinion of their own ideas and wisdom.  "Just pass a law" is the usual limit of their profundity -- not for a moment foreseeing that such a law might have a lot of bad "unintended" consequences

The study below is not authoritative but it is certainly suggestive

If you know someone who's generally ill-tempered, it might please you to know that they're probably not as smart as they think they are. That's because, unlike other negative emotions, anger seems to make people overconfident about their intelligence, a new study suggests.

"Anger differs significantly from other negative emotions, such as sadness, anxiety or depression," Marcin Zajenkowski, study author and psychologist at the University of Warsaw in Poland, told PsyPost.

Previous research has shown that anger is an unusual negative emotion in that it's often associated with positive traits, like optimism. But how anger affects perceived intelligence was unclear. Zajenkowski and his colleague suspected that angry people might be more likely to overestimate how smart they are.

To test this, the researchers surveyed more than 520 undergraduate students attending schools in Warsaw. The students answered survey questions to gauge how easily and how often they get angry. Then, the students took a survey to assess their own intelligence before taking an objective intelligence test.

In general, the students with a higher tendency to get angry also overestimated their cognitive abilities, the study found. On the other hand, the students who were more neurotic, a trait that's often associated with anger, generally underestimated their intelligence. Neuroticism refers to negative traits including irrational anxiety and overwhelming distress.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the researchers found that narcissism was a key factor in how people judged how smart they were. The more ill-tempered personalities were associated with "narcissistic illusions," Zajenkowski told PsyPost.

It's important to note that while the study found that angry people tend to be more narcissistic and overestimate their brilliance, anger was unrelated to actual intelligence level. And, although the researchers found an association between the two traits, it's unclear if there's a cause and effect relationship between anger and overestimating intelligence. More research is needed to explore that link.

What the study didn't test was how anger affects perceived intelligence in the heat of the moment. The study assessed anger as a personality trait, but anger is often a temporary emotion. Additional research is needed to find out if people who don't anger easily might be overly confident in their abilities only in the moment that they're upset.



President Trump said in remarks at the White House recently that 3.5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps

Verdict: True

The number of people receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits declined by 3.6 million since Trump was elected president and 3.1 million since he assumed office.

Trump mentioned the decline in food stamp recipients, along with a number of other statistics that highlighted the health of the economy, after the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that gross domestic product grew an estimated 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018.

“More than 3.5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps—something that you haven’t seen in decades,” he said.

SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps, are vouchers that low-income Americans can use to buy food at approved retailers. States run and administer the program, while the federal government funds the benefits.

The most recent figures from the Department of Agriculture show that the number of Americans receiving SNAP benefits has declined by 3.6 million since Trump was elected president. There were 43.2 million people on food stamps in November 2016 and 39.6 million receiving benefits in April 2018.

From January 2017, when Trump took office, to April 2018, the number of SNAP recipients declined by 3.1 million people.

Trump appeared to mention the increase in the number of people receiving SNAP under President Barack Obama. “More than 10 million additional Americans had been added to food stamps, past years,” he said earlier in the speech.

There were indeed 10.7 million more SNAP recipients in January 2017, Obama’s last month in office, than in January 2009, his first month in office.

Trump incorrectly stated that the program experienced the largest decline in participation in decades under his watch, however.

Under Obama, the number of people receiving SNAP benefits peaked at about 47.8 million in December 2012 following increased enrollment during and after the Great Recession. By November 2016, there were 43.2 million people on SNAP—a decline of about 4.6 million.

President George W. Bush also saw a decline of 3.9 million SNAP recipients from November 2005 to July 2006 following a spike in enrollment due to Hurricane Katrina. Enrollment increased overall by about 14.7 million while he was in office, though.

The number of SNAP recipients under Trump temporarily spiked by 3.1 million people in October 2017 after the federal government made Disaster SNAP, or D-SNAP, benefits available for those affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida and Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

Some analysts say that lower SNAP participation can be an indicator of economic health.

“SNAP is a program that is designed to help people get through difficult times when they are not working,” Robert Doar, a senior fellow at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, told The Washington Post. “It’s taken a long time, but more people are working now.”

Some of the decline could be due to states returning to regular requirements for SNAP beneficiaries after the economy improved.

Federal law limits SNAP eligibility for 18- to 49-year-old adults without disabilities or dependents to three months in a three-year period unless the recipient works at least 20 hours per week or participates in a work training or community service program. States can request waivers to this time limit for areas with high unemployment, and many states did so after the Great Recession.

The left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that at least half a million individuals lost SNAP benefits in 2016 because the waivers expired.

Trump’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposed implementing stricter work requirements for SNAP beneficiaries, a 30 percent cut in SNAP funding over the next decade and restructuring the program so that many recipients receive boxes of nonperishable food rather than using SNAP funds to buy food at their local grocery store.

House Republicans approved major changes to SNAP when they passed the farm bill in June. The bill raises the age of SNAP recipients subject to work requirements from 49 to 59 and requires them to prove each month that they are working, among other changes.

The Senate passed a version of the farm bill that does not include major changes. Congress must now resolve the differences between the two bills.



Why Democratic Socialists Cannot Legitimately Claim Sweden, Denmark as Success Stories

Sen. Bernie Sanders and congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are popularizing the philosophy of democratic socialism, especially among younger age groups.

Meanwhile, the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) are gaining influence on college and high school campuses, claiming to have organizing activities planned at more than 250 campuses across the nation.

The YDSA website describes the group’s vision as “a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships.”

Many on the right question this vision, pointing to countries such as Venezuela and Cuba as examples of socialist disasters. Democratic socialists claim those countries implemented socialism “incorrectly” or that other factors are to blame.

They prefer to cite Norway, Sweden, and Denmark as examples of socialist success. There are, however, several key problems with that.

First, these countries are not technically socialist. By the YDSA’s definition, socialism entails a centrally planned economy with nationalized means of production. Although these countries have high income taxes and provide generous social programs, they remain prosperous because of their free-market economies.

Denmark ranks as the 10th most economically free country in The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, which cites free-market policies and regulatory efficiency as reasons for the high standard of living. Sweden is ranked 15th and Norway 23rd, both with similar descriptions of thriving private sectors and open markets.

These three countries are clearly not operating under centrally planned economies, or their economic freedom scores would be significantly lower.

Second, the success of these countries is clearly based on a capitalist foundation, and it predates the expansion of social programs. Sweden, for example, became a wealthy country in the mid-20th century under a capitalist system with low tax rates.

Social programs and high tax rates were not implemented until the 1970s, which caused the economy to significantly underperform and unemployment to rise.

In recent years, Sweden has been privatizing socialized sectors, such as education and health care, cutting tax rates, and making welfare less generous. Even though tax rates and government spending remains comparatively high, open-market policies generate the revenue to support the spending.

Finally, these countries are largely homogeneous and have a culture that is conducive to a large welfare state. Scandinavians are described as hardworking citizens with extremely high levels of social trust and cohesion.

By contrast, America is a much larger country with lower levels of social trust, and therefore, a comparison is difficult to assess. Norway, Denmark, and Sweden are not democratic socialist countries that the U.S. can be accurately compared with, and could be better described as “compassionate capitalists.”

As such, the “democratic socialists”—as they define socialism—are left with no successful examples of their vision, only disastrous ones.

SOURCE.  More on Sweden here


Trump Supporter GOES OFF On Sanctuary Cities

This week, a video was posted depicting a black Trump supporter absolutely unloading on “open border” activists at a local government meeting.

She claims that Sanctuary cities protecting illegal immigrants from deportation are racist. Her reasoning is quite sound as well. She blasts liberal politicians for ignoring the plight of the black community in a blatant effort to pursue potential illegal immigrant voters.

Sanctuary cities are destroying the African-American community. “All the jobs are going to illegals … and they are not paying taxes …The Black Community has been destroyed by racist illegal immigrants.”

She also goes on to point out that the advantages given to illegal immigrants are not afforded to the black community. “When my people do a crime we get three strikes. When (illegal immigrants) do a crime they get amnesty, they get benefits and they’re not paying taxes.”

She affirmed that sanctuary cities’ WILL come to an end under President Trump, “You’re not going to be allowed to get away with it … Your time is going to be up,” adding her support for the President and his immigration policies, “Thank God for Trump.”

How can Democrats claim that President Trump, and the patriotic ‘America first’ movement he leads is “racist.” — While in reality, it’s been Democrats senseless policies destroying the African-American communities in America for decades.

Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans… You name it. The cities with the worst living conditions and the highest crime rates in black communities are all controlled by the Democrats.

African-American voices are now being heard under President Donald J. Trump, the President to all Americans!!



Tough Patriot Emotional After Flag Attack, Sends Chilling Message to Attacker

We don’t know much about this man. He lives in Montana. He drives trucks. He is a patriot who passionately loves the American flag. And he lives somewhere near a liberal coward who is disgusted by our flag and sees it as a symbol of hate.

Shortly after Independence Day, this patriot says, he arrived home to find a note taped to his front door. It read:

“Dear Neighbor,

“I am disgusted you would fly this symbol of hate. Judging by the trucks in your driveway I can only assume you voted for Trump. This is a disgusting house and Bozeman deserves better. If not taken down tonight, I will take it down myself. This is not a fight you want. We will win.


“Your Neighbor”

Some people might think the author of this unsigned note had a lot of guts, so steadfast in his ideology he threatened violence and theft of the patriot’s property. However, he didn’t have the nerve to put his name to paper or confront the patriot face-to-face to defend his beliefs. How tough could he be?

The patriot responded with a video in which he didn’t mince words about his loyalty and respect for the American flag and all it stands for. The video illustrates the depth of passion this patriot has for his flag.

He said he was “mind blown” that someone would have the “audacity to walk onto my property and leave a note on my front door about an American flag being up.”

“This flag, it’s a symbol of freedom. … This flag, it flies year-round at my house,” the patriot said. “It will never come down. And to the person who thinks they’re going to take it down, I’ll break your f—ing fingers. … I promise you. I promise you, this flag ain’t coming down.”

And what does the patriot hope for the flag hater? “So, public service announcement to the dips— that decided he was going to leave that note on my door: I love a good fight. Oh I do. …

“I hope my neighbor sees this.”

This anonymous attack on the flag is a perfect example of what liberal brainwashing has done to quiet American streets all across the nation. You know things have gotten out of hand when citizens in a peaceful community like Bozeman get grief for displaying the American flag.

Something tells me the Bozeman patriot is going to get the last laugh, though. His patriotism has become infectious: The video has gone viral, with thousands of views on various social media.

His message is clear: He won’t back down in defense of his flag. Flag haters in Bozeman be warned.



Bikers for Trump at Bedminster over the weekend


Elian Gonzalez Was A Dreamer Too, Forcibly Separated From Legal Guardians


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