Friday, October 05, 2018

Infrastructure as a legacy

Leftists are notoriously interested only in the distribution of goods and services. They virtually ignore the process of producing goods and services.  They seem to think that goods and services drop down upon us like manna from heaven.  It is precisely that insouciance that makes socialist countries poor.  They just don't know how to arrange wealth creation efficiently so hamper it rather than fostering it.

And they seem to think the same about infrastructure such as roads, hospitals and schools  They give no thought to how those things come to be so and are very poor at providing them.  People who need the latest medical procedures don't go to Russia.  They go to the USA.

I think however that it is highly relevant to think about the origins of our infrastructure.  It didn't get there by accident and its distribution is not random.  Some countries have better infrastructure than others. So who provided that infrastructure and who owns it?

A very large part of our infrastructure was put there by our ancestors.  They built the roads and buildings which we use today.  And the ownership varies.  Some is in private hands and some in government hands. But in an important sense it is a legacy to all of us today bequeathed to us by our ancestors.  Some of it is best in private and and some is regarded as best in government hands but we all benefit from it enormously.  Our entire modern life depends heavily on what we have collectively inherited from the past.  We didn't build the road we drive on or the hospitals and schools that we use.  We come into the world with most of what we use already laid out for us by our ancestors

Not all that we use will be inherited of course. But it will be the development of an inheritance. It might be a new road we drive on and a new school we attend.  But the building of that road and that school will have depended on all sorts of things from the past -- tools, techniques, machinery and the product of blast furnaces -- that have steadily evolved first in the hands of our ancestors and then in our hands.

So it seems to me that the physical facilities of our country that we use are just as much a legacy as is money left to us in a relative's will.  They were not produced by accident but were the product of work and ingenuity -- and we ourselves continue to build on those foundations.  We too enable the provision of infrastructure -- mainly through our taxes in the modern world but sometimes directly

I for instance have had a considerable presence in the real estate industry. I often took on semi-derelict buildings and organized their renovation.  Since I live in a capitalist country I did it entirely for my own private profit and did indeed earn significant income from my activities.  I have long ago sold the properties concerned and have money in the bank instead.  But the important point is that the properties I took on are now upgraded and will  be in that upgraded state when I die. I took existing things from the past and built on them to make them into better things.  That will be a legacy I leave when I die.  I will have left the infrastructure better than I found it and others will benefit from that.

I am aware that what I have just been saying sounds very much  like Obama's famous claim, "You didn't build that", so I think I had better do a little bit of differentiation.  He was of course right in pointing out that all we do depends in many ways on the work, past and present, that others do or have done. But what significance he saw in that is a bit mysterious. The most I can make of it was that he thought businesses should be thankful to the government and be humbled by its wise provisions.  By contrast, I would argue that the government is just another tool we have set up for achieving desired results. And I would argue that it is largely our ancestors we should thank for the infrastructure we daily rely on.

But what about immigrants?  Do they have any right to what is in fact our legacy?  They have not inherited anything  from our country or brought much, if anything, to it.  I think it is clear that they do to an extent steal our legacy.

That is particularly clear in the case of Australia.  Recent governments have allowed a large "refugee" influx and that does harm us.  Our roads are now more congested, our public hospitals can barely cope and our schools are overcrowded and short of good teachers.  Such is the demand for teachers created by the active wombs of refugees that teacher standards have had to be lowered to near oblivion. Students with almost any High School pass are being accepted into teachers' colleges.  And on top of that we have to feed the "refugees".  Only a minority find employment and become self supporting.

But for various reasons good and bad our governments keep letting the refugees in and in so doing dilute that assets we all have to work with. With not a care in the world our governments have given away a significant part of our inheritance.  I think it should stop.  I don't think our government should give away what is the right of those of us who were born here.

So what do I propose?  A just policy would be to allow into our country only those who have paid for the privilege.  Citizenship could be bought.  And the proceeds would go to the construction of new infrastructure that would cope with the expanded population.

That's not going to happen, of course, but greater selectivity of some sort would certainly be fairer than the present system.  The less our inherited assets are handed to others the better.  I personally would be selective by allowing in only outsiders who are similar to the majority population  -- essentially other people of European origin.  They at least had ancestors who worked hard and effectively to improve their given environment so could help continue our ongoing work of improving our facilities, infrastructure and environment -- JR


Amazon's Real Motivation for Raising Wages

A month ago, the socialist senator supreme, Bernie Sanders, introduced the Stop BEZOS (Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies) Act, which would tax large corporations at a rate equal to the amount of federal benefits their employees receive from the government. Never mind Sanders's own personal wealth or Amazon owner Jeff Bezos's status as one of the socialist archenemies of Liberty — the bill was an effort to mobilize Bernie's voters this fall.

So it's no surprise on a couple of counts to see Amazon raise its internal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Good for Amazon ... except there's a catch.

Bezos, the world's richest man, gets a little breathing room with his fellow socialists for appearing virtuous, tamping down criticism of working conditions and unionization efforts at Amazon-owned Whole Foods, while also squeezing his competitors as the labor market tightens. A booming Amazon, now with more than $1 trillion in market cap, can — and probably should — afford to pay its workers more, but its local, "mom and pop" competitors don't have the profit margins to do likewise.

If this was just good old-fashioned market competition, it would be one thing. But Bezos didn't stop with his own action. No, like any "good" Big Business mogul, he's also getting in bed with Big Government, simultaneously announcing that Amazon will lobby to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour. All the while, Bezos's Washington Post can make the media case for a higher minimum wage.

Amazon did essentially the same thing by leading the way advocating for an Internet sales tax. Its massive infrastructure could handle the added burden, so why not foist it onto smaller competitors to damage their bottom line?

As for the minimum wage itself, we've always argued that the true minimum is $0 an hour — employers will hire fewer workers if those workers are more expensive to employ. Washington, DC, of all places, has at least partly conceded this reality. The Democrat-run city council of DC, where Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 86 points, took the first step in repealing Initiative 77, which gradually raises the minimum wage in the district even for restaurant servers and bartenders to $15 an hour plus tips. Restaurant workers actually opposed the wage hike. Sometimes a modicum of economic sanity can prevail even in leftist bastions.



Trump trade deals with Canada, Mexico, South Korea and Japan keep "America first" promise, isolate China

Everyone knew the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was a bad deal. President Obama knew. Hillary Clinton knew. President Trump knew. But only President Trump was willing to use our leverage to push our neighbors to the negotiating table and work out a strong, better deal for the U.S. While previous presidents pandered to other nations in the name of globalization, Trump is pursuing bilateral trade relations which are more likely to put American first and get our workers back on the job.

NAFTA resulted in significant job loss as manufacturing sectors moved to Mexico, wages in the U.S. stagnated while working conditions in Mexico deteriorated as well.

While many American political leaders seemed to agree the deal was bad, former President Barack Obama never followed through on his campaign promise to renegotiate the deal — a promise he made repeatedly in Aug. 2007, Nov. 2007, Dec. 2007, Jan. 2008, and Feb. 2008. Similarly, in July 2016 Hillary Clinton denounced the deal saying it “had not lived up to its promises” and promised to rework it.

Instead, Obama pursued the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — a deal that included Canada, Mexico, Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Chile, Australia, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia and Japan — and which would have continued displacing U.S. workers and allowing other countries to lead the rules of trade. Obama’s globalist approach worked so hard to bring 11 other nations to the table, it left the U.S. behind. In Jan. 2017, President Trump withdrew from the TPP and plotted a different course.

By renegotiating NAFTA, President Trump has set a new course of smaller, individual trade agreements that work in the U.S. and our partner’s interest. This is already evidenced by the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). For what the agreement lacks in a catchy acronym it seems to make up for in substance.

The deal will require 75 percent of duty-free car content be produced in the region with 40 percent being produced by $16-an-hour labor, this will bring manufacturing back to the US while helping Mexican workers who currently make cars for less than $4-an-hour.  U.S. farmers are also expected to see a boost in production as harmful limitations on dairy imports by Canada have been dropped in the new deal.

Following President Trump’s meeting at the United Nations last month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to begin formal trade negotiations with the Trump Administration. This move has been praised by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Japan was originally part of the TPP, but since Trump removed the U.S. from that deal, Japan can now work with the U.S. directly to form a deal that actually benefits both countries, particularly in the auto industry. According to the White House, the agreement will “For the United States, market access outcomes in the motor vehicle sector will be designed to increase production and jobs in the United States in the motor vehicle industries…”

David Gossack, vice president for Asia at the Chamber of Commerce explained, “As the world’s third largest economy, Japan is one of the most important export markets for American goods and services. These new discussions should help put U.S. businesses on a level playing with our foreign competitors and address longstanding issues between our two nations.”

These bilateral agreements allow each country to get more of what they want than large, multinational agreements.

Last month President Trump signed another trade agreement with South Korea. President Trump explained during the Sept. 24 press conference, “The new U.S.-Korea agreement includes significant improvements to reduce our trade deficit and to expand opportunities to export American products to South Korea… These outcomes give the finest American-made automobiles, innovative medicines, and agricultural crops much better access to Korean markets.”

As part of this agreement, South Korea will also double the number of US cars sold within the country annually.

President Trump also recently announced India is wishing to engage in trade negotiations as well, in order to produce a bilateral agreement with the U.S. Trump has described this as a part of an increasingly broad plan to foster individual relationships with countries. Trump is also moving forward with bilateral trade talks with Brazil.

These agreements play a strategic role in combatting the attempts by China to dominate global trade.

In recent years, China has led the One Belt One Road initiative to connect 70 countries across Asia, Europe, and Africa via trade and infrastructure development. What has been deemed the “new silk road” threatens U.S. global economic dominance, but these bilateral trade agreements provide countries with a more profitable and stable path forward with the U.S. rather than China.

Combined with President Trump trade pressure, the new trade deals put China in a bind. He has placed an additional $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods. China retaliated with $60 billion, but the U.S. only exports $135 billion to China, meaning China is almost already out of ammunition.

In an attempt to cheapen exports as a means of offsetting the tariffs, China has decreased the value of the yuan 8.8 percent since the beginning of the year, from $0.159 per $1 U.S. dollar to $0.145.

Americans for Limited Government (ALG) vice president of public policy Robert Romano explained, “Coupled with China announcing a general reduction on certain tariffs, China’s responses so far have been largely defensive and pretty weak. Devaluation and tariffing a limited number of U.S. imports, they’re running out of bullets. President Trump has exposed a major weakness of China’s export-dependent economic model that could compel Beijing to cave and ultimately come to the negotiating table. While Trump’s critics were moaning about a trade war, the President has been carefully ratcheting up pressure to achieve trade concessions, and it is working. The trade deals with Japan, South Korea and now Mexico and Canada signal that they see which way the wind is blowing.”

White House economic advisor Lawrence Kudlow predicts the G20 summit in Buenos Aires will be a good opportunity for China to come to the negotiating table. Kudlow explains, “The great hope here is that China will come to the table and start playing by the rules.” He noted talks thus far have been “unsatisfactory from our point of view.”

President Obama was willing to allow the U.S. to do worse in order to let other countries succeed, Trump proved that bilateral trade agreements can allow everyone to win, even China, that is, if it wants to do a deal.

As for the USMCA and South Korean trade deals, those still need to be passed through Congress, and this will require strict scrutiny to ensure the deal is the best it can be. Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning explained, “President Trump continues to keep his promises and on first blush, the USMCA looks like a better deal. However, the devil is always in the details, which deserve full scrutiny during the Congressional approval process.”

During the TPP debate, Congress went against the wishes of groups like Americans for Limited Government, which opposed “fast track” legislation in 2015 alongside Trump prior to his campaign announcement, legislation that allowed trade deals to pass both chambers of Congress with a simple majority vote, unlike the two-thirds Senate threshold required for treaties.

Congress went along with it, and now the trade authority extends to President Trump, and he’s taking advantage of it. Now that it has been done, a simple majority can pass USMCA once its details can be verified as favorable.

Officially certifying the USMCA will significantly reduce the damage caused to the American people during the reign of NAFTA and better unite North America. Following this model, President Trump can bring the entire international community together via individual, mutually beneficial trade agreements. The logic is simple: when every country commits to improving themselves, the world improves. This strategy has already proved more impressive than the failed promises of the Obama administration.





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, October 04, 2018

Leftist Contempt for Middle-Class Values

Dennis Prager
When I was in graduate school, I learned a lot about the left. One lesson was that while most liberals and conservatives abide by society’s rules of order and decency, most leftists do not feel bound to live by these same rules.

I watched the way leftist Vietnam War protesters treated fellow students and professors. I watched left-wing students make “non-negotiable demands” of college administrations. I saw the Black Panthers engage in violence — including torture and murder — and be financially rewarded by leftists.

Today, we watch leftist mobs scream profanities at professors and deans, and shut down conservative and pro-Israel speakers at colleges. We routinely witness left-wing protesters block highways and bridges; scream in front of the homes of conservative business and political leaders; and surround conservatives’ tables at restaurants while shouting and chanting at them.

Conservatives don’t do these things. They don’t close highways, yell obscenities at left-wing politicians, work to ban left-wing speakers at colleges, smash the windows of businesses, etc.

Why do leftists feel entitled do all these things? Because they have thoroughly rejected middle-class, bourgeois and Judeo-Christian religious values. Leftists are the only source of their values. Leftists not only believe they know what is right — conservatives, too, believe they are right — but they also believe they are morally superior to all others. Leftists are Ubermenschen — people on such a high moral plane that they do not consider themselves bound by the normal conventions of civics and decency. Leftists don’t need such guidelines; only the non-left — the “deplorables” — need them.

In August 2017, University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax wrote a column for the Philadelphia Inquirer in defense of middle-class values. She and her co-author cited a list of behavioral norms that, as Wax, put it, “was almost universally endorsed between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s.”

They were: “Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.”

She later wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “The fact that the ‘bourgeois culture’ these norms embodied has broken down since the 1960s largely explains today’s social pathologies — and re-embracing that culture would go a long way toward addressing those pathologies.”

For her left-wing colleagues at Penn Law School, this list was beyond the pale. About half of her fellow professors of law — 33 of them — condemned her in an open letter. And Wax wrote in the Journal, “My law school dean recently asked me to take a leave of absence next year and to cease teaching a mandatory first-year course.”

The Pennsylvania chapter of the left-wing National Lawyers Guild condemned her for espousing bourgeois values and questioned “whether it is appropriate for her to continue to teach a required first-year course.”

As regards traditional Jewish and Christian codes of conduct, just read the left’s contempt for Vice President Mike Pence’s religiosity. They fear him more than President Trump solely for that reason. One would think that leftists, as sensitive as they are to sexual harassment of women, would admire Pence’s career-long policy of never dining alone with a woman other than his wife. On the contrary, they mock him for it.

With such high self-esteem and no middle-class, bourgeois or Judeo-Christian values to guide them, many leftists are particularly vicious people.

The opening skit of “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend — Matt Damon’s mockery of Judge Brett Kavanaugh — provided a timely example. It is unimaginable that a prominent conservative group or individual would feature a skit mocking Kavanaugh’s accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Indeed, Kavanaugh noted his 10-year-old daughter’s prayer for his accuser, and a political cartoonist promptly drew a cartoon with her praying that God forgive her “angry, lying, alcoholic father for sexually assaulting Dr. Ford.”

Is there an equally prominent conservative public figure on the right who has ever said “F— Obama!” on national television just as Robert De Niro shouted, “F— Trump!” at the recent Tony Awards?

Now, why would De Niro feel he could shout an obscenity at the president of the United States with millions of young people watching him? Because he is not constrained by middle-class or Judeo-Christian moral values. In Nietzsche’s famous words, De Niro, like other leftists, is “beyond good and evil,” as Americans understood those terms until the 1960s.

In 2016, at a Comedy Central roast of actor Rob Lowe, the butt of the jokes was Ann Coulter, not Lowe. They mostly mocked her looks, and if there is something crueler than publicly mocking a woman’s looks, it’s hard to identify. For example, “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson said, “Ann Coulter, if you’re here, who’s scaring the crows away from our crops?”

There surely are mean conservatives — witness some of the vile comments by anonymous conservative commenters on the internet. And it is a moral scandal that Ford has received death threats. The difference in left-wing meanness is the meanness of known — not anonymous — people on the left. They don’t hide behind anonymity because they do not feel bound by traditional notions of civility, for which they have contempt.

Now you can understand why the left hates Mike Pence, a man who has, by all accounts, led a thoroughly honorable life. He — and other evangelical Christians and Orthodox Jews — tries to live by a code that is higher than him.

That ethic is what Ubermenschen seek to destroy. They are succeeding.



Trade ministers from the US, Canada and Mexico reach last-minute agreement to revamp the NAFTA deal after a YEAR of negotiations and a war of words between Trump and Trudeau

This seems to be the only account so far of what is actually in the deal

The US, Canada and Mexico have agreed to an updated version of the North America Free Trade Agreement following a year of agonizing negotiations.

The Trump administration announced the new pact - which is being called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement - mere hours before the self-imposed September 30 deadline.

The agreement has been hailed as a major victory for Trump, who is now one giant step closer to delivering on his key campaign promise to overhaul NAFTA, which he called 'the worst deal maybe ever signed'.

A senior administration official told Politico late Sunday: 'It’s a great win for the president and a validation for his strategy in the area of international trade.'

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also expressed satisfaction with the agreement as he left an emergency Cabinet meeting in Ottawa. 'It’s a good day for Canada,' Trudeau told reporters.

Trudeau called an emergency meeting with his ministers at 10pm Sunday in Ottawa as senior government officials reported the US and Canada were on the brink of striking a deal.

Negotiators for both countries worked tirelessly over the weekend to meet the Trump administration's deadline.

According to a joint statement from US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, the deal 'will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home'.

The statement continued: 'We look forward to further deepening our close economic ties when this new agreement enters into force.'

Sources briefed on the details of the reconstructed deal - which officials from all three countries began negotiating more than a year ago - have said it allows the US greater access to Canada's dairy market and also addressed concerns about auto tariffs.

Under the pact, Trump will maintain the ability to impose threatened 25 percent global tariffs on autos while largely exempting passenger vehicles, pickup trucks and auto parts from Canada and Mexico, according to a side-letter to the agreement revealed to Reuters on Monday.

Should Trump impose 'Section 232' autos tariffs on national security grounds, Mexico and Canada would each get a tariff-free passenger vehicle quota of 2.6 million passenger vehicles exported to the United States annually.

Pickup trucks built in both countries will be exempted entirely, the side-letter said.

Mexico will get an auto parts quota of $108billion annually, while Canada will get a parts quota of $32.4billion annually in the event of US autos tariffs.

The quotas are significantly above existing production volumes in each country, allowing for some export growth.

Congress will now be given 60 days to review the new deal and suggest changes before Trump can sign it.

Officials are said to be bracing for what may be a battle to get the agreement through the legislative body.

The Trump administration hopes to have the leaders of all three countries sign the agreement by the end of November, before Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto passes the baton to his successor.

Canada, the United States' No 2 trading partner, had been left out when the US and Mexico reached an agreement last month to revamp NAFTA.

The Trump administration was due to make a preliminary draft of that agreement public on Monday.

Trump had said he wanted to go ahead with a revamped NAFTA with or without Canada, but it was unclear whether he had authority from Congress to pursue an agreement with only Mexico.

Several lawmakers went on the record to say they wouldn't go along with a deal that left out Canada.

Earlier, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said on Fox News Channel's 'Sunday Morning Futures' that by Monday morning 'you will have some news one way or another that will... be big and perhaps market-moving.'

Among other things, the negotiators battled over Canada's high dairy tariffs. Canada also wanted to keep a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the US wanted to jettison.

As US-Canada talks bogged down earlier this month, most trade analysts expected the September 30 deadline to come and go without Canada being reinstated.

They suspected that Canada, which had said it wasn't bound by US deadlines, was delaying the talks until after provincial elections Monday in Quebec, where support for Canadian dairy tariffs runs high.



Where is Atticus Finch today?

In "To Kill a Mockingbird"

The 1960 novel by Harper Lee was published to instant acclaim, has sold more than 30 million copies, and is ubiquitous in high-school curricula. The 1962 movie version, starring Gregory Peck, is a classic in itself and won three Academy Awards. A play based on the novel is about to open on Broadway.

This is quite the résumé for a book that, prior to the publication of a sequel in 2015 that was really the first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird, was Harper Lee’s only work. But nothing is forever, even for a book commonly called “timeless.” Lee’s novel is deeply out of sympathy with a moment when on college campuses, and in the culture more broadly, due process isn’t what it used to be, when it is often thought to be a hateful act to insist that allegations of sexual misconduct be proven.

A refresher on the story: It is told from the perspective of a young girl, Scout, who is the daughter of a small-town lawyer named Atticus Finch (played by Peck in the movie). The setting is Depression-era Alabama. Finch is unpopular in town because he has decided to take on the defense of a black man named Tom Robinson who is accused of rape by a young white woman.

And this is where the story, in contemporary terms, goes off the rails. Atticus Finch didn’t #BelieveAllWomen. He didn’t take an accusation at face value. He defended an alleged rapist, vigorously and unremittingly, making use of every opportunity provided to him by the norms of the Anglo-American system of justice. He did it despite considerable social pressure to simply believe the accuser.

In a gripping courtroom scene, Finch cross-examines Mayella Ewell, the 19-year-old daughter of an abusive drunk from a dirt-poor family who is Robinson’s accuser. With all the vehemence and emotion she can muster, Ewell insists that Robinson attacked her after she got him to break up a piece of old furniture at her house.

Without mercy, Finch takes apart her account. In contemporary internet argot, he “destroys” her. He brushes right by her tears. He doesn’t care about her feelings, only the facts. He exposes contradictions in her story and shreds her credibility, especially with the dramatic revelation that Robinson doesn’t have use of his left arm when he stands up at the defense table (he is alleged to have hit her with his left hand).

It is revealed that Ewell is lying. She had made an advance on Robinson and gotten caught by her vicious, racist father. The charge of rape against Robinson was a cover story, although the bigoted jury convicts him anyway.

To Kill a Mockingbird stands firmly for the proposition that an accusation can be false, that unpopular defendants presumed guilty must and should be defended, and that it is admirable and brave to withstand the crowd — at times in the story, literally the lynch mob — when it wants to cast aside the normal protections of justice.

Exactly what has made Atticus Finch such an honored figure in our culture would make him a very inconvenient man at many college campuses today, where charges of sexual misconduct are adjudicated without the accused being allowed to confront the accuser or make use of other key features of our system of justice. Finch is a rebuke to the shift from a presumption of innocence toward a presumption of guilt that now attends accusations of sexual harassment and assault. He didn’t believe that someone’s being accused of something is enough to establish his wrongdoing, or accept that a category of people were, by definition, to be under a pall of suspicion.



Fox News Contributor Fired After Calling Kavanaugh Accusers “Lying Skanks”

It seems that even Fox cannot handle too much truth

Kevin Jackson has been terminated as a Fox News contributor following a series of tweets in which he referred to Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers as “lying skanks” as the Kavanaugh hearing played out Thursday.

“Kevin Jackson has been terminated as a contributor. His comments on today’s hearings were reprehensible and do not reflect the values of FOX News,” said a Fox News spokesperson.

Jackson has been a contributor on Fox for several years, as well as a radio host on KJRadio and the author of the best-selling book “Race Pimping: The Multi-Trillion Dollar Business of Liberalism.”

“Feminists are their own worst enemies, and enemy of women,” Jackson wrote on Twitter Thursday morning. “TO HELL with the notion that women must be believed no matter what. Lying skanks is what these 2 women are, and we ALL know more,” he wrote.



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, October 03, 2018

The Barbarism of the Democrat Party
On Thursday, in Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony, the American people saw a man fighting for his reputation, his integrity, and his family. His moving words felt less like a testimony and more like the last cries of an innocent animal before it is slaughtered.

This is what the confirmation process has become for the Democrats: a slaughtering of innocent people who obstruct the political goals of their party. Through intimidation, psychological warfare, character assassination, and public shaming, they behead their opponents and hang their remains on pikes at the city walls — as a barbaric example to all who seek public office.

For Democrats, politics does not create better lives for the American people but instead serves as a power war justified in employing any tactic, at any time, anywhere. In their wake, Democrats leave the bodies of defamed leaders, politicians, and their traumatized families. This they cloak as “civic duty.”

In the Kavanaugh confirmation process, Democrats have completed perhaps their most shameful and disgraceful public operation. Yet they claim they do so for “women” and in support of #MeToo. In reality, they exploit women for political purposes, wrenching every last ounce of nonexistent evidence from their victims. Their anti-male, sexist rhetoric alienates half of the country, who had no choice in being born male. They claim that “all women” deserve to be heard. They do. But men are human beings too. Men also deserve the presumption of innocence. Men also deserve to be treated with respect and decency. Men also deserve a fair trial.

In their pursuit to “support women,” Democrats attempt to destroy the fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons of so many women across this country. For political purposes, they elevate women as a super class, a protected class, a class of legal immunity. However, they only allow “useful” women to qualify for such status. The women assaulted by former president Bill Clinton (Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, and Leslie Millwee) have been ignored and cast aside because they served no political purpose. This clearly debunks the Democrat claim that in “listening to women,” they are righting the wrongs of misogyny for all of history.

Our country’s leadership does listen to women. The Senate treated Dr. Christine Ford with respect and honor. However, making an innocent man the scapegoat for 6,000 years of recorded history is wrong. Oppression and violence certainly have happened in human history. It was wrong then. It is wrong now. But replacing oppression of the past with discrimination against men in the present does not ameliorate the problem.

Democrat Senators Dianne Feinstein (CA), Patrick Leahy (VT), and Dick Durbin (IL) are wrong. American women don’t want to reconcile historical misogyny by destroying the life of an innocent man. American women want to see a Senate that has enough decency to support an innocent man and, in so doing, restore due process, the presumption of innocence, and the rule of law in this country.

And lest you think that discrediting, intimidating, and smearing is something new, view Justice Clarence Thomas’ response to the false Anita Hill allegations that took place during his Senate confirmation in 1991.



Countering the EU, UN, and Iran

Trump's clear-minded focus on the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program has been remarkable. 

President Donald Trump turned in a mixed performance at last week’s UN General Assembly meeting in New York. Occasionally lapsing into language more appropriate for a campaign rally, his speech to the General Assembly was a missed opportunity to make the United States’s case against the globalists who dream of the UN becoming a true world government. In his opening speech at the Security Council meeting on Wednesday, he declared, “Kim Jong-un, a man I have gotten to know and like, wants peace and prosperity for North Korea.” That’s a dismaying gaffe when referring to North Korea’s brutal dictator — a bloody despot ruling a rogue nation. It’s true he has a purpose with such flattery, but all things considered, it was a less-than-stellar performance from the leader of the free world.

But when it came to the president’s remarks on Iran and the challenge that nation’s nuclear program poses to the world, Trump delivered a message worthy of Ronald Reagan. Pulling no punches and sparing no feelings among friend and foe alike, the president made clear his determination to keep the pressure on Iran and his willingness to punish anyone trying to side with Tehran:

In the years since the [nuclear] deal was signed, Iran’s aggression only increased. The regime used new funds from the deal to support terrorism, build nuclear-capable missiles, and foment chaos. Following America’s withdrawal, the United States began re-imposing nuclear-related sanctions on Iran. All U.S. nuclear-related sanctions will be in full force by early November. They will be in full force. After that, the United States will pursue additional sanctions, tougher than ever before, to counter the entire range of Iran’s malign conduct. Any individual or entity who fails to comply with these sanctions will face severe consequences.

The president’s blunt threat to anyone attempting to circumvent U.S. sanctions and do business with Iran should give pause to the European nations that have been making noise about doing just that. The European Union’s Federica Mogherini announced last week that the EU would attempt to form a special non-cash trade mechanism between Iran and EU nations specifically in order to avoid banking-related sanctions. Nothing could make clearer the craven mindset of the EU than a willingness to side with Iran in this way. The Europeans are more reliant than ever on foreign oil and natural gas as they pursue a utopian vision of domestic green-energy production. They have become more and more pacifist since the Soviet Union went bust, while cynically relying on the United States to be the world’s policeman. And they continue to delude themselves about the Iranian regime, thinking they can convert Iran into a responsible nation using only carrots and no stick.

But the Europeans must know that running afoul of U.S. sanctions will be financially ruinous at a time when many EU nations already face difficult economic conditions. The United Kingdom is bumbling its way toward a hard Brexit. Italy faces a full-fledged debt crisis. Germany, supposedly the economic powerhouse of Europe, recently saw its economic outlook lowered to a meager 1.7% annual growth. The recent tsunami of Middle East and North African migration continues to stress EU nations’ social systems. And the EU as a whole is expected to remain below 2% growth for the foreseeable future. Not exactly a good time for the EU to take on the additional burden of U.S. sanctions.

As for Iran, it is more vulnerable to sanctions than at any time since the 1990s. Its economy, which consists of little more than oil and pistachios, has been cratering, leading to protests throughout the nation in which ordinary Iranians have made clear they have no affinity for spending Iranian money on propping up Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. The Saudis, who view Iran as a mortal enemy, have signaled their willingness to increase oil production to offset lost Iranian oil exports when sanctions kick in. The United States itself has leaped nearly to the top of the list of major oil exporters, exceeding three million barrels a day, second only to Saudi Arabia and Iraq. And as we have mentioned before, the Islamic Revolution in Iran has grown old and tired over the last 25 years — to the point that the mullahs must coerce rather than convince the Iranian people of their “right” to rule.

President Trump has had his ups and downs since taking office, but his clear-minded focus on Iran and the threat posed by its nuclear program has been remarkable. The presence of John Bolton on the president’s national-security team should help maintain that clear-mindedness going forward, and we wholeheartedly support the president’s challenge to our notional European allies that they cannot support a pariah nation without consequences.



How Trump Rescued Our Economy From Obama’s ‘New Normal’

It’s hard to believe that just two short years ago, our economy was limping along with no sign of a massive boom around the corner.

Beyond any shadow of a doubt, the pivotal factor in the last two years has been President Donald Trump.

Consider this. From 2009 to 2014, real median income fell overall. It did jump a few times between 2012 and 2014, but the overall trend was one of malaise. The reason? President Barack Obama’s regulations and taxes sat like a wet blanket over our economy.

Many of his policies aimed at curing perceived social injustices rather than promoting economic growth. He reasoned that it was an injustice that every American did not have health insurance, and that CEOs made hundreds of times more income than the average worker. It was also an injustice that banks and big business took advantage of consumers.

Obama convinced Congress to pass Obamacare in 2010, which resulted in health insurance being extended to an additional 6 percent of the population. But Obamacare came with new taxes—21 to be exact—and these helped suppress middle-class income, slowing economic growth.

Obamacare also forced employers to provide health insurance to all full-time workers or pay a fine, which could be as high as $3,000 per employee. This added to the cost of labor, which again had the effect of slowing growth. Since Obama defined a full-time employee as anyone working at least 30 hours per week, employers hired more part-time workers. This drove down household income and slowed economic growth.

Obama also made the 2001 Bush tax cuts permanent for all Americans, except for the highest income earners. For them, taxes increased by 10 percent. This reduced the amount of investment capital flowing into our economy, which slowed economic growth and tended to reduce household income.

Obama also said that the financial crisis was a result of predatory lending by banks. This occurred when households freely applied for mortgages that they simply could not afford. Because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were buying these predatory mortgages from banks, the banks made those loans.

Obama convinced Congress to pass the Dodd-Frank bill, which stopped banks from predatory lending. The problem was that Dodd-Frank reduced all lending, which slowed economic growth and resulted in countless small community banks having to close their doors.

And yet again, this had the effect of reducing household income.

It’s no wonder that Obama was the only president in history to never see economic growth above 3 percent. The economy averaged just over 2 percent for his entire two terms. He referred to 2 percent growth as the “new normal.”

Trump flatly rejected this “new normal.” After entering office in January 2017, he spent much of February and March reversing many of Obama’s counterproductive regulations. By April 2017, the economy was back growing at a healthy 3 percent, which has since been maintained or increased.

By the end of 2017, Trump had convinced Congress to cut income taxes for all Americans, including those who supply capital: high income-earners and corporations. Since April of this year, the economy has been booming at a rate of more than 4 percent.

That growth has driven down underemployment, increased the proportion of Americans in the labor force, increased the number of part-time employees finding full-time work, boosted wages, and reduced the unemployment rate overall.

This all will lead to ever higher incomes for families. The real median income is set to hit a record level by the end of 2018.

Some have said that most of the growth will affect the highest income-earners. Whatever benefit they are getting (and they are certainly getting a lot), the facts are plain and simple: Over 700 companies have boosted wages, given bonuses and other benefits to their employees because of tax reform.

As President John F. Kennedy said, “A rising tide will lift all boats.” It’s happening. Why would we try anything else?



China slashes steel, textile tariffs as Trump ratchets up pressure

A President who is willing to use American power can jolt a lot of things loose

China's finance ministry announced Sunday that it will reduce import tariffs on a variety of products, including textiles and steel.

The tariff rate for textiles and metals including steel will fall to 8.4 percent from 11.5 percent, effective Nov. 1, Reuters reports. “Reducing tariffs is conducive to promoting the balanced development of foreign trade and promoting a higher level of opening up to the outside world,” the finance ministry said.

The ministry also announced that tariffs on wood and paper, minerals, and gemstones will fall to 5.4 percent from 6.6 percent, with average tariffs across 1,500 products reaching 7.8 percent, down from 10.5 percent.

The reductions come as President Trump deploys increasingly aggressive tariffs against Chinese goods, and just six days after Trump implemented a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods, following a similar action against $50 billion of goods in August.

The new tariff against Chinese imports was expected to rise from 10 percent to 25 percent at the end of the year.

In March, Trump began a global campaign to reform U.S. trade relations, introducing a 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, only briefly exempting Mexico, Canada, and the European Union.

Trump argues that the U.S. has too great of a trade imbalance with China and other countries, and that unfair policies have hurt the U.S. economy. Critics say American consumers will end up paying more when the cost of tariffs is passed on to them.

It's not the first time China has reduced trade barriers amid Trump's criticism. In July, China lowered tariffs on consumer goods including clothing and home appliances.

The latest Chinese government announcement comes as U.S. trade negotiators face a midnight deadline for an agreement with Canada to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. The U.S. and Mexico announced a deal on principles for a new pact in August, starting a one-month clock before the text is due to Congress.



As Obamacare Premiums Continue to Rise, Time to Look at Real Health Care Solutions

Obamacare has wreaked havoc on America’s individual and small group health insurance markets.

For the last four years, while lavish taxpayer subsidies insulated low-income people from soaring premiums and deductibles, millions of middle-class Americans in the individual Affordable Care Act coverage markets felt both blasts. At the same time, they lost their old plans and found fewer options available. They also found that, despite repeated assurances, they could not “keep their doctors.”

How bad is it?

From 2013 to 2017, premiums more than doubled. This year, average premiums for standard Obamacare plans shot up by a third. Deductibles now average $8,292 for “standard plan” family coverage, and $11,555 for the lowest cost “bronze” plans. For millions, it’s like paying a second mortgage.

Consumer choice is another casualty. In more than half of all U.S. counties, only one plan is available, and 73 percent of all Obamacare plans have narrow provider networks, reducing patient access to doctors and medical specialists.

With coverage so unattractive and unaffordable, fewer people are buying. Only 10.6 million Americans enrolled in the individual exchanges this year, well short of the 24 million projected when Congress enacted Obamacare.

Why isn’t it working? Because Obamacare runs on centralized regulatory control. Washington controls insurance benefits and coverage levels and enforces national rating rules—always driving costs skyward.

For example, Obamacare’s “age rating” rules require younger people to pay artificially high premiums. As Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar explained, under Obamacare younger Americans must be charged at least one third of what older Americans pay.

This kind of price control chokes off private markets. Young people by definition are getting less than they pay for, so they opt out of the system. As a result, it turns out to be not a good deal for older Americans either. They’re the only ones left paying into the system, so their premiums rise.

Congress must get back to work, repeal the dysfunctional status quo, and make a serious start on comprehensive health care reform.

The “Health Care Choices Proposal,” developed by a broad range of conservative think tanks, would replace Obamacare’s spending schemes with state block grants to help the poor and the sick to get health coverage. It would restore regulatory responsibility to the states, and it would allow people enrolled in public programs such as Medicaid to redirect public dollars to private health plans of their choice—if they wished to do so.

It’s an approach that would empower consumers, revitalize state insurance markets, intensify competition among plans, and lower costs.

Can the states do the job? Yes, to judge from recent experience.

States that have received waivers from Obamacare rules are already diverting a portion of the law’s subsidies to create separate risk or health reinsurance pools for older and sicker persons.

According to early estimates, Alaska’s approved waiver would cut individual market premiums by 19.8 percent, while increasing enrollment by 7.1 percent. Minnesota, securing a similar waiver, is expected to reduce premiums by 19.7 percent, while increasing enrollment by 13.3 percent. Maine, Maryland, Wisconsin, and New Jersey recently got similar waivers.

The people of the states, through their elected representatives, should have the chance to improve their health insurance markets. The Health Care Choices Proposal would maximize their freedom to protect Americans with pre-existing medical conditions, lower insurance costs, and increase choices for millions of individuals and families. This would be a blessing, particularly for middle-class Americans who face being priced out of the health insurance market.

Washington’s central planning has resulted in exploding insurance costs, reduced choices, and collapsing competition in the state individual markets. Liberals’ ideological obsession with centralized power is rooted in the false faith that Washington’s experts know what is best for the rest of America. The evidence is indisputable: They don’t.



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, October 02, 2018

Appeasing an aggressor invites only more aggression

From the playground to geopolitics, appeasing an aggressor invites only more aggression. This timeless truth of human nature is one that we moderns can’t seem to accept. We reflexively assume that a rational accommodation or concessions will be reciprocated by those proven to be ready to use any means necessary to achieve their aims, no matter how amoral, unfair, or vicious. Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court illustrate that this false assumption leads only to more demands, and ultimately to defeat.

The last-minute accusations from Christine Blasey Ford, a woman who claims that decades ago Kavanaugh groped her at a high school party, and Deborah Ramirez, who accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a frat party at Yale, are transparent acts of aggression against the judge and Republicans, one engineered by the Democrats.

Senator Dianne Feinstein sat for months on Ford’s letter and then––just as the Dems did in 1991with Anita Hill’s charges of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas’s during his hearings––released it only when Kavanaugh appeared to be heading for confirmation. Feinstein still hasn’t given the Judiciary Committee an unredacted copy of the letter. A few weeks after Ford went public, and after Kavanaugh said he had dairies from that summer detailing his whereabouts, The New Yorker published Ramirez’s account of a drunken party filled with obscene drinking games where he exposed himself to Ramirez.

Given that the Democrats had made public in advance their intention to derail the hearings and confirmation by any means possible, the timing of both sexual assault charges reeks of premeditated contrivance intended to delay confirmation as long as possible. But in the face of this naked ploy to bork Kavanaugh and derail the confirmation process for partisan advantage, the Republicans seem to be reverting to their customary preemptive cringe. All the Dems have to do is squeal “sexism” and Republicans start negotiating and offering concessions. Of course, after each concession comes another demand.

First the Dems demanded that Ford, a long-time Democrat activist, “be heard.” So last week the Chairman of Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, granted another deadline extension for Ford to decide whether to testify before the Committee on Monday. Senator Dianne Feinstein calls these concessions “bullying deadlines.” As Feinstein put it, “Show some heart. Wait until Dr. Ford feels that she can come before the committee.” Ford doesn’t “feel” like she can testify on Monday because she’s afraid of flying, despite offers from the Committee to travel to her in California. Then she feared for her life because of death threats ––threats also made to Kavanaugh, his wife and two young daughters–– so she now demands enhanced security measures. The Committee caved and moved the date to Thursday.

So of course, Grassley having been intimidated into giving Ford a chance to address the Committee, Ramirez and her handlers are now demanding the same privilege. “Creepy Lawyer” for porn star Stormy Daniels claims to represent a woman who also should be allowed to testify to the Senate Committee about Kavanaugh’s partying habits while at Yale. We’ll have to see whether Grassley can find the stomach to put an end to the farce of allowing unsubstantiated charges from Democrat activists to waste the Committee’s time.

Ford and Dianne Feinstein also keep demanding an FBI investigation, even though no federal crime is being alleged, and any investigation 36 years after the offense is impossible. Ford can’t remember where and when the alleged assault took place, nor how she got to or went home from the party where it allegedly occurred. Her own details of the event don’t jibe (Four boys or three? One girl or two?). She told no one about the assault until 30 years later. A “lifelong friend” whom Ford claims was at the party has denied any knowledge of the it, and says she’s never met Kavanaugh. Another friend who reported that the school was abuzz with gossip about the attack (which apparently took place during summer break), retracted her statement. The two men Ford named as possible witnesses to the assault have contradicter her claims under oath. And the accused Judge Kavanaugh also under oath vehemently denies the charges. Given that 36 years have passed since the incident, and the accuser’s memory is so hazy and short on coherent details, the FBI has nothing to investigate.

No law enforcement agency, let alone the FBI, would waste its time with an allegation of a crime decades in the past, and so patently incoherent and lacking in evidence. The “FBI investigation” is another delaying tactic.

The point is to delay confirmation by slandering Kavanaugh and baiting the Republicans into appearing to abuse victims of sexual assault. Why? Facing his likely confirmation, the Dems, egged on by the mainstream media––especially The New Yorker, which published a story too badly sourced even for The New York Times–– are desperately attempting to obstruct and delay the process until after the midterm elections, when they hope they will retake the Senate and thus stop any more Constitutionalist judges from being confirmed to the Court for the rest of Trump’s term.

The Democrats have stooped so low with these smears because they know the stakes. The courts and especially the Supreme Court have been critical to the progressives’ program since Woodrow Wilson. The biggest obstacle to the progressive dream of government controlled and managed by a technocratic oligarchy has been the Constitution. Its divided and balanced powers were designed precisely to rein in overreaching ambition and concentrations of power. Hence the Constitutional order must be subverted by the Supreme Court and its unaccountable justices enjoying lifelong tenure.

But if Kavanaugh is confirmed, there will be five reliably Constitutionalist justices on the bench, who are unlikely to tolerate judicial usurpation of Congress’s law-making powers. That’s why this current nomination is a hill the Dems are willing to beclown themselves on.

Given how obviously partisan and hypocritical this ploy is––doesn’t Keith Ellison’s accuser deserve to be heard and believed too? ––why has Grassley so far allowed himself to be played by the Dems? Because Republicans fear the backlash from all those women voters who presumably agree with the fundamentalist feminists, and insist that every accusation of sexual assault, no matter how much it’s unsupported by corroborating evidence or even plausibility, must be believed. This contention itself is an expression of the radical feminist narrative of innate male feral sexuality that makes them sexual predators.

The irony is that today’s feminists have been willing to sacrifice the earlier narrative of female power and agency that had been stifled by traditional views of the sexes and their capabilities. Instead, now women are Victorian hothouse flowers too delicate to make their way through their lives without the paternal federal government protecting them with its coercive power. Women have exchanged one form of dependence, and one double standard for another.

The Dems are using Ford and Ramirez as part of the Democrats’ transparently dishonest delaying tactics because they know that most Republicans have accepted this duplicitous feminist narrative and fear challenging it. Especially after the recent spate of sexual assault charges––many of them true, some false, others contested–– politicians consider bucking the narrative to be as politically suicidal as proposing to reform Social Security and Medicare. It’s the new third rail of American politics, one that transcends party affiliation. Hence the widespread virtue-signaling on the part even of conservative writers who preface their comments about Ford and Ramirez with prologues full of truisms about how horrible sexual assault is, how its self-proclaimed victims “must be heard,” and how churlish and sexist it is to question the truth of any charge. Grown-ups know all that and don’t have to be reminded every time the subject arises.

The Dems know that most Republicans come to this conflict with the huge disadvantage that results from accepting your opponent’s dubious ideology and dishonest narrative. The progressive party can dare the Republicans to ignore the endless specious demands, stop the show-trial, and proceed to a vote on Kavanaugh, because they know the Republicans, fearful of the “optics,” will cave. They know that the eleven male Republican Senators on the Judiciary Committee dread the #MeToo movement casting them as knuckle-dragging Neanderthal sexists who want to “silence” the accuser with their “cavalier treatment of a sexual assault survivor,” as one Ford lawyer has said. Republicans still don’t get that no amount of appeasement will stop the left from demonizing them anyway. Just ask Boy Scout Mitt Romney, who was savaged for his innocuous “binders full of women.”

And don’t forget, the old sorta, kinda moderate Democrats like Feinstein and Chuck Schumer, who now have joined the crowd of trendoid socialists armed with torches and pitch-forks, will go along because they’re frightened of their party’s increasingly rabid left-wing base.

What can we do to end these confirmation circuses? Just stop holding them. There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the Senate’s power to give “advice and consent” to the president regarding his nominee must entail days of televised hearings replete with caterwauling protestors and grandstanding Senators who’ve already made-up their minds. Invite written questions from the Senate, then schedule one day for the nominee to respond. Don’t put it on television, but make public a written transcript. Remove the television cameras, and attention-craving, politically ambitious Senators will be gone like a cool breeze.

For now, Grassley needs to end this farce.  No more concessions. No more delays. No more ceding control of the process to Democrat Party lawyers.  Make Senators go on the record with their votes, and hold them to account in November. Put to the test the Dems’ claims that a critical mass of women, many of them with sons they don’t want falsely accused, believes the fundamentalist feminist narrative and will vote accordingly. To borrow Churchill’s definition of appeasement, stop feeding the alligator in the hopes that you will be eaten last.

For fifty years the Democrats have proven they will demonize conservatives as racist and sexist no matter how often they bow and scrape. How about acting on principle for a change and shoot the alligator



David Horowowiz hits back at the fake news media

When Donald Trump refers to the anti-Trump media – CNN, MSNBC and network television - as “fake news,” his description is not only accurate but welcome: finally, a conservative is fighting back against a press whose venomous corruption is a grave threat to American pluralism and its democratic order. But when the same “news” outlets falsely characterize political opponents, including the president, as racists and “hatemongers” to render them illegitimate, our democracy is in grave peril. In sum, the term “fake news” greatly understates the nature of the threat, and, along with it, the crisis we are facing as a nation.

As a prominent antagonist of the left, I have been a target of its malice for decades – in fact, from the moment I departed its ranks in the 1980s, and vowed to speak to my former comrades in the same language they spoke to others. Hey, hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today? Since then I have been one among numerous conservatives victimized by their malevolent disregard for the truth, for anyone they disagree with, for common decency, and for the country that gave them their freedoms.

Today things are much worse than ever before. The left’s lack of respect for democratic principles, for political “others,” their readiness to employ gutter tactics and mangle the truth, has spread from Communist fringe publications of the Sixties, like The Nation, and the Daily Worker, to the Huffington Post, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

[Editor's note: On the left is typical leftist libel of David Horowitz. Aside from the smear of racism, the HuffPost is crudely mistaken about another matter: DeSantis wasn't paid for any of his speeches.]

Two weeks ago despite a 50-year public career as a civil rights advocate, and despite being the author of three published books on race – all of them championing Martin Luther King’s vision of equality - I was attacked as a racist by, among others, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, Esquire, New York Magazine, Politico, Newsweek, and a host of Florida newspapers, including the Orlando Sentinel, the Tampa Bay Post, and the Sunshine State News. In blaring headlines, I was called “an infamous racist,” “a hatemonger,” “a white supremacist” and a “race war theorist.” And I wasn’t even the primary target of the attacks.

That honor belonged to Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, and legless war hero congressman Brian Mast, both of whom had the misfortune to attend my Restoration Weekend, which the Post designated “a racially charged event” and the others portrayed as a platform for racists. As it happens not only do I not invite racists to my events, for twenty years I have featured prominent African Americans as keynote speakers. In addition to Turning Point activist Candace Owens, I have recently given awards both to Larry Elder and liberal black Democrat, Adrian Fenty, former mayor of Washington DC. Fenty’s award was for the work he had done to provide scholarships for inner city children so they could get into schools that would teach them. Other keynote speakers at my Weekend have included former congressman J.C. Watts, former presidential candidate Herman Cain, Wall Street Journal editor, Jason Riley, Fox Business Channel anchor Charles Payne, former congressmen Allen West, Breitbart columnist Sonnie Johnson, Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson,

Must I also mention that I have six grandchildren, whom I love dearly, of whom only one is white? Or that on the weekend following these attacks I was at an intimate gathering to celebrate two birthdays with my family, half of whom were black?

All the attempts to portray me as a racist arose out of a deceitful article in the Washington Post, which bore the headline GOP Candidate for Florida Governor Spoke at Racially Charged Events. The transparently sleazy intention of the article was to associate Congressman DeSantis with an allegedly racist event, to show that he is a racist himself. Both claims are bald-faced lies. If we were not both public figures, the Post would be facing major libel suits right now.

I have to confess that when I first read the article I missed all the dog whistles to left-wing race baiters which the reporter, Beth Reinhard, had planted in her text. Consequently, I was taken aback when the article instantaneously triggered the rash of character assassinating headlines in the publications I mentioned, targeting DeSantis, Mast and me. I just grossly underestimated the malevolence of “liberals” in the era of anti-Trump resistance. The whole episode put me in mind of the Nazi paper, Der Sturmer, which specialized in exactly this kind of attack in the 1930s.

Of all the dog whistles marshalled by Reinhard, my favorite was her comment that one of my speakers, Milo Yianopoulos made a joke about “black-male genitals.” The obvious implication: Members of Horowitz’s event are racist throwbacks to the era of Strom Thurmond and Bull Connor. In fact, this remark was actually a quite amusing self-referent joke about Milo’s attraction to his newly-wed husband, who happens to be black. But if Reinhard had published that fact, she would have blown her whole smear.

Despite my appeals to Reinhard and her editor, Eric Rich, no corrections were offered, or opportunities to correct a damaging, reputation-shredding, election-tilting, misrepresentation of myself and my two distinguished guests. I specifically asked for an op-ed column to respond, or an objective Post profile of my events, but Rich seemed perfectly comfortable with the display of guilt by innuendo in the article and the outrageous attacks that followed. He was obviously comfortable with its consequences, which were clearly intended, and might well be severe. Being falsely tarred as racists could presumably cost two stellar individuals their quests for seats in the election. It’s also left me wondering, what elected official would want to risk such damaging attacks by attending my events in the future.

One factor in these gutter campaigns that I haven’t mentioned is the laziness and unprofessionalism of the reporters (and editors) involved. Not one reporter participating in these character assassinations for the Post, Huffpo, Politico, Newsweek, and the other magazines called me to check any of the specific allegations of racism made in their articles. I was interviewed by Reinhard, but she failed to mention the black genitals comment or any of the other dog whistle claims to get my views on them, including the preposterous but damaging accusation that my events were “racially charged.”

“Racially charged” would of course be an apt description of the hand-holding sessions that Barack Obama, the congressional black caucus and the Democratic Party leadership have conducted with America’s most notorious, most rabid anti-Semite, and anti-white racist, Louis Farrakhan. But of course, Farrakhan’s courtiers have prominent roles in the Post’s party of choice and are not going to be held to account by Beth Reinhard, Eric Rich or the rest of the “liberal” media, let alone tarred and feathered like Ron DeSantis, Brian Mast and me.

In fact, all the malicious and baseless claims -- that I am “hate-monger,” a “white supremacist,” an “infamous racist,” an “anti-Muslim fanatic” -- come from a single source: the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center. This is an organization so reckless in its accusations that it recently paid a devout and moderate Muslim $3.4 million for having labeled him “an anti-Muslim extremist.” The payout to Maajid Nawaz was volunteered because England has much stricter libel laws than the United States where it is virtually impossible for public figures like DeSantis, Mast and myself to get redress for the violence that has been done to our reputations and work.

Speaking of laziness and casually malicious reporters, it was to be expected that to check such serious charges, Beth Reinhard would research my Twitter feed instead of the three books I have written about race – or the many YouTube speeches I have given on the subject. As it happens, the selection of one of those tweets, illuminates why these racial attacks on myself and my guests are also attacks on this nation.

The tweet Reinhard selected was this statement: “Black Africans enslaved black Africans. America freed them sacrificing 350k mainly white Union lives. American blacks are richer, more privileged, freer than blacks anywhere in the world, including all black run countries.”

Of course, even though every claim in this statement is true, Reinhard and her progressive audiences see such statements as prima facie evidence of my “racism.” In their narrative, whites enslaved blacks. To imply or say, as I have, that black Americans should be grateful to Thomas Jefferson and white Americans for freeing them is to add insult to injury, and to be insensitive to their suffering. It also undermines the truly racist narrative of the left that white people are oppressors and evil.

But of course, I didn’t say anything like that. I have never encouraged blacks or anyone else to be grateful to their oppressors. The real issue here is the foundational gift that America made in its very creation to all oppressed minorities, and to black slaves in particular. This is something that the current identity politics of the Democratic Party and the left generally ignores or denies. But if Americans can’t agree on this historic achievement, we no longer have a common bond as citizens of the same nation.

I specifically posted my tweet as an antidote to the anti-American, anti-white racism that is rampant on the left, in our schools, in the Democratic Party, and in its kept media, like the Washington Post. The widespread attitude in these quarters holds that American patriotism is “white nationalism.” This claim is a dagger aimed at America’s heart.

Slavery existed in Africa for a thousand years before a white person ever set foot there. European slavers did not go into the African bush and throw nets over blacks to enslave them. They went to slave auctions in Ghana and Benin, and bought already enslaved blacks from black African slavers. Slavery had existed for 3,000 years and no one had called it immoral, until white male Christians in England and America did so. Thomas Jefferson wrote into America’s birth certificate the revolutionary proposition that all mankind was equal and each individual was endowed with a God-given and therefore unalienable right to liberty.

This commitment launched the emancipation of black slaves in the northern states and ultimately throughout the western hemisphere. By contrast there is still black slavery in Africa today. To free the south’s slaves immediately would have precipitated a civil war, which the free states would have lost. But within little over one generation, the dedication of Americans to a nation conceived in liberty, led to the abolition of slavery at the cost of 350,000 mainly (but not exclusively) white lives. That is something every American white and black should be proud of. That is an achievement that unifies our nation. We participated in an evil system that we inherited from the British, yes. But as a nation we dedicated ourselves to liberty and equality and ended slavery..

The political left doesn’t want Americans to be proud of their country. They don’t want blacks to recognize they had benefactors who were white Christian males. So they lie about our history, and attack us as white supremacists. It is a sad comment on the state of our country that merely stating the facts of our heritage should be considered anti-black and racist, particularly by institutions like the Washington Post.

When one side insists on denying our history, attacking patriots as “white nationalists” and smearing political opponents as “white supremacists” we no longer have a common ground as a people. Instead we have become a nation divided by civil war.



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, October 01, 2018

California judge punches hole in state's sanctuary law

A judge on Thursday ruled California’s sanctuary law tramples on the state’s charter cities, dealing a major blow to the state Democratic establishment’s anti-Trump policy.

California Judge James Crandall ruled in favor of Huntington Beach, which had argued it should be exempt from the law, which prohibits locales from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

Judge Crandall issued his ruling after a hearing Thursday, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Huntington Beach was one of a number of California jurisdictions that moved to try to thwart the state’s law, SB 54, which took effect at the beginning of this year.

California’s Democrat-led government had adopted the law as a political jab at the Trump administration, which has tried to increase deportations of illegal immigrants.

State officials say that having police cooperate in deportations scares immigrants, both legal and illegal, who then refuse to cooperate with authorities on other matters.

Judge Crandall didn’t buy that, instead siding with local officials who said they valued cooperation with federal immigration authorities, The L.A. Times reported.

The ruling applies to more than 100 charter cities in California.



Report Finds $3.1 Trillion in Savings for Taxpayers

Taxpayers could save over $3 trillion by eliminating wasteful and inefficient programs and unfair subsidies, according to a new report from a watchdog group.

Citizens Against Government Waste released its annual Prime Cuts report Wednesday, recommending 600 ways to reduce spending with savings of $429.8 billion the first year and $3.1 trillion over five years.

"Even in the ‘Drain the Swamp' era, the national debt of the United States first exceeded $21 trillion in 2018 and is poised to rise substantially in the coming years," the report begins. "To help chart a path out of this calamitous hole, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is releasing Prime Cuts 2018, a comprehensive account of options the federal government possesses to cut into the ballooning debt."

The group said cutting Medicare improper payments just in half could save $18.1 billion. Other recommendations include ending subsidies for Amtrak to save taxpayers nearly $10 billion over five years, and ending sugar, dairy, and peanut subsidies.

"As the U.S. budget hurdles toward trillion-dollar deficits and with the national debt exceeding $21 trillion, Prime Cuts 2018 is needed now, more than ever," said Tom Schatz, the president of CAGW. "The only way to put our country on a path toward fiscal sanity is for leaders to make bold decisions to reduce waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement; and Prime Cuts 2018 is an invaluable resource for them to achieve that objective."

Many items are in line with recommendations for spending cuts made by the Trump administration, such as eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Cutting the arts agencies would save taxpayers $1.8 billion over five years, the group said.

Numerous recommendations relate to redundant agencies and outdated federal programs that have lingered for decades beyond their initial purpose. Ending New Deal era programs, such as privatizing parts of the Tennessee Valley Authority, could save up to $1.1 billion over five years.

The group proposes eliminating Community Development Block Grants, which would save $15 billion over five years, arguing the program is unaccountable and inefficient. The program, intended for job creation and infrastructure in urban areas, does not "take a community's average income into account."

"As a result, several very wealthy cities with robust tax bases, such as Greenwich, Connecticut, have received CDBG dollars," the report said.

"Buffalo, New York, has received more than $500 million in CDBGs over the last 30 years, with little to show for it, and Los Angeles handed out $24 million to a dairy that went bust 18 months later," the report added.

Suspending federal land purchases would save taxpayers $466 million the first year and $2.3 billion over five years. CAGW argues the government owns more federal land than it can handle.

"The federal government currently owns roughly one-third of all U.S. land, including more than 80 percent of Alaska and Nevada and more than half of Idaho, Oregon, and Utah," the report said.

The group cited a Congressional Research Service report released this summer finding the National Park Service has $11.6 billion worth of necessary repairs and infrastructure work on federal land waiting to be completed.



The Leftist obsession with race -- again

“They know the optics of 11 white men questioning Dr. Ford … will be so harmful and so damaging to the GOP.” — Areva Martin, CNN legal analyst

“They understand that you have all of these white men who would be questioning this woman … the optics of it would look terrible.” — Gloria Borger, CNN chief political analyst

“Women across this nation should be outraged at what these white men senators are doing to this woman.” — Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif.

“There has been some discussion of the GOP senators who happened to all be … white men.” — Jim Sciutto, CNN correspondent

“What troubles me is now there are … they’re all white men.” — Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan, on CNN

“You’re seeing on display a metaphor for what this party is, which is basically ignorant white men.” — “Morning Joe” contributor Donny Deutsch

“All these white men … stumbling all over themselves asking her, you know, aggressive and obnoxious questions.” — Asha Rangappa, CNN analyst

“What are those — that collection of old white men going to do?” — Cynthia Alksne, MSNBC contributor

“If she testifies in front of the Judiciary Committee, where 11 members are white men …” — Susan Del Percio, Republican political strategist, on MSNBC

“Once again, it will be all white men on the Republican side of the Judiciary Committee.” — CNN anchor Poppy Harlow

“The optics for Republicans are going to be really tricky … You’ve got all white men on the Republican side here …” — Julie Pace, Washington bureau chief for The Associated Press, on CNN

“The Republicans, it happens to be 11 white men still on that side.” — CNN host John Berman

“The Republicans, it is 11 white men, talk to me about how you think the tone inside this hearing on Monday will be perceived?” — Berman, a few minutes later

“On the Republican side, all 11 are white men.” — Berman, again, same show, several minutes later

“What hasn’t changed is the number of white men questioning, certainly, on the Republican side.” — Dana Bash, CNN chief political correspondent

“The Republican side on the Senate Judiciary Committee is all white men …” — Irin Carmon, senior correspondent for New York Magazine, on MSNBC

“Only this crowd of clueless old white guys …” — The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin on Twitter



President Trump needs to use his veto sooner or later to get the wall built

On March 23, when President Donald Trump signed the H.R. 1625 omnibus spending bill, he vowed, “I say to Congress: I will never sign another bill like this again.  I’m not going to do it again.”

Well, here we go again. Six months later and the end of the fiscal year is rapidly approaching. Energy, Miltary Construction and Legislative Affairs has already passed and been signed into law. Next up is Defense and Health and Human Services bill, which will also include funding for all other departments and agencies until Dec. 7. Another so-called cromnibus — omnibus plus a continuing resolution.

Speaking at a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the United Nations, President Trump said he would be signing the bill: “We’ll keep the government open. We’re going to keep the government open.”

The President should reconsider that position. The bill is a stopgap designed to get Congress past the midterm elections, which suits their priority to avoid any controversial votes prior to November.

There’s only one problem, besides funding the military for the full year, the legislation does not fund key Trump administration priorities including fully funding the southern border wall. Department of Homeland Security funding is being pushed off until December now, with no guarantees that it will include the wall.

Instead, Congress has jerked the President and his supporters around for almost two years now.

On Jan. 26, 2017,  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Philadelphia, and explained emphatically that “We are moving ahead” with the wall with a specific price tag of “$12 to $15 billion,” adding, “We intend to address the wall issue ourselves.”

A day later, House Speaker Paul Ryan told the American people that, “This is something, [the wall], we want to get on right away. And so we do believe this is urgent. We believe this is one of the most important promises the President made running for office. It’s a promise he’s going to keep and it’s a promise we’re going to help him keep.”

Ryan added, “We anticipate a supplemental coming from the administration on defense and the border” and “I’m hoping in the first quarter we can get this done. But again, it’s getting [Mick Mulvaney confirmed as Office of Management and Budget Director and] up and running so they can send us the supplemental.”

Mulvaney was confirmed on Feb. 16, 2017 and the supplemental request was proposed on March 14 by Mulvaney and then formally put in on March 16 by President Trump to Speaker Ryan. Trump kept his side of the bargain. But somehow, by March 30, Ryan had changed his tune, telling CBS News, “The big chunk of money for the wall really is… next fiscal year’s appropriations because they literally can’t start construction even this quickly.”

But then the wall was not funded in the fiscal year 2018 spending bill either. All they got was the President’s $1.6 billion supplemental “down payment” he had asked for last year.

No where can the “$12 to $15 billion” McConnell promised for the wall be found.

So, here we are, almost two years into the Trump administration, and Congress is about to go home with the midterms failing to fund the President’s signature legislative promise and show that finally they take the illegal immigration issue seriously.

President Trump may not wish to veto government spending now but one thing is clear, he is going to have to do it sooner or later if he wants to get the wall built. Time’s running out. And then he will need one-third of either the House or the Senate to sustain that veto — and then a real negotiation can be had.



Criminal Charges for North Carolina Woman Who Sheltered Pets During Hurricane Florence

A North Carolina woman says she just wanted local pets to have a safe place to stay as Hurricane Florence made landfall earlier this month. But now she's facing upward of a dozen criminal charges related to the medical care she freely provided to the animals.

Flood and tornado warnings were in effect last week in Wayne County, North Carolina, and the area got more than 10 inches of rainfall. Keeping 2016's deadly Hurricane Matthew in mind, Tammie Hedges realized that with residents evacuating, there would be animals in need of safe, dry shelter.

"It was brought to my attention from some individual rescuers that were going to go out again during this disaster and save some animals," Hedges tells Reason. "They just didn't have anywhere to put them."

But there was a solution. Hedges is the founder and executive director of Crazy's Claws N' Paws, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that takes in neglected or injured animals and finds them permanent homes. The volunteer-based, no-kill organization gives animals whatever they need, from medical care to microchipping.

Crazy's isn't a licensed animal shelter yet, but they're working on "renovating a shelter site," Hedges says. The building was not in a flood zone, and it's "easily accessible." In other words, the perfect place for pets to take refuge while Florence did her worst.

Hedges' organization took in a total of 27 pets—17 cats and 10 dogs. Thanks to donated food and other supplies, she made sure they were cared for. During the day, volunteers played with the dogs, walked them, and cleaned up after them. There was even a person who stayed at night "to make sure that the animals were not alone," she says.

On Monday, Hedges was at home when she got a call from Frank Sauls, the animal services manager for Wayne County. She says Sauls told he's received a call about flooding at the shelter site. There was no flooding, but Sauls asked her to come by anyway. When she arrived, Sauls asked if he could go inside to see the animals. She obliged.

Things quickly went south. "We didn't even get to the room that the animals were in and in and it was basically, 'you can hand them over voluntarily, or I'm going to get a warrant,'" Hedges says.

So what had Hedges done wrong? Hedges says Sauls threatened to charge her for administering veterinary medicine without a license. And while Hedges was taking care of the pets for free, she says Sauls told "one of the independent rescuers" that "he was looking at charging me for boarding." Finally, Sauls allegedly claimed Crazy's was operating an animal shelter without a license. "We had to keep telling him we're not open as a shelter," Hedges says. "This is an emergency disaster center for displaced animals for a natural disaster. That's all it is. It's temporary."

According to a Friday press release from the county, Hedges' crime was that she didn't have the proper license to give the animals veterinary medicine. The Wayne County District Attorney's Office has charged her with 12 counts of "misdemeanor practice/attempt veterinary medicine without a license and (1) count of solicitation of a Schedule 4 controlled substance," the press release says.

Hedges, though, says the dewormer and flea medicine she gave the animals are "over-the-counter" drugs, and thus "not illegal." Certain dewormers and flea medications can indeed be obtained over the counter, while others require a prescription. It's unclear which ones Hedges was using.

Hedges was arrested Friday, the Goldsboro News-Argus reports, and eventually released on $10,000 bond. Most of the charges, she told the paper, were a result of her administering amoxicillin, which is used to treat bacterial infections, to some of the animals. She also allegedly solicited a donation of the painkiller Tramadol.

On Tuesday, Hedges plans to meet with a lawyer, and she says she'll be "laying low" until then. But she's hoping this case will lead to changes in the government, "especially for the animals."



Has Bill got anything to fear?


Go here for a brilliant display of Leftist rage and hate.  Leftist pundit Lawrence O’Donnell is not a nice man -- and it shows when his broadcast encounters some glitches.  He keeps his cool fairly well initially but towards the end he really loses it.

It's a video from  August 29, 2017.


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)