Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New York Times columnist Brett Stephen is slammed for 'racist' op-ed which cites research from a 'white nationalist' to support his claim that 'Ashkenazi Jews have the highest IQs'

Harpending may or may not be a white nationalist.  It's an accusation that Leftists fling round with complete diregard for evidence. Harpending's published papers are simply normal academic writing:  Setting out facts and theorizing about them.

He took the amply documented fact that the Askenazim have average IQs that are about a half of one standard deviation higher than the national average and explored explanations for that in history.

But facts are ignored by the Left and any theorizing about racial characteristics is complete anathema to them.  So even scholarly discussions of the topic must be condemned and the conclusions hidden.

It's just hysteria.  There's no hiding Jewish intellect.  The way Jews in America are found at the top of most areas of intellectual endeavour tells you that much more vividly than IQ tests ever would

New York Times columnist Brett Stephens has been accused of racism after penning an op-ed in which he claimed that 'Ashkenazi Jews have the highest average I.Q. of any ethnic group'.

The column, titled 'The Secrets of Jewish Genius', was published in the paper of record on Friday before it was quickly denounced for citing a study co-authored by 'eugenicist' and 'white nationalist' Henry Harpending.

'Jews are, or tend to be, smart,' Stephens wrote in his column, before referencing Harpending's 2005 paper to back up his claims.

Stephens quoted an excerpt of the study, which read: 'Ashkenazi Jews have the highest average I.Q. of any ethnic group for which there are reliable data. During the 20th century, they made up about 3 percent of the U.S. population but won 27 percent of the U.S. Nobel science prizes.'

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Harpending  - who died in 2016-  believed that 'accelerated evolution is most visible in differences between racial groups'.

The Law Center further claims that the 2005 study referenced by Stephens in his column 'traffics in centuries-old anti-Semitic tropes'.

Elsewhere, in his column, Stephens - who is himself an Ashkenazi Jew - claimed that the ethnic group 'might have a marginal advantage over their gentile peers when it comes to thinking better.'

The op-ed was immediately condemned following its publication on Friday, with one Twitter user writing: 'I don't know who needs to hear this, but Jews are normal people. Some are smart, some are dumb, and most are somewhere in between.

'You should be suspicious of anyone who thinks Jews are special - that's a big part of antisemitic thinking'.

NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue issued a similar sentiment, stating: 'I can assure you as someone who comes from a family full of Ashkenazi Jews that we are absolutely as doltish as the next family over. This is not a good column. It is not a good look. It should stop'.

Meanwhile, Hawaiian senator Brian Schatz- who is also Jewish - claimed that the piece 'crossed an important line'.

New York Daily News columnist Brandon Friedman stated: 'The NYT needs to delete and retract this racist nonsense from, of course, Bret Stephens'.

He added: '70 years of eugenicist writing like this ultimately led to extermination camps. Only it was targeting Jews, not praising them. This is no better.'

Meanwhile, writer Jody Rosen blasted: 'Speaking as both an Ashkenazi Jew and a NYT contributor, I don't think eugenicists should be op-ed columnists.'



Truth Bomb: Former Democratic Politician Says Anti-Semitism in NY Comes From the Left

Following a spate of antisemitic attacks in Democratic-led New York, Democratic politicians have been busy trying to shift the blame on Donald Trump.

In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, New York City Mayor Mike de Blasio blamed Donald Trump for creating an "atmosphere of hate" that has somehow fueled antisemitic attacks in New York.

It was too much for Dov Hikind, a former New York State Assemblyman and founder of Americans Against Antisemitism. Hikind, a Democrat, told Fox News that antisemitism is coming from the left and said that he is tired of both Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo and Democratic Mayor Mike de Blasio doing absolutely nothing to protect Jews living in New York.

"When you have the Farrakhans of the world," Hikind began, "when you have members of the United States Congress -- Tlaib, Omar, AOC -- when you have them indulging in hate speech themselves and to get away with it. You know, there's a new standard, one is for antisemitism and one is for other types of hate. Unfortunately, people within my party -- I'm a Democrat -- within the Democratic Party there's a double standard. The hate, the antisemitism that emanates from within the left, you don't hear anything. You hear very little. Anything that comes from the other side, it's all -- I mean, even the mayor of the city of New York, has continued to call the hate, 'coming from the right.' All the hate in New York is coming from the left."

Police have not yet identified a motive in the machete attack on Saturday night that left five people injured at a Hanukkah party in the New York home of an Ultra-Orthodox rabbi. Police arrested Grafton Thomas hours later after finding the suspect covered in blood. Grafton is linked to another stabbing of a man that was beaten and knifed while walking to the Mosdos Meharam Brisk Tashnad religious center in November.

According to an Anti-Defamation League survey conducted in Oct. 2013, only eight percent of whites were found to hold antisemitic views, while 36 percent of hispanics born outside the United States and 14 percent of hispanics born inside the United States harbored such beliefs. The ADL survey also found that a much higher percentage of African Americans, 22 percent, held antisemitic views when compared to whites.

The ADL summarized in 2013, that "Hispanics, combined with African Americans (12 percent), now comprise 27 percent of the American population, a number that is sure to grow in the coming years. This population increase of the most anti-Semitic cohorts also means that it will be an ongoing challenge to reduce overall anti-Semitic propensities."



New York's 'Bail Reform' Is Having Detrimental Impacts, Especially on the Jewish Community

New York State's new "bail reform" initiative has been thrown into the spotlight following Saturday night's stabbing attack on a Jewish congregation gathering to celebrate Hanukkah.

Beginning Jan. 1, criminals charged with most misdemeanors and Class E felonies will be released from jail without having to post cash or a bond. The goal is to not criminalize "poverty by keeping someone in jail only because they can't afford to get out," the Albany Democrat reported.

District attorneys and law enforcement officials across the state took Issue with the initiative because some misdemeanors and felonies, like theft, assault and aggravated harassment, aren't eligible for cash bail.

New York City Councilmen Chaim Deutsch and Kalman Yegar have repeatedly spoken out against the initiative, especially as anti-Semitism continues to rise.

"For two years, we have been sounding the alarm and asking for resources to confront rising anti-Semitism. We have begged for extra cops, for security funds, for more cameras, and for more attention towards this growing problem. Day after day, month after month, we had doors slammed in our faces. We were told to relax - that this isn't as big a deal as we think it is. Do you believe us now?" Deutsch and Yegar said in a joint statement.

"We renew these calls for extra resources - we need to be able to tell our communities that New York is doing everything possible to keep them safe. That fact that our constituents have been seeing video after video of their neighbors being beaten on the street and harassed," the duo said. "Then they have watched as the attackers walk out of the courthouse scot-free, with a City-sponsored gift card in their wallet."

Councilman Deutsch launched a petition for New Yorkers to express their concern over the new criminal justice reform initiative:

Dear Governor Cuomo,

We write to you as New Yorkers united in concern about your criminal justice reform initiative that takes effect on January 1, 2020. We have watched with growing discontent during the last several years, as city leaders tout the phrase “safest big city” to describe the streets that we often feel unsafe on.

Rising hate crimes, prolific drug usage, and frequent news of violent attacks, such as the murder of young Tessa Majors just this month, leave us wondering why you have chosen to implement vast changes in the way our state approaches suspects in criminal activity.

Bail reform, which will revamp the criminal justice system and release thousands of suspected offenders onto the streets, is of grave concern to us. While there are certainly crimes that should be punishable by just a ticket (such as a traffic violation), that is not the case with many others. Crimes like selling drugs to children, arson, promoting a sexual performance by a child, assault, and stalking are serious offenses that could potentially result in extended prison time. We believe that disallowing judges to use discretion in such cases will result in the release of dangerous criminals onto our streets.

New discovery laws will also have dire implications, including making it more difficult for police and district attorneys to protect witnesses and victims. Requiring discovery documents to be turned over to the defense in all cases within 15 days of arraignment has serious implications.

Only 3% of all cases result in a trial. Until now, that meant that only 3% of all defendants would get access to witness and victim statements and contact information. These new laws will allow all defendants to receive that information, not just in cases where it goes to trial.

With these changes, along with the rise in crime and bias incidents and the closing of Rikers Island, we are deeply worried for the future of this great city. We don’t want to see our streets turn back in time, to the dangerous days of the 1980s.

Deutsch highlighted the case of 30-year-old Tiffany Harris as a prime example of why the initiative is a failure.

Harris was charged with assault for punching and hitting three Orthodox Jewish women in the face and head in an anti-Semitic attack. "F-U, Jews!” Harris allegedly shouted during the attack.

Later Harris admitted to the attack. “Yes, I was there,” she said. “Yes, I slapped them. I cursed them out. I said ‘F-U, Jews.”

Prosecutors didn't ask for a bail because of the new law that is schedule to take go into effect on Jan. 1.

“The de Blasio administration has made it clear that we all need to get into compliance with bail reform now,” a law enforcement official told the New York Post. “If prosecutors had asked for bail, corrections would release them immediately" or they would be released come Jan. 1.

When Harris was released without bail following her arraignment, Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge Laura Johnson mentioned the bail reform initiative as the reason.

“So I’m releasing her on consent and also because it will be required under the statute in just a few days,” the judge said. “Ms. Harris you’re being released on your own recognizance.”

This is the world of no consequences we live in now- where you can be charged with a hate crime & released hours later.

How many more Jews have to be attacked before people like NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo realize this initiative fails to provide any kind of punishment for criminals?



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  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here


Monday, December 30, 2019

It's rare but sometimes conservatives can be as abusive as Leftists

Below is an example of unknown origin.  The rant was in response to a claim that the "Nation is still deeply divided"

Yeah, I love that trick. The nation's always "divided" when Dems don't get what they want.

I was forced to go to a Christmas party over the weekend and had to listen to some jackhole whine about how "divisive" Trump was and lament that we couldn't "come together."

I unloaded on that nickelfucker - "You want to talk divisive? I hated that dog-eating Kenyan crackhead every moment of the eight years he infested the White House. But you know what I didn't do, asshole? I didn't riot in the streets. I didn't scream "HE'S NOT MY PRESIDENT!" I didn't gin up some phony, childish "Resistance." I didn't go into every damned restaurant and public space where Obama or any of his cabinet were and scream in their faces.

And I sure as hell didn't hijack the FBI to create a phony dossier to impeach him 49 hours after he was inaugurated!

YOUR filthy party did all of that and more, right from the moment the polls closed and you knew that drunk, morally leprous hag of yours wasn't going to win. So you can take that fucking 'divisive' talk and your crocodile tears about unity and shove them up your ass until you shit blood for a week!"

Fortunately, I work at home, so I don't have to run into that clown more than perhaps once a month. But got-DAMN, I am sick of Dems blaming Trump for their own diaper-soiling meltdowns"



If You Can't Beat 'Em, Call 'Em Racist

Words mean things. Unless triggered leftists want to score cheap political points.

Veteran journalist Brit Hume weighed in on the uproar over President Donald Trump’s latest bomb-throwing: “Trump’s ‘go back’ comments were nativist, xenophobic, counterfactual and politically stupid. But they simply do not meet the standard definition of racist, a word so recklessly flung around these days that its actual meaning is being lost.”

Many grassroots Americans would vehemently disagree with Hume’s first sentence, and we’ll come back to that. It was his second sentence that resonated. Hume even cited the Merriam-Webster’s definition of racism to show that Trump’s comments had nothing to do with race. Hilariously — and pathetically, in a sign of the times — Merriam-Webster replied with a lengthy explanation about how “the lexicographer’s role” isn’t to define “how some may feel [words] should be used,” while warning that “it is prudent to recognize that quoting from a dictionary is unlikely to either mollify or persuade the person with whom one is arguing.”

In other words, words have no meaning if facts conflict with your triggered feelings.

Now, to the first of Hume’s assertions. Again, as we noted yesterday, Trump said what he said poorly, leaving himself wide open for the very assault he’s facing. He said what we think he meant far better in defending himself later. “These are people that hate our country,” he said. “If you’re not happy in the U.S., if you’re complaining all the time, very simply, you can leave.”

Oddly enough, leaving wasn’t his idea. Are we the only ones who remember the scads of leftists pledging to flee America altogether if Trump were elected president? Instead, they’re all still here, still hating our country, still undermining the “democracy” they claim to be defending, and still trying to impeach its president.

That brings us to the press conference Monday involving the four radical leftist congresswomen who are members of what has been dubbed “The Squad” — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley.

Omar, the anti-American, anti-Semitic refugee from Somalia — and thus the only one of the four women resembling Trump’s original description — was the worst, calling Trump “blatantly racist” and decrying his “agenda of white nationalists.” She rehearsed a slew of false charges against Trump. Among them:

Trump was “credibly accused of … colluding with a foreign government to interfere with our election.” (A team of Democrat lawyers spent two years and $35 million to determine that it was NOT a credible accusation.)

He has “pursued an agenda to allow millions of Americans to die from a lack of health care while he transfers millions of dollars in tax cuts to corporations.” (Both charges are BIG Lies and/or tinfoil-hat conspiracies. Millions have not died for lack of health care. And no money was “transferred” to corporations because it wasn’t taken via taxes in the first place. Democrats are the ones bent on transferring wealth and basing their platform on envy.)

“This is a president who has called black athletes ‘sons of b—es.’ This is a president that called people who come from black and brown countries ‘s—tholes.’ This is a president who has equated neo-Nazis with those who protest them.” (No, he didn’t. No, he didn’t. And no, he didn’t.)

She falsely blamed Trump “for the deaths of children on our border,” and she accused him of “committing human-rights abuses” like “keeping children in cages and having human beings drinking out of toilets.” (Children and the traffickers who bring them might not be trying to illegally cross the border without Democrats’ open invitation. And while no one is drinking from toilets, Border Patrol detention facilities wouldn’t be overwhelmed without, again, Democrats’ open invitation.)

Omar accused Trump of making a “mockery out of our Constitution,” something Democrats do all day every day, while concluding, “It’s time for us to impeach this president.”

There was plenty more, but that should suffice.

The Democrats’ clear agenda with the “racist” charge is a craven political calculation to send Republicans scrambling for cover. It’s working, too, as elected Republicans distance themselves from the president while much of the conservative commentariat piles on Trump. But they’re succumbing to the relentless drumbeat of the Democrats’ Leftmedia super PAC. For example, a Washington Post story today is titled, “White identity politics drives Trump, and the Republican Party under him.”

How to put this politely…? That’s horse pucky. Buried under Trump’s garbled prose is a legitimate point, and it has nothing to do with race. It has to do with loving or hating America and the political party guilty of the latter.

Finally, as we observed yesterday, Trump’s strategy is to unite Democrats behind these four radical socialist faces. “Trump doesn’t play tic-tac-toe. He plays chess,” said Newt Gingrich. “He wants the Democratic Party to identify with” these four women. “Pelosi in a sense was trying to draw a line and say, ‘We are not them.’ After Trump’s tweet, she said, ‘Oh, we really are them.’” Pelosi is indeed standing with the four to push a new resolution to condemn Trump.

Likewise, Rush Limbaugh said, “Trump obviously is attempting to have these people become the face of the Democrat Party. It’s a brilliant political move.” No less than DNC Chief Tom Perez said that of Ocasio-Cortez last year. And a new poll says swing voters do indeed consider AOC to be the “definitional face” of Democrats.

So, we’ll see if Trump’s strategy really is brilliant.



A 'Sanctuary' Nation Is No Nation at All

“This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.” —Article VI, U.S. Constitution

“Setting immigration policy and enforcing immigration laws is a national responsibility. Seeking to address the issue through a patchwork of state laws will only create more problems than it solves.” —former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder regarding the Obama administration’s decision to sue Arizona in 2010, after that state passed laws barring illegal immigration

“The National Government has significant power to regulate immigration. Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the State may not pursue policies that undermine federal law.” —former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the 5-3 majority that struck down key provisions of the Arizona law precipitating the Obama administration’s lawsuit

Despite all of the above, the more than five hundred states and municipalities that embrace sanctuary polices for illegal aliens have determined that some supremacy is “more equal” than others. Moreover, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the number of states and municipalities that refuse some level of cooperation with federal immigration authorities has jumped by more than 200 since Donald Trump took office.

“This is just an astounding and a dramatic surge of sanctuary jurisdictions,” Bob Dane, FAIR’s executive director, stated in 2018. “They’ve doubled in just two years, and if you game that out, if the exponential growth continues, it’s not going to be long before it’s accurate to say the U.S. is a sanctuary country.”

Or, one could simply say that of all the efforts by the American Left to undo the 2016 election, this is by far the most blatant.

It’s not that Trump hasn’t tried to address the issue. When he entered office he signed an executive order discouraging the practice of protecting illegal aliens from deportation. The aforementioned states and municipalities ignored him. Then Trump signed an executive order attempting to cut off federal funding for sanctuary cities. In response, San Francisco U.S. District Judge William Orrick, an Obama appointee, ruled that Trump’s “coercive” order was unconstitutional. Moreover, he asserted his ruling covered the entire country.

The following year, a panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled 2-1 in favor of Orrick’s determination, but said he went too far in imposing his decision on the entire nation. Thus the panel narrowed the injunction’s scope to California alone.

Trump’s DOJ then sued California, alleging three new state laws, designed to protect certain illegals from deportation by the federal government, were unconstitutional. Once again in April 2019, another three-judge panel from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously blocked the administration. More egregiously, the panel further determined two state laws restricting local law enforcement from notifying federal immigration authorities of the release dates of immigrant inmates, and requiring employers to alert employees (read: possible illegal-alien employees) before federal immigration inspections, were also OK.

Constitutional supremacy? Apparently it only applies when one is trying to oppose illegal immigration. When one supports wholesale law-breaking that engenders as many as 20 million illegals living here, working here — and even committing additional and often felonious crimes here?

Federal control of immigration laws is apparently irrelevant.

Americans are paying the price, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is making sure they know the details. On Nov. 22, the agency released examples of foreign nationals with active ICE detainers who have been detained for serious criminal offenses in Maryland’s Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, but who were shielded from ICE.

They included individuals charged with sexual abuse against minors, assault, rape, and attempted murder.

Regardless, these counties will be releasing these people back onto the streets. “The county leadership has chosen misguided politics over public safety,” Baltimore, Maryland, ICE official Francisco Madrigal said in a statement.

Not misguided. Utterly contemptuous, and insanely dangerous. That’s especially true when one considers the reality that ICE was forced to arrest two teenagers for a second time after they were arrested the first time in Prince George County — and charged with attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, participation in gang activity, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted robbery, and other related charges by Prince George’s County Police Department (PGCPD).

Despite those charges, and despite a detainer request issued by ICE, both men were released on an unknown date and time without notification to ICE. When they were rearrested they were charged with first-degree murder. Their latest victim? A teenage girl. One who would still be alive were it not for the utter bankruptcy of progressive ideology.

How have we come to a place where elected officials and law-enforcement officers can essentially choose which laws they will and won’t enforce? Columnist Michael Cutler nails it. “The biggest issue is that for the wealthy and powerful, the immigration system is not broken,” he explains. “For them immigration has become a delivery system that delivers an unlimited supply of cheap and easily exploited labor, an unlimited supply of foreign tourists, and nearly unlimited supply of foreign students and finally, and of extreme significance considering that both political parties have members in key positions who are attorneys, an unlimited supply of clients for immigration law firms.”

Underscoring that assessment is the reality that both parties have had complete control of the federal government for two years each, Democrats from 2008-2010, and Republicans from 2016-2018 — and neither of them made the slightest effort to reverse the anarchist status quo.

Moreover, it is impossible to square countless calls for “comprehensive immigration reform,” with the reality that such calls ignore the fact that we already reformed immigration in 1986 when 2.7 million illegals were granted unambiguous amnesty, ostensibly in exchange for securing the border and cracking down on employers who hire illegals. Because the last two provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 have been routinely and conspicuously ignored, the influx of illegals accelerated exponentially, ultimately precipitating the “Dreamers,” a propagandist term of the first order. Moreover, the Dreamer agenda is even worse: because the Rule of Law has been ignored for 33 years, Americans are expected to abide another round of legalization for a specific cohort of illegals because they’ve spent their entire lives here. And just for good measure, progressive-promulgated “compassion” demands we abide their extended families as well.

Anyone who disagrees? Heartless, bigoted — or both.

In 2017, President Trump stated that “a nation without borders is not a nation.” What Americans must understand is that the elimination of the nation state per se is the ultimate ambition of the globalist agenda. In that context, everything that abets illegal aliens — from drivers’ licenses and in-state college tuition to health insurance, voting in municipal elections, and sanctuary cities — makes perfect sense.

Utterly damnable, and wholly lawless, perfect sense.



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  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here 


Sunday, December 29, 2019

ICE, Border Patrol had access to NY's DMV database. With a new license law, now they don't

Another Leftist contribution to the destruction of America as we have known it.  The Left intend that.  They hate America as it is.  But they have no ideas that could realistically improve it. See the mindless proposals of the Democrat presidential contenders.  All they have is a primitive talent for destruction

Federal immigration and border officials have been blocked from New York's DMV database, a move that keeps them from accessing data that can be used to help determine whether a vehicle owner has a criminal history or a warrant for their arrest.

New York's Green Light Law took effect Saturday, allowing those without legal immigration status to apply for driver's licenses in New York.

But the law also included a provision prohibiting state DMV officials from providing any of its data to entities that enforce immigration law unless a judge orders them to, leading the state to cut off database access to at least three federal agencies last week.

Among them were U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP — which patrols the U.S.-Canada border in New York — and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

More HERE 


Payback time in India

After centuries of oppression by Muslims against Hindus, the Hindus are finally hitting back

Several hundred mostly Muslim men face having their property confiscated after being given “unpayable” fines for allegedly vandalising police batons, motorbikes and loudspeakers during protests against a new Indian citizenship law.

Residents described the unprecedented fines as being part of a clampdown involving arbitary arrests and intimidation by the Hindu nationalist government in the state of Uttar Pradesh against the Muslim community over the demonstrations.

Paramilitary and police forces were deployed in Uttar Pradesh today and the internet was shut down in an attempt to curb violence. Security drones were spotted flying over western regions of the state, where protests turned violent after last week’s Friday prayers.

The fines come after Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister, pledged to exact “revenge” on those suspected of having been violent in demonstrations against proposals that will mean Muslims must prove their right to reside in the country, while exempting people from most other religions from the same requirement. There are more than 200 million Muslims in the majority Hindu country, all of whom will be required to prove their right to stay.

About 700 men in Uttar Pradesh have a week to prove their innocence or pay a hefty fine. If they refuse to pay, the state will confiscate their property.

Other men in Muslim-dominated areas are on the run, fearing detention. In the town of Nagina in Bijnor district, 80 men have been detained and their families have no idea what crimes they are accused of.

“When lawyers tried to meet them, they themselves were manhandled by the police and threatened with being treated as violent protesters,” the uncle of one detained man, who was too scared to give his name, said.

Families in the cities of Rampur, Muzaffarnagar and Meerut, where many Muslims live, have accused the police of storming into homes, smashing belongings and taking men away.

The families of the fined men said that many of those accused had not taken part in the unrest and could not afford to pay the penalties. Some of those fined had not been arrested but appeared to have been penalised on the basis of CCTV footage watched by police.

“I don’t even have milk to make a cup of tea. Let the police keep my son in jail and I will starve. There’s nothing else I can do,” the mother of a 26-year-old man who has been arrested on suspicion of arson said.

The woman, a widow who relies on her son’s income from selling spices and bangles on a street cart that is likely to be confiscated, said that he had no role in the protests. She was wearing a torn acrylic sweater against the cold and their home is a rented shack.

More than 20 people have been killed in nationwide demonstrations that broke out on December 15 against a law allowing anyone who is in India illegally to become a citizen unless they are Muslim.

It has brought Indians of all religions, young and old, rich and illiterate, on to the streets against the government of Narendra Modi, the prime minister. Although most of the protests have been peaceful, the state of Uttar Pradesh, ruled by Mr Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had some of the worst clashes, which left 17 Muslims dead, including at least 14 from bullet injuries.

Others to have received the penalty notices are poor daily wage labourers, electricians, street vendors, tailors and embroiderers. Most cannot afford a lawyer, much less pay fines.

Chotte Mian, 63, a spice seller, said that the notice accused his son of rioting. “He was working that day and had nothing to do with it. I am a poor man and can’t afford to hire a lawyer so there is no question of paying,” he said.

One legal expert, Awadesh Singh, said that despite numerous violent riots over the years, he had never seen such punitive action to recover damages.

Colin Gonsalves, a human rights lawyer, said that the attempt to recover money from protesters was “utterly arbitrary and vicious”.

“It is the police who were the aggressors, not the protesters, who were running away. We have videos of the police damaging cars and scooters,” he said.

In Delhi, the capital, a group of Muslim women have been on a non-stop protest since the first day of mass unrest. “It’s better to die early than live like a slave all your life,” said Mariam Khan, who has been sitting, eating and sleeping on the ground, going home in turns with other women only to wash and change clothes and enduring night-time temperatures of 5C during the coldest spell in the city for 22 years.

The women took over the main road in Shaheen Bagh and have refused to move until “Modi relents” over the law and a planned national register of citizens. It is feared that Muslims who have been in India for generations may be regarded as illegal immigrants if they do not provide the right documents.

Wearing shawls and accompanied by crying infants and little children, the housewives, students, maids and cleaners vented their indignation. For the majority, it is the first time that they have participated in a protest. They are incensed at having to prove their citizenship and at Mr Modi “spitting on us”.

“We are not a cancer,” Shagufta Shahnawaz, a housewife, said. “We are ordinary people who want our rights. I wasn’t born in Pakistan. I was born here in my homeland and I refuse to prove this to Modi.”

The government has created a national population register that many think is the first step towards creating a national register of citizens. It will list everyone who has been a resident of India for more than six months and will not require any documents, only voluntary disclosure.

Amit Shah, the home minister, said on Tuesday that the data would not be used for the citizens’ register. “I assure all people, especially from the minorities, that the population register is not going to be used for the citizens’ register. It is a rumour.”

His critics have pointed out that ministers have told parliament many times that it will be used as a basis for compiling the register of citizens.

Irfan Qureshi of the Jamia Teachers Association, which is at the forefront of the protests in Delhi, said that no one could trust anything they said any more. “On the face of it, right now, the population register is very suspicious but we have to study it in detail before deciding how to act,” he said.



New York Times '1619 Project' Is Revisionist History

The Times says that slaves arriving in 1619 is the date of our "true founding," not 1776.

These days it’s hard to find any mention of Donald Trump and Russia in The New York Times. Of course, after the train wreck of Robert Mueller’s testimony, it’s no wonder they dropped that hot potato. But don’t underestimate the leftist zealots at the Times, nor their creativity in trying to ensure that a “racist” Trump doesn’t win a second term.

Or, as the paper’s executive director, Dean Baquet, said to his staff in a leaked transcript: “Now we have to regroup … and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.”

The intrepid journalists’ latest plan seems to be, If you can’t get rid of the president, then rip apart the very foundation of the nation that he leads. Hence “The 1619 Project,” launched on the 400th anniversary of the first African slaves to land on our shores. (For what it’s worth, the Times is wrong about the basic fact of 1619; African slaves were brought here a century earlier by the Spanish, who also enslaved Native Americans. And Native Americans enslaved each other long before “the white man” arrived. But the Times wished to attribute this evil to Anglo Americans.) The Times pushes the idea that 1619 is the date of our “true founding,” not 1776.

“This country was founded on ideals that were’t true at the time," insists Nikole Hannah-Jones, one of the journalist hacks heading the project. Of making hay over pointing that out, Hannah Jones asks, "What could be more patriotic than that?”

We could think of a few things…

Assuming that The 1619 Project and its associated school curriculum is merely an innocent — much less “patriotic” — program designed to teach us about the evils of slavery and America’s connection to the institution would be a dangerous assumption.

As Byron York writes at The Washington Examiner, “The goal of The 1619 Project is to reframe American history. The basic thrust of the 1619 Project is that everything in American history is explained by slavery and race. The message is woven throughout the first publication of the project, an entire edition of the Times magazine.”

According to the project, every single aspect of American society is tainted by slavery and racism: our institutions, capitalism, politics, prisons, food habits, sports, highways, education, and (if you can believe it) traffic patterns. You name it, and it’s illegitimate. The Times plans to spread these ideas through every section of its paper leading up to the 2020 presidential election and to push for schools across the country to (further) change the way American history is taught.

York adds, “The Times has two big plans. One would be big enough: to focus on the universe of racism accusations that increasingly surround the president at a time when he just happens to be running for reelection. But the other is even bigger: to ‘reframe’ American history in accordance with the values of Times editors.”

It’s the paper’s hope that by framing everything about America in racial terms, and portraying President Trump as a racist, they’ll get rid of Trump and the country in one fell swoop by electing a socialist in 2020 and finishing Barack Obama’s dream of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

Claiming that our nation was founded on slavery is leftist revisionism of the worst sort. America was founded on the ideals within the Declaration of Independence, a document that freed current and future generations from oppression and slavery. Failing to live up to those ideals at times is simply a product of the human condition.

Inspired by the Declaration, states began abolishing slavery in the early years of the republic, not to mention the fact that the Founders set in a place mechanisms that would lead to the Slave Trade Act of 1794 and the 1818 Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves, supported by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson may have been inconsistent on the issue of slavery, but he makes it clear in his writings and speeches that slavery had to go. And every single freedom and equality movement since 1776 has been ignited by the tenets set down in the Declaration.

Clearly, the Founding Fathers (even those who were conflicted over the issue) knew that slavery was inconsistent with a nation founded upon God-given rights such as equality and Liberty. And don’t doubt for a second that the phrase “all men are created equal” opened up the floodgates of human freedom.

Slavery is a human evil, not a uniquely American one. Our nation is certainly not innocent of its connection to slavery, but to teach the next generation that every part of American society is irredeemably stained by it would radically and permanently alter our very civilization. Unfortunately, millions of American schoolchildren are already taught that our nation alone is responsible for slavery. They’d be shocked to learn that Africans didn’t come to our shores from societies that were free and prosperous, but were instead sold into slavery by their own brothers. Indeed, slavery still hasn’t been entirely eradicated from the African continent.

Or, as Erick Erickson writes, “The 1619 Project … seeks to divide, not heal. It seeks to give power and primacy to those who think the nation’s founding was premised on evil and demands that those who disagree be silent.”

Erickson offers a foreboding conclusion, suggesting, “If the nation is founded on slavery and slavery is woven into the very fabric of our society, then our society is illegitimate. The only way to overcome it is to overturn it. That would take revolution. This is the path The New York Times goes down. Once it lights this fire, it will not be able to control it. But it wants to strike the match anyway.”



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  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here 


Saturday, December 28, 2019

How 2 Years of Tax Cuts Have Supported Our Strong Economy

The tax bill cut taxes for the vast majority of Americans—nine out of every 10 people saw a tax cut or no change in what they paid.

Most Americans received their tax cut through lower employer withholding and thus bigger paychecks.

Businesses have added jobs for 110 straight months, the longest streak on record, and there are more jobs available than people looking for them.

This month marks the two-year anniversary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the most sweeping update to the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years.

The reforms simplified the process of paying taxes, lowered rates on individuals and businesses, and updated the business tax code so that American corporations and the people they employ can be globally competitive again.

The tax cuts included a long list of reforms that are worth reviewing. 

For individuals, the tax cuts reduced federal income tax rates, increased the standard deduction, doubled the child tax credit, repealed the personal and dependent exemptions, and capped the deductions for state and local taxes, among many other reforms. These expire at the end of 2025.

For businesses, the law permanently lowered the corporate tax rate to 21%, down from a global high of 35%, and temporarily allowed businesses to fully deduct most new U.S. investments.

The tax bill cut taxes for the vast majority of Americans—nine out of every 10 people saw a tax cut or no change in what they paid.

Using IRS data, The Heritage Foundation found that average households in every congressional district were projected to benefit from a tax cut in 2018. Most Americans received their tax cut through lower employer withholding and thus bigger paychecks.

The average American was projected to get a $1,400 tax cut in 2018 and $2,900 for a family of four.

We don’t have to guess anymore about the effects of the tax cuts. After actually filing their taxes with the IRS, Americans saw their average effective tax rates decline by 13% (or about 1.5 percentage points). Despite claims to the contrary, every income group benefited from the tax cut.

There were also significant time-savings and simplification. Not every part of the tax code was streamlined, but for most individual taxpayers, taxpaying is now more straightforward.

In 2017, 30% of households itemized their taxes, a more complicated process of documenting and calculating a list of discrete write-offs, such as the mortgage interest and charitable deductions.

In the first year of the tax cut, itemizers dropped from 30% to 10%, showing that millions of Americans opted for the single, simpler standard deduction. Under the new system the number of people who were able to do their own taxes increased by 4.4%. 

American workers and businesses have been doing better almost every year since the Great Recession. But the past several years have been different. Things aren’t just a bit better—we’ve been setting records.

Unemployment is at a 50-year low of 3.5%. Businesses have added jobs for 110 straight months, the longest streak on record, and there are more jobs available than people looking for them.

Wages have also been increasing. Average wage growth over the past year was 3.1% in the most recent government data. Non-supervisory and production worker wages grew even faster, at 3.7%. Before 2018, wage growth hadn’t reached 3% since 2009.

The lowest wage earners in the U.S. have been experiencing some of the largest wage gains. The 10th percentile wage earner (people making about $12 an hour) have benefited from a 7% wage increase from the third quarter of 2018 through the same in 2019, in the most recent quarterly data. That’s more than twice the gain in average wages and roughly equivalent to a $1,500 raise for someone earning less than $25,000 a year.

Minorities are also seeing larger than average gains. Lower-wage black workers have seen wage growth of 8.5%, and similar low-wage black women workers saw gains larger than 10%. Similar trends can be seen for low-wage Asian workers, Hispanic women, and people without a high school degree. 

Between the tax cuts and wage gains, The Heritage Foundation calculated that over the decade following the tax cuts, the typical American household will reap an additional $26,000 in take-home pay or $45,000 for a family of four. That’s more than enough to buy a new car or put a down payment on a house.

The American people seem to be internalizing all the good news. Job satisfaction and consumer confidence are high. Thanks to the strong economy, Americans who aren’t happy at their current work are voluntarily leaving their jobs for better opportunities at close to record rates. And Americans are saving more too, using the good economic times to prepare for their future. 

What About Investment?
The main way the tax cuts are expected to contribute to furthering the good economic trends is through increased business investment, which leads to more jobs, better technology, and eventually productivity gains. Each of these things helps boost wages.

Historically, reforms that lower business tax rates and allow more investment write-offs lead to increased business activity. Thus, economists expected economy-wide investment to increase following the reforms, and that’s exactly what happened.

It wasn’t until uncertainty regarding trade and tariffs in the following year dragged investment back down below pre-tax reform projections. The trade war seems to be hiding the tremendous successes of the 2017 tax cuts.

Immediately following the reforms, business fixed investment, new business applications, and other indicators, such as business confidence, all surpassed expectations. For example, immediately after the tax cuts were signed into law, business investment increase by 39% among the 130 in the S&P 500.

In such a turbulent policy environment, assessing the long-term success of tax reform will take time as new investment and increased productivity do not happen instantaneously.

The challenge for lawmakers will be to keep taxes low in the coming years so that the full economic benefits of the 2017 tax cuts can be enjoyed by generations to come.



Crisis looms in antibiotics as drug makers go bankrupt

It takes around a billion dollars for a drug to get through the FDA.  Easing the regulations there would obviously make new drugs  more available.  Giving medical specialists authority to prescribe any drug -- with or without FDA approval -- would be a big step forward

NEW YORK — At a time when germs are growing more resistant to common antibiotics, many companies that are developing new versions of the drugs are hemorrhaging money and going out of business, gravely undermining efforts to contain the spread of deadly, drug-resistant bacteria.

Antibiotic startups Achaogen and Aradigm have gone belly up in recent months, pharmaceutical behemoths Novartis and Allergan have abandoned the sector, and many of the remaining American antibiotic companies are teetering toward insolvency. One of the biggest developers of antibiotics, Melinta Therapeutics, recently warned regulators it was running out of cash.

Experts say the grim financial outlook for the few companies still committed to antibiotic research is driving away investors and threatening to strangle the development of new lifesaving drugs at a time when they are urgently needed.

“This is a crisis that should alarm everyone,” said Dr. Helen Boucher, an infectious disease specialist at Tufts Medical Center and a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

The problem is straightforward: The companies that have invested billions to develop the drugs have not found a way to make money selling them. Most antibiotics are prescribed for just days or weeks — unlike medicines for chronic conditions like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis that have been blockbusters — and many hospitals have been unwilling to pay high prices for the new therapies. Political gridlock in Congress has thwarted efforts to address the problem.

The challenges facing antibiotic-makers come at time when many of the drugs designed to vanquish infections are becoming ineffective against bacteria and fungi, as overuse of the decades-old drugs has spurred them to develop defenses against the medicines.

Drug-resistant infections now kill 35,000 people in the United States each year and sicken 2.8 million, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released last month. Without new therapies, the United Nations says, the global death toll could soar to 10 million by 2050.

The newest antibiotics have proved to be effective at tackling some of the most stubborn and deadly germs, including anthrax, bacterial pneumonia, E. coli, and multidrug-resistant skin infections.

The experience of the biotech company Achaogen is a case in point. It spent 15 years and $1 billion to win Food and Drug Administration approval for Zemdri, a drug for hard-to-treat urinary tract infections. In July, the World Health Organization added Zemdri to its list of essential new medicines.

But by then, there was no one at Achaogen to celebrate.

This past spring, with its stock price hovering near zero and executives unable to raise the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to market the drug and do additional clinical studies, the company sold off lab equipment and fired its remaining scientists. In April, the company declared bankruptcy.

Public health experts say the crisis calls for government intervention. Among the ideas that have wide backing are increased reimbursements for new antibiotics, federal funding to stockpile drugs effective against resistant germs, and financial incentives that would offer much needed aid to startups and lure back the pharmaceutical giants. Despite bipartisan support, legislation aimed at addressing the problem has languished in Congress.

“If this doesn’t get fixed in the next six to 12 months, the last of the Mohicans will go broke and investors won’t return to the market for another decade or two,” said Chen Yu, a health care venture capitalist who has invested in the field.

The industry faces another challenge: After years of being bombarded with warnings against profligate use of antibiotics, doctors have become reluctant to prescribe the newest medications, limiting the ability of companies to recoup the investment spent to discover the compounds and win regulatory approval. And in their drive to save money, many hospital pharmacies will dispense cheaper generics even when a newer drug is far superior.

“You’d never tell a cancer patient, ‘Why don’t you try a 1950s drug first and if doesn’t work, we’ll move on to one from the 1980s,’ ” said Kevin Outterson, the executive director of CARB-X, a government-funded nonprofit that provides grants to companies working on antimicrobial resistance. “We do this with antibiotics, and it’s really having an adverse effect on patients and the marketplace.”

Many of the new drugs are not cheap, at least when compared to older generics that can cost a few dollars a pill. A typical course of Xerava, a newly approved antibiotic that targets multidrug-resistant infections, can cost as much as $2,000.

“Unlike expensive new cancer drugs that extend survival by three to six months, antibiotics like ours truly save a patient’s life,” said Larry Edwards, chief executive of the company that makes Xerava, Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals. “It’s frustrating.”

Tetraphase, based in Watertown, Mass., has struggled to get hospitals to embrace Xerava, which took more than a decade to discover and bring to market, even though the drug can vanquish resistant germs MRSA and CRE, a bacteria that kills 13,000 people a year.

Tetraphase’s stock price has been hovering around $2, down from nearly $40 a year ago. To trim costs, Edwards recently shuttered the company’s labs, laid off some 40 scientists, and scuttled plans to move forward on three other antibiotics.

For Melinta Therapeutics based in Morristown, N.J., the future is even grimmer. Last month, the company’s stock price dropped 45 percent after executives issued a warning about the company’s long-term prospects. Melinta makes four antibiotics, including Baxdela, which recently received FDA approval to treat the kind of drug-resistant pneumonia that often kills hospitalized patients. Jennifer Sanfilippo, Melinta’s interim chief executive, said she was hoping a sale or merger would buy the company more time to raise awareness about the antibiotics’ value among hospital pharmacists and increase sales.

Coming up with new compounds is no easy feat. Only two new classes of antibiotics have been introduced in the last 20 years — most new drugs are variations on existing ones — and the diminishing financial returns have driven most companies from the market. In the 1980s, there were 18 major pharmaceutical companies developing antibiotics; today there are three.

“The science is hard, really hard,” said Dr. David Shlaes, a former vice president at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and a board member of the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, a nonprofit advocacy organization. “And reducing the number of people who work on it by abandoning antibiotic R&D is not going to get us anywhere.”

Some of the sector’s biggest players have coalesced around a raft of interventions and incentives that would treat antibiotics as a global good. They include extending the exclusivity for new antibiotics to give companies more time to earn back their investments and creating a program to buy and store critical antibiotics much the way the federal government stockpiles emergency medication for possible pandemics.

The DISARM Act, a bill introduced in Congress earlier this year, would direct Medicare to reimburse hospitals for new and critically important antibiotics. The bill has bipartisan support but has yet to advance.



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  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here 


Friday, December 27, 2019

Trump must go after New York’s violation of federal immigration law

At the end of the month, almost all criminals arrested for state crimes in New York, including sex crimes, will be released without posting bail. It is a suicidal policy, but it is nonetheless the state’s prerogative to engage in such suicide.

What is not its prerogative is the New York law that took effect this week granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens and blocking ICE access to criminal enforcement information. We have a national union with a federal government controlling immigration for a reason, and it’s time for the Trump administration to show state officials who has the final say over this issue.

Beginning this week, the NY state government is inviting any and all illegal aliens, with or without criminal records, to apply for driver’s licenses. As documentation, they can offer consular ID cards, which are fraught with fraud, expired work permits, or foreign birth certificates. They can even offer Border Crossing Cards, which are only valid for 72 hours and for a stay in the country near the border area! The state law further prohibits state and county officials from disclosing any information to ICE and bars ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from accessing N.Y. Department of Motor Vehicles (NYDMV) records and information.

It’s truly hard to overstate the enormity of the public safety crisis this law, dubbed “the green light law,” will spawn. There are currently 3.3 million aliens in the ICE non-detained docket who remain at large in this country. Just in one year, ICE put detainers on aliens criminally charged with 2,500 homicides. Given that New York has the fourth largest illegal alien population in the country, it is virtually certain that a large number of criminal aliens reside in the state and will now be offered legal resident documents to shield them from removal.

Some might suggest that this is the problem of New York’s residents and that it is their job and their responsibility alone to overturn these laws. But the difference between this law and their general pro-criminal laws is that when it comes to immigration, they simply lack the power to enact such a policy. Rather than the DHS and DOJ bemoaning these laws, it’s time for the Trump administration to actually stop them in their tracks. Otherwise the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution is nothing but ink on parchment.

A violation of federal law and the Constitution

8 U.S.C. § 1324 makes a felon of anyone who “knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place.” That statute also makes a criminal of anyone who “encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law” or anyone who “engages in any conspiracy to commit any of the preceding acts, or aids or abets the commission of any of the preceding acts.” Some form of this law has been on the books since 1891.

NY’s new law not only harbors illegal aliens but actually calls on the DMV to notify illegal aliens of any ICE interest in their files. There is only one purpose of this law: to tip off criminal alien fugitives that ICE is looking for them, the most literal violation of the law against shielding them from detection. Would we allow state officials to block information to the FBI, ATF, or DEA?

Moreover, New York’s Green Light law violates the entire purpose of the infamous 1986 amnesty bill, the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), which was “to combat the employment of illegal aliens.” The law specifically makes it “illegal for employers to knowingly hire, recruit, refer, or continue to employ unauthorized workers.” Yet the rationale for the Green Light Law, according to supporters, was “getting to work” and “ensure that our industries have the labor they need to keep our economy moving.” That directly conflicts with federal law.

Finally, 8 U.S.C. 1373 prohibits state and local government from “in any way restrict[ing]

, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.” The entire purpose of this bill is to restrict all New York government entities from sending information on citizenship status to ICE.

Whether one disagrees with immigration laws or not, nobody can argue that the federal government lacks the power to enforce them. Immigration law is one of the core jobs of the federal government. People are free to go to any state once they are in the country, which is why the Founders transferred immigration policy from the states under the Articles of Confederation to the federal government under the Constitution.

This is why James Madison in Federalist #42 bemoaned that, under the Articles of Confederation, there was a “very serious embarrassment” whereby “an alien therefore legally incapacitated for certain rights in the [one state], may by previous residence only in [another state], elude his incapacity; and thus the law of one State, be preposterously rendered paramount to the law of another, within the jurisdiction of the other.” He feared that without the Constitution’s new idea of giving the federal Congress power “to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,” “certain descriptions of aliens, who had rendered themselves obnoxious” would choose states with weak immigration laws as entry points into the union and then move to any other state as legal residents or citizens.

As for immigration without naturalization, because of the issue of the slave trade, the first clause of Article I, Section 9 bars Congress from prohibiting “the Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit” until the year 1808. Well, Congress has long exercised that power to exclude over the past 200 years. New York has lacked the ability to maintain its own separate immigration scheme for quite some time.

When did the federal government become weak in the face of state rebellion?

By DHS’ own admission last week during the announcement of ICE’s fiscal year 2019 enforcement results, enforcement is losing ground thanks to sanctuary states. But when did states suddenly become so powerful in an era where they seem to rely on the federal government for everything? Yes, we believe strongly, as conservatives, in state powers over internal affairs related to health care, agriculture, education, housing, marriage, abortion, and election law – all issues the federal government and courts have stolen from states. But immigration and border affairs are 100 percent within the province of the federal government, as the Supreme Court reiterated in Arizona v. U.S.

Accordingly, it’s time for the Trump administration to treat New York as a law-breaking jurisdiction that is in a state of rebellion against the most ironclad national security powers of the federal government. Trump should refuse to sign a budget bill unless it contains a provision cutting off highway funding to New York. Illegal aliens, even those with records of drunk and reckless driving, will now have valid means of driving not only on New York’s roads but those of every other state. New York should not get federal transportation funds until the law is rescinded.

Also, Trump’s Department of Justice should send a letter warning all state and local officials that if they cooperate with this rebel law, they are in direct violation of federal law. One prudent county clerk in Erie County has already filed a lawsuit against the state warning that the law puts him at risk for federal prosecution. If DOJ officially threatens broad prosecutions, it will force internal strife and a likely change in the law.

Finally, other states run by Republicans should refuse to recognize NY driver’s licenses until the policy is overturned. Part of why states agree to reciprocity is because we all are supposed to follow the same standards of identification integrity under federal law. If New York is now going to accept any foreign document as authentication of identity, it compromises the entire integrity of a New York driver’s licenses, even outside the concern of illegal immigration.

According to a Harvard-Harris poll, 72 percent of overall voters and 76 percent of suburban voters oppose issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. There is no bigger issue over which to force a budget fight.

Remember, the Left feared that Trump would not only block amnesty but begin removing some of these illegal aliens. The Left has responded by disobeying immigration law. If the federal government allows this to stand, it will be tantamount to de facto amnesty under a Republican administration.



Welfare is killing the American dream

America’s welfare system is broken.

In the wake of President Trump’s decision to toughen work requirements for food stamp recipients last week, Democrats and mainstream media elites are outraged at the thought of nearly 700,000 people breaking free from the shackles of government dependency.

Make no mistake: Americans should feel relieved to see a glimmer of common sense in the midst of the Democrats’s crusade to plunge the nation into socialism. Rather than celebrate this as an opportunity to end America’s chronic addiction to welfare, however, left-wing talking heads are once again terrifying the American people with more doomsday prophecies of social and economic collapse.

Following the 1996 passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (PRWORA), many Democrats predicted catastrophe then just as they are now. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) claimed it would “leave many welfare recipients unemployable” and “children ill-fed, ill-clothed and ill-housed." Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said streets would "look like the streets of the cities in Brazil" with children "begging for money, begging for food [and] engaging in prostitution." A July 1996 study released by the Urban Institute even estimated that over a million children would soon go into poverty.

Of course, none of these apocalyptic visions came true. The following years saw a decline in overall poverty rates, and the number of families receiving cash welfare fell to its lowest level in three decades. Furthermore, according to a 2006 report from the Brookings Institution, the number of employed single mothers rose from 58 percent in 1993 to 75 percent in 2000, while employment among never-married mothers rose from 44 percent to 66 percent.

Now, with job openings outnumbering unemployed workers by the largest margins ever, no excuse remains as to why able-bodied Americans cannot work. The incentive to take a job regardless of the wage must replace the attitude that the government can take care of us “from the cradle to the grave.”

America is a generous nation, perhaps the most generous in world history. According to The Giving Institute, Americans gave a record-breaking 427.71 billion dollars in charity in 2018 (even more than the record-setting amounts of 2017). The idea that America lacks the charitable spirit to take care of our neighbors who truly need it, is an insult to the kindness and goodwill of the American people.

We have allowed political correctness to stop us from exposing the welfare state for what it really is: politicians stealing money from some in order to buy votes from others.

Americans understand that prosperity originates from the people, not politicians. The ability of everyday people to create and innovate as they wish is a key aspect of the advancement of a society. Rather than encourage industry, imagination, and innovation, out-of-control welfare spending disincentivizes these values, allowing a crippling cycle of idleness, reliance on government, and poverty to take their place.

While we cannot rely on executive orders alone (nor should we), this move should spark a discussion across the country about how to end America’s addiction to corporate and domestic welfare spending. For those who say cutting welfare lacks compassion, ask yourselves this: Is it really compassionate to force hardworking Americans to support others who can work yet choose not to?

Real charity means helping a neighbor in need, not using the power of government against them.



Judges in GA and WI Okay Voter-Registry Cleanup

States can move forward on ensuring their voter rolls are up to date and accurate.

Despite howls of anger from the Left, judges in Georgia and Wisconsin have given the green light to state authorities to move forward on cleaning up their voter rolls. In Georgia, 309,000 names will be removed, including 120,000 names of voters who have not cast a vote since 2012, while the bulk of the other registered voters removed are due primarily to those individuals having left the state. Wisconsin will remove more than 200,000 names from its voter rolls.

Both states are acting to remain compliant with each state’s respective laws requiring the election commissions to maintain accurate registries of active voters. In his ruling on Georgia, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones noted, “The court’s ruling is based largely on defense counsel’s statement … that any voter registration that is canceled today can be restored within 24 to 48 hours.”

Predictably, the leftist activist group “Fair Fight Action,” a group founded by Georgia’s failed Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, filed an emergency motion to stop the registration cleanup, dubiously claiming, “Georgia’s practice of removing voters who have declined to participate in recent elections violates the United States Constitution.” Recall that Abrams, who still refuses to accept the fact that she lost the election, blamed her loss on false allegations of widespread voter suppression.

In Wisconsin, it was a lawsuit raised by voters that can be credited with successfully pushing the state’s elections commission to follow the state’s law requiring the purging from the registry voters who failed to respond to a notice verifying their address after 30 days. As The Wall Street Journal reported, “The commission decided not to deactivate registrations until 12 to 24 months after voters failed to respond rather than 30 days. The commission also jettisoned a formal rule making, which state law requires when an agency changes statutory interpretation or enforcement.” Of the more than 200,000 voters flagged as movers (individuals with multiple mailing addresses), only 16,500 have registered at a new address.

Furthermore, the Journal notes, “Enforcing the state law will merely help ensure that a liberal University of Wisconsin student doesn’t vote in both Madison and Milwaukee — or a Trump supporter in Wisconsin and Iowa. Democrats use cries of disenfranchisement to motivate their voters, but voter integrity shouldn’t be a partisan issue and it isn’t in this case in Wisconsin.”

For a party that has spent the last three years trying to impeach a president over phony charges of election rigging, Democrats sure do whatever they can to prevent actual election integrity.



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  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here 


Thursday, December 26, 2019

The Democrats Make Insanity a Vocation

Times ain’t normal. You might think that it has all happened before but it hasn’t. The Democratic Party in the United States has lost its collective mind. Maybe you could go back to the fall of the Roman Empire to find a parallel. Short of that, we are in unknown territory. The world would change, and definitely not for the better, if the current version of the Democratic Party were to get into power.

Tune in to any of the Dem debates and discover that all of the presidential candidates occupy cloud-cuckoo land. They want open borders, convicted murderers to vote from their jail cells, all illegal immigrants to be given amnesty and health care, all student debt forgiven, free college tuition, increases in minimum wages, increased taxes on the wealthy and on corporations, increases in the minimum wage, reparations for the sins of slavery and Jim Crow (to whom, by whom, who the heck knows?) And all of this, and much more, while dismantling the fossil-fuel industries that power America.

You might think that the above doesn’t apply to the so-called moderates among the presidential candidates. There are no moderates. The Left has captured the Party.

Why would you think that all but two of the 31 newly elected supposedly moderate Democratic Congressmen and women, who won in districts in 2018 that voted for Trump, voted for impeachment. Weren’t they brave in standing up for their principles? What a joke. They knew that they would be disowned and deselected by their Party in 2020 if they didn’t toe the line.

Take moderate Joe Biden answering this question at the most recent debate in Los Angeles on December 19. He was asked if he would be willing to put at risk the jobs of hundreds of thousands of blue-collar workers in the interest of transitioning to a greener economy”

“The answer is yes. The answer is yes, because the opportunity — the opportunity for those workers to transition to high-paying jobs, as Tom [Steyer] said, is real.”

No, it isn’t real; it is imaginary. One would have liked one of his competitors to have piped up and said so. But, of course, they are all singing from the Green New Deal playbook; otherwise known as “How to Cripple America.” When you think about Russian collusion, I think we can say with confidence that this playbook (the wet dream of US commie academics) most definitely comes with Putin’s imprimatur.

Here is another moderate, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of no known distinction save that he is gay. He was asked if he would compensate families entering the US illegally who were separated at the border. “Yes,” he said, “and they should have a fast track to citizenship, because what the United States did under this president to them was wrong. We have a moral obligation to make right what was broken.”

Of course, he would say that. They all would. No one could risk disagreeing. At an earlier debate, with many more candidates on stage, they were collectively asked whether they would give free health insurance to illegal immigrants. Only Biden’s hand stayed down; momentarily, until he saw the lie of the land and then dutifully raised his hand in obeisance to the mob.

Name any woke cause and the heads nod. All too afraid to buck AOC, the Squad and the rest of the left-wing rabble that now controls Pelosi and the Party. Mind you, Pocahontas takes the cake in the woke stakes.

An outlier among outliers, here are two of her undertakings in the unfortunate event she becomes president: “I will go to the Rose Garden once every year to read the names of transgender women, of people of color, who have been killed in the past year … I would change the rules now that put people in prison based on their birth-sex identification rather than their current identification.” Apparently, she doesn’t give a hoot about straight white murder victims or about actual women trapped in cells with male-equipped six-footers who have put it about that they like to think of themselves as females. Bizarre on stilts.

What is particularly disquieting is the way the extremism which has taken over the Democratic Party has become the new normal. Presidential candidates can espouse the most ridiculous, untenable dangerous and debilitating policies without being laughed off the stage. Sure, you get some conservative commentators, including a few on Fox News, who rightly ridicule the idiocy on show. But, on the whole, the MSM take it in their stride. Gorillas in a beauty pageant. Nothing to see here.

When even lefty Barack Obama worries where the Dems are heading — “The average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it.” — we’ve all got to worry. Perhaps another Trump win in 2020 (and, surely, he will win) will bring some reason and sense back to the Democratic Party. Maybe.



A psychopathic presidential candidate

Elizabeth Warren Falsely Suggests She Couldn't Go to College Because She Couldn't Afford It

On Monday, Senator Elizabeth Warren posted a video of herself visiting her high school. "By the time I graduated high school, my folks couldn't even afford a college application—much less four years of college," she says in the video, before delighting us with video of her looking at a trophy case and meeting the high school debate team.

And that's it. The message of this video was clear: Elizabeth Warren grew up so poor she couldn't afford college! What she fails to mention is that she did go to college... She went to George Washington University... on a debate scholarship. Why was this little factoid left out of her tweet or her video? Was her desperate attempt to appear relatable to "regular people" so desperate that she deliberately created the false impression she couldn't afford to go to college, and thus didn't? If you didn't know her life story, that's definitely the impression this tweet and video give.

But that's not her story at all. She went to George Washington University on a scholarship. That actually makes a great story about how hard work and studying can open up opportunities, but that doesn't exactly fit with left-wing orthodoxy, so instead she just skips over that detail in order to make it appear she missed out on college because she was poor, and so she wouldn't have to bring up the fact that she dropped out after two years to get married. High school debate may have given her the opportunity to go to George Washington University, but that was an opportunity wasted just so she could marry a man. How progressive!

Her deception gets worse.

Back in November, she made the following tweet:

I got my degree thanks to a quality public college where tuition was just $50 a semester. That kind of opportunity doesn't exist for students today. I'm fighting for universal free public two year, four year, and technical college so that every student can live their dream.

Here, in order to make a point about universal college education, she talks about how she eventually got her degree at the University of Houston, which had cheap tuition. Funny how her dropping out of college to get married wasn't mentioned here, too. Or the fact that the University of Houston wasn't the only public college with affordable tuition, which means that even if she hadn't gotten the scholarship to George Washington University, that college was absolutely accessible to her when she graduated high school.

Like her bogus Native American heritage, Elizabeth Warren is desperately trying to hide the fact that she's wealthy by omitting key facts from her biography in order to create politically convenient narratives about her life story.

I could get into the whole fact that her push for "free" college will only make it more expensive, but why bother?




SPENDING BILL SIGNED: President Trump signed into law Friday night a $1.4 trillion spending package that avoids a government shutdown, funds all federal agencies through September, provides up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for most federal employees and spends $1.375 billion on his border wall (The Washington Times)

"OFFENSIVELY QUESTIONED ... SPIRITUAL INTEGRITY": Nearly 200 evangelical leaders condemned Christianity Today editorial on Trump (Fox News)

DEFENDING RULE OF LAW: President Trump has installed 187 federal judges so far (Disrn)

FAKE NEWS: Bloomberg ad makes wildly misleading claim: 263 school shootings "since Trump took office" (The Daily Wire)

NO RACISM: Service academies find cadets were playing "circle game" and not making white-power hand gesture during Army-Navy game (National Review)

KINSHIP: Trump hosts Amish in historic Oval Office visit (The Washington Times)

KHASHOGGI TRIAL: Saudi Arabia sentences five to death for Jamal Khashoggi's brutal murder (Associated Press)

"A MAJOR BLOW TO THE GANG'S LEADERSHIP": Ninety-six MS-13 members arrested in New York in largest takedown of gang (U.S. News & World Report)

BLUE-STATE EXODUS: California population growth slowest since 1900 as residents leave, immigration decelerates (Los Angeles Times)

COMMUNISM RISING: Here's how China became the world's No. 2 economy and how it plans on being No. 1 (CNBC)

POLICY: Raising the smoking age is a drastic response to a nonexistent problem (Washington Examiner)

POLICY: Immigration will shift Electoral College in favor of Democrats, study finds (The Daily Signal)


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  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here 


Wednesday, December 25, 2019

  The blessed day has arrived

I engineered it this year so that all of my stepchildren and their children were home for the Christmas period.  Unfortunately "the girls" could not be present for the actual Christmas day but it was still great to see them and their children very recently.  It is amusing that although the two mothers are not at all alike, their two daughters are growing up as little ladies.  Both mothers are very indulgent, however, so both little girls are free to be themselves.

It may help to realize how good our Christmas reunion has been if you know that the families literally came from opposite ends of the earth, from Scotland and New Zealand respectively.  It is one of the wonders of geography that despite their great distance apart, both families speak their native language in their native accents in their new homes and are perfectly understood and respected. Our seafaring British ancestors did a great thing through their voyages.

Some great journeys of emigration are well known -- the Mayflower etc. -- but one of the greatest is little known outside Australia -- the convoy of 11 ships known to Australians as The First Fleet.  In fragile little wooden ships of mostly under 400 tons, powered only by the wind, the fleet sailed half way around the world and arrived at their destination in good order.  From England, the Fleet sailed southwest to Rio de Janeiro, then east to Cape Town and via the Great Southern Ocean to Botany Bay, arriving in 1788 and taking two thirds of a year to do it (May to January).

It was a military expedition -- run by the Royal Navy, including marines -- so that no doubt helped in maintaining order. But it was still an heroic enterprise.  In a very British move, the personnel even included a judge. I love that. It is because of them and other intrepid British sailors that you can now move from one end of the earth to the other and still freely speak your native English.  We have been very well-served by our ancestors.

So we have had Paul, Susan and their three with us for most of December and have them with us today.  They have three exceptional children: A boy who is exceptionally bright, a girl who is exceptionally feminine and another girl who is exceptionally naughty.  They are all a great delight.

I am writing this early on Christmas morning and the BOM have forecast rain.  I have little respect for the BOM and their forecasts but we had a big storm yesterday so they may be right this time. In the circumstances we are all going to crowd indoors rather than having our activities around the BBQ in the back yard.

In times past Anne and I used to go to the magnificent St. John's cathedral for the Christmas service but we have got out of the way of doing that these days.  That the sermons were always complete mush did not help.  It is an Anglican cathedral.  Spurgeon would weep


My Christmas wish

Below see a picture of a small W.E. Bassett Company "Trim Trio" pocket knife which makes an excellent key-ring. I liked them so much that in their heyday back in the '60s I bought a swag of them.  Over the years however I gave away some and lost some so now I have only one left -- which is in my pocket every time I go out.  The company's website seems defunct so I cannot order more of them directly.  If anyone can find a current email address for them I would appreciate it


A Great Christmas story

Penny Nance
News of “Tips for Jesus” filled the airwaves as an anonymous tipper left thousands for unsuspecting waitresses — all in the name of Jesus — scratching “God Bless” and leaving only a blessing.

What would just one hundred extra dollars mean to you? For most of us, $100 is a lot of money. However, for some people it is an immense amount of wealth and can maybe even mean the difference between life and death.

At Christmas time, believers often want to give even more of our resources to care for the poor or to charities, including Concerned Women for America, and we are very grateful. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “God loves a cheerful giver.”

In 2010, in addition to our regular support for our church, Concerned Women for America, and Prison Fellowship Ministries, my husband and I decided to respond to a challenge by a friend. The plan was for us to each carry a crisp $100 bill and then to pray diligently for the Lord to show us to whom it was to be given. That sounds simple, right? Seriously, when you look around you, especially in an urban area like Washington, DC, where I live, you soon realize there are people in need everywhere. But it wasn’t that easy.

It was an amazing spiritual journey for me as I walked around Washington, DC, asking, “Who, Lord, may I bless?" I prayed for the waitress, I prayed for my taxi driver, and I prayed for the homeless guy.

My work required me to go to New York City for a Fox interview, and I remember thinking that might be the perfect place to help someone in need. I walked through Penn Station waiting for my train and prayed for the homeless. I looked at other commuters and the women who sold me coffee, but no. In my heart, I truly felt like they were not the intended recipients of my special offering of love. They needed my prayers, and oh how I wish I lived every day praying for God’s blessing on the people around me as I did during that season. However, the answer always seemed to be a heavenly, "No.”

Other believers will understand that there is an internal dialogue that happens that to the outside world may sound crazy, but to those who know the Father’s inaudible urging, once you “hear” it, there is no denying it. I started to get annoyed. Christmas was past and still I had this $100 in my pocket. I had resisted the urge to spend it many times over the past couple of months.

Maybe God wasn’t listening, or maybe I didn’t hear him. I confess that, as the weeks wore on, I didn’t quite think about it every day as I had in the beginning, but I still held out hope that God had someone I could help in a meaningful way that went beyond the money to being a light in darkness.

Then came Feb. 4. I was on my way to work, crossing the 14th Street bridge into DC, like I do almost every weekday morning. I often see people asking for money, but I have never felt compelled to give anything past maybe the Zone Bar I had in my purse for my lunch. This morning was different.

There was a woman on the bridge who I barely noticed at first, but just as I passed her, our eyes locked and I knew! I can’t explain it, and the skeptics reading are going to think I’m crazy again, but I knew.

Now, for you non-believers, in the Evangelical tradition, we believe that the Holy Spirit is responsible for touching our hearts and consciences in this intimate way. The Holy Spirit, in our theology, doesn’t produce the foaming-at-the-mouth, rolling-around-on-the-carpet reactions that some would have you believe. Instead, He’s a still, small, inaudible voice that convicts you when you blow it in a very painful way and urges you to do good.

Now, this urging toward good works isn’t going to earn our way to heaven. Its purpose is to please our Savior, whose sacrifice on the cross paid the penalty for our sin and brokenness. Our good works are an offering of love. My giving to the poor is, in essence, giving to God. As Matthew 25:40 says, “When you did it to one of the least of these … you were doing it to me.” We know that we can never measure up to God’s holiness. That’s why it’s called “grace.” Jesus takes our sin and has already paid the price in full. Our good works come as a gift to Him in gratitude for the price He paid in our place by dying on the cross.

So there it is. I believed the Holy Spirit was urging me to give this woman my $100. But how? I was flying through rush-hour traffic and had to figure out how to “obey God.” In DC, traffic is hard enough on a normal day. My heart was beating out of my chest with the urgency of my quest. I did a U-turn and found a place to park my car.

Then it hit me. “Now what do I do?" My head took over what my heart was urging. I was thinking, "Now, she’s begging on a bridge, and you don’t want to reward her for that, so you better say something about begging not being ideal." It hit me hard: "DON’T SAY THAT!” was the response I felt — almost like I had been slapped in the back of the head. "Don’t you dare say that.“ Okay, then what? What am I to say? Then I knew. "Tell her, ‘God sees her.’" What? What does that mean? I’m thinking, "Okay God, I hope you know what you’re doing.”

I hopped out of my car, ran in the rain across the street, and motioned for her to cross to me. I was afraid to leave my car parked so illegally. She must have thought I was insane, but she came. And I said it. I handed her the money, and I said, “God told me to give this to you." I took her face in both of my hands, looked her in the eyes with tears in mine, and said, "God sees you! He sees you and He loves you!" And in that place, in the rain, a woman in dirty clothes and a sad face broke down, began weeping hysterically, and threw her arms around me. She gave the hardest, sweetest hug I have had in years. We both cried a moment — her loudly, me quietly — and then we parted. I have never seen her again since.

The afternoon of that same day went down in DC history as one of the largest snowstorms ever. It was nicknamed "Snowmagedden." No one, certainly not me, knew it was coming. We received 20 inches of snow in a matter of hours, and traffic was snarled for almost 24 hours. It took me 12 hours to get back home that night, instead of my normal hour, and all I could think about besides "I hope I don’t wreck” was about the woman on the bridge. Maybe she and her family were sleeping someplace warm instead of under a bridge. Maybe she wasted it on booze or drugs. I’ll never know. But I know I saw a miracle happen in me. I saw God answer my prayer and maybe save a life or, at the very least, shed some light in a dark world.

So here comes Christmas again. I challenge you to join me this year in your own $100 challenge. Skimp on the coffee or a big meal or something else you want and save a crisp bill for someone God chooses. This part is a must: pray, pray, pray for the people around you, and expect a miracle. But most of all, be anonymous, and give God the glory. The miracle will be in your own heart as much as in someone else’s life. I want to hear your story. Email me how you took part in the $100 challenge at mail@cwfa.org.



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  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here