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the tax cuts reduced federal income tax rates, increased the standard deduction, doubled the child tax credit, repealed the personal and dependent exemptions, and capped the deductions for state and local taxes, among many other reforms.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



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


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all who come by here

May this Holy time bring you all its blessings

I will be posting over the Christmas New Year period but not as much as usual


What the USMCA does

After nearly a year of delay, this gift for the American people represents an opportunity for freer trade and a chance to grow our economy, reduce prices on many goods, and increase our exports to the world, creating more and higher-paying jobs in the process.

As we all know, just like with other Christmas gifts, you can also get the occasional ugly sweater that you really didn’t want. The same is true here. Some compromises were made to get the USMCA through Congress, like labor and environmental provisions that actually will create some barriers to trade and cause cost increases with certain goods.

However, just like you wouldn’t cancel Christmas gift-giving because you might get one of Aunt Janice’s homemade reindeer sweaters, the effect of these extra provisions doesn’t outweigh the fact that the overall agreement is truly in the best interest of America’s families, workers, businesses and farmers.

The USMCA would update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). When NAFTA was passed in 1994, it created one of the largest free-trade zones in the world, allowing America to export more products and services, create more jobs and grow the economy.

Additionally, NAFTA allowed American businesses to develop better supply chains where they could draw from the best and most competitively priced products and raw materials from throughout North America. Businesses could trade them across borders without tariffs, lowering the overall costs of the end products. That process has helped many American products become even more competitively priced around the world.

The USMCA continues NAFTA’s benefits while also opening up new markets for American farmers to sell their goods. Specifically, U.S. agricultural producers will have better access to the Canadian market to sell products such as milk, cheese, wheat, chicken, eggs and turkey.

Moreover, one of the most significant gains with the new USMCA agreement is the assurance that an ever-growing way of doing business — digital trade — will remain free. When NAFTA was created, e-commerce didn’t really exist and buying and selling freely over the Internet wasn’t an issue. USMCA prohibits our member governments from imposing protectionist regulations that could inhibit companies and individuals from trading online across borders.

The USMCA also includes new protections for patents, copyrights and trademarks. This will benefit consumers by bringing more innovative products and services to market, as inventors and investors are able to create them without fear of them being stolen by others within the free-trade zone.

Finally, moving forward with the USMCA should allow many businesses to get back on track with expansions of their facilities and the hiring of new workers — plans that had been put on hold because of the uncertainty involved in waiting for the details of a new trade agreement. Knowing the rules helps to alleviate the uncertainty that businesses have felt.

As to the ugly-sweater part of this agreement, compromises were made to get it through Congress. The USMCA contains some provisions that actually create barriers to trade rather than free it up — making goods and services more expensive or stifling trade altogether. While certain environmental standards and labor standards, like imposing minimum wages and standards for working conditions in Mexico, may seem well-intentioned, they create an anathema to free trade — more government interference — and also weaken Mexico’s sovereign ability to determine its own laws.

Another provision increases the “rules of origin” requirements for automakers that could actually increase prices on automobiles. USMCA would require that 75 percent of auto content be made in North America. If automakers couldn’t get or didn’t use parts that met that threshold, they would be required to pay a tariff on them.

While this provision is meant to drive more automotive production into North America, it could actually have the unintended consequence of increasing costs and making auto manufacturing less competitive in the global marketplace, leading to lower sales.

Because of these provisions, USMCA should not be considered a model for future agreements. Free-trade agreements should focus narrowly on facilitating free trade. However, these compromises reflect the realities of our divided government and they don’t outweigh the fact that the overall agreement remains a solid win for the American people.

The bottom line: USMCA means freer trade, and freer trade means billions of dollars in new economic activity, new jobs, higher wages, and lower prices for the American people and for our North American neighbors. That’s a win-win-win everyone can get behind.



Warren ducked the toughest questions in the Democratic debate

Jeff Jacoby

[Note: This comment was written immediately following the sixth televised Democratic presidential debate in Los Angeles on Thursday night.]

Seven of the Democratic candidates for president took the stage in a debate sponsored by PBS and Politico. They were former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, as well as three lower-tier candidates: Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, and billionaire activist Tom Steyer.

There was a moment, just before the end of last night's Democratic debate at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, when Elizabeth Warren seemed to be on the point of directly answering an awkward question.

One of the PBS moderators had asked the debaters if, in the spirit of the season, there was another candidate on the stage to whom they would like to give a gift or from whom they wished to ask forgiveness. Andrew Yang cheerfully offered to give each candidate a copy of his book. Pete Buttigieg lamely announced that his "gift" would be for "literally anybody up here to become president." Then Warren, looking earnest, said she was going to ask for forgiveness.

"I know that sometimes I get really worked up," the Massachusetts senator began. "Sometimes I get a little hot." But that, she said, is because when you take 100,000 selfies with fans on the campaign trail, you hear a lot of sad stories, like the one about the people in Nevada who have to split their insulin three ways. "And that's why I'm running."

So whom would she ask for forgiveness? Warren never actually got around to answering that question.

It wasn't the only question she never actually got around to answering.

Early on, Warren was asked about critiques of her much-touted plan to soak the rich with steep new wealth taxes. Many analysts — including former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and experts at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School — have been pointing out significant shortcomings in her plan, which would raise far less revenue than she claims and inflict considerable damage to the economy. How, Warren was asked, would she answer "top economists" who say her tax plan would stifle growth and investment?

"Oh, they're just wrong," she asserted. But she didn't respond to any of their arguments. She merely pivoted to her standard talking points about all the pie in the sky her "two-cent" tax will pay for.

At another point, the candidates were asked to answer Barack Obama's recent jab that the world's problems are usually caused by "old people . . . not getting out of the way." How would Warren — who, if elected, would be the oldest president in history — answer legitimate concerns about age? The senator tossed off a quip ("I'd also be the youngest woman ever inaugurated"), but then ducked the question and talked about her 100,000 selfies.

Why is Warren proposing free college tuition even for the wealthy? No answer. If Warren donated to Buttigieg's campaign, would the fact that she's a millionaire "pollute" his campaign? No answer.

For a long time, Warren has been laboring to sell herself as the candidate with all the answers. Instead, she's acquired a reputation as the politician likeliest to duck tough questions. In last night's debate, Warren had plenty of sass and attitude and stage presence. What she didn't have, even after all these months, was the courage to give clear answers to direct questions.



The Right to Destroy Cities

This week, the Supreme Court effectively mandated continued legal tolerance for homelessness across major cities on the West Coast of the United States.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that Americans have a right to sleep on the streets, and that it amounts to “cruel and unusual punishment” under the Constitution to levy fines based on such behavior.

That court—a repository of stupidity and radicalism, the Mos Eisley of our nation’s federal bench—decided that writing a $25 ticket to people “camping” on the sidewalk is precisely the sort of brutality the Founding Fathers sought to prohibit in stopping torture under the Eighth Amendment.

That ruling was so patently insane that even liberal politicians such as Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas joined the appeal attempt. “Letting the current law stand handicaps cities and counties from acting nimbly to aid those perishing on the streets, exacerbating unsafe and unhealthy conditions that negatively affect our most vulnerable residents,” he explained.

But the 9th Circuit ruling will stand. That ruling followed a separate 2006 ruling from the same court, which found that cities could not ban people from sleeping in public places. In this case, Judge Marsha Berzon, in language so twisted it would make yoga pioneer Bikram Choudhury jealous, wrote that “the state may not criminalize the state of being ‘homeless in public places'” and thus could not criminalize the “consequence” of being homeless.

It is worth noting that being homeless is not a “state” of being. It is not an immutable characteristic. It is an activity and can certainly be regulated.

That doesn’t mean the best solution is prosecution of those living on the street—a huge swath of homeless people are mentally ill or addicted to drugs and would benefit from better laws concerning involuntary commitment or mandatory drug rehabilitation. But to suggest that cities cannot do anything to effectively police those sleeping on the streets is to damn those cities to the spread of disease, the degradation of public spaces, and an increase in street crime.

Hilariously, Berzon contended that this 9th Circuit ruling would not mandate cities to provide full housing to the homeless; it would just prohibit them from moving or arresting the homeless for living on the streets. Which is somewhat like Tom Hagen telling Jack Woltz that while he doesn’t have to cast Johnny Fontane in his new war film, he can’t stop the Corleones from rearranging the family stable.

But here’s the problem: Cities that have attempted to provide increased housing for the homeless, despite some early successes, have seen their problems return.

Cities like Seattle and Los Angeles have attempted to build new housing. It’s been an expensive failure. It turns out that the carrot of housing must be accompanied by the stick of law enforcement. If you cannot compel drug addicts to enter treatment, or paranoid schizophrenics to take their medication, or those who refuse to live indoors to do so, homelessness will not abate.

As it is, the Supreme Court has damned America’s major cities to the continuation of the festering problem of homelessness. And that problem won’t be solved by judges who attempt to force social policy through deliberately misreading the Constitution, or who believe they are championing “freedom” for tens of thousands of Americans who are seriously mentally ill or addicted to drugs.




POLITICAL THEATER: It's official: House Democrats close up shop without sending articles of impeachment to the Senate (PJ Media)

WANDERING MINDS WANTS TO KNOW: If impeachment articles are not delivered, did impeachment happen? Sure, it's a stupid question ... but we're living in stupid times. (National Review)

"THIS LEGISLATION TOUCHES ALL 50 STATES": Senate sends 2020 budget to Trump's desk (National Review)

FOR THE RECORD: Twenty-one things 18-year-olds can do under spending bill before they can legally buy cigarettes (The Federalist)

IN CASE OF BOREDOM... Here is everything you intentionally missed during Thursday night's Democrat debate (The Daily Caller)

WHAT DID HE KNOW, AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT? U.S. Attorney John Durham is scrutinizing ex-CIA Director John Brennan's role in Russian-interference findings (The New York Times)

SENATE SHOULD PASS IT EARLY NEXT YEAR: United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal passes House with broad bipartisan support (National Review)

MORE EVIDENCE OF RACISM: Trump signs "groundbreaking" legislation supporting historically black colleges and universities (The Daily Caller)

POLICY: Big teacher-pay proposals are missing the mark (The Hill)

POLICY: Russia's Eastern Mediterranean strategy — implications for the U.S. and Israel (Hudson Institute)


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 23, 2019

America's Immigration Dilemma

What makes an immigrant culturally qualified to enter the United States?

Most people who are presenting themselves at our Southern borders from Mexico, and South and Central America, and others who are seeking asylum mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, are from countries outside the historical process. Many of these countries are not just political rogue states, but also economic rogue states as well. They have failed to put into practice a set of sound economic policies that satisfy the basic needs of a majority of their citizens. Failed states are sinkholes in the world. They actively detract value from the region in much the same way that condemned buildings used by criminals spread mayhem and drag down home values throughout a neighborhood. Since regions are interconnected via a vast causal network of interlocking social, political and fiscal systems, they contaminate the entire liberal order.

It has, therefore, been part of America’s liberal, egalitarian and benevolent policy to admit such persons who stand little chance of making anything substantial of their lives in their own countries entrance into the United States.

This is and remains the greatness of America. People came here and they wanted to love America and become Americans. They came with no sense of entitlements, no sense of aggrievement—only with a burning desire to make something of their lives and, in doing so, to make superlative or small contributions to the moral meaning of America. As they stepped into the future America promised them, they, by their efforts and suffusion of the landscape with an original assemblage of who they were, simultaneously co-created a future template for others to inhabit.

But the immigrant demographics of this great country are changing. We are witnessing individuals who are bringing their illiberal values into the United States and wishing to implement them and re-make the country entirely into their own illiberal image. In the case of many Islamic transplants, they claim to be moderates in their religious faith. Yet they are complicit in the radical factions of a political ideology many take to be a religion of peace. By default, they do not condemn the growing fealty to the idea that Sharia law can and should run parallel to American jurisprudential law. They do not condemn the growing anti-Semitism and Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) campaigns sweeping college campuses which, incidentally, are not generated by even radical Muslims, but by mainstream moderates who view Israel as a genocidal and apartheid state, and America as an evil imperial nation.

The Hispanic populations which include several asylum seekers are from statist countries who have been reared on the idea that their fate is not their responsibility, and that the state must take care of all their needs. These individuals are being courted and entreated by a vast left-wing socialist faction within the liberal party that is no longer considered a fringe element of the party, but rather, a major and crucial identifying marker of it. Politicians like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declare that as Democratic Socialists they are not just going to change the economic policies of our free market system, but also that they intend to fundamentally change the values that underlie it.

We should not, therefore, be surprised that hordes of undocumented residents upon entering the United States are demanding and are receiving free health care, free education and are demanding the right to vote. They often treat America as if she were the dumping ground for all their needs and unmet desires. They are more likely to vote this country into socialism and, therefore, economic ruin—to say nothing of violating the moral foundations on which capitalism rests. This includes the idea that each person is an end in himself who deserves the just rewards of his labor, that his brain and its material applications—his property cannot be nationalized or redistributed by government fiat. Major studies reveal that only 45% of young Americans view capitalism positively, while 51% have a fondness for socialism.

If Americans have reason to believe that a loss to their cultural identities and economic ways of life are going to be challenged by a “new immigrant ethos” that differed from the old ethos, then they have a right to ask a fundamental new question: What makes an immigrant culturally qualified to enter the United States? What sort of sensibilities ought he or she to have? If such immigrants are predisposed to simply transplanting their illiberal values with no desire to assimilate into becoming Americans, should they be let in? If their voting proclivities can be predicted and such proclivities translates into voting into existence a real existential threat facing us today: socialism—then ought we to let in such persons?

This sort of moral vigilance over the republic was perhaps never so needed as it is today as we face a multiplicity of cultural wars. The professoriate has grown more radical in cultivating universities that have become indoctrination centers and, therefore, national security threats. It has waged a war against reason, morality, the values of Americanism, produced a climate of Americaphobia, anti-free speech, massive entitlement programs, and a desire to abolish the second amendment. In the name of a postmodern philosophy it advocates nihilism and cultural relativism.

It is under such open hatred for Western values, the shameless promotion of the Islamification of our country, indiscriminate toleration of all values except conservative ones, and the willful intention to destroy the moral and economic base of capitalism that they seek to re-socialize the sensibilities of immigrants into inhabiting a new Anti-American ethos. It is one whose holders are welfare-dependent, whose agency can be expropriated by a managerial class that can promise them the guarantee of absolute outcomes resulting from their exercised efforts.

Not all persons have ever been allowed into the future. Some, for various reasons, have been left behind. But against the backdrop of all that is written here, we may say that a deliberate policy of moral-rational exclusion from entrance into the future can be the goal of a civilized republic if and when it can rationally and objectively identify those whose admittance could annihilate its moral, cultural and  economic development. This may sound like a hard formula to implement. Nevertheless, a social order of the unfit, by the unfit, and for the unfit is no recipe for civilizational continuity—to say nothing of the grandeur, exaltation, majesty and, as always, the unbridled expression of the luminous potential of man.

Today, we are witnessing a systematic attempt by the Left to alter the cultural character of our republic. Many companies, swayed by a logic of cultural relativism, have become sharia compliant in order to attract and manage Muslim wealth. Universities and private institutions of learning and think tanks are the recipients of millions of dollars from state sponsors of terrorism from countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. There is a growing proliferation of Middle Eastern Studies Programs and Palestinian Studies Programs on our university campuses. These political maneuverings, no doubt, are part of a large indoctrination agenda by the left to Islamify our American civilization by re-socializing the sensibilities of our young people into becoming future Jihadists and haters of America. The key players in this campus reform movement, the Students for Justice in Palestine, a Hamas surrogate institution of which 200 chapters exist on USA campuses, are free not only to promote BDS campaigns against Israel. Most importantly, the goals of the Islamicist movements is consistent with the larger goals of their international schemes: to establish an Islamic Caliphate right here in our great republic of the United State of America.

The re-alteration of civic character is also being encouraged by an outright disregard for law when it is broken in the name of creating sanctuary cities. A form of emotionalism that pits undocumented residents against laws that determine legal residency accounts for the demonization of the concept of law itself, and the elevation of illegal actions to the form of cult heroism.

Hence our future will be blocked. The future blockers are unable to deal with the very notion of a future because the future itself is only a promise. It holds no predictable results correlative to efforts. But leftists want a predictable utopia. If we want to keep the future alive, it is freedom and liberty, and the timeless values of America that must be preserved. Those values need inoculation. Not everyone should be allowed into the future because too many are devoted to the destruction of its possibility.

And so, in our conclusion we face the challenge of how to answer the question: how do we keep our future open? We spoke about a policy of moral-rational exclusion to prevent the social ballasts and the destroyers of our Republic from foreclosing the future by suggesting they cannot be allowed into the future of which the United States is both a symbol and a reality. We must now think about a policy of strategic inclusion of those immigrants who are culturally qualified to preserve the civic DNA of our republic. Wherever they come from in the world, those who are admitted into the moral republic of the United States of America, must pass stricter cultural and civic qualifying tests. Their fealty to the republic must be demonstrable in ways determined by our appropriate government agencies. Those exclusive elites admitted must have a pre-disposition to love America. They ought to have a set of meritocratic skills that can enhance the spiritual, economic, moral and political reputation and character of the republic. They ought not be parasitic drainages and suckers with little to offer that can enhance the grandeur and nobility of the republic.

My sense is that Western Europe is culturally over. The Islamicists have won. The crime waves traceable to migrant populations, and the increasing anti-Semitism sweeping European capitals, the Islamic colonization of France, the Netherlands, England, and the Scandinavian countries will have serious consequences. With President Trump’s recent executive order recognizing Judaism not just as a religion, but as a nationality, I submit that there will be a wave of ambitious Europeans eager to flee the cultural hell-holes their countries have become. They are going to be the smartest, and the most talented of individuals. They will speak exemplary English, and they will be multi-lingual. Furthermore, they will contribute most to making the American Republic a superlative world power. We should accept them into our benevolent nation.

A vast number of European populist governments will rise up to control the Islamification of their countries after experiencing such brain drains. Rather than wait for the exodus of such talented immigrants, the United States should actively recruit them. They are the future. Like the Jewish people, they have been the creators of the historical process itself; innovators of the idea that man has a proper end to which he aspires: the fullest development of his capabilities, and the maximization of his highest modes of potentialities. These individuals are not just the promise of a future. They will create the very existential conditions that have, in the past, opened up the future. Moral pioneers and heirs and benefactors of Western civilization, they will play a pivotal role, along with the exceptional people of the United States of America, in opening up an endless new horizon of an indefinite future in which all our lives can be lived out.



To truly understand American politics, you need a translator

Recently we were given a rare inside glance at the true meaning of politics in America, not the sugar-coated day-dreams of the establishment old-guard or the spitting rage and indignation of the professional Left.  Instead we got to see exactly how the whole thing works.  It is not pretty but none of it should be a surprise.

The facts are simple.  After years of propaganda, threats and outright attempts at legal bribery from the federal government, the then Republican controlled General Assembly in Virginia enacted a massive expansion of the government socialist healthcare program known as Medicaid.  More than 400,000 more people were to be included in a program that is literally breaking the backs of taxpayers at the national and state levels.

The Medicaid expansion had been a key element of Obamacare, that reckless exercise in Soviet-style central planning that has been an underlying factor in politics for a decade.  The Republicans caved when offered a “deal” from Democrat Governor Ralph Northam.  If the Republicans would just expand Medicaid by 400,000 people – eventually costing Virginia taxpayers billions of dollars – the Governor would ask the federal government for a waiver to require some portion of the new people to find or seek work.

Known as the work requirement, the Left and their lackeys in the media and the Democrat Party howl with pain anytime the issue of asking someone who the taxpayers support to contribute anything.  And they did again.  But many more seasoned political observers warned it was a ruse, the second they had the opportunity to break the deal and simply ignore the work requirement they would.

And predictably, these observers were labeled every name under the sun.  Don’t you know that “compromise” is the essence of our government?  Why do you refuse to trust the Democrat regime, accept their word that a deal is a deal?  “Obstructionists” screamed the corporate media propagandists.

In the end, a handful of so-called “Republicans” voted with the Democrats to accept the “deal.”  Fast forward to this week.  Governor Northam announced that Virginia would “take a pause” in efforts to require the work rule.  And, on cue, the few Republicans who accept this nonsense expressed their “disappointment.”    The pathetic little play had moved into the final act.  Government expands, taxpayers get reamed, Republicans shake their heads and pledge to “get them next time,” and the Democrats reap the benefits of the growing dependent class.

Were this the only time we had seen this obscene theater we should shrug our shoulders and look to return to the fight to restore liberty in America.  But it isn’t.  This is but the most recent of a continual string of such defeats the stretch back many decades for the Virginia GOP. The quislings there still sit like vultures in a tree waiting for the next chance to swoop down and grab defeat from the jaws of victory.

But recriminations aside, there is one big lesson here, a lesson that anyone concerned about the direction of our country must take to heart and practice every day.

The lesson is simple translation: There is no dealing with the Left.  Their word is no good.  You cannot make a deal with someone who thinks lying and stealing are mere tactics, which the Marxists actually brag about.

Ayn Rand captured the essence of this situation when she wrote, “Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles.”  Hopefully Governor Northam’s recent exercise in back-stabbing will drive this message home.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here 


Sunday, December 22, 2019

They're called "The Infantile Left" For a Reason!

By Rich Kozlovich

In 2012 my friend Alan Caruba, now passed, wrote an article entitled, Why Liberals are Like Zombies, saying:

"I hope Barack Obama lives to a very old age. I want him to look back at the wreckage of the Democratic Party and the senility of Liberalism that has wreaked such havoc on the world stage. To me, Liberalism is a zombie philosophy, devoid of any connection with reality, but still able to cause great harm."

He goes on to quote R.Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., founder and editor of The American Spectator saying:

"Obama is the ultimate culmination of what Tyrrell calls “the Infantile Leftists”, citing the various candidates for the presidency who reflect the immaturity of the 1960’s generation of whom the Occupy Wall Street children are the latest pathetic gasp of what Tyrell regards as a failed political movement."

It turns out liberals in both parties find themselves in a quandary. Their policies, at all levels of government, are bankrupting the nation. There's just not enough money to throw at everyone, even now when the national government is bringing in more money than ever in the history of the nation, we're still running deficits.

Their traditional allies, like public unions and teacher unions, have eaten up so much of the public’s finances they're going to bankrupt a lot of local and state governments with their insane deals, especially in California, with financial obligations the public can't possibly meet, just to get re-elected.

In 1935 American humorist Will Rogers said:

"I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat."

Little did everyone know how prescient that was. Let's explore this.

Unions have traditionally been the backbone of Democrat politics and policy for untold decades. If unions have been the Democrat party's backbone, then black and Jewish supporters have been the ribs of Democrat politics and policy for a large part of the 20th century.

Yet, it was the Republicans who passed all the civil rights laws that benefited blacks. Laws Democrats fought against. Laws they now claim credit for as their own.

But what's happening now? The Democrat party is now finally and openly declaring themselves as the socialists they've always been. And as everyone who reads history books knows, leftists have no stable moral foundation other than to do whatever it takes to get and hold onto power. Even if it means abandoning the values they previously embraced.

The Democrat party is embracing unrestricted illegal immigration, which neither blacks or unions like, as it will impact jobs and wages. Worse yet, they now worship at the Alter of Gaia, embracing the worst environmental concepts and policies ever. All of which hurts unions, the poor, the nation, and the world as a whole.

Two groups that have absolutely been foundational to liberalism, are Big Labor and Big Green, and yet their goals are diametrically opposing. Big Green wants to destroy the economy with their policies, not to mention their desire to reduce the world's population by about five billion people, and bring about worldwide communism. Big Labor wants to grow labor, which can only be done if there's a robust economy, and no communist state.

Will Democrats have to turn on Big Labor to appease Big Green? They have! The XL pipeline is just one example.

Will they have to turn on Big Green to appease Big Labor? But do the public labor unions really belong in the traditional Big Labor category? No! So, their goals fall in line with Big Green and any other left wing scheme that creates Big Government.

Both of these groups are coming under attack from the public, who will the party abandon? They lost coal mining regions to Republicans due to their efforts to shut down coal fired power plants, and Biden says he intends to make that an important part of his administration if elected President. These are the same people Obama said irrationally cling to their Bibles and guns. These are the people Hillary called "The Despicables"! And now they know where they stand.

Illegal immigration is a jobs issue. Unions and blacks are against open borders, as they will have to compete with these illegals for jobs and wages, and they don’t like it. Unions and blacks have been foundational to the Democrat party for decades, and yet the Democrat party embraces policies that are detrimental to those bases, and those two groups are finally getting it. It's even been reported a number of polls show 30% of blacks support Trump.

Will that impact the 2020 election. You bet! No Democrat in the nation can be elected if 30% of black voters choose to vote Republican, or simply refuse to vote because of their dismay of what Democrats are doing.

As for the illegals, especially Hispanics, they want ever more latitude regarding what is legal, and of course, everyone on the left just ignores the decent, patient and honest immigrants trying to get in this nation through legal channels.

Jews have traditionally been liberal Democrat voters for almost a hundred years. Liberal Jews has been a rock hard foundation for liberal policies and candidates. However, that is changing.

The leaders of the Democrat party and leftist movement, have turned anti-Semitic and anti-Israel to the point Jews worldwide, even in Europe, are being openly persecuted and they're scared. And rightly so!

Jewish students in prominent American universities are subject to abuse and harassment from Muslims, and these abusers are being supported by the administrations of these institutions. Yet, New York Jews still vote for the very leftists who support such activity. However, I see that changing in 2020. I've even had a liberal Jewish customer in her 80's who says she will vote for Trump. I believe there are a lot more who will also vote for Trump in 2020, but they're afraid to say so.

The greatest act of infantility by the Democrat party has been their effort to impeach Donald Trump as the President of the United States for high crimes and misdemeanors. An effort Conrad Black called:

"This sordid, contemptible impeachment ruse ......another fraud...........The vitriolic antagonism of about 90% of the press, though, and the fear and loathing of the political class, which he assaulted in its entirety, have sustained an artificial levitation of morbid expectation that he will be overthrown and removed......kept alive by a Star Chamber.............It cannot produce a serious offense that the president could actually be accused of committing.........presided over by a pathological public liar...........Adam Schiff........Trump-haters so rabid they should be in straitjackets and padded cells".

Compare this to the Clinton impeachment.  While the Democrat party, the media and leftists everywhere declared it was about sex, in reality the charge was perjury.  Perjury Clinton actually committed. Perjury that was provable.  Perjury he perpetrated over and over again.  Perjury, that used to be considered a serious crime.  If it was a crime, then it was a crime of high office, making it a high crime.

His defense was a logical fallacy, a fallacy that was immaterial to whether or not Clinton committed a crime.  If he did, then it was a crime of high office.

In the article, High Crimes Against Impeachment the I and I Editorial Board stated:

"No one can deny that Clinton lied to the grand jury, and indeed his legal defense in the Senate trial was not to deny it, but that it all boiled down to the question of “Would it put at risk the liberties of the people to retain the president in office?” – in other words, having a perjurer as commander in chief wasn’t going to imperil national security, or our domestic freedoms as Americans."

As we review this situation one has to ask is this. What reason do these leftist loons have to exist at all? Answer: They exist to have power. That is all the more reason to reject their views, their actions, their philosophy,and reject them personally.

I keep hearing that the left isn't evil,  it's just wrong. Now that’s wrong! The left is wrong because it really is evil, if you correlate evil with evil ends and outcomes.  Evil is as evil does, and their policies are blatantly misanthropic.

The fascist/communist monsters of the 20th century, along with the environmentalists, have killed over 200 million innocent people in the last 75 years, and the greenies are still at it. All representing the left.

Leftist thinking may be infantile, and they may act like spoiled children, having tantrums when they can’t have their way. Tantrums better known as violent demonstrations. But what they represent is evil, and anyone who supports them shares in the blame for the evil they have wrought.



Voters are rejecting Leftist  authoritarianism

Disaffection with politics as usual has once again upended the old order, and the Conservative Party victory in the British election shows that such sentiment is here to stay. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a majority in the House of Commons, and it now appears that Brexit will finally happen. This win is sure to have implications for the American election next year.

Voters in liberal democracies across the world have rejected rule by the political elite, who had until a few years ago held sway over the levers of power. It all started with the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom in 2016 and has since swept across Europe in a rejection of the Brussels fiat exercised by the European Union. The recent Canadian election saw the out of touch Liberal Party of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hemorrhage seats. The election of President Donald Trump was not an isolated event of disaffection with the elite, but the most powerful and consequential.

British voters turned out largely for the Conservative Party because of its promise to proceed with Brexit, the ultimate affront to the status quo in Brussels. American voters also turned out for Trump and his campaign against the establishment three years to drain the swamp in Washington. Voters on both sides of the Atlantic want elected officials who focus on popular issues rather than maintaining the power of the political elite.

The British political elite and its establishment officials, for the most part, refused to take up the issues voters care most about. In the case of Brexit, they simply refused to follow through with the mandate of the people. The political elite in fact were so horrified at the very prospect of leaving the European Union that delaying Brexit became more of a punitive exercise than anything. The political elite began to lose control as a result of the Brexit referendum and have done everything in their power to subvert the will of the voters, who are intent on draining their own swamp in London.

The victory for Johnson and the Conservative Party is an affirmation that the United Kingdom will actually leave the European Union, which in itself is a sound rejection of the status quo. Its exit from the European Union, a monolithic deep state bureaucracy, is now almost guaranteed. The British election this month shows the world that the “leave” camp meant what it voted for in the 2016 referendum. We are witnessing the same scenario play out in the United States with regard to the impeachment of Trump.

In the same way the British media and political elite sought to overturn Brexit, the liberal media and Democrats wish to cancel the results of the 2016 American election by removing Trump from office. Democrats told the nation they would impeach Trump from the first day of his presidency. The talking heads and pundits oversold every leak or agency report in the hopes that it might derail the administration. Finally, after three years of muddling through, Democrats have introduced articles of impeachment.

Trump will most certainly be acquitted in the Senate, regardless of what impeachment cheerleaders have to say. Impeachment is now shaping up to parallel the affirmation of British voters to proceed with Brexit. Trump arrived in Washington with a clear mandate from American voters, many of whom were not even Republican or conservative. These were people who may have voted for Barack Obama twice before, but their aversion to and disgust with the status quo sent them over the edge. Impeachment is bound to energize voters sick of the way things are done in Washington.

No one should be surprised when the polls reflect increased support for Trump in 2020, just as they did for Johnson and the Conservative Party ahead of the British election this month. If the results from across the pond are any indication of how American voters might view the status quo, we are looking at another four years of Trump in the White House.




MAGA ACHIEVEMENTS: While the media and his critics focused on the bitterly divided House impeachment hearings, President Trump last week collected the most agenda wins yet (Washington Examiner)

OR MAYBE THE FEARS WERE UNFOUNDED TO BEGIN WITH? U.S. economy shakes free of recession fears in striking turnaround since August (The Washington Post)

LEFT-WING VIOLENCE: Antifa's deadly year shows the extremism on the far Left (Newsweek)

BLUE LIVES MATTER: Arkansas police officer "executed" in car was shot 10 times in the head, investigators say as video emerges (Fox News)

POLICY: The Chinese economic miracle: How much is real, and how much is a mirage? (American Enterprise Institute)

MIKE LEE WAS RIGHT: FISA court issues rare public order condemning FBI for Russia-probe abuses and demanding reforms (National Review)

MOUNTING EVIDENCE: New attestation shows Hunter Biden-Ukraine payments flagged as "suspicious" in early 2016 (The Daily Wire)

THEN: Much of "Trump country" was in recession during 2016 campaign (Reuters)

NOW: Dow Jones officially exceeds 28,333, up 10,000 points since Trump's election despite doomsday predictions (The Federalist)

D'OH! Vox Media fires hundreds of freelancers due to law trumpeted by Vox (The Washington Free Beacon)

CLASS-ACTION SUIT: New York clergy sex abuse victims are suing the pope — claiming in a landmark lawsuit filed Tuesday that he and the Vatican were aware that a significant number of priests were molesting children and kept it secret (New York Post)

STOMPING ON THE "SOLE" OF AMERICA: New Nike Kaepernick shoe honors date he first sat for national anthem (The Daily Wire)

POLICY: USMCA will have a surprising effect on commercial real estate (Washington Examiner)


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