DISSECTING LEFTISM MIRROR
Leftists just KNOW what is good for us. Conservatives need evidence..

Why are Leftists always talking about hate? Because it fills their own hearts

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12 March, 2015

Was Hitler rational?

I have taken various courses in history over the years but sitting and listening to someone lecturing on a given historical period is in my view at best merely an introduction to that period.  I like to do what all historians are supposed to do -- go back to the original documents and actually read them.  And by doing that I often come to conclusions which are well outside what is popularly believed. 

For instance, I have remarked at times on this blog that both the American Declaration of Independence and the Magna Carta are quite different to how they are popularly conceived and that the generally unknown content is in fact very enlightening and gives us a different view of the times.

And the same goes for an understanding of Hitler.  It is quite clear to me that many historians of the period have not read Mein Kampf.  Yet that is where Hitler explains himself at great length.  Is how he himself saw the world of no interest when we want to explain what he did?   Reading Mein Kampf certainly kicks the legs out from under the usual tale about Hitler and the Vienna art school -- and that tale  still seems to be the most usual account of Hitler's motivations.

But my reading in the history of the Nazi period rather pales into insignificance compared with the massive reading that psychohistorian Richard Koenigsberg has undertaken.  I have put up some of his articles here.  And Koenigsberg  comes to some clear conclusions that are well supported in Nazi writings.  Like the earlier American Progressives of the late 19th and early 20th century, Hitler was much seized with the analogy between a nation and a human body.  He saw Germany as a living body that had been infected by a dangerous Jewish parasite that had to be removed for the sake of the nation's health.

Koenigsberg goes further, however.  He says that Hitler had no rational objectives as they would normally be conceived.  I think I need to quote him at some length here:

In spite of Hitler’s nearly psychotic anti-Semitism, historians often write about his decision to go to war as if it grew out of "rational" considerations. Questions are posed regarding Hitler’s strategies and tactics: Why did he attack the Soviet Union in the midst of Germany’s struggle to defeat Great Britain? Why were British forces allowed to escape at Dunkirk? Why did Hitler gratuitously declare war against the United States? Why did Hitler launch the Final Solution in the midst of war—causing massive diversion of human and material resources?

These kinds of questions grow out of the assumption that Hitler more-or-less knew what he was doing. He sought to achieve certain objectives, but made "mistakes" along the way that prevented him from reaching his goals. In my view, the assumption that Hitler understood why he wished to wage war—and knew what he expected to accomplish by doing so—is unfounded.

Hitler’s words and thoughts on warfare bear an eerie resemblance to the words and thoughts of Saddam Hussein. Like Hussein, Hitler rarely spoke of warfare in terms of winning or "victory." Rather, Hitler’s thinking about war revolved around the idea that individuals are obligated to sacrifice their lives for their nation.

Hitler asserted that any man who loves his people proves it solely by the "sacrifices which he is prepared to make for it." To be "national," Hitler said, was to be willing to act with a "boundless and all-embracing love for the people" and if necessary "to die for it." Giving one’s life for one’s country, Hitler believed, constituted the "crown of sacrifice."

Hitler declared war on September 1, 1939. Speaking before the Reichstag as German planes and troops crossed the Polish borders in a devastating Blitzkrieg, he said:

As a National Socialist and a German soldier, I enter upon this fight with a stout heart! My whole life has been but one continuous struggle for my people, and that whole struggle has been inspired by one single conviction: Faith in my people! I ask of every German what I myself am prepared to do at any moment: to be ready to lay down his life for his people and for his country. If anyone thinks that he can evade this national duty directly or indirectly, he will perish.


Hitler does not begin the Second World War by telling the German people that he is embarking on a quest to conquer the world. Rather, insisting that his fight is inspired by "faith in his people," he asks every German to be willing to: "lay down his life" for his people and country. Hitler goes on to say that if anyone tries to evade this national duty (to lay down one’s life), this person would "perish."

In his declaration of war, Hitler tells everyone what he is going to do—what will happen. What he said he was going to do—eventually is what did happen. The Second World War provided the occasion for the German people to sacrifice their lives for Germany. What’s more, Hitler acted to bring about the death of anyone whom he imagined refused to embrace the sacrificial imperative. The essence of Hitler’s ideology was: die for Germany—or we will kill you.

Hitler’s concept of self-sacrifice for Germany does not differ substantially from the Islamic concept of martyrdom for Allah. Willingness to forfeit one’s life—in each instance—is understood as a way of demonstrating the depth of one’s faith in and devotion to a sacred object. The individual gives witness to the sincerity of his belief by virtue of his willingness to make the "supreme sacrifice."

People become attached to ideologies conceived as absolutes. These ideologies or symbolic objects have names such as "Communism," or "Germany," or "Allah." Collective forms of violence— warfare, genocide and terrorism—come into being when a group (inspired by a leader) seeks to demonstrate its devotion to the ideology or symbolic object with which the group identifies. By killing and dying in the name of a sacred ideology, the group "gives witness" to the significance of its ideology.


So all Hitler was trying to do was to assert the rightness of a belief system.  I would put it slightly differently by saying that Hitler was trying to prove that Germany was lovable, or at least respect-worthy.  And as a response to the shame of defeat in WWI that is understandable.  The obvious retort to that, however, is that Hitler sure had a strange way of getting Germany loved and respected!  But, don't forget, Leftists often achieve the opposite of what they appear to want.  So Hitler can be seen as just a typical muddle-headed socialist.

One cannot dispute Koenigsberg's reading.  Hitler did say the things that Koeingsberg says he said. But Koenigsberg is Left-leaning so we also have to look at the other things that Hitler said to get a balanced picture.  And Hitler's Drang nach Osten (push Eastwards) is justified by him quite lucidly -- in a way that every Greenie would understand.  He saw that Germany's population was growing while resources were fairly static so thought that famine loomed for Germany. To this day, Greenies are still screeching about how we are about to run out of various resources.  Hitler was a good Greenie.

So Hitler was in fact quite clear about his war objectives.  He was a shallow thinker but not an irrational one. He wanted to get Lebensraum (Living space, agricultural land, food resources) for Germany by taking it off Poland and Russia.  And it was of course his attack on Poland that caused the reluctant Neville Chamberlain and others to declare war on Germany.

I have shown elsewhere that Hitler was not insane but I think it is clear that he was not particularly irrational either.  Sane people can do irrational things at times and perhaps Hitler did too, but his going to war was not irrational.

I think that Koenigsberg has to a degree been misled by Hitler's propaganda.  Hitler justified his demands in various ways and many of them were emotional appeals rather than anything that stood up to rational analysis.  He pulled every trick out of the hat that he could in order to get Germans to go along with him. He was even a great preacher of "peace", for instance, and antisemitism was popular worldwide at the time. And he succeeded brilliantly, to our everlasting horror. And Leftism IS very emotional and in slight touch with reality.  Remember the ecstasy of Obama's first Presidential campaign?  "We are the ones we have been waiting for".  Very Hitlerite -- JR.

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Another Illegal ObamaCare Action - This Time Bailing Out Insurers

While the Supreme Court is considering the King v. Burwell case about the IRS illegally funding a part of ObamaCare (the subsidies), last week it was revealed that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has… illegally funded another part of ObamaCare.

At issue is nearly $3 billion in payments made to insurers to help cover losses caused by ObamaCare’s various regulations and insurance mandates – effectively a bailout to prevent insurers from raising prices as much next year. The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein writes:

“The U.S. Treasury Department has rebuffed a request by House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R- Wis., to explain $3 billion in payments that were made to health insurers even though Congress never authorized the spending through annual appropriations.”

As Klein also notes, the Obama Administration itself acknowledged that they needed Congressional funding for this bailout money, by including a request for that money in its annual budget. Thus, the Treasury's response to Ryan, which was effectively a middle finger to Congress.

All this is just the latest instance of the Obama Administration blatantly ignoring the law with respect to their signature accomplishment, ObamaCare. As previously mentioned, the IRS chose to literally rewrite the law to allow them to distribute tens of billions of dollars in insurance subsidies to 36 states. And the White House has made over two dozen other unilateral changes to the law since its passage in 2010.

Congress has the clear, unambiguous, and sole legal power to authorize how much and where the federal government may spend our money. This illegal bailout should not even be a partisan issue - it is about whether Congress is any longer relevant in a government increasingly dominated by the executive branch.

SOURCE

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Social Security Continuing to Implement Amnesty Actions

It was the logical next step. If illegal immigrants are getting Social Security numbers, then they are going to collect benefits. Stephen Goss, chief actuary for the Social Security Administration, wrote a letter to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) claiming that by 2017 some 16,000 illegal immigrants amnestied by Barack Obama's executive action would start receiving Social Security benefits.

Furthermore, Goss admitted the agency is ignoring the injunction blocking the implementation of Obama's executive decrees. In the letter, Goss wrote, "Based on the best advice and counsel we have gotten, we're working on the assumption that these [mass amnesty actions] will persist. Most indications we seem to get are that it's likely that this will get back on track, with some delay."

SOURCE

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SCOTUS Upholds Religious Liberty in ObamaCare Case

Before the Hobby Lobby case, the court system told the University of Notre Dame it had to comply with ObamaCare’s contraception mandate – even if doing so violated the Catholic university’s collective conscience. But in a ruling by the Supreme Court Monday, the case was sent back to the lower court with instructions that the court must decide the case based on the Hobby Lobby ruling.

Mark Rienzi, senior counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said, “This is a major blow to the federal government’s contraception mandate. For the past year, the Notre Dame decision has been the centerpiece of the government’s effort to force religious ministries to violate their beliefs or pay fines to the IRS. As with the Supreme Court’s decisions in Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby, this is a strong signal that the Supreme Court will ultimately reject the government’s narrow view of religious liberty.”

SOURCE

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IG Audit: 6.5 Million People With Active Social Security Numbers Are 112 or Older

Many people are living longer, but not to age 112 or beyond -- except in the records of the Social Security Administration.

The SSA's inspector general has identified 6.5 million number-holders age 112 -- or older -- for whom no death date has been entered in the main electronic file, called Numident.

The audit, dated March 4, 2015, concluded that SSA lacks the controls necessary to annote death information on the records of number-holders who exceed "maximum reasonable life expectancies."

"We obtained Numident data that identified approximately 6.5 million numberholders born before June 16, 1901 who did not have a date of death on their record," the report states.

Some of the numbers assigned to long-dead people were used fraudulently to open bank accounts.

And thousands of those numbers apparently were used by illegal immigrants to apply for work:

"During Calendar Years 2008 through 2011, SSA received 4,024 E-Verify inquiries using the SSNs of 3,873 numberholders born before June 16, 1901," the report said. "These inquiries indicate individuals' attempts to use the SSNs to apply for work."

“It is incredible that the Social Security Administration in 2015 does not have the technical sophistication to ensure that people they know to be deceased are actually noted as dead,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“Tens of thousands of these numbers are currently being used to report wages to the Social Security Administration and to the IRS. People are fraudulently, but successfully, applying for jobs and benefits with these numbers. Making sure Social Security cleans up its death master file to prevent future errors and fraud is a good government reform we can all agree on,” Johnson said.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), the committee's ranking member, called the findings a "major problem" that wastes taxpayers' money, exposes citizens to identity theft and undermines confidence in government:

SOURCE

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (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

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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11 March, 2015

Intellectuals

Why are there few conservative intellectuals?  I guess George Will and the late Bill Buckley qualify but that's about it, as far as I can see.  Thomas Sowell is a great treasure that we are lucky to still have with us (he is 84) but what he says flows directly from his academic background as a Chicago school economist.

And that brings me swiftly to my main point. Intellectuals are actually shallow thinkers.  They are gifted amateurs who use popular knowledge -- or at least easily accessible knowledge -- to create new explanations of something or other.  It is of course a talent to be able to do that but in the absence of specialized knowledge the conclusions reached are rarely profound or very innovative.  And that is how Leftists think.  They don't accept that they actually need to learn stuff.  They think that they know it all already.  They think the truth is obvious.

Conservatives, by contrast, are acutely aware of how complex and unpredictable the world is and so mostly confine their writing to matters where they have detailed knowledge.  In my own case I often comment on economics -- but I am a former High School economics teacher.  I sometimes comment on issues in psychology, but I have a doctorate in it. 

I often talk about dubious research methods that I see in environmentalism and in the medical literature  -- but I taught research methods and statistics for many years in a major Australian university and the thinking in both the medical and climatological literature violates some of the most basic principles about what research should be and do.   And the statistics I see in climatology and in the medical literature are frankly ludicrous.  Their errors could hardly be more basic -- ignoring statistical significance, assuming correlation is causation etc.

And I have in fact myself had papers published in the medical journals and I have also had research reports on environmentalism published in the academic journals.  So I am NOT an intellectual.  I have specialized knowledge in the areas that I write most about.

V.I. Lenin is quite a good example of an intellectual.  He wrote at length about the issues of his day but without any evident benefit of detailed knowledge in any field.  But he was bright.  He even started out as something of a libertarian. He once wrote:  “The bureaucracy is a parasite on the body of society, a parasite which ‘chokes’ all its vital pores…The state is a parasitic organism”.  Lenin wrote that in August 1917, before he set up his own vastly bureaucratic state in Russia.  He could see the problem but had no clue about how to solve it when he had the chance to do so.

How could he be so stupid?  How could he do what he himself saw as a huge problem?  Leftist stupidity is a special class of stupidity. The people concerned are mostly not stupid in general but they have a character defect (mostly arrogance) that makes them impatient with complexity and unwilling to study it.  So in their policies they repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot;  They fail to attain their objectives.  The world IS complex so a simplistic approach to it CANNOT work.

At the time of the 1917 revolution, Russia was a rapidly modernizing country with railways snaking out across the land and a flourishing agricultural sector that made it a major wheat exporter.  After the revolution agricultural production dropped by about one third and right through the Soviet era Russia never managed to feed itself.  Europe's subsidized food surpluses were a Godsend to it.  A lot of those food surpluses went East.

And Lenin really had no excuse for his stupidity.  There were both writers and practical men in his era who DID understand how economies work and how to get the best out of them. Eugen Böhm,  Ritter von Bawerk, was even a market-oriented economic theorist who was a practical man as well.  He was the Austrian Minister of Finance in the late 19th century and also wrote a series of extensive critiques of Marxism.  And the Austrian economy worked unusually well while he was in charge.  But Böhm's ideas were non-obvious and even counter-intuitive from a layman's viewpoint and it was only a layman's viewpoint that Lenin had.  How sad.

UPDATE: A few additional thoughts about Lenin's disastrous  stupidity

Austria in general and Wien (Vienna) in particular was arguably the world's greatest intellectual and cultural center in Lenin's day -- so a prominent Austrian thinker and politician like Böhm should have come to the attention of Lenin.

And if that general context is not enough, the fact that Böhm was an influential teacher who politely shredded Marxism should have drawn Lenin's attention Austria-ward  --  if genuine intellectual exploration had been of interest to Lenin.

And people forget that famous American "Progressive" thinkers such as Croly and President Woodrow Wilson had to be major inputs into Lenin's thinking.  They had well-developed ideas about the importance of the State and were also enthusiasts for world government.  Lenin wanted that too -- as Leftists do to this day. Bolshevism was to a significant extent American.  Even Marx and Engels were fascinated by America. Marx wrote over 300 articles for American newspapers -- writing which was his main livelihood for a time.  Did you know that? 

Lenin was disappointed by "socialism in one country" but he and his successors made unstinting efforts to  expand their reach. It took Ronald Reagan to terminate that.

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The Liberal Circus

V.D. Hanson

Lately liberalism has gone from psychodrama to farce.

Take Barack Obama. He has gone from mild displeasure with Israel to downright antipathy. Suddenly we are in a surreal world where off-the-record slurs from the administration against Benjamin Netanyahu as a coward and chickensh-t have gone to full-fledged attacks from John Kerry and Susan Rice, to efforts of former Obama political operatives to defeat the Israeli prime minister at the polls, to concessions to Iran and to indifference about the attacks on Jews in Paris. Who would have believed that Iranian leaders who just ordered bombing runs on a mock U.S. carrier could be treated with more deference than the prime minister of Israel? What started out six years as pressure on Israel to dismantle so-called settlements has ended up with a full-fledged vendetta against a foreign head of state.

Hillary Clinton likewise has gone from a rather run-of-the-mill liberal grandee to a political grafter. She apparently solicited donations from foreign government officials and wealthy foreign nationals to contribute to the Clinton Foundation — and this was while she was secretary of State conducting the foreign policy of the United States. If those charges are proven accurate, how could she ever be trusted to become commander in chief? Unfortunately, in the last year almost every cause that Hillary Clinton has taken up has been belied by her own actions.

Inequality and fairness? At time when students struggle under a collective $1 trillion-plus student debt, much of it because of universities hiking fees and tuitions above the inflation rate, Hillary has serially charged universities well over $200,000 for 30-minute boilerplate speeches.

Women’s issues? We learn that women on Senator Clinton’s staff once made considerably less than their male counterparts. Had Bill Clinton worked at a university, corporation or government bureau, his sexual peccadillos long ago would have had him thrown off the premises. The latest disclosures about his junkets with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein are so bizarre that no one quite knows what to make of them — the would-be first female and feminist president married to a man who serially cavorted with a convicted sexual pervert?

Transparency? Consider the recent disclosures that Hillary knew almost immediately that the Benghazi killings were the preplanned work of terrorists and not due to spontaneous rioters angry over a video — and yet continued to deceive the public that just the opposite was true. The problem with Hillary’s scandals are not just that they reveal a lack of character, but that they are illiberal to the core on hallmark progressive issues of concern for equality, transparency and feminism.

We no longer live in an age of debate over global warming. It has now transmogrified well beyond Al Gore’s hysterics, periodic disclosures about warmists’ use of faked data, embarrassing email vendettas, vindictive lawsuits, crony green capitalism, and flawed computer models. Now Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, has taken the psychodrama to the level of farce in a two-bit McCarthyesque effort to demand from universities information about scientists who do not embrace his notions of manmade global warming. Where are the ACLU and fellow Democratic congressional supporters of free speech and academic freedom to censure such an Orwellian move? Finally, even the American Meteorological Society had to condemn the unhinged Grijalva for his bizarre efforts.

Attorney General Eric Holder came into office alleging racism and calling the American people cowards, and six years later is exiting, still blaming racism for his own self-inflicted failures. In between, Holder became the first attorney general to be cited for contempt by Congress. He stonewalled the Fast and Furious investigations. His plans to try terrorists in federal civilian courts were tabled almost immediately. He ordered electronic taps and surveillance on the communications of Associated Press and Fox reporters for supposed leaks.  He ignored wrongdoing in the IRS mess, a scandal that continues to grow. He got caught using his government jet to take his daughters and their boyfriends to the Belmont Stakes.

But Holder will be remembered largely for his racialist tenure. He dropped a strong case of voting intimidation by armed Black Panthers at the polls. In congressional testimony, he referred to blacks as “my people”; anyone else — except Joe Biden — who had said the same would have been asked to resign. He promised federal action on Ferguson and the Trayvon Martin shootings — and then quietly backed off when the evidence for civil rights violations did not meet his own rhetorical excesses. The problem, he pleaded, was not that his targets were not guilty under the law, but that the law itself had to be changed to make them guilty.  Holder claimed repeatedly that opposition to Obama was race-based, and he leaves office as a caricature of incompetence and racial divisiveness.

The IRS scandal likewise went from melodrama to farce. The president said there was not a “smidgeon” of corruption in the selective targeting of conservatives. Lois Lerner, the focus of investigations, pled the Fifth Amendment after having received over $100,000 in merit bonuses. When congressional investigators wanted to subpoena her computer records, IRS officials claimed both that her hard drive  had crashed and that its data was unrecoverable. The latter proved untrue; but then so far so has everything the IRS has said. The only lesson is that any private citizen who replied to IRS inquiries in the manner that the IRS responded to public subpoenas would be jailed.

Debt? Barack Obama stated out in 2008 calling George W. Bush unpatriotic for piling up nearly $5 trillion in eight years; he may be on target to double that amount — and trump the combined red ink of all prior presidents. Obama raised taxes, slashed defense, and still ended up with over a $500 billion annual deficit, as he declared the age of austerity over.

So it has become with most liberal issues. The debate over illegal immigration has gone from arguments over closing the border to Social Security cash rebates to illegals and presidential threats to punish Border Patrol officers who enforce existing law. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf assures us that poverty and unemployment are catalysts to terrorism, just as so-called Jihadi John, the psychotic ISIS beheader, is revealed to be a preppie British subject from the upper middle class. The president brags that gas prices have gone down because frackers ignored his efforts to stop them — and then vetoes the Keystone Pipeline.

The Trayvon Martin controversy descends from the purportedly preteen of released photos who was shot down in cold blood by a white vigilante into doctored NBC tapes, airbrushed photos, the New York Times’ invented rubric “white Hispanic,” the president weighing in on Trayvon’s shared racial appearance, girlfriend Rachel Jeantel’s explanation of Trayvon’s violence as a sort of homophobic act of “whoop ass” — only to be echoed by MSNBC talking head Melissa Harris-Perry’s ugly sanction of violence on Martin Luther King Day with the amplification of Jeantel’s term “whoop”:  “I hope [Martin] whooped the sh-it out of George Zimmerman.” It would be hard for a satirist to make all that up.

Michael Brown goes from the icon of a “gentle giant” in vain calling out “hands up, don’t shoot” only to be gunned down by a white racist cop — to a thug who strong-armed a store clerk, walked out into the middle of the road under the influence and then attacked a police officer. Conspiracists once warned us that the government was buying up ammo to prevent private gun owners from purchasing it; now we learn that Obama by executive order may ban the most popular type of sporting ammunition. Is there one element of Obamacare that has not been modified, delayed, or ignored — from the employer mandate to the fine for noncompliance?

Why this descent into travesty?

The liberal left got what it wanted in 2009 with a supermajority in the Senate and large majority in the House, a subservient mainstream media, the good will of the American people, and the most liberal president in American history. It only took that liberal hierarchy six years to erode the Democratic Party to levels that we have not seen since the 1920s. Almost every policy initiative we have seen — whether climate change, foreign policy, health care, or race relations — has imploded.

The answer to these failures has not been introspection, humility, or reevaluation why the liberal agenda proved unpopular and unworkable, but in paranoid fashion to double-down on it, convinced that its exalted aims must allow any means necessary — however farcical —  to achieve them.

The logical result is the present circus.

SOURCE

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Another long-overdue hit at statins

Taking statins can increase your chance of developing diabetes by up to 46 per cent, research has shown.

The cholesterol-lowering drugs are thought to prevent the hormone insulin from working properly, which can trigger type 2 diabetes.

The risk, which is far higher than previously believed, has prompted fresh concern about the side effects of the pills.

The findings are particularly worrying as last year the NHS recommended that up to 17million adults should be on statins to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

The drugs’ rationing body NICE published guidance last July urging GPs to prescribe them to anyone with a 10 per cent risk of developing heart disease in a decade.

This represents around 40 per cent of adults in the UK, and academics said the advice was ‘foolhardy’ when so little was known about the side effects.

In the latest study, scientists from the University of Eastern Finland studied 8,749 men aged 45 to 73 over a six-year period.

Just under a quarter were taking statins when the study started. Some had only been on the pills for a few months, others for several years.

Over the course of the study, the scientists found that taking statins increased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 46 per cent.

Their research, published in the journal Diabetologia, found that statins reduced the ability of insulin to break down blood sugar.

This is known as insulin sensitivity, and was on average 24.3 per cent lower in men who were taking statins.

The researchers believe that if insulin does not break down blood sugar, and the body’s sugar levels rise too high, then it can trigger type 2 diabetes.

They concluded: ‘Statin therapy was associated with a 46 per cent increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

'The association of statin use with increased risk of developing diabetes is most likely directly related to statins decreasing both insulin sensitivity and secretion.’

Dr Aseem Malhotra, a consultant cardiologist in London, said that contrary to the NHS guidance, healthy adults should not be taking statins, adding: ‘I personally wouldn’t take it or recommend it to friend or family member who is otherwise healthy but let them make up their own minds after giving them all the information.

‘Eating a handful of nuts or four tablespoons of olive oil may be a more effective way at reducing risk of a heart attack, stroke or death and without the side effects.’

Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said healthy patients prescribed statins to prevent heart disease should take the ‘lowest possible dose’.

He went on to warn that people with existing heart conditions should not stop taking the pills, saying: ‘It is important that people taking statins because of existing cardiovascular disease should continue to take them as the benefits will outweigh the risks.’

SOURCE

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (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

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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10 March, 2015

Governments use fear to sabotage liberties

I have always wondered why people seem so impressed by the line "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself".  It has always seemed to me to be both glib and utter BS.  So it is interesting to see it put into context below-  JR

"[F]irst of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory"

Many people will recognize these as the words of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After taking the oath of office on Saturday, March 4, 1933, Roosevelt delivered his inaugural address, containing the now famous line. In his speech, the President spoke to a crowd in the early throws of the Great Depression. High unemployment and an uncertain future had many Americans wondering, “What’s next?”

My late grandfather was 21 at this time, the only one in his family with a job, making a small wage—even for the time. Put simply, this experience would impact him for the rest of his life.

He was reluctant to throw anything away or buy anything new. In fact, he didn’t like to spend money if he could avoid it and saved all that he could. He had a lifelong distrust of the stock market and banks. In 1999, at the height of the Y2K scare, my grandfather withdrew some five figures from his bank and stashed it in his house. (Upon learning this, my mother and my aunt managed to convince him that the bank was in fact a safe place for his savings, and he re-deposited the money in his account.)

The fact of the matter is that my grandfather wanted to make sure he could provide for his family (and he did). As much as I hate to think of it this way—I think my grandfather was afraid. He was afraid of once again being in a position of having practically nothing, of being that 21 year old kid and knowing that, if he lost his job, his family was in trouble.

In reading FDR’s speech, in hearing his discussion about fear, I think about my grandfather.

I also think about the complete and utter—uh, bologna—contained in FDR’s famous address.

I’m referring to the President’s attempt to discourage fear among U.S. citizens. The fact is, FDR, like members of government before and after him, thrived on fear to push his agenda. Government uses fear as a means to expand the scale and scope of its power in unprecedented ways. FDR is their poster child.

As Robert Higgs has discussed, the growth and maintenance of government requires fear on the part of U.S. citizens. Fear means people will clamor for the government to “do something” to assuage their anxiety. As a result, the government steps in to supposedly provide a remedy. He states:

 [Governments] exploit it [fear], and they cultivate it. Whether they compose a warfare state or a welfare state, they depend on fear to secure popular submission, compliance with official dictates, affirmative cooperation with the state’s enterprises and adventures.

Fear is useful for government actors for two distinct but related reasons. First, fear has a “neutralizing” effect on citizens. If someone is afraid of X, for example, they are more likely to tolerate, or even demand expansions in state activities to control or eliminate X. This includes the use of methods, which, under other circumstances, would not be tolerable.

Second, those working within and with the state to provide security and defense (i.e., government actors or private contractors, etc.) will actively look to promote people’s fear and exploit it for their own personal advantage.

Examples of this abound. FDR, despite his message of “freedom from fear,” cultivated fear throughout his presidency and set the stage for future executives to do the same. On March 6, 1933, President Roosevelt issued Proclamation No. 2039 and declared a state of emergency in the U.S. (it was continued by Proclamation No. 2040 on March 9, 1933). Over the next several years, FDR would push through some of the worst policies in U.S. history (despite what your high school civics teacher told you).

These proclamations have become a staple of U.S. presidencies since this time. They grant the President hundreds of powers normally reserved for the Congress. Patrick Thronson, a J.D. candidate at University of Michigan Law School, identified at least 160 laws that immediately expand the President’s authority to act during an “emergency.”

Since 1976, 53 states of emergency have been declared, not counting those issued in the wake of natural disasters. Most of these orders remain in effect, including the one issued by President Roosevelt—in 1933.

Clinton enacted states of emergency in 1995 and 1998. President Bush continued these orders, and he added a healthy crop of his own. Not to be outdone by his predecessors, Obama continued both Clinton AND Bush’s declarations, while adding his own. In fact, Obama has issued or continued a state of emergency regarding terrorism in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

The result of these declarations is disastrous for civil liberties. These orders, all “necessary” in the face of crisis, allow the President to freeze an individual’s assets, confiscate private property, and limit trade. These directives can force retired veterans into military service, and allow for unlimited, secret patents for the military. In some cases, these laws allow the suspension of Habeas Corpus, meaning that the President can arrest, imprison, and detain individuals without review.

Fear is a powerful tool. This is not only well-known by those in positions of power, but exploited. Just like a child makes a parent check under his bed for the monster, U.S. citizens, out of fear, have called upon their elected leaders to be “proactive” against monsters like “drugs” and “terrorism.” Except, while a parent encourages teaches her child to reason, to not fear his imagination, the government tells the child the monster is not only real, but has friends. At any moment, these friends are going to come from under the bed, the closet, and the bedroom door to devour you. Unless, of course, Big Brother steps in to save you.

SOURCE

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We Can Deport 11 Million Illegal Aliens

The Obama Administration, Jeb Bush, John McCain, Lindsay Graham and the media's take on why Congress needs to enact "comprehensive immigration reform" is that it's impossible to deport the 11 million plus illegal aliens here, or as the president calls them, "Americans in waiting."

Of course, it's possible. The notion that this country can't find these people is simply ridiculous. Here's why.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there are over 461,000 local, county, and State law enforcement officers in the country. There are also about 120,000 federal law enforcement agents. If Congress gave state and local police officers the authority to enforce federal immigration laws, most of the 11 million illegal aliens could be identified and deported in about a year. Let's do the math.

I'll round down to not count about 61,000 State and local officers who are probably managers, sheriffs or chiefs of police. Eleven million divided by the remaining 400,000 is 27.5. That's the number each law enforcement officer, on average, would have to apprehend to get to the 11 million goal. It's been my experience that uniformed police officers and sheriff's deputies encounter an illegal alien at least one a week, or often daily, during his or her normal work day. Most of those encounters result in the illegal alien's arrest for drunk driving or crimes such as shoplifting, drinking in public, vandalism, domestic violence, hit and run accidents, peace disturbance, driving without a license, drug possession and the like. Without even trying, an average uniform police officer will run across an illegal alien at least 52 times a year, based on my theory that they encounter illegals at least once a week. If all 400,000 police officers arrested just one illegal alien a week for a year, more than 20 million illegals could be identified and deported, far exceeding the estimated 11 million that are here.

The real challenge is to locate the estimated 40 percent of illegal aliens that have overstayed their visas. That's where the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and other federal agents could concentrate their efforts.

In places where there are large numbers of illegal aliens such as in Los Angeles County, police encounter illegal aliens far more often than the police in say, Oshkosh, Wisconsin. According to the Los Angeles Times, L.A. is the "hit and run capital of the nation." Nearly half of the 40,000 traffic accidents reported in Los Angeles were hit and runs, well above the national average, according to the LAPD. I'd estimate that nearly all the hit and runs in Los Angeles were committed by illegal aliens who have no drivers license, no insurance, and fear they'll be deported. But, illegal aliens flourish where municipalities, such as Los Angeles, declare themselves "sanctuary cities" and won't allow their police officers to cooperate with immigration authorities. That needs to change. Congress should hold back federal funding to these cities until they stop running interference for illegal aliens.

Where I live in Monterey County, California, the largest industry besides tourism is agriculture. The National Agricultural Workers Survey estimates that 48 percent of farm workers in the country have no legal status. Mexican-American Cesar Chavez, the founder of the United Farm Workers, was very vocal about not hiring illegal aliens for farm work because it undermined the wages of legal immigrants and American Citizens. If there are not enough American workers available to plant and harvest the Salinas Valley, why not fill the void by allowing farmers to hire non-violent, volunteer state prisoners, at minimum wage, and pay for their correctional officer escorts. Paying these prisoners minimum wage would give them the ability to pay any court ordered restitution to their victims and provide them a nest egg for when they are eventually released.

Since California and other states have prison overpopulation problems, why not let convicted illegal aliens do their time in their home countries? About 30 percent of all federal prisoners are illegal aliens.

Altogether, federal, state and local governments spend about $338 billion dollars a year on illegal aliens. I think that money could be better spent on other things.

None of what I'm suggesting will happen during this current Administration. The U.S. immigration system isn't broken, it's being ignored. The country needs to get a handle on illegal immigration before promoting legal immigration, with very few exceptions.

Securing the southern border while deporting illegal aliens will go a long way in freeing up jobs, reducing crime, enhancing public education, reducing disease, and providing security for American Citizens.

We need a leader to take action so the rule of law and quality of life for American Citizens can be restored.

SOURCE

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You can live longer if you don't have kids (?)

The report below is another example of the old human dream that you can improve your lifespan by choosing what you put in your mouth.  The research is however a rodent study and relies therefore on the fairly ludicrous proposition that you can make generalizations about lifespan from how a short-lived creature like a mouse responds to how a long-lived creature like a human being responds.  Needless to say, most rodent/man generalizations fail

It may be possible to live longer and increase fertility by manipulating diet, according to world-first research in mice from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centreand ANZAC Research Institute.

Researchers showed for the first time in mammals that there is an ideal balance of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat) for reproduction and another, different ideal balance for increasing lifespan.

The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), calls into question the long-standing theory that animals are forced to trade-off between reproduction and longevity when resources are limited. According to the researchers, it is possible to manage diet at different life stages to both optimise fertility and extend lifespan, rather than sacrificing either.

"This study takes a very big step in explaining why trade-offs between reproduction and longevity are not inevitable in mammals," said Dr Samantha Solon-Biet from the Charles Perkins Centre, who co-led the research with Dr Kirsty Walters from the ANZAC Research Institute.

"Rather than a trade-off, we now know that each evolutionary function has different nutrient requirements. That means that as our nutrient requirements change with our life stage, we can change our diet to suit our current requirements, for example by increasing our protein to carbohydrate ratio when in our reproductive prime and lifting our carbohydrate to protein ratio in later life.

"Animals don't have to choose between high fertility and a long life. By managing diet throughout our life cycle, we can have both."

The findings open the door for the development of dietary treatments for infertility in humans.

"As the findings based on insects are now shown to be true in mammals, we are hopeful that they will be equally true in humans," said Dr Solon-Biet.

"As women increasingly delay child-bearing, the demand for assisted reproductive technologies increases. With further studies, it's possible that instead of women with subfertility resorting immediately to invasive IVF techniques, an alternative strategy may be developed to change the ratio of dietary macronutrients to improve female fertility. This would avoid the need for medical intervention, except in the most severe cases."

The study is the most comprehensive nutritional trial ever conducted in mammals exploring the relationship between macronutrients, reproduction and lifespan.

Researchers placed 858 mice on one of 25 ad-libitum diets with varying levels of protein, carbohydrate, fat and energy content. At 15 months, they measured the male and female mice for reproductive function. In both male and female mice, they found that lifespan was enhanced on a high carbohydrate, low protein diet, and reproduction was enhanced on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet.

SOURCE

There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (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

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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9 March, 2015

Obama's Canadian predecessor:  Pierre Trudeau showed how destructive Leftist leaders can be

David Frum

Canada today is a very successful country. It has suffered less from the global economic crisis than any other major economy.

So Canadians may be tempted to be philosophical about disasters in their own past. Hasn’t all come out right in the end? Of course you could say the same about the invasions of Ghengis Khan.

I don’t draw any personal comparison between Pierre Trudeau and Ghengis Khan, obviously. But I want to stress: Canada’s achievement overcoming Trudeau’s disastrous legacy should not inure Canadians to how disastrous that legacy was.

Three subsequent important prime ministers – Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien and Stephen Harper – invested their energies cleaning up the wreckage left by Pierre Trudeau. The work has taken almost 30 years. Finally and at long last, nobody speculates any more about Canada defaulting on its debt, or splitting apart, or being isolated from all its major allies.

Yet through most of the adult lives of most people in this room, people in Canada and outside Canada did worry about those things.

And as you enjoy the peace, stability and comparative prosperity of Canada in the 2010s just consider – this is how Canadians felt in the middle 1960s. Now imagine a political leader coming along and out of ignorance and arrogance despoiling all this success. Not because the leader faced some overwhelming crisis where it was hard to see the right answer. But utterly unnecessarily. Out of a clear blue sky. Like a malicious child on the beach stomping on the sand castle somebody else had worked all morning to build.

That was the political record of Pierre Trudeau.

I want to examine the Trudeau record in 3 dimensions: What Trudeau did to the Canadian economy, what Trudeau did to Canada’s standing in the world, and what Trudeau did to Canadian political stability.

I’ll conclude by offering some thoughts about the personal and intellectual traits that animated Trudeau’s destructive career. And I hope you’ll agree with me at the end that Trudeau deserves at least this much credit: There was nothing small-scale or parochial about him. As a political wrecker, he was truly world class.

***

Pierre Trudeau inherited a strong, growing and diversified Canadian economy.

When Trudeau at last left office for good in 1984, Canadians were still feeling the effects of Canada’s worst recession since the Great Depression. Eight years later, the country would tumble into another and even worse recession.

The two recessions 1981-82 and 1992-93 can both fairly be laid at Trudeau’s door.

Pierre Trudeau took office at a moment when commodity prices were rising worldwide. Then as now, rising commodity prices buoyed the Canadian economy. Good policymakers recognize that commodity prices fall as well as rise. A wise government does not make permanent commitments based on temporary revenues. Yet between 1969 and 1979 – through two majority governments and one minority – Trudeau tripled federal spending.

Nemesis followed hubris. Commodity prices dropped. Predictably, Canada tumbled into recession and the worst federal budget deficits in peacetime history.

Trudeau’s Conservative successor Brian Mulroney balanced Canada’s operating budget after 1984. But to squeeze out Trudeau-era inflation, the Bank of Canada had raised real interest rates very high. Mulroney could not keep up with the debt payments. The debt compounded, the deficits grew, the Bank hiked rates again – and Canada toppled into an even worse recession in 1992. By 1993, default on Trudeau’s debt loomed as a real possibility. Trudeau’s next successors, Liberals this time, squeezed even tighter, raising taxes, and leaving Canadians through the 1990s working harder and harder with no real increase in their standard of living.

Do Canadians understand how many of their difficulties of the 1990s originated in the 1970s? They should.

To repay Trudeau’s debt, federal governments reduced transfers to provinces. Provinces restrained spending. And these restraints had real consequences for real people: more months in pain for heart patients, more months of immobility for patients awaiting hip replacements.

If Canada’s health system delivers better results today than 15 years ago, it’s not because it operates more efficiently. Canada’s health system delivers better results because the reduction of Trudeau’s debt burden has freed more funds for healthcare spending. The Canadian socialist Tommy Douglas anticipated the Trudeau disaster when he said that the great enemy of progressive government was unsound finance.

Pierre Trudeau was a spending fool. He was not alone in that, in the 1970s. But here’s where he was alone. No contemporary leader of an advanced industrial economy – not even the German Social Democrat Helmut Schmidt or the British socialist James Callaghan – had so little understanding as Pierre Trudeau of the private market economy. “Little understanding?” I should have said: “active animosity.”

Trudeau believed in a state-led economy, and the longer he lasted in office, the more statist he became. The Foreign Investment Review Agency was succeeded by Petro-Canada. Petro-Canada was succeeded by wage and price controls. Wage and price controls were succeeded by the single worst economic decision of Canada’s 20th century: the National Energy Program.

The NEP tried to fix two different prices of oil, one inside Canada, one outside.  The NEP expropriated foreign oil interests without compensation. The NEP sought to shoulder aside the historic role of the provinces as the owner and manager of natural resources. I’ll return in a moment to the consequences of the NEP for Canada’s political stability. Let’s focus for now on the economic effects.

Most other Western countries redirected themselves toward more fiscal restraint after 1979. Counting on abundant revenues from oil, the Trudeau government kept spending. Other Western governments began to worry more about attracting international investment. Canada repelled investors with arbitrary confiscations. Other Western governments recovered from the stagflation of the 1970s by turning toward freer markets. Under the National Energy Policy, Canada was up-regulating as the US, Britain, and West Germany deregulated. All of these mistakes together contributed to the extreme severity of the 1982 recession. Every one of them was Pierre Trudeau’s fault.

***

Pierre Trudeau had little taste for the alliances and relationships he inherited in 1968. Canada had taken a lead role in creating the institutions of the postwar world, from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to the General Organization for Tariffs and Trade. Those institutions were intended in great part to contain the aggressive totalitarian regimes in the Soviet Union and China. In 1968, Canada remained a considerable military power and an important voice in the councils of the West.

Trudeau repudiated that inheritance. His spending spree did not include the military. He cut air and naval capabilities, pulled troops home from Europe, and embarked on morale-destroying reorganizations of the military services. In 1968, Canada was a serious second-tier non-nuclear military power, like Sweden or Israel. By 1984, Canada had lost its war-fighting capability: a loss made vivid when Canada had to opt out of ground combat operations in the first Gulf War of 1990-91.

Something more was going on here than a left-of-center preference for butter over guns. Throughout his life – now better known than ever thanks to John English – Pierre Trudeau showed remarkable indifference to the struggle against totalitarianism that defined the geopolitics of the 20th century.

Indifference may be too polite a word.

Pierre Trudeau opted not to serve in World War II, although of age and in good health. He traveled to Josef Stalin’s Soviet Union to participate in regime-sponsored propaganda activities. He wrote in praise of Mao’s murderous regime in China. Trudeau lavishly admired Fidel Castro, Julius Nyere, and other Third World dictators. The Soviet dissident Andrei Amalrik scathingly recalled Trudeau’s 1971 prime ministerial visit: Trudeau visited the Siberian city of Norilsk and lamented that Canada had never succeeded in building so large a city so far north – unaware, or unconcerned, that Norilsk had been built by slave labor.

As prime minister, Trudeau to the extent he could tried to reorient Canada away from the great democratic alliance.

It’s telling I think that Trudeau came to the edge of endorsing the communist coup against Solidarity in Poland in December 1981. Hours after the coup, Pierre Trudeau said: “If martial law is a way to avoid civil war and Soviet intervention, then I cannot say it is all bad.” He added “Hopefully the military regime will be able to keep Solidarity from excessive demands.”

Trudeau’s neutralism negated Canada’s former influence. Probably few remember now his farcical “peace initiative” of 1982. Convinced that Ronald Reagan was leading the world toward nuclear war, Trudeau shuttled between Western capitals to appeal for some kind of concession to soothe the Soviets. Results? Unconcealed disdain from the Americans, unconcealed boredom from the Soviets.

Canada had often before played an important go-between role. Not this time. Canada’s most important geopolitical asset is its unique relationship with the US. Trudeau had squandered that asset, and with it, his own influence.

Obviously, Canada and the United States will disagree sometimes. Canadians of different points of view will favor a more or less intimate relationship with the United States. But even the most US-skeptical Canadian nationalist would agree: it’s reckless and foolish to offend the Americans gratuitously. In fact, the more nationalist the Canadian prime minister, and therefore the more likely to conflict with the Americans on large issues – the more carefully you would expect that prime minister to avoid giving offense over inessentials.

Yet Trudeau made it clear to Presidents Nixon and Carter that he personally disliked them, and to President Reagan that he personally despised him. When it came to foreign affairs, there was always a deep strain of frivolity and irresponsibility in Pierre Trudeau.

What Trudeau did take seriously was our third ground of indictment: the stability and unity of the country. And it was here that he did perhaps his greatest harm.

***

Pierre Trudeau had a unique approach to national unity. He ascertained what each of Canada’s regions most dearly wanted – and then he offered them the exact opposite.

Did Quebeckers want to live and work in French in Montreal? Trudeau said no to that – and instead promised that they could live and work in French in Vancouver.

Did Albertans want a less exploitive economic deal within Confederation? Trudeau said no – and instead offered a more exploitive economic deal within Confederation.

Unsurprisingly, Trudeau’s flip-them-the-finger approach to national unity did not yield positive results.

In fact, he nearly blew apart the country – and his own party.

At the beginning of the Trudeau years, separatism was a fringe, radical movement in Quebec. A decade later, Canada faced a referendum on “sovereignty-association.”

In 1968, Trudeau’s Liberals won 25 seats west of Ontario. In 1980, they won 2.

And in the end it was Trudeau’s own policies that destroyed his vision of the country. By dramatically increasing immigration, Trudeau made irrelevant his vision of a bilingual Canada. Lester Pearson famously expressed a hope that he would be Canada’s last unilingual prime minister. It’s very possible that sometime in the 2040s Canada will see its last bilingual prime minister, at least if the second language is French. On current trends, by the 2040s the proportion of French speakers in Canada will be lower than the proportion of Spanish speakers in the United States today.

Defenders of Trudeau’s disastrous governance habitually rally around one great accomplishment: the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Well, Herbert Hoover had some excellent wilderness conservation policies, but we don’t excuse the Great Depression on that account.

Would it really have been impossible to combine the adoption of the Charter with a less destructive economic policy, a less destructive foreign policy, a less destructive national unity policy?

Yet there is a sense in which the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a very characteristic Trudeau project.

The Charter addressed a deficiency in Canadian constitutionalism: checking the powers of government. It’s possible to imagine a lot of solutions to that problem. The solution contained in the Charter is to give unelected judges the power to void acts of Parliament.

Unelected judges chosen by the prime minister at the prime minister’s sole discretion, unscrutinized by any elected body.

The Charter encapsulates the grand theme of Trudeau’s political life: his lack of respect for the people who returned him to office again and again – his instinctive sympathy for power, the less accountable the better.

SOURCE

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How the worm has turned: Salt is now good for you

As we age our skin looses elasticity and that means we’re more susceptible to cuts and then, infections and skin problems. However a team of German scientists from the University of Regensburg has found that one simple diet change could improve that.

A diet high in salt causes sodium levels to build up in the skin. This can boost the immune system to fight off the germs that cause infections. The research involved testing on mice and the team found that the bodies of mice with a high sodium diet cleared up infections on the feet faster than those who had less sodium in the diet.

Many years ago salt was used to prevent and rid infections in the body so this research could be supporting the practices of hundred of years ago.

The findings were published in the journal Cell Metabolism and late last year it was proven that salt doesn’t have an adverse affect on the heart condition and disease in older people making this a diet change that we can implement without too much fear of side effects!

SOURCE

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (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

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

****************************




8 March, 2015

Leftists don't understand much

Leftists are people who know and understand a lot less than they think they do.  The classical example of that is of course in economics.  Even when they gained unfettered control of such vast countries as Russia and China, they made a hash of it. 

At the time of the 1917 revolution, Russia was a rapidly modernizing country with railways snaking out across the land and a flourishing agricultural sector that made it a major wheat exporter.  After the revolution agricultural production dropped by about one third and right through the Soviet era Russia never managed to feed itself.  Europe's subsidized food surpluses were a Godsend to it.  A lot of those food surpluses went East.

And in China, Mao's Great Leap Forward was an unmitigated disaster that achieved nothing but millions of deaths from starvation.  An understanding of economics as poor as Communist economics could hardly be a better proof that Leftists are people who know and understand a lot less than they think they do.

And what libertarian said this? “The bureaucracy is a parasite on the body of society, a parasite which ‘chokes’ all its vital pores…The state is a parasitic organism”. It was V.I. Lenin, in August 1917, before he set up his own vastly bureaucratic state.  He could see the problem but was quite incapable of solving it.

And Leftists understand people so badly that they judge everyone by themselves  (projection) -- leading to the generalization that to understand what is true of Leftists you just have to see what they say about conservatives.  That is even true of Leftist psychologists (i.e. around 95% of psychologists). 

For example, a book by Leftist psychologists called "The Authoritarian personality" (under the lead authorship of a prominent Marxist theoretician) was a huge hit among psychologists in the '50s and '60s and is still well-spoken of among them to this day.  The basic theme of the book was that conservatives are authoritarian.  What a towering example of projection!  It was written while the vastly authoritarian regimes in Russia and China were still extant and just after another hugely authoritarian socialist regime had collapsed, Hitler's.  Yet it was conservatives who were supposed to be authoritarian?

The fact of the matter is that Leftism is fundamentally authoritarian. Whether by revolution or by legislation, Leftists aim to change what people can and must do. When in 2008 Obama said that he wanted to "fundamentally transform" America, he was not talking about America's geography or topography but rather about American people. He wanted them to stop doing things that they wanted to do and make them do things that they did not want to do. Can you get a better definition of authoritarianism than that?

And remember Obama's 2008 diagnosis of the Midwest: 

"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."


That Midwesterners could be sincere Christians who need guns for self defence and hunting clearly did not figure in Obama's understanding of the Midwest -- and the remarks have become a byword for Leftist incomprehension. To this day conservatives often sarcastically refer to themselves as "bitter clingers". As all the surveys show, conservatives tend to be happy people, not "bitter".  The uproar caused by  his uncomprehending remarks led Obama himself to backpedal.

And the stock Leftist explanation for all social ills --   It's due to poverty -- got really hilarious in the aftermath of the 9/11/2001 attacks on America by Osama bin Laden and his followers.  Leftists insisted that bin Laden's hatred was also due to poverty.  It took some months before they could get it into their brains that bin Laden was actually a billionaire

Leftism is the politics of rage.  They see things about them that seem wrong to them but rather than seek to understand why that state of affairs prevails, they simply condemn it and propose the first  simplistic solution to the problem that comes into their heads -- usually some version of "MAKE people behave better".  They are incurious and impatient people and the destruction they can cause as a result is huge.

German philosopher Leibniz proposed many years ago that we live in "the best of all possible worlds" as a way of drawing attention to the fact that some good things necessarily have bad effects as well.  So stomping on the bad things will also destroy good things.  The whole of Leftism is an example of that in action. To improve the world you first have to understand it.  Leftists don't.

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Boris Nemtsov and the rise and rise of Russia-bashing

Putin as a boogeyman

Aside from the culprits and maybe the investigators, nobody really knows much about the death of 55-year-old Boris Nemtsov. We do know that he was shot four times. And we do know that it happened on the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky bridge, in the shadow of Saint Basil’s cathedral, just metres from the Kremlin wall and Red Square. But beyond that, nothing, nada, nyet.

Not that the absence of knowledge has stopped Western media and politicians from indulging in dark, conspiratorial speculation. In fact, ignorance seems to have been indispensable for those wanting to suggest that, in some as-yet obscure, nefarious way, Russian president Vladimir Putin was responsible for Nemtsov’s death. That just makes sense, right? Nemtsov was a vocal, liberal critic of Putin. Therefore Putin, as a more ruthless, blu-ray version of Uncle Joe, must have killed him. Because that’s what Putin the Impaler does: he destroys enemies; he knocks off opponents; and he assassinates critics. ‘It has become a cliché to compare Putin’s Russia with Nazi Germany’, writes columnist Simon Heffer mid-cliché, ‘but the murder of political opponents with impunity was one tactic of that regime that it has in common with the one now prevailing in Russia’.

To give the Western media coverage of Nemtsov’s death its due, it has tended to be a little more subtle than Hitler analogies and puce-faced condemnation. The preferred approach of many pundits has been to imply guilt by association. Putin may not have ordered the hit himself, so the story runs, but he has created a climate in which the murder of political opponents, by, for example, some super-nationalist, Russian bear-hugging biker gang, has effectively become state-approved.

The Western media, complemented by the many Western politicians keen to weep over the death of this ‘dogged fighter against corruption’, as François ‘le incorruptible’ Mitterrand described Nemtsov, seem incapable of seeing anything other than a manifestation of what they’re certain they already know: that is, Russia is a nation in the grip of Putin’s macho-nationalist mania, a society willing to stick the jackboot into liberals’ soft, treacherous bellies.

Putin and his henchmen may not be pulling the triggers themselves, but they’re licensing those who are. This Russia, this aggressive, backward beast, pursuing imperial dreams without and persecuting gays and liberals within, is Putin’s Russia. He is a bad man, ‘a psychopath’, as one columnist described him, and today’s Russia is very much in his image.

So unquestioned is the narrative of Putin’s evil-doing that thought is no longer necessary. Ironies abound here. Russia’s state-controlled media are frequently criticised by the Western commentators for telling a one-sided story. But the Western media are no better; their conformist, no-deviation-allowed, Red Menace redux is voluntary, their anti-Putin myopia is willing. Unlike their Russian counterparts, their Pravda-like reiteration of the one and only truth is by choice.

It shouldn’t be a surprise. Beyond the grotesquely wilful misunderstanding of the Ukraine crisis, the Western media have long proved themselves all too willing to believe the worst of Russia and Putin. Think, for example, of Surrey-based Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who was found dead in his bathroom in March 2013. Newspapers described Berezovsky rather fancifully as ‘a latter-day Trotsky figure for the Russian authorities’, a figure whose ‘feud with Putin… would lead ultimately to his death at the age of 67 in exile’.

There was no evidence to suggest he had been executed by the motherland. But that didn’t stop the speculation. Incredibly, even now, after a coroner said there was ‘compelling evidence’ of suicide; even now, after Berezovsky’s financial problems became apparent; even now, after news of his depression emerged; even now, after friends revealed he had talked about killing himself, some still cling to the idea that Putin probably ordered his death. Because that makes more sense to them than the idea that an ageing, depressed and financially ruined man with suicidal thoughts might just have killed himself.

This narrative, in which the evil hand of Putin is behind everything, from the innocuous to the tragic, makes a certain sense for Western pundits and politicians groping around for the moral highground. In Russia and Putin, they find their useful antithesis. Russia is posited as an aggressive, evil empire adventuring abroad, and an aggressive evil state at home, intent on picking off political opponents, anarcho-feminist punk bands, and Guardian journalists. The West… well, we’re the good guys – gay-friendly and all for press freedom.

There is one big problem with such juvenile, see evil, speak evil, hear evil posturing: it’s simply not true. Russia, surrounded by hostile groups – its Islamist problem, as Beslan and other recent events provided awful testament to, dwarfs that of Western Europe – and, increasingly, nations, is more beleaguered than belligerent. And Putin is not the revamped, rainbow-flag trashing Hitler or Stalin of liberals’ wet nightmares. He is simply an authoritarian, populist, and, yes, popular leader, looking to shore up support, ironically enough, by counterposing his own affected traditionalism to that of his Western caricaturists’ permissiveness.

But there is another big problem with the relentless anti-Russian posturing, in which the tragic murder of a politician is just another chance to damn Putin and invoke the 1930s: it makes mature diplomacy, in which opposing interests are calibrated, and compromises struck, increasingly impossible. What prevails instead is a far more volatile, unpredictable situation, a situation in which both sides increasingly confront each other as mortal enemies – moral antagonists in a war to the death. The easy demonisation of Putin’s Russia may make Westerners feel good, but it makes for potentially calamitous foreign policy.

More HERE

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No Justice for Ferguson

As expected, the Justice Department released its report on endemic racism in the Ferguson Police Department, determining that blacks were treated unfairly in “nearly every aspect of Ferguson’s law enforcement system.” The DOJ’s findings were virtually a foregone conclusion. Attorney General Eric Holder and his merry band set out to find racism among white cops and, lo and behold, their witch hunt was successful.

Right up front, it’s important to reiterate that the vast majority of law enforcement officials at the local, state and federal level abide, first and foremost, by their oaths “to Support and Defend” our Constitution and the Liberty it enshrines.

But that doesn’t mean a few haven’t forgotten who they are obligated to “protect and serve.” We’ve warned previously about the over-militarization of police. It’s a problem for several reasons, and one is the tendency to amplify aggression when encountering citizens and suspects. As we said in August, a situation that was already tense thanks to the racial imbalance between the city and its police department, was made worse by the paramilitary police response to the riots after Michael Brown’s death.

Furthermore, as Mark Alexander, a police veteran himself, wrote in December, “Clearly, there are some police officers calloused by constant exposure to oppressive urban criminal cultures. Consequently, some may over-generalize racial assumptions and abuse their authority.”

But the problem in Ferguson isn’t quite, well, black and white.

According to the DOJ, “African Americans experience disparate impact in nearly every aspect of Ferguson’s law enforcement system. Despite making up 67% of the population, African Americans accounted for 85% of FPD’s traffic stops, 90% of FPD’s citations, and 93% of FPD’s arrests from 2012 to 2014.”

“Disparate impact” is one of Obama’s favorite phrases, but does this mean police are racist? Not necessarily. As Alexander noted, “[W]hen 90% of murders in urban centers are ‘people of color’ and 90% of perpetrators are ‘people of color,’ cops of any color are going to be more cautious with ‘people of color.’ This is not ‘racism,’ this is reality, driven by a desire to make it home safely at the end of one’s shift.”

Still, the DOJ’s accounts of police overstepping bounds are too numerous to ignore. Just to name a couple:

A black man who was sitting in his car cooling off from playing basketball was accused by an officer of being a pedophile because there were children nearby. He was ordered out of his car for a pat-down, seemingly without cause, and then arrested for “eight violations of Ferguson’s municipal code,” including not wearing a seatbelt in a parked car. The man lost his job as a result.

A black woman illegally parked her car and ended up in a six-year battle, paying more than $1,000 in fines and spending six days in jail.

Were there extenuating circumstances in these cases? Prior arrests? Perhaps, but the report is careful not to elaborate on the citizens' backgrounds.

There are plenty of other anecdotes of general harassment – police seeming to escalate otherwise innocuous situations, police dogs biting blacks (and only blacks), officers arresting people based solely on verbal exchanges, and cops uttering racial epithets. We’re sure none of Ferguson’s black citizens ever hurled racial epithets at officers.

The report found that “Ferguson’s law enforcement practices are shaped by the City’s focus on revenue rather than by public safety needs.” The city’s finance director emailed the police chief to see if the police department could raise enough revenue for a 10% budget increase. For a town of 21,000 with a median income around $36,000, that’s not hard to believe. In fact, one might ask why Ferguson has a police department of its own, rather than deploying the St. Louis County PD.

The problems in Ferguson did not, however, extend to Officer Darren Wilson’s deadly encounter with Michael Brown. He was cleared of criminal charges in November, and the DOJ went to great lengths explaining why Wilson was justified in shooting Brown. While that defense is all well and good, Obama, Holder and their race-baiting friends ended Wilson’s career in the police department and effectively endangered him for life by countenancing (until now) the false “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” meme.

It wasn’t long before two New York police officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, lost their lives at the hands of a black racist.

Don’t miss the timing of the two reports. The one absolving Wilson was released alongside the political consolation prize – discrediting the entire department.

The trouble here is that the Justice Department’s report doesn’t resolve anything. Those who see police as racist, jackbooted thugs now have a lengthy report full of horrible anecdotes to back that up. Others who see the Obama administration as the racist, jackbooted thugs will summarily dismiss the report. Based on Obama’s and Holder’s untrustworthiness, this is understandable.

More HERE

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (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

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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6 March, 2015

Iris pigmentation

Iris pigmentation sounds like an obscure area of scientific investigation, does it not?  Among evolutionary biologists it is an obscure area of scientific investigation but there is more to it than that.  In everyday English it is the study of blue eyes.  Caution, caution! I think I am already in an area of political incorrectness.  But I discuss all areas of scientific interest without fear or favor so political correctness can go hang.

It's not long go that having blue eyes was commented on favorably.  There is a stellar example of that in Im weissen Roessl, the hit operetta known in English as "The White Horse Inn", though more accurately translated as "The little white horse".  There is a recent big-budget performance of it at Moerbisch (In the original German).  At the 36 minute mark of the  video you will see the ultra-feminine Anja-Katharina Wigger and big Marco Jentzch singing "die ganze Welt ist himmelblau" to one another (The whole world is sky blue).  The point of the song is how inspired they are by one-another's blue eyes.  It's a piece of romanticism that's well worth watching whatever color your eyes are but those of us who have blue eyes probably get a little more out of it.

So what is the significance of blue eyes?  Just that question must be ringing loud alarms to anyone impressed by political correctness but, as ever, I will plow on.  Yes. I have "checked my privilege" and am quite pleased with it.

Blue eyes seem to have arisen as a genetic mutation somewhere in the Black sea area but natural selection moved them steadily Northwards.  At some early stage, the whole Northern European population probably had blue eyes. Northern Europe and its descendant populations are of course the main loci of them to this day. 

Why did that gene move North?  Because blue eyes function better than dark eyes in low light levels and function less well in high light levels.  Blue eyed people could see better in the low light levels that often prevail in chilly Northern Europe, particularly in the Baltic sea area and Russia.  We Anglo-Saxons trace our ancestry to German tribes that moved from the South Baltic to Britannia, later known as England.

But it's not only iris pigmentation that cold climates select for.  Cold climates are not very good at growing crops -- so the blue-eyed Volk largely fed themselves by hunting.  So they kept their hunter-gatherer mores (customs) much longer than did the Southern European and Mesopotamian populations.  And hunter-gatherer mores are democratic.  Issues are settled by discussion, not by imperial edict. 

And the ancient parliaments of Northern Europe and Iceland reflect that.  The Anglo-Saxon invaders of Britannia brought their democratic customs with them and their "Witangemot" evolved in due course into the Westminster parliament on the Thames, sometimes called "the mother of parliaments".  So most long-established parliaments serve people with predominantly azure iris pigmentation: Democracy as we know it today arose in the cold climates of Northern Europe.

While they retained something of their hunter-gatherer traditions, Greece and Rome were also democratic -- but democracy there eventually succumbed to imperialism.  The big bureaucratic governments that characterize the modern world threaten a similar   fate for us.  Democracy can be lost.  And if the Left have their way, it will be. All the great tyrants of the 20th century -- Stalin, Hitler and Mao -- were socialists.

And there is yet another thing that cold climates select for:  IQ.  To survive a Northern winter you need to do a lot of thinking ahead and thinking ahead involves abstract and symbolic thought. You have to imagine yourself in the midst of a Northern winter with no wood to burn to keep you warm.  Only if you can imagine it will you provide against it. Blue eyed people were  people who tended to think ahead, and, mostly, they still do.

AS a small coda to this ramble through evolutionary history, I will say a word about a recent claim about the color blue in general.  The claim is that people could not see the colour blue until recently.  The claim is based on the curious fact that words meaning blue are largely absent from ancient writings.  Homer's well-known reference to a "wine-dark sea" is held up as an example.  That Homer was simply not talking about its color is discounted.

Since the human eye does contain cones specifically devoted to being activated by blue wavelengths, it is clear, however, that any deficiency about blue-perception  is social rather than physical.  People could always see blue so the question is why did they say so little about it?  And the article does point us towards an answer to that: It was only the ancient Egyptians who had a way of dying things blue.  And the ancient Egyptians do use blue color words freely.   So it was because they could not produce it that ancient peoples tended not to refer to it.

The whole thing boils down to a version of the old Sapir/Whorf "codability" hypothesis in linguistics.  The strong version of that hypothesis says that your thinking is dictated by your language.  It is reminiscent of Marx's claim that your thinking is dictated by your social position.  The current "check your privilege" accusation reprises Marx.  But Marx is easily refuted by the simple fact that people of the same social class can have radically different opinions and by the fact that  people from different social classes can have similar opinions.

British sociologists have long been puzzled by the fact that about a quarter of the British working class vote Tory.  They are seen as voting for the "wrong" party, not "their" party (the Labour party).  Only a Marxist would be puzzled by that however.  People are NOT blinded by their class origins.  I wrote about that some time ago.  And the strong Sapir/Whorf hypothesis can be rejected on similar grounds.

Does anyone, for instance, think that Germans are in any way incommoded or limited by the fact that their language has no word for pink, heaven or happy?  They just give double duty to their words for rosy, sky and lucky.  They are many happy Germans who sometimes wear pink and none of them expect to float up into the sky when they die.

The weak form of the Sapir/Whorf hypothesis is however informative:  People "cut up" their perceptual world according to what is important to them. Eskimos have several different words for different types of snow while we do not.  For us, snow is snow but for Eskimos recognizing different types of snow can have survival implications.

So ancient people did not mention blue because it was not important to them.  They could not produce it so they largely ignored it.  It was not a useful category in their lives and hence also not important in their speech.

So let me end with a tease:  The first American to step on the moon (Neil Armstrong) and the first Russian in space (Yuri Gagarin) both had blue eyes.  What should we make of that?

Footnote:  My large academic background does at times cause me to lapse into academic jargon -- but I try to explain myself when I do that.  The  Latin word mores above, for instance, is used by social scientists to mean the full range of attitudes and behaviors that is characteristic of some human group.  Even people who know what it means sometimes pronounce it as if it were the plural of the English word "more".  There is no such plural, however.  mores is the plural of the Latin word mos and is pronounced as "morays" (just like the eel).
 
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Cause of strain U.S./Israel relations: Obama’s hostile policies

In an interview on the PBS television ‘Charlie Rose’ program, President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to accept the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner to address Congress on the issue of Iran’s looming nuclear threat had “injected a degree of partisanship, which is not only unfortunate, I think it’s destructive of the fabric of the [U.S./Israeli] relationship.”

Nothing can further from the truth: it’s Mr. Obama’s partisanship which has produced a crisis in relations between the White House and Jerusalem, not Mr. Netanyahu’s –– and the record shows it.

Mr. Obama doesn’t mind foreign leaders speaking to Congressmen –– as long as they support his policy. That’s why he was happy for British Prime Minister David Cameron to do just that. But he deeply objected to Mr. Netanyahu critiquing his Iran policy to Members of Congress. It is not hard to see why: in his address to Congress, Mr. Netanyahu demolished the Obama claim that negotiations with Iran are going to lead to a deal that stops Iran going nuclear.

Yet, in truth, even that isn’t the reason Obama has refused to meet Mr. Netanyahu during his visit. People forget that, without any upcoming speech to Congress to rationalize his pique, Obama also declined to meet Mr. Netanyahu during his September 2012 visit to the U.S.

Yes, there were tensions back then, too –– Mr. Obama was pressing Israel not to militarily strike Iran, to which Mr. Netanyahu acceded –– but this only shows that policy, not merely personalities, is driving the friction between them.

Indeed, Mr. Obama has elevated to crises disagreements that previous administrations tamped down.

Mr. Obama has continually criticized and even “condemned” as anti-peace Israel merely announcing the building of homes in Jewish neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem –– a bipartisan Israeli policy –– that would remain Israeli under any conceivable peace agreement.

Conversely, there has been no condemnation of the Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas for incitement to hatred and murder –– though the Obama Administration said it would hold it accountable. Last week, a U.S. federal court held the PLO and Abbas’ PA are liable for six terrorist attacks in Israel that killed and wounded Americans more than a decade ago –– but Obama has been silent about this.

The record of six years shows a president who has often spoiled for a spat with Israel over policy disagreements, involving refusal of photos ops; Mr. Netanyahu being compelled to exit the White House by a side entrance; having to cool his heels while Mr. Obama took dinner without him; an unidentified aide (never fired or reprimanded) calling Mr. Netanyahu a “chickenshit” and “coward” –– for acceding to Mr. Obama’s demand that Israel not strike Iran, of all things –– and other petty indignities which seem to be the hallmark of Obama’s meta-language towards insufficiently pliant allies.

Just recall former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who in March 2009 received no White House dinner, no family get-together and a mere impromptu media conference, instead of the traditional joint press conference. Worse, in September 2009, Mr. Brown’s five requests for a private meeting with Mr. Obama were humiliatingly turned down.

The current problem therefore does not lie in Mr. Netanyahu accepting an invitation from the House Speaker to address Congress. Rather, it goes to the heart of Western security, which is why Congress was entitled to seek and hear the views of the prime minister of the country that stands to be most drastically affected by Iran becoming a nuclear threshold state.

That’s why Obama’s overwrought efforts to cast Mr. Netanyahu’s acceptance of the invitation to address Congress as a partisan slap in the face ring hollow. The issue is entirely a product of President Obama’s policy on Iran, which engenders bipartisan concern in Israel. Put simply, President Obama seems willing to tolerate an Iranian nuclear weapons threshold capacity –– but Israel is not.

Thus, veteran Israeli analyst, Ehud Yaari, an Israeli Labor Party supporter, actually urged Israeli Labor leader, Yitzhak Herzog, to accompany Netanyahu to Congress.

Moreover, the Israeli Prime Minister is scarcely alone in finding Obama’s approach deeply troubling. A McLaughlin poll only the other day found that 59% of Americans supported Mr. Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, while only 23% opposed.

The sheer hollowness of the Obama Administration’s criticism of the Netanyahu speech is admirably laid bare when one recalls Mr. Obama’s homilies on the duties of honesty and forthrightness that allies owe to each other over policy differences.

Has not Mr. Obama said that allies sometimes have the obligation to speak out, even when their advice is uncomfortable? Did he not tell Jewish leaders that “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel might be necessary?

This would seem to be such a moment. It’s just that President Obama only ever imagined himself advising Israel, not Israel advising him.

SOURCE

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Socialist ideals of purity

Haidt says that concerns about purity are primarily a conservative thing, with liberals largely indifferent to it.  But Haidt is naive enough to believe that liberals describe their dismal motivations honestly.  Others have pointed out that Leftists have purity concerns too -- and the article below is another shot in that direction

Hitler and other Nazi leaders conceived of Jews as a “disease” within the body politic whose continued presence would lead to the death of the nation. Jews, in the mind of Hitler and other Nazi ideologues, constituted alien or “not-self” cells within the German body politic.

In The Body Soviet: Propaganda, Hygiene, and the Revolutionary State (2008), Tricia Starks conveys the biological metaphors that defined the Soviet revolution. Revolutionary rhetoric, Starks observes, took the form of the binaries of pure/polluted and healthy/diseased. Seeking utopian purity, communism framed its ideology in terms of hygienic metaphors and the “language of purification.” In his attacks against the bourgeois, kulaks (rich peasants) and the priesthood, Lenin compared these classes to “diseases, parasites, or vermin.”

He called for attacks on the “parasites that suck the blood of the working people.” In a tirade delivered in 1917, Lenin referred to the rich and the idlers as “hopelessly decayed and atrophied limbs”—this “contagion, this plague, this ulcer that socialism has inherited from capitalism.”

Lenin insisted that the people take collective action to “clean the land of Russia of all vermin, of fleas, of bugs—the rich.” In his speeches, Starks says, he described the bourgeoisie variously as “filth”, “rot”, “infection”, and even “crippled limbs”, connecting capitalism to disease and degeneracy.

Extending the metaphor of parasites and disease to his political opponents in his article “The Itch” (1918), Lenin portrayed unacceptable political thought as “scabies” (a contagious skin infection caused by the human itch mite), presenting cleansing as the solution: “Put yourself in a steam bath and get rid of the itch.” Starks concludes that Lenin portrayed capitalism as a “disease plaguing the entire world,” and that dread of this infection saturated Soviet propaganda in the 1920s.

Ideological deviation was medicalized as a perversity that endangered both the individual and the entire social body. Sick party members—if they could not be rehabilitated or reeducated—would have to be “excised” before they endangered the party body. The primary method used to accomplish this was the purge, or ochistka (literally “cleansing”). Purging the party of those subject to “illnesses” allowed the party to remain pure and inviolate.

Weitz observes that Stalin’s penchant for biological metaphors was greater even than Lenin’s, evoking some of the “worst horrors of the Twentieth Century.” Stalin (like Lenin) depicted kulaks as “bloodsuckers, spiders and vampires.” As Hitler described Germany as an organism, so Stalin described the Communist party as “a living organism.” Cadres who did not take up the struggle against the opposition “drive sores into the inside of the party organism,” and the party “falls ill.” As in every organism “metabolism takes place: old, obsolete stuff falls off; new, growing things flourish and develop.”

Much more HERE

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (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

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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5 March, 2015

Netanyahu to Congress: Deal with Iran paves way to bomb

In his address to Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argued that the proposed nuclear deal being negotiated with Iran will lead inexorably to a nuclear-armed Iran and war in the Middle East.

“This deal has two major concessions: One, leaving Iran with a vast nuclear program, and two, lifting the restrictions on that program in about a decade,” Netanyahu said in his speech Tuesday morning. “That’s why this deal is so bad. It doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb, it paves Iran’s path to the bomb.”

Netanyahu argued that the deal under consideration, which is being negotiated with Iran by the United States and other world powers, would let most of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure stay in place, including thousands of centrifuges. That would leave Tehran with a very short “breakout time” with which it could produce nuclear weapons, he said.

The Israeli leader also said that the inspection regime under negotiation would be insufficient because inspectors can only document violations, not stop them, and Iran has a history of maintaining secret nuclear facilities.

“Like North Korea, Iran, too, has defied international inspectors,” Netanyahu said. “Iran has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted.”

Because Iran threatens many of its neighbors, other countries in the region likely would develop their own nuclear weapons to keep pace with the Islamic Republic, Netanyahu warned, leaving the region “crisscrossed with nuclear tinder-wires.”

“If anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again,” he said. “When we get down that road, we will face a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.”

Netanyahu urged Congress to reject the deal.  “For over a year, we’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal,” Netanyahu said. “Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.”

The audience responded with a standing ovation.

SOURCE

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IAEA Warns of Possible Iranian 'Activities Related to Development of a Nuclear Payload'

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has “further corroborated” information indicating that Iran “has carried out activities that are relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device,” the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog says in its most recent report on Iran.

Yet not only does Iran continue to deny inspectors access to a key suspect site, it has carried out work there that the agency says will make it more difficult to determine what has been going on there, should they ever be admitted in the future.

Even couched in the staid language favored by U.N. bureaucrats, the Feb. 19 report underlines the still-unresolved concerns about alleged nuclear weapons activity, even as the P5+1 group – the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – draws closer to a late March deadline for a proposed nuclear agreement that will allow Iran to keep much of its nuclear infrastructure intact.

“The agency remains concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile,” IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano writes to the Vienna-based agency’s board of governors.

Those suspected activities, first outlined in a Nov. 2011 IAEA report and “assessed by the agency to be, overall, credible,” have since been “further corroborated,” he said.

The missiles which the IAEA has concerns about boast a range that encompasses Israel as well as U.S. forces in the Arabian Gulf.

In a bipartisan letter to President Obama, circulating on Capitol Hill Monday, House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and ranking member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) pointed to Iran’s lack of cooperation, arguing that “[t]he potential military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program should be treated as a fundamental test of Tehran’s intention to uphold the final comprehensive agreement.”

Iran is obliged to allow IAEA monitors access to Parchin, a military site near Tehran, where the U.S. suspects testing of high explosive components for a nuclear weapon has been carried out.

That obligation is spelled out in a 2010 U.N. Security Council resolution, which called on Iran to “cooperate fully with the IAEA on all outstanding issues, particularly those which give rise to concerns about the possible military dimensions of the Iranian nuclear program, including by providing access without delay to all sites, equipment, persons and documents requested by the IAEA …”

Meanwhile, Iran’s evident failure to comply with this requirement is outlined in Amano’s report:

--“Iran has not provided any explanations that enable the agency to clarify the two outstanding practical measures relating to the initiation of high explosives and to neutron transport calculations.” (Neutron transport studies, which determine how neutrons are moving and interacting with other materials, can be relevant to nuclear weapons development.)

--“Since the director-general’s previous report [three months ago], at a particular location at the Parchin site, the agency has observed, through satellite imagery, the presence of vehicles, equipment and probable construction materials, but no further external changes to the buildings on the site.”

--“As previously reported, the activities that have taken place at this location since February 2012 are likely to have undermined the agency’s ability to conduct effective verification.”

--“It remains important for Iran to provide answers to the agency’s questions and access to the particular location at the Parchin site.”

Iran all along has denied the IAEA allegations about suspect activities, calling them  “mere allegations” and saying they “do not merit consideration.” At the same time, however, Iranian officials have repeatedly pledged to cooperate with the agency to resolve the ambiguities.

Why Iran is not doing so is unclear, but fuels suspicions that despite its denials it does indeed have something to hide.

The Nov. 2011 IAEA report that first spelled out the concerns spoke of “credible” evidence that Iran carried out “activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device” as part of a “structured program” until the end of 2003 – and that there were indications that some of those activities had continued after 2003 and “may still be ongoing.”

“The agency is concerned because some of the activities undertaken after 2003 would be highly relevant to a nuclear weapon program,” it said.

Among the alleged PMD activities identified in that report, some of it carried out at Parchin, was work on detonator designs, including detonator devices that could be used in a nuclear weapon and could fit in a ballistic missile warhead.

Specifically, it said the Iranians were believed to have worked on a project aimed at fitting a “spherical payload” into the payload chamber of a Shahab-3 missile. (The fusion device in a nuclear warhead is typically spherical in shape.)

The Shahab-3 missile, developed with North Korean assistance according to the CIA, and first test-fired by Iran in 1998, has a range of around 800 miles, potentially threatening Israel as well as U.S. forces in the Gulf.

Although Kerry and others in the administration say Iran has met its commitments under the JPOA, the PMD issue remains unaddressed.

SOURCE

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Cardinal Dolan: ISIS Carrying Out 'Targeted Genocide' of Christians

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop for the Catholic Archdiocese of New York City, agreed with CNN's Chris Cuomo today that Islamic State jihadists are engaging in "targeted genocide," a "holy war" against the Christian population in the Middle East, with Dolan adding that these extremists are indeed "Muslims" however "perverted" their form of Islam.

On CNN Live this morning, Mar. 3, host Chris Cuomo asked Cardinal Dolan, "Obviously, ISIS is going after everybody who doesn’t agree with them.  But do you believe that this is targeted genocide, this is holy war by these ISIS extremists on Christians?"

The cardinal said, "I do.  I think it’s time to talk turkey.  I think it’s a systematic, well-choreographed, very well-focused attempt to eradicate the ancient Christian population in the Middle East."

"Now I’m quick to add, Chris, and I mean this, I also believe with all my heart and soul that these extremists do not represent genuine Islamic thought," said Cardinal Dolan.

Cuomo then asked, "But do you believe they are Muslims?"

Dolan said, "They are, they are for sure – I would say a particularly perverted form of Islam."

Cuomo interjected, "Because you know this has been a real problem, here, for the White House, in terms of defining who the enemy is?  The president doesn’t want to give credibility to them as Muslims because they’re not really good Muslims – many believe it’s more confusing than clarifying."

Dolan, who oversees the Catholic community in New York City, then said, "No, they claim to be Muslims. Even the majority of temperate, peace-loving Muslims would say, ‘I’m afraid they have a particular strand of erroneous Islam.’ But I do think they are [Muslims]."

ISIS is the abbreviation for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; the Muslim group recently changed that name to the Islamic State.

The archdiocese of New York was established in 1808 and currently serves 2.6 million Catholics in 310 different parishes (churches), as well as dozens of schools, charities, and health care facilities.

SOURCE

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The Honesty Gap

By Thomas Sowell

There may be some poetic justice in the recent revelation that Hillary Clinton, who has made big noises about a “pay gap” between women and men, paid the women on her Senate staff just 72 percent of what she paid the men. The Obama White House staff likewise has a pay gap between women and men, as of course does the economy as a whole.

Does this mean that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both discriminate against women, that they are themselves part of the nefarious “war on women” that so many on the left loudly denounce? The poetic justice in the recent “pay gap” revelations is that the fundamental fraud in the statistics that are thrown around comes back to bite those who are promoting that fraud for political purposes.

What makes such statistics fraudulent is that they are comparing apples and oranges.

Innumerable studies, going back for decades, have shown that women do not average as many hours of work per year as men, do not have as many consecutive years of full-time employment as men, do not work in the same mix of occupations as men and do not specialize in the same mix of subjects in college as men.

Back in 1996, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that young male physicians earned 41 percent higher incomes than young female physicians. But the same study showed that young male physicians worked over 500 hours a year more than young female physicians.

When the study took into account differences in hours of work, in the fields in which male and female doctors specialized and other differences in their job characteristics, “no earnings difference was evident.” In other words, when you compare apples to apples, you don’t get the “gender gap” in pay that you get when you compare apples to oranges.

This is not peculiar to the medical profession. Nor was this a new revelation, even back in 1996. Many studies done by many scholars over the years – including female scholars – show the same thing, again and again.

A breakdown of statistics in an old monograph of mine – “Affirmative Action in Academia” – showed the pay differential between women and men evaporating, or even reversing, as you compared individuals with truly comparable characteristics. This was back in 1975, forty years ago!

There might have been some excuse for believing that income differences between women and men were proof of discrimination back in the 1960s. But there is no excuse for continuing to use misleading statistics in the 21st century, when their flaws have been exposed repeatedly and long ago.

Many kinds of high-level and high-pressure careers require working 50 or 60 hours a week regularly, and women with children – or expecting to have children – seldom choose those kinds of careers.

Nor is there any reason why they should, if they don’t want to. Raising a child is not an incidental activity that you can do in your spare time, like collecting stamps or bowling.

If you trace the actual history of women in high-level careers, you will find that it bears no resemblance to the radical feminist fable, in which advances began with the “women’s liberation” movement in the 1960s and new anti-discrimination laws.

In reality, women were far better represented in professional occupations in the first three decades of the 20th century than in the middle of that century. Women received a larger share of the postgraduate degrees necessary for such careers in the earlier era than in the 1950s and 1960s.

The proportion of women among the high achievers listed in “Who’s Who in America” in 1902 was more than double the proportion listed in 1958. The decline of women in high-level careers occurred when women’s age of marriage and child-bearing declined during the mid-century “baby boom” years.

The later rise of women began when the age of marriage and child-bearing rose again. In 1972 women again received as high a proportion of doctoral degrees as they had back in 1932.

The truth is not nearly as politically useful as scare statistics. The “gender gap” is not nearly as big as the honesty gap.

SOURCE

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (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

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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4 March, 2015

Nutrition and IQ

One of the oldest claims about low IQ by Leftists is that it's all due to poverty.  Sound familiar?  More specifically, they say that low IQ just reflects poor nutrition.  Considering that African Americans are on the whole even more overweight than Caucasian Americans, that rather clearly flies in the face of the facts.  African Americans are on average 15 points behind white Americans but they aren't going hungry.

And in any case, if it were all due to nutrition, feeding up the children of poor people should make them all into Einsteins, should it not?  There is no known example of anything like that being achieved, however.

Aha!  But it's not the quantity alone that matters. It's quality too.  People need to eat "healthily" rather than eat more. And the prime candidate for a "healthy" diet is the Mediterranean diet.  We all know that, don't we? If we all ate like the Greeks with plenty of vegetables, plenty of garlic and plenty of olive oil we would be so much healthier -- and slimmer to boot.  The main reason the Mediterranean diet is lauded is that accords with Ancel Keys' famous demonstration that red meat it bad for you (high red meat consumption is correlated with shorter lifespan).

Pesky fact: Keys only looked at death from cardiovascular events (heart attacks and strokes).  He did not look at overall mortality.  When you include all causes of death in the correlation, the correlation with red meat consumption vanishes.

Pesky fact: The traditional Australian diet (beef, beef and more beef in various forms) is about as opposite to the Mediterranean diet as you can imagine yet Australians live longer than any people of any Mediterranean nation -- so scrub the Mediterranean diet idea once and for all. 

Another pesky fact:  Eskimos eating a traditional diet eat little else than meat and blubber.  It's hard to grow vegetables near the North Pole.  Yet at any age point, Eskimos have LESS cardiovascular disease than  we do. 

So: There may be such a thing as a healthy diet but nobody so far has been able to track it down convincingly.  Maybe some day somebody will find a magic vegetable that will make blacks as smart as whites but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Funnily enough, however, there is a SMALL element of truth in what Leftists say. In very nutritionally deprived people -- such as Africans whose dietary staple is "Mealie-pap" (corn-porridge) -- adding micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) to the diet of their children does bring about an IQ gain -- but only of about 5 points.  On better nourished people, there is no such gain, however.

Some reinforcement of that story can be found here.  The amount of red meat eaten by different nations is tabulated.  And amount of red meat is a pretty good proxy for a high quality food supply generally. 

And we find, of course, that the nations of Africa all have a low per capita meat consumption.  They are too poor for anything else.  And they are also nations that show very low IQs, as tabulated by Lynn and VanHanen.  Compared to Africans, African Americans (who are about 20% white genetically) are an intellectual elite.  So a largely vegetarian diet has not  helped Africans much. 

But there are some black countries that do have a high meat consumption.  Saint Lucia in the Caribbean lives well off the back of American tourism so has one of the highest meat consumptions per capita (though not nearly as high as the New Zealanders with their seven tasty sheep per person). Yet the average IQ in St Lucia is an abysmal 62, very similar to what we see in Africa.

So vegetables are not the magic cure for low IQ in blacks nor is a rich  diet.  What else is there? Can we concede that diet is essentially irrelevant to IQ?

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Want to Know Why They Keep Calling You Racists?

Attorney General Eric Holder plans to push for a “new standard of proof for civil -rights offenses”. In an interview with Politico. he said that “he felt some of his own struggles with Republicans in Congress during his six years in office were driven partly by race.” Uh huh. Just not in the way he meant it.

The Democrat Party’s history with race is interesting. Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States, is generally considered the founder of the Democratic Party. He was one of the largest slaveholders in the South.

The Missouri Compromise of 1820 divided the nation into free states and slave states, the South seceded, and we fought a long and very bloody war to preserve the Union and end slavery.

The Republican Party was founded as the party of abolition. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation into law. Republicans passed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, ending slavery, with 80% of Democrats voting against it. Republicans passed the 14th Amendment granting freed slaves the rights of citizenship—unanimously opposed by Democrats. Republicans passed the 15th Amendment giving freedmen the right to vote.

Republicans passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866 conferring U.S. citizenship on all African-Americans and according them the “free and equal benefit of all laws” unanimously supported by Republicans who had to override Democrat Andrew Johnson’s veto. Republicans passed the Reconstruction Act of 1867. Republicans sent federal troops to the Democratic South to enforce the constitutional rights of freed slaves. Republicans were the target of the Ku Klux Klan during the Reconstruction.

Republicans continued to try to pass federal civil rights laws in the next century — most were blocked by Democrats, including a bill banning racial discrimination in  public accommodations (1875), guaranteeing the right to vote in the South (1890), anti-lynching (1922, 1935, 1938), anti poll-tax bills (1942, 1944, 1946).

Republican President Teddy Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to dinner at the White House (1901), the first black to do so. Republican platforms starting in 1908 called for equal rights, equal justice, anti-lynching legislation, integration of the military (1940), endorsed Brown v. Board of Education, (1956), and Dwight Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne to Little Rock to desegregate the schools.

By the sixties, the civil rights movement was gaining ground, and Democrats became aware of the trends. To succeed in  American politics, they would need black votes, and their record with matters of race was pretty bad, especially in the South. President John Kennedy sought a civil rights bill to outlaw discrimination, but then he was assassinated and Lyndon Johnson became president.

Johnson’s own record with civil rights wasn’t very good, and he pushed hard to pass the Civil Rights Bill of 1964, which outlawed discrimination by race, color, religion or national origin. equality in voter registration rights and outlawed racial segregation in the schools. Although Congress was controlled by Democrats, 61% of Democrats in the House voted for the bill, 29% against, 80% of Republicans voted for it, 20% against. In the Senate 69% of Democrats supported it with a long filibuster, and 31% against. 82% of Republicans voted for it and 18% against.

Well, the Sixties! Freedom Summer. Students came down south to march for civil rights, There was the Civil Rights Act of 1965 (voting rights ), 1968 (Fair Housing), and Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” which would end poverty and racial injustice, rebuild the entire urban United states, end boredom and restlessness, slake the hunger for community and enhance “the meaning of our lives” all by assembling “the best thought and broadest knowledge.”

When Johnson left office, 10 percent of Southern schools were desegregated. When Richard Nixon left office, the figure was 70 percent. But “the Southern Strategy” didn’t Nixon try to get Southern votes by appealing to the racist segregationists? Nixon helped to persuade the Senate to pass the Civil Rights act of 1957 and supported the civil rights acts of 1964, 1965, and 1968. In Nixon’s presidency , the civil rights enforcement budget rose by 800%, record numbers of blacks were appointed to federal office, an Office of Minority Business Enterprise was created, SBA loans to minorities soared by 1,000% and aid to black colleges doubled.

What happened was that Democrats, realizing that blacks were being registered to vote in big numbers, needed to disguise their past and become the party of civil rights and the war on poverty, the party that cared for minorities, and they did it by lying about history, their own and the Republicans’. Oddly enough, at the same time new terms like “Diversity” and  “Multiculturalism” not only initially entered the political lexicon, but became the guiding factor throughout education, business and human resources departments everywhere. Coincidence?

Suddenly, Republicans, the party of abolition since its founding, became the party of racism, segregation, the Ku Klux Klan, lynching, poll taxes, and every time that Republicans disagree with Democrats they are called “racists.” This is the communist perfected technique of the BIG LIE. You just tell a whopper, and keep telling it and keep telling it, and embroidering it until it is considered to be plain fact. Progressives are very good at this kind of political warfare, and Republicans, who assume that Democrats are just misguided, are not.

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson is exploring a run for the presidency, and the Southern Poverty Law Center put him on their list of “dangerous extremists.” (They had to apologize, and deleted the “dangerous.”) Economist Thomas Sowell is called an Uncle Tom. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Senator Tim Scott, Economist Walter Williams, Representative Mia Love — any black who has succeeded in this country in reaching high office and is a Republican, is called an Uncle Tom, and receives death threats and slanders to their reputations.

The plight of Detroit, which is 85% black, is a shining example of 50 years of Democrat governance. They have reduced Detroit from one of the richest cities in the country to an example of urban blight and human despair. Their plan for “social justice” turned the once great city into a cesspool of racial politics and antibusiness practices, and poverty.

The War on Poverty has encouraged single black women to refrain from marrying the father of their children. Incentives keep women from getting off welfare, for if they get a job they will lose their higher benefits. The Democrat sponsored Community Reinvestment Act was designed to get more poor black  people into their own homes, without regard to their ability to pay back the loans. Normal prudent banking rules were set aside and when the “Great Recession” hit, many middle class blacks lost their homes because they lost their jobs and couldn’t pay back their loans. The Obama administration swept into office on the wings of “the first black president,”promising help and caring for black Americans has, instead, devastated black families and returned race and racism to politics in new and troubling ways.

But why? The Progressives need blacks. If the Democratic  Party lost just 30% of the black vote, it would mean an end to the liberal agenda. Walter Williams said:

That means blacks must be kept in a perpetual state of grievance in order to keep them as a one-party people in a two-party system. When black Americans finally realize how much liberals have used them, I’m betting they will be the nation’s most conservative people.

SOURCE

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Magna Carta lit the way

I add my comments on this article below it -- JR

For many, the Magna Carta is a beacon of liberty, protecting us from the arbitrary tyranny of our governments, even today. 

Lord Denning, the celebrated English judge, once called the ancient peace treaty between King John and his barons - which is celebrating its 800th anniversary this year - "the greatest constitutional document of all time."

But how are those 800-year-old pieces of English calfskin still relevant to us?

After all, most of the charter was not filled with the sweeping rhetoric that we have come to expect of important political documents, but spoke of debtor's sureties, scutage, socage, burkage, paying money for castleward, and removing fish weirs from the Thames.

As a peace treaty, it lasted less than six weeks, ushering in a two-year civil war that devastated England, led to an attempted French invasion, and ended with King John dead, a 9-year-old boy on the throne, and the English significantly poorer, after paying off the French king to leave them alone.

Why then do we celebrate it?

Because the Magna Carta has come to stand for more than its provisions. Its impact has reverberated through the centuries.

No, it did not bring about democratic government in England. No, it did not end the venality of the English Crown. No, it did not guarantee trial by jury.

But it was cited by Henry VIII's Catholic opponents in the sixteenth century, by Sir Edward Coke, and other opponents of the grasping Stuart monarchy, in the seventeenth century, by the American Founding Fathers in the eighteenth century, and so on.

These reverberations are important.

Remembering the whole story of the Magna Carta might encourage us to play our own part in fostering liberty with greater humility. Rome was not built in a day, nor the rule of law established with one international human rights convention, or a UN General Assembly Resolution.

SOURCE

It's great to hear the bits of history that are not usually mentioned. And it is good to see that someone has actually read the document.

But the comments above go a bit too far in negativity.  For instance, the first provision of the document was very similar to America' treasured First Amendment -- though not as concisely expressed. The MC could be said to contain the very first First Amendment.  And it was first by a long way.

And the writer above complains that the MC is mainly concerned with minor matters like laws of inheritance.  It is.  It could be said in fact to be England's first systematic law of intestacy.  And that is important to many people. If someone close to you has died without leaving a will, you will know all about that.

And America's revered Declaration of Independence is also mainly concerned with minor details, as anyone who has actually read it will know. People remember the few grand bits and ignore the rest. Much the same can be asked of the MC.

There is also in it a lot about setting up courts of justice and specifying the rules they are to follow.  And the rules are surprisingly humane -- nothing like the atrocities Muslims perform in the name of justice to this day.

And how modern is this clause? "There shall be standard measures of wine, ale, and corn (the London quarter), throughout the kingdom. There shall also be a standard width of dyed cloth, russet, and haberject, namely two ells within the selvedges. Weights are to be standardised similarly"

I could go on but I think there is much to admire in the MC and I very much urge people to read it for themselves.  There is a modern English translation here


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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (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

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

****************************







3 March, 2015

CNN, DHS and SPLC's Blame-Righty Hit Job

The Department of Homeland Security refuses to release a report on "right-wing" terrorism that somehow found its way into CNN's hands last week during the farcical White House summit on Don't Say Islamic Extremism.

Your tax dollars are once again hard at work — defaming conservatives, deflecting from worldwide murderous jihad and denying the public access to information they funded.

CNN splashed the big scoop on its website: "DHS intelligence report warns of domestic right-wing terror threat." The fear-mongering piece featured a huge map of 24 alleged acts of "violence by sovereign citizen extremists since 2010." CNN's Evan Perez and Wes Bruer prominently quoted Mark Potok of the widely disgraced propaganda outfit the Southern Poverty Law Center. Potok claimed that "there are as many as 300,000 people involved in some way with sovereign citizen extremism."

This is the same SPLC that was forced to apologize to famed neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson just last week for categorizing him as an "extremist" because he supports the traditional definition of marriage.

This is the same hate-instigating SPLC whose target map and list of social conservative groups were used by left-wing domestic terrorist Floyd Lee Corkins to shoot up the Washington, D.C., office of the Family Research Council in 2012.

This is the same SPLC whose explicit aim, according to Potok, is to "destroy" its political opponents and which admits it is "not really set up to cover the extreme left." Harper's Magazine's Ken Silverstein called the SPLC and its work "essentially a fraud" that "shuts down debate, stifles free speech, and most of all, raises a pile of money, very little of which is used on behalf of poor people."

None of these facts was mentioned in CNN's report promoting the threat of "right-wing" terrorism. So you can see why I was curious to know more about the "24 violent sovereign citizen-related attacks" the cable network kept citing without specifics. I asked both CNN and DHS for a copy of the assessment. CNN's Bruer brusquely told me on Twitter: "Not public doc. But not new that gov't lists sov. citizens as terror threat."

Sure, it's "not new." But CNN's report was new (and conveniently timed to coincide with the White House agenda of talking about every other kind of terrorism besides jihad). I wanted to read the new document, not just what CNN and the SPLC want the public to know and think about it.

Liberal media outlets have a bad habit of purposely misclassifying terrorist incidents as "right-wing." Last April, both CNN and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow joined with the SPLC to foment fear of conservative Americans by claiming that "right-wingers" have killed 34 people since 9/11 for "political reasons," while jihadists have killed 21.

But a closer look at the rigging of that phony factoid simply confirms the malevolent intention of so-called objective journalists and "hate watch" groups to marginalize conservative political speech and dissent. The CNN/MSNBC/SPLC smear job involved both the dishonest deflating of left-wing and jihadist incidents, and the dishonest inflating of "right-wing" incidents.

First, carving out the 3,000-person death toll from the 9/11 jihadist attacks is a rather convenient way to rig the scales, isn't it? So is omitting the 10-person death toll from the jihad-inspired Beltway sniper spree of 2002.

The conservatives-are-worse-than-jihadists casualty data counted Holocaust Memorial Museum shooter James Von Brunn, who killed a heroic security guard, as a "right-winger." But Von Brunn was neither "left" nor "right." He was a rage-filled maniac and 9/11 truther who hated Fox News, the Weekly Standard and Rupert Murdoch.

Also counted as "right-wing" in the CNN/MSNBC/SPLC data: Andrew Joseph Stack. He's the lunatic who flew a small plane into an Austin, Texas, office complex that contained an Internal Revenue Service office in 2010. Stack's ranting suicide manifesto targeted George W. Bush, health care insurers, the pharmaceutical industry and the "capitalist creed."

Also listed as "right-wing:" Richard Andrew Poplawski. He was the disgruntled, unemployed loser who shot and killed three Pittsburgh police officers in a horrifying bloodbath in 2009. Left-wing publications asserted that the "heated, apocalyptic rhetoric of the anti-Obama forces," along with Fox News and Glenn Beck, motivated Poplawski to slay the officers. But Poplawski was a dropout from the Marines who threw a food tray at a drill instructor, had beaten his girlfriend, and demonstrated violent, racist tendencies that had nothing to do with politics. Poplawski was outraged that his mother wanted to kick his unemployed ass out of the house.

Joshua Cartwright, another serial woman abuser, also murdered two police officers in the aftermath of a domestic violence call. Left-wing operatives focused on a single remark from Cartwright's victim about his views on President Obama to paint him as a "right-wing radical," whitewashing his long history of violence against his partner and senseless paranoia.

Were any of these falsely classified incidents included in the DHS assessment hyped by CNN and SPLC last week? We'll never know. When I asked DHS public affairs officer S.Y. Lee for the document, he told me it's "not for public release" because it's "an FOUO document (for official use only). Same as many DHS products to law enforcement."

I asked whether CNN now qualifies as "law enforcement." No response.

SOURCE

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Questions the Press Doesn't Ask Democrats

Gov. Scott Walker has leapt to the top of polls in Iowa. As day follows night, he has moved to the center of the liberal press’s crosshairs. This is the world we inhabit: When a Democrat is perceived as popular, the press discovers layers of humor and elan we never suspected. When a Republican is gaining strength, the press sharpens its bayonets.

Based on his response to trap-door questions in the past few days, we’ve been instructed that Walker a) is a crypto young Earther (or, just as bad, a panderer to same); b) that he ought to have answered the question regarding President Obama’s faith with a resounding affirmation of Obama’s fitness for sainthood; and c) that he is some sort of coward for not grabbing Rudy Giuliani by the scruff of the neck and escorting him off stage when the former mayor questioned the president’s love of country.

Let’s stipulate that Walker gave B-minus answers to D-minus questions. I agree with Ramesh Ponnuru that, while questions about evolution have zero relevance to governing, Republicans ought to be prepared to answer them without “punting.” (A raised eyebrow to show you understand the game afoot wouldn’t be misplaced.) For a politician, the only seemly way to answer a question about something as intimate as someone else’s faith is, “I can’t see into other people’s souls. Can you?” (As a non-politician and reader of “Dreams from My Father,” I have my doubts about Obama’s piety, just as I never believed he opposed gay marriage – but that’s neither here nor there.)

Presumably, Walker, a talented pugilist and no novice to hardball politics, will get his national sea legs soon. But the fuss over the Giuliani comments is a reminder of the ferocious, unrelenting bias of the press. When Obama called President Bush “unpatriotic” in 2008, it was a non-story, just as then Sen. Joe Biden’s description of Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean” went undenounced.

Any Republican who imagined that the sickening double standard the press applies to Democrats and Republicans would have been sated by six years of genuflection to Obama should now be fully awake.

One practical lesson Republicans should draw from this is to minimize, wherever possible, the participation of left-leaning journalists in Republican debates. This isn’t to say that Republicans should run scared – just that they offer prized roles in nationally significant events to journalists who will be fair. I have a list if they need one.

Still, most members of the press are partisans, and one cannot avoid them completely. Republicans should accordingly come prepared to any press encounter with a list of questions they would ask Democrats. If the journalist doesn’t ask, the candidate can offer suggestions. For example:

1) You say you’re in favor of “comprehensive immigration reform.” How many legal immigrants should we welcome every year? As many as can get here? Do you think that presents any problems for unskilled Americans who are having trouble finding work?

2) Democrats say they want to ensure that women get equal pay for doing the same work as a man. Do you know the date when that became federal law? (1963)

3) Obamacare was passed to solve the problem of the uninsured. Yet the GAO projects that 31 million will remain uninsured by 2021. What would you propose to solve that problem? Do you favor forcing doctors to see Medicaid patients as some Democrats propose?

4) President Obama’s team praised the Veterans Administration as the model of efficient government health care. In light of the scandals that have come to light in the VA, do you agree? If not, can you point to a government-run health system you admire?

5) Dodd/Frank was passed to solve the “too big to fail” problem. Yet since passage, the biggest banks have gotten bigger, while community banks have withered. The five largest banks by assets now hold 44.0 percent of U.S. banking assets and 40.1 percent of domestic deposits – up from 23.5 percent and 19.5 percent, respectively, in early 2000. With the biggest banks having gotten even larger, was Dodd/Frank a mistake?

6) A recent survey by Education Next found that a strong plurality of African Americans, 47 percent, support charter schools, while just 29 percent oppose them. Do you support vouchers and charters even if the teachers' unions oppose them?

Finally, for some candidates:

7) You opposed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. How does what you support differ from what sent Dr. Kermit Gosnell to prison for first-degree murder?

SOURCE

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Sen. Ted Cruz: Top Priority to ‘Abolish the IRS’

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said among his top five priorities for the United States is to “abolish the IRS” at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Md., on Thursday.
Sean Hannity of Fox News asked Cruz what his top five agenda items are for the country.

“Number one,” said Cruz. “Repeal every blasted word of Obamacare.”

“Number two, abolish the IRS, take all 125,000 IRS agents and put them on our southern border,” said the senator. “Number three, stop the out of control regulators at the EPA and the alphabet soup of Washington. Number four, defend our constitutional rights - all of them, and number five, restore America’s leadership in the world as a shining city on a hill.”

Hannity also asked Cruz to say the first words that came to his mind when he mentioned some names.

“Hillary Clinton,” Hannity said.

“Washington,” replied Cruz.

“Bill Clinton,” Hannity said.

“Youth outreach,” Cruz joked.

“Barack Hussein Obama,” Hannity said.

“Lawless Imperator,” said Cruz.

SOURCE

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The resveratrol craze is dying

Dubbed the 'elixir of youth', it's the red wine ingredient which has prompted debate for years.  Now it seems resveratrol really does make you live longer, but only in small doses - and too much could actually speed up the ageing process rather than slowing it down.

Scientists looked at how the chemical interacted with 'satellite cells', which play a role in repairing damaged muscle as part of the body's natural regeneration.

The team discovered the chemical, which is found in red wine, chocolate and health supplements, had a different effect depending on the concentration they used.

Laboratory tests showed that small doses supported cells in the repair process but higher doses had the opposite effect.

The findings, led by Dr Hans Degens of Manchester Metropolitan University, could strike a blow to those who tout resveratrol as fighting heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's. Dr Degens said: 'Stronger muscles and the ability of the muscle to repair damage are important for a healthy lifestyle, especially in older age where muscle decline can have a series of implications for a reduction in our quality of life.

'So we analysed if resveratrol was able to promote the repair of muscle and reduce oxidative stress where free radicals (destructive molecules) speed up the ageing process.  'Local muscle stem cells undergo a cycle when they repair and ultimately fuse with the damaged muscle fibre.

'At low doses, resveratrol did help the regeneration. However, if the dose is higher, it doesn't mitigate ageing from oxidative stress and even hampers the repair cycle.

'The results showed that the effects are dependent on the dose and it is unclear from the equivocal results if drinking wine or eating chocolate would have anti-ageing properties and repair muscle or the opposite.'

The researchers, whose findings appear in the journal Scientific Reports, conducted experiments in the laboratory using muscle cells.  They tested the cycle of muscle regeneration which starts with the activation of muscle precursors called 'satellite' cells.

A low 10 micromolar dose of resveratrol stimulated satellite cell activation and migration while higher concentrations of 40 to 60 micromolars stopped it, and even damaged the cells.

SOURCE

There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (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

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

****************************







2 March, 2015

More on the Islamic "lone wolves"

The report below very much confirms what I said yesterday

This summer, Thomas Mücke managed a coup: he dissuaded a young German from joining the Islamic State.

The teenager, a Kurd whose family is originally from Turkey but now living in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, had landed in prison after committing a petty crime. Angry, confined, and looking to lash out, he “had pretty much given up with life and was ready to pack his bag" for Syria, Mr. Mücke says.

But Mücke, a street worker and head of the Berlin-based Violence Prevention Network (VPN) in Berlin, challenged the aspiring jihadi. Did he know that Islamic State fought against Kurds? No, the boy didn’t. In fact, he had no idea about his religion. It was a prison inmate that gave him the idea to go to Syria.

Recommended: How much do you know about Germany? Take our quiz!
"In the end he said, 'If IS fights against the Kurds I can’t go with them,'" says Mücke. The youth is out of prison now, and while he will receive counseling for months to come, he is no longer seen as in imminent danger of radicalization.

The success that Mücke and his organization, a nonprofit group that helps incarcerated young people with extremist biographies find a way out, has experienced in dissuading would-be jihadis is significant. But the VPN did not originally target radical Islamists. Rather, it had a much more familiar German radical in mind: violent neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists.

But advocates like Mücke say that just like that fascist ideology, fighting Islamic extremism among the young has less to do with religion than with young people’s vulnerability to the ideology. When dealing with extremists, be they neo-Nazis or jihadis, it is crucial to work with each person individually. And with at least 550 Germans in Syria, part of a swelling group of several thousand Europeans, Germany's lessons in fighting the spread of neo-Nazi ideology could prove key to stopping Islamic radicalization.

“They are both fascist ideologies,” says Mücke, who has counseled hundreds of imprisoned young people, often from the violent right extremist scene. ”One is using a certain idea of the nation, the other is using religion as its instrument.”

SOURCE

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Social justice warriors

If social justice were justice it would not need the "social" in front of it

The term "social justice" is usually dated back to the mid-19th century when it was coined by the Jesuit priest and scholar Luigi Taparelli. Taparelli believed that law should serve morality because unrestrained freedom harmed the cohesiveness of society even if the expression of freedom was nonviolent. A virtuous society required "positive law" that did not merely protect person and property but which also imposed moral standards.

More recently, a spin-off term has entered the popular vocabulary: social justice warrior (SJW). SJWs embody a radical left-wing ideology that expresses an aggressive political correctness by which 'incorrect' behavior and words are suppressed by the force of law whereas 'correct' behavior is promoted by law and tax-funding. PC feminists and other advocates of a progressivism tend to be SJWs that target white males as the nexus of oppression in Western society.

The term has become a pejorative because of the prominent harassment used by SJWs on forums such as the Internet or university campuses where they shout down dissenting voices and attempt to have the dissenters fired or otherwise punished. The SJW's activism seeks to impose a uniformity of far-left expression upon society and to force compliance from others. The act of argumentation – that is, an exchange of differing opinions – is rare. Instead, rage-filled invective is hurled at the dissenter so that every word is defined as hate speech. The tactic comes directly from Cultural Marxism, which is the forerunner of political correctness. According to Cultural Marxism the content of what is said – that is, the truth or falsehood of statements – means nothing compared to 'who' is making the statement. The class affiliation is everything. A SJWer checks a person's gender, skin color and sexual orientation in order to decide whether their words should be tolerated or whether they are speech-offenders.

In short, SJWs do not deal in truth or falsehood when engaging with others. Typically, SJWs will swarm or dogpile a website at which someone has posted an 'incorrect' sentiment; for example, a white man might make a joke about fat people that would have occasioned no notice if it had been made by a black woman. Using social media sites, like Tumblr or Twitter, a coordinated attack is launched on the individual. Or a speaker at a university is shouted down or suddenly uninvited. The SJW goal is to control the narrative, to own the ideas and words that can be spoken, the thoughts that can be presented. They rarely present evidence and often repeat 'facts' that have been debunked because all that is important is to drown out competing ideas. In essence, SJWs have no other choice because their ideas cannot be sustained in an open forum, a free market of ideas.

To the extent there is a solid SJW goal, it is probably "equality" or equal distribution of privilege. What the words mean, however, is mandated and special benefits to preferred groups. There is no defined end point, no sense of when equality is and can be attained because SJWs reach back to the dawn of time when assessing the social debt owed to the preferred groups. They are remedial historians who impose the cost of centuries of wrongdoing on individuals who are innocent. They will continue to do so because there is no downside for them.

The downside is imposed on those whose peaceful behavior and ideas do not comply, and the mechanism of enforcement is the state. Using the state is part and parcel of the SJW definition of justice itself. SJWs approach justice as an end state. A just society is one in which there is an equal distribution of wealth, opportunities and privilege, where there is no patriarchy or capitalism, in which only correct words and ideas are represented. In other words, justice is a specific arrangement, a specific society that embodies economic, political, legal and cultural arrangements. For example, SJW justice requires no one to utter certain syllables, everyone to share a consensus of attitudes.

By contrast, those who value individual freedom view justice as a means-oriented process, not as an ends-oriented state. That is, the concept of justice refers to the method by which society operates and not to a particular arrangement of society being produced. The methodology is "anything that is peaceful," "society by contract," "the non-initiation of force," voluntaryism. Any outcome to which all of the adults involved have consented is, by definition, a just arrangement. The only end-state attributable to people who wish to live in freedom is precisely that: freedom. Otherwise stated, those who value liberty require only the protection of person and property, the prevention of force and fraud within society. Past that point, how society operates, what people choose to peacefully believe or do with their own bodies and property is up to them.

Consider marriage as an example of justice being a process or means-oriented rather than being a defined arrangement or ends-oriented. In freedom, any 'marriage' that results from the consent of the adults involved is "just." It could be a traditional marriage with the woman as a housewife or a homosexual one with children adopted from around the world. Monogamy, polygamy, sexual abstention ... there is no end state that can be called a "just" marriage; a marriage in which one party willingly supports the other is no more or less just than one in which each party contributes 50%. All that is important is the ability of peaceful adults to choose and continue to choose for as long as the relationship lasts. The specific arrangement is not what makes the arrangement just; the method by which it is reached IS.

This doesn't mean that everything peaceful or voluntary is moral. For example, a voluntary society may contain racism. I married into an Hispanic family and I feel strongly about anyone slandering or demeaning my family. I have been known to yell and scream in the face of people who do so. And anyone who refuses to hire my niece or nephew because of their race can take my contract, my business dollar and tear it in two. I would use every peaceful means at my disposal to change the vicious behavior of whoever discriminates and I would make them pay as high a price as I could. With one exception.

There are many options available to influence individuals and social trends. Persuasion, peer pressure, bribery, protest, social shaming, shunning, boycott ... The only option that is not available to decent human beings is the use of force as a means to make peaceful human beings comply. And, yet, that is the single arrow that SJWs have in their quiver. Why? Because if people are free to disagree and not associate with them, then they have no funding, no power, no validity. If a person is free not to fund PC projects with tax dollars, not to hire an employee for any reason, including gender, if he or she has the right to say 'no,' then the SJW is impotent.

And, so the SJWer must use the state. Those who respect freedom and genuine human dignity do not have that option. You cannot use force to impose a voluntary society: it is a contradiction in terms. You cannot put a gun to a person's head and say, "You are now free to choose." Freedom involves removing force from the situation. And, in the final analysis, this is what SJWs are against: choice.

SOURCE

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Dimensions Of Dysfunction Suffered By Secular Leftists

When people say Leftists suffer from mental illness, it is true, but only part of the story

ALLAN ERICKSON

I confess. I’m a recovered Leftist. I drank the voodoo juice in college. For a time, I joined the ranks of deranged control freaks. Our professors drilled Marx, Freud, and Darwin into our skulls for four years, leaving us glassy-eyed, numb, and unfit for worthwhile employment.

College brainwashed us well. Many graduates drone on to this day, dutifully reciting the scripted narrative. This explains the daily insanity expressed on TV news programs. “We agree with the president. He believes ISIS has nothing to do with Islam, that a jobs program will solve everything. He believes most police departments are racist. He thinks capitalism is a failure. He believes the economy is recovering. He thinks the clerics will not launch a nuke from Iran because it is against their religion. He believes government can run health care better than doctors. We agree!”

Have you noticed the central government is overrun by control freaks — real freaks warring reality? College indoctrination centers were successful these last 45 years. For me and for increasing numbers, reality eventually penetrated denial. We were reborn into a world of individual responsibility, moral clarity, productive endeavor, common sense, and meaningful living. We climbed out of the rabbit hole to escape Wonderland.

When people say Leftists suffer from mental illness, it is true, but only part of the story. Typical Leftists are compulsive about minding everyone else’s business. They pry. They interfere. They make assumptions. They accuse and condemn. In short, they will do anything to justify using government power to force submission and compliance. It’s an addiction pursued with religious zeal.

Leftists assume they are morally and intellectually superior, without a shred of evidence (and frequently contradicting the best evidence). It is delusional, but necessary. After all, one must assume supremacy to justify tyranny. It’s comparable to the jihadist mentality: “We are doing this for your own good because we know better.”

Pushed to the extreme (an inevitable outcome in order to overcome resistance), it is easy to justify infringement of rights, legal action, sanction, incarceration, even violence. One simply cannot let deficient people override the wisdom of the enlightened elite. Why waste time trying to persuade the uneducated? Much more efficient to threaten, humiliate, ridicule, and brow-beat them into submission while you brainwash their children and grandchildren.

Which leads to another dimension of the illness: Leftists are convinced they possess special knowledge. Leftists simply “know” things, such as human activity is destroying the planet, doomsday is right around the corner, gun control reduces crime, white people are inherently racist, capitalism is the root of all evil, Republicans are the spawn of Satan, Muslims are cool, Baptists drool, Marxism rocks, love is free, as clinics should be. For a Leftist, this special PC knowledge requires no substantiation, because “it feels right.” Things should be the way Leftists perceive because they have the special knowledge, debate over. And if you disagree, well, you just aren’t “cool.”

A snapshot to exemplify: poverty bad, redistribution good, expand government power to steal from one to give to another, (liberty lost), problem solved, case closed. Trouble is, reality is found elsewhere, and problems proliferate. Think the 50-year war on poverty declared by Lyndon Johnson and waged by Democrats, wasting $5 trillion dollars in that time.

Leftists are prone to misdiagnose problems, given their arrogant presumption, an illusion spread across generations by drug and alcohol abuse. One sees cars and heat waves, then observes a melting iceberg, and shazzam!, human beings are destroying the planet! Al Gore says so! The real trouble comes when “solutions” are “proposed.” In this case, man-made global warming can only be halted by destroying the economies of the industrialized nations, giving all the remaining wealth to the third world to supply solar panels and bicycles. There is nothing quite like a radical, irrational solution to an unidentified problem. What could go wrong?!

You will notice, as well, that Leftists tend to stifle debate by insisting that issues are settled and catastrophe is at hand: We have to act right now, or we all die! Intolerance generally accompanies the hysteria and the rush to judgment and action, however ill-advised. When serial failures ensue, the only way they can salvage some form of sanity is to project those failures on others. “Well,” they say, “we only failed because of obstructionist Republicans. We didn’t fail actually. They prevented success. We were underfunded. The media was complicit. The Chinese undercut our margins. It just isn’t fair.” Unfairness is a very convenient accusation when projecting failure on others. Think Solyndra.

Always angry, irritable, and demanding, like menopausal women trying to stop smoking, Leftists never sleep. They never miss an opportunity to attack, slander, and engage character assassination. There is no satisfying these people. If you support traditional marriage but have no interest in persecuting homosexuals, you are a homophobic hate monger. If you don’t think affirmative action is such a great idea, but have no interest in discriminating for any reason, you are a racist moron. If you think unborn human beings have a right to life, without being insensitive to the needs of women in crisis pregnancy situations, you are a sexist pig. If you support equal rights for all without seeing the destruction of males as required, you are a chauvinist waging a war on women. And if you think history teaches that liberty can only be sustained by a decentralized federal government, the separation of powers, the consent of the governed, and the right to private property, you are a Nazi.

If you’re Republican, you deserve a firing squad.

Finally, Leftists tend to be very self-absorbed and paranoid, immune to all factual information contradicting the narrative. If not experiencing immediate gratification, they go all Veruca, then spin another conspiracy theory. It often gets very emotional.

In short, hell hath no fury like a Leftist scorned. Go ahead. Scorn one. See what happens. Or you can tune into MSNBC and watch them go berserk. Great fun, until you realize the psychos really are in control, and thus, the world has become one enormous asylum.

Perhaps we should cling to our guns and our Bibles.

SOURCE

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (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

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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1 March, 2015

Muslim "lone wolves"



I don't entirely agree with the above graphic.  It is true that there has been something of an epidemic of terrorist attacks from Muslims acting alone or nearly alone recently -- in the USA (e.g. Boston), Denmark, France, England, Canada and Australia.  But they hardly add up to an army.  There are many Muslim armies but their great enthusiasm is for attacking one-another, which is rather neat.

What is clear is that all the attacks have been carried out by losers -- men on the margins of society.  The only organized Muslim terrorist body was Al Qaeda and they were on the wane even before Osama bin Laden was eliminated.  Osama was certainly not living the high life when he was tracked down.  It's possible that the Islamic State might take up where Al Qaeda left off but it hasn't happened yet. And a big one dropped on Raqqa would shut them up for a long time.

Meanwhile. ISIS seems to have its uses.  Lots of Jihad-inclined young males from Muslim families in the West go there to join up and fight other Muslims, which is a big improvement on them attacking us. It seems to be a sort of fly-paper for attracting and trapping young Muslim misfits.

So it seems that all the recent attacks have been motivated by Jihad preaching but that Jihad preaching is overall a huge failure. Jihad motivation was only strong enough to move people to attack us who already had little to lose.  But one man with a firearm can do a lot of harm for a short while.  So it seems to me that we have strong reasons to stop such attacks even if they not systemically threatening.  Life will go on much as it otherwise would for 99% of the population despite the misdirected anger of a few misfits.

And although it is desperately "incorrect" to mention it, the killings by Muslims pale into insignificance compared with the plague of killings by blacks. If we want to stop killings, it is blacks who should have our priority attention.  But it's not going to happen, of course.  Jim Crow is dead and not likely to be resurrected in the near future.

So there is some point in the Leftist contention that Muslim attacks should be dealt with solely as a police matter.  Police deal with shootings all the time and the race or religion of the shooter doesn't matter much.

But I think we can do better than that. I think we should criminalize Jihad preaching.  Not all speech is free speech and there is already a precedent saying that incitement to violence is not covered by free speech protections.  So I think all we need to do is to formally classify Jihad preaching as incitement to violence -- which it largely is anyhow -- and put a few mullahs in prison.  Without the incitement, the attacks should at least diminish in frequency. Without the incitement, the losers would  probably just continue to bomb themselves out with drugs, which is mostly what they do already

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Bozell to CPAC: ‘Cultural Fascism Has Arrived in America'

 “Cultural fascism has arrived in America,” Media Research Center President Brent Bozell said Friday in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference.  “Tyranny is knocking at our door,” Bozell said.

“Webster defines fascism as ‘a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control,’" he said. "Cultural fascism has arrived in America."

"Let us understand this soberly and unequivocally,” Bozell told hundreds of conservative activists.  "Ladies and gentlemen, we know this to be true. So it begs the question: What is our response?"

“Something terrible is happening to our country,” Bozell noted, listing numerous instances in which Americans in politics, the media, and academia have been persecuted for their political and religious beliefs, including the targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which he called “the most feared arm of the federal government”.

Bozell reminded the CPAC audience that “the radical Left now controls most levers of political and cultural power, and is using both in a relentless campaign to destroy the last vestiges of freedom in America.”

“The radicals now control the Federal Communications Commission and the FCC is out of control in its zeal to control free speech,” he pointed out. “The North Koreans would approve of this. Last summer it was making quiet preparations to put a federal monitor in every newsroom to assess stations’ ‘news philosophy,’ and ‘the process by which stories are selected.’ This shocking abuse of governmental authority was exposed and stopped -- but by no means have the radicals stopped,” Bozell said.

“The radicals have shown their fangs,” he added. “They will do anything, using any means at their disposal, legal or otherwise, to control our very freedom of speech."

“Ponder this carefully: when the state uses its power to destroy any political opposition, spying on and silencing through threats and criminal prosecution, is it all that different than the East German Stasi?”

Bozell bluntly told the crowd that conservatives “have been retreating for decades” and urged them to go on the offense against those who threaten their freedoms.

“I do not ask you to defend yourself well in retreat,” Bozell told the gathering. “I ask you to stop the retreat. I ask you to ride to the sound of the guns.”

“Do you accept the new reality of a transformed society where freedom is but an evermore distant memory?” Bozell challenged the CPAC audience. “Is that your gift to your progeny, after so many millions of men and women gave their blood, and their very lives, to give you the gift of the freest society in the history of man?

“No, by God, tell me it’s not,” he said.

Instead of surrendering, “perhaps only gradually, certainly grudgingly, but ultimately surrender[ing] nonetheless,” he urged them to fight back against the “fascists in academia…the censors in the news or entertainment media” and radicals who attack conservative leaders.

“Look for every opportunity to be politically incorrect,” Bozell exhorted the crowd. “Drive these radicals crazy. Make a vow that this December everywhere you go, with everyone you see, it’s not ‘Happy Holiday.’ It’s ‘Merry Christmas!’”

“We have weapons,” he said. “We can communicate with millions of Americans every day through the wonders of technology. Use them. Tell your story. Tell our story. Tell them what America was, should be, and will be again: a free and virtuous nation.

“Our Founders will be vindicated. Your progeny will be grateful. And the Almighty will be well pleased,” he concluded.

SOURCE

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The End of Freedom in America

The America that has existed from the days of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, when its sovereignty was acknowledged by a treaty with England 1783, and its founding in 1788 with the ratification of the Constitution is no more. The America for which thousands fought and gave their lives is no more.

That America ends on February 26 when the Federal Communications Commission, under intense pressure from the Obama White House and with the votes of its Democratic Party commissioners asserts government control over the Internet with a 332-page set of regulations, dubbed "Net Neutrality."

Writing in the Feb 22nd Wall Street Journal, columnist L. Gordon Crovitz summed up what will occur saying "Obamanet promises to fix an Internet that isn't broken...The permissionless Internet which allows anyone to introduce a website, app, or device without government review, ends this week."

"The big politicization came when President Obama in November demanded that the supposedly independent FCC apply agency's most extreme regulation to the Internet." Of course Obama wants the Internet regulated and of course the Democratic Party will support this move to control who gets to put up a website or blog and, more importantly, who gets to say anything critical of the President.

The Democratic Party has been in everything but name the Communist Party in the United States for several decades. Obama was raised and mentored to be a Marxist. What we are witnessing is nothing less than tyranny replacing democracy.

Crovitz warned that "This week Mr. Obama's bureaucrats will give him the regulated Internet he demands. Unless Congress or the courts block Obamanet, it will be the end of the Internet as we know it."

Earlier this week, as reported by Giuseppe Macri in The Daily Caller the FCC's two Republican commissioners, Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly, asked Chairman Tom Wheeler "to delay the vote and release his proposal to the public. ‘We respectfully request that FCC leadership immediately release the 332-page Internet regulation plan publicly and allow the American people a reasonable period of not less than 30 days to carefully study it.'"

There is some evil at work here because, as the Republican commissioners point out, "the plan in front of us right now is so drastically different than the proposal the FCC adopted and put out for public comment last May."

Shades of ObamaCare! Even the Democrats who voted that monstrosity into law had not read it. Now neither Congress, nor the rest of America is being permitted to see regulations that will determine what can and cannot be posted to the Internet, the greatest instrument of free speech ever invented since the printing press.

Commissioner Pai says that the FCC is "adopting a solution that won't work to a problem that doesn't exist using legal authority we don't have." He estimates that the regulations will add up to $11 billion in new taxes on Internet access.

In a commentary, "Neutralize Obama's Hijacking of the Internet", Judi McLeod, the editor of CanadaFreePress.com, said "Forget NSA, the FBI, the CIA, and all warnings sent by Edward Snowden. They've got nothing on how Net Neutrality will silence you."

"Someday in the near future when you type in the words "Islamic terrorists" in an Internet post, you will be knocked off the Net and find it all but impossible to climb back on again."

Do I think the Congress will exercise its oversight responsibilities and stop this tyrannical power grab? No. Do I think our court system will do anything other than bow to precedent set by earlier FCC regulations? Yes.

As a nation founded on and devoted to freedom of speech, I think February 26, 2015 will go down in the history books as the day when that freedom came to an end in America.

Thanks to a National Security Agency we no longer have any privacy regarding anything we say using telephones, the Internet or any other form of communication.

If the Democrat-controlled FCC has its way, the Internet will slow your access and could eliminate access countless sites that provide news and express opinions the federal government finds offensive. That's what tyrannies do.

SOURCE

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More Leftist lies -- still ignoring all the facts and stirring up hatred over the Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin encounter



And they are still using the wholesome picture of Martin aged about 12, when much more recent and relevant pictures are available



Apropos of James Kirkpatrick’s post about the Justice Department’s dropping its campaign against George Zimmerman, The Washington Post‘s story contains a flat-out lie to open its meditation on the matter, which very much of a piece with what Mr. Kirkpatrick noted.

Reported the Post, “Zimmerman fatally shot Martin while the unarmed African American 17-year-old was walking in Sanford, Fla."

No, Zimmerman didn’t do that. He shot Martin because Martin was bashing his head into the ground, trying to kill him.

The Post also noted that Zimmerman “identifies as Hispanic” and told police he was fighting for his life and fired at Martin in self-defense.”

One can’t imagine the Post reporting that Barack Obama “identifies as black,” and we know why the Post wrote it that way. It’s casting doubt on Zimmerman’s Hispanic background so it won’t have to finger an Hispanic in its recreated narrative. Much better to leave Zimmerman’s background fuzzy and have readers think he’s white. We all recall The New York Times hilariously calling Zimmerman a “white Hispanic.”

The second line ignores the evidence Zimmerman produced when he had to go to trial–evidence of Trayvon’s bloody knuckles, and Zimmerman’s injured head.

The evidence that made a jury acquit him, basically finding exactly that: Zimmerman “was fighting for his life and fired at Martin in self-defense.”

The phrase “fired at Martin” makes it sound as if Zimmerman shot Martin from 15 feet away, which comports with the lie that he “shot Martin while the unarmed African-American 17-year-old was walking.”

SOURCE

The full facts are given here.  Backups here and here

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (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

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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IN BRIEF




Postings from Brisbane, Australia by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.) -- former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party.

Leftists are the "we know best" people, meaning that they are intrinsically arrogant. Matthew chapter 6 would not be for them. And arrogance leads directly into authoritarianism

Leftism is fundamentally authoritarian. Whether by revolution or by legislation, Leftists aim to change what people can and must do. When in 2008 Obama said that he wanted to "fundamentally transform" America, he was not talking about America's geography or topography but rather about American people. He wanted them to stop doing things that they wanted to do and make them do things that they did not want to do. Can you get a better definition of authoritarianism than that?

And note that an American President is elected to administer the law, not make it. That seems to have escaped Mr Obama

That Leftism is intrinsically authoritarian is not a new insight. It was well understood by none other than Friedrich Engels (Yes. THAT Engels). His excellent short essay On authority was written as a reproof to the dreamy Anarchist Left of his day. It concludes: "A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon — authoritarian means"

Conservatives adapt to the world they live in. Leftists want to change the world to suit themselves

Given their dislike of the world they live in, it would be a surprise if Leftists were patriotic and loved their own people. Prominent English Leftist politician Jack Straw probably said it best: "The English as a race are not worth saving"

Why do conservatives respect tradition and rely on the past in many ways? Because they want to know what works and the past is the chief source of evidence on that. Leftists are more faith-based. They cling to their theories (e.g. global warming) with religious fervour, even though theories are often wrong

"The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley"[go oft astray] is a well known line from a famous poem by the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns. But the next line is even wiser: "And leave us nought but grief and pain for promised joy". Burns was a Leftist of sorts so he knew how often theories fail badly.

Thinking that you "know best" is an intrinsically precarious and foolish stance -- because nobody does. Reality is so complex and unpredictable that it can rarely be predicted far ahead. Conservatives can see that and that is why conservatives always want change to be done gradually, in a step by step way. So the Leftist often finds the things he "knows" to be out of step with reality, which challenges him and his ego. Sadly, rather than abandoning the things he "knows", he usually resorts to psychological defence mechanisms such as denial and projection. He is largely impervious to argument because he has to be. He can't afford to let reality in.

A prize example of the Leftist tendency to projection (seeing your own faults in others) is the absurd Robert "Bob" Altemeyer, an acclaimed psychologist and father of a prominent Canadian Leftist politician. Altemeyer claims that there is no such thing as Leftist authoritarianism and that it is conservatives who are "Enemies of Freedom". That Leftists (e.g. Mrs Obama) are such enemies of freedom that they even want to dictate what people eat has apparently passed Altemeyer by. Even Stalin did not go that far. And there is the little fact that all the great authoritarian regimes of the 20th century (Stalin, Hitler and Mao) were socialist. Freud saw reliance on defence mechanisms such as projection as being maladjusted. It is difficult to dispute that. Altemeyer is too illiterate to realize it but he is actually a good Hegelian. Hegel thought that "true" freedom was marching in step with a Left-led herd.

What libertarian said this? “The bureaucracy is a parasite on the body of society, a parasite which ‘chokes’ all its vital pores…The state is a parasitic organism”. It was VI Lenin, in August 1917, before he set up his own vastly bureaucratic state. He could see the problem but had no clue about how to solve it.

Leftist stupidity is a special class of stupidity. The people concerned are mostly not stupid in general but they have a character defect (mostly arrogance) that makes them impatient with complexity and unwilling to study it. So in their policies they repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot; They fail to attain their objectives. The world IS complex so a simplistic approach to it CANNOT work.

MESSAGE to Leftists: Even if you killed all conservatives tomorrow, you would just end up in another Soviet Union. Conservatives are all that stand between you and that dismal fate. And you may not even survive at all. Stalin killed off all the old Bolsheviks.


MYTH BUSTING:


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)

Just the name of Hitler's political party should be sufficient to reject the claim that Hitler was "Right wing" but Leftists sometimes retort that the name "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" is not informative, in that it is the name of a dismal Stalinist tyranny. But "People's Republic" is a normal name for a Communist country whereas I know of no conservative political party that calls itself a "Socialist Worker's Party". Such parties are in fact usually of the extreme Left (Trotskyite etc.)

Most people find the viciousness of the Nazis to be incomprehensible -- for instance what they did in their concentration camps. But you just have to read a little of the vileness that pours out from modern-day "liberals" in their Twitter and blog comments to understand it all very well. Leftists haven't changed. They are still boiling with hate

Who said this in 1968? "I am not, and never have been, a man of the right. My position was on the Left and is now in the centre of politics". It was Sir Oswald Mosley, founder and leader of the British Union of Fascists

The term "Fascism" is mostly used by the Left as a brainless term of abuse. But when they do make a serious attempt to define it, they produce very complex and elaborate definitions -- e.g. here and here. In fact, Fascism is simply extreme socialism plus nationalism. But great gyrations are needed to avoid mentioning the first part of that recipe, of course.

Two examples of Leftist racism below (much more here and here):

Beatrice Webb, a founder of the London School of Economics and the Fabian Society, and married to a Labour MP, mused in 1922 on whether when English children were "dying from lack of milk", one should extend "the charitable impulse" to Russian and Chinese children who, if saved this year, might anyway die next. Besides, she continued, there was "the larger question of whether those races are desirable inhabitants" and "obviously" one wouldn't "spend one's available income" on "a Central African negro".

Hugh Dalton, offered the Colonial Office during Attlee's 1945-51 Labour government, turned it down because "I had a horrid vision of pullulating, poverty stricken, diseased nigger communities, for whom one can do nothing in the short run and who, the more one tries to help them, are querulous and ungrateful."

The Zimmerman case is an excellent proof that the Left is deep-down racist

Defensible and indefensible usages of the term "racism"

The book, The authoritarian personality, authored by T.W. Adorno et al. in 1950, has been massively popular among psychologists. It claims that a set of ideas that were popular in the "Progressive"-dominated America of the prewar era were "authoritarian". Leftist regimes always are authoritarian so that claim was not a big problem. What was quite amazing however is that Adorno et al. identified such ideas as "conservative". They were in fact simply popular ideas of the day but ones that had been most heavily promoted by the Left right up until the then-recent WWII. See here for details of prewar "Progressive" thinking.

Leftist psychologists have an amusingly simplistic conception of military organizations and military men. They seem to base it on occasions they have seen troops marching together on parade rather than any real knowledge of military men and the military life. They think that military men are "rigid" -- automatons who are unable to adjust to new challenges or think for themselves. What is incomprehensible to them is that being kadaver gehorsam (to use the extreme Prussian term for following orders) actually requires great flexibility -- enough flexibility to put your own ideas and wishes aside and do something very difficult. Ask any soldier if all commands are easy to obey.

It would be very easy for me to say that I am too much of an individual for the army but I did in fact join the army and enjoy it greatly, as most men do. In my observation, ALL army men are individuals. It is just that they accept discipline in order to be militarily efficient -- which is the whole point of the exercise. But that's too complex for simplistic Leftist thinking, of course



R.I.P. Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet deposed a law-defying Marxist President at the express and desperate invitation of the Chilean parliament. Allende had just burnt the electoral rolls so it wasn't hard to see what was coming. Pinochet pioneered the free-market reforms which Reagan and Thatcher later unleashed to world-changing effect. That he used far-Leftist methods to suppress far-Leftist violence is reasonable if not ideal. The Leftist view that they should have a monopoly of violence and that others should follow the law is a total absurdity which shows only that their hate overcomes their reason

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a war criminal. Both British and American codebreakers had cracked the Japanese naval code so FDR knew what was coming at Pearl Harbor. But for his own political reasons he warned no-one there. So responsibility for the civilian and military deaths at Pearl Harbor lies with FDR as well as with the Japanese. The huge firepower available at Pearl Harbor, both aboard ship and on land, could have largely neutered the attack. Can you imagine 8 battleships and various lesser craft firing all their AA batteries as the Japanese came in? The Japanese naval airforce would have been annihilated and the war would have been over before it began.

FDR prolonged the Depression. He certainly didn't cure it.

WWII did NOT end the Great Depression. It just concealed it. It in fact made living standards worse

FDR appointed a known KKK member, Hugo Black, to the Supreme Court

Joe McCarthy was eventually proved right after the fall of the Soviet Union. To accuse anyone of McCarthyism is to accuse them of accuracy!

The KKK was intimately associated with the Democratic party. They ATTACKED Republicans!

People who mention differences in black vs. white IQ are these days almost universally howled down and subjected to the most extreme abuse. I am a psychometrician, however, so I feel obliged to defend the scientific truth of the matter: The average African adult has about the same IQ as an average white 11-year-old and African Americans (who are partly white in ancestry) average out at a mental age of 14. The American Psychological Association is generally Left-leaning but it is the world's most prestigious body of academic psychologists. And even they have had to concede that sort of gap (one SD) in black vs. white average IQ. 11-year olds can do a lot of things but they also have their limits and there are times when such limits need to be allowed for.

Judged by his deeds, Abraham Lincoln was one of the bloodiest villains ever to walk the Earth. See here. America's uncivil war was caused by trade protectionism. The slavery issue was just camouflage, as Abraham Lincoln himself admitted. See also here

Did William Zantzinger kill poor Hattie Carroll?

Did Bismarck predict where WWI would start or was it just a "free" translation by Churchill?

Conrad Black on the Declaration of Independence

Malcolm Gladwell: "There is more of reality and wisdom in a Chinese fortune cookie than can be found anywhere in Gladwell’s pages"



IN BRIEF:

The 10 "cannots" (By William J. H. Boetcker) that Leftist politicians ignore:
*You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
* You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
* You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
* You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
* You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
* You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
* You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
* You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
* You cannot build character and courage by destroying men's initiative and independence.
* And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

A good short definition of conservative: "One who wants you to keep your hand out of his pocket."

Beware of good intentions. They mostly lead to coercion

A gargantuan case of hubris, coupled with stunning level of ignorance about how the real world works, is the essence of progressivism.

The U.S. Constitution is neither "living" nor dead. It is fixed until it is amended. But amending it is the privilege of the people, not of politicians or judges

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong - Thomas Sowell

Leftists think that utopia can be coerced into existence -- so no dishonesty or brutality is beyond them in pursuit of that "noble" goal

"England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution" -- George Orwell

Was 16th century science pioneer Paracelsus a libertarian? His motto was "Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest" which means "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself."

"When using today's model of society as a rule, most of history will be found to be full of oppression, bias, and bigotry." What today's arrogant judges of history fail to realize is that they, too, will be judged. What will Americans of 100 years from now make of, say, speech codes, political correctness, and zero tolerance - to name only three? Assuming, of course, there will still be an America that we, today, would recognize. Given the rogue Federal government spy apparatus, I am not at all sure of that. -- Paul Havemann

Economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973): "The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office."

It's the shared hatred of the rest of us that unites Islamists and the Left.

American liberals don't love America. They despise it. All they love is their own fantasy of what America could become. They are false patriots.

The Democratic Party: Con-men elected by the ignorant and the arrogant

The Democratic Party is a strange amalgam of elites, would-be elites and minorities. No wonder their policies are so confused and irrational

Why are conservatives more at ease with religion? Because it is basic to conservatism that some things are unknowable, and religious people have to accept that too. Leftists think that they know it all and feel threatened by any exceptions to that. Thinking that you know it all is however the pride that comes before a fall.

The characteristic emotion of the Leftist is not envy. It's rage

Leftists are committed to grievance, not truth

The British Left poured out a torrent of hate for Margaret Thatcher on the occasion of her death. She rescued Britain from chaos and restored Britain's prosperity. What's not to hate about that?

Something you didn't know about Margaret Thatcher

The world's dumbest investor? Without doubt it is Uncle Sam. Nobody anywhere could rival the scale of the losses on "investments" made under the Obama administration

"Behind the honeyed but patently absurd pleas for equality is a ruthless drive for placing themselves (the elites) at the top of a new hierarchy of power" -- Murray Rothbard - Egalitarianism and the Elites (1995)

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. -- G. Gordon Liddy

"World socialism as a whole, and all the figures associated with it, are shrouded in legend; its contradictions are forgotten or concealed; it does not respond to arguments but continually ignores them--all this stems from the mist of irrationality that surrounds socialism and from its instinctive aversion to scientific analysis... The doctrines of socialism seethe with contradictions, its theories are at constant odds with its practice, yet due to a powerful instinct these contradictions do not in the least hinder the unending propaganda of socialism. Indeed, no precise, distinct socialism even exists; instead there is only a vague, rosy notion of something noble and good, of equality, communal ownership, and justice: the advent of these things will bring instant euphoria and a social order beyond reproach." -- Solzhenitsyn

"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." -- Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NIV)

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. -- Thomas Jefferson

"Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power" -- Bertrand Russell

Evan Sayet: The Left sides "...invariably with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success." (t=5:35+ on video)

The Republicans are the gracious side of American politics. It is the Democrats who are the nasty party, the haters

Wanting to stay out of the quarrels of other nations is conservative -- but conservatives will fight if attacked or seriously endangered. Anglo/Irish statesman Lord Castlereagh (1769-1822), who led the political coalition that defeated Napoleon, was an isolationist, as were traditional American conservatives.

Some useful definitions:

If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one. If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat. If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.
If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels. Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.
If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church. A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced. (Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)
If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

There is better evidence for creation than there is for the Leftist claim that “gender” is a “social construct”. Most Leftist claims seem to be faith-based rather than founded on the facts

Leftists are classic weak characters. They dish out abuse by the bucketload but cannot take it when they get it back. Witness the Loughner hysteria.

Death taxes: You would expect a conscientious person, of whatever degree of intelligence, to reflect on the strange contradiction involved in denying people the right to unearned wealth, while supporting programs that give people unearned wealth.

America is no longer the land of the free. It is now the land of the regulated -- though it is not alone in that, of course

The Leftist motto: "I love humanity. It's just people I can't stand"

Why are Leftists always talking about hate? Because it fills their own hearts

Envy is a strong and widespread human emotion so there has alway been widespread support for policies of economic "levelling". Both the USA and the modern-day State of Israel were founded by communists but reality taught both societies that respect for the individual gave much better outcomes than levelling ideas. Sadly, there are many people in both societies in whom hatred for others is so strong that they are incapable of respect for the individual. The destructiveness of what they support causes them to call themselves many names in different times and places but they are the backbone of the political Left

Gore Vidal: "Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little". Vidal was of course a Leftist

The large number of rich Leftists suggests that, for them, envy is secondary. They are directly driven by hatred and scorn for many of the other people that they see about them. Hatred of others can be rooted in many things, not only in envy. But the haters come together as the Left. Some evidence here showing that envy is not what defines the Left

Leftists hate the world around them and want to change it: the people in it most particularly. Conservatives just want to be left alone to make their own decisions and follow their own values.

The failure of the Soviet experiment has definitely made the American Left more vicious and hate-filled than they were. The plain failure of what passed for ideas among them has enraged rather than humbled them.

Ronald Reagan famously observed that the status quo is Latin for “the mess we’re in.” So much for the vacant Leftist claim that conservatives are simply defenders of the status quo. They think that conservatives are as lacking in principles as they are.

Was Confucius a conservative? The following saying would seem to reflect good conservative caution: "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved."

The shallow thinkers of the Left sometimes claim that conservatives want to impose their own will on others in the matter of abortion. To make that claim is however to confuse religion with politics. Conservatives are in fact divided about their response to abortion. The REAL opposition to abortion is religious rather than political. And the church which has historically tended to support the LEFT -- the Roman Catholic church -- is the most fervent in the anti-abortion cause. Conservatives are indeed the one side of politics to have moral qualms on the issue but they tend to seek a middle road in dealing with it. Taking the issue to the point of legal prohibitions is a religious doctrine rather than a conservative one -- and the religion concerned may or may not be characteristically conservative. More on that here

Some Leftist hatred arises from the fact that they blame "society" for their own personal problems and inadequacies

The Leftist hunger for change to the society that they hate leads to a hunger for control over other people. And they will do and say anything to get that control: "Power at any price". Leftist politicians are mostly self-aggrandizing crooks who gain power by deceiving the uninformed with snake-oil promises -- power which they invariably use to destroy. Destruction is all that they are good at. Destruction is what haters do.

Leftists are consistent only in their hate. They don't have principles. How can they when "there is no such thing as right and wrong"? All they have is postures, pretend-principles that can be changed as easily as one changes one's shirt

A Leftist assumption: Making money doesn't entitle you to it, but wanting money does.

"Politicians never accuse you of 'greed' for wanting other people's money -- only for wanting to keep your own money." --columnist Joe Sobran (1946-2010)

Leftist policies are candy-coated rat poison that may appear appealing at first, but inevitably do a lot of damage to everyone impacted by them.

A tribute and thanks to Mary Jo Kopechne. Her death was reprehensible but she probably did more by her death that she ever would have in life: She spared the world a President Ted Kennedy. That the heap of corruption that was Ted Kennedy died peacefully in his bed is one of the clearest demonstrations that we do not live in a just world. Even Joe Stalin seems to have been smothered to death by Nikita Khrushchev

I often wonder why Leftists refer to conservatives as "wingnuts". A wingnut is a very useful device that adds versatility wherever it is used. Clearly, Leftists are not even good at abuse. Once they have accused their opponents of racism and Nazism, their cupboard is bare. Similarly, Leftists seem to think it is a devastating critique to refer to "Worldnet Daily" as "Worldnut Daily". The poverty of their argumentation is truly pitiful

The Leftist assertion that there is no such thing as right and wrong has a distinguished history. It was Pontius Pilate who said "What is truth?" (John 18:38). From a Christian viewpoint, the assertion is undoubtedly the Devil's gospel

Even in the Old Testament they knew about "Postmodernism": "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

Was Solomon the first conservative? "The hearts of men are full of evil and madness is in their hearts" -- Ecclesiastes: 9:3 (RSV). He could almost have been talking about Global Warming.

"If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action." - Ludwig von Mises

The naive scholar who searches for a consistent Leftist program will not find it. What there is consists only in the negation of the present.

Because of their need to be different from the mainstream, Leftists are very good at pretending that sow's ears are silk purses

Among intelligent people, Leftism is a character defect. Leftists HATE success in others -- which is why notably successful societies such as the USA and Israel are hated and failures such as the Palestinians can do no wrong.

A Leftist's beliefs are all designed to pander to his ego. So when you have an argument with a Leftist, you are not really discussing the facts. You are threatening his self esteem. Which is why the normal Leftist response to challenge is mere abuse.

Because of the fragility of a Leftist's ego, anything that threatens it is intolerable and provokes rage. So most Leftist blogs can be summarized in one sentence: "How DARE anybody question what I believe!". Rage and abuse substitute for an appeal to facts and reason.

Because their beliefs serve their ego rather than reality, Leftists just KNOW what is good for us. Conservatives need evidence.

Absolute certainty is the privilege of uneducated men and fanatics. -- C.J. Keyser

Hell is paved with good intentions" -- Boswell's Life of Johnson of 1775

"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus

THE FALSIFICATION OF HISTORY HAS DONE MORE TO IMPEDE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT THAN ANY ONE THING KNOWN TO MANKIND -- ROUSSEAU

"Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him" (Proverbs 26: 12). I think that sums up Leftists pretty well.

Eminent British astrophysicist Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington is often quoted as saying: "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine." It was probably in fact said by his contemporary, J.B.S. Haldane. But regardless of authorship, it could well be a conservative credo not only about the cosmos but also about human beings and human society. Mankind is too complex to be summed up by simple rules and even complex rules are only approximations with many exceptions.

Politics is the only thing Leftists know about. They know nothing of economics, history or business. Their only expertise is in promoting feelings of grievance

Socialism makes the individual the slave of the state -- capitalism frees them.

Many readers here will have noticed that what I say about Leftists sometimes sounds reminiscent of what Leftists say about conservatives. There is an excellent reason for that. Leftists are great "projectors" (people who see their own faults in others). So a good first step in finding out what is true of Leftists is to look at what they say about conservatives! They even accuse conservatives of projection (of course).

The research shows clearly that one's Left/Right stance is strongly genetically inherited but nobody knows just what specifically is inherited. What is inherited that makes people Leftist or Rightist? There is any amount of evidence that personality traits are strongly genetically inherited so my proposal is that hard-core Leftists are people who tend to let their emotions (including hatred and envy) run away with them and who are much more in need of seeing themselves as better than others -- two attributes that are probably related to one another. Such Leftists may be an evolutionary leftover from a more primitive past.

Leftists seem to believe that if someone like Al Gore says it, it must be right. They obviously have a strong need for an authority figure. The fact that the two most authoritarian regimes of the 20th century (Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia) were socialist is thus no surprise. Leftists often accuse conservatives of being "authoritarian" but that is just part of their usual "projective" strategy -- seeing in others what is really true of themselves.

"With their infernal racial set-asides, racial quotas, and race norming, liberals share many of the Klan's premises. The Klan sees the world in terms of race and ethnicity. So do liberals! Indeed, liberals and white supremacists are the only people left in America who are neurotically obsessed with race. Conservatives champion a color-blind society" -- Ann Coulter

Politicians are in general only a little above average in intelligence so the idea that they can make better decisions for us that we can make ourselves is laughable

A quote from the late Dr. Adrian Rogers: "You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

The Supreme Court of the United States is now and always has been a judicial abomination. Its guiding principles have always been political rather than judicial. It is not as political as Stalin's courts but its respect for the constitution is little better. Some recent abuses: The "equal treatment" provision of the 14th amendment was specifically written to outlaw racial discrimination yet the court has allowed various forms of "affirmative action" for decades -- when all such policies should have been completely stuck down immediately. The 2nd. amendment says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed yet gun control laws infringe it in every State in the union. The 1st amendment provides that speech shall be freely exercised yet the court has upheld various restrictions on the financing and display of political advertising. The court has found a right to abortion in the constitution when the word abortion is not even mentioned there. The court invents rights that do not exist and denies rights that do.

"Some action that is unconstitutional has much to recommend it" -- Elena Kagan, nominated to SCOTUS by Obama

Frank Sulloway, the anti-scientist

The basic aim of all bureaucrats is to maximize their funding and minimize their workload

A lesson in Australian: When an Australian calls someone a "big-noter", he is saying that the person is a chronic and rather pathetic seeker of admiration -- as in someone who often pulls out "big notes" (e.g. $100.00 bills) to pay for things, thus endeavouring to create the impression that he is rich. The term describes the mentality rather than the actual behavior with money and it aptly describes many Leftists. When they purport to show "compassion" by advocating things that cost themselves nothing (e.g. advocating more taxes on "the rich" to help "the poor"), an Australian might say that the Leftist is "big-noting himself". There is an example of the usage here. The term conveys contempt. There is a wise description of Australians generally here

Some ancient wisdom for Leftists: "Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself over wise: Why shouldest thou die before thy time?" -- Ecclesiastes 7:16

Jesse Jackson: "There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery -- then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved." There ARE important racial differences.

Some Jimmy Carter wisdom: "I think it's inevitable that there will be a lower standard of living than what everybody had always anticipated," he told advisers in 1979. "there's going to be a downward turning."



The "steamroller" above who got steamrollered by his own hubris. Spitzer is a warning of how self-destructive a vast ego can be -- and also of how destructive of others it can be.

Heritage is what survives death: Very rare and hence very valuable

Big business is not your friend. As Adam Smith said: "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty or justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary

How can I accept the Communist doctrine, which sets up as its bible, above and beyond criticism, an obsolete textbook which I know not only to be scientifically erroneous but without interest or application to the modern world? How can I adopt a creed which, preferring the mud to the fish, exalts the boorish proletariat above the bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia, who with all their faults, are the quality of life and surely carry the seeds of all human achievement? Even if we need a religion, how can we find it in the turbid rubbish of the red bookshop? It is hard for an educated, decent, intelligent son of Western Europe to find his ideals here, unless he has first suffered some strange and horrid process of conversion which has changed all his values. -- John Maynard Keynes

Some wisdom from "Bron" Waugh: "The purpose of politics is to help them [politicians] overcome these feelings of inferiority and compensate for their personal inadequacies in the pursuit of power"

"There are countless horrible things happening all over the country, and horrible people prospering, but we must never allow them to disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to sabotage and annoy them whenever possible"

The urge to pass new laws must be seen as an illness, not much different from the urge to bite old women. Anyone suspected of suffering from it should either be treated with the appropriate pills or, if it is too late for that, elected to Parliament [or Congress, as the case may be] and paid a huge salary with endless holidays, to do nothing whatever"

"It is my settled opinion, after some years as a political correspondent, that no one is attracted to a political career in the first place unless he is socially or emotionally crippled"


Two lines below of a famous hymn that would be incomprehensible to Leftists today ("honor"? "right"? "freedom?" Freedom to agree with them is the only freedom they believe in)

First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean


It is of course the hymn of the USMC -- still today the relentless warriors that they always were. Freedom needs a soldier

If any of the short observations above about Leftism seem wrong, note that they do not stand alone. The evidence for them is set out at great length in my MONOGRAPH on Leftism.

3 memoirs of "Supermac", a 20th century Disraeli (Aristocratic British Conservative Prime Minister -- 1957 to 1963 -- Harold Macmillan):

"It breaks my heart to see (I can't interfere or do anything at my age) what is happening in our country today - this terrible strike of the best men in the world, who beat the Kaiser's army and beat Hitler's army, and never gave in. Pointless, endless. We can't afford that kind of thing. And then this growing division which the noble Lord who has just spoken mentioned, of a comparatively prosperous south, and an ailing north and midlands. That can't go on." -- Mac on the British working class: "the best men in the world" (From his Maiden speech in the House of Lords, 13 November 1984)

"As a Conservative, I am naturally in favour of returning into private ownership and private management all those means of production and distribution which are now controlled by state capitalism"

During Macmillan's time as prime minister, average living standards steadily rose while numerous social reforms were carried out



JEWS AND ISRAEL

The Bible is an Israeli book

To me, hostility to the Jews is a terrible tragedy. I weep for them at times. And I do literally put my money where my mouth is. I do at times send money to Israeli charities

My (Gentile) opinion of antisemitism: The Jews are the best we've got so killing them is killing us.

"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" -- Genesis 12:3

"O pray for the peace of Jerusalem: They shall prosper that love thee" Psalm 122:6.

If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy -- Psalm 137 (NIV)

Israel, like the Jews throughout history, is hated not for her vices but her virtues. Israel is hated, as the United States is hated, because Israel is successful, because Israel is free, and because Israel is good. As Maxim Gorky put it: “Whatever nonsense the anti-Semites may talk, they dislike the Jew only because he is obviously better, more adroit, and more willing and capable of work than they are.” Whether driven by culture or genes—or like most behavior, an inextricable mix—the fact of Jewish genius is demonstrable." -- George Gilder

To Leftist haters, all the basic rules of liberal society — rejection of hate speech, commitment to academic freedom, rooting out racism, the absolute commitment to human dignity — go out the window when the subject is Israel.

I have always liked the story of Gideon (See Judges chapters 6 to 8) and it is surely no surprise that in the present age Israel is the Gideon of nations: Few in numbers but big in power and impact.

If I were not an atheist, I would believe that God had a sense of humour. He gave his chosen people (the Jews) enormous advantages -- high intelligence and high drive -- but to keep it fair he deprived them of something hugely important too: Political sense. So Jews to this day tend very strongly to be Leftist -- even though the chief source of antisemitism for roughly the last 200 years has been the political Left!

And the other side of the coin is that Jews tend to despise conservatives and Christians. Yet American fundamentalist Christians are the bedrock of the vital American support for Israel, the ultimate bolthole for all Jews. So Jewish political irrationality seems to be a rather good example of the saying that "The LORD giveth and the LORD taketh away". There are many other examples of such perversity (or "balance"). The sometimes severe side-effects of most pharmaceutical drugs is an obvious one but there is another ethnic example too, a rather amusing one. Chinese people are in general smart and patient people but their rate of traffic accidents in China is about 10 times higher than what prevails in Western societies. They are brilliant mathematicians and fearless business entrepreneurs but at the same time bad drivers!

Conservatives, on the other hand, could be antisemitic on entirely rational grounds: Namely, the overwhelming Leftism of the Diaspora Jewish population as a whole. Because they judge the individual, however, only a tiny minority of conservative-oriented people make such general judgments. The longer Jews continue on their "stiff-necked" course, however, the more that is in danger of changing. The children of Israel have been a stiff necked people since the days of Moses, however, so they will no doubt continue to vote with their emotions rather than their reason.

I despair of the ADL. Jews have enough problems already and yet in the ADL one has a prominent Jewish organization that does its best to make itself offensive to Christians. Their Leftism is more important to them than the welfare of Jewry -- which is the exact opposite of what they ostensibly stand for! Jewish cleverness seems to vanish when politics are involved. Fortunately, Christians are true to their saviour and have loving hearts. Jewish dissatisfaction with the myopia of the ADL is outlined here. Note that Foxy was too grand to reply to it.

Fortunately for America, though, liberal Jews there are rapidly dying out through intermarriage and failure to reproduce. And the quite poisonous liberal Jews of Israel are not much better off. Judaism is slowly returning to Orthodoxy and the Orthodox tend to be conservative.

The above is good testimony to the accuracy of the basic conservative insight that almost anything in human life is too complex to be reduced to any simple rule and too complex to be reduced to any rule at all without allowance for important exceptions to the rule concerned

Amid their many virtues, one virtue is often lacking among Jews in general and Israelis in particular: Humility. And that's an antisemitic comment only if Hashem is antisemitic. From Moses on, the Hebrew prophets repeatedy accused the Israelites of being "stiff-necked" and urged them to repent. So it's no wonder that the greatest Jewish prophet of all -- Jesus -- not only urged humility but exemplified it in his life and death

"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here. For roughly two centuries now, antisemitism has, throughout the Western world, been principally associated with Leftism (including the socialist Hitler) -- as it is to this day. See here.

Karl Marx hated just about everyone. Even his father, the kindly Heinrich Marx, thought Karl was not much of a human being

Leftists call their hatred of Israel "Anti-Zionism" but Zionists are only a small minority in Israel

Some of the Leftist hatred of Israel is motivated by old-fashioned antisemitism (beliefs in Jewish "control" etc.) but most of it is just the regular Leftist hatred of success in others. And because the societies they inhabit do not give them the vast amount of recognition that their large but weak egos need, some of the most virulent haters of Israel and America live in those countries. So the hatred is the product of pathologically high self-esteem.

Their threatened egos sometimes drive Leftists into quite desperate flights from reality. For instance, they often call Israel an "Apartheid state" -- when it is in fact the Arab states that practice Apartheid -- witness the severe restrictions on Christians in Saudi Arabia. There are no such restrictions in Israel.

If the Palestinians put down their weapons, there'd be peace. If the Israelis put down their weapons, there'd be genocide.


Alfred Dreyfus, a reminder of French antisemitism still relevant today

Eugenio Pacelli, a righteous Gentile, a true man of God and a brilliant Pope


ABOUT

Many people hunger and thirst after righteousness. Some find it in the hatreds of the Left. Others find it in the love of Christ. I don't hunger and thirst after righteousness at all. I hunger and thirst after truth. How old-fashioned can you get?

The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody. And I have NO investments in oil companies, mining companies or "Big Pharma"

UPDATE: Despite my (statistical) aversion to mining stocks, I have recently bought a few shares in BHP -- the world's biggest miner, I gather. I run the grave risk of becoming a speaker of famous last words for saying this but I suspect that BHP is now so big as to be largely immune from the risks that plague most mining companies. I also know of no issue affecting BHP where my writings would have any relevance. The Left seem to have a visceral hatred of miners. I have never quite figured out why.

I imagine that few of my readers will understand it, but I am an unabashed monarchist. And, as someone who was born and bred in a monarchy and who still lives there (i.e. Australia), that gives me no conflicts at all. In theory, one's respect for the monarchy does not depend on who wears the crown but the impeccable behaviour of the present Queen does of course help perpetuate that respect. Aside from my huge respect for the Queen, however, my favourite member of the Royal family is the redheaded Prince Harry. The Royal family is of course a military family and Prince Harry is a great example of that. As one of the world's most privileged people, he could well be an idle layabout but instead he loves his life in the army. When his girlfriend Chelsy ditched him because he was so often away, Prince Harry said: "I love Chelsy but the army comes first". A perfect military man! I doubt that many women would understand or approve of his attitude but perhaps my own small army background powers my approval of that attitude.

I imagine that most Americans might find this rather mad -- but I believe that a constitutional Monarchy is the best form of government presently available. Can a libertarian be a Monarchist? I think so -- and prominent British libertarian Sean Gabb seems to think so too! Long live the Queen! (And note that Australia ranks well above the USA on the Index of Economic freedom. Heh!)

Throughout Europe there is an association between monarchism and conservatism. It is a little sad that American conservatives do not have access to that satisfaction. So even though Australia is much more distant from Europe (geographically) than the USA is, Australia is in some ways more of an outpost of Europe than America is! Mind you: Australia is not very atypical of its region. Australia lies just South of Asia -- and both Japan and Thailand have greatly respected monarchies. And the demise of the Cambodian monarchy was disastrous for Cambodia

Throughout the world today, possession of a U.S. or U.K. passport is greatly valued. I once shared that view. Developments in recent years have however made me profoundly grateful that I am a 5th generation Australian. My Australian passport is a door into a much less oppressive and much less messed-up place than either the USA or Britain

Following the Sotomayor precedent, I would hope that a wise older white man such as myself with the richness of that experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than someone who hasn’t lived that life.

IQ and ideology: Most academics are Left-leaning. Why? Because very bright people who have balls go into business, while very bright people with no balls go into academe. I did both with considerable success, which makes me a considerable rarity. Although I am a born academic, I have always been good with money too. My share portfolio even survived the GFC in good shape. The academics hate it that bright people with balls make more money than them.

I have no hesitation in saying that the single book which has influenced me most is the New Testament. And my Scripture blog will show that I know whereof I speak. Some might conclude that I must therefore be a very confused sort of atheist but I can assure everyone that I do not feel the least bit confused. The New Testament is a lighthouse that has illumined the thinking of all sorts of men and women and I am deeply grateful that it has shone on me.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age. Conservatism is in touch with reality. Leftism is not.

I imagine that the RD are still sending mailouts to my 1950s address

Most teenagers have sporting and movie posters on their bedroom walls. At age 14 I had a map of Taiwan on my wall.

"Remind me never to get this guy mad at me" -- Instapundit

It seems to be a common view that you cannot talk informatively about a country unless you have been there. I completely reject that view but it is nonetheless likely that some Leftist dimbulb will at some stage aver that any comments I make about politics and events in the USA should not be heeded because I am an Australian who has lived almost all his life in Australia. I am reluctant to pander to such ignorance in the era of the "global village" but for the sake of the argument I might mention that I have visited the USA 3 times -- spending enough time in Los Angeles and NYC to get to know a fair bit about those places at least. I did however get outside those places enough to realize that they are NOT America.

"Intellectual" = Leftist dreamer. I have more publications in the academic journals than almost all "public intellectuals" but I am never called an intellectual and nor would I want to be. Call me a scholar or an academic, however, and I will accept either as a just and earned appellation


My academic background

My full name is Dr. John Joseph RAY. I am a former university teacher aged 65 at the time of writing in 2009. I was born of Australian pioneer stock in 1943 at Innisfail in the State of Queensland in Australia. I trace my ancestry wholly to the British Isles. After an early education at Innisfail State Rural School and Cairns State High School, I taught myself for matriculation. I took my B.A. in Psychology from the University of Queensland in Brisbane. I then moved to Sydney (in New South Wales, Australia) and took my M.A. in psychology from the University of Sydney in 1969 and my Ph.D. from the School of Behavioural Sciences at Macquarie University in 1974. I first tutored in psychology at Macquarie University and then taught sociology at the University of NSW. My doctorate is in psychology but I taught mainly sociology in my 14 years as a university teacher. In High Schools I taught economics. I have taught in both traditional and "progressive" (low discipline) High Schools. Fuller biographical notes here

I completed the work for my Ph.D. at the end of 1970 but the degree was not awarded until 1974 -- due to some academic nastiness from Seymour Martin Lipset and Fred Emery. A conservative or libertarian who makes it through the academic maze has to be at least twice as good as the average conformist Leftist. Fortunately, I am a born academic.

Despite my great sympathy and respect for Christianity, I am the most complete atheist you could find. I don't even believe that the word "God" is meaningful. I am not at all original in that view, of course. Such views are particularly associated with the noted German philosopher Rudolf Carnap. Unlike Carnap, however, none of my wives have committed suicide

Very occasionally in my writings I make reference to the greats of analytical philosophy such as Carnap and Wittgenstein. As philosophy is a heavily Leftist discipline however, I have long awaited an attack from some philosopher accusing me of making coat-trailing references not backed by any real philosophical erudition. I suppose it is encouraging that no such attacks have eventuated but I thought that I should perhaps forestall them anyway -- by pointing out that in my younger days I did complete three full-year courses in analytical philosophy (at 3 different universities!) and that I have had papers on mainstream analytical philosophy topics published in academic journals

As well as being an academic, I am an army man and I am pleased and proud to say that I have worn my country's uniform. Although my service in the Australian army was chiefly noted for its un-notability, I DID join voluntarily in the Vietnam era, I DID reach the rank of Sergeant, and I DID volunteer for a posting in Vietnam. So I think I may be forgiven for saying something that most army men think but which most don't say because they think it is too obvious: The profession of arms is the noblest profession of all because it is the only profession where you offer to lay down your life in performing your duties. Our men fought so that people could say and think what they like but I myself always treat military men with great respect -- respect which in my view is simply their due.

A real army story here

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day and there is JUST ONE saying of Hitler's that I rather like. It may not even be original to him but it is found in chapter 2 of Mein Kampf (published in 1925): "Widerstaende sind nicht da, dass man vor ihnen kapituliert, sondern dass man sie bricht". The equivalent English saying is "Difficulties exist to be overcome" and that traces back at least to the 1920s -- with attributions to Montessori and others. Hitler's metaphor is however one of smashing barriers rather than of politely hopping over them and I am myself certainly more outspoken than polite. Hitler's colloquial Southern German is notoriously difficult to translate but I think I can manage a reasonable translation of that saying: "Resistance is there not for us to capitulate to but for us to break". I am quite sure that I don't have anything like that degree of determination in my own life but it seems to me to be a good attitude in general anyway

I have used many sites to post my writings over the years and many have gone bad on me for various reasons. So if you click on a link here to my other writings you may get a "page not found" response if the link was put up some time before the present. All is not lost, however. All my writings have been reposted elsewhere. If you do strike a failed link, just take the filename (the last part of the link) and add it to the address of any of my current home pages and -- Voila! -- you should find the article concerned.

COMMENTS: I have gradually added comments facilities to all my blogs. The comments I get are interesting. They are mostly from Leftists and most consist either of abuse or mere assertions. Reasoned arguments backed up by references to supporting evidence are almost unheard of from Leftists. Needless to say, I just delete such useless comments.

You can email me here (Hotmail address). In emailing me, you can address me as "John", "Jon", "Dr. Ray" or "JR" and that will be fine -- but my preference is for "JR" -- and that preference has NOTHING to do with an American soap opera that featured a character who was referred to in that way





Index page for this site


DETAILS OF REGULARLY UPDATED BLOGS BY JOHN RAY:

"Tongue Tied"
"Dissecting Leftism" (Backup here)
"Australian Politics"
"Education Watch International"
"Political Correctness Watch"
"Greenie Watch"
Western Heart


BLOGS OCCASIONALLY UPDATED:

"Marx & Engels in their own words"
"A scripture blog"
"Recipes"
"Some memoirs"
To be continued ....
Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).
Queensland Police -- A barrel with lots of bad apples
Australian Police News
Paralipomena (3)
Of Interest


BLOGS NO LONGER BEING UPDATED

"Food & Health Skeptic"
"Eye on Britain"
"Immigration Watch International".
"Leftists as Elitists"
Socialized Medicine
OF INTEREST (2)
QANTAS -- A dying octopus
BRIAN LEITER (Ladderman)
Obama Watch
Obama Watch (2)
Dissecting Leftism -- Large font site
Michael Darby
Paralipomena (2)
AGL -- A bumbling monster
Telstra/Bigpond follies
Optus bungling
Vodafrauds (vodafone)
Bank of Queensland blues


There are also two blogspot blogs which record what I think are my main recent articles here and here. Similar content can be more conveniently accessed via my subject-indexed list of short articles here or here (I rarely write long articles these days)



Main academic menu
Menu of recent writings
basic home page
Pictorial Home Page
Selected pictures from blogs (Backup here)
Another picture page (Best with broadband. Rarely updated)



Note: If the link to one of my articles is not working, the article concerned can generally be viewed by prefixing to the filename the following:
http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/42197/20121106-1520/jonjayray.comuv.com/