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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22 November, 2015

Psychologizing Jihadis

I reproduce below the introduction to a long article in the Left-leaning "New Scientist" which is reasonably scholarly but which ignores what Jihadis say, and, indeed, what the Koran says.

It looks at the functioning of brain regions and finds only very equivocal evidence for the view that  Jihadis have different brains.  So they then resort to discussing Jihadis in a group  dynamics context.  In an academic way they draw the familiar conclusion that the Jihadis "just got in with a bad crowd".  And they firmly reject the conclusion that Jihadis are evil.  And they do eventually conclude that Jihadis are not psychologically  abnormal.

But is getting in with a bad crowd sufficient to explain the extraordinarily evil behaviour that we get from (say) ISIS? Their behavior is a long way away from the civilized norms in which most of the Jihadis have grown up, so surely needs detailed explanation.  And similar behaviour by the Nazis also needs to be explained.  But what does explain it?  The article below offers next to nothing towards such an explanation.

But the explanation is no mystery at all. Nazis, Jihadis and their ilk have in fact been keen to explain themselves to us.  Given their assumptions, what they do is perfectly rational.  What they do, they do in expectation of a great reward.  It is very similar to what happens in a field we know well: capitalism.  If the expected reward is great, some people will take all sorts of risks to get it.  Why does anybody start up a business when he knows (or should know) that around 90% of new businesses go broke within a year?  Because he expects to make a "killing".  Note the parallelism.  The businessman's "killing" simply means a lot of money.  Great profits are expected. 

So Nazis and Jihadis do what they do because they expect a large reward from it.  Normal rules can be disregarded because of the magnitude of the reward.  So what is that reward?  The article below puts it well when it notes that "Young people need a dream. Appeals for moderation will never be attractive to youth, yearning for adventure, for glory, for significance”.  Not all Nazis and Jihadis have of course been young but it does seem to be mainly young people who have flocked to such movements.

And Islam in fact offers rewards of that sort to young and old.  The aim of Jihad is to subjugate the world to Islam. So that offers adventure, glory and significance to anyone who participates. 

Nazism offered similar heroic visions.  Nazis  fought for Führer, Volk (race) and Vaterland (homeland).  Their ideals were Courage, Honor, and Loyalty. The "Nazizeit" was a immensely exciting era for Germany.  The song of the Hitler youth below may give you some sense of it. The translations are good but do not match the power of the original German

Music is very powerful emotionally and Nazis had the unparalleled German talent for music at their disposal.  The German lands are home to the timeless music of Bach, Handel, Mozart and Beethoven.  And that does matter.

And for Jihadis too there are many rewards. As well as the worldly rewards mentioned above, there is religion. It is easy for us to mock it but don't forget that most of the world is  religious.  Jihadis really believe what the Koran tells them: That if they die in battle fighting the infidel they will pop off straight to heaven and be waited on there forever after by seventy beautiful women. And, given the puritanical nature of Islam, that may be the only sort of woman many of them will ever get. So, at the risk of putting it too frivolously, Islam has great sex appeal!

And one thing that Jihadis and Nazis have in common is that both have taught adherents that they are special and superior by virtue of their beliefs.  Being a member of a master race or master religion obviously feels good.  The Nazis were not however looking to an afterlife.  They thought that once they had conquered the vast lands to their East, each German could become a gentleman farmer with serfs to do his bidding.  Most of Europe was once organized on feudal lines like that so it was not an unrealistic  dream.  That was not the whole of the Nazi incentive system but I have written about that in much detail elsewhere.

So where does that leave us with the Jihadis?  It leaves us where we are with the Nazis. You cannot appease them, you cannot change them, you cannot buy them off, you cannot deter them, you cannot talk them out of it.  The rewards that lure them are too great for any of that.  You can only destroy them. 

And destroying them will be unlikely to be possible without destroying much of their support system, which is the whole Muslim world.  To adapt a saying by Mao Tse Tung, the Jihadis are fish who swim in the sea of their people so the sea may have to be drained to eradicate them.  Many Muslims may have to die from bombing etc. if a serious attempt to eradicate the Jihadis is made.  And, if that seems too harsh, do note that exactly that is happening right now in the lands occupied by ISIS.  Does anybody seriously think that it is only Jihadis who are dying in the bombing campaigns?  Most of the dead will simply be people from the sea in which the Jihadis swim.

So if a nuclear device were dropped on the ISIS headquarters of Raqqa, it would just do at once what is already happening gradually -- but would also be an unambiguous sign to the Jihadis that their Jihad cannot succeed.  In 1945, nukes tore the heart out of the Bushido warriors of Japan, real tough guys. They should have a similar impact on the slime of ISIS, or what remains of them

And President Trump might just do it.


Now to look at what "New Statesman says

WHY would an apparently normal young adult drop out of college and turn up some time later in a video performing a cold-blooded execution in the name of jihad? It’s a conundrum we have been forced to ponder ever since a group calling itself ISIS declared war on infidels. But 70 years ago we were asking something similar of guards in Nazi concentration camps – and, sadly, there have been plenty of opportunities to ponder the matter in between.

What turns an ordinary person into a killer? The idea that a civilised human being might be capable of barbaric acts is so alien that we often blame our animal instincts – the older, “primitive” areas of the brain taking over and subverting their more rational counterparts. But fresh thinking turns this long-standing explanation on its head. It suggests that people perform brutal acts because the “higher”, more evolved, brain overreaches. The set of brain changes involved has been dubbed Syndrome E – with E standing for evil.

In a world where ideological killings are rife, new insights into this problem are sorely needed. But reframing evil as a disease is controversial. Some believe it could provide justification for heinous acts or hand extreme organisations a recipe for radicalising more young people. Others argue that it denies the reality that we all have the potential for evil within us. Proponents, however, say that if evil really is a pathology, then society ought to try to diagnose susceptible individuals and reduce contagion. And if we can do that, perhaps we can put radicalisation into reverse, too.

Following the second world war, the behaviour of guards in Nazi concentration camps became the subject of study, with some researchers seeing them as willing, ideologically driven executioners, others as mindlessly obeying orders. The debate was reignited in the mid-1990s in the wake of the Rwandan genocide and the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia. In 1996, The Lancet carried an editorial pointing out that no one was addressing evil from a biological point of view. Neurosurgeon Itzhak Fried, at the University of California, Los Angeles, decided to rise to the challenge.

In a paper published in 1997, he argued that the transformation of non-violent individuals into repetitive killers is characterised by a set of symptoms that suggests a common condition, which he called Syndrome E (see “Seven symptoms of evil“). He suggested that this is the result of “cognitive fracture”, which occurs when a higher brain region, the prefrontal cortex (PFC) – involved in rational thought and decision-making – stops paying attention to signals from more primitive brain regions and goes into overdrive.

“The set of brain changes has been dubbed Syndrome E – with E standing for evil”

The idea captured people’s imaginations, says Fried, because it suggested that you could start to define and describe this basic flaw in the human condition. “Just as a constellation of symptoms such as fever and a cough may signify pneumonia, defining the constellation of symptoms that signify this syndrome may mean that you could recognise it in the early stages.” But it was a theory in search of evidence. Neuroscience has come a long way since then, so Fried organised a conference in Paris earlier this year to revisit the concept.

At the most fundamental level, understanding why people kill is about understanding decision-making, and neuroscientists at the conference homed in on this. Fried’s theory starts with the assumption that people normally have a natural aversion to harming others. If he is correct, the higher brain overrides this instinct in people with Syndrome E. How might that occur?

More HERE 


Trump Reveals Plan to Defeat ISIS

In a new radio ad, Donald Trump outlines his plan to defeat ISIS:

    "The tragic attacks in Paris prove once again that America needs to get tough on radical Islamic terrorism. President Obama and other politicans have consistantly failed us. Just hours before the attacks in Paris, President Obama said ISIS had been contained. It is amazing that the United States could have a president who is so out of touch. It is also dangerous.

Obama has no strategy to defeat ISIS and now he is preparing to let hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria into the United States. I will stop illegal immigration. We will build a wall on the southern border, and yes, I will also quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS.

We'll make the military so strong, no one and I mean no one, will mess with us. If I win, we will not have to listen to the politicans who are losing the war on terrorism, we will make America safe, and we will make America great again.

Unlike President Obama, Trump makes no bones about calling the problem- radical Islam- out by name. It's this plain spoken certitude that has made him the favorite of GOP voters.



FRC’s Tony Perkins: ‘The President and the Left, They Hate America’

Commenting on the debate over whether to allow Syrian refugees into the United States in the wake of the Paris attacks by the Islamic State, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said sharia law is a problem constitutionally, that President Barack Obama is promoting “Islam in this country,” and that “the president and the left, they hate America.”

He also noted that while Obama is “lecturing Americans about compassion and kindness” for the Syrians, “where are all the Islamic relief organizations lining up to help these people?”

“They’re not,” he said. It’s “crickets.”

After fielding a caller’s question about the refugees on his radio program, Washington Watch with Tony Perkins, on Tuesday, Perkins explained the conflict between religious freedom and sharia (Islamic) law.

“We have religious freedom -- I get this question people want to give to you: Do you believe in religious freedom, then you should allow Islam in,” said Perkins.  “Well, I believe in religious freedom, as the Founders did, and religious freedom is in the context of ordered liberty. “

“The Christian faith, the Jewish faith, the orthodox religions that have been here in this country have not sought to overturn our government – because it’s a faith, it’s religion,” he said.  “It is not a political, economic, judicial system, military system as Islam is. And, as these people themselves are saying, they see it as incompatible with the Constitution.”

“They want -- a majority would want sharia law,” Perkins.  “That’s a problem.”

He continued, “It’s interesting, you know, the president lecturing Americans about compassion and kindness. Where are all the Islamic relief organizations lining up to help these people? Crickets.  They’re not.”

“But notice how Christian nations open their doors to everybody, how we’re welcoming to the hurting, to the poor, to the helpless,” said Perkins.  “It’s those values that make us what we are. But it’s those values that are changed when you have no cogent immigration system, no means of controlling and assimilating people into the country so they become American, and America doesn’t become something else.”

“You see, the president and the left, they hate America,” he said.  “They deny the whole idea of American exceptionalism, the ideals of America. That’s foreign to them. They deny what makes us exceptional and so therefore they want to change it. Look, people on the left want to argue, but look at it, just look at the facts.  They’re all right there, very clear.”

In another segment of the show, Tony Perkins stressed that President Obama has an obligation to protect America from its enemies but it is unclear whether Obama actually sees that as a top priority.

“[A]s I said earlier, the president has an obligation to protect Americans from all enemies foreign and domestic,” said Perkins.  “And we’ve seen time and time again where the governors are actually doing what the president should be doing.”

“But the president has the orientation of a community organizer, not a president of the United States,” he said.

“Think about this for a moment, I’ve been in politics, I understand the dynamics,” Perkins continued.  “But let’s say you get something similar to what happened in Paris were to happen in someone’s state given what we now know. The political repercussions of that would be huge.”

“Of course, the president doesn’t care,” said Perkins.  “He’s on his way out. And he’s doing everything he can to, I think, to promote Islam in this country.”



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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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)


20 November, 2015

Honduras arrests five Syrians heading to US with fake passports

Authorities in Honduras say they have arrested five Syrian nationals who were attempting to travel to the United States using stolen Greek passports, according to Reuters.

Authorities said there was no apparent indication the Syrians were among suspects linked to last week's attacks in Paris, the news outlet reported.

Debate has raged since the Friday attacks over whether terrorists may attempt to slip into the U.S. after reports that one Paris attacker may have come to Europe mixed in with Syrian refugees.

A French official said a passport found near a Paris suspect's body and had passed through Greece border controls was probably stolen




As Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) prepares a show vote on the nation’s importation of Muslim refugees, a growing group of Congressional conservatives are calling for a reduction or suspension of visa issuances to Muslim nations with jihadist movements.

Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz has explained the details of Ryan’s anticipated “bait and switch”:

Instead of listening to their constituents and following the calls of 30 governors to shut down Islamic refugee resettlement, Republicans are about to pull the classic bait and switch: pass a phony standalone bill and decline to defund it in the budget bill…

Remember Obamacare, executive amnesty, EPA regulations, and Planned Parenthood? The Islamic refugee issue is no different. They have no intention of actually stopping it, despite the fact that they could destroy the Democrats in the upcoming election on this issue alone. They will pass phony legislation, but will never defund it.

While Ryan’s decision has sparked the ire of conservatives, his decision has won the praise of Democrats like Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) who said: “I think Speaker Ryan has the right idea… to leave any refugee legislation separate and apart from the omnibus.

Some conservative lawmakers, however, have suggested that they will not settle for a mere show-vote. In recent days, an increasing number of conservatives lawmakers have called— not just for moratorium on Muslim refugees— but for a reduction or temporary suspension of visa issuances to terror-prone nations in general.

Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), as Breitbart News has previously reported, has called for stopping visa issuances from nations that have significant jihadist movements, or roughly 30 countries. “I say from the Middle East, we don’t need any more immigrants…students or refugees or otherwise,” Paul declared on a Monday conference call with reporters.

“My message not only to the leadership, but to the country is if we want to defend ourselves, we have to defend ourselves and the first way to do it is to bar people from coming to your country who would attack you,” Paul told Breitbart. “The interesting thing about this is people are talking about world-wide war to stop this and you would think the first thing you would do is stop people from coming to our country.”

Similarly, Congressman Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX)67%
— who led the charge on halting the importation of Muslim refugees and introduced legislation to stop refugee resettlement months before the Paris attack— expressed his support for Sen. Paul’s initiative:  "I support every plan, including Senator Paul’s effort, that would protect Americans from radical jihads infiltrating this country".

Babin told Breitbart that a mere show vote from the House Speaker on this matter would not be acceptable. “The last thing we need is a show vote. As an elected official I swore an oath to protect the safety and security of the American people,” Babin declared. “We cannot allow this to happen on our watch and anything that fails to have real teeth should be rejected.” ....

Every year the United States admits 280,000 migrants from predominantly Muslim countries. This includes more than 100,000 migrants who were permanently resettled on green cards, more than a 100,000 temporary guest workers and students, and nearly 40,000 refugees and asylees. This means that every year the U.S. admits two Muslim migrants for every one Raul Labrador voter in Idaho’s first Congressional District. Equality Now recently issued a report documenting how, as a result of unbridled Muslim migration, half a million U.S. girls are at risk of Female Genital Mutilation. Arabic and Urdu – Pakistan’s national language– are the fastest-growing foreign languages spoken at home, according to U.S. Census data analyzed  by the Center for Immigration Studies. According to a separate report based on census data, Muslim immigration is the fastest growing bloc of new immigrants.

Reports have documented how large-scale Muslim migration has posed some difficulties for assimilation.

Minnesota, for instance, which has the largest Somali population in the country, has struggled to stem terror recruiting. The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently reported that six men from Minnesota were arrested and charged attempting to fight alongside ISIS. The Star Tribune writes: “During the last two years, more than 20 Somali-Americans from Minnesota have left to fight alongside terrorists under the banner of ISIL, according to the FBI. Another four, also arrested while trying to leave, face federal prosecution in the Twin Cities under charges that they intended to fight for ISIL or the Al-Shabab terrorist brigade in Somalia.”

Similarly, as National Review has reported, “Dearborn, Michigan is home to just under 100,000 people, about 40 percent of whom are Muslim. In 2013, a leaked government document revealed that more people from Dearborn were on the federal terrorist watch list than from any other city except New York.”

Pew Research has estimated that immigration will cause the population of U.S. Muslims to more than double over the next two decades—from 2.6 million in 2010 to 6.2 million in 2030. This demographic change is almost entirely the product of legal admissions– that is, it is a formal policy of the federal government adopted by Congress.

More HERE 


Petulant Obama Mocks GOP on Refugees

In 2013, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev detonated two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring 264. The Tsarnaev brothers were Islamist radicals and “refugees.”

In July 2015, five military personnel in Chattanooga were murdered by Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez — an Islamist Palestinian immigrant. In other words, refugees and immigrants committing terrorism in the U.S. is not some theoretical hypothetical. It’s already happened. It happened in Paris, too — at least one attacker was a Syrian “refugee.”

But that makes no difference to the man-child in the Oval Office. Rather than assaulting the Islamofascists who commit such heinous acts, he turned his rhetorical fire on Republicans. Again. Still.

“I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric coming out of here in the course of this debate,” Obama said of his plan to bring in the Islamic Trojan horse via Syrian refugees. “Apparently [Republicans] are scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America. At first, they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of three-year-old orphans. That doesn’t seem so tough to me.”

Obama has never said a word in regard to the long list of orphans left in the wake of Islamist attacks in the U.S. and worldwide. Instead, he prefers hurling insults at his political opponents. That’s what narcissists do. And that in itself illustrates a big reason conservatives oppose his plan: It isn’t heartlessness on the part of Americans who don’t want a flood of 10,000 unknown Syrian refugees, it’s distrust of our own government.

Remember, this is the administration that ran guns to Mexican drug cartels, targeted conservatives for IRS audit and set up ObamaCare in all its colossally inept glory. Secretary of State John Kerry insists “we have a very capable ability” to vet refugees, and he argues, “I just think people shouldn’t be hysterical here.” But forgive us for not hopping aboard the Trust Obama Express, trusting that he’ll successfully distinguish between those in need and those bent on killing Americans.

Besides, if Obama really wanted to help refugees, he’d quit hammering Republicans for advocating a focus on persecuted Christians. He doesn’t ever admit it, but Christians aren’t the ones blowing themselves up or firing into crowds with AK-47s yelling “allahu akbar.” And yet Christians are the group Obama isn’t admitting.

Finally, as we said yesterday, the real question is this: Why is Obama burning so much political capital on this issue? First, he’s a narcissist, and opposition usually serves only to make him double down. But second, and more important, he knows if he gives way on Syrians, Republicans will point out that our porous southern border poses a national security threat, which is going to eat into Democrats' appeal with illegal immigrants. His faux immigration strategy is to play the issue for political gain. The political capital he’s investing now is all part of the plan.



Governors Defying Obama over Syrians

Barack Obama has stated that the attack in Paris will not change his plans to import Syrian refugees to America, and the Freedom Caucus is nervous that new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan won't take action. Across the country, those concerned with the health and welfare of American citizens might feel like they have little recourse.

Enter the Governors. As the Daily Mail reports, governors of several states have openly informed the White House that they won't be accepting any Syrian refugees.

    "Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has announced he is refusing Syrian refugees relocating to his state on the same day Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan said in a statement that his state would also postpone efforts until federal officials fully review security clearances and procedure.

    In a news release Sunday Bentley said, 'After full consideration of this weekend's attacks of terror on innocent citizens in Paris, I will oppose any attempt to relocate Syrian refugees to Alabama through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. 'As your Governor, I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm's way.'

    Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas also said on Monday that they would not be allowing Syrian refugees into their states at this time.

    Elsewhere, Governor Bobby Jindal asked the White House how many Syrian refugees have been resettled in Louisiana, saying he wanted that figure and other information 'in hopes that the night of horror in Paris is not duplicated here'.

    One day later, he announced that Louisiana would also stop accepting refugees.

    Indiana Governor Mike Pence wrote on Twitter Monday; 'Indiana has a long tradition of opening our arms and homes to refugees from around the world but, as governor, my first responsibility is to ensure the safety and security of all Hoosiers".

As of this writing, Mississippi and Ohio have also joined in the pledge not to take Syrian refugees. Perhaps President Obama should heed their advice and act in the best interest of the American people.



A Democrat candidate hearts ISIS

Democrats can "understand" everyone but patriotic Americans

A Minnesota Democratic Farm Labor Party candidate for the House has suspended his campaign after one of the most bizarre social media meltdowns imaginable:

A Burnsville DFLer’s campaign for the state House abruptly ended Sunday morning within hours of him posting on social media that ISIS “isn’t necessarily evil” and is “made up of people doing what they think is best for their community.”

The Twitter posting Saturday by Dan Kimmel, coming as the world’s emotions remain raw from Friday’s terror attacks in Paris, brought swift rebuke from others on Twitter. House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, called for Kimmel to give up his campaign.

“I’m folding up the campaign tent,” Kimmel told the Star Tribune. He later issued a written apology and called his tweet “stupid,” adding that it’s probably best for him to “shut up” for the time being.

Kimmel said in the interview that the posting “was not interpreted as I intended. It was so badly misinterpreted.” He added that he was dropping out of the race “to remove the ick” from his party.
The last phrase says it all. To social justice warriors like Kimmel and Bernie Sanders, every third world revolutionary group is comprised of agrarian reformers who would be tending their crops and hugging their Christian neighbors but for the Evil AmeriKKKan empire. This common left-wing delusion is not just ill informed, it's dangerous.



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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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)


19 November, 2015

A very old controverrsy revisited

I have put up some further comments on my Scripture Blog about the nature of Christ.


Obama's Islamic Trojan Horse

The terrorist attacks in France this weekend demonstrate the stark reality that radical Islamic terrorism has no borders. (That’s why we coined the term Jihadistan — a borderless nation of Islamofascists with global reach.) Every civilized Western nation has borders for the main purpose of keeping its citizens secure from outsiders who seek to do harm. Yet when a nation’s government decides to accept refugees from another nation, a vulnerability is created, which in the case of Paris was exploited by those seeking to terrorize the population.

So what’s Barack Obama’s real agenda with Syrian refugees?

Two months ago, Mark Alexander warned of the jihadi pipeline Obama was opening by welcoming 100,000 Syrian refugees. Indeed, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called Obama’s crisis “a disaster of biblical proportions” and warned that terrorists would infiltrate the ranks of refugees. Many of the Muslims flooding into Europe were not “refugees” at all but rather migrants — only 15% were women and children. At least one of the French attackers was a “Syrian refugee.”

Yet despite Clapper’s warning, Obama decided to open the pipeline into the U.S. — not the Keystone pipeline, but the one for jihad.

Last month, we warned that Syrian refugees would be coming soon to a city near you. It’s already happening. In fact, 32 states have accepted a total of 1,809 Syrian refugees since Jan. 1, with the highest numbers in California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida.

Fortunately, the Paris attacks awoke a sense of caution. More than two dozen governors have now closed their doors. Though most are Republicans, even the Democrat governor of New Hampshire has said enough is enough.

Meanwhile, Sen. Rand Paul, a GOP presidential candidate, introduced legislation calling for an “immediate moratorium” on all Syrian immigration.

Though Obama yawns at jihadi attacks, what really makes him angry is Republicans. During his press conference Monday in Turkey, Obama slammed opponents of his agenda to flood our nation with Syrian refugees. “That’s shameful,” he lectured. “That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have a religious test for compassion.”

The last was a reference to proposals to limit refugees to Christians — those who are worst persecuted in the Middle East.

If Obama’s moral preening wasn’t outrageous enough, he also told other world leaders that “slamming the door” shut to Syrian refugees “would be a betrayal of our values.” He went on, “Our nations can welcome refugees who are desperately seeking safety and ensure our own safety. We can and must do both.”

It’s hard to fathom the nonsense that comes out of Obama’s mouth. What’s actually shameful is that this commander in chief will not acknowledge the threat posed by radical Islamic extremists. (In fact, he mentioned climate change Monday before he got around to terrorism.) It is un-American to think that the safety of these refugees is more important than the safety of the citizens in our country whom he and countless others swore an oath to protect.

If we don’t have a religious test for compassion, then why does Obama welcome Muslim refugees but turn a cold shoulder to Christians fleeing persecution? CNS News reports, “Of 2,184 Syrian refugees admitted into the U.S. since the Syrian civil war erupted in 2011, only 53 (2.4 percent) have been Christians while 2098 (or 96 percent) have been Muslims, according to State Department statistics updated on Monday.”

All of the terrorist attacks in the Middle East, France and America have been carried out by Islamic extremists who are committed to waging jihad wherever they can. Christians are facing persecution and slaughter, yet their plight goes unrecognized by this administration.

Clearly, not all Muslims are terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslim. So why on earth would we even take the chance to let thousands of un-vetted refugees into our homeland knowing the incredible risk that one or two of them could very well carry out an attack like that in Paris or worse?

Hours before the attack in Paris, Obama boldly proclaimed that he has “contained” the Islamic State. This so called containment policy clearly isn’t working, yet he has the audacity to claim that we can welcome potentially hostile migrants while maintaining our own safety. Containing an enemy doesn’t mean opening your borders to them. It means stopping them from expanding their operations and expanding their influence. It means taking the fight to them on their turf, rather than allowing them to gain a foothold on yours.

National Review’s David French sums it up nicely: “The Obama administration insults our intelligence if it claims we can trust the government’s vetting process. And it insults our character if it pretends that aiding refugees abroad while defeating the enemy that drove so many of them from their homes is a ‘betrayal of our values.’ Americans have big hearts, but we also have brains, and we can certainly discern the difference between generosity and foolishness.”

Finally, the real question is this: Why is Obama burning so much political capital on this issue? First, he’s a narcissist, and opposition usually serves only to make him double down. But second, and more important, he knows if he gives way on Syrians, Republicans will point out that our porous southern border poses a national security threat, which is going to eat into Democrats' appeal with illegal immigrants. His faux immigration strategy is to play the issue for political gain. The political capital he’s investing now is all part of the plan.

Addendum: The Wall Street Journal editorialized, “If Mr. Obama fought the Islamic State with half the vigor with which he delivers moral lectures, he’d find that a much less fearful America would welcome far more refugees.”



Obamacare critics say high deductibles make insurance ‘unaffordable’

A telling episode: A woman returned to her native Ethiopia, where care is cheaper, to consult a neurologist and seek follow-up care

OH: When President Obama’s landmark health care law ushered in a slew of new insurance options in 2013, the Andersons could not wait to sign up. Roger Anderson, 54, a formerly uninsured construction worker, has a bad back and a bad heart. He and his wife are still paying for his earlier heart surgery and feared another crisis could ruin them.

“This law was going to give people a chance,” said Cassaundra Anderson, 44, a freelance proof reader.

But in April, when Roger Anderson fell while hiking and hurt his shoulder, he discovered, to his dismay, that simply being insured was not enough. The Andersons’ mid-tier plan, which costs them $875 a month, requires them to meet a $7,000 deductible before insurance payments kick in.

“We can’t afford the Affordable Care Act, quite honestly,” said Cassaundra Anderson, whose family canvassed for Obama in their neighborhood, a Republican stronghold outside Cincinnati. “The intention is great, but there is so much wrong. . . . I’m mad.”

The Andersons’ experience echoes that of hundreds of thousands of newly insured Americans facing sticker shock over out-of-pocket costs. Although the law survived two Supreme Court challenges, it could still be on the line in the 2016 presidential election, posing a significant political barrier to Democrats in this critical battleground state, which includes both conservative rural sections of Appalachia and diverse cities.

The problem experienced by the Andersons is particularly acute in Ohio, which has the fourth-largest number of people enrolled in high-deductible insurance plans in the country, after Texas, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, according to America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s trade association based in Washington.

Now that the law’s major provisions are in place, the outcry over cost has prompted Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, to call for changes to Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

“This will be an issue at least one more time in the 2016 election. It could absolutely still hurt Democrats,” said Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health. “Polls about the Affordable Care Act have a considerable amount of middle-income people who say either the program has done nothing for them or actually hurt them.”

Governor John Kasich, like other Republicans running for the party’s presidential nomination, blames rising insurance costs on Obama’s 2010 health reform law and has called for its repeal.

Clinton defends the Affordable Care Act on the campaign trail but is pledging to lower out-of-pocket costs including deductibles and making affordable health care a “basic human right.” Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist challenging Clinton for the Democratic nomination, says Obama’s health law does not go far enough and advocates for a “Medicare-for-all” single-payer system instead.

The percentage of Ohioans who view the law unfavorably is higher than in the nation as a whole, especially among independents and Democrats, according to new data from the annual Ohio Health Issues Poll. Nearly half of Ohioans do not like the law, compared with the 42 percent national figure reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation in October.

Nearly 30 percent of people insured through the federal marketplace who had deductibles higher than $1,500 went without needed medical care in 2014 because they could not afford it, according to Families USA, a health care consumer group based in Washington. That includes diagnostic tests, treatments, and follow-up care as well as prescription drugs.

Deductibles have grown six times faster than wages since 2010, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study. The growing national problem is also reflected in Massachusetts, where a 2015 annual report by the state’s Center for Health Information and Analysis shows that more than half of those enrolled in individual plans faced high deductibles.

“Unfortunately, what we are headed toward now is universal crappy health insurance,” said Dr. Budd Shenkin, a California pediatrician who wrote the American Academy Pediatrics policy on high-deductible plans, which he calls nefarious.

“It’s just not a good deal for people,” he said. The academy last year advised the federal government to restrict such plans to adults because they discourage families from seeking necessary primary care for their children.

The Obama administration, in response to the criticism, acknowledges that high deductibles are an “important issue” but says the problem is part of longstanding insurance trends.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services points out that the law, for the first time, caps the out-of-pocket costs families pay to $13,700. It recently introduced an online “cost calculator” that gives those shopping for insurance a fuller picture of their total out-of-pocket costs.

The Affordable Care Act, while providing coverage to millions of previously uninsured Americans, does nothing to turn the tide away from high-deductible plans. The government provides subsidies that lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs for people with incomes below 250 percent of the federal poverty line, individuals making less than $30,000 a year. More than half of those buying insurance through the marketplace receive subsidies to offset copays and deductibles, according to the administration.

But those with more moderate incomes receive no help. Mandated by the law to buy coverage, they most often opt for high-deductible plans as a way to make their monthly premium payments more manageable. And they end up making medical decisions much like they did when they were uninsured, advocates say — by putting off care.

In fact, the growing use and size of deductibles as a way to lower premiums “threatens to undermine the gains Americans have made in coverage since 2014,” according to a September report by The Commonwealth Fund on the affordability of marketplace plans.

Cost concerns have lead tens of thousands of the newly insured to drop their Affordable Care Act plans and opt for free or discounted care at community health clinics. Consumer advocates worry that the numbers will increase as the trend toward high deductibles worsens.

Cassaundra Anderson has been bombarded by a slew of e-mails reminding her to reenroll when the 2016 sign-up period for marketplace plans begins in November. She is not certain the family will re-up. Their premium next year would jump to more than $1,000 a month.

“We’re in the process of looking at going without insurance,” she said, calculating that the family will be better off financially just paying the $2,000 tax penalty for not abiding by the law’s mandate. “What am I even paying these insurance people for? Why should we re-enroll?”

She figures that the amount the couple pays toward their insurance premium could instead go toward paying off her husband’s latest round of medical bills, now tallying $6,700. The mounting debt has Roger Anderson choosing to forgo the twice-weekly physical therapy prescribed by his doctor — and losing muscle mass as a consequence — because he can’t afford the $200-a-month copay. He’s also skipping a follow-up MRI of his back.

Cassaundra Anderson said she still plans on voting for whoever the Democratic nominee for president will be. “Republicans who have fought this law tooth and nail are not going to try to make it better,” she said.

But independent swing voters may not be as forgiving. “If they are having the experience we’re having, they are going to say, ‘This is a lot of doo-doo,’?” she said.

On a recent afternoon, Laura Torres, a 62-year-old home health aide who is in nursing school, visited a community health clinic tucked into a strip mall 20 minutes from downtown Columbus. This is where she sought care when she was uninsured, paying an affordable sliding scale rate based on her $22,000 yearly income.

Now she visits Whitehall Family Health Center seeking financial — not medical — help. An insurance counselor there helped Torres apply for a government subsidy, lowering her $6,000 deductible to $800. But she says she was better off before having to buy insurance.

“I cannot get anything with this insurance. Nothing,” said Torres, who avoids seeking treatment for her thyroid condition and high blood pressure because of cost. “I just pay my monthly payments, try to take care of myself, go to work, and hope something serious doesn’t happen to me.”

Amete Kahsay, 53, works as a temporary warehouse packer in Columbus. The Affordable Care marketplace is her only option for health insurance. She and her husband, an airport shuttle driver, pay $275 a month for a “bronze” plan with a $13,200 deductible.

Shortly after they signed up for insurance last year, her husband rushed her to the emergency room when she experienced dizziness. The visit, which included a CT scan of her brain, cost $1,700. She paid the charge from her savings, then returned to her native Ethiopia, where care is cheaper, to consult a neurologist and seek follow-up care.

“I support Obamacare. Without it, I wouldn’t have any type of insurance. But I’m not sure it’s worth the money,” said Kahsay, a US citizen who is registered as an independent voter. “Now, unless I get very, very sick, like only if it’s life-threatening, I won’t go to the doctor. I just lay down and take a rest.”


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- with some encouraging news from Poland.


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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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)



18 November, 2015

Comparing Philippians 2:6 and John 1:1

I have put up some further comments on my Scripture Blog showing that both the above texts support the conclusion that Christ was a spirit being but not the creator.


The Paris attacks were not 'nihilism' but sacred strategy

by Mark Durie

LEADING commentator Janet Daley's article in Saturday's Telegraph ‘The West is at war with a death cult’ stands for everything that is woeful about European elites’ response to Islamic jihad. It is a triumph of religious illiteracy.

The jihadist enemy, she asserts, is utterly unintelligible, so beyond encompassing in ‘coherent, systematic thought’ that no vocabulary can describe it: ‘This is just insanity’, she writes. Because the enemy is ‘hysterical’, lacking 'rational demands', 'negotiable limits,’ or ‘intelligible objectives’ Daley claims it is pointless to subject its actions to any form of historical, social or theological analysis, for no-one should attempt to ‘impose logic on behaviour that is pathological’.

Despite this, Daley then ventures to offer analysis of and explanations for ISIS’ actions, but in doing so she relies upon her own conceptual categories, not those of ISIS. Her explanations therefore fall wide of the mark.


Daley writes: ‘We face a violent and highly contagious madness that believes the killing of civilians is a moral act.’  Here she appeals to Western concepts of war, reflected, for example, in the Geneva Convention, which provides detailed principles for the ‘protection of civilian persons’.

Yet the first step in understanding a cultural system alien to one’s own, is to describe it in its own terms.

ISIS does not subscribe to the Geneva Convention.  Its actions and strategies are based upon medieval Islamic laws of jihad, which make no use of the modern Western concept of 'civilian’. They do, however, refer to the category of disbelievers (mushrik or kafir).

ISIS believes that killing disbelievers is a moral act, in accordance, for example, with Sura 9:5 of the Qur’an, which states:‘Fight and kill the idolators (mushrik) wherever you find them'.

 Not nihilism

Daley writes: ‘The enemy has stated explicitly that it does not revere life at all’ and ‘Civilians are not collateral damage in this campaign: their deaths are the whole point.’  She goes on to lament that the latest French attacks lack any purpose, but are ‘carried out for the sheer nihilistic thrill of it’.

The claim that ISIS does not ‘revere life’ seems to refer to any number of statements by Islamic radicals, including an ISIS militant who vowed to ‘fill the streets of Paris with dead bodies’, and boasted that ISIS ‘loves death like you love life’.  This is a theological reference to a series of verses in the Qur’an in which Jews are criticised for desiring life (Sura 2:94-96, 62:6-8).

According to the Qur’an, loving life is a characteristic of infidels (Sura 3:14; 14:3; 75:20; 76:27) because it causes them to disregard the importance of the next life.  The taunt much used by jihadis, ‘We love death like you love life’,  implies that jihadis are bound for paradise while their enemies are hell-bound.

The point of these statements is that Muslims are willing to fight to the death, while their infidel enemies will turn back in battle. This is not about reverence for life, but about who has the will to win. This has nothing to do with nihilism, which is a belief that there are no values, nothing to be loyal to, and no purpose in living. In fact ISIS fighters have strong and clear loyalties and values, alien though they may be to those of Europe.

Daley’s claim that the deaths are ‘the whole point’ is also mistaken. While it is true that the jihadis consider killing infidels a meritorious act, potentially earning the killer a place in paradise, and they consider being killed in battle against infidels a ticket to paradise, in fact the killings do serve a strategic purpose. This is to make infidels afraid, and thereby to weaken their will to resist Islamic dominance.

This strategy is commended by the Qur’an, for example in Sura 8:12, 'I shall cast dread into the hearts of those who disbelieve. So strike above (their) necks and strike (off) all their fingers!', as well as by the successful example of Muhammad in fighting the Jews of Medina, referred to in Sura 33:26-27, ‘He brought down from their fortifications those of the People of the Book who supported them, and cast dread into their hearts. You killed a group (of them), and took captive (another) group. And he caused you to inherit their land, their homes, and their wealth, and a land you had not set foot on.’  A similar passage is Sura 59:2, which ISIS has in fact been quoting in its celebrations of the Paris carnage.

It may seem to Daley that ISIS’ often-stated intention of defeating the West is fanciful, but the point is to understand ISIS, and as far as it is concerned, these deadly attacks are instrumental in weakening the will of infidels and hastening eventual victory.

Daley wonders what possible point these attacks could serve. She speculates:  '… what is the alternative that is being demanded? Sharia law? The subjection of women? An end to liberal democracy? Are any of these things even within the bounds of consideration? What could be accomplished by national self-doubt or criticism at this point, when there is not even a reasonable basis for discussion with the enemy?' 

It is hardly a secret that the ultimate goal of ISIS is to bring non-Muslims everywhere  to convert to Islam or live under an Islamic caliphate as dhimmis. Sharia law and the subjection of women are part and parcel of this.

It is odd that Daley laments having no reasonable basis for negotiating with the enemy.  ISIS is not playing by a Western-style negotiating rule book. It is following Muhammad’s instructions to his followers to offer three choices to infidels: conversion, surrender, or the sword.  Bin Laden has explained that the West’s rejection of this framework is the whole reason for its conflict with what he calls ‘the authority of Islam’:

    “Our talks with the infidel West and our conflict with them ultimately revolve around one issue; one that demands our total support, with power and determination, with one voice, and it is: Does Islam, or does it not, force people by the power of the sword to submit to its authority corporeally if not spiritually? Yes. There are only three choices in Islam: [1] either willing submission [conversion]; or [2] payment of the jizya, through physical, though not spiritual, submission to the authority of Islam; or [3] the sword, for it is not right to let him [an infidel] live. The matter is summed up for every person alive: Either submit, or live under the suzerainty of Islam, or die.”

 It may seem unimaginable to European elites that ISIS is fighting for the goal of the surrender or conversion of Europe, but ISIS is thinking in time frames which extend to centuries, and their forebears conquered vast territories using such tactics.  A final act of conquest can be preceeded by decades, or even centuries, of military raids.

While killing is currently the main mode of ISIS’ attacks inside the West, if they could they would use other tactics as well, such as taking booty and slaves or destroying infrastructure, as they have been doing in Syria and Iraq.


Daley claims it is pointless to argue with people who have no reasonable grievances, for ‘the French people did not deserve this, just as Americans did not deserve 9/11’.  However the important question is how ISIS sees its own motivations.  Their ideology teaches them that infidels deserve death, simply by virtue of their unbelief. 

This has nothing to do with France’s history of colonialism or its treatment of Muslim minorities.  ISIS needed no appeal to grievances to justify killing and enslaving Yazidis in Iraq and Syria, so why should they view the people of France any differently?  Their objection to Europeans is that they are not Muslims, and their objection to European states is that they do not implement sharia law.


It is irresponsible and dangerous to claim that a tenacious enemy is insane and incomprehensible. To refuse to acknowledge the ideology of ISIS, and to deny its relevance is tantamount to a death-wish.

Like so many other revivalist Islamic groups, ISIS believes that it will be successful if it stays faithful to its divinely-mandated goals and tactics.  It believes the nations of Europe are morally corrupt, weak infidels who love life too much to fight a battle to the death with stern Muslim soldiers who have set their hearts on paradise.  It believes Europe stands on the wrong side of history.

To combat this ideology it is necessary for Europe to prove ISIS wrong on all counts. It must show strength, not weakness. It must have confidence in its cultural and spiritual identity. It must be willing to fight for its survival. It must show that it believes in itself enough to fight for its future. It must defend its borders.  It must act like someone who intends to win an interminably long war against an implacable foe.

There is still much that European states could do to defeat ISIS.  They could, for example, inflict catastrophic military failure upon it as a powerful counter-argument to its theology of success.  This will not deliver decisive, final victory against jihadism, but it will make the supremacist claims of ISIS less credible and hurt its recruitment.  Islam’s laws of war allow Muslims to suspend their battle with infidels temporarily if there is no immediate prospect of victory and the risks to their cause are too great.



The elite will block any serious reaction to the Paris Massacre

The murder of some 127 innocents in Paris by a jihadi gang on Friday has again shocked the French and led to another round of solidarity, soul searching, and anger. In the end, however, Islamist violence against Westerners boils down to two questions: How much will this latest atrocity turn public opinion? And how much will it further spur the Establishment to deny reality?

As these questions suggest, the people and the professionals are moving in opposite directions, the former to the right, the latter to the left. In the end, this clash much reduces the impact of such events on policy.

Public opinion moves against Islamists specifically and Islam more generally when the number of deaths are large enough. America's three thousand dead on 9/11 stands out as by far the largest mortality but many other countries have had their equivalent – the Bali bombings for Australia, the railroad bombing for Spain, the Beslan school massacre for Russia, the transportation bombings for Britain.

Will the Establishment continue to pretend that Islam has no role in terrorist violence?

Sheer numbers are not the only consideration. Other factors can multiply the impact of an assault, making it almost the political equivalent of mass carnage: (1) The renown of those attacked, such as Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands and the Charlie Hebdo office in France. (2) The professional status of the victim, such as soldiers or police. (3) High-profile circumstances, such as the Boston Marathon bombing.

In addition to the over 27,000 attacks globally connected to Islam since 9/11, or more than 5 per day (as counted by TheReligionOfPeace.com), a huge increase in illegal immigration from the Middle East recently exacerbated feelings of vulnerability and fear. It's a one-way street, with not a single soul ever heard to announce, "I used to worry about Islamism but I don't any more."

These cases make more Westerners worried about Islam and related topics from the building of minarets to female infibulation. Overall, a relentless march rightwards is underway. Surveys of European attitudes show 60 to 70 percent of voters expressing these concerns. Populist individuals like Geert Wilders of the Netherlands and parties like the Sweden Democrats are surging in the polls.

But when it comes to the Establishment – politicians, the police, the press, and the professors – the unrelenting violence has a contrary effect. Those charged with interpreting the attacks live in a bubble of public denial (what they say privately is another matter) in which they feel compelled to pretend that Islam has no role in the violence, out of concern that to recognize it would cause even more problems.

These 4-P professionals bald-facedly feign belief in a mysterious "violent extremist" virus that seems to afflict only Muslims, prompting them to engage in random acts of barbaric violence. Of the many preposterous statements by politicians, my all-time favorite is what Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont, said about the Charlie Hebdo jihadis: "They're about as Muslim as I am."

This defiance of common sense has survived each atrocity and I predict that it will also outlast the Paris massacre. Only a truly massive loss of life, perhaps in the hundreds of thousands, will force the professionals to back off their deeply ingrained pattern of denying an Islamic component in the spate of attacks.

That pattern has the very consequential effect of shutting out the fears of ordinary voters, whose views thereby have negligible impact on policy. Worries about Shari'a, rape gangs, exotic diseases, and bloodbaths are dismissed with charges of "racism" and "Islamophobia," as though name-calling addresses these real issues.

More surprising yet, the professionals respond to the public's move to the right by themselves moving to the left, encouraging more immigration from the Middle East, instituting more "hate speech" codes to suppress criticism of Islam, and providing more patronage to Islamists. This pattern affects not just Establishment figures of the Left but more strikingly also of the Right (such as Angela Merkel of Germany); only Eastern European leaders such as Hungary's Viktor Orbán permit themselves to speak honestly about the real problems.

Eventually, to be sure, voters' views will make themselves heard, but decades later and more weakly than democratically should have been the case.



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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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)


17 November, 2015

More on Philippians 2:6

My post on Philippians 2:6 attracted some correspondence from Christians so I have put up some further comments on my Scripture Blog.


How America Failed to Keep the Republic

The story, whether true or not, is that after the Constitution was adopted in closed proceedings at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Ben Franklin was asked on the street what form of government was created. He replied, “A republic -- if you can keep it.”

Through the creation of the “Administrative State,” with vast bureaucracies violating the separation of powers in ways unaccountable to the people and the Constitution itself, America has failed to keep the republican form of government created by the Founders. 

Former Reagan administration lawyer Charles Cooper has penned a must-read essay, “Confronting the Administrative State,” which in terms of brilliance in describing the root causes plaguing America’s governance, ranks with Angelo Codevilla’s “America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution.”

Cooper’s essay describes how America has failed to keep the republic because the constitutional structure created by Franklin and his fellow Founders is no longer the law of the land. The Administrative State “has become a sovereign power unto itself, an imperium in imperio regulating virtually every dimension of our lives. Its nearly 450 agencies are manned by legions of bureaucrats, now numbering almost 2.7 million,” writes Cooper.

Unlike the frequent violations of the Constitution through legislation or executive orders that may be reversed by future Congresses or presidents, the Administrative State has become an institutionalized violation of the constitutional structure itself.

Instead of the representative branch of government making laws, a separate executive branch enforcing laws, and a neutral judiciary adjudicating disputes -- and enforcing the rule of law on government itself -- the republican structure of government has been displaced by the Administrative State.  No longer are the powers of government separate.

Congress has delegated lawmaking functions to bureaucrats; bureaucrats have usurped the power to adjudicate disputes; and courts now defer to bureaucrats in interpreting the law. This is exactly contrary to the purposes of the Constitution, and has been a “fundamental transformation” of American government starting decades before Barack Obama ever uttered the words.

Citing Federalist Papers such as James Madison’s No. 51, Cooper explains how the separation of powers was designed to create conflict among the branches of government, which was “admitted on all hands to be essential to the preservation of liberty.” Instead of “ambition . . . [being] made to counteract ambition,” the Administrative State grew under a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ approach among the three branches of government.

The principal villains in the destruction of the republic are not the electorate or those whom they elected, although elected officials clearly share the blame. It has been the courts, which time after time since the 1930s refused to be the bulwark for liberty by preserving the separation of powers. The courts have dismantled the constitutional structure by yielding powers to the Administrative State in ways not authorized by the Constitution. By conceding to the accretions of power within the Administrative State, the courts have institutionalized violations of the Constitution, and replaced its carefully planned structure with the Leviathan.

The other villain is Woodrow Wilson and his progressive roadmap of transplanting the Constitution by giving government officials “large powers and unhampered discretion.”

The lonely hero in Cooper’s essay, who seems to be holding his finger in the dike against total transformation away from a constitutional republic, is Justice Clarence Thomas. In the past term at the Supreme Court:

…four opinions authored by Justice Clarence Thomas…call into question the constitutionality of the massive and largely unaccountable bureaucracy that we commonly refer to as the administrative state. In bold and clear prose, Justice Thomas explained how the basic principles of our Constitution's separation of powers are incompatible with the system of bureaucratic rule that took root in the Progressive era and now reaches into virtually every realm of American life.

Cooper notes Justice Thomas’ reliance on the brilliant scholarship of Philip Hamburger, whose book Is Administrative Law Unlawful? has exposed the flawed, even unlawful, bases of the current Administrative State.

I would add two thoughts to Cooper’s brilliant analysis.

The power given to administrative agencies to issue their own warrants for papers, emails and other private property without probable cause or oath and affirmation before neutral judges has created a police-state effect. “Administrative subpoenas” are judge-less warrants. They are not only institutionalized violations of the Fourth Amendment, but are used as blunt-force instruments to create policy and silence critics of government through extortive concessions by their targets.

Secondly, the destruction of our republican structure of government at the federal level has trickled down into the states, which to varying degrees have adopted the Administrative State methods of the federal government. States themselves have a constitutional obligation under Article IV, section 4 to follow a republican form of government, yet many states have transplanted administrative discretion for the constitutional rule of law.

Opponents of a constitutional convention will find fault with Cooper’s recommendation for one, but that proposed solution should not distract from anyone’s appreciation of how his analysis of the problem shows the roots go beyond merely a solution through the ballot box. The destruction of America’s constitutional republic has become institutionalized, and may be beyond cure by even an army of constitutional conservative legislators.

Cooper’s is a must-read essay for political commentators, conservative elected officials, and anyone who is serious about trying to understand the sad state of how America is governed today in violation of the Constitution.



Paris attacks: fall of Rome should be a warning to the West

Niall Ferguson, a Harvard historian, says that Europe today is as decadent as the late Roman empire

I am not going to repeat what you have already read or heard. I am not going to say that what happened in Paris on Friday night was unprecedented horror, for it was not. I am not going to say that the world stands with France, for it is a hollow phrase. Nor am I going to applaud Francois Hollande’s pledge of “pitiless” vengeance, for I do not believe it. I am, instead, going to tell you that this is exactly how civilisations fall.

Here is how Edward Gibbon described the Goths’ sack of Rome in August 410AD: “ ... In the hour of savage licence, when every ­passion was inflamed, and every restraint was removed ... a cruel slaughter was made of the ­Romans; and … the streets of the city were filled with dead bodies ... Whenever the Barbarians were provoked by opposition, they ­extended the promiscuous massacre to the feeble, the innocent, and the helpless …”

Now, does that not describe the scenes we witnessed in Paris on Friday night? True, Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788, represented Rome’s demise as a slow burn. Gibbon covered more than 1400 years of history. The causes he identified ranged from the personality disorders of individual emperors to the power of the Praetorian Guard and the rise of Sassanid Persia. Decline shaded into fall, with monotheism acting as a kind of imperial dry rot.

For many years, more modern historians of “late antiquity” ­tended to agree with Gibbon about the gradual nature of the process. Indeed, some went further, arguing “decline” was an anachronistic term, like the word “barbarian”.

Far from declining and falling, they insisted, the Roman Empire had imperceptibly merged with the Germanic tribes, producing a multicultural post-imperial idyll that deserved a more flattering label than “Dark Ages”.

Recently, however, a new generation of historians has raised the possibility the process of Roman decline was in fact sudden — and bloody — rather than smooth.

For Bryan Ward-Perkins, what happened was “violent seizure ... by barbarian invaders”. The end of the Roman west, he writes in The Fall of Rome (2005), “witnessed horrors and dislocation of a kind I sincerely hope never to have to live through; and it destroyed a complex civilisation, throwing the ­inhabitants of the West back to a standard of living typical of prehistoric times”.

In five decades the population of Rome itself fell by three-quarters. Archaeological evidence from the late 5th century — inferior housing, more primitive pottery, fewer coins, smaller cattle — shows the benign influence of Rome dimin­ished rapidly in the rest of western Europe.

“The end of civilisation”, in Ward-Perkins’s phrase, came within a single ­generation.

Peter Heather’s TheFall of the Roman Empire emphasises the ­disastrous effects not just of mass migration, but also organised vio­lence: first the westward shift of the Huns of central Asia and then the Germanic irruption into Roman territory.

In his reading, the Visigoths who settled in Aquitaine and the Vandals who conquered Carthage were attracted to the Roman ­Empire by its wealth, but were ­enabled to seize that wealth by the arms acquired and skills learnt from the Romans ­themselves.

“For the adventurous,” writes Heather, “the Roman Empire, while being a threat to their existence, also presented an unprecedented opportunity to prosper ... Once the Huns had pushed large numbers of (alien groups) across the frontier, the Roman state ­became its own worst enemy. Its military power and financial sophistication both hastened the process whereby streams of incomers became coherent forces capable of carving out kingdoms from its own body politic.”

Uncannily similar processes are destroying the European Union today, though few of us want to recognise them for what they are. Like the Roman Empire in the early 5th century, Europe has allowed its defences to crumble. As its wealth has grown, so its military prowess has shrunk, along with its self-belief. It has grown decadent in its malls and stadiums. At the same time, it has opened its gates to outsiders who have coveted its wealth without ren­ouncing their ancestral faith.

The distant shock to this weakened edifice has been the Syrian civil war, though it has been a catalyst as much as a direct cause for the great Volkerwanderung of 2015.

As before, they have come from all over the imperial periphery — North Africa, the Levant, South Asia — but this time they have come in their millions, not in mere tens of thousands. To be sure, most have come hoping only for a better life. Things in their own countries have become just good enough economically for them to afford to leave and just bad enough politically for them to risk leaving.

But they cannot stream northwards and westwards without some of that political malaise coming with them. As Gibbon saw, convinced monotheists pose a grave threat to a secular empire.

It is doubtless true to say that the overwhelming majority of Muslims in Europe are not violent. But it is also true the majority hold views not easily reconciled with the principles of our liberal democracies, including our novel notions about sexual equality and tolerance not merely of religious diversity but of nearly all sexual proclivities. And it is thus remarkably easy for a violent minority to acquire their weapons and prepare their assaults on civilisation within these avowedly peace-loving ­communities.

I do not know enough about the 5th century to be able to quote Romans who described each new act of barbarism as unprece­dented, even when it had happened multiple times before; or who issued pious calls for solidarity after the fall of Rome, even when standing together meant falling together; or who issued empty threats of pitiless revenge, even when all they intended to do was to strike a melodramatic ­posture.

I do know that 21st-century ­Europe has itself to blame for the mess it is now in. Surely, nowhere in the world has devoted more ­resources to the study of history than modern Europe did.

When I went up to Oxford more than 30 years ago, it was taken for granted that in the first term I would study Gibbon. It did no good. We learnt a lot of nonsense to the effect that nationalism was a bad thing, nation states worse and ­empires the worst things of all.

“Romans before the fall,” wrote Ward-Perkins, “were as certain as?we are today that their world would continue for ever substantially unchanged. They were wrong. We would be wise not to ­repeat their complacency.”

Poor, poor Paris. Killed by ­complacency.



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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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)


16 November, 2015

Mark Levin Reacts to Paris Attack: Seal Our Borders, ‘Thank God for the Second Amendment’

On his Friday radio show, immediately on the news that terror attacks had occurred in Paris in multiple locations earlier in the day, Mark Levin offered his reaction to the attacks with a warning of what could happen here if the United States didn’t act in the appropriate way.

Levin argued what happened in Paris could happen here and called out a number of so-called “front groups” in the United States.

“You know ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know about you, but I am so sick and tired of politicians telling us we can’t control our border, we can’t determine who is coming into this country. I’m so sick of these ethnic front groups — groups like CAIR and Muslim Brotherhood-associated groups in this country pretending to be civil rights groups and using our laws against us and using our freedom against us. I’m so sick of it.”

“What is going on in France is going to happen here — I truly believe it,” he continued. “I cringe even when I say it, but I know it will. We’re just an easy hit. We’re just an easy target. We don’t secure the border. We coddle people who come here illegally. We have a president who wants to bring in tens of thousands of people from Syria. We can’t even vet them. We don’t know their background. It doesn’t mean everyone is a terrorist.”

Levin then warned about the borders of our country, pointing to the free flow of refugees from Syria into the European Union in recent months and how that might pose a similar threat if we don’t protect our own borders.

“You can’t have this, you can’t have sovereignty, you can’t have security, you can’t have a rule of law, you can’t have a free country if you do not secure your border, ladies and gentlemen,” he said. “I am sick and tired of being lectured by the left, being lectured by Republicans, being lectured by morons on TV. I am tired of it. It doesn’t mean we’re anti-anybody. It means we are pro-us. This is common sense. This is what we call reason.”

The conservative talker also pointed out Europe’s strict gun laws and praised the founders for providing a Second Amendment in our Constitition.

“I want to tell you something else – it is what goes through my mind,” he continued. “I bet it goes through your mind – thank God for the Second Amendment. Thank God for the Second Amendment or we’d be Europe. We would all be disarmed. You know Obama and Hillary, all of the Democrats, most of the Republicans. There would be no NRA. There would be no groups trying to protect us. Thank God for the Founding Fathers, the framers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Thanks God because you see this going on – these poor people who were slaughtered going to a sporting event or a restaurant or a concert or potentially a shopping mall — slaughtered as they stand there by these animals, by these barbarians – and none of them are armed, none of them.”



Donald Trump says that Paris attack would have been 'a much, much different situation' if the victims had been armed with guns

It takes the Donald to state the obvious  -- even if it makes Leftists faint

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Saturday that the terror attacks in Paris would have been 'a much, much different situation' had the victims been armed with guns.

In the immediate aftermath of the coordinated assaults in Paris, which killed at least 129 and injured 352 more and for which Islamic State has claimed responsibility, Trump called on the Obama administration to reconsider plans to allow thousands of Syrian refugees to be resettled in the United States.

'With the problems our country has, to take in 250,000 people, some of whom are going to have problems, big problems, is just insane,' Trump said at a rally on Saturday in Beaumont, Texas.

He began the event with a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the attacks.

Trump also criticized President Barack Obama's handling of the Islamic State group, saying that the United States should be more aggressive in its approach.

'President Obama said "ISIL continues to shrink" in an interview just hours before the horrible attack in Paris. He is just so bad! CHANGE," Trump wrote on Twitter Saturday.

'We need much tougher, much smarter leadership - and we need it NOW!' he added.

He has been calling for the United States to destroy oil fields the group controls.

Most Republicans candidates have been a bit vague in their reaction to the Paris attacks, with Florida Sen Marco Rubio saying the United States must improve 'our defenses' and 'destroy terrorist networks' and Bush calling it 'the war of our time'.

Louisiana Gov Bobby Jindal said the terrorist attacks in Paris serve as an example of why American borders need to be secured.

New Jersey Gov Christ Christie said the terrorist attacks made him reflect on the September 11 attacks in New York City and he's afraid that Americans have forgotten the fear and risk they felt afterward.

Former Pennsylvania Sen Rick Santorum, however, is using the terrorist attacks in Paris to criticize Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Barack Obama, saying the Islamic State group is a creation of the foreign policy decisions made by the pair.

Democrats, on the other hand, were avoiding much of the conversation early Saturday. But they were certain to be drawn into it later as the party's three hopefuls led by Hillary Clinton were due to hold a second presidential debate in the evening in Des Moines, Iowa.



Britain shows the beneft of having a Conservative government

And note that low unemployment was achieved in Britain in exactly the opposite way to how it was achieved in the USA.  The US figures were arrived at by keeping people OUT of the workforce.   The British figures were achieved by getting more people IN to the workforce

Unemployment has fallen to its lowest level in more than seven years, with record numbers of people in work.

The jobless total dropped by 210,000 in a year to 1.75million – the lowest since before the financial crisis in 2008, according to official statistics.

More people are now working than at any time since records began in 1971, with 31.2million employed in the quarter to September. It means a record 73.7 per cent of the working-age population were in work.



Obama to take legal fight over immigration to Supreme Court

The Obama administration said Tuesday that it will ask the Supreme Court to save its plans to shield from deportation millions of immigrants living in the country illegally. The appeal advances a legal confrontation with 26 states during a presidential race already roiled by disputes over US immigration policy.

The Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals late Monday effectively blocked President Obama’s plan to protect as many as 5 million immigrants, primarily the immigrant parents of US citizens and legal permanent residents. It upheld a Texas-based federal judge’s earlier injunction.

The ruling leaves in limbo the future of the program, called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, and promises by Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton to go further than Obama to protect large groups of immigrants from deportation.

Clinton promised in May to expand Obama’s executive actions if Congress does not overhaul immigration laws. In October, she also pledged to be "less harsh and aggressive" than Obama in enforcing immigration laws.

Earlier this month, Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, said that if elected he would eventually end Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which protects from deportation immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

To date, more than 720,000 young immigrants have been granted permission to live and work in the United States. That program is not affected by the appeals court ruling.

Monday’s 70-page ruling rejected administration arguments that the district court had abused its discretion with a nationwide order and that the states lacked standing to challenge Obama’s orders.

It acknowledged that an adverse ruling would discourage potential beneficiaries of DAPA from cooperating with law enforcement authorities or paying taxes. "But those are burdens that Congress knowingly created, and it is not our place to second-guess those decisions," US Circuit Judge Jerry Smith wrote for the majority. Smith was appointed to the court by a Republican president, Ronald Reagan.

It’s unclear when the Justice Department will file its appeal or whether the high court will take up the case, but the administration may be running out of time to get a final decision before Obama leaves office in early 2017.

While the appeal moves forward, not much will change for the millions of immigrants Obama sought to help without action from Congress.

When Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program last year, they also rolled out a new set of priorities for immigration enforcement that focused on criminals, those who pose a threat to national security or public safety, and recent border-crossers.

The result is that the average immigrant whose only offense is living in the country illegally isn’t likely to face deportation.

During the last budget year, which ended in September, the administration removed about 231,000 immigrants living in the country illegally, according to internal government documents obtained by the Associated Press. It was the fewest number of deportations since 2006 and a 42 percent drop since a record high of more than 409,000 in 2012.



$1B a year for no-show jobs: How the feds forgot about merit

What's the best place to get a no-show job? The federal government.  Uncle Sam pays corrupt or incompetent employees not to come to work - because it's easier than firing them.  Never mind the cost to taxpayers.

Congress is trying to get to the bottom of this outrageous waste. But so far, true to form, the Obama administration is stonewalling.

In fact, President Obama and Democrats in Congress are pushing for even more perks and pay hikes for federal workers. But get ready for a battle, because the new speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, is vowing to slow the gravy train.

Right now, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is pressing for answers about the $3.1 billion spent on no-show jobs in the last three years. The Department of Homeland Security has paid 88 employees to stay home for at least a year, including three who have been twiddling their thumbs for three years.

The preposterous explanation from the DHS is that the allegations against these workers are so serious they can't be allowed back to work, but not conclusive enough to fire them. The Veterans Administration also kept 46 employees on paid leave for a year or longer with explanations that Grassley calls "vague, incomplete or incoherent."

All evidence that the federal bureaucracy is taking taxpayers for a ride. The corruption appears to permeate every agency, and federal hiring needs to be overhauled.

It's wouldn't be the first time.

Back in 1883, Congress passed the Pendleton Act to replace patronage with a federal civil service where workers would be hired and paid based on merit. There is no "merit" anymore. Scramble the letters. What you have now is a "timer" system. Workers put in time and get hefty salaries and benefits, regardless of work quality and with no risk of being fired. One kind of corruption has been replaced by another.

These workers can't be called civil "servants" - not at their pay scale! Total compensation for federal employees averaged a whopping $119,934 last year, compared with just $67,246 for the average private-sector worker. More federal workers have advanced degrees that command higher wages, but that's a small factor. The biggest difference is in benefits. Federal workers get far richer benefits - 48 percent more than what private-sector workers get, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Wages for federal workers also are increasing faster than in the private sector, but not fast enough for Obama. He's announced that he will hike federal pay come January, by executive order, to go around Congress.

Ryan has better ideas - using the current budget negotiations to freeze bureaucrats' pay, downsize the workforce through attrition and require that workers contribute more to their retirement benefits. No surprise that the American Federation of Government Employees gives him a zero rating.

On the other side, Obama and House Democrats are clamoring for even more benefits for federal employees - the latest is six weeks of paid parental leave. Federal workers already get up to 49 paid days off a year, including holidays, sick days and vacation time. Yet Democrats say federal workers shouldn't have to dip into those days if they have a child. Paid family leave would nearly double the number of paid days off for some workers, putting them on easy street and taxpayers on the road to serfdom.

Democrats argue that paid family leave is needed to prevent federal workers from leaving for other jobs. They must be kidding! Federal workers hardly ever quit - private-sector workers are four times more likely to leave their jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As for getting fired? A private-sector worker faces five times the risk of getting canned.

No wonder the federal employees recently caught logging on to Ashley Madison - a Web site for marital cheaters - still have their jobs. The philanderers included two assistant US attorneys and a counterterrorism expert at the DHS.

It's not just their spouses who are getting cheated. Taxpayers are too.



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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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)


15 November, 2015

Philippians 2:6

This scripture has the unfortunate combination of being theologically significant while also being hard to translate. Verses 5-7 in the King James version read as follows:

5 "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men"

Which implies that Jesus was equal with God.  Yet Jesus himself said: "My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28).  Trinitarians wriggle around that in their usual pagan way but it is a pretty blatant contradiction. 

And the whole interpretation depends heavily on the meaning of one Greek word: "harpagmon". It is mostly translated as "robbery" but it is a very rare word so firming up the meaning of it is difficult.  I have a list of 7 different translations of it from 7 different Bible scholars.

Thanks to the immense resources for Bible study that American Christians have put online, I was even able to check the translation of "harpagmon" in the Wycliffe Bible, the first translation of the Bible done in a vernacular language -- albeit in Middle English.  Its version is:

"which when he was in the form of God, deemed not raven, that himself were even to God"

But "raven" there is metaphorically equivalent to "robbery" in modern or Early New English so adds nothing to our present enquiries.

And, even more importantly, the KJV/Wycliffe translation "the form of God" above is misleading.  The original Greek is "morphe theou", literally "of god form".  The definite article is not used in the Greek so it is not the central God of the Christians that is being referred to at all.  The text simply says that Jesus was godlike or of divine essence -- "a god", if you like. There are many spirit beings in Heaven so it is implied that Jesus was simply one of them, not the big boss over all.

Even without relying on fine points of Greek grammar, however, it should be clear that when Paul said Jesus was "morphe theos" he was in fact making clear that Jesus was NOT God.  Jesus was simply in the form or shape of a god.  If Paul had wanted to say that Jesus WAS God ("ho theos") there was nothing to stop him.  But he was careful to claim only that Jesus had something in common with God  -- his form or shape, probably meaning only that he was a spirit being.  That Paul did believe in spirit beings we read at some length in 1 Corinthians 15.

Given all that, I think the meaning of the text as a whole is quite clear.  I would translate it as: "who, although being of divine form did not try to hang on to that but [became a man]"

So I translate "harpagmon" as "hang on to", which makes perfect sense of the passage as a whole. I interpret "harpagmon" in context, in other words.  And I am not going far out on a limb in doing that. "something to cling to", "something to hold on to" are used by other translators.  See here.

So there is no contradiction with John 14:28.  The humility of a spirit being becoming flesh is simply being pointed out.


The Leftist lies never stop

The latest Hollywood mythology is entitled “Truth.” But the film is actually a fictionalized story about how CBS News super-anchor Dan Rather and his “60 Minutes” producer supposedly were railroaded by corporate and right-wing interests into resigning.

In reality, an internal investigation by CBS found that Rather and his “60 Minutes” team — just weeks before the 2004 election — had failed to properly vet documents of dubious authenticity asserting that a young George W. Bush had shirked his duty as a Texas Air National Guard pilot.

The fabulist movie comes on the heels of the Benghazi investigations. An email introduced last month at a House Benghazi committee hearing indicated that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — just hours after the attacks on the consulate that left four Americans dead — knew almost immediately that an “al Qaeda-like group” had carried out the killings.

Clinton informed everyone from her own daughter to the Egyptian prime minister that the killings were the work of hard-core terrorists. Yet officially, she knowingly peddled the falsehood that a video maker had caused spontaneous demonstrations that went bad.

Apparently, the truth about Benghazi clashed with the 2012 Barack Obama re-election narrative about the routing of al-Qaeda. For days, Clinton, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and the president himself likewise sold the fantasy of video-driven killings.

The Black Lives Matter movement grew out of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. The protestors' signature slogan, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” evolved from the belief that Brown raised his hands after Wilson had fired the first shot and told the officer, “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting” in the seconds before his death.

Yet the Justice Department exonerated Wilson, concluding that Brown was shot after struggling with, and then charging toward, Wilson. Brown, who had allegedly stolen cigars from a liquor store shortly before his encounter with Wilson, neither put up his hands to surrender nor was shot in the back while fleeing, according to the Justice Department report.

Utter disregard for old-fashioned truth is now deeply embedded in contemporary America, largely because it advances a particular agenda. It reminds of an earlier age of politically correct fable, when evidence in the Alger Hiss case and the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg case got in the way of ideologically useful mythologies.

In another example of fantasy reinvented as reality, a Texas teen, Ahmed Mohamed, brought a strange contraption with dangling wires to class. He was promptly detained, understandably so in a touchy post-9/11 climate.

Ahmed claimed that he was a young inventor and was just showing off his creation. He became a cause célèbre — an iconic victim of Texas-style anti-Islamic bigotry. President Obama invited him to the White House. Silicon Valley’s zillionaire techies pronounced him a budding genius.

But the bothersome truth again was not so glorious. A number of experts have shown how Ahmed had simply taken out the insides of an old Radio Shack digital clock, put it in a different case with some wires hanging out, and passed it off as some sort of new electronic timepiece.

No matter. The myth of supposed religious and racial bigotry thwarting a young, modern-day Alexander Graham Bell proved more powerful than the banal trick of repackaging a cheap clock.

Subsequent fact-finding does not seem to dispel these untruths. Instead, what could or should have happened must have happened, given that the noble ends of social justice are thought to justify the means deemed necessary to achieve them.

The “60 Minutes” memos about Bush’s Air National Guard service were never authenticated. Everyone now rejects the myth that the Benghazi attack was a result of a video. Investigators proved that Michael Brown was not executed by Officer Wilson. Ahmed was neither a young prodigy nor a victim of bias.

But the legends are created and persist because they further progressive agendas — and the thousands of prestigious and lucrative careers invested in them.

“Noble lies” alter our very language through made-up words and euphemisms. In our world of fable, there can be no such people as “illegal aliens” who broke federal laws by entering the United States. “Workplace violence” is how the Obama administration described the Fort Hood shootings, rather than calling it terrorism. American servicemen who shoot and die in Iraq are not supposed to be called “combat soldiers.”

The enlightened ends of seeking racial and religious tolerance, equality of opportunity and political accountability are never advanced by the illiberal means of lying. What makes this 2016 election so unpredictable are fed-up voters — in other words, Americans who finally are becoming tired of being lied to.



Vladimir Vladimirovich says that defeating ISIS is the first priority

Putin is a realist.  He thinks democracy is not a possibility in the Middle East. You just have a choice of tyrants  -- and ISIS is very clearly the worst tyranny of all.  From a recent speech:

    "I mentioned the situation in Syria and Iraq; they are the same as the situation in Afghanistan, in that they worry all of us. Please allow me to say a few words on the situation in this region, the situation around Syria.

    The state of affairs there is very serious. The so-called Islamic State controls significant stretches of territory in Iraq and Syria. Terrorists are already publicly stating that they have targets set on Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. Their plans include expanding activities to Europe, Russia, Central and Southeast Asia.

    We are concerned by this, especially since militants undergoing ideological indoctrinations and military training by ISIS come from many nations around the world – including, unfortunately, European nations, the Russian Federation, and many former Soviet republics. And, of course, we are concerned by their possible return to our territories.

    Basic common sense and a sense of responsibility for global and regional security require the international community to join forces against this threat. We need to set aside geopolitical ambitions, leave behind so-called double standards and the policy of direct or indirect use of individual terrorist groups to achieve one’s own opportunistic goals, including changes in undesirable governments and regimes.

    As you know, Russia has proposed rapidly forming a broad coalition to counteract the extremists. It must unite everyone who is prepared to make, or is already making, an input into fighting terrorism, just as Iraq and Syria’s armed forces are doing today. We support the Syrian government – I want to say this – in countering terrorist aggression. We provide and will continue to provide the necessary military technology assistance and urge other nations to join in.

    Clearly, without active participation by the Syrian authorities and military, without participation by the Syrian army, as the soldiers fighting with the Islamic State say, you cannot expel terrorists from this nation, as well as the region overall, it is impossible to protect the multi-ethnic and multi-faith people of Syria from elimination, enslavement and barbarism.

    Of course, it is imperative to think about the political changes in Syria. And we know that President Assad is ready to involve the moderate segment of the opposition, the healthy opposition forces in these processes, in managing the state. But the need to join forces in the fight against terrorism is certainly at the forefront today. Without this, it is impossible to resolve the other urgent and growing problems, including the problem of refugees we are seeing now.

    Incidentally, we are seeing something else: we are currently seeing attempts to practically put the blame on Russia for this problem, for its occurrence. As if the refugee problem grew because Russia supports the legitimate government in Syria.

    First of all, I would like to note that the people of Syria are, first and foremost, fleeing the fighting, which is mostly due to external factors as a result of supplies of arms and other specialized equipment. People are feeling the atrocities of the terrorists. We know that they are committing atrocities there, that they are sacrificing people, destroying cultural monuments as I already mentioned, and so on. They are fleeing the radicals, first and foremost. And if Russia had not supported Syria, the situation in that nation would have been even worse than in Libya, and the flow of refugees would be even greater.

    Second, the support of the legitimate government in Syria is not in any way related to the flow of refugees from nations like Libya, which I already mentioned, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and many others. We were not the ones that destabilised the situation in those nations, in whole regions of the world. We did not destroy government institutions there, creating power vacuums that were immediately filled by terrorists. So nobody can say that we were the cause of this problem.

    But right now, as I said, we need to focus on joining forces between the Syrian government, the Kurdish militia, the so-called moderate opposition, and nations in the region to fight the threat against Syria’s very statehood and the fight against terrorism – so that together, with our efforts combined, we can solve this problem."



U.S. Political Reaction To Paris Attacks Split Along Party Lines

In the wake of controversy of any kind — even terrorist attacks, U.S. politics is never far behind.

The American political response — from President Obama to the candidates vying to replace him — in the hours following the Paris attacks have been unsurprisingly split along party lines.

What is interesting, however, is Democrats, who are set to debate Saturday night, have kept their responses generally to thoughts and prayers — with little in the way of policy prescriptions.

That's understandable, given that a Democrat currently controls the White House and the candidates wouldn't want to appear to undermine the current president of their own party, especially on matters of foreign affairs. But they will be pressed on foreign policy and national security as a result of the attacks at the outset of Saturday night's debate, according to a source with knowledge of debate preparations.

Republicans, on the other hand, are issuing lots of policy specifics and ratcheting up rhetoric, intimating that what's being done — and been done in the past seven years by President Obama — to keep the country safe is not enough. They are calling for increased U.S. footprint in the area, including "boots on the ground," a halting of plans to increase the numbers of Syrian refugees to the United States and increasing the role of the NSA in surveillance and intelligence-gathering capabilities.



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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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)


13 November, 2015


Writing on TONGUE-TIED, I recently made some very summary comments on feminism so I thought that it may be time to say something more systematic about the subject.  I have actually done some academic survey research into feminism so I do have some claim to being aware of the issues.

The first step in any science is taxonomy so I must offer some thoughts in that direction:  Some women are not feminist at all.  They are happy ladies who think that being a stay-at-home wife and mother is a great racket and that it's the men who bear the heaviest burdens.  I married such a lady. She was a working mother when I met her and she jumped at my offer to "take her away from all that", to use an old and sometimes mocked expression.  She is a keen cook too so the outcome was very beneficial to me too.  I have told that little story in the knowledge that it will fill real feminists with disgust and anger, which is rather amusing.

But most women do subscribe weakly to feminism.  They like equal pay for equal work and the opportunity to choose any occupation etc.  As a libertarian I agree with that too. 

Amusingly, they also often try to give their baby sons dolls and their little girls toy trucks.  The children concerned educate them, however. In something like 95% of the cases, the boys go for the guns and the girls go for the dolls. Loving their children as they do, the mothers concerned rapidly admit the defeat of their  experiment and conclude that "boys will be boys" -- as indeed they always will be.

One little anecdote a mother recently told me concerned her family of three boys, all fairly close together in age.  Being fairly traditional, she gave her little boys the normal boy's toys but it is difficult to avoid the yammerings of feminists so she felt that maybe they would like a doll too.  So she gave them one.  They promptly tore its eyes out and ignored it thereafter.  Normal boys do NOT like dolls!

But I happen to know a couple of little girls who really like trains!  How come?  Are trains not a boy thing? I certainly like trains.  I can at times feel quite weepy with happiness about a magnificent steam train tearing along with its conrods flashing -- such as "Mallard" and "Bittern".

See also here and here.

So how do we account for the little girl below?  She is enjoying being near a train whilst holding a toy train. That is pretty trainy! So does the "stereotype" fall down there?

Not at all.  As her insightful mother explained to me, it is all about Rev. Awdry's "Thomas the Tank Engine" stories, now very widely circulated.   Thomas stories humanize  trains and give them very recognizable faces and emotional lives.  So the girls concerned see and like that side of Thomas and some tend to generalize that to all trains.  So the inborn male/female differences ARE still at work in the photo

So that's normal people for you

Then we come to the radical feminists -- the women of the sort who appear in print claiming to be feminists and at the same time being obviously very Leftist.  It is they who do all the howling at the moon and despise the normal divisions of labour between men and women that have always occurred and always will occur.  As with all Leftists, the impossible ideal of "equality" is their watchword.

I think such women are mentally ill.  Kate Millett being a good example.  Loss of reality contact is the key feature of mental illness and these females seem to me to be in an advanced state of that. No facts are allowed to interfere with their conviction that they only difference between boys and girls is merely "something in the underwear" and that men systematically oppress women.  The idea that men might love women is deeply alien to them.  And they abhor marriage! A housewife is a "parasite," Friedan said: Such women are "less than fully human".  And all the evidence from neurology about structural differences between male and female brains is simply ignored.

So how does such insanity arise?  Mostly, I think, it is inborn.  All the evidence shows that our level of happiness is inborn.  Some of us are born cheerful and positive and become conservatives.  Some of us a born with dysphoria and become Leftists -- whiners and miseries to put it plainly.  And feminism is simply a subset of that. 

That it is NOT about women is plain. It is about their own hangups only. Real crimes against women  such as the genital mutilation practiced by many Muslims leave them silent  -- even when such things are happening in their own country.  And is there ever a whisper from them about the real oppression of women in such Muslim countries as Saudi Arabia? If feminists were really focused on the welfare of women, they would be unrelenting critics of Islam -- but in fact they ignore it

So all Leftists find in their environment things that are not ideal but, instead of adapting to it or bypassing it, they rage about it. Leftist men find things in their environment that enrage them and Leftist women find things in their environment that enrage them. And, because women are inherently more relationship-oriented, the often-difficult relations between the sexes drive Leftist females wild.  "Men are the enemy" is seriously believed by many of them.

One subset of what makes women anger-prone is however hormones. Elevated levels of Progesterone, in particular are a known cause of irritability.  So a small subset of feminists could presumably  be "cured" by some sort of hormonal rebalancing.  Men who have seen much of the normal hormonal cycle in women will readily identify the sorts of verbal outbursts they get at "that time of the month" with what one hears from the mouths of feminists.  But the causes of chronic hostility are presumably various so many feminists are presumably normal hormonally.

OK.  Another little illustrative anecdote: I particularly remember breakfasting one morning with a very grouchy wife. When I got home that night, however, I found a happy little thing sitting there.  I said, "You've had your period, haven't you?".  "Yes", she replied happily.  Men who don't know about hormones don't know anything.

For whatever reason, however, hormones or not, Feminists have no perspective about male and female lives.  They cannot see that men have hardships too.  They think their own hardships are unique.  They are narcissists.  They are incapable of looking beyond themselves and their own experiences.  Their evaluation of the world is totally lacking in balance. So they would never understand what is behind the Leibnitzian contention that we live in "the best of all possible worlds".

The truth is that "men" and "women" are mostly inadequate generalizations when it comes to privilege or lack of it.  As the old saying goes:  "One Man's Meat is Another Man's Poison".  It all depends on individual likes and dislikes. Exactly the same situation or the same behaviour may seem fine to one woman and intolerable to another.  What feminists see as "patriarchy" might seem to happier women as "womens' privilege".

For instance, many conservative women not only decry the eclipse of old-fashioned courtesy between men and women but in fact insist in their own lives that the courtesies be maintained or revived. I have had a lot of women in my life and I have yet to meet one who did not appreciate having a car door opened and closed for her! I suppose it is rather silly in some sense but feminists miss the point of it: It is a form of fun.  We enjoy doing it. From a woman's POV it is a token of esteem and respect and those are very desirable things indeed.

So feminists are basically misfits lashing out mindlessly -- seeing as faults things that are made faults only by their own inadequacies and incomprehensions.

But have not feminists done some good things for women?  They have, though not as much as one might think.  Giving women the vote was once claimed by both sides as something that would bring about great social change.  It does not appear to have done so.  The old divisions still bubble on.  We still have Leftists proposing solutions to problems that will only create further problems and we still have conservatives trying to prevent such follies.

And some of that continuity is probably due to what I noted above:  The folly of treating women as an undifferentiated whole -- a fallacy feminists are much prone to. For instance, in recent U.S. Presidential elections, married women have tended to vote Republican while unmarried women have tended to vote Democrat -- to oversimplify a little.

And the "liberation" of women can go too far for the good of the society. With the possible exception of Muslims and Tasmanian  Aborigines, all human societies have tended to protect their women.  They try to keep their country's mothers out of the line of fire.  Mothers and their children are seen as the future of the nation.  These days, however, that is under heavy attack from feminists.  They want to see women in the front lines of their national armies.  They WANT their women to be shot at.  And in the U.S. army that day seems to have come close

And the great feminist urge that women should have a career has been immensely destructive.  Many men can't understand that at all.  Men have careers to get money.  Lucky ones are in jobs that they would do for nothing but most have to spend a lot of time doing things that they do not much like amid people whose company they would not normally choose in order to get on in their career.  Why wish that on women too?

But many women are taken in by the feminist gospel and prioritize a career over having children.  And by the time they are "ready" to have children they find that nature will not co-operate, with even IVF not helping to bring forth a baby in many cases.  And those  women who undergo the travails of IVF clearly want children badly, so their disappointment at missing out on children is very great. Children are undoubtedly the best thing in life -- even though there is no gain without pain -- so missing out on children is to miss out on a large part of life.  And there are many women who bitterly regret being lured into that dead-end by feminist propaganda.

For some useful documentation of feminist insanity see here

UPDATE:  I specified above that I was speaking of radical feminism but did not formally define that so I probably should expand my treatment a little there: 

1). As with most Leftism, there are sects, schisms and theological disputes among radical feminists.  Although I have read some of that literature, I don't think any sect in radical feminism is worth attention. It is the people who adopt the "gender feminist" stance (that biology does not matter) who seem to me to be mentally ill -- and most radical feminists are in that category.

2). There is of course a form of feminism that is well-accepted among conservatives:  "equity feminism", as argued for by Christina  Hoff Sommers and others.  That form of feminism simply says that women should not be restricted in their choices by society simply because they are women. As I mentioned above, that view is just a form of libertarianism, and one with which I see no difficulty.  If a woman CHOOSES to enlist in the Marines and can meet the same physical and mental standards as the men (normal women cannot) she should be given the opportunity to try out. 


DEBATE Recap- Who Came Out on Top in the latest GOP debate?

Kevin Boyd reports

The Republican presidential candidates met in Milwaukee for the fourth debate on Fox Business. The candidates clashed largely on economic issues, but both immigration and foreign policy were mentioned.

Unlike the CNBC debacle, the moderators came off very professionally. They asked substantive questions, but they did lose control at times. They even got filibustered by Rand Paul before a commercial break.

Here’s how the 8 candidates performed tonight in order of the best to worst performance.

1) Ted Cruz -- Tonight’s clear winner. Outside of a gaffe where he mentioned the Department of Commerce twice when he said he wanted to eliminate five departments. In fairness, Cruz said he unveiled it today and the “Five For Freedom” only mention four departments plus the IRS. He also intervened in the Rand Paul vs Marco Rubio foreign policy debate and essentially rolled both men up while making the argument that he was the only true consensus candidate. Cruz also said the stage for future attacks on Rubio. He made a good argument for combatting illegal immigration when Trump was being attacked by Jeb Bush and John Kasich. Cruz also smacked down Kasich on bank bailouts when Kasich challenged his opposition to them. Finally, Cruz came off as very substantive and used storytelling to make his points.

2) Carly Fiorina -- She’s back. She handled herself very well on most issues and gave probably the strongest defense of the free market out of all of the candidates. She was making a clear play for the warhawk vote with her stance on Syria and Russia. However, it is still hard to see Fiorina make a serious play outside of the very early states.

3) Marco Rubio -- He did well for the most part. Rubio demonstrated that he is a very gifted and talented speaker. He wisely stayed out of the Trump, Cruz, Bush, and Kasich immigration battle. He also addressed foreign policy competently enough. But after tonight he looks mortal. Rubio lost his cool when Rand Paul attacked him on tax credits and defense spending. Rubio’s biggest asset is his personal likability and that may have taken a hit tonight. Cruz had to bail him out, but in doing so he rolled both Paul and Rubio by essentially saying a “pox on both of your houses.” Question is, can someone exploit Rubio’s new found mortality?

4) Rand Paul -- His best performance so far. Paul was assertive without coming off as overly obnoxious. He made strong points on the Federal Reserve and how Democrat controlled areas have the highest income inequality. Paul also made strong points on it wasn’t enough to just cut taxes, spending had to be cut as well. He also beat Trump in an exchange when he interrupted a Trump anti-China/anti-TPP rant by pointing out that China was not a part of the TPP. He also challenged Rubio on tax credits and defense spending. The facts were on Paul’s side that tax credits were ineffective policy and Rubio’s defense spending plans weren’t offset with cuts. However, Paul made those points in such a smug fashion that likely turned off neutrals. Rubio losing his cool and Cruz’s intervention bailed Rand out. Paul probably didn’t win any converts, but he gave his supporters something to be happy about for once and forced a much needed debate in the Republican Party.

5) Donald Trump -- He didn’t do anything wrong. He commanded the presence without interrupting like Kasich did. Trump wasn’t very substantive tonight, but he didn’t come off as overly shallow. Trump also used Kasich as a punching bag whenever he was challenged by him on numerous issues. His only weakness was that he allowed himself to be challenged and essentially be shushed by Rand Paul to end one of his anti-China rants. Trump though is running on the brand, not on any specific policies and he didn’t hurt himself tonight and remains the front runner.

6) Jeb Bush -- He needed a great performance and he only delivered an acceptable one. No major gaffes, no beta male moments, but no real highlights either. Spoke well about the economy and the need for higher growth rates, but didn’t really distinguish himself.

7) Ben Carson -- Outside of talking about his life story and his criticisms of the media, he didn’t show much passion. Nor was he very substantive on the issues. This writer doesn’t understand Carson’s appeal at this point.

8) John Kasich -- The one guy who really hurt himself tonight. Kasich’s only decent point was that when he said Republicans over promise on tax cuts just as Democrats over promise on spending. Other than that, Kasich’s attempt to be the adult in the room fell flat. He was obnoxious and kept trying to interrupt numerous speakers. Worse than that, he was used as a punching bag by Trump all night and Cruz clearly got the better of the exchange on bank bailouts when Kasich was a supporter of them. Kasich may not get another chance on main stage.

The next and final GOP debate of 2015 is on December 15 in Nevada. That one is a joint production between CNN and Salem Radio Network. 



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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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)


12 November, 2015

Another picture update

2015 is rapidly vanishing before our eyes so I thought I had better put up my selection of "best" pictures and video clips for the first half of this year.  You can access them  HERE  or  HERE


Obama Ignoring 5th Circuit, Giving Amnesty Anyway!

The Circuit courts are just one step down from SCOTUS

A panel for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled that the injunction against the Obama administration’s amnesty program will stand.

As you remember, Judge Andrew Hanen issued the injunction last year, effectively putting a stop to the Obama administration’s plans to legalize millions of illegal aliens.

At face value, this is a huge success. An appeals court – one step below the Supreme Court – has agreed that Obama’s amnesty program will remain mothballed pending a lawsuit.

But last week, we learned that the Department of Homeland Security was secretly moving forward with its plan to “legalize” millions of illegal aliens by handing out work permits in clear violation of Judge Hanen’s injunction!

Here’s the DHS memo. Not only does it extend work permits to lawful resident aliens, but it also does the same for illegal aliens who overstayed their visas and those who “Entered Without Inspection.” Apparently that’s what the Obama administration is calling illegal aliens now…

Just to be clear, both a Federal Judge and an Appeals Court Panel have ruled that the Obama administration cannot move forward with this amnesty plan. On top of that, Federal law literally prohibits illegal aliens from working in this country. By ignoring the law and these court rulings, what Obama is doing is unconstitutional!

But, the Obama administration doesn’t care. They are moving forward with amnesty in clear violation of the law and now TWO court orders.

What is Congress doing so far to stop this? Nothing. Actually, that’s not true. Democrats and even some Republicans are hard at work pressuring Conservatives to hold an immigration reform vote. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is pressuring Rep. Paul Ryan to hold an amnesty vote. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is also pressuring Conservatives to give up and just accept amnesty.

Last March, Boehner and McConnell said that they had to let the courts figure this out. Now that two courts have upheld the injunction and Obama is still moving forward with his amnesty program, it is time for Congress to act!

Homeland Security is implementing this regulatory change now. They are already printing work permits for illegal aliens as we speak.



The High Cost of Resettling Middle Eastern Refugees

The choice: Bring 1 here or help 12 there

 Resettlement in the United States for one Middle Eastern refugee costs American taxpayers an estimated $64,370 over the first five years, 12 times the UN estimate for caring for one refugee in a neighboring Middle Eastern country.

This conservative estimate is one of the findings of a new study by the Center for Immigration Studies. The cost of resettlement includes heavy welfare use by Middle Eastern refugees; 91 percent receive food stamps and 68 percent receive cash assistance. Costs also include processing refugees, assistance given to new refugees, and aid to refugee-receiving communities.

Dr. Steven Camarota, the Center's Director of Research and lead author of the report, commented, "Given limited funds, the high costs of resettling refugees in the United States means that providing for them in neighboring countries in the Middle East is more cost-effective, allowing us to help more people."

View the entire report here

Among the findings:

  On average, each Middle Eastern refugee resettled in the United States costs an estimated $64,370 in the first five years, or $257,481 per household.

  The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has requested $1,057 to care for each Syrian refugee annually in most countries neighboring Syria.

  For what it costs to resettle one Middle Eastern refugee in the United States for five years, about 12 refugees can be helped in the Middle East for five years, or 61 refugees can be helped for one year.

  The UNHCR reports a gap of $2.5 billion in funding that it needs to care for approximately four million Syrians in neighboring countries.

  The five-year cost of resettling about 39,000 Syrian refugees in the United States is enough to erase the current UNHCR funding gap.

  Of Middle Eastern refugee households that have arrived in the last 5 years, 91 percent  receive food stamps and 68 percent receive cash welfare.

  The five-year costs of resettlement in the United States include $9,230 spent by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within HHS and the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) within the State Department in the first year, as well as $55,139 in expenditures on welfare and education.

  Very heavy use of welfare programs by Middle Eastern refugees, and the fact that they have only 10.5 years of education on average, makes it likely that it will be many years, if ever, before this population will cease to be a net fiscal drain on public coffers - using more in public services than they pay in taxes.

  It is worth adding that ORR often reports that most refugees are self-sufficient within five years. However, ORR defines "self-sufficiency" as not receiving cash welfare only. A household is still considered "self-sufficient" even if it is using any number of non-cash programs such as food stamps, public housing, or Medicaid.

Email from CIS


Hillary Blames GOP for Mess Created by Bill

Hillary Clinton, saying that the biggest issue of the 2016 election will be the economy, insists that Republicans have offered no solutions, only complaints, while also bearing the blame: “They say, ‘Well, this recovery is so slow.’ Really? Why did we need a recovery? What was the original sin here? It was bad Republican policies!”

Two points. First the “original sin” was not “bad Republican policies” but Bill Clinton’s mortgage policies. Clinton’s rules, in effect, applied affirmative action to the lending industry — which is to say the economic crisis was not a “free market failure” caused by “Republican policies” but was instead the result of socially engineered financial policy by the central government. The mortgage markets welcomed their new customers with open arms, fueling a real estate boom across the board. Eventually, the housing market of cards collapsed, which in turn led to the collapse of financial markets — just in time for Barack Obama’s election in 2008.

In 2008, Bill Clinton admitted, “I think the responsibility that the Democrats have may rests more in resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress … to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

Second, Hillary Clinton’s comments are also an admission that over the last seven years a Democrat president’s policies are in fact why “this recovery is so slow.”



Rep. Rohrabacher: `What We Are Witnessing is the Destruction of Western Civilization'

"What we are witnessing is the destruction of Western civilization, not by an armed invasion, but by envelopment," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said Wednesday during a hearing on Capitol Hill on the growing refugee crisis in Europe.

"What we have seen over the past few months is unsustainable, and if not checked, will change the fundamental nature of European countries which are now being inundated," said Rohrabacher, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats.

"What we are witnessing is the destruction of Western civilization, not by an armed invasion, but instead through envelopment. The effects of this will not soon disappear, but instead could well turn out to be an historic change in the nature of many European countries."

"Migrants fleeing to Europe have been an issue of humanitarian concern for several years, but a wave of immigration erupted into a tsunami this summer when the German government announced it would ignore the Dublin Rules and accept all Syrian refugees that made it to the German border," Rohrabacher said.

The Dublin Rules are a European Union (EU) law that establishes which EU member states are responsible for taking in refugees from outside the EU.

"Earlier this week, the United Nations announced that 218,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe just last month. That is more than were recorded in all of 2014. It is expected that around a million asylum seekers of all origins will reach Germany in this year alone," Rohrabacher noted.

He traced the current refugee crisis to a decision made earlier this year by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to grant political asylum to 800,000 migrants from the Middle East even though "Europe has been struggling to assimilate large Muslim populations."

"Even the most optimistic scenarios say that Europe will have to re-direct billions and billions of dollars from supporting their own citizens to accomodating the needs of these refugees," Rohrabacher stated.

"Europe was not prepared for this tremendous influx of thousands and thousands of other people," agreed Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX).

"Some countries take various positions on what to do with the migrants: let them pass through, or maybe not even let them come into their country.

"One such example is Hungary, who is trying to protect the national sovereignty of its own country. And the United States, rather than try to understand the situation in Hungary, even last week the U.S. ambassador dressed down the Hungarians for what the State Department believed was not the right course in dealing with migrants," said Poe.

"Hungary was totally justified in what it is doing to try to stem the flow," Rohrabacher added.

"And frankly, if our European allies are not willing to stem the flow of large numbers of people who are not native to their territory, they will lose their territory. And let me note, that's true of the United States as well."

Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) also discussed the need for a better screening process for refugees coming from the Middle East, recounting what the process was like when he immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba: "The influx has been so quickly, so many, that the security issue is very important.

"I remember as a boy when my father was taken away when we first arrived for about four or five days, and my father went through a whole process - 'Did you participate in the Communist Party? Were you involved in the Communist Party?'- back then, and after about four or five days he was returned to us.

"I don't think these countries have any way of screening the people that are going through there like what we went through when I first arrived here."



Iran's Mirage: More Humiliation to Follow

    The Rouhani-Zarif façade of civility toward the West was enough to persuade the vain, delusional and acquisitive in Western leadership circles that change had finally come again to Iran. However, no amount of Persian tea or Iranian rosewater-drenched ice cream shared between Kerry and Zarif can drown out the deceptive hoax of the JCPOA. Before the ink was dry, Khamenei and the security services announced that the agreement has no standing in Iran.

In the end, it matters little what the government, people, or even the theocratic institutions think is in Iran's best long-term interests.

Unfortunately, for those U.S. career diplomats, hopeful politicians, and international businessmen, normative incentives, such as money, sanctions relief, and better foreign relations take a back seat in a regime such as the Islamic Republic. It is a regime where one man, Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, supported by a clique of militants, makes all the critical decisions.

Just this week, it was announced that Iran's so-called "resistance economy" will not permit any U.S. consumer goods to be imported into Iran -- and just to punctuate the point, Tehran arrested a prominent Iranian-American businessman, Siamak Namazi, and a Lebanese-American, Nazar Zaka, to add to its collection of fraudulently charged hostages: Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian; former marine Amir Hekmati; Pastor Saeed Abedini, and retired FBI agent Robert Levinson.

For the Obama Administration, there will be more humiliation to follow. This President has been poorly served by his Iran "experts" and untutored diplomats.



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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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)


11 November, 2015

We Can Absolutely Turn the Tide

Michael Brown

For some time now I’ve been saying that gay activists will overplay their hand and that the bullying will backfire. I’ve also said that we can outlast the gay revolution and ultimately, by God’s grace, turn the moral tide in America.

Of course, to speak like that is to invite all kinds of scorn and ridicule, not to mention the ugliest death wishes you could imagine. How dare we not roll over and die!

But events from the last 7 days remind us that, even though the cultural battles promise to be long and difficult, many Americans are ready to push back.

To begin with, the significance of the election results from last Tuesday can hardly be overstated.

In Kentucky, while the liberal media mocked Kim Davis the people of her state stood with her, electing Matt Bevin as governor in a crushing and unexpected victory over Attorney General Jack Conway.

And make no mistake about it: This was a direct statement about religious freedoms and redefining marriage.

After all, it was Conway who rose to national fame last year when he refused to defend the state’s ban on same-sex ‘marriage,’ despite his oath of office, explaining to Time magazine that, “Once I reached the conclusion that the law was discriminatory, I could no longer defend it.”

I guess the people of Kentucky didn’t get the memo that the ship has sailed and the culture wars are over.

Then, in Houston, lesbian activist mayor Annise Parker suffered a stinging defeat when her “anti-discrimination” bill, which focused on LGBT “rights,” was crushed by the voters.

In the aftermath of the massive defeat – 62 to 38 percent – Parker was reduced to insulting those who voted against the bill, calling them “transphobes” and more.

So, the people of Houston, America’s fourth largest city, are a bunch of transphobes.

Or, perhaps the triumph of LGBT activism is not so inevitable and there are real issues that having nothing to do with “homophobia” and “transphobia”? And perhaps there’s something to the fact that some strongly conservative Republican presidential candidates are polling better than Hillary Clinton?

Perhaps this really is time for pushback?

And what should we make of the fact that the NFL has decided to bring the Super Bowl to Houston in 2017 despite the defeat of Parker’s bill, even though proponents of the bill had warned that Houston would lose the Super Bowl if the bill was defeated? Perhaps even the NFL, well-known for preaching LGBT “inclusion,” sees the bigger picture?

In the aftermath of the Houston defeat, there were also small signs of a breach between gay activism and transgender activism, as indicated by a petition launched on Change.org by “a group of gay/bisexual men and women who have come to the conclusion that the transgender community needs to be disassociated from the larger LGB community; in essence, we ask that organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, Lambda Legal and media outlets such as The Advocate, Out, Huff Post Gay Voices, etc., stop representing the transgender community as we feel their ideology is not only completely different from that promoted by the LGB community (LGB is about sexual orientation, trans is about gender identity), but is ultimately regressive and actually hostile to the goals of women and gay men.”

The petition was named “Drop the T,” and it’s a reminder of the fact that transgender activists have often felt left out by mainstream gay activism, as reflected in headlines like “Why The Transgender Community Hates HRC” (2007) and “Even After All These Years, HRC Still Doesn't Get It” (2013).

This too is noteworthy, reminding us that there are cracks in the foundations of LGBT unity that could become wider in the coming years.

There’s one more story from Houston which is of interest, providing yet another example of LGBT overreach, this time in a case involving two Christians who were fired from the daycare center at which they worked when they refused to call a little girl a boy.

The girl in question, just 6-years-old, is being raised by two gay male parents, and we can only wonder if that has something to do with the child’s gender confusion.

As explained to Breitbart Texas by one of the fired workers, Madeline Kirksey, “the problem was not so much with the transgender issue as it was with telling young children that the little girl was a boy when she was not, and with calling her ‘John’ (not the name given) when that was not her name.”

Kirskey also noted that, “sometimes the little girl refers to herself as a little boy, and sometimes she tells the other children to not call her a boy or to refer to her by her masculine name.”

This child is clearly confused and needs professional help.

Instead, rather than getting help for the child, two Christians have lost their jobs, and I cite this example to say again that Americans will only put up with madness like this for so long, just as the selection of Bruce Jenner as Glamour’s woman of the year drew sharp criticism from a wide spectrum of women, including one well-known feminist.

The pushback continues, and the more that LGBT activists overplay their hand, the quicker the tide will turn against them. It’s only a matter of time.

And so, while as followers of Jesus we should seek to be peacemakers in our communities, loving our neighbors (including our LGBT neighbors) as ourselves, we should also stand tall against aggressive LGBT activism.

This too is part of our calling to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16).



The Richer Are Getting Richer, But So Are the Poor

With Republican and Democratic contenders seeking their respective parties’ 2016 presidential nominations, it’s no surprise to see a variety of economic issues in the headlines. In every national election it’s the same story: the minimum wage, unemployment, health care, and other issues are trotted out in front of candidates, and each explains how he or she will fix all these problems and the universe as a whole.

One issue that tends to come up every election cycle is the supposed problem of income inequality. Although the presidential primary and caucus season is still months away, candidates are already talking about inequality. For example, Democratic contender Bernie Sanders says, “The gap between the very rich and everyone else in America is wider today than at any time since the 1920s.” On the other side of the political aisle, Republican hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz makes a similar claim.

The numbers regarding income inequality in America are certainly noteworthy. Between 1967 and 2014 the total share of income in the top quintile, or 20 percent of income earners, rose from 43.6 to 51.2 percent, according to theCensus Bureau. During that same period those in the bottom quintile saw their share of total income decrease slightly from 4 to 3.1 percent.

But these figures don’t tell the whole story. They say nothing about changes in absolute income—that is, if the poor earn more today in real terms than they did in 1967. They also tell us nothing about which households are the poorest. Are the people who were poor in 1967 the same as those who are poor today? Are the people atop the economic ladder the same as 50 years ago?

The rich have certainly gotten richer. The mean income for the top 20 percent of earners increased a whopping 75 percent between 1967 and 2014 (in 2014 dollars), from around $110,000 to just over $194,000. But the poorest got richer too. Adjusting for inflation, those in the bottom quintile made about $9,900 in 1967. In 2014 they earned about $12,000.

Moreover, the people who were poor in the 1960s are not the same people who were poor in 2014. Even the poorest people in 1996 are not the same as the poorest today. More than half of all U.S. taxpayers moved into a different income quintile between 1996 and 2005. Half of those in the poorest group in 1996 moved to a higher quintile by 2005. Only a quarter of the top 1 percent in 1996 were still in that group by 2005.

What about children born into rich and poor families? Are they destined to live the same lifestyle as their parents? According to data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), a survey that has been collecting data since 1968, 90 percent of children born to individuals in the bottom quintile are better off than their parents. Many children born to the top 20 percent fared better as well, with about half surpassing their parents. The other half have the same or a lower standard of living.

There is still another piece to this puzzle. What consumer goods do the poorest people in America have today? To take one example: 80 percent of the poorest Americans have air conditioning. Yet in 1970 only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population could say the same. About 75 percent of the poorest Americans have a car, and 31 percent have two or more. Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite TV, and half have a personal computer. The story is similar for a wide array of products. Being poor is not like it used to be.

This is not to downplay or dismiss the plight of the America’s poor. Without a doubt, many struggle to make ends meet. But we should be careful in claiming that the rich are wealthy only at the expense of the poor and that the gap between them is inherently problematic. While those at the top may have a lot, those at the bottom have more today than ever before. Just as important, even those at the bottom have a great chance of getting out.



Sen. Rubio is right about Zero for Zero (?)

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued a fatwa applauding Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for coming out in favor of a zero for zero approach to eliminating U.S. sugar subsidies.

That policy is politically realistic but not economically rational.  Why should Americans object to other countries giving them cheap sugar?  If tariff and other barriers were removed, sugar prices in America would halve and many American candy factories would move back from Mexico and such places.  It would lead to a boom in the many American industries using sugar. And the present inefficient American sugar producers would move to crops that are more high value

"Sen. Rubio has exactly the right approach to zero for zero sugar subsidies policies, which is to say, the U.S. should get rid of its subsidies when the rest of the world gets rid of theirs. This is the same exact approach akin to reciprocal tariff reduction that has been in place since the end of Smoot-Hawley. Everyone knows in a negotiation, that if you unilaterally cede ground, you lose all leverage. Unilaterally offering to end U.S. sugar and other agricultural subsidies would be like unilaterally offering to end tariffs on imported goods, without expecting anything in return. Why would we do that?

"Such an approach would wreck U.S. domestic production of sugar in favor of foreign competitors like Brazil who subsidize their sugar and want to dump it all over the market the minute we remove our subsidies. The same exact thing happened in the European Union, where after they took down their subsidies in the mid-2000s, foreign competitors dumped subsidized sugar onto the market, dramatically reducing domestic production. The Europeans went from being the second largest exporter to the world's largest importer, according to a 2012 ProSunergy study.

"All this because world trade rules grant favors — special and differential treatment — to so-called developing nations like Brazil. Why would we continue with an approach that already subsidizes foreign competition with unfair rules, and then offer them even more subsidies on top of that by eliminating domestic protections?

"This is why we need zero for zero. In a true free market, there would be no subsidies. U.S. producers must not be asked to bow to foreign industries that are bankrolled by their governments. This is not about sugar, it is about what is fair.  And it is not fair to tell our farmers that their livelihoods are being outsourced to a foreign country that is subsidizing and cheating the system.

"We all want a free market. Not just in sugar, but for all industries. But unilaterally disarming America's subsidies and hoping our heavily subsidized competitors follow suit is not a realistic way to achieve a free market. That is just wishful thinking and it is naïve. Yes we should eliminate U.S. sugar subsidies, but we need to do it in a way where we can use it as leverage to actually achieve global reform and, then only when other governments are getting out of the market, too. It's called negotiating, and it's time we stopped losing those negotiations."



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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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)


10 November, 2015

Childish attack on Trump from the Left

The attack uses children and it is childish in its intellectual level.  The obscene abuse involved should be no surprise. Attacks are what Leftists do.  They kill their opponents if they gain untrammeled power (as in Communist countries)  but if the situation does not allow physical attack, they resort to verbal attack. And the attack is usually just abuse. It's all they have.  Reasoned argument is alien to them.  They have no patience for it.  Venting their hatred is their constant motive.  That's all that matters to them and all that drives them.

It tends to amaze conservatives that the emails and blog comments we get from the Left consist almost entirely of abuse. If we get a reasoned argument it tends to come from a fellow-conservative over a matter of detail or emphasis. We should not be surprised.  The Left are hostility-driven, not reason-driven, compassion-driven or anything else.  Any apparently reasoned article or argument they put up ignores whatever needs to be ignored in order to lead to the conclusion that their hostility requires. The hostile conclusion is what matters to them.  They are interested in destruction, not in truth or in the good of their country and its people

The guy described below is Leftism made plain.  Note how he is just brimming with hate, anger and hostility

Luke Montgomery, formerly known as “Luke Sissyfag,” the director behind an anti-Donald Trump video featuring Latino children yelling obscenities, is defending his film and lashing out against Breitbart News.

“We’re fighting fire with fire. It’s a legitimate position,” Montgomery, who temporarily changed his name to “Luke Sissyfag” in the 1990s, told The Wrap. “If I had a nickel for every bad comment I saw on Breitbart, I’d be a rich man. I saw everything from ‘You should be deported’ to ‘Get out of our country’ to some really vile things. These are American citizens!”

As Breitbart News’ Lee Stranahan reported Thursday, Montgomery is a veteran of using children to swear in political videos. In addition to being the founder and treasurer of Deport Racism, the political action committee (PAC) behind the anti-Trump video, Montgomery is also the director of a pro-Hillary Clinton PAC called “Bill for First Lady 2016.”

FEC records show that Montgomery is also the founder and treasurer of a pro-Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) PAC, “Feel the Bern.” The “Deport Racism” website links directly to “Feel the Bern” under a banner reading, “So, which 2016 candidate’s not an asshole on immigration?”. Both “Bill for First Lady 2016? and “Feel the Bern” are officially unauthorized, which means they are independent of the main campaigns themselves.

None of Montgomery’s PACs have filed financial documents with the FEC; Bill for First Lady 2016 was sent a warning letter on August 19.

Montgomery is also behind an offer to pay $5,000 to anyone who disrupts Trump’s appearance this weekend on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. He told The Wrap that the children in his anti-Trump video were merely “using a bad word for a good cause,” and that their parents approved of the use of profanity.

Asked whether he feared a backlash from conservative media, he said: “Sean Hannity is a racist idiot. Fox News stokes racists xenophobic opinions.”



‘Peak Leftism’?

It’s late 2015, and the left is on the march. Or perhaps one should say—since the left presumably dislikes the militarist connotations of the term “march”—that the left is swarming. And in its mindless swarming and mob-like frenzy, nearly every hideous aspect of contemporary leftism is on display.

We see a French Revolution-like tendency to move with the speed of light from a reasonable and perhaps overdue change (taking down the Confederate flag over state buildings) to an all-out determination to expunge from our history any recognition or respect for that which doesn’t fully comport with contemporary progressive sentiment. The left’s point, of course, is not to clarify and sharpen appreciation for our distinctive history; the point is to discredit that history. 

And the point is not to advance arguments and criticize alternative views; it is to deny the legitimacy of opposing arguments and to demonize opponents and purge them from the public square.

We see a pitiful aversion to standing up to barbarism abroad and a desperate willingness to accommodate and appease. This requires an amazing ability to shut one’s eyes to reality, and an extraordinary refusal to make tough decisions and assume real responsibilities. As Harvey Mansfield put it in the 1970s, “From having been the aggressive doctrine of vigorous, spirited men, liberalism has become hardly more than a trembling in the presence of illiberalism. .??.??. Who today is called a liberal for strength and confidence in defense of liberty?”

We see a wanton willingness on the part of leftist elites to use sophistic arguments to override democratic self-government when the people might not endorse the outcome (say, “marriage equality”) that the left has decided “progress” requires. We see a desperate desire to find a secular substitute for religious belief in the embrace of abstract doctrines (“global warming”) that are appropriately renamed (“climate change”) when the facts complicate matters. And we see a cavalier willingness to impose costs on others less fortunate and less well-protected for the sake of the left’s moral self-regard (by, for example, pledging to end “the era of mass incarceration,” also known as the era of crime reduction).

But as Alexander Hamilton (another recent object of the left’s perpetual discomfort with human achievement) wrote in Federalist 70: “There can be no need .??.??. to multiply arguments or examples on this head.” All the trends and tendencies, the pathologies and perversities that have made the modern left so corrosive of national spirit, so corrupting of self-government, so damaging to Western civilization, are on display front and center in today’s America. As the title of a brilliant article by Kevin D. Williamson in National Review puts it, “We Have Officially Reached Peak Leftism.”

Williamson interprets this moment hopefully, as one of leftist desperation, as a sense on the part of the left that time is running out: “The hysterical shrieking about the fictitious rape epidemic on college campuses, the attempts to fan the unhappy events in Ferguson and Baltimore into a national racial conflagration, the silly and shallow ‘inequality’ talk—these are signs of progressivism in decadence. So is the brouhaha over the Confederate flag.” It’s all, he concludes, “a fraud.” And, Williamson posits, “some scales are starting to fall from some eyes.”

Let’s hope so. The term “Peak Leftism” first came to our notice in an interesting essay several months ago by Robert Tracinski, “Have We Already Reached Peak Leftism?” Tracinski points out just how bad things have gotten in the academy, just how lopsided the left’s dominance is. And he suggests, “There are two ways to look at this trend: as evidence that we are doomed because the left has taken over the key institutions of the culture—or as evidence that the left has reached such a high degree of saturation that they have nowhere to go but down.”

Tracinski argues that we may well have reached peak leftism. He sets forth various factors, most notably a deep tendency for institutions and trends to revert to the mean, that indicate things will get better. But he also acknowledges, “I don’t mean to suggest that a cultural reversion to the mean is inevitable.”

Of course the very term “peak leftism” makes that point. The term plays off the claim that America, or the world, had reached “peak oil.” But it turns out that “peak oil” wasn’t a peak. Fracking means we’re producing more oil than ever before. So, to pursue the analogy, will the left’s cultural fracking take it to new heights?

The only way to ensure leftism has peaked, and to ensure that it doesn’t drag us further down into the abyss, is to fight it and defeat it. We either overcome peak leftism, or we’re doomed.



The future of the Jews

Dennis Prager

Forgive me, dear reader, but virtually all the trends are negative.

1. To understand Jewish life outside of Israel, it is crucial to first understand the most important development of the last 100 years: The most dynamic religion in the world has not been Christianity, nor Islam, nor even Mormonism, let alone Judaism. It has been a secular religion, leftism and its offshoots, such as environmentalism, feminism, socialism and egalitarianism.

Far more Jews outside of Israel (and some inside Israel) embrace leftism as their value system than Judaism. While individual Jews of all backgrounds have resisted leftism, the only Jewish group to do so has been Orthodoxy. And modern Orthodoxy has not been immune.

Most American Jews are far more influenced by, and far more frequently attend, the secular left-wing temple — the university — than their local Jewish temple; and far more seek guidance from The New York Times and other left-wing media than from the Torah.

Yes, there are left-wing Jews who are religiously affiliated. Indeed, they dominate non-Orthodox Jewish denominations. But their Jewish future is not bright. Most young Jews want authentic leftism, and that usually precludes synagogue attendance, as leftism is radically secular.

2. Israel will have to choose between doing what the world demands and becoming increasingly loathed and isolated. Either choice bodes poorly. The world wants Israel to give Palestinians an independent state. I have always supported a two-state “solution,” but an independent Palestinian state at this time can lead only to another haven for violent Islam, which would mean constant attacks on Israelis and the probable end of Jordan as an independent state.

3. Europe will have to choose between civil war and becoming increasingly Islamicized. The acceptance of more than a million Muslim-Arab refugees from Syria, Libya and elsewhere — added to the 20 million Muslims already in the European Union — will only hasten this outcome. This will likely mean no more Jews in Western Europe.

4. One of the great falsehoods of our time is that “Islam is a religion of peace.” From Muhammad’s time until today, Islam has almost never voluntarily been a religion of peace. How many people know, for example, that during their thousand-year rule over India, Muslims killed between 60 and 80 million Hindus? India doesn’t talk about this, because the Indian government fears Muslim-Hindu violence. And few in the West talk about it because Western academics and others on the left fear that talking about it would divert attention from their anti-Western narrative.

Needless to say, the ascendance of a virile Islam bodes poorly for Jews. The violent end of Christendom in the Arab world — which bothers Western elites considerably less than carbon emissions — is what a vast number of Muslims seek for the Jews living in the Arab world, namely the Jews of Israel.

5. Outside the United States, Christianity has rarely been good for the Jews. The Christians (cultural and theological) who founded America and led the country from its inception have constituted a unique blessing to the Jews. But most American Jews, consistent with their left-wing faith, have joined and often led the left’s battle to weaken American Christianity. These foolish people think that a godless, Christianity-free America will be good for the Jews. They do not understand that America has been a unique blessing to Jews precisely because it has been the one truly Judeo-Christian country.

So, then, there is little reason for optimism. Will Jews be around in 50 years?  Of course, they will. There may well be a Chabad House on the moon. But the purpose of Jewish life is not to survive, any more than the purpose of any of our own lives is to survive. Survival is a necessity, not a purpose.

The purpose of the Chosen People is to bring the world to the God of the Torah, more specifically, the God of the Ten Commandments. Unless we do, the future is bleak. But who will do this? The only vibrant Jewish group, the Orthodox, is still — Chabad and some Orthodox individuals notwithstanding — committed to Jewish insularity, preserving the shtetl, and to religious laws designed to keep Jews insulated from non-Jews.

Is there a solution?

Yes. Above all, Jews need to abandon secularism and leftism and adopt God-based, Torah-based values — even without necessarily becoming Orthodox — and influence the world to live by the Ten Commandments. Imagine what would happen to Jewry and to society at large if Jewish professors abandoned leftism and embraced ethical monotheism.

Admittedly, there are few examples of God-centered, Torah-based non-Orthodox Jews. But unless this begins to happen, and unless the Orthodox become as preoccupied with bringing the world to the God of Sinai as they are with what’s kosher for Pesach, the future looks bleak.



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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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)


9 November, 2015

Liberals Losing the Culture Wars?

The libertine left has done a lot of boasting over the last several years about the inevitability of History vanquishing every corner of American social conservatism. Election Day 2015 was a terrible day for these revolutionaries, as so often it is when it's the American people, not liberal elites, making the decisions.

Let's assess the damage:

— In Kentucky, incoming Republican governor Matt Bevin won despite proudly embracing the cause of country clerk Kim Davis, a clear rebuke to the cultural let's agenda to impose gay "marriage" on every conservative Christian jurisdiction.

— In Virginia, two GOP state senate candidates were targeted by liberal billionaire Michael Bloomberg's group "Everytown for Gun Safety." One won and one lost, leaving the state senate in Republican hands.

— The city of Houston thumped outgoing lesbian leftist mayor Annise Parker by voting overwhelmingly (61 to 39 percent) to refuse the "HERO" — Houston Equal Rights Ordinance — a 31-page packet of mumbo-jumbo that among other things would have fined businesses up to $5,000 for refusing to allow men who "identify" as women from using the women's restrooms.

— Ohio rejected marijuana legalization by a 2-1 margin. "Issue 3" would have legalized recreational marijuana for anyone over 21, and in medicinal form for those of any age with a doctor's note. Some "progressives" didn't like a provision allowing a growers' monopoly system for the first four years.

— Even in ultraliberal San Francisco, the sheriff who steadfastly defended the city's outrageous "sanctuary city" policy after Kate Steinle was murdered by an immigrant here illegally, went down to defeat.

One journalist is analyzing the elections correctly (for the most part) and it's noteworthy it comes out of The Atlantic, clearly a liberal venue.

In her article "Liberals Are Losing the Culture Wars," Molly Ball acknowledges that the left can attempt to diminish the results by saying this was "an off-off-year election with dismally low voter turnout, waged in just a handful of locales. But liberals who cite this as an explanation often fail to take the next step and ask why the most consistent voters are consistently hostile to their views, or why liberal social positions don't mobilize infrequent voters."

There is clearly a "passion gap" between the secular left and the religious right. The conservatives are mobilizing, spurred by an increasing liberal authoritarianism since the last presidential election, as the left puts "religious liberty" in scare quotes.

Ball offers an analysis far outside the liberal media's conventional "wisdom" that the Republican Party is fractured between the religious right determined to commit political suicide with their ancient positions and a country-club establishment that understands it's time to surrender.

Ball said GOP divisions show "an ideologically flexible big-tent party, while Democrats are in lockstep around an agenda whose popularity they too often fail to question." Democrats want to believe Americans completely share with their radical vision of social change, but end up losing elections.

There's a reason liberals always think they're winning. It's because in both "news" reporting and entertainment propaganda, they incessantly evangelize for gun safety, marriage equality, legalized marijuana, transgender civil rights protections and untrammeled amnesty for illegal immigrants as if only the leftist position is acceptable. The only days they get a reality check are election days.



The Emmaus Code and the God-Void

David Limbaugh

Some of you, especially those on the left side of the political aisle, are scratching your heads over Ben Carson's recent surge in the polls. I get why you're surprised, but you shouldn't be.

This has definitely been the year of the outsiders in the Republican race, but this "outside" group may be more multifaceted than you think. Many people supporting outsiders are not just tired of business as usual from the beltway establishment. They are not just aghast at the disastrous direction in which this nation's economy and foreign policy are headed. They are also heartsick and horrified over the nation's moral and spiritual decline — their defeat after defeat in the ongoing culture war that is raging in this country.

Actually, it may be too charitable to our side to say there's a war going on. It's more like a relentless one-sided assault from the secular left on Judeo-Christian and traditional values, and conservatives have yet to declare war in return.

Despite the mainstream media's anti-religion propaganda, it is Christians who are more tolerant, societally, while leftists want to force Christians not just to tolerate their cultural preferences, but also to embrace them. Christians aren't the ones who are trying to turn long-standing societal mores upside down, and they aren't the ones who've declared war against the left's cultural or "spiritual" practices.

Consider some recent examples.

Item: President Obama, as commander in chief of the leftist cultural army, has trampled on the religious and conscious rights of Christians — e.g., forcing employers to offer abortifacients — after promising he wouldn't and while still denying he has.

Item: Big Brother has investigated and punished a high school football coach for praying on the 50-yard line even though the coach did not force any of his team or students to join him. This is not only a gross perversion of the Establishment Clause of the federal and state constitutions; it is an attack on religious liberty. I don't care what any crazy court may say in the future. This is a ludicrous and outrageous abuse of authority by any standards of sanity.

Militant secularists and many atheists are especially nervous when people exercising their religious rights attract others, by their wonderful examples, to voluntarily join them, as students and players did with the coach — even players from opposing teams. Let's not be naive. For these militant leftists, it is not "live and let live." It is "we'll live the way we want to, but we won't allow you to."

Item: These groups have called for boycotts of the city of Houston after the sensible citizens recently rejected an objectively offensive measure allowing transgender people to use public restrooms designated for the opposite biological gender.

Disgracefully, CBS is supporting them, as is The New York Times, which has called Houston voters "bigots" and "haters" who are "destined to lose one day." Are we really talking about this?

People are rightly appalled and are crying out for someone in power to fight back. Ben Carson and certain other Republican candidates are doing just that in defending Judeo-Christian values, and this is another reason for their appeal.

A recent Pew poll shows there has been a modest drop in overall rates of belief in God and participation in religious practices among Americans. But an already overlooked aspect of this poll is that religiously affiliated Americans are as observant as before.

Many Christians have finally awakened from their slumber and understand their values are under assault and that their opponents are less innocuous than they earlier assumed. They realize they have to do more than complain to their neighbors. They need political leaders who will respect faith-based voters and will fight for religious liberty in the government and in the culture.

Many are beginning to realize that we are suffering from what some have called a God-void in our society. God created us in His image as spiritual creatures, and if we don't honor Him as individuals and as a society, we will find substitutes to fill this God-shaped void in our souls.

I am obviously passionate about politics, but I think we sometimes lose sight of the most important things in life. Sometimes in the midst of our political battles we Christians must take a deep breath and remind ourselves of transcendently important matters. We need to know what and why we believe and especially the divine written source of those beliefs.

That's one reason I've written a new book that is coming out Nov. 9: "The Emmaus Code: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament." It is a companion to my last book, "Jesus on Trial," in which I trace my own spiritual journey from skeptic to believer and present the evidence that convinced me of Christianity's truth claims.

The Emmaus Code is a laymen-friendly Old Testament primer, and shows the foundational importance of the Old Testament to the New Testament, its ongoing relevance for Christians, and its Christ-centeredness. For Christians the entire Bible is about Jesus Christ and this book attempts to demonstrate that with abundant proof.



Dalton Trumbo Had It Coming

"Dalton Trumbo was a socialist, but he loved being rich."

So says Bryan Cranston, who stars in "Trumbo," out this week, and plays the screenwriter who went to prison with the Hollywood Ten in the time of Harry Truman.

Actually, Trumbo was not a socialist. Bernie Sanders is a socialist. Trumbo was a Stalinist, a hard-core Communist when the Communist Party USA was run from Moscow by the Comintern, agents of the greatest mass murderer of the 20th century.

Trumbo was not what Lenin called a "useful idiot," a liberal simpleton. He was the real deal, a Bolshevik who followed every twist and turn in the Moscow party line.

When Hitler signed his infamous pact with Stalin, and Germany and Russia crucified Poland and Hitler overran France, Trumbo justified the Nazi brutality, "To the vanquished all conquerors are inhuman."

As Churchill led his country in defying Hitler, Trumbo, in his 1941 novel, "The Remarkable Andrew," trashed Britain as no democracy, as it had a king, and charged FDR with "black treason" for seeking to aid the Brits in their desperate fight to stave off defeat by the Nazis.

A talented screenwriter who wrote "Roman Holiday," "Spartacus" and "Exodus," Trumbo was attracted to revolutionary violence.

Invited to do a screenplay of William Styron's "Confessions of Nat Turner," about the Virginia slave who led a rampage of rape and murder in 1831, Trumbo wrote back:

"[I]n carrying through his rebellion Turner did nothing more than accept a principle of white Christian violence which had enslaved all of Africa, and used it for the first time in American history as a weapon against white Christians."

Biographer Larry Ceplair quotes Trumbo as describing America as "fundamentally" racist, with racism "the keystone of national policy both domestic and foreign...

"How many gooks have we killed in Korea? How many slopes in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia? Millions, and we're still killing more of them. Our thirst for the blood of dark-skinned sub-humans is insatiable."

Why is Hollywood making a movie about Trumbo?

To whitewash the traitor and his comrades who were blacklisted for refusing to testify to the House Un-American Activities Committee about their Communist Party membership and affiliations.

In promoting "Trumbo," Hollywood's flacks write of the late 1940s as the "darkest days" in American history.

They were dark all right. But probably less dark for Tinseltown Bolsheviks than the hundreds of millions who fell under the rule of the revolutions and regimes they supported in those years.

Between 1946 and 1950, Stalin murdered the Russian POWs we sent back in Operation Keelhaul, imposed his barbarous rule on 10 Christian nations of Eastern Europe, blockaded Berlin, built an atom bomb with the aid of American traitors Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, helped Mao Zedong conquer China and begin a slaughter of Chinese that would exceed the millions attributed to Stalin himself.

In 1950, Stalin backed Kim Il-Sung's invasion of South Korea that left millions dead, including 33,000 Americans. The film script, "An American Story," found in Trumbo's papers, reveals deep sympathy for North Korea during that war.

As Allan Ryskind, son of Hollywood writer Morrie Ryskind, writes in "Hollywood Traitors," his definitive new book published by Regnery, "There appeared to be no corkscrew twist in the Soviet line [Trumbo] wouldn't embrace."

With all its attendant favorable publicity, "Trumbo," is designed to accomplish several goals. No only to heroize the Hollywood Ten, but to demean John Wayne and the other patriots who, along with Ronald Reagan of the Screen Actors Guild, helped clean the treasonous vermin out of their town and industry.

The villainess of "Trumbo," played by Helen Mirren, is Hedda Hopper, the anti-Communist columnist who had considerable clout in Hollywood and backed Ronald Reagan, Ryskind Sr. and John Wayne, who eventually drove the Communists from their midst.

Larger issues are raised by this film.

If one has been a Communist, or a Nazi, and supported that evil ideology and its aims, what is one's moral obligation to one's country? Is it not to step forward, and tell the truth?

What was the duty of Congress, if not to expose ideological treason in the most powerful cultural force in the America of that day?

What was the duty of the leaders of a great industry that found a nest of traitors in their midst, whose deepest allegiance was to our mortal enemy?

For remaining mute, refusing to testify before the Congress, the Hollywood Ten are portrayed as martyrs to the First Amendment.

Yet, as Communists, they were providing aid and comfort to the greatest enemies free speech and freedom of the press ever had.

Had the Hollywood Ten supported a subversive party in Stalin's Moscow, what would have happened to them might have been slightly worse than not getting screen credits for the movies they wrote.

By joining a criminal conspiracy dedicated to the overthrow of the government established to protect our freedoms, and the imposition of Communist tyranny, the Hollywood Ten got what they deserved.

By their treason, they blacklisted themselves.



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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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 November, 2015

21st century Nazis are now mainstream in the British Left

They're socialist Jew-haters

It was never hard to predict the effects of the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the British Labour party. Although some people wondered whether the candidate of the far-left might soften some of his opinions once in power, most observers never doubted that someone who had cherished such opinions almost alone on the backbenches for three decades was hardly going to change them overnight just because he had become party leader. For someone such as Corbyn, an elevation to a position of leadership is a vindication of those years in the wilderness, not an opportunity to find an ideological replacement.

To the surprise of nobody who was familiar with his politics, Corbyn has spent his time so far surrounding himself with figures arguably even more hard-core than him. He immediately appointed IRA-supporter John McDonnell as his Shadow Chancellor and more recently appointed Seamus Milne as his spin-doctor. Milne's support for absolutely anyone so long as he is anti-British made him too extreme in recent decades even for many of his former colleagues at Britain's Guardian newspaper.

But the most predictable and worrying result of Corbyn's election was always the effect it was going to have on the growing anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activism in the UK. During Corbyn's election campaign, his sympathetic attitude towards his whole milieu of anti-Semites, terrorists and Holocaust-deniers became an issue. Having spent many days of his life standing on platforms alongside such figures as Paul Eisen, Dyab Abu Jahjah and Raed Saleh, media criticism of such relationships came as a surprise only to the youngest among Corbyn's supporters, who chose to dismiss such serious questions as "press smears." During that period, Corbyn was careful not completely to drop his most extreme friends. Instead, he pretended his relationships with them was less than it was, or that they had only connected because of a concern to further 'peace' or 'inter-faith issues'. And he certainly did nothing to suggest that his views of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute -- a dispute in which Corbyn has only ever supported the most intransigent and extreme forces on the Palestinian side -- had in any way changed.

As it was clear that Corbyn's views would not have changed, and as the only people he can rely on to be loyal to him are people who have views as extreme or even more extreme than him, there was only one possible result to his election: that Corbyn would end up bringing into the mainstream views that ought to be at the farthest fringes of politics.

Take the UK view of Hamas. The terrorist organization is proscribed in Britain, but Jeremy Corbyn has been friendly with the group for years. Indeed, he has been on record describing its members as "friends" and has repeatedly appeared alongside the group's representatives in the UK and the Middle East. Now, a sympathetic stance towards proscribed groups such as Hamas is one of the hallmarks of bigots in the UK, and also of the interminably naïve and ignorant. One of the reasons Hamas supporters spend so much time trying to speak to university students in the UK is because they hope such students will demonstrate a naïveté about them and their goals that might be unusual elsewhere in society.

What happens when a pro-Hamas speaker is confronted by an anti-Hamas speaker? The anti-Hamas speaker may rightly say that Hamas is an extremist organization. The pro-Hamas speaker or naïve student might easily come back by asking how an organization can be deemed extreme if the leader of Her Majesty's opposition is a friend and supporter of the group. Obviously, this does not make Hamas non-extreme, but it certainly makes it easier to depict its terrorists as tolerable and its racism as acceptable.

This effect -- the Corbynization of British politics -- has already had one notable effect. Last week Sir Gerald Kaufmann, a man with a track record of anti-Semitic comments, said something crazed even by his own high standards. Speaking at an event organized by the Hamas-affiliated "Palestine Return Centre" in Parliament, Kaufman claimed that the Conservative party had been influenced by "Jewish money." Asked why the UK government had allegedly become more pro-Israel in recent years he said, "It's Jewish money, Jewish donations to the Conservative Party -- as in the general election in May -- support from the Jewish Chronicle, all of those things bias the Conservatives."

What Kaufman said next is in some ways even more extraordinary. He claimed that the Palestinians "are living a repressed life, and are liable to be shot at any time. In the last few days alone the Israelis have murdered 52 Palestinians and nobody pays attention and this government doesn't care." He went on to claim that the recent stabbing attacks on Israeli citizens had been fabricated by the Israeli government in order to allow it to "execute Palestinians."

There have already been complaints about this statement from other MPs, including other Labour MPs. But what can be expected of the Labour leadership? Jeremy Corbyn is an old friend and ally of Kaufman's. They have shared anti-Israel platforms for years. However, whereas ordinarily a party leader would discipline an MP for such outrageous and false claims, nothing has happened -- nor will happen -- to Kaufman. It is a failure that should bring shame on the party. Even the Liberal Democrats managed eventually to withdraw the whip from their Baroness Jenny 'Boom' Tonge, who has repeatedly spread blood-libels about Israel. But Kaufman is part of Corbyn's Parliamentary base, and the kind of people who lap this sort of thing up are part of Jeremy Corbyn's wider base in the country. What is a leader like him to do?

This, then, is one of the already jolting effects of the Corbyn leadership. Wholly predictably, it has begun to mainstream anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories, and it has encumbered the political left with few defences to the accusation that it is they who now harbour the proponents of the greatest racism of our time. Is it too much to hope that an alliance of Jews and non-Jews of every imaginable political stripe will push back to ensure this does not happen?



Is the Pope Toying with Heresy?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Are Catholic truths immutable? Or can they change with the changing times?  This is the deeper question behind the issues that convulsed the three-week synod on the family of the 250 Catholic bishops in Rome that ended Saturday.

A year ago, German Cardinal Walter Kasper called on the church to change — to welcome homosexual couples, and to permit cohabiting and divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion. Retorted traditionalists: This is heresy.

Had the pope followed his friend Cardinal Kasper and ordered Catholic teaching and diocesan practice changed, he could have provoked a schism inside the Church.

Such a change in doctrine would have called into question papal infallibility. Defined at the Vatican Council of 1869-70, that doctrine declares that when the pope teaches ex cathedra, on matters of faith and morals, he is protected from error by the Holy Ghost. Doctrinal truths, taught by popes in communion with the bishops, down through the ages, cannot change.

But if Catholic truths about the indissolubility of marriage and intrinsic immorality of homosexual unions can be changed, then, either the Church has been in grave error in the past, or the Church is toying with heresy today.

Saturday, The Washington Post described the synod as a "brawl over Francis' vision of inclusion."

Reporter Anthony Faiola compared the synod deliberations to a Tea Party rebellion in John Boehner's House caucus, and the pope to a change agent like Barack Obama who finds himself blocked and frustrated by conservatives.

Saturday's document from the synod ignored the call for a new Church stance toward homosexual unions. And it did not approve of giving Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics, whom the Church considers to be living in adultery.

Yet, in Sunday's sermon the pope seemed angered by both the defiance of the resisting bishops and the conclusions the synod reached. To Pope Francis, the traditionalists appear to be placing the strictures of moral law above the Gospel command of mercy.

"None of the disciples stopped, as Jesus did" said Francis of the blind man. "If Bartimaeus was blind, they were deaf. His problem was not their problem.

"This can be a danger to us. ... A faith that does not know how to grow roots into the lives of people remains arid and, rather than oases, creates other deserts."

The pope seems to be saying that the dissenting bishops, no matter their command of moral law, are lacking in charity, the greatest of the three theological virtues.

Where does the bishops' synod on the family leave the Church?

In confusion, and at risk of going the way of the Protestant churches that continue to hemorrhage congregants.

Recall. With its acceptance of birth control at the Lambeth conference of 1930, the Church of England started down this road, as did its sister, the Episcopal Church. The process led to the decline of both.

From birth control, to divorce and remarriage, women priests, gay clergy, homosexual bishops, same-sex marriage, the Episcopal Church first broke apart, and now appears to be going gentle into that good night.

Indeed the Church of England began in schism, when Henry VIII broke with Rome after Pope Clement VII refused to approve his divorce from Catherine of Aragon and his marriage to Anne Boleyn. According to Cardinal Kasper, Clement should have cut Henry some slack.

In this battle between traditionalists in the synod and the bishops who favor acceptance of some or all of Kasper's recommendations, the pope seems to stand squarely on the side of the reformers.

Yet, it was the Protestant Reformation that destroyed the unity of Catholicism, five centuries ago, as it divided nations and led to conflicts of religion and nationalism, such as the Thirty Years War.

How the Catholic Church can avoid greater confusion among the faithful — after the pope's virtual blessing of the Kasper recommendations, and the synod's rejection of them — escapes me.

What does the pope do now?

If he ignores the synod's dissent and moves the Church toward the Kasper position, he could cause a traditionalist break, a schism. Third World bishops might well refuse to change.

If he does nothing, he will disappoint Western bishops, priests and secularists who have seen in his papacy hope for an historic change in Catholic teaching and practice.

If he permits the bishops to follow their consciences in their dioceses, he will advance the disintegration of the Church.

The inevitable result of any of these courses that the pope chooses will be, it seems, to deepen the confusion of the faithful.

As for Pope Francis himself, he, too, must choose.



British/Indian doctor who agreed to abort a foetus because it was a girl is suspended – but for only THREE MONTHS

The actions of the Crown Prosecution Service in blocking a criminal prosecution show on which side the British establishment stands

A doctor who allegedly agreed to abort a foetus simply because it was a girl - and then lied about the reason he terminated it - has been suspended for only three months by a medical tribunal.

Dr Palaniappan Rajmohan, who worked in Birmingham, was found to have agreed to arrange the termination 'based on the gender of the foetus' by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

He then 'immediately volunteered' to list the reason for the abortion as 'too young for pregnancy' on the woman's medical records - and sought her 'agreement' for this, the panel said in a hearing.

But despite his actions, the medic, who was filmed approving the abortion at the Calthorpe Clinic in Edgbaston as part of a sting operation, has had his registration suspended for just three months. This decision was made based on his dishonesty, the panel said.

Dr Rajmohan had originally faced a criminal prosecution after the uncover sting by The Telegraph.  However, the case was later dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) which claimed it ‘was not in the public interest to pursue’.

And in March, the CPS stepped in to prevent a private prosecution against Dr Rajmohan, and Manchester doctor Prabha Sivaraman, by pro-life campaign Aisling Hubert.

As part of The Telegraph sting, a pregnant woman, known as Ms A, visited Dr Rajmohan and told him she wished to have an abortion because he and her husband did not want to have a baby girl.

In response, the doctor allegedly said: 'That’s not fair. It’s like female infanticide isn’t it?'

However, when the woman then asked if he could list an alternative reason for the termination, he said: 'That’s right, yeah, because it’s not a good reason any time ...,' according to the newspaper.

He reportedly added: 'I’ll put too young for pregnancy, yeah?'

A probe was launched by the police and Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service following the visit, which was videotaped secretly.



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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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)


6 November, 2015

Feminization of America Is Bad for the World

Last week the New York Times published an article, “Sweeping Away Gender-Specific Toys and Labels,” that contained three sentences that explain one of the most important phenomena in American life.

In discussing the increasing move to do away with gender-specific toys – something the New York Times approves of – the article quoted Tania Missad, the “director of global consumer insights” at one of the world’s largest toy manufacturers, Mattel:

“Mattel’s research showed some differences in what girls and boys wanted in their action figures, Ms. Missad said. ‘For boys it’s very much about telling a story of the good guy killing the villain. . . .’ [Girls] would tell us: ‘Why does the good girl have to kill the villain? Can’t they be friends in the end?’”

Very little academic research on sex differences is likely to be as accurate as research conducted by businesses and advertising agencies. The reason is simple: Businesses and advertising agencies have no social or political agenda; their agenda is profit. Their assessments must be accurate or they lose money; and those providing wrong assessments are fired. Academics, on the other hand, have nothing on the line. When they publish studies that purport to show that boys and girls want the same types of toys, they lose nothing for asserting something so patently false. In business there is a very big price paid for believing what is untrue. Among academics, there is no price – certainly not their reputations, because other academics want to believe the same nonsense.

The Mattel research reveals that male nature wants good guys to kill bad guys (of course, in bad societies the definition of “good guy” and “villain” may well be inverted, but that is a values issue, not a male-nature issue); and that female nature wants the good guy and bad guy to “be friends in the end.”

This difference may be the most important of all the sex differences. Indeed, it can actually shape the future of America and of the world.

Of course, there are women who want evil destroyed – the late Margaret Thatcher, for example. And there are men who oppose confronting evil – the men who lead the modern Democratic Party, for example. (One such man is the president of the United States, whose has a feminized view of those who do evil – talk to them, but don't confront them, label them, or fight them.)

But these exceptions happen in large numbers under two circumstances: when women get married and when men are feminized.

When women get married, they are often influenced by their husbands with regard to political and moral issues, just as married men are influenced by their wives on a whole host of micro issues. As a result, married women are more likely than single women to prefer to fight villains than to befriend them.

Unfortunately, more and more American women are single.

Meanwhile American boys are increasingly raised by single women and taught almost only by female teachers. In addition, they are often taught to be ashamed of their masculine natures and to reject traditional masculine virtues.

As a result of the above two trends, the amount spent on national defense will continue to decline (while the amount spent on welfare will continue to increase), and America will confront the world’s evils less and less.

The consequences will be disastrous for millions of people around the globe. When America retreats from killing bad guys, bad guys kill more innocent people. We are witnessing this right now as a consequence of America abandoning Iraq and retreating from the world generally. Islamic State took over more and more territory as America abandoned those territories. Ironically, therefore, as American foreign policy becomes feminized, more Middle East females are raped.

Whenever I see the liberal bumper sticker, “War Is not the Answer,” on a car, I look to see who is driving. In years of looking, I have seen one male driver.

Both women and men have flawed natures. They share human nature, which is deeply flawed, and the sexes have their own particular natures, which are also flawed. That is one reason men need women and women need men. Men need women to soften their intrinsic aggressive nature and to help them control their predatory sexuality; and women need men to, among other things, better understand that evil people and regimes must be fought, not nurtured.

Mattel’s research has told a truth that America and the world need to pay attention to.

The Left has done many destructive things to America. It is quite possible that none will prove to be more destructive than its attempt to obliterate gender-distinctions.



From coast to coast, conservatives score huge victories in off-year elections

Just like the midterms one year ago, it was another awful night for Democrats.

    Republican Matt Bevin won a big upset in the Kentucky governor’s race. The guy who Mitch McConnell crushed by 25 points in a 2014 primary will now become just the second Republican to govern the Bluegrass State in four decades.

    Democrats failed to pick up Virginia’s state Senate. It’s a huge blow to Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who went all-in to make it happen. Democrats could have won by capturing just one seat because of the tie-breaking authority of Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D). But Republicans held every single seat.

    Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, designed to privilege gay citizens and others, failed by a wide margin.

    Ohio rejected marijuana legalization by a two-to-one margin.

    Even in San Francisco, the sheriff who steadfastly defended the city’s “sanctuary city” policy went down. Fox News: “Ross Mirkarimi and his office received heavy criticism after Mexican illegal immigrant Francisco Sanchez allegedly shot and killed 32-year-old Kate Steinle on San Francisco’s waterfront July 1.

Sanchez had been released from Mirkarimi’s jail in March even though federal immigration officials had requested that he be detained for possible deportation.”

The city also rejected new regulations on Airbnb.



Destroying Your Vote

By Walter E. Williams

Voter ID laws have been challenged because liberal Democrats deem them racist. I guess that’s because they see blacks as being incapable of acquiring some kind of government-issued identification. Interesting enough is the fact that I’ve never heard of a challenge to other ID requirements as racist, such as those: to board a plane, open a charge account, have lab work done or cash a welfare check. Since liberal Democrats only challenge legal procedures to promote ballot-box integrity, the conclusion one reaches is that they are for vote fraud prevalent in many Democrat-controlled cities.

There is another area where the attack on ballot-box integrity goes completely unappreciated. We can examine this attack by looking at the laws governing census taking. As required by law, the U.S. Census Bureau is supposed to count all persons in the U.S. Those to be counted include citizens, legal immigrants and non-citizen long-term visitors. The law also requires that illegal immigrants be a part of the decennial census. The estimated number of illegal immigrants ranges widely from 12 million to 30 million. Official estimates put the actual number closer to 12 million.

Both citizens and non-citizens are included in the census and thus affect apportionment counts. Counting illegals in the census undermines one of the fundamental principles of representative democracy — namely, that every citizen-voter has an equal voice. Through the decennial census-based process of apportionment, states with large numbers of illegal immigrants, such as California and Texas, unconstitutionally gain additional members in the U.S. House of Representatives thereby robbing the citizen-voters in other states of their rightful representation.

Hans von Spakovsky, a Heritage Foundation scholar and former member of the Federal Election Commission, has written an article, “How Noncitizens Can Swing Elections: Without Even Voting Illegally.” He points to the fact that 12 million illegal aliens, plus other aliens who are here legally but are not citizens and have no right to vote, distort representation in the House. Spakovsky cites studies by Leonard Steinhorn of American University, scholars at Texas A&M University and the Center for Immigration Studies. Steinhorn’s study lists 10 states that are each short one congressional seat that they would have had if apportionment were based on U.S. citizen population: Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

On the other hand, states with large numbers of illegal aliens and other non-citizens have congressional seats they would not have had. They are: California (five seats), Florida (one seat), New York (one seat), Texas (two seats) and Washington state (one seat). Moreover, the inflated population count resulting from the inclusion of illegal immigrants and other non-citizens increases the number of votes some states get in the Electoral College system, affecting the actual process of electing the president of the United States.

There is a strong argument for counting non-citizens, whether they are here legally or illegally. An accurate population count is important for a number of public policy reasons as well as national security — we should know who is in our country. But as professor Mark Rozell, acting dean of the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs at George Mason University, and Paul Goldman, a weekly columnist for the Washington Post, say in their Politico article, there is no “persuasive reason to allow the presence of illegal immigrants, unlawfully in the country, or noncitizens generally, to play such a crucial role in picking a president.”

Hans von Spakovsky concludes his article saying, “It is a felony under federal law for a noncitizen to vote in our elections because voting is a right given only to American citizens. It is a precious right that must be earned by becoming a citizen. Giving aliens, particularly those whose first act was to break our laws to illegally enter the country, political power in Congress and allowing them to help choose our president strike at the very heart of our republic and what it means to be an American.”



Perfectly civil police officers doing their duty accused of racism by black woman

Another example of the black grievance fostered by the Left

On October 24, University of North Texas professor Dorothy Bland was walking around her affluent Dallas suburb when she was stopped by police. Professor Bland, who is African American, had been exercising in the street. The cops, who are both white, asked her to walk in the opposite direction so she could see traffic or, even better, to use the footpath. Roughly three minutes later, she was on her way.

The short and seemingly simple interaction has proved anything but, however.

Several days later, Professor Bland, who is the dean of UNT's journalism school, penned an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News claiming that she had been racially profiled.

"Walking while black is a crime in many jurisdictions," she wrote. "May God have mercy on our nation."

Corinth police responded by releasing the officers' dashcam video of the interaction and claiming Professor Bland had turned a "cordial" stop into a "racial issue".

"If we didn't have the video, these officers would have serious allegations against them," police chief Debra Walthall told Fox News. "Every white officer that stops an African American does not constitute racial profiling."

Now it is Professor Bland, not the cops, who is facing pressure as nearly 2500 people have signed a petition urging UNT to fire her.

Although disciplinary action against either the professor or police appears unlikely, the viral video is still generating a heated debate about law enforcement and race relations in the United States.

Like Professor Bland, many Americans see the stop as a subtle but significant instance of racial prejudice by police.

"If officers were concerned only about Bland's safety and her impeding traffic, why did they ask her for her ID? Why did they need her birth date? Why did they radio in a 'name check'?" wrote Dallas Morning News writer Leona Allen, who is African American.

"We're not fools," Allen added. "Sure looks like they're calling to check to see if she had outstanding warrants." So what is wrong with that? Stops often generate apprehensions of wrongdoers

Many others were equally angry – but with Professor Bland.

"As a person of colour, this upsets me," said former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk, who is also African American. "Particularly against what happened in South Carolina. Particularly as this country is wrestling with very real concerns regarding the police treatment of African-American youth."

"She took advantage of a very innocent and thoughtful police response – walk on the right side of the street – she's just looking for her Skip Gates moment," Mr Kirk told the Morning News, referring to the 2009 arrest of black Harvard professor Henry Louis "Skip" Gates, which led to accusations of racism against a Cambridge, Massachusetts, police officer. "There's a real danger here."

See for yourself



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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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)


5 November, 2015

The Theology of Liberalism

How much is liberalism like a religion?
by Tyler O'Neil

There is a sort of orthodoxy required among liberals. Do you believe in climate change? What about the gender pay gap? Those who do not toe the line often find themselves exiled — not just from the fold, but from the conversation.

To some extent, these views are merely what we mean when we say the word “liberal” — they describe a political program roughly supported by one major party. But at some point, these views have become prescriptive; they have morphed into a moral structure to provide meaning and guidance in place of religion. When political beliefs start to explain why bad things happen to good people, they may be crystallizing into something closer to faith.

Political views and religious belief are indeed two very different things, and many liberals have even criticized the pseudo-religious trends in their movement and party. Nevertheless, some recent events should make us wonder just how religious liberal orthodoxy has become.

These are not some cheap shots aimed at liberalism merely to discredit the ideas, but current trends in the movement which illustrate how a political ideology can answer human needs usually satisfied by religion. The ability to explain why bad things happen to good people, the need to confess your sins and find absolution, and the desire to attack opposing views as heretical — these traditionally religious activities are increasingly being taken up by a political movement.

Perhaps liberalism is more like a religion than we thought.

Maintaining Orthodoxy – Declaring Ideas “Anathema”

The practice of attacking views as incorrect, or even as manifestations of evil, can be found in many religious denominations. Early Christianity — not to mention the Reformation — is rife with examples of vitriolic debates that ended with consensus, and one side becoming villainized as heretical. The Sunnis and Shi’ites in Islam have been fighting it out for centuries, and they still hate one another.

Today, some benighted hicks and malicious liars still doubt the doctrine of climate change as a deadly threat. When Real Clear Politics writer David Harsanyi tweeted “Celebrate climate change, an externality of the greatest poverty destroying program in the history of mankind,” he was called a psychopath and a sociopath.

“When a group confuses politics with moral doctrine, it may have trouble comprehending how a decent human could disagree with its positions,” Harsanyi explained. This, he suspected, “is probably why so many liberals can bore into the deepest nooks of my soul to ferret out all those motivations but can’t waste any time arguing about the issue itself.”

The accusations are endless. If you don’t believe in liberal positions about climate change, the minimum wage or social justice programs, you must have been bought off — there simply is no other possible explanation. How could you hate the poor so much? How could you doubt established facts? How could you hate yourself?

“Don’t like big government? You’re a nihilist,” Harsanyi adds. Supporters of traditional marriage and sexuality are “transphobic, homophobic.” Pro-life advocates “may claim that you want to save unborn girls from the scalpels of Planned Parenthood, but your real goal is to control women — even if you’re Carly Fiorina.”

This move to silence the debate does not end with Twitter. Last month, 20 climate scientists petitioned President Obama to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) – a law intended to fight organized crime — against people who “denied” climate change.

When Brookings scholar Robert Litan dared to analyze the downsides of a new federal regulation backed by Senator Elizabeth Warren, Warren essentially forced him to resign, despite the scholar’s more than 40 years at the organization.

When retired neurosurgeon and presidential candidate Ben Carson said that the Nazis confiscated the firearms of Jews prior to the Holocaust, prominent liberals didn’t rebut his arguments. They didn’t even call him a liar. Instead, they wrote “f**k off” and accused him of “blaming the victims.” Carson was right, by the way, even though his comments were politically unwise and a bit oversimplified.

This tendency to shut down debate — through name-calling, accusing critics of ulterior motives or diagnosing their social pathologies — is unworthy even of a religion, but most closely resembles the religious practice of declaring certain views “anathema.” Instead of a papal bull against Martin Luther, we get a name-calling rant against Ben Carson.

Confession – Enforcing Morality

Whenever a public figure declares something heretical, a liberal outcry demands his or her head. Mozilla  CEO Brendan Eich was fired when it was discovered he had donated money to support California’s pro-traditional marriage Proposition 8. When the Boy Scouts of America dropped the national ban on gay leaders, liberal activists still said it wasn’t enough. Indiana’s tiny step toward a religious freedom law evoked a firestorm of anger.

Religion has historically provided a strong, non-state mechanism for society to enforce morality. When Jim was caught cheating on his wife, he had to express contrition, do penance, and only then would he be reconciled — if she took him back. Similarly, when Bernie Sanders declares that “all lives matter,” the crowd jeers him off the stage until he repents his sin, as he did at the Democratic debate.

Nowhere is the mechanism of liberal confession more pronounced than on many of today’s college campuses. Princeton student Tal Fortgang recalled that multiple times in 2014, when he voiced conservative opinions, he was met with an immediate response: “Check your privilege!”

This command “teeters between an imposition to actually explore how I got where I am, and a reminder that I ought to feel personally apologetic because white males seem to pull most of the strings in the world,” Fortgang wrote. Fortgang’s family fled from the Holocaust during World War II — and many died.

Regardless of his family’s historic “privilege,” the student found the inherent attack on his accomplishments most galling. The assertion that any success he attains comes from society’s supposed preference for whites over people of other races posed a personal insult to his dignity. This mentality ascribes “all the fruit I reap not to the seeds I sow but to some invisible patron saint of white maleness who places it out for me before I even arrive.” Until he acknowledges this “privilege,” his opinions can be disregarded as part of an unjust system.

Worse, the focus on “white privilege” obscures the fact that poverty — and being born into wealth — affects people of all races. Malia and Sasha Obama have a great deal of privilege, but that’s because their dad is the president, not because of their race. Poor whites in West Virginia won’t get help from affirmative action, but blacks will, regardless of how rich their daddy is.

Nevertheless, young white males are to apologize for their “privilege,” and acknowledge that they cannot possibly understand the viewpoints of their fellows. Such an enforced humility may be good for them, but it undermines the achievements of many and reeks of an enforced political morality.

Federal Government Theodicy: Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

Any mature Christian who has struggled with his or her faith has likely encountered the idea of theodicy, answering the question “if there is a good God, why is there evil in the world?” Christian history is rich with this perennial struggle — to explain God’s goodness to a world where injustice prevails.

Recently, liberal pundits seem to have taken up the cause of explaining why bad things happen to good people: we don’t have a large enough federal government. In May, an Amtrak train derailed, making national news. Who better to blame than congressional Republicans, who capped federal funding for Amtrak (a private for-profit corporation) at a measly $1 billion? Even as preliminary reports suggested the driver was to blame, liberals argued that a lack of “infrastructure spending” was the real culprit.

When bad things happen, it must be because the nation did not sacrifice enough to the federal government. If only the appropriate administrative agency had more money, we wouldn’t have gotten into this mess! As The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway explained, “just as some religious groups might blame a weather event on insufficient fealty to the relevant god, some progressives blame…insufficient fealty, sacrifice, and offerings to the relevant god of federal government.”

Nevermind that Amtrak is a private company with problems of its own, and that members of the House of Representatives have called for a reorganization to promote more transparency. Nevermind the errors of the railroad operators in question who were more directly responsible for the derailment. No, congressional Republicans are to blame, because they were unwilling to dedicate more taxpayer dollars to the nebulous, job-creating savior “infrastructure.”

This thinking is so off-base it also proves an insult to religion, but sometimes liberal ideas can only be explained by comparison to faith.

Whether self-styled progressives question your ideas by calling you psychotic, demands that you “check your privilege” or blames all our woes on the insufficiency of big government, please understand that they are merely acting on the basis of firm convictions. We must not stoop to their level by questioning their motives or mental health. Only acknowledge that their faith can be as bigoted and entirely wrong as the most benighted religion.



Obamacare Is Still Failing

Obamacare is an unwieldy contraption that is sputtering badly

Yes, Obamacare has covered more people and has especially benefited those with pre-existing conditions (to be credible, Republican replacement plans have to do these things, as well), but the program is so poorly designed that, surely, even a new Democratic president will want to revisit it to try to make it more workable.

Enrollment is falling short. The Obama administration projects that it will have roughly ten million people on the state and federal exchanges by the end of next year, a staggering climbdown from prior expectations. The Congressional Budget Office had predicted that there would be roughly 20 million enrollees. If the administration is to be believed, enrollment will only increase about another million next year from its current nine million and only sign up about a quarter of the eligible uninsured.

What’s Wrong with Obamacare? Premiums are rising. Not everywhere, but steeply in some states. Indiana is down 12 percent, but Minnesota is up 50 percent. Health-care expert Robert Laszewski points out that it is the insurers with the most enrollment and therefore the best information about actual enrollees who have tended to request the biggest increases — a sign that they don’t like what they’re seeing in their data.

Relatedly, the economics are shaky. According to a McKinsey & Co. analysis, last year health insurers lost $2.5 billion in the individual market that Obamacare remade.

Obamacare co-ops that were supposed to enhance choice and lower costs have been failing, and almost all of them are losing money, a victim of the absurd rules (no industry executives on their boards, no raising capital in public markets, etc.) imposed on them by the law.

The problem with Obamacare in a nutshell is that on one hand, by imposing motley regulations and mandates, it increases the price of health insurance, and on the other hand, by providing subsidies, it tries to hide the cost — but not enough.

According to an analysis of the health consultancy Avalere, the poor or near-poor have been signing up, but enrollment steeply drops off further up the income scale as the subsidies fall away. It found that three-fourths of uninsured people earning less than 150 percent of the federal poverty level got coverage through Medicaid or the exchanges, while a small fraction of the uninsured making more than 250 percent of the federal poverty level have enrolled.

For them, it’s just not a good deal. A study of the Obamacare exchanges by researchers at the Wharton School concluded that “even under the most optimistic assumptions, close to half of the formerly uninsured (especially those with higher incomes) experience both higher financial burden and lower estimated welfare.”

Even the success that Obamacare has had enrolling people should come with an asterisk. The Department of Health and Human Services announced earlier this year that nearly 11 million people have signed up for public health insurance — Medicaid or the children’s health program, CHIP — since 2013. If Medicaid is better than nothing (although this is harder to prove than you might think), it is substandard coverage that locks the poor into second-class care with limited access to doctors.

If the goal was to expand this deeply flawed program, it could have been achieved without the expense, disruption, and economic irrationality of the rest of Obamacare. As Robert Laszewski points out, on the individual market, Obamacare is essentially a monopoly. It gives money to people to buy its product and through the individual mandate punishes those who don’t. And yet it is still having trouble making the sale.



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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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)


4 November, 2015

The Fraudable Care Act

ObamaCare is not healthy. Saddled with side effects from fraud to canceled plans, the sickening reality is that government-driven health care delivers higher costs, more uncertainty and the potential to put insurance plans in a death spiral.

Undercover investigators from the Government Accountability Office created 18 false identities and successfully received subsidized coverage or Medicaid for all but one of them. This, despite the use of nonexistent Social Security numbers, fake birth certificates and other false documentation. Seto Bagdoyan, director of forensic audits at GAO, reported that “eligibility determination and enrollment process remains vulnerable to fraud.” One fictitious applicant not only received subsidized coverage from the federal marketplace, but also two state exchanges at the same time. Officials told Bagdoyan “there is no current process to identify individuals with multiple enrollments through different marketplaces.” What’s especially troubling is that the GAO discovered similar vulnerabilities to fraud during its 2013-14 investigation.

Duplicate coverage drives up the cost, as some people received subsidies for private insurance while enrolled in Medicaid. In addition, states incorrectly qualified some people for Medicaid despite their income exceeding the required income levels.

While one of the GAO’s fictitious applicants received three insurance policies, other real-life Americans are in round three of enrolling after losing their health insurance plans not once, but twice. Nine out of 23 co-ops set up to enroll people in ObamaCare have died and 11 more are on life support, causing families to switch plans again. National Review reports:

    "Over 600,000 people who enrolled in co-op health plans will lose their insurance at the end of this year. Many of them were forced into the co-ops to begin with when Obamacare canceled their private insurance policies in 2013, meaning they will have lost their health insurance twice because of the law."

Taxpayers have dished out over $1 billion for the nine failed co-ops. That would be a steep price for success, but to pay that much for fiascos is particularly onerous — especially during stagnant economic conditions.

Dollars get in the way of dreams, even in liberal Vermont, home to presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the avid fan of Scandinavian-style socialism. Late last year, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin abandoned his vision of single-payer health care. “In my judgment," he said, "the potential economic disruption and risks would be too great to small businesses, working families and the state’s economy.” By disruption, Shumlin means an 11.5% payroll tax and an additional income tax hike up to 9.5%.

Despite this expensive lesson, Colorado is now considering single-payer. Yes, the same state that brought us the “Brosurance” keg stand ad promoting the Affordable Care Act and the Colorado Pot Guide for the “weed enthusiast” is voting next month to decide whether to replace ObamaCare with ColoradoCare, funded by a 10% payroll tax hike (a.k.a. a $25 billion increase). Investor's Business Daily reports that Colorado HealthOP, built with $72 million in federal loans, collapsed after losing $23 million in its first year. Before its demise, it had sought rate increases of up to 24% for the following year.

The collapse of Colorado HealthOP dumped more than 80,000 people off their insurance policies. Now these folks have to start shopping again in November, or face the consequences.

Meanwhile, an alarming number of doctors are looking for new jobs. Forbes reported that even before ObamaCare was implemented the mere thought of more government control in the health industry caused physicians to consider packing it in. A survey by the Doctor Patient Medical Association Foundation “reveals that 83 percent of physicians surveyed are thinking of quitting because of Obamacare.”

The Affordable Care Act is not affordable; it’s fraudable. But this isn't surprising since the entire enterprise was founded on fraud and deceit. As that notorious health insurance redesigner and MIT professor Jonathan Gruber pointed out, “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.”

While hawking ObamaCare, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously declared, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.” And on the campaign trail, Barack Obama repeatedly assured voters, “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. Period.” Now Americans don't like what they're finding. They're not only losing their doctors but also their insurance policies as co-ops collapse.

It’s important to remember that ObamaCare is not about health care as much as it's about money and power. It created a massive redistribution of insurance dollars — a “tax,” as Supreme Court Justice John Roberts bluntly termed it.

ObamaCare was brought to you by Democrats without a single Republican vote, not because the GOP doesn’t care about health, but because Republicans accurately predicted the side effects of government intrusion into the health insurance business. Democrats now own ObamaCare.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are many options, including the eight common-sense suggestions of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, who endorsed ideas such as transparent costs, HSAs, interstate insurance commerce, tort reform, equalizing tax laws and repealing government mandates. Several GOP presidential candidates have workable alternatives, as well.

America can get healthier. But not with ObamaCare, which has routinely and repeatedly violated the foundational principle of healing: First, do no harm.



Foreign Policy and the Constitution

Excerpt from a long article by Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, a lawyer and a military veteran

The Founders believed the violation of major foreign commitments was a chief source of friction and war in international relations. In fact, Federalist 3 recognized only two sources of war: direct violence and the breach of treaties. Thus the Constitution requires that a major foreign commitment that binds our nation have a broad consensus among the people, and not result from the parochial interests of a minority or even a narrow majority. As matters of war and peace, treaties should reflect a strong Union, not a divided nation.

This principle led to the Treaty Clause, which empowers the president to negotiate treaties, but requires two-thirds of the Senate to approve them and—if necessary—to demand changes. This extraordinary requirement is really just an ongoing expression of the original decision to form a Union. And it has produced a system in which treaties routinely go through many iterations and rounds of negotiations, even after initial signature by the president. Treaties throughout our history carry scores of conditions, reservations, and amendments added by Congress, precisely to ensure widespread acceptance among the people.

This was in fact how the first treaty ratified under the Treaty Clause played out. The Jay Treaty with Britain—negotiated by a co-author of The Federalist—only gained Senate approval on the condition that Jay rework the treaty to add a clause regarding trade between the United States and the British West Indies.

Another principle of foreign policy rooted in the Constitution is that the Union must have a strong military, but one that is at the same time restrained and subject to the control of the people.

At the time of the Founding, a powerful and restrained military was something of an oxymoron. Federalist 11, for instance, states that a strong military—and in particular a strong navy—is vital not only to deter aggression, but also to secure and expand international trade. Yet Federalist 26 recognizes that military might has historically posed a grave threat to individual liberty. This presented what seemed to be a Hobson’s choice between a strong military and a weak military, both of which would threaten liberty over time.

But our Founders charted a way out of this dilemma. The Constitution empowered the president, as commander-in-chief, to defend against attack and take decisive military action where necessary. At the same time, it entrusted the people’s representatives in Congress with a wide range of foreign affairs powers as a means of fostering prudence, democratic control, and protection against tyranny. Thus only Congress can raise and support armies; only Congress may declare war and invoke the legal obligations and protections that this state of international relations confers; only Congress regulates foreign commerce, and with it control over important levers of influence with foreign nations in order to better relations, exact costs, and prevent war.

Under President Obama, there has been considerable drift away from all three of these principles. And that drift has contributed to the general drift of U.S. foreign policy. Even former President Carter has said, “I can’t think of many nations in the world where we have a better relationship now than when he took over.” Our interests are threatened, our alliances are stressed, our honor is stained, and our adversaries are increasingly tempted into new episodes of adventurism and aggression.

The most recent example of this drift is the Iran nuclear deal. This is a major arms-control agreement with a mortal enemy—an enemy with the blood of thousands of Americans on its hands, and for whom “death to America” is a foreign-policy bedrock. And the agreement goes to the heart of the gravest threat facing the world: a terror-sponsoring state armed with nuclear weapons. It is precisely the type of agreement that the Founders intended to be tested and refined by the treaty process. It is precisely the type of agreement implicating matters of war and peace that must be supported by a widespread consensus of the American people.

But the President didn’t submit the Iran nuclear deal as a treaty. From the beginning, his intention was to circumvent the people’s representatives and obligate the U.S. to the ayatollahs by a mere executive agreement. Instead of rallying two-thirds of the Senate to support the deal, he relied on a tiny, partisan minority to protect his executive agreement from the judgment of the American people.

This is dangerous and nearly unprecedented. Executive agreements are and should be reserved for technical matters. Among the first executive agreements in our history were the 1792 agreements between the United States and other nations to coordinate mail delivery. Executive agreements have also traditionally been used to assign claims and debts between nations. These issues are low-stakes, and are not breeding grounds for armed conflict. They are akin to deciding whether cars will drive on the right or left side of the road. That’s why they do not need to be tested by a supermajority vote.

Nuclear weapons agreements are different. The dividing line between subjects reserved for treaties and subjects reserved for less formal scrutiny is not precise at the margins. But this isn’t anywhere near the margins. Historically, major arms control agreements that bind the U.S. have almost invariably been reached through treaty. One notable exception was the Agreed Framework with North Korea negotiated under President Clinton in 1994, which aimed at keeping North Korea from becoming a nuclear power. I doubt President Obama would like to cite the North Korea case as precedent—although it surely is a precedent in its contempt for Congress, and likely in its failure as well.

Why did President Obama ignore the Treaty Clause? The answer is stunning. Secretary of State Kerry lamented in testimony to Congress that it is “physically impossible” to get a treaty through the Senate in these polarized times. Of course, this logic could apply to any politically inconvenient part of the Constitution. Moreover, Secretary Kerry must have forgotten that, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he guided a nuclear arms control treaty with Russia to ratification less than five years ago.

The simple fact is that the President ignored the Constitution because he knew the Senate would reject his deal. This disregard for the Treaty Clause is the height of hubris. It mistakes tunnel vision for principle, closed-mindedness for superior wisdom, and personal legacy for the vital national interest. The nuclear deal with Iran is a travesty, one that betrays our close friend Israel, provides billions for Iran’s campaign of terror, and paves the way for Iran to obtain nuclear weapons capability.

Besides the immediate damage to our national security, the deal also damages the foundational principle that major foreign commitments should be backed by a broad consensus of the people as reflected by Congress. This episode, added to the North Korea example, will make it extremely tempting for future presidents to avoid the expenditure of political capital required to pass a treaty. Presidents will be tempted to reach expedient deals on momentous issues, deals that divide rather than unite the nation.

As we think about our future and new strategies, it would serve us well to look back at old truths. We must hold fast to foundational principles. We must continue our rich foreign policy tradition, and vigorously fight any efforts to undermine it.

More HERE 


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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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 November, 2015

Understanding the Arab mind

Below is an excerpt from a long review and synthesis of two books by Egyptian author Tarek Heggy.  The books concerned are "The Arab Cocoon" and "The Arab Mind Bound".  I think the analysis concerned gets a lot right but overlooks the effects of Western Leftism. Leftist critiques of Western society have been joyously seized on by Islamists to reinforce their promotion of Islam and denigration of Western culture.  Muslim hostility to the West is partly powered by the constant Leftist portrayal of the West as evil.  Leftists have a lot to answer for

Efforts to explain the region’s seemingly intractable resistance to progress and development, many of which blame America, the West, and Israel for the Mideast’s problems, have yielded an immense literature. Heggy’s answer sets his books apart.  He dispenses with the familiar tropes:  No, U.S. foreign policy and the existence of Israel are not the primary reasons for Mideast malaise.  Nor does he blame European colonialism, the global capitalist system, or the league of autocratic rulers who clung (and in places, continue to cling) to power thanks to oil revenues or outside military aid.  Instead, Heggy draws on his cosmopolitan background, long experience in the region as a businessman, and discussions with public intellectuals of every persuasion to offer a profound critique of the Arab mind.

As the titles of Heggy’s books suggest, the root cause of the region’s endemic problems is not something outside of it; the problem is the region’s culture, a concatenation of insular beliefs and habits of mind nurtured and sustained by forces particular to the Arab world.  The mindset Heggy describes prevents those affected by it from adopting the aspects of Western civilization that make progress possible.  When Heggy uses the word “progress,” he has in mind a kind of updated, twenty-first century, Kantian Enlightenment conception of the term.  He places high emphasis on respect for individual rights, government according to the principle of consent that is also limited in its scope, widespread public confidence in the power of human reason to drive the sciences forward, the celebration of creativity and art, a tolerant civil sphere, gender equality, free markets, non-sectarian public administration, and the utilization of modern management techniques.[5]  The fact that the West, today, protects and cultivates these things to a historically unusual extent makes it worthy of emulation.[6]

The Arab Mind Bound, is by far the superior volume.  Its central contention–that a brand of medieval Islam long relegated to the Arabian Peninsula is resurgent to a crippling effect today–is an insight truly pregnant with significance. 

Heggy’s honest exploration of the region’s “backwardness” (a term he uses freely) takes him into terrain few commentators dare tread:  Islam–or to be precise, a literalist and politicized manner of interpreting Islam–is an important, probably the most important, contributor to the Arab predicament.  Almost as dangerous, he challenges the comfortable assumptions of Western bien-pensants.  No, not all cultures are equal.  Yes, cultures can be judged; and yes, the political regimes of the West (though flawed to be sure) are superior to the alternatives, especially those being tried in the Arab-Islamic world today.

The core of Heggy’s most important contention is encapsulated by a metaphor he puts forth in The Arab Mind Bound.  Arab culture is “shackled with two heavy chains”:  attached to one is the species of Islam promulgated by Saudi Wahhabis and to a lesser extent, the Muslim Brotherhood; attached to the other is a dysfunctional educational system that perpetuates the “defective thought processes, intellectual distortions and negative delusions” that yield endemic stagnation in every sphere.[7]

It follows that no attempt to address the myriad political and economic problems facing the Arab-Islamic world will be successful absent cultural–and thus, educational–reform; but as Heggy demonstrates, there are institutional and ideational obstacles in the way of both.  The very forces responsible for promulgating the most rigidly insular brands of Islam have, over the course of decades, wrested control of schools and universities from liberally inclined modernizers. 

By the end of the books–especially in light of the failure of the Arab Spring–readers are left profoundly pessimistic about the possibility of meaningful cultural reform in the short term.  All roads lead back to the university, the school, the mosque and the public intellectual; and the same pre-modern ideas have infiltrated, captured, and corrupted all four.

Heggy is not the first to suggest a binding of mind is the root cause of the region’s problems, nor is the problem without historical precedent or roots.  Others, notably Robert Reilly in his book, The Closing of the Muslim Mind, have traced the genealogy of this cultural “suicide” (Reilly’s term) to intellectual developments that began to ossify Islamic jurisprudence, philosophy, and theology a millennium ago.[8] 

Heggy does the same, effectively, though in much less detail, recounting a story that begins with an eleventh century disagreement between a theologian and Islam’s great medieval philosophers.  In a work called The Incoherence of the Philosophers, al-Ghazali argued that the understanding of nature and God put forth by Greek philosophy was incompatible with Islam’s account of the cosmos, according to which an omnipotent and willful God created the universe.  Contemporary accounts of Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy (alive and thriving at the time thanks to the popularity of al-Farabi and Avicenna) posited an eternal universe knowable to rational human beings. Al-Ghazali’s argument, bound tightly to Islamic scripture, purported to refute the Greek view, root and branch, in order to preserve the conception of God put forth in the Koran.

Averroes, one of the greatest contributors to medieval thought, tried to preserve the gifts of the Hellenistic world from al-Ghazali’s assault.  He argued that the Divine Law endorses philosophy, that reason and revelation are compatible in Islam.  Thus, he insisted that the human intellect is properly turned to, and can profitably investigate, the wider world and the claims of scripture (giving allegorical interpretation to those which fail to withstand rational scrutiny). 

Al-Ghazali’s understanding won out in the East to devastating effect (though Averroes helped save the legacy of Athens for the West).[9]  Philosophy –man’s investigation of nature, the human good, the best political regime, etc. by his reason– was discouraged in the Arabic-speaking world in favor of a dogmatic adherence to sacred texts for answers to metaphysical as well as political questions.

Other thinkers achieved a similar feat in the juridical sphere.  Ibn Taymiyyah, and much later, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, argued that an upright Islamic community willingly tethers itself to Islamic law as derived from the Koran, the Sunna, and the consensus of Muhammad’s companions, which effectively erased generations of Islamic commentary (some of it modernizing).[10]  On this understanding, there is no place for democratic lawmaking.  Just laws instantiate the revealed will of God–the only legitimate source of legislative authority–and should therefore be enforced by the community’s temporal authority through the penal code. 

Since the juridical interpretation of scripture was completed centuries ago, the political community is effectively bound to pre-modern legal codes and legal reasoning (for its own good).  On this understanding, modern inventions like the separation of church and state are forbidden; so, too, is the creation of positive law by deliberative legislatures responsible to, and selected by, the people.  To do either is tantamount to the usurpation of divine authority by human beings. 

Returning the discussion to the Arab world’s present predicament, it is not hard to see why a political community dominated by these assumptions would have trouble making “progress” or embracing political systems devoted to instantiating the principles of political liberalism.  Heggy puts it bluntly:  Al-Ghazali’s victory is the reason “Arabs have become spectators rather participants on the stage of life.”[11]

Contra Reilly, however, Heggy makes the case that the anti-rational, “rigid and medieval,” model of Islam was, for much of history, a “marginal and ineffectual” heterodox view of a small minority–the isolated Bedouins living on the Arabian Peninsula.[12]  Until the mid-point of the twentieth century, what Heggy calls the “Turkish-Egyptian model of Islam”–a manner of practice that “adopted an enlightened approach to religion”–seemed destined to prevail in the Arab world.[13] 

Signs of progress were everywhere.  Led by Ataturk, Turkish republicans had opted to emulate the West, turning their back on their Ottoman-Islamic past in favor of a secular society along European lines; under the Shah, Iran appeared to be following suit; Beirut and Cairo were thriving intellectual centers; Arab universities were providing an increasingly liberal education to an emergent middle class; and minorities were for the most part reasonably well treated.

At the same time, however, twentieth century Islamists were quietly working to rehabilitate, radicalize, and spread the inward-looking “Bedouin model.”  The most important among them are becoming familiar names, even in the West, as scholars and political commentators try to understand the resurgence of a radicalized Islam that has impacted communities from North Africa through to Pakistan. 

For Heggy, Sayyid Qutb exemplifies the twentieth century Islamist intellectual.[14]  Qutb was an influential Egyptian member of the Muslim Brotherhood midcentury, ultimately put to death by President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1966.  His thought further politicized the Brotherhood by welding Wahhabi ideas to the Brotherhood’s brand of political Islam in Egypt;[15] this caused a number of violent organizations, including Hamas, to splinter from it.  In addition to his calls to establish an Islamic government, Qutb popularized an idea that lies at the heart of al-Qa’ida’s ideology.  The Muslim world, on his account, had fallen into a condition of widespread ignorance (jahiliyya) reminiscent of what Muhammad faced in Arabia.  In order for Islam to spread freely, the obstacles in its way–insufficiently Islamic rulers, Israel, the United States, etc.–must be driven out of the region, by violent jihad where necessary.

Of course, Qutb and those like him ground their arguments in the Koran and the hadiths in an attempt to coopt their tremendous authority.  Heggy acknowledges that this rigid, and sometimes violent, manner of interpreting Islam has deep roots, having emerged over centuries from the hard, arid, and isolated tribal life of the peninsula.  He insists, however, that Islamic scripture does not mandate the Bedouin model; rather, the Bedouin model is a reflection of the geographic and sociological conditions under which it emerged–the arid desert plains of the peninsula.[16]

On Heggy’s account, the peninsula’s puritanical understanding of Islam’s tenets spread throughout the world to create a ruinous mindset, one that suffuses almost every aspect of social and political life. Heggy describes the resultant “Arab mentality” as “a mixture of emotions, excitability and confused thinking, characterized by an overwrought imagination that is totally divorced from reality, rooted in the past, and based on sectarian or ideological considerations.”[17] 

While Heggy is careful to note, even to insist, that Islam is not a monolith, he often describes the mentality that binds the Arab mind as though it is today almost ubiquitous.  Widespread anti-Western prejudice leads to a Pavlovian rejection of anything resembling a marketplace of ideas and, thus, intellectual stagnation across the scientific disciplines persists; an inclination to excessive self-praise rooted in distant glories (and with it, an incapacity for self-criticism) undermines the toleration of diversity and runs contrary to respect for minority rights; the paranoid fear that Western culture will destroy Arab identity if any of its dominant features are embraced makes compromise by Islamists with Western actors difficult; public apathy inspired by the account of God as an all-powerful and willful being (and the parallel depreciation of the individual as capacious agent) has crippled efforts at democratic reform where they have been tried.[18]  Heggy’s list is a long one.

The dissemination of this new brand of Islam was not inevitable. The better part of The Arab Mind Bound is devoted to explaining why the Bedouin model of Islam has spread, and to cataloguing its long list of pernicious effects.  This is one of the greatest contributions of either book; and it is here that one finds a more nuanced discussion of the respects in which Western actions have contributed to the Arab predicament.

The factors Heggy identifies are wide-ranging, though most of them are recent by historical standards.  The binding of the wider Arab mind begins, for Heggy, around World War I; its aftermath (in particular, the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and the English occupation of Egypt) dealt a first, though very survivable, blow to the emerging “Turkish-Egyptian” approach by humiliating at an instant those whose identity was tied up with Islam.[19] 

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 to fill that space, a deliberate response to Ataturk’s abolition of the Caliphate; its express aim was to Islamize Egyptian culture such that political reform–ultimately the reestablishment of the Caliphate–might follow in time.  The legacy of colonialism and the steady influx of Jewish migrants into neighboring Palestine helped the Brotherhood’s message to resonate with ordinary Egyptians. 

Under the pressure of religious oppression, as Brotherhood leaders suffered and collaborated in Nasser’s prisons, the organization’s ideas grew more radical.[20]  The Israel-Palestine problem that emerged in the ensuing decades, and especially the humiliation of 1967, helped to increase the appeal of politicized religious rhetoric by demolishing at an instant the promise and appeal of Arab nationalism (a more or less secular ideology). 

The same events helped the “Wahhabi influence to infiltrate al-Azhar,” as Gulf money spread Wahhabi ideas throughout the Middle East and Africa.[21]  The utter failure of socialist movements in the region, most of which quickly morphed into the brutal military dictatorships that persisted into the twenty-first century, further undermined the appeal of Europe’s political ideas. 

So too, the pervasive lack of economic opportunity in Egypt today, in the context of widespread corruption, helps Islamist criticisms of the state and its broader agenda to resonate.

Heggy is right to locate the root of the Mideast’s predicament in the Arab mind; and he is right to admire the political regimes of the North Atlantic states.  His books make an important and timely argument for cultural reform with force and eloquence. Indeed, the region’s prospects for a better future depend on the cultural and educational reforms public intellectuals like Heggy are working to catalyze.  What he does not convey is equally important, however; for the very regimes he would have Arab states emulate were not built by elections and constitutional reforms alone.  They were built for and upon peoples of a peculiar temperament, themselves the product of deliberate cultural reforms dating back centuries.

More HERE 

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


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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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 November, 2015

Are we seeing the collapse of Muslim civilization?  And is that  disturbing?

Spengler (David Goldman) is always an unusual and interesting thinker and he answers both questions above in the affirmative. Despite his lengthy disquisition (excerpt below), however, I think he fails to make his case. 

Muslims have always been at one-another's throats.  It was what enabled the Christian Byzantines to survive alongside Muslims for hundreds of years.  When a Muslim regime attacked Byzantium, some other Muslim regime would see that as a weakness in the warring Muslim regime and attack it "from behind".  So the war with Byzantium would suddenly be over as the besetting troops were withdawn to fight the sudden new Muslim enemy.  And just the fear of that situation among the Muslims helped protect Byzantium. So I can't see that the present chaotic situation in the Middle East and North Africa need disturb anyone.  It is just Muslims being Muslims. 

And Muslim attacks on non-Muslims are neither new nor rare either -- from the Barbary pirates of the 17th to 19th century to the Turkish slaughter of the Christian Armenians and Pontine Greeks  only around 100 years ago.

And that period in history is the one that I would identify as the real big break in Muslim civilization.  The Ottoman empire, with its vast reach and power was long well accepted as the Caliphate but its great losses of territory in WWI plus the total abandonment of  its traditions by Mustafa Kemal totally disrupted its place in the Muslim world and left a large theological vacuum.  A Caliphate was lost! And Islamic scholars took a long time to adapt to that new situation on the ground.  But they did eventually adapt by returning to Bedouin roots and its primitivism.  And Saudi Arabia became the headquarters of the new/old understanding. And oil money gradually spread that understanding far and wide.

So the fall of the Ottomans made Islam polycentric, with all Muslims now responsible to propagate and promote the faith and with all Muslim rulers hopeful of becoming the new Caliph. And that has now built up some momentum.

So because the present scene is just a revival of traditional Muslim hatreds and behaviour, I can't see that European countries have any reason to see in the present Muslim chaos any forewarning about their own future

The acceptance of a Muslim influx by Western European countries is driven not by any civilizational fears but by Leftist squawks about "compassion" and "racism", which embarrass governments into impotence.  And Leftists LIKE the Muslim influx.  Destroying the existing society has always been their primary aim and they care little about what replaces it. "Anything would be better" is their hate-filled and myopic cry.

Political leaders in Germany—which may absorb 1.5 million migrants this year—are struggling to respond to reports of a sex crime epidemic among newly-arrived Muslims. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere urged Germans not to believe rumors of widespread rape at refugee centers, while Germany’s police union chief Rainer Wendt warned, “There is a lot of glossing over going on. But this doesn’t represent reality.” Wendt added, “It is understandable that there is the desire to calm things down politically.”

Germany’s elite knows perfectly well that the migrants bring social pathologies, because they have already seen the world’s worst sex crime epidemic unfold in Scandinavia. Sweden now has the highest incidence of reported rape outside of a few African countries, and nearly ten times the rate of its European peers—and all this has happened in the past ten years. Sweden ranks near the top of the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index, yet it has become the most dangerous country for women outside of Africa, with an incidence of rape ten times that of its European peers. Sweden’s political leaders not only refuse to take action, but have made it a criminal offense to talk about it.

Even in liberated, feminist, gender-neutral Sweden, there is something more horrible than rape, something horrible enough to persuade the political elite to sacrifice the physical and mental health of tens of thousands of Swedish women. That is the horror of social disintegration in the Muslim world. Sweden opened its borders to refugees twenty years before the migrant flood arrived on Germany’s doorstep, and the foreign born rose from 9% of the population in 1990 to 15.4% in 2012. Foreigners have a higher birth rate, so the percentage is higher including second-generation immigrants.

There have been protests, to be sure, and nationalist parties like the Sweden Democrats have gained support on an anti-immigration platform, but Sweden will remain supine as its social fabric unravels. So, I expect, will Germany. Europe is transfixed by the horror unfolding from Libya to Afghanistan, as one of the world’s major civilizations unravels in real time. In its moment of agony, the Muslim world’s most potent weapon is its own weakness. The human cost of the collapse of Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria is horrendous, but it is small thus far compared to the horrors that would attend instability in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The West can’t bear to look at it.

The incidence of rape in Sweden has tripled in the past ten years as the country became Europe’s premier destination for Muslim immigrants. Writing for the Gatestone Institute, Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard observe,

"Since 2000, there has only been one research report on immigrant crime. It was done in 2006 by Ann-Christine Hjelm from Karlstads University. It emerged that in 2002, 85% of those sentenced to at least two years in prison for rape in 2002 were foreign born or second-generation immigrants.

A 1996 report by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention reached the conclusion that immigrants from North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) were 23 times as likely to commit rape as Swedish men. The figures for men from Iraq, Bulgaria and Romania were, respectively, 20, 18 and 18. Men from the rest of Africa were 16 times more prone to commit rape; and men from Iran, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia, 10 times as prone as Swedish men."

A new trend reached Sweden with full force over the past few decades: gang rape — virtually unknown before in Swedish criminal history. The number of gang rapes increased spectacularly between 1995 and 2006. Since then no studies of them have been undertaken.

Sweden not only stands by while large number of its women are raped, but outlaws public discussion of the causes. Michael Hess, a Social-Democratic politician, was condemned by a Swedish court under a law forbidding denigration of ethnic groups. for writing in 2014, “There is a strong connection between rapes in Sweden and the number of immigrants from MENA-countries [Middle East and North Africa].”

Why should Sweden inflict such damage upon itself and criminalize dissent against the policies which caused it? Ideology can’t be the whole explanation. Sweden is committed to a postmodern multicultural ideology, to be sure, but other ideologies have a voice, feminism. Yet the feminists are mute on the subject of Sweden’s rape epidemic. That is not because feminists condone rape, but because they believe that there is something even more horrible than rape.

There have been many wars of extermination, but there is something uniquely horrifying about today’s terrorism. Never in the history of warfare have tens of thousands of individuals stood ready to commit suicide in order to harm enemy civilians. Never for that matter, has one combatant (Hamas in the 2014 Gaza rocket war) sought to maximize civilian casualties on its own side. The Japanese killed over 20 million Chinese during the Second World War, but committed suicide in combat in the attempt to sink enemy warships, not kill enemy civilians. The Nazis did not ask their soldiers to kill themselves in order to kill Jews.

Bret Stephens, the Wall Street Journal’s chief foreign policy commentator, calls this behavior psychosis. That begs the question: Which kind? DSM-IV doesn’t have a name for it. Perhaps we should call it “Social Death Derangement Syndrome,” or SDDS.

The fear of social death that comes with civilizational decline is unspeakably worse than individual death, and horror before the prospect of social death gives impulse to atrocious behavior. More precisely, it makes it impossible to say what is atrocious and what is not. “We cannot, indeed, imagine our own death; whenever we try to do so we find that we survive ourselves as spectators,” said Freud. That is not quite true: we often tremble at the prospect of our own death in fear and horror, which we would not do if we did not imagine it. Our consciousness, rather, is both individual and social, and we regard our own death with the inner eye of those with whom we share a common language and aspirations, which will not end with our physical existence.

Unless it does. That is the ultimate horror. It is one thing to imagine being a spectator at your own funeral, and another to imagine yourself shut into perpetual silence, cut off from all human contact, with no past and no future. That is a living death, a mental presence without consciousness. Imagine, for example, that on your deathbed you are the last speaker of a language that will become extinct upon your passing, erasing your memory and your history. That is a horror much worse than Hell, where at least you can chat with your neighbor in the brimstone pit. At least the shade of Achilles could gripe to Odysseus about the misery of the underworld; imagine how the son of Peleus would have felt if all memory of Greece along with its language were forever extinguished, and he sat in Hades alone and in perpetual silence.

That is how it feels to be trapped in a dying civilization.  Rationality ceases to have meaning. Upon learning that you have an inoperable malignant brain tumor, you might cash in your insurance policy and go on a spree—but not if everyone who speaks your language and shares your memories already is extinct. In that case there is nothing to do with your money. You can sit at the bar by yourself and drink Chateau Petrus. Or you can go out and stab the next Israeli you run into.

The death of Muslim civilization is too horrible for the Germans to contemplate, because the bell tolls for them, too. And it is particularly painful for Germans to consider the possibility that the source of the terrible events that have driven millions to Germany is the character of the people themselves. Syria has torn itself to pieces not only because of the malfeasance of its leaders but rather because of the character of its people. Once the Sunni revolt against Shia-majority government in Iraq enlisted elements of Saddam Hussein’s army as well as the “Sunni Awakening” funded by Gen. Petraeus during the 2007-2008 “surge,” sectarian war to the death became inevitable in Syria, with both sides inflicting the most revolting atrocities imaginable.

The Assad regime has killed more people because it has the aircraft to attack Sunni civilians, but the Sunni opposition–including the “moderate,” American-backed Sunni opposition–has committed mass murder and bragged about it. Human Rights Watch in October 2013 that in one operation near Latakia in the Alawite heartland, Sunni “fighters killed 190 civilians. Residents and hospital staff in Latakia, the nearest city, spoke of burned bodies, beheaded corpses and graves being dug in backyards. Two hundred people from the area remain hostage.” Free Syrian Army chief of staff Salim Idriss, the poster-boy for “moderate opposition,” praised the operation in a video and took partial responsibility. ISIS has captured the world’s imagination and turned its stomach with public executions and the destruction of archaeological treasures, but that is how Muslims have fought wars for 1,500 years. Just ask the Christians of the Balkans or the Armenians of Anatolia about the Turks.

Very large parts of the Syrian population are complicit in the civil war’s atrocities, almost certainly by intent. Mass complicity in war crimes has two functions–first, to destroy the enemy’s will, and second, to make entire populations complicit in the atrocities.

Horror does not deter Muslims, because Muslims see the world in terms of unconstrained will. Allah’s will governs the spin of every electron and the path of every bullet. It is unfathomable and arbitrary, like nature in the pagan world. Islam can endure horror, but not humiliation. But horror is the Achilles’ heel of the Christian world, whose founding premise is that God offers unselfish love and unmerited grace to mankind, and in a sense stacked the deck in favor of goodness. The perception that the universe is cruel and without purpose is poison to Christianity. That is the great paradox of salvation: If God’s unselfish love and unmerited grace offer salvation to all humankind, what are we to make of those to willfully reject it?

All the promises of heavenly bliss are not worth the torment of a single child, said Dostoyevsky’s Ivan Karamazov. But Karamazov spoke of the aberrant behavior of a few cruel people within the Christian world, whose actions the vast majority of Christians would condemn. The news photo of one drowned boy overwhelmed Europe. What does one do with a culture that routinely commits atrocities?

“The Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz,” quipped the Israeli psychiatrist Zvi Rex, and there is deep truth in the joke. Auschwitz is killing off the Germans while the Jews flourish, at least in Israel. Israeli Jews have three children per female while Germans have less than 1.4. At current fertility rates, there will be more Israelis than Germans under the age of 25 by the end of the present century. The share of Germany’s population over 60, meanwhile, will rise to 45%.

The impulse to open Germany to Muslim refugees is irresistable for Germany’s elite, prominently so in the case of Chancellor Angela Merkel. To understand her motives one must consider that she is not only a German, but also a Christian. “Belief in God and closeness to the church have molded me and occupied me since my childhood,” she wrote in an essay entitled “Why I am a Christian” just before her election victory. A pastor’s daughter, she grew up in atheist East Germany and maintained her belief despite the hostility of the state and her peers. “Since my youth I knew that I followed an inner compass through my commitment to God and his Church, one that was rejected by the [East German] state and the majority of the population. It was not always easy to stand by Christ. In contrast to most young people I went to Christian instruction and confirmation classes, rather than to the [state] ceremonies for youth.”

Only a few hundred thousand people have died in Iraq and Syria during the past fifteen years, but zeros could appear to the right of the death toll before long. Whether the migrant tidal wave arose spontaneously, or whether it was channeled by Turkey, is a secondary question. The Christian mind cannot absorb the horror of human suffering on an apocalyptic scale, and what we see now is tiny compared to what is likely to come next.

The Germans–the best Germans, like Chancellor Merkel–cannot absorb the horror of human suffering on the present scale, and what we see now is tiny compared to what is likely to come next.

The choices are between a near-apocalyptic level of horror, and a somewhat more limited horror. Whatever you can imagine, it will be worse. If the West invites the horror into its own home, though, it is unlikely to survive.



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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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)


1 November, 2015

Anchorette puts Obama right about Muslims

Not just a pretty face.  Most conservatives have probably seen this by now but for those who have not ....


Rush Limbaugh: ‘Bias Doesn’t Even Cover What Happened’ at GOP candidate Debate

Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh blasted CNBC for their bias in last night’s GOP presidential debate saying, “Bias doesn’t even cover what happened last night.”

“The display that we got last night was a culmination of everything that many of us have been trying to tell the American people the drive-by media is – arrogant, smug,” said Rush Limbaugh. “I mean, it goes so far beyond bias. Bias doesn’t even cover what happened last night.”

Below is a transcript of what Limbaugh had to say today

    “The display that we got last night was a culmination of everything that many of us have been trying to tell the American people the drive-by media is – arrogant, smug. I mean, it goes so far beyond bias. Bias doesn’t even cover what happened last night.

    “That was a kill show last night. That show was designed to kill every one of those candidates. That debate last night was designed to take them all out. That debate last night was to grease the skids for Hillary Clinton. That was the sole purpose of that debate last night.

    “And the smugness and the arrogance and the condescension with which those moderators went about it, finally came back and bit them to the point that everybody watching that debate, everybody – even other drive-by media types – saw what was going on. And you can count on one hand the number of drive-by media types defending what happened last night on CNBC. And one of them you don’t even really count because his mind was lost long ago, and that’s Chris Matthews.

    “So, you can count on four fingers the number of drive-bys that are actually defending. Ron Fournier, even, last night said that what happened, ‘The mainstream media’s getting beat up today, and we deserve it,’ he said. And he’s exactly right.”



Biggest loser in the CNBC debate? The media

by Jeff Jacoby

[Note: This comment was written immediately following the third televised Republican presidential debate in Boulder, Colo., on Wednesday night.]

IT WAS, hands down, the most arresting moment of the Republican debate in Colorado.

One of the CNBC moderators, Carl Quintanilla, asked Senator Ted Cruz whether his opposition to the just-announced congressional deal raising the federal debt limit demonstrates that he's "not the kind of problem-solver American voters want."

Cruz's response was to turn the tables on the moderators, blasting them for the hostility toward the candidates that oozed from virtually every question they had asked so far.

Then, with devastating accuracy, he recited back the offensive questions:

"Donald Trump, are you a comic-book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, will you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio, why don't you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?"

By this point, the audience was going wild with cheers.

But Cruz wasn't finished. He contrasted the animus of the media panel toward the GOP field with the recent Democratic debate, "where every fawning question was: Which of you is more handsome and wise?" And then he underlined the message: "Nobody watching at home believes that any of the moderators has any intention of voting in a Republican primary."

CNBC's moderators made little attempt to hide their contempt for the Republican presidential contenders — and deserved the beatdown administered to them by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

It was brutal takedown, and CNBC's smarmy moderators had it coming. Cruz is far from the first conservative to rail against liberal media bias, but he did it about as effectively as it can be done in 30 seconds. The clip of that moment will go viral. It may or may not give a boost to Cruz's presidential hopes, but it will certainly reinforce the public's sense that the mainstream media isn't trustworthy.

Rubio played the media-bias card, too. When he was asked about a home-state newspaper calling on him to resign from the Senate because of all the votes he has missed while on the campaign trail, he pointed out that he has missed fewer votes than John Kerry and Barack Obama — two former senators who ran for president, and were endorsed by the very same paper.

Bush then made the mistake of trying to pile on: "Marco, when you signed up for this, this was a six-year term, and you should be showing up to work." Rubio's deft response was to note that Bush claims to be modeling his campaign after John McCain's — "yet I don't remember you ever complaining about John McCain's voting record. The only reason why you're doing it now is because . . . someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you." Ouch.

It was a good night for Cruz and Rubio; a bad night for Bush. But the biggest loser in Boulder wasn't a candidate: It was the media.



Hiring the enemy

One would think that those who benefited the most from the free enterprise system would be its most ardent defenders when in fact the opposite is often the case. It has been said that free enterprise never wins because when a person succeeds they give the credit to themselves and when they fail they blame it on, “the system.”

Worldwide, most of humanity has lived in abject poverty since the beginning of time. Capitalism is the system that created a middle class that lives better than kings and queens of the past could only have dreamed of and yet that system is singled out for unremitting attack from our culture and ironically from some of those who have benefited the most from it.

Take for instance Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. To those of us who admire the system, he is a hero. He started with nothing and created what is today one of the world’s largest online retailers, resulting in great wealth for himself and a great shopping experience for the rest of us. What does he do with that wealth?

For one thing he bought the left leaning Washington Post. The result being that the Post is possibly more left wing than it was before he bought it. It features daily attacks on the system that allowed Bezos to succeed while heaping praise on the Obama Administration that has turned this country into an economic basket case with half of our workforce either unemployed or underemployed and an international laughing stalk.

Then, he hires Jay Carney to run his Washington lobbying shop. From January 2011 to May 2014 Mr. Carney was the Press Secretary to Obama. Prior to that he was Press Secretary to Joe Biden and prior to that he was Washington Bureau Chief for Time Magazine.

Mr. Bezos is not alone in hiring the enemy. Mr. Carney’s predecessor as spokesmouth for Senator and then President Obama was Robert Gibbs. He is now the Executive Vice-President in charge of public relations for McDonald’s Restaurants. While McDonald’s pays Mr. Gibbs lavish amounts of money the Obama Administration’s appointees on the NLRB are giving a maximum regulatory effort to destroying McDonald’s franchise business model. Perhaps the thinking is that Mr. Gibbs will be great at handling the public relations for the restaurant chain’s bankruptcy.

Another enterprise much admired by free marketers is Uber, an innovative company that came out of nowhere to revolutionize an industry and make life easier for its customers and contractors. Like all innovation Uber is under attack by state, local, federal and international bureaucrats. Who do they hire to fight this? David Plouffe, a man who has spent his entire adult life supporting and advising politicians who despise Uber-like innovation. Mr. Plouffe was campaign manager to President Obama’s 2008 campaign and served as a Senior Adviser to the President from his first day in office up until January of 2013.

These companies and the people running them may think they are buying influence and access by hiring such people. In my view they are not. They are buying contempt from the political class who see through their cynicism and from their customers who do not understand why they would be hiring political arsonists to put out the very political fires they started.



The liberal war on women

Working women have gotten crushed under the weight of Obama policies

Now that Hillary Clinton has by default sewn up the Democratic nomination, expect Democrats to play the gender card for all it’s worth. Hillary recently lashed out at the Republican field for holding “extreme views about women, we expect from some of the terrorist groups but it’s a little hard to take from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States.”

So much for cleaning up the harsh partisan discourse in Washington.

Hillary’s “gender equity” agenda includes family leave legislation and a federal mandate requiring that women receive equal pay. This from a senator who from 2002 to 2008, paid her female staffers 72 cents for every dollar paid to males, or $15,708 less than the median salary for a man, according to an analysis of data from official Senate expenditure reports.

The strategy here is to try to continue to exploit the gender gap that widened in the past two presidential elections. In 2012 Barack Obama won 57 percent of the women’s vote. President Obama has done especially well with single women winning 66 percent in 2012.

But it may not work this time around and here’s why. Working women have gotten crushed under the weight of Obama policies. During Mr. Obama’s six and a half years in office women have suffered steeper declines in take home pay than men have. Women have also experienced sharper declines in employment and a faster rise in poverty. The financial squeeze has been especially severe for single women.

Last month the Census Bureau reported on income and poverty through 2014. It’s not a pretty picture. The median income household has lost nearly $1,300 in income after inflation under Obamanomics.

It’s worse for women. Since President Obama took office in 2009, median inflation-adjusted income for women has fallen by nearly 4 cents on the dollar, according to the Census data, versus slight gains for men.

On Mr. Obama’s watch, 2 million more women have slipped into poverty. Wait a minute. This is supposed to be an economic recovery. The poverty rate among women is now 16.1 percent — the highest level in 20 years.

The Great Recession was the main factor that plunged families into poverty, but poverty rates have failed to return to normal levels six years later. The poverty rate among single mothers of children under 18 (39.8 percent) is nearly double that of single fathers (22 percent) and that gap has widened under Mr. Obama’s reign.

It’s well known that labor force participation has fallen to its lowest level since 1978. What’s lesser known is that the biggest decline in employment has been among women. The female labor force participation rate is now 56.4 percent, the lowest in more than 25 years.

In the 1980s and ‘90s millions of women voluntarily entered the labor force and earned rising incomes. Over the last decade that progress has stalled out. An all-time high 57 million women over the age of 16 are out of the labor force today and not collecting a paycheck. All those Obama stimulus programs and more than $7 trillion of red ink added to the national debt, but hasn’t put women back to work.

Liberals counter that the gap between women’s wages and men’s wages has narrowed in the last five years. But the major explanation for this is that so many fewer women are in jobs now. Women who fall out of the workforce tend to be at the lower end of the income scale — so perversely, the gender gap appears to have fallen. This statistical illusion hides that for millions of women not able to find work under the Obama recovery, their earnings have fallen to zero.

There are a multitude of unforced policy errors that explain why the U.S. economy has pummeled workers. Mr. Obama has hobbled the economy with punitive tax rates, $7 trillion in new debt, minimum wage hikes, regulatory overreach, and Obamacare. Women have been the front-line victims of these failed policies.

What should give all of us pause — and especially women — is that if you listen closely to the policy ideas of Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, they sound very much like they are promising four more years of all this. That really would be a war against women.



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 and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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)


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.

Just one thing is sufficient to tell all and sundry what an unamerican lamebrain Obama is. He pronounced an army corps as an army "corpse" Can you imagine any previous American president doing that? Many were men with significant personal experience in the armed forces in their youth.

As a good academic, I first define my terms: A Leftist is a person who is so dissatisfied with the way things naturally are that he/she is prepared to use force to make people behave in ways that they otherwise would not.

A favorite Leftist saying sums up the whole of Leftism: "To make an omelette, you've got to break eggs". They want to change some state of affairs and don't care who or what they destroy or damage in the process. They think their alleged good intentions are sufficient to absolve them from all blame for even the most evil deeds

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 clever 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"

Leftists think of themselves as the new nobility

Many people in literary and academic circles today who once supported Stalin and his heirs are generally held blameless and may even still be admired whereas anybody who gave the slightest hint of support for the similarly brutal Hitler regime is an utter polecat and pariah. Why? Because Hitler's enemies were "only" the Jews whereas Stalin's enemies were those the modern day Left still hates -- people who are doing well for themselves materially. Modern day Leftists understand and excuse Stalin and his supporters because Stalin's hates are their hates.

If you understand that Leftism is hate, everything falls into place.

The strongest way of influencing people is to convince them that you will do them some good. Leftists and con-men misuse that

Leftists believe only what they want to believe. So presenting evidence contradicting their beliefs simply enrages them. They do not learn from it

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves.

Leftists who think that they can conjure up paradise out of their own limited brains are simply fools -- arrogant and dangerous fools. They essentially know nothing. Conservatives learn from the thousands of years of human brains that have preceded us -- including the Bible, the ancient Greeks and much else. The death of Socrates is, for instance, an amazing prefiguration of the intolerant 21st century. Ask any conservative stranded in academe about his freedom of speech

Most Leftist claims are simply propaganda. Those who utter such claims must know that they are not telling the whole story. Hitler described his Marxist adversaries as "lying with a virtuosity that would bend iron beams". At the risk of ad hominem shrieks, I think that image is too good to remain disused.

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"

In his 1888 book, The Anti-Christ Friedrich Nietzsche argues that we should treat the common man well and kindly because he is the backdrop against which the exceptional man can be seen. So Nietzsche deplores those who agitate the common man: "Whom do I hate most among the rabble of today? The socialist rabble, the chandala [outcast] apostles, who undermine the instinct, the pleasure, the worker's sense of satisfaction with his small existence—who make him envious, who teach him revenge. The source of wrong is never unequal rights but the claim of “equal” rights"

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.

It was Democrat John F Kennedy who cut taxes and declared that “a rising tide lifts all boats"

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.

"A man who is not a socialist at age 20 has no heart; A man who is still a socialist at age 30 has no head". Who said that? Most people attribute it to Winston but as far as I can tell it was first said by Georges Clemenceau, French Premier in WWI -- whose own career approximated the transition concerned. And he in turn was probably updating an earlier saying about monarchy versus Republicanism by Guizot. Other attributions here. There is in fact a normal drift from Left to Right as people get older. Both Reagan and Churchill started out as liberals

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.


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

Hatred as a motivating force for political strategy leads to misguided ­decisions. “Hatred is blind,” as Alexandre Dumas warned, “rage carries you away; and he who pours out vengeance runs the risk of tasting a bitter draught.”

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!

High Level of Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrants in the USA. Low skill immigrants receive 4 to 5 dollars of benefits for every dollar in taxes paid

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.

The association between high IQ and long life is overwhelmingly genetic: "In the combined sample the genetic contribution to the covariance was 95%"

The Dark Ages were not dark

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

Was slavery already washed up by the tides of history before Lincoln took it on? Eric Williams in his book "Capitalism and Slavery" tells us: “The commercial capitalism of the eighteenth century developed the wealth of Europe by means of slavery and monopoly. But in so doing it helped to create the industrial capitalism of the nineteenth century, which turned round and destroyed the power of commercial capitalism, slavery, and all its works. Without a grasp of these economic changes the history of the period is meaningless.”

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"

Some people are born bad -- confirmed by genetics research

The dark side of American exceptionalism: America could well be seen as the land of folly. It fought two unnecessary civil wars, would have done well to keep out of two world wars, endured the extraordinary folly of Prohibition and twice elected a traitor President -- Barack Obama. That America remains a good place to be is a tribute to the energy and hard work of individual Americans.


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 wisdom from the past: "The bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent and respectable stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment." —George Washington, 1783

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.

Leftist hatred of Christianity goes back as far as the massacre of the Carmelite nuns during the French revolution. Yancey has written a whole book tabulating modern Leftist hatred of Christians. It is a rival religion to Leftism.

"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


"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


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.

Is the Israel Defence Force the most effective military force per capita since Genghis Khan? They probably are but they are also the most ethically advanced military force that the world has ever seen

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


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!)

The Australian flag with the Union Jack quartered in it

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


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


"Marx & Engels in their own words"
"A scripture blog"
"Some memoirs"
To be continued ....
Coral reef compendium.
Queensland Police
Australian Police News
Paralipomena (3)
Of Interest
Dagmar Schellenberger
My alternative Wikipedia


"Food & Health Skeptic"
"Eye on Britain"
"Immigration Watch International".
"Leftists as Elitists"
Socialized Medicine
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)

Mirror for "Dissecting Leftism"
Alt archives
Longer Academic Papers
Johnray links
Academic home page
Academic Backup Page
Dagmar Schellenberger
General Backup
My alternative Wikipedia
General Backup 2

Selected reading



Rightism defined
Leftist Churches
Leftist Racism
Fascism is Leftist
Hitler a socialist
Leftism is authoritarian
James on Leftism
Irbe on Leftism
Beltt on Leftism
Van Hiel
Pyszczynski et al.

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: