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

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

The original of this mirror site is HERE. My Blogroll; Archives here or here; My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here. NOTE: The short comments that I have in the side column of the primary site for this blog are now given at the foot of this site.
****************************************************************************************



11 April, 2014

Several Cities Looking at Banning People From Living in Their Cars

That some people HAVE to live in their cars shows the failure of big government in America generally and particularly under the Obama administration. A large part of America's great wealth is sucked up by government and spent on vast bureaucracies

In one of the most liberal states in the country and one of the richest counties there, many of their poor population are facing troubles. Palo Alto, one of the richest areas in California, which is part of Silicon Valley, is looking at punishing the homeless who are forced to live in their cars.

An ordinance passed by Palo Alto last year would punish people who are cited for living in a vehicle with as much as a $1,000 fine or 6 months in jail. Right now the city has delayed the enforcement of this ordinance because of a challenge to a similar ban in Los Angeles.

Right now the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering a challenge to a very similar law they currently have in Los Angeles. A decision is expected within a few months and this could then affect laws in nearby San Jose and Santa Clara. There are at least 70 cities across America with these types of laws, targeting those who live in their cars.

It seems that all the rich people in Palo Alto became scared of the people who were living in their cars and washing in the local community center. They began to call in the authorities to rid them of this ‘nuisance’.

How is it that anyone can tell people where they can live? And what good does it do to put anyone in jail for doing what might be absolutely necessary for their survival? And let’s talk about another silly idea, fining people who are homeless. If they had the money to pay a fine, wouldn’t you think they would probably use it to pay rent in a home or apartment?

This just doesn’t seem like the most effective way to help those impoverished citizens.

SOURCE

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

Brainwashed black lady

"I've Been Rejected by 96 Doctors So Far"

So writes Danielle Kimberly in Ebony, as she discovers for herself what conservatives meant when we repeatedly warned that obtaining health coverage is not the same thing as securing healthcare:

“I’m sorry, we are no longer accepting that kind of insurance. I apologize for the confusion; Dr. [insert name] is only willing to see existing patients at this time.” As a proud new beneficiary of the Affordable Health Care Act, I’d like to report that I am doctorless. Ninety-six. Ninety-six is the number of soul crushing rejections that greeted me as I attempted to find one. It’s the number of physicians whose secretaries feigned empathy while rehearsing the “I’m so sorry” line before curtly hanging up. You see, when the rush of the formerly uninsured came knocking, doctors in my New Jersey town began closing their doors and promptly telling insurance companies that they had no room for new patients. My shiny, never used Horizon health card is as effective as a dollar bill during the Great Depression. In fact, an expert tells CNN, “I think of (Obamacare) as giving everyone an ATM card in a town where there are no ATM machines.”

If you assumed the author of this piece surely learned a valuable political lesson from her experience, you'd be mistaken. She goes on to gush about how "grateful" she is for the "tremendous strides" President Obama has made on healthcare, praising the government's "valiant attempts" to address this problem, and implicitly placing most of the blame for her plight on greedy doctors (I wonder where she got that idea).

SOURCE

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

The New Inquisition

Victor Davis Hanson

What if you believed that the planet might not have warmed up the last two decades, even though carbon emissions reached all-time highs?

Or, if the earth did heat up, you thought that it was not caused by human activity?

Or, if global warming were the fault of mankind, you trusted that the slight increases would not make all that much difference?

The Los Angeles Times would not print your letter to the editor to that effect.

The CEO of Apple Inc. might advise that you should "get out of this stock."

Or maybe if you were a skeptical climatologist, you would cease all research and concede that man-caused global warming needed no further scientific cross-examination -- as columnist Bill McKibben recently advocated.

If you were a drought-stricken California farmer and worried about diversions of irrigation water to support fish populations, you would be told by the president of the United States that the real problem is not a failure to build reservoirs and canals, but is due entirely to global warming, which is a "fact" and "settled science."

What if you supported equality for all Americans regardless of their sexual preference, but -- like presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 and about half the country today -- opposed making gay marriage legal?

If you were the CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, you would be forced to resign your position.

If you owned a fast-food franchise like Chick-fil-A, boycotts of your business would ensue.

If you were a star of "Duck Dynasty," your show would be threatened with suspension or cancellation.

What if you thought that foreign nationals who broke the law to enter and reside in the U.S. were aliens residing here illegally?

Three or four years ago, you would have been advised to use only the politically correct term "illegal immigrant" -- even though not all arrivals crossed the border to live permanently in the U.S. The more legally precise noun "alien" was no longer allowable.

Then, about a year ago, you would have been further advised that the adjective "illegal" was suddenly also no longer acceptable.

Yet all the while, entering and residing inside the U.S. without legal permission stayed a federal crime -- just as it is in every other nation in the world.

What if you thought that supporters of both the Israelis and Palestinians would wish to air their positions on college campuses?

If you were the Israeli ambassador, you would be shouted down at University of California, Irvine.

If you were a Jewish student organization asking to ensure free speech at the University of Michigan, you would probably be cursed at with racial epithets, as happened recently.

If you were a faculty member organizing a scholarly trip to Israel, you would be harassed at Vassar College.

What if you were a professor at Oberlin College or the University of California, Santa Barbara, who wished to teach literature that sometimes dealt with class, race, gender and sex?

If the ensuing class discussions did not meet left-wing dogma, you might soon be asked by student groups to offer "trigger warnings" on your syllabus -- as if your class were a toxic cigarette or pesticide in need of warning labels.

We are in a new Inquisition. Self-appointed censors try to stamp out any idea or word that they don't wish to be aired -- in the pursuit of a new race, class, gender and environment orthodoxy.

Hounding out people with different views is seen by the Left as a necessary means to achieve its supposedly noble goals -- just like the Spanish Inquisitioners who claimed God was on their side as they went after religiously "incorrect" Jews, Muslims and heretics.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration has been part of the problem, not part of the solution. Its appointees used the once-impartial IRS against conservatives. They monitored Associated Press reporters. They denied that the NSA was eavesdropping on average citizens. They arbitrarily chose not to enforce laws they didn't like.

The president bragged of using "a pen and phone" to circumvent the legislative branch, and urged his supporters to "punish our enemies." The attorney general calls Americans who have different views from his own on matters of affirmative action "cowards."

All of that them/us rhetoric has given a top-down green light to radical thought police to harass anyone who is open-minded about man-caused global warming, or believes that gay marriage needs more debate, or that supporting Israel is a legitimate cause, or that breaking federal immigration law is still a crime and therefore "illegal."

Our civil liberties will not be lost to crude fascists in jackboots. More likely, the death of free speech will be the work of the new medieval Torquemadas who claim they destroyed freedom of expression for the sake of "equality" and "fairness" and "saving the planet."

SOURCE

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

Harry Reid – Corruptocrat

Money causes corruption in politics the way guns cause crime and cake causes obesity. Money isn’t corrupt, it’s just money; politicians taking money in exchange for favors is corrupt. Rewarding donors for their support is corrupt: See Solyndra for an example.

But Democrats, the political party that raised and spent a billion dollars in the last two presidential elections, want people to think that two brothers, Charles and David Koch, are attempting to buy Congress. Sadly, with the media on their side and their voters’ serial incuriosity on matters of truth, many believe it.

No one has been more vocal of late on the “evils of the un-American Koch brothers” than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. But before Reid was beating a path from his office to the Senate floor to attack private citizens, he was busy enriching himself through some now legendary corruption that took him from a man of somewhat modest means to a multi-millionaire – all while being a “public servant.”

That’s a neat trick for an “honest” man.

Most of Reid’s shadiness has been ignored by the media and Democrats. But his hypocrisy hasn’t slowed his denunciations against others; it seems only to have emboldened him.

Remember the Jack Abramoff scandal? Nearly every Republican was “bought and paid for” by the corrupt lobbyist, according to Democrats and the media. Starting Jan. 1, 2006, I was press secretary for Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont. Burns, one of the few senators who wasn’t rich, was knee-deep in the Abramoff scandal since Abramoff represented Indian tribes and Burns was chairman of a committee that oversaw Indian relations.

But buried in the faux outrage was the fact that as Harry Reid accused Republicans of selling their souls for money from “Abramoff and his associates,” he forgot to mention his own pockets were filled by those same people. Reid, in doublespeak worthy of Orwell, always added “and his associates” when discussing money that went to Republicans but mentioned only Abramoff himself when talking about whether Abramoff money went to Democrats.

Why? Because the “associates” contributed to both Republicans and Democrats, but Abramoff himself gave only to Republicans. He is, after all, a Republican. If Reid included money from the associates that went to Republicans, it built the totals they had received. But if he discussed only Abramoff’s personal giving, he could say Democrats received none of that. So, miraculously, once this new unit of measure was applied, Reid and his fellow Democrats had clean hands. Reid still did Abramoff’s bidding, but not at his behest, or so they’d like you to believe.

In other words, Republican senators who got a couple thousand dollars from Abramoff personally were said by Reid to be bought and paid for, but the $68,000 Reid got from Abramoff’s co-workers and clients had no influence on him at all. That’s some creative math there.

In the case of my old boss, this lie worked. Burns was defeated, then after the election was cleared of any wrongdoing. Harry Reid, who did the same things Burns was accused of, was elevated from minority leader to majority leader when Democrats took the Senate in the 2006 election thanks in large part to that different unit of measure he applied to others but not himself.

This has always been the Reid Way – the rules don’t apply to him.

On his official Senate website he has a page “The Facts About The Koch Brothers.” Using our tax dollars on his government website, Reid’s first “point” is that David Koch “called social security ‘The Ultimate Pyramid Scheme’ and promised to abolish and replace it.” This was from a 1980 campaign. 1980! By the way, he wanted to “abolish and replace it,” so no one was talking about leaving seniors out to dry.

If we’re going to hop into the Wayback Machine, we need not go back that far to find something on which a politician seems to have had a change of heart. In 1994, a U.S. Senator wrote the following:

* Our doors should remain open, but only wide enough to admit those to whom we can realistically offer opportunity and security. To leave the door unguarded is to create an environment in which no one can live securely and peacefully. And so I am sponsoring a bill in the Senate to reduce immigration – legal and illegal.

* Most politicians agree that illegal immigration should end. My legislation would double border patrols and accelerate the deportation process for criminals and illegal entrants.

* Opponents of immigration reform cry racism or point toward our historic role as a nation of immigrants. Charges of racial bias are unfounded.

That senator was Harry Reid writing in the Los Angeles Times. He’s allowed to “evolve” on an issue, but David Koch is to be held to account, at taxpayer expense, for opinions he held 34 years ago.

Harry Reid illustrates that when you control the unit of measure, you are held to zero standards yourself.

The cherry on top of Reid’s anti-American attacks on two brothers who’ve created more jobs and employ more people than Reid’s entire caucus is that he’s gotten donations from Koch lobbyists. Whether Reid then funneled that money to family members is unknown – it was 2003. But given his penchant for slipping his granddaughter $31,000 in campaign cash for junk jewelry, anything is possible.

Harry Reid will go down as one of, if not the, most corrupt people ever to serve in Congress. He became a millionaire while a “public servant,” tainted other senators for doing exactly what he was doing and used tax dollars to attack private citizens. Harry Reid should not be in the Senate; he should be prison, and he should die there. But he won’t ever go, he’s protected. Rather than face charges for his corruption, Reid will remain the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, be they in the majority or minority. Justice will have to wait, but it eventually comes for all of us.

SOURCE

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

For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, 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.

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 April, 2014

DeMint: ‘Big Business Is No Friend of Conservatism’

Former Sen. Jim DeMint, the president of the Heritage Foundation, writes in his new book—“Falling in Love With America Again”—about the cozy relationship between big business and big government.

“Almost all big corporations benefit from, advocate for, and downright like big government,” DeMint writes.

In an interview with CNSNews.com, DeMint explained his view that a corollary to this principle is that big business and conservatism are not on the same team.

His views on the matter are seasoned by the insights he gleaned from serving three self-limited terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, and from being elected twice to the U.S. Senate.

CNSNews.com asked DeMint about the partnership he discusses in his book between mega-corporations and the federal government: “How does that work and why does it work?”

“The large companies have lobbyists and people who work directly with the regulators, and many of the regulators like to be friendly with the big companies because the idea is they go to work for the big companies someday to help them with future legislators,” said DeMint. “And they make a lot more money as lobbyists or government-relations people, whatever you call them. But they become very friendly.

“These big companies like to write regulations that make it harder for the smaller companies to compete with them,” DeMint said. “The large companies can deal with a regulatory maze much better than the small companies can. Like the big tobacco companies wanted the FDA to regulate cigarettes because they knew the smaller companies could not get approval to ever introduce a new brand.”

CNSNews.com asked: “So, essentially, there’s this cooperation between big business and the government to create a regulatory barrier to entrepreneurs and small business people to compete with the big business?”

“In every category,” said DeMint. “It happens some at the state level too, licensing different industries and to make it harder for people to get in once those people have established it. I just want Americans to be aware of that, and this idea that the big government’s going to take care of you, it ain’t working.”

SOURCE

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

Leftist Thought-Gangsters Strike Again

By David Limbaugh

Let me see whether I have this right. Brendan Eich was forced to step down as CEO of Mozilla because it became public that he opposed same-sex marriage, the same position that President Barack Obama, darling of the LGBT community, held prior to his phony conversion.

Why didn't the left demand that President Obama resign as president of the United States prior to the consummation of his "evolution" on the issue in favor of same-sex marriage? Was it because liberals knew he was never actually opposed to same-sex marriage and that his stated opposition was an opportunistic ruse to make him electable?

It wasn't that long ago when support of traditional marriage was the majority position in this country. I imagine that it still is in reality, though fewer and fewer people have the courage to stand up for their convictions these days, even to the extent of admitting their honest feelings in response to polling surveys.

This politically correct thought control is getting out of hand. For a disturbing percentage of people on the left, freedom doesn't matter, nor do tolerance, inclusiveness and compassion. If you don't have the correct views — e.g., if you believe that marriage should still be defined as being between one man and one woman — you are not entitled to respect or even to the same rights and freedoms as others. The rationale is that because of your "intolerance" and "hate," you are of a different class, a subspecies — vermin — and you forfeit the privilege of being tolerated and deserve to be treated with hate yourself.

But not all these Stalinists on the left are so open about their own bigotry. To be sure, they support the mistreatment of people like Brendan Eich, who committed the unpardonable sin of voting for California's Proposition 8, but they "nuance" their arguments to depict themselves as less tyrannical.

For example, a New York Times writer opined that it's a mistake to draw the conclusion that the forced resignation of Eich was "an instance of political correctness run amok" or that it is "a sign that Silicon Valley has become militantly (in)tolerant, unwilling to let executives express their personal viewpoints on issues unrelated to their jobs."

Why? Because "Mozilla is not a normal company. It is an activist organization" whose "primary mission isn't to make money but to spread open-source code across the globe in the eventual hope of promoting 'the development of the Internet as a public resource.'" According to the writer, many people at Mozilla didn't consider Eich's views on gay marriage completely irrelevant to his role as chief executive.
Some thought he was too "divisive" to be an effective leader.

How is this not bigotry, you ask? Well, because Mozilla is not an evil capitalistic company primarily out to make money but one involved in "a mission." "If his job was to motivate people, and he was instead causing people to question the community's ethic — well, at the least, you can say he wasn't doing a good job." Wow.

It's amazing how leftists can shape-shift arguments to rationalize their own intolerance. But the arguments of Matthew Riley MacPherson, a developer for Mozilla, are even worse.

According to MacPherson, Eich's fatal mistake wasn't his support of Proposition 8 several years ago. "Being on the losing side of history this one time is okay, because I've seen Eich be right about many things during just my tenure at Mozilla," wrote MacPherson. What made MacPherson realize Eich "was not ready to lead Mozilla — or any company — was his damage control (interview) on CNET."

In this interview, Eich did not cower, recant or acknowledge that he is the worst person in the world other than the Koch brothers. "Eich," wrote MacPherson, "was given the clear chance to publicly apologize on behalf of himself and Mozilla — something called for by many, including myself. When asked if he could do it all over and do it differently: the correct answer was 'yes'. But he didn't say he would do it differently. It was at that exact point in time that he failed as CEO. ... He failed to execute."

So these thought-gangsters would rather have as their CEO a mealy-mouthed coward who would disingenuously recant his position to conform to their demands than they would a leader who stands up for what he believes at the risk of incurring the left's unmitigated wrath and losing his job?

I don't know which are worse, the leftists who come right out and admit they won't tolerate an opposing viewpoint or those who delude themselves into believing that their own abysmal intolerance is actually just their sophisticated business judgment.

Both are outrageous and unacceptable.

The overarching issue in this sordid matter is not the propriety or advisability of same-sex marriage. It is freedom, the selective contempt many on the left have for it and their willingness to twist themselves into pretzels justifying the unjustifiable. Everyone should be alarmed about this.

SOURCE

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

How to Assist Evil

By Walter E. Williams

"Engineering Evil" is a documentary recently shown on the Military History channel. It's a story of Nazi Germany's murder campaign before and during World War II. According to some estimates, 16 million Jews and other people died at the hands of Nazis

Though the Holocaust ranks high among the great human tragedies, most people never consider the most important question: How did Adolf Hitler and the Nazis gain the power that they needed to commit such horror? Focusing solely on the evil of the Holocaust won't get us very far toward the goal of the Jewish slogan "Never Again."

When Hitler came to power, he inherited decades of political consolidation by Otto von Bismarck and later the Weimar Republic that had weakened the political power of local jurisdictions. Through the Enabling Act (1933), whose formal name was "A Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich," Hitler gained the power to enact laws with neither the involvement nor the approval of the Reichstag, Germany's parliament. The Enabling Act destroyed any remaining local autonomy. The bottom line is that it was decent Germans who made Hitler's terror possible — Germans who would have never supported his territorial designs and atrocities.

The 20th century turned out to be mankind's most barbaric. Roughly 50 million to 60 million people died in international and civil wars. As tragic as that number is, it pales in comparison with the number of people who were killed at the hands of their own government. Recently deceased Rudolph J. Rummel, professor of political science at the University of Hawaii and author of "Death by Government," estimated that since the beginning of the 20th century, governments have killed 170 million of their own citizens.

Top government killers were the Soviet Union, which, between 1917 and 1987, killed 62 million of its own citizens, and the People's Republic of China, which, between 1949 and 1987, was responsible for the deaths of 35 million to 40 million of its citizens. In a distant third place were the Nazis, who murdered about 16 million Jews, Slavs, Serbs, Czechs, Poles, Ukrainians and others deemed misfits, such as homosexuals and the mentally ill.

We might ask why the 20th century was so barbaric. Surely, there were barbarians during earlier ages. Part of the answer is that during earlier times, there wasn't the kind of concentration of power that emerged during the 20th century. Had Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong and Hitler been around in earlier times, they could not have engineered the slaughter of tens of millions of people. They wouldn't have had the authority. There was considerable dispersion of jealously guarded political power in the forms of heads of provincial governments and principalities and nobility and church leaders whose political power within their spheres was often just as strong as the monarch's.

Professor Rummel explained in the very first sentence of "Death by Government" that "Power kills; absolute Power kills absolutely. ... The more power a government has, the more it can act arbitrarily according to the whims and desires of the elite, and the more it will make war on others and murder its foreign and domestic subjects." That's the long, tragic, ugly story of government: the elite's use of government to dupe and forcibly impose its will on the masses.

The masses are always duped by well-intentioned phrases. After all, what German could have been against "A Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich"? It's not just Germans who have fallen prey to well-intentioned phrases. After all, who can be against the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act"?

We Americans ought to keep in mind the fact that Hitler, Stalin and Mao would have had more success in their reign of terror if they had the kind of control and information about their citizens that agencies such as the NSA, the IRS and the ATF have about us. You might ask, "What are you saying, Williams?" Just put it this way: No German who died before 1930 would have believed the Holocaust possible.

SOURCE

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

Taxing Life Away

John Stossel

It's tax time. I'm too scared to do my taxes. I'm sure I'll get something wrong and my enemies in government will persecute -- no, I mean prosecute -- me. So I hired Bob.

Bob's my accountant. I like Bob, but I don't like that I have to have an accountant. I don't want to spend time keeping records and talking to Bob about boring things I don't understand, and I really don't want to pay Bob. But I have to.

What a waste. Once, I calculated what I could do with the money I give Bob. I could have a fancy dinner out 200 times. I could buy a motorcycle. I could take a cruise ship all the way from New York to Venice, Italy, and back.

Better yet, I could do some good for the world. For the same money I waste on Bob, I could pay four kids' tuition at a Catholic high school.

The tax code is now complex enough that most Americans now hire Bob, or his equivalent. Instead of inventing things, doing charity work or just having fun, we waste weeks (and billions of dollars) on tax preparation.

And we change our lives to suit the wishes of politicians.

"What the tax code is doing is trying to choose our values for us," complains Yaron Brook from the Ayn Rand Institute. I think I choose my own values, but it's true that politicians use taxes to manipulate us. Million-dollar mortgage deductions steer us to buy bigger houses, and solar tax credits persuaded me to put solar panels on my roof. Brook objects to every manipulation in the code: "It's telling us charity is good!"

On my TV show, I respond: But charity is good! Brook retorts, "If you want to give to charity, great, (but) I might invest in a business that's more important."

That's possible, but since a charity will probably spend the money better than government will, isn't it good that the code encourages people to give? Steve Forbes argues that if taxes were flat and simple, Americans would give more . "Americans don't need to be bribed to give ... In the 1980s, when the top rate got cut from 70 down to 28 percent ... charitable giving went up . When people have more, they give more."

While freedom lovers complain about the byzantine complexity of the tax code, the politically connected tout their special breaks. The National Association of Realtors runs TV ads showing Uncle Sam offering first-time homebuyers an $8,000 tax break, while sleazily winking at the viewer.

The tax code oddity that may have the most destructive influence on America might be the fact that if you buy private health insurance, you pay more tax than if your employer buys you a plan.

It's why we ended up with a sluggish health care market unresponsive to individual desires -- leading to the insistence that we need a government-managed alternative like Obamacare.

The code is incomprehensible. You can get a deduction for feeding feral cats but not for having a watchdog, for clarinet lessons if your orthodontist thinks it'll cure your overbite but not for piano lessons a psychotherapist prescribes for relaxation. It seems so arbitrary.

SOURCE

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

For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, 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.

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 April, 2014

Uninstall Firefox

Dennis Prager

In 31 years of broadcasting, and 40 years of writing, I have never advocated a boycott of a product.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

During the 2012 presidential campaign, when the left attempted to destroy Chick-Fil-A for its owner's views on same-sex marriage, I suggested on my radio show that the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, stand in front of a Chick-Fil-A restaurant while enjoying some Ben and Jerry's ice cream. In that way, I argued, he could show one of the great moral differences between the right and the left. Though Ben and Jerry are leftists, we conservatives do not believe that company owners' views should matter to consumers. We believe that products should speak for themselves. If the ice cream is good, despite whatever repugnance we might feel regarding the views of the makers of that ice cream, we will still purchase it.

The left does not see things that way. The left is out to crush individuals and companies with whom it differs. This is especially so today on the issue of same-sex marriage.

Perhaps the most dramatic example of this took place last week. The governing board of the widely used browser, Firefox, forced the company's CEO, Brendan Eich, to resign. The Firefox board had learned that in 2008, Eich donated $1,000 to the Proposition 8 campaign in California. Proposition 8 amended the California Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In classic Communist fashion, gay rights organizations demanded that Eich publicly recant. When Eich did not, gay rights and other leftist organizations called for a boycott of Firefox. Firefox immediately forced Eich out.

All these years, the left, after coining the term "McCarthyism" in order to disparage the right, had fooled most people into believing that it is the right that suppresses liberty. The truth, of course, has been the opposite. Worldwide, with the exception of Nazi Germany (which was a uniquely race-based totalitarianism, neither left nor right -- while it rejected Marxist class-based struggle, it supported socialism ("Nazism" was short for National Socialism), every genocidal totalitarian regime of the 20th century was leftist. And domestically, too, the left has much less interest in liberty than in forcing people to act in accord with its values. A totalitarian streak is part of the left's DNA. How you think matters and what you do away outside of work matters: More than 20 states prohibit judges from being leaders in the Boy Scouts -- because the left deems the Boy Scouts homophobic.

During the McCarthy era, the left (and not only the left) screamed when people were falsely charged with supporting Stalin and Communism, one of the greatest evils in human history. But the left also screamed when people who really did aid and abet Stalin were dismissed from their jobs. In other words, for those on the left who celebrate Eich's ouster, it was evil to deprive a man who supported Stalin of a job, but it is right to fire a man who supports the man-woman definition of marriage. Such is the left's moral compass.

It is important to further note that gay employees at Firefox acknowledge that Eich never discriminated against gays, whether in employment, benefits or any other way. But that doesn't matter to the left because a totalitarian streak is part of the left's DNA.

As Princeton Professor of Jurisprudence Robert George warned on my radio show, today the left fires employees for opposition to same-sex marriage. Tomorrow it will fire employees who are pro-life ("anti-woman"). And next it will be employees who support Israel (an "apartheid state").

The reason to boycott Firefox is not that it is run by leftists. Nor is the reason to support the man-woman definition of marriage. It is solely in order to preserve liberty in the land of liberty. If Firefox doesn't recant and rehire Eich as CEO, McCarthyism will have returned far more pervasively and perniciously than in its first incarnation. The message the gay left (such as the Orwellian-named Human Rights Campaign) and the left in general wish to send is that Americans who are in positions of power at any company should be forced to resign if they hold a position that the left strongly opposes.

And right now that position is opposition to same-sex marriage.

Think about that. In the United States of America today, the belief that marriage should remain defined as the union of a man and woman is portrayed as so vile by the left that anyone who holds it is unfit for employment.

A handful of those on the gay (and straight) left have spoken out against the forced resignation of Eich. If their words are to mean anything, they must join in the call to boycott Firefox. Otherwise, their protestations are meaningless, made solely to preserve their moral credibility.

The battle over Firefox is the most important battle in America at this particular moment. If you use Firefox, uninstall it. Instead use Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera, Safari, or try Pale Moon for Windows, which is based on the Firefox engine and will import all of your bookmarks. For mobile devices, you can try Puffin.

America can have liberty or it can have Firefox. Right now, it cannot have both.

SOURCE

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

Race-Based Beating

Steven Utash, a 54-year-old Detroit tree trimmer, accidentally hit a boy with his truck. When he got out to check on the child, who had a broken leg, a dozen people immediately attacked Utash and beat him unconscious while robbing him of his wallet and phone. He's now in a medically induced coma, and his son says, “I am surprised that he is alive.” Utash is white and, according to witnesses, his attackers were black. Police haven't yet made any arrests, however. We're waiting on Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to weigh in and for Barack Obama to hold a press conference to proclaim that, if he had a son, he would look like the assailants.

Update: “Two Detroit teenagers were arrested Saturday in an attack on a suburban man who was brutally beaten by a mob after accidentally striking a boy with his pickup truck,” Fox News reports.

SOURCE

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

Krauthammer Nails Jeb Bush

Commentator Charles Krauthammer responded to Jeb Bush's outrageous assertion that coming to the U.S. illegally in order to provide for one's family is “an act of love” and shouldn't be punished quite so much. Krauthammer said, “I grant him the complete sincerity and honesty of his view, he's always had that kind of approach. But that's leading with your chin.

After all, I mean there are millions of people around the world equally compassionate about the future of their children who are waiting patiently and legally in line and who love their children no less, and yet there is supposed to be this special compassion for those who jump the fence and break the law.

Secondly, there's a question if it were just one person … or one family who jumped the fence, it wouldn't be a national issue, but it's 11 million, and then it becomes a national issue, an issue of sovereignty and the president has to make a statement that an elementary principle of sovereignty is we control who comes into the country.” Jeb Bush may want to think twice about any presidential bid.

SOURCE

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

Data Proves that Voter Fraud Is Rampant!

I no longer only suspect that Barack Obama stole the election… the more time passes, the more certain I become of it!

The Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program is set up to allow states to upload their voter rolls and voting records to a separate system and be able to crosscheck their registered voters with other states. The goal, obviously, is to find instances where the same individual is registered in multiple states, or even voted multiple times across the country.

North Carolina has recently come under lot of criticism for its voter ID requirement. Critics say that there is no “sizeable” evidence of voter fraud in North Carolina that could possibly warrant voter ID requirements. Well, this year’s findings from the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program prove that not only is Voter ID a good idea in North Carolina, but it is absolutely essential to protect the integrity of our elections!

The crosscheck revealed that in 2012, a whopping 35,750 people with the same first name, last name, and date of birth, were found to have voted in North Carolina AND another state. The preliminary findings suggest that there could be 35,750 cases of people voting twice (once in North Carolina, once in another state). Additionally, the program found that 81 people in North Carolina had cast ballots after their death.

In all, the Crosscheck Program recognized a total of 155,692 North Carolina voters whose first and last names, dates of birth and last four digits of their Social Security number matched those of voters registered in other states!

In North Carolina alone, not only is voter fraud happening, but the potential for even more fraud is so much higher! However, currently only 28 states are participating in this Interstate Crosscheck Program. That leaves another 22 states where we have absolutely no idea how much voter fraud is taking place. Not surprisingly, not a single Northeast state participated in the program.

Imagine the fraud and abuse we would find if participation in the Interstate Crosscheck Program was mandatory, rather than optional as it is now! Imagine the fraud and abuse we would find if states like California and New York were forced to actually check their voter rolls! Congress must mandate participation in this program before illegal voters are able to steal another election!

I say steal another election because there is no doubt in my mind that voter fraud contributed to Barack Obama’s wins in 2008 and 2012. This isn’t some tinfoil hat conspiracy, either…

Barack Obama won North Carolina by only 13,692 votes. That’s what it took to win back in 2008.

What part did voter fraud play in that? We’ll never know for sure. But what we do know is that four years later, up to 35,750 people illegally cast ballots in the election. With over 155,000 people registered to vote in North Carolina AND other states, the potential for fraud is astronomical!

If you live in Illinois, there are potentially 211,023 registered voters who are also registered to vote in other states. With 7,292,639 registered voters in the state, that means that 2.8% of all Illinois registered voters are registered to vote in multiple states.

In Michigan, there are 164,837 potential duplicate voters (2.2% of all registered voters).

In Colorado, the program found 136,542 “residents” who were registered to vote in other states – a whopping 5.5% of all registered voters!

And in Arizona, where the Obama Administration has fought tooth and nail to stop the state from protecting the integrity of the vote, there are potentially 108,077 residents who are registered to vote in multiple states (3.4% of all registered voters).

This is what happens when 28 out of 50 states work together and compare their voter rolls to find duplicates. The program is literally finding hundreds of thousands of potential duplicate voters.

Not surprisingly, organizations on the Left are calling the Crosscheck Program “racist” because it is finding evidence supporting the need for voter ID requirements and stricter voter registration requirements.

If this widespread fraud and double voting is happening in traditionally Red states, what do you think the Crosscheck Program would find if it started combing through the voter rolls in states like California, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania? The technology is there and most importantly, it doesn’t cost anything! Congress must force every state to participate in this program!

The North Carolina findings show that when every single vote counts in an election, when the difference between liberty and tyranny is determined by just a few thousand votes, you can rest assured knowing that there are people voting in multiple states which are tipping the balance.

How many times has this influenced an election? How many times have candidates been put into office by relying on illegal votes to edge past their opponent?

We must take every step possible to protect the integrity of the vote! Yes, that mean forcing registered voters to show photo ID on Election Day… but it also required us to shore up the voter registration process.

Submitting the voter rolls to the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program is a good first step in identifying whether someone is registered to vote in more than one state. However, almost half the states still haven’t uploaded their voter rolls and voter records to the program.

It doesn’t cost anything… these states just don’t want to know what the cross check would find!

Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act in 1993, and one of the law’s provisions calls for Congress to “ensure that accurate and current voter registration rolls are maintained.” We are at the point where the technology makes identifying voter fraud instantaneous, and yet 22 out of 50 states are allowed to ignore this technology and pretend that nothing is wrong.

Congress must honor its responsibility and make sure that EVERY state is checking for voter fraud and duplicate voter registrations. It only took 13,692 votes for Obama to win North Carolina and there could have been tens of thousands of people illegally casting North Carolina ballots! This is happening everywhere!

SOURCE

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 WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, 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.

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 April, 2014

The afterlife -- Old Testament versus New

The hope for a life after death among the ancient Hebrews was very down to earth. There were many religions in the ancient Near East which were much more fancy -- religions that said we live on as spirit beings after the death of our bodies. The ancient Hebrews rejected that. Their hope was for a resurrection of themselves in their original bodies at the time of the coming of the Messiah -- when the earth would be returned to its original Edenic condition. They envisaged living in a new Eden.

Their scorn for belief in an immediate life after death is eloquently expressed in Ecclesiastes 9: 5-7, 10.

5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest

That's pretty final. Only a miracle can offer something after that.

Isaiah 45: 18

For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited

Isaiah 65 17

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

Isaiah 65:20ff

21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.

22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.

24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.

So, a pretty terrestrial hope for the future.

And, surprisingly, the New Testament recorded that hope too:

James 4:13-14

For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."

And have you ever thought what you are saying when you pray as Jesus taught:

Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done ON EARTH, as it is in Heaven

Again the hope is for a future Edenic Kingdom on earth, not some airy-fairy life in heaven.

St Paul, however, rather upsets the applecart by preaching a version of the old Eastern beliefs that he knew well from his pre-conversion life.

1 Corinthians 15: 6

6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

1 Corinthians 15: 42-44

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

1 Corinthians 15: 50-53

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

But Paul was still not preaching an immediate spiritual life. As a good Jew, he looked forward to the day of judgment as the day on which resurrection takes place. Note in verse 6 he speaks of Christ's followers who have died as "asleep". They are not enjoying a new life in Heaven.

What Paul appears to have added is the idea that the Christians of his day were special. They only would undergo a spiritual transformation on the last day. And he expected that day imminently. Some early Christians would need to be resurrected and some would still be alive. So those alive would be transformed rather than resurrected.

But you still believe that you have got a soul inside you which is immortal and flits straight off into the spirit realm when your body dies? That's a pagan doctrine, I am afraid. I could quote text after text but in both the OT and the NT the soul is quite mortal:

Ezekiel 22:27

27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.

Matthew 16:26

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Psalms 146: 3, 4

3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

As John 3:16 says, eternal life has to be earned (by believing). It is not automatic. The alternative is death pure and simple.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

See you at the Resurrection?

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

Francis: No, I am Not a Communist

In the months since Pope Francis released his 2013 apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Guadium, critics of his pontificate have seized upon remarks he made regarding trickledown economics. In his view, he wrote, the successful implementation of such theories “have never been confirmed by the facts.” Of course, many conservatives scoffed at this assertion, some of whom accused him outright of being a socialist or a communist.

But what Pope Francis was getting at, I think, is how a “new idolatry of money” has taken root -- and ahold -- of many of us. This leads inevitably to what Pope Francis describes as a “throw away” culture. Individuals too often place material success, wealth, and money above the needs of human beings in a capitalist system. Such self-centeredness "deadens us," he argues; we become indifferent and callous to those who suffer. So while this is a rather sharp criticism of unfettered capitalism and capitalism in general, it is hardly a clarion call for Marxist revolution, either.

Earlier in the week Pope Francis gave a meeting with a number of communications students from Belgium. During the interview he specifically addressed charges that he was a communist. He said he wasn’t, of course, explaining instead where his passion for the poor comes from:

In a March 31 interview with communications students, Pope Francis responded to previous accusations of being a communist, explaining that his preference for the poor is in fact based in the Gospel.

“I heard two months ago that a person referred to my preference for speaking about the poor, saying: 'This Pope is a communist, no?' And no, this is the banner of the Gospel, not of communism, of the Gospel,” the Pope explained during the encounter.

Given to three Belgian youth who are studying communications sciences, the interview was broadcast on the evening of April 3 on the Belgium website deredactie.be., and was later picked up by Italian news agency ReppublicaTV.

During the interview, one student asked the Pope where his preference for the poor and most needy comes from, to which the pontiff responded: “Because this is the heart of the Gospel, and I am a believer, I believe in God, I believe in Christ, I believe in the Gospel, and the heart of the Gospel is the poor.”

“And because of this I believe that the poor are the center of the Gospel of Jesus. This is clear if we read it,” he affirmed.

One need not be a communist to care passionately for the poor. In the same way that one need not be a communist to criticize certain elements of an economic system that can at times lead to inequities and social exclusion.

SOURCE

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

GM corruption and Toyota

Here's another reason government should never own a business.

In February 2010, the Obama administration's transportation secretary, Ray LaHood, told America, without a shred of evidence, that Toyota automobiles were dangerous to drive. LaHood offered the remarks in front of the House subcommittee that was investigating reports of unintended-acceleration crashes. “My advice is, if anybody owns one of these vehicles, stop driving it,” he said, sending the company's stock into a nose dive.

Even at the time, LaHood's comments were reckless at best. Assailing the competition reeks of political opportunism and cronyism. It also illustrates one of the unavoidable predicaments of the state's owning a corporation in a competitive marketplace. And when we put LaHood's comment into perspective today, it's actually a lot worse. The Obama administration not only had the power and ideological motive to damage the largely nonunionized competition but also was busy propping up a company that was causing preventable deaths.

No one is innocent, of course, but not everyone is bailed out. So Toyota, after recalling millions of cars and changing parts and floor mats even before LaHood's outburst – and after years of being hounded by the administration – recently agreed to pay a steep fine for its role in the acceleration flap. This, despite the fact that in 2012, Department of Transportation engineers determined that no mechanical failure was present that would cause applying the brakes to initiate acceleration. The DOT conducted tests that determined that the brakes could maintain a stationary car or bring one to a full stop even with the engine racing. It looked at 58 vehicles that were supposedly involved in unintended acceleration and found no evidence of brake failure or throttle malfunction.

Attorney General Eric Holder kept at it, though, and Toyota finally agreed to a $1.2 billion settlement (it has about $60 billion in reserves) to make it go away. Though it looks as if the company doesn't think the fight is worthwhile, for all I know, it's guilty. I'm certain, though, that General Motors is. It announced this week that it was recalling over a million vehicles that had sudden loss of electric power steering. This, after recalling nearly 3 million vehicles for ignition switch problems that the company had known about since 2001 and are now linked to 13 deaths.

GM has apologized. But does anyone believe that the Obama administration took as hard a look at GM as it did Toyota? As early as 2007, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration knew that there may be problems with air bags but never launched a formal investigation. The NHTSA's acting chief, David Friedman, testified that GM never told the agency that faulty switches were at the root of the air bag problem. Fine. Before plowing billions of tax dollars into saving the United Automobile Workers, did the car czar or any other Obama officials take extra care to review DOT records to ensure that taxpayers would not be funding the preventable deaths of American citizens? Would DOT and Holder exhibit the same zealousness for safety with GM as they did when it came to Toyota? In the midst of the bailout debate and subsequent “turnaround,” news of a cover-up and major recall would have been a political disaster.

So it's difficult to understand why this isn't a huge scandal. If every obtuse utterance by an obscure Republican congressman gets the media juices flowing, surely the possibility of this kind of negligence is worth a look. Can anyone with access to the administration ask some of these questions? Because if you take credit for “saving” a company (actually, an “industry,” as no one would have ever driven again if Obama hadn't saved the day), you also get credit for “saving” the real-life unscrupulous version of the company. “I placed my bet on the American worker,” Obama told union workers in 2012. “And I'll make that bet any day of the week. And now, three years later, that bet is paying off.” Betting $80 billion of someone else's money to prop up sympathetic labor unions isn't exactly fraught with political risk. Unless it turns out that your administration is less concerned about the safety defects of the company you own than it is about the company you dislike. That would be corruption.

SOURCE

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

For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, 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.

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)

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



7 April, 2014

Amazing! Scientists find that conservatives are more cautious

The findings below can all be summarized as showing conservatives to be more cautious, which is hardly news. But there is a bit more to it than that. It shows that conservative caution is inbuilt -- in that conservatives show quicker and stronger responses to things that require caution

Thomas Jefferson was a smart dude. And in one of his letters to John Adams, dated June 27, 1813, Jefferson made an observation about the nature of politics that science is only now, two centuries later, beginning to confirm. "The same political parties which now agitate the United States, have existed through all time," wrote Jefferson. "The terms of Whig and Tory belong to natural, as well as to civil history," he later added. "They denote the temper and constitution of mind of different individuals."

Tories were the British conservatives of Jefferson's day, and Whigs were the British liberals. What Jefferson was saying, then, was that whether you call yourself a Whig or a Tory has as much to do with your psychology or disposition as it has to do with your ideas. At the same time, Jefferson was also suggesting that there's something pretty fundamental and basic about Whigs (liberals) and Tories (conservatives), such that the two basic political factions seem to appear again and again in the world, and have for "all time."

Jefferson didn't have access to today's scientific machinery—eye tracker devices, skin conductance sensors, and so on. Yet these very technologies are now being used to reaffirm his insight. At the center of the research are many scholars working at the intersection of psychology, biology, and politics, but one leader in the field is John Hibbing, a political scientist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln whose "Political Physiology Laboratory" has been producing some pretty stunning results.

"We know that liberals and conservatives are really deeply different on a variety of things," Hibbing explains on the latest episode of the Inquiring Minds podcast (stream above). "It runs from their tastes, to their cognitive patterns—how they think about things, what they pay attention to—to their physical reactions. We can measure their sympathetic nervous systems, which is the fight-or-flight system. And liberals and conservatives tend to respond very differently."

This is not fringe science: One of Hibbing's pioneering papers on the physiology of ideology was published in none other than the top-tier journal Science in 2008. It found that political partisans on the left and the right differ significantly in their bodily responses to threatening stimuli. For example, startle reflexes after hearing a loud noise were stronger in conservatives. And after being shown a variety of threatening images ("a very large spider on the face of a frightened person, a dazed individual with a bloody face, and an open wound with maggots in it," according to the study), conservatives also exhibited greater skin conductance—a moistening of the sweat glands that indicates arousal of the sympathetic nervous system, which manages the body's fight-or-flight response.

It all adds up, according to Hibbing, to what he calls a "negativity bias" on the right. Conservatives, Hibbing's research suggests, go through the world more attentive to negative, threatening, and disgusting stimuli—and then they adopt tough, defensive, and aversive ideologies to match that perceived reality.

In a 2012 study, Hibbing and his colleagues showed as much through the use of eye-tracking devices like the one shown above. Liberals and conservatives were fitted with devices that tracked their gaze, and were shown a series of four-image collages containing pictures that were either "appetitive" (e.g., something happy or positive) or "aversive" (showing something threatening, scary, or disgusting). The eye-tracking device allowed the researchers to measure where the research subjects first fixed their gaze, how long it took them to do so, and then how long they tended to dwell on different images.

Here's an example of an aversive, disgust-evoking image, one that just happens to also feature Hibbing himself. He says worms are actually "quite tasty." (This picture wasn't actually used in the study, but a very similar one was.)

And you can see an example of a four-image collage used in the study here. One of the images is adorable, the rest are varying degrees of disgusting and aversive. Which image does your eye go to first, and how long did you focus on it?

The results of Hibbing's study were clear: The conservatives tended to focus their eyes much more rapidly on the negative or aversive images, and also to dwell on them for a lot longer. The authors therefore concluded that based on results like these, "those on the political right and those on the political left may simply experience the world differently."

"Maybe you've had this experience, watching a political debate with somebody who disagrees with you," says Hibbing. "And you discuss it afterwards. And it's like, 'Did we watch the same debate?' And in some respects, you didn't. And I think that's what this research indicates."

One of the biggest differences clearly involves the emotion of disgust. Hibbing isn't the only one to have found a relationship between conservatism and stronger disgust sensitivity—this result is also a mainstay of the very influential research of moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt, who studies how deep-seated moral emotions divide the left and the right (see here). In one study, Hibbing and his colleagues showed that a higher level of disgust sensitivity is predictive not only of political conservatism but also disapproval of gay marriage. It is important to underscore that your disgust sensitivity is involuntary; it is not something under your control. It is a primal, gut emotion.

That word, "primal," helps us begin to understand what Hibbing and his colleagues now think ideology actually is. They think that humans have core preferences for how societies ought to be structured: Some of us are more hierarchical, as opposed to egalitarian; some of us prefer harsher punishments for rule breakers, whereas some of us would be more inclined to forgive; some of us find outsiders or out-groups intriguing and enticing, whereas others find them threatening. Hibbing and his team have even found that preferences on such matters appear to have a genetic basis.

Thus, the idea seems to be that our physiology, who we are in our bodies, may lead us to experience the world in such a way that basic preferences about how to run society emerge naturally from more basic dispositions and habits of perception. So, if you have a negativity bias, and you focus more on the aversive and disgusting, then the world seems more threatening to you. And thus, policies like supporting a stronger military, or being tougher on immigration, might feel very natural.

And when you combine Hibbing's research on the physiology of ideology with waves of other studies showing that liberals and conservatives appear to differ when it comes to genetics, hormones, moral emotions, personalities, and even brain structures, the case for politics being tied to biology seems pretty strong indeed.

So how do we then live with the other side—with those who disagree with us, for reasons over which they may not have full control? Hibbing believes that understanding that you don't fully control your political orientation, any more than you do your sexual orientation or your left-hand/right-hand orientation, promotes political tolerance. "My dad was left-handed," says Hibbing, "and he got beat on the hand with a ruler when he was a kid." Nowadays, Hibbing continues, that would never happen—we've grown much more tolerant because we recognize that left-handed is just the way some people are.

So maybe the same can happen for politics. "We have this silly and naive hope, maybe it's more than that," says Hibbing, "that if we could get people to see politics in the same light [as left-handedness], then maybe we would be a little bit more tolerant, and there will be a greater opportunity for compromise."

SOURCE

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

France shows what not to do

Tax-and-spend politics has driven Paris to the brink

While commentators remain captivated by the bleak saga of such Eurozone basket cases as Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy, another European Union member is quietly slipping into economic despair. After years of fiscal mismanagement, France is in a bad, bad place.

France spends more of its GDP on government-57 percent-than any other country in the Eurozone. The country's unemployment rate is at a 16-year high of 11 percent, and a startling number of richer and younger French people are leaving for more hospitable economic environments abroad.

It has gotten so bad that France's crisis-wracked neighbors might be catching up: A November 2013 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development report warned that Paris is "falling behind southern European countries that have cut labor costs and become leaner and meaner."

The data is even more striking when compared to Germany. With an unemployment rate of 5 percent and a private savings rate of 12.1 percent, Germany has been growing at 1 percent annually while France sputters along at 0 percent.

It is tempting to blame this on the 2007 recession, but the reality is that France hasn't been doing well in years. Since the creation of the Eurozone in 1999, France has only managed a 0.8 percent annual growth rate. Germany, by contrast, has grown three times faster over those 15 years.

Across all available indexes of national economic freedom, France scores very poorly for a developed nation. The 2013 Economic Freedom of the World Index, published by the Fraser Institute and Cato Institute, aggregates and weighs national data on five broad categories-size of government, rule of law and property rights protection, sound money, freedom of international trade, and regulation. How does France rank? An unimpressive 40th, down from 25th in 1980.

This effect is echoed in a similar but more qualitative survey from The Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation. Their Index of Economic Freedom for 2013 ranks France 62nd in the world, right between Thailand and Rwanda. And the trendlines in both studies are similar: The country's good or average scores in the areas of rule of law, regulation, and free trade are dragged down by bloated government and high taxes. Economic freedom is a good indicator of prosperity, and France's is sorely lacking.

Unfortunately, the French government's response to anemic growth and higher unemployment has been to tack toward less economic freedom, not more. Loyal to his promises on the campaign trail, President Francois Hollande of the Socialist Party has refused to trim France's social-welfare spending-the highest of all developed economies-and has chosen instead to chip away at the country's huge deficit by raising taxes.

Hollande's more right-wing predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, was only slightly better on taxes. In fact, data compiled by tax-watchdog groups and the media in 2012 show that during Sarkozy's rule, from 2007 to 2012, taxpayers were subjected to 205 separate increases, including excise taxes on televisions, tobacco, and diet sodas, multiple increases in capital taxation, and a wealth-tax hike. Sarkozy is also responsible for increasing the top marginal income tax rate from 40 to 41 percent in 2010, and again to 45 percent in 2012.

Analyzing data from the Ministry of Finance since 2009, the center-left newspaper Le Monde published a special report in September 2013 showing that 84 new taxes have been instated under both presidents. The article also noted that Sarkozy increased tax revenue by €16.2 billion in 2011 and €11.7 billion in 2012, while Hollande added another €7.6 billion shortly after his election and planned to raise an additional €20 billion in 2013. That's €55.5 billion in new tax revenue in four years, with more than half of the total collected from businesses.

France's tax haul stands at more than 45 percent of GDP-one of the highest in the Eurozone. Sarkozy did implement some small but beneficial pension reforms, which Hollande promptly overturned and replaced with a measly and insufficient increase in the pension contribution period. Not only is the new president unconcerned with the sustainability of the French pension system, but he refuses to follow the example of Europe's periphery by liberalizing French labor and product markets.

Hollande's commitment to big government hasn't won him any friends. The French rank him as the least popular president of the Fifth Republic, and young people are voting with their feet. According to the data from French consulates in London and Edinburgh, the number of French people living in London is probably somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000. That's more than the number of French people living in Bordeaux, Nantes, or Strasbourg.

In a stunning display of hubris, Hollande responded to this tax flight not by implementing beneficial reforms but by beefing up the exit tax that Sarkozy created in 2012. Sarkozy's penalty taxes capital gains at the rate of 19 percent, plus a 15.5 percent payroll-tax-like penalty, payable when exiles sell their assets any time within eight years after leaving the country. Under Hollande, that period is now being expanded up to 15 years.

For cockeyed optimists, there are still slivers of hope. During his New Year address, Hollande turned into a rhetorical supply-sider, making the case for cutting taxes and public spending, improving competitiveness, and creating a more investor-friendly climate. He also promised French businesses a "responsibility pact" to cut labor-force restrictions and thus promote increased hiring.

While free market economists don't believe a word of this, it is worth noting that France has reformed successfully before. Both the 1980s and the '90s saw large waves of privatization, marginal tax cuts, and slighter spending increases. To secure robust prosperity for new French generations, leaders should extend the lessons of these brief shining moments by seriously tackling government spending and reining in destructive tax rates.

Is it possible? Maybe. Many of the countries that have managed to engage in true reforms were led by left-leaning parties at the time. In Canada, the Liberal Party reduced the debt-to-GDP ratio from 67 percent to 29 percent in a few years by cutting spending in absolute terms and engaging in serious structural reforms. And while it's not exactly the same, President Bill Clinton kept the size of government in check in a way Republicans didn't when they were in control. He signed welfare reform, too.

If we're lucky, Hollande will want to make history by being the Socialist who turned France around. If not, the next Greece may well speak French.

SOURCE

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

For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, 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.

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 April, 2014

Whose Side Is God on Now? Putin?

Pat Buchanan speaks some unpopular truths below, as usual. I must say I find myself much more at ease with Mr. Putin than with the Western Left. That could change if some of the dire prophecies about him come true but so far I see a man who proceeds with great caution. I see nothing wrong with Russian patriotism. The Russians are a great people -- JR



In his Kremlin defense of Russia's annexation of Crimea, Vladimir Putin, even before he began listing the battles where Russian blood had been shed on Crimean soil, spoke of an older deeper bond.

Crimea, said Putin, "is the location of ancient Khersones, where Prince Vladimir was baptized. His spiritual feat of adopting Orthodoxy predetermined the overall basis of the culture, civilization and human values that unite the peoples of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus."

Russia is a Christian country, Putin was saying.

This speech recalls last December's address where the former KGB chief spoke of Russia as standing against a decadent West:

"Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values. Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sex partnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan. This is the path to degradation."

Heard any Western leader, say, Barack Obama, talk like that lately?

Indicting the "Bolsheviks" who gave away Crimea to Ukraine, Putin declared, "May God judge them."

What is going on here? With Marxism-Leninism a dead faith, Putin is saying the new ideological struggle is between a debauched West led by the United States and a traditionalist world Russia would be proud to lead.

In the new war of beliefs, Putin is saying, it is Russia that is on God's side. The West is Gomorrah.

Western leaders who compare Putin's annexation of Crimea to Hitler's Anschluss with Austria, who dismiss him as a "KGB thug," who call him "the alleged thief, liar and murderer who rules Russia," as the Wall Street Journal's Holman Jenkins did, believe Putin's claim to stand on higher moral ground is beyond blasphemous.

But Vladimir Putin knows exactly what he is doing, and his new claim has a venerable lineage. The ex-Communist Whittaker Chambers who exposed Alger Hiss as a Soviet spy, was, at the time of his death in 1964, writing a book on "The Third Rome."

The first Rome was the Holy City and seat of Christianity that fell to Odoacer and his barbarians in 476 A.D. The second Rome was Constantinople, Byzantium, (today's Istanbul), which fell to the Turks in 1453. The successor city to Byzantium, the Third Rome, the last Rome to the old believers, was -- Moscow.

Putin is entering a claim that Moscow is the Godly City of today and command post of the counter-reformation against the new paganism.

Putin is plugging into some of the modern world's most powerful currents. Not only in his defiance of what much of the world sees as America's arrogant drive for global hegemony. Not only in his tribal defense of lost Russians left behind when the USSR disintegrated.

He is also tapping into the worldwide revulsion of and resistance to the sewage of a hedonistic secular and social revolution coming out of the West.

In the culture war for the future of mankind, Putin is planting Russia's flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity. His recent speeches carry echoes of John Paul II whose Evangelium Vitae in 1995 excoriated the West for its embrace of a "culture of death."

What did Pope John Paul mean by moral crimes?

The West's capitulation to a sexual revolution of easy divorce, rampant promiscuity, pornography, homosexuality, feminism, abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, assisted suicide -- the displacement of Christian values by Hollywood values.

Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum writes that she was stunned when in Tbilisi to hear a Georgian lawyer declare of the former pro-Western regime of Mikhail Saakashvili, "They were LGBT."

"It was an eye-opening moment," wrote Applebaum. Fear and loathing of the same-sex-marriage pandemic has gone global. In Paris, a million-man Moral Majority marched in angry protest.

Author Martha Gessen, who has written a book on Putin, says of his last two years, "Russia is remaking itself as the leader of the anti-Western world."

But the war to be waged with the West is not with rockets. It is a cultural, social, moral war where Russia's role, in Putin's words, is to "prevent movement backward and downward, into chaotic darkness and a return to a primitive state."

Would that be the "chaotic darkness" and "primitive state" of mankind, before the Light came into the world?

This writer was startled to read in the Jan-Feb. newsletter from the social conservative World Council of Families in Rockford, Ill., that, of the "ten best trends" in the world in 2013, number one was "Russia Emerges as Pro-Family Leader."

In 2013, the Kremlin imposed a ban on homosexual propaganda, a ban on abortion advertising, a ban on abortions after 12 weeks and a ban on sacrilegious insults to religious believers.

"While the other super-powers march to a pagan world-view," writes WCF's Allan Carlson, "Russia is defending Judeo-Christian values. During the Soviet era, Western communists flocked to Moscow. This year, World Congress of Families VII will be held in Moscow, Sept. 10-12."

Will Vladimir Putin give the keynote? In the new ideological Cold War, whose side is God on now?

SOURCE

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

Noah COULD have floated his boat, say scientists: Ark really could have coped with two of every animal

The story of a man building a giant wooden boat to help his family and the entire animal kingdom survive a terrifying flood is one of the more contentious parts of the Bible.

But research by physics students suggests that a structure on the scale of Noah's ark as described in the ancient text could have been built. And what's more, they say it would have been buoyant even with two of every animal on Earth on board.

However, while the ark would have stayed afloat they're not sure if every animal would have fit inside.

In the book of Genesis, Chapter 6:13-22, Noah is commanded to build an ark to survive a flood.

- The dimensions for the ark were provided in cubits in the Bible, an archaic measure based on the distance between the elbow and the tip of the middle finger.

- Noah was commanded to make the boat out of ‘gopher wood’ and in order to calculate the weight of the empty ark they needed to know the density of the material the boat was constructed out of, but there is no modern-day equivalent of gopher wood.

- English translations of the Bible refer to cypress wood instead, so this was the material that the students used.

- In order to calculate the overall downward force of the ark, the students needed to know the mass of the animals on board; previous research has suggested that the average mass of an animal is approximately equal to that of one sheep, 23.47kg, which was the figure used.

- 'Our conclusions were that the ark would support the weight of 2.15 million sheep without sinking and that should be enough to support all of the species that were around at the time.'

Noah was provided with exact dimensions for the boat which should be 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high.

It was built to hold Noah, his family, and at least two of every species of animal for the duration of the flood.

Using these dimensions and suitable approximations, University of Leicester physics students Oliver Youle, Katie Raymer, Benjamin Jordan and Thomas Morris tested the instructions and were surprised with their results.

Student Thomas Morris, 22, from Chelmsford, said: 'You don’t think of the Bible necessarily as a scientifically accurate source of information, so I guess we were quite surprised when we discovered it would work. 'We’re not proving that it’s true, but the concept would definitely work.'

The students based their calculations on a book by Dr Morris and Dr Whitbomb called The Genesis Flood, which suggested that Noah would have needed to save approximately 35,000 species to repopulate Earth.

This enabled the students to conclude that the dimensions given in the Bible would have allowed Noah to build an ark that would float with all of the animals on board.

They added that it was a separate matter whether all of the animals would fit inside an ark of these dimensions – the physics students were simply calculating the buoyancy of the ark.

SOURCE

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

We'll Probably End Up Just Dumping Obamacare's Employer Mandate

As you read this, keep in mind that Robert Gibbs isn't some marginal figure. He is as close to Barack Obama's inner circle as anyone in America, and served as the administration's official mouthpiece for years. So when he starts talking about significant changes to Obamacare, people should sit up and listen. These remarks could reasonably be considered White House-planted trial balloons:

“I don’t think the employer mandate will go into effect. It’s a small part of the law. I think it will be one of the first things to go,” he said to a notably surprised audience. The employer mandate has been delayed twice, he noted. The vast majority of employers with 100 or more employees offer health insurance, and there aren’t many employers who fall into the mandate window, he said. Killing the employer mandate would be one way to improve the law — and there are a handful of other “common sense” improvements needed as well, he said...And, most importantly, Gibbs said “health care has to add an additional layer of coverage cheaper than the plans already offered.”

A few points: (1) Yes, the employer mandate has already been delayed twice, tacit admissions that the law is bad for business. Will the administration keep punting it, or will they simply declare it dead? The mandate is built into the law. The White House's postponements of this provision are legally dubious at best; they absolutely do not have the authority to excise entire sections of the law permanently. Will Congress act? I'd also imagine that many employers would dispute Gibbs' characterization of this mandate as "small." (2) How would the demise of the employer mandate impact the mechanics of the law? Its existence has been baked into CBO estimates on revenues and coverage. If a portion of the law designed to ensure coverage for millions, which obviously impacts revenues, goes away, what then? CBO already projects that 31 million Americans will remain uninsured under Obamacare.

(3) Absent a federal mandate to provide coverage, and facing rising costs, many businesses could be incentivized to just dump employees into Obamacare's exchanges. A 2012 Deloitte survey indicated that one in ten American businesses were already planning to stop providing coverage -- and that was with the mandate fully intact. Such a move would add countless Americans to the roster of those burned by Democrats' "keep your plan" lie, and could heap major additional costs onto taxpayers (who fund the law's subsidies). It would also rapidly expand the individual healthcare market, which is where the sharpest cost increases are taking place. And are Democrats prepared to cancel a mandate on corporations while keeping the individual mandate tax in place for families?

(4) To that end, Gibbs floats the idea of eventually adding a cheaper coverage level into the exchange mix, below the "bronze" level -- which has proven unaffordable for many people. This, like the administration's expansive "hardship waivers," is a concession that the "Affordable" Care Act is no such thing for many Americans. It would also re-establish an group of bare-bones plans that Obamacare defenders have dismissed as "sub-standard" or "junk" coverage. Healthcare expert Bob Laszewski has been advocating this change, which he argues must be implemented immediately, despite the risk of "anti-selection." Significant premium increases are expected in 2015 and beyond.

SOURCE

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

ELSEWHERE

Minimum Wedge: "Raising the minimum wage is a key Democrat election issue this year, and they're waging class warfare around the nation. They seek to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 -- a 40% hike that could kill 500,000 jobs. Democrats are subtly signaling, however, that they'd be willing to settle for a smaller increase just to pass one. They need all the help they can get this election year, after all. So naturally, Barack Obama stepped in to add his conciliatory message. "You would think this would be a no-brainer," the president said of raising it. But "Republicans in Congress don't want to vote to raise it all. In fact, some just want to scrap the minimum wage." That's right, because it destroys jobs. "Next think you know," he jabbed, "they'll say, 'Get off my lawn.'" And next thing we know, he'll be quoting taunts from Monty Python.

Numbers Games: "An unpublished RAND Corporation study on ObamaCare enrollment has been kept under wraps and it's not hard to see why. While the White House trumpeted meeting its goal of 7.1 million enrollees this week, RAND says the number actually enrolled -- having paid their premium -- could be as few as 858,000. Just 23% of enrollees were previously uninsured. Even if the true number is somewhere in the middle, Democrats running for election in November will rue the day 7.1 million was mentioned. And how did the administration get its numbers so fast anyway? A couple of months ago Jay Carney stonewalled, saying, "I'm not going to cherry-pick numbers," meaning, tell you any. Now he says they know to the decimal point because "our system has gotten a lot better." Color us skeptical.

How did people find out that Mozilla’s CEO donated to support Prop 8?: "Rumors are floating around Twitter that proof of Brendan Eich’s donation was illegally leaked by people in government sympathetic to the cause of gay marriage. Not so. I’d forgotten about it, but friends reminded me that the LA Times obtained a list of people who gave, for and against, to the fight over the Prop 8 referendum in 2008. They put the whole database online and made it searchable. Search it today and, sure enough, there’s Eich with a $1,000 donation in favor. Under California law, that disclosure is perfectly legal: The state is authorized to provide certain personal information about anyone who donates more than $100 to a ballot measure. Why the state is allowed to do that, I’m not sure.

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

For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, 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.

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 April, 2014

"Alles muss anders sein"

Everyone I know sees things in the world about them that they would like to see changed. So the idea that conservatives are opposed to change is ludicrous. The changes they oppose are the hate-driven changes that the Left want, not change in general.

And the changes that the Left want are extreme. The depths of Leftist discontent are to my mind best encapsulated in a saying from prewar Germany: Alles muss anders sein. Hitler used that slogan and so did most of the German Left of the 1920s and 30s

So what does it mean? It is a very simple statement but it needs some thought to get the full impact of it in English. My translation: "Everything must be changed". Everything. You can't get more discontented than that. A Leftist really does have the fires of Hell burning inside him. No wonder Leftist behaviour is so reckless and beyond reason.

Obama's wish to "fundamentally transform" America is saying the same thing using more formal words.

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

British tax cut pays off

The amount of tax paid by the best-off has soared since George Osborne slashed the top rate of tax from 50p to 45p, according to a new analysis.

New figures from HM Revenue & Customs show the total income tax collected on earnings over £150,000 has shot up from £40 billion last year to £49 billion this year.

Former Conservative Cabinet minister John Redwood, who produced the figures, said it appeared the Chancellor’s tax cut was having dramatic results in what would be a ‘shock to many of the conventional pundits’ who criticised the measure.

‘Total income tax collected from people earning more than £150,000 has surged from £40bn to £49bn this year compared to last.

'It has more than made up for the loss of tax revenue from lower earners following the big increase in tax thresholds,’ Mr Redwood said.

He said the 50p rate introduced by Labour in its final weeks in power was clearly ‘costly’.

Britain lost high earners overseas, and saw the richest use tax loopholes to declare less income when the rate was high.

‘The rareified group of people earning more than £2m declared income of £12.2bn in 2012-13, but paid tax on £26bn of income the following year with the lower rate.

‘This small group of people alone more than paid for the rise in threshold to take many lower earners out of tax altogether.

‘The top one per cent of earners now earn 13 per cent of the income but pay 28 per cent of the total income tax. The top five per cent earn one quarter of the income but pay around half the total income tax.

‘This progressive structure works as long as the government does not get too greedy, setting a higher rate which means the rich pay less because they either go or they earn and declare less.

‘I wonder how much more revenue the Treasury would enjoy if the top rate were set at a more competitive rate? 'I suspect that too would see a further surge in revenue, money the state clearly needs to end the deficit.’

A Tory spokesman said: ‘The Government is clear that in clearing up Labour’s economic mess those with broadest shoulders should bear the biggest burden.’

David Cameron will today hail the Government’s tax changes taking effect this week as the most radical for two decades.

On Tuesday, corporation tax came down to 21 per cent, the tax-free annual investment allowance for businesses was doubled, business rates [property taxes] were capped at two per cent and fuel duty was frozen.

From Sunday, over one million businesses will benefit from up to £2,000 ‘cashback’ on their National Insurance contributions.

The personal income tax allowance will be raised this weekend from £9,440 to £10,000, cutting tax for the typical basic rate taxpayer by £705 this year.

SOURCE

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

Millionaires Need Your Help!

Ann Coulter

Last Sunday, The New York Times published a front-page article about the heartfelt need of California farmers for more illegal aliens.

The first tip-off that heinous public policy ideas were coming was that the Times introduced farmer Chuck Herrin, owner of a farm-labor contracting company, as a "lifelong Republican." That's Times-speak for "liberal."

Herrin admitted that he employs a lot of illegal aliens and bitterly complained that they lived in fear of "Border Patrol and deportations." (But, apparently, he doesn't live in fear of admitting he's violating our immigration laws.)

Sorry that running a country inconveniences you, Chuck.

He said his illegal alien employees deserved amnesty because if "we keep them here and not do anything for them once they get old, that's really extortion."

As the punch line goes, "What's this 'we,' paleface?"

Taxpayers have been subsidizing Chuck Herrin's underpayment of his illegal labor force for decades, with skyrocketing taxes to pay for schools, roads, bridges, food stamps, health care and so on. Now Herrin thinks "we" are supposed to support his illegal employees in their old age, too.

Here's another idea: How about a federal law mandating that employers of illegal aliens take responsibility for the people they hire? Why is the taxpayer on the hook for illegal aliens' food, housing and medical care, when Chuck Herrin got 100 percent of the profit from their cheap labor?

We don't allow chemical companies to dump pollutants in rivers, walk away and then say, "If we dump chemicals in rivers and we don't clean them once the plant is gone, that's really criminal."

No, you dumped the chemicals -- not "we." And you, Chuck Herrin, got the cheap labor -- not "we."

"We" got hospital emergency rooms jammed with illegal aliens when we came in with heart attacks. "We" got the crime, drunk-driving and drug trafficking associated with illegal aliens. "We" got the overcrowded schools filled with kids whose illegal alien parents don't pay property taxes. "We" got to press "one" for English.

This is even worse than the Wall Street bailouts -- another example of fat cats pocketing 100 percent of the profits when business is good, but demanding a taxpayer handout when their investments go south. At least the Wall Street bailouts didn't alter the country forever by giving the Democrats 30 million new voters.

According to the California Hospital Association, health care for illegal aliens is costing state taxpayers well over $1 billion a year.. Eighty-four hospitals across California have already been forced to close because of unpaid bills by illegal aliens.

Last year alone, California taxpayers paid $32 million for indigents' health care at hospitals located in Fresno County-- which happens to be where Chuck Herrin's company is based. How about submitting a portion of that cost to Herrin?

Not only should employers of illegal aliens be responsible for their employees' becoming public charges, but they ought to be legally responsible for any crimes their illegal workers commit, just as parents can be for the crimes of their minor children, and bars can be for the behavior of their over-served customers.

Why should employers of illegal aliens be allowed to externalize their costs, while keeping 100 percent of the profits?

The very fact that the American taxpayer is required to subsidize illegal alien farm labor -- to say nothing of anti-competitive marketing orders, tariffs and subsidies given to farmers -- proves that we're propping up an industry the country doesn't need.

If Mexican farm labor is so much cheaper, maybe we should be growing our fruits and vegetables in Mexico. There's absolutely no reason to import Mexicans to do something they could do at home and then sell to us. I believe this is what economists call "competitive advantage."

The Times quotes a report by two pro-amnesty farmers groups, Partnership for a New American Economy and the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, complaining that American consumption of foreign-grown produce has increased by 80 percent since the late 1990s.

I see why rich farmers are alarmed by that, but why should Americans care? If food can be grown cheaper in other countries, isn't it the very essence of libertarian free trade principles to buy it from them?

No. Apparently, we're required to wreck the country by bringing in millions upon millions more poor people so we can save the buggy whip industry.

We didn't do that with oil. We didn't do it with steel. We must be "Fortress America" only when it comes to asparagus!

Hey! Where's the Cato Institute on this? Busy drafting another philippic against our drug laws?

I care more about my fellow Americans who can't get well-paying jobs than I do about multimillionaire farmers, demanding that the rest of us pay to support an industry that claims it can't compete without taxpayer-subsidized illegal alien labor.

SOURCE

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

One California for Me, Another for Thee

Victor Davis Hanson

No place on the planet is as beautiful and as naturally rich as California. And few places have become as absurd.

Currently, three California state senators are either under felony indictment or already have been convicted.

State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) made a political career out of demanding harsher state gun-control laws. Now he is facing several felony charges for attempting to facilitate gun-running. One count alleges that Lee sought to provide banned heavy automatic weapons to Philippines-based Islamic terrorist groups.

State Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello), who had succeeded one brother, Thomas, in the state Assembly and was succeeded by another brother, Charles, now faces felony charges of wire fraud, bribery, money laundering and falsification of tax returns.

State Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood), originally entered politics as a champion of social justice. Not long ago, the Democratic leaders of the California Senate in secretive fashion paid $120,000 in taxpayer funds to settle a sexual-harassment suit against Wright. But this time around, not even his fellow senators could save Wright, who was convicted earlier this year on eight felony counts of perjury and voter fraud.

What is the common denominator with all three California senators -- aside from the fact that they are still receiving their salaries?

One, they are abject hypocrites who campaigned against old-boy insider influence-peddling so they could get elected to indulge in it.

Two, they assumed that their progressive politics shielded them from the sort of public scrutiny and consequences that usually deter such deplorable behavior.

Criminal activity is the extreme manifestation of California's institutionalized progressive hypocrisy. Milder expressions of double standards explain why California has become such a bizarre place.

The state suffers from the highest combined taxes in the nation and nearly the worst roads and schools. It is home to more American billionaires than any other state, but also more impoverished residents. California is more naturally endowed with a combination of gas, oil, timber and minerals than any other state -- with the highest electricity prices and gas taxes in the nation.

To understand these paradoxes, keep in mind one common principle. To the degree a Californian is politically influential, wealthy or well-connected -- and loudly progressive -- the more he is immune from the downside of his own ideology.

Big money is supposed to be bad for politics. But no money plays a bigger role in influencing policy than California's progressive cash, from Hollywood to Silicon Valley. Billionaire hedge-fund operator Tom Steyer is canonized, but he is on track to rival the oft-demonized Koch brothers in the amount of money spent on influencing policymakers and getting his type of politicians elected.

Nowhere are there more Mercedes and BMWs per capita than in California's tony coastal enclaves. And nowhere will you find more anti-carbon activism or more restrictive laws against new oil production that ensure the highest gasoline prices in the continental United States for the less well off.

California's reserves of natural gas exceed those of nearly every other state. And in California, electricity prices are the highest in the nation. The cost falls on those in the interior and Sierra who suffer either from scorching summertime temperatures or bitterly cold winters. Those who set energy policies mostly live in the balmy coastal corridor where there is no need for expensive air conditioning or constant home heating.

In drought-stricken California, building new Sierra Nevada dams and reservoirs was long ago considered passť, but not the idea of diverting precious stored water from agricultural use to help out fish.

Yet the waters of the Sierra Nevada Hetch Hetchy reservoir are exempt from such fish diversions, apparently because they supply 80 percent of San Francisco's daily water supply. Those who wish to either stop more dam construction or divert dammed reservoir water from its original intended use draw the line on restricting their own quite unnatural water sources.

High-speed rail is billed as the transportation of the future in California. But its progressive coastal boosters believe that it should first be tried out on farmers in sparsely settled rural areas rather than in their own precious high-density Bay Area or Los Angeles.

In California, open borders and non-enforcement of existing immigration law are also popular progressive causes. But the immediate impact of illegal immigration on public schools is circumvented for the elite by the growing number of private prep schools along the coast.

Professing that you are progressive can be wise California politics. It means you sound too caring ever to do bad things, while the costly consequences of your ideology usually fall on someone else. And that someone is usually less hip, less wealthy and less powerful.

SOURCE

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

For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, 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.

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 April, 2014

Releaser-in-Chief

ICE engages in catch & release instead of interior enforcement; 68,000 convicted criminal aliens released in one year

Public safety is threatened by the Obama administration's deliberate suppression of immigration law enforcement through abuse of prosecutorial discretion. A study released by the Center for Immigration Studies - based on internal data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement - reveals that this practice has led to ICE charging only 195,000, or 25 percent, out of 722,000 potentially deportable aliens they encounter and releasing convicted criminal aliens 68,000 times in 2013. The releases are troubling, as is the revelation that more than 870,000 aliens who have been ordered removed still remain in the country in defiance of the law.

Just as the president has ordered a review of U.S. deportation practices with the intent of lowering the number of deportations, this study highlights the public safety issues that have resulted from the dramatic downturn in interior enforcement on his watch. ICE targeted 28 percent fewer aliens for deportation from the interior in 2013 than in 2012, despite sustained high numbers of encounters in the Criminal Alien and Secure Communities programs.

"The Obama administration's deliberate obstruction of immigration enforcement, in which tens of thousands of criminal aliens are released instead of removed, is threatening the well-being of American communities," said study author Jessica Vaughan. "It's not a matter of if, but how many families will suffer harm as a result. Every day, I read accounts of crimes that could have been prevented if ICE officers had been allowed to do their jobs. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson should be reaching out to these victims and their families to better understand the impact of his actions. And, Congress should initiate a review of the public safety implications of the administration's abuse of prosecutorial discretion."

View the entire report at: http://www.cis.org/catch-and-release

Key findings include:

In 2013, ICE charged only 195,000, or 25 percent, out of 722,000 potentially deportable aliens they en-countered. Most of these aliens came to ICE's attention after incarceration for a local arrest.

ICE released 68,000 criminal aliens in 2013, or 35 percent of the criminal aliens encountered by officers. The vast majority of these releases occurred because of the Obama administration's prosecutorial discretion policies, not because the aliens were not deportable.

ICE targeted 28 percent fewer aliens for deportation from the interior in 2013 than in 2012, despite sus-tained high numbers of encounters in the Criminal Alien and Secure Communities programs.

Every ICE field office but one reported a decline in interior enforcement activity.

ICE reports that there are more than 870,000 aliens on its docket who have been ordered removed, but who remain in defiance of the law.

Under current policies, an alien's family relationships, political considerations, attention from advocacy groups, and other factors not related to public safety can trump even serious criminal convictions and result in the termination of a deportation case.

Less than 2 percent of ICE's caseload was in detention at the end of fiscal year 2013. About three-fourths of the aliens ICE detained in 2013 had criminal and/or immigration convictions so serious that the detention was required by statute.

Email from CIS

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

Obama is anti-American -- always has been

Thomas Sowell

Japan recently turned over to the United States enough weapons-grade nuclear material to make dozens of nuclear bombs. This was one of President Barack Obama's few foreign policy "successes," as part of his nuclear disarmament initiative. But his foreign policy successes may be more dangerous than his "failures." Back in 2005, Senator Barack Obama urged the Ukrainians to drastically reduce their conventional weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles and tons of ammunition. Ukraine had already rid itself of nuclear missiles, left over from the days when it had been part of the Soviet Union.

Would Vladimir Putin have sent Russian troops so boldly into Ukraine if the Ukrainians still had nuclear missiles? The nuclear disarming of Japan and Ukraine shows how easy it is to disarm peaceful nations -- making them more vulnerable to those who are not peaceful.

Ukraine's recent appeal to the United States for military supplies, with which to defend itself as more Russian troops mass on its borders, was denied by President Obama. He is sending food supplies instead. He might as well send them white flags, to facilitate surrender.

Critics who say that President Obama is naive and inexperienced in foreign policy, and blame that for the many setbacks to American interests during this administration may be right. But it is by no means certain that they are.

Another and more disturbing possibility is that Barack Obama, in his citizen-of-the-world conception of himself, thinks that the United States already has too much power and needs to be deflated. Rush Limbaugh, Dinesh D'Souza and some other critics have seen Obama's repeated sacrifices of American national interests as deliberate.

Monstrous as that possibility might seem, it is consistent not only with many otherwise hard to explain foreign policy setbacks, but also consistent with Obama's having been raised, literally from childhood, with anti-American mentors, beginning with his mother. He continued to seek out such people as an adult.

The ranting Reverend Jeremiah Wright was just one of these anti-American mentors.

President Obama's undermining of stable and unthreatening governments in Egypt and Libya, opening both to Islamic extremists, while doing nothing that was likely to keep Iran from going nuclear, seems more consistent with the views of Rush Limbaugh, Dinesh D'Souza, et al., than with the views of most other critics.

What is also more consistent with the Limbaugh and D'Souza thesis are such personal quirks as Obama's gross rudeness to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House and his otherwise inexplicable public debasement of himself and the United States by bowing low to other foreign leaders.

There was nothing to be gained politically by such actions. Nor by such things as his whispered statement to Russian president Dmitry Medvedev that he should tell "Vladimir" that he -- Obama -- could follow a more "flexible" foreign policy after his last election was behind him.

What could be more "flexible" than denying Ukraine the military supplies needed to deter further Russian aggression? Or leaving Japan without material needed to create a nuclear deterrent quickly, while an aggressive China is expanding its military forces and its territorial demands in the region?

Domestically, the unbroken string of Barack Obama's grievance-mongering mentors included Professor Derrick Bell at the Harvard Law School, author of rantings on paper similar to Jeremiah Wright's rantings in his church.

Professor Bell was a man cast in the role of a scholar at top tier universities, who chose instead to take on the pathetic role of someone whose goal was -- in his own words -- to "annoy white people."

Derrick Bell was not a stupid man. He was a man placed where he should never have been placed, where there was no self-respecting role for him to play, without going off on some strange tangent. That Barack Obama literally embraced Professor Bell publicly in law school, and urged others to listen to him, says much about Obama.

It says much about those who voted for Obama that they paid so little attention to his life and so much attention to his rhetoric.

SOURCE

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

Official Policy: Male Federal Workers Can Use Women's Restrooms, Locker Rooms

When an expectant mother visits her doctor for an ultrasound, the doctor invariably asks: Do you want to know the sex of your child?

The Obama administration, however, does not believe an unborn child has a sex -- even when a doctor sees indisputable physical evidence.

Obama's Office of Personnel Management has published what it calls "Guidance Regarding the Employment of Transgender Individuals in the Workplace." This document speaks of "sex" as something a person has "assigned" to them only after they make it through the birth canal.

"Transgender individuals are people with a gender identity that is different from the sex assigned to them at birth," says the guidance. "Someone who was assigned the male sex at birth but who identifies as female is a transgender woman. Likewise, a person assigned the female sex at birth but who identifies as male is a transgender man."

OPM discretely expresses its theory in the passive voice. It does not blame the mom or the dad for insensitively exclaiming, without any qualification: It's a boy!

But OPM's guidance does allow qualifications for federal workers. "Some individuals will find it necessary to transition from living and working as one gender to another," says OPM.

The guidelines say the last phase in this transition is called "real life experience." "As the name suggests, the real life experience is designed to allow the transgender individual to experience living full-time in the gender role to which he or she is transitioning," say the guidelines. "Completion of at least one year of the real life experience is required prior to an individual's being deemed eligible for gender reassignment surgery."

The guidelines call for the government to take certain steps to accommodate a federal worker going through a transition.

This can involve educating co-workers. "If it would be helpful and appropriate, employing agencies may have a trainer or presenter meet with employees to answer general questions regarding gender identity," say the guidelines.

It means allowing the person to dress differently. "Once an employee has informed management that he or she is transitioning," say the guidelines, "the employee will begin wearing the clothes associated with the gender to which the person is transitioning."

It means having co-workers use gender-correct terminology. "Managers, supervisors, and co-workers should use the name and pronouns appropriate to the employee's new gender," say the guidelines.

Then there is the point in the guidance governing restrooms and locker rooms.

"For a transitioning employee, this means that, once he or she has begun living and working full-time in the gender that reflects his or her identity, agencies should allow access to restrooms and (if provided to other employees) locker room facilities consistent with his or her gender identity," say the guidelines.

According to the guidance, access to a restroom or locker room should not be conditioned on anatomy.

"While a reasonable temporary compromise may be appropriate in some circumstances," say the guidance, "transitioning employees should not be required to have undergone or to provide proof of any particular medical procedure (including gender reassignment surgery) in order to have access to facilities designated for use by a particular gender."

On Sept. 4, OPM published a proposed regulation based on the same prefatory language as its guidance -- i.e. to provide a federal workplace free from discrimination based on "sex (including gender identity and pregnancy)."

This regulation would extend federal civil rights laws, insofar as they protect federal workers, to cover discrimination based on "gender identity" and "sexual orientation."

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has submitted well-reasoned comments on the proposed rule. After noting there is no statutory basis for it, and that some politicians are trying to enact the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to create a statutory basis for it, the USCCB's comments deal with the issues of privacy and freedom of speech.

"Employees have, for example, a legitimate expectation of privacy in workplace restrooms and locker rooms," says the USCCB. "Inclusion of gender identity in the OPM regulations would violate those reasonable expectations. In addition, a government prohibition on all differential treatment based on gender identity would almost certainly be used to squelch speech in the workplace that is not morally approving of efforts to 'identify with' the opposite sex or of the purported 'change' of one's given sex."

But it is in a footnote, quoting the Catholic Catechism, that the bishops get to the heart of the matter: "'Being man' or 'being woman' is a reality which is good and willed by God."

"Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity," says the USCCB's comment, continuing to quote the Catechism. "Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out."

The people who now run our federal government not only deny the basic facts of life, they are trying to force the consequences of their denial on the world that all the innocent little boys and girls born today must inhabit tomorrow.

SOURCE

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

For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, 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.

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 April, 2014

Judaism, Christianity, Environmentalism

Dennis Prager

As I have often noted, the most dynamic and influential religion of the past hundred years has not been Christianity, let alone Judaism, the two religions that created the Western world. Nor has it been Islam. It has been Leftism.

Leftism has influenced the literary, academic, media, and, therefore, the political elite far more than any other religion. It has taken over Western schools from elementary through graduate.

For most of that time, various incarnations of Marxism have been the dominant expressions -- and motivators -- of Leftism: specifically, income redistribution, material equality and socialism. They are still powerful aspects of the left, but with the downfall of most communist regimes, other left-wing expressions have generated even more passion: first feminism and then environmentalism.

Nothing comes close to environmentalism in generating left-wing enthusiasm. It is the religion of our time. For the left, the earth has supplanted patriotism. This was largely inevitable in Europe, given its contempt for nationalism since the end of World War I and even more so since World War II. But it is now true for the elites (almost all of whose members are on the left) in America as well.

This was most graphically displayed by the infamous Time magazine cover of April 21, 2008 that altered the most iconic photograph in American history -- Joe Rosenthal's picture of the marines planting the flag on Iwo Jima. Instead of the American flag, the Time cover depicted the marines planting a tree. The caption on the cover read: "How to Win the War on Global Warming." In other words, just as German and Japanese fascism was the enemy in World War II, global warming is the enemy today. And instead of allegiance to the nation's flag, now our allegiance must be to nature.

This is the antithesis of the Judeo-Christian view of the world that has dominated Western civilization for all of the West's history. The Judeo-Christian worldview is that man is at the center of the universe; nature was therefore created for man. Nature has no intrinsic worth other than man's appreciation and (moral) use of it.

Worship of nature was the pagan worldview, a worship that the Hebrew Bible was meant to destroy. The messages of the Creation story in Genesis were that:

1) God created nature. God is not in nature, and nature is not God. Nature is nothing more than His handiwork. Therefore it is He, not nature, that is to be worshipped. The pagan world held nature in esteem; its gods were gods of nature (not above nature).

2) Nature cannot be worshipped because nature is amoral, whereas God is moral.

3) All of creation had one purpose: the final creation, the human being.

With the demise of the biblical religions that have provided the American people with their core values since their country's inception, we are reverting to the pagan worldview. Trees and animals are venerated, while man is simply one more animal in the ecosystem -- and largely a hindrance, not an asset.

On February 20, a pit bull attacked a 4-year-old boy, Kevin Vicente, leaving the boy with a broken eye socket and a broken jaw. Kevin will have to undergo months, perhaps years, of additional reconstructive surgeries. A Facebook page was set up to raise funds. But it wasn't set up for Kevin. It was set up for the dog. The "Save Mickey" page garnered over 70,000 "likes," and raised more than enough money to provide legal help to prevent the dog from being euthanized. There were even candlelight vigils and a YouTube video plea for the dog.

The non-profit legal group defending Mickey is the Lexus Project. According to CBS News, "the same group fought earlier this year for the life of a dog that fatally mauled a toddler in Nevada."

This is the trend. Nature over man.

This is why environmentalists oppose the Keystone pipeline. Nature over man. The pipeline will provide work for thousands of people and it will enable Canada and the United States to increasingly break away from dependence on other countries for their energy needs. But to the true believers who make up much of the environmentalist movement, none of that matters. Just as they didn't care about the millions of Africans who died of malaria as a result of those environmentalists' efforts to ban DDT.

One of the fathers of the green movement is James Lovelock, the scientist who originated the Gaia hypothesis of the earth as a single living organism. This past Sunday, the British newspaper, the Guardian, reported that, "Talking about the environmental movement, Lovelock says: 'It's become a religion, and religions don't worry too much about facts.'"

He also told the interviewer "that he had been too certain about the rate of global warming in his past book ... that fracking and nuclear power should power the UK, not renewable sources such as wind farms."

As G.K. Chesterton prophesied over a hundred years ago: "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing -- they believe in anything."

Now it's the environment.

SOURCE

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

How Foreign is Our Policy?

Thomas Sowell

Many people are lamenting the bad consequences of Barack Obama's foreign policy, and some are questioning his competence.

There is much to lament, and much to fear. Multiple setbacks to American interests have been brought on by Obama's policies in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Crimea and -- above all -- in what seems almost certain to become a nuclear Iran in the very near future.

The president's public warning to Syria of dire consequences if the Assad regime there crossed a "red line" he had drawn seemed to epitomize an amateurish bluff that was exposed as a bluff when Syria crossed that red line without suffering any consequences. Drawing red lines in disappearing ink makes an international mockery of not only this president's credibility, but also the credibility of future American presidents' commitments.

When some future President of the United States issues a solemn warning internationally, and means it, there may be less likelihood that the warning will be taken seriously. That invites the kind of miscalculation that has led to wars.

Many who are disappointed with what seem to be multiple fiascoes in President Obama's foreign policy question his competence and blame his inexperience.Such critics may be right, but it is by no means certain that they are.

Like those who are disappointed with Barack Obama's domestic policies, critics of his foreign policy may be ignoring the fact that you cannot know whether someone is failing or succeeding without knowing what he is trying to do.

Whether ObamaCare, for example, is a success or a failure, depends on whether you think the president's goal is to improve the medical treatment of Americans or to leave as his permanent legacy a system of income redistribution, through ObamaCare, and tight government control of the medical profession.

Much, if not most, of the disappointment with Barack Obama comes from expectations based on his words, rather than on an examination of what he has done over his lifetime before reaching the White House.

His words were glowing. He is a master of rhetoric, image and postures. He was so convincing that many failed to connect the dots of his past life that pointed in the opposite direction from his words. "Community organizers," for example, are not uniters but dividers -- and former community organizer Obama has polarized this country, despite his rhetoric about uniting us.

Many were so mesmerized by both the man himself and the euphoria surrounding the idea of "the first black president" that they failed to notice that there were any dots, much less any need to connect them.

One dot alone -- the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, whose church the Obamas attended for 20 years -- would have been enough to sink any other presidential bid by anyone who was not in line to become "the first black president."

The painful irony is that Jeremiah Wright was just one in a series of Obama's mentors hostile to America, resentful of successful Americans, and convinced that America had too much power internationally, and needed to be brought down a peg.

Anti-Americanism was the rule, not the exception, among Obama's mentors over the years, beginning in his childhood. When the young Obama and his mother lived in Indonesia, her Indonesian husband wanted her to accompany him to social gatherings with American businessmen -- and was puzzled when she refused.

He reminded her that these were her own people. According to Barack Obama's own eyewitness account, her voice rose "almost to a shout" when she replied:

"They are not my people."

Most of Barack Obama's foreign policy decisions since becoming president are consistent with this mindset. He has acted repeatedly as a citizen of the world, even though he was elected to be President of the United States.

Virtually every major move of the Obama administration has reduced the power, security and influence of America and its allies. Cutbacks in military spending, while our adversaries have increased their military buildups, ensure that these changes to our detriment will continue, even after Barack Obama has left the White House.

Is that failure or success?

SOURCE

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

Democrats: The REAL Party of the Rich

Democrats, led by the President, have resorted again and again to the rhetoric of class warfare -- you know, "the party of the rich" and all that.

That's why it's ironic that Democratic Party is the actual party of the rich. Democrats represent the richest district in the country -- and the richest Americans.

In shorthand, they represent the very rich and the very poor . . . those needing or wanting the benefits procured by a big, active, high-taxing government, and those who can pay those high taxes without even noticing (or find creative ways to prevent them from biting). They are also rich, powerful and connected enough to influence government policy in their favor, and often stand to benefit from government regulation that serves to stifle competition.

The GOP has become the party of the strivers, of the middle class, of small business, and of all those who have aspirations to prosperity. And sadly, they are the only ones who are serious about protecting what Paul Ryan has described as "the right to rise" -- what used to be universally known and embraced as "the American Dream."

SOURCE

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

New Virginia law protects farmers from meddling local officials

In a hard-fought and stunning victory for family farmers and property rights throughout the Commonwealth, Gov. Terry McAuliffe on March 5 signed into law legislation solidifying Virginia’s status as a right-to-farm state by limiting local officials’ ability to interfere with normal agricultural operations.

The governor’s signature marks the latest chapter in a swirling controversy that attracted nationwide attention in 2012 when the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors forced family farmer Martha Boneta to cease selling produce from her own 64-acre farm. No longer allowed to sell the vegetables she had harvested, Boneta donated the food to local charities lest it go to waste.

Fauquier County officials threatened Boneta with $5,000 per-day fines for hosting a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls without a permit, and advertising pumpkin carvings. Seeing the county’s action against Boneta as a brazen effort to drive her off her land, Virginians from all walks of life rallied to her defense. Supporters gathered in Warrenton, the county seat, for a peaceful “pitchfork protest” to vent their anger over what an out-of-control local government had done to a law-abiding citizen.

In the 2013 session of the General Assembly, Rep. Scott Lingamfelter, R-Prince William, spearheaded an effort to undo the injustice inflicted on Boneta, and to protect other small farmers from similar abuse, by strengthening Virginia’s Right to Farm Act. What became known as the “Boneta Bill” passed the House by an overwhelming margin but was killed in a Senate committee. Undeterred, Boneta and her supporters came back to the General Assembly in 2014 and won wide bipartisan approval for legislation protecting the rights of family farmers.

The bill signed by Gov. McAuliffe grew out of legislation developed by Rep. Bobby Orrick, R-Thornburg, and Rep. Richard Stuart, R-Montross, and supported by, among others, Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax. Backed by the Virginia Farm Bureau, the new law protects customary activities at agricultural operations from local bans in the absence of substantial impacts on public welfare. It also prohibits localities from requiring a special-use permit for a host of farm-related activities that are specified in the bill. The law takes effect on July 1.

“I want to thank Gov. McAuliffe, the members of the General Assembly, and all those who have rallied to the defense of family farmers,” Boneta said. “After all my family and I have been through, it is gratifying to know that an injustice can be undone, and the rights of farmers as entrepreneurs can be upheld thanks to the work of so many dedicated people.”

Successful Grassroots Effort

Passage of the Boneta Bill was all the more remarkable, because it was entirely a grassroots effort. Supporters of the legislation, none of whom received any compensation for the time and effort they devoted to the cause, flooded the state capitol in Richmond with emails, phone calls, and personal visits with lawmakers to ensure enactment of the legislation.

By contrast, opponents of the bill, including well-funded environmental organizations and power-hungry county governments – both determined to preserve strict land-use controls – reportedly employed lobbyists to kill the bill. In the end, highly motivated citizens triumphed over highly paid lobbyists.

SOURCE

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

For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, 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.

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 April, 2014

French voters swing Right

French voters dealt a severe blow to the Socialist government in Sunday's municipal elections, but the party saved face by retaining the crown jewel, Paris, which got its first female mayor.

The anti-immigration far right, which claims that France's large Muslim population is "Islamicizing" the nation, made solid advances, fulfilling National Front promises to begin building a grassroots base.

Socialist leaders conceded defeat in the final round of the voting seen as a referendum on unpopular President Francois Hollande, who was expected to reshuffle the Cabinet in an effort to give the government a boost. Hollande has earned record-low poll ratings for his failure to cure France's flagging economy or cut into the jobless rate, which hovers around 10 percent.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced deep losses for his Socialist Party, saying it lost to the mainstream right some 50 cities of more than 30,000 it had held previously, and about 155 towns and cities of all sizes. Toulouse, France's fourth-largest city, moved to the right.

The far right may win up to 15 towns in the voting, Valls said before results were complete. Party leader Marine Le Pen said the performance amounted to "an incontestably great success" that will give her National Front more than 1,200 local councilors — surpassing her goal.

"This vote is a defeat for the government and the (Socialist) majority," said Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. "This message is clear ... The president will draw conclusions, and he will do so in the interest of France," he added, in a clear reference to a Cabinet reshuffle. It was unclear when a new government might be announced, or whether Ayrault would keep his job.

Paris also gets a new look, as Anne Hidalgo defeated conservative right candidate Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet. Hidalgo, 54, spent 13 years as deputy to outgoing Mayor Bertrand Delanoe. She was able to profit from popular programs he initiated such as the Velib bike-sharing and Autolib auto-sharing services, and the creation of a beachfront each summer on the banks of the Seine.

"I am the first woman mayor of Paris. I am aware of the challenge," Hidalgo said in a victory speech.

The Socialists also managed to save Lyon, France's third-largest city, from the conservative right UMP party of former President Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as large cities like Strasbourg and Montpellier. Significantly, the Socialists took the southern town of Avignon from the UMP and prevented a far-right victory in the town known worldwide for its summer theater festival.

Le Pen's National Front was using the two-round elections to sink local roots around France in view of national voting, including the 2017 presidential vote and May's European parliamentary elections. The party won the blighted northern town of Henin-Beaumont in last week's first round.

The far right took the Cote d'Azur town of Frejus and notably won the 7th district of Marseille, France's second-largest city with a large percentage of residents of immigrant origin, many from Muslim North Africa. The district's population is about 150,000 — the party's biggest win.

However, Marseille stayed in the hands of conservative right Mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin.

Le Pen said her party has ended "bipolarization" of French politics in which the traditional right and left divvy up votes.

"A third political force has been born," she said, adding that the party, which wants France to withdraw from the European Union, would begin campaigning immediately for elections for the European Parliament, where she is a deputy.

SOURCE

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

The Problem Is Liberalism, Not Racism

Star Parker

When Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif, went off on Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis, for his remarks that “We have got a tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work,” the wrong part what she had to say got all the attention.

The big buzz that Congressional Black Caucus member Lee generated was her accusation that Ryan’s remarks were a “thinly veiled racial attack.”

But the part of her remarks I found most interesting was “…Mr. Ryan should step up and produce some legitimate proposals on how to tackle poverty and racial discrimination in America.”

Paul Ryan has been one of the most creative and courageous policy thinkers in Washington in recent years.

Ryan sat down with me for an interview shortly before he ran for Vice President in 2012 (the interview is on my organization’s website www.urbancure.org). His thoughtfulness and compassion came through loud and clear and he zeroed in on the core of a problem I have been talking and writing about for more than 20 years – government programs that not only do not solve problems but make problems worse.

I stepped into this whole business of public policy from my own experience with welfare. I saw that the welfare program, which operated in this country from the 1960’s until it was reformed in 1996, that required women to not work, not save, and not get married in order to qualify for their welfare checks was a most efficient mechanism to destroy family and perpetuate poverty.

So it should come as no surprise that single parent black households tripled as a percentage of all black households from the 1960’s to today.

Where Barbara Lee is right is that this is not about race. What it is about is liberalism.

The racial aspect comes into play in that black political leaders, like Congresswoman Lee, overwhelmingly embrace liberalism, progressivism, welfare statism – whatever you want to call it – that has failed and caused untold damage in the very communities they claim to want to help. And they refuse to ever learn. Their answer to every problem, despite prior experience, is more government, more taxpayer’s dollars.

When real reformers like Paul Ryan come along, they get branded racist.

In a column I wrote a couple years ago, I pointed out that the 41 member Congressional Black Caucus were uniformly Democrats, had a 100% reelection rates, and the average poverty rate in these Congressional Black Caucus districts was 20.3% and the average child poverty rate 28.8% - both well above national averages.

Economist Walter Williams has pointed out that, in America’s top 10 poorest cities with populations more than 250,000, “…for decades, all of them have been run by Democratic and presumably liberal administrations. Some of them – such as Detroit (now the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation’s history), Buffalo, Newark, and Philadelphia, haven’t elected a Republican mayor for more than half a century. What’s more is that, in some cases for decades, the mayors of six of these high-poverty cities have been black Americans.”

Again, the point is not that the mayors of these cities are black. It is that they are liberals. And black politicians, like Congresswoman Barbara Lee, overwhelmingly are liberals, and they remain liberals, despite a long and consistent track record of failure.

When welfare was reformed, liberals like Barbara Lee fought it.

It is pure self-absorption for any interest group to think it is all about them. America is in real trouble today and we’re all in this together.

Ms. Lee talks about “code words.” Her code word is “racist”, which means someone, like Paul Ryan, who wants to make Americans of all backgrounds better off by giving them more freedom, more choice, more responsibility, and less government.

SOURCE

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

Northwestern University football players to receive maternity coverage under Obamacare

Some weekends, the stories just seem to write themselves. You probably heard by now that the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB), in their infinite wisdom, put the stamp of approval on college football players being treated as full time employees with the right to unionize. Well, I suppose everything comes with a few unintended consequences, as reported by Rare.

Northwestern University became the first school in the nation to deem its football players full-time employees, thus making them eligible for union representation and health insurance benefits including maternity coverage.

On Wednesday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 13 director Peter Sung Ohr approved the players as employees of the school based on four prerequisite clauses. The team will now have the opportunity to vote on whether they want to unionize and join the College Athletes Players Association, according to Sports Blog Nation.

The kicker is that under Obamacare, the Evanston, Ill.-based team, comprised of more than 50 “employees,” is considered a “large employer” and Northwestern must provide pregnancy-related health care for the all-male team.

This is just fabulous. Of course, we probably should have anticipated that things like this would begin cropping up the moment we decided to take college students and transfer their status to that of employee because the college might be profiting from their activities. Sally Jenkins approaches the question from the 10,000 foot level.

Colter and his peers aren’t laborers due compensation; they are highly privileged scholarship winners who get a lot of valuable stuff for free. This includes first-rate training in the habits of high achievement, cool gear, unlimited academic tutoring for gratis and world-class medical care that no one else has access to. All of which was put into perspective by Michigan State basketball Coach Tim Izzo when he was asked about the ruling at the NCAA tournament East Region semifinals in New York.

“I think sometimes we take rights to a whole new level,” Izzo said. “ . . . I think there’s a process in rights. And you earn that. We always try to speed the process up. I said to my guys, ‘There’s a reason you have to be 35 to be president.’ That’s the way I look at it.”

Other questions remain to be answered. If the field hockey team has less than fifty players, does that make them a small business? If so, they may already qualify for some sort of exemption or mandate delay from Barack Obama. (Or, if not, one should be coming along shortly.) But the field hockey team doesn’t generate any money, so maybe that makes them a non-profit corporation. In that case, the IRS should be checking into their status shortly and denying them a needed classification.

And what of the cheerleaders? They’re probably as much a part of the “team” as anyone else out there, and they are almost entirely women. Sure, they might be able to use the Obamacare maternity services a bit more, but now we have to discuss the unpleasant fact that cheerleaders are making WAY less than 77 cents on the dollar compared to the male players when they both reach the NFL.

SOURCE

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

Malfunctioning Asylum System Fosters Fraud

Executive action, agency inaction, and judicial activism at fault

The erosion of checks and balances in the U.S. asylum system, designed to prevent fraud, has led to the nearly tripling of claims for asylum. A Center for Immigration Studies report examines the increased applications as well as the rubberstamping of these applications. The number of applicants passing the preliminary “credible fear” test nearly tripled from 2012 to 2013, and has increased nearly 600 percent since 2007. Once the applicant receives asylum, they receive access to all major welfare programs.

Fraud accounts for much of the increase. According to a DHS internal report, 70 percent of asylum applications examined were fraudulent or had strong indicators of fraud. With such a high rate of fraud, it is alarming that DHS statistics show a positive credible fear finding in 92% of all cases decided on the merits. The CIS report finds that the Senate comprehensive immigration bill would do much to exacerbate the existing problem. Among the list of changes would be the allowing of previous asylum fraudsters to re-apply and allowing asylum to be granted instantly upon application, before any vetting occurs.

View the entire report here

Dan Cadman, author of the report and fellow at the Center, said, “Many illegal immigrants have learned how to game the system by applying for asylum as a means of prolonging their time in the United States. If a claimant can pass the preliminary credible fear test they can buy themselves months, often years, living and working legally in the United States. A system designed to stem fraud and abuse has been undone by executive action, agency inaction, and judicial activism.”

Cadman provides nine recommendations of how Congress and the Department of Homeland Security can curb abuses, and set the asylum program on track to function as it was intended. He endorses, for example, a program of routine audits of both credible fear findings and formal asylum grants, which would include investigations of cases found to involve fraud or the withholding of material information.

Press release from CIS

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 WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, 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.

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.

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


MYTH BUSTING:


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

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

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.



R.I.P. Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet deposed a law-defying Marxist President at the express and desperate invitation of the Chilean parliament. He pioneered the free-market reforms which Reagan and Thatcher later unleashed to world-changing effect. That he used far-Leftist methods to suppress far-Leftist violence is reasonable if not ideal. The Leftist view that they should have a monopoly of violence and that others should follow the law is a total absurdity which shows only that their hate overcomes their reason

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

America's uncivil war was caused by trade protectionism. The slavery issue was just camouflage, as Abraham Lincoln himself admitted. See also here

Did William Zantzinger kill poor Hattie Carroll?

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

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.



IN BRIEF:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leftists are committed to grievance, not truth

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

Something you didn't know about Margaret Thatcher

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some useful definitions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Sulloway, the anti-scientist

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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



JEWS AND ISRAEL

The Bible is an Israeli book

"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

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"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.

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

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

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

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


Alfred Dreyfus, a reminder of French antisemitism still relevant today

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


ABOUT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


My academic background

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

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

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

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

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

A real army story here

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

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

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

You can email me here (Hotmail address). In emailing me, you can address me as "John", "Jon", "Dr. Ray" or "JR" and that will be fine -- but my preference is for "JR"




Index page for this site


DETAILS OF REGULARLY UPDATED BLOGS BY JOHN RAY:

"Tongue Tied"
"Dissecting Leftism" (Backup here)
"Australian Politics"
"Education Watch International"
"Political Correctness Watch"
"Greenie Watch"
"Food & Health Skeptic"
"Eye on Britain"
"Immigration Watch International" blog.


BLOGS OCCASIONALLY UPDATED:

"Marx & Engels in their own words"
"A scripture blog"
"Recipes"
"Some memoirs"
"Paralipomena"
To be continued ....
Queensland Police -- A barrel with lots of bad apples
Australian Police News
Of Interest


BLOGS NO LONGER BEING UPDATED

"Leftists as Elitists"
Socialized Medicine
Western Heart
OF INTEREST (2)
QANTAS -- A dying octopus
BRIAN LEITER (Ladderman)
Obama Watch
Obama Watch (2)
Dissecting Leftism -- Large font site
Michael Darby
The Kogarah Madhouse (St George Bank)
AGL -- A bumbling monster
Telstra/Bigpond follies
Optus bungling
Vodafrauds (vodafone)
Bank of Queensland blues


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



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



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