Monday, March 19, 2018

Capitol Police Arrested Male Dem Operative For Assaulting Female Trump Admin Official

Leftist hate bubbles to the surface

U.S. Capitol Police have arrested a male Democratic operative for assaulting a female Interior Department communications official following a House budget hearing Thursday.

The assault happened after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke finished testifying on the department’s 2019 budget proposal before the House Committee on Natural Resources. The suspect identified himself as a reporter with American Bridge and pushed a female Interior Department communications official to the floor, chasing after Zinke, The Daily Caller News Foundation learned.

Interior communications director Laura Rigas was “greatly alarmed and extremely irate that a female senior member of my DOI Communications team was physically assaulted today by a Democrat staffer from the PAC American Bridge,” she told Politico.

Police took the American Bridge operative into custody on Thursday. Police “arrested an adult male for simple assault against another individual outside room 1324 in the Longworth House Office Building,” an officer told Politico on Thursday.

American Bridge is a political action committee dedicated to “holding Republicans accountable for their words and actions,” according to their website. American Bridge is known for having operatives follow Republican candidates on the campaign trail.

Liberal billionaire George Soros donated $2 million to American Bridge in 2016, and the Tom Steyer-founded NextGen Climate Action regularly donates money to the group, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.



Rewarding returning ISIS fighters - while imprisoning critics of Islam

In a recent article for the New Republic, Nell Irvin Painter, a retired Princeton historian whose work focuses largely on race, discussed “othering” – a concept that she explained with reference to Flannery O’Connor’s 1955 story “The Artificial Nigger”:

A white man, Mr. Head, and his grandson Nelson visit Atlanta for the day. Mr. Head, a poor and sad old man, undertakes to tutor Nelson in racial hierarchy. On the train to the city, a prosperous black man passes by. At first, Nelson sees “a man.” Then, under Mr. Head’s questioning, “a fat man…an old man.” These are wrong answers. Nelson must be educated. Mr. Head corrects him: “That was a nigger.” Nelson must undergo the process of unseeing a well-dressed man and reseeing a “nigger,” to understand the man as Other and himself and his uncle as people who belong to society.

This episode in O'Connor's story does indeed capture a lamentable fact of mid twentieth-century life: back then, many Americans belonging to certain groups did view members of certain other groups primarily, or even exclusively, as members of those groups, and as their inferiors. Fortunately, this type of reflexive prejudice receded dramatically in the decades after O'Connor wrote her story. In no country in human history, in fact, have members of such a wide range of ethnic and religious groups succeeded in truly becoming a single people, viewing one another not as parts of an “Other” but as fellow and equal citizens – and as friends – as was the case in late twentieth-century America.

Yet leftist ideologues in the media, academy, and politics would have us believe otherwise. For decades now, high-school students – and even children in grade school – have been taught that America, far from being the land of opportunity, is the land of bigotry. Their teachers have told them all about America's legacy of slavery – but have omitted to explain that until a few generations ago, slavery existed in every human society, that it still exists now (mostly in the Muslim world), and that what makes America distinctive, when it comes to this subject, is not the fact that white Americans once owned black slaves but the fact that white Americans fought our nation's bloodiest war to liberate blacks from bondage.

In the same way, kids have been taught that the treatment of American Indians by white Europeans was uniquely evil. Almost invariably, the pre-Columbian Americas are depicted in schools and college history courses as a veritable Eden, where natives lived in harmony with nature and one another; European explorers and settlers, meanwhile, are depicted as violent brutes who destroyed this precious harmony. What students aren't told about are the downsides of that purported Eden – from bloodthirsty wars between Indian tribes to Aztec rituals involving human sacrifice and the burning alive of children.

What has happened? Briefly put, in the schools, colleges, media, and other milieux dominated by the left, the kind of ugly “othering” perpetrated by Mr. Head has been flipped 180 degrees. Today, it's the “Other,” the traditional “them,” that is privileged and idealized, while the traditional “us” –  America, the West, anyone of European heritage – is vilified. Terms like “white supremacy” and “diversity” have become unmoored from all meaning, except for the fact that the former denotes something that we are meant to ritually denounce as bad and the latter denotes something that we are meant to praise.

Over the decades, the despised “us” has been expanded to include such groups as Jews and Americans of East Asian background. These groups have been shifted from the category of “them” into the category of “us” precisely because their members have tended to embrace the American way of life, have striven to assimilate, and have, by and large, been successful and prosperous. They start businesses and work hard to get by; they obey the law; they don't burden the welfare system; their kids, after speaking English for just a couple of years, win spelling bees. This shift means that people on the left can now, with impunity, express anti-Semitic sentiments and support Asian quotas in college admissions.

But of course the ultimate “us,” under the present dispensation, are straight white males. If you're straight and white and male, you really can't win in the era of “the Other.” On the one hand, if you dare to point out any cultural difference, however minor, between yourself and a member of some other group, you can be accused of drawing pernicious, hateful distinctions between “us” and “them”; on the other hand, if you celebrate America as a “melting pot” – e pluribus unum – you can be accused of erasing “the Other,” of denying his or her right to maintain a distinctive identity. Even if you hold the lowliest job, you'll be regarded as basking in white male privilege, while even some of the most powerful people in America will be seen as victims because they belong to traditionally “othered” groups.

This kind of thinking was already well established by 9/11. While some of us attributed the terrorist attacks to jihadist ideology, many Americans blamed them on “othering.” Watching the Twin Towers fall on live television, they asked, in all seriousness: “What have we done to cause this?” The perpetrators, they assumed, must have been driven to commit their atrocities by Western acts of “othering” directed at Muslims. In a 2015 commentary, Kate Sullivan of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute actually made the explicit argument that “othering” of Muslims was the reason for the rapid growth of ISIS.

Born around the time of 9/11, countless high-school and college students today have fully internalized the mentality I describe, judging fellow human beings not by the content of their character but by the extent to which they can or cannot be seen as “the Other.” It is for this reason that millions of Americans share what would otherwise seem a thoroughly irrational obsession with – and even veneration of – such seemingly disparate groups as illegal immigrants, transsexuals, and Muslims.

It's only human to feel a degree of sympathy for wretchedly poor people who sneak across the Mexican border, or for desperately confused people who think they were born in the wrong body. But it's sheer madness to turn them into heroes and to suggest, as Nancy Pelosi does in the case of illegal immigrants, that they “embody the best of our nation.” It's certainly deeply twisted to care less about Kate Steinle than about her illegal-immigrant killer. Or to cheer a female-to-male transsexual who won a women's athletic event thanks to massive testosterone injections.

Of these three groups, it's Muslims whose idealization is the most ridiculous. It's reasonable, of course, to feel sorry for some Muslims – for women, that is, who are subjected to female genital mutilation and forced marriage; for gays who must hide their identities for fear of being victims of honor killing; for secret apostates who, knowing that the prescribed penalty for apostasy is death, dare not publicly reject their faith.

But these kinds of Muslims aren't the ones to whom we're supposed to feel attached. Why? Because these kinds of Muslims are seen as being – or trying to be – too much like “us.” The more such Muslims evince admiration for Western freedoms or contempt for the hijab, the less compassion we're supposed to have for them. No, the Muslims whom we're encouraged to admire are the ones who are the most “Other” – namely, those, like Linda Sarsour, who preach jihad and advocate sharia.

In the same way, women or blacks or gays who refuse to be reduced to mere group members, and who insist on being viewed as individuals, are smeared as traitors to their groups – for their very existence strikes at the core of the whole shebang. Meanwhile, a white woman who “identifies” as black and a U.S. Senator who claims American Indian ancestry (but refuses to take a DNA test) are idolized because their eagerness to profess “Other” identities, however absurd, reaffirms the notion that such identities are intrinsically estimable.

A readiness to embrace “the Other” at its worst – and to despise those of “us” who voice legitimate concern about “the Other” at its worst – leads Western European governments to reward returning ISIS fighters while imprisoning critics of Islam. So much as mention the authentic horror of Islamic ideology on American college campuses and you will be tagged as the lowest sort of bigot; meanwhile, the same colleges offer courses on the utterly imaginary horrors of “white privilege” and “toxic masculinity,” as if the last sixty-seven years of affirmation action were a fantasy and the punishment of boys for not being girls were not long since institutionalized.

Many white Americans voted for Barack Obama largely because they believed a black president would put an end to this corrosive victim-group nonsense once and for all and usher in a post-racial America. Instead, he made everything worse, putting group identity front and center, drawing attention to (exceedingly rare) white-on-black crimes while tuning out inner-city gang violence, saying things like “If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon [Martin],” and reinforcing at every turn the idea of America as a land of bigotry. All this counterproductive mischief made possible the election of Donald J. Trump, who, more explicitly than any professional politician would ever dare, rejected the whole “us” and “them” paradigm and dismissed the reverence for “the Other” with the disdain it deserved.

Of course, it's the left's fixation on “the Other” that fuels its intense, even insane hatred for Trump – a president who, more than any other in living memory, insists on his obligation to prioritize the well-being of Americans over that of foreigners; recognizes, indeed, his duty to protect Americans from foreigners; and commends worthy individual members of minority groups without feeling obliged to congratulate them for belonging to those groups. This failure to bend his knee to “the Other” is enough, in the eyes of many people, to qualify him as a world-class racist, sexist, and Islamophobe. At the same time, many of these very same people are quick to defend genuine bigots like the virulent anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.

In short, a bleak picture. Needless to say, the one bright spot on the canvas is the election of Trump to the presidency of the United States. That election showed that tens of millions of voters are sick of the bizarre fixation on group identity that has become a central feature of contemporary American life – and gave us reason to hope that we may yet put this dangerous lunacy behind us.



Trump’s Border Wall Is a ‘Brilliant’ ‘Business Strategy’ to Save Taxpayers Billions

President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the southern U.S. border is a “business strategy” – and it’s a “brilliant” one – the president of the Border Patrol Union says.

In a Fox News interview on Wednesday, union President Brandon Judd said that Trump’s wall won’t just keep Americans safe – it’ll also save taxpayers money and pay for itself with those savings. Judd explained that, in interviews, illegal aliens apprehended by the Border Patrol admit that they’re breaking into the U.S. to take advantage of its generous social programs:

“When we arrest people, we interview them and we ask them why are you coming to the United States? The vast majority of those individuals we arrest, they tell us they’re coming here for jobs, they’re telling us they’re coming here for the social programs – and they’re telling us they’re coming here because they know they’re going to be released if they claim asylum."

And, since those programs are funded by taxpayers, Trump’s border wall is actually a brilliant business strategy that will save Americans money, Judd said:

“And, when they talk about the social programs – you’re talking about the billions of dollars that federal and state governments spend on health care, on schooling, and all these different costs that illegal aliens cost taxpayers.”

“And, so, when you look at what a wall will do, in allowing us to apprehend the vast majority of those individuals who are coming across the border, it will cut down on how much the taxpayer burden will be – which will then go straight into funding the wall.

“So, it’s a brilliant way to go about it. And, that’s the business strategy that President Trump is brings to the American people.”

Judd was reacting to a new analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies showing that, within 10 years, the border wall will pay for itself, if it prevents even 9-12% of illegal crossings, by saving taxpayers $12-15 billion.

If half of the illegal crossings are prevented, the study finds that taxpayers will save $64 billion in expenses like welfare, public education and refundable tax credits over 10 years.



Look who's talking!

It's John O. Brennan, Obama's CIA director -- condemning Trump

When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will  not destroy America...America will triumph over you.

Firing the crook McCabe seems to have upset him


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

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Good News for Undoing Harmful Financial Regulation

The Senate passed a bill repealing huge sections of Dodd-Frank. Let's hope the House follows suit

Something very unusual happened on Capitol Hill this week.

Senate Republicans and Democrats joined together to pass the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act by a vote of 67-31. The bill was introduced by Republican Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, and it’s all about undoing the damage of Barack Obama-era financial regulation legislation.

To a significant degree, the act repeals the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, which Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats passed in response to the financial crisis of 2008 — massive government intervention to address the very same crisis that was caused by Democrat policies of too much government intervention in the banking industry. (It takes a special kind of gall to create a crisis and then claim credit for trying to fix it with more of the same.) Predictably, Dodd-Frank only made matters worse, but the measure passed by the Senate this week repeals key aspects of that ill-conceived legislation.

However, one aspect of the current bill that’s not being repealed is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a cadre of unelected and unaccountable government bureaucrats. As such, the CFPB can create new financial regulations without approval from anyone. They can also adolescently join the #Resist Trump movement without consequence.

Nonetheless, the bill raises the threshold for banks considered “too big to fail” from $50 billion to $250 billion. Consequently, more mid-level banks will be spared the federal government’s undue regulatory stranglehold. In addition, the act would free local and regional banks from having to comply with a laundry list of federal regulations that are too costly and time consuming. Banks would also have greater autonomy in lending money to small businesses and individuals.

This is how a free-market economy works. And Democrats are naturally opposed to letting the system function without the hands of the federal government pulling the strings. This bill certainly doesn’t wipe out all regulation, but it does restore some of the ability of small and mid-size banking institutions to operate efficiently and in the best interests of its customers. Claims that banks will now operate without any oversight are patently false.

In a video on his Senate website, Crapo states, “Currently, Washington’s one-size-fits-all regulation treats the smallest financial institutions like they were the largest financial institutions. It doesn’t make sense, and leaves Americans with fewer financial services options, depriving deserving people and small businesses of access to credit and capital.” He adds, “It keeps consumer protections in place and increases protections for those who fall on hard times or become victims of fraud.”

But it’s not a done deal yet. The Washington Post reports, “Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has said that House Republicans will want to alter the Senate bill to reflect their priorities. But that could drive away the Senate Democrats needed to pass the legislation, and so the House will face significant pressure to accept the Senate legislation with few, if any, changes.” Republicans in the House want to be more aggressive in terms of rolling back regulations, so the passage of the Senate bill is clearly just a first step.

Nonetheless, the ultimate passage of the act will be good for the country and the economy.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders lauded the legislation’s passage, stating, “The bill provides much-needed relief from the Dodd-Frank Act for thousands of community banks and credit unions and will spur lending and economic growth without creating risks to the financial system.”

Despite the bipartisan support for this bill, Democrats were deeply divided over its passage. The Washington Post revealed that, according to an anonymous source, “after Warren called out red-state Democrats and other supporters of the bill by name in a fundraising appeal, Schumer encouraged her to stay focused on the substance in the debate.”

But why would such a prominent senator (and a potential 2020 presidential candidate), want to risk undermining unity among Democrats and position herself even farther to the Left than she is already? Because Warren’s whole shtick is based on creating the perception that financial institutions can’t be trusted. No, in her bizarre alternate reality, only the government can be trusted with managing our money.

Warren repeatedly spreads this narrative to appear to be for the “little guy,” even though policies like Dodd-Frank make it even harder for all the little guys out there. But Warren’s criticism of the reform bill wasn’t enough to keep 12 Democrats from joining the Republicans. This leaves Warren in a precarious situation heading into an election cycle in which her party seems to be thinking about perhaps maybe kinda inching toward the center in order to improve their chances of taking back the House.

Now the bill heads off to that lower chamber, where Republicans still have the power to cut through the red tape and regulations that burden our economy and make it harder for individuals to buy homes or start businesses.

Democrats have always relied on party unity to stand in the way of commonsense policies, but this time they’ve been divided by President Trump and congressional Republicans, who may finally be figuring out how to govern as the majority.



Obama DOJ Forced FBI To Delete 500,000 Fugitives From Background Check Database

The Justice Department under Barack Obama directed the FBI to drop more than 500,000 names of fugitives with outstanding arrest warrants from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, acting FBI deputy director David Bowdich testified Wednesday.

Fugitives from justice are barred from buying a firearm under federal law. But what is a fugitive from justice? That definition has been under debate by the FBI and the ATF.

According to The Washington Post, the FBI considered any person with an outstanding arrest warrant to be a fugitive. On the other hand, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives defined a fugitive as someone who has an outstanding arrest warrant and has crossed state lines.

That disagreement was settled at the end of Obama’s second term, when the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel sided with the ATF’s interpretation. Under President Donald Trump, the DOJ defined a fugitive as a person who went to another state to dodge criminal prosecution or evade giving testimony in criminal court, and implemented the Office of Legal Counsel’s decision. The decision meant that around half a million fugitives were removed from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about law enforcement’s faulty response to Parkland, Florida shooter Nikolas Cruz, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Bowdich about the removal.

“That was a decision that was made under the previous administration,” Bowdich testified. “It was the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel that reviewed the law and believed that it needed to be interpreted so that if someone was a fugitive in a state, there had to be indications that they had crossed state lines.”

“Otherwise they were not known to be a fugitive under the law and the way it was interpreted,” he added.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced the Justice Department will “aggressively” pursue any person who lies on their background check.



Engineer on Florida bridge project called state TWO DAYS before deadly collapse to report crack - but they never picked up the voicemail

An engineer called the Florida Department of Transportation to report concerns about a crack on their new 'instant' bridge two days before it collapsed - but no one ever picked up their voicemail.

FIGG's lead engineer responsible for the Florida International University, FIU, pedestrian bridge project, W. Denney Pate, left a message warning that they had observed some cracking at the north end of the bridge. The voicemail was not picked up until Friday - a day after the bridge collapsed killing six.

Pate warned that the cracking areas would need repairs but assured that, 'from a safety perspective we don't see that there's any issue.' He ended the call, urging the employee to 'call me back when you can' to discuss the problem.

The message was not picked up by an FDOT employee until Friday as the staff member was out of the office on assignment. 

FDOT have since released a statement placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of FIU. 'The responsibility to identify and address life-safety issues and properly communicate them is the sole responsibility of the FIU design build team,' the statement read.

'At no point during any of the communications above did FIGG or any member of the FIU design build team ever communicate a life-safety issue.

The revelation comes after Miami-Dade County Commissioner said he was shocked to discover that the busy seven-lane freeway underneath the bridge wasn't closed while stress tests were performed.

Commissioner Xavier Suarez, who has a background in civil engineering, said he was flabbergasted that the street was not shut down to traffic before or during any stress tests or cable adjustments on the unfinished project. 'Never in my life have I heard of that,' Suarez said. 'That makes no sense. That makes no sense.'

'As a public official, I am saddened by the FIU bridge collapse. As an engineer it baffles me that a brand new bridge with no unusual (or, possibly even expected) loads could collapse in that way. Our prayers are with the victims and their families.

'Collapse of a brand-new pedestrian bridge w/o pedestrians on it @ FIU makes no sense. I will not accept explanation based on 'testing.' U cannot 'test' bridge when people are driving below it. 'I want 2 know what failed - support or span? Either way, somebody was beyond negligent.'

The bridge's internal support cables were being 'tightened' just as the bridge crumbled onto traffic below, crushing eight cars under 950 tons of concrete and steel.

But no one has yet explained why cars were allowed to drive freely under an incomplete bridge while workers were testing to see if it might fall apart.

Dr. Amjad Aref, a civil engineer and researcher at the University of Buffalo's Institute of Bridge Engineering, told the New York Times it wasn't unheard-of to let traffic flow during a stress test under some conditions. But where a bridge is incomplete, the public are generally kept out of the way.

'Normally when we do anything, even a fairly completed bridge or if it's some rehab or even really minor load-testing, there's some sort of traffic control,' Aref says.

Investigators are also looking into why the 'instant' bridge, which collapsed killing six on Thursday in Miami, was not supported by a central tower when it was tested yesterday.

Last week, Florida International University's official Twitter account posted a rendering of the bridge in its completed form as envisioned by the planners before its opening to foot traffic in early 2019.

The rendering shows a tall central column with cables connecting it to the main span.

Engineers say the design is known as a 'cable-stayed bridge,' which is a kind of suspension bridge, according to USA Today.

The bridge did not have the central tower in place, even though experts say it is usually placed at the early stages of construction.

In the absence of a tower, there is usually a temporary support, though in this case it is unclear what the builders were using in the absence of a central structure.

'Whoever is going to investigate, they will ask the fundamental question: shouldn't the tower be there, and the cables ready to connect to the structure, when you lift it?' said Amjad Aref, a professor at University at Buffalo's Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering. 'That's a question for them to answer.'

When asked about why there was no central column built before the span, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board, Robert Sumwalt, said: 'That's part of our investigation.'

The NTSB is an independent federal agency that probes transportation-related accidents.



Democrat dog


How gun grabbers think


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

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Friday, March 16, 2018

Russian to Judgement

A former Russian agent was poisoned in Britain recently and British PM Teresa May is in a high dudgeon over it. She thinks Russia poisoned him.  Her only evidence: He showed evidence of a particular advanced poison in his blood.  On that slim and unproven basis  she has called for more sanctions on Russia

The Western elites seem determined to have another cold war with Russia.  They must have a boogeyman to frighten people with, apparently.  Vladimir Vladimirovich has been remarkably restrained in response to such provocations so far but if it keeps up he might decide that he has nothing to lose by (for instance) taking control of Eastern Ukraine.

That would be welcomed by the Eastern Ukrainians but would pump Western leaders up to a frenzy of huffing and puffing.  Fortunately, Mr Trump is too practical to do anything foolish about it

The same people who assured you that Saddam Hussein had WMD’s now assure you Russian “novochok” nerve agents are being wielded by Vladimir Putin to attack people on British soil. As with the Iraqi WMD dossier, it is essential to comb the evidence very finely.

A vital missing word from Theresa May’s statement yesterday was “only”. She did not state that the nerve agent used was manufactured ONLY by Russia. She rather stated this group of nerve agents had been “developed by” Russia. Antibiotics were first developed by a Scotsman, but that is not evidence that all antibiotics are today administered by Scots.

The “novochok” group of nerve agents – a very loose term simply for a collection of new nerve agents the Soviet Union were developing fifty years ago – will almost certainly have been analysed and reproduced by Porton Down. That is entirely what Porton Down is there for. It used to make chemical and biological weapons as weapons, and today it still does make them in small quantities in order to research defences and antidotes. After the fall of the Soviet Union Russian chemists made a lot of information available on these nerve agents. And one country which has always manufactured very similar persistent nerve agents is Israel. This Foreign Policy magazine (a very establishment US publication) article on Israel‘s chemical and biological weapon capability is very interesting indeed. I will return to Israel later in this article.

Incidentally, novachok is not a specific substance but a class of new nerve agents. Sources agree they were designed to be persistent, and of an order of magnitude stronger than sarin or VX. That is rather hard to square with the fact that thankfully nobody has died and those possibly in contact just have to wash their clothes.

From Putin’s point of view, to assassinate Skripal now seems to have very little motivation. If the Russians have waited eight years to do this, they could have waited until after their World Cup. The Russians have never killed a swapped spy before. Just as diplomats, British and otherwise, are the most ardent upholders of the principle of diplomatic immunity, so security service personnel everywhere are the least likely to wish to destroy a system which can be a key aspect of their own personal security; quite literally spy swaps are their “Get Out of Jail Free” card. You don’t undermine that system – probably terminally – without very good reason.

It is worth noting that the “wicked” Russians gave Skripal a far lighter jail sentence than an American equivalent would have received. If a member of US Military Intelligence had sold, for cash to the Russians, the names of hundreds of US agents and officers operating abroad, the Americans would at the very least jail the person for life, and I strongly suspect would execute them. Skripal just received a jail sentence of 18 years, which is hard to square with the narrative of implacable vindictiveness against him. If the Russians had wanted to make an example, that was the time.

It is much more probable that the reason for this assassination attempt refers to something recent or current, than to spying twenty years ago. Were I the British police, I would inquire very closely into Orbis Intelligence.

There is no doubt that Skripal was feeding secrets to MI6 at the time that Christopher Steele was an MI6 officer in Moscow, and at the the time that Pablo Miller, another member of Orbis Intelligence, was also an MI6 officer in Russia and directly recruiting agents. It is widely reported on the web and in US media that it was Miller who first recruited Skripal. My own ex-MI6 sources tell me that is not quite true as Skripal was “walk-in”, but that Miller certainly was involved in running Skripal for a while. Sadly Pablo Miller’s LinkedIn profile has recently been deleted, but it is again widely alleged on the web that it showed him as a consultant for Orbis Intelligence and a consultant to the FCO and – wait for it – with an address in Salisbury. If anyone can recover that Linkedin entry do get in touch, though British Government agencies will have been active in the internet scrubbing.

It was of course Christopher Steele and Orbis Intelligence who produced for the Clinton camp the sensationalist dossier on Trump links with Russia – including the story of Trump paying to be urinated on by Russian prostitutes – that is a key part of the “Russiagate” affair gripping the US political classes. The extraordinary thing about this is that the Orbis dossier is obvious nonsense which anybody with a professional background can completely demolish, as I did here. Steele’s motive was, like Skripal’s in selling his secrets, cash pure and simple. Steele is a charlatan who knocked up a series of allegations that are either wildly improbable, or would need a high level source access he could not possibly get in today’s Russia, or both. He told the Democrats what they wish to hear and his audience – who had and still have no motivation to look at it critically – paid him highly for it.



Armed With False Ideas, The Left 's Attack on Children, Useless Marches

John Hinderraker at Powerline had a good piece on “the  Despicable Misuse of Children.”

Today students were excused from classrooms all across America to participate in demonstrations in favor of firearms bans of one sort or another. These were anything but spontaneous actions organized by children. Rather, the anti-gun demonstrations were condoned, if not sponsored, by school administrations that are almost universally liberal. And the teachers’ unions played a part too. The National Education Association issued a statement that included this:

Since the horrific shootings in Parkland, Florida, students across the country have launched an inspired movement to demand long overdue action on school safety and gun control. NEA, its affiliates, and members throughout Florida and the nation, support these calls to prevent further school massacres.

Ironically, the demonstrations in favor of school safety featured, in some instances, attacks on non-conforming students. At one Minneapolis high school, two students stood apart from the throng calling for more gun control. One of them carried a sign that said “Blame the Culture, Not Guns.” The other carried a Donald Trump banner. He was cursed, pursued, knocked down and beaten up by “pro-school safety” demonstrators. School officials, who purport to be so concerned with the safety of their students, did nothing to intervene.

Kids are in school because they don’t know very much yet. I’m sure they feel badly about the horrific attack on Parkland, Florida. They may even be alarmed about their own safety. Their chances of an actual school shooting are something like one in 641,000,000. Unfamiliar with history, they are probably unaware that we have tried gun control before, both locally and nationally, and it accomplished nothing at all. In spite of the screeches of the Left,  gun control has not worked anywhere it has been tried, including in Australia, where they confiscated all the guns. Most of the deaths from guns nationally, are suicides. Fully automatic weapons have been banned for years. Violent crime has been declining steadily since the early 1990s. The 2011 rate was almost half of the rate in 1991, and the 2013 rate was half of the rate in 1993.

The well-meaning kids had signs to carry that they had proudly made themselves. This one,from Twitchy shows how clueless the kids are.

Other notable ones were “The Second Amendment isn’t meant to protect our citizens” and “De-Militarize the Police,” along with “Give us Our Reparations.” Well, I’m sure it was an exciting time for the kids and they got to miss time in school. Wiser parents kept their kids at home.

The Left’s hijacking our children for their own political purposes is disgusting.



Under Heavily-Armed Police Guard, Bernie Sanders Addresses Anti-Gun Rally

A national school walk-out was held today by students protesting gun violence across the country, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders joined students in DC marching on the U.S. capitol.

So did his armed guards.

In multiple locations, students hit the streets and parking lots in their respective school districts to “walk out'” in solidarity with the Parkland students who are calling for more gun control after their school attacked by a deranged gunman. 17 students died in the attack. The former presidential candidate was part of a group of progressive congressmen addressing the Washington, DC march.

Sanders began a live stream of his speech on his Facebook page, which featured him wading through the crowd of cheering students and shaking hands. As Sanders traveled through the gun-control crowd, at least three heavily armed Capitol police officers could be seen protecting him and clearing a way for the Senator through the students. Multiple times in the live feed, the police can be heard asking the students to step back and move away from Sanders.



Stormy Daniels’ Mother Is A Huge Trump Supporter

The mother of adult film star Stormy Daniels, who allegedly had an affair with President Donald Trump, declared her continued support for the president, saying she hopes the scandal involving her daughter doesn’t harm Trump.

Sheila Gregory would vote for Trump “every time” and hopes he runs for president “four more times,” Daniels’s mother said in an interview with The Dallas Morning News. Gregory’s comments come after her daughter offered to return the $130,000 payment she received October 2016 for her continued silence about an alleged affair with President Trump Monday.

“If Mr. Trump runs four more times, I would vote for him every time,” Gregory said. “I like him. I like the way he handles things. It’s time this country is put back where it belongs, taking care of the people here instead of the people who don’t belong here.”

Daniels would be allowed to speak publicly of her and Trump’s alleged affair, which occurred during the summer of 2006 to early 2007, if she were to return the $130,000 Trump paid her for a “hush agreement” Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen and Stormy worked out

Gregory is not happy her daughter is a porn star and mentioned the two have not been very close throughout the past 12 years, said Gregory still tries to call Stormy every few weeks, she added.

“I loved her dearly,” her mother said. “I still love her dearly.”



Texas Law Prohibiting Sanctuary Cities Is Upheld

A federal appeals court ruled that the majority of Texas law banning sanctuary cities can be implemented for now.

Today a federal appeals judge ruled most of the Texas law outlawing sanctuary cities within the state can be implemented while the legal challenge continues in a lower court. Governor Abbott decided to share the good news:

This means individual cities and municipalities will no longer be able to refuse ICE detainer requests. The three judge panel wrote:

The 'comply with, honor, and fulfill' requirement does not require detention pursuant to every ICE detainer request,” the panel wrote. “Rather, the 'comply with, honor, and fulfill' provision mandates that local agencies cooperate according to existing ICE detainer practice and law.

The court essentially upheld federal supremacy in immigration law and enforcement and state supremacy over local law or policy.

The only portion of the bill that the court did not uphold was the section that involved penalties for city officials who endorsed sanctuary policies. The ruling said the language “adopting, enforcing or endorsing' policies that specifically prohibit or limit enforcement of immigration laws was too broad. The injunction was upheld only on the "endorse" part of the statute on the concern it may infringe on free speech rights if the concept of endorsing those policies were expanded to expressing support for them.

The court affirmed that local and campus police officers cannot be prevented from assisting immigration officials. They referenced the Supreme Court ruling in Arizona v United States as precedent that the state would win these arguments in the course of the proceedings.

In response to the ruling Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton expressed confidence the state would prevail in the lower court legal challenge and stated:

We are pleased today’s 5th Circuit ruling will allow Texas to strengthen public safety by implementing the key components of Senate Bill 4. Enforcing immigration law helps prevent dangerous criminals from being released into Texas communities.

The precedent set in this case could encourage other states who have hesitated to develop similar prohibitions on sanctuary cities to do so if Texas is successful. There may also be implications for the Department of Justice's pursuit of California for their sanctuary state law.



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

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Trump is breaking all the rules, and that could be great for America

OVER THE PAST WEEK — indeed, over the past year — President Trump has broken one political rule after another. “When I signed up to be a conservative,” an eminent Washington think-tanker said to me on Thursday, “I thought conservatism stood for free trade, fiscal responsibility, and personal character.” He might have added firmness toward dictators.

In fairness to Trump, he is not the first Republican president to impose tariffs on imports, to run a very large budget deficit, and to agree to meet a Communist tyrant. (I’m pretty sure he’s the first to be sued by a porn star, but let’s leave Stormy Daniels out of this.) Both Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford imposed tariffs in the name of national security. Both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush ran substantial fiscal deficits. And if Trump goes to Pyongyang, there will be an unmistakable echo of Nixon’s famous trip to Beijing in 1972.

Nevertheless, there is a near-universal consensus among political commentators that Trump is breaking all the rules. By announcing tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium, he not only will hurt all those sectors of the US economy that depend on those imports, but also risks plunging the world into a protectionist trade war.

By agreeing to meet with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, it is said, he is falling into a trap other presidents were prudent enough to avoid, for Kim will claim a diplomatic victory — “See! The dotard treats me as an equal!” — and then cheat on any deal, as his father did in the 1990s.

To seasoned observers of Washington life, this really is a shocking way to run an administration. Most shocking of all is not so much the policy as the way it gets made. Gary Cohn’s departure last week as Trump’s chief economic adviser was just the latest of a succession of exits from the White House. This is not the way it’s supposed to work. By year two of any administration, the adults are supposed to have taken charge.

To give Trump his due, he is capable of self-mockery. His speech at the recent Gridiron Club dinner might equally well have been delivered by Alec Baldwin, whose career has been relaunched by his Trump impersonation on “Saturday Night Live.”

“I won’t rule out direct talks with Kim Jong Un,” said Trump. “I just won’t. As far as the risk of dealing with a madman is concerned, that’s his problem, not mine.”

And Trump contrasted his current job with his previous role as host of “The Apprentice”: “In one job I had to manage a cut-throat cast of characters, desperate for TV time, totally unprepared for their roles and their jobs and each week afraid of having their asses fired, and the other job I was the host of a smash television hit.”

Here is a man who glories in breaking the rules, because that is how he rules.

Notice, too, that in the middle of this comedy routine, Trump revealed exactly what he was planning to do with respect to North Korea. “By the way,” he told his audience, “a couple days ago they said, ‘We would like to talk,’ and I said, ‘So would we, but you have to de-nuke, you have to de-nuke.’ So let’s see what happens. . . . We will be meeting, and we’ll see if anything positive happens.” Not a single news outlet got the joke that this wasn’t a joke.

Of course, this could all end in just the kind of train-wreck-plus-dumpster-fire predicted ad nauseam by the president’s critics. But consider, if you dare, what a future historian might one day write:

“President Trump had no experience of foreign affairs, but he soon grasped how disastrously his predecessor had bungled the North Korean nuclear threat. He applied sustained pressure on Pyongyang, directly through new UN-mandated sanctions, and indirectly by menacing China with threats of military action or a trade war.

“In March 2018, he stepped up the pressure by announcing new tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. These tariffs would have hurt America’s allies more than China, but Beijing got the message. Xi Jinping was well aware a trade war directed by the US against China would hurt China much more than the United States, potentially reducing Chinese exports to America by up to 20 percent.

“The president’s critics were stunned by the subsequent US-North Korean Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, signed in Pyongyang in 2019, and utterly dumbfounded by the 2020 Chinese-American Trade Agreement, which committed China to eliminate the bilateral trade deficit by the end of his second presidential term.”

Could it happen? I know it seems fanciful — and will be dismissed by some readers as an indefensible defense of a rule-breaking ruler. But, as I said, Nixon imposed a 10 percent tariff on nearly all imports in August 1971. He went to Beijing in February 1972. And he won a landslide victory in November of that same year.



Is National Socialism America's Future?
If a doppelgänger of Joseph Goebbels, the “poison dwarf” propaganda minister of the Third Reich, were somehow to leap into the 21st century and embark on a Tocqueville-like tour of his country’s former enemy, probably he would be stunned by developments thought to have perished with the Nazis’ defeat in 1945. Of course, technological progress would dazzle any time traveler from that era, though Goebbels might huff that German science predicated many advances — but professional interests likely would dominate his observations.

Some things would make him laugh: micro-aggressions, safe spaces, counseling for sensitive egos — are you kidding me? Others would evoke comparisons to practices more familiar to him, such as America’s huge “fake news” industry — i.e., media lies — and Planned Parenthood’s annual slaughter of innocents. So much to see, so much to evaluate, so much to compare!

Which of course is the whole point, especially because our fictional observer likely would agree with Leo Strauss, a German-American who in 1953 expressed astonishment about how a country “defeated on the battlefield … deprived its conquerors … of victory by imposing on them the yoke of its own thought.” This yoke, of course, being National Socialist ideology.

Indeed, though progressives regularly blast machine-gun volleys of Marxist denunciations against their opponents, only ignorant and narcissistic foot soldiers among them — writers, entertainers, academicians — really believe that Trump is Hitler and most Republicans are Nazis. The rest are content to swim with currents of the dominant culture, and like the sheep in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, bleat their version of “Two legs bad, four legs good!”

But Goebbels, smart as well as evil, would know that “white” math is not racist any more than, in his day, “Jewish science” was racist or differed from what Heisenberg practiced. The following chart offers speculations about other comparisons that seem relevant.

None of this is new or original, of course; most Americans are familiar with recent cultural trends. Still, a few conjectures may be in order, drawn from Germany’s cataclysmic journey in the ‘30s and '40s and extrapolations from progressivism’s trajectory over the past few decades. What might be on America’s horizon over the next generation or so?

Bias Response Teams/Tribunals. This academic institution represents the classic response of totalitarians to opposing views. Expect tribunals to metastasize throughout the country; the psychology of the informant has a pernicious appeal to many otherwise innocuous citizens. The category of so-called “hate crimes” will expand exponentially.

Criminalization of dissent. Similar to the above though broader in application, dissenters will be charged with crimes and incarcerated. Anthropogenic climate change deniers will top the list. A multitude of other policy views burst with possibilities for criminalizing their adherents.

Confiscation of guns. Totalitarian regimes require subjects who are disarmed and ignorant. Seizing guns accomplishes the first goal and education/indoctrination the second.

Increased militarization of federal agencies, such as the EPA and IRS. As of 2014, armed bureaucrats outnumbered the Marine Corps.

Christians gradually expelled from the civil service. The Nazis quickly expunged Jews from government — one of the regime’s first acts. For American Christians the process will take much longer, but they will be threatened and silenced. Christians must keep their mouths shut; pastors better not preach about anything that has social relevance, like abortion, gay rights, marriage, or other consequential matters.

Legalization of illegal aliens and open borders. America’s borders will be opened long enough to ensure voting support for the One-Party State, until voting no longer matters. After that, expect borders to be closed, lest additional migrants pose problems for the regime.

Degradation and denunciation of America’s military.

Vast imposition of quotas. Quotas will reign supreme: graduation rates, incarceration rates, hiring and firing, recruiting, contracts — everything. Whatever has a pulse will be regulated by quotas, prohibitions, and punishments.

Increased segregation in selected institutions. Separate graduation ceremonies, for instance, and separate facilities to accommodate American “diversity.” Expect this practice to spread in unexpected ways.

Increased mob violence against non-conforming citizens. Thus, if a church wants to hold classes on the Biblical view of marriage, for instance (which recently happened in Michigan), expect threats of violence to shut it down. Of course, threats of mob violence have been standard operation procedure to destroy freedom of speech in academia.

This short list also hints at why progressives hate President Trump, who inspired America’s peasant rebellion and expresses flamboyant contempt for progressive ideology. Just when Hillary was ready to continue Obama’s “transformation” of America, Trump pops up and delays the agenda; no wonder they’re furious. Most Americans don’t understand that it is not what Republicans do that bothers Progressives — it can all be quickly undone; it is the fact that Republicans exist that infuriates them. Ditto for Christians, conservatives, and others on the list; none belong in a transformed America.

Where does all this leave us? Last September, John Hinderaker of Powerline Blog commented on progressive “educational” goals stated by Edina public schools, a wealthy suburb of Minneapolis:

“[E]mbrace ancestry, genetic code and melanin.” This is what the Edina public schools are teaching elementary school children. There was a time when embracing ancestry, genetic code and melanin was a popular political program. But the Nazis lost World War II.

In a military sense, yes, Germany lost World War II, though it took the combined efforts of the globe’s great powers to defeat the regime. But elements of National Socialist ideology continue to flourish.

About 15 years ago, I had the privilege of chatting with a leader of the Social Democratic Party at a conference in Berlin. German-American relations were touchy at the time, and I asked him what he thought of Americans. “We’re grateful to Americans!” he exclaimed. “They liberated us from the Nazis.” His answer made a huge impression on me.

Which leaves the question, who will save our country from those determined to transform it in ways that would make Herr Goebbels smile? In short, who will liberate America?



Trump Pushes “Right to Try” in Controversial New Bill

Republican lawmakers introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that seeks to give sick patients the right to try experimental drugs so that they might have a fighting chance at life.

The “Right To Try” bill, unveiled to the House by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden and Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael Burgess, intends to give dying patients, including young children, greater access to experimental drugs that the Food and Drug Administration have not yet approved.

This effort intends to increase a patient’s chance of surviving their disease.

The bill would apply to “eligible patients who have been diagnosed with a stage of a disease or condition in which there is reasonable likelihood that death will occur within a matter of months, or with another eligible illness, and for other purposes.”

“This updated ‘Right to Try’ bill is the direct result of conversations with our colleagues, the administration, and stakeholders on all sides of the issue,” GOP Reps. Walden of Oregon and Burgess of Texas said in a statement, according to a Saturday press release.

“This is a complicated issue with passionate advocates on both sides and it was imperative we got the policy right. After months of thoughtful discussions, we believe this legislation is ready for a vote in the House,” they said.

The bill mandates that drug manufacturers and sponsors notify the FDA when they make an unapproved drug available to a patient, followed by a requirement that any patient using an experimental drug proceed through a rigorous informed consent process about the risks of the drug.

The bill includes provisions to protect patients from misbranded or mislabeled drugs.

It also protects doctors, sponsors, physicians, drug manufacturers, clinicians and hospitals from liability unless any party displays willful misconduct.

Sponsors and manufacturers must also report adverse effects if and when they occur, by notifying the FDA.



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

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Another confirmation: High IQ goes with better health and longer life

And a further advance in finding the genes behind IQ

Clever people live longer due to so-called 'intelligence genes' that promote old age, new research suggests.

More than 500 genes linked to people having greater IQs have been identified by scientists, which is 10 times higher than previously thought.

It raises the possibility of testing for intelligence using simple saliva DNA tests.

Past research suggests intelligence genes boost the transmission of signals between different regions of the brain, as well as protecting against dementia and premature death.

Study author Dr David Hill from Edinburgh University said: 'Intelligence is a heritable trait with estimates indicating between 50 and 80 per cent of differences in intelligence can be explained by genetic factors.

'People with a higher level of cognitive function have been observed to have better physical and mental health, and to have longer lives.'

Their IQ was investigated by assessing their arithmetic, vocabulary and understanding of information, as well as their ability to arrange images and sort codes.

Results further suggest 538 genes play a role in intelligence, while 187 regions of the human genome are associated with thinking skills.

Dr Hill said: 'Our study identified a large number of genes linked to intelligence. 

'First, we found 187 independent associations for intelligence and highlighted the role of 538 genes being involved - a substantial advance.

'We used our data to predict almost seven per cent of the variation in intelligence in one of three independent samples.

'Previous estimates of prediction have been around five per cent at most.'

The findings were published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

The researchers analysed DNA variations in more than 240,000 people from around the world. Gene samples were taken from the UK Biobank, which assesses the role of genes in health and disease.  The researchers then compared people's DNA against their IQ scores on verbal and numerical tests.



History shows Trump is right on trade

He is attacking phony globalization

President Trump’s sudden announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminum is by no means unprecedented – Presidents Reagan and George W. President Trump’s sudden announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminum is by no means unprecedented – Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush took similar actions. Yet it emphasizes a reality first pointed out in these columns in 2010 and in a presentation later that year: the globalization project, beloved of Whig economists and big-government types everywhere, is falling apart. De-globalization is here to stay and, contrary to Whig belief, it will be good for the world economy and for our living standards.

The theoretical case for free trade, and to a lesser extent free movement of labor, is simple and clear-cut, first expounded by Adam Smith and David Ricardo. By reducing barriers to the movement of goods and people, production is globally optimized, so that every product is produced in the location with the greatest comparative advantage, while workers move to where they are most valuable. In this way, global output is optimized. Mathematically, it is a very simple model, full of linear equations, which are the ones economists are capable of solving.

Like all economic models, it rests on several assumptions, not all of which are valid in the real world. It ignores the fact that tariffs yield revenues to the governments imposing them, so a free trade policy imposes additional costs on that country’s citizens in the form of higher income and other direct taxes. It assumes a Gold Standard world, in which the “optimal” global production structure, once found, is stable – in our world of fluctuating fiat currencies, comparative advantage is forever shifting, so the optimal structure is valid only for a nanosecond.

Most important, it assumes no government interference at any point in the process. Producers trade with each other between a large number of independent countries, each of which is free to impose regulations and restrictions if it wants, but damages its competitiveness, its export potential and generally its economic well-being by doing so. Just as tariffs are economically damaging in this system, so too are regulations limiting imports; a prohibition against an import makes its price infinite and is thus more damaging than even the largest tariff. In the theoretical model, all goods and services are freely traded and there are no non-tariff barriers blocking them, or international organizations adding costs to the system.

Since 1991, the world’s governments have been trying to return to a free trade world, or at least that’s what they have been telling the public. In fact, the free trade world to which they are pretending to return existed for only a very short time. The Cobden Treaty of 1860, freeing trade between England and France and implementing a British free trade policy, was followed in 1862 by the U.S. Morrill Tariff, passed by the new Republican Congress and setting tariff rates at far more protectionist levels than previous U.S. tariffs. French and German tariffs followed shortly thereafter, after which the world was not one of free trade, but of protectionism, with one foolish sucker, Britain, losing industry after industry to foreign competitors and squandering its early industrial lead.

The “globalized” world we lived in from 1991 to 2016 had a number of differences from the theoretical model, which made it economically unattractive, as evidenced by the prolonged period of very inferior economic performance in 2007-16. First, after the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Uruguay Round of trade talks were signed in 1994, no further global free trade deals were completed. Instead, the world indulged in an orgy of bilateral and regional deals. Even in theory, a world traversed by a cat’s cradle of bilateral and regional free trade deals is not a free trade world; flows of goods and services are diverted in numerous very complex ways and are nowhere near optimized.

More important, the bilateral and regional deals that were signed were not true free trade deals at all, because they related mostly to labor standards, environmental standards and above all, the protection of intellectual property. Patents and copyrights are not instruments of free trade, they are barriers to it. Just as free competition minimizes prices and produces an optimized economy, patents and copyrights increase prices, divert trade and make the economy more sub-optimal.

In the United States, the importance of patents and copyrights has enormously increased since the 1981 Supreme Court decision allowing software to be patented and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, which gave 99-year copyrights on everything written since 1923. This legislation, together with the proliferation of patented pharmaceutical products, has resulted in an incredible tangle of “intellectual property” mostly held in offshore tax havens. By the trade treaties since 1998 in which the U.S. has been involved, these excessive protections have been extended to its trading partners, increasing costs everywhere.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty, abandoned last year by President Trump, was another such boondoggle. On Congressional Budget Office figures all the benefits to the United States came in the form of $79 billion of patent and copyright fees, while U.S. manufacturing suffered a loss of $44 billion. While there needs to be some protection for intellectual property, the 14 years granted by the Copyright Act of 1709 seems ample; enforcing the grossly excessive U.S. protections merely encourages rent-seeking like the drug-price hikes of Martin Shkreli, only on a global scale.

A second way in which the “globalization” of 1991-2016 differed from the classical free trade model was in the proliferation of global organizations and regulatory agreements. Regulation in a single country hurts mostly that country’s economy; if there are many jurisdictions, a beneficial competition removes many of the most damaging impositions. However global regulation is a different matter; there is no escape from it and no possibility of seeing how much richer we would be without it. The global warming regulatory hysteria, in particular, was responsible for a least a significant part of the economic malaise of the last decade. There is now a movement to increase greatly the flow of costly and disruptive refugees that countries must absorb, all in the name of a climate change that appears not to be happening.

The modest benefits of complete free trade (as distinct from an orderly system of moderate tariffs) can very easily be swamped by the costs of global regulators and bureaucrats, loosed from any democratic or economic control. Free trade that requires a World Trade Organization to enforce it is not true free trade, and the existence of the World Bank, the IMF, the OECD and countless other international organizations counts heavily against the arguments for globalization. The ultimate globalist goal, of a world government imposing “political correctness” regulations on every single citizen, with no possibility of escape, is the worst current nightmare of the future short of nuclear holocaust; it needs to be stopped.

Globalization also appears to do more harm than good in the information area, which was not a significant consideration before the 1990s. The economies of scale in collecting information about everybody have led to a disquieting aggregation of market power among a very few huge Internet companies, which have personal data on a large percentage of the world’s inhabitants and which are thus vulnerable to hacking by “bad guy” governments and criminals generally.

Here the new de-globalization and national regulation may break up this cartel; if the EU, China, Japan and other countries impose balkanized regulations, producing a “splinternet,” the Internet behemoths will operate at a huge disadvantage outside their home markets. Moreover, a decentralized Internet, as appears to be on the way, will further fragment the market for information as well as allowing new and smaller companies, possibly with better algorithms, to compete with the behemoths.

President Trump’s proposed introduction of tariffs on steel and aluminum is squarely in the Republican tradition of the great William McKinley. A world in which global institutions have disappeared or become powerless and in which tariff barriers have returned has several advantages. It will reduce the massive swings in trade flows resulting from currency abnormalities – going back to the Gold Standard would achieve this also, but that’s not going to happen. It will prevent trade treaties that impose massive spurious “intellectual property” costs on consumers, forcing Disney World, Apple and the drug companies to price their products on a free-market basis. It will raise revenues for governments, almost all of which have huge budget deficits caused by silly “stimulus” spending in the downturn. Finally, it will disempower international bureaucrats, and ensure the disappearance of the nightmare of a “globalized” world with a monopoly global government.

Like most Whig panaceas, globalization produced much less benefit than it claimed, at a much higher cost. It was the equivalent of the 1834 Poor Law, which pushed the immiserated working classes into filthy and deliberately unpleasant workhouses. While not ignoring the genuine gains from careful application of the Smith/Ricardo model, we should wholeheartedly welcome the reversal of bureaucrat- and politician-led globalization.



Unemployment Claims at Lowest Level in 49 Years Because of Tax Reform Law

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday that consumer confidence is at a 17-year high, jobless claims are lower than they’ve been in several decades, and the manufacturing sector is growing at the fastest rate than it has in over a decade, and it’s all because of the new tax cut reform law.

“We had some really great news last week spurred on by the new tax reform law. For starters, new data revealed that consumer confidence hit a 17-year high last week. People are optimistic about the future, which encourages more spending, more investment. It’s a sign of a healthy, growing economy,” Ryan told reporters at a House GOP leadership press conference.

"Second of all, Labor Department reported that jobless claims in the United States - the number of people filing for unemployment dropped to its lowest level in almost five decades. Think about that for a second. We saw just last week, the number of people filing for unemployment going to the lowest level in 49 years,” he said.

“People are getting work. Companies are hiring more workers. This is very, very important. Also, U.S. manufacturing is expanding at the fastest rate in nearly 14 years. These are all very encouraging numbers, and it’s undeniable that real people are being helped by the personal tax cuts and the Tax Cut and Jobs Act,” the speaker said.



The New Challenge to Obamacare

Readers may be familiar with a new constitutional challenge by 20 state attorneys general to the Affordable Care Act, which Ilya blogged about here. Their argument, in a nutshell, is that with the amount of the penalty for failing to have health insurance now set to zero, the individual insurance "requirement"--AKA the "individual mandate"--can no longer be justified as a tax. This is so because one of the essential characteristics of a tax is that it raises at least some revenue for the government. For this reason, the "saving construction" employed by Chief Justice Roberts no longer applies, as it is no longer even a "reasonably possible" reading of the insurance requirement, which now raises no revenue.

On this claim, the AG's are on very strong ground. To the extent they are correct, the NFIB v. Sebelius was a bigger victory than we realized when it was decided, as it left the insurance mandate susceptible to being killed off in this way via reconciliation.

More HERE 


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

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Conservatives tend to find the past informative;  Leftists live in an eternal present

My heading above is a good summary of actual politics and is something conservatives often say.  So,  would you believe it?  Some Leftist psychologists have just "discovered" that historic contrast.

They found that if you supported a Leftist claim by pointing out some historical support for it then conservatives were more likely to believe it.  They also found that history didn't move Leftists.

Amusing that they think they have discovered something new.  It shows how rarely Leftists listen to conservatives.  They managed a bit of "spin", however.  They refer to interest in the past as "nostalgia" -- showing how Leftist they themselves are.  Nostalgia is roughly definable as a foolish liking for the past.  Conservatives don't think the lessons of the past are at all foolish

Past-Focused Temporal Communication Overcomes Conservatives’ Resistance to Liberal Political Ideas.

Lammers, J., & Baldwin, M.


Nine studies and a meta-analysis test the role of past-focused temporal communication in reducing conservatives’ disagreement with liberal political ideas. We propose that conservatives are more prone to warm, affectionate, and nostalgic feelings for past society. Therefore, they are more likely to support political ideas—including those expressing liberal values—that can be linked to a desirable past state (past focus), rather than a desirable future state (future focus) of society. Study 1 supports our prediction that political conservatives are more nostalgic for the past than liberals. Building on this association, we demonstrate that communicating liberal ideas with a past focus increases conservatives’ support for leniency in criminal justice (Studies 2a and 2b), gun control (Study 3), immigration (Study 4), social diversity (Study 5), and social justice (Study 6). Communicating messages with a past focus reduced political disagreement (compared with a future focus) between liberals and conservatives by between 30 and 100% across studies. Studies 5 and 6 identify the mediating role of state and trait nostalgia, respectively. Study 7 shows that the temporal communication effect only occurs under peripheral (and not central) information processing. Study 8 shows that the effect is asymmetric; a future focus did not increase liberals’ support for conservative ideas. A mixed-effects meta-analysis across all studies confirms that appealing to conservatives’ nostalgia with a past-focused temporal focus increases support for liberal political messages (Study 9). A large portion of the political disagreement between conservatives and liberals appears to be disagreement over style, and not content of political issues.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.


Warren’s Response to DNA Test Is Evasive

She does an angry speech well so would be a good Democrat presidential candidate but this lie from the past will stop that.  A sad lesson for her but lies come easily to Democrats

Democrat Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has long faced questions regarding her dubious claims of Native American heritage, a supposed heritage she is alleged to have used to claim minority status to advance her academic career at Harvard Law School.

The questionable nature of her claim — which essentially boils down to stories from her grandmother and her “high cheekbones” as evidence — has resulted in her being tagged with the derisively humorous nickname “Pocahontas” by President Donald Trump and has spurred demands that she produce some sort of indisputable proof to buttress her claim.

The controversy even caused a Massachusetts paper, the Berkshire Eagle, to suggest she simply take a commercial DNA test to settle the dispute once and for all.

But that simple $99 solution to end the debate doesn’t appear to be part of Warren’s plans, as she revealed during a round of Sunday morning talk shows.

“I know who I am. And never used it for anything. Never got any benefit from it anywhere,” Warren said on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” according to the New York Post.



White House plan includes gun training for teachers

He considered possibilities that worried some conservatives but in the end his actual policy is very moderate

President Donald Trump's plan to combat school shootings will include helping states pay for firearms training for teachers and a call to improve the background check system.

But Trump's plan will not include a push to increase the minimum age for purchasing assault weapons or an embrace of more comprehensive background checks, as Trump has at times advocated.

Instead, a new federal commission on school safety will examine the age issue, as well as a long list of others topics, as part of a longer-term look at school safety and violence.



Union President Drops Pro-Trump Bombshell… Democrats’ Worst Fears Are Coming True

Unions have been seen as the foundation of Democrat election victories for decades. The loyalty of those workers to vote blue has been taken for granted by liberal politicians since at least the 1960’s… but that could now be changing.

Donald Trump’s tariff proposals have generated serious controversy, with some critics calling them “protectionism.” The economic soundness of the president’s plan is still up for debate, but as a political move it might have been genius.

A major union has just revealed that they’re warming to Trump, and their traditionally blue votes could be switching to red very soon.

During a Thursday interview with the decidedly anti-Trump MSNBC network, the president of United Steelworkers had shockingly positive words to say about Trump and his tariff plan.

“Gerard praised Trump for making it clear he is going to ‘tackle trade deficits’ which he called a ‘wealth transfer’ because they are ‘taking good jobs away,'” reported Real Clear Politics.

“It’s going to make it very hard for our members to ignore what he just did and what makes me sad is we’ve been trying to get Democrats to this for more than 30 years,” Gerard told MSNBC host Chuck Todd.

That statement could be huge: United Steelworkers is the largest industrial labor union in the entire country, with close to a million members. The union also has close connections to other groups, including AFL-CIO, a powerful lobbying and voting bloc.

It’s worth noting that not only did the president of one of America’s largest unions essentially endorse Trump, but he also slammed Democrats for their failed promises in the same breath.



Democrats’ Potential Campaign Platform Calls for Immigration Control to Be Thrown Out the Window

It would lose them a huge lot of votes but they may be that foolish.  Trump has driven them mad

Left-wing pundits and activists are increasing pressure on Democrat politicians to embrace the fringe position of abolishing ICE.

Once a fringe idea on the far-left, abolishing the nation’s immigration enforcement agency now looks likely to become a campaign issue in the Democrats’ 2020 presidential primary.

Former Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon came out for abolishing the agency in January.  “ICE operates as an unaccountable deportation force,” Fallon argued. “Dems running in 2020 should campaign on ending the agency in its current form.”

In a Friday article titled, “Not Good Enough, Kamala Harris,” liberal writer Jack Mirkinson slammed California Democrat Sen. Kamala Harris for her answer to a question about whether or not ICE should be abolished.

“Any serious defender of undocumented people in this country would look at ICE and know that it is a cancer that needs to be excised from the U.S. Pretending that the most diseased levers of state power can be molded into something better is a useless fantasy. ICE must be abolished. Anything less is not good enough,” Mirkinson wrote on Splinter, a left-wing website.

“Kamala Harris is very likely running for president in 2020. It should be a political problem for her that she is not willing to take her criticisms of ICE to their logical conclusion and call for its abolition. She should be asked, over and over again, why exactly she is willing to uphold the legitimacy of such a racist, corrupt, and thuggish organization,” Markinson concluded.

“Anyone else who decides to run — Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Eric Garcetti, you name it — should be asked the same question.”

Left-wing publication The Nation pushed out a similar piece on Friday, entitled “It’s Time to Abolish ICE.”



Time to Get Over the Russophobia

Patrick J. Buchanan

Unless there is a late surge for Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin, who is running second with 7 percent, Vladimir Putin will be re-elected president of Russia for another six years on March 18.

Then we must decide whether to continue on course into a second Cold War, or engage Russia, as every president sought to do in Cold War I.

For our present conflict, Vladimir Putin is not alone at fault. His actions have often been reactions to America's unilateral moves.

After the Soviet Union collapsed, we brought all of the Warsaw Pact members and three former republics of the USSR into our military alliance, NATO, to corral Russia. How friendly was that?

Putin responded with his military buildup in the Baltic.

George W. Bush abrogated the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty that Richard Nixon had negotiated, Putin responded with a buildup of the offensive missiles he put on display last week.

The U.S. helped to instigate the Maidan Square coup that dumped over the elected pro-Russian government in Ukraine.

To prevent the loss of his Sebastopol naval base on the Black Sea, Putin countered by annexing the Crimean Peninsula.

After peaceful protests in Syria were put down by Bashar Assad, we sent arms to Syrian rebels to overthrow the Damascus regime.

Seeing his last naval base in the Med, Tartus, imperiled, Putin came to Assad's aid and helped him win the civil war.

Russia is acting again as a great power. And she sees us as a nation that slapped away her hand, extended in friendship in the 1990s, and then humiliated her by planting NATO on her front porch.

Yet, what is also clear is that Putin hoped and believed that, with the election of Trump, Russia might be able to restore respectful if not friendly relations with the United States.

Clearly, Putin wanted that, as did Trump.

Yet, with the Beltway hysteria over hacking of the DNC and John Podesta emails, and the Russophobia raging in this capital, we appear to be paralyzed when it comes to engaging with Russia.

The U.S. political system, said Putin this week, "has been eating itself up." Is his depiction that wide of the mark?

What is the matter with us?

Three years after Nikita Khrushchev sent tanks into Budapest to drown the Hungarian revolution in blood, Eisenhower was hosting him on a 10-day visit to the USA.

Two years after the Berlin Wall went up, and eight months after Khrushchev installed missiles in Cuba, Kennedy reached out to the Soviet dictator in his widely praised American University speech.

Lyndon Johnson met with Russian President Alexei Kosygin in Glassboro, New Jersey, just weeks after we almost clashed over Moscow's threat to intervene in the Arab-Israeli War of 1967.

Six months after Leonid Brezhnev sent tank armies to crush the Prague Spring in August 1968, an inaugurated Nixon was seeking detente.

In those years, no matter who was in the White House or Kremlin, the U.S. establishment favored engagement with Moscow. It was the right that was skeptical or hostile.

Again, what is the matter with this generation?

True, Vladimir Putin is an autocrat seeking a fourth term, like FDR.

But what Russian leader, save Yeltsin, has not been an autocrat? And Russians today enjoy freedoms of speech, assembly, religion, travel, politics, and the press that the generations before 1989 never knew.

China, not Russia, has the more repressive single-party Communist state.

Indeed, which of these U.S. allies shows greater tolerance than Putin's Russia? The Philippines of Rodrigo Duterte, the Egypt of Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the Turkey of President Erdogan, or the Saudi Arabia of Prince Mohammad bin Salman?

Russia is nowhere near the strategic or global threat the Soviet Union presented. As Putin conceded this week, with the breakup of the USSR, his nation "lost 23.8 percent of its national territory, 48.5 percent of its population, 41 percent of its gross domestic product and 44.6 percent of its military capacity."

How would Civil War Unionists have reacted if the South had won independence and then, to secure the Confederacy against a new invasion, Dixie entered into an alliance with Great Britain, gave the Royal Navy bases in New Orleans and Charleston, and allowed battalions of British troops to deploy in Virginia?

Japan negotiates with Putin's Russia over the southern Kuril Islands lost at the end of World War II. Bibi Netanyahu has met many times with Putin, though he is an ally of Assad, whom Bibi would like to see ousted, and has a naval and air base not far from Israel's border.

We Americans have far more fish to fry with Russia than Bibi.

Strategic arms control. De-escalation in the Baltic, Ukraine and the Black Sea. Ending the war in Syria. North Korea. Space. Afghanistan. The Arctic. The war on terror.

Yet all we seem to hear from our elite is endless whining that Putin has not been sanctioned enough for desecrating "our democracy."

Get over it.



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

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Monday, March 12, 2018

Pardoned Sailor Thanks Trump, Turns Around And Blasts Hillary, Obama And The DOJ

The recently pardoned former sailor prosecuted for taking photos of classified areas of a nuclear submarine is now speaking out about what he feels is a “double standard of justice” in America based on political affiliation.

Appearing Friday night on Fox News Channel’s “Watters’ World,” Kristian Saucier agreed with host Jesse Watters’ assertion that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to communicate sensitive information was a more serious offense than his — and one for which she was not prosecuted.

Saucier, who learned of his pardon by President Donald Trump earlier this week, is still under house arrest after serving a year behind bars.

In addition to his own example, he cited former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI as part of an ongoing probe into Russia’s alleged influence in the 2016 presidential election, as evidence of the supposed bias.

“I think it’s blatant proof of the double standard of justice in this country and how the FBI and the Department of Justice were weaponized under the Obama administration to go after conservatives like myself and Gen. Flynn while letting unpatriotic liberals like Hillary Clinton and her aides skate,” Saucier said.

Speaking to Watters remotely due to the restrictions of his sentence, the former submariner said it was “very upsetting” to him and “should be upsetting for all American people that we are held to a different standard than crooked politicians.”

Saucier went on to criticize former FBI Director James Comey, who recommended in 2016 against prosecuting the Democratic presidential nominee.

At the time, Comey said that although investigators found “evidence of potential violations regarding the handling of classified information,” his conclusion was that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

He went on to say that in “looking back at our investigations into the mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts.”

Saucier said he saw things differently.

“I watched all of those speeches that Comey gave and it was while I was in my legal battles and I said, ‘Well, I know a prosecutor who would bring a charge against somebody for far lesser,'” he said.

While Comey determined there was no evidence Clinton acted with criminal intent, Saucier said that was not a factor in his case.

“There was never any argument that I had nefarious intent or I had intent to cause national harm,” he said. “That’s not a requirement for the law that they prosecuted me under, so it’s not the requirement for Hillary Clinton.”

If “gross negligence” is a sufficient standard for his own case, he concluded that it should suffice for the former secretary of state.

“I basically possessed classified images on an unsecured device — my cell phone — and that was breaking the law by unlawful retention of national defense information, which is exactly what Hillary Clinton did on a much larger scale with much more secure information,” Saucier said. “And nothing happened to her.”


Even Bernie Sanders Is Fed Up with CNN, Sends Aggressive Message Right to Their Face

You know you’ve gone too far when even Sen. Bernie Sanders thinks you’re over the top. During a surprising moment of clarity on Friday, the 76-year-old senator and socialist took a shot at CNN — and even we have to admit that he has a point.

While being interviewed during a session with journalist Jake Tapper at the South by Southwest festival in Texas, the aging leftist called out the mainstream media for obsessing over largely irrelevant stories and tabloid controversies.

“Let me bring something up,” Tapper said, trying to steer the conversation after the interview was underway.

“Stormy Daniels,” Sanders jumped in.

Jake Tapper seemed surprised that Bernie brought up the adult film star who has claimed that she received “hush money” from Donald Trump over an alleged affair from over a decade ago.

“You keep bringing her name up,” Tapper prompted, according to the Washington Examiner. “Not as much as CNN does,” Bernie hit back.

Sanders then scolded CNN for its seemingly constant coverage of the Stormy Daniels “scandal,” when there were far more important issues facing the country.

“In this country, we have a lot of people who are in pain — single mothers, people who can’t afford college — they want to see something that reflects their reality,” Sanders declared.

The Vermont senator and former presidential candidate made it clear that he was no fan of Donald Trump, but pointed out that constantly pretending that Trump supporters were unhinged, racist radicals wasn’t doing the left any favors.

“Our job is to talk to people respectfully,” Sanders lectured CNN. “Not most (Trump supporters) are racist, sexist or xenophobes. They are hurting and want change — change to the middle class and not the 1 percent,” he pointed out. “Everyone in this room has to participate.”

This may be a once-in-a-lifetime moment, so brace yourself: Bernie Sanders is right.

His socialist philosophy and grasp of basic economics are dead wrong, but when it comes to admonishing the mainstream media for their obsession with non-stories and acting as if Trump voters are insane, he’s right on the money.

We saw time and again that outlets like CNN and MSNBC have receded into an echo chamber, increasingly detached from reality and the rest of the country.

Take their hysteria over Trump’s alleged “s—hole” comment, for instance: Almost every normal American uses such language once in a while, but CNN talking heads including Don Lemon blew a gasket pretending that it was the most appalling phrase they’d ever heard.

Amazingly, Sanders seems to understand something that even media “experts” fail to grasp: Donald Trump won the presidency not by luck, but because he spoke to a large swath of the public who felt abandoned, ignored and forgotten.

The issues that Bernie and conservatives believe are the most important may vary dramatically — thank goodness for that — but his call for the media to start covering real stories is appropriate. CNN may hate being called “fake news,” but it’s a label their own coverage helped create.



Bob Woodward: Many reporters have 'become emotionally unhinged' covering Trump

Veteran Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward says some journalists have "become emotionally unhinged" while covering President Trump, urging them to keep their personal politics out of their work.

“A number of reporters have at times become emotionally unhinged about it all, one way or the other,” Woodward told Newsweek in an interview published Thursday, citing cable news networks Fox News and MSNBC as examples.

“You will see those continually either denigrating Trump or praising him,” he added. “I think the answer is in the middle … it’s important to get your personal politics out.”

Reporting from Woodward and Post colleague Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal eventually led to the resignation of President Nixon in 1974.

This isn't the first time the 74-year-old legend has appealed directly to reporters to keep personal feelings out of their work.

"We need to calm it down and listen more," he told The Atlantic in March 2017. "Be on the surface respectful, but never stop the inquiry.”

"I worry, I worry for the business, for the perception of the business, not just Trump supporters, they see that smugness … I think you can ride both horses, intensive inquiry, investigation, not letting up … at the same time, realize that it's not our job to do an editorial on this," Woodward also told Axios last year.



Black Man Blows the Lid Off the Real Reason the Left Keeps Calling Trump Racist

For the eight years of the Barack Obama presidency, the mainstream media played along while liberals accused vast swaths of America of “racism” for declining to go along with the myth that American institutions were built to oppress blacks.

But Shelby Steele, a black man and respected conservative author, just published a message that all Americans need to hear — especially after the social justice warriors, Black Lives Matter marchers, and “woke” racial rioters unleashed during the Obama era.

And it explains everything about why the lies the media and the American left keep telling about President Donald Trump won’t really work.

“Our new conservative president rolls his eyes when he is called a racist, and we all — liberal and conservative alike — know that he isn’t one,” Steele wrote this week in The Wall Street Journal. “The jig is up.”

That’s the heart of the matter. Not even liberals really believe their own lies anymore about Trump or Republicans in general — if they ever did.

Steele’s essay is headlined “The Exhaustion of American Liberalism.” In just under 1,000 words, it describes why the left continues to bang the “racism” drum when it comes to critics

“America, since the ’60s, has lived through what might be called an age of white guilt,” Steele wrote. “We may still be in this age, but the Trump election suggests an exhaustion with the idea of white guilt, and with the drama of culpability, innocence and correctness in which it mires us …

“White guilt is a mock guilt, a pretense of real guilt, a shallow etiquette of empathy, pity and regret.”

And it was in large part a reaction to that “mock guilt” that led to the election of Barack Obama, one of the most manifestly ill-equipped men ever to hold the nation’s highest office.

For the Democrat political machine, of course, Obama was just another horse to ride on the path to power.

But for many white Americans, the Obama candidacy was a chance to finally absolve themselves and the country of the “original sin” of slavery and racism. So they took a chance on a guy they never heard of, steeped in the corruption of Chicago Democrat politics, and hoped for the best.

That ended in disaster and scandal — an economy in the toilet, record numbers of Americans on food stamps at home, the rise of dictators abroad with contempt for the United States. And all Democrats offered was more of the same in the candidacy of the hate-mongering Hillary Clinton.

So Americans turned to the alternative in one of the greatest upsets in the country’s political history.

The left started accusing Trump of “racism” long before his victory in November 2016, and it’s only intensified since then.

But as Steele points out, liberals are fighting in a battle that passed a half-century ago. The country has changed, and Americans know it.

Democrats and the “progressive” left love to describe conservative resistance to Obama as “racism.” But resistance to suicidal domestic plans (Obamacare, normalizing “transgender” mental disorders) and humiliating appeasement in foreign policy (the Iran nuclear deal) isn’t racism, and even liberals know it.

But they don’t know any other way to fight. As Steele writes:

“Today’s liberalism is an anachronism. It has no understanding, really, of what poverty is and how it has to be overcome. It has no grip whatever on what American exceptionalism is and what it means at home and especially abroad. Instead it remains defined by an America of 1965 — an America newly opening itself to its sins, an America of genuine goodwill, yet lacking in self-knowledge.”

Thanks in part to justifiable and welcome progress the country has made in racial equality, America isn’t lacking that self-knowledge anymore.

Steele’s op-ed blew the lid off the real reason Democrats call Trump and his supporters “racists.” It’s a game they’ve played for 50 years now, and it’s a game they’ve won doing it.

But Trump’s election changed that. And, as Steele put it, “the jig is up.”



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

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)