Friday, August 28, 2015

This has got to stop

The story below surely shows once and for all how disastrous is the race rhetoric of Democrats and black race hustlers like Sharpton and Obama.  The rhetoric has created a great upsurge of hate among blacks towards whites -- by telling blacks that every bad thing any black suffers is the result of white racism.

So whites  as a class are in danger, regardless of anything they may have done as individuals.  We are constantly told that all Muslims are not to  blame for the actions of a Muslim minority but blacks have absorbed the opposite lesson about whites.

But I don't suppose that the Left will readily let go of all that delicious hate.  It may need blacks to kill a few  of the Leftist elite to get some caution out of them

Mr Obama could help by announcing emphatically that black disadvantage is NOT due to white racism.  He could also point out that black deaths at the hands of whites are a rarity compared with the other way around.  But he won't.  To renounce the white racism story would go against one of his own basic tenets.

So what is he doing instead?  Blaming guns:  As brainless and as irresponsible as ever.

A man who was fired from his job as a television reporter two years ago took revenge against the small-town Virginia news station by executing two of his former coworkers on live television, and then posting disturbing first-person video of the attack on social media.

Viewers of WDBJ, a CBS affiliate in Moneta, Virginia, watched in horror this morning as Vester Lee Flanagan II, 41, shot dead 24-year-old reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, on live TV as the two were filming a light-hearted segment at 6:45am.

After carrying out the shocking on-air execution, Ward fled and posted video of the attack on social media while also writing about his grudges against the two young journalists in a Twitter rant.

He also faxed a 23-page manifesto-cum-suicide note to a national news station outlining his motives for the attack, saying he bought the handgun he used following the Charleston Church killings, adding: 'my hollow point bullets have the victims’ initials on them'.

Five hours later, police cornered Flanagan a three hours drive northeast in Fauquier County, Virginia where he shot himself in an attempt to commit suicide. Flanagan initially survived the gunshot wound, but died not long after at approximately 1:30pm



How Nazism Explains ‘Moderate’ and ‘Radical’ Islam


If Islamic doctrines are inherently violent, why isn't every single Muslim in the world-that is, approximately 1.5 billion people-violent?

This question represents one of Islam's most popular apologias: because not all Muslims are violent, intolerant, or sponsor terrorism-a true statement-Islam itself must be innocent.

Let's briefly consider this logic.

First, there are, in fact, many people who identify themselves as Muslims but who do not necessarily adhere to or support Islam's more supremacist and intolerant doctrines.  If you have lived in a Muslim majority nation, you would know this to be true.

The all-important question is, what do such Muslims represent?  Are they following a legitimate, "moderate," version of Islam-one more authentic than the terrorist variety?  That's what the media, politicians, and academics would have us believe.

The best way to answer this question is by analogy:

German Nazism is a widely condemned ideology, due to its ("Aryan/white") supremacist element .  But the fact is, many Germans who were members or supporters of the Nazi party were "good" people.  They did not believe in persecuting Jews and other "non-Aryans," and some even helped such "undesirables" escape, at no small risk to themselves.

Consider Oskar Schindler.  An ethnic German and formal member of the Nazi party, he went to great lengths to save Jews from slaughter.

How do we reconcile his good deed with his bad creed?

Was Schindler practicing a legitimate,  "moderate," form of Nazism?  Or is it more reasonable to say that he subscribed to some tenets of National Socialism, but when it came to killing fellow humans in the name of racial supremacy, his humanity rose above his allegiance to Nazism?

Indeed, many Germans joined or supported the National Socialist Party more because it was the "winning" party, one that offered hope, and less because of its racial theories.

That said, other Germans joined the Nazi party precisely because of its racial supremacist theories and were only too happy to see "sub-humans" incinerated.

Now consider how this analogy applies to Islam and Muslims: first, unlike most Germans who chose to join or support the Nazi party, the overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world were simply born into Islam; they had no choice.  Many of these Muslims know the bare minimum about Islam-the Five Pillars-and are ignorant of Islam's supremacist theories.

Add Islam's apostasy law to the mix-leaving Islam can earn the death penalty-and it becomes clear that there are many nominal "Muslims" who seek not to rock the boat.

That said, there are also a great many Muslims who know exactly what Islam teaches-including violence, plunder, and enslavement of the kafir, or infidel-and who happily follow it precisely because of its supremacism.

In both Nazism and Islam, we have a supremacist ideology on the one hand, and people who find themselves associated with this ideology for a number of reasons on the other hand: from those born into it, to those who join it for its temporal boons, to those who are sincere and ardent believers.

The all-important difference is this: when it comes to Nazism, the world is agreed that it is a supremacist ideology.  Those who followed it to the core were "bad guys"-such as Adolf Hitler.  As for the "good Nazis," who helped shelter persecuted Jews and performed other altruistic deeds, the world acknowledges that they were not following a "moderate" form of Nazism, but that their commitment to Nazism was nonchalant at best.

This is the correct paradigm to view Islam and Muslims with: Islam does contain violent and supremacist doctrines.  This is a simple fact.  Those who follow it to the core were and are "bad guys"-for example, Osama bin Laden.  Still, there are "good Muslims."  Yet they are good not because they follow a good, or "moderate," Islam, but because they are not thoroughly committed to Islam in the first place.

Put differently, was Schindler's altruism a product of "moderate Nazism" or was it done in spite of Nazism altogether?  Clearly the latter.  In the same manner, if a Muslim treats a non-Muslim with dignity and equality, is he doing so because he follows a legitimate brand of "moderate Islam," or is he doing so in spite of Islam, because his own sense of decency compels him?

Considering that Islamic law is unequivocally clear that non-Muslims are to be subjugated and live as third-class "citizens"-the Islamic State's many human rights abuses vis-à-vis non-Muslims are a direct byproduct of these teachings-clearly any Muslim who treats "infidels" with equality is behaving against Islam.

So why is the West unable to apply the Nazi paradigm to the question of Islam and Muslims?  Why is it unable to acknowledge that Islamic teachings are inherently supremacist, though obviously not all Muslims are literally following these teachings-just like not all members of any religion are literally following the teachings of their faith?

This question becomes more pressing when one realizes that, for over a millennium, the West deemed Islam an inherently violent and intolerant cult.  Peruse the writings of non-Muslims from the dawn of Islam up until recently-from Theophanes the Confessor (d. 818) to  Winston Churchill (d. 1965)-and witness how they all depicted Islam as a violent creed that thrives on conquering, plundering, and subjugating the "other."  (Here are Marco Polo's thoughts).

The problem today is that the politically correct establishment-academia, mainstream media, politicians, and all other talking heads-not ones to be bothered with reality or history, have made it an established "fact" that Islam is "one of the world's great religions."  Therefore, the religion itself-not just some of its practitioners -is inviolable to criticism.

The point here is that identifying the negative elements of an ideology and condemning it accordingly is not so difficult.  We have already done so, with Nazism and other ideologies and cults.  And we know the difference between those who follow such supremacist ideologies ("bad" people), and those who find themselves as casual, uncommitted members (good or neutral people).

In saner times when common sense could vent and breathe, this analogy would have been deemed superfluous.  In our times, however, where lots of nonsensical noise is disseminated far and wide by the media-and tragically treated as serious "analysis"-common sense must be methodically spelled out: Yes, an ideology/religion can be accepted as violent or even evil, and no, many of its adherents need not be violent or evil-they can even be good-for the reasons discussed above.

This is the most objective way to understand the relationship between Islam as a body of teachings and Muslims as individual people.  It's also the best way to respond to the apologia that, if Islam is inherently supremacist and violent, why isn't every single Muslim so.



The Struggle for Economic Liberty

By Walter E. Williams

Here's my taxi question. If a person is law-abiding, has a driver's license, has a car or van that has passed safety inspection, and has adequate liability insurance, is there any consumer-oriented reason he should not be able to become a taxicab owner/operator? Put another way: If you wish to hire the services of such a person, what right does a third party have to prevent that exchange?

Many cities have granted monopoly power to taxi companies — the right to prevent entry by others. Sometimes this monopoly takes the form of exclusive government-granted rights to particular individuals to provide taxi services. In other cases, the number of licenses is fixed, and a prospective taxi owner must purchase a license from an existing owner. In New York City, such a license is called a taxi medallion. Individual medallions have sold for as high as $700,000 and corporate medallions as high as $1 million. In other cities — such as Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston — taxi licenses have sold for anywhere between $300,000 and $700,000. These are prices for a license to own and operate a single vehicle as a taxi.

Where public utility commissions decide who will have the right to go into the taxi business, a prospective entrant must apply for a "certificate of public convenience and necessity." Lawyers for the incumbent taxi owners, most often corporate owners or owner associations, appear at the hearing to argue that there is no necessity or public convenience that would be served by permitting a new entrant. Where medallions are sold, the person must have cash or the credit standing to be able to get a loan from a lender, such as the Medallion Financial Corp., that specializes in taxi medallion purchases. Medallion Financial Corp. has held as much as $520 million in loans for taxi medallions.

So what are the effects of taxi regulation? When a person must make the case for his entry before a public utility commission, who is likelier to win, a single individual with limited resources or incumbent taxi companies with corporate lawyers representing them? I'd put my money on the incumbent taxi companies being able to use the public utility commission to keep the wannabes out.

Who is handicapped in the cases in which one has to purchase a $700,000 medallion in order to own and operate a taxi? If you answered "a person who doesn't have $700,000 lying around or doesn't have the credit to get a loan for $700,000," go to the head of the class.

A natural question is: Who are the people least likely to be able to compete with corporate lawyers or have $700,000 lying around or have good enough credit to get such a loan? They are low- and moderate-income people and minorities. Many own cars and have the means to get into the taxi business and earn between $40,000 and $50,000 annually, but they can't overcome the regulatory hurdle.

Enter Uber and Lyft, two ride-hailing services. Both companies use freelance contractors who provide rides with their own cars. The companies operate mobile applications that allow customers with smartphones to submit trip requests, which are then routed to Uber or Lyft drivers, who provide taxi-like services with their own cars. The legality of these companies has been challenged by taxi companies and politicians who do the bidding of established taxi companies. They allege that the use of drivers who are not licensed to drive taxicabs is unsafe and illegal.

Uber and Lyft drivers like the idea of working when they want to. Some have full-time jobs. Picking up passengers is an easy way to earn extra money. Everyone is happy about the arrangement except existing taxi companies and government officials who do their bidding.

Taxi companies retain much of their monopoly because Uber and Lyft are prohibited from cruising. They are also prohibited from picking up passengers at most train stations and airports. But that monopoly may not last much longer. Let's hope not.



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

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


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Trump update

Any hope the Republican Party might have had that Donald Trump might soften his stance on illegal immigrants evaporated in the opening minutes of a press conference in Iowa on Tuesday night.

One of America's most prominent Mexican-Americans, Jorge Ramos, the leading news anchor for the nation's largest Spanish-language broadcaster, Univision, stood to ask him about his plan to deport undocumented Mexican and Central American immigrants.

"Excuse me," said Mr Trump, who is leading polls of contenders vying to be the party's presidential candidate. "Sit down. You weren't called. Sit down."

Ramos ploughed on.  "I'm a reporter, an immigrant, a senior citizen," he said. "I have the right to ask a question."

Mr Trump responded with the bluntness that has marked his campaign. "Go back to Univision," he said, signalling to one of his security guards who then removed Ramos from the room.

Later Mr Trump allowed Ramos to return to his seat and the exchange continued, with Ramos telling Mr Trump that his policy was unworkable.

As far at the Republican establishment was concerned, this was not the way primary campaign was supposed to unfold.

After losing the last election in part due to overwhelming support for Democrats among minorities, the GOP had expected supporters to fall in behind Jeb Bush, who has the backing of much of the the party's traditional donors class and who is well known and well regarded by American Hispanics.

Instead, the GOP is confronting what has become known as "the summer of Trump".

Earlier in the day a new poll found that Mr Trump was now leading the field in New Hampshire – a state in which moderate Republicans normally fare well – with support three times higher than that of his closest competitor.

According to the research by Public Policy Polling, Mr Trump is leading the polling with an overwhelming 35 per cent of the vote in that crucial state, followed by Ohio governor John Kasich, who comes in second at 11 per cent.

Mr Bush languishes in third on 7 per cent in equal place with Wisconsin governor Scott Walker.

And on Monday night Mr Trump had launched another attack on the high-profile Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who had angered him during the first Republican debate by asking him about his history of making apparently misogynist comments.

"Was afraid to confront Dr Cornel West. No clue on immigration!" he tweeted on Monday night, following up with another dig, "I liked The Kelly File much better without ‪@megynkelly. Perhaps she could take another eleven day unscheduled vacation!"

Mr Trump had earlier suggested that Kelly pursued her aggressive line of questioning against him because she was menstruating.

These new tweets prompted Roger Ailes​, the Fox News chairman and one of the most powerful conservatives in the country, to come out in defence of his reporter.

"Donald Trump's surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing," Mr Ailes said on Tuesday afternoon.  "Donald Trump rarely apologises, although in this case, he should."

Mr Trump responded immediately.   "I don't care about Megyn Kelly," he said during a news conference. "She should probably apologise to me, but I just don't care."

The ongoing focus on Mr Trump has served not only to throw the Republican primary into confusion, but to distract from controversy surrounding the leading Democratic contender, Hillary Clinton.



Is Trumpism the New Nationalism?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Since China devalued its currency 3 percent, global markets have gone into a tailspin. Why should this be? After all, 3 percent devaluation in China could be countered by a U.S. tariff of 3 percent on all goods made in China, and the tariff revenue used to cut U.S. corporate taxes.

The crisis in world markets seems related not only to a sinking Chinese economy, but also to what Beijing is saying to the world; i.e., China will save herself first even if it means throwing others out of the life boat.

Disbelievers in New World Order mythology have long recognized that this new China is fiercely nationalistic. Indeed, with Marxism-Leninism dead, nationalism is the Communist Party's fallback faith.

China has thus kept her currency cheap to hold down imports and keep exports surging. She has run $300 billion trade surpluses at the expense of the Americans. She has demanded technology transfers from firms investing in China and engaged in technology theft.

And the stronger China has grown economically, the more bellicose she has become with her neighbors from Japan to Vietnam to the Philippines. Lately, China has laid claim to virtually the entire South China Sea and all its islands and reefs as national territory.

In short, China is becoming a mortal threat to the rules-based global economy Americans have been erecting since the end of the Cold War, even as the U.S. system of alliances erected by Cold War and post-Cold War presidents seems to be unraveling.

Germany, the economic powerhouse of the European Union, was divided until recently on whether Greece should be thrown out of the eurozone. German nationalists have had enough of Club Med.

On issues from mass migrations from the Third World, to deeper political integration of Europe, to the EU's paltry contributions to a U.S.-led NATO that defends the continent, nationalistic resistance is rising.

Enter the Donald. If there is a single theme behind his message, it would seem to be a call for a New Nationalism or New Patriotism. He is going to "make America great again." He is going to build a wall on the border that will make us proud, and Mexico will pay for it.

He will send all illegal aliens home and restore the traditional value of U.S. citizenship by putting an end to the scandal of "anchor babies."

One never hears Trump discuss the architecture of our rules-based global economy.  Rather, he speaks of Mexico, China and Japan as tough rivals, not "trade partners," smart antagonists who need to face tough American negotiators who will kick their butts.

They took our jobs and factories; now we are going to take them back. And if that Ford plant stays in Mexico, then Ford will have to climb a 35-percent tariff wall to get its trucks and cars back into the USA.

To Trump, the world is not Davos; it is the NFL. He is appalled at those mammoth container ships in West Coat ports bringing in Hondas and Toyotas. Those ships should be carrying American cars to Asia.

Asked by adviser Dick Allen for a summation of U.S. policy toward the Soviets, Ronald Reagan said: "We win; they lose."

That it is not an unfair summation of what Trump is saying about Mexico, Japan and China.

While the economic nationalism here is transparent, Trump also seems to be saying that foreign regimes are freeloading off the U.S. defense budget and U.S. military.

He asks why rich Germans aren't in the vanguard in the Ukraine crisis. Why do South Koreans, with an economy 40 times that of the North and a population twice as large, need U.S. troops on the DMZ?  "What's in it for us?" he seems ever to be asking.

He has called Vladimir Putin a Russian patriot and nationalist with whom he can talk. He has not joined the Republican herd that says it will cancel the Iran nuclear deal the day they take office, re-impose U.S. sanctions and renegotiate the deal.

Trump says he would insure that Iran lives up to the terms.

While his foreign policy positions seem unformed, his natural reflex appears nonideological and almost wholly results-oriented. He looks on foreign trade much as did 19th-century Republicans.

They saw America as the emerging world power and Britain as the nation to beat, as China sees us today. Those Americans used tariffs, both to force foreigners to pay to build our country, and to keep British imports at a price disadvantage in the USA.

Whatever becomes of Trump the candidate, Trumpism, i.e., economic and foreign policy nationalism, appears ascendant.



GOP Should Worry Less About Trump and More About Itself

By David Limbaugh

Commentators and political consultants are working overtime to divine why Donald Trump's candidacy is explosively successful despite his breaking all the established rules. They're outthinking themselves.

They say he is a flash in the pan, the darling of disaffected independents, the tea party's dream, a Clinton plant or the right wing's narcissistic alternative to Barack Obama.

Folks, it's not that difficult. For many Americans — who knows what percentage? — the Republican Party is not an antidote to President Obama's seven-year wrecking ball.

They look at the GOP and occasionally see strong rhetoric but mostly observe a lack of inspiration, energy and any sense of urgency about the current state of affairs. They recall that when Republicans didn't have control of Congress, they asked for patience until they recaptured the House. In the meantime, we were not supposed to rock the boat and jeopardize the upcoming elections.

Since winning back Congress, they've offered a similarly tired excuse: We don't have control of the presidency. Just wait until 2016, and we'll really turn things around. But for now, let's be calm.  Calm? What is there to be calm about?

Those living outside the Beltway wonder why there isn't universal horror over the $18 trillion debt and $100 trillion of unfunded liabilities threatening our kids' future, the gutting of our military, the government's destruction of the world's best health care system, the assault on American businesses and the energy industry, Obama's runaway Environmental Protection Agency, his managed invasion of our borders, his war on Christians' religious liberty, his mistreatment of Israel, the Iran deal, and the government's funding a notorious abortion factory.

It's true; Republicans don't have control of the executive branch. But that doesn't mean they have no power. They have the power of the purse. They didn't have to forfeit their constitutional power on the nuclear arms deal with Iran.

Obama hasn't had the power to do many of the things he's done, either — from granting selective exemptions on Obamacare to granting amnesty to "Dreamers" — but nothing has stopped him.

Likewise, the same-sex marriage lobby didn't have anywhere close to a majority when it started bullying its way toward societal and legal legitimacy, but it proceeded fearlessly. And it got results.

Even if you believe that Republicans have no power, is that any excuse for their always having their tail between their legs? Some see little evidence that the Republican Party believes in its own ideas anymore.

But that's not the case with Donald Trump. Even if he isn't a Reagan conservative, at least he's got the courage to take on the status quo — the outrages of the Obama administration, the complacency of establishment Republicans and the tyranny of political correctness.

Trump is standing up, shaking his fist at the Beltway elite and saying he is tired of the intentionally managed decline of America and the impotence and apparent indifference of Republicans. In contrast with much of the GOP ruling class, he is high-energy, is in your face, has no tolerance for excuses and is vigorously proud of America. He refuses to take no for an answer, unlike most Republicans, with a few notable exceptions, who seem to lust after any excuse for inaction and avoid confrontation at all costs. Trump may get more slack because he's an outsider, but it's time that our risk-averse people took some chances themselves.

Trump is filling a void, which he couldn't do if one didn't exist. Like him or not, he is shaking things up, sounding an alarm and showing other candidates what appeals to voters.

Some look at establishment Republicans and see those comfortable with Obamacare lite. They pretend to favor full repeal but in the end will only tweak it. They say they're fierce free-marketers, but they'll barely reform the tax code. They acknowledge that entitlements are bankrupting us, but they don't have the guts to make the case for restructuring them. They promise to cut government spending, but they think that means shaving pennies off the rate of increase. They say they'll protect the borders, but they spend half their time trying to prove they're not xenophobes.

When Ronald Reagan was vying for the Republican nomination, he didn't muzzle himself for fear of scaring off moderates. He said what he believed. Leadership is presenting ideas you believe in and selling them even to a minority. It is not keeping your powder dry until the next election. Do you ever see the wildly successful left doing that?

Trump is showing leadership, whether or not you like him or believe in his authenticity or his ideas. Before you complain too much about him, you should ask yourself what his success says about the establishment's prescription of sitting on our hands and biding our time.

Trump is hardly my first choice, but he is doing a lot of good right now, including showing the value of confidently presenting your ideas and how "making America great again" is a message that still strongly resonates with voters.

Let's quit spending so much time worrying about Trump and focus on regaining confidence in our own ideas and presenting them to the American people.



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

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


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Quiet Revolution: How the New Left Took Over the Democratic Party

The decay of faith has cleared the way for a Godless religion

By Scott Powell

Frustration with division and gridlock in Washington lead many Americans to impugn both political parties for the current broken and ineffective state of government. There is plenty of blame to go around, but below the surface there has been a quiet revolution going on in only one of the two parties — the Democratic Party — which is the main source of today’s irreconcilable division and moral confusion.

What’s remarkable is how the political and cultural center of American values has collapsed in the last two and a half decades with the Democratic Party having moved dramatically to the left. Recently, Democratic National Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz could not explain the difference between the modern Democratic Party platform and that of socialism, while at the same time gushing over the prospect of Socialist Bernie Sanders having a prominent place at the 2016 Democratic Party convention.

If people today could somehow be transported back to the time of Harry Truman and Jack Kennedy, they would swear those standard bearers were Republicans with little in common with today’s Democratic Party.

America’s two major political parties have always been fundamentally different. The Republican Party has been rooted in the moral principles and transcendent values expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The Democratic Party acknowledges that the starting point of the country may have been the Declaration and the Constitution, but since Woodrow Wilson many Democratic Party leaders have contended that progress requires constant adaptation, changing morals, and liberal interpretations of law and history.

The progressive philosophy that the Democratic Party has come to embrace now has its roots less in the values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of individual happiness and more in the tenets of race and class identity, equal outcomes, and an expanding welfare state. Since individuals vary in talent, ability, and motivation and the free market system produces unequal outcomes of success, a core principle of the Democratic Party is now redressing this disparity through the redistribution of wealth.

The strongest critique of early industrial capitalism came from the German philosopher Karl Marx, who believed that the contradictory forces of labor and capital inevitably bring about class struggle. This in turn, he argued, causes the working class proletariat to rise up and overthrow the capitalist order, seize the means of production, eliminate private property and create a new order that would equitably distribute resources from each according to his ability, and to each according to his need. The notion of conflict of interest between labor and capital, class warfare, and the need for redistribution of wealth, which has made its way into the Democratic Party, has its roots in Marx.

The proletariat never did revolt successfully en masse in any advanced industrialized state. Instead, Marx’s political and economic revolution was first staged in the largely agrarian nation of Russia, carried out by Marxist revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin. Lenin made major contributions to Marx’s theories, so much so that Marxism-Leninism became the dominant theoretical paradigm for advancing national liberation movements, communism, and socialism wherever in the world radical revolutionary movements arose.

Among Lenin’s contributions was the theory of the vanguard. Since it was apparent that the proletariat masses were unlikely to rise up, Lenin argued that it was necessary for a relatively small number of vanguard leaders — professional revolutionaries — to advance the revolutionary cause by working themselves into positions of influence. By taking over the commanding heights of labor unions, the press, the universities, and professional and religious organizations, a relatively small number of revolutionaries could multiply their influence and exercise political leverage over their unwitting constituents and society at large.

It was Lenin who introduced the concept of the “popular front” and coined the phrase “useful idiots” in describing the masses who could be manipulated into mob action of marches and protests for an ostensibly narrow cause of the popular front, which the communist vanguard was using as a means for a greater revolutionary political end.

As Lenin was consolidating power in Russia, Antonio Gramsci was emerging as a leading Marxist theoretician in Italy and would found the Italian Communist Party in 1921. After being imprisoned by Mussolini, the Fascist prime minister of Italy, Gramsci authored what came to be called the Prison Notebooks, partially published in 1947 and in complete form in 1975, a legacy that made him one of the most important Marxist thinkers of the 20th century. Gramsci argued that communists' route to taking power in developed, industrialized societies such as Europe and the United States would be best achieved through a “long march through the institutions.” This would be a gradual process of radicalization of the cultural institutions — “the superstructure” — of bourgeois society, a process that would in turn transform the values and morals of society. Gramsci believed that as society’s morals were softened, its political and economic foundation would be more easily smashed and restructured.

Cultural Marxism was also in vogue at the Institute of Social Research at Frankfurt University in Germany — that is until 1933 when the Nazis came to power. Many members of the “Frankfurt School,” such as Herbert Marcuse, Eric Fromm, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkeimer, and Wilhelm Reich fled to the United States, where they ultimately found their way into professorships at various elite universities such as Berkeley, Columbia, and Princeton. In the context of American culture, “the long march through the institutions” meant, in the words of Herbert Marcuse, “working against the established institutions while working in them.”

While the Frankfurt School was neo-Marxist, many of its adherents were less interested in economics and redistribution of wealth than in remaking and transforming society through attitudinal and cultural change. They incorporated Marxist class theory into sociology and psychology while also assimilating Freud’s theories on sexuality. Thus, Marx’s theory of the dialectic of perpetual conflict was joined together with Freud’s neurotic ideas, creating a sort of Freudian-Marxism. Their stated goal was a total transformation of society by breaking down traditional norms and institutions such as monogamous relations and the traditional family. This was to be accomplished by promoting and legitimizing unhinged sexual permissiveness with no cultural or religious restraint.

The countercultural influence of radicals like Marcuse and Gramsci has been advanced more by insinuation and infiltration than by confrontation. Their “quiet” revolution to remake society was intended to be diffused throughout the culture gradually over a period of time. Gramsci argued that alliances with non-communist leftist groups would be essential to the collapse of the capitalist bourgeois order. Marcuse believed that radical intellectuals needed to ally themselves with the socially marginalized substratum of the outcasts and outsiders, the exploited and persecuted of other races and ethnicities, the unemployed and the unemployable.

While the influence of Marcuse and the Frankfurt School and Marxists like Gramsci was greatest in intellectual circles in a strategic sense, Saul Alinsky arrived on the scene in Chicago in the 1930s with the tactical tools for the foot-soldiers of social and political revolution — the community organizers and non-academic labor and single-issue activists.

Alinsky had a certain charm and appeal to wealthy funders, and had no trouble raising considerable sums to establish the Industrial Areas Foundation in Chicago from department store mogul Marshall Field and Sears Roebuck heiress Adele Rosenwald Levy, as well as Gardiner Howland Shaw, an assistant secretary of state in Franklin Roosevelt’s administration.

Alinsky also had other benefactors in Washington and Wall Street. Eugene Meyer, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1930 to 1933, bought the Washington Post at a bankruptcy sale in 1933 for $825,000. During the difficult years of the Depression that followed, the Post carried stories that legitimized Saul Alinsky and his ideas.

In keeping with Lenin’s famous quote that “capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them,” Alinsky once boasted, “I feel confident that I could persuade a millionaire on a Friday to subsidize a revolution for Saturday out of which he would make a huge profit on Sunday even though he was certain to be executed on Monday.”

Alinsky’s tactics had more in common with Gramsci and Marcuse than the revolutionary and violent approaches of Russian Marxists Lenin and Stalin. Alinsky, too, believed in gradualism and subversion of the system through infiltration rather than confrontation and revolution.

Alinsky believed that politics was war by other means, stating specifically that “in war the end justifies almost any means.” But he was more than a nihilistic progressive revolutionary. Alinsky’s handbook, Rules for Radicals, first published in 1971, included an admiration for the prince of darkness, Lucifer, noting that he was “the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom…”

By the 1960s Marcuse and Alinsky were recognized as two of the most influential leaders of the New Left, which gained strength and numbers by taking a leading role in the anti-Vietnam War movement. However, Alinsky and Marcuse were critical of the violent and confrontational tactics of many of the anti-war radicals, such as Bill Ayers and the Weathermen, preferring instead that radicals work behind the scenes and bore into the establishment. This was seen later in the 1960s with Alinskyites positioned to take advantage of President Johnson’s “War on Poverty” programs, to direct federal money into various Alinksy projects.

Alinksy succeeded in what would be a crowning achievement: the recruitment of young idealistic radicals — Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama — who would go on to climb to the top of political power in the Democratic Party. Hillary wrote her senior thesis at Wellesley College in 1969 on Alinsky’s methods and remained a friend of Alinsky until his death in 1972. A decade later, Barack Obama was trained in the methods and Rules for Radicals in the Alinsky-founded Industrial Areas Foundation in Chicago.

Camouflage and deception are key to Alinsky-style organizing. When Barack Obama was organizing black churches in Chicago and was criticized for not attending church himself, he pivoted and became a regular church attendee, ultimately becoming a member at Jeremiah Wright’s radical Trinity United Church of Christ.

The New Left did not simply fade away when the troops came home from Southeast Asia. It went mainstream, with many of the 60s radicals deciding to follow Alinsky’s counsel to clean up their image, put on suits and infiltrate the system. They would become professional revolutionaries who landed jobs in the knowledge industry: the universities, foundations, and the media and special interest activist groups.

By winning “cultural hegemony,” the acolytes of Gramsci, Alinsky, Marcuse, and the Frankfurt School believed that the wellsprings of human thought could be largely controlled by mass psychology and propaganda. One of Alinsky’s unique contributions, explained as the seventh Rule for Radicals, was the tactic to avoid debate on the issues by systematically silencing, ridiculing and marginalizing people of opposing views. At the same time, allies in the media provided cover and a framework of acceptance for radical issues and leaders. Traditional values of morality, family, the work ethic and free market institutions were made to appear outdated — even reactionary, unnecessary, and culturally unfashionable. Ultimately this evolved into what has become known as political correctness, which now envelops the culture.

By 1980, the counter-cultural alliances would include radical feminist groups, civil rights and ethnic minority advocates, extremist environmental organizations, and advocates of liberation theology, anti-military peace groups, union leaders, radical legal activist organizations like the ACLU, human rights watch-dog organizations, community organizers of the Alinsky model, national and world church council bureaucracies, anti-corporate activists, and various internationalist-minded groups. Working separately and together, these groups could count on a sympathetic media and favorable coverage, which facilitated building bridges to the Democratic Party and becoming vocal constituencies deserving attention and legislative action.

The New Left in America realized that it was neither necessary nor desirable to own the means of production as originally envisioned by Marx. Redistribution could be accomplished through progressive taxation that was enshrined by an enlightened Democratic Party. Corporate priorities could be redirected through sensational and biased media exposure, proxy contests, mass demonstrations, boycotts, activist lawsuits and regulatory actions. No need to be responsible for the means of production, when you could advance Marx’s anti-capitalist agenda from the sidelines by indicting individual corporations and the system of capitalism itself.

By the early to mid-1980s a third of the Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives supported the budgetary priorities and the foreign policy advocated by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), the leading revolutionary Marxist think tank in the United States, located Washington, D.C. Robert Borosage, the director of IPS, was succeeding in one of his stated goals to “move the Democratic Party’s debate internally to the left by creating an invisible presence in the party.” The particular genius of Borosage and IPS was their strategy to spawn a myriad of spinoffs and coalitions, a force multiplier that took propaganda and the Leninist popular front strategy to a level never seen before in America.

Fast forward to 2008, and we find the long march through the institutions resulting in the New Left being embedded in constituencies that provided a base of support and policy positions for the Obama presidential campaign. And while Barack Obama had a very unconventional background of lengthy associations with Marxists and anti-American radicals throughout his formative years and early adulthood, a nearly twenty-year membership in Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s “hate America” church, and an extreme left-wing voting record, the major media–now enveloped with the blinders of political correctness–made little effort to report on his background or examine his substantive qualifications. Barack Obama was both the culturally cool and articulate black candidate who provided a means for national redemption for a racist past, while also being the one candidate who provided a blank slate upon which people could project their own desires for hope and change.

Upon assuming office, President Obama had no problem bypassing the Constitutional advise-and-consent role of Congress in his appointment of a record number of czars, many of whom were so radical they would have failed to pass Senate confirmation. One of the offshoots of former IPS director Robert Borosage was the Apollo Alliance, an organization that he co-founded in 2001. Apollo saw its political clout increase dramatically with the election of Barack Obama. Van Jones, a self-described communist and an Apollo Alliance activist, was appointed Green Jobs czar by President Obama. A month after inauguration, a centerpiece of Apollo’s policy agenda was packaged right into the $787 billion stimulus bill, which directed $110 billion to green jobs programs. At the time of the passage of that bill — what came to be known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “The Apollo Alliance has been an important factor in helping us develop and execute the strategy…”

In a free society, extreme and derivative ideologies from the destructive legacy of Marx, Lenin, and the Frankfurt School can find some appeal to the alienated and disaffected. A constitutional republic like the United States should have sufficient strength to withstand most contradictions and absurdities held by a relatively small minority.

The problem today is threefold: the Left’s wholesale domination of much of the knowledge industry, a growing uninformed and disengaged electorate, and a failing two-party system. The normal process of checks and balances, which is made possible when compromise can be accomplished between the parties, simply no longer works. With the long march through the institutions having resulted in one of those parties no longer sharing much in the way of common ground — in terms of a philosophical heritage and values of liberty, private property, and limited government — compromise has become nearly impossible. The radicalization of the Democratic Party has so affected Congress and the current president as to render bipartisan solutions and reconciliation all but impossible.

In the end, what is important for Americans to realize is that the experiment with a left-wing president, like Barack Obama, is less an aberration than the logical outcome of the transformation of both the Democratic Party and the American culture. And the election of Hillary Clinton, a student of Alinsky and well-schooled and practiced in his teachings of deceit and camouflage would take the United States further along its trajectory of decline. Hillary’s election would effectively constitute an Obama third term.

The big question is whether the nation can survive and prosper if the culture remains fractured with a majority adrift from the heritage, morality and values of liberty and personal responsibility that are at the heart of the Declaration and the Constitution.

Edward Gibbon, the renowned historian, published his first of six-volumes of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, in 1776, the year Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence. Gibbon described six attributes that Rome embodied at its end: first, an overwhelming love of show and luxury; second, a widening gap between the rich and the poor; third, an obsession with sports and a freakishness in the arts, masquerading as creativity and originality; fourth, a decline in morals, increase in divorce and decline in the institution of the family; fifth, economic deterioration resulting from debasement of the currency, inflation, excessive taxation, and overregulation; and sixth, an increased desire by the citizenry to live off the state.

One might hope that awareness of factors associated with Rome’s fall would prompt an awakening in America. But so many are now disengaged and relatively few people read books, let alone possess the capacity to reflect deeply about causality and historical parallels.

Reestablishing the ascendency and authority of first principles that are at the heart of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution is a monumental task. Accomplishing it would no doubt unleash an enormous amount of energy, leading to a more vibrant and bountiful economy that would in turn go a long way in securing other vital national needs, from restoring fiscal solvency to rebuilding the military and securing lasting peace.



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

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


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Tragic and Complete Collapse of Racial Relations in America

Polls show that racial relations have gotten much worse under Barack Obama. Why has that happened?

by Victor Davis Hanson

Why do polls show that racial relations have gotten much worse under Barack Obama, who won the White House with over 95% of the black — and 45% of the white — vote?

A recent New York Times/CBS News poll just revealed that about 60% of Americans feel race relations are not good. Some 40% think that they will become even worse. Yet when Obama was elected, 66% of those polled felt race relations were generally OK. All racial groups, according to recent polling, believe that Obama’s handling of racial relations has made things worse since 2009. Another recent Pew poll confirms these tensions, and suggests whites are now about as pessimistic as blacks.

What has happened to racial relations?

Crime. A small cohort of urban African-American males under fifty — no more than 3-4% of the general population — is responsible for about 50% of many of the violent crimes committed. Blacks are 5-8 times more likely to commit rather suffer an interracial crime, which makes up less than 10% of most violent crime. Both the analysis and solution have become taboo subjects. Writing the above is a near thought crime.

The non-African-American community of all races largely feels that if blacks were committing crimes commensurate to their percentages in the general population, the police would come into contact with young black males with much less frequency, diminishing the opportunities for jaded police-community flare-ups. In turn, would crime decline in the inner city if there was more emphasis on curbing illegitimacy, drug use, and single-mother families, while privileging study and academic excellence over sports and the cult of machismo?

Black leaders counter that racism is still the engine that drives a sense of despair, which insidiously is at the root of all pathology. Equality-of-result federal programs are ultimately seen as the answer that will catapult the disadvantaged into the middle class. The legacy of slavery and Jim Crow is said to trump the horrors that other immigrant and minority groups experienced — the Irish who were declared to be inhuman by mid-nineteenth-century essayists, the Asian exclusionary laws and the Japanese internment, the Holocaust and the deliberate polices of the State Department and War Department to refuse entry of Jews fleeing the gas chambers, the Native Americans who lost their tribal landscapes, and on and on.

One can see why this back-and-forth argument about cause and effect has no solution by reading a typical story about black crime in any online mainstream newspaper or wire-service report. The journalistic narrative is embedded within politically correct tip-toeing around the race of the perpetrator, with interviews of family members attesting to complete astonishment that a son, brother, or friend, with a previous arrest or criminal record, would ever do such a heinous thing. Police overreaction is thematic. Crimes such as assault are downplayed. Little concern is accorded to a victim who was robbed, murdered, or raped. The news accounts of black crime are the written versions of the edited George Zimmerman 911 tape, his photoshopped picture, and his new identity as a “white Hispanic.”

But read what follows these daily crime stories in the online comments section. (Do the usually censorious PC editors encourage uncensored commentary in their news websites, in the sense of bread-and-circuses entertainment or efforts to gin up sagging readership?) The readers’ editorialization could come right out of the Old Confederacy. If elites doctor our news to massage racial themes, the mass displays a furor at the political-correctness and lying. And in their wrath, online commentators ironically end up confirming stereotypes that many whites are getting angry to the point of becoming racists.

Obama never seriously raised the topic of inordinate black crime other than a few ephemeral pre-election throat-clearings about personal responsibility. We were left instead with his administration’s cheap editorializing on Trayvon, Ferguson, “nation of cowards,” and “punish our enemies.” Few see resolution of the half-century-old argument, except that much of non-white America (Asians, East Asians, Arabs, Latinos, etc.) does not yet see racism as the cause of a lack of parity; e.g., so far there is not a Korean Al Sharpton, a Latino Jesse Jackson, or a Punjabi Louis Farrakhan.

As the country moves beyond the old 90/10% white/black binary, race becomes more complex, and the charge of racism less effective as an exegesis for pathology. We fear the familiar script of 2014-5 will play out for the rest of our lives: a young Michael Brown-like inner-city African-American, with a past record of felonies and often unarmed, will be manhandled or perhaps even shot during a police encounter, usually as a result of either resisting arrest or attacking the officer. He will be immediately lionized as “gentle” or “on his way to college,” and become emblematic of reckless government violence in a way hundreds of murders each month of blacks by blacks are not indicative of inner-city pathologies. Mention of rap sheets will remain taboo.

The media insists that more numerous examples of police shooting whites (who comprise a larger population, but are far less likely on a percentage basis to be arrested for suspicion of committing a felony) are irrelevant; so are black-on-white instances of crime, or black officers killing those of other races. Police will react by pulling back from the inner city in fear their careers will be ruined should they use greater force to counter initial force. Black community leaders will fire back that derelict racist officers are not protecting the community. Police will reenter the inner city in proactive fashion. Another Freddie Gray or Michael Brown case will follow, with demands that police leave the community alone.

The cases quickly become iconic and mythographic: Obama evokes “Ferguson” as an example of racism, without any context that Michael Brown resisted arrest, was under the influence and walking down the middle of the street — after recently committing a felony. If the president’s own attorney general can exonerate Officer Darren Wilson and the president can still persist in referencing Ferguson, racial relations, as the polls suggest, are going to get even worse.

So far we have read only in the elite media about black furor over white privilege. Yet the white elite that most certainly has Ivy League pedigrees, Washington/New York insider leverage, and corporate/Wall Street Clintonian-like help seems to encourage black anger as a sort of personal penance. Yet the elite has no clue of the growing anger of the white middle class and underclass that has no white privilege, and is tired of hearing that it does and being smeared as Neanderthal racists. When those who have no privilege hear “white privilege” from those who most certainly enjoy it, their reaction is similar to Denzel Washington’s in Man on Fire, who tires of hearing ad nauseam only “I’m just a professional.”

Jobs. A second problem is the static pyramidal Obama economy that has made labor participation historically low. Overregulating and overtaxing are fine for elites, who have enough money to either pay or find ways to avoid higher taxes. They don’t care much if their power, gas, or health costs go up — at least if they are led to believe that is the proper green atonement to pay for cooling the planet, putting a bait fish back into a delta, or shutting down a coal plant.  Obama in recompense for favoring the aristocratic elite feels that by expanding food stamps, disability insurance, housing, legal, and education subsidies, etc., the lower classes will be satisfied in lieu of a high-paying job on a fracking rig, in construction, or welding on the Keystone pipeline.

Yet in such a fossilized European system, the subsidized lower classes still see little chance of getting all the stuff they see advertised on television and computers, or the opportunities of the middle classes, and don’t wish to accept that their smart phones, Kias and air conditioning make them princes compared to the wealthy of 1970. Throughout history, the absence of parity, not the lack of means, has been the criterion for revolution. I’d go further: the more affluent the consumer underclass becomes due to Chinese-made goods, inexpensive high-tech appurtenances, and federal and state largess, the angrier it become that others have even more. Looters focus on sneakers and electronic goods, not flour and vegetables.

Should Obama cut taxes, lift regulations, become pro-energy and pro-growth, and reform entitlements and the tax code to expand the economy at 5-6% growth per annum, would not all sorts of new opportunities open up for African-Americans?

If 1 million illegal aliens a year were not pouring across the border, would not employers vie for labor rather than seek to import it cheaply? Instead, the Democratic Party is mostly about an elite on top that, as penance for its privilege, supports subsidies for the mass below that remains distant and out of sight and mind. By that cheap fillip, I mean the Obama daughters don’t walk into the inner city any more than Chelsea Clinton lives in Jamaica Queens or Barbara Boxer has a granddaughter in the Madera city schools.

The Implicit Bargain. African-American elites envision the urban underclass the same way that some La Raza third-generation Latinos view impoverished illegal immigrants from Oaxaca. Social disparities among the poor become arguments for affirmative-action leverage for elites, as if Barack Obama getting into Harvard Law or Lisa Jackson serving as EPA administrator will lower the crime rate in Baltimore or help change attitudes about illegitimacy in Oakland.

Until we confess class is a greater barometer of privilege than race, I see no solution to the escalating tensions. How odd that upscale, one-percent African-Americans at NPR, the New York Times, and MSNBC monotonously blast white privilege, as if their own lives are always far more hurtful than those in Appalachia or rural Oklahoma.

Progress is Impossible? Ta-Nehisi Coates writes that he has no affinity with the firemen and police who were incinerated on 911, given his grievances over endemic racism and the inability of blacks to gain parity with the majority due to systematic exclusion, formerly overt, today insidious.

Currently, blacks make up about 12% of the population. The president of the United States, the present (and former) attorney general of the United States, the secretary of Transportation, the secretary of Homeland Security, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the head of NASA are African American. Twenty-one percent of the Postal Service employees are African-American; seventeen percent of the entire federal work force is black. Seventy-eight percent of the NBA are African-American. Sixty-seven percent of NFL players are black. Sixteen percent of the teams have African-American head coaches; twenty-four percent of the teams have black general managers.

Has the definition of diversity become that overrepresentation in some areas (the Left’s word, not mine) of African-Americans, based on percentages in the general population, is still diversity, while underrepresentation of blacks in the physics department at Caltech is proof of endemic racism?  Or does a physics professor enjoy more perks and money than a NFL general manager?

We are asked to believe that Mr. Coates encounters crippling racism more so than my quite dark, quite accented, and quite turbaned Punjabi neighbor, who lives in a sea of non-Punjabis. We are asked to believe that an entire generation of lower middle-class white and mixed-race Americans who came of age not during Jim Crow and the civil rights movement, but during the half-century of affirmative action and diversity set-asides are guaranteed winning slots in American because of their  “white privilege.”

When I see the local, broke, and white tire-changer, somehow I don’t think his coming of age in the 1980s was easier than that of Jeh Johnson or Eric Holder. When I see a video in which a privileged young white elite at $65,000-per-year Wellesley or Amherst confesses to “white privilege,” I wonder how many hours he has welded in Tulare or she has done data entry in a carrel in San Jose.

Many of our problems derive from black elites feeding off the guilt of compatriot white elites of a like class in a similar landscape, who claim to speak for all whites, as if they shared something when in fact they share nothing much at all. I suspect that more white males feel an affinity, a stronger one based on shared ideas, with Ben Carson than any affinity on the basis of race with Hillary Clinton or John Kerry.

Because of our dishonesty on matters of race and the elite’s use of it for their own privilege, we will see not only little progress, but also much retrogression. Look at the world abroad: anytime a man or woman identifies by race, violence mounts and chaos follows. The times they are a changing — for the worse.



Restoring the Sovereignty of the States

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people". - The Tenth Amendment
Restoring the Sovereignty of the States

America’s Founders feared the arbitrary and coercive powers of government, and constructed our Constitution to limit and disperse those coercive powers, which are often referred to as the checks and balances of our governmental system. The Tenth Amendment is one of the most important checks and balances and is otherwise known as our Bill of Rights. Essentially, the powers not delegated to the United States Federal government by the Constitution are reserved to the States respectively...or to the people.

Unfortunately, our Federal government has coerced (actually bribed the States) to enact legislation that is properly the States' domain. President Obama has accelerated the coercion and bribes within our government, and has recently mandated every state to reduce CO2 emissions from their power plants. Knowing our Constitution does not give him the authority to force States to comply, our President bribed the States with money. Of course, Obama’s bribery monies are the taxes paid by every Federal taxpayer. So, how does our President intend to coerce compliance?

Well, first, our President announced, “Over the next few years each state will have the chance to put together their plans to cut carbon pollution. And we’ll reward the states that take action sooner rather than later.” The message sounds innocuous, but isn’t. However, every governor knows their state will receive a boatload of money from the Federal government if they comply with the President’s demand. If a state refuses to comply with the President’s command, their citizens will lose a boatload of money. Thus, the bribe forces compliance.

Harmfully, this coercion tactic was used in ObamaCare. Obama, Reid, Pelosi and other Democrats ordained that states must expand Medicaid (healthcare for the poor) or the States would lose all of their Federal Medicaid funding. Federal Medicaid transfer payments are a major component of every state’s budget, which would have been forfeited if the States did not meet the expansion ordained in Obamacare. The Supreme Court which abhors overruling government edicts said this was too coercive, and violated sovereignty of the States.

Very harmful, this Federal bribery and coercion over the states has existed forever, and is how the Federal government has mandated unemployment insurance, obliterated Parens Patriae in juvenile law, expanded Medicaid, sold Common Core, set highway speed limits, and the list goes on.

To counter the CO2 coercion, several states have filed or are about to file lawsuits contesting the mandates, and many governors are contemplating not complying and rejecting the bribe.

What's most important is our need to restore our Constitution, the Rule of Law and stop government by edict. Counter-vailing the force against the corrupt usurpation of power in the States, which requires citizens to appreciate and respect our Constitution and the separation of our powers. It requires governors and State legislators to reject any and all coercion.

Needless-to-say this will be a big and expensive fight, but it is absolutely essential to restore the sovereignty of our States and is critically important to our Republican-form of government as well as our personal freedom. Fortunately, a political initiative exists that will unite our States in order to counter our arrogant, Federal government. The Compact for a Balanced Budget is our ticket to forming a better State-system, and I further explain it's importance in my next blog.


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


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

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


Monday, August 24, 2015

A traitor President

Every time you think it can’t get any worse, another gaping hole appears in the world powers’ dismal Swiss cheese of a deal on Iran’s rogue nuclear program.

From the get-go, it seemed intolerable that the negotiations with Iran did not require, as early conditions, that the regime acknowledge its previous illegal efforts toward producing a nuclear weapon. But the sad fact is Iran was not required to come clean.

From the get-go, it seemed intolerable that the negotiations did not require the Iranian leadership to halt its relentless incitement for the destruction of the United States and Israel. Yes, one has to negotiate with one’s enemies. But apart from being demeaning and lacking in all self-respect, it is also inefficient to negotiate with enemies who continue to seek your demise. And yet, even as the talks proceeded, and since they were concluded, the poisonous rhetoric — rhetoric with inevitable violent consequence — has continued unabated.

From the get-go, it seemed intolerable that the negotiations did not also require that Iran cease its encouragement, training and arming of terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah. But Iran makes plain every day that its ongoing support for the “resistance” — as in, those who resist the notion of Israel continuing to exist — is not limited by the accord and will not cease.

As the deal itself took shape, it seemed intolerable that the US-led P5+1 powers had shifted from the imperative to neutralize and dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities and instead opted to content themselves with freezing and inspecting the Iranian program. But shift they did.

Even the Iranians plainly didn’t think they’d get away with a deal this ridiculous. It’s akin to having Bernie Madoff scrutinize his own business practices, or Tour de France cyclists conduct their own doping tests… except it has global life-and-death implications
As elements of the deal became public, it seemed intolerable and unthinkable that the regime would be allowed to continue its R&D on ever-faster centrifuges. Criticisms of this and other clauses were haughtily dismissed by senior Obama Administration officials as being premature and/or inaccurate. But the complaints and concerns proved all too justified.

When the deal was finalized, it seemed unthinkable that the negotiators had abandoned the demand for “anytime, anywhere” inspections of suspect facilities. But abandon that vital demand they most certainly did. Trying to understand the deliberately convoluted clauses of the accord that relate to inspections, one can only conclude that they empower the regime to maintain whatever secrecy it deems necessary at the military sites where it has pursued and will pursue work towards a nuclear arsenal.

After the deal became public, it seemed unthinkable that the flawed inspection clauses would be rendered still more problematic by related side deals that further neutralize effective inspection. But so it is proving. First, Iran indicated — and the US grudgingly acknowledged — that no American inspectors would be allowed into Iran. Then Iran asserted — and no denial has been forthcoming from the P5+1 — that it retains the right to veto any inspectors it doesn’t like the look of. Such assertions underline what has now become a depressingly familiar feature of the negotiation process: Iran’s descriptions of what has been agreed on have proven accurate; Western assurances, markedly less so.

Satellite image of the Parchin facility in April (photo credit: Institute for Science and International Security/AP)
Satellite image of the Parchin facility, April 2012. (AP/Institute for Science and International Security)

Which brings us to Wednesday’s Associated Press report that one of the side deals reached between Iran and the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency provides for Iran to carry out its own inspection work at the Parchin military facility where the IAEA has long alleged it experimented with high-explosive detonators for nuclear arms. The Iranians have been strenuously attempting to sanitize the site for years — which is bitterly amusing, since they evidently need not have bothered. Even the Iranians plainly didn’t think they’d get away with a deal this ridiculous. It’s akin to having Bernie Madoff scrutinize his own business practices, or Tour de France cyclists conduct their own doping tests… except it has global life-and-death implications.

And, again, the Obama administration would seem to have misrepresented what was agreed. It had indicated that the IAEA-Iran side deals were technical, unremarkable documents. While IAEA chief Yukiya Amano insisted Thursday that “the arrangements are technically sound and consistent with our long-established practices,” Olli Heinonen, who was in charge of the Iran probe as deputy IAEA director general from 2005 to 2010, told the AP on Wednesday he could recall no previous instance where a country being probed for nuclear wrongdoing was allowed to conduct its own investigation.

On both sides of the aisle, the current conventional wisdom is that opponents of this abysmally negotiated, dangerous accord have the votes to reject it next month but not to overcome a presidential veto.

What has hamstrung key anguished Democrats thus far has been the “what if?” question — as in, what if we do defy our own president and vote with the Republicans to override the veto? Yes, it’s a lousy, lousy deal — which cements a vicious regime in power, gives it vast funding to foster terrorism and regional chaos, and paves its path to the bomb with a mixture of inadequate oversight, absurdly legitimized ongoing nuclear work and sunset clauses. But what happens if we strike it down? Does the rest of the world just ignore us and proceed with it anyhow? Would it constitute a pointless act of protest that could doom our careers? Would Iran get its sanctions relief anyway? Is there any prospect of a more competent deal being negotiated?

Good questions, not all easy to answer.

But one question can be answered with increasing confidence: Is this, as President Obama claims, the best possible deal?

Yes, indeed, it is. The best possible deal for the Iranians.

They continue enriching. They maintain their R&D to enable a speedier breakout to the bomb when they so choose. They can keep the inspectors at bay. They never have to come clean on past nuclear weapons work. They can continue missile development. They get their sanctions relief. Their coffers are swelled. The prospect of the regime being ousted by domestic reformers, already small, is reduced still further; they can now throw money at any domestic problems. They can merrily orchestrate terrorism and intimidate regional foes.

Truly, it is the best deal Iran could possibly have imagined — to an extent that becomes clearer to the rest of us with each passing day. You don’t have to be a war-monger or a lobbyist to see that. You just have to read the small print, to listen to the leadership in Tehran, and to watch developments in our bloody region. And don’t forget, there’s a second IAEA-Iran side deal whose details have yet to come to light.

That “what if” question is a tough one, indeed. What if we vote against? What if we defy the president?

But there’s another side to that question, which those anguished, responsible Democratic legislators must also ask themselves: What if we let this bad joke of a deal go through?



The war on Donald Trump is not a policy war

It's a culture war, where no rational argument is entered into

There are plenty of good reasons to take issue with Donald Trump’s politics. On immigration, he’s restrictive and anti-freedom. On the unravelling of the Middle East, he’s gun-totingly interventionist. If this is how the real-estate-magnate-turned-reality-TV-star, and now Republican presidential candidate, promises to ‘make America great again’, he deserves a political rebuttal.

But no political rebuttal has been forthcoming. There have been ripostes, of course, and hair-referencing takedowns and wives-citing putdowns. But nothing that has tackled Trump’s views as political views. And that’s because this is public debate at a time when personality politics trumps political argument, an era in which the Culture Wars have supplanted anything approaching a battle of ideas. As a result, what’s being attacked in Trump’s case, what’s being debated, are not his political views, but his cultural attitudes. So it’s not a question of what Trump would do about immigration; it’s a question of how he feels about migrants. It’s not a question of Trump’s abortion policy; it’s a question of how he views women. It’s not a question of his energy policies; it’s a question of his sceptical attitude towards manmade global warming. And so on and so on. Today, a politician’s views remain significant, not because of what they reveal about his or her political, public intent, but because of what they say about him or her as a person. Treated as cultural attitudes, a politician’s views are a marker of his or her virtue, a test of his or her eligibility for public life.

This is politics as culture war, a campaign waged by virtue-signalling, sin-seeking politicos. So, as Trump steams ahead of his rivals in the race for the Republican nomination – he’s more than 10 per cent ahead of Ben Carson, his nearest challenger – opponents beyond the GOP have attempted to label-and-shame him out of existence. He’s a bigot, we’re told. And a racist, a sexist, and a homophobe. Whatever progress is, Trump is on the wrong side of it. He is the walking, talking, combed-over embodiment of the wrong sort of person, the sort of person with the sort of attitudes who shouldn’t be allowed to speak so loudly and so frequently in public. And this is where it gets darker: his views are treated not as ideas to be debated, but as an index of his bad character, of his inappropriateness for political life, an indication that he ought to be shunned. Which is exactly what has happened as a raft of businesses and broadcasters has severed ties with Trump.

It’s almost as if Trump is failing the political and media elite’s personality test. To his every public utterance, his myriad antagonists respond with an open-mouthed ‘I can’t believe you think that’. There was his opening anti-immigration gambit in June, when he said that Mexico was ‘sending people [over the border] that have lots of problems… They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.’ To this, one commentator shouted ‘hate crime’, and another retorted that ‘this whole business with Trump being a flaming bigot won’t just go away. He’s Donald Trump – he doesn’t stop talking.’ And, of course, there was his flip tweet that Fox News commentator Megyn Kelly’s menstrual cycle was responsible for what he perceived as her tough questioning during the first GOP presidential debate. To this, countless critics denounced his chauvinism, his bigotry, his ‘gross history of misogyny’. ‘Trump lacks the emotional or intellectual character to be our nation’s next leader’, concluded one such commentary.

It’s a chilling move. Trump is being deemed unfit for public life because he holds the wrong sort of attitudes. That is how Trump appears to the other side in the Culture Wars, the liberal, climate-change-aware, gay-marriage-supporting side, the side that, as its dominant political and cultural position shows, is winning the Culture Wars. To them, Trump appears wrong, and not just wrong, but incomprehensibly, automatically wrong. His attitudes are on the PC equivalent of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum - their wrongness is clear for the right-thinking congregation to see. Hence the proliferation of listicles that don’t even bother making an argument against Trump, preferring instead just to regurgitate what he said as if his wrongness is self-evident (which to his culture-war opponents, it is): ‘The most egregious statements made by Donald Trump’; ‘Eight of the sleaziest things Donald Trump has said’; ‘Trump confidently says more colossally stupid things’; ‘Here’s all the sexist things that Donald Trump has ever said’. No wonder one columnist concluded that ‘by being on the opposite side of [Trump] you win the argument by default’.

But what makes the carnival of anti-Trump smugness even more destructive to public debate is the way Trump’s wrongness is conjured up as a way of dismissing and shunning those who support him. They are racist bigots, with a penchant for casual misogyny, too. They don’t have political views; they have backward attitudes. They don’t have ideas; they have prejudices. One columnist wrote of a pick-up driver displaying the confederate flag (‘a symbol of hate and racism’) on his truck: ‘I didn’t ask who he supported in the primary, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he favoured Donald Trump, based on his recent surge in the polls and outspoken bigotry.’ Another concluded that support for Trump ‘is about the Republican Party and its very dark soul when it comes to immigration… [Trump supporters] see [a champion] in Trump, a Mussolini with a comb-over, who is now as much admired for the enemies he’s making as for his inflammatory statements on immigration.’ The UK-based Economist simply called Trump ‘a poor-man’s idea of a rich man’.

These aren’t political arguments; they’re cultural judgements. They’re judgements on the type of person Trump is, on his attitudes, complete with the obligatory epithets ‘racist’, ‘sexist’ and ‘homophobic’. And, deeper still, they’re judgements on the type of person who supports Trump, the supposedly racist, sexist and homophobic.

This personalised form of politics, this culture war against those with unspeakable attitudes, impoverishes political debate. It suggests that only the right sort of people ought to be allowed to participate, those, that is, who have passed the cultural litmus test, those who support gay marriage, who profess their feminism, who pity migrants’ plight. And in doing so, it not only narrows debate, it spurs on those excluded, those who fail the litmus test, to embrace outrage. The Donald, then, is as much a product of the stifling climate of political conformity as he is its brash opponent.



Poor Pebbles

Pebbles Hooper (@PebblesHooper) is another victim of the culture wars.  She is a fashionable young New Zealand woman who unwisely but quite insightfully made an unsympathetic comment about some stupid behaviour by a Maori family.  She lost her job as a columnist at a NZ newspaper over it.  On her Twitter site she now lists herself as follows: "Contributing fashion editor at Remix Magazine. Illustrator. Satan"

Good to see she has not lost her sense of humor.  She is herself a quarter Chinese.  Her Facebook site is here


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

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


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Left-Right Differences on right and wrong

Dennis Prager is right below but seems only dimly aware of the philosophical difficulties in the idea of moral truth.  The basic problem is:  "How do we check it?"  Where is the information that confirms what we think?  If I think that a dog has four legs, that is easy to check. I just look.  But where do we look if we think abortion is wrong?  Under a rock somewhere?  A statement "X is wrong" sounds like "grass is green" but is clearly very different.  There is no obvious way to check it.  That it is just an opinion is the obvious conclusion. And that is where Leftists get their claim that "There is no such thing as right and wrong".

Christians of course have no such difficulties.  The Ten Commandments say: "Thou shalt not kill" so abortion is clearly wrong.

But many conservatives (particularly in Australia) are not religious.  Even if they believe in God, the idea that the churches know any more about him than anyone else just seems implausible.  So what do they do about morality?

They view morality as having evolved.  Moral standards are what have enabled us to survive as social creatures.  They are what has been found to work in building a civilized society.  If we abandon them we embark on a voyage without a compass and without a map. And the sorry results of abandoning them are often seen. When, for instance, standards of restraint, moderation and self-discipline are abandoned in favor of "me, me, me" we often find people descending into drug abuse and early, miserable death.  Most people would wish not to end that way.

The only really interesting question concerns the very long time humans have had to acquire ideas about what has survival value and what has not.  As far back as history takes us, we know that formal moral codes have changed little over the last 4 or 5 thousand years.  The code of Hammurabi (who died around 2000 BC) has a lot in common with the book of Leviticus. So the ideas of right behavior that have guided us to where we are today are pretty clear.  Successive generations and successive societies have come to pretty similar conclusions about what aids survival and the good life.  There are differences of detail but the basics alter little.

But does the encoding of those ideas go back even further?  It does.  It goes back a very long way indeed.  Chimpanzees have been observed to have behaviour customs that assist the survival of their troop.  And it seems that some of the behaviours concerned are learned --  but not all.  Chimps still behave in chimp-like ways even if brought up in isolation from other chimps.  So some instincts of right behaviour have apparently become genetically coded and transmitted among chimps.  How much more so should that have happened in us?

And it has.  We very often have an instinctive response that something is "Just wrong" (harming babies, for instance).  The "authority" for the rightness or wrongness of something is within us, not anywhere outside of us. We cannot find it under a rock or anywhere else. It is a large part of what is called our "conscience".  It is our evolutionary wisdom.  It is a set of responses that comes from deep within the past of our (human) race. Morality really is in our genes. The history of our species is encoded in us.

It is of course not a perfect guide to adaptive behaviour any more than any law is.  There are always situations that a law does not fit well, and our instincts of rightness can be swamped by powerful external influences -- such as a belief in Islam.  That explains why Muslim parents can rejoice in their children blowing themselves up as suicide bombers.  All normal parental instincts are swamped by mental conclusions about what has value.

So there will always be debate about what is right and wrong.  For non-psychopathic individuals, however, moral instincts will be our best guide, particularly when supported and supplemented by verbal traditions such as the Ten Commandments.  We abandon our  past at our peril.

There are, of course, no unchallengeable answers in philosophy.  A moral rejectionist might, for instance, say:  "What's all this bit about survival?  That doesn't bother me.  I just want to enjoy myself while I am here.  Live fast, die young and have a good-looking corpse!"  There is no good answer to that if it is a sincerely held view but it rarely is.  I could, for instance, reply: "Then you will not object if I put a bullet through your brain right now".  That will normally induce some hesitancy.

We see something similar when Leftists say that "There is no such thing as right and wrong".  They will very often follow that immediately by a claim that racism, inequality or something else  is wrong.  Racism is something that does not exist??  Moral rejectionists have their own very large philosophical problems -- which is why they need Freudian neurotic strategies such as denial and compartmentalization to remain (marginally) sane

How can we determine what is morally right? The answer to this question — the most important question human beings need to answer — is a major difference between Left and Right.

For conservatives, the answer is, and has always been, that there are moral truths — objective moral standards — to which every person is accountable. In America, this has meant accountability to the Creator, the God of the Bible, and to Judeo-Christian values.

For the Left, the answer has always been — meaning since Karl Marx, the father of Leftism — that there is no transcendent source of morality. On the contrary, as Marx wrote, “Man is God,” and therefore each human being is the author of his or her own moral standards.

There are, of course, both religious leftists and secular conservatives, but the secular-religious difference explains many of the fundamental differences between Right and Left.

As a rule, leftists fear and have contempt for people who base their values on a transcendent source such as religion and the Bible. Such people, in the Left’s view, “can’t think for themselves — they need a God and a religion to tell them what’s right and wrong.” Leftists contrast these conservatives with themselves, people who think issues through and do not need God or religion.

This ideal of thinking everything through for oneself sounds admirable. And to a certain extent it is. People should think things through. And too often, religious people can sound like they haven’t done so.

But if there is no God and religion, there are no moral truths, only moral opinions. Without God and religion, good and evil, right and wrong, don’t objectively exist. They are subjective terms that just mean “I like” or “I don’t like.”

Therefore, no matter how much one thinks things through, without God and religion — specifically, the God of and the religions based on the Bible — the individual’s conclusions about what is right or wrong can only be opinions about what is right or wrong. Without God and religion, morally speaking, there is no fixed North or fixed South. The needle points wherever the owner of the compass thinks it ought to point.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Recently, in The New York Times, a professor of philosophy wrote about this complete absence of moral truth among younger Americans:

“What would you say if you found out that our public schools were teaching children that it is not true that it’s wrong to kill people for fun or cheat on tests? Would you be surprised? I was.

"The overwhelming majority of college freshmen in their classrooms view moral claims as mere opinions that are not true or are true only relative to a culture.

"Our public schools teach … there are no moral facts. And if there are no moral facts, then there are no moral truths.

"It should not be a surprise that there is rampant cheating on college campuses: If we’ve taught our students for 12 years that there is no fact of the matter as to whether cheating is wrong, we can’t very well blame them for doing so later on.”

So, then, if there is no moral truth, how do most secular people arrive at moral decisions?  According to how they feel. On the Left, personal feelings usually supplant objective standards.

Many liberal parents and teachers do not tell their children what is right and wrong. Rather, they ask their children and students, “How do you feel about it?”

In fact, feelings often supplant reason, not just moral truths. On the Left, feelings for the poor, for selected minorities, for the downtrodden, gays, women, Muslims and others are frequently all that is necessary to formulate policy.

For the conservative, as important as feelings may be, feelings are just not as important as standards in making social policy. But for the contemporary liberal, feeling — or “compassion,” as the Left puts it — is determinative.

As much as one may — and should — feel about historic injustices committed against black Americans, the conservative will not eliminate standards. Therefore, conservatives oppose lowering admissions standards at academic institutions for black students; liberal compassion is for it.

Conservatives generally oppose changing the marital standard of one man-one woman; liberals' compassion for gays supports it. Indeed, given the supplanting of standards with feelings, liberals will find it difficult to oppose polygamy. If love between people is the criterion for marriage, two people who love a third person should not be denied the right to marry that person.

Conservatives oppose abolishing the biological standard of gender identity and therefore oppose allowing men who identify as women to play on women’s sports teams; liberals have compassion for the transgendered and therefore drop the athletic standard.

Conservatives' commitment to a standard of true and false means identifying terrorists as Islamic; liberals feel for the many good Muslims in the world and therefore often refuse to identify Islamic terror by name.

In his Farewell Address, President George Washington’s most famous speech, the first president perfectly expressed the conservative view on the need for God and religion for moral standards and for societal standards generally:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports … these firmest props of the duties of Man and citizens.”



Your toddler's vocabulary at age TWO can predict their success in later life

Early speech acquisition and large vocabulary are strongly correlated with high IQ so these results are another confirmation of the wide-ranging effects of IQ, and its status as just one feature of biological good functioning

Your child's vocabulary at age two could reveal their future success, researchers have claimed.

They found children with better academic and behavioural functioning when they started kindergarten often had better educational and societal opportunities as they grew up.

They say children entering kindergarten with higher reading and math achievements are more likely to go to college, own homes, be married, and live in higher-income neighbourhoods as adults.

Gaps in oral vocabulary were evident between specific groups of children as young as age 2.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Pennsylvania State University, the University of California, Irvine, and Columbia University, who analysed nationally representative data for 8,650 children in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort, and appears in the journal Child Development.

Two-year-olds' vocabularies were measured via a parent survey, and their academic achievement in kindergarten was gauged via individually administered measures of reading and math.

Kindergarten teachers independently rated the children's behavioural self-regulation and frequency of acting out or anxious behaviour.

Researchers took into account a wide range of background characteristics (such as sociodemographics) and experiences (such as parenting quality) to more fully isolate the role of vocabulary growth.

They looked at whether 2-year-olds with larger oral vocabularies achieved more academically and functioned at more optimal levels behaviourally when they later entered kindergarten.

Gaps in oral vocabulary were evident between specific groups of children as young as age 2, with children from higher-income families, females, and those experiencing higher-quality parenting having larger oral vocabularies than their peers.

Children born with very low birthweight or from households where the mother had health problems had smaller oral vocabularies.

When the researchers examined the children three years later, they found that children who had a larger oral vocabulary at age 2 were better prepared academically and behaviourally for kindergarten, with greater reading and maths achievement, better behavioural self-regulation, and fewer acting out or anxiety-related problem behaviours.

This oral vocabulary advantage could not be explained by many other factors, including the children's own general cognitive and behavioural functioning and the families' socioeconomic resources.

'Our findings provide compelling evidence for oral vocabulary's theorized importance as a multifaceted contributor to children's early development,' said Paul Morgan, associate professor of education at the Pennsylvania State University, who led the study.

Adds George Farkas, professor of education at the University of California, Irvine, who coauthored the study: 'These oral vocabulary gaps emerge as early as 2 years. 'Early interventions that effectively increase the size of children's oral vocabulary may help at-risk 2-year-olds subsequently enter kindergarten classrooms better prepared academically and behaviourally. 'Interventions may need to be targeted to 2-year-olds being raised in disadvantaged home environments.'

Farkas is an opinionated idiot.  These differences are inborn so no "intervention" is likely to have any lasting effect -- as has repeatedly been shown.  Note the abject failure of "Head Start", for instance.  Farkas neither presents any evidence for his assertions nor is interested in any -- JR



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

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