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Why Does Trump Still Refuse to Criticize Putin?

The article below from "The Atlantic" does establish their case that Trump goes out of his way to stay friendly with Russia but they have no answer to the "Why" in their heading.  They even acknowledge that his attitude probably does him political harm.

It seems not to have occurred to them that it is very much in America's self-interest to be on friendly terms with Russia and that Trump is in fact being statesmanlike in his attitude. Consider if there is serious trouble over North Korea. Russia could in various ways seriously hamper what Trump could do if it wanted to.  Given Trump's friendliness, however, Putin will almost certainly do nothing -- leaving all options open for Trump.

The Left, on the other hand,  seem to want a return to the Cold War, which seems to me to be borderline insane.  Didn't we have enough of that last century?

Note that I said above something that will grind a few Leftist mental gears if it ever gets into their heads:  "Trump statesmanlike"!  Heresy!  But it fits


The president not only won’t denounce Russia, but he goes out of his way to avoid it—like when he thanked the Kremlin on Thursday for expelling U.S. diplomats.

President Trump is most comfortable when he’s on the verbal offensive. He loves a good war of words, whether his target is a foreign adversary, a foreign ally, a Republican rival, or Rosie O’Donnell. According to a New York Times tally, Trump has attacked 351 separate people, places, and things on Twitter alone since July 2015.

The president has demonstrated that tendency this week, with his escalating, improvised threats against North Korea and his parallel assault on Mitch McConnell, his most important ally in Washington.

Those feuds make Trump’s refusal to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin all the more conspicuous.

On July 30, Putin announced that Russia was forcing the U.S. State Department to reduce its staff in Russia by 755 people. (For the most part, those who were laid off were Russians working for the embassy, not American diplomats.) Trump, who often can’t let a provocation on cable news go unanswered for more than a few hours, was uncharacteristically quiet.

He finally broke his silence, after a fashion, on August 3, the day he signed a bill increasing sanctions on Russia in retaliation for interfering in the 2016 election. Trump had opposed the legislation, but it passed Congress with veto-proof majorities, leaving him little choice but to sign it. There are many reasons Russo-American relations are strained: Russian anger at expansion of NATO, longstanding global rivalries, the Russian annexation of Crimea and intervention in Ukraine, years of Russian human-rights abuses, and Russian tampering with the election. Trump chose to place blame for the rocky state of the relationship not on any of those issues, and certainly not on Putin, but squarely on Congress. Just for good measure, he tossed in an unrelated jab at the failure of an Obamacare repeal-and-replace plan:

"Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can't even give us HCare!"

There was still not a word about Putin’s forced cuts at the U.S. embassy. Finally, on Thursday, Trump weighed in. His comments were surprising—not only did he not criticize Putin, but he thanked him:

I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll, and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll. There's no real reason for them to go back. I greatly appreciate the fact that we’ve been able to cut our payroll of the United States. We’re going to save a lot of money.
Was Trump speaking with tongue in cheek? It’s possible, but he didn’t smile when he said it. (The president has often tried to pass off apparently serious comments as jokes after the fact, in order to defuse situations.) The remark fits with his attempt to cut costs at the State Department and his disdain for traditional diplomacy.

But even if the whole thing was a joke, it’s still astonishing that Trump’s response to Russian retaliation was to thank the retaliators. This doesn’t mean the only option is an eye for an eye; a simple public complaint is standard in cases of diplomatic retaliation like this. (Part of the problem is that Trump seems to have two modes: conciliation and escalation. The idea of criticizing without raising the stakes is foreign to him.)

The strange thing about Trump’s comments about Putin is not merely that he won’t criticize him, but that he goes out of his way to avoid it. The tweet about Russian relations and his remarks on Thursday were hardly the only times this has happened. And that’s even leaving aside Trump’s repeated praise for the Russian leader during the campaign, when he praised Putin’s leadership, suggested he’d allow the annexation of Crimea, and publicly called on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Let’s draw a line between what Trump said on the campaign trail and what he’s said since the election. Although he had been briefed before November 8, it was after the election that he began getting full intelligence briefings on Russian interference. Since then, there has also been an increasing focus on interference among members of the public, press, and Congress. In other words, Trump has had many more incentives to distance himself from Russia. Instead, he’s continued to hold his fire.

On February 4, Trump told Bill O’Reilly, “I do respect [Putin]. Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’ll get along with them.” O’Reilly pressed Trump on Putin’s murders of dissidents and journalists. Trump wouldn’t criticize Putin for those crimes, and suggested the United States was no better. “There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers,” Trump said. “Well, you think our country is so innocent?”

He has also repeatedly declined to accept the idea that Russia meddled in the election, even though it is the conclusion of all the major intelligence agencies, and even though many of his top aides have said they blame Russia for hacking attacks. In June, he called the attacks “a big Dem HOAX.”

In early July, during a trip to Poland, he halfway accepted that Russia might have been behind them, then backed off the statement and worked to muddy the waters:

"I think it was Russia, and I think it could have been other people in other countries. It could have been a lot of people. I said it very simply. I think it could very well have been Russia, but I think it could well have been other countries. I won’t be specific. I think a lot of people interfere. I think it’s been happening for a long time, it’s been happening for many, many years."

Yet he added: “Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure.”

Later that week, Trump had his first face-to-face meeting with Putin, at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. U.S. and Russian accounts of the meeting initially diverged, with the United States saying Trump had pressed Putin forcefully on the hacking, and Russia saying Trump had accepted Putin’s denials.

Two days later, Trump cleared things up with a pair of tweets that basically confirmed the Russian account:

Given that Trump had already said he was dubious of Russian interference, that tweet reads as an acknowledgment that he accepted their denial.

The question is why Trump has worked so hard to avoid criticizing Putin—especially when there’s a clear political downside to appearing cozy with the Russian bear.

There is little obvious foreign-policy advantage. During the campaign and early in his presidency, Trump argued that the United States ought to launch a charm offensive in order to improve relations with Russia. Whether that was right or wrong, and whether Congress or someone else is to blame, that approach is obsolete today. As Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Russia have all admitted, relations are now at a low ebb.

Even if Trump fully believes that Putin is a spotless, admirable leader falsely accused of various crimes, it would be to his benefit to create some separation, and a matter as simple as expulsion of diplomats offers a good chance for Trump to stand up for his country. Putin, like any foreign leader, understands that sometimes a head of state has to shore himself up domestically and would surely interpret a few hostile words from Trump in that light. (Alternatively, even if one believes Trump is a bought-and-paid-for puppet of the Kremlin, why wouldn’t he publicly denounce Putin to buy himself some maneuvering room?)

Given Trump’s affection for authoritarian leaders and fixation on projecting strength, the simplest explanation for Trump’s refusal to criticize Putin might be that he doesn’t want to give the impression that he has been cowed into changing his view. Perhaps he’s thinking that if he allows his critics to troll him into offering harsh words, it would show that they are stronger than him—and if he acknowledges Russian interference in the election, it undermines the legitimacy of his victory in 2016.

In fact, his actions are making him look weak, but not in the way he thinks. His refusal to criticize Putin even in the case of diplomatic retaliation gives the impression that he is intimidated by the Kremlin and doesn’t have it in him to be tough. The president has cut off his nose to spite his face, and is now willing to cut off an ear or a lip if he must.

During his only press conference between the election and inauguration, on January 11, Trump fielded questions about his affection for the Russian leader.

“If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what, folks, that’s called an asset, not a liability,” he said. “Now, I don’t know that I’m going to get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do. But there’s a good chance I won’t. And if I don’t, do you honestly believe that Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me? Does anybody in this room really believe that?”

Seven months later, it seems clear that she couldn’t have been any less tough.

SOURCE

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What is a Leftist to do when his opponents are NOT white supremacists?

Easy.  Interpret what the opponent does say to mean what the Leftist wants it to mean.  See below.  His opponents all speak in code, apparently.

There may have been a few actual white supremacists at the Charlotteville rally but all the actual protests heard were about the preservation of an historic statue and the subjugation of American cultural traditions to political correctness.  The marchers were seeking only liberty, not to subjugate anybody -- but Leftists refuse to see that.

It just gives them a huge thrill to think that they are opposing white supremacists.  That would make them the good guys.  They in fact are the supremacists -- Leftist supremacists. They want to put us all into a regulatory straitjacket of their devising -- as the Obama period showed.

Note below that they do not even attempt to show that their opponents are white supremacists.  They just assert it. If there really were white supremacists at the rally, how come that they can't quote anybody there saying clearly one single white supremacist thing?


The coded language of the white supremacist playbook has been displayed in abundance since the Charlottesville, Va., rally exploded in violence Saturday, sowing confusion for the public and masking the sentiment behind some of the responses.

Trump’s initial, vague statement — and even some elements of his more specific denunciation Monday, two days after the protests horrified the nation — heartened extremist groups, who are adept at weaponizing ambiguous language and who cited Trump’s language as vindication.

A prime example of the groups’ rhetorical tactics: a “Free Speech Rally” that may take place Saturday on Boston Common with scheduled speakers who have espoused white supremacist views.

The feel-good title of the rally is intended to divert attention from its purpose of sowing racial discord, said Ian Haney Lopez, a racial justice professor at University of California Berkeley’s law school who has written a book on racial “dog whistles.”

“When you use a phrase like ‘free speech’ to mobilize those who are racially fearful, it switches the conversation. It pretends that the conversation is about the right to express unpopular views — which is a quintessential American value that is enshrined in our Constitution — when in fact, the dynamic is about the expression of ugly views of racial prejudice,’’ Lopez said.

Trump has previously been criticized for repeatedly talking about violence in “inner cities” and his multiple warnings about “thugs,” coded words often used to invoke stereotypical images of black men.

On Saturday, when he first addressed Americans in response to the Charlottesville rallies, he told the country to “cherish our history,” which some took as code that he was weighing in on the side of preserving Confederate memorials.

“That was a very interesting comment,” white nationalist Richard Spencer, a founder of the “alt-right’’ movement told the Times of Israel. “I think there is reason to believe he wants an America where we can look back upon the Civil War as a deeply tragic event, but we can honor great men, like Robert E. Lee.”

Spencer told reporters Monday, after the president’s recent round of remarks, that he did not believe Trump had repudiated white nationalists or the “alt-right’’ movement, which combines elements of nationalism, racism, and populism.

“I don’t think he condemned it, no,” Spencer said. “Did he say white nationalist? ‘Racist’ means an irrational hatred of people. I don’t think he meant any of us.”

Hate groups have long worked to mask their views behind traditionally accepted language, in an attempt to make them more palatable to the public. Instead of denouncing America’s increasing ethnic diversity, they created the phrase “reverse-racism.” The term “alt-right” was born to rebrand white supremacist ideology as Internet friendly and cutting-edge.

The use of dog whistles — a cloaked political message that can only be understood by a particular group, much as dogs can hear whistles of certain frequencies that humans cannot — has become more common.

American politicians have a bipartisan history of deploying coded words to dance around the topic of race. Lee Atwater, the Republican political consultant and former confidant to Ronald Reagan, had his infamous “Southern Strategy,” which he explicitly said was created to disenfranchise black Americans without being called racist.

Reagan, during his presidential campaign of 1976, pushed a narrative that some black women were lazy and manipulating government aid. Hillary Clinton blasted youths in gangs as “super-predators.”

Where Trump stands out, however, is the specific way he emboldens white nationalists, said specialists who study racism in America. Trump “eradicates distinctions” by being uniquely obtuse and coded about his racial messaging, said Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguistics professor at the University of California Berkeley’s School of Information.

Instead of overtly criticizing then-President Barack Obama’s race, Nunberg said, Trump peddled the myth that the first black president was born in Kenya. On Saturday, Trump embraced a false equivalence between the bigots and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, condemning violence on “many sides.”

“There’s a cultural battle that’s going on that Trump is engaged in — and part of that is a redefinition of what is factual,” said Sam Fulwood, a fellow on race at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington. “If they can redefine racism as what’s against white men . . . then they’re able to impose their will on society.”

Even in his stronger statement Monday, Trump denounced the Klu Klux Klan along with neo-Nazis and “other hate groups,” which he did not define. Combined with the fact that it took him days to address the criticism, experts said, this is the type of ambiguity that the extremist groups rely upon.

Many people posting in online forums, which often serve as testing grounds for the white nationalist ideology, said they saw hope in Trump’s statements. They pointed to his phrase “other hate groups,” which they interpreted as a nod to their main targets: civil rights organizations who advocate for nonwhites.

“He left the door open,” wrote one user on Reddit.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, the civil rights organization based in Alabama that has tracked extremists groups for years through its blog “Hatewatch,” said extremists groups see Trump as a “champion.”

Part of this is the language he and his close advisers used on the campaign trail and on Twitter, including the sharing of popular white nationalist memes and using phrases such as “cuckservative,” a term combining cuckold and conservative that is used to describe Republicans seen as traitors.

In a post on its home page, the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Richard Cohen, said Trump’s responses to Charlottesville will be interpreted by the “alt-right” as a nod of approval, a license that allows them to become more emboldened.

This also happened when Trump, during the 2016 campaign, took days to denounce the endorsements of David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan, and the Klan at large.

Cohen said extremist groups saw that and took heart. And he said they would be encouraged again, after the president’s response to Charlottesville.

“I’m sure white supremacists remain reassured,’’ he wrote, “that they have a friend in the White House.”

SOURCE

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Sessions: DOJ Taking ‘Vigorous Action’ to Protect Those Who ‘Protest Against Racism and Bigotry’

Because a Leftist demonstrator died at Charlotteville there has been an enormous blast of self-righteousness from the Left.  And in their self-righteousness they have arrogated to themselves the right to call the conservative demonstrators at the Charlotteville rally, "Nazis", KKK", "white supremacists" etc.

But where is the evidence for those accusations?  There were no KKK robes in sight, no swastikas and no proclamations of white supremacy.  But so loud and persistent have those accusations become, that both Trump and Sessions have now appeared to concede that such groups were present at the march.

The aim of the march was simply to defend a statue of an historic figure, Robert E. Lee. And some individual marchers claimed to be defending white culture. But culture is not race and you can defend it without calling it supreme.  The motive in fact was to prevent its subjugation, not assert its supremacy.

The violence at the rally was sparked by deliberately planned attacks by Antifa on the marchers. Antifa came equipped with bats, sticks and flamethrowers. All the marchers did was defend themselves.  The marchers did apparently foresee attacks on them -- which was a pretty obvious possibility -- but their major preparation was to hand out those death's head shields for self protection. And note that shields are a defensive device, not a weapon.  The death's heads were apparently an attempt to scare off attackers. Who the attackers were and who the defenders were is thus crystal clear.

Unfortunately, one individual was so incensed by the attacks  that he drove his car into the Antifa group.  But that was a response by one individual, not a concerted effort by any group.

So where is the condemnation of Antifa?  I have seen none.  Instead, Jeff Sessions below seems to suggest that he will protect them.  Media hysteria seems to have effectively blinded people to what actually went on.  It's a triumph of Leftist propaganda.


Neo-Nazis and other white supremacists are going to discover that the Trump administration is “coming after them for any violations of the law,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Monday.

Sessions, a recent target of Trump’s criticism, on Monday defended the president for making a “very strong statement” against the “hatred, violence, bigotry, racism, white supremacy” espoused at weekend rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“Those things must be condemned in this country,” Sessions told NBC’s “Today” show. “They're totally unacceptable, and you can be sure that this Department of Justice in his (Trump’s) administration is going to take the most vigorous action to protect the right of people like Heather Heyer to protest against racism and bigotry.

“We're going to protect the right to assemble and march, and we're going to prosecute anybody to the full extent of the law that violates their ability do so, so, you can be sure of that,” Sessions added.

The white supremacists, including neo-Nazis and the KKK, had a permit to protest the removal of Confederate statues in public parks, but their protest attracted counter-protesters. One of those counter-protesters, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, was killed when a car driven by a young white man, apparently a white supremacist, rammed a crowded intersection.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday that the Justice Departent has opened a civil rights investigation into the car-ramming to "make a determination about whether it's appropriate to charge this as an act of terror." Pompeo said he is confident that DOJ "will investigate that with enormous rigor and get to the right outcome."

President Trump, meanwhile, is expected to say more about the Charlottesville violence on Monday, but some critics say it’s too late – he missed an opportunity to criticize the white supremacist groups by name when he spoke on Saturday.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence -- on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said at a press conference on Saturday afternoon. “It’s been going on for a long time in our country -- not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama -- it’s been going on for a long, long time.”

Trump’s suggestion that “hatred, bigotry and violence” exists on “many sides” offended some Americans. On Monday, “Today” anchor Samantha Guthrie asked Sessions, “What are the other sides?”

Sessions replied, “Well, we've had violence around the country in any number of ways over decades. We've had these spasms of violence that are unacceptable in America.”

Sessions noted that Trump on Saturday said the problems have been going on for a long time: “He said what happened in Charlottesville is unacceptable. We need to find out what happened, that it's wrong, and we need to study it and see what, as a nation, we can do to be more effective against this kind of extremism -- and evil, really. I thought it was a pretty -- it was a good statement, delivered just a few hours after the event,” Sessions said.

As criticism against the president mounted, the White House on Sunday issued a statement explicitly calling out the neo-Nazis, the KKK “and all extremist groups.”

“Amazingly, Nazism remains alive after all the evil it has caused in the world, and so I think that we take this seriously,” Sessions said. “We go at it directly, morally, legally, politically, legitimately and any way possible to reject this kind of ideology that that causes division and hatred in America. It's just not part of our heritage.”

Sessions said he expects President Trump to speak about the violence later today.

“He will be speaking to the people today, I'm not sure what he'll say, that's my understanding. And he's been firm on this from the beginning. He is appalled by this.”

SOURCE

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Is Julius Goat right?

The "divine" Julius started a very popular Twitter thread in which he claimed to see an air of entitlement in the traditionalist demonstrators at Charlotte.  The torches at the peaceful demonstration the night before the big fracas seem in particular to have inflamed him. He then goes on to say that the demonstrators in fact had nothing to complain about because they had not suffered a range of problems that various minority groups had suffered.  He said that the law never:

Enslaved their great-grandparents
Robbed their grandparents
Imprisoned their parents
Shot them when unarmed

He then goes on to list the other injustices that white, middle-class men have never suffered from the travel ban on Muslims to police violence against black people to historic efforts to prove non-white intellectual inferiority as well as church burnings and hangings.

Then he examined the “we will not be replaced” rallying cry of the white supremacist protesters. Replaced as ... what?

Replaced as the only voice in public discussions.
Replaced as the only bodies in the public arena.
Replaced as the only life that matters.

He then said he would “love to see these people get all the oppression they insist they receive, just for a year”. That might mean a world “where you ACTUALLY can’t say Christmas”, where “the name ‘Geoff’ on a resume puts it in the trash” or where a polo shirt makes people so nervous it could get you kicked off a plane, he said.

“Put that in your torches and light it, you sorry Nazi b****es,” concluded Julius Goat.

Organisers of Saturday’s Unite the Right rally said, however, that it was staged to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate commander General Robert E Lee from a park. Individual marchers may have had larger agendas than that but to say that the whole march had a larger agenda is just an unproven assertion.

And it is certainly an absurd assertion that they were Nazis.  That Julius Goat asserts it does not make it so.  The real Brownshirts of the occasion were the Antifa demonstrators who turned up with bats, sticks and flamethrowers and proceeded to attack peaceful marchers.



It is of course true that attacks on American traditional culture have not bitten very hard so far -- except in the colleges and universities.  But the colleges and universities are a large omen of things to come.  They are an alarm beacon of what seems to be  coming.  They are a warning of what appears to lie ahead for all Americans -- a future where speech is strictly regulated, justice is denied and a tight net of Fascist regulations surrounds everything that people do.

So, yes.  The goatish one is right that white males have not suffered as much as some other groups have.  But he seems to want to deny them any interest in their future.  He somehow overlooks that white males may rightly take alarm at what they see lying  ahead of them.  And some of them want to prevent and resist what the Leftist establishment clearly have in mind for them.

"The price of liberty is eternal vigilance" is a well-known maxim among conservatives and that vigilance may have to be exercised from time to time.  What is wrong with that?  If you see a juggernaut hurtling towards you, what is wrong with trying to stop or deflect it?

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Should Trump have condemned the "white supremacists" at the Charlottesville fracas?

He probably should have -- if there were any there.  The only evidence that I have seen put forward so far is that there was a peaceful torchlit procession at another time in another place. I guess we have to call that media logic. No court would convict anybody of anything on such flimsy "evidence".  And can the marchers be collectively condemned for the deeds of one man in a car? I think the difficulties in so doing are obvious.

Nonetheless the media and some RINOs are criticizing Trump's statesmanlike response of condemning all violence from all sides.

But the fact that there was a peaceful torchlit procession through the University of Virginia the night before the fracas proves only one thing and even for that we have to make an unproven assumption.  If the marchers on the two occasions were the same (an assumption), it shows that the marchers were peaceful until attacked by Antifa goons.  Antifa protesters came equipped with bats, sticks, and flame throwers. The marchers were entitled to hit back at the Antifa goons and they did.  It was not they who turned up with violent intent. 

And a parade of torches proves nothing. I have some of those torches myself, which I use to light up backyard feasts at night. In a parade, they are just an attention-getting device and have been used by many groups in many places in a perfectly peaceful and non-ideological manner.  Google "torchlit procession" if you doubt it.

And the march was organised to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. So was probably comprised overwhelmingly of Southern patriots honoring their forefathers  rather than any "racist" cause.  

History is written by the victors so most people still believe the propaganda that the North/South war was fought to free the slaves.  Yet, in his famous letter to Horace Greeley, Lincoln himself said that slavery was not the issue.  "The union" was the basic cause.  600,000 young Americans had to die to preserve Yankee dominance over the South.  So Southerners have cause to remember and honor their forebears.

In my view it is the Leftist thugs of Antifa whom Trump should have particularly condemned.  They turned a peaceful march into a violent occasion.

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Principles over Personalities

Terry Paulson puts an argument below that I mostly agree with but his comments on free trade are naive.  There are three reasons why Trump's restrictive attitudes to trade are right

1). He's got the voters behind him.  So opposing him on that would be an electoral disaster.  He largely won office on his skepticism about the "exporting" of jobs.  He has a degree in economics and he has held his view on trade from long before he ran for political office.  So his views are well-considered and of long standing.  One must consider that he is on to something.

2).  The major argument in favour of free trade is its economic efficiency:  It delivers lowest prices.  But there are also non-economic arguments to be considered. Economics is not everything.   Economists have long recognized a variety of those arguments: The infant industry argument, the national security argument and the "Australian" case.  None of those arguments are at issue in the present case but the lesson should be learned that economics-only arguments have long been recognized as too simplistic even by economists. In Trump's case, he is arguing that social stability is being risked by too-rapid industrial change and that change should therefore be reined in and partially reversed.  And if a conservative cannot oppose change and argue for stability, who can?

3). Even the economic argument is shaky and may only apply when all other things are equal.  The strongest argument there is the 19th century experience.  During the 19th century, America prospered mightily behind HIGH trade walls.  There was nothing approaching free trade then. Might not a similar prospering happen again under Trump?  Given the surge in employment that has already taken place since his election, it looks like that is in fact already happening.  How embarrassing to many it will be if Trump's "dumb" policies deliver a win-win:  Prosperity plus stability!


With Republicans in control of the executive and legislative branch, critical things can and should get done. Should Republican principles be more important than presidents in guiding our policy priorities in Washington? Certainly.

US Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona has just published a controversial new book, Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principles. Although some question Flake’s own priorities and voting record, he calls for putting principles ahead of personalities. Losers don’t legislate, but legislation must serve a purpose. He writes, “If this was our Faustian bargain, then it was not worth it. If ultimately our principles were so malleable as to no longer be principles, then what was the point of political victories in the first place?”

Like many conservatives, Flake believes that Trump appointed an exceptional Supreme Court justice. His positions on cutting regulations and initiating a tax policy that lowers rates and broadens the base are easy to embrace and support. But Flake feels that Trump strays from conservative principles on curtailing free trade. Free trade serves our citizens, our businesses, and keeps important allies in our trade orbit in an expanding global economy.

Republicans have lost in elections when they stray from the principles that guide them. In 2001, President George W. Bush came into the Presidency and pushed for “No child left behind” and a prescription drug entitlement plan. He promoted his “caring conservative” version of bigger, better government, and the principle of smaller government was pushed aside. In the mid-term elections, the GOP lost the Senate.

Our Founding Fathers wisely built checks and balances into our Constitutional structure. It’s time for Republicans in Congress to assert their role and let Republican principles be their primary guide. They should support and work with Trump whenever they can. They should work with Democrats willing to build on common ground, but they should not follow Trump where he departs from what we stand for. Winners legislate; it’s time they assert their priorities.

In the coming months, I will focus on the six primary principles that California Republicans have said unites them: smaller government and less government regulations; lower taxes on small businesses and individuals; a strong military and homeland security; sustain the American Dream through personal freedom and responsibility; promote educational excellence through school choice; and support a free-enterprise, free-trade economy. It’s time Congress and President Trump get busy delivering on what matters most.

SOURCE

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2016 weather report: Extreme and anything but normal (?)

Dedicated Warmist, Seth Borenstein, has put up an extensive farrago of claims below, which are all designed to advance the global warming theory.  Most of them are easily debunked but there are so many of them that I would have to spend half a day doing that.  Instead I will concentrate on the central issue:  Temperature.  Unless there was a substantial temperature rise all the rest falls flat.

And there was indeed a temperature rise.  Both 2015 and 2016 were unusually warm years. According to NASA the J-D temperature anomalies for 2015 and 2016 were respectively .87 and .99 of a degree Celsius.  Most years before that during this century were around .65. So those two years were hotter than usual by about a quarter or a third of one degree: Extremely trivial is the only extreme thing about that.  Certainly the 2016 temperature was a lot more trivial than you would gather from the shriek below.

But if that was a continuing effect it could be important.  So was the rise a lasting effect or just an example of El Nino at work?  Does it indicate a lasting trend or not?  We don't of course have a figure for 2017 yet.  The most recent figure is for June -- and it is back in the .60s -- .69 in fact. It was .68 in June, 2005.

So it's true that 2016 was a slightly exceptional year but that has now run its course and we are back to a temperature stasis.  Goodbye 2016 and welcome to a routine 2017.

But a 1922 version of Seth Borenstein might also be of interest:



That was 95 years ago. The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Putting together a collection of adverse weather events proves nothing.

Berfore I close, however, let me mention just one of the claims below about unusual weather.  They claim:  "There were 93 tropical cyclones across the globe, 13 percent more than normal."

But look at the graph below from Ryan Maue.



Ryan Maue is a research meteorologist for the private sector firm WeatherBELL Analytics and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. He has developed and maintained a popular weather maps and climate data service based on the world’s best numerical weather prediction systems.

His data show a DECLINE -- Fewer cyclones recently, with the 80s and 90s being the peak period

You shouldn't believe all you read in the papers


Last year's global weather was far more extreme or record breaking than anything approaching normal, according to a new report.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Thursday released its annual checkup of the Earth, highlighting numerous records including hottest year, highest sea level, and lowest sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctica.

The 299-page report, written by scientists around the world and published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, shows that 2016 was "very extreme and it is a cause for concern," said co-editor Jessica Blunden, a NOAA climate scientist.

Researchers called it a clear signal of human-caused climate change. A record large El Nino, the warming of the central Pacific that changes weather worldwide, was also a big factor in last year's wild weather.

"2016 will be forever etched in my brain as the year we crossed a new threshold of climate change — one that gave us a grim glimpse into our future," said Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb, who had no role in the report.

Here's what you need to know about the government report on climate change. For starters, it's real.
Scientists examined dozens of key climate measures and found:

— At any given time, nearly one-eighth of the world's land mass was in severe drought. That's far higher than normal and "one of the worst years for drought," said report co-author Robert Dunn of the United Kingdom Met Office.

— Extreme weather was everywhere. Giant downpours were up. Heat waves struck all over the globe, including a nasty one in India. Extreme weather contributed to a gigantic wildfire in Canada.

— Global sea level rose another quarter of an inch (3.4 millimeters) for the sixth straight year of record high sea levels.

— There were 93 tropical cyclones across the globe, 13 percent more than normal. That included Hurricane Matthew that killed about 1,000 people in Haiti.

— The world's glaciers shrank — for the 37th year in a row — by an average of about 3 feet (1 meter).

— Greenland's ice sheet in 2016 lost 341 billion tons of ice (310 billion metric tons). It has lost 4400 billion tons (4000 billion metric tons of ice since 2002.

"2016 was a year in the Arctic like we've never seen before," said NOAA Arctic research chief Jeremy Mathis, who called it "a clear and more pronounced signal of warming than in any other year on record."

Many of the findings have been previously released, including that 2016 was the hottest year on record for the third consecutive year. A separate study based on modeling and weather patterns shows three hot years in a row is close to impossible to be a natural coincidence.

The odds of three years in a row setting heat records without man-made global warming is only 0.7 percent, compared to 30 to 50 percent with greenhouse gases according to a separate study published Thursday in the Geophysical Research Letters.

NOAA report co-editor Deke Arndt said the only notable normal global measure in 2016 was snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere.

SOURCE

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Google Manifesto: Does Biology Explain Gender Disparities in Tech?

An article under the above heading appeared in Live Science, in reply to the claims of James Damore of Google fame.  As one would expect from Left-dominated mainstream academe the answer given is broadly "No".

What they trot out is all old chestnut stuff that basically aims at a straw man.  What psychometricians assert is only a TENDENCY.  There is no claim that men generally are good at tech and women not.  The research finding is that there is a big overlap in male and female abilities. Abilities differ only at the margins. So the various arguments put forward about exceptional female abilities are pointless. In various times and places you can find women who do math and tech well.  And the "No" article is mainly just a trotting out of such examples.

What is of interest is the GENERAL TENDENCY in mental abilities, not a parade of anecdotes about tribes in India etc. And the way to measure a general tendency is to apply a valid and reliable test of problem-solving ability to a representative population sample. And the finding from such studies is that at the top of the IQ range in Western populations, there are always many more men than women. And if we look at mathematical ability only, the gap is even larger. You can theorize yourself blue in the face about why that is so -- "patriarchy" and all the rest -- but there remains there a clear and firm difference in ability that you have to deal with.

It is perfectly reasonable that some populations somewhere have undergone selective pressures which make females better at the top of the range but that does not alter the reality in Western society.

So on the basis of measured facts rather than a lot of speculation, Damore was perfectly right.  You will always get a substantial number of women who are good at tech and mathemstics but they will be greatly outnumbered by men.

In the circumstances, it matters little if the differences are inborn nor not but the way such differences have consistently shown up for around a  hundred years certainly suggest something inborn -- or at least something very resistant to change.   And the various genetic studies -- now including DNA findings -- do show that most of IQ and its component abilities is genetically determined.

So Google's frenetic efforts to introduce "equality" into its workforce were pushing uphill from the beginning. Such efforts were doomed to failure.  Damore's greatest offence may have been to point that failure out.

That despite great efforts Google could not equalize the number of its employees in stat/math applications would seem good confirmation of what the tests show.  Despite its great efforts to  swing the results in the way it wanted, Google ended up finding exactly what the IQ and other tests predicted.  A psychometrician would call Google's experiment good validation of the tests.  Google showed that the tests were right.


11 August, 2017

How America Lost Its Mind

There is a looong article in "The Atlantic". Under the above title.  It can however be summarized briefly.  KURT ANDERSEN argues that as many as a majority of Americans have always believed silly things.  From my knowledge of history, I am inclined to agree.  And if you don't know much history, Andersen gives you a grand tour of it.

He attributes this flexibility of belief to the general freedoms that Americans have.  The land of the free is, by extension, the land of freedom to believe anything that you want to.  Again, I think there is something in that.

But towards the end of his article Andersen comes of course to TRUMP.  And you can guess what he thinks of Trump.  Trump has no reality contact at all, according to Andersen. He is mad. Leftist thinking and assumptions and customs and procedures have become so entrenched in public discourse that to blast through it all sounds mad to Andersen -- or at least morally defective.

And from Trump's success he concludes that Americans generally have reached new heights of derangement.  But how to explain that fall? The obvious culprit is the internet, which allows all sorts of craziness to spread without check or hindrance.  And, as a secondary cause, Andersen cherry-picks a few things that some Republicans have said that seem particularly corrupting to the search for truth.  Christianity in particular seems to him a major form of brain-rot.

What he is completely blind to, however, is the total disregard for the truth on the political Left.  And that is not controversial.  The Left themselves tell us that.  They say:  "there is no such thing as right and wrong".  And they live that belief.  Almost any Leftist argument is one big exerise in cherry-picking.  What a Leftist polemicist writes normally sounds right and reasonable  -- until you hear the stuff that the Leftist has omitted from his argument.  Telling only one side of the story is the Leftist specialty.  It is so very common that I get the impression that they can do no other.

Conservative polemic, by contrast, usually START OUT with the Leftist argument and then puts forward contrary information. Conservatives keep trying to refute Leftists with facts -- a quite futile operation.  The fine-honed psychological defence mechanisms of the Left -- denial, projection, compartmentalization etc. -- are only one way that they protect themselves from acknowledging inconvenient facts.

Mostly, they do their best to ensure that they never even hear a conservative presentation in the first place.  I have seen them literally get up and run away from a conservative presentation of facts that Leftists normally omit from their consideration.  And, of course, they make huge efforts to censor or disrupt conservative speech so that they don't have to hear it in the first place.  And if a speaker of conservative arguments can be got at and punished for his speech, they will do that too -- ask James Damore of Google about that.

So the Left do their level best to ensure that the whole truth will never come out.  But that inevitably fails.  There are some channels of communication that let people know how much falsehood there is in Leftist writing. People listen to the mainstream TV channels and mainstram newpapers only to find eventually that none of it could he trusted.  Just one man -- Rupert Murdoch -- has cracked the TV and newspaper bubble.  With Fox news, The New York post and the Wall St Journal, Murdoch has made widely available information that would once not have come to the attention of the general public.  And enough people take in Murdoch's information to use it in everyday discussions.  So even people who themselves absorb no Murdoch input will often hear of it by word of mouth. And there are of course radio talkers and blogs that also evade the Leftist straitjacket on information.

So now that people have a growing awareness that they have been systematically deceived, one must expect a certain cynicism to set in.  People begin to ask the age-old question:  "What is truth?" And the answers to that will often be not very sophisticated.  People will seize on any belief that seems plausible to them. So I agree that we now live in an age of heightened irrationality.  The lying Left have propelled us into it.

And the rise of Trump is explainable in the same way.  His distancing himself from the conventional authorities and calling them a "swamp" coincides very well with how many people have been perceiving all the deception that flow from such authorities.  He offers a way out of the intellectual morass that the Left have created.

And even his manner of speech offers hope.  He speaks  in extremely simple English:  Short sentences using very common words.  He comes across even in his manner of speaking as a plain and simple man -- most unlike the smooth pieties of most media figures.  He really does seem different -- mainly because he is.  And even his famous inattention to detail corresponds with how most Americans operate:  They go for the broad outline with no time for details.

So. Yes.  We do live in times where finding the truth can be a big challenge.  But there is after all a fairly easy way to do it if you have time.  You just have to read both sides of every question.  Do that and you will soon see which side is offering a balanced account of reality.

Also: Reality is the ultimate test of whether your theories are right or wrong.  If they are wrong you will not get the results you expect.  If they are right you may make a big breakthrough, as Trump has done with a couple of hundred thousand new jobs being created every month and a big rise on the stockmarket.  The economy could do with a bit more more "madness" like that.

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How America Lost Its Mind

There is a looong article in "The Atlantic". Under the above title.  It can however be summarized briefly.  KURT ANDERSEN argues that as many as a majority of Americans have always believed silly things.  From my knowledge of history, I am inclined to agree.  And if you don't know much history, Andersen gives you a grand tour of it.

He attributes this flexibility of belief to the general freedoms that Americans have.  The land of the free is, by extension, the land of freedom to believe anything that you want to.  Again, I think there is something in that.

But towards the end of his article Andersen comes of course to TRUMP.  And you can guess what he thinks of Trump.  Trump has no reality contact at all, according to Andersen. He is mad. Leftist thinking and assumptions and customs and procedures have become so entrenched in public discourse that to blast through it all sounds mad to Andersen -- or at least morally defective.

And from Trump's success he concludes that Americans generally have reached new heights of derangement.  But how to explain that fall? The obvious culprit is the internet, which allows all sorts of craziness to spread without check or hindrance.  And, as a secondary cause, Andersen cherry-picks a few things that some Republicans have said that seem particularly corrupting to the search for truth.  Christianity in particular seems to him a major form of brain-rot.

What he is completely blind to, however, is the total disregard for the truth on the political Left.  And that is not controversial.  The Left themselves tell us that.  They say:  "there is no such thing as right and wrong".  And they live that belief.  Almost any Leftist argument is one big exerise in cherry-picking.  What a Leftist polemicist writes normally sounds right and reasonable  -- until you hear the stuff that the Leftist has omitted from his argument.  Telling only one side of the story is the Leftist specialty.  It is so very common that I get the impression that they can do no other.

Conservative polemic, by contrast, usually START OUT with the Leftist argument and then puts forward contrary information. Conservatives keep trying to refute Leftists with facts -- a quite futile operation.  The fine-honed psychological defence mechanisms of the Left -- denial, projection, compartmentalization etc. -- are only one way that they protect themselves from acknowledging inconvenient facts.

Mostly, they do their best to ensure that they never even hear a conservative presentation in the first place.  I have seen them literally get up and run away from a conservative presentation of facts that Leftists normally omit from their consideration.  And, of course, they make huge efforts to censor or disrupt conservative speech so that they don't have to hear it in the first place.  And if a speaker of conservative arguments can be got at and punished for his speech, they will do that too -- ask James Damore of Google about that.

So the Left do their level best to ensure that the whole truth will never come out.  But that inevitably fails.  There are some channels of communication that let people know how much falsehood there is in Leftist writing. People listen to the mainstream TV channels and mainstram newpapers only to find eventually that none of it could he trusted.  Just one man -- Rupert Murdoch -- has cracked the TV and newspaper bubble.  With Fox news, The New York post and the Wall St Journal, Murdoch has made widely available information that would once not have come to the attention of the general public.  And enough people take in Murdoch's information to use it in everyday discussions.  So even people who themselves absorb no Murdoch input will often hear of it by word of mouth. And there are of course radio talkers and blogs that also evade the Leftist straitjacket on information.

So now that people have a growing awareness that they have been systematically deceived, one must expect a certain cynicism to set in.  People begin to ask the age-old question:  "What is truth?" And the answers to that will often be not very sophisticated.  People will seize on any belief that seems plausible to them. So I agree that we now live in an age of heightened irrationality.  The lying Left have propelled us into it.

And the rise of Trump is explainable in the same way.  His distancing himself from the conventional authorities and calling them a "swamp" coincides very well with how many people have been perceiving all the deception that flow from such authorities.  He offers a way out of the intellectual morass that the Left have created.

And even his manner of speech offers hope.  He speaks  in extremely simple English:  Short sentences using very common words.  He comes across even in his manner of speaking as a plain and simple man -- most unlike the smooth pieties of most media figures.  He really does seem different -- mainly because he is.  And even his famous inattention to detail corresponds with how most Americans operate:  They go for the broad outline with no time for details.

So. Yes.  We do live in times where finding the truth can be a big challenge.  But there is after all a fairly easy way to do it if you have time.  You just have to read both sides of every question.  Do that and you will soon see which side is offering a balanced account of reality.

Also: Reality is the ultimate test of whether your theories are right or wrong.  If they are wrong you will not get the results you expect.  If they are right you may make a big breakthrough, as Trump has done with a couple of hundred thousand new jobs being created every month and a big rise on the stockmarket.  The economy could do with a bit more more "madness" like that.

1 comments

Where have all the good men gone? These sassy, sophisticated, solvent women say they are struggling to find other halves that can measure up

This is an old, old cry from women who have missed the boat in their 20s. They were too fussy for the available men then and somehow think that among the men they rejected in their 20s a Mr Right will be found.  The good catches all got snapped up years ago by realistic women while the fussy ladies were preening themselves -- so good catches are now simply unavailable to them among their own age cohort.  All that is left to them are older and younger men and that is no good either.

The phenomenon starts among women in their 30s so even older women have left it even longer for the good men of their age to be snapped up.  Mostly what is left to them is other women's rejects, which is not a good start.  And being "Sassy" is not a good start, either.  How about being soft and feminine?  That would work a lot better.  As usual, the Bible has advice that works:  "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth". Or their children will, anyhow.

I know of a case where a tall, well-built and friendly young Australian man didn't have to look far for girlfiends.  Young Chinese women knew quality when they saw it and threw themselves at him, saying things like: "I will do anything for you".  Caucasian women were much outmanouvered.  There is a lot of that in Australia.  The Australian population is about 5% Han Chinese: smart people.

One day, however, aged about 27, the man was walking along in the grounds of his elite university and saw a pretty little blue-eyed woman coming towards him.  He stopped and said to her: "Hello.  What's your name?" Not very ceremonious but the woman took one look at him, gulped and said brightly: "I'm Kay". The man then asked her would she like a coffee?  She said Yes and she has got him to this day, some years later.  She was about 21 at the time and clearly knew how to grab her opportunities.  I am pretty sure the ladies below have had opportunities like that but have been too snooty to grab them

Another anecdote: I was at a singles party over 20 years ago and got talking to a woman I knew there.  She said: "Where are all the men?".  I pointed out that there were actually more men than women at the party.  She replied:  "Not THOSE men"! Once again she was too snooty for what was actually available

The problem is an old one but it has been exacerbated by feminism.  Feminists tell the women that they can "have it all".  Very few can, however. There has always been a tendency for a lot of women to overvalue themselves so that was the last advice women needed.

Another foolish thing that older women often do is to judge men by female criteria -- and that comes out below.  Women of all ages pay great attention to their appearance.  And that is wise.  Men do judge women by appearance, despite all that feminists say.  But men are not nearly as appearance-conscious themselves.  Even in their youth they tend to dress for comfort.  If you come across a nattily-dressed Englishman in his mid-30s and mid-40s, he is probably a con-man, a queer or short.  And some of the silly ladies below take all that amiss.  They seek a man who is as appearance-conscious as they are.  They are mostly fishing in an empty pool at that rate.  Wise women accept poorly dressed men and buy them better stuff in the hope that the man will wear it on important occasions


At 48, Jane Townsend is beautiful, independent — and single. She keeps fit, takes great care of her appearance and is looking for a man who is active, in good shape, articulate and emotionally open.

Given her good looks and vivacious nature, eligible suitors must surely be beating a path to her door.

Yet as Jane, from Sheffield, explains, it has been a struggle: ‘The men out there are delusional. I went out with a guy who lied about his age, saying he was 47 when he was 50, who then had the gall to tell me he wanted a younger woman so he, as he put it, “could breed”.

'After my divorce, I gave up my prime dating years to raise my two girls, expecting that when they left home, I’d have time left. But there has been a shift and now the men aren’t there. Where I live it’s hard to find someone cultured unless they’re eating yoghurt, and the men my age all seem to be — well — more than a little overweight.’

Having been matchmaking single men and women for Femail’s Blind Date column for the past six months, I’d like to say Jane’s experiences are the exception, — but what has struck me is just how many attractive women apply who seem to have so much going for them.

They are in great physical shape, living full and interesting lives. Yet finding suitable men for them to date seems to be a heroic challenge.

This has left me wondering why a generation of single, sexy, solvent women just can’t find love. What immediately strikes female mid‑life daters — of whom I am one — returning to the dating scene in later life after a marriage or long-term relationship, is the lack of single men.

According to Jo Hemmings, a behavioural psychologist and dating coach, there are an estimated seven new women for every man on the dating scene in the 40-55 age group, so availability is clearly a big issue.

‘I’ve had clients coming to me wondering: “Am I asking too much to find an attractive, independent, solvent guy of my age?” ’ she says.

As she explains, part of the issue is that when divorce strikes, men and women react in different ways. Men’s relationships frequently overlap; they won’t leave one partner until they find another, so they are never really single.

By contrast, women take longer to recover from a break-up. They often step out of the dating ring completely, sometimes for many years, to rebuild their lives or to focus on bringing up children.

‘When they return to dating, it’s really hard for them,’ says Jo. ‘There aren’t as many men because they have a wider pool. Men realise quite quickly that there are far fewer of them than there are women of a similar age. They then date much younger women, creating a huge void in the market.

‘Traditionally women go for men who are their age or slightly older, so they are left wondering where all the men have gone.’

When Jo coaches women on dating, she tells them to accept the reality. ‘It’s just a fact that there is a lack of available decent men,’ she says. ‘It’s tough when you’re looking for love. You have to realise that it’s not about you, it’s just a numbers game.’

But the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Men, indoctrinated over generations to pursue younger women, are instinctively reluctant to consider those of a similar age to their own, even ones who look youthful and attractive.

It is something I regularly notice when I set up dates. Men need to open their eyes to the amazing women in their own age bracket.

With the statistics against them, women are motivated to want to look after themselves and make the best of what they have, while there is no incentive for the men to do the same.

Jo says: ‘This generation of men don’t bother to make the effort to represent themselves in an attractive way, even online. Or they just list what they don’t want in a woman and say nothing about themselves — because they can.’

And those men who do make an effort are in a position to be very choosy.

Online dating coach Suzie Parkus, of meetyourmatch.club, observes: ‘A man who has aged well, has a good outlook on life, a joie de vivre about him and who has seemingly done well for himself is very attractive to his peers. However, for the most part he is drawn to younger, sexier, more vibrant models.

‘It has a lot to do with his self-perception in terms of being able to choose who and what he wants in a partner because he has the right to, given that he is in high demand.’

A woman who looks great, feels good about herself and is solvent and independent-minded won’t be drawn to a man who has let himself go, or who may be interested in her but is far too old. So these magnificent midlife daters fall into a void.

And it’s not just about looks — there is a difference in mindset between the sexes too.

As Jane will attest, middle-aged and 50-plus men tend to be set in their ways, less adventurous and less youthful in outlook. They want someone to look after them, while their female counterparts are looking for someone to explore the world and have fun with.

Jane was told by one relationship coach that women her age should go for men 15 years older, making her current dating goal a man aged 63. This is even less appealing, as it is effectively a different generation — and one with very different aspirations. ‘I’ve cared for children and my parents, and I don’t want to care for a man again,’ says Jane, summing up the attitude of many in her situation.

‘Older men are so set in their ways, you almost feel more like a carer than a girlfriend.’

Lucy Verner, 46, is another frustrated midlife dater who has been single since splitting from her husband seven years ago.

‘I found internet dating absolutely awful,’ she says. ‘I live in East Kent and it’s such a small pool. There are exceptions, but on the whole I found the men who made contact were older — and certainly looked older — than me.

‘Men of my age target younger women and I don’t fancy the older men, so it’s a real problem. I’ve stopped looking. Having to get back in the dating market, I focused on getting myself fit again. But many men don’t seem to make the same effort.

‘Online you see selfie pictures they have taken of themselves half-naked in bathrooms or slouching on sofas. Where is the effort in that?

‘Very few men are happy to be by themselves, too. They lurch from one relationship to another, whereas middle-aged women are a lot stronger and more self-assured than they were in the last generation.

‘I have two children and a career to manage and I’m forthright. I think men find women like me intimidating. ‘I want a strong, independent man. Why is that so hard?’

Julia Van Der Wens is 54. She was just 19 years old when she got married, and was with her husband for more than 30 years before he left her 18 months ago.

‘I was devastated, of course, but I made the decision to keep on living my life. I lost weight, started getting into sport and now I look and feel the best I’ve ever been.

‘The problem isn’t the men not liking me, but me not fancying them. I want someone athletic, not pot-bellied. Most of the men I meet seem really unfit.

‘I tried dating websites but two of the men I met were at least ten years older than their photo. Sometimes I think I’m never going to meet anyone.’

Lesley Roberts, 52, was married in her 20s and divorced in her 30s. She did meet someone new, but they split up after a couple of years and she has now been single for two years.

‘Men my age are all up for a pipe and slippers life, and I’m not,’ she says. ‘When I got married my husband was six years older than me, but I wouldn’t take that age gap now because men aged 52 to 60 are boring. They just don’t have any oomph in them.

‘Once they get past 48 they seem to turn into Victor Meldrew, yet women are making an effort and looking great. I just decided that I wasn’t going to go down without a fight. I was going grey, so I went blonde.

‘At this stage of my life I need someone who is independent. I’ve set the bar now and I don’t want someone who needs looking after —unless he shows he can look after me first.’

Should middle-aged women just forget men of their own age and date younger ones? Some argue that this is the way forward.

‘Younger men are drawn to older women as much as older men are drawn to younger women. And this is not a new phenomenon,’ says Suzie Parkus. ‘They are drawn to the confidence and life experience of older women, especially those who don’t look their age.

‘This is something I have experienced at first hand, as well as being told it by younger guys when I was matchmaking.’

Laura Hall agrees. Tall, slim and gorgeous, the 42-year-old redhead has been single since her divorce in 2011.

Smart and sassy, Laura has a doctorate in physics and works as an optical engineer, yet she finds the dating sites full of men her age and older who just seem lazy.

‘I prefer younger men now because they are fun, whereas the older ones are boring,’ she says. ‘It’s not even an aesthetic thing but a character thing. I can’t stand the fact that older men really don’t know how to support themselves.

‘I think women have been raised to believe they are winning an amazing prize to get a man, who then has a sense of entitlement — so he puts in no effort whatsoever and always thinks he can get better.’

Yet for many women, dating a much younger man still comes with too much baggage — and again, the playing field is not a level one.

Jane Townsend says she is often approached by men in their 20s.  ‘The last date I went on he was 23 — and he was interesting and articulate and we had lots in common. But society says I shouldn’t be dating men like him.

‘I’m called a cougar — which makes me out to be predatory — yet it’s perfectly acceptable for men to go out with Barbies half their age.’

I know from my experience of talking to women who write in for a blind date how many want a younger man because men of their own age just don’t appeal any more.

Unless men change their attitude to dating women of a similar age to them, and make more effort with their personal care (and most women accept this is unlikely), it is hard to see how the situation can change for these gorgeous women.

But Jo Hemmings says we can still take heart. Her advice is to go online frequently, make the approach, don’t rule out meeting people in real life and be as socially active as you can.

‘Knowledge is power, so get the determination to take charge,’ she says. ‘You’ve got to make the choice to be that one woman in seven. It’s tough but possible.’

SOURCE

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A sneaky Leftist attack on a truth teller

Paul Joseph Watson has a website called Prison Planet. He posted a screenshot of a children's BBC show, depicting a cartoon family in Roman Britain.



Watson said: Thank God the BBC is portraying Roman Britain as ethnically diverse.  I mean, who cares about historical accuracy, right?

Well, before we had a moment to think about how to respond, Mike Stuchbery turned up in the comments. Mike is a historian and someone who clearly takes his profession - and Roman Britain - very seriously.

He Tweeted: Roman Britain was ethnically diverse, almost by design. To begin, occupying legions were drawn from other parts of the Empire. The Romans learned a lesson earlier with the Germans. Don't give the locals an 'in' to occupying military forces.

He took his time to explain that, actually, it seemed that Watson could be seen as the one pushing an agenda here since, yes, Roman Britain was a pretty ethnically diverse place.

SOURCE

Stuchbery is being deliberately devious.  It is true that the legions sent to Britannia were not Italian.  It seems likely that they were mostly in fact from neighboring Gaul (France).  But there were certainly men from all over the empire.

BUT:  The picture objected to is clearly of a black family -- sub-Saharan Africans. And the Roman empire did NOT cover any part of sub-Saharan Africa!

Stuchbery quoted reports of NORTH Africans in Roman Britain but North africans were then and still mostly are:  WHITE.

And recent DNA studies have shown that even the ancient Egyptians were typical Mediterraneans -- like Lebanon, Greece, Italy etc.  They were not black. See here

But the report above appeared in Elle so I suppose we have to expect brainlessness from a fashion magazine. They certainly did no fact checking.  They just cheered that the conservative was apparently "proved" wrong.  They were riding a cloud of ignorance.

It is of course possible that there was somewhere in Roman Britain at some time one or two blacks but to represent blacks as typifying Roman Britain is absurd to the point of dishonesty.  Watson was perfectly right.


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HITLER NOTE

Around 15 years ago, I was contacted by Michael Miller, who was in the process of compiling a very comprehensive set of historical notes which would cover all the major aspects of Nazi doctrine.  He asked me to do the chapter on Nazi socialism.  The resultant site was a very useful one that quite a few people consulted from time to time.  A couple of years ago, however, the free website hosting the material deleted it all.  "Free" websites are like that in my experience.  I did however keep a full backup of everything and I have now reloaded it all here.  I have also  put a link to it towards the bottom of my sidebar here.  I have lost touch with Michael Miller.

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Harvard looks to Bowdoin as model in eradicating frats, but its decision had mixed results

This "dilemma" that Harvard is facing should be no dilemma at all.  What gives Harvard the right to interfere in the private lives of its students?  There is no such right but they have arrogated it to themselves anyway.  Might is right, apparently.

It is perhaps notable that the Harvard boss is Drew Faust. In literature, Faust sold his soul to the Devil. Ms Faust seems to have done likewise.  There is no evidence of a systematic ethical system in her thinking.

Her thinking seems to be at the absolutely primitive level of:  "Young men get drunk and behave badly.  That should stop". She is a new Canute if she thinks she can indeed stop it. Maybe she should be exported to run a Muslim college somewhere.  They don't drink.  But whether they treat women better is a relevant question

I think she should be grateful for her campus of normal, robust,  healthy males.  That they don't fit submissively into a Puritan straitjacket is probably a strength not a weakness.  Women have been coping with their men for centuries without Leftist assistance.  There are always grievances but grievances are the price of opportunity


When Robert Edwards became president of Bowdoin College in 1990, he had an open mind about fraternities. He had attended Princeton and belonged to Colonial, one of the university’s exclusive eating clubs. But as he built his reputation at the elite liberal arts school in Brunswick, Maine, he began to have his doubts.

Edwards ultimately shut down all the fraternities at Bowdoin in 1997. Twenty years later, Harvard University is attempting a similar feat. A Harvard committee has pointed to Bowdoin as a model for eradicating final clubs, fraternities, and sororities from campus social life.

Harvard administrators share some of Edwards’s concerns. He did not like the heavy drinking or the way some members seemed to disrupt classes. Although the fraternities were coeducational, some treated women like second-class citizens.

Finally something tragic pushed Edwards over the edge: A student from another college died at a Chi Delta Phi party on Bowdoin’s campus. The 20-year-old fell three stories while trying to climb onto the roof.

“I thought that my future and the future of the college would have a lot to do with whether or not fraternities persisted,” Edwards said in an interview. “We had a really rather terrifying piece of evidence that this was not the sort of combination of institutions that could persist if we wanted to be a certain kind of place.”

But Bowdoin’s experience should also serve as a caution: Students and alumni say the elimination of fraternities hasn’t wiped out drinking and parties, just driven them off campus.

And former fraternity members say the school has lost the deep sense of community the fraternities had cultivated over more than a century.

“Fraternities become easy scapegoats to allow administrators to make it look like they’re doing something,” said Thomas Clark, who was a sophomore the year the decision to close the fraternities was revealed.

The former Bowdoin president said he is glad his school wrestled with this problem 20 years ago rather than today. Harvard has experienced major resistance not only from the clubs and their alumni but also from civil liberties advocates, who say the school is big-footing into students’ private lives.

“The political atmospheres then were less strident than they are now,” Edwards said.

There was plenty of objection at Bowdoin, too. The fraternity that most strongly resisted was the oldest of the eight, Alpha Delta Phi, a nerdy club whose members read literature aloud to one another each night before dessert.

The fraternity’s members felt at home there. The chapter gave women equal membership status and accepted minorities and LGBT students who felt otherwise out of place at the well-to-do, mostly white college.

“It shattered a lot of us because we felt like it was a rejection of our family,” said Clark, who was president of Alpha Delta Phi the year it closed.

In those days, Alpha Delta Phi’s two-story brick house on Maine Street had a fireplace always crackling and squishy couches donated by parents. Members quoted “Star Wars” and amused one another with comic-book references. At one point the presidents of both the college Democrats and the Republicans lived in the house. “Which made for great dinner conversations,” Clark said.

Similarly at Harvard, not all final clubs are prone to a party culture, and some organizations say they have been unfairly lumped into a category where they do not belong.

When Bowdoin administrators announced the decision to ban fraternities, Alpha Delta Phi members took chalk to the outside of the house and left a message for the administration: “Alpha Delta Phi Will Never Die.”

At the time, Nessa Burns Reifsnyder was the alumni president of the fraternity, and she began organizing. Alpha Delta Phi members worked with alumni who were attorneys and got the house appraised. Bowdoin paid them for it, and the fraternity used part of the proceeds to create a fund that still pays for literary programs at the college.

“I wouldn’t say it was easy, but we are determined to stay identified as who we are,” Reifsnyder said in a phone interview.

A photo of the Bowdoin Alpha Delta Phi members for the 1998 college yearbook. Thomas Clark is seen standing on the railing on the left.

Members still gather twice a year on campus. On New Year’s Eve, they ring in the new year in their former house with their spouses and children.

Bowdoin’s decision at the time was part of a trend across New England. Middlebury College banned fraternities in 1990; Colby College and Amherst did so in 1984. Williams College was one of the first, in 1962.

A spokesman for Bowdoin said that even though Harvard cited the college as a model, no one from Harvard contacted Bowdoin for information. Administrators were perplexed to read about their college in the news.

“Our decision was based on what was right at the time for Bowdoin and not necessarily relevant to what other colleges and universities face today,” college spokesman Scott Hood wrote in an e-mail to the Globe.

Hood said the decision did not hurt fund-raising. The school exceeded its goal for the campaign that happened as the decision was announced. The college’s endowment has soared since then, from $374 million in 1997 to $1.3 billion last year.

Bowdoin now owns all of the former fraternity houses except three that have been torn down. One is the admissions office and the rest are part of the college’s house system, the school’s attempt to recreate the community that the fraternities had afforded.

The houses are voluntary, and students apply to live in them their sophomore year. The application is complex, and not everyone is admitted.

Students eat in a central dining hall, but those who belong to a house are expected to plan social events there. They can organize parties that serve alcohol if they register with the school.

Raisa Tolchinsky, who graduated this spring, said she met some of her closest college friends in her house, people she would have otherwise never encountered. The college administration aggressively tries to keep the houses diverse, she said, and forbids hazing.

But the new system hasn’t eradicated frat-party behavior, she said; students just take such behavior off-campus, to private parties in apartments.

“It was interesting being in a system that was trying so hard to avoid these things, and yet there was still the same tendencies,” she said.

Former members said that the elimination of fraternities also meant the loss of some intangibles. One of the biggest losses, they said, was the network of alumni that helped them navigate Bowdoin and the years after.

Edwards, the former president, knows that. He knew his decision would have downsides, and he knew some alumni would never forgive him.

But he thinks he did the right thing.

“I felt that the need of the college was so great that the perspective of the alumni was probably secondary to the realities that we were confronting,” he said.

SOURCE


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A Stable Father Prevents the Early Onset of Puberty(?)

Connor Murphy presents below an article that I am broadly sympathetic to but the social scientist in me causes me to have reservations.  He fails to consider that pervasively influential variable:  IQ.  Many people are aware that a high IQ leads to greater educational success but far fewer are aware that it also goes with better health and longer life.

So:  There is no doubt that there is a tendency for girls to mature physically rather earlier than they used to.  There is quite a lot of estrogen or estrogen mimics in modern processed foods so that is really no surprise.  The food freaks are in a constant state of uproar about phytoestrogens, BPAs and the rest in our food. They even warn us that you can get BPAs out of babies' bottles.

But Mr Murphy has other ideas.  He thinks that stress is the culprit.  It may of course be involved but the evidence he adduces for the claim is ambiguous.  He says:

“Boys who grow up in hardship are more than four times as at risk of starting puberty aged 10 than those who grow up in safer, wealthier households. And girls who grow up disadvantaged are twice as likely to start puberty early than others.”

But hardship families are very likely to be low IQ families and low IQs are associated with early maturation. American blacks, for instance, arrive at full growth about two years earlier than whites.  And chimpanzee infants go on to reach maturity as early as 8 years of age. So on balance stress has nothing to do with the tendency observed. The tendency is inborn.

Let us go on. Mr Murphy believes that the presence or absence of the father impacts female maturation:

“On average, a girl whose father divorces or separates from her mother and leaves the family home before she is 10 comes into puberty five months earlier than a girl from an intact family."

But absent fathers are by far commonest at the lowest end of the socio-economic scale.  And that is also the low end of the IQ range.  So again we most probaly have an IQ effect.  The finding can parsimoniously be explained by reference to IQ.  Both the absent father and the earlier maturation are explained by one underlying factor:  IQ

Mr. Murphy then goes on to associate the greatly increased divorce rate with earlier maturation.  But he offers no evidence to that effect. Living with a divorced single mother could well be less stressful that living in an unhappy family where parents are hostile to one-another.  Divorce is normally undertaken as the lesser evil and maybe it is in general.

So I share Mr Murphy's concerns and agree that girls benefit from a good relationship with their fathers but I doubt that he has established that.  On purely observational grounds, however, I have recently argued in favour of a similar view


The cult of modernity requires its adherents to believe that civilisation is on a linear upward path of progress and improvement. Coming to harsh conclusions about the degeneracy and sickness of our epoch is not allowed, despite the evidence of steep decline in core facets of existence like social cohesion, happiness, education, health, relationships, fertility rates, wages and governance.

Every now and then though the commissars of thought in the press make a mistake and accidentally report reality without a view to subversion, normally because they don’t realise the ramifications of what they are reporting on.

The Sydney Morning Herald recently published an extract from a book entitled “The New Puberty” by Amanda Dunn, under the title “Something is happening to our kids, and it’s time we talked about it”. The subtitle was “We are seeing a major shift in the development of children, particularly girls. We cannot afford to ignore it and hope it will go away”.

The extract observes that children, and particularly girls, are reaching puberty earlier. The main cause that the extract discusses is childhood obesity, i.e. previous generations did not have calorie surpluses like children do now, therefore the body is effectively receiving calories at such a rate that it “believes” it has the raw materials to begin the adolescent growth and transformation process and therefore does so earlier. In addition, the evidence indicates that menarche has also gotten earlier due to better nutrition as well, i.e. the additional calories are signalling to the body that it now has the availability of resources to create a baby.

Another article from the Herald observed that there was a clear socio-economic and stress link:

“Boys who grow up in hardship are more than four times as at risk of starting puberty aged 10 than those who grow up in safer, wealthier households. And girls who grow up disadvantaged are twice as likely to start puberty early than others.”

The findings suggest that early-onset puberty may be an evolutionary response to trauma and struggle. “When we are raised in sub-optimal living conditions that means we have a higher risk of premature death,” associate professor Sun said. “That means maybe we will die before we’re successfully reproductive, so we would choose an adaptive strategy to mature earlier, to have our first baby earlier, and maybe we could have more kids to ensure our genes transfer to the next generation.”

This was all logical to me so far, the body is responding to stimulus (more calories and/or stress) and reacting in a manner best suited to achieving Darwinian success by passing on its genes. The thing that piqued my interest though, is that while it is well established and acknowledged that our diets are more calorie intensive and that childhood obesity is a problem nowadays, I don’t seem to recall it being as widely acknowledged that modern childhood is significantly worse or sub-optimal, and much interest in analysis of why that is the case.

Let us start with the potential causes of these more stressful childhoods that we are allowed to discuss. Most people will concede that childhood may be more stressful nowadays due to social media and hyper-sexualisation via fashion and popular culture, but these forces are not unstoppable forces of nature. Children are exposed to social media and hyper-sexualisation because adults are choosing to let them be exposed to it. We could choose not to to expose them if we were so inclined. Given the consequences of early puberty, perhaps we should be inclined, “entering puberty young (before 11) correlates with a host of problems, from teenage pregnancy to depression. Only 2% of those who do so go on to enter higher education, regardless of their parents’ IQ and educational level.”

Another major societal change is the large increase in divorce and single mother households. Now this is an area you are allowed to talk about as long as we don’t attribute blame to anyone or to particular social movements:

“On average, a girl whose father divorces or separates from her mother and leaves the family home before she is 10 comes into puberty five months earlier than a girl from an intact family. But the impact of fathers is not limited to whether they are physically present. In intact families, girls reach puberty later if they have a positive rather than a negative relationship with their father; the more he is involved in her upbringing, the later she will have her first period. If the father is absent through illness or work rather than as a result of divorce or separation, the girl’s pubertal age is unaffected. Interestingly, too, an absent mother or a girl’s quality of relationship with her, does not affect the point at which she comes into puberty.”

The end of that quote bordered a little bit on thoughtcrime by implying that a father has a role to play that cannot be filled by a mother, but lets press on:

“Overall, the enormous increase in the divorce rate and in single-parent households since 1960 seems very likely to have played a major role in the decreasing age of puberty. However, it is not clear precisely why an absent or emotionally unengaged father should trigger earlier puberty. The strongest clue comes from the fact that if the father leaves the family home before the girl is six, she is twice as likely to have early first periods and four times more likely to start sex early. It suggests that the disruption to the mother, a lack of cash and all the other problems that go with single parenthood, probably make the girl more likely to be emotionally needy and to be eager to be able to use sexual allure as soon as possible to make people love her. The more times a girl’s family environment changes (with the mother taking new partners) in childhood, the greater the risk of early puberty. If there are three or more new partners, a girl is five times more likely to have a teenage pregnancy.”

Hmmm it might not be clear to the author of that piece why an absent or emotionally unengaged father might be a trigger, but it stands to reason that children are consciously and subconsciously aware if they are under the care and protection of an adult male, i.e. a patriarch. When they know they are not, they are more stressed as a result.

More HERE

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More nonsense research on IQ. Are high IQ people more racist?

Maybe I am missing something but I think that the research below has simply shown that people who are good at recognizing patterns are good at recognizing patterns.

It is true that the Raven's IQ test is a test of pattern recognition.  Pattern recognition is a major part of IQ. So the geniuses below did a study in which people were presented with some graphics that were patterned in a certain way.  They then tested the people who had been shown the patterned graphics  to find out if they had seen and learned the pattern in the graphics.  Some had seen it. Some had not.

They found that high scorers on the Ravens pattern recognition test were more likely to have learned the pattern that had been presented to them in the graphics of the experiment. People who were good at detecting one lot of patterns were good at detecting other patterns. In other words, they confirmed that good pattern recognition was part of IQ -- which  we already knew.

So what the heck is going on?  Why did this tomfoolery get published?  It is because pattern recognition is RACIST!  If you see a pattern in people who cry "Allahu Akhbar" when they kill other people and conclude that Muslims might be more dangerous than others, that is PREJUDICE.  I would argue that it is POSTJUDICE -- judging from experience -- but that makes me a racist apparently. Recognizing patterns is BIAS!  You are not allowed to learn from experience


A new study complicates the narrative that only unintelligent people are prejudiced. The paper, published recently in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, suggests smart people are actually more at risk of stereotyping others.

The study consisted of a series of experiments, all of which suggested that people who performed better on a test of pattern detection—a measure of cognitive ability—were also quicker to form and apply stereotypes.

First, researchers from New York University showed 271 participants a series of pictures of red, blue, and yellow cartoon aliens with different facial features, paired with a statement of either a nice behavior (“gave another alien a bouquet of flowers”) or a rude one (“spat in another alien’s face”):

Most of the pairings were random, but two were skewed so that keen observers might pick up on a pattern: 80 percent of the blue aliens were paired with unfriendly behaviors, and 80 percent of the yellow aliens were paired with nice ones. The subjects didn’t know if the statements about the aliens were true or false. In this way, the study tried to mimic how people actually form prejudices about certain groups, like through anecdotes in the media or through portrayals in TV shows.

Later, the subjects were asked to pick which alien had committed a given behavior from a lineup:

The participants then took a test called the Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices, a pattern-based exam that’s a common measure of human intelligence.

The participants who were better pattern detectors were more likely to make stereotypical errors: They tended to ascribe the friendly behaviors to the wrong yellow alien, and the unfriendly behaviors to the wrong blue alien. Meanwhile, they were less likely to ascribe the behavior to a different-colored alien.

A second study showed similar results, but for measures of implicit bias. That is, smarter participants were quicker to stereotype the aliens in the course of a word-sorting task, even if they didn’t realize they were doing it.

Next, the researchers tried it with human faces, showing a new set of participants a series of computer-generated pictures of men with either wide or narrow nose bridges:

Here too, 80 percent of the narrow nose-bridge men were paired with friendly behaviors, while 80 percent of the wide nose-bridge men were supposedly unfriendly. The participants were then partnered with a new set of pictures of men for a trust game using fake money. Again, superior pattern detectors gave more money to the characters with narrow nose bridges, suggesting they had learned the stereotype about friendliness and employed it in judging the new men.

These depressing results suggest there’s a downside to being smart—it makes you risk reading too much into a situation and drawing inappropriate conclusions.

SOURCE